Now that we’re a week into November (wait, seriously?!) I’m really starting to get excited for the holidays – because, you guys, I have plans for Thanksgiving! Like, actual plans that involve feeding family members a big dinner at my house. This will be a rare treat for me, because in order to make this happen, my mother is flying all the way from Virginia to spend the holidays with The Husband and I in Arizona. I really want this dinner to be a success, too, so I’m doing my best to learn from all my mistakes from last year – like, say, my lack of meal prepping in 2014. I kid you not, I seriously woke up Thanksgiving morning with the full expectation that I’d cook up the whole dinner from start to finish within a couple of hours.
Yeah, no. That did not happen at all like I planned.
Be ye not as foolish as me: get started on your meal prepping now!
And of course, don’t forget to stock up on the Hefty slider ziplock bags, which makes all this (highly recommended!) meal prepping possible.
So to kick off my make-ahead extravaganza, I decided to make cranberry sauce. Because really, cranberry sauce is the staple fruit option to round out any respectable Thanksgiving dinner, amirite?
But this is not your “every day” (or would that be “every Thanksgiving”?) cranberry sauce. No, I made cranberry sauce with apple, orange, and cinnamon.
Citrus is a pretty common pairing with the tart taste of cranberry, but I’ve also been on a bit of an apple kick lately – plus, it’s another festive fall favorite fruit.
Apple does so well baked with juices and sauces, it seemed like a natural fit for cranberry sauce.
And just like expected, the cranberry sauce cooked up beautifully – I can’t wait to pair it with all our other Thanksgiving sides (some of which are cooking right as I type this!)
Once you’ve made your cranberry sauce, you can store it in a Hefty slider ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to a week OR you can freeze it for up 1 month (possibly up to 2 months, but this is beyond “recommended” storage).
Take it from me: now is the perfect time start meal prep for both Thanksgiving and December.
You don’t want to end up cooking till 9PM like I did last year.
So, what are you waiting for?
Cranberry Sauce with Apple, Orange, and Cinnamon
Cranberry sauce with a twist - apples, orange, and cinnamon gives this traditional holiday side a new lease on life. Make it ahead and store it with Hefty slider bags!
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- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, brown sugar, maple syrup, apples, cinnamon stick, and water.
- Bring sauce to a boil and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Sauce has finished cooking when cranberries have have burst, giving the sauce it's trademark thick texture. Before removing from heat, taste test the sauce; if sauce is too tart, add 1 tablespoon of syrup or brown sugar until desired sweetness is reached.
- Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool. Sauce can either be served immediately, stored in Hefty Refrigerator Bags in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or stored in Hefty Freezer Bags in the freezer for up to 1 month (possibly up to 2 months, but this is beyond "recommended" storage).