Food is always a popular topic around the holiday season. And this year is sure to be no exception. Fall is the time of year we get to taste some of our most memorable meals.
There is something special about the month of November. The weather cools, and school-year routines are running on all cylinders. Although we enjoy the mechanical consistency of daily living this time of year, we can't help but look forward to the chaos of the holidays, gathering with family and friends and a prosperous new year ahead.
Fall is a time when distinct holiday flavors bring us to times gone by. For example, eggnog is an all-time favorite of many. It comes and goes each year. When we taste it again, each fall, it’s as if we’re tasting it again for the very first time. Memories of past holidays flood in. It’s like an old favorite song we haven’t heard in decades.
So, in celebration of the fall season and all of its culinary pleasures, we reached out to the Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club for a collection of recipes. The Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and many of these mothers and grandmothers have been baking love into the hearts of Laguna Niguel families for decades.
But amazing cooking skills are not all that we celebrate about this fantastic group of women. The Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club is a true community service organization. And, they’ve been serving this community since its inception.
In 1969, the Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club was organized and charted by a group of eighteen enterprising women whose initial common purpose was to build a neighborhood park for their children. Since that time, the Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club has been actively involved in many key projects that have benefited our Laguna Niguel community as well as greater Orange County.
The group aims to advance the cultural, philanthropic and educational interests of the club and the community. At the same time, their many diverse projects and activities provide the opportunity for Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club members to make warm and lasting friendships—and share some amazing recipes!
Apple cider, pecan pie and cheesecake are perfect additions to any holiday gathering. We hope you’ll try these recipes out for yourselves and add a new branch to this tree of family traditions!
Hot Mulled Ginger-Spice Cider
By Joy Andre
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
3 whole cloves
2 (1-by-4-inch) strips orange rind
2 whole allspice
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
12 cups apple cider
1/2 cup apple jelly
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Place the first 5 ingredients on a 5-inch square of double-layer cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together and tie securely. Place cheesecloth bag, cider, jelly and nutmeg in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag.
Note: This recipe is prepared in an electric slow cooker, freeing up the stovetop. However, it can be heated in a pot on the stove if you prefer.
Coconut Cream Cheesecake
By Elaine Gennawey
2/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons butter, well chilled
In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 365 F. Press dough into the bottom of 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Lower oven temperature to 300 F.
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Mix in flaked coconut, whipping cream, fresh lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 300 F until edges of filling are firm, about 70 minutes. Let cheesecake cool completely. Remove spring-form. Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with coconut shavings.
By Margie Deyoe
1 (9-inch) pie crust
1 cup Karo syrup (dark)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
4 teaspoons butter
Pinch of salt
Toast pecans over low heat with 1 tablespoon butter. Mix syrup, sugar and salt together. Drizzle into pecans with 3 tablespoons butter and vanilla. Mix well and pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 F for 40-50 minutes.