Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years Countdown

'Tis the season for "best of" lists from 2011. So in case you missed it, here are my:

Top Eleven Recipes in '11.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala: a healthy Indian dish featuring tons of flavor:

Chili Lime Salmon
: Who says you need a lot of time to eat healthy?

Honey Almond Cake (Gluten-free and Dairy-free):

Taco Lasagna with Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce: don't let the word "cream" fool you, still healthy and full of flavor!

Edamame Caviar: Just like Texas Caviar, but with a twist:

Citrus Glazed Chicken: On the grill or in the oven, this chicken dish is moist and a great combination of tart and sweet:

Summer Cucumbers
: Enjoy 'em any ole' time of the year.

Roasted Tomatillo and Cilantro Dip: Addictive. Perfect with veggies or chips. Just put in your blender or food processor, give it a whirl and you are done.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
: Award winning! :) A great hearty, but healthy, chili.

Candied Orange (or any citrus fruit) Peel
: My answer to my gummi bear or fruit gem cravings:

Herb Roasted Butternut Squash
: Beautiful on your plate, beautiful flavors in your tum:

A great list from 2011, but also a great way to start 2012 on a healthful note!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

(not so) Silent Night and Columbus Cowboy Caviar Recipe

We're winding down and regrouping this week after the Big Christmas Weekend:

Christmas Eve we went to the family service at our church, during which G decided that his green and white striped shirt needed a festive red touch. In the middle of singing "Silent Night," he did some sort of move in his seat, fell, and knocked his chin into the seat in front of him. Suffice it to say, G's wailing ensured that that particular moment of the night was anything but silent.

I swooped up G, made a fast dash to the exit and took him into the restroom where his chin was bleeding quite nicely. It was a Christmas miracle--there was no need to rush out for stitches.

After celebrating with family Christmas Eve, we returned home to do the Santa bit and get ready for Christmas morning...and afternoon...and evening. A long, but wonderful day during which we got to witness lots of "YES! I really wanted this!" phrases from the boys.

And now...

It's back to reality.

To be honest, I hate to see Christmas go. The anticipation, the food, the is lots of work, especially for us parents, but I just love, love this time of the year. But again...

It's back to reality.

In the next week we'll be celebrating New Year's Eve and Day and (if you're a fan or married to a fan of college football) loads of great College Football Bowl Games. How 'bout a recipe that is perfect for either?

This recipe is a variation of Texas Caviar, a recipe from a friend of my mom and dad. She calls it Cowboy Caviar, but now that we've had the recipe and tweaked it a bit, we call it Columbus Cowboy Caviar. There are cowboys in Columbus too, you know.

One last thing: this recipe is uber-healthful. I know some folks view avocados as fattening, but they are loaded with the good, healthy fats, and gobs of vitamins and minerals. It also features healthful black-eyed peas, which are full of fiber and vitamins, and, if you are from the South, the perfect food for New Year's Day.

Columbus Cowboy Caviar

1 - 15 oz can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained (or 1 3/4 cup cooked black-eyed peas)
1 generous cup frozen white corn, thawed (just run under some warm water for a quick thaw)
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of one lime
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 avocados, diced

Combine all ingredients except avocados. Stir well. Tastes best if made at least an hour ahead, as the flavors can marinate together.

When ready to serve, chop the avocado and add to the mix. Stir well.

Serve with tortilla scoop chips.

Makes about 4-5 cups.

Each time we make this recipe (it is in our fridge as I type), it not only makes a great side dish, appetizer or game-day snack, it is the perfect thing for a healthy little nosh between meals.

Life is sweet,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shrimp and Grits Breakfast Bake

I love egg casseroles for an easy, make-ahead breakfast dish. I was looking to develop something different for this year's Christmas morning, something I could still make-ahead but that would be a good, hearty, healthful and non-sweet breakfast. My boys are already sweet enough, and on Christmas morning, the last thing they need is sugar in their breakfast!

This shrimp and grits bake can be infinitely adapted to your family's tastes. You can use any cheese you wish, or omit it altogether. You can use the greens and red pepper the recipe calls for, or whatever vegetable you have on hand...or omit those too. Adapt away!

Shrimp and Grits Breakfast Bake

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 bell peppers, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup packed greens, chopped
1/2 cup white wine or broth
1 pound small shrimp
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup quick grits
4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
2 ounces goat cheese

In a large skillet that has a lid, heat the oil to medium high. Add the onion, peppers and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and the peppers soften a bit. Add the 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Add the greens and the wine or broth. Stir in pan and then cover for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and stir well. Continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and place the greens and pepper mixture in a bowl.

Meanwhile, coat the shrimp in cornstarch and dried thyme, tossing well. Add the shrimp to the still heated skillet (add an additional tablespoon to the skillet if needed)and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the shrimp is no longer gray. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.

Heat the 4 cups water and 1 cup grits in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer according to the package directions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Coat a 9x13 or similarly sized dish with cooking spray. Add half the grits to the bottom of the dish.

Top the grits with most of the greens and peppers and all the shrimp.

Top with remaining grits.

Sprinkle top with remaining greens and peppers on top, followed by the goat cheese.

In the morning:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Serves 8.

Merry Christmas All!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday (Family) Cocktails

Check out a post I wrote a couple weeks ago, picked up by BlogHer for syndication.

Nothing says "festive" like a fun, sparkly or fruity drink for your whole family.

The Sweet Peas are on the road for a couple days, but home soon and I have a fantastic Goat Cheese Shrimp and Grits Bake with Collards and Red Peppers (tres green and red) for your Christmas morning or other holiday celebration.

'Til then, enjoy the holiday drinks post and your Meatless Monday challenge!

Side note: can you fathom that a week from now the whole Christmas morning gig will be behind us?

Life is sweet,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Meatless Monday: Paninis

Things are extra Merry!, Merry! yet, busy, busy, here in Sweet Peaville. G and I are preparing the snacks for R's school party later this afternoon...then a weekend full of merriment and celebrating. I am feeling a bit stretched, and I am guessing you are too!

So for Monday's Meatless Healthy Eating Challenge, I am keeping it super easy.

One word: paninis.

If you don't have a homemade panini maker, don't sweat it--I don't have one either. To make ours I use our grill pan and a heavy pan on top to smoosh it (yes, a technical culinary term!).

If you don't have a grill pan, any ole' skillet will work, it just won't have those tell-tale panini lines on the bread. No worries, it still will taste fantastic!

The description for some panini ideas can be found here. Of course, for Monday, we will be omitting the bacon and/or Proscuitto. Again, no worries, since the real star of any panini is the cheese!

Grocery list:

Good bread--we like sourdough or Italian

(or whatever you want in your sandwich)

Sharp Cheddar Cheese or any other cheese you wish!

Hope your weekend is Merry and Bright,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Candied Orange Peel

Here's a super simple, crazy easy holiday treat. All you need are ingredients I am guessing you already have in your kitchen: an orange, sugar and water. Yep, that's it.

These humble ingredients create candied orange peel that tastes better than any fruit gem, gummy candy or other fruity treat, hands down:

I'd been wanting to try my hand at candied orange peel for years, and now that I've done it, I already have plans to do lemon, lime and grapefruit too, to create a veritable rainbow of sugar-y goodness.

Wanna know how simple it is to make? Read on:

Candied Orange Peel

1 navel orange, with thick skin and few blemishes
1-2 cups sugar

Slice the top and bottom off your orange and then slice the peel off the sides, pith (the white stuff inside the peel) and all. Slice each piece of orange peel:

Bring a few cups of water to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the orange peel and simmer for 15-20 minutes:

Drain and rinse the orange peel well:

Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in the same sauce pan. Heat to medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved (will only take a couple minutes). Add the orange peel and simmer again, this time for 45 minutes.

Drain the orange peel again (save the syrup--you will have a delicious orange syrup for mixed drinks or ice tea!).

Dry out the sauce pan and add 1/3 cup sugar. Toss the orange peel in the sugar until it is fully coated:

Let dry on a drying rack for 1-2 days, while you try, try your best not to eat any:

Makes about 2-3 dozen pieces of candied orange peel.

Now you can package up for a sweet holiday treat to share with those you love! You can also dip one end in chocolate, which I intended to do, but when I tasted the orange peel plain, I decided not to mess with its vibrant flavor. But to each their own...

Life is sweet,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Celebrations and Reunions

This past weekend we celebrated, but nothing having to do with the holidays, rather: SPH returning home from a week's long trip to Asia, R, who did great in his first-ever Tae Kwon Do Tournament and a great visit from SPH's mom who came into town to help me during the latter half of his trip.

I always like to have some special things to do with the boys while SPH is out of town, as they are both big daddy's boys, and it serves as a good distraction for all of us. Last week we had some neighbor friends over to learn how to cook dinner and dessert for their parents! It honestly was a lot of fun, and the kids did great, but man, was I beat when all was said and done:

This week will be a lot less out-of-the ordinary, with SPH home and more of a steady pace. We're gearing up for the holidays, to be sure, but at least this week, all four of us will be eating dinner together.

Our meals this week:

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice (Meatless Monday Healthy Eating Challenge--are you in?!)
Simply Sauteed Rockfish, Broccoli and Wild Rice Pilaf
My version of Slow Cooker Senate Bean Soup (will share the recipe once its been adequately tweaked)
Busy Night Garlic Pasta, Green Beans, Pineapple
Greek Salad

Here's to the last week of school before Winter Break!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Meatless Monday Grocery List: Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

How 'bout another easy slow cooker Meatless Monday Healthy Eating Challenge? The meal for the week's Meatless Monday is a vegetarian (vegan, actually) recipe for Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice.

Here's the grocery list for the recipe, omitting the optional bacon:

1 onion
5 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper

2 cups dried kidney beans
3 - 15 oz cans kidney beans
hot sauce (optional)

bay leaves
garlic powder
dried oregano
thyme leaves
cayenne powder
ground cloves

Side note: I know several of you have mentioned wanting slow cooker recipes that can cook alllll day. This is a great one, as it can cook on low for up to 10-14 hours.

Have a sweet weekend,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Easy Flavor Savers

This week I've been thinking a lot about easy ways to add incredible flavor to your meals without reaching for a can or jar. I love jarred sauces but you can make some pretty awesome flavors at home with just a few minutes and a food processor or blender...

I've written a series of posts at with three new easy flavor savers:

You can try my new recipe for homemade Kale-Basil Pesto, and use it flavor pasta, sandwiches, pizza or bruschetta:

Or my take on Chimichurri, a great South American sauce that is cook-free!:

Or roast some garlic for instant yummy-ness:

I don't know about you, but I am all about easy and quick for dinner this time of the year!

Life is sweet,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chocolate Drizzled Salty Pretzel Caramels

This recipe could be explained using lots of superlatives and oh-my-goodness adjectives, but I will let a picture do the talking:

Ready for the easy, microwave recipe for this Christmas treat? Here you go:

Chocolate Drizzle Salty Pretzel Caramels

1/2 cup sweetened, condensed milk
1/2 cup light Karo corn syrup (other brands are sometimes made from high fructose corn syrup--yuck!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup pretzel pieces
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon kosher or rock salt

Combine first five (condensed milk through butter) ingredients in a large glass bowl (note: use one that is at least 2 quarts large--that equals 8 cups):

Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir well, repeat 2 times until you have cooked the mixture for a total of 6 minutes. Note: place a piece of waxed paper under the will boil in the microwave and just in case, the waxed paper will catch any drips.

While the caramel is cooking, break up pieces of pretzel and lay on the bottom of a 8x8 or 9x9 pan, that has been lined with GREASED foil, making sure they are only in one layer.

Pour the caramel in the pan (make sure you place the glass bowl in the sink and immediately fill with hot water to soak, it will make clean-up a breeze!):

Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until is firm but still malleable. Bring out and cut into 6x6 or 7x7 cubes:

Pick up each piece of caramel and shape gently with your fingers if desired. Place on tray, Silpat mat or parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, 30 seconds on high. Stir, repeat until the chocolate is fully melted. Use a fork or spoon and drizzle chocolate on top of caramels:

Sprinkle with kosher or rock salt:

Let cool and then they're ready to eat!

Want another look?:


Life is sweet!

PS--if you want to do just plain caramels, here is the original recipe I used as a launching point for this recipe.

Our Weekly Meal Plan

It's rainy, cold and gray this morning. Bet this week's Meatless Monday Healthy Eating Challenge will warm us right up!

Our other meals this week are quick, easy and simple. It's a busy week, and I am taking the advice of my Friday post on, entitled, "Slow down, you move too fast." This week I'll be relying on some leftovers in our freezer (Chana Masala, Chicken Paprikash) and my good friend (Trader) Joe, who will pitch in some ready-to-cook meals too.

This Wednesday I am whipping up a batch of some Vegetarian Taco Soup with two neighbor girls who have been wanting to do some cooking. Should be fun!

So there you have it--a perfectly easy week of meals, so I can focus on some other fun cooking and baking. I'll be posting a new sweet recipe here shortly...

Life is sweet,

Friday, December 2, 2011

Meatless Monday: Italian Bean and Artichoke Heart Slow Cooker Soup

For Monday's Meatless Monday Healthy Eating Challenge, I have a great, family favorite soup: Italian Bean and Artichoke Heart Slow Cooker Soup.

If you aren't into artichoke hearts, you can easily replace them with another vegetable, or omit them all together. But here's the grocery list for the recipe as written:


3 cups dried beans, such as kidney, navy, canellini
5 - 15 oz cans beans
1 -28oz jar marinara sauce
1 - 15oz can artichoke hearts
1 quart vegetable broth

bay leaves
minced dried onion
dried parsley
garlic powder
dried oregano
thyme leaves
red pepper flakes

An easy soup for a busy (Meatless) Monday!

Have a great weekend y'all,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies

Happy December, Happy First Day of Advent Calendars, Happy Holiday Month, and for many--Happy Baking Month.

I am gearing up for some baking, and I have a new recipe I created for Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies. I blogged about the recipe today at, but I wanted to share the recipe here too. These are fun, easy cookies full of my favorite sweet flavor combination.

For the recipe and full instructions with pictures, be sure to click on the link above.

Let the Baking Begin...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

These are soup days. I love a good soup on a cool or downright cold, night. Soup soothes, warms and comforts like few foods are able. And a soup that is ready, waiting for me after a long day? Well, sign me up!

I've been working on a good lentil soup for some time. Lentils are crazy healthful for you, high in protein, iron, fiber and loads of good nutrients while being low in calories. I've had a few go rounds in trying to come up with a good flavor combination, and I think I have finally nailed it.

This original recipe uses lentils, a bit of quinoa (optional, you could omit) and a bag of frozen peas, carrots, corn and green beans for added convenience. Saute one onion while you gather up the rest of the ingredients, and in about 10-15 minutes, you have dinner on its way to being ready before you even start your busy day.

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

1 tablespoon vegetable or extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 - 15 oz can broth (chicken, or vegetable if you want to make this vegetarian/vegan)
6 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups uncooked lentils
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
10 oz bag (or use about 3/4 of a 16 oz bag) frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn and green beans)
1 cup packed spinach, kale or other green, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
fresh chopped parsley or other herb for garnish, optional

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent and slightly browned.

Add to a large slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, except red wine vinegar and fresh parsley.

Cook on HI for 6-8 hours, LOW for 12-14 hours. Add red wine vinegar, stir well. Serve and top with fresh parsley (optional).

Serves 8, and freezes well.

**You may add chopped bacon, ham, sausage or other meat if your family desires.**

Life is sweet,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Trot and Turkey Feast

Our Thanksgiving was very turkey-ful. First, in the morning, a turkey mini-trot for the boys...

and a 5 miler for my dad and I:

Just had to share this photo my mom (aka, the historian of the family) took of some fellow runners:

After a shower and some champagne to celebrate (for me, my longest race to date and for my dad, to celebrate being in his late 60s and outrunning a girl in her 30s--dad, thanks for easing up on that hill during mile 4), it was time to check in on the smoked turkey:

Thanks to SPH, for being the chef of our family. The meal was delicious and we have some great turkey frozen for future meals. But for tonight, we have leftover sweet potatoes for this week's Meatless Monday Health Eating Challenge: Sweet Potato Enchiladas.

And our meals for the rest of the week too:

Northstar Burgers, Green Salad, Pineapple
Busy Night Garlic Pasta, Broccoli
Chicken and Vegetable Tetrazini
Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup, Bread, Fruit

Have a sweet week,

Friday, November 25, 2011

Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Anyone feeling like they need a healthy meal? Yeah, me too.

Yesterday was a wonderful day, and I'll share more about this long weekend on Monday when I'll be back for a longer post, but for now, I share this week's Meatless Monday grocery list for this week's recipe: Sweet Potato Enchiladas.

Here's your grocery list for this amazing enchilada recipe!

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 - 6oz box or bag of baby spinach
1 sweet potato **OR use some leftover mashed sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving**

1 - 4oz can diced green chilis
1 - 15oz can Great Northern Beans, or about 2 cups cooked Great Northern Beans
10 tortillas
1 -10oz jar or can, red enchilada sauce

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (light if possible)

vegetable oil
chili powder
dried oregano

Pick up these items this weekend and you'll be half-way there to Monday's meatless challenge!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend all (and GO BUCKS and GO 'HOOS!),

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Big Event hosting check-lists -or- how I keep my sanity before hosting a shingdig

I just finished emailing and phoning some relatives for some last minute checks on our Thanksgiving feast we are hosting this Thursday. We have about 20 folks coming by for supper, and since I mentioned checking my list in yesterday's post, I thought I'd share my lists.

These are lists I use every time we have a big gathering. They help me mentally walk through the day and all I have to do, and frankly, save my sanity and my sleep the days before a big event.

I hope they may help you too!

House Preparation:
*Empty out closet space or prepare a place for jackets and outerwear (sometimes as simple as a free bed or sofa)
*Spot clean the bathroom, make sure there is plenty of toilet paper and soap, and clean hand towels
*Sweep the entryway to make sure it is presentable
*Have the boys put away toys, especially ones that might cause others to trip
*Do a quick, general spot clean and pick up of any errant items
*Since we have lots of young kids in our extended family, make sure there are no dangerous or toxic items in toddlers’ reach
*Prepare guest accommodations if hosting overnight guests, including towels and linens.

Kitchen Preparation:
*Pull out any serving pieces I might need to use, check that I have counter or table space for dishes and other sides folks might be bringing, also checking serving utensils.
*Determine a space in our home for drinks, dinner serving and desserts.
*Pull out plates, napkins, silverware and glasses, making sure I have enough of each.
*Figure out seating (this can be as casual or formal as you like) and do place cards if necessary.
*Review menu and ensure I have all the food items I need--for instance, if I am using a box mix, that I have all the items needed to make said mix.

Dining Room/Tables Preparation:
*Set up enough chairs, do a headcount if doing a seated dinner
*Put out tableclothes and placemats, if using.
*Either set tables if doing a formal seating, or stack dinnerware for use
*Spot clean or polish anything, if necessary
*Figure out centerpieces, if using.

Final touches:
*Chill wine or other drinks, if necessary
*Make sure your grocery shopping is truly finished (I am notorious for thinking “we have onions” and then realizing I need 3 or 4 and I only have 2), checking each recipe carefully
*Check cleaning supplies, especially dishwasher detergent and dish soap, paper towels, etc.
*Make sure you have a good supply of kitchen towels.

Last but not least:

*Take a load off...and chill for a bit. Chances are, if you are hosting a big group, you will need the extra energy!

Anything I am missing? I would love to hear your ideas!

Life is sweet,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making a list, checking it twice

No, not that kind of Christmas-y list, my menu list...and house-prep list and so on. We're hosting a big crowd on Thursday, so I've been working on getting all my ducks in a row so the turkey day goes smoothly, otherwise everyone will be in a fowl mood (horrible joke, I know, I just couldn't help myself with all the bird references and all).

If you are looking for some last minute ideas for tasty side dishes, be sure to check out my Recipe Index for some inspiration.

Since this week is pretty heavy Turkey Day preparations, I've kept it super simple with our meals this week:

Breakfast for dinner, featuring Breakfast Tacos for Meatless Monday

Tuna Melt Sandwiches, Spinach Salad
Pantry Pasta*

Hopefully, this easy menu will give me plenty of time to chop, dice, stir, whisk, roast and bake my way to a delicious Thanksgiving!

*basically, I clean out my kitchen with "whatever we have on hand" and make a pasta dish, a great carbohydrate load before the big Turkey Trot my dad and I are running Thanksgiving morning

#if you can, be sure to save about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of sweet potatoes for this coming Monday's Meatless Monday challenge

Have a great Monday y'all,

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shopping List for Meatless Monday: Breakfast Tacos

With all the meal and holiday preparations next week, I decided to stick with a very simple Meatless Monday Healthy Eating Challenge for this coming Monday: Breakfast for Dinner, aka Brinner.

But before you think that breakfast for dinner has to be just scrambled eggs, check out this post I did on Breakfast Tacos.

Breakfast Tacos are an easy and fun dinner recipe, one that you can easily customize for your family's tastes. Serve with a side of refried beans and some fresh fruit and dinner is done in about 15 minutes...which leaves you extra time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving preparations.

Here is your grocery list for the week, feel free to alter the taco toppings to suit your family's tastes:

1 avocado
1 bunch cilantro
fresh fruit

taco shells
1 - 15 oz can refried beans

shredded cheese

Have a sweet weekend,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Clementine Ginger Cranberry Sauce

This extraordinarily simple recipe yields a sublimely delicious cranberry sauce that is head and shoulders above canned cranberry sauce.

For years I've heard "it's so easy to make your own!" regarding cranberry sauce, and since we're hosting a large group this year, I've decided to make as much of our dinner ahead of time as I possibly can. This sauce is already in the freezer, and I have to say, it is hard for me to keep it frozen and use it now...something I've never felt about canned cranberry sauce.

Canned cranberry sauce is almost always laden with high fructose corn syrup, and I promise you, if you try this simple recipe, you'll be hooked on fresh sauce too.

Clementine Ginger Cranberry Sauce

3 cups fresh cranberries (the amount in one store-bought bag)
1 clementine, sliced
1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 1/4 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
dash of salt

Rinse the cranberries.

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.

Heat to medium high until the mixture begins to simmer.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have split (this process creates a fun popping sound--but be sure to have on an apron in case of a very hoppy cranberry).

Let cool. Remove clementine slices and ginger.

Makes about 3-4 cups cranberry sauce, which freezes well.