I love cranberry sauce with my Thanksgiving turkey, and this make-ahead recipe is super easy.
1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
2 cups honey
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (or fresh grated)
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the rinsed cranberries, honey, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes; the berries will begin to pop.
Add the diced apple, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, and ginger. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, smashing the berries as they soften. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into serving dish and chill til ready to serve.
Over time, I’ve developed my own skin care moisture cream which is super creamy and luscious, at a fraction of the cost of the stuff you will find out there. I use the body cream after showering and the scrubs are great for moisturizing hands, feet, elbows. It works especially well for getting stinky stuff off. I keep small containers of salt and sugar scrubs next to my sinks for cleaning up after gardening, peeling shrimp, or cleaning up after a crawfish boil.
I can buy all the ingredients to make my skin care products for just a fraction of the cost of the ready-made stuff, so I usually make big batches and gift small containers to friends and family.
Basic Body Butter:
3 cups coconut oil
1 (8 oz.) container African Shea Butter (I order from Amazon)
2 tsp. vitamin E (you can get the gel caps, punch a pin in one end and squeeze the oil out, but I get the small bottle through Amazon)
50 drops essential oils — here’s where I get creative. I mix about 15 or so drops of 3 or 4 different essential oils that I think work well together. In the summer, I like light scents like orange, lemon, tea tree, lavender, lemongrass. In the winter, or for the guys, I go with earthier scents like bergamot, rosemary, and cedarwood. The choice is up to you; whatever you prefer.
In a large mixing bowl, add the coconut oil and shea butter; microwave about 30 seconds, just enough to soften. Using a hand, mix the oil and shea butter at medium speed until smooth.
Add the vitamin E and oil and continue to mix at medium speed; add your choice of essential oils and mix again until smooth. Divide in half and store in air-tight (I prefer glass) containers. Chill for about an hour, then store at room temperature and use as a body moisturizer.
With the remainder, divide in half into two smaller mixing bowls.
In one bowl, add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, then mix at medium speed until sugar is incorporated into the moisturizer.
In the other bowl, add 1 1/2 cups salt, then mix at medium speed until salt is incorporated in.
Transfer to small air-tight containers and store at room temperature. Use to exfoliate hands, feet, elbows, cuticles, or to clean up after dirty or stinky tasks.
The scrubs will leave your hands fresh and clean-smelling, and don’t worry if your hands have a “greasy” feel after using the scrubs. That will work itself into your skin in a few minutes, leaving them soft and smooth.
Over time, I’ve developed some skin care recipes that are much more cost-effective and just as moisture-effective than the insanely expensive stuff. I whip up a basic body moisturizer that’s great for after showering, then I divide part of it and add salt and sugar to make scrubs.
The ingredients I use make a lot, and cost a fraction of what you will find anywhere!
Basic Body Butter
3 cups coconut oil
1 (8 oz.) container African Shea Butter
2 tsp. Vitamin E oil
2 tsp. Brazil nut or jojoba oil
After checking out the $17 bottles of infused olive oils at the local gourmet store, of course I thought, “I can do this myself!” So here’s what I came up with.
Pick a handful of fresh herbs from the herb garden.
With the real winter we had here; actual snow, a couple of freezes and an extended cool spring, my herbs are just getting started. However, my thyme did survive, so I’ll use it for this recipe.
Start by cutting a big bunch of fresh herbs, wash well, and trim as needed. Thoroughly pat dry between several sheets of paper towels, being careful not to crush.
Pack the clean, dry herbs into a clean glass quart jar then fill with a good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Cap tightly, then roll the jar around lightly to mix. Store for about 2-3 weeks in a cool, dark spot. The longer they steep, the stronger the infusion.
Here I have my thyme and I’m also doing a crushed red pepper jar. I placed about 2 cups crushed red pepper flakes in a quart jar, then filled both jars with olive oil.
After a couple weeks, I strain the oil through a small-mesh strainer lined with cheese-cloth, discarding the herbs. I sometimes will repeat this step if the oil looks cloudy. Then I fill my labeled jars; if the oil is too herby (or peppery) I will cut it with some plain oil.
I repurpose my wine and liquor bottles, using wine pouring spouts as toppers, and I found some “chalkboard” labels that I can change easily.
I store my infused oils at room temperature for many weeks on my countertop, but you could refrigerate. I’ve seen recipes that require heating the oil and herbs; they don’t require the time that this recipe does, but those require refrigeration.
Any leafy herb, like thyme, rosemary, chives, basil, to name a few, works well. I’ve even gotten creative and used, in addition to red pepper flakes, peppercorns, lemon peel, garlic cloves, and purple onion. Once I forgot a jar of peppercorn for several months, and boy, was it HOT!
The garlic and onion oils tended to get cloudy quickly, so I store those in the fridge.