Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce

photo-447Happy Thanksgiving Week! Its Monday but technically its Wednesday since its a 3 day work week! Bonus! This weekend I did some Thanksgiving prep by making cranberry sauce and getting some grocery shopping done. We also had a Friendsgiving feast on Saturday night. It was a non-traditional potluck style Thanksgiving with ham and beef tenderloin in place of turkey but with all the traditional sides and fixing!

Everyone brought their A game with favorite family recipes and cocktails including multiple varieties of sweet potato dishes, scalloped and classic potatoes, Brussels sprouts, squash gratin, mac & cheese, cranberry sauce and stuffing- it was quite a spread and everything was delicious! photo-449We had a big crew, 32 people to be exact! It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season with great friends and food! For our friendsgiving feast I made sausage, apple and pecan stuffing and Cabernet Cranberry Kumquat Sauce. I used Pepperidge farm herb stuffing mix as a base and added maple breakfast sausage, crisp apples and crunchy pecans for a delicious salty-sweet mix. The Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce is a great recipe to make a few days ahead and is a fun flavorful twist on your classic cranberry sauce. The tartness of the kumquats and the rich sweetness of the wine combine to make the perfect side that will please all your guests!

Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce

  • 2½ cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries (one 8-oz. bag)
  • 1 cup dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup seeded sliced fresh kumquats


  1. Wash cranberries and pick through them, discarding any that are bruised or rotten.
  2. Combine cranberries, wine, sugar and kumquats in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until cranberries burst and release juices, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce from Bon Appetit, November 2013


Thanksgiving Recipe Guide: Fresh Cranberry Sauce

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner- like next Thursday around the corner. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays- tons of delicious food (like Christmas) but no pressure to buy gifts (like Christmas)! There are always a few recipes that you only pull out for special occasions, Thanksgiving, Christmas or the like (My mom always does stuffed beef tenderloin with shiitake  mushrooms, spinach and shallots for Christmas Eve- Don’t worry I will blog on that closer to Christmas) Staple recipes. They bring back memories and in someways define that holiday for you. But every once in while its nice to spice things up with something new. So for the next few blog entries I will pull out some old favorites and some fresh new inspiration for your big Turkey day. I couldn’t help but start with a dish that is practically as important as the turkey on Thanksgiving… Cranberry Sauce. Enjoy!

Fresh Cranberry-Orange Sauce: Many fresh cranberry sauce recipes call for granulated sugar (the bad stuff)- Agave Nectar is a great alternative to white sugar. Agave, as compared to other sweeteners, has a low-glycemic index, which means it won’t cause a sharp rise or fall in blood sugar. We don’t want anyone going into a sugar coma over cranberry sauce…especially before dessert!


  • 16 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 navel orange, zest cut into strips and juiced
  • 1/3 to 2/3 cup Agave Nectar (depending on how sweat you like it)
  • dash or two of cinnamon

Using a vegetable peeler, peel zest from orange and cut into strips. Juice orange.

Combine cranberries, 1/2 the orange zest, juice, agave nectar and cinnamon in sauce pan over medium heat.Simmer until cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens, usually about 15-20 minutes.

Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. Can be made a few days in advance. For sauce that is more tart, start with 1/3 cup of agave nectar and gradually add more to reach desired sweetness.