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October 2006 | Recipe Notes #212
Allrecipes - Recipe Notes
Tuesday, October 31, 2006, Issue No. 212
Chill Out for the Holidays
plan a relaxing thanksgiving
A quick glance at the calendar is enough to send you into panic mode. Thanksgiving is less than 30 days away and Christmas is already clamoring for attention. With so much to do and so little time to do it, how is it possible to spend more time enjoying the season and less time feeling frazzled? Let suggest a few simple strategies for stress-free holidays. Hint: you'll want to make room in your freezer.
In this Issue

Visit to see our complete collection of recipes and meal ideas.
Food Lovers' Trivia
Q: What is a cranberry?
Rave Review!
Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip is easily the best artichoke dip recipe I have ever tried, and I have tried almost all of 'em! This rivals the artichoke spinach dips served at restaurants. My husband LOVES it, and everyone I've served it to does as well.


Frozen Assets
Save your sanity this Thanksgiving by not cooking! Well, at least by not cooking everything on Thanksgiving Day. Check out our ideas for dishes you can make days and even weeks ahead of time, complete with tips for proper freezing and thawing.

Easy Bake. You would love to fill your house with the nostalgic aroma of homemade pie, but the idea of all that mixing and forming and filling and baking makes your head spin. The answer? Set aside a day to make enough frozen pie shells to take you through the holidays. Then you can fill and bake at your leisure. Line 9-inch pie pans with pie dough and freeze until firm. Wrap the frozen dough and pan with plastic wrap and store in the freezer. Tip: defrost frozen pie shells before filling and baking. For the top of double crust pies, roll out enough dough to cover a 9-inch pie, then wrap it and freeze it flat on a lined baking sheet. Click on Holiday Bake and Freeze for more make-ahead dessert ideas.

Take Sides. Prepare side dish casseroles and freeze them so you'll have one less menu item to prepare on Thanksgiving. Most prepared dishes can go straight into the oven from the freezer, but be sure to check with the manufacturer to make sure your glass casserole can do so safely. Cool cooked dishes thoroughly before freezing so you won't compromise your freezer with warm food. Tip: if you plan to freeze a casserole but still want to use the pan, line it with aluminum foil before filling, freeze the cooked and cooled dish, then remove the frozen food--foil and all. Click on Holiday Make-Aheads for side dish recipes and tips.

Start Me Up. Frozen appetizers solve two holiday problems: feeding unexpected guests and freeing you from extra kitchen duty. A cache of frozen nibbles and dips ready to bake or thaw is like having an on-call caterer. Tip: mayonnaise, egg whites, gelatin, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers don't freeze well. Click on Thanksgiving Appetizers for recipes to get the party started at a moment's notice.

Crustless Cranberry Pie
Food Lovers' Trivia Tidbit
Shiny scarlet cranberries are grown in huge, sandy bogs on low, trailing vines. They are also called bounceberries, because ripe ones bounce; and craneberries, after the shape of the shrub's pale pink blossoms, which resemble the heads of the cranes often seen wading through the cranberry bogs. Cranberries grow wild in northern Europe and in the northern climes of North America, where they are also extensively cultivated--mainly in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon.

Cranberries: An American Classic

Recipe for Crustless Cranberry Pie

Editors' Recipe Picks!
Start your campaign to get out of the kitchen and into the holiday spirit with these make-ahead recipes.

Submitted By: Stephanie
Ground walnuts, butter and sugar make a perfect crust for a custard or ice cream no-bake pie. And this crust freezes beautifully.

Submitted By: Ruthie Crickmer
Whole kernel corn, cream style corn, sour cream, eggs, butter and muffin mix combine to produce a delightful cross between a corn souffle and a slightly sweet corn pudding.

Submitted By: Claire Mooney
Savory bits of prosciutto and Parmesan cheese are layered between sheets of puff pastry and baked for fabulously easy appetizers.

Pecan Cheesecake
Submitted By: Eleanor Johnson
A terrific Thanksgiving Day cheesecake flavored with pecan liqueur!

  • Prep Time: 45 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour
  • Ready In: 4 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Yields: 16 servings
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecan liqueur
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pecan liqueur
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 1/2 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  1. Combine 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and melted butter or margarine. Press firmly into the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.
  2. In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese and 1 1/4 cup white sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well. Add vanilla extract. Add 1/2 cup liqueur, and blend for 5 minutes. Pour the filling on top of the crust
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for approximately 1 hour. The cake should be golden brown, and will have risen to the top of the pan. Turn off the heat, and let cool in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. When cool, remove the rim of the springform pan.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, confectioners' sugar, and 1 teaspoon liqueur together. Spoon onto the top of the cooled cheesecake.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the finely ground pecans, finely ground graham cracker crumbs, 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the pecan topping on the cheesecake. Carefully press the pecan topping into the sides of the cheesecake. Garnish the top and sides with pecan halves.
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