Cranberry Mango Green Tea

I am starting 2022 with recipe that combines my longtime love of cranberries with my new found love of tea in all it’s forms for a delicious hot drink. If I am honest, I have been drinking this tea since I found the recipe in late August and will continue drinking it until I run out of cranberries to make it with. Which, honestly, will probably never happen because I always make sure to stock up on cranberries for the off season.

I have used plain Jasmine green tea for this recipe as well a blend called Full Body Reset from a company called Plum Deluxe. You can use loose leaf green tea or green tea bags for this recipe. Serve this recipe hot or cold.

Cranberry Mango Green Tea

4 cups water

1 cup chopped mango, fresh or frozen

1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

1 (1 inch piece) fresh ginger, sliced

4 tsp loose leaf green tea or 4 green tea bags

sweetener, to taste

in a medium saucepan, combine water, mango, cranberries and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 5minutes. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Cover and steep for 5minutes.

Remove and discard tea bags. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. You can sweeten the tea at this point and float a lemon slice in each cup.

Instant Pot Week #2 Cranberry Nut Cake

Baking probably isn’t the first thing a person thinks about when they hear the word pressure cooker but it is definitely something you can do. Baking is especially successful when you make something that thrives in a moist environment like a cheese cake or a baked custard. The pressure cooker is also good at baking things that don’t need to be crisp like cake.

I don’t usually bring out the cranberry recipes until the pumpkin spice everything threatens to take over the world at the end of September or beginning of October. This recipe, however, was screaming at me to make it and use up some of the cranberry stash in my freezer. I used a 3 cup Bundt cake pan to make this recipe but you can use a 6 inch cake pan or spring form pan if you don’t have one.

Cranberry Nut Cake

Adapted From The Instant Pot Bible The Next Generation

1 1/2 cup water, for in the liner

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce

2 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS canola oil

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

1/4 tsp vanilla

Spray Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Add water to pressure cooker liner, add trivet to the liner and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, brown sugar, canola oil, egg, and vanilla. Mix well to dissolve the brown sugar.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently stir until ingredients are just moistened.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Set on the pan on the trivet and cover with aluminum foil. Close and lock lid. Pressure cook on high for 50 minutes. Let natural release for 20 minutes then release any remaining pressure. Remove pan from liner and let cool.

Pickled Cranberries

Every year I try to find new and unusual ways to use cranberries  because I think cranberries are a very under rated ingredient.  They deserve far more love than they get.  This year I may have found the ultimate way to use cranberries.  This year I found a recipe to pickle cranberries.  Yeah, I said pickle.  You make a brine, cook the cranberries in the brine, let them marinate in the brine for 24 hours and then eat them with everything.  

You can use them on salads, in vinaigrettes, as a side for meat, poultry and fish. You can add some of the brine to sparkling water and make a shrub.  I am going to try them in rice, oatmeal and anything else I can think of over the next fedays. 

Beware, this is not a sweet recipe,  the recipe on Food with Jars described it as bracing.   If you don’t like tart, vinegary tasting things these are probably not for you. I love putting 2 tablespoons of the brine, and some cranberries in a cran-raspberry Spindrift sparkling water for a yummy drink. I am sure it would be good with plain sparkling water as well.

Pickled Cranberries

Adapted from Food In Jars

1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp allspice berries

1/4 tsp whole cloves

1/4 tsp black peppercorns

1/8 tsp juniper berries

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add the cinnamon stick to the brine.

Place the allspice berries, whole clove, black peppercorns, and juniper berries in a spice bag or tie them up in a section of cheese clothe. Add them to the brine.

Bring the brine to a vigorous boil and add the cranberries. Stir to combine and cook 5-7 minutes until the cranberries begin to pop and the brine has returned to a rolling boil.

When cooking time has elapsed remove the spice bag and remove the cranberries from the heat and let cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

Instant Pot Sweet and Spicy Glazed Brussels Sprouts

I got this beautiful cookbook in the mail on Tuesday. I had forgotten I preordered it so it was A nice surprise. I don’t usually preorder cookbooks because I like to know there are recipes in the book I would like to cook. I have been disappointed by cookbooks too many times. However, I have 8 out of 9 of Urvashi Pitre’s cookbooks and I have never been disappointed with any of them.

This new cookbook didn’t disappoint either. The first recipe I opened the book to had not one but two of my favorite ingredients, Brussels sprouts and cranberries. I couldn’t resist that and it was delicious. In the head note to the recipe Urvashi states she knows that most people only like their Brussels sprouts roasted and she isn’t wrong. I was sorely tempted to roast the Brussels sprouts instead of cooking them in the Instant Pot because I believe the reason most people don’t like them is they have only had them boiled or steamed to death. I know that was certainly true in my case. There is a reason the people who follow Urvashi have a hash tag that says #trusturvashi. Urvashi’s recipes are always spot on.

This recipe would make a nice Thanksgiving side dish. Yeah. Thanksgiving is only 6 weeks away. Time to start planning that feast.

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Adapted From Instant Pot Miracle Vegetarian Cookbook

1 lb small Brussels sprouts, trimmed

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1 TBS butter, melted

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Chopped, toasted walnuts, optional

Pour 1 1/2 cups water into the pressure cooker liner. Place a steamer basket in the liner and add the Brussels sprouts and cranberries to the steamer basket.

Close the pressure cooker and lock the lid. Make sure the pressure cooker valve is sealed. Set the pressure to high and the time to 3 minutes. Use a quick release to depressurize.

Transfer the Brussels sprouts and cranberries to a serving bowl. Add the marmalade, butter, salt, cayenne and walnuts. Toss to combine. Serve hot.

Cocoa Cranberry Granola Bars

Today someone asked me if I do anything besides cooking and baking. I said yes but I don’t think she believed me so here are somethings I enjoy besides cooking.

1. Spending time with my pets. Although I don’t say much about them here, by far my favorite way to spend my time out of the kitchen is with my pets. I currently have 3 cockatiels, Squeak, Beau and Ella, 6 parakeets, Manny, Milo, Katie, Pepper, Eli, and Skyler, 2 finches, Tucker and Pearl and one rat, Missy. We train, hang out, and play together. They are a major part of my self care. I couldn’t imagine life without them.

Don’t know why they are in the box together

2. I love to watch TV and movies, especially since Covid started. Of course, I love cooking shows like Chopped, The Chef Show, and Somebody Feed Phil. I am also obsessed with the show River Monsters. In October all the best and worst, horror movies hit the streaming services and I am here for all of them. So far the worst horror movie I watched is Silent Hill. For a movie based on an absolutely terrifying game, the movie is oddly devoid of any scares or any tension of any kind. Its very boring.

3. I am currently spending a lot of time crocheting. I am crocheting dish clothes and dish scrubbies for my kitchen. When I am done with that I am going to start on project of making as many things out of these two books as I can as a Christmas present for a friend’s children. I am also going to make a bunch of these as magnets for my fridge because there aren’t many things cuter then tiny crocheted foods.

My yarn box over flows
So freaking cute

4. I play Trivial Pursuit with my friend, Steph. My family quit playing trivia with me years ago because the think I cheat. I don’t and never have. My “problem” is I have a tremendous memory for trivia. I can’t remember my name most days but I can remember the names of a minor character in a movie I saw once when I was 10. Its not my fault. Until I started playing with Steph I never met anyone who could keep up with me at trivia. We have so much fun playing.

So you can see that I do do other things other than cook and bake.

I made this recipe without toasting the grains and it still tasted amazing. Press the granola firmly into the pan because this is what keeps the bars from crumbling. pay special attention to the corners and very middle.

Cocoa Cranberry Granola Bars

Adapted From

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil

1 1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

2 TBS unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

2 TBS butter, cut into pieces

2 1 /2 TBS honey

2 TBS Sunbutter

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom and sides of of a 4 cup baking dish with foil or parchment paper, use the coconut oil to grease the foil or paper, set aside. Spread the oats and sunflower seeds over a sheet pan and toast for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl, combine the toasted oats and sunflower seeds,scoconut, cranberries and cocoa. Stir to combine.

In a small sauce pan, combine butter, honey, Sunbutter, vanilla and salt. Cook on low heat until the butter melts, stirring constantly. Pour the butter mixture of the grain and seed mixture, mix well.

Transfer the mixture to the foil lined pan and use a spatula to spread the mix into the corners and to the sides. Firmly press the mixture into the pan, paying close attention to the corners and the middle. Pressing the granola mixture firmly into the pan is what keeps the bars from crumbling so spend a minute making sure it is press into the pan all over.