Lemon Cream Frosting

So I had recently posted about Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes and I wanted to make some type of frosting that would pair nicely with it. Something that was light and refreshing. Especially since this is for Thanksgiving one of the very heavy hitting holidays.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. thinly sliced candied ginger (optional)

Step 1: In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth and fluffy.

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Step 2: Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest, beat to combine.

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Step 3: Chill the frosting for 30 minutes before use.

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Holiday Desserts Galore

Well another year has quickly come to an end and the holidays are just around the corner. Time to break out the new recipes and maybe a few classic ones, but nonetheless treats that will tantalize even the picky of eaters. Now last year I had done a simple set of desserts and a side.

  1. Iced Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
  2. Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes
  3. Pumpkin Cheesecake
  4. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This year I will be bringing back a classic cake that I haven’t made in a while. But most of all the rest of the desserts will be new recipes. So here are the desserts and sides that will be served this year for the holidays.

  1. Dulce de Leche Cake
  2. Upside-Down Caramel Apple Rolls
  3. Pumpkin Pie Bars
  4. Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cookies
  5. Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes
  6. Shortbread Cookies
  7. Mini Pumpkin Bread

(Side Note: Will be adding links to the list after Thanksgiving)

Simple and Tasty Appetizer

After finishing up a busy day I felt pretty hungry, but super lazy as well. While scouring the kitchen I came upon ingredients that I have used to make my Turkey Artichoke Panini. Well with a slight difference of bread and without any turkey. But anyways I really did not feel like spending time on pressing pans down and such. So instead I opted to make an open-faced type of sandwich. Which turned into an appetizer-like dish instead.

So for ingredients:

  • 1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced rounds
  • 1/2 cup spinach artichoke dip, heated until hot
  • 1/2 baguette, sliced at an angle

Step 1: Toast the bread slices until golden brown around the edges.

Step 2: Take bread out and generously top with the spinach artichoke dip

Step 3: Top with a fresh slice of tomato

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Every year I always seem to have pumpkin pie and that was until last year. Last year I had made a double layered pumpkin cheesecake and it was pretty simple to make without to much of a hassle in the kitchen. I was even able to make it into a triple layered, by adding dulce de leche to the bottom. This year I feel the need to up the difficulty since I will be making less desserts. So a classic pumpkin cheesecake will be made and this one will require more time on it.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup ginger cookie crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, combine all the crust ingredients until moistened.

Step 4: Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan evenly.

Step 5: Bake crust for 8-10 minutes and cool on wire rack while making the filling.

Filling

Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients (the dry ingredients); set aside.

Step 2: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Step 3: Gradually add the dry mixture and beat until creamy and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 4: Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 5: On the last egg add the vanilla, pumpkin, and sour cream.

Step 6: Pour the filling over the crust and place pan onto a baking sheet.

Step 7: Set cake on the middle rack.

Step 8: Place a pan on the bottom shelf filled halfway with hot water.

Step 9: Bake for 30 minutes.

Step 10: Reduce the temperature to 325°F and bake for 10-20 minutes, or until the edges are puffed and the center is still wet and wobbles when gently shaken.

Step 11: Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Step 12: Run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan.

Step 13: Place foil on the top of the pan to cool slowly.

Step 14: When fully cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 15: Gently run a knife around the edge and carefully release the pan from the cake.

Step 15: (Optional) Garnish with piped whipped cream. (I did this to cover the cracks, you can decorate it in any way you prefer.)

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I just adore having mashed potatoes at any time of the year, but it’s especially the best during the holidays. Making it was a pain and I just didn’t like making it, but only during the holidays will I be willing enough to make it. Last year I had made garlic mashed potatoes. They didn’t turn out as creamy as I had hoped. This year I have revised this past recipe and I am going to try it out today.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 3lbs. unpeeled red potatoes, rinsed and quartered (or peeled)
  • 8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 oz. Romano cheese, grated
  • 3 Tbsp. roasted garlic, minced (See Notes)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Step 1: In a large pot, have water boiling with a dash of salt.

Step 2: Add the potatoes to the pot and boil for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender.

Step 3: Drain the water thoroughly. (Note: I drained the water into the serving bowl to warm it up)

Step 4: Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl.

Step 5: Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.

Step 6: Mash with either a masher or an electric mixer until desired consistency. (Note: I recommend using the masher, it’s easier to control and you can take your time with it. Also you can add some milk to make it smoother, 1 Tbsp. at a time or so.)

Notes:

To make roasted garlic is very simple. Here is what you will need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Slice the top of the head of the garlic off
  3. Remove the extra papery skin
  4. Place on top of foil
  5. Drizzle olive oil on top and season with a sprinkle of salt
  6. Wrap the garlic tightly in the foil
  7. Bake for 35 minutes

Khaliat Nahal (Bee’s Hive Bread)

Khaliat al Nahal (known by many as Khaliat Nahal) literally means Bee’s Hive in Arabic. This is because the buns are baked close to each other in a round pan in a honeycomb like pattern and they are glazed with a honey flavored syrup. Now there are many different recipes for this dish. I have compiled a group of them and found an easier and less expensive version.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

Dough

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pkg. dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm water (may need more or less, just enough to form a soft dough) (I added 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • sesame seeds

Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. honey

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp. water

Step 1: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, powdered milk, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Step 2: Mix in the yeast, vegetable oil, and enough warm water to form a soft dough.

Step 3: Knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be smooth in texture.

Step 4: Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and place plastic wrap over the bowl. (I recommend to not cover the dough with the cloth, it will stick to the dough. Instead just lightly oil the plastic wrap and cover the dough with it.)

Step 5: Proof for 1 + 1/2 hours.

Step 6: Meanwhile in a sauce pan, combine the sugar, water, and honey.

Step 7: Bring to a boil and allow it to lightly thicken over med-low heat, 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool.

Step 8: Lightly oil and line the bottom of a baking pan. (I will be using a 12-inch cake pan.)

Step 9: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 10: Punch the dough down and divide it into small balls, about 2-3 Tbsp.

Step 11: Create a well in the balls and add 1/2-1 tsp. cream cheese in the center and encase the cream cheese in the dough.

Step 12: Place dough balls into a lightly oiled and lined baking pan, starting from the center and moving outward like a honeycomb.

Step 13: Brush dough balls with the egg wash and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Step 14: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Step 15: Remove from oven and immediately pour the cooled simple syrup over the buns.

Step 16: Cover the buns with foil and allow to cool to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. (The syrup will be absorbed into the buns.)

Turkey Artichoke Panini

While cruising around town I got pretty hungry and I stopped at Panera’s to try their turkey artichoke panini. I thought it was the greatest thing invented. Well that was until I tried another version at a local cafe. It blew my mind. The layers of simple, but flavorful ingredients really caught my attention. Though the downside was that the cafe closed before 3pm so I seemed to miss the time. I have been craving for an turkey artichoke panini for a good month now. So I will be making my version of it, without a panini press, although I did want to use my waffle iron, but it’s to small. Note: I bought all the ingredients at Sam’s Club.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 ciabatta roll
  • 2 Tbsp. spinach artichoke dip
  • 3-4 slices of tomatoes
  • 2 oz. deli sliced turkey

Step 1: Slice the ciabatta roll in half

Step 2: Spread the spinach artichoke dip onto the bottom half of the roll.

Step 3: Layer on the turkey and tomato slices.

Step 4: Close the sandwich.

Step 5: Heat up a pan over medium heat and place the sandwich into it.

Step 6: Take a heavy pan and press it down on the sandwich

Step 7: Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until browned

Step 8: Flip sandwich and repeat until browned and the cheese is melted.

Fettuccine Alfredo

I’ve been craving for pasta with a creamy sauce for the past couple of weeks. So I decided to make fettuccine alfredo. After going over different recipes I figured I should just go with the original recipe. It only requires 3 ingredients, but I want to add a little something else to it.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 8 oz. dried fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 finely grated parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Step 1: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Step 2: Add fettuccine and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 8-10 minutes.

Step 3: Drain pasta, reserving 3⁄4 cup pasta water

Step 4: In large saucepan, bring the reserved 3⁄4 cup pasta water, garlic, and the butter to a boil

Step 5: Add the pasta

Step 6: Sprinkle with the cheese while tossing with tongs over medium-low heat until the pasta is creamy and coated, about 2 minutes.

Step 7: Serve the fettuccine immediately on warmed plates.

Pumpkin Chocolate Strudel

Instead of making a time consuming pie I decided to make a strudel instead. This is basically using the same ingredients as a chocolate pumpkin pie, but with a few less ingredients and time.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk (plus 1 yolk mixed with some water for an egg splash)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 box  refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Powdered Sugar (for dusting)
Step 1: Heat oven to 375°F.
Step 2: Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper
Step 3:  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 egg yolk, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin until blended.
Step 4: Stir chocolate chips into cream cheese mixture.
Step 5: Chill 10 minutes.
Step 6: On cutting board, unroll one pie crust.
Step 7: Sprinkle crust evenly with granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the walnuts.
Step 8: Spread half of cream cheese mixture in a strip across top of crust.
Step 9: Starting at filled edge, roll dough into a log.
Step 10: Place log on cookie sheet seam side down. Repeat with remaining crust and filling.
Step 11:  Mix 1 egg yolk with 2 Tbsp water. (Check out my Tips For the Kitchen on Egg Washes)
Step 12: Brush logs with egg wash; sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Step 13: Bake 40-45 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Step 14: Cool 5 minutes; slice ends off each roll.
Step 15: To serve, slice each roll into 1-inch slices and dust with powdered sugar.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

No Thanksgiving meal is really a meal without a starch. In this case garlic mashed potato. Now in this recipe you can either use raw garlic or roasted garlic. I’ll be using roasted.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 3 pounds unpeeled red potatoes
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 oz. Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp and 2-3/4 tsp chopped garlic or roasted garlic
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano

Step 1: Place whole potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Cook until tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes; drain.

Step 3: Peel potatoes into a large bowl

Step 4: Stir in butter, cheese, garlic, salt and oregano.

Step 5: Mash with a potato masher or with an electric mixer. (do not over mix, make sure to have some potato chunks or else the mixture will become sticky)

Step 6: (optional: you can add milk, but only after the butter has been mixed in)

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