1. HONEY ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH CRANBERRIES AND FETA
1 large butternut squash, peeled + chopped
a hearty drizzle of olive oil [approx 1-2 TBSP]
salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
2 cups fresh cranberries
2-3 TBSP honey [or extra, to taste]
¼ cup finely crumbled feta
ground cinnamon, to taste [optional]
fresh or dried parsley, to garnish [optional]
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly drizzle or spritz a baking sheet with olive oil.
Add cubed squash to the sheet along with another drizzle of olive oil.
Sprinkle with a light layer of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, based on taste preference.
Roast at 400 F for 25 minutes on the center rack.
At the 25 minute mark, pull out the oven rack, and add your fresh cranberries to the roasting pan.
Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cranberries have started to soften and burst a bit, resembling really juicy craisins vs fresh firm cranberries.
Remove from oven and add a sprinkle of cinnamon [approx ⅛-1/4 tsp depending on preference] along with feta and honey.
Garnish with parsley for a burst of color and dig in while it's hot!
2. CRANBERRY AND POMEGRANATE BRUSCHETTA
For the cranberry-pomegranate relish:
1 pound fresh (or frozen) cranberries, washed
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger, don't worry about chopping it too fine at this point
1 cup sugar
¼ cup honey
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
zest from one orange, reserve a bit for garnish
¾-1 cup pomegranate seeds, reserve a few for garnish
finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish
For the crostini:
1 thin, good quality baguette, sliced about ¼ inch thick
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I always use the lower fat, not no-fat)
Place the cranberries, ginger, sugar, honey and Sriracha in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off several times till cranberries are coarsely chopped. Don't process too much.
Add cilantro and pulse a few more times. Not too much, you want cilantro bits to be visible and mixture to be a bit chunky.
Transfer to a storage container and add pomegranate seeds and orange zest. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or till ready to use.
For the crostini, preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 sheet pans with foil or parchment paper, if desired for easy clean up.
Place baguette slices on prepared pans. Brush lightly with oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a grind of pepper.
Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden, rotating pans halfway through baking time.
To assemble bruschetta, whisk cream cheese until creamy. Spread about ½-1 tablespoon on each crostini. Top with a scoop of the relish. Garnish with a bit of orange zest, if desired.
3. HONEY MAPLE ROASTED CARROTS
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced on a long angle into pieces approx. 3 inches long
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
½ cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Lightly oil a sheet pan.
Place carrots on prepared pan and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup and honey. Sprinkle with coriander, sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread carrots out on pan in a single layer.
Roast for 10 minutes, then stir to redistribute. Return to oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Carrots are finished when they are tender and some of the edges are caramelized.
Sprinkle sesame seeds and herbs over carrots and stir. Taste and season with a bit more sea salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and scatter with the pomegranate seeds. Serve hot.
Recipe and Image from The Cafe
4. BAKED PEARS WITH WALNUTS AND HONEY
2 large ripe pears
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
(optional) yogurt or ice cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the pears in half and place on a baking sheet (I cut a sliver off the other end so they sat upright). Using a measuring spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds.
Sprinkle with cinnamon, top with walnuts and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon honey over each one. Bake in the oven 30 minutes. Remove, let cool and enjoy!
Serve with yogurt or ice cream if you'd like :)