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.

The Gluten-free Gobble Waffle // Krusteaz Blogger Bake-Off

1The folks over at Krusteaz asked me to be part of their “Krusteaz Blogger Bake-Off” to promote their new line of Gluten-free boxed mixes. They sent me two boxes each of their four new gluten-free mixes and all I had to do was create a brand new recipe that’s never before been created. My reward, the joy and satisfaction of writing a new recipe and a chance at winning their grand prize of a Crate and Barrel Gift Card. Kitchen time, a great topic for a blog post, recipe writing… I’m IN! Just to keep you reading, this is the ultimate Thanksgiving leftovers recipe! Read on!

I took a few days to look over each of the boxes, researched the recipes that have already been created and submitted and then did what I usually do when I want to talk about recipes; I called my trusty recipe consultant (aka mum) and talked through a few ideas. I received two boxes of each mix below and there were two that caught my eye: the cornbread and the pancake mix. I went through a few recipe ideas and this one just came to me the day after Thanksgiving when I took a box of the pancake mix home to make brunch. We had two gluten-free guests so I figured what better time to test a gluten-free mix than with a full house AND a few gluten-free eaters sprinkled in! We took a poll and everyone preferred waffles to pancakes so we were off. I made three batches of waffles so we could test flavors and have some fun with the mix-ins.

IMG_0267The first batch was just plain waffles with the mix. In the second batch I mixed in some fresh homemade apple sauce and the third was the crème de la crème: the gobble waffle. Now, before I get too far into the gobble waffle I wanted to talk about the plain and the apple sauce waffles for a minute.  We made the plain waffles so we could test the taste and texture of the mix. I’m happy to report that all four men fully approved! If I hadn’t broadcast that they were gluten-free no one would have noticed! The plain one had a nice simple taste that was great with or without syrup. Delicious, tasty, crunchy on the outside and everything a waffle should be. The batch that had the homemade apple sauce added into the batter beat out the plain waffles by a landslide. The flavor of the cinnamon and pureed apples were a perfect addition to the tasty batter and were just amazing. It had the taste of white cake batter! But, this was all before the gobble!

What is the gobble waffle you might ask? Well, the gobble waffle is the ultimate Thanksgiving day left-overs brunch recipe. It combines a box of the tasty, simple, pantry-ready Krusteaz Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancake Mix with some left over turkey, gluten-free stuffing and a bit of gravy and/or cranberry sauce in place of syrup. Just when you thought that left-overs couldn’t get any better, you discover something like the Gobble Waffle. It’s crunchy, tasty, thanksgiving goodness all in one brunchy bite.  My mum has used the Krusteaz pancake mix for YEARS but I have to admit that I was a little  skeptical about the gluten-free mix. They just have that association of being not quite “there” for taste and texture but both the cornbread and the pancake mix blew my socks off! My gluten-free waffles were specifically requested for Christmas leftover brunch so you know they’re good! Thanks for being my secret weapon Krusteaz!

You can click THIS link to learn more about the mixes, find recipes and a retailer near you. I’ll be stocking this amazing, tasty gluten-free mix in the pantry for SURE!

*Krusteaz Gluten-Free GIVEAWAY*
Krusteaz has agreed to partner on a giveaway! Stay tuned this week for details!!!


Gluten- Free Gobble Waffle
Prep time:  5 minutes  | Total Bake/Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings:  6-8 people    |Level of difficulty: easy

1 box of Krusteaz Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancake Mix
2 cups cold water
2/3 cup almond milk
1 1/2 tbsp oil
4 egg whites
Leftover turkey
Leftover Gluten-free stuffing ( Recipe here using Krusteaz Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix)
Gluten-Free Gravy or cranberry sauce to use in place of syrup if desired


Get out your waffle iron and pre-heat it. Pour the dry mix into a bowl and mix in the cold water, almond milk, oil and egg whites. Break up the turkey into small pieces and add into the waffle mix. Add the left over gluten-free cornbread stuffing and mix. Pour onto pre-heated waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

Serve with heated gluten-free gravy or cranberry sauce!

Mum’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

FullSizeRender (1)Has anyone else just had the realization that Christmas is just one short month away? You can’t miss the signs, decorations are at every turn, the music is in every store. We can’t deny it any longer folks, the holidays are here! Each year I have conversations with friends and family about how we all have so much “stuff” and how hard it is to shop for everyone on the Christmas list. Isn’t there a one stop shop for people that don’t require specific or multiple presents? Yes, it’s called anything homemade. As someone who is obsessed with homemade/DIY and  loves to cook I’ve tried to make the majority of my Christmas presents the past few years and it’s been fun! One year I made scarves for everyone, another year I hand stamped note cards, another year I did cookies in a jar. It gets a little tough around the holidays to devote time to making presents so it’s a great idea to get started thinking about projects like this in October but with the work schedule this year I’ve spent most weekends sleeping, cooking, cleaning or catching up on the ever growing to-do list.

Well, this weekend has been a much needed change of pace lounging in pajamas, sleeping in, leaving the house only to play in the snow, playing games and watching Christmas movies all day long and munching on leftovers. It’s been divine. It’s also given me a bit of time to write which is always relaxing. Our Thanksgiving feast this year was just off the charts amazing, and it was actually pretty manageable, as manageable as an 18 pound turkey and homemade pies can be. I’m usually a protein gal, hands down. First thing on my plate will always be an inhuman amount of whatever protein is served except one amazing day a year that we call Thanksgiving. When my mum’s amazing Thanksgiving stuffing and Cranberry sauce are on the table all bets are off. Turkey is only the transportation vessel for the amazing cranberry sauce to reach my mouth. I talk more about the amazing stuffing in my blog post here but this post is about the cranberry sauce so let’s stay focused.

You can throw it in some toasted quinoa with a slice of turkey for a paleo leftovers snack. Besides using it up in leftovers, there are so many things you can do with this sauce that don’t require turkey. It makes a great spread for a slice of toast, or use it as a compote on some pork chops. You can bake jam filled butter cookies. for a tasty snack. The options are endless!

Mum’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce
Prep Time:      |Cook time:
This recipe is for a single batch, but we usually double it for Thanksgiving 

1 1lb bag of organic fresh cranberries
1 large orange, juiced with some zest
3/4 c organic sugar
1 tbsp Grand Marnier

Place all ingredients in a pot and cook over medium-low heat (you don’t want to burn the sugar) and simmer until you hear the cranberries popping. I like my cranberry sauce a little chunkier so I turn off the heat when about half the cranberries are still in tact but you can cook until all the cranberries are dissolved if you like!

DIY Turkey Frills

FullSizeRenderThanksgiving is in a matter of hours. Are you in denial too!? Okay, now back to the matter at hand. Turkey. Twenty pounds of turkey. Turkey that still needs to be brined. This year we decided that we’d stay put for the holidays so my dear side of the family gets us and the misters cuzzie who’s up to visit from Portland. Mum and I decided that we’ split Thanksgiving cooking so I’m on turkey, pie, gravy and side dish duty! Pie crust, pumpkin pie and pecan pie recipe are already posted  but stay tuned for the others!

No Thanksgiving turkey would be complete in presentation without the little turkey frills! Hey Google, thanks for the help! Below is a super simple Turkey Frill DIY, just remember to put them on for the presentation part and don’t cook them in the oven!

DIY Turkey Frills
1 sheet of white copy paper

Curry Coconut Turkey Veggie Soup

Curry Coconut Turkey Veggie Soup
Can’t WAIT to make this one! Got this recipe from the BFF and she’s an incredible cook! Once I make it I’ll upload a pic!


  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • EVOO
  • 1lb Ground Turkey
  • Salt
  • Curry/cumin (to taste)
  • 2 qts Chix broth
  • 5tbsp Thai yellow curry sauce from TJ
  • Zucchini/mushrooms
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • Little more salt and some cayenne
  • 1/2-3/4 c fresh chopped cilantro


  • Sauté onions, carrots and celery in EVOO until the carrots barely become soft
  • Add the turkey and brown in the same pot seasoning with salt, curry and cumin to taste
  • Add chicken broth the ingredients already in the pot
  • Add 5tbsp Yellow curry sauce from Trader Joes , chopped zucchini and mushrooms and 1/2 can of coconut milk with salt and cayenne to taste and simmer until veggies are cooked
  • Just before serving, mix in 1/2-3/4 c fresh chopped cilantro and let simmer for a few minutes