Friday, December 30, 2011

Green Turkey and White Bean Chipotle Chili

Today I am guest posting for my fellow San Francisco foodie friend, Stephanie, over at Life Tastes Like Food.  

This recipe is a great winter treat that will stick to your bones without adding to them.  Plus, it will make your busy holiday week a little less hectic if you have a big pot of chili leftovers for lunches and dinners.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Guest Post: Baked Brie with Mulled Wine Cranberry Sauce and Glazed Pecans

Today Stephanie from Life Tastes Like Food is contributing a mouthwatering delight that looks perfect for an upcoming Holiday party.  I met Stephanie when she asked me to guest post on her Holiday Project Series; my contribution will be published later this month!  Stephanie also lives in San Francisco and I am excited for her guest post today!

Hi, Everyone! Stephanie from LifeTastes Like Food here. It’s so wonderful to be on Simply Scrumptious today!
I love this time of the year because the holiday season brings about an array of festivities!! Whether it’s an ugly sweater party,company holiday potluck, or family gathering, I find no better environment than to incorporate a little cheese into mix!
This appetizer incorporates holiday spirit by bringing together warm spices, depth from the red wine, and a tangy cranberry flavor that compliments the brie quite nicely. And when you add some crunchy pecans on top and throw everything in the oven, you really can’t go wrong.
This recipe is great for any gathering. It’s extremely simple to make and will be a hit at any holiday party. You can even assemble everything beforehand and then just pop it into the oven before your guests arrive! You can serve it with crackers, bread, apples, or anything else that fits your fancy.

While making it, pour yourself a glass of the red wine and enjoy while cooking! You deserve a break. 

First, make the cranberry sauce. 

Next, prepare the glazed pecans. I would do this right before you are ready to bake the brie but if you want to prepare them ahead of time, then make sure you spread them out on a piece of wax or parchment paper to cool. If you make them right before you bake the brie, you can skip that step. 

Then, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and using a knife,make a circle about ¼ inch from the edge on the top part of the brie. With spoon, scrap away the white part of the brie.
Pile on ½ cup of the cranberry sauce and pecans, like so.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Make sure you watch the brie carefully because it you bake too long it will melt into a gooey mess…and wedon’t want that.
Now go eat, drink, and be merry! Happy holidays!!!

Baked Brie with Mulled Wine Cranberry Sauce and Glazed Pecans

For the Brie
·     18oz. wheel of brie

For the Cranberry Sauce*
·     1bsg cranberries
·     1/2tsp – 1 tsp orange zest
·     1orange squeezed about 1/3 cup
·     3/4cup wine
·     1/2cup sugar
·     1/2brown sugar packed
·     1/2tsp cinnamon
·     1/8tsp ground cloves
·     1/8tsp nutmeg

For the Glazed Pecans
·     1/2cup pecans
·     1/4cup water
·     1/4cup sugar

Start by adding all of the ingredients of the cranberry sauce together in a sauce pot. Heat everything on medium-high heat and stir constantly until the cranberries start to pop. Then reduce heat and let it simmer until the mixture begins to thicken (this takes about 10-15 minutes).Set aside. [You can also make this a couple days ahead to save some time!]
Using a knife, make a circle on the top of the brie wheel with a ¼ inch border from the outside. Take a spoon and scrape off the white of the inside part of the circle.
In a separate pan, cook the water and sugar for the glazed pecans on high until the mixture thickens. Then, reduce the heat to low, add the pecans and toss to incorporate. You can then spread the pecans out on wax/parchment paper for it to cool, but I suggest putting it on the brie right away so to avoid this extra step.
Take the brie wheel and place it in an oven-safe dish.  Add ½ cup of cranberry sauce to the top of the brie. Then top everything off with the glazed pecans.
Bake the brie for 8-10 minutes, watching it carefully. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Tip: It’s best to bake the brie in the dish you want to serve it in. Transferring it to another plate is where it gets a little tricky!But if you must transfer it, bake it on parchment paper, move it to the new plate while it’s still on the parchment paper, then cut/tear the parchment paper around the brie (so the paper is technically still underneath the brie when you serve it). Unless you’re fantastic with a spatula, this is the best way to go.

*This makes way more cranberry sauce than needed for the brie, but I always like having leftover sauce for other dishes. If you don’t want to make that much, cut the recipe inhalf—you should still have a little bit left over.

Stephanie from Life Tastes Like Food loves to frost things and drink tea. When it comes to trying out new recipes,whipping out old ones, testing new restaurants or purchasing something random at the grocery store, spontaneity and lack of willpower to constrain herself come hand-in-hand. She believes there is a personal connection through food to life and that you can contribute many concepts from cooking and baking to life's everyday lessons.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gluten Free Ginger Molasses Cookies

I don’t know about you, but every time I turn the corner there is a holiday treat awaiting my arrival.  And darn it – this is the first holiday cookie I've made! 
My roommate is gluten free so I decided to make a treat we could both enjoy.  I have always loved molasses crinkles and the Christmas issue of Bon Appetit had this recipe for Chewy Ginger Cookies.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe; I used gluten free flour and xanthum gum to substitute the all purpose flour, didn't use fresh ginger (too much ginger with the powder and crystalized ginger), and I replaced the shortening with butter.  There is just something about shortening that makes me feel gross.  I also used a little freezer trick to make this sticky dough a little easier to work with.  

I hope you enjoy this GF version and Happy Holidays!