Every year I avoid doing the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. No reason really other than I’m weird and find it more enjoyable to make something different each year that I have never made before. Well this year I decided to give in a little bit. Who knows maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones. Tomorrow I’m officially 29 weeks! I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has gone by. As soon as the holidays are over it’ll be the home stretch. Eeeh I’m very excited! Anyway back to Thanksgiving. I’m not going down the turkey route since honestly it’s my least favorite part of a Thanksgiving dinner. The sides have always been my favorite. And I decided to keep it easy making only my favorites: cranberries, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. Since these can all run vegetarian I’m making an Italian sausage stuffing so there’s a bit of meat. We are doing this with the family so I left it to them to add any of the missing dishes if they desire. Josh was completely on board with my menu which made me quite happy. Oh and last minute I decided to make pumpkin cookies. Those I’m going to make shortly.
I decided to make two batches of cranberries (pictured above is batch one). After I made the first one I decided I wanted more. I love cranberries. It seems most people have no experience with them and immediately dislike them due to the canned crap or they are like me and truly love them. I grew up on a raw cranberry sauce served cold. It’s a delicious dish but I decided to try something new and make a cooked cranberry sauce. I kept it traditional and easy. Cranberries, orange juice, sugar, brown sugar, and orange zest. I used way less sugar than most recipes call for as I like a little zing and I found it to still be sweet. The orange zest is a crucial element for me. Don’t hesitate to use it liberally. I made mine two days in advance so the flavors could really meddle in the fridge and so I could start enjoying it to myself a few days in advance : ).
Simple Cranberry Sauce
- 12-14 oz fresh cranberries
- 3/4-1 cup orange juice
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4-1/3 cup brown sugar
- zest of one orange
- Place the cranberries, orange juice, and sugars in a medium saucepan. Over medium high heat cook 15-2o minutes until most of the cranberries have ‘popped’ and the sauce has thickened.
- Remove from heat and add orange zest.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.