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If Jim and Pam had a baby… December 6, 2012

Filed under: Made me laugh — bellsandthistle @ 3:11 am
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Zippy Cranberry & Pomegranate Sauce November 24, 2012

Filed under: Cooking trials — bellsandthistle @ 4:37 am
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So, here’s my fave recipe for Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce.  It’s actually Cranberry & Pomegranate.  I just love how the Pomegranate seeds pop in your mouth as you eat it!

Zippy Cranberry & Pomegranate Sauce

1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)

2 cups pomegranate seeds (use 2 pomegranates).  For instructions on how to de-seed a pom, click here.

1/2 cup Truvia baking blend  (or, double the amount for real sugar)

1/2 cup cranberry or pomegranate juice

Makes about 5 cups.

Combine the cranberries, sugar, and juice in a pot.  Cover and simmer on medium until the cranberries have popped, stirring frequently (about 15 min or so).  You can do this a day ahead – if so, stop here.  Give it a taste – I like mine a bit tart.  You can always add more stevia/sugar if needed.

Mix in the pomegranate seeds just before serving and enjoy!


How to de-seed a Pomegranate

Filed under: Cooking trials,Uncategorized — bellsandthistle @ 4:32 am
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So, I like pomegranates, especially around the holiday season.  But they can be sooo messy!  And stain your hands!  So I’ve tried out a couple of methods for you.

1.  Cut it in half and try not to get everything around you dirty.  Yeah, didn’t think you’d like it.  On to the next…

2.  The bowl of water method.

You’ll need a bowl.  I prefer clear glass so I can see clearly but a white bowl might work too.  Fill the bowl with cold-to-lukewarm water (remember you’ll be putting your hands in it so cold water isn’t great!).  Cut the pomegranate in half, and submerge one half.

Little hands wanted to help de-seed the pomegranate.  She liked washing her hands first and then dipping them into the ‘red beads’ of water.

You gently peel the seeds from their skin.  The seeds float to the bottom and the inside of the pom float to the top.  I used a strainer spoon to skim the top of the water first.  Then I strained the water off the pom seeds and put them in a bowl.

3.  The grater / smash method

I tried out the pomegranate ‘strainer’.  You cut the pom in half, and then score one side 4-5 times.  You put one half on top of the strainer (put a plate under the strainer).  Find a large spoon or flat implement and smash the pom down.  The seeds fall down onto the plate.

It was really quick!  And you get a little pom ‘star’ to play with…

So, which would I recommend? Method #1.  Why?  I’m a messy person to start, so smashing the seeds was not a good match for me…pom juice all over.  Plus, I would not want to do that with my little one around.  And she really enjoyed helping Mommy with the seeds in the water.


Foods from Chile November 17, 2012

Filed under: Cooking trials,Travel — bellsandthistle @ 3:54 am

So my friends the Full Belly Sisters hosted a dinner party sponsored by Foods from Chile.  Here’s the menu – yum!

To start… Chilean EVOO spiced with Merken

First Course…Endive salad with Chilean berries & clementines – isn’t it pretty?

Some nice Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir to accompany the Avocado soup.  Did you know Chile is the #2 Avocado importer in the US?

Main course…Almond and Merken Crusted Salmon

To finish…Cherry Berry Crisp!


So end it already… November 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bellsandthistle @ 5:40 am
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Just a little fun for y’all November 1, 2012

Filed under: Arts & Crafts,Uncategorized — bellsandthistle @ 2:15 am
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Quick day trip to Muscat, Oman August 16, 2012

Filed under: Color Palette,Travel — bellsandthistle @ 5:11 am
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So, I stayed overnight in Muscat.  It felt more like the Middle East than Dubai, but still felt safe. We hired a taxi driver for the day, which was about 45 rial.  We went to the fish market, the mosque, the market and the diving center.  A beautiful city and a quick flight from Dubai.

Here’s a detail from their beautiful mosque, where they welcome foreigners and women.   I used the Sherwin Williams “chipit”…cool huh?