• It's All About the Cranberries!

October 17, 2017

Really when it comes to the holidays, it's all about the cranberries!  What other time of year do you think of using this fruit in so many fun and creative ways?  I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for a new cranberry way to celebrate the holidays.  And I'm hoping you enjoy making these - my absolute favorite ones to date.  


Cranberry Fig Chutney

I truly cannot get through the holidays without making this.....It makes the whole house smell good! Even if people are bringing some other kind of cranberries to Thanksgiving, I always have to make it and bring it to the dinner - no matter what. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it. It's also a fantastic condiment on leftover turkey sandwiches.


2 12-oz. bags cranberries
3 c. sugar (or more to taste)
2 medium oranges, unpeeled, chopped and seeded
½ c. finely chopped onion
¼ c. raisins
¼ c. toasted, shelled and chopped pistachios
8 dried figs, chopped
3 T. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. dry mustard

Cook all ingredients in a heavy, large pan over medium low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and boil until cranberries pop.  Watch and stir so that it does not burn.  Spoon chutney into clean hot jars, ¼ inch from the top.  Boil in water bath 15 minutes to can.
You do not have to process in water bath.  This will keep for 6 months in the refrigerator.

This recipe yields 6 cups.



Cranberry Jello Salad

This tasty way to get cranberries into your holiday meal is an absolute staple in both sides of my family. As my sister would want me to say, this recipe started on my side of the family years and years ago. Once my husband and I got married, his family would ask me what I want to bring for Thanksgiving dinner. Since no one was bringing this, I offered it up, and poof! A new tradition was born. Now, I am "encouraged" to bring this every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas - since the Costellos have the same full turkey dinner meal for both holidays. The beautiful red color along with the textures of fruit and nuts compliments the sweet jello that appeals to all ages. Two fringe benefits to this dish are that you can make it ahead and it's super easy.

Photo: food.com


1 large (or two small) package of any red jello
2 Knox gelatin packets
2 apples, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 small packets pecan pieces
1-2 c. cranberry relish (grocery deli kind is fine)

Make jello according to directions in either 9x13 pyrex dish or a non-stick bundt jello mold.  Stir in Knox gelatin and add all remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Enjoy!  

Serves 12 or more.


White Cheddar Cranberry Dip

This is my friend, Dillar's recipe. (See the story of how we know each other in any of her posts under "Tipping Over with Ideas.) She made this for a fall bridesmaids' luncheon. She originally found this recipe with two of her favorite ingredients of white cheddar and cranberries, and thought, how could it not be incredible? She has altered it to make it just the right consistency. The sauce you make to put in this dip is also perfect for Thanksgiving dinner, on leftover turkey sandwiches or a little swirl in a holiday cocktail.

Photo: little broken.com


    2 c. Extra-Sharp White Cheddar cheese, shredded (2 Tbsp. reserved)
    8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2  c. homemade cranberry sauce (recipe below)
    1/4 c. fresh cranberries roughly chopped
    Olive Oil

   Cranberry Sauce - yields about 2 cups
    1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
    1 c. + 2 T. granulated sugar
    3 T. orange juice
    1 T. lemon juice
    1 t. orange zest
    ¼ c. water

To make Cranberry Sauce:  Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan   Cook over medium-low heat, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries burst, about 15-20 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375F.


In a bowl, mix together the cheddar cheese (minus 2 Tsp.) and cream cheese. Fold in the cranberry sauce and fresh cranberries. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish and bake on a baking sheet on the middle rack for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
 While the dip is cooking, slice the baguette on a diagonal and arrange the slices in one layer on a baking sheet. Brush tops of slices with olive oil.
 After the dip is done baking, switch the oven to broil (high). Sprinkle the reserved cheddar on top of the dip; broil the dip and the prepared baguette slices for 1-2 minutes or until lightly brown and toasted. (Keep an eye on both as they burn easily).

Make ahead tip: Prepare the dip ingredients up to one day in advance and store in the refrigerator, covered, in an oven-safe baking dish. When ready to bake, pop in the preheated oven a few minutes before your guests arrive. If you’re bringing the dish to a party, prep it at home and bake it at the party and have the hostess preheat the oven.  You will have leftover cranberry sauce but not to worry, this sauce has endless possibilities.  

Serves 8


Cranberry Orange Bread

Another Dillar recipe....Her sister has made this for holidays for at least 15 years or so. But even when she is not with her sister, it is still a family tradition she continues. Over the holiday, it is served as a breakfast bread usually the day of Thanksgiving before the Turkey Trot 5K. It's nice to have a little something in your stomach, she says. And this is a tasty little something!


1 orange
2 T. butter
1 egg
1 c. sugar
1 c. cranberries, chopped
2 c. white flour
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda

Preheat oven to 325.  Butter loaf pan.  Chop cranberries in a food processor pulsing until all berries are chopped.  Squeeze all of the juice out of the orange into a measuring cup.  Remove the pulp from the rind and grate/mince rind in food processor.  Add enough boiling water to orange juice to make ¾ c.  Add the butter to orange juice and hot water in measuring cup and stir to melt.  In a large mixing bowl, beat egg and gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add cranberries, orange rind and juice mixture, stir to mix.
Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Spoon into pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Remove from pan and cool on a rack.  Optional: ½ c chopped walnuts.

I usually make several loaves at one time so I chop the entire bag of cranberries at once. I wash and sort out the soft, mushy berries before chopping.  One bag makes 3-4 loaves.  I use a food processor to mince the orange rind.  It works best to add about a third of the sugar in with the orange rind.

1 Response

Ruth Truscott
Ruth Truscott

November 24, 2020

What do you eat the cranberry fig chutney with? Is it a side dish or just a condiment?

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