ArticlesCooking from the Garden
Scrumptious Holiday Recipes from Sun Gro
The holidays are a time to share, while feeling thankful for the past year and hopeful for the new. We at Sun Gro, the parent company of Growers Gold, would like to share some holiday goodness with a few of our favorite seasonal recipes. These are time-tested treats that our Sun Gro team members enjoy each season. Hopefully, they will bring some holiday cheer to you, our customers and supporters, as well. Happy Holidays!
Holiday Sangria Without the Wait
Shawnee S. Vetanovetz is Sun Gro’s Retail Customer Support Specialist, and she likes a holiday party as much as anyone else. Here’s a fast and delicious sangria she enjoys making at this time of year that looks as great as it tastes.
1 bottle (750 ml) good cabernet sauvignon
½ cup dark rum
1 (12oz.) can ginger ale
Juice from ½ small lime
Juice from ½ small lemon
1 lemon, lime and orange sliced
Mix together all liquid ingredients together in a glass pitcher.
Add the slices of lemon, lime and orange.
Refrigerate (to chill) for 1 – 2 hours, if desired. If you prefer a fruitier sangria, allow the mix to refrigerate and “marry” for up to 24 hours.
Sun Gro Sales Rep Miranda Kelly takes care of sales in the California region, and in her spare time she loves to cook. This recipe was adapted from one she found online sometime back. Now she makes it every year. It’s a little like Cracker Jack but healthier and tastier.
4-6 cups plain popcorn
1 cup raw chopped cashews or peanuts
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a small pot set to low heat, melt the butter and honey together. Mix in the cinnamon, ginger and salt.
Put the nuts in an extra large mixing bowl. Coat them with about a tablespoon of the butter/honey/spice mixture.
Spread the coated nuts onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the same large bowl evenly coat the plain popcorn with the remaining butter/honey mixture, being sure to remove any unpopped kernels.
After the nuts have been in the oven for 6 minutes, take out the tray, add the popcorn to it, and mix it all up together. Stick the tray back in the oven and set the timer for 4 minutes.
After 4 minutes open the oven and stir or shake the mixture around on the baking sheet. Set the timer for 2 more minutes.
Once again open the oven and stir/shake the mixture so there are no hot spots that could get burnt. Set the timer for 1 more minute at which point the mixture will once again need to be checked/stirred.
Repeat the process of checking/stirring the popcorn mixture every minute then take it out of the oven once it turns a dark brown. (Be careful! It can burn easily toward the end!) My total bake time is generally 6 minutes for the nuts then an additional 7 or 8 minutes once the popcorn has been added.
The popcorn and nuts will be slightly wet right out of the oven, but will harden as they cool.
Fruited Cranberry Sauce
The holidays are not complete without this delicious homemade cranberry sauce, which is made yearly by Jessie Keith who manages Sun Gro Communications. Truly, it is not your average cranberry sauce. It’s loaded with fruit, nuts and Grand Marnier, making it more like a dessert than a condiment for turkey. It even tastes great on pumpkin pie!
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup finely chopped apple (a tart cooking apple is best)
3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1 large orange, zested and juiced
Boil sugar and water in a medium saucepan until the sugar has totally dissolved, around 5 minutes. Add in the fresh cranberries, return to a boil, then lower to medium-low heat and simmer for around 8 minutes. Add the apples, golden raisins, orange juice, orange zest and Grand Marnier then cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure all the cranberries have popped by squishing those that are still whole. Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool. Mix in the pecans before serving (this keeps them more crisp).
Add the mix to a pie shell and bake or enjoy with a festive turkey dinner.
This amazing gingerbread is another favorite of Jessie Keith’s. Each year she uses it as a base to make gingerbread houses with her children.
3/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark molasses (not black strap! Grafschafter syrup is also good and makes a lighter cookie)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
healthy pinch of salt
3 1/4 cups sifted flour
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, and then mix in the molasses and water. Sift in the dry ingredients, mixing them with the wet until all is fully combined. Flour your hands and pull the dough together into a flattened ball, and chill it for at least 12 hours.
Before you roll the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Flour up a board and pin and cut your dough in two. Roll out the dough to a thickness of around 1/4 inch. Be sure to keep the board and pin floured to stop the dough from sticking. Cut out your shapes, and reroll any excess dough. (Try not to overwork it as this results in tough cookies!)
Place the rolled cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for eight to ten minutes, depending on how large or thick your cookies are. The less baked, the chewier the cookie. Allow the cookies to cool before decorating them.