Forget the Turkey, Let’s Talk Cranberries

Next week our American friends will be celebrating Thanksgiving and cooks across the country are busy planning a feast with all the fixin’s.  Unfortunately, for many this will include the monstrosity that is canned cranberry sauce.

cranberry sauce from a canImage: Zipongo

This processed product has ruined the concept of cranberries for many people, which is a shame because this tart fruit is the perfect counter for the rich, heavy foods that grace a Thanksgiving table.

homemade cranberry sauce by Smitten KitchenImage: Smitten Kitchen

Do yourself a favour and pick up a bag of fresh or frozen cranberries and make your own sauce this year. With a few simple ingredients and about 20 minutes you can make a dish your guests will really love. Smitten Kitchen has a great collection of recipes for the cranberry sauce novice.

cranberry cookiesImage: Ocean Spray

While you’re at it, pick up a few extra bags for treats to last through the holidays and beyond. These versatile gems work well in both savory and sweet recipes. If shortbread is part of your Christmas baking ritual, why not mix it up a little with a blue cheese and cranberry version?

baking with cranberriesImage: Wives with Knives

I’m a little addicted to Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps, especially the Cranberry Hazelnut ones. However, I can’t always find them where I live now so I was thrilled to find a copycat recipe posted by Wives with Knives.

cranberry, bacon, chestnut dressingImage: BBC Good Food

Why limit yourself to cranberry sauce at your holiday table? I often add apples to my stuffing but cranberries would work well too. BBC’s Good Food offers up a delectableChestnut, Bacon, and Cranberry Dressing that can be baked or rolled into balls and fried- fun!

Image: Healthy Happy Life

If vegetarians are joining you, Healthy Happy Life’s Cranberry-Soy Sauce Sticky Sweet Tofu Steaks make an excellent meat-free entrée.

liquor and cranberries

Image: The Endless Meal

Cranberries also work well in cocktails, though most people never venture past the standard Cosmopolitan. The Endless Meal shakes it up a little by replacing the vodka with bourbon in what they call The Best Bourbon Sour. I’m eager to see if they are correct!

cranberry coctailImage: The Corkscrew

If tequila is your tipple of choice, you should indulge with a Razzelberry Dressing Margarita, full of antioxidant goodness.

orange, clove and cranberry infused bourbonImage: My Recipes

I love making my own infused alcohols and Orange, Clove, and Cranberry Infused Bourbon sounds like the perfect antidote to winter’s chill. This is also the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for guy on your Christmas list.

cranberry sorbetImage: Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Sweet-tart cranberries can help you end your large meal with a pucker.  Fresh Cranberry Sorbet would be a great palate-cleanser or an indulgent addition to apple pie or pecan pie.

cranberry curd pavlovaImage: Supper in Stereo

If you really want to wow your guests, skip the pie and make Supper in Stereo’s Cranberry Curd Pavlova. I’m sure it is as delicious as it is stunning.

pino cranberry gemsImage: Food Shed

I love the idea of sending guests off with a little treat to enjoy when the food coma wears off and Food Shed’s Pino Cranberry Gems, a boozy take on traditional French pâte de fruit, is the a perfect way to say that you enjoyed their company.

cranberry heartImage: The Southern Vegan

No matter how you be spending the holidays, I hope that you will have lots to be thankful for!

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