Fall Foodie: 5-Ingredient Red-Wine Cranberry Sauce

Good Afternoon and Happy Friday, everyone!

Today’s post is coming at you all a little later than usual (I’m an early bird, after all)– but for good reason. The last Friday before Thanksgiving is always a little crazy at my job since so many people are on vacation next week and it’s sort of a mad dash to get those last minute loose ends and cases wrapped up before the office is a ghost town for a few days.

I’m powering through a lengthy “To Do” list today, but that also includes sharing a quick, easy, delicious- and crowd-friendly side dish recipe for next week’s festivities! If you like citrus, and if you like red wine- then you’re going to love and appreciate this recipe for cranberry sauce!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • One 12-ounce package cranberries
  • 1ΒΌ cups sugar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. In a medium pot, toss the cranberries and sugar to combine. Pour the red wine over the cranberries and heat over medium heat.
  2. Peel the zest away from the orange with a vegetable peeler and add it to the pot. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the pot.
  3. Add the cinnamon stick and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Cool the mixture to room temperature before serving.

This makes about ten servings, so if you need to adjust the measurements to better accommodate a smaller/larger crowd- feel free! And I recommend making a little extra, anyway- since it tends to go quickly whenever I serve it!

With the holiday next week, the posting schedule here on ‘Blondie Birdie’ is going to be a little different- with content up on Tuesday, Thursday (before I head out to have dinner with my family!) and on Saturday when I wrap up this past November and prepare for the final month of 2019.

I’ll see you all then! Enjoy your weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Fall Foodie: Mini Pecan Tarts

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I’m writing this from a mini getaway in Boston, where I’m relaxing after last night’s phenomenal Bon Iver show at TD Garden (I’ll have the full recap up a little later on this week!)

Before Troy and I set off to enjoy the city for a little while longer and then eventually head back to the Pioneer Valley- I thought I’d share a quick, easy, delicious and Fall-appropriate dessert recipe I like to whip up this time of year when I have people over to watch football games, carve Jack-O-Lanterns, or just hang out and enjoy a horror movie marathon. If you love pecan pie as much as I do- these mini tarts are for you!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 cup butter/margarine
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • A pinch of salt

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. To Make Pastry: Cream butter or margarine and cream cheese together. Add flour and mix well.
  2. Roll mixture into balls, and place one ball in each cup of a mini tart pan. Use your fingers or a tart tamper to press into the shape of the crust.
  3. To Make Filling: Break the eggs, but do not beat. Add sugar, melted butter, salt, vanilla and pecans. Mix well.
  4. Fill the tart shells- and bake at 350℉ for about 30 minutes or until delicately browned.
  5. Remove tarts from oven, let cool fully, and serve with your choice of toppings!

I can’t wait to make a big batch of these for Thanksgiving this year! They always go so quickly!

But I’m off to spend some time around the city I love the most! Enjoy your “Hump Day,” everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Festive Foodie: Mom’s Corned Beef

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I didn’t forget that yesterday was Saint Patrick’s Day when I posted my “Spring Cleaning” update last Friday- but when you live in Massachusetts and St. Paddy’s falls on a weekend- the party sort of extends into the days leading up to and following the actual holiday until everyone eventually gets tired/hungover and collectively decide it’s time to pack it up until next year.

Such was the case this past weekend, which consisted of plenty of Irish breakfasts, brunches, celebratory parades and green-tinted everything. While I managed to avoid overzealous college students chugging green beer and people dressed like leprechauns loudly trying to trace back their family’s lineage to Ireland (as is tradition!)– there was one thing I made it a point not to skip- and that was my mom’s annual corned beef dinner.

My family isn’t Irish enough for it to actually count- but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our Irish friends with a traditional meal of meat and vegetables. I asked my mom for her recipe to share here this week- and although she doesn’t actually measure out anything (it’s all from memory!)– she was kind enough to oblige and give her best “guest-imates” on how much of everything to use.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 corned beef brisket (point cut or flat cut)
  • 1 bag of red or yellow potatoes
  • 1 bag of carrots (whole or cut)
  • 1 head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup brown sugar

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Put corned beef in a pot, and cover with water and seasoning (optional.) Boil the corned beef until fork tender.
  2. Add potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Finish boiling under vegetables are tender.
  3. Heat oven to 400Β°F.
  4. Take the cooked corned beef and place it in a baking pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top and bake until the sugar is melted and a little crispy- about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Plate the corned beef with the vegetables and serve.

Now, admittedly the cabbage went right into the garbage because, you know- cabbage is gross– but everything else was delicious! I love tender carrots and potatoes- and the brown sugar that was added to the corned beef gave it a pleasantly surprising sweetness I hadn’t expected.

I hope that all of you who celebrated yesterday are recovering smoothly and that today is as easygoing as possible for you. Naturally, I’m back at work and keeping two steps ahead of everything (or trying to, anyway!) so this morning is all about answering e-mails, voicemails, and prioritizing tasks. Living the dream as always!

Here’s wishing us all a good week ahead. I’ll be back on Wednesday with my weekend recap!

xx

– Ashley –