My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cranberry Goodies

I love this time of year when the cranberries come out to play!

Umm, no... not those Cranberries, these cranberries! :-)

These are two of our favorite cranberry-intensive recipes, delightful any time cranberries can be found but especially festive for the upcoming holidays...

Maple Cranberry Sauce
from my friend Joanne, aka AdventureJo! :-)


~ 12 ounces fresh cranberries
~ 1 cup maple syrup (or less, to taste - see notes)
~ 1 cup cran-raspberry juice (see notes)
~ Zest of one organic orange
~ 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (or less, see notes)
~ 1/4 tsp salt (optional)


Bring all ingredients except nuts to a boil.
Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Skim off foam. Stir in chopped nuts.
Chill and serve.

Jo's Notes: I think this would be fine with any juice that would taste good with cranberries, like orange or apple.

My Notes: When lacking fresh organic oranges for the zest, we've used 1 tsp dried organic orange peel and a very scant 1/8 tsp of orange oil.

We use Shmooed Food's recipe for homemade maple syrup (subbing 1/2 sucanat and 1/2 demerara sugar for the brown sugar), and reduce the amount of maple syrup in this recipe to 3/4 cup as we prefer our cranberry sauce on the tart side.

We reduce the amount of chopped walnuts to 1/3 - 1/2 cup.

A recent discovery: adding 1/4 tsp of salt to this recipe really makes the flavors pop!

We love the combination of organic cranberry juice (or cranberry juice blend) and orange juice in this (1/2 cup of each), and always include the juice from the zested orange.

We let our sauce cook for 15 minutes due to our high altitude.

By stirring the sauce frequently while it's cooking, you won't need to skim any foam.

This is delicious served over ripe pear chunks! (Thanks for that idea, Rose!)


Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
by Jill Nussinow (and
shared with her kind permission)


1 organic orange
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
2-3 TBSP (or more) maple syrup
1 medium ripe pear


Wash orange well and cut into quarters.
Combine cranberries, orange, pear and maple syrup in food processor. Process until mixture is still chunky.
If not sweet enough for you, add more maple syrup.
Make ahead and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Makes 2 cups.
Note: You can use sugar or Sucanat instead of maple syrup, if you prefer.


  1. Yummy stuff, Laurie! My mom makes a cranberry sauce that is a bit on the sugary side, but still good. I know it's wrong of me, but I prefer the canned stuff that comes out in one piece.... like jello, almost. :o

  2. It all sure looks good!! I'd love a good cranberry relish and I've always preferred the whole berry cranberry sauce rather than the jellied (sorry Vegan Dog's Life) even if canned. But now I'm going to have to settle for Cranberry shower gel and Cranberry body butter--not the same at all, but they do smell good!

  3. Cranberries are so pretty, and your treatment of them makes them even prettier; I love the bowl with the leaf and the fruit and the festive beads.

    Both of these sound really good: I love the use of maple syrup. I'm going to make some cranberry sauce to layer into a puff pastry with some pecan pate...I think the first recipe will be perfect for that! Thanks to you and Adventure Jo!

    The second recipe sounds really good too, with the pear and all.

    Oh, this coming week is going to be cooking madness! I'm dreading it and excited about it at the same time! :)

    Is it cold there? We're going to have some snow here before tomorrow is out...we don't get snow all that often, so it's kind of exciting.

  4. Molly ~ oh, what an appalling disgrace that you prefer the abomination of jellied cranberry sauce over the whole cranberry variety! I'm not sure I can still be your friend now. LOL ;-)~ Actually, I love both kinds (though the whole cranberry type is my favorite of the two).

    In case you don't already but would like to make your own jellied cranberry sauce, check out Vegan YumYum's fun how-to post on it! (She enthusiastically shares your preference for the jellied version!) Our health food store carries the canned organic jellied type (without the HFCS like most canned cranberry sauce is loaded with), but I love to make our own. It's more economical, I can control the amount of sweetness, and it's just so darned pretty! :-)

    Daphne ~ Your cranberry shower gel and body butter sound deliciously fragrant and festive! But there's no settling required ~ just pass these recipes on to your chef! Tell her you need a big batch of each in order to keep up your energy for the remodeling. ;-)

    Rose ~ Thank you, I think cranberries are pretty too, so it was fun to come up with that little tableau. :-) And the maple cranberry sauce recipe sounds perfect for your puff pastry dish! That sounds very fancy and delicious, I hope you'll be posting that one! Joanne will be so pleased!

    I'll be spending more time than usual in the kitchen too and feel the same way about it that you do! Cooking and baking for two Thanksgivings is going to be interesting, though at least for the one at our neighbors' I'm only making the pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. I'll let those nice organic vintners we like so well handle the Cab. ;-) I can't wait to see what delectable nom-noms you'll be making to take to your mom's! Is the cranberry sauce puff pastry going to be one of the items?

    Did you get your snow? Daphne told me about that forecast too! "Cold" doesn't really begin to cover what we're getting... it's currently -4º here right now, the air has that frigid mid-January look to it, and it's supposed to stay in the below zero-to-single digits and teens till Wednesday! Perfect weather for being in the kitchen, though. :-)

  5. I just bought a can of that same jellied sauce at the co-op yesterday! We're having our own feast on Thursday and I'll be eating it with Tofurky, which is the only way I'll eat it (the Tofurky roast, that is). It was on sale for super cheap, too. :)

  6. Great minds, Molly! (Maybe it's our telepathic vegan Canada geese mindmeld connection at work! LOL)

    Enjoy your cranberry sauce (and yay for good sales!) and your Tofurky roast come Thursday! :-)

  7. For this almost-non-cook person I would choose the cranberry relish. It sounds delicious and easy to make. My mother was a fantastic cook and quite the baker but it never rubbed off on me. Oh well, we all have to have our own interests. I do cook as I insist on from scratch organic food. But I keep it simple. Like the cranberry relish. Thanks -- barbara

  8. Oh, and I meant to add that I enjoyed the video too. I love all the glittery bits floating in the air and the images of Paris...certainly puts one in a good mood.

    Oh, and no snow here yet...4 degrees? Yikes, I've never been anywhere that cold...not even skiing in the mountains.

  9. Barbara ~ Actually, both recipes are quick and easy (most of my recipes are, I like to keep things simple too!), but the first one probably looks more involved because of my extra homemade "maple syrup" step and all the notes I added about ingredient reductions and juice varieties, etc. But both dishes are a snap to make!

    My mother has always loathed cooking, and spent every Thanksgiving week really cussing out the pilgrims, whom she blamed for starting all this. But since her blame was misplaced, maybe lashing out at the pilgrims was her passive-aggressive way to snark at my dad and her despised in-laws, all Mayflower descendants! ;-) (Thanksgiving was always tense at my house, and is my least favorite holiday for obvious reasons - though I do take pleasure in making it a peaceful as well as a gentle one now!) :-)

    Rose ~ Thanks for mentioning the video! I went through a bunch of Cranberries footage trying to find a video whose song I liked and whose still image would look good on this post. I was fortunate someone lit the opening scene of that concert with red lights that match my cranberry pictures! :-)

    It is desperately cold here - currently 10º below zero on our outdoor thermometer! It's been an autumn of extreme temperatures, from record-breaking heat last month to this!

    You and Daphne get any snow out of that storm yet?

  10. Where I am, we got about 1.5's very pretty. But roads are good enough, so I'm at work today. But will probably get to work from home tomorrow; the roads will be icey and treacherous.

  11. La, I'm thrilled you shared the recipe. It really is delicious. I don't even remember now where I got it - I think my mom.

    I make a very similar relish as the recipe you have there but the added pear has me intriqued!

    Enjoy your thanksgiving feast. I'm glad if I can't be there with you in real life, I will be there in spirit through my cranberry sauce recipe.

  12. Rose ~ Did you get to stay and work from home today? I spent most of today in town, and it was nostril-clamping cold out! Supposed to be even worse tonight (minus 20 wind chills) and tomorrow (a high of 4º). Gads.

    Jo ~ It was a fun one to share, but hey - I'm the one who's thrilled that you shared the recipe! :-) I can't remember when you sent it to me... three or four years ago maybe? Anyway, it's become a fall/winter tradition (or addiction?) now! I'm taking a double batch to Vistara's get together Thursday and then making another batch for us on Friday! And not only is it delicious, it's very photogenic, too! :-)

    And we will indeed be thinking of you as we snarf it up! You enjoy your REAL mashed potatoes this year! May the Potato Rebellion insurgency prevail. ;-)

  13. Hi Laurie, I loved your cranberry recipes! I was feeling sad just before Thanksgiving because the only thing lacking from my festive menu was precisely cranberries and I knew I wouldn't be able to find any to buy (I tried) here in Provence -- not fresh nor frozen. Surprisingly, your cranberry post and the wonderful photos actually cheered me up - they made me realize that I can feel happy and greatful about the good that life serves up (pun intended), even if some of those things end up on other people's table and not mine. Anyway, I hope you had a wonderfully delicious Thanksgiving.
    Now on to Hanukkah!! p.s. I wanted to thank you also for introducing me to blogger. I moved my blog here last week (I'd been thinking about it since I started following your blog), and am very happy about how easy it's been to learn the ins and outs - so thanks for that! Now all I need is a follower (okay, a couple!) -- wanna be my first? It would only be fitting, since you got me started!

  14. VeganVoilà ~ Oh noooo! No cranberries in Provence? I'd be sad too! But I am so glad my cranberry post made you happy (it could have had the opposite effect!) Kudos to you on having such a wonderful perspective and attitude.

    We did have a wonderfully delicious Thanksgiving and I hope (and bet) that you did too, despite a lack of cranberries.

    I'm glad that Blogger is working out for you! It has its moments, but I'm happy here. :-) Thanks for letting me know about your new blog! As you already know, I just barely edged out your #2 follower for the #1 spot! :-D

    Happy Hannukah! <∑]-- (<-- look, I made a dreidel! Sort of. It could use more work.) :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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