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Cranberries Play Starring Role In Creative Holiday Eats

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

It’s cranberry time again! And despite their cheerful color and bold flavor, they remain to many of us a once a year fruit. Well, who’s ready to break the (cranberry) mould and start mixing things up? Have we ever got berry fun ideas for you!

For starters, kick off your holiday festivities with Jane McMillan’s fabulously festive – and colorful – Sparkling Cranberry Punch! This has become a year-round favorite for us, making regular appearances at baby showers, luncheons and church functions. And to think it all started with an impulse buy…

“Years ago I spotted a pretty punch bowl in an antique store, and fell in love with it,” says Jane. “I told my hubby that I wanted it for Christmas. He said, ‘Why? You don’t ever make punch.'” Jane’s reply? “That’s because I don’t have a punch bowl!”

And, as she says, the rest is history. That punch bowl has since seen years of active duty, and led to Jane perfecting her holiday punch recipes.

“I always make punch during the holidays because it is something special and non-alcoholic for the kids. And, of course, for the adults you can add some ‘cheer.'”

Now before your guests get a little too “cheerful,” be prepared with some fun party appetizers. A new favorite app idea comes from Tonna Canfield of Ashland, KY. Made in a crock pot, her Cranberry Glazed Meatballs are a choice pick for any gathering, even a holiday potluck.

“I made these yummy meatballs for my daughter’s bridal shower,” says Tonna. “They are quick, easy, and delicious!”

In fact, we see these snappy meatballs being a hit at any gathering! The cranberry glaze is super easy to prepare. Simply combine jellied cranberry sauce, mustard, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar! Use your favorite meatball recipe or use frozen meatballs as a time-saving shortcut.

Ready for the main course? Well, while there’s no way we could ever replace the classic Thanksgiving bird, we CAN highly recommend it be accompanied by Darci Juris’ Butternut Squash, Carrot, Apple & Cranberry Salad. Lovely, seasonal flavors are served up in this light, slaw-like dish.

“Five servings of vegetables a day, that’s what they say,” extolls Darci. “This recipe should easily help you get there. It’s light and crunchy, with a sweet flavor. Makes the perfect side dish to any meal.”

Indeed, we love the freshness of Darci’s recipe, both literally and figuratively. The fresh veggies brighten the holiday dinner table, while at the same time adding a delightful twist to your more traditional fare.

And after preparing (and eating!) all this cranberry yumminess, kick back with a steaming mug of Deanne Dyer’s homemade Hot Cranberry Tea. A holiday tradition in her family, Deanne recently shared her delicious recipe for all of us to enjoy as well! Part citrus, part cranberry and wholly enjoyable, this is the perfect way to wind things down for the day.

Ah yes, so many cranberries so little time! Free yourself up for a little recipe experimentation this holiday season. You may just discover a few new family traditions of your own.