Guys, I’m in a bit of panic mode. Not only is this my first time HOSTING thanksgiving, it’s for my prospective in-laws! Eek! I needed to streamline all the cooking and not be in utter meltdown mode this week. Alas, I found a real simple cranberry sauce recipe that is from scratch and uses real cranberries. Can’t impress the MIL with canned cran sauce, now can I? Also, I mean, we have a food blog after all. Anyway, it’s really great because it comes out a bit chunky or chutney-like consistency so your guests can see that it’s homemade. I doubled the recipe, but this seems to be the recommended amount to make. I just figured since its yum I can save in a jar for leftovers for the week. Note some of the other sides I am serving for this holiday meal with my new family are: the mushrooms in poblano sauce, roasted Brussel sprouts (I added pancetta and balsamic glaze for a sweet & salty twist), and garlic chive mashed potatoes. Stay tuned for the corn bread “dressing” stuffing recipe we will be posting shortly as well…Boy menu planning has been a treat but stay on top of our Instagram to see how my first ever turns out…
1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz)
¼ cup fresh orange juice (use the bottle stuff if you don’t have an actual orange)
¾ cup orange marmalade (smuckers is fine but I balled out and bought some artisan ginger orange marmalade)
¾ cup white sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
Optional is I zested a lemon and the orange I juiced for some freshness
Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot & stir. Cook on HIGH for 3 hrs or until the cranberries begin to pop. After that 3 hrs or so, gently smash the cranberries up against the side of the crockpot to help the rest pop while you stir. Remove the lid and then cook on HIGH for another r30 minutes without the lid on. Did I mention that stove top and oven space is limited & therefore precious for such a big meal? So this crockpot wonder was a LIFESAVER! Hope you guys dig it too…
In the Poconos, recently my friends and I were on a wine tour doing tastings of the area vineyards and as we all know when drinking copious amounts of booze causes most people to binge eat. Luckily, there was a cook-off contest going on nearby so we stumbled over and tried all the eats the locals had made. There was a plethora of good food like sausage and peppers, mushroom risotto, etc. but this beef dish just knocked my socks off! I asked for the recipe because I wanted to recreate it for the blog, but more importantly, I wanted to try it sober to see if I even liked it (who knows when your inebriated, errythang tastes good under the influence). My God. I was NOT disappointed! It was just as yum, so I hope you enjoy this as well.
2 lbs. flank steak
1 cup cranberry juice
1/2 crushed pineapple or puree
1/4 cup honey
1 cup cranberries(recipe calls for fresh but all I had was dried so do you)
1/2 cup diced candied ginger
1/4 cup minced garlic or 4 cloves chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
In a medium saucepan cook soy sauce, honey, pineapple, cranberry juice into a marinade. Add cranberries and candied ginger cook for a bit more before turning off stove to cool.
In the meantime, coat steak with the ginger and garlic, then pour cooled marinade over steak. Marinade for 1-2 hrs then remove steak from marinade and cook for 7-10 minutes on each side. Take the marinade and recook to turn into a glaze for the steak. After letting meat rest slice on grain. Drizzle remaining cooked marinade then serve w bean sprouts and chopped cilantro.
Can I just tell you, I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE the Morrocan chicken salad at CPK (You know California Pizza Kitchen, yes food blog people DO go to chains) Anyway, I am obsessed with it, BUT its SOOO expensive! Literally, I spend $16-$18 on the salad (the range is because the tax/tip usually makes it $17) which is totally cray to spend on a salad and yet I do. A) because of the convenience of grabbing it after work en route to my night MBA class B) because it is beyond delish! It has all the taste bud pleasing elements you can think of: sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, etc! Anyway work was slow this week and I have an online class this semester so I am not running around as much and I figured its time to replicate this salad. Especially because I need to save my money for pedicures. Oyi my feet are looking rough! woof! Ok back to the tasty salad prep. As always this is going to reuse ingredients from other recipes. At CPK they use a champagne vinaigrette, so I grabbed a bottle of the Trader Joe’s pear champagne vinaigrette used in one of our salad recipes and a chicken dish to toss my greens with. Then the beets were in the last salad recipe as well-ha can you tell I really like them?! Might be the new truffle, lol just kidding that would never happen.
1/3 cup Dates (Sliced in halves or quarters depending on how big yours are, I did mejdool dates)
1/3-1/2 cup Toasted almonds (I tossed them in a pan to toast when I was boiling the eggs)
6 oz. Beets (Drain all the water if using the canned stuff and chop vs. slice)
10 oz. Roasted butternut squash (I just did it with salt, pepper, and paprika)
1/2 cup Cranberries (I bought dried packaged ones from the store)
3 Grilled chicken breasts (I just did it with cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, & paprika)
1 Avocado (dice into cubes)
1 medium Red bell pepper (try for the same sizes as the beets and avocado).
1 package or 8-10 oz. Mixed greens (tossed w 1/3 cup of the bottled dressing)
Chopped up boiled eggs (I did 2, but 3 without the yellow of the 3rd would be good too)
Heat up a nonstick pan (I used my grill pan since it was washed & ready from the last time I made burgers) with some olive oil and sear the chicken breasts (I had them coated & rubbed in with the spices on both sides of the breasts) until cooked through about 5-7 minutes on each side. Let the meat rest before slicing and adding to salad. While you are cooking the chicken you can toss the squash with some oil & spices as well and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. While the chicken and squash cools, chop the other veggies and eggs and mix well. This is how pretty the colors look:
I called this recipe the pseudo salad because its a knock off of the one from the restaurant and its much more filling than a regular old salad. This is meant to be an entrée and that’s why there is a bit more cooking involved than most salad recipes. Anyway its yummy, don’t worry about what the title means, just devour.