I was thumbing through a new Food and Wine magazine the other day, and saw an article about making doughnuts.  They had several glaze recipes included for the doughnuts, including a tart cranberry glaze that I knew immediately I had to try.  A few pages over, I saw a citrus pound cake, and modified it very slightly to make it an orange pound cake because I think cranberry and orange are a perfect combination.  The result was a super moist pound cake paired with a nice, tart glaze that accented it perfectly.  Try it this weekend!
---Karly

ORANGE POUND CAKE WITH TART CRANBERRY GLAZE
For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
 
For the glaze:
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup water
3 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Put the fresh cranberries, granulated sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook until the cranberries start to burst, mashing them as they do (I used a potato masher), and the mixture gets jammy, about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Put the cranberry mixture in a medium bowl with the powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt, and mix with a mixer until well combined.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  The glaze will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9 ½-by-5-inch glass loaf pan.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and orange juice.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients and the yogurt mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and beating well after each addition; scrape the bowl as necessary.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake 50 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool, and after 20 minutes, remove from pan to continue cooling completely.  Serve the cake with the cranberry glaze on top.

NOTE:  I used an 8-by-5-inch loaf pan and ended up with a slight mess in my oven (from it bubbling over) and a longer baking time.  If you use a smaller loaf pan, you won’t use all of the batter.   

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     I try to make my lunch the biggest meal of the day, and the healthiest way to do that is a salad. Since my husband is not one for fish, ANY fish, no matter how I make it, I eat it on my own. Ahi tuna has become a favorite of mine, and today, I made a super simple and delicious dressing to go with it! Avocado should always go with Ahi tuna, in my opinion, and cranberries added a nice sweet pop! The dressing is light and sweet and it all went so great together! Try it for dinner!  (And hey, guys, while you're here at the blog, go the "Prize Giveaway!" page to enter for your chance to win!)
---- Jenny


AHI TUNA, AVOCADO & CRANBERRY SALAD WITH ORANGE & TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE
Lettuce greens (I used spinach and arugula)
1 Ahi tuna steak
1/4 cup dried cranberries
tomato, diced
1/2 avocado sliced
1-2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 tablespoons freshly grated Asiago cheese

In a skillet over medium to medium-high heat, sear tuna about 3 minutes on each side in 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil. Take out of skillet and slice lengthwise and arrange over salad. Sprinkle cheeses and cranberries over everything, and drizzle with dressing.

Dressing:
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons sweet red table wine
3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon tarragon

In a small salad caraffe, combine ingredients and shake. Pour immediately.

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I’m always looking for different ways to make pork chops, so I decided to come up with a pan sauce using cranberry juice, sage, and some other ingredients.  It turned out to be a perfect complement to the pork.  Try it tonight!
---Karly

PAN SEARED PORK CHOPS WITH CRANBERRY SAGE PAN SAUCE
4 center cut pork chops
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 shallots, finely chopped
Flour
1/3 cup cranberry juice
1/3 cup red wine (I used Zinfandel)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet.  Season the pork chops to taste with salt and pepper, and cook, 4-6 minutes per side until done, depending on the thickness of the chops.  Add a little more olive oil to the skillet if necessary, and then add the shallots and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add the sage and sauté one minute.  Sprinkle in a teaspoon or two of flour, and whisk for one minute.  Add the cranberry juice and red wine and let simmer until slightly thickened, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the sauce over the pork chops.

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     I am so excited that our fans chose this week’s secret ingredient for Kitchen Psycho!  It took me a few days to decide what I wanted to make, but when I did, I went on a cooking spree and made it all in one day.  This is the appetizer that I came up with; it’s slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and completely delicious!
---Karly


SWEET AND SPICY CRANBERRY CHEESE SPREAD

1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup jalapeno pepper jelly
4-5 small green onions, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper, to taste
   
     Combine the cream cheese, pepper jelly, green onions, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix until well combined with a mixer.  Stir in the pecans and cranberries.  Serve with toast or crackers.

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     The savory dishes for cranberries can be a bit of a challenge, but we've come through for you! This one was my own invention. It turned out really tasty, with a very nice texture! If you want yours a little less, um, grainy, just substitute the polenta for more corn flour. I like them they way they are though. They're hearty! In fact, you could adapt this into a really nice stuffing recipe! Add some sausage, onions, celery... ohhh, yeeeeaaahhh!
--- Jenny 


CRANBERRY & SAGE CORN MUFFINS
1 cup flour or gluten-free flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup corn flour or masa flour
½ uncooked polenta
½ cup butter, melted
1 large egg
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon ground sage
½ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin cups.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cornmeal. Stir butter, egg, honey, and milk into cornmeal mixture. Stir until just moistened and any flour or cornmeal chunks are broken up.

Fill greased muffin tins and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

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     Oh, how sweet are these? So adorable, and so tasty! This week is Fan's Choice Week, so we polled our followers on Facebook, and the decision came in: Cranberry. At first, I thought I'd do a tart. But these were just too cute to pass up. This is not an original recipe, as I saw these on www.MarthaStewart.com. (I figured since this is a "gimme" week, I didn't have to get too creative.) I followed the recipe exactly, choosing to put orange peel in the crusts. They're great! Try 'em!
---Jenny

MINI CRANBERRY MERINGUE PIES  (from www.marthastewart.com)

Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

     Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add yolk; pulse. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube; process until dough just holds together (no longer than 30 seconds). Shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (up to 2 days)

Cranberry Filling & Meringue:
3 1/4 cups fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped blood orange zest, plus 1/4 cup blood orange juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar

     Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 4 1/8-inch fluted rounds, and fit into cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin (not nonstick). Pierce bottoms with tines of a fork. Freeze 15 minutes.
     Line each shell with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment. Return to oven; bake until bottoms are just turning golden, 5 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks; let cool 5 minutes. Remove shells from tin; let cool completely.
     Bring 2 cups cranberries, 1 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst, about 5 minutes. Pour through a coarse sieve, then a fine sieve; discard solids. (You should have about 1 3/4 cups; if you have less, add water).
     Bring strained cranberry juice, 1/4 cup sugar, the zests, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and remaining 1 1/4 cups cranberries to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 3 minutes.
     Meanwhile, stir cornstarch, blood orange juice, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl; whisk into cranberry mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, until translucent, about 1 minute. Divide among prepared shells. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour (up to overnight).
     Preheat broiler. Put egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup sugar into the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water; whisk until sugar has dissolved and mixture is hot to the touch. Attach to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium speed until foamy. Raise speed to high. Add cream of tartar; beat until medium, glossy peaks form. Divide the meringue evenly among pies.     Set pies under broiler until tops are browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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I have a confession to make…I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, unless they have savory spices on them.  I love to make sweet potato fries and put cumin, cayenne, and garlic on them, but for this recipe, I tried something different.  I used Cajun seasoning, salt, and cinnamon.  They turned out great!  They’re spicy with a hint of cinnamon.  
---Karly

SPICY CINNAMON SWEET POTATO FRIES
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Olive oil
Cajun seasoning, to taste
Salt, to taste
Cinnamon, to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil (you want them to be lightly coated) and sprinkle with seasonings.  Toss them around with your hands to coat them well.  Bake at 400 degrees until crisp on edges and tender in the middle, about 30-40 minutes.

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These cookies are really good and really easy to make.  The cookie recipe is one from epicurious.com that is part of a recipe for chocolate candy cane cookies.   The filling recipe I modified to make cinnamon instead of peppermint.  Try them this weekend.
---Karly

CHOCOLATE-CINNAMON SANDWICH COOKIES

Cookies
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg

Filling
1 cup powdered sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa power, and salt. Set aside.  In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg.  Add the flour mixture and beat until blended (I found that after a certain point, I had to mix it with my hands).  Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls and roll into balls.  Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Using the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies until they’re about 2-inch rounds (the edges will crack some).  Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, or until the cookies no longer look wet, and a small indentation appears on the top of them when lightly pressed with fingers.  Cool completely on racks before filling.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and cinnamon with a mixer until well blended.  Spread filling on one cookie and top with another.  Store them in an airtight container.

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     Goodness, I was a bit stumped when it came to doing my savory dishes for Cinnamon Week. My Cinnamon Pork didn't come out quite like I expected, so I had to improvise and ended making that appetizer the next day into sliders! Sometimes our ideas are clarified with time. 
     There was really hardly a creative process with this one, save for substituting some ingredients. I found this recipe for Stifado, or a Greek-Style Beef Stew, on Yummly.com. I had to do conversions from metric measurements, and the recipe called for whole beef, but I only had ground beef. And I didn't have red wine vinegar, so I added red wine and vinegar (did you know that's all you have to do?). I also decided to add chickpeas. It came out really nice! The vinegar actually added a brightness to it. Lovely with cornbread or a toasted slice of sourdough.
     Happy Eating!   --- Jenny

STIFADO (GREEK-STYLE BEEF STEW)
1-1 ½ pound ground beef, cooked
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup red table wine
¼ cup white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
3 gloves garlic, diced
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
3-4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley

Pan-fry the beef until fully cooked. Add to a large stockpot, add all other ingredients, and simmer for 1 hour.

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“Aaaack!” Eloise exclaimed in horror. “The party is THIS weekend, and I have no idea what to bring. I don't want to take the same, old, boring dip!”

[Enter the hero.]

“Never fear! Kitchen Psycho is here! I have something that's just right for this time of year, and your friends and family will LOVE it!”

[Kitchen Psycho and Eloise embrace]

“Oh, thank you! What would I do without you?” Eloise wonders.

“I've been wondering the same thing!” Kitchen Psycho quips.

[They both chuckle.]
 [End of scene.]

     If only it were as easy as the commercials! In my opinion, there are two types of people in the world: the kind that do things the easy way, and the kind that do it the right way. Sometimes, the two are the same. But when it comes to food, that equality is not common. Often, the easy stuff is full of preservatives, hormones, fake sugars, BLECH! How often do people fix cheese dip out of Velveeta? I rest my case. That stuff isn't even real cheese! Food should be made with with real ingredients and from scratch! But I digress...
     This week, I have dedicated one of my posts as a DOUBLE post, meaning, it can be seen on TWO blogs. Sumptuous Spoonfuls has been so kind as to grant us a small stint on their blog, and of course you are viewing it on www.kitchenpsycho.com!  By the way, for those of you reading it here at KP, do us a favor and visit http://sumptuousspoonfuls.wordpress.com/. Anne's got some great food and great photos over there!

     Well, today we have an appetizer for you. It's a super easy slow-cooker recipe, and it's great for bringing to a get-together. I found this on www.allrecipes.com under the name “Cinnamon Pork”. The only improvement I would make is this: Add a few slices of bacon to the pot. Because everything is better with bacon, right?
     The slider idea is purely my creation. You can choose to make a Main Dish out of this by slicing the pork tenderloin into medallions and serving with rice and a veggie, say, steamed broccoli.
--- Jennifer

SLOW COOKER CINNAMON PORK SLIDERS (recipe from www.Allrecipes.com)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloins, cut in chunks

Add everything to slow cooker and cook on low 4-5 hours.

For sliders:
small wheat dinner rolls
slices of cinnamon pork
goat cheese, softened
dash of Chinese Five Spice
slices of tomato and lettuce

Spread goat cheese onto sliced rolls. Sprinkle with Five Spice and layer slices of pork, tomato and lettuce.

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