Cranberry Sauce

For many years my family would buy the canned cranberries and serve them once a year at Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t say anyone was really excited about the cranberry sauce from a can. I think most of my family members took a spoonful was because it was Thanksgiving and that is what you are suppose to eat on Thanksgiving.

One year my mom accidentally bought cranberries at the grocery story.

“What do you think we can do with these?” she asked me one day before our Thanksgiving feast.

“I think you can make cranberry sauce out of them” I said. I really wasn’t sure what you would do with them otherwise. I set off on a Pinterest search trying to figure out how to make cranberry sauce. Surprisingly, making a cranberry sauce is remarkably easy! A bigger surprise was how many family members LOVED our cranberry sauce that year.

Ever since that year homemade cranberries has been on the Thanksgiving menu.

 

Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Guys this is so simple. Add the cranberries to a sauce pan. Add about 1 cup water (or until the water reaches the surface of the cranberries) and sugar. Stir the mixture. Place pan on the stovetop on medium heat. As the water starts to boil, the cranberries will start to pop (don’t worry that is a good thing!). Turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir every 5 minutes. Allow cranberry mixture to cool. As it cools it will start to gel up. ┬áChill cranberries for 1-2 hours before serving.

Variations:

You can substitute the 1 cup water for 1 cup orange juice. If you do this you will need to omit the sugar.

You can omit the sugar and add 2-3 table spoons of maple syrup.

Eat them like I do! Omit the sugar all together and just eat them with plain old water. Boy is it tart, but I love it!!! Natures War Heads!

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New Year… Good Food!

Happy 2017! Can you believe the new year is here? I woke up yesterday morning forgetting that it was the last day of 2016. I rang in the new year at home, siting on the couch watching ABC. I kept thinking about all of the things I did this year.

2016 was such a good year for me. I moved in with my boyfriend, David. I spent a lot of time with my family at our cabin. I ran my second marathon in Duluth, MN and had a 27 minute PR. I started online graduate school at the University of North Dakota. David and I traveled to Fort Myers Beach Florida. And I moved to teaching third grade!

Right now everyone is embarking on their new set of new years resolutions. Because I am a goal oriented person, New Years is definitely a time where I reflect on myself and set new goals for the upcoming year. I have some running goals, personal goals and professional goals. Don’t worry, I am not going to bore you with listing them all right here. The one thing that I want to continue to do this year is cook good food.

I love cooking good food for the people I love. Today when I woke up I was craving some homemade tomato soup. Right now David is upstairs chowing down on the batch I cooked up today. By they way he is eating it, I think I did a good job! You should try it for yourself!

 

Casey’s New Year Tomato Soup

  • 10 tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 TBS olive oil (I use Villa Cappelli)
  • 1 onion
  • about 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ground pepper
  • salt to taste (I used 3 tsp salt… but I like things a little on the salty side)
  • 1 small can of tomato paste (6oz)
  • 2 cups chicken bone broth (or chicken stock)

Preheat oven to 400. Line cookie sheet with foil and roast tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and garlic for 25-30 minutes (or until the tomatoes start to brown). Drizzle vegetables with olive oil before placing them in the oven. While vegetables are cooking, dice onions and finely chop up basil and parsley. Pour 2-3 Tbs of olive oil into a soup kettle. When oil is hot add diced onions to the oil. Allow onions to caramelize. Add parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the kettle and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, chicken broth and all of the vegetables from the oven into the kettle and cook for 30 minutes. Puree soup in a blender (I use my Nutribullet) and serve.