How to be a Basic: Cranberry Sauce // Wit & Vinegar

Surprise! Another internet post about cranberry sauce.

I realize that there’s approximately 7.2 million recipes out there but the whole point of this series is to show you the basics and there’s nothing more basic than the big bowl of red that maybe half the people at the thanksgiving table actually like.

Growing up we always used the can but sort of mashed up a little so it didn’t look like a can, and then sometime in the early 2000s every single food network host decided it was time to make your own cranberry sauce so my parents gave me that job every thanksgiving after. MTV True Life I hated eating it, but I made it anyways, trying to gussie it up and impress everyone that at some point thought the stuff in the can was good enough.

How to be a Basic: Cranberry Sauce // Wit & VinegarI know cranberry sauce is still a touchy subject for some (I’m still not the craziest about it) but I think there’s people that don’t believe in Thanksgiving without it on the table.

For me I actually like to make it, probably forget it in the fridge, then use it to make all the leftover sandwiches. It’s perfect whipped up with cream cheese for bagels the next day, and next week we’re going to talk about being proactive by mixing it with everyone’s thanksgiving favorite: alcohol.

How to be a Basic: Cranberry Sauce // Wit & VinegarThe thing I love the most about it though is that it’s such a formula that just involves liquid and sugar that you could really do anything you want with it to make it your own. In the end though I really like the tart flavor of the cranberries to shine so my favorite just ends up being super basic with grapefruit juice and peel. Then if we were on a cooking show this is where I would stun the crowd by folding in some pomegranate seeds.

It really is the easiest thing you’ll make for thanksgiving this year and if you’re still kind of meh about it make a half batch and use it for the turkey paninis the next day or a full batch and use the leftovers for cranberry bottom cheesecake bars.

Whatever you do, just promise me you’ll make some for the drinks.


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Apple Bottom Cheesecake Bars // Wit & VinegarThis is one of those recipes that came from total necessity.

Necessity to make a dessert that had an apple bottom.

I figured chocolate always has all the fun with black bottom pies why can’t we celebrate the apple bottom? Of course there were a whole slew of recipe ideas I had to incorporate the apple bottom like pies, cakes, trifles, etc. but in the end cheesecake bars won the apple bottom dessert olympics.

Gold, silver, bronze, all to the cheesecake.

Apple Bottom Cheesecake Bars // Wit & VinegarI mean, basically this is a handheld apple pie cheesecake hybrid of a beast that’s perfect for your thanksgiving dessert. The apples sort of cut through that rich cream cheese feel which means you don’t get that feeling that maybe you just ate a bottle of elmer’s glue that you sometimes get right after you eat a face size slice of cheesecake that was meant for more than two people.

But it’s also great that the apples don’t necessarily steal the show, everyone works together and makes you make multiple trips to the fridge for just one more piece until half the pan is gone.

Apple Bottom Cheesecake Bars // Wit & VinegarThe bars happen for several reasons:

  • easy grab from the fridge
  • scalability (this easily doubles for a 9×13″ pan for a larger crowd)
  • no need for a springform pan
  • no water bath
  • easier to sneak pieces before you take it to dinner and not have anyone notice

All good reasons, including the fact that they should totally be made a day or two before so it’s one less thing for you to worry about on turkey day, and if you’re stressing out about other dishes, it’s cool, I’ve got a couple more things coming your way this week.

Until then plan for these cheesecake bars, no boots with the fur.

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Spiced Chocolate Pumpkin Bread // Wit & VinegarYou guys, all I want to eat right now is pumpkin in the form of baked goods.

Maybe pumpkin in the form of anything.

I’ve somehow managed to have a loaf of pumpkin bread in my fridge at all times for the past few weeks. It’s been amazing/sometimes I felt very attacked whenever I opened the fridge because there’s just this beautiful loaf of pumpkin bread giving me major heart eyes. I mean, it was wrapped in foil, but I knew it wanted me.

Spiced Chocolate Pumpkin Bread // Wit & VinegarIt went from this beautiful creature to not chocolate pumpkin bread with reese’s peanut butter chips then back to this loaf, because the trifecta of chocolate and pumpkin and spices is just the greatest. The bread’s not too sweet so it’s perfect for an afternoon snack or you could eat half a loaf for breakfast if that’s how you roll (let’s roll together).

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Pumpkin Pie Spice // Wit & VinegarRing the alarms because this is the very first of many ‘how to be a basic’ posts where you get to read me ramble on about some basic recipes like pumpkin pie spice, fudge brownies, chocolate chip cookies, etc. with zero shame because I don’t have time for that.

Obviously we’re not all basic, praise lohanthony, but there’s a lot of recipes I haven’t shared yet that are. Usually the tactic with basics is that they’re the best ever ____, but we all know that’s a crock of shit. Just because your chewy chocolate chip cookie fills that hole of yours doesn’t mean it’s going to do anything for that bitch that likes it crispy.

So now a couple times a month we get to make all the basic recipes that make us anything but.

Pumpkin Pie Spice // Wit & VinegarIn case you haven’t figured it out by now, round 1 is pumpkin pie spice. Notice the word pie, because even though we put it in everything with pumpkin, pumpkin spice on it’s own is a starbucks trap for actual basics everywhere.

I’ve made it on here before but this is like pumpkin pie spice 2.0 compared to that stuff. Less cinnamon, the addition of other spices, wayyy better than the stuff you get in the store. You know what I’m talking about, that tiny $4 container that’s basically all cinnamon with a fart of nutmeg. This stuff is way better.

I guess if you wanted to you could just measure out a bunch of spices each time you made something with pumpkin but this is way easier to make a batch and keep it in your cupboard for the approximate months of October – December for all your basic pumpkin loving dreams.

Let’s make those basic dreams happen.

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Pumpkin Flaxseed Dog Treats

Pumpkin Flaxseed Dog Treats // Wit & VinegarIt’s officially that time of year again where we go any put pumpkin in anything and everything because America I guess?

I mean, I’m not against it. At all. I love pumpkin everything as soon as I can make a trip to the grocery store and back without sweating balls.

‘Tis the season.

Even though it’s the humans that love the orange puree, dogs LUV pumpkin too and it’s probably time to get them in on the action. Enter Pumpkin Flaxseed Dog Treats.

This is the final sneak peek of the book (for now!) and come Friday I’ll have even more sneak peeks with all the super cool bloggers that participated in the blogger book tour.

Until then we get to make our dogs treats that they’ll love and also look over on Cake Over Steak at all the bloggers that are participating in the #virtualpumpkinparty!! so much good so much yes soo much pumpkin.

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