Showing posts with label cranberry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cranberry. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cranberry Honey Butter

This compound butter is tangy and slightly sweet, terrific on seasonal veggies, desserts, or breads. It's a terrific last minute homemade addition to a Thanksgiving or holiday meal.

image of a ramekin of cranberry honey butter surrounded by cranberries

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I couldn't decide if I should post this recipe for Thanksgiving, Thanksgivukkah, or Christmas meals, so I opted for the 'throw it up there the day before Thanksgiving and call it a last-minute homemade addition' strategy.

Did it work?

If you're reading this in a turkey coma, I hope to give you ideas for upcoming meals or a reason to toss a bag of cranberries (on sale now, impossible to find later) into the freezer.

This compound butter is tangy and slightly sweet, terrific on seasonal veggies, desserts, or breads. It's a terrific last minute homemade addition to a Thanksgiving or holiday meal.

The pretty pink color would look nice on a variety of tablescapes--Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's day--tragically I am not a tablescape kind of person. I can cook the food. Don't rely on me to make it look pretty, too.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Cranberry Salsa--put it up or give it away

Sweet and spicy, this gluten free condiment is terrific on a leftover turkey sandwich. The bright color makes a lovely edible gift during the holiday season.

image of  a plate containing a turkey sandwich topped with cranberry salsa

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I have a confession and an apology. Apology first. When I shared the Cranberry Chicken Swiss Chard Leek Enchiladas I was unaware that one of the ingredients I used, cranberry salsa, was not always available. I'm sorry.

Now for the confession--I often work ahead, posting recipes made up to a year in advance. See, I'm slow as the molasses in my cold kitchen in the wintertime. If I were to get recipes written, photographed and typed and published in order I'd be sharing tomato recipes in November, pumpkin recipes in January, and butternut squash recipes in April.

Nobody wants that--not even the folks Down Under?! Instead of missing the seasons by a mile, I opt to save posts until they are seasonally ripe. I've got some flexibility that way, so I can toss in a Beef and Venison Sloppy Joe recipe or a Slow Cooker Apple Chai for a crowd when the spirit moves me [and I'm asked].

Sweet and spicy, this gluten free condiment of honey-sweetened cranberries, onions, and peppers is terrific on a leftover turkey sandwich. The bright color makes a lovely edible gift during the holiday season.

Most of the time this method--of working ahead and taking my time, works fine. Sometimes I screw up. Royally. In this case I tried to find the same brand of cranberry salsa in the store and even contacted Ocean Spray only to learn that they don't make cranberry salsa each year. Instead of just saying 'oh well, you're on your own', I grabbed a bag of cranberries from my freezer stash and some hot peppers from my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share and made a batch.

pic of a pot of bubbling cranberry salsa

If you've ever made cranberry sauce from the bag of berries, you can make cranberry salsa. It's just boiling and stirring, after all. If your cranberry sauce involves opening a can from both ends, let's talk and explore your options.

image of a pantry shelf filled with jars of home-canned goods.

I canned this cranberry salsa. In fact I've canned so many things that my shelf support broke! Luckily the shelf fell onto the jars of salsa verde and Cantina Style Strawberry Salsa, so nothing slid to the floor. Although I did get 7 jars to fill up my canner, I did have a wee bit left over and it has been in my fridge for 2 weeks and tastes delicious. I'll bet it's good for at least 2-3 weeks in the fridge, and that's plenty long for Thanksgiving turkey sandwich leftovers. That means you don't have to process this before using.

image of a making a turkey sandwich with cranberry salsa, cheese, kohlrabi pickles, lettuce, and bread
Salad greens from the farm share and kohlrabi pickles make this sandwich amazing.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Orange & Beet Smoothie with Cranberries and Maple Syrup

This is a vegan smoothie that combines seasonal citrus, beets, and cranberries with a generous splash of maple syrup to make it go down smooth nice and easy. Overwhelmed with cookies? Haven't started the wrapping yet? Whip up one of these babies and power through your to do list without plowing through the cookie tray.

This recipe is a vegan smoothie that combines seasonal citrus, beets, and cranberries with a generous splash of maple syrup to make it go down nice and easy.

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To be honest I really wasn't feeling a post for today. I'm still a bit worn out from doubling my workload and sharing 6 recipes in a row for #ChristmasWeek. [As an aside, the Amazon Gift Card Giveaway is happening for another week or so, have you entered? I'd sure like to have a connection to the winner. Go to this post for all the details.] However, seeing that it is citrus season (we got our Band Fundraiser Citrus a week ago) and as this recipe kept me going all through last week's craziness, I'm going to share it as is--I ran out of light last night so I'll update the photos as soon as I've made today's smoothie. I promised myself I'd take time off closer to Christmas, so you'll get one more week of recipes before my break.

Did you think, after Spiked Hot Cocoa Gift Mix, Maple Doodles, My Scottish Grandma's Shortbread, Cranberry Chai Tea Cookies, No Bake Magic Cookie Truffles, and Fresh Cranberry Mini Scones that this blog is all about sweets? Ha! Fooled ya. It's all about beets.

If the only things I got in my farm share were a steady supply of potatoes, onions, carrots and lettuce I probably would not have started a blog about how to feed my family from the farm share. I mean, everyone knows what to do with potatoes, onions, carrots and lettuce. [If you don't, feel free to consult my Potato Recipes Collection, my Recipes Using Onions, my Carrot Recipes Collection, and my Greens (Lettuce/Salad) Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, the thing I am most proud of on this blog--a way to help my readers figure out what the heck to do with those veggies in the share that are new and unusual to them. And to me!]

A small farm can't make it on just a few crops--diversification is where it's at these days. [You may notice a change to my ads--I've switched from a few Adsense ads on the sidebars to a plethora of ads managed by MediaVine. Not a clue what, if anything, I am earning as I haven't made time to go check out my dashboard, but the experience has been very positive for me so far. Let me know how it is for you. Back to farms.] Farmers need to grow crops that will be ripening throughout the season so that us hungry folks have something to eat. And often, that means new-to-us foods.

This recipe is a vegan smoothie that combines seasonal citrus, beets, and cranberries with a generous splash of maple syrup to make it go down nice and easy.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fresh Cranberry Mini Scones

Tiny tender scones stuffed with chopped fresh cranberries and brightened with orange zest. Make these scones bite size to serve at holiday brunches or coffees.

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A recipe for tiny tender scones stuffed with chopped fresh cranberries and brightened with orange zest. Make these scones bite size to serve at holiday brunches or coffees.

This recipe wraps up #ChristmasWeek, a event started in 2012 and hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Kiss My Smoke. She gathered a bunch of us bloggers together to share holiday sweets for 6 days straight. We also chipped in for $800 worth of Amazon Gift Cards for a Giveaway. 

A recipe for tiny tender scones stuffed with chopped fresh cranberries and brightened with orange zest. Make these scones bite size to serve at holiday brunches or coffees.

I'm sharing the recipe first because I've got a story that is only tangentially related to the recipe. Reading my story will not affect your ability to make the scones, so skip it if you'd like. If you're just here to try and win $500 or use some fresh cranberries up go on about your business, don't mind my ramblings after the recipe. This is the blah-ggy part of blogging. Sometimes life ain't sunshine and rainbows.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Semi Homemade Cranberry Pineapple Pecan Salad

A quick and easy 3 ingredient side dish that tastes fresh, sweet, cool and crunchy all at once. Jazz up a can of whole berry cranberry sauce and perk up your holiday table.

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Recipe for a quick and easy 3 ingredient side dish that tastes fresh, sweet, cool and crunchy all at once. Jazz up a can of whole berry cranberry sauce with fresh pineapple and toasted pecans, and perk up your holiday table.

Two things contributed to this cranberry sauce. Neither of them involve beets. Rejoice!
First, I swung by my closest Kroger grocery store during their pre-holiday free sample palooza and tried a taste of cranberry celebration salad. Second, my mom read this post on my make ahead slow cooker cranberry orange and beet salad and suggested I offer up a recipe for doctored up cranberry sauce that starts with a can, not a bag.

Recipe for a quick and easy 3 ingredient side dish that tastes fresh, sweet, cool and crunchy all at once. Jazz up a can of whole berry cranberry sauce with fresh pineapple and toasted pecans, and perk up your holiday table.

To be honest, I'm cool with the can of whole berry cranberry sauce [though the jellied kind icks me out as I did not grow up with it]. I'm game to start out with a bag of cranberries too--though if we're a small amount around the table I don't need that much sauce. I just require demand a small amount of sweet red salad to mix with my mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey and gravy. [In the same way, I need that dab of lingonberry jam with my meatballs and potatoes at IKEA.]

If you're not into beets yoga using a slow cooker or stove top to make your cranberry sauce but you've got a knife and the ability to toast pecans for a couple of minutes, this is a fast way to dress up a perfectly fine side dish into something even better.

Recipe for a quick and easy 3 ingredient side dish that tastes fresh, sweet, cool and crunchy all at once. Jazz up a can of whole berry cranberry sauce with fresh pineapple and toasted pecans, and perk up your holiday table.

For more dishes using cranberries, fresh or dried, please see my Cranberry Recipes Collection. This is part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for those of us who can't walk past all the bountiful displays at the grocery store this time of year without picking up a little something 'just in case'. I'm pinning tasty looking sides to my Pinterest boards and sharing them on my FB page.
Want to know how to use this blog? Click here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cranberry Salsa & Refried Bean Nachos (or Quesadillas)

It's the 4th Wednesday of November. In America, most everybody knows what's for dinner tomorrow

What's for dinner tonight?

I've finalized my Thanksgiving menu with a whole 30 hours to go. My Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers delivered our turkey and final Fall share last night. I've plotted my Stuffing Strategy and my cornbread is getting drier by the hour. The cranberry sauce is chillin' in the fridge, squeezed in between the turkey from Maker's Meadow and the jar of stock I remembered to thaw for gravy. I've gathered all the ingredients for MA's Make Ahead Irish Mashed Potato Casserole and Alanna's World's Best Green Bean Casserole. My daughter and I will be successful with our Caramel Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake [that will happen after this post goes live, so as I type it's hopeful optimism. While I'm being hopeful, I'll hope neither Robert Barker nor Simon or Vincent will jump up and steal any food].

I am in the zone.

The last thing I want to think about, or act upon, is fixing food for those housemates of mine who have strange ideas about eating multiple meals in the days running up to the Big Event. I don't even want to eat out because people are running around like crazy right now, and I don't want to order in and cause more leftovers to need a home in my packed fridge.

Enter these nachos. They are easy to fix, are made up mostly of pantry ingredients (no need to use much fridge space), can be vegetarian and gluten free--and don't result in leftovers that I'll need to store. Plus the flavor and texture are unlike what we'll be eating tomorrow.

With all the cranberry recipes I've shared, this could be the most unexpected.  It's delicious, unusual, and a departure from the usual seasonal fare.  If you happen across cranberry salsa (link to my recipe if you want to make your own) and/or cranberry cheddar cheese (which I found at Costco), grab some refried beans and treat your taste buds to this change up dish.  This can be a fast and flavorful snack, which was well-received by the whole family during a hectic time. For other recipes using cranberries, please refer to my Cranberry Recipe Collection.

You have a choice in what blogs you visit. I'm thankful you chose to visit mine. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cranberry, Orange and Beet Salad (make it ahead in the slow cooker)

Making cranberry sauce in the slow cooker? The house smells terrific and you've got the stove free to make yet another side dish. Adding oranges, beets, and a kick of ginger? Lovely. Thanks to Alanna and her reader Karen for the inspiration.

I'm trying to squeeze the Thanksgiving side dish recipes in as fast as I can, along with some suppers to tide you over and use up your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) turnips ahem goodies, like beets. I've been tossing beets into all sorts of savory meals lately. Beetza (my friend Dave's name for the Roasted Beet and Arugula Pizza) and Beetloaf (which isn't up on the blog yet) to name a few. However, the sweetness of a locally-grown beet really shines in something like cranberry sauce. I've got experience with this--last year I shared an alphabetical Apple/Apricot, Beet and Cranberry Sauce.
I typically roast the farm share beets before I have a plan for them. Scrub a bunch of beets, place them in a foil packet with a splash of olive oil, slide the packet onto a baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for an hour or until the packet 'gives' when you squeeze it. Sometimes gigantic beets can take nearly 2 hrs, but 1 hr is a good time to check. Let the packet cool, the slip the skins off the beets and chop to the size you desire.
Six ingredients--so simple!
Free time to play in the kitchen seems to shrink like the amount of daylight, so any time I can throw a pile of ingredients into my slow cooker and let it do the work for me I'm happy. When I read Alanna's Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker I was inspired. Cranberry + Orange is a great combo. Beet + Orange is another great combo, like in my friend Meghan's Beet Mimosa. The idea that I could add beets without turning the whole dish a naturally unnatural color [ahem, like the Beetza or Beetloaf] was a big draw. Cranberry + Orange + Beets for the win!

I've got a little 1.5 qt slow cooker which is perfect for this application. It's also perfect for heating up leftovers while I'm ferrying kids around, so I recommend this size appliance as more than a 'one note' space waster.  Something like this Slow Cooker (Amazon affiliate link) with an added Keep Warm function, works great for soup or sloppy joes and holds enough to feed our family.

I struggled with the idea of naming this a sauce. It's not really sauce-like. Come to think of it, neither is cranberry sauce. It's really more of a guideline salad. When I looked up the definition of salad I read about a cold concoction of vegetables, fruit, and/or meat.  I figured that definition applies to this dish, so I'm calling it a salad.

If you've got beets, consider throwing some of them into this salad. It keeps for a week in the fridge, and although the execution was a failure, the concept of adding it to a rolled pizza as shown at the bottom of the post [come! Look at my failures!] is a good one. For other recipes using beets, please see my Beet Recipe Collection.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Turkey, Cranberry, and Mashed Potato Pizza

Thanksgiving leftovers as pizza toppings--mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce dotted with turkey and topped with feta and cheddar cheeses.

I'm going to share two Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizzas this month. One is for folks who don't want to make a special pizza dough, and the other is for folks who are game to try another of my new concoctions. Let's start with the easier one.

I knew I wanted a layer of mashed potatoes as the base, and after Thanksgiving I made several attempts using my Make Ahead Irish Mashed Potato Casserole. But none of my efforts with actual Thanksgiving leftovers really thrilled me, so I waited until I saw some turkey marked down, threw some other sides in my basket, and tried again.

For this particular combination I made 3 different pizzas--one without any cheese, one with cheddar, and one with feta. The pizza really needs cheese [this Beef & Broccoli pizza works without cheese, though]. I found I preferred the duo of feta and cheddar together.

You know, I don't think I'm going to type any more on this post. As I sit typing it up our newest addition, Robert Barker, is resting at my feet for his first night in his new home. I will share more of his story as I get to know him, but it's enough to say that he needs TLC more than I need to prattle on about pizza.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cranberry, Chicken, Spinach and Leek Enchiladas

Leeks and frost-kissed farm share spinach, sautéed with chicken and cranberry salsa in a creamy enchilada, topped with spicy salsa verde.

Too early to break out the cranberry salsa? It pairs so nicely with salsa verde I couldn't resist. I'm tempted to try and make some of my own this year, since our farm share--and my spouse's coworkers--have provided so many hot peppers.  I've put up salsa twice, and have just enough ripe tomatoes left to put up a third batch.  In the mean time I put up a batch of hot pepper jelly as well--then promptly gave most of it away.  Update: I did make my own cranberry salsa! You can find the recipe here.  Between the canning and the freezing I'm trying to keep up with the supply of vegetables that I'll feed the family during winter. [I feel like the Ant, though I really want to lie down and read my book like the Grasshopper--so I'm going to keep it short and sweet and go do just that.]

Want more enchilada recipes? Try my Clickable Collage. More recipes using spinach? Here's the Spinach Recipes Collection. More recipes using Leeks? Try this collection. More recipes using Cranberries, in various permutations? Look here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cranberry Pecan Green Beans

Fresh green beans sautéed with Cranberry Honey Butter and tossed with toasted pecans.

Green beans are one of my standard Thanksgiving Side Dishes, and I'm reminded again how silly it seems to wait another 2 months in order to celebrate the harvest. By the time American Thanksgiving rolls around the only 'fresh' local vegetables are hardy greens like kale and long-storing winter squash and potatoes.  Everything else has been put up. The Canadians have a better plan--have Thanksgiving in October, and do it on a Monday so you have an entire weekend to prepare the feast. None of this 'last minute rush around after work on Wednesday' craziness. No matter which day you're giving thanks for the harvest, here's a recipe for you.

The green beans have been plentiful this year in Ohio. From our farmers here in the SW corner of the state on up to Meghan's farmers in NE Ohio--lots and lots of green beans in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm shares.

On a whim I decided to combine some of my Cranberry Honey Butter with some of my copious volume of green beans. [I'll be honest, inspiration struck me when I opened the freezer door and a roll of cranberry honey butter fell out.] I thought it would look pretty with the bright green beans, so I whipped up a quick side dish.

To save time and dishes, I briefly cooked the green beans in the microwave and toasted the pecans in a dry skillet. Then it was a simple matter to assemble the finished dish.  Try this one at home.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry Apple Pecan Tangerine Mini Muffins

Cranberry Apple Pecan Tangerine Mini Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts
These were for a gathering and I dusted them with cinnamon sugar before baking.
It's all about the leftovers, isn't it?

When I made this bread I had leftover Cranberry-Apple-Pecan mixture.  I froze it, since I am big on the "What do I do with this?  I dunno.  I'd better toss it in the freezer" method of dealing with things.

The paperwork for my taxes is not in my freezer.

Luckily, I married a wonderful man whose wonderful mom prepares taxes for a living, otherwise my tax paperwork would be in the freezer with random assorted bags of vegetables and fruits.  And Butch.

I enjoy the cranberry-citrus combination (and will soon be blessed with Band Fruit Fundraiser citrus, stay tuned for a recipe round up next month) so I decided to add some tangerine to these muffins.  I was making up a frightfully orange smoothie (Tangerine-Carrot-Banana) and since I'd gotten the blender out, I blended up a tangerine first for the muffin batter before continuing with the rest of the smoothie.  If you're not mixing up a smoothie, just chop up a tangerine and add it to the batter, or get fancy and remove the juicy flesh and toss the scaffolding* in the compost.  Alternatively, give the remnants to the composting pig as she'll eat almost anything (her late roommate would eat anything).
Don't give it to the worms--they don't care for citrus.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel

This cross-cultural mash up of fresh pumpkin, cranberries, and maple syrup with noodle kugel makes a lightly sweet (without sugar) dessert--and a terrific post-holiday breakfast!

This post is part of the Thanksgivukkah Food Blogger Potluck hosted by Stefani of  You can read all about it here, and scroll down for links to many more recipes!

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts
I think it is a natural tendency, when you embark on a new endeavor, to look to those experienced in the field for guidance.
When I became a mother I looked to the women around me who were a few months/years ahead of me on the motherhood journey.  From the practical (my oldest friend took one look at the giant convertible carseat I was lugging in and out every day and loaned me her snap-in infant carrier) to the more intangible (while fretting about the lower percentile my son doggedly stayed in on his growth chart, another friend reminded me that when he gets to college, no one will remember or care where his height/weight fell on the chart at age 6 months). The help I received from those women who have gone before me made a huge difference in my life.

As my children grow into their teens, I continue to look to those ahead of me, and I'm especially interested in the interactions of mothers and their now-adult children.  I avidly observe my friends who have adult children with Spina Bifida, watching and learning the steps of the complicated dance that is supporting yet not directing another adult's life.  It is fun to see photos of a friend enjoying a day at Disney with her daughter who now works there.  It's gratifying to see another friend's daughter drop in to see her mom at work, just for a little Mom time (and not money!).

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts

Why am I going on about mothers and adult children?  It was Molly, visiting her mom during sled hockey practice recently, who gave me the idea for this recipe.  See, while I was brainstorming Hanukkah/Thanksgiving mashup ideas, all I could think of was latkes.  Over the years I've been over to my oldest friend's house many times to make--and eat--latkes, but they were the star of the meal.  While I was chatting with Molly and her mom about other Hanukkah dishes, like brisket and roast chicken, Molly suggested kugel.
I just happened to have my copy of Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese (Amazon affiliate link) because I was working on this post and wouldn't you know it, there's a recipe in Melt for Sweet Potato Kugel. [Put this book on your holiday wish list, unless you're local to me, then check it out of the library or borrow my copy--I keep finding more recipes I must try, and each one I've made is well-written with delicious results.]  Obviously from the title of this post I didn't make that recipe (I used pumpkin not sweet potato, fresh cranberries not dried, maple syrup in place of sugar and changed up the spices) but since Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord have gone before me into the world of autumnal vegetable kugels I am glad to follow their guidance.

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts

Just like I follow others who have gone before me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy

Cranberries, sage, and red onion flavor ground chicken in meatballs served with cranberry gravy

Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy | Farm Fresh Feasts

My spouse used to buy CDs and books based on the covers (you know, in the days pre-online shopping, when you'd physically scan the shelves and pick up what caught your eye).  He discovered Willy Porter's Dog Eared Dream (Amazon affiliate link) that way (cute dog on the cover).  He also found a cooking with fruit cookbook (which, sadly, has been lost in the many moves).  I always intended to use that book to add more fruit to savory dishes, but it never really caught on with me.

I have a taste memory of a wonderful chicken schnitzel melba (chicken, peaches, brown gravy) from Restaurant Paltzer in Spangdahlem, Germany that is my Gold Standard for a savory, fruit-and-meat entree.  I'm still working on the recipe for that (though my German coworker is helping!), but since it's getting on to cranberry season and I'm all about eating with the seasons (or putting up produce while it is in season to eat later) I'll share these cranberry chicken meatballs.

Even though I tend to stock a lot of local ground beef in my freezer, I am not immune to a good deal on ground chicken at the grocery store.  I had chopped cranberries (from these muffins) and some red onions and sage from the farm share.  The family was pretty pleased at the thought of chicken and noodles for dinner.  Perhaps they were happy about a pink meal that didn't contain beets. Even though I had 2 burners and the oven going, this meal wasn't that much plate-spinning effort.  I threw the meatballs together and chucked them into the oven, freeing up my hands to make the gravy while the noodles and meatballs were doing their own thing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mini Cranberry Yogurt Oatmeal Muffins

A pretty little lightly sweet muffin with cranberries, Greek yogurt-soaked oats, and a candy topper.

Mini Cranberry Yogurt Oatmeal Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts
Note:  I am so glad to have the seasons change--I've been sitting like a swan* a bunch of recipes (because, you know, our family likes to eat each day) that were not really seasonal for posting on the blog at the time I made them.  I mean, who wants to read about cranberries in March?  I'm glad to share them now, and to give you ideas for what to do with your cranberries.  And yes, currently I'm cooking stuff that uses the last of the summer produce so I'll be sharing it next summer.  I'm starting my own personal NaBloWriMo where I plan to write up blog posts as many days as possible in order to deal with the pile of recipes and head notes that clutter my work space.  With breaks for eating muffins, pizza, and beets, of course.  Yes, I am nesting. ;)
I buy cranberries when they are in season and inexpensive, then I store them in my fruit and veg freezer (not to be confused with the meat freezer) until I'm wanting some fruit for a muffin and open the freezer up, scan the contents, and think 'well, why not cranberry muffins?'  That was an entirely run on sentence.  I see where my son gets it from.  I was thinking about my usual Soaked Oat muffins, but was out of buttermilk--though I did have a bucket of plain Greek yogurt.

A quick check of my muffin bible, Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link) reassured me that it was possible to use yogurt in muffin batter, and in fact their recipe for Cranberry Yogurt muffins is very slightly adapted here.  I didn't use the entire bag of cranberries in this recipe, but don't go on a rant about it like I did, instead come on back next time, because I will share the Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy I made using the rest of the cranberries I'd chopped.

Another Note:  I made these to serve as an after school snack to a bunch of girls (who came over to unplug my fruit and veg freezer work on a school project).  I was concerned that the cranberries would be too tart, so I added a candy melt for a hit of sweetness when you popped the muffin in your mouth, and made them mini because they looked cuter (sort of like wee Oliver, our new-to-us wiener dog).  If you don't have or don't want to use candy melts, please feel free to bump up the brown sugar to 1/2 or 3/4 cup if you're concerned about the tart vs sweet level.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Berry Crust Pizza with Cranberry, Chicken, Red Onion and Mozzarella (Pizza Night!)
Yes, there are also strawberries in this photo.  They go into muffins, too.
Guess what we're eating from our backyard right now?  Berries!  How cool is that?  Last year our plants were young, and we ate a handful of raspberries from them but never managed to get a strawberry.  This year we're eating handfuls daily, and I've even put up some strawberries in the freezer.  If we don't grow enough raspberries to put up,  I'll find a pick your own or some good deals and put up a mess of berries like I usually do.  Berries are so easy to freeze (on a metal tray for several hours before transferring to a zip top bag), and they keep in an operational freezer until I'm ready to use them, like in these muffins. Please note my use of the phrase 'operational freezer'. did not start out with the intention of making a blueberry/raspberry crust so I could make a red, white, and blue pizza.  However, I am the sort of person who blooms where she is planted--and this pizza is the logical result of that trait.
I love my daughter, really I do--you're sensing a "but" here? Good.
It all started when she was hosting her social studies castle-building group.  It was fun to see the girls working together all over the main floor of our house.  The table in the living room was the main job site and the breakfast nook table was the glue gun station.  After each construction session my daughter would unplug the glue gun, and whoever needed the microwave next would plug it back in.  Things worked well for the first few sessions, but the third--really, how long does it take to build a castle out of cardboard?  Somehow, the microwave remained plugged in, and my little fruit and vegetable freezer aka microwave stand was unplugged instead.  No one noticed for a day.  Luckily the freezer was due for a defrost before summer "putting up" season got going, and much was still frozen or able to be salvaged.  I'm in good company--when Alyssa's freezer died, she made maple dijon chicken.
I also chose to get creative,  took the bags of thawed blueberries and raspberries, dumped them into my food processor, and made a puree.  We had a bunch of smoothies, and I used a cup of it in this crust--thinking I'd make a patriotic pizza.
I had leftover cooked chicken in the fridge, and excavated a bag of cranberries during the Big Defrost, so this pizza was predestined.  If your grill master is deployed, or you're just not that into the usual red, white, and blue stuff this year--try this.  In this pizza, chicken is optional.  With the creamy fresh mozzarella, tart cranberries, and red onion you can have a meatless, yet still patriotic, pizza.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Bag of Cranberries aka Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread

(Subtitle:  Baking a Batch of Cranberry-Apple-Pecan-Chocolate-Chip Bread) ((Sub-Subtitle:  Recipe After a Rant))

When I buy a dozen eggs from my farm share, I neither expect to use them all up in a single recipe nor get cranky when I have some left over.  Same with a package of bread.  Or cheese sticks.  Or mushrooms.  Or carrots.  Or pepperoni.  You get the idea.

But a bag of cranberries?  Something that is such a seasonal item, and comes in 1 size only?

I'm just not jiggy with recipes that call for part of a bag of cranberries.  Yes, I know I can freeze cranberries.  In fact, I've got a few bags in my fruit & veg freezer right now.  Fifty cents a bag at Aldi--couldn't pass it up.  They are sitting on top of the bags of blueberries put up during Aldi's 49 cent pint sale in the summer. But this blog is not about Aldi deals, it's about using what you've got.  All of it.

Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread | Farm Fresh Feasts

Updated with a photo of a finished loaf!  [I'm still ranting about the inequality of it all, however.]

Because I was in such a hurry to get the finished 'good' loaf to the function, I never took a photo.
Just like recipes that call for 1 cup (8 ounces) of canned pumpkin (sold in 15 ounce cans), it irritates me to have dribs and drabs left over.  Sure there are plenty of things to do with dribs and drabs, but it's not the point. (Notable exception:  I'm happy to open up a can of tomato paste to use in a recipe that only needs 1 Tablespoon.  I happily freeze the remaining contents in 1 Tablespoon mounds on parchment squares, transfer them to a zip top freezer bag, and next time I need a small amount I am set.)

When I open up a bag of cranberries, I want to use the whole thing all at once.  When I make my Apple/Apricot/Beet/Cranberry sauce, I do.  You probably do when you make your own version of cranberry sauce, right?  So why does the bread recipe on the bag of Ocean Spray cranberries, the bag that contains 2+ cups of whole cranberries, call for a mere 1 1/2 cups?

Cranberry Apple Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread | Farm Fresh Feasts

Today, I needed to make a loaf of quick bread for a school function.  I wanted something that would appeal to kids while using up a whole bag of cranberries in the process.  I looked in the crisper and saw some lonely apples, looked in the freezer and saw an open bag of pecan parts, grabbed the chips and got to work.  Come join me!