alternative Thanksgiving ideas http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10075/all en-US Kick-Ass Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Sauce http://www.wisebread.com/kick-ass-alternatives-to-canned-cranberry-sauce <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/kick-ass-alternatives-to-canned-cranberry-sauce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3009728175_597c14b9fd_z.jpg" alt="cranberries" title="cranberries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fine, I'll say it: Canned cranberry sauce is one Thanksgiving tradition that I could do without. Whenever I fill my plate and sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, cranberry sauce is afforded minimal, if any, space in front of me.</p> <p>In fact, I often wonder why anyone bothers with cranberries at Thanksgiving at all. The tartness is obviously meant to cut through the richness of the rest of a Thanksgiving feast, but canned cranberry sauce simply hasn't won me over. Cranberries themselves are delicious and healthy, but there's something about that canned taste that I can't get behind.</p> <p>But because my family would revolt if there wasn't SOME kind of tangy berry-like condiment at Thanksgiving dinner, I have found a variety of stylish, tasty ways to get around the canned cran. Are these alternatives cheaper than the can? No. But they are infinitely more interesting and impress everyone at the table. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-last-minute-thanksgiving-fixes" title="5 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Fixes">5 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Fixes</a>)</p> <h3>Basic Homemade Cranberry Compote</h3> <p>If you don't think that you can do without a fairly traditional cranberry sauce, <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/11/simple-and-amazing-cranberry-sauce-recipe/">basic homemade cranberry sauce</a> is easy to make. Savory Sweet Life has some good photos of the finished product and the cooking process. You can add other ingredients, like ginger, champagne, shredded coconut, honey, dates, red pepper flakes, cardamom, rosemary, sage, rose essential oil, black pepper, or anything else that suits your fancy and that changes the flavor a bit. Cranberries themselves are so chock-full of flavor that subtle seasoning might not come through, but add any experimental ingredients according to taste until you have the kind of sauce that will make your mouth sing.</p> <h3>Spicy, Bright Pink, No-Cook Cranberry Relish</h3> <p>Looks can be deceiving, and photos of this cranberry relish do not do justice to its flavorful majesty. Spicy, creamy, sweet, and sour at the same time, it is a prefect accompaniment to roasted turkey. Forget gravy! The relish rules the roost. So what if it looks like Pepto Bismol?</p> <p>The recipe for <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4176014">pink cranberry relish</a> is incredibly easy &mdash; no cooking involved, just blending! You can prep the relish before Thanksgiving and freeze it or chill it in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.</p> <h3>Indian-Style Cranberry Chutney</h3> <p>Indian food is, hands-down, my favorite cuisine, and pre-mixed Indian spice packets have salvaged more than one meal in my house. Although I don't frequently use chutneys, they do go extremely well with roasted meats, and this <a href="http://www.vahrehvah.com/Cranberry+Chutney:3321">cranberry chutney</a> is no exception (link includes video!). This recipe calls for &quot;jaggery,&quot; which is a solid chunk of sugar that is often used in South Asian cooking. If you can't find jaggery, you can use regular sugar, but you'll need to add several tablespoons to make up for the compact nature of jaggery.</p> <h3>Cranberry Apple Salsa</h3> <p>Another no-cook option, <a href="http://mignardise.blogspot.com/2010/11/cranberry-salsa.html">cranberry salsa</a> can be eaten with Thanksgiving dinner (or with chips as a snack &mdash; who says that cranberries are only good for Thanksgiving?). Although this would be especially good for those who are celebrating Turkey Day in warmer climates, who can turn down salsa, even when it's cold outside?</p> <h3>Boozy Berries</h3> <p>If you're already imbibing in order to survive the holidays, spare a little Grand Marnier for the cranberries with this easy, breezy, <a href="http://www.recipelion.com/Sauces/Grand-Marnier-Cranberry-Sauce#">orangy cranberry sauce</a> that is made in the oven.</p> <h3>Non-Cranberry Sauce</h3> <p>Sure, cranberries might be the tradition, but there's no reason to limit yourself to them! Tart dried cherries are available in the winter, and you could easily whip up a <a href="http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/11/Balsamic_Cherry_Sauce44636.shtml">cherry sauce with balsamic vinegar</a>.</p> <p>Not interested in these options? Well, here are <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/thanksgiving-sides-5-alternatives-to-cranberry-relish-101189">five MORE fantastic alternatives</a> to plain ol' cranberry sauce. Tired of other traditional Thanksgiving dishes and looking to try something new? Check out Myscha's article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-thanksgiving-menus-for-nearly-every-situation">Thanksgiving dinner alternatives</a>.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kick-ass-alternatives-to-canned-cranberry-sauce" class="sharethis-link" title="Kick-Ass Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Sauce" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/food-and-drink">Food and Drink articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink alternative Thanksgiving ideas Cooking cranberry sauce recipes Thanksgiving Wed, 24 Nov 2010 14:00:06 +0000 Andrea Karim 319384 at http://www.wisebread.com Turkey Dinner for Two http://www.wisebread.com/turkey-dinner-for-two <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turkey-dinner-for-two" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_picnic.jpg" alt="Turkey Dinner for Two" title="Turkey Dinner for Two" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many years my husband and I&nbsp;have lived in a fairly large city far from any relatives. Over the past few years, when the holidays rolled around, we've bounced back and forth between each others parents' homes spending time with our families. However, recently we've grown tired of always having to travel some place else for the holidays, so we've come to create our own traditions that often include only the two of us.</p> <p>The Thanksgiving holiday often poses a challenge in deciding how to handle the traditional feast we've grown accustomed to. We've had to think creatively to continue to satisfy the pumpkin pie urges and marshmallow-glazed sweet potatoes on a smaller scale.</p> <h2>The Deli</h2> <p>My husband is a wonderful cook. But I can barely boil water, so cooking for two all on our own for as large a spread as Thanksgiving demands is usually out. One alternative we've found that works for us is purchasing pre-cooked turkey or ham from the deli at our grocery store, then preparing the side dishes at home.</p> <p>Living in a large city gives us plenty of deli options to choose from. Not only does our local grocery store have a large selection of pre-cooked meats, but the Honey Baked delis are also a great option for ham and turkey as well. The price per pound is slightly higher, but since it is just the two of us, it makes more sense to purchase a reasonable amount of meat than a huge turkey that may never get eaten.</p> <h2>Dinner at the Beach</h2> <p>Many people feel Thanksgiving dinner is one to be spent with family at home, and not in an impersonal setting such as a restaurant. However, over the years we've hunted down a few quaint restaurants with superb atmospheres that make up for the missing home-sweet-home atmosphere. One such place happens to be a restaurant on the beach that we've come to enjoy. The prices are reasonable for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and the walk on the beach after dinner makes for an amazing sunset ending to a thankful holiday. We even took our parents to this restaurant for Thanksgiving a few years ago, and they were delighted by the view, not to mention relieved they didn't have to cook.</p> <p>Of course not everyone has the luxury of living near the coast, but there may be a restaurant that offers Thanksgiving dinner specials in a beautiful setting near you.</p> <h2>A Weekend Getaway</h2> <p>For many, Thanksgiving is the start of a long weekend. Instead of spending it at home or traveling by plane through over-crowded airports, I've used this time for camping and exploring towns a few hours from my own hometown. Not only are campgrounds and state parks not very crowded, leaving on Thanksgiving Day often means less traffic on the roads. Preparing roasted turkey can still be done on a small camp stove and pumpkin pie can be purchased per slice from a deli for portability. Enjoying the holiday weekend outdoors before the weather turns colder is an excellent alternative to a traditional holiday trip.</p> <p>Many people will be traveling to visit family and friends this coming weekend. But if you are one of the few who isn't planning family visits this time around, these are just a few suggestions that may pique your interest.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turkey-dinner-for-two" class="sharethis-link" title="Turkey Dinner for Two" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/food-and-drink">Food and Drink articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink alternative Thanksgiving ideas camping Cooking restaurants Thanksgiving Tue, 23 Nov 2010 13:00:08 +0000 Little House 322573 at http://www.wisebread.com