Cranberry Jalapeño Bruschetta

This week, I’m sharing some of my favorite Christmas Party foods. Everyone needs a few good, go to items to bring when you’re invited out at the holidays! We’re starting off with a recipe I stole from a friend after she brought it to a party last Christmas. The beautiful red color of the cranberries is perfect for this time of year! With sweet and tangy flavor from the cranberries and heat from jalapeno, they’re bright and vibrant in your mouth! You’ll be snagging these little babies until the plate is empty!

Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta

Extra recipe for a genius use of the drained juice since I hate wasting things with so much flavor! After you’ve let the berries soak in sugar and drain the juice, you are essentially left with cranberry simple syrup with a little pop of jalapeno. I whipped up an amazing martini for my husband by combining 3 parts vodka to one part cranberry syrup (drained juice). Shake over ice and pour into a martini glass. I wish I had a little jalapeno for a garnish with the cranberry…alas, had to use a lime. Oh well. Delish!

Cranberry Jalapeno Martini

Print Recipe for Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta

Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta
from What’s Cooking With Ruthie

1 (12oz) bag fresh cranberries, finely chopped
1 C sugar
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely sliced
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 baguette, sliced ½ inch thick on a diagonal
olive oil
additional cilantro leaf and quartered cranberry for garnish

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Place baguette slices on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake 5-6 minutes until golden brown, let cool.
  4. In mixing bowl combine cranberries, sugar, green onions, and jalapenos; mix until combined.
  5. Let marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Drain juice, add cilantro, mix well.
  7. When ready to serve spread 1 Tbsp cream cheese on each baguette, a dollop of cranberry mixture, garnish with additional cilantro leaf and cranberry if desired. Enjoy!

Dirty Vodka Martini

Any day is a good day for a dirty vodka martini. June 15th is an exceptionally good day. It’s the day I remember a man named Jeffrey. Most called him JD. He was my husband’s dad. I called him Jeff. He just referred to me as “the girl”. He was funny and crazy and I miss him all the time. My father-in-law used to say “Drinking a martini is just an excuse to eat olives.” He was right.

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Lemon Drop Martini

A good lemon drop martini is a perfect balance of tart and sweet. It should have enough vodka to give it a slightly dry martini feel in your mouth, but enough juice and sweetness to be utterly refreshing. This is my version. I think it’s pretty much perfect.

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Watermelon Martini

Watermelon = Summer. Watermelon + Vodka = Awesome Summer. I had some delicious red melon hanging around this week and decided the absolute best thing I could do with it was create a cocktail worthy of my favorite summer fruit. I could eat watermelon every single day of summer vacation and never tire of the cool sweet snack. Especially if it’s been chilled in a river while I’m camping. Mmmmm.

This beverage is simple and perfectly sweet. Be careful though, they go down easy and pack a punch.

Watermelon Martini
makes 2 martinis

4 ounces vodka
2 teaspoons (or to taste, depending on how sweet your melon is) simple syrup
1 cup watermelon, cut into chunks

Muddle melon slightly in a martini shaker with ice. Add vodka and simple syrup. Shake until well chilled. Strain into martini glasses and serve.

The Perfect Lemon Drop

My most loved cocktail in the world is a lemon drop. I order them whenever I’m out having a drink, but I’ve yet to find a restaurant that makes a really good one. They are still my favorite, but they’re always either too sweet or just too blah, not enough kick (which, I’m sure comes from not enough vodka). Anyway. I decided to create my own perfect drop. The other night I “tested” my recipe with my husband and came up with what I think is just sublime. You can use store-bought citrus vodka, but I think those have a bad aftertaste…I infuse my vodka with lemon by placing a few slices in a bowl and pouring the vodka over it…let sit for about an hour or overnight in a covered container. [Read more…]

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