Category Archives: Seasonal

Homemade Boursin Covered in Christmas Jam

This is one of the easiest and most loved holiday appetizers. All you need to do is whip up a little herbed cream cheese in a food processor or blender, and then pour over a half jar of The Old Mill’s Christmas Jam. Something about the garlic, herbs, and saltiness of the cream cheese mixture known as “Boursin” partners just perfectly with the cranberries, pears, plums, oranges, and cinnamon in the sweet and irresistible jam. The cheese mixture makes enough for two rounds, so serve one and freeze the other. Or, gift it to a friend along with a jar of Christmas Jam! For big parties, make one large round, and cover it with the entire jar of jam.
Makes 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour

Homemade Boursin:

1 small clove garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or dill
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 jar (10.5 ounces) The Old Mill Christmas Jam
Whole wheat crackers for serving
Directions:
1. For the Boursin, drop the garlic clove into the bowl of a food processor or blender while the machine is running. Turn off the machine. Add the butter, cream cheese, chives or dill, parsley, salt, basil, thyme, and pepper. Blend in pulses until it is smooth.
2. Divide the mixture into two 5-ounce portions. Turn each portion into a ramekin or small bowl lined with plastic wrap. Press down on the mixture with a rubber spatula so that it packs into the ramekin or bowl. Cover the top with plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
3. To serve, unwrap one cheese mixture and turn out onto a platter. Spoon half of the contents of the Christmas Jam (about 2/3 cup) over the top. Serve with the whole wheat crackers of your choice. Store the other Boursin and rest of the jam in the refrigerator until time to serve again.
Note: In a pinch for a quick appetizer? Buy a 5-ounce round of Boursin cheese in the supermarket deli section, and pour a half jar of Christmas Jam over the top.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Soup

When the crisp fall temperatures make you hungry for soup, this is a fast and festive way to make pumpkin soup. It begins with canned pumpkin, but the added flavors of brown sugar, onion, and The Old Mill Devil’s Backbone Seasoning really crank it up a notch. It’s perfect dinner party food, too, and best of all, it can be made ahead and reheated just before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 to 30 minutes
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped, peeled raw potatoes
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup cooked, mashed fresh or canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon The Old Mill Devil’s Backbone Seasoning (or your favorite hot pepper seasoning blend)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Garnish:
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Directions:
1. Place the oil in a 3-quart saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, and stir and cook until the onions are soft and lightly browned around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, coconut milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, Devil’s Backbone seasoning, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the mixture simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and uncover the pan.
2. When the mixture has cooled slightly, transfer half of it to a food processor fitted with a steel blade or to a blender. Purée in pulses until smooth. Turn the pureed soup into a bowl, and then puree the remaining half. Return all the pureed soup to the original saucepan. Taste the seasoning and adjust if needed, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Add a little more brown sugar if you like it sweeter.
3. To serve, reheat the soup over low heat just to a simmer. Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with a small dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. Sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro over the top.

One-Bowl Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Icing

Every fall kitchen needs a good pumpkin square recipe, and this cake does not disappoint. Pumpkins were originally cultivated by Native Americans and are a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. Bake these squares in a 13-by 9-inch pan, and freeze them unfrosted if you like to bake ahead. And if you like less icing and more of a glaze, cut the icing recipe in half and spread it over the warm cake.
Makes about 24 to 32 squares
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 25 to 30 minutes      Note: If baking in a Pigeon River Pottery dish, add approx. 10 minutes to baking time.
Ingredients for the Cake:
Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Icing:
4 ounces (half an 8-inch block) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist a 13- by 9-inch pan with vegetable oil spray, and set the pan aside.
2. Place the pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil in a large mixing bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture has thickened slightly and is smooth, about 100 strokes. Place the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt on top of the pumpkin mixture, and with a fork, toss the dry ingredients together to combine lightly. Using the wooden spoon, fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and stir until smooth, about 50 strokes.
3. Turn the batter into the prepared pan, and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and has turned lightly browned around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven to cool.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Place the soft cream cheese and butter in a medium-size mixing bowl. Blend with a hand-mixer on low speed, or with a wooden spoon, until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla, and blend until smooth, 1 minute.
5. When the pumpkin cake has cooled to the touch, spread the icing over the top of the cake, and let the cake rest for 1 hour before slicing into squares or bars.

Easy Hushpuppies for Your Next Fish Fry

As summer winds down, weekends become even more important for gatherings for family and friends. A weekend spent fishing can reel in more than just a good catch. Around here, we have lots of favorite fishing spots, but you don’t have to catch it to enjoy it. As a matter of fact, the conversations in the kitchen and around the table make it all taste better anyway. We love a good fish fry and we like to experiment with flavors, so we’ve taken inspiration from our Corn Fritters and added corn to the hushpuppies. It’s a great savory treat with just a hint of sweetness from the corn.

Easy Hushpuppies

Ingredients:
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons fresh corn kernels
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno or bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion, if desired
Vegetable oil for frying
Directions:
Place the hushpuppy mix, egg, and buttermilk in a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork just to combine. Fold in the corn, pepper, and onion, if desired. Set aside.
Place enough oil in a large, heavy skillet or pot to measure 2 inches deep. Heat over medium-high until the oil is hot, 365 degrees on a thermometer. Scoop or spoon generous tablespoons into the hot oil. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Makes 12 hush puppies.
We also have a great Catfish Breading, so stock up on both!