This post was originally published here on December 19, 2013. I’ve since updated the photos and text. Enjoy!
I spent the majority of this past week testing out new Christmas cookie recipes. And while I’m happy to report that my efforts have resulted in two blog-worthy recipes that I’ll be sharing here next week (hooray!), I kind of just want a damn salad at this point. Even I have my limits when it comes to sweets.
This Cranberry Apple Salad is my go-to salad recipe this time of year. It’s refreshing, with both tart and sweet flavors to tickle your taste buds. AND it’s a all dressed up in vibrant red and green colors, which makes it the perfect addition to your Holiday table. You can layer it on a large platter (laying down the romaine first, then the apple-walnut mixture and finally the cranberries) for a really beautiful presentation if you’re having a fancy party. Or simply toss everything together in a big bowl. I don’t think you can really go wrong either way.
There is a little bit of advanced preparation required for this recipe. So make sure to read through the whole recipe first and plan to get started on it a couple hours in advance of when you’re going to serve it. And while this might be considered by some to be a huge pain in the ass, I, for one, think it’s a plus. Because it means you can get the salad course ready to go earlier in the day, then spend those last few precious minutes of “crunch time” right before the meal performing other more pressing tasks.
This was one of the first salads that I really feel in love with. Because believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I hated eating salads (and really any vegetable, if I’m being completely honest with myself). But this Cranberry Apple Salad helped me turn the corner into a bona fide veggie lover. And I know you’ll totally dig it too!
Recipe from Creme De Colorado Cookbook
I’m finally starting to pull myself out of my post-election stupor. My head is a bit less foggy. I’ve wiped the salt away from my eyes. And I’m working like a mad women in the kitchen. Preparations for Thanksgiving are under way, which, by the way, is LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY.
Holy crap. How did that happen?
I have to admit that I’m not really feeling ready for the big day. But I’m sure I’ll get everything done in time. I always do.
Brainstorming new Thanksgiving recipes is something that I always find particularly challenging. Part of me wants to stay super conservative and traditional. While the other part of me wants to push the boundaries and experiment with new flavor combinations.
I guess I usually end up settling for someplace in the middle. Last year I jazzed up my mashed potatoes with mascarpone cheese and sage browned butter. And I opted for this Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Tart instead of baking up a standard pumpkin pie. So nothing too crazy or different. But enough tweaks to keep me happy.
This year, I decided to tackle sweet potatoes.
I wanted to make a vegan mashed sweet potato side dish. I knew I could easily use non-dairy milk and forgo the butter entirely (shocking, right?). But it took me a while to figure out what else to incorporate to make them worthy of such an important Holiday. I eventually settled on adding tahini and a few warming spices. And then I swirled in a rich coffee glaze. It totally takes this recipe over the top. If there is such a thing as grown up mashed sweet potatoes, these Vegan Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Tahini and Coffee would totally be it.
The garnishes are totally optional. But also kind of not optional, because they are just so gosh darn pretty. But that’s just my humble opinion.