Fall Foodie: 5-Ingredient Red-Wine Cranberry Sauce

Good Afternoon and Happy Friday, everyone!

Today’s post is coming at you all a little later than usual (I’m an early bird, after all)– but for good reason. The last Friday before Thanksgiving is always a little crazy at my job since so many people are on vacation next week and it’s sort of a mad dash to get those last minute loose ends and cases wrapped up before the office is a ghost town for a few days.

I’m powering through a lengthy “To Do” list today, but that also includes sharing a quick, easy, delicious- and crowd-friendly side dish recipe for next week’s festivities! If you like citrus, and if you like red wine- then you’re going to love and appreciate this recipe for cranberry sauce!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • One 12-ounce package cranberries
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a medium pot, toss the cranberries and sugar to combine. Pour the red wine over the cranberries and heat over medium heat.
  2. Peel the zest away from the orange with a vegetable peeler and add it to the pot. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the pot.
  3. Add the cinnamon stick and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Cool the mixture to room temperature before serving.

This makes about ten servings, so if you need to adjust the measurements to better accommodate a smaller/larger crowd- feel free! And I recommend making a little extra, anyway- since it tends to go quickly whenever I serve it!

With the holiday next week, the posting schedule here on ‘Blondie Birdie’ is going to be a little different- with content up on Tuesday, Thursday (before I head out to have dinner with my family!) and on Saturday when I wrap up this past November and prepare for the final month of 2019.

I’ll see you all then! Enjoy your weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Tipsy Treats: Champagne Doughnuts

The past few days have been filled with a lot of champagne. January is a pretty big month for birthdays (including my own)– so between New Year’s Eve and today- there’s been nearly a handful of celebrations that have involved toasting with some bubbly!

Of course, there’s usually some left over by the time my friends and I are done partying- and I hate to see any of it go to waste- so I found a really fun, super tasty- and rather sparkly-looking breakfast treat to whip up that requires just a small amount of some of that flat champagne so you can take your brunch to the next level and wow everyone!

Best of all? These doughnuts are baked- not fried- so enjoying one or two on your cheat day shouldn’t make you feel too guilty.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

FOR THE DOUGHNUTS:

  • Nonstick spray
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup Champagne (Yes, I used canned champagne. I am NOT stepping out in the frigid temperatures to pop the cork on a new bottle!)

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup Champagne, or more as needed
  • Shimmery gold sprinkles, for finishing

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Make the Doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease two 6-cavity doughnut pans with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, butter and oil. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk well to combine. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
  3. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and Champagne and mix until the batter is smooth.
  4. Divide the batter between the doughnut pans, filling each about halfway full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a doughnut comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  5. Let the doughnuts cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert the pan onto a cooling rack to cool completely, 45 minutes more.
  6. Make the Glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and Champagne (add more Champagne as needed to achieve a pourable glaze).
  7. Spoon the glaze over the doughnuts and decorate them with sprinkles.
  8. Relish in your title as the BOSS of brunch!

These were so, so good- and the champagne gave the doughnuts an unexpected and pleasantly delightful flavor that paired really well with the sugary glaze! Also- I am all about edible glitter. It just makes dining much more festive and fun!

I have another brunch scheduled for this weekend with some friends before I leave for California next week- and you best believe I’ll be whipping up a second batch of these to bring to the table with me!

xx

– Ashley –

Summer Treats: Champagne and Strawberry Popsicles

 

Summer has finally and unquestionably arrived here in New England. After a few uncertain recent weeks of non-stop bitterly cold rain and Winter-esque temperature drops- the sun has been shining, the air is hot and humid- and more and more people have been coming out of hiding to brave the beach and get their suntan on.

Of course, with a much-missed season making it’s long overdue debut- a celebration is in order- and you can’t really have a celebration without champagne, can you? Don’t bother digging out the fine glassware and decorative flutes just yet- because this 21+ beach and/or pool party treat is a little less formal and a whole lot sweeter.

And don’t worry- if you don’t want alcohol in these popsicles- it’s easy enough to substitute other ingredients! I’ll give you a few tips!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 pint of ripe strawberries
  • 23 cup of champagne (you can substitute the champagne with fruit juice here, or if you still want the fizzy feel- try using flavored seltzer water, instead!)

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir the water until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Dissolving the sugar has created a syrup, which will help the popsicles have a more smooth texture.
  3. Remove the green tops from the strawberries and puree your strawberries in a blender until they are completely smooth.
  4. Combine the sugar syrup, strawberries, and champagne. Use a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are completely mixed.
  5. Fill your popsicle molds and freeze the mixture until it is completely solid. This usually takes at least two hours, so you’ll have some time to run any errands (or if you’re like me- get a pedicure) before these pops are ready.
  6. Remove your popsicles from the mold, sit back on the nearest beach blanket or hammock- and enjoy!

These popsicles were really refreshing during this past weekend’s scorching heat- and were (naturally) a pretty big hit at brunch. Some friends suggested using the same recipe but creating ice cubes instead of popsicles to throw into chilled mimosas for some added flavor and an extra kick of boozy goodness at the next backyard BBQ or cook-out.

Of course, what makes these so easy is that you can puree pretty much any other type of fruit to give yourself and your guests a variety of flavors to enjoy. Oranges, coconuts, mangoes, bananas- the possibilities are endless but always tasty and tropical. As long as you make your water & sugar mixture/syrup base- you’re good to go!

xx

– Ashley –