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Happy-Gourmand

Winter Desserts

by - Story: 25759


The thermometer is telling us we are in the dead of winter. Perhaps it was the void created after the decadence of Christmas, or maybe it was those darn dancing penguins and that expanse of polar ice cap, but any way you look at it, we are not enjoying global warming in our neck of the woods. Where we live, Old Man Winter is not only alive and well he is throwing a party for Jack Frost and all his other friends. They have uncovered the frigid pool (no hot tub for them!) and they are making up frozen cocktails they are settling in for a rockin’ good time. With that in mind, we decided to offer up a few suggestions for our own winter party. What better way to warm up a room than the company of good friends and some heartwarming food!

We decided that we are going to have a sugar shack party this weekend. If we are lucky, it will snow and we can run outside and pour maple syrup in the fresh fallen flakes. But even if it just remains awfully cold, we can still huddle up inside with our pals and think about getting out next weekend to burn off the calories we will consume! (More on the details of this meal in a future column.) That brings me to other ideas you can try to help fight off the cold…

Have an après-ski party (or après-toboganning) – a few appies are good, or even grilled cheese sandwiches can be fun you can use imported cheese or bread for a more grown-up theme, or dunk them in bowls of tomato soup if you want to reminisce (that was my favourite childhood thing on a winter day)

Take your dog out for an extra walk – many of our four-legged friends get less exercise in the winter too, so they will appreciate it and their enthusiasm may rub off. Reward yourself afterwards with a nice cup of tea and a piece of winter cheesecake.

Oreo Cookie Cheesecake

10 inch pan, buttered

1250 g cream cheese (5pack)
2 cups of sugar
1 whole lemon juice and zest
250ml whipping cream (35%)
6 eggs
12 Oreo cookies

Preheat your oven at 325F.The cheesecake will bake on the middle rack, and you also need a pan with water on the bottom rack to create steam inside.

In your food processor, mix together cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice. Once you have a smooth mixture, add your cream and eggs by hand in a large bowl.

Pour the batter in your greased pan and add 6 to 8 cookies in chopped in pieces all over the pan.

Bake until the filling has a uniformed jiggling, around 2 hours but it could take longer.

Let it rest in the fridge over night or for best results, two days. Decorate with fresh whipped cream and the remaining Oreo cookies on top.

Catch up with an old friend – you know, that “Harry Met Sally” thing. Winter is a good time to swap stories with someone you may not see often. Cozy memories will warm you up, and you can commemorate the event with “Pee-can Pie” (you have to say it the way Billy Crystal did in the movie – remember that scene?) As a sidebar here, I will mention that if your old friends are all a world away like mine, you can just as easily send them an e-mail and then cuddle up yourself with a piece of pie. It would be great to send them a piece of pie to enjoy too, but I don’t recommend trying to put Pecan Pie in an envelope!

Pecan & Macadamia Nut Pie

11” French metal tart pan

Pie dough
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
2 eggs
Vanilla
150g chocolate, melted
1/2 cup whole pecan, roasted prior
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roasted prior

375F, on the bottom rack so the bottom crust cook nice and crispy

Roll down your pie pastry and place into your pan.
Pre-cook your tart shell for 8 minutes, with egg wash at the bottom to create a seal before you pour your wet batter in it.
Warm the corn syrup, add the melted chocolate, vanilla and eggs and stir.
Place the nuts on your crust and pour your batter everywhere on top of the nuts.
Bake for 35 minutes, but it may take longer. The filling will set when cooked (it will just wiggle a little bit but not slosh around.)

If all else fails, try the “if you can’t beat ‘em” philosophy… go see the dancing penguins and surround yourself with winter images. “Happy Feet” is an infectious movie – you will shudder when the cold wind blows, but your toes will be tapping by the end and you will go out humming a happy tune and thinking a bit of winter can’t be that bad.

Stay warm! See you next week.


More Happy Gourmand articles

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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