Tag Archives: spices

The Best Cranberry Chutney EVER!

The Best Cranberry Chutney EVER!

Thanksgiving – 2016

Maybe you’ve had that cranberry “stuff” than comes in a can and decided that cranberry sauce wasn’t for you.  That was my experience, until some years ago I came across this absolute marvel of a recipe for cranberry chutney.  I’ve been making it for Thanksgiving ever since as a “must have” on my menu.  Try it, it’s easy, its delicious and it’s  not only good with turkey, but with chicken and pork, as well.  It is so good, in fact, that I can’t bear to keep it to myself and have decided to share the recipe with you.  Happy Thanksgiving and Bon Appetite!

Begin by washing and sorting a bag of fresh cranberries, 4 cups.


Add a cup of golden raisins


Add 2 cups of sugar.


Add cinnamon and allspice to taste.  I like things spicy, so I add extra but a 1/4 tsp of allspice and 1 tsp of cinnamon should be adequate to start… spice it up from there.


Drain pineapple, reserving juice,  and chop to desired texture.


Chop fresh ginger using a pleasing amount.


Add water to pineapple juice measuring to one cup.


Add liquid and stir.


Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Cook a bit longer for thicker consistency.


The mixture will reduce down to a syrup that thickens as it cools.img_3879

Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.  Serve cold or at room temperature as desired.


November Comfort Food


Old-Fashioned Goodness.

It’s been a long while since my last encounter with oatmeal in the morning, but as chance would have it, I had a meet-up with the Quaker Oats guy in the cereal aisle last weekend and we decided to go home together.

It may have something to do with the change in seasons and the dark days of winter approaching, that cause my thoughts to turn to oatmeal.  I don’t know, but whatever the reason, I find a steaming bowl of hot mush to be a very satisfying and nutritious way to start a November morning. It’s really quite easy to make, but being pressed for time as I often am, I decided to do some pre-organizing to speed up the process in the morning.  I assembled five pre-measured bags of ingredients, one for each day of the week, so that all I’ll have to do when I stumble out to the kitchen at 5:30 a.m. is add a cup of hot water to the mixture and voila, I’ll have my oatmeal in no time at all.

Oatmeal Time

I like to use nut pieces, not only for added flavor, but for the trace nutrients and extra calories they provide. I use unsalted, dry roasted varieties such as pecans, filberts, almonds and cashews.

breaking nut pieces

Dried fruit, such as currants, raisins or cranberries add sweetness without the use of refined sugar.currants

Add 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal.oatmeal

To avoid the recommended salt, I add spices such as cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg again for flavor and also for added health benefits that spices offers.cinnamon spice

And with that, my work is done.  Just seal the bags and they are ready to go in the morning.  Now all I have to do in the morning is put a cup of water on to boil and breakfast will be ready  in a jiffy.Ready to go.

Lebanese Cuisine – Where the Sun Rises


Recipes from the Levant

A couple of days ago I was searching the internet for something interesting for dinner and came across a recipe for Lebanese Chicken and Rice.  I decided to give it a try.

I began by cooking a whole chicken with onion, garlic, carrot, parsley, lemon, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

preparing the chicken

preparing the chicken

After cooking, I removed the chicken from the bone and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

chopped chicken

remove chicken from bone and cut chicken into pieces

Next, I browned cashews in olive oil. Be careful not to scorch them like I did.  The recipe called for cashews, but I think I would prefer to use pine nuts next time.

brown cashews in olive oil

brown cashews in olive oil

After browning, I set the cashews aside to drain.  The recipe called for vermicelli to be added and browned, but I used angel hair pasta broken into small pieces instead.

brown vermicelli or thin pasta

brown vermicelli or thin pasta

Once browned I added basmati rice and a portion of bokharat spice mixture and pepper.

vermicelli, rice and bokharat

Then I returned the cooked chicken to the pan and added liquid.

add chicken and liquid

add chicken and liquid, cover for cooking

While the rice dish simmered, I prepared fresh green beans with chopped roma tomatoes and garlic tossed in olive oil for roasting.

green beans with tomato and garlic

green beans with tomato and garlic

I decided to make a Lebanese-style tomato sauce to go over the chicken and rice to add flavor and substance.  The sauce can be prepared quickly and easily by adding fresh lemon juice and bakharat spice to taste to canned tomato sauce.

Once prepared, serve and garnish with cashews.   Bon Appetit!