Cranberry Sauce…it doesn’t have to come from a can!

There is definitely a place for canned cranberry sauce, especially the kind that is just a log of jelly.  But making your own cranberry sauce is simple and delicious, and you will impress everyone with your kitchen prowess.

Yessssss

Yessssss

 

This recipe will literally take you 15 minutes to make.

You will need to buy a 12oz bag of cranberries from the grocery store.  At any holiday calling for cranberry sauce, they are easy to find.  Usually you can get two bags for $5 even.

Dump the bag of cranberries into a saucepot.

Cranberries in the pot

Cranberries in the pot

 

Pour  3/4 cup of orange juice (you can cut this with water if you prefer less of an orange taste, just make sure you use a total of 3/4 cups of liquid) into the pot of cranberries.

Add orange juice

Add orange juice

 

Next, add 1/2 cup of honey to the cranberries.  You can use white sugar if you prefer, but I find the honey gives it a less sweet taste.

Add honey

Add honey

 

I also like the add some grated orange rind at this point for some extra orange flavour.

Grate in some orange peel

Grate in some orange peel

 

Simmer over medium heat, until the berries pop and the sauce thickens (10-15 minutes).

IMG_5953 IMG_5955

IMG_5956 IMG_5958

 

Cool the sauce completely and then refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

I like to store in jars in the fridge

I like to store in jars in the fridge

 

Serve at room temperature.  Fancy it up with some extra orange zest if you prefer!

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Glorious Morning Glory Muffins

Last night I decided to branch out from my regular line up of muffins and try something new.  I have this old muffin recipe book, Muffin Mania, that I think I got as a wedding shower gift, but it has some great recipes.  I was flipping through and came across a recipe for morning glory muffins, and I had all of the ingredients so I gave them a try.  They were maybe the most delicious muffins that I have ever eaten, so I thought I should share the recipe.

I didn’t take step-by-step pictures because I didn’t expect them to be so yummy, but the recipe is pretty straightforward.

 

Morning Glory Muffins
Ingredients:
2 c. all purpose flour
1¼ c. white sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
2 c. grated carrots
½ c. raisins (I like to use golden raisins)
½ c. nuts of your choice (I leave these out)
½ c. coconut
1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated
3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

Method:

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Stir in carrots, raisins, nuts, coconut, and apple.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with oil and vanilla.

Stir into flour mixture until batter is just combined.

Spoon into well-greased muffin cups, filling to the top.

Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

*makes about 16 large muffins!

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Nothing says fall like Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

A friend of mine had the most brilliant idea.  She invited me to a fall soup exchange.  The idea is that everyone who is invited makes 4 freezer bags full of soup.  On the day of the exchange, I will leave her house with 4 freezer bags of a variety of soup.  Like a Christmas cookie exchange, except healthier and four meals basically done for me.  Win!

My favourite soup to make in the fall is any involving butternut squash.  Butternut squash is so healthy for you, full of vitamins and minerals which make your skin glow, and let’s be real, everyone could use some extra glow, especially as the weather turns colder.

Soup is one of those things that I don’t actually use recipes for.  You can’t really mess it up.  So this post has more of a step-by-step thing going on, without too many measurements given.  Change it up to work with what you like, but here is the basic idea.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out all of the seeds.  Place the squash face up on a foil lined baking sheet and brush on some melted butter (or olive oil), and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pop it in the oven and bake until it is tender and pierces easily with a fork, about 1.5 hours.

All nice and roasty

All nice and roasty

 

While your squash is roasting away, melt about a tablespoon of butter in a large stock pot.

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Now, coarsely chop up a sweet onion.  It doesn’t have to be finely chopped, because eventually you are going to blend the soup with an immersion blender.

Coarsely chopped onion

Coarsely chopped onion

 

Saute the onion in the melted butter in the stock pot until it starts to soften up a bit.

Saute the onion in the butter

Saute the onion in the butter

 

While your onion is cooking, coarsely dice up about 4-6 pears (or apples, I just happened to have pears in the fridge).  I like to leave the skins on for extra fibre and nutrients, just make sure you wash them well.

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Add the pears into the pot with the onions and continue to saute for a few more minutes.

Pears and onions

Pears and onions

 

Once your onions and pears are soft and onion have started to brown, pour in about 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, lower the temperature to a simmer.  I also added a splash of white wine that I had open in the fridge at this point, gave it a nice taste.  Add in some salt, pepper, and a dash of cinnamon to taste.

Stock added as well as spices

Stock added as well as spices

 

At this point, if your butternut squash is done roasting, remove the peel and cut into chunks.  I actually just scooped the squash out of the skin and added it to the soup.

Scooping out the squash

Scooping out the squash

 

Once all the squash is added to the pot, give it the soup a stir and continue to simmer so all the flavours mesh.

Stirring in the squash

Stirring in the squash

 

Simmering away

Simmering away

 

After the soup has simmer for a bit, remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth (you could use a regular blender, I just find the immersion blender less messy!).

Nice and smooth

Nice and smooth

 

Once smooth, season further to taste, and you’re done!  At this point you could also mix in some milk, or sour cream.  For the soup exchange I was trying to keep things dairy free.

When serving, garnish with a dallop of sour cream and some roasted pumpkin seeds.  Delicious.

Yum!

Yum!