Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce Recipe

So I was reading a story last week, about how BPA – a toxin – was found in cans of cranberry sauce.

My first reaction was “Whatever!”, seeing as how I learned the joy of homemade cranberry sauce YEARS ago. I’ve been making my own since… jeez, maybe age 16? Once you’ve had homemade, you just can’t bring yourself to eat the canned stuff.

Then I thought something along the lines of “OMG… people still eat canned?!”. After I mentally smacked myself for thinking so elitist and snotty, I realized that this would be a great subject for a blog entry!

Cranberry sauce is super easy to make. If you follow the basic recipe on most bags of cranberries, it only costs about $1 more than canned, and takes less than 10 minutes. Trust me, TOTALLY worth the effort!

My recipe takes only slightly longer than the basic recipe, and an extra dollar or two in ingredients. Again, that slight investment is a HUGE improvement, even over basic homemade sauce! If you haven’t tried making your own yet, maybe this is the year?

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Maple Walnut Baklava

So… this weekend is the start of October. Yikes. That realization sent us into a stress frenzy recently – we still have a TON of exterior work to get done before the weather gets too cold/snowy!

For me, the start of October still means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Canadian Thanksgiving falls on October 10th this year. We usually try to celebrate both Thanksgivings, with different menus. This year… I’m not so sure I can pull everything together in time. That sucks 🙁

I always look forward to the variety of Canadian dishes we serve for the October Thanksgiving. Tortiere, Butter tarts… Mmmm. This year, I had been looking forward to a new favorite: Maple Walnut Baklava. Kind of a Canadian-Greek crossbreed, and SO tasty.

Sigh. It’s probably for the best, having gone gluten free again.

Anyway, baklava is actually quite easy to make, despite what you may have heard. Just make sure your filo / phyllo dough has thawed properly, and it should work up quickly for you!

Enjoy!

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The “Juicy Goosey” Burger – Perfect for Thanksgiving!

When I was a kid, my mother made the most fabulous burgers. She stuffed 2 thin patties with sauteed mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and green onions. Best thing ever. We never had a special name for them, it was just “Mom’s stuffed burgers”.

Fast forward a bunch of years. I move to Minnesota, and find out that I can get something very similar to those burgers on many different menus here! Here in Minnesota, they have a proper name – “Juicy Lucy” or (ugh) “Jucy Lucy”. (Seriously, it hurt me to intentionally misspell a word like that!)

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I want to share my new favorite adaptation of my childhood burger. I call it the “Juicy Goosey” – a turkey based, Thanksgiving version!

This burger is incredibly tasty, and might just be the ultimate seasonal comfort dinner. Unfortunately, photos just don’t do it justice. It’s not a pretty burger!

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Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe

Ah! Today is day 2 of my “mental health weekend” with my husband. After so much work, rushing around, and general stress the past few weeks, we made a pact to engage in NONE of that, this weekend. No work, no car repairs, no chores, no stress. Awesome!

Of course.. we kind of cheated. Free time means I’m freed up to play around in the kitchen.. which means I can experiment, make home cooked meals… etc. This wasn’t totally a bad thing – We’ve been on a bit of a pumpkin kick ever since the Pumpkin Nanaimo Bar creation a couple weeks ago, and could now finally act on it.

So, this morning I made pumpkin pancakes AND pumpkin muffins! The pancakes are SO tasty – full of flavor, very fluffy and moist. SO good! Read on for the recipe – muffins recipe coming tomorrow! (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving – Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bar Recipe!

Happy Thanksgiving!

You know, this is my very first Thanksgiving as an out-of-the-closet immigrant! Feels good to not have to worry if wishing “Happy Thanksgiving” in the beginning of October will “out” me!

Unfortunately, this is also my first Canadian Thanksgiving that I’m actually too busy to celebrate. Normally, we celebrate both Thanksgivings each year. It kind of snuck up on me, too. I was listening to the Z103.5 morning show online, as I always do.. and they were excitedly talking about their long weekend plans. Drat!

So, while I didn’t have time or energy to really do much for Thanksgiving this weekend (because today isn’t a stat holiday in the USA), I decided I’d do something that was at least Thanksgiving-ish and Canadian – I’d invent a new, Thanksgiving themed Nanaimo Bar! It may not be a full turkey dinner, but as desserts go – you can’t get more Canadian than a Nanaimo bar. Done! Click through for a photo and the recipe!

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Easy Blood Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Fudge

If haven’t read yesterday’s post yet, you should. It gives a bit of background info on the next couple days worth of recipes… basically, all a love letter to Blood orange essential oil! Today, I’ll be sharing my recipe for blood orange cranberry white chocolate “easy” fudge.

Now, there are two main types of fudge. It doesn’t have anything to do with flavor, it’s about base ingredients and technique:

Easy fudge takes about 2 minutes to make (aside from the time it takes to cool and set), and just two base ingredients: Some type of chocolate, and sweetened condensed milk. You melt them together, add some flavorings, and let it set. DONE.

Traditional fudge takes a little more time and effort, and completely different base ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, milk and butter. You cook it to a certain point, allow it to cool, beat it, THEN let it set.

Today we’re going for an easy fudge, tomorrow I’ll be posting a traditional fudge recipe. As mentioned yesterday, they’ll both be flavored with blood orange essential oil and cranberries – a favorite combination of mine. What can I say, I was on a kick! Let’s get to it… (more…)