Tag Archives: cinnamon

Easy Cranberry Sauce

I was never one to eat the canned, gelatinous cranberry sauce. Thought it was nasty. Still do actually. Especially with all that sugar in it!! So I searched my recipes and came up with a combination of a few. It’s very simple, really. I had bought a few bags of fresh cranberries before Thanksgiving because they were on sale and couldn’t pass up the BOGO special. I have another bag left and I think I’ll make another batch to freeze. 

Last night I made my Thanksgiving Bundles and we had no sauce so I made this recipe. So easy and so tasty! Oh and revisit my  Thanksgiving Bundles post as I updated the photos. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag fresh cranberries

1 cup water

1 cup Splenda (or other sucralose sweetener)

1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

1 small apple (any kind) peeled and finely chopped

1 cinnamon stick

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the water and Splenda to a medium pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the cranberries and orange zest. Stir and bring to a boil again.
  3. Lower heat to simmer and add the apple and cinnamon stick.
  4. Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  5. I used a potato masher and just broke up some of the cranberries and apple pieces but you don’t have to do this.
  6. Remove from heat and cool. Chill a few hours before using, unless you like it warm!

That’s it! Simple. Just be careful when the cranberries start to pop. The splatter can be hot!

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Spiced Carrot Strips

As promised here is the recipe I make with the Honey-Glazed Chicken. Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables and this is another very easy recipe to make. It only takes about 8-10 minutes to cook so it’s fast as well. Great way to get kids to eat veggies too. I remember as a kid having plain frozen sliced carrots. Maybe with a little butter. Boring!!! This recipe is much more exciting. Well as exciting as carrots can get anyway! No strange ingredients either. Give it a try, even if you don’t like carrots. You may change your mind!

INGREDIENTS:

5 large carrots, julienned or cut into thin sticks

2 tablespoons butter/butter substitute, melted

1 tablespoon sugar/sugar substitute

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place carrots in a saucepan and cover with water.

2. Cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain.

3. Combine the butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon and pour over the carrots. Toss to coat.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4-6 servings

Homemade Granola

Some time ago, actually almost a year ago, I found this recipe in a little magazine that was stuck into my Sunday paper called Relish Magazine. Now I look forward to it every month. It’s loaded with recipes, tips, articles and so much great information. I usually end up saving the whole magazine rather than cutting out all the recipes. Well this recipe is for granola. I really like granola as a snack but most of the store-bought stuff is so loaded with fat and calories that the so-called “healthy” aspect of it is pretty much irrelevant. But when I saw this recipe I was pleasantly surprised. For every 2/3 cup serving there is 230 calories and only 4.5 grams of fat! Not really that bad! Plus it has 4 grams of fiber per serving also which helps. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still a little on the high side for calories but compared to some of the regular store-bought granola out there it is still lower. Either way I like that I know exactly what is in this. The original recipe calls for honey but we like to use agave nectar. Calorie-wise it’s about the same but better for the glycemic level. So check out this recipe and go make up a batch!

Photo is for illustrative purposes only.

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

4½ cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked

1/3 cup sliced almonds

½ cup shredded sweetened coconut

2 teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup agave nectar (light or amber)- use honey if you want, same amount

¼ cup apple juice

½ cup raisins

½ cup dried cranberries (yummm) 🙂

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Combine oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the agave nectar or honey and apple juice. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat thoroughly.

3. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring twice during baking. Let cool; add raisins and cranberries.

Makes 12 servings

Mulled Wine (or Moldy Wine as my husband calls it)

For years I thought my crockpot was used for heating up wine. No joke. When I got my first crockpot back in 1991 I had used it for years, to heat wine! It was perfect for that! Mulled wine that is! Ever since I tried mulled wine at Pindar Vineyards during their December weekends serving Mulled Wine & Cookies, I was hooked! I figured, how hard could it be to do it at home! It wasn’t hard at all. This recipe is simple. You can even cheat and buy mulling spices in the store already prepared, but I like to know what is in my spice mix. So I make it myself. And the crockpot is perfect for warming it up and keeping it warm without boiling it! You do NOT want boiled wine. Yuck! And what is better on a cold fall or winter day than a nice warm cup of spicy delicious wine, with cookies! Pindar Vineyards is in my opinion the best vineyard/winery in the U.S. Maybe I am biased because my BFF and college roomie Rose works there and we’ve gotten to know the winery and all of their wines quite well over the years. Or maybe they just have fantastic wines! Yes, they are on Long Island in New York. Long Island is loaded with wonderful wineries and everyone should go visit, even in the off-season. But stop in Pindar, in Peconic, out on the north fork of LI and say hello to Rose and the crew there! (Hi Rose! Hi Terry!) We always make a stop in when we go back for a visit. Always!

Ok, now on with the recipe. Simple remember. Don’t over think it, just make it. The weather is perfect for a glass right now!

A great red wine from Pindar!

Even Sluggo loves Pindar & Rose!

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 bottle red wine (any kind you wish but a dry one is best)

2 cinnamon sticks

2 whole cloves

1 whole nutmeg

4 (2-3″) strips orange peel

4 (2-3″) strips lemon peel

3 tablespoons sugar

DIRECTIONS:

In a crockpot or saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer, about 10-15 minutes. Serve warm in mugs or heat-resistant glassware. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or slice of orange!

Pumpkin Pie Spice

As promised here is my recipe for making your own pumpkin pie spice at home. It’s so much cheaper than buying the pre-made stuff in the stores too and at least you will know what is in it! I’ve been making quite a bit of my own seasoning mixes these days. Anyway I can save a little money is a good thing! This recipe will make almost ½ a cup. There are many versions of this recipe around but I found this combination to work well. Some call for ground mace also. Which is actually part of the nutmeg seed before you get to the nutmeg. Some call for sugar. If there is a spice you want to add to it go ahead, experiment!

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup cinnamon

cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground ginger

ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cloves

ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients and store in a tightly closed container. Keep in a dark, cool place with the rest of your spices!

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Well according to the calendar Fall is officially here. I’m sure it’s cooler in some part of the country! It’s actually cooler here in Florida too! Ok it’s 83 degrees (it’s after 5pm here), but it was close to 90 not too long ago! It’s cooler! Really! Anyway…Before I get into the recipe, I am wondering if this bothers anyone else besides me. There are some stores who have Christmas decorations out already! No joke! Last Saturday we were in BJ’s Wholesale Club and there they were! Christmas decorations, trees, lights, etc! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas! It’s my favorite holiday but NOT IN SEPTEMBER!!! I can deal with the Halloween decorations in August just before school starts but this is so wrong! Maybe it’s just me. For me, the Christmas season starts with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and not until I see Santa on his sleigh! Then I can begin the madness  celebration! Ok, now that I’ve vented here’s the recipe for today.

Pumpkin Pie Martini! There are quite a few recipes and variations on this but I found this one to be very tasty. A few years ago our local paper had a recipe for a pumpkin pie martini and it called for Pumpkin Schnapps. Let me just say this, it was nowhere to be found. And pretty much every local liquor store had people coming in asking for it since they’d seen the recipe! I ended up ordering online from DaVinci Syrups. They have every flavor you can think of in a syrup. So I ordered a bottle and we used that. But since then we’ve found Pumpkin Liqueur. (My husband also has another recipe he uses but I can’t find it right now. )

This recipe today is actually from the Skyline Bar & Grill, atop the Hilton Americas-Houston in Houston, TX. It was in their online edition several years ago.

INGREDIENTS:

1 ounce vanilla vodka

2 ounces pumpkin schnapps/liqueur

1 ounce Frangelico

1 ounce Bailey’s

2 ounces cream

Nutmeg, cinnamon or all-spice for garnish

cinnamon stick for garnish (optional)

crushed graham crackers for rims (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a shaker with ice add all ingredients. Shake well and pour into chilled martini glasses. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon or all-spice.

Makes 2 martinis

**If you use pumpkin flavored syrup instead of the liqueur add a little more of the other ingredients and add 1 ounce of the flavored syrup. Adjust as needed!

***Found my husband’s recipe: Basically the same just leave out the Bailey’s and Frangelico. Less calories this way too! Your decision!

Strufoli (Honey Balls)

This is a recipe that my grandmother (Nana) used to make for us years ago, usually around Easter. Though they are good at any time of the year for any occasion. The first time I made these it took me forever to roll each little ball. Then I talked to my Italian Aunt Rosie about making them and she laughed when I told her I rolled each little ball individually. She said that took way too long! She told me to roll the dough into long strips like giant pretzel rods and just cut them! Simple! These little honey balls are really good and bring back so many childhood memories. They stay fresh for a very long time and you can even freeze them for another time! (Without the honey of course!) They really are simple to make and always a hit.

Strufoli (Honey Balls)

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

2½ cups flour

½ cup honey

vegetable oil

colored nonpareil (confetti)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar,  and butter. Add flour, 1 cup at a time. The last ½ cup of flour can be added if necessary to make a smooth dough. Let dough stay in bowl, covered with a dish, for ½ hour.

2. Roll out portions of dough. Cut dough into strips, rounded like pretzels, then cut into ½-inch pieces.

3. Heat about 2½ inches of oil in the bottom of a pan or deep fryer. Fry the pieces of dough, a handful at a time. If you can do this in a frying basket, it will be easier to take them out. Place pieces on paper towels to drain.

4. Heat honey until just under the boiling point. Place strufoli in a bowl and drizzle honey over them, gently tossing. Arrange on a large platter and sprinkle with the nonpareil (confetti). You can shape into a mound on a large flat dish or into a wreath.


Makes about 150 little strufoli

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