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6 Creative Ways to Use Cranberries

They flood supermarkets at this time of year for one reason: cranberry sauce. But fresh cranberries can be so much more than a Thanksgiving side. Packed with fiber and vitamin C, they’re delicious when baked into a cake or roasted for a tart new twist on green salad. Grab an extra bog—er, bag—the next time you’re out.

Slow Cooker BBQ Sweet Potato Bakers

The slow cooker does it all. Here, you stick sweet potatoes into the slow cooker and let them bake for a few hours. Then, top with rotisserie chicken, cheese, and barbeque sauce for a dinner the entire family is sure to love. If you want to get kids involved with cooking, make sure to wrap the sides of the slow cooker insert with a dish-towel before adding the chicken, cheese, and sauce. It tends to get hot during cooking.

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie

Hosting vegan guests this holiday season? No need to serve them a separate dessert. Whip up this silky chocolate pie at the holidays, and all of your guests—even your vegan and gluten-free ones—will be able to enjoy it (and trust us, they’ll devour it). The press-in crust couldn’t be easier—just dump the almond-based mix into your pie pan and press it to the edges. As it bakes, you can make the creamy chocolate filling, which firms up in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. To serve, top the pie with chocolate shavings, a drizzle of melted chocolate, or a dusting of cocoa powder.

Potato-Leek Soup

This is exactly the kind of food that short winter days call for. Even though it’s vegetarian, it’s not short on flavor. Including the Parmesan rind in the stock as it cooks infuses the entire soup with a delicious cheesy flavor, and you’ll top it all off with more cheese and sour cream. Make sure to buy russet potatoes, which have a high starch content—that’s what’ll give the soup body and a creamy texture. If you want this to be super smooth, use your immersion blender to purée it after discarding the Parmesan and thyme.

Dried Plum and Ginger Turnovers With Brown Butter Cream Cheese Glaze

If you're in the market for a quick and tasty pastry, you've come to the right place. These not-too-sweet turnovers can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert, and will be out of the oven in less than an hour. We were able to keep the ingredient list short without skimping on flavor by using ingredients that pack a punch, such as fresh ginger and lemon zest. The prunes (dried plums) are naturally sweet keeping the filling super simple, while the nutty brown butter glaze balances out the tartness. Check out that pretty drizzle, too!

Campari and Cranberry Jello Shots

These deep red jello shots get the grown-up treatment with Campari. It’s likely you know Campari from the trendy Negroni—a mix of Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth, served in an Old Fashioned glass and garnished with a half-wheel of orange. In these festive shots, Campari is mixed with cranberry juice and a bit of sugar to balance out the bitterness. The sweet orange zest rim not only looks sparkly and pretty, but the citrus marries nicely with Campari, too. These are equally as delicious as a pre-party ice-breaker as they are a palate cleanser before dessert.

Holiday Punch

The key to a great holiday punch is keeping the flavor interesting enough, without being too sweet. This Caribbean-inspired punch fits the bill. There’s sweet pineapple juice, tart lime juice, and three kinds of alcohol. Dark rum plays off the simple syrup, Campari adds a bitter touch for balance, and Prosecco supplies a fun fizz. If you want to make the bowl of punch look festive, try making an ice ring in your Bundt pan. Freeze the pan half-way full with ice and loosen by dipping in warm water. Place in your punch bowl before filling so that the punch doesn’t overflow or splash out!

Paprika Lime Pistachios

In the world of spiced nuts, pistachios are often overlooked. No longer. Here, tangy lime juice mixes with paprika (you can use hot or sweet) and just enough oil and salt. Don’t skimp on the baking time—it’s key to make sure the pistachios are crispy, not chewy. When you’re at the supermarket, look for pre-shelled pistachios. They’re slightly pricier than ones with the shell on, but the time saved is worth the effort. If you’re gifting these, package in pretty glass jars to show off the green and red hues.

Salted Maple Almonds and Cashews

Caramel has had a long-term monopoly on salty-sweet desserts, but salty maple is where it’s at. Coat cashews or almonds with an easy caramel made with the maple syrup and then bake until the nuts are well-coated. Both grade A and grade B maple syrup will work here, but grade B can be less expensive and adds a deeper maple taste. These would be right at home layered onto an ice cream sundae or as an extra-decadent pancake topper.

Spicy Corn Nut Brittle

Corn nuts aren’t actually nuts—they’re corn kernels that have been soaked in water and then roasted and salted. They’re extremely crunchy and make for a delicious brittle. Some corn nuts come flavored (such as ranch or BBQ), so look for the original flavor when you’re shopping. Making the caramel for the brittle might feel intimidating, but it’s easier than it seems. The key is to get your ingredients ready before starting the recipe, so that you can move quickly when it's time to add something in. Cellophane bags are a fun way to package this recipe as a gift. That way you can show off the pretty, textural shards of brittle.