Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sangria

Everyone looks for that special drink to make for a crowd during the holiday season. Look no further than this cranberry-pomegranate sangria. Easy to mix up a single recipe or multiply it out for a large number of folks. Happy entertaining. 


1 bottle of zinfandel (750 ml)
4 cups cranberry juice (not cocktail)
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup orange juice
¾ cup simple syrup
1 apple, unpeeled, cored, sliced thin
1 orange, sliced thin
1 lemon, sliced thin
½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Sparkling water
  • Combine all ingredients in a large container, taste & adjust flavors to your liking
  • Chill 4 hours before serving
  • Stir before serving
  • Transfer to pitchers or pour by the glass
  • Pour into glasses – leave 1” space at top
  • Use tongs to garnish glasses with fruit slices
  • Add ice & top off with sparkling water

 Other wine suggestions: Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Syrah

** photo from Cravings of a Lunatic hop on over and give her some sloCooking fan loving!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Virtual Cookie Swap 2016 - Cookie #7 Peppermint Meringue

Entry #7: Peppermint Meringue

From: me

Location: San Luis Obispo, CA

Cookies of the World Geographic Tag: California, USA

Note: I found this recipe a long time ago in a magazine. I’m a huge lover of meringues and peppermint. Combine the two and I’m a goner. Hope you enjoy!

2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup + 1 ½ tbsp. coarsely chopped peppermint candies
  • Pre-heat oven to 250’ F
  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer with a whisk until soft peaks form
  • Add vanilla & salt
  • Mix on high speed, add 1 tbsp sugar – beat 10 seconds
  • Repeat until all sugar has been added
  • Scrape inside of mixing bowl, mix for 15 more seconds – should be stiff peaks
  • Gently fold in chocolate chips & 1/3 cup peppermint candies
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment
  • Drop meringue in rounded spoonfulls onto parchment, sprinkle with candy bits
  • Bake 30-35 minutes, rotate pans after 15 minutes
  • Cook until dry and set
  • Turn off oven, open door, let cookies stand for 10 minutes
  • Let cool on pans
  • Store in an airtight container
** Photo from Tutti Dolci hop on over to her blog and give her some love.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Virtual Cookie Swap 2016 - Cookie # 6 Baklava Cigar

Entry #6: Baklava Cigar

From: take on a recipe from my nana

Location: San Luis Obispo, CA

Cookies of the World Geographic Tag: California, USA

Note: Growing up my nana used to make baklava every Christmas she visited us in California. Unlike traditional baklava she used fresh shelled CA Walnuts, my mom assumed because we always had them on hand – and instead of clover honey, she would use the orange honey my dad got from the bee keepers that put hives on our citrus ranches. This is a  take on her traditional pan of baklava, made into a cookie. Here is my take removing the nuts and adding seeds to make it allergy friendly for me.

2 sheets phyllo dough for each cigar (just buy a box and use as many as you need)
3 tbsp melted butter/dairy free margarine
½ cup dates
1 ½ cups raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted
¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted
½ cup gold raisins
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp water

  • Pre-heat oven to 350’F
  • Thaw phyllo dough package. Open sheets and cover with a damp cloth, set aside (do not forget this step or else the sheets will dry out and be useless).
  • Pulse seeds in food processor until they’re coarse bits, transfer to a dry bowl.
  • Pulse raisins & dates – do a rough chop before processing in machine.
  • Add chopped seeds back into processor, pulse to combine, should be coarse.
  • Slowly separate phyllo sheets, place one on a work surface.
  • Brush gently with melted butter, top with a second sheet
  • Place filling in one corner of the sheet – should be about 3” long & 1” thick
  • Roll the sheet like a burrito – seal the edges with a drop of butter
  • Roll all cigars the same way until you have used up all filling
  • Brush all cigars with melted butter
  • Place on greased cookie sheet – bake until they are golden brown
  • Remove from oven and cool completely
  • Mix powdered sugar & water, pour over cooled cigars

** Photo from House & Home