Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to sift through old recipes, ponder new ones and somehow come up with a foolproof menu.  Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli is the perfect side dish for all your entertaining needs.  Not only because it has the perfect balance of savoury, crunchy and sweet, but because it roasts up in the same amount of time that it takes to rest a roast or turkey.  Meaning, you don’t need to worry about oven space or soggy vegetables.  

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli cooks up al dente with golden roasted edges.  Crunchy almonds and chewy, sweet cranberries add a wonderful dimension of texture and flavour that signifies the holidays. Quick and easy with little fuss and holds up well.   Enjoy!

Recipe source for Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli:  Compelled To Cook

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
  2. Split broccoli spears into large bite-size pieces. Place broccoli and garlic on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Spread out in a single layer.
  3. Roast for 7 minutes. Add almonds and turn broccoli. Continue to roast for another 7 minutes. Add dried cranberries and toss to combine. Return to oven for 5-6 minutes until broccoli is tender and almonds are golden. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup

Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup

I’m getting older you know!  But the benefit of this, is the chance to have a party.  So that’s just what my husband did for me this year on my recent birthday.   Along with my extra year of age, I also received many wonderful gifts that day.  One of which was a Mexican food basket that contained great items such as fresh tomatillos, corn husks and chipotle peppers in adobo. But the one ingredient that really got my attention was the dried hibiscus flowers.  I knew right away that I wanted to use this product for a blog post and set to work on making a lovely, richly infused Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup.

 

Dried hibiscus is just that, hibiscus flowers that have been dried, and probably most common for making tea.  When steeped, it has the most amazing deep purplish- red colour and tart berry like taste.  Perfect for beverages, hot or cold, jams, and sauces.  Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup is slightly tart and fruity with a hint of sweetness.  It’s amazing on pancakes, ice cream, cake, yogurt and fruit.  A little thicker than a simple syrup, but go on and stir it into a vodka cocktail, champagne or punch as well.  That’s if it makes it past the pancakes and ice cream of course…..enjoy!

Recipe source for Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup:  Compelled To Cook

Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 1/2 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 1/2 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 90 minutes
Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 1/2 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 1/2 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 90 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan bring water to a simmer. Add dried hibiscus and bring back to a boil, stirring to soak all the hibiscus. Turn off heat and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, allowing hibiscus to drain naturally without squeezing or pushing on it.
  2. Return liquid to the pot and add frozen strawberries along with any juice and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to a steady boil and allow to cook, uncovered for 15-20 minutes, mashing berries with a fork or back of a wooden spoon to help them break down.
  3. Mix cornstarch with 1 tbsp cold water until dissolved. Add to syrup, stirring constantly until mixture is fully combined and has returned to a boil. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and allow to cool to room temperature, then cool completely in the refrigerator to reach full thickness.
  4. Pour into sealable jars or airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Will keep refrigerated for 2-3 weeks well sealed.
Recipe Notes

-Yields approximately 2 1/2 cups of syrup.

Tomato Confit

Tomato Confit

Slow roasted, jammy and infused with garlic and herbs, Tomato Confit is delightful on crostini.  It’s my personal favourite way to enjoy it.  I find the subtly sweet tomatoes to be the perfect match with soft tart cheese, in this case, goat cheese.  The copious amount of olive oil, along with a long slow roast makes it all luscious together and a great addition to pasta, fish and vegetables.  

Thanks to Nigel Slater for this lovely recipe that I found in a copy of The Guardian.  I’ve made the recipe pretty much as written, other than being in my own words.  Sometimes things don’t need to be messed with.  The beauty of this Tomato Confit is its simplicity, and how only a few ingredients can be transformed into a versatile delight. It is concentrated goodness in a jar, and handy to have on hand. It will keep for a solid week in the refrigerator, giving you numerous possibilities for snacks and meals throughout the week. 

Recipe source for Tomato Confit:  Nigel Slater’s Tomato Confit

Tomato Confit
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 45-50 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 45-50 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 1 hour
Tomato Confit
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 45-50 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
3 cups 45-50 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 260℉.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Wash and core large tomatoes. Cut a small X through the skin on the bottom of each tomato. Plunge tomatoes into simmering water and allow to sit for 40-60 seconds (you will start to see the skins slough off). Remove tomatoes to a cold water bath to stop the cooking. Repeat with remaining tomatoes. Peel skins off tomatoes by grabbing the flaps of the cut X.
  3. Cut large tomatoes in half horizontally and scoop out seeds. Place tomato halves, cut side up in a roasting pan.
  4. Wash cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Squeeze or scoop out seeds and scatter with larger tomatoes, tucking some in along side the larger ones. Tomatoes should be tightly packed.
  5. Trim herb stalks of any thick woody ends. Scatter herbs and garlic over tomatoes, pressing them down among the tomatoes.
  6. Lightly crush peppercorns and along with the sugar and salt, sprinkle over tomatoes and herbs. Pour olive oil evenly over tomatoes and roast for 3 hours.
  7. Pour boiling water into your sealable jars to help sterilize and warm them. Scoop hot tomatoes, along with herbs and garlic into jars. Top with remaining juice/oil. Screw on lids and allow to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate. If eating cold, allow to come to room temperature first, to allow olive oil to return to its original state.
Recipe Notes

-Seeding  the cherry tomatoes is tedious, but only takes 10-12 minutes once you get going.

-Will keep for a solid week in the refrigerator.

-Makes approximately 3 cups.

Tomato Relish

Tomato Relish

What will you do with all those tomatoes?  Firstly, you need to start by making this lovely Tomato Relish.  It’s a little like bruschetta, but saltier and brinier from olives and capers.  Delicious with white fish, chicken, crostini or eggs.  A quick and easy condiment that makes the most of those little red gems drooping from the vine.

With the onset of garden bounties, also comes the realization we’re quickly approaching the end of summer. I pause to think “where has it gone”, always gone in a blink here in central Alberta, and soon enough blogger posts will be filled with back to school specialties.  So make the most of the sunny, warm weather that’s left and enjoy seasonal fresh produce while you can.  Tomato Relish not only highlights fresh cherry tomatoes but also fresh herbs, reminding us that eating healthy and well is easy and delicious. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Tomato Relish:  Compelled To Cook

Tomato Relish
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 3/4 cups 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
30-60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 3/4 cups 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
30-60 minutes
Tomato Relish
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 3/4 cups 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
30-60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 3/4 cups 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
30-60 minutes
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and stir to combine. Allow to rest for 30-60 minutes prior to serving to help meld flavours. Makes about 1 3/4 cups and is best eaten the day it is made. Serve along side your favourite white fish, chicken, crostini or eggs.

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

With summer creeping upon us, I felt compelled to update one of my first posts as a food blogger and one of my favourite snacks, Pineapple Salsa!!  A fantastic summer snack that’s worth repeating with a couple photos cleaned up.  The original post was done for Cinco Da Mayo, however this fantastic recipe goes far beyond into the warm summer months with its perfect balance of sweet and spicy.  Fresh and vibrant with fresh pineapple and lots of cilantro makes it a recipe I’ve made over and over. It’s always a hit, whether it be at work, at home or a social gathering.  Serve with plenty of lime tortilla chips and watch it disappear.  Enjoy!

Get the recipe ⬇️

Pineapple Salsa
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 30 minutes
Pineapple Salsa
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Peel and core pineapple. Chop pineapple along with the tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber into 1/4 inch dice. Set aside together in a large bowl.
  2. Cut jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds, finely chop into 1/8 inch dice. Add to bowl. Coarsely chop cilantro and add to bowl.
  3. Cut limes in half and squeeze juice over mixture. Sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Serve immediately with lime tortilla chips.
Recipe Notes

Resting the salsa for an hour will allow the lime juice to cut the bite in the jalapeño and red onion. It is strongly recommended to cut all ingredients by hand to retain the fresh appearance and prevent over processing the ingredients.

Recipe Source: Inspired by The Pampered Chef Pineapple Salsa

Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters

Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters

Yes, It’s back to school and my latest Costco coconut cluster obsession makes a debut as a back to school snack or yogurt topping. I’m not sure how long they’ve actually been sold at Costco, I’ve only purchased them in the last couple months. Being a coconut lover, I was in heaven either snacking straight out of the bag or crumpling them on coconut yogurt. So tasty, addicting, crunchy and sweet, I just had to make my own. Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters are my version, which happens to be very similar but with the addition of almonds. All it really takes is a large bowl, a few great ingredients and 25 minutes for these amazing clusters.

I admit I can be a Costco junkie! My last obsession found at Costco was tomatillo salsa, and I practically drowned myself in it before making my own version with grilled vegetables Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip But now that I’ve conquered both I look forward to my next great Costco find that I can make at home. So whether you’re just trying to fill the lunch bags or love a good smoothie or yogurt topping, you’ll want to bake a batch of Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters to have on hand without having to run out to Costco. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters: Compelled To Cook

 

Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
32 clusters 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
32 clusters 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
32 clusters 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
32 clusters 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: clusters
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉ and line baking sheets with parchment. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl, drizzle with corn syrup and toss gently to fully combine. Drop approximately 2 tbsp of mixture onto lined baking sheets and with slightly damp fingers form into low clusters. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before removing.
  2. Store clusters in an airtight container for several days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Recipe Notes

I've tried honey, agave and corn syrup in this recipe.  I found that the corn syrup resulted in a crispier cluster that held up better when frozen and the honey and agave result in a slightly softer cluster that tends to break apart more easily.  All are good options depending on your sugar preference.