Side Orders: Plan now if dining out for holiday

Side Orders: Plan now if dining out for holiday

December 18th, 2013 by Anne Braly in Life Entertainment

Santa's helpers will be out in full force Christmas morning, preparing bountiful buffets for any of you wanting to celebrate the day out of the kitchen. Just be sure to make reservations now so the restaurants will be prepared to greet and seat you.

• Broad Street Grille will be filled with merriment and the buffet will be filled with seafood galore, as well as soups, salads, pork roast, Parmesan-crusted salmon, herb-garlic standing rib roasts, rotisserie turkeys, breads of all sorts and desserts. And then there's the chocolate waterfall surrounded by all the great dipping choices. It's a champagne brunch, too, so make a toast if you like. The brunch is $36 for adults and $19 for children under 12. Reservations may be made by calling 424-3700. Brunch will be served between the hours of noon and 5 p.m.

• Bluff View Art District will host a holiday buffet filled with the flavors of the Christmas season: Oven-roasted turkey with cornbread stuffing, Dijon-crusted prime rib, shrimp with bow-tie pasta, Asian chicken salad, quiche, assorted lettuce and vegetable salads, fruit, hazelnut French toast, savory breads and assorted made-from-scratch desserts. Dinner will be served in both the Renaissance Commons and Back Inn Cafe. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Price is $27.95 adults, $15.95 children 12 and under. For reservations, call 265-5033, ext. 4.

There's something about raspberries that reminds me of Christmas. It's not just their beautiful red color, it's the fact that my grandmother would freeze raspberries that came from my grandfather's vines and serve them over ice cream and other treats when we would visit their West Virginia home during the holidays. So when I checked out the recipes in "Sweetie-Licious Pies: Eat Pie, Love Life," ($26.95, Globe Pequot Press) by Linda Hundt, 16-time national pie-baking champion, a smile came to my face. The first page I opened had her recipe for her Aunt Margie's Raspberry and Cream Pie.

The cookbook is filled with amazing pie recipes, both sweet and savory and is perfect for any lover of pies. I plan to make the raspberry pie this Christmas and can't wait to serve it to my family ... maybe continuing the tradition of raspberries at Christmas.

Aunt Margie's Raspberry and Cream Pie


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Raspberry filling:

2 cups frozen raspberries

1 tablespoon cornstarch, sifted

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Cream filling:

2 1/2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup half-and-half

4 egg yolks

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Garnish (optional)

Whipped cream

White chocolate shavings

Fresh raspberries

Mix butter and cream cheese in stand mixer using paddle attachment on medium speed till well blended. Add flour, sugar and salt; mix until just blended. Pat into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll out dough on floured surface until dough is round in shape and 11 to 12 inches wide. Place into a 9-inch pie pan. Shape and crimp the crust. Freeze.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line frozen pie crust with one layer of aluminum foil and fill with one layer of uncooked pasta or pie weights to hold shell in place. Bake in the oven until the bottom of the crust is lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Carefully lift the foil and pasta from the crust. Let crust cool while preparing filling.

For the raspberry filling, mix together all raspberry filling ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until thick. Set aside to cool.

For cream filling, mix the milk, half-and-half, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture boils for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

Spread the cooled raspberry mixture into the pie crust until you can no longer see the bottom of the crust. Pour the cream filling over the raspberry layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with whipped cream, white chocolate and fresh berries, if desired.

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