Pumpkin Cream Cheese Crepes
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

Perfect for fall, especially on a weekend morning.

½ c. canned pumpkin
1 c. flour
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. milk
½ t. vanllla
tiny pinch of salt
pinch of baking powder
¼ t. nutmeg
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. allspice or cloves

Combine all ingredients until smooth; an immersion blender works great. Heat a griddle very warm, to about 375 degrees or when a droplet of water sputters on it. Season the surface with butter. Pour on 1/3 c. batter and spread out to be very thin. Cook on one side for about 2 minutes. Turn when slightly brown. Cook the other side just a minute or less. Place on a warmed plate, with waxed paper or a paper towel over the top to keep warm.

½ bar of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/3 c. powdered sugar
½ t. vanilla
a couple drops or dribble of milk
½ t. grated fresh ginger or powdered ginger if desired

Mix until smooth with beaters or food processor. Spread 1-2 T. of filling on the inside of a crepe, roll up, and serve. Serving suggestions include adding a little whipped cream or a small dollop of cherry confit or sweet cranberry sauce as an accent.

Cranberry Mustard
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

This is an easy pick-me up for ham or turkey sandwiches.

1 can whole berry cranberry jelly
1/4 – 1/3 c. yellow mustard (Stone ground brown mustard or country Dijon can also be substituted)

Gently mix together. Spread on sandwiches or it can be brushed on a ham which will be baked, or as a glaze after baking a ham. Will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Deluxe Hearty Irish Oatmeal
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

You might not think of oatmeal as a deluxe breakfast, but try this!

3 c. water
1 1/2 c. steel cut oats
1/3 c. craisins (dried cranberries)
1/3 c. dried blueberries
1/3 c. chopped walnuts or pecans or almonds
1/2 c. heavy cream or half and half
brown sugar

Real maple syrup and sliced bananas, can be substituted for craisins, if desired

Get water to a vigorous boil. Add oats all at once and bring to a swift boil for 2-3 minutes. Add in craisins and blueberries and boil 1-2 additional minutes. All water should be absorbed by now. Cover and let sit for a couple minutes. Dish it up, and add nuts, brown sugar, and cream, or other toppings.

Ginger Peach Crumble
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

Excellent for cold fall or winter days–the smell is enticing as it wafts through the house as it bakes.

3 c. canned peach slices in heavy syrup, drained
1 t. ground ginger spice
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. candied ginger chunks
3/4 c. oats
1 c. flour
3/4 c. butter
1/4 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11 x 13 pan. Place drained peach slices in the pan. Mix dried spices and sprinkle over the peaches. Mix oats, flour and brown sugar. Cut butter into flour mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle over the peaches in the pan. Dice the candied ginger chunks to a size that you enjoy tasting (leave as they come out of the jar or chop into quarters). Toss those over the crumble. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Serve with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. Serves 8-12. Pears can be substituted for peaches.

Harvest French Toast
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

Prepare it the night before and refrigerate. The rich scent while it’s baking will drive everyone crazy! Make more than you think you’ll need—everyone will want seconds.

1 loaf French Bread
12 eggs
8 c. milk
1 ½ c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
2 cans apricot halves in heavy syrup
1 jar apricot jam

Make your custard by whisking eggs until light yellow, add sugar, vanilla and milk. Mix well. Spray large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Slice French bread into one inch thick slices. Lay them in the baking dish, slightly tightly set. With a knife or spatula, spread each slice with apricot jam. Open the canned apricots and drain them, retaining juice. Drizzle the juice over the bread. You may not want to pour all of it over the bread. Next, pour the custard over the bread. Lay the apricot halves over the bread in an attractive way. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, heat oven to 350 degrees, remove plastic wrap, and bake 35-60 minutes until custard is solid/cooked. Serve right away with butter and maple syrup. Add whipped cream for total decadence.

Applesauce Bread
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

I try to get out and pick my two trees before the moose remember that I have two apple trees! When I’m looking for something else to do with my gallons of chunky applesauce, I bake up several batches of breads and freeze them.

½ c. applesauce or apple butter
½ c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 ¾ c. flour
1 t. baking soda
2 eggs
pinch of salt
½ t. baking powder
½ baking soda

Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs and applesauce. Mix in flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Bake in breased loaf pan 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

King Crab, Easy and Unbelievable
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

October and November is when the crab boats start to come in off the Bering Sea, like on America’s Deadliest Catch. In Alaska, many people see crab as a feast food for the holidays, for very special occasions. It’s a tradition to have crab legs for New Years, but many folks enjoy them for Thanksgiving, too. Most of the huge 3-footer-leg crabs have been fished, but it’s still common to find legs which are 2 feet long. Get the biggest ones you can afford, from backfin (where it connects to the body) to claw.

1 or 2 crab legs per person. You will find them frozen. They are all flash frozen on the boats.

disposable aluminum roasting pan

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the crab legs from the freezer before you start dinner. Place the frozen legs in the roasting pan. A claw end may stick out, and that’s ok. Cover over the roasting pan with aluminum foil to make a tent over the crab legs. Take care—their spiney edges are very sharp. As you’re cooking dinner, put the crab legs into the hot oven a half hour before serving time. They can put off an unpleasant smell as they steam. I prefer this method to steaming them in a pot because there’s not as much water to take away their flavor. The ice melting off of them will provide plenty of water for steaming.  Have a pair of kitchen shears or scissors at the table for each person having crab. As the last thing, prepare small bowls of melted butter and take to the table. Use tongs to carefully transfer the crab legs from the roasting pan to a serving tray or plates.

How to show your guests how to eat a King crab leg: After the crab shell is cooled a bit, grasp the leg sections, one hand on each section. Crack the leg at the joint. Carefully separate and pull apart, bringing the tough cartilege along with it. With each section separated, take the shears and cut up the side of the shell from one open end to the other. Crack it open slightly, then break the shell so that you may extract the whole thick piece of crab meat. A solid chunk several inches long is a thing of beauty, and you won’t believe how delicious it is. Dip it in butter and savor. Some people enjoy the backfin meat, but most Alaskans just toss it to the dogs. You’ll want to remove the disposable roasting pan to the garbage right away because the smell can be pretty bad after you’ve enjoyed your crab and it’s no longer alluring.

Fresh cranberry red onion salsa
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

Though the ingredients may sound odd, everyone will love this salsa for tortilla chips or also with turkey, especially at the holidays. It is a gorgeous ruby-red in a cler bowl, to take to a party with tortilla chips.

3 c. fresh cranberries, or 1 small bag
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 T. minced jalepeno pepper or to taste (optional)

Chop the cranberries in a food processor or by hand to coarse chunks, approximately to 1/4 of a whole berry. Dice onion, chop cilantro, mince jalepeno, and mix with cranberries. Turn into a serving bowl. Prepare shortly before serving to retain whiteness inside the cranberries before their skins bleed.

“Velvet” Kodiak Scallops
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

Find giant Kodiak Scallops (the meat will be larger than a ping pong ball) from a good fish purveyor. The trick is in the freshness of the scallops and in cooking with speed.

6 large Alaska scallops
¼ c. butter
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Wasabi-mayo if desired

Heat the butter in a frying pan to very hot (a water droplet dissipates immediately). Before the butter browns, quickly place the scallops in the pan on a flat side. Cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes at this heat. Turn one to see if it is browned nicely on the bottom. If it is, turn them all immediately. If not, give it one more minute. Once they are all turned, cook them only 3-4 more minutes. Watch them closely: when they are still raw they will have a clearness to them like uncooked chicken, somewhat transluscent. Once they are reaching doneness, they will look more milky but still a little “wet.” Remove them from the heat at this moment. They will continue cooking internally after taken off the heat for a few more minutes. Prepare a plate of angel hair pasta or cous cous with grated parmesan. Place your scallops on the bed of pasta, and place steamed edamame or a few steamed peas over the top. Add a tablespoon of wasabi mayo or pour the remainder of the butter sauce over the scallops, serve and eat immediately. They should “slice” just like firm butter with hardly any “grain” to the meat. They are so easily overdone. If they are chewy or tough at all, they are overcooked. Try it again and watch for the doneness to rise through the scallops in the pan. If you achieved a well cooked scallop, you’ll enjoy a delightful delicacy!

Red Currant Syrup
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

Tart and tasty on pancakes, waffles or crepes. Also refreshing in fizzy mineral water. Can also substitute High Bush Cranberries for similar syrup.

Pick ripe red currants, sort out stems and wash.

6 c. red currants
3 c. sugar

In large saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes at a rolling boil. Let cool slightly. Strain through cheesecloth to remove foam, skins and seeds. Strain again if desired. Pour into sterilized jars or plastic containers to can or freeze.

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

Delicious and hearty for a fall or winter dinner. Serve with green beans, spinach salad, and warm rolls. Excellent with pumpkin pie or ginger-pumpkin mousse.

1/2 c. jasmine rice
1/2 c. wild rice
1/4 c. brown rice
2 c. chopped, cooked chicken
1/4 c. minced celery
1/2 c. minced onion
1 carrot, diced
1/2 c. peas
3 T. butter
1 T. flour
2 c. cream
2 crushed cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 2 quart baking dish. Cook or steam rices. Coarsely chop or pull apart cooked chicken pieces (a good way to use up leftovers) until chunked to about 1-2 inches in diameter. Toss with rice and set aside. Mince/dice vegetables and add celery, onion, carrots, and peas to rice and chicken. Put these ingredients in the baking dish. Make a cream sauce by melting butter in a sautÈ pan, mixing in flour and garlic, and cooking to a golden roux. Add in cream slowly, whisking, until a sturdy cream sauce is created. Pour the cream sauce over the ingredients in the baking dish and lightly toss to coat. Salt and pepper the top to taste. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 4-6 servings.

Succulent Wild Mushroom Meatloaf
By Karen Harris, Alaska Garden Gate B&B

Excellent homestyle entrÈe, dressed up a bit for dinner with friends or a special family dinner. Serve with garlic red skinned mashed potatoes, broccoli, and Cesar salad.

2 c. wild mushrooms, Portobello, or any other kind of fresh mushroom from the grocery, sliced to 1/4 inch thick and no larger than 3/4 inches wide
1 T. butter
1 crushed garlic clove
1 1/2 lbs. Ground beef or moose
1/2 c. bread crumbs, Progresso or from dried bread
2 eggs
1 t. dried thyme
3 T. minced onion
1 T. Worchestershire sauce or A-1 sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice and sautÈ mushrooms in butter until cooked; add garlic and sautÈ another 30 seconds or so. Set aside. Mix remaining ingredients. Add in mushroom mixture. Turn ingredients into a bread pan or other baking dish and pack into a loaf shape. Bake until deeply browned and crunchy on the outside and interior reaches at least 160 degrees. Let set for 10 minutes then slice. Serves 4-6.