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Tis the season for holiday dinner recipes! When I saw cranberries on sale at my local Shaw’s this week, I immediately knew I needed to make a batch of my favorite cranberry sauce/puree, flavored with spicy ginger, tangy citrus, and sweet honey. This mix can be used as a whole berry sauce at a holiday dinner (Replace the canned stuff!) or it can be pureed and used as a topper for chicken or pork, added to yogurt or smoothies, used as part of a seasonal salad dressing, or even mixed into a festive cocktail. And of course, it can be eaten on its own.

Ingredients

4 cups cranberries

juice of 4 clementines plus as much pulp as you can squeeze out

ginger – as much as you like!

honey, to taste

2 cups water

cranberries

clementines

ginger

honey

Start by rinsing the cranberries and picking out any under ripe or rotten ones. Sadly, these berries were on sale which, at my Shaw’s, means going bad. I picked out quite a few icky berries.

Once that’s done, add the cranberries, water, citrus juice, and pulp to a pot and start simmering on low. I added the clementines in just for a minute until warm, squeezed them again to get more juice, then tossed them.

cranberry orange sauce

Add in the ginger and honey and stir thoroughly. Let simmer until the berries have cooked down and are nice and soft. Taste frequently so that you can adjust flavorings. I added a splash of store-bought orange juice toward the end in this batch.

cranberries

I plan on making smoothies with much of my cranberry sauce, so I pureed it in order to get a nice consistency. I’m hoping to also use this to top a nice roast chicken before I leave for Christmas.

cranberries

The result is a bright, beautiful, and somewhat healthy puree, perfect for decorating a plate. Like my snowflake? Winking smile

cranberry sauce

Are you a cranberry sauce fan? Jellied or whole? Canned or homemade?

I actually like them all, depending on my mood! And it’s just so easy to make fresh cranberry sauce, another lesson learned from my nana!

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Tags: cranberries, ginger, holidays, orange, recipe

Happy National Rum Day! I love a holiday, and I love that national food and drink days give us something to celebrate every day. Life is too short to not celebrate, isn’t it?

We are celebrating National Rum Day with our friends at Brugal, who very kindly sent me samples of their Ron Blanco Especial and Ron Añejo to whip up some delicious cocktails.

Our first cocktail is called Boat Drink because that is where we enjoyed it over the weekend and the perfect place for a fruit rum cocktail to be served.

I started with about 1/3 of this bottle of Brugal Ron Blanco Especial.

Brugal rum

I poured it into my trusty plastic cocktail pitcher along with 17 ounces of Vita Coco coconut water with pineapple, half a can of Dole pineapple juice and a generous splash of Angostura bitters.

cocktail ingredients

Before heading down to the boat, I poured myself a sample cocktail in one of my nana’s dessert dishes. Don’t tell my nana I am using her dessert dishes for cocktails, but I love how Drink serves their cocktails in fun containers and thought these were perfect.

boat drink

boat drink

The second rum cocktail we made using this delicious rum was a kicked up Dark and Stormy.

Brugal Anejo

The cocktail contained the Ron Añejo, a shot and a half per glass.

I mixed that with a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger. You can never have too much ginger spice!

grated ginger

To each glass, I added half a bottle of Reed’s ginger beer. While I like this ginger beer, I wish it was spicier. I may try making my own sometime soon.

ginger beer

This kicked up Brual Dark and Stormy is topped off with a generous amount of lime juice, half of a very juicy lime in each glass, and lots of ice.

We have more rum left to mix up cocktails, AND Brugal sent us some cocktail recipes from Eastern Standard and The Wequasset Resort on Cape Cod. Long live National Rum Day and the summer!

What are your favorite rum cocktails?

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Tags: Brugal, cocktails, ginger, ginger beer, pineapple juice, rum

Chicken or shrimp in orange sauce are two of my favorite dishes to order on the rare occasions that we get Chinese takeout. While I love the flavors, I do not love the way eating “fried and doused in sodium food” makes me feel.

Last week while waiting to treat myself to a manicure, I was browsing through Self magazine and came across a recipe for scallops marinated in orange juice and maple syrup, and I decided to use this idea as a base for dinner last night.

I started with two cups of orange juice; I used Trop 50, which tastes more like real orange juice to me than regular juice. I rarely drink juice that isn’t mixed with water, but I like this all on its own because it is not too sweet.

orange juice grated ginger

I mixed the orange juice with two heaping tablespoons of grated ginger and several teaspoons of maple syrup before pouring it over peeled and deveined shrimp. I hate deveining shrimp. It is one of the grossest tasks ever. Also, I should mention that our dishwasher started to melt mid-wash, so we have an overflow of dishes that need to be washed by hand making the whole meal-prepping process not very fun. I use a ton of dishes it turns out!

orange shrimp

I marinated the shrimp for about an hour in the orange juice/maple syrup mixture and then got ready to get cookin’. I felt like something was missing. . . so I had to add some sriracha. Surprised?

This recipe also used something I don’t normally cook with, frozen vegetables. I tend to buy fresh, but with our crazy schedules, we end up throwing away a ton of food because I don’t get around to cooking it. Last week I made a grapefruit, beet, celery, ginger, carrot, apple, lettuce, lemon juice just to use up what was going bad. Frozen veggies are just as nutritious, more budget-friendly, and will last a long time. I definitely need to make it a priority to stock up on them.

broccoli

I mixed the broccoli with the shrimp and orange sauce and set it on low to simmer away. Then I got started on my starch, a blend of harvest grains from Trader Joe’s that included Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa.

This blend is inexpensive and so easy to make.

harvest grains blend

And it is so festive! I loved all of the colors and textures from the various grains and pastas. This blend is definitely something I will buy again.

couscous mix

Once the shrimp were cooked through and the sauce bubbling, I poured it down over the harvest grains, which soaked up a bunch of the sauce and made a nice little bed for the shrimp and vegetables.

shrimp and broccoli

I was really glad that I added the sriracha, as the sweet of the orange juice and maple syrup really made for a nice contrast. This was a quick dinner, and while it didn’t taste like Chinese takeout, it was a fun and flavorful weeknight option that made enough for a few lunches.

In other news, I am now working two days a week in an office on a variety of Marketing, PR, and Social Media projects, and I am back trying to figure out what to bring so I am not starving all day. My silly body seems to change its appetite mind all the time, and since it’s not really my office like a full time office would be, I kind of feel weird leaving anything there. I used to keep my office stocked with chia seeds, protein powder, milk, and all sorts of food. I guess I made myself comfortable! Smile

What are your work eating habits like? Do you keep a lot of snacks and things at work or with you at school?

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Tags: broccoli, ginger, harvest grains, healthy recipes, orange juice, recipe, shrimp

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