Does the falling of the leaves make you think warm and comfy thoughts of what is happening in the kitchen? It does around my house.
It all kicks off with a bang around Thanksgiving and doesn’t slow down until late spring. I personally look forward to this time of year, not for the cool weather but for the all the culinary delights.
Things literally heat up in the kitchen as the roaster, slow cooker and baking are in full speed ahead production.
The magic of the roasted flavour is the perfect excuse to make rich sauces.The deep set seasoning of the meat and vegetables mingling together in a one pot dinner defies the simplicity of what is required to prepare it. The juices are ideal for making gravies and sauces to add that extra layer of goodness to everyone’s delight. I invested in an oval enameled cast iron dutch oven for our roasting adventures . It is one of the best tools for roasting as it fits enough food for an entire meal and nothing dries out. The cooking time is shortened by the even amount of heat it retains and the bonus is that its clean up is super easy.
The slow cooker has been my saving grace for large batch cooking when time is of the essence. Prep it, set it and off to work I go! Everyone piles out the door and we come back home to a fabulous aroma the minute we walk in. I have to admit that I did struggle a bit with the timing on my old crock pot with it’s manual settings. It had a single knob for warm, low & high. I would be calculating what time I would need to put it on, how long I needed it to cook and when I would need to race home to turn it off or to warm. Running late did not end well with overcooked dinner. I couldn’t justify the upgrade to a digital one, just to have but as fate would have it the ceramic liner broke one day. That same day there happened to be a sale on the digital ones! Programmable meal making with an automatic change to warm setting was finally a reality. Where have you been all m life?! Good bye overcooked slow cooker meals.
As for the baking, well if you have reviewed my other blog posts you are well aware that baking is my thing. The majority of the posts are cakes, cookies, pies and various other desserts. I don’t think I will spend too much time in this post discussing the baking portion due to the saturation of it already on the blog. I do want to highlight the gem of the roasted and slow cooked dinner- The dessert before dessert and that is the accompanying sauce.
Cranberry sauce is not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas or turkey for that matter. The sweet and tangy sauce can and should be enjoyed all year round. It is really easy to make and compliments a variety of meals. The cranberry apple version is perfect with chicken, pork or even beef. Gracing the table outside of the traditional holidays makes for a nice addition to the meal and your dinner guests will be overjoyed. It adds that extra special touch that seems simple but compliments the meal prepared.
Go ahead, roast and slow cook to your hearts content. Summer will be here soon enough. (p.s. don’t forget the cranberry apple sauce).
Make all your fall meals sparkle with this apple cranberry sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups fresh cranberries rinsed & drained
- 1 apple diced
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp all spice
In a medium sauce pan combine the sugar & water. Bring to a boil
Add in the cranberries, diced apple, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & all spice. Return the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat & let simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat. Stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat & let cool to room temperature before serving along side your favourite fall meals.
Store unused apple cranberry sauce in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Best served at room temperature.