This holiday season feels so chaotic to me. I don’t feel prepared for it at all, even as it is happening all around me it still doesn’t feel real yet. Even our annual Rowland family Christmas party didn’t really make it sink in that Christmas is 5 days away! What the heck? It was JUST Thanksgiving like a week ago. I was planning on sharing all these holiday things with you, but time has really just gotten away from me. Finally, though, I have a minute to share at least this one appetizer recipe with you.
For the family Christmas party I was put in charge of coordinating all the appetizers so I felt compelled to make sure the ones I contributed were good ones. This recipe is from my Aunt Lisa and is one of my favorites. It’s cool and spicy and bright and tangy, delicious and addicting. Seriously, if you want to stop eating it you either have to finish the whole thing or go to a completely different room. You could use canned or pre-packaged cranberry sauce for this and skip 1 below, but the fresh cranberries are prettier and taste much better. Jalapenos vary so much in spice level, sometimes I use 2 and sometimes just 1. This last time I only used 1/2 because they were so spicy so add a little at a time and taste test until you get to the spiciness level you like. I also really like the red onion, but feel free to cut back on it if it’s too much for you.
Wash cranberries and place them in a saucepan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Assemble the Dip
Place the whole jalapeno in a pot of water, covering completely. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove and let cool.
Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapenos (you may want to use gloves) and mince them.
Add cranberry sauce, cilantro, jalapenos, lemon juice, green onion, and salt to a bowl and mix well. Let sit for 2 hours or so in the fridge for flavors to incorporate.
Pour over 1/2 the sauce over a block of cream cheese, serve with pita chips.
I like to make this cranberry sauce an appetizer by pouring it over a block of cream cheese and serving with pita chips, but it would also be delicious on turkey or even wrapped up in baked brie. If you find a new use for it, please share with me!
By now I’m sure you’ve noticed a theme in my posts. If you haven’t I’ll give you a hint- CHEESE. I love it. I can’t get enough. And there are SO MANY kinds! Most of my snacks involve some type of it. One of favorite combos right now is sweet and spicy jam with a creamy cheese. I just got this new jam from Hatchery by The Jam Stand called Not Just Peachy Sriracha Jam.
HOLY COW! It taste like you bit into the sweetest juiciest peach and then you feel a nice warm spicy hug in your mouth at the end. This is like grandma- special-made-this-for-your-birthday-good. Like put it in my cocktails, on my salmon, in my salad dressing and on a spoon straight from the jar good. For right this minute I’m pretty satisfied having it with whipped cream cheese, my favorite cracker and some green onion.
Green onion makes everything look and taste so fresh. Even things that came from a can or the freezer can be freshened up with some green onion on top. So go do two things- stock up on green onion, and order yourself a jar of this most delicious peach jam you’ve ever tasted.
I am always hungry. Like always. When I get home from work I need a little something to keep me from eating half of dinner before it even makes it to the table. Little bit sized snacks that are quick to whip and easy to snack on while I cook are ideal. I have been on a smoked salmon kick lately. I love it on everything but my favorite is paired with cream cheese. As a kid, one of my favorite snacks was crackers with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and Tabasco. When I got a sample bottle of Formosa Chipotle Hot Sauce in my Hatchery box last month smoked salmon immediately came to mind and the idea for this delicious little bite of perfection was born.
FormosaSauce makes a Habanero Hot Sauce and the Chipotle one I used from a recipe developed over 30 years ago. Both sauces are 100% natural with no preservatives which I love. I have yet to try the habanero one, but after making this I definitely want to. The Formosa chipotle sauce is about a 6 on the heat scale (to me, but I love spicy foods) and the contrast of the cool and creamy avocado and cream cheese is absolutely delish. Use whipped cream cheese to make it easier to spread without breaking the crackers and to cut a few calories. I had chives in the fridge so I threw some of those on top too, green onions would have been good too. A few fresh herbs is always a good idea.
I can’t wait to try this stuff on everything. Formosa egg muffins tomorrow morning? I think yes.