A Very Berry Christmas with Tisha Quinby

stevens elementary aberdeen
When not at her restaurant or whipping up cranberry recipes for guests, Tisha Quinby is a third grade teacher at Stevens Elementary School in Aberdeen.

 

By Lisa Shell

city of aberdeenSay hello to the delightful Mrs. Quinby, elementary school teacher and co-owner of Original House of Pizza (OHOP) and Quinby family cranberry farms. Tisha Quinby enjoys teaching and loves to cook for her family and friends. Count it pure joy when she shares her cranberry cheesecake and cran-raspberry mulled wine. Customers at OHOP always find cranberries included on the menu. Tisha is never far away from a jug of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice.

Currently, Tisha teaches third grade at Stevens Elementary School. After years of working full-time at the restaurant and taking one class per quarter, she became a certified teacher.

Tisha says, “I love being with kids and getting to know each child. Teaching art is amazing because each child’s individuality and personality comes through.” In class, her personal favorite time each day is reading aloud with her students, followed by a great discussion. Students share a common experience of a great book together.

stevens elementary aberdeen
When not at her restaurant or whipping up cranberry recipes for guests, Tisha Quinby is a third grade teacher at Stevens Elementary School in Aberdeen.

In 2005, Tisha and her mom, Wendy Anderson took a chance.   She fondly reflects back saying, “My mom and I always dreamed of owning a restaurant together. We always talked about it.” When the previous owner of OHOP, Ernie Lott, contacted Wendy, the duo jumped at the opportunity to buy the business. Soon the mother daughter team were the new owners of Original House of Pizza.

The restaurant is family friendly, has a great view and loyal customers enjoy their favorites like calzones, pizzas, salads, and hot stuffed sandwiches.  Open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., OHOP is located at 1200 North Montesano in Westport.

Tisha married Steve Quinby in 1995. The happy couple has two sons, Sam and Daniel. Steve is the cranberry farmer and Tisha loves to cook with cranberries. Steve’s family cranberry farm is one of over 700 family farms that make up the Ocean Spray cooperative. Join the cranberry club to learn more about Ocean Spray.

Tisha’s eyes sparkle and she cheerfully consents to share a few family recipes with our GraysHarborTalk readers.

Greet your guests with mulled wine and your house will smell amazing.

Cran-Raspberry Mulled Wine

64 oz Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry Juice

750 ml fruity, dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon

cranberry recipes
Tisha Quinby and her mother, Wendy Anderson, own the Original House of Pizza in Westport.

½ cup brown sugar

Favorite mulling spice blend (Tisha suggests Williams-Sonoma) or cheesecloth with ½ cup of cinnamon chips, orange rind, allspice, and cloves

Bring all ingredients to a low simmer. Try to avoid boiling. Simmer for not more than 1 hour, then adjust stove to low.

Remove mulling spices.

 

If your traditional Christmas Eve dinner includes prime rib. Compliment it with this cranberry horseradish.

Cranberry Horseradish

1 cup Ocean Spray cranberries

½ cup sugar

2 tbsp horseradish (adjust to your preference)

You can make this ahead of time, even the day before, or make it quickly while your meat rests. I prefer fresh cranberries for this condiment, but frozen can be substituted. Quickly pulse cranberries in food processor or chop with a chef’s knife. On medium-low in a small skillet, add cranberries. Sprinkle with sugar. Cook for just a couple minutes, until heated through and cranberries release some of their juices. Add horseradish. Mix to combine and scoop into a pretty glass dish to show off the gorgeous color. A little goes a long way!

 

Cranberry Cheesecake for Christmas

Crust

2 packages graham crackers

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

cranberry recipe
Tisha Quinby says your guests won’t be able to guess the secret ingredients in this cranberry cheesecake.

Cheesecake filling

2 cups fresh Ocean Spray cranberries (frozen can be used, but I prefer the texture of fresh)

1/3 cup cold water

1 envelope plus 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1 orange, zested and juiced

½ cup sugar

2 – 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 container marshmallow crème

1 8 oz container whipped topping (cool whip)

Tisha adds, “I must confess, the food snob in me cringes when I admit to using marshmallow crème and cool whip. (Sorry, Martha Stewart.) But the foodie in me can’t argue with delicious. Try it – no one will ever guess the two secret ingredients.”

Food process graham crackers to a fine crumb. Place crumbs in bowl. Slowly add melted butter until crumbs hold together but aren’t wet. You may need more butter. Press into an 8” or 9” springform or cheesecake pan lined with parchment for easy plating.

Chill.

Measure 1/3 cup cold water is metal measuring cup or small saucepan.

Sprinkle gelatin with the water. Allow to soften for 3-5 minutes.

Slowly warm to dissolve gelatin. Keep on a low warm.

Quickly rinse processor.

Finely pulse fresh cranberries. Set aside in large mixing bowl.

No need to rinse processor bowl. Add 2 packages cream cheese. It is imperative to have cream cheese to room temperature for consistency and mixing.

Add marshmallow crème, sugar, orange zest, and juice.

Pulse several times to combine. Scrape down sides. Turn processor on, while running, add the warm gelatin water.

Continue to run until smooth, with no cream cheese lumps. Stop and scrape sides as needed. Add to cranberries in large mixing bowl.

Fold in whipped topping. Mix until consistent.

Gently spoon into chilled crust.

Chill in refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.

For a dramatic presentation, pipe whipped cream and add sugared cranberries.

 

Have a very berry cranberry Christmas!

 

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