Cranberry Sauce

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This is one of those compramises, I hate using so much sugar BUT it's cranberry sauce, a necessary component to any celebrational meal this time of year.
Last year(2009),I just went with the simple as I had planned to use it as a glaze for my chicken as well. The chicken wasn't so lucky but it sure was good on cardamom cookies!  Normally I like to add citrus juice and zest, soaked nuts and even sometimes raisins.

6-8C fresh or frozen cranberries
1C rapadura
1C plain old organic "raw" sugar

Just let the mix cooked down, stirring frequently. Once the cranberries start to pop, take a masher to them or just try to squish with your spoon. I like to leave it kind of chunky- that's totally a preference thing. You can experiment with different sweeteners, I think date sugar would be nice but honey may work as well.

Once cool this will gel up.

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Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust

Pecan crust from Nourishing Traditions
1C crispy pecans
3/4C arrowroot
1/4C softened butter (you can also use coconut oil)
1/4C rapadura
1/4tsp sea salt
1/2tsp vanilla

Process the pecans to a meal, add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Press into a well buttered and floured pie plate. For a fully baked crust, bake at 325 for about 1/2 hour. I just parbaked it for about 15 minutes at 350.
This makes one regular pie shell.
~Throw it in the fridge for a bit to make it easier to press into the plate.

Filling-
I baked a pie pumpkin (gutted and cut side down in a pan of water) until soft and scooped the somewhat cooled flesh into the food processor.
1/2tsp powdered ginger
1tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp sea salt
1/4tsp powdered cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Puree until smooth. Then add-
2 T brandy- I used my homemade full strength vanilla extract. If you just use brandy, add a little vanilla.
1C sour cream or yogurt
1/2C rapadura
1/4C maple syrup- the real stuff ;)
3 eggs
Blend until smooth again and pour into pie shell. You may or may not have some left over, I did. You can bake this as a pumpkin custard in a buttered dish right along side the pie, or do what I do, spoil the piggypoos.
Bake at 350 for about 1/2 hour. Keep an eye on it, you may need to place a piece of foil on top to be sure the crust doesn't burn.
It's done when you poke it with a knife in the middle and it comes out clean.
Enjoy!

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Nutty Mincemeat Cookies

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Ok, not really true mincemeat- I wing it.
I used raisins, dried apricots, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, a tad bit of OJ concentrate, crispy walnuts*, hazelnut liquer and some water. I've made better with apples and cider but forgot the apples and was out of cider...and I left out the usual addition of butter simply because I wanted it more jam-like for the cookies.
I just cut up the apricots and tossed them with the raisins, spices, OJ and chopped nuts in a pan with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to a low simmer. I did this a few times- just until the raisins began to plump and it started to carmalize. The last time, I added the booze instead of water.
The result is the mincemeat I used for the cookies.

The cookies- I seriously tweaked the almond cookie recipe from Nourishing Traditions.
Here's what I came up with;
1.5C crispy almonds
1.5C crispy pecans
1C softened butter
1C arrowroot flour
1C sweet sorghum flour
1C rapadura
1tsp sea salt
1tsp vanilla
1tsp almond extract

This is great because it's all done in a food processor!
Process the nuts to a fine meal.
Add remainig ingredients and process until well blended.
Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place in buttered, or parchment papered cookie sheets and place in a 300 degree oven.
After about 5 minutes, remove from oven and press the cookies down slightly and make an indentation in the middle (I used a very round measuring spoon- just pressing the spoon into the cookie and gently twisting it away did a sufficiant job of pressing the cookie down AND making the required indentation). Spoon enough mincemeat into the indentation so that it just slightly overfills- or however much you like ;).
Continue to bake for about 15-20 minutes more or until done.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. THese are very crumbly cookies and will still be pretty soft until they've cooled completely.

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Chilli

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1 Medium to large onion
3 Cloves garlic
4-5C Sprouted black and red beans-cooked
1lb Grassfed ground beef
1/3lb Grassfed beef liver
1 Qt (or more) of chopped tomatoes
1 7Oz Jar of tomato paste
1/2 (or more) Bottle of dark beer- be sure to enjoy the rest while cooking :)
2C Pastured pork stock
1 Heaping Tablespoon of cocoa powder
2tsp Cinnamon
2T Chili powder
1T Smoked paprika
1/2T (or more) Chipotle powder
1tsp (or more) Cayenne
Bacon drippings and sea salt to taste

Begin browning the onion and garlic in the drippings while you finely chop the liver. Add the liver and ground beef to the pan and add the seasonings and cocoa powder. Once the meat is mostly browned, add the beer and then the stock. Add the beans. Once the liquids begins to simmer, add the tomatoes and paste. Let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occassionally. Salt to taste, add whatever garnish you wish- shredded cheese, hot sauce, crackers, etc.

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Three Sister Soup

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1 Pastured pork shank or leftover meaty bones
4-6C Sprouted or soaked beans (I use a mix but use whatever beans you like)
1Qt Pastured pork or chicken stock
1 Butternut squash cooked and pureed or mashed
2C Frozen sweet corn
2 Bulbs roasted garlic
Lots of dried sage, thyme, parsley and celery leaf if you've got it.
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Cook the beans with the pork bone in about 3qts of water until tender, pull any meat off the bone and add to the soup if you'd like. Add the rest of the ingredients, remove the garlic from the papers, and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Add more stock or some water if need be. This should be a thick soup- almost stew like. You can play around with the textures and add some chopped squash for a chunkier version.

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