It’s been quite a while since I’ve participated in the Crazy Ingredient Challenge – 4 months to be exact! The problem with squash and melon allergies is that come Fall I have to hide under a rock.
December’s ingredients though are ingredients that I can not only eat but ingredients I even like! They also happen to be ingredients we’ve seen before. Last November we paired Gingerbread Spice with Onion, when I made a very festive onion jam. This July we put Cranberries with Shallots and I made delicious Brussels sprouts.
The combination of two sweet ingredients, cranberries and gingerbread spice, wasn’t as tricky as the two challenges mentioned above. But fun all the same. I was really tempted to make gingerbread cupcakes with a cranberry cream cheese frosting, but we really didn’t need anymore sweets around right now. I thought about going the breakfast route, with cranberry syrup and gingerbread waffles. But this is a crazy ingredient challenge and I already have gingerbread waffles on the blog!
Then, thanks to my wonderful neighbors, I got the idea to do applesauce. Last week we were hit with a stomach bug and my neighbors put a little care package on our front step – soups, sodas, crackers, and applesauce. Applesauce is now my new go-to snack during the day. (It has replaced raisins, if anyone’s curious.)
This cranberry applesauce would be a great alternative to cranberry sauce on your holiday table. Using gingerbread spice instead of cinnamon gives it more of a festive flair.
- 3 apples, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 C fresh cranberries
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3/8 C water
- 1 tsp gingerbread spice
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium low and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash to desired consistency and allow to cool.
*This recipe is adapted from Martha at http://www.marthastewart.com/326493/cranberry-applesauce*
To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.
I still have a holly, jolly smelling batch of Gingerbread Spice from November’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I added it to waffle batter for a fantastic holiday twist to a classic breakfast. I even make Gingerbread Sugar (instead of Cinnamon Sugar) for sprinkling over top!
The pear syrup was a great compliment and when that ran out I used bottled Strawberry syrup. I liked the tartness it added instead of piling on more sweet from regular maple syrup.
Gingerbread Man Waffles
- 2 1/2 C flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp gingerbread spice
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 C milk
- 1/2 C vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In a large bowl sift together all dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into a hot waffle iron and cook until golden. Serve with gingerbread spice sugar and syrup. Use a gingerbread man cookie cutter if desired.
*This recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens*
To make Gingerbread Sugar use a 4:1 ratio of sugar to gingerbread spice. (4 tsp granulated sugar and 1 tsp gingerbread spice)
This month Jutta challenged us with combining gingerbread spice and onion into one dish.
I found myself more stumped than I thought I’d be. I considered going in a sweet direction by caramelizing the onions and putting them in a muffin. But I wasn’t sure how the texture would work out. I considered making a warm and hearty soup or stew. And then I decided on a savory bread pudding and mixing in the spice with the custard. But I was really hesitant – I’ve never had bread pudding before and for some reason I fear I won’t like the texture. Maybe I’ll get over this someday and give it a try. So, bread pudding without the eggy custard is essentially a dressing (or stuffing). That would be a perfect fit with Thanksgiving fast approaching.
I procrastinated on making my dish for weeks, blaming allergies that turned into a head cold that turned into a cough. (Which also explains the lack of posts lately) Turns out procrastination isn’t all bad. I was then handed a beautiful, perfect solution to November’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge.
Sunday morning after church I turned on Food Network and caught the end of Southern at Heart, Food Network’s newest star Damaris Phillips’ beautiful show. She was making an onion jam with ginger and coriander. Perfect! I substituted the spices for Gingerbread Spice and used red onion instead of Vidalia to add a beautiful holiday color. This jam is perfectly sweet and an excellent accompaniment to your holiday cheese platter. You could even add it to a grilled cheese sandwich or any sandwich for that matter!
Red Onion Jam
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 C brown sugar, divided
- 1/4 tsp gingerbread spice
- Saute onions in butter with salt and lemon zest until onions are translucent. Stir in gingerbread spice. Add 1/8 C brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook 10 minutes until liquid has evaporated. Stirring occasionally.
- Add a little less than 1/4 C water to onions and cook another 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Repeat step 2 three more times. (A total of 40 minutes)
- Stir in remaining 1/8 C brown sugar until melted.
To see the other blogs that participated in this month’s challenge click the link below: