Homemade Cranberry Sauce from Awesome on 20

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce from Awesome on 20

Thanksgiving is almost here, and I’m super stoked for two reasons. First off, I love cooking, and this is the perfect excuse to go all out and make everything I ever wanted without feeling guilty about spending money at the grocery store. Secondly, I get Thursday and Friday off work. I am extremely thankful to have such an amazing job, but I’m also ready for a bit of a break. What’s the Hawaiian word for stressed out?

One thing I always make from scratch on Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce. If you’re still getting yours from a can because you think it’s too much trouble, I’m about to blow your mind with how simple it is to make it yourself. If you’re anything like my husband, who is completely dysfunctional with a can opener, this is actually easier. And it doesn’t go to the table looking like a can.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce from Awesome on 20

Basically all you have to do is dump all the ingredients in a pan and let it cook for about 20 minutes over medium low heat. Just stand back and observe the magic of natural pectin. Eventually, the hard little cranberries start to explode, and before you know it, you basically have jelly. Cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, orange juice and zest. That’s it. Magic!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce from Awesome on 20

Cranberry sauce is an absolute must at Thanksgiving. It’s pretty much turkey’s best friend. Make it yourself. It’ll be awesome.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Serves 8
Magically simple homemade cranberry sauce is easier than opening a can
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Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces fresh cranberries
  2. Zest and juice of half an orange
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat.
  2. Stir occasionally and cook for about 20 minutes until the cranberries break down and the sauce thickens.
  3. Serve warm or store in the fridge. Can be made several days in advance.
Adapted from Tyler Florence
Adapted from Tyler Florence
http://awesomeon20.com/
Pumpkin Spice Brownies from Awesome on 20
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My Awesome Thanksgiving Menu

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Click the image to get this free printable from Five Hearts Home

Holy monkey, kids! It’s almost here. Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and I’ve just now decided on my menu. Apparently, there are people who do a dress rehearsal of Thanksgiving a month in advance. Those people are neurotic and rich. Or else just well prepared. I like to wing it. Sorta.

I’ve made my menu, and probably Tuesday evening I’ll sit down and make my schedule. This is so important for planning a big meal. If you’re a first timer Turkey day host, don’t forget to map out when you need to start each recipe, what’s going in the oven when and at what temperature, and for the love of god, do everything you possibly can the night before. Just work backwards from the time you plan to serve. I cannot stress enough how crucial this is to get everything on the table at the same time.

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We’re only three for Thanksgiving this year, which means I’m breaking with tradition a little bit and making something my husband and I especially love. I’m thankful for having an English husband who doesn’t have any sort of attachment to Thanksgiving traditions so I can make what I want.

Here’s what I’m making.

To drink, I’m going to try Nigella’s Pointsettia cocktail from her book, Nigella Christmas. I’m just going to mix up a big pitcher so we can refill easily at any time.

For a bit of snacking, I’m going to attempt Emmental Gougeres, which is a fancy word for cheese puffs. It’s a pate choux, like eclairs or cream puffs, but with cheese. I clipped this recipe out of a magazine years ago, and I’m just now getting around to trying it.

The star of the show is a Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf. That’s right, kids. I’m not making a turkey. We don’t really like it that much. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with roasted turkey, but there’s nothing particularly awesome about it either. I made this meatloaf last year, and it was so great. I’m glad my friend is on board with letting me make it again. I got it from this free (at the time) ebook

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Butter by Awesome on 20

I’m also going to be making my own mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes with spiced maple butter, cranberry sauce, which I’ll be sharing with you later in the week, Stovetop cranberry stuffing (it’s important to keep a few things simple) and Yorkshire pudding, by special request, pending the arrival of a new Nigella book. Oh, and rosemary potato rolls. There’s gotta be fresh bread.

And you know there’s gotta be an outrageous dessert. I’ve been wanting to try Nigella’s Gleaming Maple Cheesecake, also from Nigella Christmas. I told you I’m obsessed with her.

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Wow, I’m getting so excited about eating. To a certain extent, I say damn the expense when it comes to feasting on holidays. Since I’m feeding such a tiny group, I should be able to get all of this done for relatively cheap. I’ll keep you posted on Facebook on what I spent. But really, this is the time to treat your friends and family to something really special. Do the best with what you have, and let them know you’re thankful for them all by creating a beautiful and unforgettable meal.

Have I mention I’m thankful for you? I truly am. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Butter by Awesome on 20

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Butter

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Butter by Awesome on 20

I’m getting more and more excited every day as we get closer to Thanksgiving. We’ve actually had weather in the low 80’s with overnight lows below 70. It’s been cloudy and rainy all week. It almost feels like fall.

And have I mentioned a million times that I adore Thanksgiving? I love food. Eating is awesome, especially when I’ve made something amazingly delicious. It’s pretty much the only thing that makes me feel smart. And when I get to share it with all the people I love, that makes everything especially outstanding.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Butter by Awesome on 20

These sweet potatoes make me feel like a genius. I’ve served them for a few Thanksgivings, and they are my favorite sweet potato recipe. This recipe is simple yet sophisticated. They’re also a breeze to make, and when you’ve got a bunch of stuff coming out of your kitchen, keeping things easy is the best option.

Beautiful bite size chunks of lovely roasted sweet potatoes get caramelized on the bottom in a hot oven, and soft and sweet in the middle. They’re topped off with crunchy, buttery, toasted macadamia nuts, then smothered in a spicy cayenne, maple syrup and butter glaze. The whole thing will make you sing. They’re so much better than canned yams, it’s not even funny.

If you want to be an extra genius, peel and chop your sweet potatoes the day before, then store them in a zip top bag in the fridge until they’re ready to go in the oven. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Butter by Awesome on 20

I haven’t started planning my menu yet, and I probably won’t make the final decisions until the week before. Sweet potatoes will definitely be on the table. Maybe I’ll bring back this favorite one more time.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Maple Butter
Serves 6
Perfectly simple roasted sweet potatoes with macadamia nuts and a spicy maple butter glaze
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  2. 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  5. 2 tablespoons butter
  6. 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  7. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Spread your sweet potato chunks in a single layer on the baking sheet, then drizzle on the oil and season with salt and pepper, and optional cayenne (see note). Toss gently with your hands to coat each piece in oil.
  3. Roast the sweet potatoes for about 40 minutes or until soft. Stab one with a fork to test it.
  4. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, lightly toast the mac nuts by heating them in a dry skillet over medium heat for about five minutes. They will start to smell toasty and turn a bit golden.
  5. In a small sauce pan over low heat, heat butter, maple syrup, and cayenne. You can let it bubble for a few minutes if you want to thicken it up a bit, but don't let the butter burn.
  6. After you remove the pan from the oven, carefully transfer the sweet potatoes to your serving dish. Sprinkle over the nuts and pour on the maple butter mixture. Toss lightly.
Notes
  1. If you like things extra spicy, you can also season the sweet potatoes with a dash of cayenne before they go in the oven.
Adapted from Aida Mollenkamp
Adapted from Aida Mollenkamp
http://awesomeon20.com/
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