Tag Archives: orange

Orange Marsala Cranberry Sauce with Sage

I make it no secret that I am a little particular about what kind of food I generally serve.  I wouldn’t call myself a total food snob, because I still enjoy a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese as much as the next person.  It’s just that when I cook, I rarely use processed or convenience items.

This morning I bought both Cream of Mushroom soup and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

Sometimes tradition wins out.  And sometimes it’s OK that you serve Green Bean Casserole and don’t make rolls from scratch.  Our Thanksgiving meal has a certain set of necessary items … anything “experimental” is fine, but you will not replace my grandmother’s Creamed Corn with Quinoa Salad.   Or decide that you are going to try something “new” with the stuffing — our table can only have my grandmother-in-law’s Portuguese Stuffing on it (which I will photograph and write up for future reference).  The mashed potatoes must be made from yukon golds and the gravy will be laced with Marsala.  You just don’t mess with the memories.

The one exception to that is the cranberry sauce, because no one in my family cares about it in the least.  They will take an obligatory bite, but I will eat it with a spoon.  This year I made a version with orange zest, Marsala, and sage (to meld with my Marsala-laced gravy).  If I thought anyone cared enough, I’d try to form it in the shape of a tin can, with the requisite ridges we all grew up with.

And I haven’t ventured to look at the ingredients on the Crescent Rolls yet, but what is Thanksgiving without some good old petroleum by-products in your bread?

Orange Marsala Cranberry Sauce with Sage

Make about 3 1/2 cups

1 quart of fresh cranberries, rinsed
3/4 cup Sweet Marsala, plus 1-2 T
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
Healthy pinch of salt
Zest of two oranges, finely chopped
2 t fresh sage, finely chopped

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 3/4 cup Marsala, orange juice, brown sugar, and salt over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes until all cranberries have popped and mixture is thick.  Remove from heat.

2.  Stir in additional 1-2 T of Marsala, chopped orange zest, and chopped sage.  Store in refrigerator.  (Can be made 2-3 days ahead)

Whole Grain Orange Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Am I the only one who *hates* making cut out sugar cookies?  They are just so fussy.  And there is no instant gratification — make the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough, chill the dough, cut the cookies, re-roll the dough, bake the cookies, cut some more cookies, chill the freaking dough again, remove the cookies, cool the cookies, decorate the cookies.  I am just so much happier with a drop cookie that can be mixed and baked and thrown into the freezer before the children eat everything meant for Santa.

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In a different life, I think I might have been an OK chef … but pastry chef?  No way.  I am way too impatient, way too rammy, and definitely not into precision work.  I can do big bold flavors and I can make just about anything taste good, but I am not one for being meticulous — which would have made me a terrible surgeon too. Actually what would make me a terrible surgeon is my penchant for having panic attacks every time I’m in a hospital-like area.

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So, here’s a recipe for one of my favorite drop cookies.  This year I made them whole grain and cut back on the sugar a bit.  They are delicately flavored with orange zest and then drizzled with chocolate.  And they are fabulous for breakfast with a cup of coffee or on a platter for Santa.  You will find them right next to the cut out cookies.  Because you know I’m going to get guilted into making them anyway.

Whole Grain Orange Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oats (not quick cooking)
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 cup, plus 2 T butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup molasses
Zest of one large orange
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t orange extract
5-6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2.  Mix together sugar, oats, flour, and baking powder.  Add in melted butter, milk, honey, molasses, orange zest, vanilla extract, and orange extract.  Stir until well blended and let dough sit while oven preheats (5-10 minutes)

3.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop dough in heaping teaspoons.  You will not want more than 6 cookies on a traditional baking sheet because they spread considerably. Flatten and smooth your heaping teaspoons of dough into circles.

4.  Bake for 12-13 minutes until golden.  They will get very crispy as the cool.

5.  When cookies are cooled, melt the chocolate and drizzle over the cookies.  Allow chocolate to harden and store cookies in refrigerator or freezer.

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