I love this time of year. I can queue up the Christmas music without getting too much grief from the better half, and I get to pull out all those traditions that make the holidays so memorable. This year my mom is coming to visit and I’m looking forward to showing her around NYC during the holidays, especially the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’m giddy just thinking about it.
Of course the other tradition that will carry on will be the Thanksgiving feast. In that spirit I thought I’d offer up a few new recipes that are inspired by traditional holiday favorites, with some new and delicious twists.
I had fun with this Cranberry Sauce and I’ve never really been a big fan of the side dish. If you’ve stayed away from the traditional red berry sauce at dinner, this might be the time to give it another go. So how did I make it oh-so-good? Well, I cut back just slightly on the sugar and in lieu of the added water included apple cider. Then with the addition of cinnamon and cloves it just gave the dish what it needed. I’m looking forward to eating this up on Thursday.
1 12oz. Package of Cranberries (washed)
1 1/4 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Apple Cider
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
Zest and Juice of one Orange
Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Let cool and then serve.
Side note from Melinda: I made this dish with the exact recipe except substituted 1/2 cup honey for the sugar, and it was a big hit at my house.
Mini Apple Cranberry Tarts
This is a great idea when you just have a few people over for dinner and want to add a small touch of elegance to the meal.
1 pkg. Puff Pastry
2 cups Chopped Apple (Golden Delicious is best)
2 tbsp Flour
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Cranberry Juice
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
1 egg (for egg wash)
In a bowl prepare the apple filling by combining the chopped apple, flour, cinnamon, cloves, dark brown sugar and cranberry juice. Toss together until well coated and set aside. Next layout the sheets of puff pastry (keep this in the fridge until you are ready for them, you want them as cool as possible before tossing in the oven). You will want to cut the pastry sheets into circles that are about 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter than what you want for the finished tarts. Next place just enough of the filling into the centers to fill your desired final diameter. Then gently fold over the extra edges to create somewhat of a edge to keep the apple filling in place. Sprinkle the dried cranberries and sliced almonds over the top and brush a light egg wash on the outside crust (this makes the pastry brown nicely and gives it a little shine). Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to set for 20 minutes before serving.