Saturday, January 5, 2013

Weekend Cooking; Party treats

(cranberry salsa)

Over the last few weeks I've done a lot of cooking.  When I cook I like to cook with love, with feeling, with happy thoughts in my head which takes me beyond the mundane of just cooking a meal, if that makes sense. It's more than that or I might as well stop and go buy a take-out pizza!

We had guests to entertain a few nights before New Year's Eve and I wanted to prepare a few special recipes.  I had already made this hummus recipe because Eldest daughter likes it so I planned to serve that with crisp celery and a variety of crackers including these snappy little rice crackers from Blue Diamond that I love.  I planned on serving quesadillas cut into thin wedges for an appetizer and served some of our own famous salsa with that.  I wanted something just a little bit more and found it in this cranberry salsa recipe that I served with those little scoop chips that are perfect for well, scooping dips.

Cranberry Salsa

12 oz. cranberries
1 granny smith apple
1 red or orange pepper
3 T. cilantro
3 T. pickled jalapenos
1/2 of a red onion, diced
1/3 cup apple juice
3/4 cup sugar

Chop first six ingredients.  Mix apple juice with sugar in a small saucepan and heat until dissolved.  Mix juice mixture with chopped ingredients and stir thoroughly.  Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

My modifications:  I didn't chop up the cranberries because I like whole berries so I added the berries to the cooking apple juice (I used cider)  and let them pop, pop, pop.  I replaced the sugar with honey because why not?  

This dip is tangy and wonderful on a tortilla!  Our friends wanted some to take home with them (and they took a container of hummus as well!).  I took a small container of it with me to work on Thursday and Friday and ate if with blue chips for lunch and I still have a little leftover for a sometime soon treat. 

hummus plate mid-preparation
The original recipe is published in a school cookbook our staff put together a year or two ago. I found that recipe while I was looking for my friend Stephanie's margarita recipe.  Two recipe hits just pages from each other.  The margaritas were a perfect balance for the spicy appetizers on our table.

I used Katie Workman's The Mom 100 Cookbook to pre-make our New Year's Day brunch menu.  My mother-in-law made a french toast dish like this for us one year at the beach but dang if I could not find that recipe.  It is such an annoyance when I know I've had a recipe but I've lost it in the midst of my recipe chaos.  Katie saved me though as I paged through a few books looking for something similar.  This one is it exactly I believe.  It was so delicious served with warmed maple syrup and a dap of real whipped cream.  I'll save that one for next week's post.  

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads where many other fabulous food-related posts are waiting for you to check them out.


Angela said...

That salsa sounds and looks delicious! We eat a lot of chips and salsa and I think it would be a nice something different.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

The salsa looks like a winner, thanks for sharing.

Beth F said...

I bet that cranberry salsa would be awesome over a warm brie ... just saying.

And I love the Mom 100 book. It's so cool that you found pretty much the exact recipe you were looking for.

Unknown said...

I love fruit salsas and cranberry sauce is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner, so this sounds delicious to me!

Anonymous said...

Was trying to think of something new to try with cranberries. This looks tasty.

caite said...

hmmm..that would have been nice with our Mexican Christmas dinner..

J. Doe said...

Oh, the cranberry salsa over brie ... must make a note of this for next year's holiday season, because, yum.