Tag Archives: cranberry

Crispy Acorn Squash Dippers & Chipotle Cranberry Sauce


The countdown to my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has officially begun, which means the planning process is now in motion. Much like a vacation, I think I get more pleasure out of the planning and anticipation of the day than the feast itself (though that is a big part of it too). And the better planned your vacation, or Thanksgiving meal, the more smoothly and therefore enjoyable the day will be.



My family is pretty traditional when it comes to the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, so I usually like to experiment with some of the sides and appetizers. These Crispy Acorn Squash Dippers with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce that I made on a recent Sunday afternoon while dozing through watching football would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu. They’re simple and can be made in advance (make the sauce a day ahead and just bake off the squash an hour before you’re ready to eat), so that’s one less thing to stress about when you’re juggling the turkey, potatoes, and pies. The tangy and spicy sauce perfectly complements the slightly sweet and nutty squash. Even better, they’re nice and light so you won’t feel weighed down before you even dig in to the big ol’ bird.



Or, if you want some extra inspiration in finding the perfect recipe or planning your Thanksgiving meal, you can contact me – I’d love to make your day even more delicious!


Crispy Acorn Squash Dippers & Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

Serves 2-4


2 acorn squash, cut into 1/2″ thick rounds

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup panko

8 sage leaves, chopped

3 egg whites, beaten

2/3 cup fat-free greek yogurt

2 tbsp half-and-half

1/3 cup cranberry sauce

10-20 dashes chipotle hot sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Peel the skin off the squash if desired.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the spices, flour, cornmeal, panko, and sage. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Dredge the squash rounds in the egg and then coat in the panko mixture.
  5. Place on the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Flip and bake 20 minutes more until golden and crispy.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the greek yogurt, half-and-half, cranberry sauce, and hot sauce until smooth.
  7. Serve the dippers hot or at room temperature with the sauce.

Cranberry Old Fashioned

old fashioned

I’m writing this post feeling like a Thanksgiving turkey zombie. With cranberry sauce stains on my shoes and roasted garlic stuck under my fingernails (I guess there could be worse things), I am READY for a cocktail (or 10). We made these festive and strong Cranberry Old Fashioneds at Thanksgiving last year and they will be sure to make a return in our kitchen tomorrow. If you’re sticking to my Thanksgiving game plan, good for you! If you’re just getting started, then throw back one of these cocktails and get to work! I’ll be taking a break from the blog on Friday as I’ll be in a post-Thanksgiving coma, so have a very happy, healthy, safe, and of course DELICIOUS Thanksgiving!!

drink up

Cranberry Old Fashioned from Cupcakes & Cashmere


10 fresh cranberries

2 sugar cubes (or 3/4 tsp of sugar)

1/8 tsp of cinnamon (optional)

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

2″ strip of orange peel

2 oz rye whiskey or bourbon


1. Place cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, orange peel, and bitters into a tumbler glass, add a touch of water. Muddle the ingredients until the sugar is broken up and mixed well.

2. Add whiskey and ice, stir to mix, then serve.

Copy Cat Pork Chops

Food shopping has always been my favorite weekly errand. Actually, I don’t usually consider food shopping an errand, more like a game: planning out my list, strategically weaving in and out of the aisles, challenging myself to see how low I can get the total each week. What can I say, it’s the little pleasures in life.

I think the pleasure I get from food shopping dates back to when I was a kid and would get a slice of American cheese from the deli man, or my mom would open up the bag of Chips Ahoy before we were at the register because I was “starving to death”. Though I have a bit more self control now, I still look forward to the free sample counter at Trader Joe’s every week (pigs in a blanket = score; carrots & hummus = bor-ing).

Besides the free samples, I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s. While I don’t love the fresh produce selection, you really can’t beat their prices. TJ’s also has great pre-marinated meat and fish, which are really handy when you’re in a rush to throw dinner together. I recently tried their pork chops with apple-almond stuffing and loved it so much that I decided I would try my own riff. Though my version took a bit more prep than the premade chops, they were even more delicious; and having bought all the ingredients at TJ’s, just as cheap!

Apple, Almond & Cranberry Stuffed Pork Chops

makes 3 servings 


2 tbsp olive oil

3 boneless pork chops

1 large gala apple, cored and small diced

2 shallots, diced

2 tbsp fresh sage leaves, diced

scant 1/4 cup dried cranberries

scant 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped

2-3 tbsp chicken stock

salt + pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a paring knife, cut a slit into the side of each pork chop, about 2-3 inches long and 1-2 inches deep, depending on the size of your chops. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add shallots and apple. Cook until the shallots are translucent and apple begins to cook down, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add almonds, cranberries, sage and chicken stock. Stir and allow to cook until the liquid evaporates. Remove apple mixture from the pan and set aside.

4. Once the stuffing has cooled slightly, spoon the mixture into each of the pork chops, using toothpicks to secure if needed. You should have extra stuffing – save for later.

5. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in the same sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and cook until a golden crust forms, about 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Add the pan to the oven and continue cooking until internal temperature reads 145 degrees, or 20-25 minutes. Serve pork chops with remaining stuffing on top or on the side.