It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go. Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la. Jingle bells, jingle bells. It’s Christmas, yippee! I’ve been scanning the channels for Frosty and Rudolph but I just can’t seem to find them, what the heck? Insert record scratch here Hold on, I just glanced at the calendar, it’s not Christmas yet, it’s only mid-November, why are we racing through one of the best months and our beloved Thanksgiving Feast? Seems like Thanksgiving Day is now just a speed bump into Shopping Season.
We’re all busy but why should we stress out and race through Thanksgiving to fall full forward into the extended holiday rush? I know some people thrive on the rush of last minute shopping but do yourselves a favor and slow down and truly enjoy the holiday based around food, friends, family and giving thanks for the bounty.
Recently I received three Pacific Rim Rieslings samples and recipes for pairing with Sara Lee baked goods. The first Riesling I sampled was Pacific Rim Dry Riesling from Columbia Valley, WA.
Aromas of peach, honey and almond. Crisp acidic flavors of white stone fruit, tropical pineapple and minerality. The wine is on the dry end of Rieslings and pairs with an array of dishes and desserts.
Region: Columbia Valley
We all know we’re always rushing around not just during the holidays but the remainder of the year too. Too much work, too many appointments, activities, chores, responsibilities, etc. While my husband and I do a lot of from scratch cooking, we have been known to take a few short cuts at times. Sara Lee givesyou a hand with the base for dessert, there’s still baking and mixing involved so go ahead, I won’t tell. With the samples I received Sara Lee recipes, that pair with each of the Rieslings. Three that pair well with the dry Riesling are listed below.
Triple Berry Cheesecake Crumble
• 1 Sara Lee Original Cream Classic
For the berries:
• ¾ cup strawberries, hulled and
• ¾ cup blueberries
• ¾ cup raspberries
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the crumble:
• ½ cup butter, softened • ½ cup brown sugar
• 1 cup flour
1. Combine all ingredients for the berries and stir gently.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Mix all crumble ingredients in a mixer just until pea-sized crumbs
4. Lay crumbs in a single layer on a cookie tray.
5. Bake for 12 to15 minutes until golden brown.
6. Cool and crumble the mixture.
7. Slice cheesecake into serving sizes.
8. Top each slice with berry mixture; sprinkle brown sugar crumble
Cinnamon Crème Pumpkin Pie
• 1 Sara Lee Pumpkin Pie, baked and chilled
For the crème:
• 1 ½ cups heavy cream
• ¾ cup mascarpone cheese
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1. Bake Sara Lee Pumpkin Pie as instructed.
2. Combine all crème ingredients and whip until it holds peaks.
Cranberry Pound Cake Trifle
• 1 Sara Lee All Butter Pound
Cake, diced into ½ inch cubes
• 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding,
prepared to box instructions
• 1 can cranberry sauce,
removed from can and
stirred until smooth
For the whipped cream:
• 1 ½ cups heavy cream
• 1 ½ tablespoons powdered
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
1. Combine all ingredients for whipped cream and whip until it
holds a peak.
2. In a glass bowl, layer cake, pudding, cranberries and whipped
3. Repeat until all ingredients are gone.
4. Note: Try to save enough whipped cream to cover the top of
Ok, how easy are those recipes. And because you did something extra to them you can say, you made them yourself.
We also paired with dinner. It was my take on that box with the big white glove that you add to ground beef. I don’t like the box stuff since I don’t eat too many processed foods and I find the mix to be too salty. This night I gave it an Indian twist. I also used it as a way to clean out some leftovers in the fridge.
Kellie’s One Skillet Meal
1 lb ground beef
6 baby portabella mushrooms
½ cooked butternut squash – peeled and cubed
3 canned potatoes (hey, it was in the fridge) – cubed
1 can light coconut milk
Tandoori seasoning to taste
Fresh ginger – grated
Fresh nutmeg – grated
Panch Puran – toasted
I buy this mix at Indian grocery stores. You can make your own with fennel seeds, fenugreek, whole cumin and mustard seed. You can leave out completely but I love the aroma and the texture it gives dishes.
Mix all ingredients in a large skillet and cook on med until coconut milk has thickened. Serve with rice or naan. I know ground beef isn’t traditional with all Indian food but it’s your home, make what you want, the way you want.
Since Mother Nature has decided it should look and feel a lot like Christmas, I say bundle up next to a cozy fire and let the festivities begin. Cheers!