Cranberry Sauce

FullSizeRenderThanksgiving isn’t the same without cranberry sauce. We didn’t grow up with a sacred family recipe but cranberry sauce was always served with the turkey and it was never from a can. It’s just that one thing you can’t do without, especially for leftovers, which I would argue, are almost as good as the main meal! My mum is actually a really amazing cook and is the queen of adding her own touch to recipes and making them a million times better. You can find my post using mum’s recipe HERE.

I don’t like overly sugary anything but cranberry sauce is one that can get sweet real quick. If you look at the ocean spray recipe, which is the base that everyone seems to use but some people like to add orange zest, currants, cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice as well. There are also many different ways that you can use up extra cranberry sauce if you have any, Besides freezing it, you can make cranberry muffins, use it as a compote on top of brie, make cranberry tarts, oatmeal bars, mix up some cranberry pancakes, add it to your yogurt in thee morning or even make a fruit salsa.

Cooking for Thanksgiving is one of my ultimate favorite cooking times of the entire year! We travel to visit family and usually don’t have the ability to cook for 11 people and we love it! We wind up cooking the entire feast and even with double ovens, a 6 top gas range and not to boast but there is also a warming drawer to use, we are still tight on cooking space. We’re cooking with the kiddies so I made a little update to mom’s recipe and did without the Grand Marnier but I assure you, it’s still completely delicious.

This is one of those dishes, along with stuffing and pies, that can be made ahead of time and is actually almost better when it’s made ahead of time.

Cranberry Sauce
Prep & Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield:  2 1/4 cups

1/2 c sugar
1 c water (can be cut or completely replaced with orange juice)
4 c fresh cranberries (equal to one 12 oz package)

Rinse the cranberries and pick out/discard any damaged or bruised cranberries. In a tall soup pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.

Add the cranberries to the pot and let them boil for a minute or two. Turn the head down and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst. You’ll hear them pop, which is why the tall pot comes in handy.

Cranberry Sauce {A Byte of Life}
Cranberry Sauce {A Byte of Life}
Cranberry Sauce {A Byte of Life}
Cranberry Sauce from A Byte of Life blog













Remove the pot from heat and let it cool completely at room temperature. At this point the sauce is done and you can then transfer to a bowl to chill in the refrigerator. Note that the cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Some people like adding raisins or currants, or even blueberries for added sweetness. You can also add holiday spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.

Holiday Goodies: Gingerbread, Paper Snowflakes and Decorations

I LOVE gingerbread.

Okay… that’s a slight understatement. I’m obsessed with it!

Seriously! Its true!
Hi, I’m Kate and I have a gingerbread addiction! I think about it, want it, and crave it as much as an addict would their drug of choice! It would be ridiculous if I heard anyone else explain to me like I am to you, how much they love gingerbread.

Everyone has their vices, and while I have a few year-round vices, my holiday “drug of choice” is gingerbread. SO, to celebrate my deep love affair with this delicious little cookie I’m throwing a party. I’ve rounded up some of the gang that enjoy gingerbread (or could it be the wine and champagne I also promised would be flowing?) to come celebrate this wonderful blessing to all mankind that is the gingerbread cookie.

So I’ll be using both my tried and true Gingerbread Cookie recipe and my  gluten-free gingerbread cookie . Now, you might turn up your little nose and say.. “ewwww! What’s the point of eating a gluten-free cookie! Is it even a COOKIE still!?” Well, I’ll have you know I snuck a batch into my Gingerbread party last year and no-one had ANY idea! They’re delicious!! So, I’m looking forward to baking up a large batch of gingerbread men, women, dog bones, stars, trees… well you get the picture and decorating for the party!

To help gather some decor inspiration, I started a Gingerbread Party Pinterest Board . So far, I’m thinking about kicking it old school and making paper snowflakes to hang from the ceiling with red ribbon.

I also want to pick up a few of the trimmed Christmas tree branches from my fruit stand boys at Corner Produce down at Pike Place (where we got our tree this year!) and decorating the table with some variation of this lovely idea using pine cones, candles and branches in glass jar! (pictured at left).

When I saw the package of Kikkerland Biodegradable Red and White Striped Paper Straws, I grabbed the package because our little house simply NEEEEEEDED an adorable package of straws! So, I’ll be putting these out in a mason jar…which is a little silly because we’ll be serving one of my favorite “go-to” wineries, Folie A Deux Menage A Trois in both the  Table Red (I call it the gateway red!) and Table White. A party can’t be complete without some bubbly so we’ll also have that! To remember who’s wine glass is who’s, I’ll get some various ribbons and tie them to the stems and also have another scrap that you can tie to your wrist or pin so for a fun party game of remembering which glass is yours!

Now that the party is planned, gingerbread must be baked and decorations gathered and put out! Tune in this weekend for an updated post with pictures from the party! And, YES,  I WILL be eating gingerbread while I type that post…and everyday for the next two weeks!!