I firmly believe that God or the Universe, however you prefer to say it, puts the right people in our path for us to learn and grow… And Annie Mariel has been a real blessing in my life. It’s as if God, in his all-knowingness, understands and knows exactly the type of person you need in your life at a certain time in your life.
We got along almost immediately since we met each other about 5 yrs ago in a conversational French class. We have lots of things in common – we’re both consultants, we both enjoy anything French, we both enjoy to travel, we follow yoga and spiritual practices, we are both vegetarians… bueno, almost vegetarians because Annie Mariel still eats seafood and shellfish on occasion. But she gets my idiosyncrasies of being vegetarian. She has passed on to me her love of running and we even applied to run the Amazing Race together… (oh boy!!!)
Annie Mariel is a great supporter and fan of KarmaFree Cooking… and for my last supper of 2012 she wanted to contribute by bringing a salad. She knew I was going to cook pasta. She asked me to make it as light as possible, so I pleased her by making the sauce all tomato, instead of mixing it with some cream or half and half, like I like to do on other recipes. She told me she would surprise me with the salad… and that she did.
This salad had a little bit of everything… and it was delicious! I asked Annie Mariel if I could feature her salad in KarmaFree Cooking and she agreed. I hope I make her proud. Try it for yourself…
ANNIE MARIEL’S COMPOSED SALAD
Sliced Red Onions
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Toasted Almond Slices
Crispy Fried Onions
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients. Toss lightly to combine
- Dress the salad with vinaigrette.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Sal and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a empty glass or mason jar. Shake well to combine. Let rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine well.
- Serve on top of your favorite salad.
It’s been a few years now that I gift Cranberry Preserves as a Xmas gift. People love it…
Cranberry juice is popular here in Puerto Rico, but eating fresh cranberries is not. I usually get asked by EVERY cashier at the supermarket every time I buy the Ocean Spray bags of fresh cranberries what do I make with them. It’s super weird… I usually explain to them that I make a jelly with them… but now I can also mention that I make these trifles too… which will bring us to a different dilemma with them – explaining what’s a trifle?
I like this recipe because it makes use of any leftover cranberry preserves you might have from Thanksgiving and looks super pretty too. We made them last in wine glasses, but you can certainly make them in a large trifle dish too. I got the inspiration for this dish from the Everyday Food December 2008 issue. I like it because you can prepare some parts ahead, buy some others and just assemble… and if you purchase the pound cakes, no baking necessary.
2 cups of cranberry preserves – recipe here
1 loaf of pound cake – or make this recipe for egg-less yellow cake here… – cut up into 1” cubes
1 tub of whipped topping
½ cup passion fruit juice
- In your preferred presentation dish assemble first a layer of the cranberry preserves at the bottom.
- Then place a layer of cake cubes. Dampen them with a little passion fruit juice using a pastry brush.
- Place a layer of cranberry preserves on top of the layer of cake.
- Place a layer of whipped topping on top of cranberries.
- Continue layering this same way until you reach the top of the dish you’re serving it in… finishing with the whipped topping.
Place in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to mix in together.
Using my Cranberry Preserves recipe, I decided to try it in a dip. People flipped when they tried it.
It looks like frozen yogurt, but it’s only my Cranberry Preserves recipe and mixed it with cream cheese. That’s it. Tastes sweet and looks like the holidays. Enjoy!
CREAMY CRANBERRY DIP
1/4 cup of Cranberry Preserves recipe
4oz cream cheese, you can use the 1/3 less fat kind
- Mix Cranberry Preserves jelly with the cream cheese in a food processor.
- Garnish with a bit of the cranberry preserves jelly on top… so people know what’s in it.
Serve with your favorite cracker.
This is the most delicious and easiest recipe for cranberry jelly or preserves you’ll ever encounter. My uncle loves cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving and I wanted to see if I could get him to eat the real thing, not the jelly that comes from a can. It just looks too unappetizing…
I can’t remember well where I saw this recipe, but I have tried a Cranberry Chutney from Martha Stewart which called for orange juice and orange rind, and while it was delicious, the orange rind made it quite bitter for my taste. This recipe is sooooooo easy that you’ll be able to recite it to your friends when the rave about how delicious this is.
I also learned yesterday this might also be called Cranberry Butter… however you prefer to name it, please make it and enjoy.
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup apple juice
1 cup brown sugar
- Wash the cranberries. Go thru them and throw away all the ones that have gone soft.
- Place all ingredients in a large heavy saucepan.
- Bring mixture to a boil. I cover it so it comes to a boil faster, but watch it, as it can boil over. After it starts boiling, uncover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- The cranberries will begin to pop on their own. Stir it every few minutes, and as you stir, pop the cranberries that might be still whole. It’s the pectin inside the cranberries that helps the sauce thicken.
- After the cranberries are cooked. Remove from heat and let cool. Be careful, the mixture is VERY HOT and will burn you.
- Transfer to smaller jars or plastic bowls.
You can have this cranberry preserves with crackers as a jam, in a sandwich, as accompaniment to mashed sweet potatoes and even as a topping for ice cream. It’s so versatile and soooooo easy.
Hope you make it this Holiday season.