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Menu Swap: November 30th

Posted Nov 30 2009 10:00pm

C ranberries: you either love them or you hate them. Some people adore them for their tartness while other people cringe. Some people can tolerate them raw, some prefer them cooked, and most adore their dried variation, the Craisin. In fact, Craisins now come in a variety of flavors including yogurt and chocolate covered. Look out blueberries, for Craisins are now stepping up to the plate. But, aside from their “good for you benefits”, which do include good supplies of vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and our “berry” favorite category of antioxidants, what makes the cranberry so special? Why is it a “must have” for every Thanksgiving meal? Why has it not been blueberries or cherries? Or even raspberries? Raspberries on turkey? Well, that doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, but, according to an article posted by provides a good explanation of how the cranberry made its debut in history:

“The early Massachusetts settlers found them growing among the Cape Cod bogs. We Americans have continued to include them when we serve turkey for a holiday meal.

These ruby berries had been used for many years by the Indians. "Ibimi" berries, the natives called them.

The settlers referred to them as "craneberries." Some say it was because the bud and stem resembled the neck and head of a crane. Others maintain it was because the cranes living on Cape Cod ate these berries. Still others called them "bounce" berries because some people bounced the berries against a hard surface to test their ripeness.”

Cranberry harvests have been revealed on trelevision many a times, especially when those of Ocean Spray advertise. Even on an episode of Ace of Cakes, Duff went to a bog in order to obtain ideas for an Ocean Spray anniversary cake. I, personally, love cranberrries and usually they are so expensive out of season. This month is a time to stock up as they’re on sale. Woo! Cranberry sauce till my veins taste sweet and tangy.

My menu is posted below; a menu of new beginnings. Phillip and I have finally started to settle in our house as husband and wife. It’s really exciting to now cook for two, the same meal for the most part. I still sneak in a pumpkin specialty for myself as the boy still can’t adapt to certain things, but, that’s okay. I still won’t eat meat and he’s fine with it. I’m also facing a personal predicament that may later result in outpatient surgery. I’m going to the doctor’s later on this week, hopefully, to see if the problem can be easily solved without the need of going into the hospital. I’ll provide updates later once I find an answer.

Weekly Menu of November 30 th
Pumpkin Baked Autumn Oatmeal with Cranberry Maple Syrup
Cream Cheese Cranberry Stuffed French Toast

Zesty Mock Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries
Twice Baked Potato and Cranberry Walnut Salad with a Balsamic Vinegarette

Barbeque Trout Salad with Baked Potatoes
Vegan Red Beans and Rice
Salmon Marsala with Spinach Risotto
Szechuan Coconut Rice Noodle Stir-Fry

Other Cran-zy tastic menus are provided by our favorite fellow bloggers:

Esther from the Lilac Kitchen has an interesting menu arranged. Suet pudding? That’s something not traditionally on the menu around here, but, the sheer concept seems interesting, especially to have it entirely gluten free. Go Esther! Please post, I want to see.

Heather of the Celiac Family has a lineup of family favorites: white chicken chili, tacos, cheeseburgers - how can anyone go wrong there? She intends to visit Maggiano’s restaurant, which I’ve heard does have a gluten free menu but being the type of facility it is, I’ve always been very skeptical. Please let us know the turn out! I’m always looking for a new restaurant to venture off to since the Golden Corral can get quite tiresome.

It’s Christmas time at Kimberly’s of Gluten Free is Life ~! She’s started early by putting up the decorations and beginning her Christmas baking. I’ve been dying to make cookies ever since we got home from the honeymoon but I simply hadn’t yet found the time! Aside from finding multiple ways of using the cranberry, she also supplies a great menu for the week. It sounds just mouthwatering.

Cheryl atGluten Free Goodnesshas an astounding picture on her menu swap post. That chocolate cake looks almost to pretty to eat; notice the key word, ‘almost’. She also finds several ways to include cranberries into her diet, just as the rest of us. Honestly, I don’t think there is a wrong way to use a cranberry. She also has an interesting item for supper - Buffallo Coconut Curry. I’ve never eaten buffalo before, but, I’m sure its tasty! It sounds almost as good as those carob chestnut balls. Even though she claims she lost the recipe, I bet she could recreate them in a sync. Don’t forget to share!!

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