Holiday White Wine Sangria

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This time last year: Mexican Hot Chocolate (2013)

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Friends, it is Day FOUR of “6 Drinks that aren’t Eggnog.” My how time flies. I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have!

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, scroll through the last there days of posts, because this week is all about fun drink recipes! You don’t want to miss it!)

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A few nights ago my family went to dinner with some family friends of ours. They were providing the entree, so we offered to bring a drink and some dessert as a contribution.

This is when having a food blog gets tricky.

Due to the fact that I am coooonstantly trying new recipes, and looking for new scrumptious dishes I can share with you all, anytime I have the opportunity to try out a new recipe on a crowd- I do! Crowds provide the best food blog feed back. You can tell if something is a total hit or if it’s not the most popular dish in the room.  It’s like having a bunch of food blog guinea pigs, which is super helpful!

Despite this obvious benefit to me and my blogging efforts, constantly cooking new recipes for parties is a high-risk, high-reward way to live. Sometimes I find myself bringing new dishes to a social setting and being a little nervous about how they will go over!

Last night was one of those situations.

Although I do love sangria, I will admit this was my first time ever making it! Thus, as I stirred together these delicious ingredients I started to get anxious that it would be a bust- there would be too much fruit, or people would find it too sweet, or find the wine too bitter, etc.

I carried the pitcher into our friend’s home with lots of apologies and excuses that I had yet to try it, and it really might not be all that great! (Such a human move, am I right?)

However, to my delight, every member of the party drank a large glass with nothing but compliments! The fruit was the perfect amount, the wine was fresh and crisp, and the drink was a wonderfully festive fit.

For my first round of sangria, on a group of food-blog guinea pig testers, I got lucky. This recipe is delicious. It’s so easy to make, and was a total crowd pleaser!

Give it a try yourself! I am confident you will love it.

And make sure you come back tomorrow! More drink recipes on the way!

XO Sarah

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Ingredients:
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped into small bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 red apple, chopped into small bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen cranberries
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh Rosemary (+ sprigs for garnish- optional)1 bottle white whine
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • 1 cup sparkling apple cider
  • 1/3 cup sugar
Directions:
  1. Add your apple slices and cranberries to a large pitcher.
  2. Bruise your rosemary to allow the flavors and juices to escape the leaves more. Do this by laying your rosemary on a cutting board, and using the backside of your knife blade, press down on the leaves.  Add the sprigs to the pitcher.
  3. Pour in the wine and stir. (At this point, you can put the pitcher in the refrigerator, and allow the fruit to marinade in the wine, or if you’re impatient like I am, you can skip to the next step!)
  4. Add the ginger ale and sparkling cider, and stir well.
  5. Optional garnish: Dip a few rosemary leaves in the wine, and then roll in a thin layer of granulated sugar. Place one in each glass, drink, and enjoy!
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Notes and Tips!:
  • Serving recommendation: Best served chilled as an appetizer drink.
  • Source: Picture the Recipe
  • Like this recipe? Make sure you don’t miss this week’s other posts for “6 Holiday Drinks That Aren’t Eggnog” (Recipe links below photos):

 

Cranberry Whiskey Cocktail

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This time last year: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate (2013)

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Well, Christmas has passed, but this holiday season is far from over- at least that’s the case in my house. Why let such a good thing end so soon?!

In celebration of the 12 days of Christmas, and a continued season of festivities, I am going to bring you six drink options for this holiday season that are NOT eggnog- starting today!

I will admit, I really don’t have anything against eggnog. Eggnog and I don’t go way back, but I don’t hate it.

However, I like getting a little more creative with my cooking choices than eggnog. It just makes life more fun! Thus, this week, from Christmas to New Years, I am going to bring you a handful of new drink recipes that you can use for a variety of occasions- from happy hour to early morning coffee.

Cheers to you!

And cheers to the holiday!

Love, Sarah

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Ingredients:
  • 1 oz. Crown Royal Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Ginger ale
  • 1 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • Fresh Cranberries and ice for garnish
Directions:
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the liquids into the shaker and mix (shake or stir to your desire).
  2. Strain the liquids into a glass full with fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with cranberries and enjoy!
 
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Notes and Tips!:
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Source: Your Southern Peach 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other beverages from A Rented kitchen (Recipe links below photos!):

Berry Quinoa Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing

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This time last year: Cranberry Field Roast Panini (2012)

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Oh Hello again!

It’s been a while. My b.

Once again, life got crazy, and I am now in my THIRD rented kitchen. What’s up, change?

I could give you a whole host of reasons why I have not been able to post much in the last two months, but who has time for that? The real point is that I have so many fun summer recipes I want to share with you guys, this one in particular is scrumptious, and after almost two months away, you have to start of big. Cue Berry Quinoa Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing.

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Summer is the perfect time for dishes like this, because they are so refreshing, they use seasonal ingredients, and they are best served chilled- perfect for a summer day picnic or a porch dinner.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and I hope you are able to share it with someone you love.

I have come to realize recently, how special that exchange really can be. Here’s to nourishing your heart while nourishing your body.

With love,

a rented kitchen

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Citrus Honey Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups strawberries, cut in half
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup roughly chopped honey roasted cinnamon almonds or mixed nuts*
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped basil

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside for later.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss the quinoa, berries, almonds, mint, and basil. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, and gently stir once more. Serve fresh and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • If you cannot find red quinoa, regular quinoa will work as well! Feel free to make it a day in advance, as long as the quinoa is cool prior to making the salad.
  • Blue Diamond, as well as stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market, carry honey roasted cinnamon almonds and/or bags of mixed nuts! If you cannot find that exact combination, aim for something similar, or substitute with sunflower seeds or mixed nuts!
  • Source: Two Peas and Their Pod 
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen (Links below photos!):

 

Vegetarian Barbeque Baked Beans

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This time last year: Thai Veggie Burger with Peanut Sauce (2014)

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Well, in case you hadn’t noticed from my apparent absence the last several days, it is finals week. Woof.

The last week has been spent with more cups of coffee and paper writing in front of my computer than I would like to admit.

However, there is a God, and finals week is almost over, so I’m Back!

The next few weeks are going to bring you lots of yummy southern summer dishes, so get excited and come back soon!

To kick that summer cooking off, here is a scrumptious baked beans recipe. Also, check the bottom for some other good summer cook-out and potluck worthy dishes in the Notes and Tips section below!

Got a favorite southern/ summer recipe? Leave a comment- I’d love to hear it!

Happy cooking 🙂

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (substitute with agave if vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • 3 cups canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Optional: Sea salt, to taste*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the ketchup, barbecue sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, honey and mustard together.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for five minutes.
  4. Stir the beans into the pot and transfer to a baking dish. Bake uncovered for an hour and twenty minutes, or until the beans are soft.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • I did not add any salt to this dish, I thought it was plenty flavorful enough. However, feel free to season as you desire!
  • Source: Whole Foods Market 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’!:

 

Chipotle Orange Black Beans

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This time last year: Homemade Fresh Tomato Sauce with Basil, Mushrooms, and Balsamic Vinegar (2013)

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I stumbled upon this recipe while looking for a good side dish to take to a potluck, and was immediately sold. Without taking up too much of you’re time, I’ll go ahead and get to the point- it was delicious!

Here are three reasons you should try this dish:

  1. FLAVA FLAVE! This dish is jam-packed with flavor. Between the tangy orange zest, the flavor punch in the chipotle peppers, and the refreshing cilantro, your taste buds will be in heaven.
  2. Time is of the Essence! I was able to whip this recipe together in the 15 minutes I had between a class and a meeting. Yes, it is to possible to make a side dish in the time it might take you to wait in line for your drink at Starbucks. All you need is a cutting board and a frying pan and you are good to go!
  3. All-Inclusive! Sharing a meal with others? This recipe is a great dish to make because it is accessible to most everyone- vegetarian, gluten free, low fat, high protein, low cholesterol, low sugar, etc. Want to make it vegan? Simply leave the cheese on the side and let people sprinkle that on themselves.

Not convinced yet? Stop wasting time and get cooking. In fifteen minutes you will be glad you did!

More recipes heading your way soon, so come back and see me 🙂

Lots of love,

This rented kitchen

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chipotle peppers in adobo (plus more to taste)
  • 1 orange, Juice and zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons crumbled Queso Fresco

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic, and sauté until soft- about four minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the beans.
  3. Once onions are cooked, add the beans to the pan and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chipotle peppers and orange zest and cook for one minute longer.
  5. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with cilantro and queso fresco. Serve and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Whole Foods Market
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below):