December 3, 2009 at 8:41 a.m.

Do you like cranberries? A variety of recipes to please just about any palate

Do you like cranberries? A variety of recipes to please just about any palate
Do you like cranberries? A variety of recipes to please just about any palate

Have you been buying fresh cranberries to use in baking, cooking and salad making? When they're on sale at the grocery store I buy several bags to use now and freeze when cranberries aren't readily available. Never wash the red berry before storing. Just put them in a freezer bag and freeze. For some of my cran recipes I freeze the amount called for, put a note on the bag saying which cookbook the recipe is in, date it, clip the cooking instructions and put it in the freezer bag. When you want to use the frozen berries rinse them quickly, pat dry and chop them immediately since chopping is hard to do when they become soft. I have several pints of whole berry sauce. I know, you can buy them canned, on sale, for less than the cost of the berries and sugar but home canned taste so much better. Just cook as the package directs, put into hot pints or 1/2 pints, seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Enough talk, I have scads of good recipes using the berry (at least I think they're good) so let's do it.

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CRANBERRY CHICKEN

1/2 c. flour

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves*

1/4 c. butter

1 c. fresh or frozen cranberries

1 c. water

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

Dash nutmeg

1 T. red wine vinegar, optional

Hot cooked white or brown rice

In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper; dredge chicken in mixture. In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, add next 5 ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until berries pop, about 5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is tender, basting occasionally with the sauce. Serve on a platter pouring sauce across the middle of each chicken breast. Pass any extra sauce. Serve rice separately. Or, put rice on a platter, lay the chicken on top and add cranberries. Garnish with parsley or leaf lettuce.

Makes 4-6 servings.

* You may also use pheasant breasts but since they are a little smaller, use 8 to 10 pieces, depending on size.

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CRANBERRY DELIGHT

1 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 16 rectangle crackers)

1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted

2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. water

1/3 c. chopped pecans

3 T. orange marmalade

1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/3 c. powdered sugar

1 T. milk

1 t. vanilla

1 c. (1/2 pt.) whipping cream, whipped

Combine crumbs and butter; press into an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Chill. In a saucepan combine berries, sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans and marmalade. Put in fridge until completely cool.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over crust. Spoon cranberry mixture over top. Put in fridge for at least 2 hours or more.

Makes 9 servings.

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CRANBERRY NUT MUFFINS

2 c. flour

1 c. sugar

1 t. baking soda

1 t. ground cardamom

1 t. ground cloves

1 c. buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 c. butter, melted

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir in buttermilk, egg, butter, cranberries and nuts just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Makes 14 muffins.

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CRANBERRY APPLE CRISP

3 c. peeled, chopped baking apples

2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries

1 c. sugar

3 T. flour

Topping:

1-1/2 c. quick cooking oats

1/2 c. each flour,

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 c. melted butter or margarine

1/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and flour. Put in greased 11x7-inch baking dish. In a bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over cranberry mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Note: Many recipes call for a 11x7-inch baking pan, which I'm guessing some or many of you do not have. I use a 9x9-inch pan and that size works well.

TFD: Eternity is two people and a 20 pound turkey! (I should have used that last week).

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