Monthly Archives: December 2016

Spiked Cranberry Sweet Tea Palmer’s

We’ve had some wacky winter weather so far here in Texas.   My boys are wanting their snow jackets, sleds and snowmen, but I have to say…I’m pretty content in my flip flops and tank tops.

Given that it’s MUCH warmer than usual, I am not craving a hot toddy but in fact something a bit more refreshing…and what’s more summer’y than sweet tea and lemonade!   This time I wanted to take the otherwise known “Arnold Palmer” up a notch by incorporating a VERY easy flavored simple syrup made with fresh Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries…Making it into the most perfect southern libation!

To pick up your very own bag of Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries, you can go online to http://www.CapeCodSelect.com to order online/find your location or head to my favorite local pick up at:

Central Market

4651 WestFree way 
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Follow my friends Cape Cod Select at:

https://www.facebook.com/capecodselect/          
https://twitter.com/CapeCodSelect

https://plus.google.com/b/112667579999356431188/+CapeCodSelectEdgewoodBogsCarver/about/p/pub

https://www.pinterest.com/capecodselect     

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp2g4eev6wgHxzYHUFhEMz
The Starting Lineup

  • Cranberry Simple Syrup *(recipe below)
  • Sweet Tea Vodka
  • Sweet Tea (store bought or homemade)
  • Lemonade (homemade ..or the real stuff please if store bought ūüėČ
  • Ice, cranberries and lemon wedges (garnish)

Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 granulated sugar

In a blender, pulse the cranberries till they’re nice and minced up.  Next add these along with the water and sugar to a small saucepan a bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Stirring often to combine.

Once the sugar has disolved, remove from heat and pour into a sieve or fine mesh cloth over a bowl to remove excess cranberry pieces (optional).  Often times I use as is because I like the texture from the cranberry bits.

Transfer to a sealed jar and refridgerate for up to a week.  

In your cocktail glass of choice, fill to the brim with ice and pour in 2-3oz of Sweet Tea flavored vodka.  Follow that with equal parts Sweat Tea and Lemonade leaving about 1/2 inch from the top.

Drizzle in a good ounce of your fresh cranberry simple syrup (give a quick stir) and top off with another floater of sweat tea vodka!  I like to garnish mine with a fresh lemon wedge and more cranberries…I also like to use a big ol’ glass for these too! ūüėČ

Orange-Pecan Shortbread Cookies with Cranberry Icing

Cookies are a staple of Christmas, at least in our home. ¬†However, we always seem to have the same ol same ol. ¬†Chocolate chip pecan, thumbprints, spritzers, sugar cookies with royal icing…while all are equally delicious, it can become a bit humdrum.

That being said, I had to step up to the plate with my duty of making the already famous cranberry the star of Christmas this year! ¬†Through great luck (and all of that ‚Äúhard work of being a food blogger‚ÄĚ ūüėČ I have been fortunate enough to be a recipient of a large package of perfect Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries on my doorstep! This box addressed to me, ‚ÄúRailroad Wife in Texas‚ÄĚ, on frozen ice and all, was just screaming to NOT be made into your average pie, relish or smoothie..but into a fantastic dessert! ¬†When one thinks of cranberries their mind often goes to that bowl at the end of the table that all too often gets neglected‚Ķnot here my friend! This is front and center and oh so delicious!

…and dang, did I knock it out of the park! ¬†Plus with the freshness of real orange juice, zest and cranberries I like to consider these guys healthy too! ¬†So have another… ūüėČ

To pick up your very own bag of Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries, you can go online to http://www.CapeCodSelect.com to order online/find your location or head to my favorite local pick up at:

Central Market

4651 WestFree way

Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Follow my friends Cape Cod Select at:

https://www.facebook.com/capecodselect/
https://twitter.com/CapeCodSelect

https://plus.google.com/b/112667579999356431188/+CapeCodSelectEdgewoodBogsCarver/about/p/pub

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp2g4eev6wgHxzYHUFhEMz                                                                                                    


The Starting Lineup

Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon¬†
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 6 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP orange zest
  • 2/3 cup orange juice, fresh
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup (sticks) butter, unsalted and cubed

Cranberry Icing

  • 1 cup Cape Cod Select Premium frozen cranberries
  • 5 TBSP water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar¬†

SHORTBREAD COOKIES:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees; Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cube your two sticks of butter and then place in the freezer (you really want cold butter).

In a large (i.e.¬†Kitchen Aid)¬†mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, sugar). ¬†Using your mixer with the paddle attachment, cut in the cold butter till it looks almost “crumbly”. ¬†Next add in the orange zest, orange juice and almond extract.

Switch to the kneading attachment and knead until combined and forms a ball.

*If too dry add 1Tbsp of water at a time till ball forms.  If too tacky/wet, add 1Tbsp of flour at a time till smooth.

Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. ¬†Roll the dough out to 1/4″ and use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out festive shapes. ¬†Alternatively, you can roll into a log-form and cut into disk shapes. ¬†Place cookies onto the parchment lined baking sheets.¬†

Place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.  The middle should be set and the bottoms slightly browned.  Cool for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling before applying the icing.

ICING:

In a saucepan, add in the 1 cup of cranberries, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 2 TBSP of water.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Pour this mix with the remaining 3 TBSP water into a blender and puree.

*Optional to strain into a medium size bowl using a sieve to catch any ‘bits & pieces’..I, however, like it with them in the icing, adds a bit of a rustic touch!

To your puree, whisk in the remaining powdered sugar.  As it sets, it will slightly thicken.  *You can whisk in a bit more powdered sugar if you prefer it even sweeter and thicker.  

Once the cookies have cooled, apply a small spoonful of the icing to the center of each cookie.  Using a small tipped pastry brush (or heck, even a new paint brush), fan out to the edge of your cookies.  You can add more (another layer) to thicken the icing if desired.

Serve with a tall glas of milk and enjoy this holiday season..

Blackberry Cobbler

In the world of easy (yet impressive) desserts, the cobbler may just take the…umm..cake??.  You know what I mean.  It’s so delicious, so easy and insanely comforting.  

On these chilly winter nights, it’s so simple to whisk together a few on hand ingredients, fresh OR even frozen fruit and pop into the oven.  Besides baking time, this MAY take you all of 10 minutes to prepare..c’mon, you know you can handle that!  Finally, if you’re like myself, you’ll pour yourself a big old glass of spiked sweet tea along with this cobbler ala-mode-style and sit on your porch taking in the southern cool night..

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 cups blackberries 
  • 2 cups sugar, divided 1:1
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Pinch of salt  

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place the stick of butter into a 9×13 rectangular baking dish.  While the oven is STILL preheating, transfer the dish to the oven, swirling it around once it starts to melt (watching so as not to burn).

In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and 1 cup of the sugar with the fruit. Toss to coat and set aside.  *If using frozen fruit, allow to defrost, drain and pat dry any excess water.

Next, remember to watch your baking dish and the melting butter, whisk together the flour, remaining cup of sugar, baking powder, vanilla/almond extract, milk and a pinch of salt in a separate large bowl. 

Remove the preheated buttered baking dish from the oven and pour in your batter.  Top, fairly evenly, with the sugared blackberries overtop of the batter.  *The batter will rise and bake around the fruit.

Place back in the oven and cook for 50-60 minutes until a beautiful, slightly crunchy golden brown color is achieved. I prefer to bake mine a little on the longer side as I love the crunchy bits on the edges.
Once time is up, remove from oven and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, enjoy!! 

Brown Sugar & Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Serrano Sauce

Through all trial and no error, I am fairly certain I have just created a new holiday tradition in my home..We will be eating my new recipe of “Brown Sugar & Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Serrano Sauce” for Christmas from here on out!   Slightly sweet, a slight bit o’ heat, slighty tangy and a touch of classic savory, this one hit all of the notes in just the right way.  Plus, given that pork tenderloin is an inexpensive cut and just a few other handy ingredients are needed, one can make this festive meal quickly while saving a bit more for extra stocking stuffers!

Through great luck (and all of that “hard work of being a food blogger” ;) I have been fortunate enough to be a recipient of a large package of perfect Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries on my doorstep!  This box addressed to me, “Railroad Wife in Texas”, on frozen ice and all, was just screaming to NOT be made into your average pie, relish or smoothie..but into a savory entree!  When one thinks of cranberries their mind often goes to that bowl at the end of the table that all too often gets neglected…not here my friend!  This is front and center and oh so delicious!

To pick up your very own bag of Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries, you can go online to http://www.CapeCodSelect.com to order online/find your location or head to my favorite local pick up at:

Central Market

4651 West Freeway

Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Follow my friends Cape Cod Select at:

https://www.facebook.com/capecodselect/          

https://twitter.com/CapeCodSelect

https://plus.google.com/b/112667579999356431188/+CapeCodSelectEdgewoodBogsCarver/about/p/pub

https://www.pinterest.com/capecodselect     

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp2g4eev6wgHxzYHUFhEMzg

                                                                                                                                             
*If you want an extra kick of spiciness, you can keep all of the seeds and pith in the serrano or hey, even add two of them to the sauce!!  I’m partial to the extra heat, but when my littles enjoy it I will keep it mellow.  The sacrifices I make as a momma….


The Starting Lineup

Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin (about always comes in two pieces)
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Sage
  • Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • Canola oil

Cranberry-Serrano Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries (divided)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 serrano, minced (I seeded only half)
  • 1 2″ piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 lime, zest
  • Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped  

Let us begin!  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees WITH a cast-iron pan INSIDE the oven.  (You can also use a glass or ceramic baking dish, i.e. Pyrex casserole dish.  You just want it hot!!) 

While the oven (and pan) is preheating, coat the pork with a mixture of the brown sugar, Dijon mustard, thyme, sage, salt & pepper.  (The coated pork can stay out and go straight into oven or place in a bag and marinate for 2+ hours).

When the oven is hot and ready, carefully (with an oven-mitt) remove the cast-iron pan/casserole dish and drizzle in the canola oil, followed immediately with the pork tenderloin(s).  It WILL sizzle, drizzle with a bit more oil and place back into the oven.

Roast for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and roast for another 10-15 minutes (internal temperature of 145 degrees).  Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, slice and serve with your favorite sides.

Meanwhile…..that most delicious Cranberry-Serrano Sauce!!…

 

In a large sausepan over medium-high heat, saute the diced red onion in 1 tablespoon canola oil until soft.  Next, stir in 1 peeled and grated 2-inch piece of ginger along with 1 diced serrano chile (seed if needed and/or add two depending on heat level) and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar; cook until the sugar dissolves.  Once thickened and “syrupy”, add in 1 cup of the cranberries and cook until the berries pop and the sauce thickens (10 minutes).  Finally pour in the remaining cranberries and cook for 1-2 minute.  Transfer the sausapan off of the heat, stir in the honey, the grated lime zest, salt and pepper. Let cool a bit, then stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.

Once your pork has rested, sliced and placed onto a serving platter, drizzle the Cranberry-Serrano Sauce overtop and accompany with delicious homemade mashed potatoes and a flavorful roasted vegetable.

Guinness Irish Beef Stew

After a long summer, which seemed to extend into our Fall..dang it was unusually warm..we finally have that chilly, rainy day.  I’m sure sooner than later I’ll be far over having to get bundled up, but as of now bring on the fireplace, snuggly blankets and movies!

After a long day of said movies on the couch, I apparently get pretty hungry (hard work right?) and crave a big ol bowl of comfort to keep the day going.  Well, this does the trick!

This rich and flavorful stew will thicken as you cook (hence the quick flour step you’ll see below), so please take that extra minute to sear the meat and saute the vegetables for that added creaminess and flavor!  You can of course cook this all in a Dutch oven on your stove top, it will be done a bit quicker if so, but I just love my slowcooker and the ease of walking away ALL day..errr…laying on the couch.

The Starting Lineup 

  • 2lbs stew meat
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Canola oil
  • 1 bottle Guinness beer
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup flat leaf parsely, chopped
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Garnish

  • Real deal mashed potatoes
  • Flat leaf parsely, chopped
  • Lots of Guiness!  


Begin by heating 2 Tbsps of canola oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pan, while spraying your slowcooker with non-stick spray.

The oil will take a few minutes to heat up, so meanwhile cut and chop up those veggies and herbs.  

Also, in a gallon size ziplock bag or large bowl, coat the beef stew meat with the flour and salt and pepper to taste.


Next, add the flour-coated meat to the hot pot and sear all sides.  You will need to do this in about 4 batches as you do not want to overcrowd the pot.  That will steam the meat instead of giving it that nice crusty sear.  *Please KEEP the remaining Tbsp or 2 of seasoned flour thats leftover from the meat/ziplock bag. Once each batch as finished searing, transfer to the slowcooker.  *You will likely need to add another Tbsp of canola oil in between batches.

Now that the meat is done and in the slowcooker, toss the cut carrots and onion into the still hot pan with again, another tbsp of oil if needed.  Saute the vegetables for 5 minutes and then add in the garlic for 1 minute.  NOW, after you’ve swirled that garlic around a bit, pour in the leftover seasoned flour from the ziplock bag that the meat was in.  Toss to coat and pour all of this mixture into the slowcooker with the seared meat.



Along with the vegetables and meat, pour in the Guinness beer, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, chopped parsely and bay leaf(s).  Stir and cover, set to low for 8 hours.  About 30-60 minutes prior to time, add in the frozen peas.  Recover and allow to cook.


Now that it’s close to dinner time, prepare your yummy mashed potatoes (I was gluttaonous and used a stick of butter, half-in-half and a head of roasted garlic..yummmmm!!).  

Serve a large ladle of the rich stew over your creamy mashed taters, top with a pinch more of fresh parsely, salt and pepper and a nice cold Guinness!  Enjoy!!

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