culinary review

Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce with Pineapple and Walnuts

Last Modified: 11/24/10
First Published: 10/15/07
Views: 4610
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General Info
Servings: 8
Total Cost: $3.43
Cost Per Serving: $0.43
Total Calories: 1,326
Calories/Serving: 166
Cranberries * 1.00 Pound $2.03 210
Sugar, White Granulated 3/4 Cups 150.00 Grams $0.20 581
Pineapple, Crushed 1 Cup 244.00 Grams $0.44 140
Walnuts, Chopped 1/2 Cup 60.00 Grams $0.70 393
Salt, Kosher 1/2 Teaspoon 2.40 Grams $0.01 0
Cinnamon, Ground 1/2 Teaspoon 1.13 Grams $0.06 3
Isn’t it nice when you can buy fresh cranberries in the store? Tart and plump and filled withcranberry_sauce antioxidants, cranberries are both tasty and good for you. This is our favorite cranberry sauce which we always have on our Thanksgiving table. Sometime we even serve this sauce next to a piece of meat on a fall night.

The sweet pineapple goes remarkably well with tart cranberries, the walnuts add an interesting texture and a little bit of cinnamon provides some underlying spice. This recipe is not overly sweet, but you can always adjust that according to your taste.

  • 2 cups of cranberries (1 pack/16 oz)
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of crushed pineapple with juicecranberry_sauce
  • ½ cup of crushed walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Some fresh ground pepper

Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about 20 minutes or until the cranberries are soft. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

Homemade Chili Powder

Last Modified: 12/09/09
First Published: 01/15/08
Views: 1470

chili powder

Homemade Chili Powder

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General Info
Servings: 5
Total Cost: $0.96
Cost Per Serving: $0.19
Total Calories: 148
Calories/Serving: 30
Salt, Kosher 1/2 Teaspoon 2.40 Grams $0.01 0
Paprika 1/2 Teaspoon 1.15 Grams $0.07 3
Cumin Seeds 2 Tablespoons 12.00 Grams $0.35 46
Garlic Powder 1/2 Teaspoon 1.40 Grams $0.01 5
Pepper, Ancho, Dried (about 3 peppers) * 15.00 Grams $0.20 42
Peppers, Pasilla, Dried (3-4 peppers) * 15.00 Grams $0.32 51

Homemade chili powder is much more flavorful than anything you can get in the store and it is easy enough to change the types of dried chilis you use to change the flavor from time to time.

This powder will keep for a few months in a sealed glass or plastic container.

Total Mass of Recipe: 31 grams (1 ounce)

Total Volume of Recipe: 5 tablespoons


Dice the dried chilis and place in a cast iron pan with the cumin seeds and toast for a few minutes, until you can smell the aroma, but not enough to burn them.

Let cool for a minute.

Place the toasted mixture in the blender with the salt, paprika and garlic powder. Place a dish towel over the top and blend for about 2 minutes.

After the ingredients are blended let the contents settle before you open the cover. The fine particles can very easily get in your eyes, so take care.

Pineapple Glaze

Last Modified: 10/10/08
First Published: 10/10/08
Views: 607
pineapple glaze
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General Info
Servings: 6
Total Cost: $1.01
Cost Per Serving: $0.17
Total Calories: 579
Calories/Serving: 97
Pineapple, Juice from can (from two cans of pineapples) 1 1/2 Cup 12.00 Ounces $0.66 72
Brown Sugar, Packed 1/4 Cup 55.00 Grams $0.16 207
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoons 42.00 Grams $0.19 300

We made this pineapple glaze for a pork roast. It could easily be used for an ice cream topping or any other meat.

This glaze is very easy to make. There are only three ingredients and it enhances any dish.


Boil the pineapple juice until it reduces by 1/3. Add the brown sugar and then whisk in the cold butter in pieces. 

This glaze thickens quite a lot once it cools. 

Blackberry Sauce

Last Modified: 10/10/08
First Published: 10/10/08
Views: 413
blackberry sauce
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General Info
Servings: 6
Total Cost: $2.80
Cost Per Serving: $0.47
Total Calories: 581
Calories/Serving: 97
Blackberries (fresh) 2 Cups 288.00 Grams $2.58 124
Sugar, White Granulated 1/2 Cup 100.00 Grams $0.13 387
Water 3 Tablespoons 42.56 Grams $0.00 0
Corn Starch 2 Tablespoons 20.00 Grams $0.09 70

Over the summer we picked a couple pounds of blackerries and blueberries and froze most of them so that we could always have fresh berries during the year. Now that the fall is here we decided to take some out of the freezer and make a dessert sauce. We have made berry sauces before but this time we wanted a creamier texture so we added a corn starch slurry to the berries as they cooked.

We started by adding 2 cups of blackberries to a 2 quart sauce pot and then adding the 1/2 cup of sugar. The trick to making a great sauce is time. It takes a while for the berries to boil and reduce to a syrupy texture. After they boiled for a while we added the corn starch slurry.berry sauce

The result was excellent. This was the best berry sauce we ever made. It was very easy and made the vanilla ice cream that much better.

Homemade Applesauce

Last Modified: 03/10/08
First Published: 10/28/07
Views: 1488

Applesauce is the perfect way to utilize the abundance of apples that fall brings. It’s easyapple_sauce and quick to make as well as an excellent accompaniment next to many dishes. Applesauce goes excellent next to pork, turkey and chicken, or on top of potato pancakes, crepes or oatmeal. The easiest way to enjoy apple sauce is to have it plain topped with some milk and cream, then the flavors come through especially well.

This is a very nice recipe. It only takes about 30 minutes to cook the applesauce and its consistency turns nice and smooth. We use Fuji as well as Granny Smith apples, it’s a good idea to use a combination of various apples. Other good cooking apples include Gravenstein, McIntosh and Golden Delicious.

This applesauce is sweet, although not too sweet and flavored with cinnamon

About 1 quart of applesauce


  • 3 lbs of peeled, cored and chopped apples (We used 3 large Fuji apples and 4 smaller Granny Smith)
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar (or regular white sugar)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 lemon peel pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice



Add the apples, the sugar, the water, the salt, the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel to a large pot. Place on medium heat and let come to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stir occasionally. At this point, add the ground cinnamon and the lemon juice. Taste to see if the sauce is sweet/spicy enough, otherwise adjust the content.



Cook for another 10 minutes, then mash the apples with a potato masher. Either serve right away, or store in the fridge or in the freezer.

Steps to Making a Perfect Béarnaise Sauce

Last Modified: 01/24/08
First Published: 09/16/07
Views: 3246

Sauce Béarnaise is a classic emulsion of egg yolks and butter flavored with a reduction of vinegar and tarragon.bearnaise sauce It’s traditionally served with steak, however it’s sister sauce Hollandaise (which is flavored simply with lemon juice) can often be found on top of eggs benedict or steamed asparagus. No matter what you plan to serve this simple sauce with, it will surely brighten up even the simplest dish.

Contrary to popular belief, a béarnaise sauce isn’t hard to make, it only requires a little extra attention. When you are making this sauce – don’t walk away for a second, and never stop whisking. If you only follow these simple steps, your end result will be beautiful, shiny and absolutely delightful.

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General Info
Servings: 6
Total Cost: $2.13
Cost Per Serving: $0.36
Total Calories: 1,377
Calories/Serving: 229
Vinegar, White Wine 3 Tablespoons 45.00 Grams $0.32 0
Vinegar, Red Wine 3 Tablespoons 45.00 Grams $0.28 6
Onion, Red Diced 1 Tablespoon 10.00 Grams $0.03 4
Tarragon, Fresh, Chopped 1 Tablespoon 3.50 Grams $0.25 2
Water 1 Tablespoon 14.19 Grams $0.00 0
Egg Yolks (3 egg yolks) * 51.00 Grams $0.50 165
Butter, Unsalted (1 1/2 sticks) 12 Tablespoons 168.00 Grams $0.75 1,200


  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped red onion or shallot
  • a few springs of fresh tarragon – or about 1 tablespoon of dried + about 1 tsp of fresh chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ sticks of butter (about 12 tablespoons) cut in small cubes

Steps to making a perfect Béarnaise sauce

1. Place vinegar, onion and tarragon in a sauté pan and let simmer until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add a tablespoon of water, stir and then strain mixture.

2. Prepare a double boiler. Add about one inch of water in a casserole pan and bring up to a simmer. Never let this water come up to a boil – leave on low heat.
3. Place the vinegar reduction in a glass bowl and add the egg yolks. Whisk for a few minutes until frothy.
4. Place the glass bowl on top of the water and continue to whisk for a few more minutes.
Butter_cubes 5. Slowly, start adding butter. Start with only one cube at the time and make sure to let the butter dissolve completely before you add more, and whisk continuously. Once the sauce becomes more stable you can add a little more butter at times. Every now and then take the bowl off the double boiler to ensure that your emulsion doesn’t get too hot. Place back on the double boiler each time the sauce gets a little too cold.
6. Lastly, add the 1 teaspoon of fresh tarragon and taste off with some salt and perhaps pepper. Make sure your sauce is warm enough (otherwise just warm it over the double boiler, while whisking) and serve immediately. Alternatively do like Alton suggests and put your sauce in a thermos to keep it warm.

Classic Cocktail Sauce

Last Modified: 11/27/07
First Published: 11/27/07
Views: 524
This is a classic cocktail sauce that’s perfect to serve next to shrimp. The sauce is tangy and flavorful and so easy to mix together.


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 ½ teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning

Mix all the ingredients together. Taste and possibly add some more seasonings.

Orange Cranberry Sauce with Cinnamon and Cloves

Last Modified: 11/23/07
First Published: 11/23/07
Views: 1285

Orange, cloves and cinnamon lend their traditional flavors in this easy cranberry sauce. It'scranberry surprisingly simplistic yet very good. Cranberries go very well with orange and cinnamon and this sauce provides the perfect balance between sweet and tart.


  • 2 cups of cranberries (1 pack/16 oz)
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • The zest from half an orange
  • The juice from one orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Pinch of salt


Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about 20 minutes or until the cranberries are soft. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

cranberry cranberry_sauce

Chili Spice Rub

Last Modified: 11/06/07
First Published: 11/06/07
Views: 997
A nice and spicy chili rub is easy to mix together and keep on hand. It also makes a perfect gift if you put it in achili_rub pretty jar or bag and write a nice label describing the content.

This chili rub is perfect to apply on meat or fish instead of a marinade before cooking. It's especially good if you're planning to cook a piece of meat for a longer period of time, as it will really penetrate the meat and provide good flavor.


  • 3 parts chili powder
  • 2 parts brown sugar
  • 1 part salt
  • 1 part ground cumin
  • 1 part paprika
  • 1 part dried onion
  • ½ part celery salt
  • ½ part onion powder
  • ½ part dried chili flakes

Mix all the ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container.

To use on meat:

Generously cover a piece of meat with this rub and massage it into the meat. Let the meat sit in room temperature for at least 20 minutes (preferably up to an hour) covered in this rub. The salt and the spices will draw moisture out of the meat, resulting in more concentrated flavor. Then grill, fry or roast the meat with the rub on.

Fresh Mango Salsa with Lime and Cilantro

Last Modified: 11/06/07
First Published: 11/06/07
Views: 985

A fresh, homemade salsa with mango, lime, cilantro and chili is quite refreshing and goes perfectly next to a piecemango_salsa of meat or fish (especially nice next to salmon). Food right off the grill works nice as the flavors of the salsa compliments the smokiness from the grill. This makes a small batch that can easily be doubled.


  • 1 mango (or papaya), diced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 small green chili, minced
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • The juice of one lime
  • Fresh Cilantro (Coriander), chopped
  • salt


Mix all the ingredients together and taste with some salt. Depending on how sweet the mango is, you might need to add some additional sugar. If you like very spice salsa, then you can add some additional chili.

Preferably refrigerate for a couple of hours to let flavors come together.

Note: Additional ingredients that would work nice in this salsa include

  • Fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Peppers, diced
  • Apples, diced
  • Thai fish sauce
  • Pineapple