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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Update and Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

Well I am back!!! It has been almost 3 weeks since I wrote up a post. I've missed my blog! So much has happened these past few weeks. Don't worry, I've had my share of fun too! Overall, it was a great month. It was so nice to have a few days off last week to spend time with my family and friends. I ended the week in Stowe Vermont to celebrate my friend Sarah's birthday. It was beautiful up there!
 We even ended up going to the Ben and Jerry's factory which was so much fun!
While we were there, we got to sample Jimmy Fallon's icecream: Late Night Snack. It is a vanilla based icecream with a caramel swirl and get this...chocolate covered potato chips...WHAT?! I know that sounds crazy but it totally works. Its just like chocolate covered pretzels...the salty and sweet combo is amazing.
On Thanksgiving I tried this new dip. It is delicious and it is PERFECT for the holidays. The cream cheese balances perfectly with the sweet and tangy cranberries. Don't be afraid of the spice! Even though it has jalopenos in it, it is not spicy at all. As a heat lover I may even try to add another jalopeno in it to give it a kick.

I loved this dip so much that I'm planning on making it again for Christmas. You'll want to make this for your next holiday party. Everyone will LOVE it.

Source: www.instructables.com

Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 4-5 green onions, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • fresh lemon juice from one lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • crackers or tortilla chips for serving
Recipe:

  • Pulse the cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  • Add the green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, sugar, cumin, lemon juice and salt to the cranberries. Pulse until combined.
  • Transfer the cranberry mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours so flavors can blend together.
  • Serve the cranberry mixture on top of cream cheese with your favorite crackers.
(Note: You'll probably have more cranberry mixture left over. I made extra because its so good I can eat it on its own..almost like a cranberry salsa..yum)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Reduction

Between GFC and my email subscribers I've hit well over 100 followers. When I started this blog, I completely underestimated the sense of community that can exist in the cyber world. I've met so many nice people, and I'm looking forward to meet more of you. Thanks to all :) This has definitely been a crazy year and I'm so glad that I made the decision to start this blog and document it. All these recipes are connected to memories with family and friends which is nice to reflect back on from time to time. 

I made these skewers for a family party this weekend. The recipe was all over pinterest so I thought that I would try it out. It is pretty basic and can be made ahead of time which is helpful when things are busy. The balsamic reduction which I drizzled on top is a tad tricky, but I think I have the technique down. I didn't get a picture of the balsamic reduction but it has the same look and texture as maple syrup. I drizzled it over the entire platter right before I served it.
Ingredients:
  • Tooth picks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Mozzarella Balls (Try to get the tiny ones)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
Recipe:
  • Cut basil into small pieces
  • Place tomato, basil pieces, and mozzarella balls on a toothpick. I decided to put 2 tomatoes, 2 pieces of basil, and one mozzarella ball on a toothpick, but you can choose to put on whatever you like based on your taste. Repeat until you have the desired amount of skewers.
  • Place balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Take sauce pan off the heat (it will continue to thicken after you take it off the heat).
  • Wait for balsamic reduction to cool. 
  • Once you are ready to serve, drizzle the balsamic reduction over skewers. 
This website gives you a good visual of what the balsamic reduction should look like throughout the process: Cook Think

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