Last night was the first annual Friendsgiving, which is, in my opinion, the greatest holiday of all time. If you haven't yet heard of Friendgiving (for shame!), I will tell you. It is a holiday that celebrates friendship and Thanksgiving; a feast of Thanksgiving fare with friends, plus lots and lots of wine. No seriously, lots of wine starting at 2pm and ending well after the desserts of done.
For the feast, I as assigned to bring a pumpkin cheesecake and green beans… but being who I am I also brought cranberry sauce, pumpkin chocolate fudge and homemade whipped cream. But you know what? I don't think anyone was complaining, and if they were, I didn't really care because more food equals more material for my blog.
If this is any indication of how much food I ate, I had to wear a high waisted skirt as to accommodate my Thanksgiving belly. Julie brined a whole turkey (which I tried a little bit of!), Rachel made mashed potatoes and rolls, Gabe and Christine made cranberry relish and the boys brought a lot of tree previously mentioned wine. After we were all done eating until we couldn't get up (really, we had to crawl out of our chairs), we played some makeshift charades using "Apples to Apples." Confused? We would use the 'red' cards and act out what was on them. Some one were easy to guess like "diamond"… but it's a little more difficult to act out "Meg Ryan."
Next came dessert… oh boy. There were three types of pie and that doesn't count the fudge. Coconut cream pie from Dahlia Bakery, my pumpkin cheesecake and an apple pie by Brandon. I thought I wouldn't be able to eat for days, imagine my surprise when I woke up hungry this morning.
But the cranberries. I don't even like cranberries and I loved this sauce. I knew, generally, how to make cranberry sauce; cranberries + sugar + water. Simple enough, but I wanted to shake it up a bit. I thought, why not replace the water with wine? There's citrus zest in mulled wine, why not add it into the sauce? Obviously to balance out the sweetness of the cranberries, I had to throw in some sugar (but not too much). It really seemed to be a hit! Even the sauce snobs on the groups loved it and Julie asked if she could keep the leftovers! I don't know about you, but that's the highest compliment I can get!
I'm really going to rush and try and get all my "Thanksgiving" themed recipes up quickly so you might get some inspiration for your own Thanks(or Friends)giving feast!
Red Wine Cranberry Sauce
- 1 ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 24 ounces package cranberries
- Zest of one lemon
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, wine and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the wine has reduced slightly, about 4 minutes.
- Add the cranberries and the zest. Simmer until the cranberries soften and the sauce thickens, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; remove and discard the cinnamon. Set aside to cool for at least several minutes and up to several hours. Serve warm. (Do not refrigerate; the flavor is muted by the cold.)