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Super Easy, Super Tasty: Sugared Cranberries

Sparkling cranberries; drying before storing.

My friend Kim brought a bowl of these to a potluck at my house once and I immediately had to have the recipe! Turns out they are very easy – with a little patience** – and they look just beautiful! I would say they are too beautiful to eat, but it would be wrong of me to deny you the chance to pop these little orbs of sweet-tart goodness into your mouth!

I’ve made them several times since Kim shared her recipe and – as I always do with recipes – tried out some variations. Some worked, some didn’t!

What didn’t work: Using coarse, colored sugar. I thought the larger crystals would be pretty on the berries, but it turns out that they kinda melt and just look crusty (and not a good kind of crusty!)

What did work: I poured my ultra-fine baker’s sugar (I found it in the baking aisle in a milk carton-like container) into a Tupperware container and put a couple of vanilla beans in with it for several days to give the sugar a vanilla riff. The sugar with beans is still in my cupboard and I am looking forward to making the cranberries with it to see if the vanilla is stronger! Turns out, this is pretty much how they make vanilla powder for coffee shops (also good in pie crusts!)

**Regarding patience: the cranberries have to soak in the sugar liquid for at least 8 hours, so you need to plan ahead. This is not a spur-of-the-moment recipe! It is important to make sure you do not boil the cranberries – they will pop, if boiled, and will not make a very pretty treat. They need to dry for an hour before storing – try not to eat them all before they are dry!

Now, you could make a batch of these and sit in a corner, eating them all yourself, but that would not be in the spirit of the holiday season. Bring them as a hostess gift in a pretty tin, set them in a crystal bowl alongside your appetizer platters, toss a handful onto a plate of turkey or eat them while watching a movie with your family! There is no wrong time for sugared cranberries!

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Recipe

 

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Four Ingredients? I’m in! Crock-pot Cranberry Pork

Sometimes you come across a recipe so simple and it turns out so well that you immediately add it to your list of family favorites; Crock-pot Cranberry Pork is one of them.

First of all, it is cooked in a crock-pot, that wonderful invention from the 70’s which millions of busy people embraced. For whatever reason, the crock-pot is often looked upon with disdain. Bah, sez I! The crock-pot is an efficient tool that can produce a meal with little effort on the cook’s part, freeing up time for things like blogging, walking the dog and perhaps even working…

Here are the ingredients for Crock-Pot Cranberry Pork:

  • 1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 c. French dressing
  • 1 onion sliced (I used 1/2 onion which was plenty)
  • 1 (3 lb.) boneless pork loin roast

Combine the cranberries, French dressing and onion in a medium bowl. Place the meat in the crock-pot and pour the sauce over the roast. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. Pork is done when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

One additional thing I did was to thicken the sauce after the meat was done cooking. I removed the pork and

Crock-Pot Cranberry Pork

kept it warm, cranking up the crock-pot to its highest setting. I mixed 1 tbl. corn starch with 2 tbl. cold water and stirred it into the hot liquid to make gravy. I let it cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

THAT’S IT!! Seriously – could it be any easier? I served it with mashed potatoes, steamed zucchini and a chewy loaf of bread. Delish!

PS I forgot to take a picture before we ate – this one is the leftovers from the fridge. Still gorgeous!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2011 in Recipe

 

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