Looking for a quick and tasty holiday appetizer? Look no further. These simple sugared cranberry brie bites will give every foodie just the right fix.This recipe was originally posted at Annie’s-Eats, one of my favorite food blogs. The sugared cranberries are a Christmas staple around here; they have the most fantastic sugar tart POP!
First, you’re going to make a simple syrup to coat the cranberries and then let them dry on a drying rack like this, for about an hour.
Then you’ll coat them with more sugar. Yes, I’m saying sugar on the blog, oh dear. Justification: cranberries are soooo nutritious, but difficult to eat without a little bit of the white stuff.
A little bit of brie cheese on a wheat cracker and there you go!
Sugared Cranberry Brie Bites:
1. Procure wheat crackers. Round crackers give a nice aesthetic appeal.
2. Pick out a nice Brie (we’re pleased with PRÉSIDENT® BRIE ROUND)
3. Sugar your cranberries:
Simple Syrup: Over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white sugar. Sir until combined. Take off heat. Pour in a bag of cranberries, just to coat (not to cook.) Using a slotted spoon, lay cranberries on a drying rack for ONE HOUR, at least. The cranberries should slightly sticky dry, but not wet.
Next, pour some sugar into a bowl. Pour cranberries into bowl to coat. And that’s it. Really.
Now, let’s sing – FA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LAAAAAA…it’s sugared cranberry brie bite time!
Only recently have I discovered the heavenly combination of strawberries and rhubarb. Oh my! Now I’m making up for lost time, using this family favorite peach cobbler recipe.Rhubarb’s tart and texture married with the sweet juicy strawberry…you’ve got to try this!
Last summer my friend, Tamar, gave me a tiny, and very special rhubarb plant. I stuck it in the ground and watched it grow into an enormous plant. And even better – I keep cutting stalks and they keep growing back! (Just for fun, have your kids take a bite out of the stalk…hehehe…but not the leaves!)Not to worry if you missed June’s strawberry season; this cobbluh’ was made with frozen picks from last month. It’s just as good as freshly picked! With only six simple ingredients, you can whip this up in a snap. Bake for about an hour Mmmm… Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream. Or eat it right out of the baking dish. YUM.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
1/2 Cup (1 stick) of Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Self-Rising Flour
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Raw Rhubarb (chopped)
1 Cup Strawberries
Melt butter in microwave.
In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, and milk together. Whisk in cooled butter. Pour batter in greased pie dish. Drop cut rhubarb and strawberries into batter.
Hello friends! After an unexpected (and very fun) trip to San Diego (much to tell!) I’m back in blogging action with a seasonal, easy, and delicious smoothie for you. It might give you so much energy you’ll want to go climb a mountain. Or at least be able to think about what to make for dinner.Here she is, the Blueberry Peach Smoothie. What a natural beauty.
After seven years of barren bushes our blueberries are finally bursting. Remember: good things come to those who wait. I time our vacations around blueberry season. I’m only kindof kidding.
We’ve eaten so many blueberries, our whole family is practically one fat blueberry. So that’s how we’ll start our smoothie – put ’em in the blender – especially the droopy and less desirable ones.
Now let us turn our attention to the peach, also in season at the moment. Is this a dreamy life we live or what? It makes me almost forget New Hampshire winters. One year I canned them and we enjoyed peaches in the middle of February, making New Hampshire life bearable. Alas, I have not been so ambitious since.
Cut peaches up, using white or golden varieties. I’m particularly obsessed with the white peach at the moment. Peaches are perfect in the smoothie because I cannot eat them with the skin on – to me, taking a bite of fuzz is akin to nails sliding down a chalkboard. You with me? But now, we need some protein and fat that won’t upset the peach and blueberry taste. I went for avocado. Don’t freak out, just do as I say. Avocados hardly have any taste in a smoothie except to make it creamy and delicious. How to get the avocado into the blender? Just squeeze it out – it’s so easy! You can add the pitt if you’re feeling super nutritious and your blender can handle it (but I’ve never added the avocado skins.)
We just need one more eensy-weensy vegetable. We have a lot of carrots at the moment. How about this one??? We grew funky carrots, but any old ones will do. We wash, but don’t peel. Throw carrots into blender and you’ve got yourself a smoothie!
Are you in an afternoon snack funk? For that magical combination of fast, quick, tasty AND healthy?
Check. Baked apples to the rescue!
True, you need an oven, but baked apples are so different than the usual fare, that I was just tickled apple pink at such a quick, healthy, and tasty morsel. Man, I love this season. The apples are in full bloom (are we really into fall?) so it’s time to pick yourself some yum-yum.
Turn the oven on to 400. Take a knife and cut a circle out of the top
Just like that! Now, darlings, use a melon baller and scoop out the middle, past the seeds It’s surprisingly easy.
Isn’t that pretty?The gorgeous apple! And I love stars. Star was my alias in college. Really 🙂
Eat the tops or feed them to the chicken. Or doggie. There. All scooped out and ready to fill. I suggest putting down foil to prevent dishwashing. Put a little brown sugar in the center and on the sides. Just a tad. Totally optional. Add a little cinnamon Perfect, no?
Now, put in preheated oven for about 15 min. An apple full of love. Isn’t that a perfect heart?
If you accidentally overbake them, no worries, just eat that warm, mushy apple pie right up.
Can you only have these for after school? Heck no! They’re pretty terrific for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even Valentine’s.
Baked Apple Bites:
Preheat oven to 400.
Wash apples, cut off top
Spoon out seeds (scraping sides a little bit), making a little well
Put a teensy bit of brown sugar and cinnamon inside
Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or so, depending on how crunchy or soft you like to eat baked apples.
Since tomatoes only comes once a year, it’s worth the time in the kitchen. Score the Tomatoes (I started with about 30 perfectly imperfect ones). Pop them into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute-ish. Look at those beautiful colors.Spoon them out Plop them right into a pot of ice cold water for 1 minute-ish The skin will peel right off! Put in separate bowl. Feed to chickens later?Give the Tomato to your child. Have them squeeze out the juice and seeds. Oh, they’ll like this part! You now have three bowls: skin, tomatoes, juice and seeds. Now, add Olive Oil to a pan and saute Carrots, Onion, and Garlic. Add Salt and Pepper. The kitchen will smell divine by now. Our children are more likely to eat sauce that isn’t chunky so we put our sauteed deliciousness and Tomatoes into the Vitamix for 20 seconds. Done.Simmer that sauce for a few hours until it’s no longer watery. Add Basil and Oregano and 1 Tablespoon Sugar.
So. So. Good.
Use for pasta, lasagna, or store in the freezer for those cold winter nights.
#4: Freshly Squeezed Tomato JuiceAll the juice and seeds couldn’t go to waste! We added some Salt, Pepper, and Celery and gave it a whirl in the Vitamix. Done.And have been guzzling for days.
The other day, on our 17th(!) wedding anniversary, the man and I picked from a tree dripping with peaches. In two minutes we had two full bags, with dreams of smoothies, cobbluhs’ and pies dancing in our head. One very ambitious bike ride later (he hurts me) we did make peach smoothies. And then came my attempt at the cobbler.
Tastes like a luscious peach pie, only it’s so quick and easy, with no dough to roll out. This cobbluh’ is a little different because batter is poured rather than thickly dolloped on top. It’s sooo divine and just the thing to make my husband say yes to one more year with me 🙂
The first thing I would do is blanche the peaches. Drop them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, then drop in ice water. The skins should fall right off. If they don’t, drop in boiling water for another minute, then back into the ice.
While peaches are cooling, melt 1 stick butter in the microwave (about 45 seconds and yes, take off that wrapper 🙂 I used Kate’s Homemade Butter so I feel better about such things. While butter is melting, mix the dry ingredients.
This is the flour you are going to use – Self-Rising!
In a separate bowl, add 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, 1 Cup Self-Rising Flour, and 1 Cup Milk.
Once the dry ingredients are mixed, go get your buttuh’
Whisk in melted Butter.
Spray pie dish with coconut oil (or any spray or butter) and pour batter in.
Add Peaches*. Yum!
I could have added more peaches but I didn’t want it to spill over.
Bake about 1 hour or until top is a golden brown. We like a little bit of crunch on top of the golden peach goo so we kept the cobbluh’ bakin’ until the edges were a little crispy.
It’s so good it’s not even fair.
Anniversary Peach Cobbluh’
1/2 Cup (1 stick) of Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Self-Rising Flour (very important)
1 Cup Milk
3-5 Cut Peaches*
Directions: Melt butter in microwave. While butter is melting, mix dry ingredients In a separate bowl: brown sugar, flour, and milk together. Whisk in cooled butter. Pour batter in greased pie dish. Drop cut peaches* into batter. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
*I blanched the peaches first which just means dropping them in boiler water for a few minutes and then in a bowl of ice water. The skins come right off. You can see pictures of such a thing HERE.
Lest you think Maisymak has become a food blog…it hasn’t, I’m just cooking a lot these days and can’t seem to catch up to the rest of life documentation. With school starting, I hope to be a better and more consistent writer. For now, off to eat some anniversary cobbluh’. For breakfast.
Today I’d like to introduce you to a magical summer salad ingredient you never knew you were missing.
But must obtain now.
Thank you to dear Tamar for introducing me to the delectable, edible squash/zucchini blossom.
If you are growing zucchini or any type of squash, you already have these edible flowers right in your background. But perhaps you’ve never tasted them?
You can pick the squash or zucchini blossoms and it will not affect the plants. The blossoms are beautiful, local, seasonal, healthy and incredibly unique. They will also prompt many oohs and ahhhs from your guests 🙂
Salad #1: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Squash or Zucchini BlossomsFirst, go find that blossom! (Come on over if you’re local!) Pick in the morning when the blossoms are open. They will all have bees doing their business. Gently pluck the the blossom off their stem and shake the bees out. Easy peasy. Now run!
Add flowers to the bounty – including that kale you see poking out. You’re going to want both for the amazing kale, quinoa, and squash blossom salad.
Don’t have any blossoms? Pillage the neighbor’s garden, visit a farmer’s market, or, pin this page and grow some next spring 🙂 Gently rinse the blossoms and pat dry. Cut them in nice stripsThey’ll look like this. Aren’t they so beautiful? A rare August treasure.Kale and Quinoa Salad with Squash or Zuchinni Blossoms:
1 Bunch Kale (Tuscan best)
2 Cups prepared Quinoa
2 Cups cut vegetables: Tomato, Zucchini and Cucumber
Saute cut kale in olive oil, salt, and 1 clove garlic
Put Kale, Quinoa and Vegetables in bowl. Use a light vinaigrette or make your own!
2-3 Tbsp Orange Juice
1/2 Lime, squeezed
2 tsp Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1-2 Cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper
Garnish with the squash/zucchini blossoms
Salad #2: Kale Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Grilled Peaches and Plums.
Oh my goodness this is good. Wash and cut peaches and plums. How many is up to you – 3 or 4 each? Someday we will have peach and plum trees around here… Put them on the grill. No seasoning required. Mmmm. Just for a few minutes until they become soft – but not mushy! Something like this with those nice grill lines.
Throw some onions and cut beets on the grill if you like. That’s about it my friends. Add the cheese, walnuts, kale, and mixed greens and you’re in business. optional: grilled onions and beets Last night’s dinner.Kale Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Grilled Peaches and Plums
1 Bunch Kale and Mixed Greens
1/2 Cup Gorgonzola Cheese
Grilled Peaches and Plums
Squash/Zucchini Blossoms, cut
Optional: Grilled onions and beets (we used both!)
Use a light balsamic vinaigrette or make your own!
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Salt to Taste
Wash 1 Bunch Kale and Mixed Greens. Put in bowl. Grill 2-4 cut Peaches and Plums (each) until soft but not mushy. Let cool. Grill onions and sliced beets (optional). Saute 1/2 Cup Walnuts on stove top. Put on salad. Slice Peaches and Plums. Put on Salad. Add Gorgonzola Cheese and sliced Squash/Zucchini Blossoms. Put on Salad and add Vinaigrette.
Keep reading. Beets are known to be perfect for wooing.
I love when a friend brings a healthy, fresh dish that’s so good you follow them around begging for the recipe. Thank you, Molly, for this gem of a salad!
Molly wrote down the recipe right in my kitchen; it’s that simple and she’s that nice. I three-hole punched it and slid it into the cookbook binder as I knew it would be a salad staple.
The fresh beets, goat cheese, and candied maple syrup walnuts have been a huge hit with guests and family all summer. We even served it at a wedding party dinner.
You’re sold, right?
If not, I understand. Beets used to be the very last vegetable on my childhood wish list. I thought they grew in a can. Blech! But times have changed, my friends. Beets were the underdog and they’ve made a comeback.
A few months ago I began eating beets only because they were healthy. I drank them raw, in smoothies, with the edible greens; beets make every smoothie pretty.
Over the last few months I’ve eaten beets boiled, roasted, chilled, and grilled. And now sing beet praises. With enough exposure (and improved cooking methods!) the palate changed and adapted – so can yours!
Full of antioxidants (cancer fighters), vitamins, and minerals, beets also help detox the liver. They are huge for endurance because of the sugar/carbohydrate content (making them excellent sources of energy), but because of its high fiber, the carbohydrates are released slowly into the blood sugar. Versus chocolate.
Need one more benefit? Yes, beets are also known to be aphrodisiacs. Who knew?
So. Let’s dig in. Literally, or find those beets at the grocery store or farmer’s market.
Wash fresh beets well and cut off greens (edible!). Under no circumstances are you to use canned beets. Promise me.
You can boil the beets in a small amount of water (save the leftover liquid for smoothies!) or even microwave them, but my favorite way is roasting. Cut beets in half, skin on, and roast with a tad bit of olive oil. About 40 minutes. When soft, let cool, and rub off skin.Snip mixed greens from garden. If your grocery store isn’t on strike, you can buy lettuce there. Wash, dry, and put in salad bowl. Next, over medium heat, put 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts into a frying pan.Pour 1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup into pan. Stir. In mere minutes, walnuts will caramelize and become like coated candy. Divine. Watch carefully, stir often. Scrape immediately onto greens. If you leave them in the pan for later it will be a hardened disaster.
Just like this. Beautiful, no? Tasty, yes?
Add beets and small spoonfuls of fresh goat cheese. No, I have no goats to milk or cheese.
That’s it. So simple. But we do need a dressing:Combine 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar, alt and Pepper. Stir & pour just before serving. It’s a monster hit.
Fresh Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Maple Syrup Walnuts:
2-3 Fresh Beets
8 ounces Fresh Goat Cheese
1 Cup Walnuts, chopped
¼ Cup Maple Syrup
¼ Cup Olive Oil
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Wash beets, cut off stems, cut in half. Roast in oven for 40 minutes or until just soft. Let cool.
2. Over medium heat, add 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup pure maple syrup. Stir constantly until walnuts caramelize. Put on greens.
3. Rub skin off beets, cut into small pieces, and put on mixed greens.
4. Add goat cheese
5. Add dressing.
Enjoy! And swoon.
Last night as I was laying down with the girls at bedtime, Brynne whispered…”I just want to go to sleep…and eat some beets.”
I always thought my grocery store relationship was unique. Special. It’s like my boyfriend. I mean, I really really love my Market Basket (I’m particular about location.) I know the aisles like I know my house. I can cheerfully direct traffic to the correct aisle. I watch the sales. I brag about the produce seconds. I’m awed by the quality cilantro, delighted that every single variety of apple is always 99 cents/pound. Not to mention the 4% always taken off the bill. Just because. MB loves me like that.
I’ve long raved about my great Market Basket love. And if you haven’t heard or don’t follow east coast grocery store drama, Market Basket is in trouble with a capital T. You can meet the players HERE. A few weeks ago, a family feud forced out a beloved CEO, Arthur T. Workers demanded reinstatement. Employees refused to work. Trucks stopped delivering food. Now, instead of stocking shelves, employees stand outside with signs – HONK FOR SUPPORT.
I always honk. I admire the pluck. And I admire a CEO who can garner such support from his troops. Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels love and loyalty.
But I’m struggling. How long do I hold out? We’re on the last loaf of our Market Basket 12-grain bread (2 for $4!) And even if bread is stocked, am I supporting “corporate greed” by shopping there? I just want a loaf of bread. I’m holding out, mostly because I’m too ashamed to walk through the throng of protestors without covering my head with a blanket or wearing a Sydney Bristow wig. Which actually might be awesome.
The last time I shopped at Market Basket was like a Tom Cruise Armageddon movie. Shelves looked ransacked. Except for a few measly and less-than-appealing apples, the produce was gone! The few cashiers left, asked me to sign a petition to bring back Arthur T. I signed…and prayed for deliverance! Whatever it takes – bring me back my Market Basket.
It’s been eye-opening. If there were no grocery stores, we might starve. We have food storage, but our meals are completely dependent on what other people supply. And you know, a food crisis can happen within days – shelves can be emptied in mere hours. We could be subsisting on dandelions.
I dragged my feet this past spring when it came to planting a garden. But now? I’m very thankful for the bounty.Freshly picked strawberries and rhubarb from a neighbor’s garden. Here’s my first attempt. It wasn’t pretty. The crust? Sure, I could grind my own flour. I have a vitamix and a wheat grinder, but I’m mostly dependent on flour from the grocery store.
The peas were the first to pop.
And a beautiful thing it was.
I was scared to plant cabbage. But it grew!
And was turned into our first homemade slaw. It was delicious!
And used in a variety of ways.
Beets! Glorious beets.
Here’s one of my workers…I wonder if they would protest if I was fired?
Another worker weeds. The teenagers finally got out of bed after multiple threats from their beloved CEO 🙂 and weeded the blueberry bushes.
Tomatoes are the slowest, but they are slowly making their way up toward the sun.
Blueberries popped this week. If we can keep the birds away we’ll actually have a bumper crop.Nectaries were procured from grocery store. They were pricey even though they are in season. White nectarines? Oh my goodness delicious. This is what I’m overdosing on every day: Full fat Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries and nectarines. Satiating and so tasty.
The most delightful surprise this season was the potato!
Beautiful, purple, fingerling potatoes. We’ve eaten so many potatoes the kids say NO MORE POTATOES PLEASE! Potatoes grow right in the dirt. You just have to dig for them. And plant them, of course. The bounty.The purple taters were made into a colorful and tasty potato salad accompanied by our chicken eggs (have you ever noticed how YELLOW farm fresh yolks are?)
Spinach and our first carrot. We were so proud I almost sent out a birth announcement. Morning smoothies have been…adventurous.
Colorful carrots are tasty any way you slice ’em. And come out of the ground with such character!Gardening and photography are not naturally compatible – it’s messy! But I could not resist.I thought this was a melon. Sadly, it’s actually some sort of squash or zucchini I don’t recall planting. I’m delegating it to the husband.
My mouth is salivating for these babies to turn red. Tomatoes are the real reason I garden. I’m such a tomato snob that they’re hardly worth eating unless they come from the garden.
This represents work.And reminds me that everything starts messy. In this case? Worth the mess.It’s worth it even when you can’t account for all the bugs, birds, and roaming deer who are going to eat your hard work.
Grocery stores are a great luxury I used to take for granted. For our family, gardening is a personal hobby, not a necessity. But will it always be like this? If my garden didn’t grow, I’d be incredibly frustrated, but I’d hop skip and jump to the grocery store.
I’ve always been able to depend on the store for food – until I couldn’t.
Though the Market Basket strike is annoying, I’m grateful for the pause. Our food supply is the best in the world. Who else but Americans can always find blackberries, raspberries, and exotic peppers at any time of the year? Real people are growing food for us. But if they disappear, there is no food. And then what? I have a feeling we’d all care a lot less about our Twitter following and a lot more about the wheat harvest.
This summer, when the food disappeared from my grocery store, I could drive to Hannaford or Walmart or Shaws. But with no Market Basket, even they were having a hard time keeping shelves stocked. I felt the panic.
I turned to the garden. We ate local. Real local. Like right from the back yard.
Food is a precious commodity that can be yanked at any moment – leaving us in a precarious situation if we’re not prepared.
I don’t have a garden all year round and I’ll still continue to buy honey rather than keep my own beehive. But if I had to, could I? Could you?
It’s…strawberry season! Which prompts large vats of strawberry smoothie creations. This very night we are having a smoothie party because we are fun like that.
Here’s a latest and greatest: The Strawberry-Mango Lava Flow, inspired by Blogging Over Thyme (cute name, cute culinary chef).
It’s sweet, it’s light, it’s ever so delicious! Lucky us, June is here and soon we’l be able to pick our own strawberries.
All winter I’ve been using store-bought or frozen. It works, but the taste of fresh-picked is hands-down superior.
Mangos are in season somewhere close…the prices have come way down! The layer look is fun, so you’re going to start by pureeing 6 or so strawberries and pouring into the bottom of two glasses. On a side note, foodie bloggers always have cute straws. I think I need cute straws.
Then you’ll make a smoothie out of the rest of ingredients.
If you wait too long by taking too many pictures, the colors start to swirl and whirl.Without further delay:
Strawberry-Mango Lava Flow
6+ Strawberries (puree and pour into glasses)
1/2 Cup Light Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Full-fat Plain Greek Yogurt (my preference is full-fat)
1 Frozen Banana
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Coconut Oil
Pour on top of strawberry puree for two very distinct colors that taste marvelous together. Top with fresh strawberries.
Why do I use full-fat greek yogurt? I stopped buying skim milk and no-fat yogurt awhile ago after reading and listening to Dr. Cate Shanahan. We need fat and if we don’t get it from good sources (dairy, fish, nuts, coconut oil), we’re going to crave it from another source – and in America, we’re eating a lot of bad fats (hot wings! twinkies! crackers! all of which I love :()
I’ve noticed an immediate difference. Now, when I eat full-fat or 2% greek yogurt and fruit for lunch, I’m actually FULL. My body gets great fat, high protein, and fantastic carbs – a full meal that keeps me full until a mid-afternoon snack with the kids.
Why do I call these smoothies, “Beauty Smoothies”? Because of the amazing benefits to the body. Coconut oil and unsweetened coconut milk are both used in this recipe and have fat. Gasp! Yes, FAT! Fat is our friend. The right fats (like coconut oil) are wonderful for the skin, hair, and nails.
Every morning I have a smoothie and a peanut butter sandwich. I feel full and have energy. Oh, the magical of it all!
Strawberries and mangoes are so delicious and have huge amounts of vitamin A and C (more beauty benefits!)
Because the fruit is whole and not juiced, you’re going to get a lot of fiber. So even though this smoothie does not have any vegetables like my smoothies usually do, the fiber and fat will not be burned so quickly and you won’t have a huge spike in blood sugar as you would if you were drinking only the juice from these fruits or a commercially-made smoothie.
You must try…enjoy the Strawberry-Mango Lava Flow!
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