Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust, Salted Caramel Drizzle

For the Gingersnap Crust

1 C ground gingersnaps (about 2 C whole cookies)

1/3 C flour

¼ C unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

12oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

½ C light brown sugar

2 eggs

8oz. pumpkin purée

¼ C sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)

1 t ground ginger

1 t pumpkin pie spice (or substitute ¼ t EACH nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon)

1 t vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps until finely crushed. Add the flour, pulse again and then add the melted butter. Process until mixture resembles wet sand. Press gingersnap mixture evenly into the baking pan and set aside.

With a hand-held beater or with a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, spices and vanilla. Beat again until everything is combined and smooth. Pour the mixture into prepared pan. Bake until set and golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Leave the cheesecake to begin to cool in the oven another 20 minutes with the door ajar, then remove and cool completely. Once cheesecake is at room temperature place in the fridge to set, several hours or overnight. (You can also freeze the cheesecake for up to one month.) Before serving, cut into squares and drizzle with Salted Caramel. Makes 16 squares.

Homemade Salted Caramel

Double the recipe so you’ll have extra on hand for ice cream! Caramel is made from so few ingredients that using high quality butter and cream will shine through.

½ C granulated sugar

3 T high quality unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ C heavy cream, room temperature

½ t sea salt

In a very clean heavy bottom saucepan, heat the sugar on medium low heat until completely melted, swirling the pan gently every 20 seconds or so. Watch the sugar carefully, as it will turn dark and caramelize quickly, but you don’t want it to burn. Once melted and nicely dark, remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the butter. The mixture will violently bubble – don’t worry, you’re doing it right. Continue whisking quickly until all the butter is absorbed. Next, pour in the heavy cream and whisk until combined, then add the salt. Allow the caramel to cool completely before using. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for one or two days, or in the refrigerator for up to one month. Microwave if necessary to make it pourable. Yield ¾ cup.


Mixed Beans with Ginger, Lemongrass and Lime

2 pounds mixed beans (such as green, wax, haricots verts, Romano), trimmed

1 T olive oil
½ large shallot, finely chopped

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layers removed, finely grated

2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 T olive oil
1⁄3 cup salted, roasted peanuts

Dressing

1 t lime zest, finely grated
3 T fresh lime juice

3 T olive oil
¼ t sugar

½ t ground coriander

1 t sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

3 small kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped – Optional

1⁄3 C (packed) cilantro, chopped,  plus more for serving

Working in batches by type, cook beans in a large pot of boiling water until crisp- tender, 1–4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and pat dry; transfer to a serving bowl. 


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook shallot, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add ginger, lemongrass and garlic, and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add to the bowl with beans. (Note: the shallots, ginger, lemongrass and garlic can be finely chopped together in a mini-prep food processor.)

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in same skillet over medium-high. Cook peanuts, tossing often, until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then coarsely chop. Add to the bowl with beans.


Whisk together the dressing ingredients, either in a bowl or a mini-prep food processor. Add half of the dressing and the chopped cilantro to the beans, tossing well. Taste and adjust for more dressing or salt and pepper as you desire, or serve remaining dressing on the side.  Serve topped with more cilantro. Serves 8.


Turmeric and Ginger Tea

ginger-and-turmeric-tea-health-boosting_7

 

 

Great for what ails you! Turmeric and ginger both have anti-inflammatory properties, making this an ideal tea if you have a cold. It’s very comforting on a cold winter’s day, served piping hot. But it’s also refreshing as a summer pick-me-up, so keep it in mind when those seasonal allergies strike. It’s also a very good digestive. Fresh turmeric is available at Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Wegman’s and Asian supermarkets. Fresh ginger is widely available at supermarkets. Adrienne demoed this at Brookside and USBG in January 2016.

Two 2½-inch pieces fresh turmeric root, finely grated
2-inch piece fresh ginger root, finely grated
Few grinds of black pepper
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 C honey
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lemon

Combine ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Stir until well blended. Cover with a lid, and store in the fridge. To make the tea, heat 8 ounces of water in a cup and add one teaspoon of the ginger-turmeric mixture. Garnish with a grinding of black pepper.


Chickpea Turmeric Stew with Coconut Bacon

chickpea_turmeric_stew_sweet_potato_thai_red_curry_coconut_bacon_vegan_4Imagine a vegan meal of great, chunky protein (the chickpeas or garbanzo beans), soft, creamy sweet potato distilled in a coconut broth flavored with fresh turmeric and ginger root, floury Yukons to absorb those great juices, topped with crunchy flakes of something smokey, meaty-tasting and incredibly satisfying. “Coconut bacon?” you’re wondering. Make that part ahead of time (the whole thing can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator a couple days – reheat gently on top of the stove.) But do extra of the “bacon,” as you’ll find all sorts of use for it, from spinach salads to sprinkling on baked potatoes to serving with eggs and hash browns for breakfast.  Adapted from the food blog yupitsvegan.com and demoed by Adrienne at Brookside in January 2016.

For coconut bacon:
1½ C unsweetened coconut flakes
1 T soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
2 t prepared Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is vegan)
½ T pineapple juice
½ T maple syrup
scant 1/4 t liquid smoke

For the chickpea turmeric stew:
3 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 to 2 serrano peppers, finely chopped (depending on your tolerance)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 T minced fresh turmeric root (about 3 inches) (or use 1½ t dried turmeric, added along with the curry powder)
½ T mild curry powder
1 ~14 oz. can coconut milk (1½ C)
½ C pineapple juice
2 t soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
1 medium to small potato, cubed
1 medium to small sweet potato, cubed
1½ C chickpeas (one can)
2 T lime juice
salt, to taste
chopped cilantro or green onion, for serving
(optional) rice, for serving

For the coconut bacon:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum. Dump the flaked coconut onto the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients, making sure to evenly incorporate the curry paste. Drizzle the mixture over the coconut, and use your hands to toss it to coat. Spread it out in an even layer and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed/cooked off and the coconut is evenly browned. Let cool before using. The coconut bacon will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.
For the chickpea turmeric stew:
In a saucepan, heat a small drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallot with a sprinkle of salt; cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the pepper, garlic, turmeric, and ginger with another sprinkle of salt, and stir. Cook 3 minutes until the shallot is soft. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the coconut milk, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and cubed potatoes and sweet potatoes, along with another fat pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. If desired, use the back of your spoon to mash up some of the potatoes to thicken the stew slightly. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and lime juice and let simmer partially covered for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and coconut bacon.

 


Oranges with Caramel, Ginger and Mint

 

plum

 

 

Growing up in Europe, the Cook Sisters have childhood memories of Christmas dinner ending with a fiery plum pudding. It was made a year ahead of time, then steamed for a couple of hours before arriving at the table doused with flaming rum and served up warm with rum butter and Christmas crackers. The fact that we never actually liked the pudding itself never stopped this Old World tradition from being our favorite part of the meal. Scroll forward a few decades, and today we have our own traditions. We offer up this dessert for consideration. It makes a great dinner-party dessert because it’s not heavy, and it’s healthy, which leaves diners feeling virtuous. What could be better to end a Christmas dinner? Don’t answer that. Just enjoy this. We demoed this for Brookside back in 2011. 

oranges5 seedless oranges, such as navel
2 T crystalized ginger
1/3 C sugar
8-10 mint leaves (optional)

Zest one orange and reserve. Trim oranges of their skin and white pith; reserve top and bottom for juice. Cut trimmed orange in half lengthwise and remove core. Lay the halves flat and cut into half-moons. Arrange orange slices on a platter. Using a small paring knife, dice crystalized ginger; mix with orange zest and scatter over orange slices. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat 2 T water and the sugar until they begin to boil. Turn the heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes until sugar turns to medium brown; remove from heat. Carefully drizzle caramelized sugar over prepared orange slices; the sugar will bubble and sizzle and harden in place. Squeeze juice from reserved orange ends over the caramel. Scatter mint over all and serve within an hour for maximum crunchiness.