In Season November 2012

Warm and creative ways to celebrate the month's holidays.

Tasheena Carpenter

Soulful Eats

All Saints Day takes place on November 1. Follow the custom to give Soul Cakes to the less fortunate with this recipe from www.food.com.

Ingredients: •3¾ c. sifted flour •1 c. fine sugar •1 c. butter •1 tsp. ginger •1 tsp. cinnamon •¼ tsp. nutmeg •1 tsp. allspice •2 tsp. cider vinegar •2 eggs •4-6 Tbs. milk •Powdered sugar (to sprinkle on top)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut butter into flour with a large fork or pastry blender. Add sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Beat eggs, milk and vinegar together. Mix with the flour mixture to form a thick dough. Knead the dough thoroughly and roll out to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch rounds, place on greased baking sheet and prick each several times with a fork. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar while still warm.

Remember the Time

Be sure to set your clocks back one hour at 2am on November 4 when Daylight Saving Time ends. To prevent confusion, remember that in spring, the clocks spring forward one hour; in fall, clocks fall back one hour.

Every Vote Counts

Register to vote for Election Day on November 6. For complete election information, including the ability to search for polling places in your neighborhood, visit www.vote411.com. The online voters guide feature allows you to build your own ballot and compare candidates side by side.

Honor the Troops

Veterans Day is a time to pay homage to American military heroes. A good way to show support and appreciation for the troops overseas is to send them care and comfort packages from www.packagesfromhome.org— a nonprofit organization dedicated to U.S. service men and women. The site also offers tips on which items to donate and how to get others involved.

Gobble, Gobble

Looking for a way to include your preschooler in holiday preparations? Courtesy of www.freepreschoolcrafts.com, make Pine Cone Turkeys with your little one to add to the dinner table for decor.

Materials: •Glue •6-8 feathers (optional) •Pine cones •2 acorn tops for each pinecone •2 googly eyes for each pinecone •Scraps of orange and red construction paper or cardstock •Scissors

Directions: Use glue to adhere feathers in back of upright pine cone. Glue on two acorn caps for eyes (they should slide right over the pine cone parts). Add googly eyes. Using the colored paper, cut out an orange triangle for a beak and a red wattle shape to glue on for finishing the handmade turkey. Showcase your creation come Thanksgiving.

What’s on the Menu?

Visit www.tasteofhome.com to plan the perfect holiday meal. Pick recipes and create your own menu of appetizers, sides, main dishes and desserts. Step-by-step instructions on how to stuff, cook and carve a turkey are also provided. Complementing the site’ culinary guidance are decorating and entertaining ideas.

Say Cheese

Try this Easy Cheesecake Recipe from www.momswhothink.com and trick guests in thinking you spent hours making dessert.

Ingredients: •1 graham cracker pie crust •1 8-oz. package of softened cream cheese •1/3 c. sugar •2 tsp. pure vanilla extract •1 c. sour cream •8 oz. Cool Whip, slightly thawed

Directions: Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix well. Add sour cream and vanilla, mix well. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon into pie crust and chill for 4 hours.

Elegantly Stenciled Napkins

Dress up classic white napkins for upcoming dinner parties with stencil and washable fabric paint. Design personalized hand towels with the names of your guests or decorate with a theme. Find more ideas at www.hgtv.com.

Meat-Free Feast

Vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes are available at www.foodandwine.com. Hearty dishes like Savory Ricotta-Squash Tart, Lattice-Crusted Minestrone Pot Pies and Pumpkin Lasagna with Ricotta and Swiss Chard have guests feeling stuffed like a turkey.

This column appeared in the November 2012 issue.