Best Cranberry Sauce to Date

I’ve made the same cranberry sauce for several years, always going to family’s homes for Thanksgiving dinner and I really liked it.  This year, having Thanksgiving at our house with just the five of us, I wanted something a little bit different so I pulled a few things from different recipes until it sounded right and came up with this.  It was amazing.  Definitely sweeter than a traditional sauce, but I’ll be honest, I like it sweet.  The orange peel added a huge element of tang to it and the sauce has, in one night of gorging become my new go to recipe for cranberry sauce!  Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this sauce – but plan to get one next time I make it.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:


1. Wash and pick over cranberries. Add all ingredients except cranberries to a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.
2.  Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

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Asian Noodle & Chicken Salad

Asian Noodle & Chicken Salad
Like so many others, this was found (and slightly adapted) at For the Love of Cooking.  Simply put, this was amazing.  Perfect blend of flavors and textures. 


Ingredients
10 chicken tenderloins 
Marinade: 
6 Tablespoons of seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
(about) 1 Tablespoon dried ginger
5 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili sauce


Other Ingredients:
1 handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
2 green onions, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
1 cup of snow peas, cut in half (I left these out, but will include them next time!)
2 14 oz. cans mandarin oranges, well drained
3/4 cup cashews
14.5 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked per instructions




Directions 
Combine marinade ingredients and chicken in a Ziploc bag and mix thoroughly then let it marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.  
1.  Star water boiling for spaghetti.
2.  Pour chicken and marinade from bag into skillet and cook, covered, on medium high until chicken is cooked through.  Using spatula, chop chicken into pieces directly in pan.  Turn off heat and cover to prevent the marinade from evaporating.
3.  Chop and prepare vegetables.  Combine all the veggies in the skillet with chicken, mix and return heat to medium heat.  Cover.
4.  Drain cooked spaghetti.
5.  Add chicken, veggies and mandarin oranges to the spaghetti.  Mix thoroughly and enjoy!


This made enough for my family of five with enough for leftovers for another night.

Honey Mustard

I recently made Amanda’s Ham & Provolone Stromboli but halfway into the recipe I realized I didn’t have any honey mustard – GRR!  So I improvised!

Ingredients

1/2 cup Kraft mayonnaise with olive oil (not Miracle Whip!)

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1/4 cup honey

1/4 tsp salt

Directions

Whisk together until all the lumps are out and chill.

Teriyaki Pork Chops

Taken from For the Love of Cooking.  Thanks Pam!  This was GREAT!

Teriyaki Pork Chops

4-5 thick cut pork chops
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil
3 green onion tops, diced
1 tbsp garlic, chopped finely
2 tsp ground ginger
Juice of one navel orange

Combine all ingredients in a large zip lock bag. Marinate for at least an hour (longer for best results, up to 24 hours).  I love to grill meat but since hubby was working and I hate our ailing grill, I opted to pan fry these. 

Preheat a large fry pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, decrease temperature to medium heat.  Add chops and a tablespoon of marinade over each chop.  Cover and let simmer for about 12 minutes each side (or until cooked through).  I let mine get dark and completely soak up the juices before removing to serve.

I served this with Spicy Cucumber Salad.

Cranberry Spinach Salad

Cranberry Spinach Salad

  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 pound spinach, rinsed & dried
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, well drained & cut in halves
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan cook and stir almonds over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat, and let cool. Repeat with sesame seeds.
  2. Add spinach, cranberries, oranges, and cooled almonds to a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and olive oil.
  4. Pour dressing over spinach mixture just before serving; toss to coat evenly.

Strawberry Syrup

Strawberry Syrup
Since The Man is, almost always, talked into making waffles on Sunday I learned, long ago, how to make homemade syrups.  Strawberry, blueberry & maple; it’s like IHOP except without the gum-chomping waitress!

This last summer our obsession with strawberries grew to a new level as I was buying two containers a week to supplement our habit.  I worried that with winter just around the corner we’d have to go months without the sweet red fruit.  So, instead of just two, I bought an extra container every week, bagged, dated and froze them until I thought we had enough to get us through till this spring.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. frozen sliced strawberries in juice, thawed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions

  1. Blend berries with mixer until smooth.  
  2. Stir in syrup & salt.  
  3. Transfer to pan.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Blueberry Syrup

Ingredients

2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 Tablespoon corn starch

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions

In 1 quart microwave-safe container combine sugar & cornstarch.  Stir in water, corn syrup & lemon juice.  Add blueberries.

Microwave 4-5 minutes or until thick. 

Stores in refrigerator for up to one week. 

Tips

To adjust how thick the syrup is, add corn starch one teaspoon at a time.

Savory Marinade (for any meat)

Whisk together…

1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. parsley

To freeze: Place this in freezer bag…add meat of choice (I enjoy using pork loins or chops OR chicken breast). On cooking day, thaw completely and bake or grill.