Cranberry Clementine Cocktail

We had a super lucky new year. I tried two new recipes and they were both over the moon fantastic. One was the PB Cups and the other was this- a Clementine, Cranberry, Rosemary cocktail. Whoa, this was amazing!

First- freshly squeezed clementine juice is the nectar of the gods. It's sooooo good, you could probably use it as a base for any drink and come up with perfect. I used unsweetened cran juice which is, I think, intolerable on it's own. I also used Reed's Ginger Brew (the hard core stuff that's way more ginger and way less sweet than Ginger Ale), and Piper Sonoma Brut sparkling wine- which I had not tried first before adding to the cocktail. After having two of these delicious, amazing drinks, I tried the wine alone and it was vile. It was $15 wine (sale price), but tasted like $3 wine- it was just grodie. Which I think is a testament to how amazing the juice combo is because the cocktail was delicious.

I also tried an n/a version and mixed the juice combo with club soda instead of wine, which was also great. The juice on its own was even good too, but it all need to be consumed the night that you mix it. I tried it the next day and the rosemary had elbowed out all of the other flavors. You can find the recipe HERE

Cranberry Orange Nut Muffins

These are some tasty muffins from Isa Chandra Moskowitzs' Vegan Brunch book. Her Bakery Style muffins from this book have become my go-to recipe (which I've oddly enough never photo'd for the blog). These are equally amazing in a way that feels a mite more healthy (there are cranberries, orange juice and walnuts involved- it's practically a meal in a muffin).

They have a great balance of flavors, any one of them seems dominant when you focus on it, which I think means that they're all doing a good job. The crans are crazy tart. The muffins have an all over orange-y taste. There's almond extract, which is very prominent (that stuff is STRONG!), but in these, it's ok (generally I halve any almond extract called for in recipes b/c it is so overpowering). In this case, it adds a fullness that the muffins need b/c between the crans and oranges could get a bit too citrus/ tarty. Same with the nuts, they are an absolute must or- again- the muffin would be too high pitched. The nuts add a low end (forgive the music analogies- I am married to a music fella). All in all- they're really good.

The tops are nice- they have a light crunch to them b/c (the author says) of the juice in the recipe. I would still prefer blueberry over anything, but this is good to mix it up. It is also great as a fall muffin and would even be good during the holidays when you have family spending over to have these in the morning. They're super easy too, which is a plus, particularly at this time of year when you have enough to do :)