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Saturday, November 21, 2015

RECIPE: Cranberry-Pecan & Rosemary Crackers

I'm having my family over for Thanksgiving for the first time in years (I lived in Canada for ten so that's my excuse) and wanted to do a few extra special things. One of which is make my own crackers to serve my marmalade with. I was going to purchase some of those expensive raisin, rosemary, pecan crackers (you know the one's) in the fancy box but I figured, heck, I can make my own! Plus I'm frugal. (Sounds better than cheap, right?) Anyway, I found a couple recipes and mixed and matched. I didn't have the mini loaf pans required so I improvised with muffin tins. Worked pretty well but you do get some waste. Mind you, we nibbled on the scraps while the crackers were toasting so nothing actually went to waste.

On their own, these crispy, slightly chewy, aromatic and very flavorful crackers are delicious. But they are the PERFECT companion to my Orange-Cranberry Marmalade and a schmear of fresh (or aged) goat cheese. The only laborious part is the actual slicing. I sure wish I had my mother's electric bread slicer! That would make this a breeze. Aside from that, these are very easy to make. (Recipe to follow).

Thursday, November 12, 2015

RECIPE: Orange-Cranberry Marmalade

A month and a half in and it's finally beginning to feel like Fall. The air is cool (for LA), crisp and clear. I get to wear hats and finger-less mittens (no, I don't really need them). Trader Joe's is selling those cinnamon scented brooms you can smell a mile away. Hiking in the sun is actually tolerable. And the markets boast cool weather crops like pumpkins, pomegranates, parsnips and mandarins...and, one of my favorites, cranberries! I will stock up and stash as much as my freezer will hold to use for months to come. I'll add them to my juicer to get a dose of antioxidants and use the pulp for my Blueberry-Juice Pulp Bran Muffins.

Off to the General Bottle Supply for some jars and lids. It's time to make a new flavor! Orange-Cranberry. This marmalade is so good I wish I could get cranberries year round! It's perfectly balanced which is not easy to achieve as oranges and cranberries are both rather dominating flavors. It tastes like orange marmalade with a bold aftertaste of cranberry. I've kept the berries whole so you get some nice texture from both the orange peel and the berries. Plus it's a gorgeous ruby red! Top your morning yogurt with it, how about a dollop on a crispy English muffin or serve it with buttermilk biscuits at Thanksgiving? It's all good. (Recipe to follow).

Monday, November 9, 2015

RECIPE: Blueberry Juice Pulp Bran Muffins

In an effort to eat healthier I bought a juicer. What a great idea! You get fresh juiced fruit and vegetables in a matter of minutes. However, the bi-product of juicing is pulp. Lots of pulp. And since I don't have a garden compost pile to toss it in I was tossing it OUT. Boy, did I hate doing that. But what choice did I have? I began researching uses for juice pulp and found my solution. Muffins!

I experimented with several variations of flours, different fats, sugars, and other components. I'm no nutritionist but I think I came up with a great tasting, low sugar, healthy muffin. With the added bonus of a clear conscience by recycling otherwise discarded "waste". (Recipe to follow).