A very cranberry Thanksgiving

This holiday weekend, take advantage of this superfood to spruce up your traditional dinner

Sage spiced honey goat’s cheese chicken with classic cranberry sauce.
Sage spiced honey goat’s cheese chicken with classic cranberry sauce.
Autumn whiskey cocktail.
Autumn whiskey cocktail.
Dried cranberry shortbread cookies.
Dried cranberry shortbread cookies.

Nothing says Thanksgiving more than a table full of meals scattered with cancer-fighting, infection-preventing little berries — cranberries, that is.

This tiny soldier berry packs a punch. Cranberry has tons of vitamin C, which helps fight infections, and antioxidants, which protect cells from unstable molecules called free radicals.

In preliminary research, cranberries have also been found to prevent or help reduce certain types of cancers, tumors, heart diseases and bad cholesterol production.

Who knew such a common ingredient on many tables this holiday season could do so much for you?

So, be thankful this little guy exists and show this berry some love; indulge in these cranberry-inspired ideas for an easy Thanksgiving with friends or family.

Autumn whiskey cocktail

The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing colour — why not bottle the autumn atmosphere into a cocktail? This cranberry and apple sweetened cocktail is perfect for kicking back after a stressful start to the semester with family and friends. You deserve it; start the Thanksgiving weekend off right. Yields two drinks.


1 cup frozen cranberries
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup of water
¼ cup unsweetened apple juice
¼ cup unsweetened cranberry juice
3 cups crushed ice cubes Desired amount of whiskey to taste
Cranberries/apple peels for garnish


1. In a pot, throw in cranberries, brown sugar, apple sauce and water, stir and put over high heat for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture comes to a boil.
2. Turn the heat down to medium and let the mixture simmer for another 10 minutes until syrupy.
3. Let this cool until at least room temperature
4. Throw the ice into the blender, along with your whiskey (I recommend two ounces), subsequently adding the apple and cranberry juice along with the cooled syrup mixture.
5. Blend until slushy in consistency then pour into glasses, adding garnishes as desired.

Sage spiced goat’s cheese chicken with cranberry sauce

Sage leaves and cranberries are the perfect pairing for Thanksgiving dinner. Just like your crazy aunt and mismatched cousins, you can’t celebrate the holiday without them. Quick and easy, this Thanksgiving entrée for two can be multiplied easily and enjoyed by all.


4 tbsp. dried sage
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for pan
2 chicken breasts
Small package of honey goat’s cheese
6 oz. fresh cranberries
1 cup water
¾ cup granulated sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 °F and prep a baking tray, covering it in tin foil for an easy clean up, and brush the tin foil in olive oil to avoid sticking.
2. Aside, place the two breasts into a large bowl along with olive oil, dried sage and salt and pepper to taste. Toss until evenly coated.
3. On a flat surface, use scissors to cut evenly into the centre of the chicken breast, making a big enough pocket for the desired amount of goat’s cheese.
4. Place cheese in the hole and seal with about three toothpicks and place on baking sheet.
5. Bake breasts for about 30 minutes.
6. While the chicken cooks, toss cranberries, water and sugar into a pot on high heat.
7. Bring to a boil for about three to four minutes and let simmer for 10, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens.
8. Once the sauce and chicken are both finished, pour the cranberries over the chicken and serve with desired sides, such as peas and carrots.

Dried cranberry shortbread cookie

Simplicity could always use a twist every now and then, and these simple shortbreads are just the thing to add a little bit of festivity. With few ingredients and many
cookie cutter options, these cute little sweets are the perfect end to your very cranberry Thanksgiving. Yields 15 to 18 cookies.


1 cup softened, salted butter
¾ sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
½ cup finely chopped, dried cranberries
1 egg yolk


1. Preheat the oven to 325 °F and prep baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
2. In a bowl, throw in butter and sugar, blending with a pastry cutter.
3. Next, add the flour and blend in with the pastry cutter.
4. Add the vanilla and egg yolk with the pastry cutter. Fold in the dried cranberries evenly.
5. Once you have an even dough ball, roll it out in sections about a pinky finger thick and cut cookies in desired shapes.
6. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are crisped golden brown.
7. Let cookies cool on a wire rack and then enjoy with black tea or prefered beverage of choice.

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