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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chai Spiced Sugar

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I wanted to share this amazing Chai Spiced Sugar recipe.

A friend of mine, Keri Bassett, and fellow blogger has a wonderful website at www.shakentogetherlife.com. This recipe of hers is now a staple in my house. You can add this spice blend to just about anything. Cookies to your favorite drink, it really doesn’t matter, Keri’s, Chai Spiced Sugar will give you warm FUZZIES inside.

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Ingredients For Chai Spiced Sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of Chai Spice Mix

Ingredients For Chai Spice Mix:
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or allspice)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Directions:
Stir together sugar and chai spice mix until well combined. Place in an airtight container and store in a dark cool place.

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Zucchini And Tomato Tart With Goat Cheese

Tomato And Zucchini Tart With Goat Cheese (3)

This Zucchini And Tomato Tart With Goat Cheese is a great alternative to eating meat. It really satisfying and delicious. The jam takes quite a while to make but the good news is you can make it in advance.

First, you want to caramelize the onions. Start with a sweet onion like a Vidalia. Vidalia onions are really the best ones to use for this dish because they’re naturally sweet.

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Puff Pastry

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Yields: 2- 9 x 13 tarts 6 servings
Tomato Onion Jam Yields: 2 cups
Equipment: mandolin, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 9 x 13

Ingredients For Tomato Onions Jam:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced in half moons
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar for caramelizing the onions (optional)
6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and quartered
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 box of Puff Pastry sheets
5 Roma tomatoes, 1/4-inch in thickness
2 zucchinis, sliced, 1/4-inch in thickness
2 yellow squash sliced, 1/4-inch in thickness
1 1/2 cups of roasted red bell peppers, julienned
12-ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
Garnish with fresh oregano leaves (substitute julienned basil leaves)

Directions For Tomato Onions Jam:
In a large non-stick sautèpan on medium heat, add olive oil. Add thinly sliced onions, sugar, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Place a lid on the pan to give them a head start in softening, about 5 minutes, remove the lid. Sautè the onions stirring every few minutes, preventing the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Adjust the heat to medium-low if you see the onions are starting to burn. Cook until they become soft and caramel in color, about 40 minutes.

Next, to the caramelized onions add the quartered and seeded Roma tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. Turn the heat up to medium bringing the mixture up to a boil reduce heat to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have broken down and jam has thickened and developed a jammy consistency, around 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Line 2 rimmed baking sheet pans with parchment paper. Thaw Puff Pastry according to instructions on the package. Once thawed, roll the sheet into approx. 11 x 13-inch rectangle. Transfer the sheet of Puff Pastry onto a lined baking sheet. Prick the center of the sheet of dough all over with a fork leaving a 3/4-inch margin on all sides. This way the center won’t puff up during baking. Repeat this process for the second sheet of Puff Pastry. Transfer the 2 baking sheet pans into the refrigerator to chill the dough, about 15 minutes.

Using a mandolin (is a tool that allows you to make the vegetable slices uniform in thickness) slice the zucchini, yellow squash. Next, using a very sharp knife slice the Roma tomatoes 1/4-inch in thickness.

After 15 minutes, remove the pans from the frig. Divide the tomato onion jam between the two sheets of dough. Spread the jam all over leaving the 3/4-inch border on all sides. Next, layer the sliced zucchini, yellow squash, and sliced Roma tomatoes alternating them in color. Repeat process for the second sheet pan. Crumble goat cheese over all the veggies.  Lay the julienned roasted peppers, here and there, on top. Drizzle the top of each tart with olive oil, then sprinkle each with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Brush the edges of the Puff Pastry with an *egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it’s nice and golden brown in color. Garnish with fresh oregano (or basil leaves) leaves.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

*Egg Wash: Whisk together 1 beaten egg and a tablespoon of water or milk.

*Mandolin: A tool that allows you to slice vegetables in several widths and thicknesses.

 

 

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Pumpkin Cheesecake With White Chocolate And Candied Pecans

Pumpkin Cheesecake With White Chocolate And Candied Pecans (2)

My Pumpkin Cheesecake With White Chocolate And Candied Pecans is the sweetest way to end a holiday meal.

I don’t know… I’m thinking I may be getting a little better with the whole baking thing. You may notice the time it takes to make this cheesecake has a lot to do with all the inactive prep time. You see I like my cheesecake to have a firm texture. That means extended time in the refrigerator. That’s a personal preference.

I also am a big fan of vanilla granulated sugar. I always save my used vanilla bean pods to stick in my sugar container. Vanilla sugar is a staple in my house.

Let’s get started.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake With White Chocolate And Candied Pecans (2)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Equipment: Spring Form pan, parchment paper, Stand mixer with the paddle attachment, 2 large mixing bowls, double boiler

Ingredients:
12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to brush the spring-form pan
2 1/2 cups of cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
2 3/4 cups vanilla granulated sugar, (granulated sugar is fine)
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of vanilla flavored Greek yogurt, room temperature (strain any excess water)
2- 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée  (or pumpkin pie mix in a can)
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeded
2 teaspoons of Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend (substitute store-bought)
1 cup of candied pecans
2 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Ingredients For My Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend:
teaspoons of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 pinch of allspice

Directions For Homemade Pumpkin Spice Blend Storage:
Add all the ingredients for the spice blend into a mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Place into an airtight container and store in a cool dry place.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
Brush springform pan with melted butter. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade process the graham cracker crumbs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add 12 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, packing it tightly and evenly. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.

Wrap the outside of the Spring Form pan with foil and place in a roasting pan. In a tea kettle heat up water until hot. Have ready to pour into the roasting pan.

In the meantime, in a Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed beat the cream cheese and the seeded vanilla bean until smooth. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of sugar and then beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the yogurt and continue to mix until combined.

In a second bowl add the pumpkin purée, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice blend. Combine pumpkin mixture in with the cream cheese mixture. Still, on low speed,  add the eggs, (one at a time), 1 teaspoon of salt, vanilla extract, beat until just combined.

Place the foiled covered Spring Form pan into the roasting pan. Pour this mixture into the cooled crust. Then place the roasting pan into the oven on the middle rack. Pour the hot water into the roasting pan until it comes up about halfway up the spring-form pan.

Bake until the outside of the cheesecake is set but the center is a little loose. This should take about 1 hour 45 minutes. Turn the heat to off. Let the cheesecake remain in the oven for another hour.

Carefully remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and place on a cooling rack, for at least 1 hour. Next, take a sharp knife and run it around the rim of the pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 4 hours ( or overnight). Remove the cheesecake from the frig and bring to room temperature.

Using a double boiler melt the white chocolate chips. Spread the white chocolate on top of the cheesecake. Decorate with the candied pecans. Transfer the cheesecake to the freezer for at least 2 hours, then back to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

My Pumpkin Cheesecake With White Chocolate And Candied Pecans is an AWESOME way to end a holiday meal.

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