because what is life without good food?

Posts tagged “Cranberry

Maple Spice Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

I’ve been dreaming of this granola for weeks it seems … dying to make it … looking for pumpkin seeds at the store. I thought about toasting up some out of one of these little pumpkins I have here, but I really wanted those lovely little crunchy green ones that you can get, not the big seeds you pull out of your pumpkin and roast.

I knew I saw some at the grocery store, but every time I went back, they were gone … FINALLY, this morning, I found some! Granola time, baby!

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

So I made this lovely granola with maple syrup and pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices, honey, dried cranberries and lots of fun seeds and nuts.

But  I’m sorry to say, you’re not going to find the recipe for this delicious holiday granola here …

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

I’ve decided it’s time for my blog to have its own space … I think we’ve outgrown the capabilities of Free WordPress and we need to move on … sooo I moved everything over to www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com … yes, all of it, all the recipes, all your comments, everything! Tada! Isn’t that magic?

Please go over there to find the recipe for this granola (and ALL of my others!) and while you are there, I would really love it if you would click the link to follow me there. If I am can figure out a way to redirect all of you lovely people who already follow my blog, I will … and for a little while, I will post little ticklers here to remind you I’m hanging out over there now.

So what are you waiting for? Come hang out with me in my new home and get the recipe for this lovely Maple Spice Pumpkin Cranberry Granola!

Maple Spice Pumpkin Cranberry Granola ~ www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com


Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Apricot Energy Balls

Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Apricot Energy Balls

The idea for these has been floating around in my head for weeks … I wanted to make a little ball of goodness that would be great for quick energy on the go, something with protein and fruit and a few carbs so it would give my body lots of the things it needs before or after a good workout.

And then of course I had to dip it in chocolate … for all those good antioxidants, right?  … it makes me think of a little thing my friend SueAnn Gleason of Chocolate for Breakfast says, “Dip it in chocolate … it’ll be fine.”

Oh yes, these are fine. I think I’m addicted …

Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Apricot Energy Balls

Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Apricot Energy Balls

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped into small bits
  • 1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 to 6 ounces light cream cheese (I think fat-free cream cheese would work too, if you want to decrease the fat content)
  • A good quality dark chocolate bar or dark chocolate chips, for dipping

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate until everything is well mixed. They might fight you a little, but eventually the mixture will become a sort of thick paste that you can form into balls.
  2. Form balls and place them on a cookie sheet or platter. Refrigerate for a couple hours or until firm.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. Dip the balls in chocolate and place them on waxed paper. Let them sit until the chocolate sets up. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. If they last that long …

Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Apricot Energy Balls

This recipe was shared on Full Plate ThursdaysFoodie FridaysKatherine Martinelli’s DIY blog hop, and Everyday Mom’s Meals.


Sweet & Savory Stuffed Holiday Wreaths

Holiday Apple and Cranberry Stuffed Bread Wreath

These pretty wreaths of bread were haunting me last night … I just had to make bread wreaths for our lunch today.

Sweet and Savory Stuffed Holiday Wreaths

Dough recipe from Simply Gourmet Photography who found it on allrecipes.com (submitted by Linda Wilson)

Wreath-shaping instructions from Discovering Sourdough

Dough Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
Fillings: ham and shredded cheese, sweet apple-cranberry stuffing

Directions:

Put all dough ingredients in a bread machine and set on the dough cycle. (If you don’t have a bread machine, Simply Gourmet Photography has instructions for making them by hand.) When the dough is done, cut it in half. Roll each half into a large circle.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Bread Wreath

Slide the dough circle onto a large baking sheet or pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray. Mark a circle in the center of the circle with a small bowl, but do not cut through the dough.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Bread Wreath: mark a circle in the dough

Cut the star-shape in the center of the dough circle like this:

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Bread Wreath: cut a "star" in the middle of the dough

Now, put your stuffing in a ring around the dough. For this one, I used a bunch of chopped cooked ham and shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheese. I was trying to make a simple filling that my kids would eat … I would have liked to add onion and chopped bell pepper and perhaps even a nice spicy mustard sauce under the ham, but I kept it simple for the kids.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Bread Wreath: add the filling

Now, fold in the outer edge over the filling:

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Bread Wreath: fold over the edges of the dough over the filling

and then take the points of the “star” and pull them to the edge. Tuck the ends underneath the edge to hold them in place.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Bread Wreath: pull the points of the "star" out to the edge and tuck the ends of the dough underneath

My daughter helped with this part:

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Bread Wreath: fold over the edges of the dough over the filling

The other one we stuffed with apple cranberry stuffing and toasted walnuts. I think it would be better with a little caramel sauce under the apple cranberry stuffing.

Apple & cranberry stuffed breath wreath

Let the loaves rise in a warm place for about an hour or until they are good and puffy, then bake at 400F for 20 minutes covered with a piece of aluminum foil. Take the foil off after 20 minutes and then bake another 5 – 10 minutes.

Sweet Apple Cranberry Stuffing

  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • About 2 cups of peeled chopped apples
  • 1 Tablespoon mixed berry  jam
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, halved
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cook for 5 – 10 minutes over medium high heat until the apples are crisp-tender.

We had the ham-and-cheese stuffed wreath for lunch, with the apple-cranberry one for dessert.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Bread Wreath

This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth MondaysWonka Wednesdays and Full Plate Thursdays.


Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with dried cranberries, apricots, mixed cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranates are so beautiful. I’ve been entranced with them since I studied Greek mythology way back in junior high school.

Then when we lived in California, our neighbors had a pomegranate tree … one long branch of the tree stretched into our yard and that one branch always gave us plenty of pomegranates. Not that it really mattered, because the neighbors let us go into their yard and pick pomegranates whenever we wanted. My kids used to sell pomegranates like some kids sell lemonade. The neighbors loved it.

When you open up a pomegranate, it is full of all these gorgeous little jewels; it looks like a treasure chest to me. And the taste of the little jewels when you bite into one … oh my.

If you want to make this salad, you will first need to make the Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar, and that takes about a week … just giving you fair warning. You could do some clever substitutions, perhaps, but the jewel-toned vinegar with the little pomegranate jewels in the salad is really quite nice.

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Mixed Cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

with Dried Cranberries, Apricots and Mixed Cheeses

  • Organic Herb Mix (or mixed greens)
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Shards of Parmesan Cheese (cut very thin slices off the edge of a hunk of parmesan)
  • Toasted Walnuts, chopped roughly
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Chopped dried Apricots
  • Blue cheese crumbles

First make the dressing and let it set to mix the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with the organic herb mix, and sprinkle with remaining ingredients as you please. Drizzle with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette.

Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

  • 3/4 cup cranberry raspberry vinegar (recipe here)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon strawberry or raspberry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon, Spicy Brown or other fancy mustard (I used garlic peppercorn mustard)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • A couple of basil leaves, a small sprig of rosemary, and several sprigs of fresh dill weed

Mix all ingredients together in a handi chopper and whir until the herbs and garlic are well chopped and everything is mixed well. Refrigerate any of the remaining dressing.

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with dried cranberries, apricots, mixed cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Midnight Maniac Meatless MondaysTotally Tasty Tuesdays, and Full Plate Thursdays.


Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar

Make your own Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar

This is almost not even a recipe it’s so simple, but it makes such a beautiful color and flavor of vinegar that you would probably have to pay ginormous amounts of money for it … if you could even ever find such a beautiful vinegar at a store.

Making it is so so so much simpler and so much more impressive. You can use this same method to make almost any fruit or herb-flavored vinegar that you want.

Take some fresh cranberries. Cut them in half. Put them in a quart jar. Add some fresh or frozen raspberries (whatever you have). I used more cranberries and just a few raspberries, but if you want more raspberry flavor, use more raspberries. Fill the jar most of the way (like 90% full) with the berries.

Pour in plain white vinegar so that it completely covers the fruit. Let sit in a dark place for a week or so, shaking gently every couple days to mix up the flavors.

After the resting period, strain the fruit out by pouring into a cheesecloth covered strainer over a bowl and squeezing all the juices out of the fruit.

If you are giving it as a gift, package it up in a pretty bottle and add a ribbon. Or make a fantastic vinaigrette salad dressing. The gourmet cranberry raspberry salad dressing makes a great gift too … recipe coming very soon to a blog near you … ;)

Make your own Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar

This recipe was shared at Midnight Maniac Meatless MondaysTuesday Talent Show, and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.


Cranberry Lime Vodka

This recipe is so easy, you can make it in your sleep. Well, at least I hope you sleep while it’s “cooking”! It takes a week or two, so you still have time to make it for Christmas if you have someone that loves cranberries and vodka.

(Adapted from Fancy Napkin)

Cranberry Lime Vodka

This is all you do: Cut a bunch of cranberries in half, and slice a lime into thin wedges. Layer them in a jar. I used a small jar because I only wanted a little, but if you are making it for friends for the holidays, you probably want to use a larger jar and a lot more cranberries.

Cranberry Lime Vodka

This is a pint jar and it took about 1/3 of a bag of fresh cranberries. I used 1/2 a lime I think but next time I would use less lime to bring out the taste of the cranberries more.

Fill the jar amost completely with fruit, then pour in vodka so it more than completely covers the fruit. (Use whatever vodka you like … the cheap kind is fine because the fruit flavors will overpower the vodka anyway.) Cover tightly and store the jar in a dark place for a week or two, making sure to visit it and shake it up every couple days to distribute the flavors.

After the “resting period”, strain the fruit out by pouring into a cheesecloth covered strainer over a bowl and squeezing all the juices out of the fruit, then funnel into a pretty jar (or whatever your little heart desires).

Cranberry Lime Vodka

You will have a beautiful ruby red vodka. It’s going to be sour because cranberries and limes are naturally sour. You probably want to add a bit of simple syrup (recipe below) to sweeten it up. I wanted it sour because I have some champagne that is too sweet and I wanted something to tone that sweetness down a bit, but if you want your vodka a little sweeter, add some of the simple syrup below.

Fancy Napkin has a fantastic recipe for Crantinis using this vodka!

Simple Syrup

  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 T. grated lime zest

Mix the sugar, water, and lime zest in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Add a bit of syrup to the cranberry lime vodka and shake, then taste. Add more until you have the desired sweetness. Save the rest of the simple syrup for another occasion (like berry liqueur!)

This recipe has been shared at Tuesday Talent Show.


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