Saturday, November 22, 2014

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

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Gobble Gobble!!  One of my favorite holidays is just four days away, and I couldn't be more excited!  We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I've been planning and organizing for weeks now. It's still not entirely fall-ish weather wise, but at least it isn't 90+ degrees like it was a few weeks ago!  My scarves got to make a brief appearance on a couple of early mornings, but my boots have yet to see the light of day this year.

I know it's cliche, but I've really been thinking about my many blessings recently.  We are so fortunate to live the life we live.  All too often we see horrible reports of heartbreak and chaos from around the globe, and it's easy to fall into a negative mindset.  I've made a great effort to focus on the amazing positives in my life, and every day is better for it.  I'm so grateful beyond words for my sweet little blossoming family and cannot believe I have the privilege of being Robert's wife and Ayden's momma.  I'm so thankful for my job, my friends, my extended family near and far, and for YOU, my sweet readers.  Thank you for welcoming me into your homes and lives and for being such a supportive and loving audience.  I just love ya!

One of the essential sides at Thanksgiving is the cranberry sauce.  Typically it's an afterthought that we hurriedly buy pre-made at the market, but this year is going to be different.  On a whim last night I grabbed some organic fresh cranberries and announced to Hubby "I'm making cranberry sauce!" He wasn't as enthused as I, but that's alright.  My father-in-law looooooves the cranberry sauce that my sweet sis-in-law makes, so hopefully this one gets his stamp of approval on Thursday.  :)  This recipe is very similar to hers, only with fresh cranberries and a few tweaks.

One of the best things about this is that you can make it ahead, freeze it, and thaw it the day before Turkey Day!  Woohoo!  When it comes to making Thanksgiving dinner, timing is everything, and if you can make something in advance do it. 

Here's wishing you and yours a warm and healthy Thanksgiving!  I can't wait to report back with photos from Ayden's attempts at eating turkey and stuffing.  ;)


Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Oranges
| Prep: 10 mins. | Cook: 15-20 mins. |
16 oz fresh cranberries
3/4 c water
2/3 c sugar
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 orange, small diced with rind
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 apple, unpeeled, small diced

Rinse cranberries and place in a medium saucepan.  Pour in approx 3/4 c of water (just enough to see it, but not cover the berries).  Set aside.  meanwhile, wash and dry the orange and apple.  Dice the orange, flesh and rind.  Add to the cranberries and water.  Add in sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and bring to a simmer.   Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries have burst and sauce has thickened (approx 15-20 mins or so).  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Allow sauce to cool completely.

While sauce is cooling, dice the apple.  Add to cooled cranberry sauce and stir to combine.  At this point transfer the sauce to a freezer zip top bag if you plan to freeze.  Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours prior to serving.  Enjoy!


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