Friday, December 14, 2012

Gingerbread Syrup

I wasn’t kidding around when I said I have entered the era of gingerbread.  I’ve really enjoyed gingerbread lattes I’ve had from various local coffee shops.  I already make my own ginger syrup to add in coffee & cocktails, so when it came time for another batch, I decided to make a seasonal version.  This has just the perfect amount of spice, along with the kick of fresh ginger.  The molasses is what really brings it on home to complete the gingerbread flavor.

I’ve been enjoying this in iced coffee, warm coffee, and whiskey cocktail drinks (with a splash of apple cider).  If I had an espresso machine I would make gingerbread cappuccinos and sip them with delirious joy.  I seriously think I might slather this on pancakes next.  This syrup would also make a great homemade food gift.  Or, if you are selfish like I am, make a double batch and hoard it all for yourself.  What you see photographed is a DOUBLE BATCH, and I expect it to last me at least 2 weeks.  ;)

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sugar Coated Gingerbread Twists

If years 2008-2011 were “the era of pumpkin” then 2012 has ushered in “the era of gingerbread” in full force.  I just can’t get enough of the ginger/gingerbread flavor.  I know a lot of people get excited about the pumpkin spice lattes or peppermint mochas appearing at the big brand coffee shops, but I’ve opted for anything with seasonal spice over pumpkin every time this year.  So, when it came time to choose a cookie for my Food Blogger Cookie Swap, I knew just what flavor direction to look towards.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

I loved this delightfully different gingerbread cookie!  It’s not a roll-out cookie cutter gingerbread man, but a puffier option.  It has a spicy kick from the fresh ground black pepper.  I think the raw/turbinado sugar adds a sparkly festive look as well.  These pair well with coffee in the morning, or just as an afternoon treat.  I hope my cookie swap recipients enjoyed them!  I think these would be a great addition to your upcoming cookie swap, cookie bake-off, or holiday gathering!

I sent these to Christina at The Dough Will Rise Again, Karla at Forty Cakes, and Brigitt at Cook with B.  I received Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (and mint hot chocolate!) from Secrets from the Cookie Princess, and Chocolate Shortbread Squares from Julie at White Lights on Wednesday.  So delicious!

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cabbage Gratin

This cabbage gratin is a recipe I’ve made quite a few times the past couple years.  Around October & November I find myself with a surplus of cabbage.  My summer share CSA ends around this time, and sometimes I join the winter share which begins now too, and I’ll often get a head of cabbage in both.  Other than coleslaw, I wasn’t really quite sure what else to make with the cabbage.  My mother suggested boiled cabbage which is a nasty, disgusting way to eat a perfectly good vegetable.  Ugh… I still have distinct memories of the horrible smell & taste of boiled cabbage!

I remember once asking on Twitter for cabbage recipes, to which my friend Beth led me to this recipe on her blog.  I really wasn’t sure if we’d like it, but I was up to my ears in cabbage at the time so I gave it a shot.  We were pleasantly surprised when we really enjoyed it!  It seems Nathan too had bad memories of cabbage cooked wrong in his house as well.

This is a pretty simple meal to throw together.  The end result is warm & satisfying.  It can stand alone, or is a great side dish, or even brunch item.  Most recently I had both green & purple cabbage to use, so I used both, but feel free to use only green cabbage.  I must say, as tasty as this is, it doesn’t always photograph well!  Luckily, this is a dish that we enjoy, so it seemed I would always have another opportunity finally capture the right shot.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mustardy Kale & Butternut Squash

I feel like I’ve been a total slacker about sharing what we’ve been doing with our CSA box this year.  It’s just so hard to manage to snap a photo these days, especially with daylight savings time and all.  Plus we’ve been doing a lot of repeats, or incredibly simple stuff.  We actually opted to do a winter CSA again this year with Delvin Farms when our neighbors expressed interest in sharing one.  Nathan & I have found we really love the extension of the wonderful local organic greens, winter squash, & sweet potatoes.

When planning meals for the week I knew I wanted to pair the kale and butternut squash.  I knew they paired well together from my previous post of a Kale, Squash, & White Bean Stew.  I did some recipe browsing and settled on this recipe from Real Simple.  I often have success with the recipes I use from there, as they usually are REAL (as in they use “real” ingredients, less processed things) & SIMPLE.  I don’t have time for 14 step Bon Appetit or Gourmet recipes these days (heck, I’m not sure I had that much time before I had a kid!), so recipes that come together quickly without crazy ingredients are a necessity.

The mustard addition brings a new taste to the squash & kale, as I don’t know I’ve had either of them with mustard.  It’s a nice departure from doing anything vinegar-y with the kale, or something creamy with the squash.  This will most definitely be in regular rotation for us.  We paired it with bone-in pork chops, and it was a wonderful meal!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Muffins

As we near the end of pumpkin season, I have a new pumpkin recipe to share.  I woke up Sunday morning in the mood for muffins.  I considered the two recipes already on my blog, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins and Pumpkin Nut Muffins with Molasses Glaze, but realized I didn’t have all the ingredients for either one.  You can’t really have too many pumpkin muffin recipes can you?  So, a new one it was!

This recipe was pretty quick & easy to throw together.  The muffins came out tasting fantastic!  The flavors of pumpkin & white chocolate pair exceptionally well together, but then again I already know that because of how huge a hit these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles are on my blog.  I think these would be a great Thanksgiving morning snack as you prepare the big meal.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I’m so thankful for each and every one of my blog readers.  I know I don’t have anywhere near the best blog out there, and my posts are very much sporadic, so I’m thankful you have continued to read and hopefully enjoy my posts.

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