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Friday, November 6, 2009

Fresh Orange-Cranberry Salad

     Did I mention that I'm in a cooking club? LOL...For those of you who don't hang around me, I always talk about it and how it has been an unbelievable motivation for me in the kitchen! Jim LOVES it...because it has helped me branch out from the same ole, same ole every week. I love me some casseroles and I can eat them every night of the week, but that isn't for everyone! Not sure if he likes when I ask if I can spend a little extra at the grocery store this week so I can make something good! I have to correct myself because last night I told some friends that I didn't like to cook, which isn't totally true. I don't like to cook when I have nothing to use. I like to cook when I have good stuff to work with. By good stuff, I mean good ingredients and useful tools. I've just recently stopped using individually frozen chicken breasts and switched to the fresh chicken breasts that are in the sale section of the poultry case. They are fresh, but have to be used or frozen within the next few days or so. They cost about $2-$3 more than my usual frozen bags, at least $5 less than the regular price, and it is soooo worth it. They go farther too, they are huge breasts and I can get about 5 meals out of each pack. But the best part is they are juicer. Even the ones I freeze defrost better and maintain their moisture through any dish.
     So, back to the cooking club, tonight I have to bring a Side item from the cookbook we are using, which is Come on In! Recipes from the Junior League of Jackson, MSIt's at Sandy's house and she has chosen Auby's Honey-Baked Turkey for the entree for the evening. She wanted a Thanksgiving theme, which I think is great, it'll give me some great ideas for this Thanksgiving!!! Sandy helped me pick Fresh Orange-Cranberry Salad.
2 Large     navel oranges
1 pkg        fresh cranberries (12 oz.), washed & picked over
1 cup        walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup     sugar

      With vegetable peeler or zester, remove and reserve orange zest (outermost orange layer only). Peel and section oranges. In food processor, combine zest, cranberries, oranges, walnuts, and sugar. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
     Don't be afraid of zesting! I usually use the small section of my grater to zest, but I followed the instructions this time.

     And for those of you who think I have it all together...I don't, even I get my spatula stuck in my blender from time to time!

     I don't have a food processor and I'm learning- not that many people do. So far I have been able to get away with using a small Braun chopper or my blender, but this recipe definitely requires a blender. I had to mix my ingredients in a bowl first and then blend sections at a time, which made the parts at the bottom liquidy. Here's my finished product:

     I sure hope it tastes better than it looks. I am waiting for Jim to get home and tell me! I don't eat cranberries or walnuts. Go figure! My dad told me to use pecans and pomegranates, but that wouldn't make it Fresh Orange-Cranberry Salad, ha! Don't know that I will make this one again. Stay tuned and I'll share the full menu for the evening...

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