Cranberry Cream Pie 

Crust 

1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs 

2Tbl sugar 

1/3 cup chopped pecans 

6Tbl butter, melted 

Cream Cheese Filling 

1 8oz.pkg cream cheese at room temp. 

1/3 cup powdered sugar 

2Tbl Grand Marnier or orange juice 

1 cup whipping cream 

Cranberry Topping 

1cup sugar 

3 Tbl water 

2 1/2 cups cranberries 

2 Tbl cornstarch 

Crust: Preheat oven to 350°.  Place the crumbs, sugar, nuts and melted butter in a mixing bowl or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and mix them until combined.  Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 9” pie dish or 11” tart pan.  Bake the crust 8 to 10 min. or until lightly browned.  Cool to room temperature. 

Filling:  Mix the cream cheese and sugar in a small mixing bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in vanilla and Grand Marnier or orange juice.  In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Fold it into the cream cheese mixture and spoon it into the cooled crust, spreading the top even.  Refrigerate several hours or until will chilled. 

*The pie may be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight or frozen, if desired. 

Topping:  Cook the sugar, 1 Tbl water and the cranberries in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil and the berries begin to op.  Remove from heat.  Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 Tbl water; stir it into the cranberries.  Return them to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.  Remove from heat and cool to room temp.  Spread over the cream cheese layer.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time or overnight. 

Serves 6 to 8

Something different for your holiday dinner!

Something different for your holiday dinner!

The Best Tortilla Soup

There are a ton of tortilla soup recipes out there, but this one is my absolute favorite. Don't skimp on the lime...it's  what makes this recipe so delicious.

2 lg boneless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes 

2 cups water 

1 -14 1/2 oz. can beef broth 

1 -14 1/2 oz. can chicken broth 

1 -14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes 

½ cup chopped onion 

¼ cup chopped green pepper 

1-8 3/4 oz. can corn, drained 

1 tsp chili powder 

½ tsp. n cumin 

1/8 teas pepper 

2-3 Tbls. Lime juice 

Tortilla chips (about 3 cups) 

Coarsely crushed 

4 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese shredded 

1 avocado, peeled, seeded cut into chunks 

Snipped cilantro 

In a large saucepan combine water, beef broth, chicken broth, undrained tomatoes, onion and green pepper.  Bring to boiling.  Add chicken; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add corn, and spices.  Simmer; covered, for 10 minutes more.  Add lime juice.  To serve, ladle soup into bowls.  Top with tortilla chips, avocado, cheese and cilantro.  Makes 6 servings

Stuffed French Toast Strata

1lb loaf unsliced French bread

1-8 oz pkg Cream Cheese, cubed

8 Eggs

2 1/2 cups milk, light cream or half and half

6 Tbls butter, melted

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 recipe apple cider syrup

Cut French bread into cubes. (12 cups).Grease a 13x9x92 inch glass dish. To assemble, place half the bread cubes in the glass baking dish. Top with the cream cheese cubes, and then with the remaining bread cubes. In a blender, mix together the eggs, cream, syrup and butter. Pout egg mixture over bread and cheese cubes. Using a spatula, slightly press layers down to moisten. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Remove plastic and bake in a 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the center appears set and the edges and lightly golden. Let stand about 10 minutes. Serve with Apple Cider Syrup. (Serves 6 to 8 or 2 to 4 in the Gersmehl home: -)

Apple Cider Syrup

1/2 cup sugar

4 teas. corn starch

1/2 teas. cinnamon

1 cup apple cider or apple juice

1 Tbls lemon juice

2 Tbls butter

In a small saucepan stir together the sugar, corn starch and cinnamon. Add the apple cider and lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture is thickened and bubbly, then cook 2 minutes more. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the butter. Serve and thank me later.