Hooray…It’s National Cereal Day Orange Peel-Cardamom Gluten-Free Granola

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Hooray, March 7th is National Cereal Day and I celebrated this morning (really, most mornings!) with some Greek yogurt topped with my homemade “Orange Peel-Cardamom Gluten-Free Granola” and fresh blueberries.

Every time I make granola I tweak my basic recipe using whatever I happen to have in my pantry at the time. Recently I have ended up with quite a few nuts and flaked coconut leftover from photo shoots, as well as maple syrup and lots of oranges. One thing I noticed when looking back on previous granola posts is that each time I make it the mix gets simpler and simpler. Hopefully this translates into other parts of my life!

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Ingredients tossed together and spread out on parchment paper lined sheet pans ready for the oven…….

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… baked and finished off with additional ingredients.

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The candied orange peel (how-to candy orange peel here) and cardamom give this granola a wonderfully complex flavor that is both earthy and rich.

Here…..have a bite! Happy Cereal Day all month!

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Orange Peel Cardamom Gluten Free Granola

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 cup pecan halves & pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or cherries, divided
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup slices almonds
  • 1/2 cup slivered orange peel, plain or candied

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl mix together the rolled oats, whole almonds, pecan halves and pieces, half of the dried cranberries and half of the coconut flakes. Toss ingredients together.
  3. Whisk together the cardamom and maple syrup. Drizzle over the oat mixture and toss to coat all ingredients well.
  4. Evenly divide mixture between the two sheet pans and spread out into even layers. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring often, until mixture is a light golden brown.
  5. Remove pans from the oven and evenly divide the remaining ingredients between the two pans – the second half of the dried cranberries and coconut flakes along with the sliced almonds and orange peel. Stir around to mix and return pans to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove pans from the oven and let granola cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 3 months. You can also store in the refrigerator. A jar of homemade granola makes a great gift!

Teresa Blackburn      www.teresablackburnfoodstying.com     http://www.foodonfifth.com

Cranberry-Pomegranate Cordial – Gift Giving Made Simple

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You still have time…plenty of time to make this cranberry and pomegranate cordial for gift giving. Ten days and you will be ready to bottle the best gift ever for all your amateur or professional bartender friends. This one can be drunk as is or used to shake-up some very special seasonal cocktails. A sip or two will also make you feel more “cordial”during the often stressful days of December.

One cup of pomegranate seeds (arils) and 12 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries…..

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…one liter or good vodka, a simple syrup and the peel of one orange are all you will need.

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For 10 days this jar stayed in my pantry with a shake once a day and it was ready to decant and gift. Very yummy, very easy, very pretty.

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Clear seasonal color to sip!

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I really like to “bottle” as  you might have realized from previous blogs. I also like to make libations to bottle. Here are some previous posts that will give you information on how to make Limoncello, Blood-OrangecelloBuddhacello (using the exotic citrus Buddha Hand), or my Pear Infused Vodka among others.

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Cranberry-Pomegranate Cordial

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar mixed with 1 1/2 cups water
  • 12 ounces of fresh or frozen(thawed) whole cranberries
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Orange rind strips from one orange
  • 1 liter of good vodka

Directions:

  1. To make the simple syrup bring the sugar & water to a low boil over medium high heat. Stir & turn to low to simmer for about 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove simple syrup from heat to cool completely.
  2. Put cranberries in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
  3. Mix together in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid the cooled simple syrup, 1 liter of vodka, chopped cranberries, pomegranate seeds & orange rind strips. Store in a cool, dark closet or cabinet, shaking daily, for about 10 days.
  4. Strain liquid mixture through a fine sieve & pour cordial into small bottles to give as gifts. Close bottles tightly with metal caps or corks.

To enjoy: Drink chilled or at room temp as an aperitif….or pour into a glass of ice and top with seltzer or Cava for a refreshing cocktail garnished with a slice or orange.

(This recipe is adapted from a Cranberry Cordial recipe by Melissa Clark published in the New York Times.)

Teresa Blackburn       http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com    www.foodonfifth.com

 

Figs Roasted with Orange Peel, Thyme, Maple Syrup and White Balsamic Vinegar

figsroastedI thought I would only do one fig post this summer…“First Figs….A Savory Tart” which I posted a few weeks ago. That was until I got a phone call from a neighbor, Berdelle Campbell, asking if I wanted to come and pick figs from her trees. The next morning I was at her house reaching deep into her Brown Turkey Fig trees, climbing atop a ladder to get the really ripe ones, popping many into my mouth for breakfast. An hour and 8 lbs of figs later we exhaustedly made ourselves stop…saving some for the birds.

Basket of fresh picked figs

Post fig-picking Berdelle made us warm toasted bread smeared with cream cheese. We crushed very ripe figs into the cheese and ate these little bites standing in the garden along with her friend, Betty. Have you ever eaten figs this way?

Figs Crushed onto Cream Cheese & Toasted bread

Thus began my “fig odyssey”. I ate fresh figs on salads, I canned figs turning them into sauces & jams.  I made a thick chutney-like roasted fig recipe that is best eaten on aged Cheddar or Gouda, that was inspired by my friend Nancy over at “Good Food Matters”, which is the recipe I am sharing today.

A recipe for “Figs Roasted with Orange Peel, Thyme, Maple Syrup & White Balsamic Vinegar”

Simply do this…..

1. Use 1 lb fresh ripe figs, rinsed & drained  & cut in half lengthwise.

fresh figs washed & drained

2. Spread cut figs out flat on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

figs cut in half

3. Drizzle fig halves with 1 cup Maple Syrup.

Maple Syrup

4. Add the peel from one orange and sprinkle over figs.

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5. Toss 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh thyme over all.

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6. Splash 1/2 cup White Balsamic Vinegar across figs. Place pan in oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until figs are just starting to caramelize. Remove pan from oven.

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7. Store roasted figs in glass jars with tight-fitting lids in refrigerator until ready to eat. They will keep for up to 3 weeks chilled. If not using immediately then freeze for up to 6 month.

Print this recipe here

jarred roasted figs

Serve smeared on toasted bread, with any of your favorite cheeses….especially good with an aged cheddar, or as you would a chutney, along side roasted meats or chicken.

spoon of roasted figs

yummy bite

Do you like your figs dried or fresh?  What are some ways you use figs in recipes?  Have you ever eaten fresh figs warmed by the morning sun just picked from a tree?

Pomegrate & Orange Gin for Summer G & T’s

  Pomegranate Gin & tonics

“Pomegranate-Orange Flavored Gin & Tonics” for Summer Celebrations

Once again I found myself in the possession of a few treasures left over from a photo shoot. This time it was a package of Pomegranate Seeds and an Orange. Many of my blog inspirations come from such leftovers. I am lucky that such bounty comes to me. It is one of the many great things about my work as a food stylist.  There was no way I was going to let those juicy deep red  seeds go to waste…what to do…what to make..?

Pomegranate Seeds

Along with a few cups of Gin, an orange and some sugar my plan formed.  Infuse the gin with the pomegranate seeds & a bit of orange peel for the best ever G & T’s.

Here is how easy it is:

1. Put 2 cups pomegranate seeds in a glass jar.

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2. Pour 3 cups of Gin over seeds.

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3. Cut and  add a long strip of Orange Peel.

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4. Add 1/2 cup sugar to jar. Stir. Seal with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to blend.

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The magic begins. Place the jar in a dark, cool place for 1 month. I use my front hall closet where this jar keeps company with bottles of Limoncello, Vanilla Extract and Poire William…all of which are some of my other concoctions. Dark infusions!

(tick tock, tick tock….one month later)

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Isn’t this the prettiest color? Now the decanting….

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Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour into bottles with tight lids. I keep my Pomegranate-Orange Gin chilled.

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My simple G & T for Hot Summer Days recipe:

1. Fill glasses with ice, pour Gin over ice, top with Tonic Water, add a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice, enjoy.

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Salut! to this my 100th blog post. Join me in a toast with your own G & T this summer.