#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Cider Punch

It’s the second day of #CranberryWeek hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. We’re sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

Cranberry Cider Punch for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Do you have a themed beverage at your holiday gatherings?

I’ve done one for The 4th of July and for Auburn game day (both of those a sangria). Surprisingly, I’ve not done one for Thanksgiving or Christmas! How is that possible?!

This punch I’m sharing for #CranberryWeek is non-alcoholic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little something to it should you desire.

The simple syrup created for this drink uses brown sugar instead of granulated sugar, giving it a beautiful Autumn color. Star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange impart their flavor on the sweetener.

Burst cranberries provide a bit of pizzazz that dress this punch up for holiday season.

Cranberry Cider Punch for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Cranberry Cider Punch

Ingredients:

  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 C water, divided use
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1/2 small clementine peel
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 C fresh cranberries
  • 3 C apple cider
  • 1 1/2 C cranberry juice
  • 1 bottle (12.7 oz) ginger beer

Steps:

  1. Make simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, 1 C water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, clementine peel, and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  2. Put cranberries and remaining 1/3 C water in a small skillet. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst. Remove from heat.
  3. In a pitcher (or punch bowl), combine the cider, cranberry juice, 2/3 C simple syrup, and ginger beer. Gently stir to combine.
  4. Serve over crushed ice and garnish with burst cranberries.

*This recipe is adapted from Jessica at https://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/11/cranberry-cider-punch/*

Cranberry Cider Punch for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (3)

Be sure to check out these other great cranberry recipes:

Cranberry Chicken Salad Wrap by Making Miracles

Cranberry Dijon Ham by Cookaholic Wife

Cranberry Cider Punch by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cranberry Margaritas by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Cranberry Orange Wild Rice by Jonesin’ for Taste

Fresh Cranberry Muffins by Family Around the Table

Pickled Cranberries by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Salad with Cranberry, Pear, Walnuts and Gorgonzola by Palatable Pastime

Iced Herbal Ginger Lime Tea

Disclaimer: I received products from KitchenIQ in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Every once in a while there’s a kitchen product that comes around and changes your life.

Okay, maybe not your life.

But your culinary world.

A citrus zester is a great example. Can you imagine if we still had to carefully and thinly slice the peel from a lemon and then chop it up into teensy pieces?! I know I certainly wouldn’t make that effort. There are a lot of citrus zesters out there that make the task of zesting a lime much simpler.

But KitchenIQ took that precious tool and made it even better! Their V-etched Better Zester! provides the smoothest zesting experience I’ve ever had thanks to the nonstick coating on those v-shaped blades. But the feature I love the most is the container attached to the back of the tool. Not only does it catch the zest, it has lines indicating tablespoons and mL. You’ll never again be guessing if the zest of one lime gives you a teaspoon or not. (I know I never actually measure the zest in a recipe and always “wing it.”) A quick {gentle} bang on the countertop and the zest falls to the bottom for easy measuring.

KitchenIQ didn’t stop their with their mind-blowing gadgets. I’m so excited to have The Grate Ginger Tool in my life. I must admit, I’ve ever enjoyed working with ginger simply because it wasn’t an easy ingredient to prep. First there’s peeling the skin. I’ve heard the back of a spoon works quite nicely but it’s never been as easy as it looks on TV, I always end up cutting off the skin and as a result losing a lot of the usable ginger. Ginger is also quite fibrous. Using a microplane grater on it always left me with a stringy piece of ginger in my hand, and chopping it finely just isn’t that fun.

The Grate Ginger Tool answers each of these problems. There is a removable spoon-like device peels the ginger quite nicely and the non-stick v-shaped blades makes grating the ginger as easy as cutting through softened butter. The ginger shavings end up in a little compartment inside the gadget which pulls out easily. There’s even a slicer on the back!

If their new V-etched Spice Grater works just as well as the previous two products, I can’t wait to get my hands on some whole spices!

An Original Recipe

Iced Herbal Ginger Lime Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
  • 1/4 tsp freshly zested lime
  • 12 oz hot water
  • simple syurp, to taste
  • ice

Steps:

  1. Place ginger and lime in a loose leaf tea ball infuser.
  2. Pour hot water over the tea infuser in a large heat proof cup. Allow tea to steep 3-5 minutes.
  3. Divide ice into 2-3 serving glasses, fill with tea, and sweeten to taste with simple syrup. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Iced Herbal Ginger Lime Tea | Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

#FantasticalFoodFight: PB&J

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This month’s Food Fight is PB&J. Recipe requirements were to share a recipe that had to include fruit and peanut butter. I love doing twists on the classic pairing and can’t wait to see what everyone else has brought to the fight. Be sure to scroll past my recipe to click on the link-up!

There’s a show on Cooking Channel called Food: Fact or Fiction that gives a fun history on food. One episode was about classic food pairings with PB&J being a big feature. It was quite fun to learn about how the two seemingly perfect ingredients came to be a match made in culinary heaven.

Peanut butter used to be an expensive food item while jelly was cheap and for commoners. It wasn’t until George Washington Carver developed an easier and more effect way of cultivating peanuts.

It took WWII for peanut butter and jelly to marry when both were provided in soldiers’ rations.

I’ve done PB&J muffins before. I’ve also made a smoothie before and quite enjoyed it. I decided to try developing a real recipe and am happy with the results. The oats in the smoothie provide the “bread like” quality that you get when enjoying a true PB&J sandwich. This smoothie is perfect for kids with a cold who refuse to eat.

wesley

My PB&J creations bucket list includes: cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and oatmeal. Huh, looks like I’m on a breakfast kick. (I actually made PB&J pancakes for dinner tonight, too!)

I wonder if I could turn PB&J into something savory: perhaps a stir fry or a pizza?

An Original Recipe

This recipe makes 1 small smoothie.

PB&J Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/2 C vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/8 C smooth peanut butter
  • splash of milk (as needed)

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The amount of milk needed will depend on the consistency of the peanut butter.

PB&J Smoothie for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To check out the other Fantastical PB&J inspired dishes click here:

If you would like to join our Fantastical Food Fight, you can learn more on our informational page.

Bonus cute kid photo: Firecracker wanted me to take a picture of him eating the strawberry.

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#FoodieExtravaganza: Heart Healthy Fiber Rich Foods

foodieextravaganza-300February is Heart Health Month, fitting being the month of love. Wendy, our host this month, decided to help us improve our diets by adding more heart healthy fiber.

The American Heart Association provides great recourse if you’re looking for healthy eating. An entire page on whole grains and fiber is a great place to start!

Like most of my Foodie friends, I used oats in my recipe.

I like throwing oats into smoothies for a little extra boost of fiber and substance. I made this smoothie last year with some extra beets and was saving it for February!

Heart Beet Smoothie for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

This recipe makes 1 smoothie.

An Original Recipe

Heart Beet Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 5 whole frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 C chopped beets
  • 1/4 C old fashioned or quick cook oats
  • 1/4 C whole milk vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 C whole milk

Steps:

  1. Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Heart Beet Smoothie for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Be sure to check out these other heart healthy recipes:

 5-Way Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti Squash Boats from Palatable Pastime

Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bake from Cookaholic Wife

 Baked Oatmeal from A Day in the Life on the Farm

 Black-eyed Pea Salad – Saladu Ñebbe from Food Lust People Love |

 Cranberry Nut Muffins from Hardly A Goddess

Easy Breakfast Oatmeal from Basic N Delicious

 Farmer’s Salad from Fearlessly Creative Mammas

 Fruity chewy granola bars from  Caroline’s Cooking

 Fruity Custard from Sneha’s Recipe

 Heart Beet Smoothie from Sew You Think You Can Cook

 Moroccan Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

 Vegetarian Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps from cookinandcraftin

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Countdown to 2017: Beverages

unnamedHappy New Year! The countdown to 2017 is over and 2017 is here!

This blogging countdown party is hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes and today Sarah leaves it wide open for us to decide what category of recipes we want to highlight from last year.

In 2015 I looked at all of my Mexican Monday posts and last year I looked at my favorite Sunday Supper submissions.

For a while now smoothies have been the go-to when Firecracker won’t eat dinner. I always use yogurt (typically Greek) to provide protein and add a generous handful of spinach to add some bonus nutrition. Treat is also a big fan of smoothies.

With all that smoothie practice I end up successful on my ratios more often than not. (Seriously, I used to struggle immensely with getting the proper thickness.) Every now and then I decide to measure things and generate a recipe.

To add to the trio of smoothies below, I’ve got two lovely champagne cocktails to share.

Cranberry Oat Smoothie

Felix Felices

Roshambo

Strawberry Vanilla Smoothie

Triple Berry Spinach Smoothie

Best Beverages of 2016 | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Find out what other bloggers are highlighting today here: An InLinkz Link-up

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Oat Smoothie

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving falls during #CranberryWeek. #CranberryWeek is hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We’ve been sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. You can search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

With it being Thanksgiving Day I knew my time was up for sharing specific holiday centered recipes. Hopefully you’re spending your day surrounded by loved ones and don’t have any last minute grocery runs today.

That’s why my cranberry submission involves kitchen staples. Well, fresh cranberries aren’t a year round staple, but for this time of year, I’m going to place my bets. You can put those bags of fresh cranberries in your freezer for year round enjoyment of the tart, red berry. In fact, I’m planning on stocking up on my next grocery trip so I can make this smoothie whenever the mood strikes! I made mine with fresh, not frozen, cranberries. If using frozen cranberries, I’d hold off on adding any ice.

Today’s smoothie is a fantastic way to kick off Turkey Day. It’s a healthy and refreshing beverage that will leave you satisfied yet not worn down.

cranberry-oat-smoothie-for-cranberryweek-from-sew-you-think-you-can-cook-2

This recipe will make one smoothie.

An Original Recipe

Cranberry Oat Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 container (6 oz) French vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 C ice
  • 1/4 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C milk

Steps:

  1. Place ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.

Cranberry Oat Smoothie for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

Apple-Ginger Cranberry Sauce from Palatable Pastime

Broccoli Salad with Cranberries from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Cranberry Blondies from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Cranberry Caipirinha from Caroline’s Cooking

Cranberry Oat Smoothie from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Graavilõhe from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry Walnut Macaron with Orange Buttercream from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Warm Cranberry Spread from Family Around The Table

#SundaySupper: Recipes with Coffee

Over Labor Day weekend we traveled to Northern California, Santa Cruz to be exact, to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.

The wedding was one we will never forget. They got married standing underneath exquisite Redwoods with the sun peaking through the massive trees.

To reach the ceremony site, we hopped aboard a narrow gauge train and traveled uphill for about 25 minutes. Following the beautiful exchange of vows we climbed back on the train to return to the reception location. The entire experience was simply breathtaking.

To say my train obsessed toddler was in heaven is an understatement!

felton-wedding

We spent the long weekend in Santa Cruz with my parents and uncle at a vacation rental home on the water. We enjoyed exploring the area and discovering the differences between that beach city and the one we’re living in now.

Chocolate Chip Mocha Smoothie for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)Because we staying in a “hotel house,” as we described it to my toddler, I had the luxury of being able to cook! I made Chicken Chorizo Meatballs (a variation of this recipe) for the rehearsal party at my aunt’s “hotel house,” a beautiful cheese platter for dinner one night, and coffee smoothies to accompany some local pastries for breakfast one morning!

I was counting on making my recipe for this week’s Sunday Supper over the wedding weekend so I packed my chocolate chips and chocolate sauce. Doesn’t everyone travel with chocolate chips in tow?!

Thankfully the vacation home had a blender! I hadn’t considered that I may not have one before hitting the grocery store to pick up yogurt and whipped cream.

This smoothie was met with mixed reviews. My dad was not a fan, but sweet coffee drinks are not his thing. My uncle and I enjoyed our glasses, though. That being said, I have some suggestions for changes I’d make next time:

  • The tang from Greek yogurt was a little too much to pair with the coffee, so I’d switch to regular yogurt (or you know, ice cream but then we can’t call it breakfast can we?)
  • To balance out the sweetness level, I’d add a touch of vanilla extract

Chocolate Chip Mocha Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C ice
  • 3/4 C vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 C cooled coffee
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C chocolate syrup

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish, if desired, with whipped cream and extra chocolate syrup.

*This recipe is adapted from Jacqui at http://www.dishingdelish.com/chocolate-chip-mocha-breakfast-smoothie/*

Chocolate Chip Mocha Smoothie for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Beverages

Breakfast

Main

Sides

Dessert

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out ourPinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.