Cranberry Citrus Relish

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To me, fresh cranberries are the essence of the holiday season.  Their red hues are perfect complements to the reds, oranges and yellows of their seasonal compatriots, apples and squash.  In contrast to the beguiling sweetness of late summer’s melons and stone fruit, their tartness can catch you unexpectedly like a cold gust of early winter wind.  Cranberries can even look like the season — sprinkle some sugar on them, and they resemble holly berries under a dusting of snow.

What I most love about cranberries, however, is how their flavor pairs so beautifully with many classic holiday dishes.  Cranberries are the perfect accompaniment to turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas, and brisket on Hanukkah.  (For every other day of the year, cranberries are sublime served alongside sautéed or roasted chicken.) Read More


Chile Rubbed Chicken Thighs

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The idea for this recipe was sparked by the most mundane of tasks – a trip to the grocery store.  I’m always on the lookout for healthy items that can be prepared with minimal effort for weeknight dinners.  On this particular trip, I noticed a display case with packages of bone-in chicken thighs with a chile rub already applied.  The instructions said to bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 40 minutes.

Terrific idea, I thought!  I took them home and, a few nights later, popped them into the preheated oven for the specified amount of time.  Voila!  Combined with a couple of easy-to-make sides I threw together while the thighs were roasting, dinner was done!

Now, being the sort of person who assumes that any prepared food that possesses the winning trifecta of being quick to prepare, healthy, and good tasting won’t be available for long (case in point:  I no longer buy my old go-to  jarred tomato sauce because it now has added sugar), I immediately started to consider how to replicate the idea at home. Read More


Less is More Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

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A favorite holiday tradition I discovered a few years ago was Starbucks’ chocolate cinnamon bread.  Have you tried it?  It appeared in shops about this time of the year and stayed through the end of the holiday season.  Unfortunately, following Starbucks’ menu changes earlier this year, this particular item seems to have been eliminated for good.

So, what to do?  Make my own, of course. Read More