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Twist on the Holidays
The Grateful Palate Provisions
Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 6:28 PM
Joined: 26/06/2013
Posts: 15

As the calendar flipped to November, I realized the holiday season is approaching fast. For me, this time of year is all about food, entertaining and finding ways to delight and surprise friends and family. I’m sure it’s the same for many of you!

For this month’s post, I’m offering some creative twists on traditional menus we know and love. Beginning with cranberry and almond quinoa, a trendy and nutritious substitute for traditional stuffing, here are a couple of unique recipes to serve along with your turkey and ham.

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is a protein-rich seed full of antioxidants, and a great source of potassium. This recent food trend is gluten free and often used as an alternative to pasta or rice. With its mild and nutty flavor, it can be enjoyed many ways.  


Cranberry and Almond Quinoa 


½ cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

1 garlic clove, minced  

¼ cup diced onion 

1 cup water 

½ teaspoon salt 

½ cup diced bell pepper 

¼ cup dried cranberries 

¼ cup slivered almonds 

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Fresh cracked pepper 

1 tablespoon fresh mint, thinly sliced 


Add quinoa to a fine mesh colander, rinse under running water, drain and set aside. 

Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a medium-size saucepan fitted with a lid. Heat oil on medium heat, and add minced garlic and onions. Continuously stir until onions are translucent, approximately three minutes. 

Add the washed quinoa to the saucepan. Add the water and salt. Bring quinoa to a boil, cover with the lid and simmer until all of the water is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes. Check the quinoa, fluff with a fork, and allow for cooking longer if needed, or turn off the heat if the quinoa is fully cooked. The quinoa should not look soggy. 

Taste the quinoa and season with more salt and freshly cracked pepper to your liking. 

Add the bell pepper, cranberry, almonds and cinnamon to the cooked quinoa, stir to combine. 

Add the mint just before serving, gently stirring into the quinoa. Garnish with additional mint if desired. 


Sweet Potato Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Cream 

Nothing reminds me of the bountiful harvest more than the vivid orange of sweet potatoes. Thanksgiving would not be the same without sweet potato pie!  




1 egg 

3 tablespoons dark corn syrup 

½ tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar 

1 tablespoon margarine or butter 

1 teaspoon maple flavoring 

1 cup chopped pecans 


1 pound sweet potatoes 

¼ cup margarine or butter 

1 can sweetened condensed milk 

1 teaspoon grated orange zest 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

¼ teaspoon salt  

2 eggs 

1 unbaked pastry shell 


1 cup heavy cream 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

3 tablespoons granulated sugar 



  • To make topping: In a small mixing bowl, combine egg, corn syrup, light brown sugar, margarine and maple flavoring; mix well. Stir in pecans and set aside. 
  • To make pie: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat warm sweet potatoes with margarine until smooth. Add condensed milk, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and eggs; mix well. Pour into pastry shell. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven; spoon topping evenly over pie. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until golden brown. Cool. Serve warm or chilled. 
  • To make cinnamon cream: In a medium-size bowl over ice, whisk heavy cream. Add cinnamon and sugar, and whisk to medium-stiff peaks. Serve alongside pie. 

 Plymouth Rock Cocktail 

Add all-American cheer to your celebration with the cinnamon and honey flavors of none other than Jack Daniels. 

1 oz. Jack Fire 

1 oz. of Jack Honey 

1 bar spoon pumpkin puree 

1 oz. fresh lemon juice 

Top it off with your favorite pumpkin beer 


If you have questions, please email me at We are situated on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway just south of Oakland Park Boulevard at 3033 NE 32 Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Our three complementary businesses, Grateful Palate Provisions, Events by Grateful Palate and Shooters Waterfront, share a 340-foot deep-water concrete dock offering shore power and water service. Call +1 954.566.2855 for more information.