Cranberry Orange Sauce with Ginger

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This year was the first year that I made cranberry sauce from scratch and I was amazed at how easy it was to make with only a few ingredients. To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner but this homemade sauce has completely changed my mind. Why anyone would ever buy store bought again is beyond me… You can add so many different flavors to your homemade cranberry sauce. In this recipe, I added fresh squeezed orange juice and ginger and just enough sugar so that the sauce remains slightly tart. This sauce was perfected through trial and error. The first batch I made came out incredibly bitter and after extensive research I came to realize that I was over cooking the cranberries. They only need to be simmered for about 10 minutes. Do not make the same mistake I did! In addition, cranberries contain high amounts of pectin, which is released when you cook them. This causes the sauce to naturally thicken to the consistency of a jam. This recipe yielded about 2 1/2 cups but I doubled the recipe and decided to freeze some. Who ever said cranberry sauce should be exclusively served at Thanksgiving dinner was crazy. I served this sauce along with Camembert cheese (similar to Brie) and it was a pair made in heaven. Tip: The leftover cranberry sauce is super yummy in Greek yogurt!

Time:15 mins
Yields: 2 1/2 cups
Dietary Info: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

•1 12-16 oz. bag of cranberries
•1 heaping cup of sugar
•1 cup water
•1-2 inch piece of ginger, grated
•1/4 cup fresh orange juice, added last
•Pinch of nutmeg

Throw everything except orange juice into a large pot. Bring to a medium boil and then simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and and stir in orange juice. Transfer to a bowl or airtight container and allow to cool completely. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Optional: Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken even more. Enjoy!

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Kale Salad with Balsamic Roasted Butternut Squash

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I’ll be honest, I have been eating like a pig for the past few weeks. I’ve been spending way too much time by the dessert table at holiday parties. I love sweets and I love baking so I’ve also been making my fair share of holiday treats. While I love making holiday cookies for my family, I thought it might be time to balance out the baked goods with a superfood salad. This kale salad is topped with Candied Pecans, goat cheese, dried cranberries and roasted butternut squash making this the perfect salad for the holiday season (a great starter for Christmas dinner, perhaps?) The honey balsamic dressing adds the right amount of sweetness to help balance out the bitterness of the kale. Note: You can use agave instead of honey for the dressing (which also works great as a marinade)!

Serves: 4

Time: 45 minutes

Dietary Info: Dairy-Free option, Gluten-Free

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped and cleaned
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Candied Pecans
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese*

    *Omit for a dairy-free recipe.

    For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients and stirring vigorously.

    2. In a small mixing bowl, add butternut squash and 1/3 cup of the dressing. Toss to coat butternut squash. Add butternut squash to a roasting pan and place in oven for about 35 minutes or until squash is tender.

    3. While squash is roasting, prepare the salad. Throw kale into a large salad bowl, followed by cranberries, pecans and goat cheese. When butternut squash is tender, add to salad. Toss gently and serve immediately. Drizzle with sweet balsamic dressing. Enjoy!