Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Festive Cranberry Spread

The Misson:
To create a different but fantastic appetizer to take to my Mother-in-Law's house for Thanksgiving lunch. I knew that other people were bringing desserts, so I figured I'd make something different. I'm a huge fan of cranberries, and they're so pretty and festive during the holidays, so when I ran across the recipe for a spread, it sounded like the perfect option.

The Ingredients:
  • 1 package - 8 oz - cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Crackers for serving - I used Townhouse

The Instructions:
In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, orange juice, sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon until fluffy. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Refrigerate overnight (the flavors will have time to blend together nicely that way). Garnish as desired. As you can see, I left a few pecans and cranberries un-chopped so I could use them for garnishing as well as leaving a small handful unmixed in order to sprinkle them on top. The orange curls added a nice touch, too.

The Results:
It turned out prettier than I thought it would. And though I had some serious problems zesting the orange, I was lucky enough to have two tangerines on hand, so I tried them instead and met with success. They made for pretty curls as well.

The Reviews:
As always, my husband refused to try it because he hates cream cheese. If possible, I sample my food before I serve it, just to make sure that it didn't turn out to be a complete disaster. This was so good that I almost didn't take it with us. I could've eaten the whole bowl myself. I received some very nice complements on it from the other guests as well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Haitus is over!

Apparently I had no inspiration to cook much over the summer. I shall blame the humidity and the disgustingly hot weather.

Ever since October rolled around I've been itching to try out new yummy recipes. Unfortunately life got in the way and I resorted back to my usual menus and didn't spend much time experimenting.

With November here, I've decided that I can't abandon my hobby any longer! I am going to attempt to juggle my schedule and plan things more efficiently so I can knock out at least one new recipe a week. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am hoping to host a small dinner party to show off my culinary skills. I'm working hard on the menu and the guest list! If anyone has any suggestions for a side dish or dessert, please feel free to share :)