Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Candied Walnuts

These are wonderful to have around the house at Christmas time.  Add to salads. serve with cheese or simply enjoy them by themselves.  They also make simple and inexpensive holiday gifts! click here for ideas.


Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 cup walnuts (about 3 1/2 ounces)

2 tablespoons light corn syrup*

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Generous pinch of cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine walnuts and all remaining ingredients in medium bowl; toss to coat. Spread nut mixture on prepared baking sheet (some nuts may clump together). Bake until nuts are deep golden and sugar mixture is bubbling, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container.)

*Some people prefer to add maple syrup.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Eddie Ross Holiday Decorating Tips Plus A Giveaway!

Eddie Ross is simply the best when you are looking for simple and inexpensive holiday decorating tips.  Last year I posted on instructions for a holiday ornament wreath and now I am including his post for decorating your entrance, the mantlepiece and the Christmas tree...all with inexpensive materials from Kmart and Sears.  Oh, and did I mention there is a  $250 giveaway on his site? Check it out!

•Sears Entryway: http://www.youtube.com/sears#p/u/3/MpGbmvZMQWA

•Kmart Mantel: http://www.youtube.com/user/kmart?blend=1&ob=4#p/u/0/xUh3MNWiX4Y

•Kmart Tree: http://www.youtube.com/user/kmart?blend=1&ob=4#p/u/1/zQZe5vxsi40

Photo Eddie Ross

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sunday Family Dinner...Turkey Enchiladas

Okay, you did it...you survived THE family dinner of the year....and you are still intact.  So, nobody expects anything more from you, at least, not until next week.  If you come up with something unexpected, fun and easy for you, you will be a hero for at least another 24 hours. 

You can always count on Mexican to fit the bill.  It is unexpected, at least for those of us who are not Mexican,  it's fun and it's simple.

For this recipe use any favorite, good-quality salsa, red or green, for the enchiladas. The recipe is a great way to use up leftover holiday turkey, but if you don't have turkey on hand, shredded cooked chicken is a good substitute. Serve the enchiladas with a simple Mexican coleslaw of shredded cabbage dressed with lime juice and yellow rice cooked with onions and cumin or saffron.

Yield: Makes 6 servings


3 cups shredded skinned cooked turkey (see notes)

1 cup Mexicali corn

2 cups sour cream

2 TB Cilantro, chopped

About 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz.)

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

12 corn tortillas

1 jar (16 oz.) medium-hot salsa (see notes)


1. In a bowl, mix turkey, corn, cilantro, sour cream,  and 2 cups shredded cheese, and the salt.

2. Heat oil in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over low heat. Dip the tortillas, one at a time, in the hot oil just until limp, about 5 seconds.

3. Fill tortillas equally with turkey mixture, roll up, and arrange side by side, seam down, in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Pour salsa evenly over the top.  Sprinkle most of the  1 cup shredded cheese saving some for the end.

4. Bake in a 350° oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. If desired, sprinkle more shredded cheese over hot enchiladas before serving.

You may also want to look at other turkey leftover suggestions from Lindaraxa's Garden::

Turkey Chili
Turkey Croquettes
Turkey Tetrazzini
Turkey A La King

Recipe inspired by Sunset Magazine
Photo: Same

Friday, November 26, 2010

Easy Mushroom Pate - Great for Cocktails!

From Steamy Kitchen comes this wonderfully simple and delicious appetizer!

A great vegetarian pate that only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Great for spreading on little toast rounds or bread. The secret ingredient is a little touch of good quality balsamic vinegar. I have also added two cloves of mashed garlic to flavor the oil.  Make sure you remove them before adding the mushrooms.

This recipe makes a nice big batch, enough for a dinner party. If you want a more smooth, silky pate, add more olive oil.

Prep Time 2 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Difficulty Easy 


8 ounces Sliced Mushrooms (any)

1 whole Onion

2 garlic cloves, mashed

2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley

¼ cups Olive Oil, Divided

1 teaspoon Sea Salt Or Kosher Salt (1/3 Teaspoon Table Salt)

¼ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar


1. Heat a large saute pan or frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add just 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and saute 2-3 minutes.  Add the onions and saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove garlic.

2. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms and onions are browned, about 8 minutes. Makes sure you don’t burn the onion (you can keep the heat on low if you need to).

3. Add the balsamic vinegar and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Pour all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and chop very finely until almost like a paste. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Butternut Squash With Pecans And Currants

This recipe came out of the New York Times article on Thanksgiving.  Check it out, it has a lot of ideas.  Me, I already know what I'm going to make and it's over in Lindaraxa's Garden!

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings.


2 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)

7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 thyme sprigs

Salt and pepper

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/4 cup currants

dash - 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes.

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the squash in two at the base of the neck, discarding the hollow bulb end or reserving for another use. Peel the rest and slice into 1/2-inch disks. Toss the squash in a large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper to taste, and arrange in a single layer. Roast the squash, turning once halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, combine garlic and one tablespoon of the remaining olive oil. Sauté until fragrant and tender, about one minute. Add pecans and sugar, and toss until the sugar has melted and the pecans are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk the vinegar into the remaining olive oil. Add the pecan mixture, currants and chili flakes. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Arrange the squash on a warm platter and top with some or all of the dressing.

New York Times November 10, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reprise...Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

This was last year's top post in Lindaraxa's Garden.  I thought I would post it again for those of you who are new to this blog.  You will make a splash with this one!

One of the most important things about this pie is toasting the pecans beforehand.  Really, do go the extra mile, it makes a world of difference as far as flavor is concerned.  Place whole or halved pecans on an ungreased sheet pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring a few times until light brown and fragrant. Let cool and set aside.

Don't scrimp on quality when it comes to making the best chocolate pecan pie for the holidays. As important as toasted and roasted pecans are to this pie, so is the type of chocolate used. Gourmet chocolate would include such brands as; Lindt chocolate, Ghirardelli chocolate and Callebaut chocolate. Mini chocolate chips are easy to use, and shaved or finely chopped dark chocolate works well too. These two ingredients -- toasted or roasted pecans and gourmet chocolate -- will be the deciding factor between a so-so chocolate pecan pie and a knock-your-socks-off, have-to-have-some-now chocolate pecan pie! A few drops of bourbon won't hurt either.

Servings:  8 - 10


1 deep dish 9 inch basic pie crust

3/4 cup gourmet chocolate chips or shaved dark chocolate

1 1/2 cup toasted pecans, shelled and chopped in half if desired

1/3 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup

3 large eggs

3 TB Bourbon


Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F with rack in lowest position.  Prepare pie crust ahead of time  whether you are making one or buying one already made such as Mrs. Smith's. Place toasted pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell (don't worry, they will rise to the top when the pie is fully baked ). Sprinkle chocolate chips or shaved chocolate over the pecans. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet to prevent drips and set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Turn off heat. Add brown sugar, stir until dissolved and pour into a large mixing bowl. Mix well with the whisk attachment.

Add corn syrup and mix again. Scrape.

Mix in bourbon and eggs, beating to mix well, but not foamy.

Carefully pour batter over the chocolate chips and pecans, being careful not to disturb them.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until top is slightly browned and puffed up. This will fall during cooling.  Make sure you let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours.

Chocolate Pecan Pie cuts best when it is chilled. Use a sharp knife. Let cool completely before wrapping. This pie freezes well, so make extra!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sourdough Stuffing With Apples, Sausage and Prunes

This is the stuffing I usually make for Thanksgiving, except with a few variations.

I love the taste of sweet madeira so I usually reduce the broth in order to incorporate it into the recipe.  I also drizzle some of the drippings from the turkey over the stuffing about 10 minutes before it is done.

For traditionality, I will put some inside the turkey but really prefer to bake it separately so it will form a crust.  But it's up to you, both ways work.  For best results, though, be sure to use artisanal sourdough bread.

If you are feeling rich, by all means add some chestnuts!


1 1/2-pound loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 13 cups)

2 pounds bulk pork breakfast sausage

2 large onions, chopped (about 4 generous cups)

2 cups chopped celery (about 5 stalks)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided

6 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Granny Smith apples (about 28 ounces)

3/4 cup prunes (about 4 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth

3 large eggs


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread bread cubes in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer bread to very large bowl.

Sauté sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces with back of fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl with bread cubes.

Add onions and celery to drippings in skillet; sauté until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread-sausage mixture (do not clean skillet).

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add to bowl with bread mixture; mix in prunes.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons sage; stir 30 seconds. Add sage butter to bowl with bread-sausage mixture; toss to blend. Season stuffing with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk broth and eggs in medium bowl; add to stuffing and toss to mix. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake stuffing uncovered until top is golden and crisp in spots, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Variations: use 1/2 cup less broth and add 1/2 cup Madeira

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Centerpiece... Simple & Inexpensive

Good Housekeeping

You can play with this and use it as a centerpiece on your dining table or on the sideboard.  Actually, you can use anywhere in the house!

Pull out all of your glass containers -- hurricane lamps, vases, glasses, and stemware. The different shapes and sizes will give your tablescape an interesting topography.

Make sure the glasses are sparkling clean without any trace of fingerprints. Depending on the size of each container, place either a pillar, votive, or tapered candle into each glass. Fill with hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans. Stagger the amount of nuts in each container.

Tip: This is the time of year where you can find unshelled nuts quite easily in the produce section of your local market.

Once your dinner is over, you can pour all of the nuts into one big bowl for everyone to enjoy while watching the football game. Don't forget to supply nutcrackers!

Good Housekeeping

Monday, November 15, 2010

Decorating With White China...Thanksgiving

If I could only have one set of china it would be white.  Why? it goes with everything and you can dress it up or down as the mood fits you.

My everyday set and the one I have been using for the last ten years, is from Pottery Barn and luckily, my daughter has the same pattern and we can borrow from each other as the need arises.  Between the two of us we have dinner and dessert plates for 24 and soup bowls and bread plates for 16.  I don't bother with cups and saucers since, when I am entertaining,  I serve espresso and have a  white demitasse set which goes with everything.

Pottery Barn

Now, one of the reasons I usually get extras from places like Pottery Barn is they tend to discontinue a lot of their things including some of their best selling china!  My pattern, (and Carolyne Roehm's),  has been discontinued, but is similar to the one above except it is a purer white.  I find off white to be a little difficult to work with.

This year I am in a mellow mood for Thanksgiving and a little tired of orange and red. I'm gravitating towards the whites and tans, and brown, with maybe an accent of color here and there. Look at the following ideas.  Love the simplicity.

A Taste Of Home

House & Garden TV

Everything Fabulous

Martha Stewart

House & Garden TV

And, if you must...a little color!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chocolate Chubbies

From Sarabeth Levine, famed for her marmalades and jams all over the world and owner of Sarabeth's Kitchen in New York City comes the new book From My Hands to Yours.  A great Christmas gift for the baker in your list.

Here's a simple chocolate drop cookie recipe from the book for those who love cookies but want nothing too complicated to tackle.  Right up my alley.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (no more than 62% cacao), finely chopped

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ¼ cups superfine sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 ½ cups (5 ½ ounces) coarsely chopped pecans

1 ¼ cups (4 ½ ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts


Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put the butter in a wide, heatproof bowl, and melt the butter over the hot water in the saucepan. Add the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate, stirring often, until melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cooled slightly but still warm, about 5 minutes.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Whip the eggs in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the eggs are foamy and lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, then the vanilla. Whip until the eggs are very thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in the tepid chocolate, making sure it is completely incorporated. Change to the paddle attachment and reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips, pecans, and walnuts, making sure the chunky ingredients are evenly distributed at the bottom of the bowl.The dough will be somewhat soft.

Using a 2-inch ice-cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans, placing the cookies about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake the cookies immediately—if you wait, they won’t be shiny after baking. Bake, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking, until the cookies are set around the edges (if you lift a cookie from the pan, the edges should release easily, even if the center of the cookie seems underdone), 17 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool completely on the baking pans. (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, with the layers separated by parchment paper, for up to 3 days.)

Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Boating on the Lake...Bittersweet Memories

This is the time of the year that I look forward to.  Beautiful foliage, cool temperatures, less people...nirvana.  But this is also the time to take better precautions when you are out on the lake so take a look at this post from the folks who have your safety at heart.

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when we went out on the lake with our good friends and neighbors who, unfortunately, will be moving at the end of this month. 

Our cove

Lake Lanier 10/21/10

 Stephanie & Gretchen our lake neighbors!

I'm so sad they are leaving...

Gonna miss him!

A great island for overnight camping!, boys on the left, girls on the right!

Going back to our original favorite island!

So many memories of the past year!

This beats the tanning salons!

Bet you can't do this on Madison Avenue!

No Lucy, I don't want to play catch now, I want to fish!

So when do I get to fish??


Not again...
It was a bittersweet afternoon and looking at this post makes me terribly sad.   They have been the best friends, so kind and loving, , and I am going to miss them very, very much!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Golden Broccoli Gratin

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and olive oil are combined with panko, the coarsely ground Japanese bread crumbs, to form a crisp, golden brown topping for this broccoli gratin.

The only thing I would suggest is that you sautee the onions first until translucent and then proceed to make the cream sauce in the same pan.  In that case, chop the onions instead of slicing them. Add the bay leaf once the cream is made.


Kosher salt, to taste

2 lb. broccoli

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

1 cup grated Gruyère cheese

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 cup panko

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 Tbs. olive oil


Preheat an oven to 350ºF.

Bring a large saucepan of well salted water to a boil over high heat. Cut the heads from the broccoli stalks and cut the heads into small florets. Peel the stalks and thinly slice. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a bowl filled with ice water, then drain well.

In a 10-inch fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until well incorporated and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the onion and bay leaf and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf and add the Gruyère, stirring until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully fold in the broccoli and spread in an even layer.

In a small bowl, stir together the panko, Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the broccoli mixture. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the gratin is golden and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Couscous With Toasted Pine Nuts


I am always looking for a couscous recipe to give to my daughter.  She is the couscous lover, I am not... unless I am serving a tagine and then, it's a must. If you are not serving it with something that is terribly spicy, make sure your couscous is cooked in  a broth and add a few spices, otherwise it can be terribly dull and insipid. 

This recipe is fairly basic and should be wonderful with anything you choose.  It has enough depth and complecity without overwhelming whatever you choose to serve with it. It is one of the  new recipes from the Barefoot Contessa new cookbook, How Easy is That? 

(Serves 6 - 8)


 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)

3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups couscous (12 ounces)

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

½ cup minced fresh parsley

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a full boil. Stir in the couscous, turn off the heat, cover, and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in the pine nuts and parsley, and serve hot.

From Ina Garten's New Cookbook How Easy is That?

Photo Kevin Bacon

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake For A Mother To Be

I've gotten to be quite a pro at uncovering expectant mothers.  I did it with my daughter in law before she knew it and again this weekend with my young neighbor and dear friend.  I don't know what it is that makes it so easy, but I can tell by the look.

As she sat across from me on the boat, this weekend  there was a slight gesture she did with her hand, perhaps the way she placed it over her stomach, that made me look at her and say "Are you pregnant?" Boy, talk about going out on a limb!  I was the one who was surprised when she nodded her head.  Wow, maybe I can make a living at this, a human pregnancy test  No, it's just experience, I've seen it too many times.

The Look

This couple has been very dear to me and great friends to both of us.  He has been like a son to me, she a delightful daughter in law.  Unfortunately they are moving, the day after Thanksgiving, and I am going to miss the best part.  I would have been a great and willing babysitter as I love babies and live practically next door.  I would have killed to have had  that when my children were young and I lived in a town where I had no family and no "free" babysitting nearby.

She loves cheesecake...not many other desserts...so tomorrow they are coming for dinner and I am making her one and General Tso's Chicken for him.  Not a great combination but each will get a favorite.

This is the first time I've baked a cheesecake and was surprised at how easy they are to make.  They just take a long time to bake and cool so plan ahead.   I will tell you it did crack, even though it wasn't supposed to.  I think I over beat AND overbaked it...I was having such a nice chat with my daughter.  But it promises to be divine and nobody will notice the crack because I will cover it with strawberries, just like she likes it.  Plenty of strawberries!

I'm telling you this to encourage you to cook and try new things.  Even the most professional and experienced cooks make mistakes.  It's normal, we learn and go back to bake another day.  Just one thing, make it the way the recipe says the first time.  Later on you can adapt and make it your own.  I hate when I read some one's adaptation before they have even tried the original.

Do try this cheesecake, it is quite a showstopper!  They will think you spent hours in the kitchen when in reality it is a little mixing and a lot of waiting.  Take it out of the refrigerator at least an hour before you serve it and make sure you plan to make it the day before.

Prep 30 min Cook1 hr 30 min


For the crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature

2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 cup red jelly (not jam), such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry

3 half-pints fresh raspberries (I used strawberries because that is what she likes and she is expecting!)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check 5 or 10 minutes before in case your oven  runs hot, like mine.  It should not be perfectly set...it should jiggle a bit in the center.

Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss the raspberries/strawberries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: Measure your springform pan. The bottom of mine measures 9 inches.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Photos Lindaraxa

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

FAITH the dog...An Inspiration

This moving story was sent to me in an email from a dear friend who knows I love dogs.  But this is more than a dog story.  It is an inspiration to all of us.

Next time you are feeling down or unhappy with what life has to offer, come back and read this story.

This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 2 legs

He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

His first owner also did not think that he could survive and he was thinking of 'putting him to sleep'.

But then, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him.

She became determined to teach and train this little dog to walk by himself.

She named him 'Faith'.

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfboard to let him feel the movement.

Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him for standing up and jumping around.

Even the other dog at home encouraged him to walk..

Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his hind legs and to jump to move forward.

After further training in the snow, he could now walk like a human being.

Faith loves to walk around now.

No matter where he goes, he attracts people to him.

He is fast becoming famous on the international scene and has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows.

There is now a book entitled 'With a Little Faith' being published about him.

He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.

His present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul'.

In life there are always undesirable things, so in order to feel better you just need to look at life from another direction.

I hope this message will bring fresh new ways of thinking to everyone and that everyone will appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day.

Faith is the continual demonstration of the strength and wonder of life.

A small request: All you are asked to do is keep this story circulating.


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