Candied Walnuts or Pecans with Holiday Spices

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With their crunchy, sweet-spiced coating, these nibbles are great at parties and they are healthy! They also make an ideal homemade Christmas gift when packaged and tied with a pretty ribbon.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 oz walnut or pecan halves

Directions

  • Put the sugar, water, orange zest and spices onto the AGA ultimate baking tray.
  • Stir together and add the nuts.
  • Cook in your AGA Roasting Oven (or simmer on your stove top) until the liquid has evaporated and the nuts have absorbed the flavors. Cool before serving.

Source: Bonnie Fleming

Mulled Spiced Wine

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Thaw out this winter with a glass of mulled spiced wine to warm you up from the inside.  This recipe calls for an extra punch of rich liquor.

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles red wine
  • 2 oranges
  • 8 cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ – 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup liquor (Cointreau, Brandy, Grand Marnier, Cognac)

Directions for AGA Cast Iron Range

  • Shave a few peels of orange zest, then slice orange and add to an AGA Danish Pot or large stockpot.
  • Pour all ingredients in and let sit on the back of your AGA (can stay several days, add water to dilute if needed).
  • You may also start pot in simmering oven for speed, but DO NOT let come to a boil.
  • Serve warm.

Directions for Conventional Range

  • Add ingredients to large stockpot and simmer, but DO NOT let come to a boil.
  • Serve warm.

Source: Katherine Vest

Bruschetta on Ciabatta Toast

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A classic appetizer, bruschetta (pronounced brusketta) combines the bursting flavors of garden-fresh tomatoes with robust garlic, basil and creamy mozzarella cheese, layered on a crunchy ciabatta toast.

Ingredients

  • Ciabatta loaf
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 5 – 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • Basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 package whole mozzarella, sliced

Directions

  • Cut a ciabatta loaf into slices, about ½” thick.
  • Brush with olive oil and place on baking tray and toast on the floor of the Roasting Oven or 450°F in a conventional oven. Alternatively, you also can use the AGA grill pan. Get grill pan hot and toast until the bread is “branded” with stripes on both sides.
  • Rub the toasted bread with a half a garlic clove and season with sea salt and black pepper. Top with sliced mozzarella and place back in the oven briefly, just until the cheese becomes soft and slightly melted. Top with chopped tomatoes and torn basil leaves. If you like extra flavor, add chopped red onion and garlic. Serve warm.

Try This Variation

  • Crumble Gorgonzola mixed with Mascarpone and finished with a walnut half.

AGA Hot Spiced Mulled Cider

6425785291_4194fdc483_oMulled Cider Recipe

Warm up with this festive holiday drink, served piping hot with a fresh cinnamon stick.  You’ll love the rich aroma of mulled cider and spices filling your home with the spirit of the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 2 pints dry or sweet cider
  • 3 oz brown sugar
  • 3 allspice berries (whole allspice)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon

Directions

Place all ingredients in the large AGA 6L casserole or stockpot and bring to a boil. Take heat down, and simmer for 15 minutes. If you have an AGA cast iron range, transfer from boiling plate to the simmering oven for 15 minutes. Strain and serve hot with a cinnamon stick.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Mint Infusion

cranberry-sauce

Fresh cranberry sauce with mint infusion

Looking for a new twist on traditional cranberry sauce for the holidays? This homemade cranberry sauce recipe adds an invigorating infusion of fresh mint flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 bag (12 oz) cranberries, fresh
  • 1 bunch mint, fresh

Directions

  • In a saucepan, add sugar, orange juice, zest, ginger and nutmeg and simmer until dissolved.
  • Add berries, and simmer for 30 minutes until berries have popped and sauce has thickened. (Hint: if you have an AGA cast iron range, transfer the saucepan to the simmering oven and relax for 30 minutes.)
  • Chop mint leaves and add just before serving.

Source: Katherine Vest

Easy Holiday Crostini Recipe

crostini recipe

This crostini recipe variation is topped with prosciutto, mozzarella and chives.

Canapés are perfect for holiday parties, and they’re quick and easy in your AGA.  Flex your host muscles without breaking a sweat with this simple yet impressive crostini recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 package Boursin cheese
  • 4 – 5 tomatoes
  • 1 jar of sliced black olives
  • Basil leaves for garnish

Directions

  • Cut a small, narrow loaf such as a baguette into slices, about ½” thick.
  • Spread with a soft cheese such as Boursin.
  • Top with a slice of tomato and sliced olives.
  • Sprinkle with grated cheese and place on a piece of Bake-O-Glide on an AGA baking tray.
  • Place on the floor of the Roasting Oven (or 425°F in a conventional oven) and bake for about 8-10 minutes. Serve with garnished herb.

Variations

  • Spread with pesto instead of Boursin.
  • Top with tomato slice, season and cover with goat cheese.
  • Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and toast uncovered.
  • Serve spread with Tapenade and top with prosciutto and a basil leaf.

Hearty Vegetable and Sausage Bake

hearty-veg-and-sausage-bakeThe AGA cast iron range makes the best comfort food

This supper has it all! Loaded with tasty vegetables, meaty sausage and a crisp golden topping tempting everyone to tuck in. Plus, a sigh of relief for those who do the washing up, as this square meal comes in just one dish.  Enjoy this hearty vegetable and sausage bake alongside roasted red skin potatoes or buttered egg noodles.

Serves 4-6

 

Ingredients

3 medium leeks, washed and sliced

1 lb. tomatoes, quartered

1 green pepper, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 red onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red chili, finely chopped

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Italian dried herb seasoning mix

Salt and black pepper

6 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

8 Italian sausages

Topping

1 cup breadcrumbs

¾ cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 tsp Italian dried herb seasoning mix

Instructions

Place the leeks, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and chili into a shallow ovenproof dish. Cover vegetables with olive oil and dried herbs and mix well.

Place the dish on the floor grid of the roasting oven and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Mix in the mushrooms then arrange the sausages on top. Return to the roasting oven and cook for a further 35 minutes, turning the sausages over occasionally to brown all their sides.

Place the breadcrumbs, cheese and herbs into a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle over the sausages and return to the roasting oven, third runner down, for a further 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crispy.  Serve this hearty vegetable and sausage bake straight from the oven to the table.

 

Autumn Vegetable Soup

autumn-vegetable-soupA Family Fall Favorite Meal on the AGA Cast Iron Range

Getting in your daily vitamin requirements has never been easier, or more delicious, with this fantastically rustic soup.
Representing the colors of fall, a bowl of this steaming delight is perfect for crisp, fall weather.

Serves 6-8

 

 

Ingredients

1 large leek, sliced

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, chopped

2 sticks celery, diced

1 potato, diced

1 Zucchini, diced

1 lb. tomatoes, diced

3 ½ pints vegetable broth or chicken stock

Piece of Parmesan cheese rind

Salt and black pepper – to taste

1  14 ½ oz. can of Borlotti beans, or Northern beans, drained

1 cup fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped

2 ½ oz. tiny pasta shapes, such as farfalline or ditalini

Instructions

In a large stockpot, place the prepped leek, carrots, celery, potato, zucchini, tomatoes, water or stock and a piece of Parmesan rind, season.

Bring to the boil on the boiling plate and then simmer for about 45 minutes on the simmering plate. Add the drained Borlotti beans, spinach leaves and pasta to the stockpot, stir and simmer for another 6-8 minutes.

Remove the Parmesan rind and serve in bowls accompanied by crusty bread.

Alternative cooking method

Make as above and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the covered stockpot to the floor of the simmering oven and cook for 1 hour. Complete as above. Alternatively, use the roasting or baking oven when on slumber.

 

A Healthy Breakfast on the AGA Cast Iron Range

porridgeOatmeal, also known as Porridge

Any health guru will tell you porridge is a perfect start to the day and this recipe is particularly virtuous, as it needs only water, not milk.  Enjoy a healthy breakfast on the AGA cast iron range with this simple, and delicious, recipe.  With the AGA Total Control cast iron range, you may cook it two different ways.

1) On the hotplate, or

2) Over-night cooking, which means waking up to a warm, no-effort breakfast.

Both options will provide four (4) servings.

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats, old-fashioned oats

3 ¼ cups water

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Over-Night Instructions

Bring the water and oatmeal to the boil in a 4 quart AGA saucepan on the Boiling Plate, stirring often. Once at a boil, move to Simmering Plate and simmer for 1minute.

Cover and transfer to the oven grid shelf on the floor of the Slow Cook Oven and leave overnight, about 6-7 hours. In the morning take the pan from the oven and stir well and top with your favorite toppings then serve.

Hotplate Instructions

Bring the water and oatmeal to the boil in a 4 quart AGA saucepan on the Boiling Plate, stirring often. Once at a boil, move to Simmering Plate and simmer for 5minutes, stirring well. Remove from heat and serve immediately with your favorite toppings.

Oatmeal – Porridge Topping Optionsporridge2

Fruit & Nut Conserve – The Canning Diva has a delicious recipe for Peach Pistachio Conserve

Fruit compote

Add 1 teaspoon of molasses and sprinkle with brown sugar

A dash or two of Cinnamon and sprinkle of brown sugar

3 Tablespoons of raisins

1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed, a dash of nutmeg and a sprinkle of brown sugar

We would love to hear from you!  Feel free to share how you enjoy a healthy breakfast on the AGA cast iron range.

 

 

Baking Bread in the AGA Cast Iron Range

Baking Bread on a cast iron AGA Total Control

Soda-Bread

There are many benefits of baking your own bread but there is definitely something special about baking bread in the AGA cast iron range.  For starters, if you want a healthy, low-calorie bread making your own gives you the ability to control the caloric intake.  Most commercial breads are loaded with salt sugar, fats and dairy causing an increase in calories you may not need.

Another benefit of baking bread in the AGA cast iron range is you are in control of the bread’s ingredients.  Store-bought brands often contain more than 20 ingredients including additives and preservatives elongating its shelf-life.  When making your own breads at home on your AGA, you know what each loaf contains and I bet your ingredients are not derived in a laboratory.  Having the ability to add real fiber and beneficial nutrients to each loaf of bread is a true benefit to baking at home.  There are many recipes on how to create low-carb breads with healthy substitutions to traditional wheat flour.

Baking homemade bread often presents a cost savings too.  Many high-end organic breads from artisan bakeries may cost upwards of $6.00 per loaf.  When baking at home on your AGA cast iron range, the average cost of a loaf is $0.70.  Knowing each AGA cast iron range oven offers substantial capacity, you may maximize your oven space baking several loaves at once without minimizes quality.

Taste.  Probably the biggest benefits of baking your own homemade bread is FLAVOR!  When baking or cooking with the AGA cast iron range, the radiant heat of the cast iron helps lock-in moisture and flavor.  Few would argue that fresh-baked homemade bread is far tastier than store-bought loaves. Even a plain loaf is delicious, and your creative customization’s will take it over the top. Add your favorite healthy grains and seeds, use a mixture of flours or add dried fruit and spices to create a low-sugar breakfast loaf. Want to add a bit of protein – and flavor?  Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  (Everything tastes better with cheese…)  Homemade crackers, rolls, and tortillas are easy variations on loaves that will complement a wide array of dishes and cuisines.

Fresh Bread on the AGA

Ingredients

8 ½ cups bread flour, divided
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons instant yeast
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
2 cups water
1 cup milk
1 to 2 tablespoons

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine 7 cups of the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, egg.

Put oil, water and milk in a saucepan and warm on Simmering Plate. Pour over flour mixture. Mix.

Pour remaining bread flour onto counter, making a well in the center and empty dough into well. Knead flour in until dough is no longer sticky.

Place into oiled bowl. Rest on back of AGA for 30 minutes.

Empty onto floured counter and cut into 4 loaves. Place in bread pan with seam side down.

Let rise on Warming Tray until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Bake in Roasting Oven about 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and cover with Cold Shelf if too brown.

Remove from oven, rub with butter and cool on wire rack.