Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cranberry Wassail

It's only two days after Thanksgiving and I am on my third batch of this stuff.  That's how much the family likes it.  Just bottled a half gallon jar to send back with my daughter to college.  I accidentally left the sugar and honey out of my last batch and everyone liked the tartness, so I'll list them as option.  Also good mixed with a little brandy or Southern Comfort.  Strain the leftovers and store in the fridge, then microwave a cup when you want it.

  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 1/2 gallon cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 24 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional)
  • 1 orange, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger.

Combine juices and stir in sugar and honey, if desired. Put cloves, cinnamon sticks and orange in pot.  Bring just to boil, then cut back to simmer.  Add rest of spices, stir, and serve in your favorite holiday mug.  Also works well in the crock pot.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fancy Brussel Sprouts

I love Brussels sprouts, but most of my family doesn't so I usually make them for company.  I adapted this dish from a Guy Fieri Recipe for Christmas dinner last year.  His recipe calls for currents and raisins and pine nuts, but I am not crazy about pine nuts and tend not to like sweet raisins and currents mixed into vegetables, especially when the savory flavors of bacon and capers are supposed to be there.  So, I chose red peppers and added sesame seeds for a little extra texture.
  • 2 16 oz. bags fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 6 oz diced pancetta
  • 3 oz. jar capers, drained
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 red peppers, diced
  • salt to taste
  • sesame seeds
Wash Brussels sprouts and cut in half.  Saute pancetta and capers in skillet, remove and set aside.  Cook sprouts in pancetta fat until slightly brown, transfer to casserole.  Mix in oil, vinegar, peppers and season with salt, roast in 350 oven for 20-30 min. or until nicely browned and tender.  Mix in pancetta and capers, transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.