To get a nice log shape, lay the cake on a kitchen towel, fill it, roll it, then clip the towel's ends together with clothespins until the cake sets. We used frozen currants as a garnish, but frozen grapes work just as well. You may substitute cream cheese for the mascarpone; add two more tablespoons sugar and a half teaspoon vanilla.
Thanksgivings in Anna Lappe's house were always healthy. "It wasn't like there were sweet potatoes with marshmallows!" says the co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and author of "Diet for a Hot Planet."
"My mother [author Frances Moore Lappe] doesn't eat meat, so she wanted to make a stuffing that wasn't just discarded bread stuffed in a turkey. Here, the interesting flavors and texture come from her combination of herbs, the dried fruit, the nuts -- and the juiciness of all the onions. We're huge fans of onions."
Quinoa, high in protein and important amino acids, has a unique, earthy taste that surprises the palate. In this festive tart, a rich cream-cheese dough serves as the base for jewel-toned cranberries and figs stewed in wine, which combine to spectacular (and seasonal) effect.
For the best you've ever tasted, think outside the box. This do-it-yourself mix can be customized with whatever nuts, seeds, and dried fruit sound good to you. (We've included some of our favorite combinations.)