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Showing posts from November, 2016

Vanilla, Starfruit and Champagne Sangria

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Lillet Blanc, an aromatic French aperitif wine, enhances the delicate starfruit in this festive sangria. Made with Champagne and vanilla bean syrup, it's ideal for the holiday entertaining season and also works for wedding showers, birthdays or anytime you want to add a bit of sparkle to the party.

Total Time: 4 hr 45 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 4 hr 20 min
Cook: 5 min
Yield: 8 servings (8 cups)
Level: Easy

Ingredients
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups Lillet Blanc aperitif wine
1 cup soda water
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound starfruit, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 2 medium)
One 750-milliliter bottle champagne or sparkling white wine, chilled
Gold sanding sugar, for serving

Directions
Bring the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a knife, then add the seeds and pod to the saucepan. Boil the syrup for 1 …

Christmas Citrus Squares

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 3 hr 20 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 2 hr 30 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 50 squares
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks), unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons red currant jelly

Filling:
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch fine salt
1 cup freshly squeezed clementine juice, about 6 clementines
1 lemon juiced (4 to 5 tablespoons)
2 clementines (about 2 teaspoons) zest finely grated
1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons) zest finely grated
2 clementines or 2 blood oranges, sliced and cut into small triangular pieces, for serving, optional

Directions
Butter a 9 by 12 1/2-inch baking pan. Line pan with foil and leave about 2 inches extra on all sides. Butter the foil.

Whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mix…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Southern Red Velvet Cake

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Recipe courtesy of Cakeman Raven, Cakeman Raven Confectionery, NYC
Total Time: 1 hr
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: about 6 to 8 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
Vegetable oil for the pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Crushed pecans, for garnish

Cream Cheese Frosting:1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and v…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Heart Full of Gratitude

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See everyone in your family for the truth of who they are; spiritual beings on a spiritual journey that does not always follow a straight or narrow path. Your family members are souls on a journey, struggling through their lessons, just like you. – Iyanla Vanzant

A life well lived is not one of perfect circumstances followed by perfect outcomes, it’s one of acceptance that there will be struggle, uncertainty, sadness, challenges, and a fleeting triumphant moments here and there. I look at my family, friendships, and interactions with my community and I see a murky map of where we’ve been at different stages of life. Spiritual growth and evolution has happened during this journey and they’ve been witnesses to the imperfection of it, with or without judgment. I cringe when I replay memories of behavior that was based on ignorance, jealousy, and unkindness, but I want you to know that my harsh guilt never lets me off easily. I have a really hard time forgiving myself for all of it and mov…

Cranberry Sauce

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Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Total Time: 12 hr 30 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 12 hr
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup 100 percent cranberry juice, not cocktail
1 cup honey
1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups

Directions
Wash the cranberries and discard any soft or wrinkled ones.

Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully spoon the cranberry sauce into a 3 cup mold. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator, overturn the mold and s…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Raspberry Cheesecake

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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total Time: 14 hr
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 12 hr
Cook: 1 hr 30 min
Yield: 12 to 15 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients 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

Directions
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 …

When Going At It “Alone” Is Not An Option

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The truth is that you’re never really alone. There’s someone else out there, feeling and saying the same thing. Social media and technology have allowed us to reach out, search for, and enlighten ourselves in many different ways. The search box is our companion that can find us groups, forums, and maybe even activities to help us feel connected with likeminded people. There are advocates for all of us, posting things online that feed us good but also bad information, however, it’s our choice on which way to go. If we’re feeling disillusioned with the election results, there are tons of groups to help us get over the blues or add to them, we get to choose. I didn’t feel alone while I mourned the divided state that our country is in, because so many people were/are on the same boat, but I get to choose which direction I’m going to take going forward. And lucky for me, I’m not alone. I, like many others today, have made a choice to work at finding hope, love, and happiness around us.

Duri…

Leftover Thanksgiving Panini

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 1 sandwich, which serves 2
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 slices sourdough sandwich bread
2 slices Swiss
1/3 cup shredded leftover roasted Thanksgiving turkey
3 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
1/3 cup leftover dressing
2 tablespoons leftover giblet gravy
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Directions
Spread the mustard on both slices of bread, then lay a slice of cheese on each piece. On one slice, arrange the turkey and the cranberry sauce. On the other slice, lay on the dressing and spoon the gravy over the top.

Carefully unite the two halves into one sandwich, then spread the top side of the bread with 1 tablespoon of the butter.

Invert the sandwich, butter-side down, onto a hot panini maker (or a grill pan or skillet over medium-low heat). Spread the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

Close the panini maker and grill the sandwich until the bread is crusty and…

Life is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Raspberry Prosecco Tulip

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Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Total Time: 4 hr 40 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 4 hr 20 min
Cook: 5 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Four 1/4-ounce packets gelatin
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups prosecco
1 cup club soda
3 tablespoons black raspberry liqueur
One 6-ounce container raspberries, plus additional raspberries for serving, optional

Directions
Pour 2 cups water into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let sit until the gelatin has absorbed liquid, about 1 minute. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon to fully dissolve the gelatin. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until just warm to the touch. Then add the prosecco, club soda and raspberry liqueur; stir until combined. Ladle 2 cups of the liquid into a Bundt pan. Sprinkle with the raspberries and refrigerate until pretty much set, 1 hour.

Once the first layer is set, pour the remaining liquid over the top. Refrigerate for a…

Election Day Sugar Cookies

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Red, white and blue confetti stars are folded into a sugar cookie dough that holds its shape, which is perfect for cutting out stars and the letters V-O-T-E.

Total Time: 4 hr 55 min
Prep: 40 min
Inactive: 3 hr 55 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 20 to 24 cookies
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup red, white and blue edible confetti stars, plus more for sprinkling

Directions
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the vanilla and egg with a fork in a small bowl.

Beat the butter, granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed until the butter has picked up the sugars, about 30 seconds. (If using a hand mixer, beat about 2 minutes.) I…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprout Salad

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Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson
Total Time: 18 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 8 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Shred the Brussels sprouts by removing the core and thinly slicing. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring, until the Brussels sprouts are bright and slightly wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the walnuts and the cranberries and toss to combine. Turn out into a serving bowl and serve warm.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com






Eggs Benedict With Lighter Hollandaise

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Recipe courtesy of doctoroz.com
Yield: 4 Servings
Calories: 241

Toby Amidor's Eggs Benedict, made with Greek yogurt, are light on calories and heavy on taste. With this recipe from her book The Greek Yogurt Kitchen, Amidor will have you waking up in style. That starts with breakfast.

Ingredients
cooking spray
2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
4 large eggs
2 whole wheat English muffins
4 slices (1/4 lb) turkey bacon
2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp kosher salt

Directions
1. In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add the vinegar and lower the heat until it is no longer at a rolling boil. Crack an egg into a small cup, dish, or wineglass. Holding it near the surface of the water, gently slide the egg into the hot water. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cover the saucepan and all…

Bacon Hasselback Potatoes

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 3 hr
Prep: 50 min
Cook: 2 hr 10 min
Yield: 12 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
4 slices thick-cut bacon, each cut crosswise into 9 pieces
Kosher salt
12 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1 stick unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Directions
Lay the bacon pieces on a baking sheet and freeze until hard, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Using a sharp knife, make crosswise cuts in each potato, about 1/8 inch apart, stopping about 1/4 inch from the bottom.

Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and carefully transfer to a baking sheet; let cool slightly. Pat the potatoes dry, then insert 3 pieces of the frozen bacon into the cuts of each potato, spacing the bacon evenly and letting it poke out of the top. Melt 5 tables…

Life is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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