Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…


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Tomato Bisque and Spinach-Beet Salad

John tried tomato bisque for the first time and LOVED it.  Of course, I knew I could make it easily at home, so I tried it.  
To start, I sauteed some lightly crushed garlic in butter.  
Then, I added in some sliced leeks and onions and let it cook until soft.
I sprinkled the mix with some fresh thyme, and it smelled so good!
Into the pot went 1 big can of whole peeled tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken broth, and some salt.  I let that cook for about 15 minutes.
I didn’t have any cream, aside from what was on the top of the milk, so I used rice to thicken the soup.  1/4 cup went into the pot with some balsamic vinegar and cooked until it was tender.
When it was all cooked up, I used my immersion blender to mix it.  Actually, John mixed it.  Thanks, John!
In a bowl with shaved cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar?  It looked beautiful!
We ate it with a spinach-beet-goat cheese salad and cranberry dressing.  Yum!
This post was shared on Real Food Wednesday!
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Cranberry Dressing with my Christmas Present!

For Christmas, I found an immersion blender in my stocking!!  I couldn’t wait to try it!!  I decided that a salad dressing would be the perfect thing to make first.  Since I have been looking for ways to use up fresh cranberries since I got them in our CSA, I settled on a cranberry dressing.  
Using the included mixing jar, I added 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar.
Then, I measured out 1/4 cup of the darkest cranberries.
Lastly, I added in 1 T water, 2 T dijon mustard, and some salt.
Since I never used an immersion blender before, I had no idea how easy it was!  3 or 4 quick pulses and the dressing was done!
I can’t wait to try it on our salads! 
Anyone have any idea how long fresh cranberries last?  I still have a few left after some muffins and this dressing.


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Cranberry-Cider Muffins

While the weather has been wacky here in NJ this year, there has been a definite chill in the air more often than not this month.  Perfect baking weather!  We received cranberries in our CSA recently, and I decided to make cranberry muffins with them.  YUM!
First, I assembled the ingredients (mostly to photograph, but also to be prepared):
Then, I mixed together 1/2 cup grassfed butter and 1 cup of coconut palm sugar.  That’s John’s favorite sugar to bake with at the moment.  
They were beaten together, and then 2 pastured eggs were added to the mix, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, I stirred together 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
I slowly poured the dry ingredients into the first bowl.  
As I did that, I also added in 1 tsp and 1/2 a cup of Apple Cider.  Every recipe I saw called for orange juice, but I didn’t have any.  I decided to go seasonal and use the cider.  
Now, it was time for the cranberries.  I chopped up 2 cups in the food processor.
When they were all chopped, I folded them into the batter. 
Each was spooned into a muffin spot for baking.
After 25 minutes at 375* they looked like this:

They were so delicious!  Moist, tart, AND sweet!!!!