cranberries: New England’s superfood

It’s no wonder why cranberries are a staple of holiday cooking and eating, since they are freshest and in season September through December.

cranberries | sagebrousseau.com

There is no food more quintessentially New England than the cranberry, documentation from Ocean Spray even suggests that the first commercial cranberry harvest took place in Dennis, Massachusetts in 1816. Not only are cranberries one of only three berries native to the U.S. (blueberries and Concord grapes are the other two), it is also considered a superfood full of antioxidants and rich in vitamin C and fiber.

Eating foods with antioxidants in them are believed to protect the body from “free radicals”, which are cells that have been damaged. Composed of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, the antioxidants help repair the damage to cells that free radicals have gotten a hold of and helps keep your immune system strong. Cranberries are higher in antioxidants than almost all other fruits and vegetables out there (outranking cherries, red grapes, and broccoli)!

cranberries | sagebrousseau.com

cranberry bread | sagebrousseau.com

I prefer eating my antioxidants in the form of baked goods, don’t you? Try this tasty cranberry bread recipe from the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association:

  • 1/2 C. Butter
  • 1 Tbs. Grated Orange Peel
  • 3 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 2 1/2 C. Flour
  • 1 Tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 C. Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, Chopped
  • 1 C. Sugar
  • 1Tsp. Vanilla
  • 3/4 C. Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 C. Pecans, Chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray bottom only of 9″ X 5″ loaf pan with cooking spray. Beat butter, sugar, orange peel and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt, add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed just until blended. Fold cranberries and nuts into batter. Turn into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool slightly in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

 

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apple cider donuts

Despite what the thermometer reads today, it is Fall in New England and that means it’s apple cider season!

Apple Cider Donuts

The onset of Autumn weather instantly fills me with a sense of nostalgia, I suddenly crave sweaters, bonfires, and apple cider. Of course apple cider is especially delightful served hot, but in my opinion the best way to consume cider is in donut form! Temptation got the best of me recently and I bought a donut pan… I know, now I have no excuse but to make and eat donuts all the time. Well, maybe not. But it is a lot of fun making your favorite treats at home.

ingredients

I can’t say these donuts are quite as satisfying as the true, fried variety, but they are tasty and you can bake these up at home and feel slightly less guilty when you polish off one (or more) with your morning coffee, or a glass of milk.

Ingredients:

yield: one dozen (this recipe can easily be cut in half)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp soft unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • for topping (optional):
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (or to taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325. Spray two donut pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another smaller bowl, blend the eggs, buttermilk, apple cider and butter. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter into prepared donut pan. You want to fill each donut mold about 3/4th of the way full. Place donuts in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until fluffy and slightly golden. Invert donuts onto a cooling rack, and let cool while you prepare the cinnamon sugar topping.

Place melted butter in a small dish and cinnamon sugar on a larger dish. Brush each donut with the melted butter then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Delish!

bite of donut

what I did on my summer vacation

Oh, hi. You may have wondered where the heck I’ve been…The Salted Slate

Overall, this summer was relaxing, but things got busy. I saw old friends, spent some time in the White Mountains and on Cape Cod with my family. But the best thing that happened this summer was that my dear, dear friends opened a restaurant in Providence, RI called The Salted Slate, I’m so proud of them! I’m also very proud to have played a role in this exciting endeavor, of course with photography, and it was really fun being a part of the process. Look at these yummies.

Appetizer

If you are in or anywhere near Rhode Island, you simply must check out the Salted Slate for dinner, lunch, or Brunch (there are donuts) the menu is fantastic and focused on local fresh ingredients including house-cured meats. The atmosphere is quite nice too, modern yet rustic with plenty of tables and a cozy bar.

The Salted Slate, 186 Wayland Ave., Providence, saltedslate.com

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Fresh ingredients

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life is just a bowl of cherries

Pickled cherries to be exact. Strange, I know, but pretty yummy.

bowl of cherriesI really had no idea that you could pickle cherries. I haven’t even known for that long that you could pickle things other than cucumbers. But it’s cherry season and I had a large quantity of cherries on my hands and I wasn’t up for making a pie– actually, I wasn’t keen on having to pit so many cherries– so, off to the internets to find something to make with all this fruit!

pickled cherries

Ergo, pickled cherries. I just so happened to have all the ingredients in my pantry for this recipe.

Pickled Cherries

2 lbs sweet or sour cherries, stems and pits intact
3 cups (24 fl. oz.) red wine vinegar (ok, I used cider vinegar)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
3 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
3 pieces of star anise
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

  1. With a small fork or a toothpick, puncture each cherry 5-6 times to allow the pickling juice to penetrate the fruit. Place the cherries into a glass jar.
  2. In a medium pot, mix together the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to 1/3 of its original volume. Remove the pot from heat and let the pickling liquid cool down for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the liquid over the cherries in the jar. If the cherries are not fully submerged, that’s okay. In a few hours, they will release more juice into the pickling liquid. Let the cherries cool down completely before closing the lid.
  4. Keep the pickled cherries in the seal jar in the refrigerator. To prolong the life of the pickled cherries, use a clean spoon every time you dig into the cherry jar. The pickled cherries, refrigerated, will keep up to one month. Keep in mind that the longer they keep, the more wrinkly and the more pale they will become.

I really had no idea what to expect, but the brine alone smells amazing. Pickled cherries are sweet, but spicy with a bit of a sour punch. I’ll have to think of some ways of eating them other than straight outta the jar… pickled cherries, who knew?

nature's candy

 

 

just like honey from the bee

Busy like a bee this week working on some product shots for a local gourmet grocery, I can’t wait to share with you all the results… but here’s a taste:

honey from the bee

This was my favorite shot of the day. The serendipity of the hexagonal dish and the honey just did me in! And this was some damn tasty honey. Like nothing I’ve every had before, sweet, but slightly spicy. So good.

Tupelo Honey – Van Morrison

You can take all the tea in China
Put it in a big brown bag for me
Sail right around the seven oceans
Drop it straight into the deep blue sea
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee

You can’t stop us on the road to freedom
You can’t keep us ’cause our eyes can see
Men with insight, men in granite
Knights in armor bent on chivalry
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee

You can’t stop us on the road to freedom
You can’t stop us ’cause our eyes can see
Men with insight, men in granite
Knights in armor intent on chivalry
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee

You know she’s alright
You know she’s alright with me
She’s alright, she’s alright (she’s an angel)

You can take all the tea in China
Put it in a big brown bag for me
Sail it right around the seven oceans
Drop it smack dab in the middle of the deep blue sea
Because she’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee

She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like the honey, baby, from the bee
She’s my baby, you know she’s alright…..

spring potato soup with chive oil

Here’s another tasty soup recipe, I’m also going to say a bit about photography.

potato soup

This is, as always, a favorite recipe that I love to make and love to eat! The recipe is tried and tested, I’ve made it a million times, find it below.

With my images I’m testing out something new. I used my Lowel Ego light for the first time with this one. I was working quickly, so I didn’t play around with it too much. I’m pretty happy with the results, I was going for the natural light look that I typically employ, only with an artificial light source– if only I could control the sun! My styling looks a little 90s… I’ll need to work on that.

I’m also testing out a new logo/watermark. I’m soliciting opinions, what do you think?new logochives

Potato Soup with Chive Oil


Ingredients:

  • 2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets (surprise!)
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • chive oil (recipe here)

Directions:

Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 – 5 minutes, until tender. Or if you prefer to use your oven, bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot. On medium heat, addchicken broth, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add sour cream, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving a drizzle of chive oil and an additional dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Bonus: You can also top this soup with bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions for baked potato style yumminess (I highly recommend)!

I dream of donuts

Here are somethings you need to know about me: I love donuts, and recently I fulfilled two dreams in one shot…

Top Pot!

For twenty years (eep!) I had dreams of visiting Seattle and I’ve been dreaming of the donut shop mecca Top Pot Donuts since I first saw it on a TV travel show. In February, I lived my dream and it was awesome! Confession: I did not sample all of the flavors, but I had a few… I mean, I was there for three days, how could I not stop in each morning?

so many donutsTop Pot Neon

Since I couldn’t take the donuts, or Top Pot, home with me I just collect donuts on Pinterest now and dream of more local donut adventures…

Follow Sage’s board donuts! donuts! donuts! on Pinterest.