Posts Tagged ‘pomegranate’

Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Normally for Single Serving Sunday I try to share recipes that only make one serving, but with the upcoming Thanksgiving feast I decided to do something special – a Thanksgiving meal that serves two. Many recipes for Thanksgiving produce a magnitude of servings, but what about the people out there only cooking for two, or four? This menu I have prepared easily serves 2 with leftovers. Because who doesn’t want leftovers from Thanksgiving? That being said, the turkey could serve four but if you have hearty eaters you may want to double the sides.

This dinner consists of a slow cooker turkey tenderloin with gravy, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, bagel-bacon stuffing, roasted brussels, twice baked sweet potatoes, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, and pumpkin crème brulee for dessert. Take a moment to be jealous.

 Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin

My turkey tenderloin came out so juicy and flavorful that it will be hard to convince me to cook a whole turkey in the future. It literally fell apart when I lifted it out of the pot. By using a slow cooker I was also able to do whatever the heck I wanted in the oven, which is a huge perk for those of us with only one oven (one day I hope to be spoiled with a double oven). Even the gravy was amazing after cooking in all those delicious juices.

Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin with Gravy

As you are aware, I have a habit of adding Greek yogurt to anything I possibly can so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it shows up here in dinner rolls. The rosemary really sold me on these rolls. If you don’t like rosemary, please substitute for another herb because they will rock your world with their subtle herby-ness. You can also prep these the day beforehand and refrigerate before the last rise. The next day, take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to bake them.

Greek Yogurt-Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Then there’s the stuffing. I’ve seen stuffing made with all types of bread but this was the first recipe I had seen using bagels. I originally set aside two corn muffins for stuffing, but those were thrown into the freezer once I discovered I could use a bagel instead. I freaking love bagels! And I was not disappointed by the trade-off, especially since there was bacon involved.

Bagel and Bacon Stuffing

For a green side I chose brussels sprouts. Only a couple Thanksgivings ago I discovered that I no longer hated them and actually became obsessed. As a result, they are nostalgic to me at this time of year. Just a simple roasting and a drizzle of balsamic is all they needed.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Growing up we usually had both regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes but knew I would burst if I tried to add both onto this already long lineup. I went with a twice baked sweet potato that is topped with pecans and coconut. Although it is less sweet than a marshmallow topping, it has a crunchier topping that will make you forget about those puffy white things (no offense marshmallows, I still love you).

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without some cranberry sauce. This version uses pomegranate juice for a more complex flavor. This can be made the day beforehand or even a few days before to minimize the amount of work you have to do on the big day. But if you do have to whip it up the same day, rest assured that it will only take 20 minutes.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

Of course, once you’ve stuffed your face you’ll still find room for dessert, right? Especially for pumpkin crème brulee. I know you may initially think it’s a crime to not have pumpkin pie but it’s basically pumpkin pie and crème brulee all in one. Are you really going to be upset by having both?

Pumpkin Creme Brulee 1

Now for some tips on how I timed everything in order to be hot and ready all at the same time. An hour before turkey is done cooking (mine only took 4 hours), take rolls out of fridge (if prepared the night before), toast the bagel for stuffing, and prep the brussels sprouts. Bake the stuffing and brussels at the same time and with 20 minutes of cook time remaining, add the sweet potatoes and rolls to the oven. At that time, remove the turkey from the slow cooker and prepare the gravy. Slice up the turkey and serve! Then once your belly has digested a little to make room for dessert, torch the creme brulee just before you’re ready to dig in.

 Pumpkin Creme Brulee 2

One year ago: Buckeye Cupcakes

Two years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie

Three years ago: Cranberry Sauce
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Gluten-Free Jumbo Chocolate Pomegranate Quinoa Cookie

The edits for my poster came back – no catastrophic changes! I am so excited to send it off to be printed. It’s going to be huge – 8×4 feet! Might have to roll up in it like a blanket when I’m done presenting it haha. This is likely to be my very last conference as a graduate student so hopefully it goes well. But until then, let’s talk cookies.

When gifting baked goods, I never send them off without sampling my work. Don’t want to give away icky cookies now do we? But while making this particular cookie, it didn’t occur to me that by not portioning out just a tiny teaspoon for a mini cookie, I lacked any ability for quality control. I have never used uncooked quinoa in place of old-fashioned oats in cookies before, and I could only hope they would cooperate. Why the quinoa? Because I was lazy and didn’t want to go to the store for gluten-free oats.

Nervously, this cookie went sent off to my friend Christina for her birthday and I was already preparing excuses in case it didn’t turn out well. But a few days later I get a call from her, thanking me for such a huge delicious cookie. And I knew she wasn’t lying cause I could hear here eating it while she was on the phone with me! I now have the confidence to try adding quinoa to regular cookies in the future.

One year ago: Baked Crazy Feta
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Blueberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Excessive heat for summer in Memphis is not uncommon. In fact it is the norm. However this summer happens to be extra hot earlier than usual. As a result of this torturous heat, turning on my oven to bake must first be justified by how much I want to sweat while enjoying whatever comes out in the end. But then I remembered that there are some recipes which require freezing instead of heating. Now that is a perfect summer recipe.

For this July 4th Holiday Recipe Club we were given the option of working with blueberries, whipped cream, and/or BBQ, which lead me straight to these popsicles. Originally they were created with wine, which sounded fabulous to me but in an effort to make these kid friendly I opted for pomegranate juice instead.

These required a little more work than popsicles I have made in the past, but were completely worth while. They really do taste just like blueberry cheesecake! The blueberry part is definitely the dominant flavor, but then you get a bite of the cheesecake and it’s magical. Everyone, young and old, enjoyed these!

Be sure to check out the rest of today’s recipes, seen at the bottom of this post.

I didn’t get as good of a shot as I had hoped for. Difficult taking pictures away from home sometimes.

One year ago: POM-Berry Ice Pops
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POM-Berry Ice Pops

You know how many people say “Kleenex” as the generic term for tissue? Apparently I say “Popsicle” as the generic term for ice pop. I just realized yesterday that Popsicle is a brand name and not the term for a frozen-sugary-fruit-flavored-ice block on a stick. I have never in my life called these things ice pops, so I will continue to call them popsicles but I used the correct term in the title in case I am alone on this one.

Yesterday was day 2 at the pool (the mojito fruit dip was a huge hit Saturday, btw), but at a different friend’s house. Different venue means different treats! The menu was pretty stacked, but who can deny a popsicle (I’m sorry “ice pop”) on a hot day by the pool? I actually considered making mojito flavored ones to create a theme for the weekend, but the actual drink was already being served. So I went with fresh berries, yogurt and some POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice instead. Great combination!

I also made a tropical fruit version of popsicles.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

2 tsp agave nectar (can substitute with honey)

Directions:

  1. Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into molds* and add top/stick. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove by dipping the mold in warm water briefly to ease out the ice pops.

*I used a Back to Basics Lickety Sip Ice Pop Maker. Makes four.

Source: The Spiffy Cookie original

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

How do you use up 8 bottles of pomegranate juice? Most of the things I have made with it so far have only used a little bit. It’s not that I don’t like it, in fact I think it’s delicious and could drink it straight up all by itself. Which made me realize I could throw it into one of my favorite Breakfast options, a smoothie! Using my typical smoothie single-serving set up, I substituted the milk for pomegranate juice, and chose blueberries as my additional fruit. A dash of honey and you’re all set!

I even served it in my childhood-favorite glass (notice how beaten up well loved it is?). It only held half of the smoothie, but there’s nothing wrong with refills O:-).

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries (I used fresh, frozen overnight)

1/2 banana

1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt

1 Tbsp honey

3/4 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients, in the order listed, into a rocket blender. Seal with the cross blade base and pulse until well combined.
  2. Enjoy!!

Source: The Spiffy Cookie original


Secret Recipe Club

Pomegranate Stuffed Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I went canoeing & camping on the Buffalo River in Middle TN with a group of friends. Yet somehow I managed to forget to bring s’mores supplies = fail. Once I got home I decided to remedy that error by eating some homemade s’mores ice cream. The ice cream also worked to remedy the pain I felt when discovering that the Ohio State football head coach, Jim Tressel, resigned. Obviously he was in the wrong, but I still loved him. May the sweater vest still be feared!

Alas, not everything can be fixed… but my most recent kitchen “Oops” could, and was! What better way to use up treats than to add it to another treat? Cookies!  These are super soft thanks to the addition of pudding mix. And although I couldn’t really taste any of the pomegranate, nor could I really see any of the cream cheese (except for the little bit stuck between two pretzel pieces, shown in the photo), those ingredients must have some role in making them delicious.

I think the cookies need a better name. But I am lacking the creative brain power to come up with something today. What do you think they should be called? If I like what you come up with, I will rename them!

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2-1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4 -oz box instant chocolate pudding mix

2-1/2 cups Pomegranate stuffed chocolate covered pretzels, chopped*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or line with a silpat liner.
  2. In a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, mixing to combine. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate pudding mix and chopped pretzels. Mix until just combined. With a medium cookie scoop, place onto baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring.

*If you don’t want to make the chocolate covered pretzels, chop up a cup of each, dark chocolate and pretzels. Mix 1 Tbsp POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate juice with 2 oz. cream cheese and as the final step, swirl into the cookie dough.

Source: Adapted from Picky Palate

Pomegranate Stuffed Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Well, since I know that I am in fact NOT allergic to pomegranate, I figured I should get back to creating things with the wonderful case of POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice sitting in my fridge. I love stuffing things with cream cheese mixtures, so why not mix in some pomegranate?

First thing I have to say – I should have eaten these immediately. Yes they are super delicious and you really need to try them yourself, but what I meant here is that they got soggy after letting them sit awhile. For some reason it did not occur to me that the moist cream cheese would sacrifice the crunchy pretzel. After making them and sampling one in all it’s crunchy delicious glory, I stored the rest in an air-tight container in the fridge. When I went back for one later, the pretzel part was chewy. Boo!

Maybe if you covered them entirely in chocolate they would seem crunchier due to the hardened chocolate? Or what may be best, is dipping the pretzels in chocolate first, and then sandwiching them together. Yes I think that is the answer and I therefore reflect that realization below. After all, these deserve being made again because the cream cheese and pomegranate combination sandwiched between a slightly salty, crunchy, chocolate covered pretzel made for a wonderful sweet-n-salty treat.

Testimony: “I want to have sex with those pretzels.” – Bob

Ingredients:

8 oz. Neufchatel cheese softened

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice

1-7.2 oz. bag Snack Factory original pretzel crisps*

2-11.5 oz. bags 60% cacao chocolate

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and juice. Beat with mixer until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to use.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper. Over a double boiler melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. Using two forks, one in each hand, dip one pretzel crisp at a time in the chocolate, flipping to coat completely. Let excess drip off before placing on prepared sheet. Continue with the remaining pretzel crisps; refrigerate until chocolate is set.
  3. Spread 1 Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture onto one side of a chocolate covered pretzel crisp, sandwich together with another crisp and place back on prepared sheet. Repeat until all the cream cheese is gone. Enjoy!

Source: The Spiffy Cookie original

*Can’t find the Snack Factory pretzel crisps? Never fear! Ritz also makes round pretzel thins, and Town House has the flipsides – one side pretzel, one side cracker.

Pomegranate-Goat Cheese Ball

Let the bidding begin!!

Today at 7am EST, Steph’s Bite By Bite online bake sale benefiting Team in Training began! Please check out my Stuffed Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies and bid on them and many other great items HERE.

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Now for something new!

I was so excited when Ryan from POM Wonderful contacted me about sending a case of their 100% pomegranate juice. I had never actually had anything with pomegranate that I can recall, so once it arrived and chilled in the refrigerator I cracked open a bottle and took a sip. (You have to know what something tastes like before you can make anything with it after all.) This may not be news to anyone, but it’s so good!! Immediately ideas starting forming in my head of what to make with the juice. Unexpectedly, the first thing that I came up with is this pomegranate-goat cheese ball – perfectly paired with the homemade wheat thins!

I actually made a syrup from the pomegranate juice first, in order to get the right consistency once added to the goat cheese. Using the juice straight out of the bottle would’ve created more of a dip, which would’ve been tasty too I am sure. But I envisioned it rolled up in sliced almonds. And that vision turned into a tasty spread fit for any of your favorite crackers. I think it may be good on veggies too, but I somehow didn’t have any around to try it out myself.

But my story of this pomegranate creation isn’t over. After I snacked on this for a little while yesterday, I went to the gym for a quick 30 min jog. While stretching afterwards, I noticed a rash on my legs. Upon further examination, the splotches spread all the way up my legs to my hips. Now, I have no known food allergies of any kind but here I am the next day, and the rash is not going away. (Actually it is getting worse – it’s now on the top of my feet, going up my back a little, and intensified on my knees.) I really hope I am not allergic to pomegranate. I just discovered it’s tastiness! But it is the only new thing that mingled with my daily adventures yesterday. Although I did take that sip of it the day before and it did nothing to me, and I find it strange that a food allergy would react on my legs and not my throat/stomach. I may conduct an experiment on myself by drinking more POM once this rash goes away, to see if it returns.

Sad day.

CHEESE BALL

Ingredients:

8 oz goat cheese, softened

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses/syrup

Honey, to taste

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, blend the goat cheese and pomegranate syrup together. Add honey to taste (I used two drops).Place in refrigerator until firm.
  2. On a flat surface place a piece of plastic wrap. Spread out the sliced almonds in a single layer.
  3. Once firm, form the goat cheese into a log (or you could do a ball). Roll in the almonds until covered and gently press to ensure they stick. Wrap in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy with your favorite crackers.

POMEGRANATE SYRUP/MOLASSES:

Ingredients:

1 cup POM 100% pomegranate juice

2 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a small, uncovered saucepan, heat pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice on medium high until the sugar has dissolved and the juice simmers. Reduce heat just enough to maintain a simmer. Simmer for until the juice has a syrupy consistency, and has reduced to 1/4-1/2 cup.
  2. Pour out into a jar. Let cool. Store chilled in the refrigerator.

Source: Pomegranate-Goat Cheese Ball is a Spiffy Cookie original. Pomegranate Syrup/Molasses adapted slightly from Simply Recipes.

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