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Oats and Cranberry Bars

oats & cranberry barsA few posts ago Mr. S wanted me to make him his favorite ginger molasses cookies – I said I would but didn’t.  If I’m not in the mood to bake, I don’t even make an attempt.  I’ve had failures in the kitchen before when my mood was less than buoyant resulting in the meal tossed away and a freezer job to the rescue.  I recognize those moments, not with anguish or defeat, but knowing full well I’ll make it again when the pep-in-my-cooking-stride returns.  Continue Reading →

Brussels Sprout Salad

Brussels Sprout SaladSalads take on many forms from the traditional and the not-so-traditional like the one posted here. Brussels sprouts are not every persons cup of tea but I’ll bet if you try it as a salad with the following delicious ingredients, I think you just might be pleasantly surprised.  Brussels sprout salad not only is esthetically pleasing but full of nutritional goodies.  Continue Reading →

Christmas Bark

Christmas BarkIf you make your own candies then I applaud you for your dedication and patience.  Years ago, a friend of my mom’s would stop by to drop off her annual Christmas gift of handmade candy.  Mrs. Scarborough would spend hours on her candies and they looked so delicate and professional.  She would tenderly explain to mom what each one was and any that might have given her grief in the making.  My siblings and I would eye the candy and savour each mouthful…there weren’t that many to go around but boy were they delicious! I like candy/desserts that don’t require much finesse or fuss but deliver that wow factor via visual presentation and taste.  Continue Reading →

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

cranberry & pistachio biscottiBiscotti (twice-baked), is an Italian cookie that is formed into a log shape, baked, sliced and then toasted to a crisp texture.  This has to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  Cranberry and pistachio are a perfect duo for this biscotti recipe by balancing the sweetness of the dough with a bit of sour from the cranberries and salt from the pistachio.  Traditionally biscotti was made with hazelnut and aniseed and recipes date back as far as the 13th century. Continue Reading →

Raspberry and Cranberry Mousse

Raspberry Cranberry MousseColor can have an amazing impact on the food you serve. If it’s visually appealing, it’s easier to eat. The key driver for eating is of course hunger, but what we choose to eat is not determined solely by nutritional needs.  Our senses are heightened when foods can be seen, smelled and displayed in a pleasing or unpleasing manor (appearance).  We eat with our eyes…vision is right up there with smell which brings me to this dessert.  I am totally drawn to this gorgeous pink mousse and the contrasting dark chocolate cups.  I know it will taste good without ever trying it.  Continue Reading →

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

cranberry oatmeal cookies The other day Mr. S. spotted lemon and cranberry cookies. There are few cookies I will buy from a grocery store but these did ‘look’ good and there were only 8 in the container. Once we decided to add it to the grocery cart, our curiosity got the better of us and opened the container. Yep, these were chewy good and Mr. S. said I should recreate these. So, here goes…

Makes about 35 to 40 cookies
1 1/3 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups  rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
zest of one lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350f (180c).

Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper (silpat also works well). In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir in the oats. In another bowl use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs then add honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and beat until blended.  Add flour mixture in two additions, beating until well combined. Stir in the cranberries.

cranberry oatmeal cookie doughDrop dough by the heaping tablespoonful about 2-inches apart onto the cookie sheets. Bake until the centers of the cookies are soft – about 9 to 11 minutes.  If you want a soft cookie, do not over-bake them.  Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

cranberry oatmeal cookies 2The Culinary Chase’s Note: Chewy goodness! Use dried cherries instead of cranberries and for added crunch throw in a handful of chopped pistachios.  Bake one cookie sheet at a time, unless you have a convection oven.  You can use old-fashioned or quick oats but not instant (full of sugar, salt and other flavorings).  Enjoy!

Cranberry Cupcakes

cranberry cupcakes by The Culinary ChaseThink of cranberry and you’re likely to associate it with Thanksgiving and Christmas in North America and with good reason as they’re native only to North America. Early pilgrims thought the cranberry blossom resembled the head of a crane and called them ‘crane berries’.  According to Nova Scotia Cranberry Growers Association, cranberry production began in Nova Scotia in 1872.  Cranberries can be used in savory and sweet dishes.  I’ve used the crimson berry for years and some of my favorite recipes using cranberries are: chewy oatmeal cranberry cookies, Camembert and cranberry tartlets, kale salad with wild rice and cranberries, cranberry sauce with horseradish.  If you’ve never tried cooking with cranberries, I highly recommend this cupcake recipe.  My daughter told me this is a recipe that needs to be added to the Christmas tradition list of baked goodies.  I think it merits an all-year-round list!

nova scotia cranberries by The Culinary ChaseMakes 18
inspired by theKitchn

12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
demerara sugar, for topping (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°f.
2. In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until very smooth and increased in volume (about 5 minutes).
3. Beat in the butter and vanilla until the butter is smoothly incorporated.
4. Use a spatula to fold in the flour, salt, and cranberries. The batter will be quite thick. Spread gently into cupcake casings. Sprinkle demerara sugar on top of each cupcake.
5. Bake 30 minutes.

cranberry cupcake byThe Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note: Each oven is different so to check if the cupcakes are done stick a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out dry, it’s done.  And, if you have two racks of cupcakes, be sure to test a cupcake from each rack as baking times may vary.  Enjoy!