Monday, November 24, 2014

Crock pot Cranberry Butter


I forget how I stumbled upon this recipe (it could have been Pinterest) but it is in the crock pot today! I intended for it to be Thanksgiving place setting gifts, but I am thinking it might be the one and only thing I have canned for Christmas. We shall see how it goes. This recipe is from the blog The View From Great Island.

Crockpot Cranberry Butter
Yield: makes about 2 cups

  • 2 12-oz bags of cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup apple cider
  1. Put all the ingredients in a crockpot and stir to combine well. Turn on high. Let it cook for about 2 hours or until the cranberries are soft.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick and puree the mixture in a food processor. Do this in two batches. Be careful as the mixture is hot, I cover the top opening of the machine with a dish cloth. Let the machine run for a full minute to puree the cranberries very finely.
  3. Force the cranberry puree through a mesh sieve or strainer. Push forcefully with the back of a spoon to get as much cranberry puree as you can. Discard the solids.
  4. Pour the puree back into the crockpot. Turn the crockpot to high, and leave the lid ajar. Cook until thickened, approximately another 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Put the cranberry butter into clean jars with tight fitting lids and let cool. Store in the refrigerator and consume within a month.
Note:  Be sure to remove the cinnamon stick before pureeing the cooked cranberries...I learned the hard way!

Monday, November 17, 2014


Shumai are open-topped dumpling,s stuffed with tasty ground meat and vegetable filling, then steamed. Tonight I will be making these with the first batch  of our own ground pork. I will likely close them and give them a quick pan sear for a seal and extra flavor before steaming. 

1 pound ground chicken (or pork)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup coarsely shredded carrot
2 Thai chilis, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped basil
2 Tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg beaten
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
40 wonton wrappers
Green leaf lettuce leaves for steaming
special equipment: bamboo steamers
Soy sauce and Sriracha chili sauce, for serving


1. In large bowl, combine the ground chicken with the coconut milk, carrot, chiles, basil, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Using your hands mixed thoroughly.

2. Follow the directions on the wrappers, create your shumai dumplings in the wonton wrappers. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling. 

3. Fill a wok or a very large skillet with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.

4. Line a double tiered bamboo steamer with lettuce leaves and arrange the shumai in the steamer without crowding.

5. Cover and steam over moderate heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

6. Repeat with the remaining shumai. You may also choose to pan fry them for extra crisp after the steam or even skip the steam all together. Yummy versatile and great for the whole family!

Serve immediately with the sauces.

Shu Mai

It looks like this recipe MAY have originated from a Food and Wine magazine. I found a nearly identical recipe here: Chicken and Coconut Shumai

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cranberry Ginger Relish

Merry Meeting Menus: Cranberry Ginger Relish: This 2008 Martha Stewart recipe is a favorite I keep coming back to.


  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar


  1. In a large saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, ginger, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until most of the cranberries have popped, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2.  Stir in vinegar.
  3. Remove relish from heat. Let cool to room temperature, and serve.