My Secret Cranberry Relish Recipe

When I was growing up, no Thanksgiving meal was complete without cranberries. Unfortunately, it was canned cranberry sauce. And “sauce” isn’t the right word. It was actually more like cranberry gelatin. Yuck. (If you like it, that’s fine, you can have my share of it.)

This is real cranberry relish. Fast and easy, healthy and delicious. Give it a try!

Cranberry Relish
Serves 6-8
1 pound fresh cranberries, washed
1 apple, quartered and cored
1 navel orange, peeled
Sweetener, to balance tartness. Depending on the sweetness of the apple and orange, this may not be needed.

Place all ingredients in food processor. Process until evenly chunky. Chill and serve.

Nutritional data (per half-cup serving)0
Calories:        44
Fat:               0.1g
Sat fat:             0g
Chol:                0g
Sodium:     1.1mg
Carbs:         11.6g
Fiber:               3g
Protein:         0.4g

A variation is adding one jalapeno pepper for a nice southwest flavor.

My Secret Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

(Photo to be added later.)

Poultry Stuffing
Makes 12 portions (approximately 4 ounces by weight, about 2/3 cup by volume)

This looks like a scary long recipe, but it is really very simple.

18 slices Healthy Life bread (or any preferred bread.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2-4 clove garlic, mashed and minced
Spices and herbs (rubbed sage, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, celery salt or anything similar.)
Chicken stock (approximately 2 cups) warmed, but not boiling

1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. Lay bread slices on counter. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle lightly with sage, onion, garlic, pepper and celery salt.
4. Lay on cookie sheets in oven, until beginning to brown and are dry (about 30 minutes).
5. When toasted, cut into small cubes. Set aside in a large bowl.
6. In a large non-stick skillet, heat over med-high.
7. Add olive oil. When hot (the oil should shimmer) add onion and celery.
8. Saute until the onion begins to turn translucent (2-4 minutes.)
9. Add garlic. Saute for 1 minute.
10. Add 1 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1/4 teaspoon each celery salt (or powder) and black pepper. Saute for 1 minute.
11. Pour onion-celery mixture over bread cubes.
12. Pour half the chicken stock, gently mixing. Add more stock as needed. Mixture should be evenly moistened, but not soupy. (If you add more stock, and it doesn’t get absorbed, that is too much. Pour it off.)
13. If you still need more liquid, you can use hot water, or any preferred liquid for added flavor: beer, wine, apple juice/cider.
14. Preheat to 350.
15. Put stuffing a 2 quart casserole, sprayed with cooking spray for easy clean up.
16. Bake uncovered until hot (30-45 minutes.)

Nutritional data:
Calories:       80
Fat:              2.4g
Sat fat:         0.3g
Chol:           0mg
Carbs:        14.7g
Fiber:           3.4g
Protein:        3.3g

A few notes:
I use my own homemade chicken stock, which has no added salt. That accounts for the low sodium numbers in this recipe. You can use commercially prepared stock, but it will have more sodium. On the other hand, you can find fat free chicken stock, which will result in even lower calories per serving because mine isn’t fat free. (Everything is a trade-off.)

Use your favorite herbs and spices. Penzey’s Spices makes incredible mixes. Their Sunny Paris is excellent in this.

Instead of Healthy Life bread, use your favorite bread. Whole wheat makes a much more robust version (and needs more liquid). Cornbread is sweeter and more delicate.

Add hot peppers if you like a spicy version.

If you want a sweeter variation, add 2 chopped apples or pears to the onions and celery.

Mushrooms work well in this (I like fresh baby bellas.)

Add meats (bacon, chicken/turkey trimmings, sausage, burger, oysters/clams, chorizo, Andouille, bratwurst or anything) if you want. It will add calories, but also add more flavors.

I don’t like to stuff turkeys. It slows the cooking time on the birds, increasing the risk of dried breasts while you wait for everything to cook. That is why I make it in a casserole separately.

Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Fresh Figs

Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Fresh Figs
Serves 4

4 fresh figs
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto (approximately 8 slices)

Wrap each fig with the prosciutto, and secure with toothpicks. (If you can’t find prosciutto, you could try very thinly sliced bacon.)

Preheat your grill on high for 5 minutes.
Place the figs on the grate. Turn often so that all side cook, but not become burned.
Serve warm.

    So easy. So elegant. The grill intensifies the sugars, and makes the fig softer, but not mushy. The prosciutto adds a velvety texture from the fat as it melts into the fig, and the meat is lightly smokey. The contrast between sweet and savory is wonderful.
    Make these while you can still find fresh figs!

    Nutritional data (per fig):
    Calories:         67
    Fat:                 1.7g
    Sat fat:            0.5g
    Chol:         12.5mg
    Sodium:  230.5mg
    Carbs:            9.6g
    Fiber:             1.5g
    Protein:          4.4g
    These would be incredible as a starter or a dessert. I think that since this is a sweet and slightly fatty dish, a semi-dry sparkling wine (possible a Moscato d’Asti) would be a nice match.

    Kicked-Up Grilled Cheese

    This was one of my entries into the 2014 Mezzetta Make That Sandwich contest.

    A good grilled cheese is a common comfort food, and to be honest, one of my favorite meals when the weather is cold and dreary. On my podcast, Make Your Someday Today, I ask my guests several food questions, and one is to discover their comfort food. It is refreshing to hear that many people have similarities, all over the world. For many people it is carb-related foods. Find out what Ilias in Greece, Steve in CanadaAlastair in Ireland, Ani in Armenia, Berni in Minneapolis and Chester in Tennessee prefers! Then listen to my 15 other guests!

    Kicked Up Grilled Cheese
    Serves 1

    1 large slice of hearty bread (or 2 smaller slices) I used a single slice of homemade artisan bread
    1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
    2 slices Swiss cheese
    1 ounce Mezzetta Gourmet Deli Roasted Bell Pepper strips & Caramelized Onions
    1 ounce Mezzetta Gourmet Deli Sweet and Hot Pepper Rings

    ½ ounce (4 pieces) Mezzetta Cocktail Onions, chopped

    1. Preheat non-stick skillet over medium heat.
    2. Assemble sandwich (bread, 1 slice of cheese, Roasted Pepper & Onions, Sweet & Hot Pepper rings, chopped Cocktail Onions, remaining slice of cheese, final piece of bread)
    3. Spread half the mayo on the outer side of one piece of bread. Season with a touch of black pepper. Lay mayo-side on the skillet.
    4. Spread the second piece of bread with mayo.
    5. Carefully turn the sandwich when the edge starts to brown (2-3 minutes).
    6. Let the second side brown (another 2-3 minutes.)
    7. Serve.

    Nutritional Data:
    Calories:          315
    Fat:                12.2g
    Sat fat:             4.1g
    Chol:             24mg
    Sodium:   774.5mg
    Carbs:           41.8g
    Fiber:              3.8g
    Protein:         12.3g

    Scotch BBQ

    Scotch BBQ
    Serves 1

    Sometimes you need to try something new for an occasional cocktail. The successful life is all about making good choices, a topic that is common in my podcast, Make Your Someday Today.

    2 ounce blended Scotch (do not use a high-end single malt for this)
    1/2 ounce real maple syrup
    1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

    1. Add to mixing cup with ice. Shake until cold. Serve in a rocks glass over fresh ice. 
    2. Optional: add 1-2 drops Sriracha or Tabasco sauce.
    A strong cocktail, but different than most. Despite the maple syrup, it is not sweet, nor is it tart from the vinegar. They balance, with the syrup lending a soft, almost velvet texture. The liquid smoke adds a little bite. It is quite like drinking the aroma of a good BBQ.

    Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly podcast, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be.

    Just a Quickie Today–Do You Like Good Cocktails?

    Sorry, I know you are waiting for that epic multi-thousand word post from me (or not!) but today is a busy day, prepping for Christmas #2. I just have a quick note here today.

    If you, or someone you love, appreciates high-quality cocktails and you need to find something new, check out Bittercube bitters.

    A six pack variety box, each is a one ounce bottle with a dropper for dispensing. Each bottle will make up to 30 cocktails. A recipe card comes with it (try the “Of the Older Fashioned”) as well as a link to more recipes on their website.

    This is a small Wisconsin-based company who hand-crafts these wonderful products. Since I appreciate small-batch and hand-crafted items (beer, cheese, sausage, whiskey) this sort of company fits my personality.

    So. If you like good cocktails, stick with Angostura. (It is a very good bitters.) But if you want incredible and unique cocktails, flavors that none of your neighbors can match, check out Bittercube.


    My podcast, Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly show, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be. I hope you give it a listen! 

    Bourbon Pecan Pie

    Bourbon Pecan Pie
    Serves 12 (small pieces of a rich pie)

    1 pie crust (this recipe assumes a store bought crust)
    1 cup pecan halves
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    4 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 large eggs
    1 tablespoon molasses
    1.5 ounces bourbon

    1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a glass 9″ pie plate with the pie crust dough. Fold and pinch overhang to form a nice decorative crust.
    2. Line pie shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with dried beans or rice, and bake 15 minutes
    3. Remove foil and beans, bake another 5-10 minutes, until golden brown.
    4. Cool on a wire rack.
    5. Coarsely chop 3/4 cup pecans.
    6. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs and bourbon until blended. Stir in all pecans (chopped and halves.)
    7. Pour filling into crust.
    8. Bake 45-50 minutes, until the edges are set, but the center is still a little jiggly. Using an aluminum shield (or aluminum foil) will prevent excess browning of the crust.)
    9. Cool on a wire rack completely.
    10. Serve with whipped cream

    Nutritional data:
    Calories:     279
    Fat:           16.3g
    Sat fat:           5g
    Chol:        66.4mg
    Sodium:  125.2mg
    Carbs:      31.5g
    Fiber:         0.9g
    Protein:      2.8g