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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Stuffed Zucchini…Bacon is involved!

I think that zucchini might be one of my favourite vegetables.  I always make sure we plant lots of it in our garden, and it is my go-to vegetable buy when we go to the farmer’s market.  I’m never really overly adventurous with it, usually just grilling it, or breading and frying it, and of course making zucchini bread.  But I got it into my head that I wanted to do something exciting with it, so I started looking up recipes for stuffed zucchini and came up with this.  I don’t have a recipe with precise measurements, as I usually just start mixing in what I think makes a good amount, but I think that with this recipe anything could go.  Here is what I did.

I started by cutting 2 small to medium sized zucchinis in half length-wise.  I then used a teaspoon to hollow out a sort of tunnel in the centre of the zucchini halves, sort of making zucchini boats. 

Hollowed out zucchini boats

Hollowed out zucchini boats

Set aside the zucchini innards because they will become part of the stuffing.

Zucchini innards

Zucchini innards

I then set the zucchini boats aside and diced the zucchini innards into very small pieces.

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Diced up zucchini innards

Next I diced up half an onion and 4 pieces of bacon and sauteed them in a bit of butter.

Bacon and onion

Bacon and onion

Once the bacon and onions are nice and browned, you can remove them from the stove.

Nice and browned

Nice and browned

In a bowl, mix the diced zucchini, with enough plain Greek yogurt to coat it.  Most recipes I looked at called for sour cream, but in general I’ve been substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream, I find that it has a richer taste, and packs a nice protein punch.

Diced zucchini and greek yogurt

Diced zucchini and greek yogurt

Next, I poured in a liberal amount of Italian bread crumbs, sort of just enough to cover the zucchini lightly.

Add in Italian bread crumbs

Add in Italian bread crumbs

Next, I added in a diced tomato (mostly to give the filling some colour).  When you dice the tomato, leave out the wet, seedy bits, or your filling will be too wet.

Add in diced tomato

Add in diced tomato

Next, add in the cooled bacon and onions.

Add bacon and onions

Add bacon and onions

Now, gently mix the filling so that it is combined.  Add in some salt and pepper to taste. I also added a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.

Mix to combine

Mix to combine

I happened to have some feta cheese in the fridge, so I mixed in a liberal amount of that.  For me, the more cheese the better, but add to your taste.

Add in some feta cheese

Add in some feta cheese

Once you mix in the feta, you can then fill up your zucchini boats with this mixture.

Zucchini boats all filled up

Zucchini boats all filled up

Finally, sprinkle the stuffed zucchini with grated cheese (I used marble because that is what I had, but I think they would benefit from an old cheddar for an extra punch of flavour).

Sprinkle with grated cheese

Sprinkle with grated cheese

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and things are a bit browned up.

Delicious!

Delicious!

Let them sit for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven and serve.

Serve!

Serve!

As I said, I just sort of played around with what I had on hand, but the possibilities for this are endless.  You could use black beans instead of the bacon, add in corn for colour/flavour, etc.  I don’t think you could go wrong with these.