I love a good cockatil but sometimes I'm just too tired to mix up a bunch of stuff. Those kinds of days I turn to the good old Stirrings brand mixers I can pick up down the street at the Food Lion. Today I turned to Lemon Drop, cranberry juice and bourbon. Inspired by a Blizzard cocktail I replaced the lemon juice/sugar of tradition with the ease of the lemon drop martini mix.
Lemon Drop Blizzard
3 oz Stirrings Brand Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail Mixer
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Cranberries
Shake with ice.
Serve in highball (or if you are in the South like me a Mason jar) with a few cranberries.
After my second fall in the South I realized I don't see as many cranberries as I'm used to in my past life as a Northerner. I'm not talking about the sweetened dried variety, I'm talking a good plump tart cranberry in a salad or dessert. I know I see the sauce, but I want the berries! Since I don't live near any bogs I found the next best thing at my local Lowe's Foods freezer section, Cape Cod Select Cranberries! They are the beautiful plump berries I've been missing. They are great straight from the bag to keep a punch bowl festive and cold. Thawed, they are a perfect replacement for the fresh natural berry I'm used to in salads or desserts. Lately I was looking for something different so I put them in this favorite recipe of mine for gluten free breakfast bars. Inspired by a blueberry version at a co-op up north the cranberries are a natural here with a hint of orange to brighten them up. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free flour here, Oats and Baking Soda here to share with my gluten intolerant friends.
5. Spread cranberry mixture evenly over cooked crust and press remaining oat mixture onto the cranberries, being careful as the cranberries are hot.
6. Bake bars 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. To cut bars, lift the parchment sling out of the pan and cut into desired sized bars. The bars will keep a few days in the fridge.
This is a recipe I've had since well before I moved South as I have always been a big sweet potato fan. This is a simple sweet hash from a book called True Grits... Tall Tales and Recipes from the New South.
Here's an easy recipe for when I need a cookie but not sure what. The dried cranberries look good, especially around the holidays. And chocolate chips are always a good idea!
Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups cooking oats
6 ounces craisins
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream the butter and sugars until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and blend well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Add the oats, craisins, and chocolate chips if using. Stir until mixed well.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets about 2" apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
No suprise that I love making sweet treats... and giving them as gifts. This is a simple one that everyone seems to love! It comes from Family Circle magazine of all places! I use my favorite local Milwaukee Omanhene chocolate, either the light or dark is great in this.
FRUITY CHOCLATE CLUSTERS
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds, toasted
2 cups pretzels, broken up
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, stir together cranberries, almonds and pretzel pieces.
Place chocolate in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute, stirring halfway through; microwave another 15 seconds if necessary and stir until smooth.
Stir cranberry mixture into chocolate until completely coated. Place 1 heaping tablespoonful of chocolate mixture onto prepared baking sheet, shaping into a mound. Repeat with remaining mixture. Chill for 15 minutes before serving.
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".
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