Maple Cranberry Sauce with Pecans, Orange, and Apple

Maple Cranberry Sauce with Pecans, Orange, and Apple


Mmm Thanksgiving—it just wouldn’t be the same without cranberry sauce. When I was little, I couldn’t understand how the adults could eat whole berry sauce. The good sauce was the one that came out of a can and you could slice it, that’s what I thought. Now I wonder how I could have eaten that and liked it..agh!

For years I’ve been making my mother’s cranberry orange sauce, and then I’ve throw in pecans and delicious chunks of apples or pears, to give added texture and flavor. This year, I decided to try the sauce with a natural sugar. Thinking that honey would lend too strong a flavor, I opted for maple syrup. This resulted in a sauce that was a little less tart than other years, but the maple syrup adds a layer of complexity that I find very interesting. I keep going back to taste it to compare it with my memory of past sauces. Each time I taste it the conclusion is the same, it’s very good! And, if I’m not careful there won’t be much left for my guests. Try Maple Cranberry Sauce with Pecans, Orange, and Apple. I’m sure you’ll love it! And don’t worry about the alcohol. It will evaporate in the cooking process, and leave a 5-Star flavor.


Prep Time: 8 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Servings: 8-10



¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup brandy, or Gran Marnier

¼ cup . . . → Read More: Maple Cranberry Sauce with Pecans, Orange, and Apple


Oranges: A Terrific Power Food that Makes a Lip Smacking Orange Salad

Lip Smacking Orange Salad


Citrus fruits are the topic of today’s power foods blog group, and I’ve chosen to tribute the orange. There’s good reason to drink to the orange, or drink up the orange juice. One orange has 116.2% daily nutritional value for vitamin C; it’s also a good source of fiber at 12.6% DV.

Vitamin C intake helps to lower risk for inflammation by helping to prevent the free radicals from triggering the inflammation response, which is responsible for conditions like heart disease, osteoarthritis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps to prevent cancer. One 2003 Australian study by the Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research group showed that citrus offers 40-50% reductions in mouth, larynx, and stomach cancers. Other benefits are lower risk of lung and colon cancer. It’s important to eat or drink the citrus for full benefit of the nutrients, as the fruit seems to offer more protection against free radicals than vitamins.

Today’s healthy lip smacking orange salad is a return to one that I posted last year and I think is worth revisiting. It’s one of my favorite salads for its visual appeal and for its flavor. It also includes almonds, another delicious power food.


Servings: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes


Mixed salad greens – enough for four people

1 orange

3 tablespoons slivered onion

1 small tooth garlic, minced

1-½ tablespoons olive oil

1-½ teaspoons sherry vinegar, or balsamic vinegar as next best option

. . . → Read More: Oranges: A Terrific Power Food that Makes a Lip Smacking Orange Salad

California Salad with Avocado, Orange, and Walnuts

California Salad with Avocado, Orange, and Walnuts


It wasn’t easy getting out of bed today after lots of good fun and tension. Last night (Wednesday) we were biting our nails as we watched the Spanish soccer team play off against Portugal in the European Semi-finals. The game went to the penalties because neither team had been able to score a goal. But, the team pulled it off, sending the Portuguese home, and sending our team on to the finals. I snapped a photo of the street celebration at the Plaza de Santa Domingo, in León, Spain.


Plaza de Santa Domingo in León, Spain, after winning the European Cup Semi-Finals

And now, lets get to the, also important, food talk. This is week three of our new blog group where we blog about “Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients.” The luscious avocado makes the grade.

Technically, the avocado is a fruit—the shape even similar to a pear— but people tend to think of it as a vegetable because it is not sweet, and it’s used in many types of salads, or along with an entrée.

And here’s why it’s good for you: it’s a great anti-inflammatory food; it’s loaded with fiber and potassium, and it’s a good source of vitamin K and E. It’s also believed that avocado raises your good cholesterol (LDL), while it lowers the bad cholesterol (HDL). Some people shy away from avocados because of the high fat content, but . . . → Read More: California Salad with Avocado, Orange, and Walnuts

Anti-Oxidant Fruit Salad – 50 Women Game Changers – Nigella Lawson#44


Anti-Oxidant Fruit Salad


If you’ve been following along with me, each week we’ve been learning about one of the “50 Women Game Changers,” touted about on Gourmet Online. We’ve met a variety of women with quite a range of personalities and cooking styles. This week’s personality is England’s own, Nigella Lawson

According to, Nigella says of herself, “I am not a chef. I am not even a trained or professional cook. My qualification is as an eater.” She is known as the flirtatious cook with the curves, and she seems to have resonated with both men and women alike. She gives people permission to feel unapologetic about food: loving it, eating it, and relishing it. She licks her fingers, smacks her lips, and seductively opens her mouth to slide food in.

Nigella’s yarn is far from being the rags to riches story like Paula Dean’s. She is Nigel Lawson’s daughter, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer, responsible for economic and financial matters in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet; and she was daughter of Vanessa Salmon, deceased, heiress and socialite. But. Nigella’s success came by her own labor. Though she earned a degree in Medieval and Modern Languages, she went into journalism. At 23, she went to work at The Spectator writing book reviews; and in 1985, she became a restaurant critic. She moved on to be the deputy literary critic a The Sunday Times, but she didn’t like that role, so she became a freelance . . . → Read More: Anti-Oxidant Fruit Salad – 50 Women Game Changers – Nigella Lawson#44

Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce

Seared Beef with Bean Sprouts and Sesame Orange Sauce


I’m so proud of myself because I used my home-grown bean sprouts in this recipe that I cooked for The Food Matters Project: Seared Beef with Bean Sprouts and Sesame Orange Sauce. I’m not much of a gardener, but it wasn’t necessary to go into the garden to grow them. They grew in a colander on my kitchen counter. It was entertaining and easy to do, and it will be even more fun to experiment with different types of sprouts in the future. Sprouts will be a new addition to my healthy eating habits because they are so healthy for you —full of protein vitamin C.

The recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s, The Food Matters Cookbook, and you will find the original recipe posted at Dominica’s blog, Wine Food Love where she is this week’s host for the project. I couldn’t resist adding garlic, ginger, and chili pepper to the recipe because they are traditional ingredients in Chinese cuisine, and garlic and ginger are such wonderful anti-oxidants. This dish is so festive that it could make great party food for special occasions. It may seem like there are many ingredients, but once you assemble them the dish takes only a few minutes to cook. Serve the beef with bean sprouts over soba noodles. You may use brown rice, or quinoa as alternatives.


Servings: 4-5

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time:


2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 Serrano . . . → Read More: Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce

Recipe: Spanish Salad

Spanish Salad


Spanish Salad


Looking at food blogs or food magazines is a great way for me to get inspired and come up with new recipes, though sometimes I’ll come up with something seemingly pulled out of the air. Spanish Salad, today’s recipe, is one of those that came to me in the wind.

While daydreaming about Spain, the idea of a Spanish salad popped into my head. What are some of the stable food items Spain is known for? It’s known for olive oil, almonds, oranges, Manchego cheese, wine and sherry. It’s also known for fish, cured meats and sausage, a variety of other delicious cheeses, legumes, and olives –some of the staples in the Mediterranean foods.

In this Spanish salad recipe, I use the Marcona almond, which is shorter and wider than the California almond most Americans accustomed to eating. I don’t really know how else to describe the taste other than delicious and addictive. Orange, and sherry, or Jerez, and Manchego cheese are also combined in this salad to give you a delightful taste of Spain.



Servings: 4

Total time: 15 minutes


Mixed salad greens – enough for four people

1 orange

Onion, about 10 small pieces sliced to 1/8-inch thick

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 1-1/4 teaspoons sherry vinegar (Available at Williams Sonoma. Use distilled white vinegar if you are unable to find sherry vinegar)

1/4 cup Marcona almonds (available at Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Amazon)

Sea salt to taste . . . → Read More: Recipe: Spanish Salad

Recipe: Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette

Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette

Today I’ve been in a funk and was having a hard time coming up with a reason you should eat asparagus, this recipe for it in particular, other than the fact that it tastes utterly delicious. So, I turned to Google and found on Men’, (where they like to be fit and muscular) that asparagus is a good source of protein, but low in calories. It’s also high in fiber and vitamin A, which are thought to fight cancer. And if this isn’t enoooooogh, it’s also an aphrodisiac. So, go eat some asparagus and have a great week-end!


Servings: 5

Preparation time: 20 minutes


1 pound asparagus

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons shallot, minced

1 ½ teaspoons orange peel, minced 1/8 teaspoon salt

Garnish: 1 slice orange fanned open

*Tip – For the orange peel, use a potato peeler to remove the peel and then mince it with a Chef knife.



1) Snap off the ends of the asparagus, letting the stalks break where they will. When they have all been snapped, line them up and cut off the ragged ends to make them look neater.

2) Follow these instructions if you do not have an upright steamer. Fill a 12-inch pan with ¾ of an inch of water and then place an open vegetable steamer in the pan. Place the asparagus on the steamer (see picture below), and . . . → Read More: Recipe: Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette