Cranberry Orange Scones

With the Christmas holiday just around the corner, I’ve been dreaming up different ways for my little family of three to celebrate.

One thing I’m looking forward to is a leisurely Christmas morning, complete with homemade breakfast. With nowhere to rush off to that day, we have the opportunity to spend time together in the kitchen, and I can’t think of a better way to start the day than by making breakfast with the people I love most.

Scones are a breakfast staple around here. Before Clara was born, I filled my freezer with both chocolate chip and bacon, pepper jack, and jalapeño scones. I wanted to have my sweet and savory bases covered, and those two recipes are still favorites around here. When I was thinking of what I wanted to make for Christmas morning, though, I knew something more seasonally appropriate was in order.

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A Christmas salad of winter greens & seasonal fruit

It’s funny how this salad came to be: a rough chop of leftover greens from the crisper drawer and a few odd bits of scrounged fruit. It wasn’t until I had everything assembled on my cutting board that I noticed the unmistakably festive red, white and green colors.

From there it was merely a matter of balancing the flavors – bitter versus sweet – and textures (the kale benefits from a five-minute marinade in the vinaigrette before the salad is tossed) before mounding it next to another holiday staple – tourtière.

One forkful into this plate and I realized it was the perfect match: rich, spiced pork pie with buttery pastry complemented by a slightly bitter, crunchy salad of winter greens.

Not only does this salad boast the colors of Christmas, but it offers a welcome burst of acidity at a time when foods tend to be so rich. I think you’re going to want to stock some kale and pomegranate in the refrigerator this week.

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Cranberry Pear Conserve with Ginger recipe and a canning swap

I can think of fewer places I would rather be on a chilly November afternoon than sipping tea and chatting with girls who have gathered together to swap jam, jellies and preserves.

That was how I spent part of my Sunday past, enjoying the warm hospitality of my good friend Melanie, while the boys stayed home to rake leaves. Clara came too, sitting primly on the sofa in her party dress and nibbling crackers so neatly that my heart swelled with emotion at the thought of all the tea parties we have ahead of us.

It was delightful to be a guest for once, and the practical aspect of the swap made it a not-to-be-missed event on my calendar. Read on for a few photos from the swap and a recipe for Cranberry Pear Conserve with Ginger, my contribution to the table.

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Slow-Cooker Cran-Apple Butter

Today I’m guest posting for Andrew as part of the October Unprocesed challenge. You can find me on Eating Rules with a sweet and simple recipe for Slow-Cooker Cran-Apple Butter.

From the post:

“Smooth, spiced apple butter has become an integral part of autumn around here, with alternating flavorings such as vanilla bean, cinnamon, and cardamom taking turns jazzing up the fruit spread.

This year I’ve been obsessed with mixed fruit butters and couldn’t get the thought of adding fresh cranberries to my apple butter out of my head. It turns out that the tangy, deep red preserve is one of the prettiest and most flavorful of them all.”

Read the rest and get the recipe over on Eating Rules. I’ll see you in the comments!

Note: I know I talked about delivering a recipe for chocolate beet cake today… it will come this week, I promise!

Happy Thanksgiving Monday to my Canadian readers!

Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs with Cranberries & Peppers (Slow-Cooker)

If I keep this one really short, you’ll forgive me, right? It’s been a long week, and I’m just ready to put my (puffy) feet up and sink a fork into a bowl of these comforting and totally satisfying sweet and sour turkey meatballs. I managed to freeze a meal’s worth of them for when the baby comes, which, apparently, could be any day now.

The days leading up to baby are both exciting and terrifying. Each evening as I go to bed the thought crosses my mind that this could be the last night of uninterrupted sleep for a while. So I pull the down comforter up to my chin, silence my iPhone, and close my eyes, searching for rest.

As circumstance would have it, the night is never without interruption though. I’m in my ninth month and there’s a string of delightful indicators to prove that, yes indeed, this is the most trying stretch.

At least there are turkey meatballs, studded with cranberries, flavored with orange zest, and served over a bed of rice. Meatballs which you should add to your menu soon. After all, everyone could use a bowl of comfort in February.

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