Tag Archives: holiday

Cranberry Orange Bread

23 Nov

by Katy

Being pregnant is the best excuse in the world to eat what you want, and also the worst.  Of course you want to feed the little bugger only organic vegetables and fruits with a side of free range eggs and meat but sometimes the hormones will only allow you to eat what appeals to you right then.  I go back and forth between eating healthy smoothies and drinking vegetable juice to indulging in cookies and ice cream.  People ask about cravings a lot when you’re pregnant.  For the most part, aside from that time when I drove way out of the way to Sweet Potatoes to get their Thursday Fried Chicken lunch special (and it was so worth it), I have been craving fruit, all kinds of fruit, and more fruit.

In the spirit of the season, and my extreme love of fruit, I decided to experiment with cranberries and my favorite fruit of late, oranges.  I wanted a sweet bread but not too sweet, just enough to balance out the tartness of the cranberries.  I hope I succeeded, let us know what you think!

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 bag (12 ounce) of fresh cranberries (you could use less if you’re not big on cranberries but they cook up nicely)

zest of 1 small orange (or half a large one)

juice of 1 small orange (or 1/2 cup of orange juice)

1 cup milk (whole or 2%)

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda) together in one bowl.

2. Mix your wet ingredients together in mixer (by hand works too).  Add in the dry ingredients, mix lightly, until dry ingredients are incorporated.

3. Coarsely chop the cranberries.   Fold the cranberries into the batter.  Pour batter into a buttered and floured bread pan.

4. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

I highly suggest enjoying this bread with butter and large steaming mug of tea.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I think there’s some more fruit I need to eat.

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Lighten Up! Apple-Cranberry Crostata

15 Nov

by Green Gourmet L

The holidays are coming faster than most of us can even imagine. My Thanksgiving countdown says 10 days…can that be right? And everyone knows what comes along with the holidays- sweets, treats, and more eats! I love to indulge in desserts (chocolate, caramel, toffee, anything creamy). I have yet to meet a dessert that I didn’t like. But you can stay within your budget (and your skinny jeans) with this super easy recipe for Apple-Cranberry Crostata. A crostata is just a free form pie, filled with fruit/nuts, and the edges are folded over the filling to create a rustic look. Serve this with some vanilla gelato or frozen yogurt and you’ve got yourself the perfect lighter holiday indulgence!

Apple-Cranberry Crostata

Crust

  • 1 1/2 unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tp salt
  • 1 stick chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup chilled sour cream

Filling

  • 3 TB unsalted butter
  • 8 small Granny Smith apples (about 3 lbs), peeled, cored, and each cut into 12 wedges
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tp ground cardamom
  • 1 tp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

Crust: Combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in food processor.

Add butter and using pulse button, process until mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Add sour cream and process until a moist clump forms.

Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. *Note: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep dough chilled. Then let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften slightly before rolling out.

Filling: Melt butter in heavy, large skillet over medium high heat. Add apples and sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar.

Cook until apples are tender and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with cardamom and cinnamon. Mix in cranberries and set aside to cool.

*Note: the filling can also be made 1 day in advance. Just refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough between two layers of parchment paper sprinkled lightly with flour until dough is a 13 inch round.

 Slide dough (with bottom parchment) onto rimless cookie sheet. Spoon filling into center of dough, spreading toward edges but leaving 2 inch border. Using parchment as aid, fold border over filling. Brush crust border with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake until crust begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking until crust is browned and filling is cooked through, about 20 more minutes. Cool until warm. Using parchment paper, slide tart onto pie plate or cutting board. Serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt.

Enjoy your lightened up dessert and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Inexpensive Sparkling Wines for New Years Eve

29 Dec

by Green Gourmet L

The Green Gourmets are at it again with our picks for some great (and inexpensive) wines for your New Years Eve celebration. There always needs to be some bubbles involved when it comes to ringing in a new year. But how do you choose which sparkling wine would work for you? Here are a few options that could suit your soiree:

Minoetto Il Prosecco

Prosecco is an Italian wine that has grown in popularity as a cheaper alternative to Champagne. Proseccos can be either dry or fruity and contain about 12% alcohol by volume. Il Prosecco has light flavors of peach and apricot and is a nice balance of fruity and dry. This wine can be found for $10-12 in many wine/grocery stores.

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs Rosé

Rosés have become very trendy in restaurants recently. Technically, Rosés are an “unfinished” red wine;  the wine goes through the red wine making process, but is stopped before extracting too many red wine characteristics. The Blanc de Noirs is made of a combination of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, which creates a beautiful pinkish hue. Flavors of strawberries, black cherry, and vanilla. This is a splurge bottle around $19, but it’s worth it for a special occasion.

Mumm Napa Valley Brut Prestige

Here’s the Californian Champagne you’ve been dreaming of. This was recommended by a friend who has great taste in wine. Even though I haven’t tried it yet, this might be the one that will grace my presence for my anniversary (thanks!). It’s a bit of a splurge at $20, but all the reviews say it’s worth it. And you’re worth it too! The Wine Enthusiast says, “#48 on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2010: Crisp and elegantly styled, with floral apple and yeasty spice aromas that lead to layered flavors of baked pear, citrus and creamy vanilla. Drink now.” I think I will.

Punkt Genau Sparkling Gruner Veltliner

This is a sparkling Gruner Veltliner, which is a rarity. If you have never tried a Gruner Veltliner, you should definitely look for it next time you are in a wine store. It’s an Austrian wine with white fruit flavors (think apples, peaches, floral but not too fruity). It tends to be light and crisp, and with bubbles it’s about to rival my favorite Prosecco. And for around $15-18 bottle, totally worth trying!

Vinho Verde Espiral

I drank mine from a champagne flute.This is a fantastic summer and spring wine, but could also be a nice, light way to celebrate if you don’t want alot of alcohol. This is not necessarily a sparkling wine, but it has an effervescence to it that still feels festive. It has light, tart citrus flavors and is clean and crisp. Very easy to drink, and you don’t have to worry because the alcohol content is only 9%. And huge bonus, it’s less than $5. Look for this at Trader Joes.

Happy New Year Fellow Green Gourmets! We are excited to share more recipes and our passion with you in 2011!

Everyone Loves Leftovers: Christmas Cookies

28 Dec

We have some leftovers here, leftover holiday food and holiday food posts too.  My dear friend, A, of the Holiday Party, will be guest posting from time to time.  She has a great recipe for candy cane cookies that are very cute and would probably be a kid-friendly activity.  If you’re still in the holiday spirit you may enjoy making these, or just store this recipe away for next year.  They just might become your classic holiday cookie recipe.

CHRISTMAS Candy Cane COOKIES!

by A

Nothing says Christmas to me quite like Christmas cookies. I love to make them, decorate them, eat them, make them again, eat them again…I could go on forever. But there’s one particular cookie that has always stood out to me as THE symbol that Christmas is here – the Candy Cane Cookie. I remember when I was little and my mom would start making these about a week before Christmas. I was fascinated by them – how did she make these cookies that looked like candy canes, two dough colors all baked together into a candy cane shape? It seemed like magic to me, and I was sure they were Santa’s favorite (he always cleaned his plate when we left them out for him on Christmas Eve).

I now know the secret to these, and they’re actually pretty easy to make. The flavor is delicate, almond-y, almost shortbread-like. They’re not as flashy as the decorated sugar cookies or gingerbread men, no sprinkles or icing or colored sugar. But they’re still my favorite, and I can’t imagine Christmas without them.

Candy Cane Cookies

1/2 c. butter

1/2 c. shortening

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 egg

1 ½ tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. vanilla

2 ½ c. flour

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. red food coloring

Mix the butter, shortening, confectioner’s sugar, egg, and almond and vanilla extracts well. Mix the flour and salt in a separate bowl. Blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture. (This will create a very firm dough, so unless you have arms like Serena Williams, you may want to use a stand mixer if you have one. Or you could just incorporate this into your Christmas workout.) Divide the dough, and add red food coloring to one half.

To shape the cookies, grab a small handful of each color of dough and roll each handful between your hands until you have about a 4-inch rope of each color. Press the ropes together and twist, then form into a candy cane shape. Put the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 9 minutes. This recipe makes about 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them. Enjoy!

Best Ever Almond Cookies

23 Dec

by Green Gourmet L

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing cooks. And being home for the holidays always reminds me of that. Not only does my family enjoy being in the kitchen together, my parents’ friends are some of the best home cooks I know! And being from the South, there is ALWAYS food to share and more than enough to go around.

The hardest part about being a great home cook is sharing your recipe with your friends. I’ve been able to pry a few gems out of unwilling (or unknowing) hands, but I will always give credit where credit is due. With that said, if anyone (hint hint) would like to share their recipe for Brandy Chocolate Cake, Christmas Eve Lobster Bisque, or Sourdough Stuffing with Loads of Fresh Herbs with the Green Gourmets, we would gladly share it with the world!

Because it’s cookie swap season, everyone is looking for that best cookie recipe. Real Talk: You want to outdo your friends this Christmas. You want everyone to rave about your cookie as the best cookie at the party. Me too y’all, and this might just be it. Well, aside from the ginger snaps. This recipe is courtesy of Mrs. Capozzi’s Restaurant in Decatur, GA. It has been tweaked and modified for Green Gourmets.

Chocolate-Dipped Almond Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 lb almond paste
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 bag of dark chocolate chips
  • slivered almonds

Directions

Preheat oven to 325. Using a mixer, whip egg whites on high until dry (this takes about 5 minutes).  Turn mixer to low and slowly add sugar. Add almond paste to egg whites in small pieces until fully incorporated. Allow dough to chill overnight (or at least 2 hours). Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

To make the chocolate

Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat this process until chocolate is completely melted. Using a spoon, pour chocolate over half of your cookie. Sprinkle slivered almonds over the chocolate and allow to cool completely on parchment paper.

To print this recipe: https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/almond-cookies. You’ll have the best cookie at that party, I promise- And don’t forget to tell them you read it on Green Gourmets!