Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spiced Apple Cider Sangria and Spinach Goat Cheese Torte

The holidays are a great way to introduce yourself and others to new home cooked recipes. Sangria is always a favorite drink of mine, especially since it can change with the seasons! I found this recipe on Pinterest a few months ago and knew it would taste amazing! 

Spiced Apple Cider Sangria
Recipe adapted from My Life as a Mrs. (very fitting)
For the Spiced Apple Cider: 
2 cups apple cider 
1/3 cup sugar 
2 cinnamon sticks 
1/2 teaspoon cloves 
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 
1/2 teaspoon orange zest 
1/2 orange 
For the Spiced Apple Cider Sangria: 
1 bottle inexpensive sweet wine 
2 cups spiced apple cider (recipe above) 
1/2 cup orange juice 
1/2 cup brandy (I omitted, tasted amazing without)
  For the Spiced Apple Cider: Mix together all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Strain before using. For the Spiced Apple Cider Sangria: Mix ingredients together in a large pitcher and garnish with orange wheels and cinnamon sticks. To serve, pour over ice. 

This spiced cider made the kitchen smell amazing!

For a non alcoholic drink I suggest making the spiced cider and combining it with sparkling apple cider! That way you get the warm, spicy taste with a little bubbly!

I doubled the sangria recipe and shared it at my family's pot luck Christmas and my future mother in law's day after Christmas brunch. It was definitely a hit and a recipe I'll be making annually!

I also brought a spinach and goat cheese appetizer to our Christmas pot luck. It was one of the first things gone and I'm so glad everyone loved it! Everyone in my family is an amazing cook, so I wanted to live up to their dishes!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Torte
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick)
unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 small cloves or 2 medium cloves)
2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach or 1 16 ounce bag fresh spinach
1 cup goat cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs, plain or seasoned
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
phyllo dough
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray your cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, and cook them for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 more minute. In the meantime, squeeze the water out of the spinach, and place it into a large bowl. If using fresh spinach, add the onion and butter mixture to a large pan on medium heat with the spinach and cook down. Add the onion mixture, goat cheese, Parmesan, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg. Mix well. Set aside. Unfold one sheet of phyllo dough and place it on your lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil or melted butter between 4 layers. Spread the spinach mixture in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Place 4 more phyllo dough sheets (brushed with olive oil or butter between each layer) over the spinach, and seal the edges. Make three slits in the pastry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned (be careful not to burn the phyllo dough). Transfer to a cutting board, and serve hot. (Slice with a long serrated knife, if possible.)

We had an amazing Christmas being engaged! I can't believe this time next year I'll be married and be a home owner. I plan on having several holiday parties at our place!

Hope you guys ate a ton of amazing food over the holidays! Now it's time to hit the gym :)

By the way, if you have a moment please vote for our proposal story by clicking the heart underneath our story! Click here.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for posting that you made this without the brandy! i've been searching high and low to see how it turns out without it since i don't have any on hand. glad it turned out well!