Cran-Russian

Classic black Russian with seasonal cranberries! A great make ahead fruity cocktail for all your parties.

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My new favorite fruity cocktail!! With CAPE COD SELECT PREMIUM FROZEN CRANBERRIES available all year round, we don’t have to wait for Fall!

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Black Russian is made only with 2 ingredients-vodka and coffee liquor and served over ice. It gets its black color from the coffee liquor. A variant has a splash of heavy cream and is called white Russian. Enter a new variant, drum rule please….

CAPE COD SELECT PREMIUM FROZEN CRANBERRIES are big and plump and they bring lovely color and flavor to any dish! It is a family owned and operated for over 70 years. I decided to use them to make black Russian giving it a fruity fall twist!

To prepare a cranberry syrup, bring CAPE COD SELECT PREMIUM FROZEN CRANBERRIES, water, sugar and few orange peels to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes and cool completely  (The cranberries get plumpy and look stunning in the syrup)

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Stir together cranberries syrup, vodka and kahlua in a pitcher and store in the refrigerator.

Pour into serving glasses and serve over ice, orange slices and additional cranberries.featurecran11.jpgfeaturecran14.jpg

 

Notes-

-to make orange peels, peel the outside of a fresh orange with a vegetable peeler

-cranberry syrup can be made up to a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator

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Cran-Russian

Ingredients:

1 cup CAPE COD SELECT PREMIUM FROZEN CRANBERRIES

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

peel of 1/2 orange, sliced

1 cup vodka

1/2 cup Kahlua

1 orange sliced, for serving

additional CAPE COD SELECT PREMIUM FROZEN CRANBERRIES, thawed for serving

Preparation:

Combine 1 cup frozen CAPE COD SELECT PREMIUM FROZEN CRANBERRIES, water, sugar and orange peels in medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover, take pan off heat and let cool completely. Discard orange peels.

In a pitcher, stir together cooked cranberry syrup (along with all cooked cranberries), vodka and Kahlua to combine.

To serve, pour 1/2 cup Russian into a serving glass, top with ice, orange slices and additional cranberries.

Makes 3 servings

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Butter Chicken Inspired Roasted Tomato Soup

Creamy, spicy and easy roasted tomato soup with all the flavors of all time favorite butter chicken!

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Butter chicken needs no introduction! It is one of the most popular Indian dishes around the world. Cooked tandoori chicken is cubed and added to a creamy tomato based sauce and is eaten with naans piled high to mop up all that yumminess.

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A warm bowl of soup is the most comforting during these chilly days. But, I prefer my soup S-P-I-C-Y!!! Surprised… may be not. A spicy bowl of hot soup just warms you inside and out! You don’t have to slave over a stove top like cooking a traditional butter chicken. I have taken all those flavors and roasted them in the oven and just blended together. Couldn’t get any more simpler.

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Let us get started—-

—-toss tomatoes, onion, ginger, garlic, melted butter and spices together and bake

—-cool and blend everything (scrape every bit out of the pan) along with some stock, honey, salt and heavy cream

—-Serve at room temperature or heat and serve hot

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Butter Chicken Inspired Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

5 medium roma tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 teaspoon chopped ginger

1/2 small red onion, cut into big chunks

1 x 14.5 ounce can chicken stock

3 tablepoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

additional heavy cream, for topping soup (optional)

thinly sliced jalapeno or Thai chili peppers, for garnish (optional)

Preperation:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Have a 9-inch cast iron pan or any other oven safe skillet ready.

Combine first 9 ingredients (tomatoes – onion) in the cast iron pan, toss well and bake for 30 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack to cool.

Add everything ( scrape every bit of spice from the pan) into a blender along with chicken stock, heavy cream, honey and salt. Blend until very smooth.

You can serve soup as is at room temperature or transfer the blended soup into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil (over low-medium heat) and serve hot with a swirl of heavy cream and sliced peppers.

Makes 2-3 servings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach and garbanzo bean Shakshuka

Quick, easy and healthy week night meal that comes together in about 30 minutes. Spinach, garbanzo beans and coconut milk adds a nutritious punch  to a traditional Shakshuka!

Shakshuka is a traditional breakfast dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce. It is middle eastern in origin and very popular in Israel. It is such an easy and simple dish for a weeknight although you can very well enjoy for a breakfast or brunch.

As all moms would agree, I always look for sneaky ways to get some leafy greens into the family’s diet. So, I added some healthy spinach (you can totally use kale as well), garbanzo beans and coconut milk is a totally unusual ingredient, but adds a touch of creaminess to the dish!

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To make the Shakshuka—

—heat a large skillet with some olive oil

—saute red pepper flakes, onion and garlic

—cook crushed tomatoes, water, salt and sugar

—stir in coconut milk, spinach and garbanzo beans

—poach eggs

—enjoy

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Spinach and garbanzo bean Shakshuka

Ingredients:

1 x 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3/4 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup canned coconut milk (optional)

1 x 14 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 medium handfuls baby spinach, chopped

5 eggs

crusty bread or naan for serving

Preperation:

Transfer tomatoes along with juices into a large bowl, crush well with hands and set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add red pepper flakes when the oil is moderately hot and let sizzle. Add onions and garlic, suate for 3 minutes, until golden. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, sugar and water. Cover skillet, and let cook for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.

Uncover, stir in coconut milk, garbanzo beans and spinach. Break eggs into the sauce, spacing evenly.

Cover and let cook for 5-10 minutes, until eggs are cooked.

Serve hot with crusty bread / naan to mop up all the sauce

Serves 2-3

 

 

Sweet Potato Pie Baked Oatmeal

Simple baked oatmeal with sweet potatoes, cinnamon and nutmeg. Old fashioned oats, pecans, cooked sweet potato, eggs, milk and brown sugar come together to make delicious, easy and healthy breakfast.

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If you are a regular visitor here then you could have probably guessed by now that I have a thing for sweet potatoes! Loaded with vitamins and minerals, sweet potatoes are one of the nutritionally dense foods that you can find in the entire produce department. Added bonus, they are naturally sweet!

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Baking is probably the best and easiest method  to cook a sweet potato. Wash 1 or as many sweet potatoes as you like, place them on a foil lined baking sheet, prick each potato couple of times with a fork and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes – one hour (depending on the size). Place sheet on a wire rack to cool completely. Peel off skin and mash with a potato masher. Mashed sweet potatoes can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator (or even frozen).

The baked oatmeal comes together very quick. Stir all ingredients together and bake! The sugary finish adds a lovely, light crackly crust on top! YUM!

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Love sweet potatoes? Check out

Cocoa glazed Nutella-Sweet Potato Rolls

Roasted Sweet Potato and Brussel Sprouts with Maple Tahini Dressing

Sweet potato-Almond Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Notes-

-the sweetness in the recipe is just perfect! But, if you wish to have your oatmeal on the sweeter side then you can use 2 tablespoons additional brown sugar

-Make sure the oven rack is in the middle of the oven or 8-inches from the heat element.

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Sweet Potato Pie Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups milk

1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato

1/4 cup + 2 tablepoons packed golden brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups old fashion oats, divided

1/2 chopped toasted pecans, optional

2 tablepoons turbinado sugar

Preperation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a

8 x 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk eggs, milk, sweet potato puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until thoroughly combined. Stir in 2 cups oats and pecans (if using).

Evenly pour batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup oats on top followed by the turbinado sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes (do not remove pan from oven), switch oven to broil and continue to cook for 6-10 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely and then cut into 16 squares.

Makes 16 squares

Honeyed Persimmon and Brie

Baked persimmons with honey, walnuts and rosemary and gooey melted brie on top! An easy and elegant appetizer for the holiday parties.

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Nothing is more luxurious than hot melted cheese!! What if that cheese is melted over sweet fruit and honey? YUMMO

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Sweet, salty, hot, fruity and a bit of crunch!! This dish is incredible easy and is sure to impress your guests. You really don’t need a written recipe – place some very ripe persimmons in a pan, sprinkle chopped rosemary and walnuts and then drizzle honey on top. Bake for the fruit to soften and then top with brie and let melt. Inspiration for this recipe is from Baked brie with honeyed apricots from America’s Test Kitchen.

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Notes-

-very ripe persimmons are perfect! Fuyu or Hachiya will work

-baking time for the persimmons depends on the ripeness of your fruit. Riper fruit wouldn’t take as much to time to soften when compared to firmer ones.

If you love persimmons like me, then check out Persimmon Bread

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Honeyed Persimmon and Brie

Ingredients:

3-4 large ripe persimmons, peeled and sliced or chopped

2 teaspoons minced rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

3-4 tablespoons honey, divided

1/2 pound triple cream brie

sliced baguette, to serve

Preperation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Have a 9-inch oven safe pan ready.

Arrange cut persimmons in the  pan, sprinkle rosemary and walnuts and then drizzle 2 tablespoons honey evenly over the persimmons.

Bake for 15-25 minutes, until the fruit is soft.

Remove pan from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.

Cut the rind off the brie and cut into big chunks and place on top of the persimmon.

Bake for 3-6 minutes, until cheese melts. Drizzle leftover honey on top.

Serve after 5 minutes with baguette slices.

Serves 10-12

 

Oven-Fried Kale Paneer

Crispy and crunchy kale chips and soft pillowy paneer with Indian spices!

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Crispy!

Crunchy!

crumbly!

Soft!

Spicy!

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Kale chips took over the internet by storm about a year ago! When hearty kale leaves coated lightly with oil and baked gets transformed into a crispy and crunchy snack that we can enjoy with no guilt!

Paneer gets incredible soft when baked, so baking paneer along with kale makes for a great contradiction in textures and adding spices to that equation… a party in your mouth!

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The dish is best enjoyed when hot from the oven. While kale maintains it’s crispiness, paneer tends to gets firmer when cool. So, if you want to enjoy the leftovers later that day, then microwave only paneer for few seconds until hot.

It is absolutely important for kale to be dry! So, wash kale and leave it to air dry for sometime or use your trusty salad spinner.

Also, place kale and paneer in a single layer, so it would crisp evenly.

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Oven-Fried Kale Paneer

Ingredients:

1 medium bunch kale

1 x 14-ounce block paneer

Spice mixture

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crush lightly

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preperation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two baking sheets with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

Wash kale and dry very well. It is absolutely important that there is no moisture left behind. Trim off the centre rib from kale and rip off into 3-4 inch pieces.

Cut paneer into 3/4-inch slices and cut each in half.

Place kale and paneer in the prepared baking sheet in a single layer (not overlapping), evenly sprinkle with spice mixture and then a coating of non-stick cooking spray.

Bake one sheet at a time for 15-20 minutes or until kale is crisp.

Serve hot.

To make spice mixture, 

Stir all ingredients evenly in a small bowl.

Makes 4-6 servings

 

Fall Breeze

Incredibly easy fall cocktail with just 3 ingredients!

featureapp4.jpgApple cider, pomegranate juice and vodka come together to make a delicious and icy drink. Freeze both juices overnight and scrape with a fork, just as you would make a granita. Spoon into glasses and pour vodka over.

If you wish to make a quick drink, then you can totally skip the freezing part and stir all three ingredients together and serve over ice.

Check out more boozy creations

Pomegranate Sangria

Plum Strawberry Smash

Pineapple Chili Margaritas

Blackberry-Ginger Fizz

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Fall Breeze 

Ingredients:

2 cups apple cider

1 cup pomegranate juice, like POM Wonderful

1 cup vodka

thinly sliced apples, for garnish (optional)

Preperation:

Combine apple cider and pomegranate juice in a 8 x 8 square baking pan or any other freezer safe pan with a tight fitting lid.

Freeze overnight.

Just before serving, scrape frozen juice with a fork, to get tiny ice crystals (refer Ginger Blueberry Granita for detailed instructions). Spoon into serving glasses and pour vodka over.

Optional garnish, cut an apple in half and make very thin slices. Place on a microwavable plate and microwave for few seconds, until soft and pliable. Roll few slices like a jelly roll to form roses and place inside the cup.

Serve immediately.

Makes 3-4 drinks