The Scramblog

Low-Sugar Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Low-Sugar Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce I briefly forgot how incredibly easy it is to make your own cranberry sauce.  I couldn't resist buying a bag of beautiful red cranberries during Thanksgiving season. As I've been trying to eat little to no added sugar lately, I wanted to make a low-sugar cranberry sauce. This version of low-sugar orange-ginger cranberry sauce is tart but we love the flavor to perk up the muted taste of turkey. You can, of course, always add more maple syrup to taste.Makes about 2 cups of sauce, 8 servings, 1/4 cup each Prep + Cook = 15 minutes1 lb. fresh cranberries 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or more to tasteIn a saucepan, combine the cranberries, juice and ginger, bring it to a boil. Partially cover it and simmer it for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are very tender and the sauce is thick. Stir in the...
  Nov 6, 2015   Easy Holidays/Entertaining, Recipes

Festive and Easy Holiday Cocktail Recipes

While some people know me as a family dinner expert, one of my favorite hobbies is mixology. I have a great time mixing cocktails and someday I hope to write a book of easy and fun cocktails and appetizers, which I have been developing for years.I am a member of a professional culinary organization called Les Dames d’Escoffier, and when they were looking for members to do a holiday demo in Washington, DC, I volunteered to teach people how to make some festive and easy holiday cocktail recipes.Because I too often don’t do things the easy way, I challenged myself to come up with all new cocktails for the event. In addition to daydreaming about the recipes, the most fun part was having friends over to concoct and test cocktails with me.  We came up with some wonderful combinations (although the sriracha margarita was very divisive) and these holiday cocktail recipes were the winners of the bunch. (Thank you to my talented friend and photographer Linda Wolpert for taking...

Ghostly Beef Stew Dinner Recipe for Halloween

Halloween is such a fun yet hectic time.  Cook this spooktacular recipe in advance or use your slow cooker to fill your goblins’ tummies with a delicious, nutritious fun meal.Our photographer Linda Wolpert whipped up these adorable mashed potato ghosts which you can serve on top of my Hearty Beef Stew for a Halloween-themed dinner before or after your children romp around on a chilly autumn night.Feel free to substitute other root vegetables like turnips and parsnips for the carrots and potatoes.To make the mashed potato ghosts, make our mashed potatoes or use your favorite recipe, adding extra water or milk as needed to make it smooth and creamy.  Put the mashed potatoes in a strong plastic bag (sandwich-sized Ziploc works well), snip 1 inch off the bottom corner of the bag on the diagonal, and squeeze out the ghosts. The eyes can be peppercorns, coriander seeds, pieces of olives or carrots; use your imagination! Hearty Beef Stew (Ghostly Beef Stew Dinner...
  Oct 5, 2015   Family Dinner, Recipes 2

Frittata with Red Potatoes and Greens

Eggs are the perfect protein—affordable and healthy, low in calories and saturated fat and high in protein and minerals.  Plus they can stay in the fridge for weeks so they’re always there for you in a pinch.  In this frittata recipe, the potatoes and greens provide great texture and color and make the meal extra nutritious and filling.  Serve it with whole grain English muffins and apple slices.Frittata with Red Potatoes and GreensPrep + Cook = 30 minutes8 servings3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 red onion, quartered top to bottom and thinly sliced 1 ½ lbs. red potatoes, halved and thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch) ½ tsp. dried oregano ¼-1/2 tsp. salt, to taste 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 1/8 tsp. black pepper 4 oz. kale, spinach or other greens, coarsely chopped 8 eggs 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese sriracha or salsa, for serving (optional)Heat a large heavy oven-safe skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium to medium-high heat.  When it is...

Slow Cooker Sweet and Smoky Corn and Pinto Bean Stew

This smoky, sweet stew has endless variations.  It can be served over rice, inside of a tortilla, or simply in a bowl topped with Cheddar cheese or crushed tortilla chips.  Now that I’ve learned that there’s no need to soak dry beans before cooking them, I’m going to be making them a lot more often instead of using canned beans.  Serve it with Apple Cheddar Cornbread.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Smoky Corn and Pinto Bean Stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 6 hours    Total Time: 6 hours and 10 minutes
16 oz. dry pinto beans, rinsed 16 oz. frozen roasted corn, or use regular frozen corn kernels 1 yellow onion, diced 2 medium white or sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 1/2 lb. smoked ham or soy chorizo, chopped 16 oz. medium or spicy salsa 6 cups water 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves) (can use Dorot frozen garlic) 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, with a little of the sauce...

Italian Shotgun Wedding Soup (Easy Italian Wedding Soup recipe)

Everyone loves Italian Wedding Soup, but the thought of making both the meatballs and the soup on a harried weeknight is a little daunting.  So I love this shortcut Italian Wedding Soup recipe that uses flavorful sausage instead of the meatballs, while still using the fresh vegetables that makes this soup so nourishing.  This is also excellent with 15 oz. diced tomatoes stirred in with the broth. Scramble recipe tester Amy Stanley said, “We all gave it 5 stars.  A perfect balance.” Serve it with garlic bread.
Italian Shotgun Wedding Soup
Prep + Cook Time: 30 minutes 8 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1/2 - 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup) 3 carrots, halved (or quartered if large) and finely chopped (about 1 cup) 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (1 cup) 12 oz. pre-cooked Italian turkey, chicken or meatless sausage (use wheat/gluten-free if needed), sliced into 1/2-inch slices 1 tsp. Italian seasoning...
  Jun 25, 2015   Recipes

Spinach and Mushroom Whole Wheat Crepes

I’m a little intimidated by making crepes. They are so delicate that they break easily and are hard to manipulate. Yet I love the way they taste and their texture enough that I decided to give them a try at home.  I’ll admit, they weren’t all pretty, but when one fell apart, I just topped it with a little of the filling and they still tasted good.  Scramble recipe tester Elana Berzon-Ezzel said, “These were EXTREMELEY easy to make! I was worried the kids wouldn't eat it because they don't like mushrooms or cooked spinach, but they ate it up.” If you have any leftover batter, cook them up plain and serve them drizzled with fresh lemon juice and topped with powdered sugar for dessert or filled with Nutella or jam.  Serve with roasted sweet potatoes or fresh sliced strawberries.

Spinach and Mushroom Whole Wheat CrepesPrep + Cook = 30 minutesMakes 8 servings crepes1 cup nonfat or 1% milk 3/4 cup water 2 eggs 3 1/2 Tbsp. butter 1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup...
  May 15, 2015   Family Dinner, Healthy Snacks, Recipes

Sabra Hummus Coupon: Celebrate National Hummus Day and Dip Life to The Fullest!

I’m a little obsessed with Hummus!  Yep, I’m not afraid to admit it.  (I could be fixated on worse, right??)
I so thoroughly enjoy the savory Mediterranean dip composed primarily of chickpeas, tahini, oil and garlic, that I find ways to eat it all the time.  Sometimes, I spread it on the inside of a sandwich or wrap, other times I dip cut up veggies or whole grain crackers into it and yet other times, I eat it by the spoonful (but I definitely don’t double dip)! 
Over the years, I’ve also come up with super-popular recipes that incorporate this creamy, protein-rich dip into them, including Mediterranean 7-Layer Dinner Dip and these Warm Eggplant Pita Sandwiches with Hummus

In Honor of National Hummus Day (May 21st) I have created some brand new family-friendly, delicious and healthy recipes using Sabra hummus.  May 21st only: Get a coupon to save on Sabra hummus here (More details below).

Warm Garlic Hummus Flatbread Rollups Prep + Cook = 15 minutes 4...
  Mar 23, 2015   Family Dinner, Healthy Snacks, Recipes

Award-Winning Recipes from Kids Who Cook Real Food

I recently wrote about some amazingly creative 11 to 14 year olds who participated in the Real Food for Kids cooking Contest.  The dishes the kids made were so innovative, well put together and most importantly, delicious that I had to share the recipes here.  Each of these dishes are things that I would be happy to serve my family.AvoFu   Me Caitlin Nguyen - age 14 Time: 35 minutes Servings: 2Ingredients: 1 package of extra firm organic tofu Salt Pepper 1 ripened avocado 1 lemon for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice 4 slices of tomato ¼ of a red onion 2 slices of organic whole wheat flax seed bread 2 slices of reduced fat provolone 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard 1 ½ tablespoons of honey ¼ teaspoon parsley flakes PepperInstructions for Tofu Fries: 1. Preheat the oven to broil. 2. Open the package of tofu and drain out the water within the container. 3. Layout one washcloth...
  Mar 10, 2015   Everyday Environmental, Recipes

Is It Spring Yet? Just 2 More Days!

Buh bye, winter! You only get two more days to torture us, right?If you live in the Midwest or Eastern US, I imagine you are as sick of this nasty season as I am.  This was the winter of snow storms, ice storms, and school, meeting and flight cancellations.  It was brutally cold, of course, but it was also slippery and crunchy.  Every morning I take a hike in the woods with our dogs unless there’s a dangerous or torrential storm.  I bless my Yaktrax for keeping me upright as we tromped through snow and ice.  I walk in nature in no small part because of the peace and quiet I enjoy before a day that is too often chaotic.  But this year, with layers of snow and ice underfoot, it was so loud and brittle in the woods that I couldn’t hear my walking partners talk, or if I was walking alone, I’d have to stop at times just to enjoy a moment of silence.If you try to eat seasonally, aren’t you getting tired of eating...