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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Mulled Wine

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More snow today. A LOT more snow. I’m not sure it will ever stop. Since I was trapped inside all day, I decided to experiment with mulled wine. I received about 12 bottles of wine for my birthday last month and still had a few (okay, two) left so I thought I would put them to good use! I was skeptical at first of how it would turn out (warm wine? ew.) but sure enough, it was delicious! Definitely helped with the cabin fever. Note: To make this recipe sweeter, use sugar instead of honey. Curl up with a book and stay warm with this mulled wine recipe!

Serves: 3-4

Time: 20 minutes

Dietary Info: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

•1 bottle of red wine (any red table wine works)
•1/4 cup honey
•1 cup water
•3 whole cloves
•3 whole allspice
•2 cinnamon sticks
•1/2 naval orange or 1 clementine, sliced

Add all ingredients except for the wine to medium saucepan and boil for one minute. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing flavors to blend. Add red wine and stir for a minute. Remove from heat. Optional: Pour wine through a fine mesh strainer to remove orange pulp and whole spices. (I don’t mind this so I didn’t bother). Serve with a ladle and enjoy!