Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fresh Cranberries, the other red berry. A last minute Thanksgiving recipe.

Isn't that the most amazing shade of red?  It's my favorite.
Ok, can you make me a promise?  Would you please consider making fresh, homemade cranberry sauce this year? It is incredibly easy to make and tastes infinitely better than that canned stuff, it's almost criminal.  I realize the canned sauce may be tradition for some folks, but maybe this year you could do both canned and fresh. 
I think cranberries have a reputation of being too tart for consumption. Truly, if you were to eat one plain, holy smokes, you would pucker up like Nemo, but add a little sugar and water and simmer them for 10 minutes and you have pure perfection.  The sugar adds enough sweetness to make it palatable, but the tartness of the cranberries still comes through.  A little bite here and there during your Thanksgiving meal will break up all that rich food with a bright and tart flavor. You know what that means, you have an excuse to eat more turkey and mashed potatoes. 

Beautiful Brandy Spiced Cranberry Sauce
 So, this year, I leave you with two amazing cranberry sauce recipes.  The first is the original Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce and the second is a spiced version with a kick of brandy.  (don't worry the alcohol cooks off).
You will find the original cranberry sauce recipe on the back of every bag of cranberries.  But, here it is for you now.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
(recipe from back of Ocean Spray bag)

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 (12 oz) package fresh cranberries

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a meium saucepan.  Add cranberries and return to a boil.  Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring gently.  Some cranberries will burst during the cooking process. Pour sauce into a heatproof bowl, cover and cool completely at room temperature.  Refrigerate until serving time.  Makes 2 1/4 cups.

The Brandy Spiced Cranberry Sauce I found on the blog The Galley Gourmet.  I gave it the name, but it's Nicole's creation. I will send you there for the recipe.  Brandy Spiced Cranberry Sauce recipe.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Okay, I admit, I have a deep affection for molasses.  I don't know what it is, but I love the depth of flavor and tangy-ness that it brings to baked goods.  In fact, these are some of my favorite candies.  Call me crazy, I love the molasses.
Well, when I ran across this recipe and saw that it called for a 1/2 cup of molasses, I knew I would love it.  The fact that it has pumpkin in it makes it a perfect Thanksgiving day recipe.  Imagine how great it would be to have this sliced and ready for snacking before the big meal.  I don't know about you, but whenever I set a time for the Thanksgiving meal, I'm never ready on time.  So, this is a great appetizer for all those hungry guests.  Well, and it distracts them and buys you some time.  Win-Win!
My husband tried it and said, 'it has a good aftertaste'.  That guy and his good aftertaste.  I don't know about him.  Truly, it does have an excellent aftertaste, so you're tastebuds are in for a treat.
I found this recipe on Simply Recipes so, I will send you there for the recipe.  I didn't have the fresh/crystalized ginger, so I left it out and I added fresh cranberries in place of the raisins.  It was amazing with the cranberries.  Added a little punch of tartness.  Here's a link to the recipe!
Pumpkin Gingerbread

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!!!