It's the last day of November. Which means a couple of things:
First, it means the premiere of Top Chef All-Stars tomorrow night. A couple of years ago I thought about how they should make a Top Chef All-Stars, and now I can't believe my wish is coming true.
I'm sure I'm getting my hopes up too high like I did with Top Chef Desserts, but I'm still hoping it will be really good. What happened with Top Chef Desserts? Was that show kind of a disaster or was it just me? Don't get me wrong, I mean, I watched every single episode. I didn't really care who won in the end. Meh.
However, I do care about who wins Top Chef All-Stars. I think the top contenders will be Tiffani from season one, Marcel from season two, Dale from season four, and... gosh, I don't know! They're all so good! I always felt like Tiffani should have won the first season, so maybe this is her year.
Man, I'm a nerd.
Where was I?
Oh, and the end of November means it's time to begin your Christmas shopping if you haven't already. This year I vow to start shopping NOW and not wait until the week before Christmas. This year I vow not buy almost everyone gift cards. Gift cards are the easy way out. Then again, I love gift cards.
I've been asking every family member what they want for Christmas, but I can't get a straight answer out of them. Nobody really wants to come out and say what they want. I guess because it seems selfish? That's how I feel when I ask for something I want. It does kind of take the fun out of Christmas when you give somebody exactly what they asked for. But it's practical.
That foot massage bath I bought for mom one year? Failure.
The Atari video game I bought for my dad one year? Total failure.
So family, boyfriend, friends, pets, please tell me what you want for Christmas.
Otherwise I'll buy you something cooking related.
Cast iron skillets and silicon pastry brushes for everyone!! Yaaay.
The gift of dessert is a great one, don't you think? Maybe I won't give my family a dessert for Christmas, but I would like to bake some desserts for some family friends.
Probably not Apple Cranberry Cobbler, though. I was thinking more on the lines of cookies. This cobbler was very, very good - I made it about two weeks ago, I believe.
It all began when I saw bags of cranberries at the store. Cranberries are so pretty, bright and shiny and I can never resist them. I think they're underappreciated - you can use them in so many things besides cranberry sauce.
So this is only the first of many cranberry desserts still to come. I have to use cranberries while they're in season, otherwise I'll regret it.
First you combine apples, sugar, and spices in a bowl and set it aside while you give the cranberries a quick cook in a little bit of sugar. The fruit is mixed together in a 13x9-inch baking dish before topping it with dough mixture. I really loved the dough I used for this cobbler. It's biscuit-like and made with butter, cream cheese, eggs, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
You drop spoonfuls of dough over the fruit before baking for 45 minutes. Then you should probably let the cobbler cool a while before serving it with vanilla ice cream.
Or you could eat if for breakfast which is what I did.
6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
3 cups cranberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 ounces cold reduced fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, stir together apples, 1/2 cup sugar, and spices until well combined; set aside.
Stir together cranberries and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until cranberries start to break down and get juicy.
Pour apple mixture and cranberry mixture into baking dish and stir until combined.
To make the biscuit topping, in a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Knead in butter and cream cheese using fingertips or a pastry blender until well incorporated and mixture starts to clump together. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well combined; add wet ingredient to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
Drop spoonfuls of biscuit topping evenly over fruit. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
Makes 8 servings