Tag Archives: cranberries

Mixed Baby Greens with Maple Dressing, Cranberries and Apples, Recipe

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I only recently discovered how delicious salads, with homemade dressing, can be so was happy to serve one up as a starter for my recent dinner party. The entree, Fish Mollee, was on the heavier side so wanted something light but not boring. I also wanted to sneak some fruit in there as I’ve been lacking in my fruit intake lately. Enter Mixes Baby Greens with Cranberries, Apples, and Goat Cheese with Maple Dressing. It was easy (especially as you can make the dressing earlier and refrigerate until ready to use), quick, and delicious.

The dressing is quite garlicky, be warned, but it actually offsets the sweetness of the cranberries apples, and maple really nicely. By the end of the salad I couldn’t taste the garlic anymore but I am sure that’s just because my whole mouth tasted like it. I’d definitely make this again whether for a party or as a quick weekday dinner.

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Mixed Baby Greens with Maple Dressing, Cranberries and Apples

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T maple syrup
Kosher salt
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into thin strips
1 T fresh lemon juice
8 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1. Make the maple dressing: Whisk together the oil, garlic, vinegar and maple syrup until well combined. Add kosher salt to taste. (I usually need 3-4 generous pinches, tasting after each addition.)

2. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

3. In a large bowl, combine the baby greens, apples, cranberries and half the pecans. Toss the greens with maple dressing to taste and divide among serving dishes. Top each dish with remaining pecans and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4-6

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Cheesecake Pops, Recipe

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Last year Cake Pops took the world by storm! This was a bandwagon I had to get on.

I had just made a cheesecake that barely had a dent in it when I was invited to a dinner party so thought this was the perfect opportunity to try these cute little pops out.They are easy to make and look really impressive (to make it even easier, just buy a pre-made cheesecake at your grocery store). You can serve them in little narrow short containers, like shot glasses, or upside down in pretty cupcake liners, which is a lot easier for transporting. You can also be your own chef here by dipping and rolling them into the toppings of your choice. White chocolate with chopped pistachios and dried cranberries, dark chocolate with candied ginger, milk chocolate with sprinkles – the possibilities are endless (and delicious)!

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Cheesecake Pops

I used leftover cheesecake from this recipe but you can use any recipe or even buy a pre-made cheesecake at your local grocer.

Instructions:
Scoop, avoiding the crust, out balls of cheesecake with an ice cream scoop. Roll out little balls using your hands, about 1 & 1/2 inches round. Insert a popsicle stick into each ball about 3/4 of an inch in (hallway). Freeze until frozen, about 2 hours.

Once cake pops are ready, melt 1 lb semi-sweet chocolate chips with 2 tbsp vegetable shorting in a double boiler over low heat. Remove pops from the freezer and dip them, holding the stick, in the chocolate to cover the entire pop. Gently tap the stick on the edge of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate. Immediately roll chocolate covered pop in crushed nuts (I used almonds and walnuts).

I used an upside down colander to dry my pops (put the sticks in the little holes) but you can dry them in an upright, short, narrow container or even laying down if you don’t have anything (not ideal as then they get a flat side).

These always go quickly at parties so make sure to make plenty!

Fall Salad with Roasted Pears and Blue Cheese, Recipe

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I’m on a salad kick! Who would have thought in the middle of a New England winter to boot? Well, its almost Springlike here in Boston so that might explain it…

Here’s another good one I have found, I’m loving the roasted pears and hope you do too. Make sure you get good blue cheese, nothing will ruin a dish quicker than a cheap and smelly blue.

Fall Salad with Roasted Pears and Blue Cheese
From Confections of a Modern Bride (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics)

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3 ripe but firm red Anjou pears
juice of 3 lemons
3 oz coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup apple juice
3 Tbsp Port
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups of Arugula (or your favorite salad greens)
Black pepper
Salt

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375.
Peel the pears and cut in half length-wise. Use a melon baller to remove the cores and seeds. Cut a small slice away from the rounded side of each pair to keep it steady when filling and baking. Toss the pears with lemon juices and arrange them core side up in a baking dish.
Toss the blue cheese, cranberries, and walnuts together and divide among the pears. Combine apple juice, port, and brown sugar, whisking together until sugar dissolves. Drizzle over and around the pears. Bake the pears, basting every 5-10 minutes with the apple-port mixture, until tender (about 40 minutes in my oven). Remove and let cool to warm or room temp.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the basting liquid. Toss with the arugula and divide among 6 plates. Top each salad with a pear half, season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette, Recipe

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I’ve never been a a creative salad 20120123-215353.jpgperson, always reverting to the standard restaurant side salad of iceberg lettuce, julienned carrots, celery and bottled vinaigrette dressing. Sometimes I would get crazy and add cherry tomatoes. Quite boring really. Last summer I discovered beets so I really branched out and made salads with beets, goat cheese, pecans and, again, bottle vinaigrettes. That was as adventurous as it would get.

Then I discovered this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette. I wasn’t too sure of the vinaigrette as I was making it as it tasted very tart but once it was on the salad it came together beautifully.

This salad is delicious, and not at all boring. It’s a meal, a side, a snack. It’s warm, sweet, crunchy, tangy, and salty. It’s easy but good enough for company (thanks for being my taste tester, Alyssa!). A fantastic winter salad that is sure to break you out of your salad rut as it did for me.

Never again will you see me shaking that store bought salad dressing. NEVER! Well, maybe sometimes but not as often…

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
From Ina Garten

Ingredients
1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.