so yes, i got spoiled rotten. my husband is amazing and he craigs-listed-like-a-maniac and bought me a vitamix. i’ve lusted longed and researched and after many years of pleading my case, i won his culinary sympathies and now i am a raw-smoothie-and-soup-making-fiend.
tonight we celebrate the passing of a year and welcome in the new, filled with hope and longing for what lies ahead. we make vows, some of us, to be better inside and out. i’m not quite done feasting on the indulgent (we’ll have a giant fondue spread with friends this evening), but i’m longing for fresh and this is what i whipped up at daybreak.
it’s super simple, and with a little extra prep, it can be made in a standard blender, as well. little tip? this has fresh cranberries. they go on sale super cheap before the winter holidays. i always buy several bags and freeze them, and they hold up wonderfully! just in case you get a summer craving for their tart flavor!
want the recipe? here you go. (p.s. – i threw in a handful of cacao nibs – adds a hit of chocolatey flavor and nutritional punch.) enjoy!
participating in mccormick gourmet’s go 4 gourmet contest has been the perfect “external motivation” to create some fun new recipes this fall/winter. i love the combination of orange and chocolate, and when our local natural foods store filled the bins with blood oranges, i knew how i wanted to play.
it’s almost new year’s, and while like most of us, i’m determined to get moving again on health-i-fying, i’m not completely done baking. so i’ve worked some delicious, and health-conscious, ingredients into this cupcake. 🙂
steeping thyme into the quinoa and then again into the frosting gives an almost smoky-savory hint to this rich dessert. the honey in the buttercream adds warmth and depth to the frosting, and the blood orange and orange liqueur add a tart element that brightens the whole thing! (my next goal is to make a frosting entirely with natural sugars.) i used my microplane to top these with shaved orange-essence dark chocolate.
my first batch of quinoa cake didn’t turn out so well – i tried doing a citrus glaze pour-over, and i didn’t blend the quinoa, resulting in a chewy-almost-crunchy cake that stuck to the pan. not-so-yum. these, though, have a bit of texture from the quinoa, but a near-pudding-ey texture that is hard to explain, but got devoured by my kiddos. in fact, i let them have the rest of the batch (the frosting had run out!) for breakfast. herbs and ancient grains, coconut oil and kefir – it’s the breakfast of champions!