5 Ingredient Friday: Cranberry Sauce with a Kick

I grew up eating the Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce. I’ve always been a big fan of it, because it’s all that I knew.  My Mom used to run a knife around the edge so that the Cranberry Sauce would come perfectly, with the can indent around it and all. My Aunt used to make a Cranberry Relish during the holidays and I used to turn my nose up at it which was typical. I grew up being a very picky eater. I’m still picky to an extent, but it’s not quite as bad.  The last couple weeks of my CSA, we got Fresh Cranberries. I didn’t know what to make with them, so I decided that I should try to make some real Cranberry Sauce. Not that canned jellied kind. So I was looking at some recipes, but nothing really jumped out at me. So I decided to put a bunch of ideas from the recipes together to see how it would turn out. And it’s done in 5 Ingredients!

  • 12 oz fresh Cranberries, washed
  • 1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Orange Juice (about 3-4 oranges) + zest of 1 Orange
  • 2 Tablespoons Brandy

Juice the oranges and pour the orange juice into a pot.

Add in the Brown Sugar, Sugar, and Orange Zest.

Add in the Cranberries.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce to a simmer.

Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. The Cranberries will burst, but some will stay whole.

Remove from the Heat.


Stir in the Brandy and set aside to cool. Refrigerate.

I will say that the Brandy gave it a bit of a kick! I could really taste it. If you’d rather not have such a strong Brandy taste, I’d suggest putting the Brandy in with the Orange Juice and letting it cook out a bit. Since I added it in at the end it’s a bit more potent.  But I was pretty happy with how it turned out! I think a little bit of Grand Marnier would have really been good, but I didn’t have any on hand. I was happy with this recipe though! It had just enough sweetness to it.

Souper Bowl Sunday [’11] ~ Week 8 ~ French Onion Soup

This weekend was sort of crazy weather-wise. When I went out to get my coffee on Saturday morning, I was walking through a lot of slush and it was sleeting. Winter has come a little early this year, and I’ll have to say I’m not ready for it yet. I love Fall, and I feel like Fall gets shorter every year. And that’s a bummer. Because I feel like it’s either 110 degrees or 10 degrees! And my perfect temperature is 60-65 degrees. I guess I need to move, lol! Here in the city we didn’t really get any snow, but friends & family in the suburbs got upward of 6 inches.

French Onion Soup is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s the perfect soup to warm you up on a cold day. I wanted to try a different type of Onions Soup, so I came up with a Four Onion Soup. I added a few new flavors in there, and I was pretty happy with how it came out.

  • 2 medium Red Onions, sliced
  • 2 medium Sweet Onions, sliced
  • 4 Shallots, sliced
  • 3 Leeks,  cut into chunks
  • 4 Garlic cloves, whole
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 stick of Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 32 oz + 4 oz Beef Broth
  • 2 tablespoons Brandy
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon (or add at the end to taste) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Bread Cubes, toasted
  • Gruyere Cheese
  • Sharp Provolone

Chop up your Leeks, Red Onions, Sweet Onions and Shallots.


I love to caramelize my onions in the crock pot. I love to do it low and slow. I feel like they really get a chance to caramelize and the flavor is exceptional. I usually put the onions in the crock pot the night before I need them. I put a stick of butter in a crock pot and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Add the onions and the garlic cloves.

Let it go! I stir occasionally so that it doesn’t burn. Just make sure that your crock pot isn’t too big, otherwise it will burn. I let them cook down and caramelize until they are a nice mahogany color. From start to finish, they are probably in the crock pot for about twenty hours or so. You can cook yours as long as you’d like though. You can prepare them stove top if that is your preference.

Pour 32 oz of Beef Broth into a Dutch Oven. Bring to a boil. Mix the corn starch with the 4 oz of Beef Broth and add it into the other Broth. It will thicken. Once it’s thickened, add in the caramelized onions and all of their juices. Add in the brandy,  salt, pepper and thyme.

I let it cook (on low) for a little while to let all of the flavors marry. It’s your decision how long you let it go. I probably let mine go for about an hour, but that’s definitely not necessary.

When you’re ready to eat, ladle some of the soup into a crock.

Sprinkle some grated Gruyere Cheese over the soup.


Add in your toasted bread cubes.

Top with some good Sharp Provolone cheese. I love to use the slices.

Throw under the broiler for about 4 minutes or until bubbly!

I was very happy with how this came out. I really liked the flavors that the different onions brought to the soup. In the past I’ve always just used sweet onions, but I really love the four different onions together. This soup definitely warmed me up. And who doesn’t love all of that ooey gooey cheese?!

Week 25: The end is finally here

IT’S THE LAST WEEK!! Yes, I’m jumping for joy! At one point it honestly seemed as if this day would never come. I’m kind of sad because I really wanted to like this whole experience. But I just didn’t. It got to be more of a hassle than it was worth, especially since week after week we were piling at least half of our share into the Swap Box and barely getting anything in return. So it ended up being a huge waste of money. For what I paid I could’ve gotten organic produce (that I pick) delivered right to my door.  Oh well, lesson learned. It’s time to close this chapter.

This last week is just like the others – more stuff in the Swap Box: Romaine Lettuce, Kale, Green Cabbage and Cilantro.   Mr. Curly Fry was able to get two more Leeks out of the Swap Box. But that’s it.

No major plans for this stuff. I still have a ton of Potatoes left that I really need to use. I cut up the Green Peppers (from last week) and the Mixed Peppers. I cut some into strips and some into small pieces and threw them in the freezer. I figured it’ll be nice to have them later on when I need them.

I plan to incorporate the Leeks into this week’s Souper Bowl Sunday recipe in some way.


  • 1 Head Green Romaine Lettuce - Certified Organic – Bellview Organics
  • 1 Leek – Certified Organic – Certified Organic – Coyote Run Organics
  • 1 Bunch Tatsoi – Certified Organic – Hillside Organics
  • 1 Bag Mixed Sweet Peppers – Certified Organic – Maple Lawn Organics
  • 1 Bag Russet Potatoes – Certified Organic – Bellview Organics
  • 1 Bunch Green Kale – Certified Organic – Eagle View Acres
  • 1 Head Green Cabbage – Certified Organic – Green Valley Organics
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro – Certified Organic – Noble Herbs

  • 1 Bag Heirloom Cranberries – Organically Grown – Paradise Hill Farm – Tabernacle, NJ
  • 1 Jar Red Raspberry Jam – Certified Organic – Oakview Acres

I still have last week’s Cranberries so I think I’ll combine them and make Cranberry Sauce. Does anyone have a tried & true recipe?

Week 24: What’s in the Box?

Week 24. ONLY ONE MORE WEEK TO GO! I don’t think  you understand how happy this makes me.

More stuff in the Swap Box: Arugula, Beets, Butternut Squash, and Turnips.   Mr. Curly Fry was able to get two bags of Sweet Potatoes out of the Swap Box.  So now I have quite a few of those and need to find something to make besides Candied Sweet Potatoes. Any ideas?

No major plans for anything else. I used the Leeks from the last box in the Creamy Tortellini Soup that I made this past weekend.


  • 1 Bunch Arugula – Certified Organic – Echo Valley Organics
  • 1 Bunch Tatsoi – Certified Organic – Hillside Organics
  • 1 Head Green Butterhead Lettuce – Certified Organic – Maple Lawn Organics
  • 1 Bag Gold or White Beets – Certified Organic – Windy Hollow Organics
  • 1 Butternut Squash – Certified Organic – Misty Meadow Acres
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers – Certified Organic – Eagle View Organics
  • 1 Head Broccoli – Certified Organic – Plum Hill Organics or Pine Hill Organics
  • 1 Bunch Purple Top or Scarlet Turnips – Certified Organic – Maple Lawn Organics
  • 1 Bunch Celery – Certified Organic – Coyote Run Organics

Sweet Potatoes

 

Green Peppers

 

Broccoli

  • 1 Bag Rome Apples – Certified Organic – Kauffman’s Fruit Farm
  • 1 Bag Heirloom Cranberries – Organically Grown – Paradise Hill Farm (Tabernacle, NJ)

Rome Apples

 

Cranberries!

Okay – this is my first time dealing with Cranberries. What is your favorite thing to make with them?!

Week 23: What’s in the Box?

Week 23. Only TWO more weeks to go! I’m so happy it’s almost over!

More stuff in the Swap Box: Romaine Lettuce, Spaghetti Squash, Cilantro and Radishes.  The only thing I was able to get out of the Swap Box was more Potatoes.

I used the Tatsoi from last week in a Shrimp Scampi dish that I make, and I loved the flavor it brought to the dish. I’ll probably use this week’s Tatsoi when I stuff a beef tenderloin – yum!

No major plans for anything else. I usually use Leeks in soup, so I’ll probably wash, cut up and freeze these leeks for when I need them for a recipe.


  • 2 Leeks – Certified Organic – Coyote Run Organics
  • 1 Bunch Tatsoi – Certified Organic – Hillside Organics
  • 1 Head Green Romaine Lettuce – Certified Organic – Bellview Organics
  • 1 Spaghetti Squash – Certified Organic – Elm Tree Organics
  • 1 Pint Mixed Cherry Tomatoes – Certified Organic – Farmdale Organics
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro – Certified Organic – Noble Herbs
  • 1 Bunch French Breakfast Radishes – Certified Organic – Outback Farm
  • 1 Head Broccoli – Certified Organic – Plum Hill Organics
  • 1 Bag Russet Potatoes – Certified Organic – Bellview Organics

Leeks

Broccoli

Russet Potatoes

  • 1 Bag Golden Delicious Apples – Certified Organic – Oyler’s Organic Farms
  • 1 Bag Red Delicious Apples – Certified Organic – Oyler’s Organic Farms

Golden Delicious

Red Delicious

More Apples. *sigh*