Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cranberries - not just for fighting kidney stones and UTI's

For those of you who really know me, this next post is going to surprise you. In fact, many of you who may think you know me, may not know that I have an affliction, one that can be paralyzing at the most inopportune times.

I do not like to mix my sweet foods with my salty foods. Now, if I wrote that statement 15 years ago I would have stated that "I cannot mix my sweet foods with my salty foods," but I have matured and I think my palette is more tame. Let me explain.

In my brain, there are sweet foods (desserts, ice cream, cake, jello, fruit, etc.) and there are salty foods (meat, vegetables, cheese, etc.) and there was a slim group of switch hitter foods, or foods that were both (pretzels, certain not salty and non sweet crackers, etc.).

So you see what a predicament I was in when I was offered jello salad with cheese in it (true story) or when friends wanted to split a salad with me that had candied walnuts and craisins or when meeting my "to be" in laws for the first time and I had to wipe my plate off with napkins as to not have gravy touch any of my fruits. AWKWARD!

Back then you'd NEVER find me eating pineapple on my pizza (which is NOT HAWAIIAN in the least, by the way...but that is a subject for another blog "Pineapple doesn't always mean Hawaiian"). You would not see me eating sweet and sour anything, you would not see any fruit salad or jello salad on the same plate as anything salty and you would never ever find me putting cranberry sauce on my turkey.  Actually, you probably wouldn't see me doing any of those things now, either...but that's not the point of my story.

Here's the surprise.  I'm about to post a recipe for an appetizer that has been a huge hit at every party I've brought it to. It's actually my friend Dave's recipe, but I now have adopted it as my own and I promise it will bring happiness to your parties.  I introduce you to Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese. (TIP: Buy many bags of cranberries after the holidays and the price goes down. They keep perfectly in the freezer and then you'll have them year round.)

(I borrowed this picture from the web and will replace it with my own when I get a chance.)

1/2 bag cranberries
1 bunch cilantro
1 jalapeno
1 green onion
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
Juice from one lime
Pulse in a food blender
Pour over cream cheese

I know, huh? Cranberries and sugar with onions and cilantro? But I promise. It's delicious. Even with salty crackers.

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