Thursday, December 24, 2009


"Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth."

(Luke 2:14)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch of their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

(Luke 2:8-11)

Monday, December 21, 2009


"No winter lasts forever;
no spring skips it's turn."

~ Hal Borland

Green Man ~ Hubbard Lake December Sunset

“O, wind, if winter comes,
can spring be far behind?"

~ Percy Shelley

Sunday, December 20, 2009


"Winter must be cold
for those with no warm memories."

(From the movie An Affair to Remember)

(Rachael Ray - 30 Minute Meals)

1 1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup Grand Marnier

Mix all ingredients, except ice. Pour half in blender and fill the rest of blender with ice. Blend. Repeat with second batch. (2 medium pitchers)



1 unpeeled orange, quartered and seeded
2 cups cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/2 chopped green pepper
2 seeded and finely chopped jalapeno peppers
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

Coarsely chop orange quarters in food processor. Add cranberries, sugar, and salt; pulse 2-3 times until cranberries are coarsely chopped. Transfer to bowl and add green pepper, jalapeno peppers, cilantro and pecans. Chill and serve with Terra Vegetable Chips orfavorite corn chips. (3 cups)



(for 1 ~ 8-inch 2.2 pound Brie cheese wheel)

Cranberry marmalade:

3 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries or currants
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until most of the berries pop,stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.)

For cheese:

Using sharp knife, cut circle in top rind of cheese, leaving 1/2 inch border. Carefully remove center circle of rind. Spread with cranberry marmalade. Serve at room temperature on pear and apple slices or crisp crackers.

Friday, December 18, 2009


"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!"

~Hamilton Wright Mabie

~ Good old-fashioned holiday dessert (Detroit Free Press clipping)

10 Tbsp. room temperature unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
4 cups fresh cranberries plus 1 cup for garnish
1 1⁄4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1 large room temperature organic egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2⁄3 cup milk
zest of 1 large orange
1⁄3 cup red currant jelly

1⁄2 cup unsweetened heavy cream (plus 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar)
or good vanilla ice cream

  • Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Adjust oven rack to lower quarter of oven.
  • Spread 4 Tbsp. of butter on bottom and sides of an iron skillet (heavier on the bottom). Sprinkle 1⁄2 plus 2 Tbsp. of sugar on bottom of pan. Place cranberries in pan. Set aside.
  • In large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 1⁄2 cup of sugar. Set aside.
  • In medium mixing bowl, beat remaining 6 Tbsp. butter until soft. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk. Mix until just combined Stir in orange zest. Pour batter over berries, smooth top and bake for 1 hours (top of cake will get very brown).
  • Remove from oven and cool on rack for 20 minutes. With a paring knife, cut around sides of pan to loosen cake. Put the serving plate on top of the pan and invert so cake unmold on the plate.
  • In small saucepan, heat jelly over low heat. Pour melted jelly over the entire surface of cake, bringing it to the edges with the back of the spoon. Let cool completely.
  • Just before serving, whip whipping cream and powered sugar.
  • Serve cake at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream. (8-10 servings)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


"Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts."

~ Janice Maeditere




~ Year round favorite ... festive color for the holidays

6-8 minced garlic cloves
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 quarts organic chicken (or vegetable) broth
16 oz. tri-color cheese tortellini
(love Monterey 5 cheese Tortelloni, a wonderful blend of parmesan, ricotta, swiss, mozzaarella & romano cheese)
2 28 oz. cans good stewed tomatoes
8 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves (can also use chopped frozen)
2 tsp. dried basil
coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh grated Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh seeded Italian tomatoes (optional)
chopped fresh basil

  • Saute garlic gently in olive oil (careful not to burn).
  • Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and reduce heat to gentle boil (avoid boiling vigorously). Cook about 5 minutes or until tortellini rise to top.
  • Add stewed tomatoes, spinach, and basil; simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Serve soup topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh tomatoes (if desired), and chopped fresh basil. (12 servings)
Note: Santa likes this soup with a glass of Michigan Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio and loaf of crusty peasant bread

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


"Oh, with a little luck ~ December will be magic again."

~ Kate Bush

'Magical' Cyclamen
(Return of the native ~ 4th year)
~ Perhaps because the taste is so memorable, ideal for holiday entertaining and Derby Day, this same recipe is posted on many websites ... this keeper is from Wickwood Inn ...
2 sticks unsalted butter (more for greasing pan)
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 oz. good quality unsweetened chocolate
(like Ghirardelli 60% or 70% cacao for baking)
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup bourbon and more for dousing
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Confectioner's sugar or softly whipped cream for garnish
  • Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325-degrees.
  • Over simmering water, melt chocolate. Let cool.
  • Put espresso and cocoa powders in 2-cup or larger glass measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to come to the 1 cup measure. Mix until powders dissolve. Add bourbon and salt, and let cool.
  • Using electric mixer, butter until fluffy. Add sugar and cream until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add vanilla, baking soda and melted chocolate, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • On low speed, beat in a third of the bourbon mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup flour. Repeat, ending with bourbon mixture. Scrape batter into Bundt pan and smooth top. Bake until cake tester comes out clean, about 70 minutes and sprinkle warm cake with more bourbon. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.