Sugared Cranberries Simple Recipe

Aren’t these just beautiful?
I think they look like berries in the snow.
Sugared Cranberries are strangely addictive.
They look so tempting sitting on the platter.
The sugar hits your mouth and then the bright tart cranberry almost pops in your mouth.
Have I made you want to make them?
I think this treat would be a perfect addition to a New Year’s Eve dessert buffet.
Easy Sugared Cranberry Recipe 
  • 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • additional sugar for rolling (you can make superfine sugar in the blender if you want to get fancy)

Wash cranberries and discard any damaged ones. Place in a bowl. Combine sugar and water in a pot and heat until simmering. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool for a few minutes until warm (not hot). Pour over cranberries and let sit in fridge, covered at least 3 hours.

Use a slotted spoon to remove berries from syrup. Set berries on a cooling rack that is placed over foil to collect drips. Spread berries out so they are not touching each other. Let dry for 1 hour.


Roll berries a handful at a time in sugar. Place sugared berries on a baking sheet, or foil, etc. and let dry for an hour or two.
That was easy….!
The finished cranberries look amazing sitting in a single layer on a tray.
I found this when I was doing my “research” for this post!
Sugared Cranberries as a Cake Topper.
I love the little sprigs of Rosemary…or you could do mint.        
Have a Wonderful Day!


How to Clean Cast Iron

The pots and pan cupboard here at Sweetwater is really pretty basic.
We have a set of Calphalon cookware that has been around for a lot of years.
We also have some great cast iron pans that are real work horse pieces.
These have been around for even more years.

 These pans, a frying pan, a round griddle and a reversible double burner sized griddle get a fair amount of use because of their versatility.

A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is naturally non-stick. …

Cast iron cookware retains heat — that is, they stay hotter —

Cast iron pans can be used on the stove top as well as in the oven.

And did you know that cooking with cast iron pots and pans can boost your iron intake.

These lovelies DO have some down sides!
They are super heavy…..and since the handles get hot….you have to be pretty careful.
They need to be seasoned well and cleaned carefully to retain the non-stick surface provided by that seasoning.

Read this article from Lodge, the premier maker of cast iron pans to learn how to season a new cast iron pan.

 We store our cast iron cookware on the shelves in the basement.  I went to get my favorite pan the other day and….

It looked like THIS!
Mr. S told me that it was okay….and that I should just give it a coating of oil and heat it up!
So… to the GOOGLE!
So Simple!
All that is necessary are just two “ingredients” and a little elbow grease 

A potato cut in half….
A hefty amount of salt…..

I was amazed at how the moisture from the potato and the salt rubbed away every bit of rust.
 There was still some of the “old seasoning” left, but a little oil and some heat couldn’t hurt.
A 10 minute project well worth it!
Now….I just have to take some time and do the other cast iron pieces….
Another day….Another project!
Doesn’t this just make you want to go cook some eggs and bacon?
Have A Wonderful Day!

Relishes to Relish!

RELISH is my 2016 word!
That is all about taking time to relish everyday things.
HMMMM……relishing below zero weather can be a bit of a challenge!
How about……?
  • there are a lot of birds at the bird feeder when it is this cold 
  • my car has a remote starter
  • I save money because I don’t go out shopping
Of course, relish can be a noun as well as a verb!


Growing up, about the only condiments we used were catsup, yellow mustard and miracle whip!  My dad was “way out there” and liked tabasco sauce and Heinz 57!

Now….our refrigerator is filled with relishes or “condiments”.

The definition of a condiment is: A substance, such as a relish, vinegar, or spice, used to flavor or complement food.


Adding a sauce to our meats and vegetable dishes to make them feel more like restaurant meals. Here are some of the favorite relishes we relish and the foods to pair them with.

Many of these are special enough to give as hostess gifts too!

1. Harry and David’s Pepper and Onion Relish has a bite and some sweetness to it.

Add it to 3 ounces of Cream Cheese and some sour cream to make a wonderful dip.

When it is combined with some 1000 Island dressing it is the perfect sauce for Crab Cakes.  Much simpler than making a remoulade and every bit as tasty.

2. Jimmy’s Thousand Island has the perfect sweet flavor without any of the pickles etc. that “mess up” a perfectly good 1000 Island dressing!
“Just sayin’ !”


3.  Rothchild Farms Asian Ginger Teriyaki Sauce

4. Rothchild Farm Ginger Wasabi Sauce

These two sauces add the perfect touch to Ahi Tuna Steaks.  Those frozen  Dim Sum and Pot Stickers from Trader Joes taste become something special with the addition of the flavorful condiments.

If you can’t find them at your grocery….they are available at Amazon.

5.  Beaver Sweet Hot Mustard

There are lots of different mustards in our refrigerator!  DiJon, stone ground, yellow….all have a place.  One of my favorites is this spicy mustard.  It is particularly good on Bratwurst.

6.  Joe’s Crab Shack Mustard Sauce otherwise known around here as Secret Sauce!

The sauce is such a staple around here that there is always a pyrex container of it in the refrigerator.
Too funny…..when I looked up the recipe….I realized that over time, I have started to leave out the A-1 sauce, the cream and the salt.  This really hasn’t changed the flavor too much.

This sauce is a great dipping sauce for Artichokes.  It is also perfect for asparagus. 

This link will give you the background and recipe for a mighty good sauce that works as a great relish for all kinds of meats and vegetables.

 I would love to learn about your favorite condiments or sauces and how you use them.

Have A Wonderful Day!

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Crock Pot Carmelized Onions

Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.

Carl Sandburg

 Onions are a staple here at Sweetwater….and the sweet goodness of carmelized onions make so many dishes extra special.

 Carmelized onions are pretty easy to make!

 All you need is a few onions, a pat of butter, a pan, and some time.

BUT……I really hate to cut/chop/slice onions…..and carmelizing them can be time consuming.  Often when I want carmelized onions for a recipe….I only need just a few…and taking the time to carmelize just a small amount can add to the recipe prep time!

I have come up with this trick….which I am happy to share with you!
I do a whole mess of onions all at once and use the crock pot to slow cook them to perfection!
The recipe:
 6 cups of raw onions
1/2 cup of real butter
Cook in a crock pot on high for about 4 hours stirring often!

Now….cutting up that many onions means tears… I did a little research and found these tricks from Life Hacker

Of course…I didn’t do the research for this until AFTER I had cut up a crock pot full of raw onions!
There were more than a few tears running down my face….
but now I know these secrets…so never again.!
Once the onions are done….they are ready for the next step!
I get out the big muffin tins and put about 3/4 of a cup of the onions in each section.
Then into the freezer they go….
but be sure to cover them with foil to avoid having everything in the freezer smell like onions!

Once the onion cups are frozen solid….take them out and put the individual portions into a freezer bag! 

Whenever I need to add the flavor of carmelized onions to a dish….it is a simple matter of popping one or two of the portions in the pan or microwave.  Instant flavor!

Here are some wonderful recipes to use them in.

carmelized onion spread

French Onion Soup

Pasta with Carmelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Portobello Mushrooms
If I cook all of these great sounding recipes…my stash of onions will need replenishing soon!
What are your favorite carmelized onion recipes?
I would love it if you would share!
Have a Flavorful Day!

Cleaning Calphalon Pans!

I guess that I have to admit that I am a bit of of cookware snob!  
If it isn’t Calphalon or Cast Iron… probably won’t find it at Sweetwater!
The set of Anodized aluminum pans (Calphalon) were an extravagant purchase we made 25 years ago!
Wow….I thought $200 for 5 pans was a LOT OF money….and at that time….for us….it was!
But 25 years later….we are still  using those same pans and they look like new!
Well……they look like new NOW……after I spent some time cleaning them!
I don’t know about you….but we sometimes do a less than stellar job of scrubbing the pots and pans after a meal….and the result looks like this!
Yeah….I know…..having dirty pans is definitely a FIRST WORLD PROBLEM!!!
But this was starting to bug me!

I DO know that the reason our pans have lasted 25 years….is because we have taken care of the anodized coating…. 
NO… isn’t because we NEVER scrub them….but maybe just maybe…because we don’t scrub them very often!!!

Anyway…this is what I use….it like the pans it is made for…. is expensive….$14 for this little container!
But with a little elbow grease it works amazingly well!  Because it is made for the Calphalon surface, I know that I am not damaging it!  I guess this is one of those times when spending money on the right “tool” is really thrifty…..

It isn’t perfect….but pretty darn good! 
So it isn’t even 9 o’clock and I have solved this FIRST WORLD Problem….But I created another one!

All that pot scrubbing just wrecked my manicure!!! 
Oh well….
Have A Great Day!