Cranberry Sauce Recipe

cranberry side for your Thanksgiving turkey

This easy and fast cranberry sauce recipe will be the star of your Thanksgiving meal. It brightens and balances all the heavy food that typically comes with Thanksgiving and will open up your taste buds to the flavors of all the other dishes on your plate.

Remember that cranberry sauce in a can growing up? This is NOT that. 🙂  It’s my FAVORITE thing every year and I used to hate “cranberry sauce”.

This recipe will leave with plenty for Thanksgiving and leftovers. Because let’s face it – there’s nothing better than a second Thanksgiving pate after the kids have gone to bed and everyone has left the building. 🙂

If you are looking to moisten up your Turkey this year – check out our Orange Coriander Turkey Brine!

As with all Connected Chef recipes, let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook. The ingredient amount below are used as a starting off point; taste as you go and reseason as needed!

cranberry side for your Thanksgiving turkey
Cranberry Sauce
Print Recipe
This insanely easy and fast cranberry sauce will be the star of your Thanksgiving meal. It brightens and balances all the heavy food that typically comes with Thanksgiving and will open up your taste buds to the flavors of all the other dishes on your plate. It's my FAVORITE thing every year and I used to hate "cranberry sauce". This recipe will leave with plenty for Thanksgiving and leftovers.
Servings Prep Time
10 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
cranberry side for your Thanksgiving turkey
Cranberry Sauce
Print Recipe
This insanely easy and fast cranberry sauce will be the star of your Thanksgiving meal. It brightens and balances all the heavy food that typically comes with Thanksgiving and will open up your taste buds to the flavors of all the other dishes on your plate. It's my FAVORITE thing every year and I used to hate "cranberry sauce". This recipe will leave with plenty for Thanksgiving and leftovers.
Servings Prep Time
10 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a pot and cook at a simmer for 15-20 minutes until all cranberries have burst and sauce begins to thicken. *You shouldn't have to worry about it not being thick enough. Remember that it thickens as it cools as well.
  2. Taste as you go. Sauce should be tart with a slight sweetness and hints of the cinnamon and star anise
Recipe Notes

Flavor Adjustments:
If sauce is too tart, you can add more sugar.
If sauce is too bitter, add more orange juice and then some sugar if necessary.

Share this Recipe

Turkey Brine – Orange Coriander

turkey brine

This Orange Coriander Brine will leave you with a moist turkey and brighten it’s flavor through the use of citrus. Your Thanksgiving turkey this year will be the best you’ve ever had.

What is a brine?  A brine is a salty solution that will add moisture to any lean meat.

If you like this flavor combo, you can also check out our Orange Coriander Marinade to try on veggies or other meats throughout the year.

As with all Connected Chef recipes, let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook. The ingredient amount below are used as a starting off point; taste as you go and reseason as needed!

turkey brine
Orange Coriander Turkey Brine
Print Recipe
This Orange Coriander Brine add not only moisture to your Turkey, but brightens it's flavor through the use of citrus. Your Thanksgiving turkey this year will be the best you've ever had. This recipe will give you enough brine for a 12-20 lbs turkey.
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 24-48 Hours
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 24-48 Hours
turkey brine
Orange Coriander Turkey Brine
Print Recipe
This Orange Coriander Brine add not only moisture to your Turkey, but brightens it's flavor through the use of citrus. Your Thanksgiving turkey this year will be the best you've ever had. This recipe will give you enough brine for a 12-20 lbs turkey.
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 24-48 Hours
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 24-48 Hours
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except water to a large stock pot *be sure to add the whole citrus and juice in with the liquid Bring to a boil and stir Pour in ice water & let cool Once cooled, add turkey and let sit for 24-48 hours. Be sure to turn turkey every 12 hours if not fully submerged.
  2. Bring all items to a boil.
  3. Add ice water and cool
  4. Add turkey to the brine and let soak for 24-48 hours
Recipe Notes

Pro Tip: If your turkey is too big for a stock pot, use a cooler or clean 5 gallon paint bucket to keep the turkey/brine in.

If there is no room in your fridge, you can keep it outside in the cold. Be sure to keep the liquid iced & keep the top locked in some way by putting something heavy on top.

Share this Recipe

3 Adjustments to Soothe Your Back to School Transition

So, it's October now.

Do you feel settled yet in the back to school grind?

Kindergarten parents - I’m specifically sending you all the transition love in this new phase of life.

I remember our Kindergarten days being so inconsistent and so reactive. There were times when Lucas would ask me, "why do we just go to school, come home, eat and go to bed." Then there were days where he NEEDED to be active, but was too exhausted and after was a DISASTER! Nothing was ever consistent and I never knew the "right" thing to do for him or me.

It felt like being back with a newborn and having to figure out what he needed and nobody having the words to be able to communicate with each other.

Honestly, I was a little shocked by just how INTENSE it was.

I remember very quickly realizing that this year was going to be all about slowing down to a HAULT. Doing the bare minimum and just moving through this time of life.

We NEVER did after school activities.

We NEVER had playdates (well, maybe 2)

We ALWAYS had meltdowns on the sidewalk

We ALWAYS finished our day exhausted.

Fast forward a year and first grade is SO different. I learned a LOT as a parent and what it means to be a parent of a school aged kid through our first year of Kindergarten.

I learned how to navigate the school system, interpret my son’s needs within this larger system and how to adjust to do what’s best for our family while having to adhere to a bigger picture.

As always, I learned to chill out EVEN MORE as a parent and was reminded of what’s important and worth my focus. That’s something I am constantly learning in new phases of life.

I’d love to share those with you some KEY CHANGES that helped us along the way - because even though it’s October -

It’s never too late to make the right adjustments for your family and we still have 8 months to go! 🙂

Here are 3 adjustments to help soothe the rest of your school year:

 

A realistic and simplified morning schedule.

This starts the day off and will carry your child through the day with positive energy. A strong morning routine can look different for everyone, but consistency is KEY.

Once you’ve assessed the situation and come up with some potential solutions, have a conversation with your child about what’s not working. Ask them how they would LIKE to have their day look.

It is SO important that we open up the lines of communication with our kids and let them in on the discussion of making change in your days. Whether that is change in meals, change in schedule ect. TALK about what’s happening, what’s working and what’s not.

Playtime in the morning.

Once kids start school, they often don’t have enough time to just play freely. Play is how our kids learn, process and unwind. By giving them some time in the morning to wake up - they can engage with themselves and begin their day settled.

Some of you might be saying that - “If I let my kid play, he will never want to stop and it will be a mess.”

  • I get that and this will work better for some kids than others, but the CONVERSATION around this routine will ensure that this is something you are doing TOGETHER.
  • Adding structure to it will be KEY to success.

Make a plan & visuals to aide.

My morning routine with my kids looks like this:

  1. 1st alarm goes off at 6am. I wake up the kids and let them know it’s time to get up and they have 30min. to play (I go back to bed)
  2. 2nd alarm goes off at 6:30: This is there 5 minute warning that play is about to stop
  3. 3rd alarm goes off at 6:35: Time to start getting ready
  4. Go to our “Are you ready?” chart and start the routine. They have a choice to do the routine in whatever order they choose.
  5. If there is extra time, they can read or play some more. (be careful of the play some more piece here because that can be ard for kids to pull away from when it’s time to actually leave. (but remember a pllus - their shoes and all are already on.)

Ask yourself: What is my child's temperament?

Is your child an introvert - an extrovert - or a little of both?

This can be  really telling aspect of your child’s personality. Recognizing and honoring this part of your child’s personality will allow you to best support and understand them.

What is an introvert?

The definition of an introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone. This is largely because introverts’ brains respond to dopamine differently than extroverts’ brains. In other words, if you’re an introvert, you were likely born that way.

What is an extrovert?

As with Introverts getting “filled up” by getting some alone time, Extroverts get “filled up” and energized by being around others.

If they finish a full day, sometimes the best way for them to ground is by being at a playground with friends. That’s relaxing and calming to them.

What is an introvert/extrovert?

Being introvert or extrovert is always on a scale and people are typically not just 1 or the other. Being an introvert/extrovert could mean that you do your best work with others, but than when you are tapped out, you need to be alone to recharge.

Paying attention to how your child reacts in different situations can give you clues to whether they have introvert or extrovert tendencies. This can help you better asses what they need after a long day at school.

So, what does my child need right after school?

  • Down time with minimal stimulation
  • Quiet connection with you or another person
  • Get out pent up energy from their day

Talk with them and find out!

Ask them what makes them feel calm? What makes them feel recharged? As always - don’t have this conversation in the moment. Have it during bedtime or on a weekend when you are just hanging around the house.

Eat Dinner Earlier.

Majority of kids internal dinner time is often at 4:30-5pm

  1. Pay attention to when your kids hungriest. When are they eating the most snacks
  2. Utilize that time to get healthy food into them at that time. Maybe it is a sit down and have dinner or maybe it’s a really healthy schmorgas board (cheese, olive, vegetables, grains)
  3. You can still have your sit down dinner at 6:30 if that is what works with your families schedule, but the pressure is off because you know they’ve eaten something healthy already.

This early fuel will give them the energy and ability to make it through the rest of the day and minimize the big feelings and tantrums.

Reminder: Don't forget to play with your kids! 

Our kids connect with us THROUGH play. Making 10 MINUTES of focused time to play together can make a huge difference in your after school. Set a timer - focus on play - move through the rest of the afternoon.

At the end of the day, everyone’s family works differently, but the more we can slow down and prioritize deep connection within our busy lives - the stronger, more grounded & capable we AND OUR CHILDREN will be.

Xoxox

Kim

To get meal and snack time ideas, make sure you are on our mailing list & you follow us on Facebook & Instagram!

Arugula Parsley Puree

This bright, herby arugula parsley puree is a simple sauce that can also be used as a marinade. It's excellent with fish, steak, or any protein!

Our favorite pairing for this easy arugula parsley sauce is definitely fish, but it is delicious with steak and other proteins as well!

If you decide to serve this bright and herby arugula parsley puree over a grilled steak, Corn Salsa makes a fabulous side.

As with other Connected Chef recipes, let the kitchen and your instincts be your guide as you cook. The ingredient amounts below are just a starting off point – use your senses as you cook!

It’s important to add water and olive oil to this arugula and parsley sauce just a little at a time.

As you do, take note of the sauce as it breaks down and emulsifies in the blender. Blend a little, then taste a little. And don’t be shy with the salt at the end; that’s what will bring out the most flavor!

This bright, herby arugula parsley puree is a simple sauce that can also be used as a marinade. It's excellent with fish, steak, or any protein!
Arugula Parsley Puree
Print Recipe
Our favorite pairing for this arugula and parsley puree sauce is definitely fish, but it is delicious with steak and other proteins as well!
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 5
Cook Time
5
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 5
Cook Time
5
This bright, herby arugula parsley puree is a simple sauce that can also be used as a marinade. It's excellent with fish, steak, or any protein!
Arugula Parsley Puree
Print Recipe
Our favorite pairing for this arugula and parsley puree sauce is definitely fish, but it is delicious with steak and other proteins as well!
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 5
Cook Time
5
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 5
Cook Time
5
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Blanch arugula & parsley in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until bright green and wilted. immediately transfer greens to a bowl of ice water to shock and cool down.
  2. Drain water from greens, reserving 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Combine blanched greens, reserved water & lemon zest in blender and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, slowly add water 1/4 cup at a time, until the sauce is thin enough to easily coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Add the mascarpone or cream cheese to the blender. Turn to low, then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream, until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
Recipe Notes

Note: There is a lot of water content in this puree because the herbs are made up of mainly water. That means this recipe will require a decent amount of salt, don’t be shy. ☺

Share this Recipe

5 Spice Braised Pork Tacos

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.

Everyone’s familiar with Mexican flavors in tacos, but these 5 spice tacos use braised pork and Asian seasonings to knock it out of the park!

I can eat tacos for days, but 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love.

I like to serve these 5 spice tacos with a big bowl of crunchy slaw on the side. You can swap in vegetables with whatever you have on hand.

Want a an even healthier version? Try swapping out tortillas for cabbage leaves! You get similar flavor and crunch with none of the carbs. (Even my kids love tacos in cabbage leaves!)

As with all Connected Chef recipes, let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook. The ingredient amount below are used as a starting off point; taste as you go and reseason as needed!

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
5 Spiced Braised Pork Tacos
Print Recipe
I can eat tacos for days, but these 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love. I sometimes will swap out tortillas for cabbage leaves. Even my kids eat it!
Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
5 Spiced Braised Pork Tacos
Print Recipe
I can eat tacos for days, but these 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love. I sometimes will swap out tortillas for cabbage leaves. Even my kids eat it!
Ingredients
Shredded Pork
Rice
Servings:
Instructions
Shredded Pork
  1. Preheat the oven to 300*F. Pat the pork butt dry with a paper towel, then rub all over with the 5 spice, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or saute pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat 4-5 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the pan and sear until dark golden brown on all sides.
  3. Remove pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and carrot to the pan. Char and slightly cook the vegetables, about 3-5 minutes, then remove vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  4. Deglaze the pan with bottle of beer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place the pork back to the pan, and add in enough water to cover the pork by about 3/4, then add the charred vegetables. Cover the pan and set in the oven.
  6. Cook at 275-300 degrees for 3-4 hours, until pork is falling apart. (You should be able to put your fork in the pork and pull it apart without any resistance)
  7. Once cooked, let everything cool in the braising liquid. (I often make 1-2 days ahead and put the whole pot in the fridge to cool. If that is the case, just warm the pork up when you are ready to shred it.)
  8. Shred pork and strain braising liquid, discarding the vegetables. Then, add pork back to the strained liquid. You may need to reheat gently if it has cooled completely, but make sure the liquid does not boil while you are reheating.
Slaw
  1. Julienne all veggies, except Napa cabbage, in equal amounts
  2. Pick stems from cilantro & mint leaves and add to salad
  3. Season with salt & pepper & add lime juice to your liking
  4. Pick Napa Cabbage leaves for taco shells. You can cut out the core of the leaf for easier folding
Rice
  1. Saute garlic, ginger & onion in olive oil (Use a heavy amount of olive oil)
  2. Add rice and toast. If you need to add more oil at this point to coat the rice, do not be afraid to do so.
  3. Once the rice is a golden brown color, add 4 cups water and stir
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
  5. Stir occasionally until rice is tender
Recipe Notes

If your rice is undercooked and all your water is absorbed, it is ok to add a little more water in the middle of the cooking process!

Share this Recipe

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Easy Vanilla Buttercream

An easy vanilla buttercream frosting that will get you icing cakes like a pro!

Making a cake or cupcakes for your kiddo’s birthday? No need to get canned frosting- you can whip up this easy vanilla buttercream with just a few ingredients and a whisk.

As with all Connected Chef recipes, we encourage you to let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook!

The ingredient amounts below are just a starting point; begin with the basic combination of sugar and butter, then add vanilla and cream until you have your desired taste and consistency.

Once you have the building blocks of this frosting put together, any number of flavorings can be added. Instead of vanilla, add some peppermint extract instead. Or lemon!

Easy Vanilla Buttercream
Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Print Recipe
This easy vanilla buttercream recipe will give you the most delicious desserts and is great for cakes & cupcakes. We also love it layered with fresh fruit! This will make about 3 cups of icing, which is just enough to frost most cakes. Any leftover frosting can be frozen for up to three months.
Easy Vanilla Buttercream
Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Print Recipe
This easy vanilla buttercream recipe will give you the most delicious desserts and is great for cakes & cupcakes. We also love it layered with fresh fruit! This will make about 3 cups of icing, which is just enough to frost most cakes. Any leftover frosting can be frozen for up to three months.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more. If the buttercream is too thick, add more cream, a tablespoon at a time, until you've reached desired consistency.
Share this Recipe

Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding & Rich Caramel Sauce

Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding

Sticky toffee banana pudding topped with rich caramel sauce is a decadent, delicious dessert that everyone in the family can enjoy!

Trust me, you’ll be thrilled with this bad boy. Serve this sticky toffee banana pudding with a glass of spiked milk for the parents and warm cinnamon milk for the kiddos. You’ll all be in heaven!

As with all Connected Chef recipes, use your kitchen and instincts to guide you as you cook! The ‘building blocks’ for this recipe are below, but feel free to ‘wing it’ a little with the variations.

Add a little more (or less!) vanilla to the sticky toffee banana pudding, or a splash of whiskey to the caramel sauce as it cools. Once you have put together the components of the pudding and gotten your caramel sauce to the right consistency, you can stretch your wings a little.

Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding
Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding & Rich Caramel Sauce
Print Recipe
Serve this bad boy with a glass of spiked milk for the parents and warm cinnamon milk for the kiddos, and you will all be in heaven.
Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding
Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding & Rich Caramel Sauce
Print Recipe
Serve this bad boy with a glass of spiked milk for the parents and warm cinnamon milk for the kiddos, and you will all be in heaven.
Ingredients
Toffee sauce
Banana cake
Servings:
Instructions
Caramel Sauce
  1. Bring 1 1/4 cups cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1/8 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook at gentle boil until sauce coats spoon thickly and is reduced to 1 + 1/2 cups, whisking occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool
Banana Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8 x 8 non-stick glass baking pan. Dust pan with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended.
  4. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
  5. Beat in mashed bananas, rum and vanilla (batter may look curdled).
  6. Add dry ingredients in 4 additions, beating just to blend after each addition.
  7. Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan.
  8. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Spread 1/2 cup toffee sauce evenly over cake. Return cake to oven and bake until sauce is bubbling thickly, 4 to 6 minutes.
  10. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes.
  11. Cut around cake in pan, and cut cake into 16 squares (plastic knives seem to cut better!) Serve cake slightly warm or at room temperature with toffee sauce and sliced bananas, if desired.
Share this Recipe

Red Wine Vinaigrette

This red wine vinaigrette dressing is super simple, yet surprisingly delicious! I recommend making 3 big jars so you can always have it some on hand in the fridge. It’s a great vinaigrette for vegetables, salads, sandwiches – you name it!

Like most of my recipes, I really recommend you start with the base here and then play around. Once you’ve got the 1:3 ratio of red wine vinegar to olive oil, you can toss in some herbs, add some lemon, whatever you’ve got!

This is a great vinaigrette to serve on a plate of roasted veggies with something hearty on the side, like Roasted Chicken

Red Wine Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
This is the most simple, yet surprisingly delicious vinaigrette dressing. You will want to make 3 big jars and just leave it in your fridge to have on hand.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
This is the most simple, yet surprisingly delicious vinaigrette dressing. You will want to make 3 big jars and just leave it in your fridge to have on hand.
Instructions
  1. Starting with a 1:3 ratio of vinegar : oil, combine all ingredients in a mason jar & shake.
  2. If you like your dressing a bit more acidic, add a bit more vinegar.
  3. To take away the acid bite a bit, add a touch of water.
  4. The longer the dressing sits in the fridge, the better it gets!
Share this Recipe

Chimichurri

Chimichurri sauce is a zesty, flavorful addition to grilled meats or veggies! I love to make a big batch and keep it on hand in the fridge; it jazzes up any boring meal, plus it will keep for a long time if tightly covered.

You don’t have to stick with the exact herbs I have measured here; as long as you have the vinegar to oil ratio correct, feel free to play around with the herbs and the spice to your own taste. Chimichurri sauce is really just a bright and herby marinade, so allow yourself to get a little creative with the ingredients!

I really love serving this chimichurri on grilled steak or chicken, with a side of corn salsa. 

Chimichurri
Print Recipe
This bright and herby sauce is a great addition to any dish and will make your most boring meal exciting again!
Chimichurri
Print Recipe
This bright and herby sauce is a great addition to any dish and will make your most boring meal exciting again!
Instructions
  1. Chop herbs & combine in a bowl (I usually use equal amounts of each, but feel free to add more/less of what you like. Feel free to substitute other herbs!)
  2. Chop the bell pepper and tomato into small dice.
  3. Combine all ingredients with olive oil. You want enough oil so that the herbs are “swimming”. Add olive oil to coat the herbs, then add a bit more.
  4. Add a splash of red wine vinegar just until you taste the acid come through the vinegar. It is not a vinaigrette; it should not be very acidic. You want just enough to cut the oil.
  5. Season with salt and pepper
Recipe Notes

**As for measurements: This is an herb heavy sauce. It should be 50% herbs & 50% everything else.
As for mint, it is a strong herb so only a small bit is necessary.

You can make variations of this recipe by using different add in and/or different herbs.

Share this Recipe