Brunch on This | Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake

Tispy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake delicious for breakfast, brunch or dessert!Merry Christmas, y’all! Actually, I’m getting my post up late . . . so the day is almost over, but I hope lots of hugs were had, laughs were shared and memories were made!  With our oldest home from college, it’s been wonderful to have everyone together again . . .  and get back the full-immersion effects of being the only female of five people under the roof.

christmas jennifer and boys 2015

Today, I made big Christmas morning brunch for my kiddos, husband, mom and dad and family visiting from out of town.  A few of the dishes are traditional non-negotiables, like the Overnight French Toast, Barn Raiser Beef & Egg Bake, and Cinnamon Monkey Bread.  But, I always like to come up with a new holiday brunch recipe – and this one for Tipsy-Topsy-Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake was a hit! There is still plenty of holiday time left to make this delicious dish which can also double as a dessert (throw a scoop of ice cream on top). Don’t worry, the alcohol content in the liquor burns off, so it’s just fine to feed to the children.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Oh, so did I mention that after brunch and presents and clean-up, we went stand-up paddle boarding?! Only in Austin!

Jennifer Fisher of thefitfork.com stand up paddle board

So, what was your most memorable happening today? Or, have you ever made an upside down cake — with what fruit? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer

Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Tipsy Topsy Turvy Cranberry Ginger Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter and whisk in liquor and brown sugar. Stir in ginger and lemon zest and continue to cook for 2 minutes until combined and beginning to bubble.
  3. Spray pan with cooking spray and pour brown sugar mixture into bottom of pan. Add cranberries to top of brown sugar mixture; set aside.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour wet contents into bowl of dry contests and beat for 2 minutes with mixer or by hand, until well combined but not over mixed.
  6. Pour batter over cranberries.
  7. Bake for approximately 50 minutes in center rack of oven or until toothpick pulls clean.
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Olive You! Easy Holiday Recipes and Entertaining Inspiration

As the holidays approach, I think fondly of all those who are near and dear – and also my loved ones further away. And, of course, the readers of my blog and friends and supporters on social media are on my mind and heart, what would I do without you all! I just want to let you know that it would be the total PITS without you . . .  OLIVE YOU! Because OLIVE YOU so much (bear with the puns please), I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to use olives in holiday recipes.

Olive You

First, it’s cocktail hour. Might I suggest skewering up a salty olive to complement a sweet drink – you’d be surprised at how well the combination goes. Because I fall on my face easily enough sober, I typically limit myself to ½ a drink. With just one “mini” drink, I can still wake up refreshed for the fiercest workouts and morning to-do lists, but can still enjoy a little taste of fa-la-la libations.

Cranberry Martini with Mezzetta Olive

Here, I’ve added a Mezzetta Olive to a Mini Cranberry Martini – it’s a tablespoon each of vodka and cranberry juice along with a splash of lime juice – and cranberries for garnish.

Mezzetta Olives for a Cheese Board

Holiday Olive TrayNo cocktail party would be complete without an olive tray and cheese board filled with delicious noshes –  olives, aged cheeses, seasonal fruit, artisan crackers and an array of almonds. It’s simple yet sophisticated as a focal “snack” for your festivities and also makes a lovely prelude to any holiday meal and creates an abundance of Mezzetta Memories.

 

Pasta with Blue Cheese OlivesSpeaking of holiday meals, think of all those busy-night dinners leading up to and after the BIG DAY where a huge roast or bird isn’t on the menu – yet you have a house full of folks who have worked up quite the appetite shopping, wrapping, visiting, caroling, baking or being on hall-decking detail. My recipe for Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives is the easiest, most amazing holiday meal that comes together practically in the wink of an eye – or as long as it takes to cook pasta al dente. If you’re making it after Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza or whatever your holiday celebration may be, feel free to toss in any leftover main course protein such as beef tenderloin, pork roast or turkey breast!

Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives Recipe

  • 8 ounces uncoooked whole grain pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Mezzetta Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 12 ounces pre-cooked protein leftovers, like chicken, turkey, roast beef
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up olive oil in large skillet and saute garlic and red pepper flakes for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add olives and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes until warmed.
  4. Toss with noodles optional protein leftovers (warmed) and a little extra olive oil, if needed. Season with salt to taste. Stir in blue cheese while still warm.
  5. Serves 4.

 

 

 

Pasta with Mezetta Blue Cheese OlivesBeing able to make a speedy yet special recipe like Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives which uses extraordinary ingredients I wouldn’t necessarily use every day (including gourmet olives, bold blue cheese and sun-dried tomatoes) frees up my time to make more meaningful Christmas memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime. Plus, I appreciate the fact that Mezzetta, a fourth generation family-owned company, also values holiday tradition, family and providing the highest quality olives available from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. I like to keep quite a few varieties of Mezzetta olives stocked in my pantry for impromptu salads, pizzas, pastas, snacks and more — inspiration is just a twist away!

Mezzetta MemoriesPlease visit Mezzetta to find daily inspiration and enter the Holiday Memories Sweepstakes for a chance to win the holiday memories sharing pack. One winner will receive an Instant Print Digital Camera plus an Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket and ten others will receive the Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket – I have one, it’s fabulous! Expires Dec. 31, 2015 – enter here.

What are your favorite holiday memories that involve gathering friends and family around good food? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Cranberry Recipes for Thanksgiving Feasts + Health Benefits

Check out What's Thanksgiving Without Cranberries?!

by The Fit Fork at Foodie.com

This post is sponsored by Foodie.com.

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without cranberries on the table and I’m happy to be sharing a collection of cranberry recipes I put together for Foodie.com – you’ll find healthy cranberry recipes for Thanksgiving and the remainder of the holiday season.

12 Healthy Cranberry Recipes for the Holidays - thefitfork.com

If you’ve wondered why we mainly eat cranberries in the fall, it’s because they are in season October, November and December – the primary holiday meal making months! However, this sweet-tart berry has so many health benefits that I like to eat them year round.  Many of these health benefits are attributed to the phytochemicals known as proanthocyandidins found in cranberries – this compound in cranberries inhibit bacteria from adhering and multiplying in the body – that’s why drinking cranberry juice is a natural remedy for urinary tract infections. Cranberries may lower incidence of cancer; studies show polyphenolic extracts from cranberries diminish the growth of prostate, lung and esophageal tumor cells – cranberries have the highest level of this powerful antioxidant than 20 fruits and vegetables tested. As an athlete, cranberries are also a great source of natural carbohydrates to fuel workouts. Health Benefits of Cranberries - thefitfork.com

So, how can you enjoy cranberries year round when the store shelves are cleared out at the New Year? You can freeze fresh cranberries to use later in sauce, relish and other recipes. If you’re in a hurry, simply place original packing inside a heavy duty freezer bag and freeze for up to one year. If you have more time, I’d suggest rinsing and drying the cranberries and then freezing in a single layer on a baking sheet before placing in an airtight container. This allows you to grab a handful at a time without the berries being clumped together.

Do you have a favorite cranberry recipe? Please share!

Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish & #StackandSnap Food Processor #Giveaway

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Hamilton Beach. While they provided products for review, all opinions, editorial comments and recipes are my own.

Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish - TheFitFork.com

Looking for an easy, healthy holiday side dish you can make CHOP, CHOP?! My recipe for Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish is a real winner that beats that nasty canned jelly stuff with a wallop of fresh, zingy flavor. Versions of this recipe have been served at my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for as long as I can remember – while Grandma used to dump in a cup of granulated sugar, I keep it lower carb by using Stevia instead.

Cranberries Oranges and Ginger - TheFitFork.com

Can you believe there are only four (FOUR!) ingredients in this simple recipe and it can be whipped up in two minutes or less with the help of a food processor. Seriously, all you do is wash the fruit, quarter the orange (leave skin on!) and peel the ginger, throw all the healthy ingredients along with a touch of Stevia (or you could use honey) into the food processor and pulse for about a minute. Viola, you’re done – it’ tastes even better the next day and can be used as a side salad, relish for lean proteins, topping for yogurt, or as a way to add some seasonal razzamatazz to your turkey sandwich or roast beef wrap. And, for those of you with dietary concerns, this fruit recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and appropriate for Paleo, vegetarian, vegan and raw diets.

Hamilton Beach Stack and Chop Food Processor -and recipe from TheFitFork.com

I was so excited to receive a brand spanking new Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor from Hamilton Beach just in time for the holidays. My old one is almost 24 years old (wedding gift) and a pain in the butt to use – although, back then it was AWESOME! Today my new awesome is this good-looking Stack and Snap™ processor – it’s super easy to use thanks to a simple function guide that shows you which blade to use and which button to press. Another thing I appreciated right out of the box is that everything assembles with ease — there’s no twisting, turning or locking required when assembling the food processor. Uh, I hated using my old one because I could never remember how to put it together. I would have to holler for my husband to come into the kitchen to fix it because it was “broken.” Hey, don’t judge – I do all the cooking, he should make himself useful in the kitchen too!

Cranberry Relish in Food Processor - TheFitForkWith a powerful 450 Watt motor, this healthy-food-making bad boy can chop, slice, shred, mix and puree in no time, making my recipe prep time nearly non-existant. The Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor is also leak-proof, has a lock-down blade that won’t fall out when pouring and a Big Mouth® feed tube that can handle many whole-sized food (less pre-chopping by me)! Oh, and clean up’s a breeze, the parts (except for the base) are dishwasher safe.  So, you know it – I’m giving one away! Enter via the Rafflecopter app at the end of the recipe. 

 

Raw Cranberry Orange Ginger Relish Recipe

  • 1 lb. package fresh cranberries
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 2-inch chunk of ginger root, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons powdered Stevia
  1. Rinse cranberries and drain in colendar.
  2. Wash and quarter orange, remove any seeds but leave peel on.
  3. Peel ginger with paring knife and cut into chunks.
  4. Place all ingredients in work bowl of processor and pulse intermittently for one minute, or until coarsely chopped.
  5. Serves 6 – 8.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - bourbon cranberry apricot pecan relishIf you’re looking for another cranberry relish idea, check out this Bourbon Apricot Pecan Cranberry Relish recipe I did for last year’s feast. It is also sugar-free, but has a more syrupy, cooked on the stove top taste.

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie & Marathon Countdown

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie - TheFitFork.com

Where DOES the time go? It’s almost the middle of November which means cranberries are popping up everywhere, getting me excited for Thanksgiving) the subsequent Dallas Marathon just 17 days after that. Am I ready? No. Am I ever ready? No. So, I’m just not going to worry about it and be happy for what my body can do rather than what it can’t. Once again, I plan to follow the “fat-loading” pre-marathon diet that I did last year (read about it here). Because Dallas Marathon was canceled due to ice last year, I never got to see if all that avocado and salmon scarfing actually helped train my body to better tap fat stores as a more immediate source of fuel. The idea is that the body will spare glycogen reserves for use at the race by using fat stores more efficiently on the front end. In other words, no bonking – hopefully.

Dallas Marathon 2012 - Jennifer Fisher

2012 Dallas Marathon — it rained the ENTIRE race! That’s me, only girl in that group on far left.

So, enough about that – I can’t even think of running 26.2 miles at my race pace right now! Instead, I’d rather think about my Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie which is sweet-tart, but not over the top!  If you are looking for other autumn smoothie ideas, check out my collection of six fall season smoothies which includes a Maple Pear Chia Chiller. Enjoy!

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie - TheFitFork.com

Creamy Cranberry Orange Smoothie Recipe

  • 6 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • Lemon- or regular-flavored stevia, to taste
  • Ice, as needed

Blend together juices, yogurt and cranberries. Add stevia to taste and ice to achieve desired consistency. Serves.1

 

So, who’s running marathons in November or December? Let me know! 

Off the Hook Flavor! Coho Salmon with Cranberry Jalapeno Compote

This post is sponsored by Sizzlefish, I received products to review. However, all opinions, editorial comments and recipes are my own.

Cooler of Frozen Sizzlefish

Sizzlefish recently sent me an impressive assortment of fish and seafood to incorporate into my November menus — sable fish, salmon, trout, scallops and more. Honestly, I couldn’t decide which fish to fry first (speaking metaphorically, of course), so I pulled the Coho salmon out of the pre-portioned, individually-packaged pile. That’s one thing I appreciated right off the bat, the fact that each serving is single-serve (less waste) and measured out to be exactly 4 ounces (no guesswork). As a connoisseur of all proteins, I know that a 4 ounce serving of beef, chicken or fish protein gives me around 25 grams of protein which is the optimal amount for my body to take on at any one feeding.

For quite some time now, I have made a conscious effort to increase the amount of protein I’m eating and pair that with as much fresh seasonal produces as I care for. However, I haven’t eliminated all grain and starchy carbs from my diet, because after experimenting around with Paleo and such, I really feel like I need some quality carb fuel to keep me where I want to be as an athlete. That being said, the powers of protein have done great things for me including speeding up my recovery time, leaning me out and boosting my brain power (okay, jury still out on that one)! Everyone knows I love beef, that’s no secret – but when it comes to getting enough quality Omega-3 fats, even a Texas rancher would say – go eat some fish! My husband and I eat at least two servings of Omega-3 rich fish per week and you should too! I think you’ll love this fall-seasoned recipe I created this weekend – Coho Salmon with Cranberry and Jalapeno Compote.

Coho Salmon with Cranberry Jalapeno Compote - TheFitFork.com

Sizzlefish Coho Salmon with Cranberry Jalapeno Compote - thefitfork.com

Coho Salmon with Cranberry and Jalapeno Compote Recipe (serves 2)

  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper (omit if you don’t like spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons Jalapeno jelly
  • 2 4-ounce portions of Coho Salmon (might I suggest Sizzlefish?)
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pepita (pumpkin) seeds, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. On stovetop, add orange juice, cranberries, jalapenos, and jalapeno jelly to small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer, stirring frequently, for approximately 5 -7 minutes until cranberries have popped and cooked down.
  3. Meanwhile, place thawed salmon, skin side down, on rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To serve, scoop a generous serving of the cranberry compote atop salmon. Sprinkle with pepita seeds, if desired.

Note – skin may be removed from salmon after cooking, but at least try to eat the darker flesh next to the skin because where A LOT of the good-for-you fats are found.

Try Sizzlefish for yourself — use discount code TRISIZ for $10 off order!

What is your favorite type of fish?

Easy Autumn Dinner! Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce

Fall weather is here! Fall flavors are here! Fall family togetherness is here! All I want to do through the end of the year is gather my family ‘round the dinner table for a hearty and healthy meal paired with productive, thought-provoking conversation with my three teens. After all, one is leaving the nest next year and the others aren’t far to follow.

Sometimes the dinner chatter is really deep – like the other night my middle son posed the question, “Do you believe that retaliation can ever be justified?”  I’m thinking, “oh no” what happened, who did what to whom? The good news is that these three brothers who usually get along so well, still do – the query was actually one asked in school. Apparently, my son was the only kid who vocalized that retaliation, in any form, is not okay. He said, “If everyone gave an eye for an eye, then the whole world would be blind.”  So true!  Although he paraphrased this wisdom from Ghandi, I still got that warm fuzzy feeling of good parenting — ahhh, I’m doing an awesome job.  Then, youngest son – “I will so smash your computer if you take that last dinner roll.”

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

So, let me just say, there was no retaliation against mom after serving a (gasp) new food to the kids – lamb.  My husband and I have both had lamb in the past, served as chops or roasts with the nasty mint jelly – it’s not something I’ve ever thought to make myself. But, American Lamb sent me a big ole boneless shoulder roast and some votes of confidence that I could create something really delicious with this often overlooked meat.

 

 

So, I came up with a fall-inspired recipe for Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Glaze and I served it over some insanely mouth watering Caramalized Onion and Kale Sweet Potatoes – I will share this sweet potato recipe later this week (you do not want to miss it)!

Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce Caramalized Onion Kale Sweet Potatoes Jennifer Fisher

So, these are the things I learned from the lamb experiment. The lamb was delicious and braised up just like a beef chuck roast and shreds up really nicely to serve over sweet potatoes, rice, or even in a sandwich – my kids thought it was really great! I also realized you could easily make this recipe in a slow cooker rather than the Dutch oven – just set it on the low setting and slow cook for 8 – 10 hours.  Another thing I learned is that fresh cranberries lose their color when you cook them all day. That’s okay — I still needed to reduce the sauce down, just threw in some extra. Bam, there you go – meaty, sweet, tangy, total deliciousness.

braised lamb shoulder with cranberry ginger sauce title

Braised Lamb with Cranberry-Ginger Glaze Recipe

  • 1 3 – 4 lb. boneless American lamb shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries (divided)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (divided)
  • ¼ cup honey
  1.  In 6 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high.
  2. In small bowl, mix together pepper, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and thyme. Rub into lamb roast, coating evenly.
  3.  Add lamb shoulder roast to heated pot and sear for approximately 3 – 4 minutes on each side until browned nicely.
  4. Lower heat and add chopped onions, cranberries, wine, cranberry juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger. Top with lid and simmer on medium to medium low for approximately 3 hours or until fork tender and easy to shred.
  5. Remove roast from pot and discard unwanted fat.  Pour off approximately ½ of cooking juices and add remaining fresh cranberries, remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, and honey.
  6. Simmer this mixture for approximately 15 minutes until cranberries have popped and sauce reduced and thickening.
  7. Serves 8

The American Lamb Board provided me with product for this post, but all thoughts, comments, opinions and recipe are my own.

Just curious , have YOU ever cooked lamb at home before?

{Personal-Sized} Tipsy Cranberry Crisps Recipe

Well, I thought I was done blogging about healthy desserts and sweet yummy things for the holiday season, but these {Personal-Sized} Tipsy Cranberry Crisps came out of the oven begging to be shared! Just look at the way the naturally sweet berry juices are bubbling down the sides, sigh. I can’t believe I have to wait until this evening to dig it.

tipsy cranberry crisp thefitfork large

There are a couple reasons why I like making “personal-sized” servings, especially with desserts. First, there is portion control – I’m only going to eat what my little ramekin holds and no more. Really. The parameters are clearly defined, unlike with whole-sized desserts where I might find myself (ahem) nibbling away at the rough edges. Another reason is just plain and simple-peace keeping with three teenage boys at the table. With individual portions, there is no fighting over whom (literally) has a bigger slice of the pie. And finally, I just adore the way personal-sized portions look. We’re dining upon an elegant beef tenderloin roast for dinner tonight and I was worried that making a “crisp” in my old cast-iron skillet (the way I typically would with this peach pecan crisp) might look a little out of place with Mom’s fine holiday china. But, in these single-serve ramekins, my humble cranberry crisp now looks like it deserves to be spooned up with the real silverware.

Fresh cranberries contain a lot of air and will "pop" as they cook! It's normal!

Fresh cranberries contain a lot of air and will “pop” as they cook! It’s normal!

oats crisp topping thefitfork

Use a pastry knife, the tines of a fork or a food processor to cut the butter into the oat mixture.

{Personal-Sized} Tipsy Cranberry Crisps Recipe

For topping:

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, cut into small bits

For filling:

  • 12-ounces fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup Grand Marnier (or water, if preferred)
  • ½ cup raisins, any variety
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven the 350 F degrees.

In mixing bowl, add flour, oatmeal and brown sugar; stir to combine. Cut butter into small chunks and use the back of fork or pastry knife to cut in butter until mixture has a coarse consistency.

For filling, add cranberries, liquor (or water) raisins, and corn starch to medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stir constantly. Reduce heat and simmer mixture for approximately 6 to 8 minutes or until cranberries “pop.” Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Divide filling evenly into ramekins that have been lightly misted with baking spray. Spoon topping evenly on top of cranberry filling and lightly pat down with back of spoon. Place all ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes before serving. For a special treat, serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Serves 8.

So, what was on my workout agenda this Christmas Eve?  An EASY 4 mile run and a few minutes of planking. I’ll be taking a few days off to enjoy time with family. What about you?

jennifer plank