Wine cakes are for the people.
SO! I was going to, in the spirit of the holidays, do a recipe for struffoli or something like that, but then it occurred to me that even I do not like struffoli that much. They're super cute and festive and they look nice on a table, but they're also a lot of work and they get stuck in your teeth.
Instead, since I'm visiting my parents and thus have access to my mom's box of recipe cards, I came up with something doubly festive: my Nana's wine cake! It works because you could make it for the holidays if you wanted to (especially if topped with some festive colored sugar), but also, you know, "wine caves" are a thing this week, so puns. You could eat it in your very own wine cave made of empty Franzia boxes, even.
It's one of the few cakes I actually like, since I'm not a frosting person (judge away!). I don't quite know how to describe it except to say that it's kind of like pound cake but lighter. It does not taste like wine, and I'm pretty sure all the wine burns off in the cooking process so you don't have to worry that it will get your children drunk or anything like that. My Nana made it all the time for me when I was a kid who hated frosting, and I do not recall ever getting drunk off of it.
Thank you for being a cheesecake!
This lovely recipe is brought to you by Wonkette operative Adam MacMorgann! Thanks, Adam!
Cheesecake: a magical dessert that can cure all ills, promote world peace, and end the threat of climate change. At least, that's what I tell myself and my family to justify the fact that I make so many of them. This recipe is slightly adapted from one I found online at Sally's Baking Addiction, and is as easy as making a regular cheesecake, with only a few extra steps and ingredients. It's a perfect use for that spare can of pumpkin puree left over from Thanksgiving.
Ginger Snap Crust:
- 1 ½ cups of ginger snap cookie crumbs
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 5 tbsp melted unsalted butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (Use Dixie Crystals sugar, if you can get it. The extra fine granulation really works well when mixing)
- Four 8 oz blocks of room temperature FULL FAT cream cheese (You're making a cheesecake, for Gods' sakes, so don't skimp on the fat here)
- 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup room temperature FULL FAT sour cream (see my earlier note about what you're ultimately making here)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Food processor or a kitchen mallet and a large ziplock bag
- Stand or hand mixer
- 9" springform pan
- Roasting pan or 11X17 baking dish for the water bath
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Make the crust:
- Dump your ginger snaps into a food processor and pulse until they're crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, dump the cookies into a gallon ziplock bag and beat them to crumbs with a kitchen mallet. It works just as well, and it's a great way to deal with the stress of the horrible timeline we've been in since 2016.
- Pour the crumbs into a medium size bowl and add the melted butter, sugar, and spices.
- Mix well until fully combined.
- Pour into your springform pan, then press it firmly into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides. Most people use the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten it down and into the edge of the pan.
- Bake for ten minutes, then remove and allow to cool while you make the batter.
Make the cheesecake batter:
- Add all four blocks of cream cheese and the sugar to your mixing bowl; beat until creamy and smooth.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla extract, beat until fully mixed.
- Add one egg at a time, beating the batter each time until the egg is just mixed in.
- Remove two cups of batter, pour it into a medium sized bowl, and add the can of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. No need to beat this with a mixer, you can just use a mixing spoon for this.
- Wrap your springform pan in several layers of aluminum foil to keep any water from the water bath from getting all the way into the pan.
- Once wrapped, add the two batters one spoon full at a time to the crust. Once all the batter is in the springform, use a butter knife to swirl the two batters together in the pan.
Prepare the water bath:
Set a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Carefully set your well wrapped springform pan inside your roasting pan or baking dish, then slowly pour in at least 1 inch of water into the baking dish. I've read that you can also place the baking dish of water one rack down, immediately under the springform pan, but I've never done that before myself. One other method I've seen is to place your springform pan, unwrapped, into a round, ten or eleven inch cake pan, place them into a large roasting pan, then fill the pan with hot water halfway up the cake pan. I've never tried that method either, but will be doing so in the future, because that is GENIUS.
- Place it in the oven and bake for 80-85 minutes. When done, the center of the cheesecake will be slightly wobbly. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door slightly, then let it sit for one hour as the oven cools.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven, allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 4 to eight hours.
- Once chilled, run a knife around the inside of the springform pan to loosen it, then remove the outside.
- Slice it up and add some whipped cream and salted caramel if desired.
This is now your open thread! Go crazy!
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It is cheap, easy and also impressive.
Last week, for Thanksgiving, I met my immediate family down in Rhode Island to see my extended family. As lovely as Thanksgiving dinner is, turkey is just never on our food priority list when we go back there. Rhode Island may be small, but it has some truly glorious food and beverages, most of which cannot actually be found outside of the state. Clamcakes I understand, they're definitely more of a thing you eat when you are only a few miles away from the sea, but I still don't understand how the rest of the country has slept on coffee milk. They have salted caramel milk at my grocery store now, but I still have to get my Eclipse coffee syrup shipped to me, like a fool? It's not right.
Every time we go back, one of our biggest priorities is going to Twin Oaks in Cranston. I grew up going to Twin Oaks. It is the restaurant where they gave me a Shirley Temple with my very own glass of maraschino cherries every time I came in with my parents, it is the restaurant where my uncle bit a guy's nose off one time, and it remains one of my favorite restaurants in the whole world. And every time we go there, my mother, sister and I all get the baked stuffed shrimp. Other than the weird conversation I had at a bar with a guy who said he was in max with Ted Bundy and had, I shit you not, an Italian flag neck tattoo, putting those shrimp in my face was the highlight of my trip.
A blast from the past, not intended for actual human consumption.
Trix note: We saved the grossest for last, making this your OPEN THREAD. See you for a half day tomorrow, bitchez, we love you bye bye.
Important National Review Online pundit Kathryn Jean Lopez only really gets excited twice a year: When she makes up another excuse to get people to send her a bunch of porn, and when Thanksgiving comes around so she can post a Real American recipe involving ten smashed-up anus burgers stuck up the body cavity of some factory farm turkey.
A soup that is at once spicy, and also turkey!
People have gone home. Our memories of a fine dinner with people we care about linger, while the evidence has been scooped into plastic containers and refrigerated. Re-purpose what is left into hot and hearty soup, as fast as you can, before they over-stay their visit and resentment sets in!
Thanksgiving leftover soup is not a recipe that can be measured. This is a soup we prepare by sight and feel which does not require an additional trip to the store. I am taking for granted that most of you had a traditional turkey dinner. If you have not -- my apologies. Your dinner was lovely, no doubt, and I would love to hear about your own leftover soup. For those who did the typical thing, you know that no two soups made from leftovers will taste the same but each design will be familiar, hot and easy to prepare.
The most delicious way to eat every scrap of those leftovers. Thank us later!
[Editrix's note: I made this last year, and the year before that, and ate it for every meal until all the components were gone. It is absolutely delicious, and I don't even particularly like Thanksgiving food. So have at it, and you're welcome.]
Are your Thanksgiving guests still lingering? Maybe if you feed them a hearty breakfast and tell them the leftovers are all gone, they'll get the fuck out. Regardless, this recipe is an excellent morning-time use of leftover stuffing. Strata is Latin for "breakfast casserole." You can use either term, depending on the level of pretense you like to serve with your food. I like to go for the maximum, especially when it's a dish as simple to prepare as this one.
This one doesn't have any meat, but you may include leftover turkey or any kind of breakfast meat you like (and maybe your leftover stuffing has some kind of meat in it). If you had a ham on Thanksgiving, throw in a handful of ham cubes. If you want sausage or bacon in it, cook them first in a skillet and drain the fat.
You can put this together in the evening and bake it in the morning. Just remember to take it out of the fridge for a little while before you put it in the hot oven. Also remember to remove the plastic wrap before putting it in the oven.
Danger! Danger! This is a real recipe, somehow.
[Dok Zoom note: This is another classic recipe that has gone by the wayside, possibly for the best. We resurrect it here out of a perverse sense of misanthropy, the better to prepare you for the traditional William Burroughs Thanksgiving Poem]
OK, sure, we made fun of Rush Limbaugh for putting saccharine in his hot cocoa recipe and frying a chicken in Crisco. But were we being fair? Not really. We finally saw The Help, and according to Minnie, not only will Crisco soften your elbows but it is the Platonic Ideal for frying chicken. That thing was like a 2 hour and 30 minute Crisco commercial, with racism! We will buy a jar immediately!
BUT. Look what else we dug up! It is a recipe from Rush's mom, as also discovered by the Crap Archivist, in "Recipes from Old Cape Girardieu."
That's just solid historical fact, man.
[Editor's note: We are running all your favorite Thanksgiving recipes today! Enjoy this one from 2009, from former Wonkette writer "Juli Wiener," but actually it is from Mamie Eisenhower and it is not actually called Lesbian-Soviet Hockey Rink. That is something former Wonkette owner "Ken Layne" called it, for a joke.]
Here is your bit of "DC gossip" for the day: a Jell-o dessert recipe, for the holiday of Thanksgiving! It is Mamie Eisenhower's famed Red Scare Thanksgiving Jell-o Dessert and it is best served chilled, to family members you hate. (There is Mamie right there up top with "friend" Lenora Hickock, feeding each other Jell-O and giggling knowingly.) This vile thing is exactly what the Eisenhowers used to force-feed the Soviets, and it is delicious.
Her astrologer said the stars were propitious. She smiled that frozen smile of hers.
Enjoy this Wonkette Holiday Classic recipe all over again, as though The Gipper was still wandering around somewhere.
Whatever the hell "monkey bread" might be -- something racist, we assume -- it was the thing our favorite first lady Nancy Reagan was known to "cook," at Thanksgiving or whatever. For America, and for Ronnie! Delight the people at the Holiday Table with this splendid treat.
Mom, who are those people?
Who can forget this classic Thanksgiving liquor cake recipe from First Lady Betty Ford? Our dearly departed Juli Weiner wrote this up several Thanksgivings ago, and we still reprint it every year, even though she left us to write Harry Potter slash fiction photo-comics for Vanity Fair and now writes for Last Week Tonight with that English fella.
Pumpkins aren't the only pieworthy squash, you know.
Just last week, you were talking to your Thanksgiving host, and you made the mistake of being polite and asking if there is anything you can bring. And she said, "Oh, you're so thoughtful; something for dessert would be great!" So demanding! Do not fret. Today we share with you (for you to share with your friends on social media) a Buttercup Squash Pie recipe, so you can say, "As you wish."
We're on a roll!
People from all walks of life love yeast rolls, probably even abnormal people with borderline personality disorders. Pets love them, too. If you're not careful, dogs will help themselves into a state of drunkenness by enjoying batches of raw dough.
Yeast rolls take several hours to prepare, but the payout is a couple dozen bites of joy. As they bake, your home will smell good enough to sell. Satisfying, boosts the value of real estate -- these rolls are an excellent investment of your time.
Yeast rolls are great with butter, jam, butter and jam, or combine all three to make a yeast roll slider.
Serious recipe biz here!
[Note from Evan: I make this every year, with few modifications besides whatever I do on the fly because I am feeling frisky. It takes some time, but oh damn it is worth it.]
Baking macaroni and cheese on a Monday night was a miserable experience. I had to boil water, tear the hell out of cheese, make a sauce, and then bake this whole deal before I had a chance to take off my bra. When I finally had time to sit down and browse through Faceborg, about ten million flame wars were happening in the two groups I even care about. Oh, and guess what else? No elbow macaroni on hand! I had to use the nice casarecce pasta I was saving for company.
Casarecce looks like ziti on Adderall and it picks up a ton of gooey sauce. It is amazing. Yet here it is on Wonkette in a mac and cheese. [Note from Evan: If you can't find casarecce, just use penne. It's fine.]
Listen to me, this was delicious. For the entire five minutes I had to eat my dinner, I didn't have a crap to give. I served our mac and cheese with thyme-stewed Roma tomatoes canned over the summer (BY MYSELF), though you will most likely pop open a can of something and eat it with a parfait spoon. Only God knows what you do, and it's not my business.
Sorry Ken Layne, don't love you no more.
For years now -- seven at least, suckers -- we have been making Aunt Wonkette's Real Cranberry Business. It's great! (Needs more sugar. Not Oprah-level four damn cups, but one would be nice.) But last year, we did not do that. We wanted pineapple, which we almost always have on hand ever since your comrade Vegan & Peeara or whatever she is named these days told us while we visited her in Charleston that pineapples are symbols of hospitality.
So fuck it, we did it live!
Wonkette's Festive Thanksgiving Recipe of Festiveness
[Editor's note: We make this every damn year now, except for the years when we have dinner where "other people" have "cranberry traditions" for "Thanksgiving." It is the best way to eat the obligatory cranberry business.]
No first lady could even imagine making something as wonderful and perfect as your editor's famous Wonkette Actual Awesome Real Cranberry Business. It is one of those things that just blows people away, because they assume it must be so hard to make real cranberry relish because why else would we eat that Jell-o'd aspic glob from the can? IT MUST BE SO HARD. No, it isn't, so stop whining about everything, for once.
This dish takes exactly three minutes to prepare, and another 10 or 15 minutes in the oven, and you don't even have to think about it. Pre-heat the oven, prepare the cranberries, "slide in the pyrex," as they say, and just turn the oven off, go outside, enjoy a marijuana cigarette, make snow angels in the trash pile outside the neighboring foreclosure, relax.
Easy breezy beautiful recipe hub!
Some time ago, on our way home to Montana from Mexico Winter Birthday Fun, we stopped over in Denver just in time for the ice blizzard, and they put us on the bad plane. Then they put us on the other bad plane. Then I made the executive decision we were taking a cab to the nicest hotel in Denver, whatever it might be. And it was.
The Oxford Hotel's attached restaurant, Urban Farmer, was extraordinary. More importantly, when we went back the next morning for the partly-comped breakfast, it had a Bloody Mary bar that stretched over probably eight feet of counter. I had never encountered such a thing! Candied ... bacon, you say? WHAT EVEN IS THAT? I am about to tell you. Having a Bloody Mary Bar brunch like the Urban Farmer did was my new #goals.
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