Don’t you LOVE waking up early, obsessing over planning a Thanksgiving Feast, fueled by a fear of forgetting a key ingredient or forgetting something in the oven?
But in all honesty, who does? Thanksgiving should be a fun, memorable day. Some freaking out is of course natural, but you CAN have a holiday without the need for pre-holiday wine before 10am. The key? Planning ahead. Make several dishes beforehand, include some no-bake options if you can (Have you tried my Caramel Apple Semifreddo with Cider Caramel? No oven, no stress, make it a couple days ahead of time. It’s a SHOWSTOPPER). This will help overcrowding the oven, as well as taking the stress of of you on the big day. Another way to streamline for Thanksgiving timeline? Make-ahead cranberry sauce. FROM SCRATCH. It’s so easy. I promise. Five ingredients, all done in about a half hour. You can make this the day before and it only gets better over time. THAT’S how you strategize your holiday, proper planning will get you everywhere.
This is the best and easiest cranberry sauce you could ever make. It’s got all the traditional cranberry sauce notes we all know and love, but with the volume turned up. It’s for more of a grown-up Thanksgiving I suppose since I don’t have kids yet, but it really is a minuscule amount of bourbon to add for a whole batch. And it’s cooked for a while, too. The bourbon isn’t in there for fluff or pizzazz, either. It adds this depth of flavor and smoky undertone that’s perfect. And the orange zest is a refreshing burst of sweetness. It’s cranberry sauce… but on a whole new level.
The jarred cranberry sauce is okay, I guess- it’s nostalgic and reminiscent of all of our childhoods. I still like it to this day, I’m not one of those cooks that is completely against it. I do think this recipe is of course MUCH better and more authentic, but that little jelly disc on my plate never goes untouched around the holidays.
This year it’ll just have a little competition.
Happy Holidays, my insta-family. No matter where you are and how you celebrate this year, take time to stop and soak in the moment. Be thankful for everything you have and everything you want. Hopefully Santa will reward your thankfulness next month☺
Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
14 oz container fresh cranberries, rinsed and cleaned
1 C. White granulated sugar
1 C. Water
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp orange extract
1 Tbsp bourbon
In a medium sized Dutch oven combine the cranberries, sugar, water and orange zest and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. You’ll notice the cranberries will burst or crack at this point.
When a boil occurs, stir well and reduce to a simmer. Add in the Bourbon and orange extract and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture is at the consistency you want!
Cool and serve, or store in fridge to serve the day of!