Tag Archives: condiment

Creamy Citrus Jalapeño Cilantro Pesto.

There are some foods that that are just not very photogenic.  Meatloaf is one that comes to mind.  And, as I’ve come to learn, so is pesto.  No matter how much styling goes into it, it’s just not very pretty.  So please don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  I assure you that if make this, you will essentially want to drink it through a straw.

I first made this pesto last year but could not for the life of me get a good photo.  So I gave up, and I sincerely wish I hadn’t because it is so damn tasty.  Back then, I served it over grilled chicken and while the chicken was good, I found that my finger was a better vehicle to deliver the green goodness to my tastebuds.  This time, even though I served it over spaghetti squash, had the same results.

It’s definitely a different spin on pesto.  It’s slightly spicy with a sweet citrusy kick and all the zippiness of cilantro.  I know I’ve said it before but you won’t be disappointed if you try it!

Creamy Citrus Jalapeño Cilantro Pesto – based on a recipe from Healthy Happy Life

  • 1 Orange, juiced
  • 1/2 Grapefruit, juiced
  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 1/2 Cup Pistachios, shelled
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro (about 2 Cups)
  • 1 Onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeded
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Agave Nectar
  • 1-3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Place all ingredients except oil in a food processor.  Turn the processor on and slowly stream in the oil through the top until your desired consistency is reached (should be creamy and about the consistency of hummus).

Serve over chicken or toss with pasta.  Or just use a spoon!

Pinot Noir Cranberries.

Before we got married, the (future) Husby and I took a trip to Eugene, Oregon.  It was quite the adventure getting there but we fell in love with the city.  The people were friendly and laid back, the city clean, beautiful and green.  If we ever decided to leave Chicago (we’ll never leave you, my love), this is where we would go.

While we were there, we drove up to one of the local wineries and spent the afternoon there.  It was our first time ever visiting a winery (we couldn’t have been older than 22), and really, likely one of our first times really drinking wine.  That was the day I fell in love with Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley, a love that hasn’t faltered to this very day.

So naturally, I was ecstatic to find this recipe on Closet Cooking, one of my favorite food blogs.  I’m constantly finding myself drooling over his recipes, so I knew this one would not steer me wrong.  The pinot was an incredible complement to the cranberries and the ginger was a welcome addition.  Everyone gobbled (ha ha) them up!  I didn’t even have any leftovers.

Oh well, I guess tha just gives me an excuse to open up another bottle, right?

Pinot Noir Cranberries – slightly adapted from Closet Cooking

  • 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, grated*
  • 2 Cups Pinot Noir
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Crystallized Ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cranberries and fresh ginger  and stir until the cranberries begin to burst, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the wine and sugar and boil for 15-20 minutes, until reduced.  Remove from heat and stir in the crystallized ginger and Chinese five spice powder.

* If you store fresh ginger in the freezer, it will keep for months.  It will also make it incredibly easy to grate.

Walnut Romaine Salad.

I can’t believe I’m only just now sharing this with you.  It’s one of my all time favorite salads, and while it may be short on ingredients, it’s big on flavor.  I love the simplicity of it, how the flavors just work together.

My mother in law introduced me to this salad.  She always makes it when we go over for dinner.  It is a lovely starter to pasta dishes, and is also good paired with sandwiches, or even as a main course with a big piece of fresh, warm buttered bread.

Walnut Romaine Salad – my Mother in Law’s recipe

  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Tomato (or V-8) Juice
  • 3 tsp. Dried Minced Onion
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Basil

Mix together dressing ingredients (listed from Oil to Basil) and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to serve, toss with the lettuce, parmesan and walnuts.

Crockpot Chinese Five Spice Applesauce.

Remember last year when I posted this recipe for crockpot applesauce?  Well, this is just an update to that recipe.  I changed up the flavors just a bit with a delicious result.

We finally made it to the apple orchard, and even though we went really late in the season and the trees were mostly bare, we still came away with 18 pounds of apples!  The Fruitaholic had a great time running through row after row of trees, sampling the goods along the way.  And since we were leaving town shortly thereafter, most of those apples went into making this applesauce.  The rest?  Well, we ate those as they were.  :)

I really liked the unexpected flavor that the Five Spice added.  So if you’re looking for something different to do with your applesauce, give this one a try!

Crockpot Chinese Five Spice Applesauce – base recipe originally seen on Prevention RD

  • 16 Apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • Juice of 2 Oranges, plus Zest from 1 Orange
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water

Combine ingredients and put into crockpot.  Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.  Mash with a potato masher or fork to your desired consistency.