Uffda… it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here. The job hunt and activist causes have kept me quite busy, and I’ve been suffering from a severe lack of inspiration and motivation. Thanksgiving dinner served as the perfect excuse to look up some recipes and write a blog post.
I’ll admit that I’m a huge fan of the canned cranberry sauce that’s everywhere in the grocery stores this time of year. I grew up eating the stuff, and I still love it. This year I wanted to try something a little more… sophisticated (and less corn syrup-y) so I decided to make my own cranberry sauce.
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
*This tastes even better the next day, so keep that in mind when deciding when to start cooking.
- 1 12-ounce bag of cranberries, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2- to 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- In a medium saucepan, mix together the cranberries, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and 3/4 cup water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and allow to simmer on medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes. The cranberries will start to pop during this time and the mixture will thicken a bit.
- Add the orange zest, chopped candied ginger, and orange juice and stir to combine. Simmer uncovered for an 1 to 2 more minutes.
- Remove from the heat and fish out the cinnamon stick. Add additional sweetener as desired.
Source: Adapted from the kitchn
Sticking with the theme of “less processed foods are tastier,” I decided to make homemade rolls as well.
Oatmeal Molasses Rolls
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- pinch of sugar
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup rolled oats (plus more for sprinkling on top of rolls, if desired)
- 1/2 cup butter cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2-3 cups flour (unbleached all-purpose or bread flour)
- 2-3 tablespoons melted butter for brushing tops of rolls
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand until it gets foamy. If it doesn’t get foamy you’ll need to try again with another packet of yeast.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk to the point just before it boils (this is called scalding the milk, but that’s not a super helpful term). It should be foamy around the edges and have wisps of steam coming off of it. Remove the milk from the heat and add it to the cubed butter in a mixing bowl. Stir to melt the butter, then add the brown sugar, rolled oats, molasses, and salt. Mix well and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
- Add the egg and mix well. Add the yeast and mix to incorporate it. Mix in 2 ½ cups of the flour, then add as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour as you need for the dough to lose its sheen. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Scrape the dough into a greased bowl. Turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
- Knead the chilled dough slightly. You can do this in the bowl or on a floured surface. Break the dough up into 12 balls. Press each ball into a flat-ish rectangle, then roll it up and tuck the ends under. Place the rolls seam-side down in a greased 9-inch pan. I used a square pan and it worked fine. Brush all over with melted butter and sprinkle with some rolled oats. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until they’re about double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the rolls are brown and sound hollow when you tap them. The internal temperature should be right around 190 degrees. Remove the rolls from the oven and let cool slightly before eating.
Source: Adapted from Food 52.
And finally, Thanksgiving just isn’t complete (in my mind) without pie. This one’s a dairy-free pumpkin pie, and it’s pretty darn good.
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1.4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1 /4 cups almond milk
- Preheat an oven to 425° F.
- In a medium size bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour the oil and almond milk into the well. Mix until a dough forms, then press the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges if desired.
- Mix the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large bowl; set aside. In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, vanilla, and almond milk. Add the pumpkin mixture to the sugar mixture mix well. Pour into the prepared crust and place on a cookie sheet in the preheated oven. You may have some filling left, I used mine to make muffins.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425° F. Reduce temperature to 350° F and bake for 75 to 85 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. I checked for doneness every ten minutes or so after the 60 minute mark. The center may be a bit soft but will firm up later, especially if you refrigerate the pie.
The crust was a little too thick and a bit dry, but the filling was absolutely delicious.
Source: Adapted from AllRecipes