Posts Tagged cranberry

Cranberry Rum Punch

Lordy, I don’t know how all you mom bloggers do it. I barely have time to shower each day, let alone cook a meal. And finding time to photograph and write about said meal? Forget about it. 

All of that to say, I’ve been having trouble finding the time to devote to the blog. And I’m strangely ok with that. It’s good to step back for a bit and take time to be with my family. I’m getting to know this tiny daughter of mine and I’m figuring out how to be a mother. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s pretty damn wonderful.

The other day, however, my husband held the baby while I concocted a recipe for this celebratory cranberry rum punch. I snapped a couple of quick photos, scribbled down a recipe, and happily drank a glass of said punch while the baby slept peacefully in his arms. It was wonderful.

So, here’s to 2014 – it’s been one for the books. I can’t wait to see what 2015 holds. Cheers, and happy New Year to you and yours!

cranberry rum punch |


For the cranberry syrup: 

1 cup fresh cranberries

2 large strips of orange zest

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses


For the punch: 

1 cup golden rum (I use Fleur de Cana)

1 cup ginger beer**

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Cranberry syrup, to taste (up to 1/2 a cup)

A few dashes of orange bitters

Orange zest and cranberries, for garnish

**You can substitute soda water for ginger beer. The cocktail will be less sweet, but won’t have that spicy ginger kick.



To make the cranberry syrup, place the cranberries, water, molasses, orange zest, and brown sugar in a small pot. Simmer over low heat until the cranberries have broken down and the mixture has a thick and syrupy texture. Using cheesecloth or a mesh sieve, strain out the fruit (reserve for another use). Set syrup aside to cool.

To make the punch, combine rum, ginger beer (or soda water), and orange juice. Add in cranberry syrup in small quantities. Stir and taste until the punch is to your liking. Add a few dashes of orange bitters. If serving in a punch bowl, garnish with round orange slices and fresh cranberries. If serving by the glass, serve over ice with a strip of orange zest.




Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Oh, vegetables. I used to love you. Then, I got pregnant and everything changed. I no longer wanted vegetables. All I wanted to eat was chocolate chip cookies and grilled cheese sandwiches.

However, a girl can’t live on chocolate chip cookies and grilled cheese alone. (I mean, technically, I could. But I shouldn’t.) I’ve had to practically force myself to eat vegetables, and it hasn’t been easy. But, just when I thought I might never like vegetables again, I happened upon this kale salad. I don’t know what it was about this particular salad, but it completely snapped me out of my anti-vegetable funk. It just tasted so good. Frankly, I couldn’t get enough of it.

This salad happens to be incredibly good for you. It’s vegan and gluten free. It contains a whole bunch of super foods – kale, quinoa, and cranberries. And, most importantly, it tastes good to this pregnant lady. (For the record, my husband also loved this kale quinoa salad. He ate two bowls of it for dinner one night, and ate the rest for lunch the next day. I’d say it was a hit.)

Kale + Quinoa Tahini Salad |

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing


  • 1 bunch of black (dinosaur) kale
  • 1-2 small carrots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Optional garnishes: red chili flakes or avocado


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. When the quinoa is fully cooked, set aside until needed.
  2. while the quinoa is cooking, prep the vegetables. Using a sharp knife, slice the kale into thin strips. (No need to remove the stems!) Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrot into thin ribbons. Toss the sliced kale and carrots together, along with the dried cranberries.
  3. To make the tahini dressing, stir together tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. The mixture will thicken and turn a lighter shade. Begin adding water, a little at a time. Stir until the mixture is light and creamy, and the desired thickness. Stir in honey, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
  4. Toss the kale mixture with 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa. Pour the dressing over the salad, and stir to coat. Sprinkle the sesame seeds atop the salad. Garnish with red chili flakes or avocado, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Sparkling Cranberry and Brie Tartines

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I just can’t. I did not come up with this idea (but I really wish that I had). No, my friend Beyth discovered these sparkling cranberry bites on Pinterest and then made them for a friend’s baby shower. I was immediately obsessed with these pretty little appetizers. They’re just so darn pretty, festive, and delicious. As if that’s not reason enough to make them, these cranberry bites are also really easy to assemble.

The original recipe is really simple, and I didn’t adapt it much. I followed her instructions to a T, and made two slight alterations during my assembly of the tartines. I used brioche toasts (from Trader Joe’s) instead of standard crackers and I used my Cranberry Sauce with Juniper and Orange as the chutney element. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe!

Rather than post my ever-so-slightly adapted version, I’ll just link you to the original recipe. If you’d like to make these sparkling cranberry bites, refer to the full recipe at Yummy Mummy. (Beware: this recipe makes a lot of sparkling cranberries. I still have some leftover!)

Spiced Cranberry and Pear Compote

This time of year is just so lovely. I am a sucker for all that the Fall brings: the cold weather, the pumpkin goodies, the colorful leaves, and gigantic holiday meals. But beyond that, this is a time of celebration, of thankfulness, and of family. I think my specific love for the Thanksgiving holiday originated during the years I lived far away from my family. No matter how crazy life got or how distant I may have felt, Thanksgiving was the light at the end of the tunnel: it held the promise of seeing my family. It didn’t matter where my parents lived or what city we celebrated Thanksgiving in, somehow it always felt like home. Candyce would spend hours drawing woodland creatures on Thanksgiving placecards, Danielle and my dad would argue over watching the Macy’s parade vs. watching football, while my mom and I would race about the kitchen to get dinner on the table.

These days, Thanksgiving looks a little bit different. I now live in the same city as my parents (and both of my sisters), and I see them all the time. Thanksgiving is no longer an escape from my crazy life; rather, it is a celebration of all that my life has become! My life is really wonderful, and my family seems to be getting larger by the day. In the last couple of years I have gained a (wonderful) husband, an (adorable) niece, two brothers (in-law), and two sets of in-laws. I have a lot to be thankful for.

That being said, for any remaining posts from now until Thanksgiving, I want to share one thing I am thankful for. Tis the season, right? And if you couldn’t tell from everything I just wrote, the first thing I want to say that I am thankful for is my ever-growing family. I am a very lucky gal, to be surrounded by so much love. (Oh, and this is the part where I am supposed to post a recipe, right? I’m getting to it, I promise! Sometimes a gal just needs to let her true colors show. I’m just feeling a little sentimental today. :) )

As for this recipe, it is a simple and elegant twist on the classic Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce. Over the years, I’ve made many variations of cranberry sauce (compotes, chutneys, etc.) Cranberry sauce is delicious in many forms, and thus I try to switch it up every year. I will admit, this is one of the best cranberry sauces I’ve made to date. It is the perfect blend of winter fruits and flavors, it is low in sugar, and is made from whole fresh fruit. And, this cranberry sauce makes the perfect turkey cranberry sandwich. Let’s be honest: cranberry sauce isn’t so much a Thanksgiving dinner necessity as it is a leftover turkey sandwich necessity. For me, nothing beats the a turkey cranberry sandwich the day after Thanksgiving.

So, if you’re looking for a twist on the ole cranberry sauce, I highly suggest you give this one a try. (And did I mention how stinking easy it is to make? And that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it? Yes, this recipe is a winner.)

Spiced Cranberry and Pear Compote

1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries (3 cups)
1 ripe pear, peeled and diced
2 sticks cinnamon bark
1/4 cup water
1/4 – 1/2 cup brown or muscovado sugar
Zest of one orange
5-6 whole cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Place the cranberries, water, and sugar in a small pot over medium heat. As the water and cranberry mixture heats up, stir occasionally (you’ll hear the cranberries start to pop). As the cranberries break down, the mixture will thicken.

Once the mixture starts to thicken (5+ minutes), add in pears, cinnamon, orange zest, nutmeg and cloves. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer gently until it reaches the desired consistency (another 5-10 minutes).

Allow to cool before serving or freezing. Be sure to remove whole cloves or cinnamon sticks before consumption!

This compote pairs well with a variety of meats, its fantastic on a turkey sandwich, and it is wonderful on its own (by the spoonful). With a little extra sugar added into the recipe, this also worked really nicely as a filling for mini hand pies (like these mini turnovers I made a while back).