Cranberry sauce with Vodka, Cointreau and lime... Cosmo Cranberry Compote ~

I love Thanksgiving.  I mean what's not to love?  Family and friends all enjoying a leisurely meal together, which I don't know about your family, but in mine, doesn't happen often enough.  So when we can all be together, it's a very special day for me.

I also take time for special kinds of extra dishes, that I wouldn't normally serve on ordinary times.

This dish is one of them.  Before you go any further though, I must tell you that you don't cook off the liquor in this recipe.  The vodka and Cointreau is added after the dish has been cooked, so please serve it only to adults and no pregnant gals either.

So if you want to change up your kind of boring cranberry sauce this year?  Then here is a great version to make and it's so easy too!  You can also make it up to 2 weeks in advance and store it in your refrigerator in a sealed container. 

1 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries
1/2 c. water
1 c. sugar
1/3 cup vodka
3 Tablespoons of Cointreau
Juice of 1 lime

In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, bring cranberries, water and sugar to a boil.  Turn down to medium low and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn off your stove.  Set aside.  Let it cool for 1/2 hour.

Add vodka and Cointreau, stir well.  Add lime juice and sitr.  Transfer to a container and seal tightly for at least two hours.

Serve with a thin slice of lime in the center.

I'm joining the lovely people at Rattlebridge Farms, for Foodie Friday today.  The link is on my side-bar.

Happy Thanksgiving ~



Turkey Taco Soup ~

I lightened up Taco Soup, without losing any of the flavor. And like most of my food, it has a bit of a kick. It's easy and delicious too, which makes it a winner in my book.  At the end of the cooking process you can add a little tiny cooked pasta, cooked rice, baked tortilla strips, too.  And if you aren't worried about the calories, add a dollop of sour cream and thinly sliced avocado when you serve.  But, you don't have to because this soup is fantastic on it's own. 

Here's the recipe:

1 lb. lean ground turkey
3 medium carrots, small diced
3 stalks of celery, small diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. taco seasoning (I use Trader Joe's)
1 can of white or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can of petite canned tomatoes (8 oz.)
8 cups of chicken stock (low sodium)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 pound bag of fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a dutch oven, heat oil on medium heat.  Add onion and sauté on medium low for 5 minutes.  Stir in carrots and celery.  Saute for another 3 minutes and add in garlic.  Remove pan from burner.  Stir garlic so it doesn't burn.  Add 1 tablespoon of Taco Seasoning, stir.  Add salt and pepper and stir again.  Place pan back on burner and turn to medium.  Add in tomatoes and chicken stock.  Bring soup to a simmer and turn down to low.  Partially cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Add chopped spinach and turn stove off.  Cover the pot and let sit for 30 minutes.

Serve with suggestions above, or just eat it alone.  It's that good, it's that easy and it's very healthy and low cal.  When I eat it for lunch, I don't embellish it.  For a meal, I love adding sour cream, thinly sliced avocado and a sprinkling of cheese.



A very rustic Eggplant & Ricotta Galette ~

It had been a while since I made a galette and I was in the mood for something kind of different than my normal stir fry for dinner during the week.  However, I work during the day and coming home to long recipes isn't in my realm.  I want short cuts.  So I roasted the eggplant in the morning before I left for work.  I put them in a container and left them on the counter.  This made short work for my dinner! 

This one is made with baby eggplants, but I'm sure you can use the larger one, just make sure you buy the smallest size they have.  I cut them mine in half, because they were about the size of a golf ball.  If you buy a regular size eggplant, cut the slices into 1/2" widths.  Some people salt the slices and drain them for a few minutes.  Although I have never found that step necessary, unless you have a really, really large and old eggplant. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Anyway, slice a large eggplant into 1/4" thickness or cut your small ones in half (I used 10 small ones), toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tsp. of kosher salt and roast  for 15 minutes.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, either using your own pie dough or a store bought one, which I did, roll it out on a floured surface.  Transfer dough to a half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper. Let sit for a minute while you get your cheese mixture ready.

Mix together, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella and 1 ounce of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

In a separate bowl, whisk one egg and 1 Tablespoon of cold water together.

Spread cheese mixture over dough, leaving a 2" border on the edges.  Place eggplant slices on top of cheese mixture in one layer.  I didn't have any mozzarella, so I used blue cheese.  Although I liked the flavor, I much prefer it with the ricotta/mozzarella mixture.  The blue cheese was just a little to pungent.  Stick with the ricotta.  It's sublime.

Now fold up sides of dough to encase the eggplant/cheese mixture.  Pleat the dough edges gently as you go.

Brush dough with the egg wash and grate more parmesan cheese all over the top.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let sit for a few minutes and serve.  By the way, I snipped the stem before I served it!  It makes a nice dinner dish served with a  green salad for accompaniment.

Joining the lovely people for Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm here: