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Hall Of Fame Cranberry Sauce


This Cranberry Sauce recipe certainly deserves its dramatic title.  I made the recipe about 3 days ago and I cannot stop getting into my refrigerator to take “just one more taste.” I may or may not have my own secret jar stashed in the back of the refrigerator that I grab and just dig in with a spoon!

I found the recipe at Shockingly Delicious, and she sold me on it once I read these words:

“I’ve experimented with dozens of versions of cranberry sauce over the years – with Port, with Grand Marnier, with blueberries, with cherries, with raisins and nuts, making it a chutney, with sour cream and onions – even doing a cranberry sauce taste test with three different versions a few years in a row. While the taste tests were certainly fun and delicious, it soon became clear that everyone kept reaching for the same dish repeatedly, year after year.”

My cranberry sauce experience has not been as extensive as Dorthy’s above, as I have never made it from scratch.  Back in the day, I just bought the canned version, and it acted more like a table decoration than actual food! I bought it because everyone expected it, and it looked pretty and added color to the Thanksgiving table.  The problem was, it never got eaten! What a waste.  The last few years I have bought Trader Joes Cranberry Sauce, which was a huge improvement from canned, and I thought it was quite good, UNTIL I TASTED THIS HALL OF FAME VERSION!


This recipe is simple and easy to make, so it is surprising that it is so delicious.  It has just the right amount of spices. It is the perfect balance of tart and sweet.  It is not mushy & has a great balance of crushed cranberries and whole cranberries.  It tastes amazing on a turkey sandwich, spread on toast, and drizzled over vanilla ice cream.

I plan on making another double batch for our Thanksgiving brunch, to use in our Turkey Stuffing Cranberry Sliders (recipe coming in the next couple of days) and in our Jaw-Droppingly Good Cranberry Simosas — also from Dorthy at Shockingly Delicious.

This sauce would also make a great hostess gift for the holidays.  It is so pretty just in a simple mason jar.  Wrap around the jar a few times with some jute and tie a bow. The color of the cranberries in the jar against the naturalness of the jute is just enough decoration.  I did this at a little holiday blog party I went to last night & it was fun to show up with something tasty and festive.

The flavor of this Cranberry Sauce gets better over time, so you can make it ahead of time for Thanksgiving.  It can stay stored in your refrigerator in a jar for up to two months.



Hall Of Fame Cranberry Sauce

1 1/4 cups brown sugar (original recipe calls for white sugar. I was out so I used brown, and it was so delicious that I will always use brown!)

3/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries

Zest of 1 orange (orange part only)


~In a large saucepan, add sugar, water and spices.  Cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and syrup comes to a rolling boil, about 3 minutes.

~In a colander, rinse and pick over the cranberries to remove any mushy ones.

~Add cranberries to boiling syrup and continue cooking, uncovered, just until they begin to pop, about 2-3 minutes (set the timer). Be careful not to cook them to long of they will get mushy.  I allowed mine to pop quite a bit, as I wanted the syrup to ooze into the cracks to infiltrate the cranberries.

~Remove from heat, stir in the orange zest.

Note: Syrup will thicken and turn a beautiful cranberry color once cooled and refrigerated.

Optional: mash some of the berries, keeping some of them whole. How much to mash? This depends on the consistency you personally like. I like half of them mashed, and half left whole.

~Cool to room temperature, uncovered.

~Ladle into clean jars and refrigerate until serving time.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of sauce, enough to serve 6-8 people.



Do you have Cranberry Sauce during the Thanksgiving holiday?  Do you make it or buy it?  What is a favorite recipe you making for Thanksgiving?


GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES

Vegan Pesto

**Guest Post by Jessie @ The Brown Bag

Every once and a while I get a major craving for this pasta. I love making pesto sauces, but this one is by far my favorite because of the Nutritional Yeast. It brings out an amazing nuttiness and compliments the basil so well.
If you’ve never heard of or seen Nutritional Yeast before (you can find it in the bulk food section of your health food store), it’s good stuff…especially if you’re vegetarian, or mostly vegetarian like we are. It’s a great source of protein and amino acids, gluten-free, and is rich in B-complex vitamins and folic acid.
Here’s the recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts (other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts may be substituted)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Throw it all in your blender and let it rip! Toss it with your favorite whole wheat pasta and eat it up on its own or add some Italian sausage or shredded chicken if you insist on not being a vegetarian despite eating a Vegan pasta!

Other ways to utilize Nutritional Yeast:
  • sprinkle on salad
  • add to soups or stews
  • add it to your popcorn

Thank you, Jessie, for this healthy and easy recipe!  I’ve always been curious about nutritional yeast, your link is very informative.  

{Jessie, her handsome husband, and cutie little Sadie}
For more from Jessie, visit her blog- The Brown Bag
She just posted a recipe for Warm Sourdough Chicken Salad that looks divine!  

Homemade Pesto

Pesto is one of my most favorite foods, so basil is something I knew we had to have in our garden this year.  It did quite well, and I made this batch of pesto a few weeks ago.  It was gone within the week.  My kids loved it!  I put most of it in ice cube trays to preserve and freeze for later.  Just pop them out and put them in a freezer bag or mason jar, and you have ready to use pesto!  My girls know how to boil noodles, so they loved making their own lunch on the weekends.  They boiled and drained noodles, then added about 3-4 pesto cubes of pesto per pound of pasta, stirred them into the hot pasta and lunch was served!  They loved this plain, but I loved adding some sliced cherry tomatoes, leftover shredded chicken, and shavings of fresh parm to make it a bit more filling and special.  I also kept some in a jar in the refrigerator to use as a spread on sandwiches.  Delicious!!

This recipe at “Thy Hand Hath Provided”caught my eye because you can use any type of nuts.  Pine nuts can tend to be expensive, so I used almonds.  
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup nuts (whatever you have on hand: pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc. or a combination)
3-6 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
a pinch of nutmeg

Combine all but oil in a food processor.  Process, slowly adding oil until desired consistency.  

I’ve been a bit busy lately, so my basil is growing like crazy out in the garden,  quite neglected.  I am hoping to get a few more batches made before the cool weather hits, as basil hates to be cold and will die on me.  I’d love to make a huge batch and give some away in jars with these super cute printables from Givers Log.  How cute are they??