Thanksgiving Lunch Lists

This is the week to make the lists and check them twice – the Thanksgiving lunch list and the grocery shopping list to go with it.  I recently discovered the free Keep app, and it has been such a blessing to keep all of my food lists on it.  The lists sync automatically on my phone, my tablet and my laptop, and I am loving it.  Sometimes technology is a truly great thing to help out with the little things.

Thanksgiving Lunch List
Our Thanksgiving meal lineup this year!

While I normally purchase most of our groceries at the club store these days, I will no doubt purchase some things at our local grocery store for Thanksgiving, too.  The Thanksgiving week sale ad just came out, so it is time to look over the shopping list one last time and schedule a trip to the grocery store at a time that is not as crowded.  I’ve stood in too many ridiculously long lines at the grocery store on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, sometimes to just purchase one item that I forgot on a previous trip.  I’m so done with that nonsense now, if at all possible, and working carefully on the shopping list in advance has helped to prevent such unneeded stress.

I intentionally planned leftovers from lunch for our camping trip and to send home with others for a second meal.  While the lineup is not low-carb by any stretch, I will try to only partake of very small portions of the items that are not “legal” for me.  I’m still not ready to risk sabotaging my diet too much at this point, after working so hard to lose the weight this past year.

So far this week, I’ve finalized the lunch list, and I am finalizing the shopping list.  I’ve also made good progress on house cleaning, as there will be little time for that next week as I prepare our meal and get things ready to leave in the RV later on Thanksgiving Day.  I also made the pie crusts and put them in the freezer.  I used Pioneer Woman’s “Perfect Pie Crust” recipe this time because it is easy to make, makes two at once, tastes great and freezes quite well.  Making traditional pie crusts is not one of my best talents, to be sure, and this recipe is a very simple one.  It can also be found in her holiday cookbook, too.

With both Thanksgiving and our next RV trip coming right up, things are going to be pretty hectic here until early December.  We also have both movie and play tickets that I am excited about, as well as an evening out with two of my best friends.  I will continue to post over at Animal Wonder for the rest of this month to meet the blogging goal there, but I doubt that I will be back here to post until after our trip, unless I somehow get ahead of schedule.  I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving cooking is underway in my home, and I am excited once again to begin this ritual that becomes a little more near and dear to my heart with each passing year.  I am so blessed to still have my mother around to enjoy the holidays with, and I don’t ever take that for granted during the holidays now.  She is 89 years young, but she is still in good health for the most part.  I am missing my daughter and her husband, though, as this will be another holiday season that we will have to share with them over Skype.  I am grateful for the technology that is available that families in earlier times never had, but I still don’t like them being gone every year during the holidays.  It just stinks.  But, that’s life, I guess.  At least they have good jobs and are happy and healthy.  In these days, that is so much to be grateful for… which I am.  I just miss them, but I will also enjoy all of my family members that still live here, too.

Anyway, I want to move on to a much happier topic… holiday cooking!

The first recipe up for this year is a new little twist on my grandmother’s traditional cranberry sauce, and I even have some step by step photos to share as well.

It’s hard to go wrong with homemade cranberry sauce, in my humble opinion.  Just follow some basic steps, and then experiment with ingredients that you and your family might like.  That is exactly what I did today, and I must admit that the outcome is so stinkin’ good!  I have already posted about being a fan of Honeycrisp apples, so this was the next step in the evolution of my love of them.  I honestly think they are the best “eating apples” sold today.

Here we go.  This is my grandmother’s traditional cranberry sauce… with some slight tweaking on the juice and spices.



4 C. Cranberries (I used Ocean Spray)
1 C. Honeycrisp Apple Cider (Litehouse Brand or any good quality apple cider)
3/4 C. Sugar (Add more or less to your taste)
1/2 Large Honeycrisp Apple, peeled and diced into small bits
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon (I love Watkins brand)
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves


Rinse the cranberries well under cold water and pick out any bad ones. (I didn’t find any today.)  Dry the cranberries and place them in a non-stick saucepan…

4 C. Cranberries, rinsed and dried

Add the Honeycrisp Apple Cider…

1 C. Honeycrisp Apple Cider

Then add the sugar, stir it in well and bring the mixture to a quick boil while stirring… please don’t let this beautiful mixture stick to the pan… and add more or less sugar, depending on your taste preference (tart or sweet)…

3/4 C. Sugar


Stir mixture well, dissolving all of the sugar


Bring mixture to a quick boil, then reduce heat to simmer

After mixture simmers for 10 minutes, stir in Honeycrisp apple bits…

After 10 minutes, add Honeycrisp apple bits and stir in well

After stirring in the apple bits well, add the remaining ingredients… cinnamon, ground cloves and orange zest…

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Continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring often…

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Finally, after the last 10 minutes of cooking…

Pure cranberry bliss!  And the aroma… wonderful!

What a great way to kick off holiday cooking!


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Let the sauce cool just a bit, then pour it into a container with a sealed lid and cool in the refrigerator several hours or overnight.  This should keep well for several days, which makes it a great dish to prepare ahead of time for the holidays.  Cranberry sauce never lasts more than a couple of days at my house, since it is fabulous on a turkey sandwich after the holiday is over.

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This is just a little piece of Heaven.  I cheated and spooned a little bit of the mostly cooled sauce over some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream tonight, too.  Oh my goodness… 🙂  It would also be nice over a plain cheesecake.



And, think twice about buying that stuff in the can ever again… 😉


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