vegan

Cranberry sauce alternatives: Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Almond Brittle, Cranberry Relish and Acorn Squash

Cranberry sauce alternatives: Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Almond Brittle, Cranberry Relish and Acorn Squash

It shouldn’t surprise you that I prefer to make cranberry sauce from scratch each Thanksgiving.

Normally, cranberries + sugar + some citrus in a saucepan does the trick, but this year I came across another way to cook the bright red berries, and I’m hooked. This first recipe calls for roasting them in the oven until they are nice and jammy, then topping them with a crunchy almond topping, which adds some good texture.

And if you’re not a huge fan of cranberry sauce, this second recipe is a good compromise: Use a cranberry relish to top other items, like this roasted acorn squash.

Bust out the sesame oil for Citrus Chopped Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette

Bust out the sesame oil for Citrus Chopped Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette

You've got to be careful with sesame oil. 

The condiment, used often in Asian cuisines, is an oil made from sesame seeds. And it's unique, and strong, and a little goes a very long way. 

It's also exactly what I needed to create an Asian-style salad dressing at home. I love making my own dressing, something I only do so often because I never have any of the storebought stuff around when I need it.

Try stuffed peppers for a quick dinner when you're having people over

Try stuffed peppers for a quick dinner when you're having people over

Let's talk about kitchen meltdowns.

We all have them. Right? I definitely do. For me, they're usually the result of not realistically planning for how long something will take to cook (that chicken is still pink inside?!), or trying to do way too much, like making four different entrees when my family comes over.

My brother and his girlfriend are vegans (and I, pretty avowedly, am not). My husband’s still on that keto diet. And then there’s just general pickiness. Cooking for everyone at once can be trying. It's like a math equation: What can I add here that will please everyone? What do I need to subtract to make the dish vegan friendly? What nondairy products can I add to my own pantry that I will actually use again?

Homemade curry powder

I often have store-bought curry powder in my pantry, because it's an easy way to get the flavors going for one of my favorite weeknight dishes.

But I’ve also made my own. Most curry powders contain coriander, turmeric and cumin, with ginger, cinnamon and cardamom sometimes added for even more depth. If you want to experiment at home, I’d start with something like this. Feel free to double the recipe and keep the leftovers in a small jar. 

Curry Powder

2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all of the following ingredients in a glass jar or leftover container, then shake well to combine.