Saturday, November 24, 2012


Makes: 1 gallon

For those of you, whom I'm sure are wondering, the recipe is a tamer version of the sangria I served at my wedding, with less hard alcohol and no limoncello added, seeing as how that sangria has been coined, "the death punch" I will not recommend that sangria in the future. This sangria, however, is a beautiful balance of flavors, and when the club soda is added is an appropriately strengthed (is that a word) cocktail.


1 jug of Carlos Rossi Sangria wine
1/4 cup triple sec
1/2 cup peach schnapps
1/2 cup brandy
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 orange, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
1 lime sliced- for color
1 Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apple sliced
1 cup simple syrup (if desired, recipe follows)
24 ounces of club soda or sprite

Serve along side:
1 bag of grapes (any variety) frozen before served
2 oranges sliced, and halved into half-moon shapes
2 granny smith apples, sliced
1 container mixed fresh berries (usually available in the fruit or deli section of the grocery store)
Pineapple slices
Peach slices


Using a large glass decanter, pour contents of wine, and measured brandy and triple sec in. Add your orange juice and taste for sweetness.

If sweet enough, leave alone. Mine was a tad sour so I added 1 cup of simple syrup, which is just equal parts sugar and water heated on the stove until the sugar dissolves, and then allowed to cool completely.

Add your sliced citrus and apples and let soak for a few hours, up to overnight. Then just before serving, add your club soda.
Serve the fruit on a tray and it will be beautiful for any occasion.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Magazine on Canvas

Magazine On Canvas

As another attempt to fill the empty walls of our home, I decided to try something crafty again with a small 8x8 canvas I had on hand.

You'll need some colorful magazines
Elmer's Glue
A decorative stencil of your choice

So the first thing I did was take a bunch of old magazines that I had on hand, in this case, it was old Food Network Magazines. I flipped randomly through the pages and cut out random shapes from colorful pages. All colors, in sizes that varied from the palm of my hand, to the size of a finger.

The next thing I did was take each of my magazine paper strips, and began glueing the pieces, overlapping them, all over the canvas until it was completely covered, even wrapping the edges around the sides of the canvas.

I found a stencil online, this one is of a dragonfly. I printed it out, and then stenciled the image onto my dry canvas.

Using a marker, that you can see the stencil on my canvas.

The next thing I did was paint all of the areas of my canvas outside of my stencil, so that the only paper you see is the stencil image.

I went with yellow paint, which made covering the magazine images difficult, and found that I needed to do several coats, letting it dry between them to get enough coverage.

After it was completely dry - which took a few days, I then used mod podge and brushed it all over the canvas to seal and unify the artwork. 

The artwork ends up with a nice texture, which you can't really see from the photo, and also has a nice interesting design. All in all, I would do this project again. It is currently hanging in our guest-room over the nightstand.

Best ever cranberry sauce

Best Ever Cranberry Sauce
Makes: 1 pint

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup REAL maple syrup or honey
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon of orange zest

Place all ingredients into a large stock pot. Bring to a rapid boil, and let boil for 10 minutes, mashing with a potato masher. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

I like smooth cranberry sauce, and am not a fan of the texture of cranberry skins or seeds, so this makes the perfect consistency of thick and smooth. Pour mixture through a strainer, pressing and mashing all the thick cranberry pulp through the strainer.
Once the mixture has been strained, and only the skins remain in the strainer, return the liquid to the stove and boil another 10-15minutes until thick and reduced.

Cool in the fridge in a glass jar, and this delicious smooth thick sauce is ready for your turkey day!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Herbed Cream Cheese Spread

Herbed Cream Cheese Spread


1 large shallot, minced finely
1 package room temperature cream cheese

4 tablespoons of parsley - chopped finely
4 tablespoons chopped dill
4 tablespoons chopped tarragon
4 tablespoons chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste

Serve with sliced cucumbers, and buttery crackers (I used townhouse)


Add all chopped ingredients to room temperature cream cheese and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

This cream cheese is delicious and can be used as a spread in sandwiches as well!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Linguine with Clams

Linguine with Clams
Serves: 2 -more if you don't inhale it :-)

Oh man are you in for a treat, this dish came out sooo freaking good we couldn't stop eating it until it was completely gone!

2 cans of chopped clams
1 jar of clam juice
5-6 roasted garlic cloves in olive oil (See recipe:)
Fresh parsley
Linguine (I use dreamfields low carb pasta - its fantastic)
2 Tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon 
Bay leaves
1 Shallot - minced
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
Parmesan Cheese - freshly grated
crushed red pepper
Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream


In a bowl placed minced shallot, a pinch of crushed red pepper, chopped parsley, garlic cloves (minced) salt and pepper into a bowl.

Then take a large skillet, place a few tablespoons of oil and butter, and heat on medium high. Add the anchovie paste and stir into oil for a few minutes.

After its cooked for a few minutes, add in your minced spices and garlic. Cook for several minutes, keep stirring.

Then add your white whine and allow it to cook down for a few minutes. Open your cans of clams and drain them. Pour your drained clam juice, along with the 2 bottles of clam juice into the pan. Add bay leaves.

Once your liquid has reduced by half, place your linguine in a pot of boiled, salted water, and cook until al dente - don't cook completely through - it will finish in the sauce.

Then take your remaining parsley and chop finely. add about 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs and a pinch of crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Then in a small skillet heat remaining 1 tablespoon of butter till melted, add bread crumb mixture and toast. Once golden brown, turn off heat and reserve.

Then add your chopped clams to the skillet and heat thoroughly.

Drain your pasta, do not rinse, and add to your skillet turning to coat. Remove your bay leaves.

Once plating, add the bread crumb mixture on top. Then serve with crusty bread to soak up the deliciousness.