Saturday, November 26, 2005

Cranberry Sauce

Sorry everyone, this has been a truly insane month for me. Long hours at work and some other issues I have been taking care of. However there is nothing like stress to keep the weight loss going. I'm currently as 270 lbs (I get as low as 266 after working out). That makes 75lbs I've lost! Woo-hoo. Most of my clothes are too big now. I'll post a few Thanksgiving day recipies over the next week or two (also good for xmas). I cancelled my trip to my parents' new house at the last minute throwing everyone's plans into chaos. My friend Leesa invited me to Thanksgiving over at her place. There were 8 people for dinner, with a 9th who showed up later. We ended up having tons of delicious food. The first recipie I'll share is for cranberry sauce. Most people just buy the canned sauce, but making it from scratch is so easy and straight forward. I made it on Tuesday evening, two days before Thanksgiving. It keeps perfectly in the fridge in a storage container.

Cranberry Sauce:
12oz package of fresh cranberries (I've heard frozen works too)
1 orange
1 cup of sugar or Splenda (Leesa is diabetic)
1 cup of water
ginger (optional, I didn't add)

Rinse the cranberries in a strainer, removing stems and any really soft ones. In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and water and place on stove over medium heat. Raise to boil and add cranberries. Zest the orange into the pan, and then squeeze the orange to extract juice (no seeds!). Add a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. Let them simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the cranberries have all exploded (I had to help a couple by pressing them against the side of the pan with a spoon). It should begin to thicken considerably. Remove from heat and let cool. If it is not thick enough, put back on heat and cook a few more minutes. Make sure to stir regularly to avoid burning on the bottom of the pan. Once cooled, serve or place into a storage container and into the fridge for up to 3 days. Take out an hour before serving and place into serving dish.

As for the ginger, I didn't use it. If you have dried powedered ginger, I would just add a small pinch when you add the other spices. Alternatively you could throw in a piece of candied ginder with the spices. Finally you could put in a piece of fresh ginger and then remove it later (not sure how fast it would infuse the sauce, you might want to remove early to avoid overpowering the sauce.. ie. taste often).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Well, my love of beef continues this week. On Monday I marinated a tri-tip (partial one) in a mixture of about equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. I then added a tablespoon+ of honey, some ground pepper, and some garlic power to the liquid. Finally I added a little olive oil and mixed. Oh, and I just added all of these straight to a gallon sized zip top bag. I closed the bag and shook to mix everything. Then I added the steak, squeezed out all of the air, and resealed the bag. I did this is the morning before work and left it in the fridge till that evening. In the evening I removed the bag from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30+ minutes to let it return to room temp. Meanwhile I steamed my daily large portion of green beans and cut a slice of toasted onion bread to eat. I then heated my grill pan (I have no yard to bbq in) over medium and sprayed a little oil spray on it (I use to use a paper towel with some oil on it, but the spray is just easier). I then placed the steak into the pan to sear it. I seared on three sides (you can do that with this cut) until there were nice grill marks. When I rotated to the last side I placed the pan into a ~400 degree oven for 12 minutes to finish cooking. Since the steak tappers to one end, that end turned out a nice medium rare. The thicker part was fairly rare in the center, but I prefer that for leftovers. The steak was about 3/4 of a pound and its lasting me three nights.

That's a lot of steak I've had recently. I seem to go in waves. I think next week some time it will be time to venture back to chicken, although fish might be good too. I'm out of town for the weekend so I'm trying to make sure I don't have too many items in the fridge.

Also coming soon: Jambalaya (its been too long without it)