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My Cranberry Sauce...and a start to the Turkey Day recipes...

I thought I'd try to divide the Thanksgiving recipes up in a few different posts over the next week or so. Giving you a somewhat normal (for me) post about the food I made myself...and adding on a few other recipes that somebody else in the family made. I'm going to start with my cranberry sauce...which is my absolute favorite! I've been making it every year for maybe the last 9 or 10's evolved a little, but I can't stray to another because it's my favorite. I have been known to throw another cranberry dish in the mix in addition to it, though!

Girli’s cranberry sauce
Yield: 1 qt. + 1 c. or ~24 svgs. (halves easily if you wish…keep a whole cinnamon stick and just use 1 star anise. But I love it with leftovers and my grandpa really likes it, so I make a lot!)

1 ½ c. red wine (pref. dry such as Cab Sauv)
1 ¼ c. raw sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
24 oz (1 ½ lb./usually 2 bags) whole, raw cranberries

Boil wine, sugar, cinnamon and star anise in saucepan over high heat for ~3 mins, or until sugar is dissolved.

Add cranberries and reduce heat to med-low. Simmer until the cranberries just begin to pop, ~5 mins. Remove cinnamon stick and star anise. Cover and refrigerate…good for at least 3-5 days.….tart, yet sweet.
And now the recipes for the things my youngest sister brought....

Mac n Cheese (3 Cheese...kinda)
by my sis Jeni
1 pound cavatappi pasta
1 quart of heavy cream
8 oz. monterey jack, grated
8 oz. Italian 5 cheese blend
8 oz. Sharp Aged Cheddar, grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling salted water; add the cavatappi and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Heat heavy cream in a saucepan, add the Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Italian 5 blend cheese, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked cavatappi in a 9x13 baking dish.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly.

Sour Cream Muffins
By Paula Deen

2 cups self-rising flour
2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 pint sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients and spoon into small, un-greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Rhoda's Candied Sweet Potatoes - Kicked Up!
by Emeril Lagasse
yield: 8 servings

8 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
3 cups light brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bourbon
1 stick butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large heavy pot, combine the potatoes, sugar, water, orange juice, vanilla beans, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the potatoes out of the sauce and place in a casserole dish. Return the sauce to the pan.

Add the bourbon to the sauce and continue to cook until syrup is thickened, about another 15 minutes. Pour the syrup over the potatoes and place in the oven. Bake until the potatoes are browned, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring gently to incorporate. Serve immediately.

I am going to go back to my Thanksgiving Feast in pictures post and plug links into the actual names of the dishes underneath the pictures once I have the recipes they'll all be accessible from one post eventually...


  1. What a feast! Your cranberry sauce if gorgeous! The sour cream muffins sound delicious as well. Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. :D

  2. That cranberry sauce is gorgeous. I think I'm going to make this at Christmas. I hate that monstrosity that passes for cranberry that comes glooping out of a can!

    Plus - those muffins/biscuits are too easy not to try! Thanks to you and your sister for the recipe!

  3. Funny you just reminded me that I got into the red wine hubby had opened and added it to the cranberry torte, and into a few other things I had forgotten about...all seems a blur now!

    The rolls would be good right now with a goob of butter slathered on them while I am reading :)

  4. you have such beautiful photos of the cranberries...

    And Bourbon in sweet potatoes... terrible waste of bourbon

  5. Wine in the cranberry sauce...I *knew* I liked you!

  6. Lovely cranberry sauce! I love the star anise flavor... nice touch of Asia! All the other dishes look great, especially the mac & cheese.

  7. I've never added wine to my cranberry sauce. It sounds so good and would give the cranberries a lot of flavor. Definitely something I'll try soon.

  8. Everything looks totally delicious, Girlichef! I'm not usually a fan of cranberry sauce, but I'd eat yours for sure!

  9. Yum! Even after all the food I put away on Thanksgiving, you are making me hungry with all these delicious looking photos! I especially like the cranberry sauce!

  10. I've never seen red wine called for in cranberry sauce. It certainly looks good!

  11. YES another cranberry sauce recipe for me to try! Maybe I will eventually use up the 6 bags in my freezer. Or maybe I will just save those for the middle of May when I am in dire straits.

    I will also be making that sweet potato recipe. Looks fantastic,

  12. This all looks so delicious! Love that star anise in the cranberries. Yum!

  13. Looks and sounds delicious! I haven't gotten all of my stuff posted yet either. Your Turkey Day spread looks like it was a FEAST! Invite me next year! Roz

  14. People think I'm nuts, but I don't really care for cranberry sauce. Course, I've never had one with wine in it either. Heh.

  15. the cranberry sauce looks absolutely lovely!

  16. Your pictures are really well taken.
    Thanks for passing by my blog and leaving a comment, hope you enjoyed your visit hehe.
    p.s. i love this cranberry sauce recipe, i will certainly give it a try.

  17. gosh i wish my family liked cranberry sauce, i always end up making a ton and being the only one that eats it! as for the rest of those dishes, sign me up! i love the look of that mac and cheese!

  18. All sounds so yummy - especially your cranberry sauce. You just made me crave Thanksgiving food all over again. I call a do over! :-)

  19. Of course, I adore cranberries cooked in wines. And those muffins - and the mac n' cheese - I am feasting all over again with your luscious food.

  20. The cranberries are my very favorite. Looks like you had a good spread.....The sour ceam muffins look damn good too!

  21. Your cranberry sauce sounds wonderful with red wine & star anise!

  22. I love your cranberries. The wine and star anise take it to a whole nother level. Very, very nice!

  23. Love all those pictures of the cranberries, so pretty. I also love your sister's recipe for mac n' cheese. I love all pasta, but the mac n' cheese made with the traditional bechamel is never my favorite. Nice to see there is no flour in the sauce!! I bet it is a wonderful and creamy mac n cheese.

  24. Delicious food and great recipes! That cranberry sauce looks awesome!

  25. Your cranberry sauce looks and sounds delicious. In fact the whole meal has me wanting Thanksgiving again! ;-)

  26. I've made cranberry sauce with wine before and while it was good, it did not have the addition of your glorious spices. I'm going to try your version; I think you've discovered the missing ingredients to make this a super special recipe!

    Love all the mac and cheese and muffin recipes as well. What a feast!

  27. everything looks wonderful! I love cranberry sauce but I can never make it "right" I prefer to jellied kind. Maybe one of these days I'll figure it out. I should try your recipe though!

    I make those biscuits too...except i think the ratio's are different..I'll have to check...but they are the bomb!!

  28. Howdid youlike those muffins? I've seen them on blogs before and I'm intrigued byu them but I'm unsure. Any thoughts?

    Those sweet potatoes look so good!

  29. Wow, I never thought to use wine in my cranberry sauce. I'm going to have to try that. Looks fantastic.