Sunday, November 20, 2011

Delicious, Fresh Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Since Thanksgiving is coming oh so soon, I thought I’d the very best cranberry sauce recipe in case you need something to add to your meal on Thursday.

My friend J Bo (first told you about her here), shared this recipe with us while we were living in Maryland. Although we were far away from family, we got to spend Thanksgiving with great friends and J Bo delicious cranberry sauce :)

The best part is that its really easy. WAIT! Actually, the best part is when you have leftovers and you can make cranberry crisp… for breakfast.

How to Make Fresh Cranberry Sauce


4 packages cranberries (3 lbs)
The rind of 3 oranges
One cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar


Pick over and wash cranberries and place in a roomy saucepan with sugar, brown sugar, orange rinds, orange juice, and cinnamon.

Bring to a boil, stir occasionally, cover and boil just until the cranberries burst - four to five minutes.  Sauce jells when cold.

(For me it was sorta hard to tell when the cranberries burst. It looks like this.)


Makes about 2 quarts (and makes your house smell great!).


Happy Thanksgiving!

Pin It

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe










Its starting to get chilly in Portland, which makes me crave soup, apple crisp, hot cocoa, pretty much any comfort food. I love curling up on the couch with a blanket, hot dinner, and a little Modern Family. (Yes, we usually eat in front of the TV. We take advantage while we don’t have kids. Once kids come along, to the dinner table we go.)

One of my favorite comfort food recipes is this butternut squash risotto. Some of my girlfriends and I get together around once a month to try new recipes, drink wine, and best of all, gossip :) I got this recipe last Fall from one of my cooking club friends, and I’ve made it several times since then. Its delicious!

Creamy Orzo Risotto with Butternut Squash (serves 4)

1 spray cooking spray
2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup uncooked orzo
1/2 a small onion (not part of the original recipe, I just added it)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup canned chicken broth
1 tsp thyme, fresh, or 8 whole sprigs (sprigs preferred)
2 Tbsp fat-free half-and-half
1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
Wine (at cooking club, we don’t dine without wine :))



Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a small rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

(My first step is to con my husband into peeling and chopping up the squash. For some reason I just really don’t like this step.)


In a medium bowl, toss squash with oil and salt; spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, leaving space between squash cubes. Roast, stirring halfway through, until squash is tender and lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.


Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add orzo. Stir constantly until orzo begins to smell toasty, about 3 minutes. This is where I added the onion. It was still pretty strong but a great addition. Next time I’d probably sauté the onion first for a couple minutes before adding the butter and orzo.

Add water, broth and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is nearly absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs; stir in half-and-half, cheese and roasted squash. Season well with salt and pepper; serve.


Can I just say that food is really hard to photograph? I can’t seem to get a picture that looks appetizing :)

I’d love to hear if you try this recipe! What is your favorite comfort food for the chilly weather?

Pin It

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bathroom Vanity (almost) Complete

90%. We’re almost there. That’s right, the world’s longest bathroom remodel is 90% complete!

A couple weeks ago I showed you a sneak peak of our new bathroom counter. We hadn’t hung the mirror, caulked the granite or anything so I wanted to wait to show you our new, working vanity!


Well… I still haven’t caulked the granite. But the sink and mirror are in. Since we’ve already replaced the floor, installed the toilet, and remodeled the shower, we’re almost there! We still have quite a bit of finishing work to do, but now our guests can use the bathroom for all things its supposed to be used for :)

But let me back up a bit. The counter. A long while back (when I was less realistic about our laziness), I asked for our readers help in picking a pattern for the tile counter.

I had purchased some cheap granite pieces that I had planned to make into tiles for the counter. The tiles were only $30 and fit with my low budget goal, but we just couldn’t decide how to design the counter. Nothing was really working for me us.

Like the agreeable husband that he is (I’m a lucky girl!), Matt jumped on board with the plan to totally blow our budget and buy a slab of granite for the countertop.


We bought a remnant piece from an overstock yard (is that what they’re called?) so as far as granite goes, it was still pretty inexpensive. And I love it!


I’ll be honest, I had a few freak outs. Like, mumbling nonsense words, dramatically throwing my head in my hands, threatening to try and return the slab freak outs. Yes I know. Its just a countertop. So maybe I needed a little perspective at that moment? :)

The whole thing (granite, backsplash, and sink) was $270 and that is a lllooott of money for us. The sink hole is slightly off center and I was worried the warm gold-colored flecks in the granite wouldn’t go well with the black tiles in the shower and grey tile on the floor.

But, the gold flecks are really subtle and even my OCD mom said the off-center sink is ok. It allows us to actually keep something on the right side of the small counter.

I’ll be back later this week with a tutorial and some tips for installing a granite counter and undermount sink, and a final budget for the bathroom remodel. But for now, I wanted to show you this before and after. Its like the bathroom can breath now! No more crazy colors :)

As you can see from the caulk and TP in the ‘progress pic’, its not staged :)


I’m sure you noticed, the 10% we have left to do is all the finishing work. Touching up paint, installing trim, caulking the countertop, and a few other touch ups here and there. I’m worried about my motivation level to finish up now that the whole bathroom actually works, so I haven’t let myself accessorize yet :)

I’ve been saving a Macy’s gift card to get a new shower curtain and I have some candles that’ll go perfectly in there… those will be my reward for getting the bathroom 100% done.

Do you procrastinate on the last little details? What is your motivation to completely finish big projects?

Linked up to Not JUST a HousewifeHouse of Hepworths, The Shabby Creek Cottage, and Thrifty Decor Chick. Pin It

  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP