Bordeaux Cranberry Compote

For as long as I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I have been using the same delicious Cranberry Compote recipe. Obviously, I really, really like the recipe, otherwise I wouldn’t keeping making it. But I recently came across a recipe for Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce from Avery Cooks that inspired me to make a few simple changes to my old standby … just to try something new.  So, I substituted a Bordeaux for the water in my recipe and blueberries for one cup of the cranberries, and made a few minor changes. As I expected, the compote was different, but still delicious. The wine and blueberries added nice, but subtle, background flavor and created a darker colored compote. (For a more pronounced wine flavor, one could cut back some on the spices or on the cranberries which are both still pretty prominent flavors.) This dish is fairly chunky and I like to add fresh fruit right before serving because its crisp texture and flavor provide a pleasing contrast when paired with the sweet and tangy cranberry mixture.

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Ingredients

1 c. granulated white sugar

1/2 c. red Bordeaux wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or similar wine)

6 whole cloves

3 whole allspice

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 t. ground mace

1/2 c. dried cranberries

2 T. dried blueberries

1 c. frozen blueberries

2. c fresh cranberries (washed and picked over)

1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts

zest from 1 fragrant orange

Optional, 1 1/2 c. chopped fresh apples, pears and/or oranges.

Directions

1. Combine sugar, wine and spices in a 2-quart non-stick pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let simmer for 5 - 10 minutes, then remove cloves, allspice and cinnamon. (Count to make sure that you have all of them.)

2. Stir dried fruits into wine mixture. Allow dried fruits to simmer for about 5 minutes, then stir in frozen blueberries. When the mixture returns to a simmer, stir in fresh cranberries.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the cranberries have popped. Stir in walnuts and orange zest, then remove from heat.

3. Chill in a clean glass jar until serving. If desired, toss cranberry mixture with fresh apple, pear and/or orange chunks first right before serving.

Have fun getting ready for the holidays! I hope that you enjoy the recipe!

View my previous Thanksgiving-related posts:

Blood and Sand Cocktails

Black Tea Sangria (Mocktail)

Chanterelle Risotto with Truffle Butter

Little Apple Manhattan Cocktails

Chocolate Bourbon Pots de Creme with Orange Bourbon Cherries

Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

Preparing for Thanksgiving (Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes and the Original Cranberry Compote)

Young Bakers & Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies Recipe

It was cold and dreary here today, so my friend Sara and her daughters came over to bake cookies. What a perfect afternoon to have the oven on … and the girls did a great job!

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ChocolateMintCrinkles

Chocolate Mint Crinkles

Makes about 58 cookies

Chocolaty sugar cookies with Andes’ Mints.

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/3 c. Dutch process cocoa

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1/3 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/3 c. granulated white sugar

1 lg. egg

2 t. bourbon or 1/2 t. vanilla extract

1 1/4 c. finely chopped Andes’ mints or Andes’ creme de menthe baking chips

2/3 c. sparkling decorator’s sugars*

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and then bourbon or vanilla extract. On lowest mixer speed, beat in dry ingredients and then mints.
  4. Scoop a rounded teaspoonful of dough, roll into a ball, roll in decorator’s sugar to completely coat and then place on baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls of dough at least 2” apart. When the first baking sheet is filled, bake cookies for about 14 to 16 minutes or until just barely set. Meanwhile, finish rolling the remaining dough.
  5. As baking sheets come out of the oven, place them on wire racks and allow cookies to cool.

* Sparkling sugars are available through baking specialty companies such as King Arthur Flour and Wilton. For this recipe, I use white, green or gold sugar, depending on the occasion.

Happy Baking! Have a great weekend!

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First Snow of the Season

Here are a few photos that I took in our front garden earlier today during our first snowfall of the season. I was glad that the snow did not amount to much, but it was fun to get out and get a few pictures before the colors in the garden had entirely faded. But, brrrr …. it was cold.

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MumsGoldenInSnow

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Have a great weekend! Stay warm!

Faces of Early Winter

Winter arrived in the Midwest last night and for the time, at least, looks like it is going to stick around. Here are our girls’ reactions.

“Got my favorite old sweater on … am good to go, Mom.”

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“Could someone turn the sun up, please?”

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“Let’s go inside. I bet Mom has snacks ready for us!”

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Have a great day! Stay cozy warm!

Goodnight, Garden

Here today, gone tomorrow. That is probably what nature has in store for the last flowers from this season’s garden. Though it was 70 degrees here earlier today, the temperature has dropped almost 30 degrees in the past few hours with an additional drop of 20 more degrees predicted tonight… all thanks to the Bomb Cyclone headed our way. Brrrr …. winter comes tonight and looks like it is here to stay for a while. Goodnight, sweet garden. We’ll see you in the Spring!

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Stay warm! Have a great week!

Raspberry Peach Grand Margaritas

Raspberry Peach Grand Margaritas

4 parts reposado tequila

2 parts Grand Marnier Signature Collection No. 2 Raspberry Peach

1 part fresh-squeezed juice from ripe Meyer Lemons*

agave syrup to taste, optional

Meyer Lemon slices

fresh raspberries

fresh (or semi-thawed) peach slices

Combine tequila, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice. Stir and then taste. If desired, add agave syrup until desired sweetness is reached. Stir together with ice and chill until serving or shake in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and serve right away. Garnish with fruit. Serve in margarita glasses or in colorful Mexican glassware. Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

* Note: ripe Meyer Lemons, which are a cross between lemons and mandarin oranges, sometimes look like small oranges when they are ripe.

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