Pomegranate-Pecan Cranberry Sauce

I tend to be a traditionalist with Thanksgiving but I like to try all sorts of deviations with my cranberry sauce. It’s so easy to make whole berry sauce and just a tweak here or there with the ingredients creates a new condiment.

For those less brave or family members who miss their comfort food, I always keep a can of the jellied stuff on hand too.

Pomegranate- Pecan Cranberry Sauce

1, 12 oz package of fresh cranberries
1 cup raw sugar or light brown sugar
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

boiling sauceCombine cranberries, sugar, juice and salt in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cranberry sauce is ready when the berries start popping and the sauce begins to thicken and becomes glazed. Cool to room temp and stir in pecans.

Refrigerate until serving time.

finished cranberry sauce

Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake

I’m a fan of fall food! I don’t know what it is but when autumn is in the air it’s my appetite’s turn to feel satisfied. I honestly crave roasted root vegetables, acorn squash,  apple cranberry crisps, pear pudding, pecan pie all things gingery, “pumpkiny” and drizzled with praline sauce– not just now  but  all year long!  So this is my time to revel in the season and serve all the dishes I’d secretly like to keep eating all year long. Here’s one of my favorites I hope will become one of yours.



praline pumpkin cheesecake












1/3 cup butter

3 Tbs brown sugar

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs


2, 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsps pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin

2 eggs

Praline Sauce:

1/2 cup toasted pecans

For Crust: Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Melt over low heat, blending until smooth. Stir in graham cracker crumbs. Spray the bottom and sides of a 10” springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Press crumbs in the bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes until lightly tinged with brown and set (do not over bake).


For Filling: Beat cream cheese, brown sugar,vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 5 hours. Serve with Praline Sauce and sprinkle with toasted pecans


For Praline Sauce: 2 tbs butter 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 tsp flour 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tsp vanilla 1 Tbs maple syrup 1 Tbs bourbon In a small saucepan, melt butter and blend in brown sugar and flour. Add heavy cream, vanilla, maple syrup and bourbon. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and serve warm to room temperature.




Turkey Time is Here!

Thanksgiving is coming up fast and I have a special place in my heart for wild turkeys as my mother once befriended one. She fed him cereal and he got to the point where he was more finicky than a five year-old. If it wasn’t sweet, he wouldn’t eat. He knew when she came back from the grocery store because he used to follow her from the car to the front door. “Tommy” was a very bold bird!

At the time, I was writing a  Kid Craft column  The Connecticut Post. Mom  had an obsession with picking up pine cones out of our yard. After awhile her collection got so large there were bowls and baskets of pine cones all over the house. That’s when I decided to put two and two together and came up with “pine Cone Table turkeys” they make great Thanksgiving place markers that you can use year after year>


botelerturkey copy 2

In the Beginning


Long before there were blogs, there were books. My first one was published right out of college and it was the last time I’d  ever write one on a typewriter. Times were already changing– but not so fast as now. It’s been suggested that I not talk about such things as I might “date” myself as either a Luddite or, even worse, a middle aged woman! I really don’t care as I’ve learned to accept my strands of gray coming in as being a “seasoned author”.

I got my foot in the door in ways that probably wouldn’t work now in our post-911 society. They were more innocent times and I was able to bribe my way past security guards at WNEW/Channel 5 and NBC with food. I’m not talking deli sandwiches or cupcakes but  gourmet treats that took on whimsical forms like a “Roast Beast” ( a meatloaf creation that resembled a wild boar’s head with tusks) or a “Chocolate Moose” (that looked like a moose with meringue antlers). This tactic got the attention of producers at Midday Live, Wonderama and NBC’s Today Show and they started asking me to come on the air as a guest demonstrating festive ideas for holiday food and decorations.

Today Show  copy

You may ask : What ever happened to that Today Show gig?  So do I– but does the name Martha Stewart ring a bell? She came along at a time when producer, Steve Friedman, was sure working women would stop cooking in the coming decade and convinced him to the contrary . He gave her an exclusive for all the Friday morning lifestyle spots. The rest is history…  just not mine!