This post was sponsored by Ocean Spray. All opinions expressed in my post are my own. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
I recently attended the Ocean Spray cranberry bog boot camp in Rockefeller Center® where I learned that 20 million people will be hosting their first Thanksgiving this year! Wow! That’s an incredible number, and I know from experience that hosting can be both rewarding and stressful.
Need Thanksgiving Help? Ask CranMa!
Two of the best tips I learned at the event, from ‘Cranma’, the grandma cranberry growers (these ladies know their stuff!) is to prep as much as you can in advance, and ask each guest to bring a dish to share. Both of these things can take so much pressure off of you as the host.
If you’ve got other questions you need to ask an experienced CranMa, she’s there for you! Visit the Ocean Spray Facebook page and use Facebook Messenger to chat directly with the Cranbot. This is going to be the best Thanksgiving EVAH with the help of these experienced hosts.
Thanksgiving Means Cranberry Recipes
It’s not Thanksgiving without cranberries and I know many of us traditionally think of cranberry relish as the star of the holiday cranberry show, but there are so many ways to incorporate them into every course of the meal, from drinks and appetizers to desserts. Cranberries and cranberry products are a healthy, delicious addition to Thanksgiving meals. The Ocean Spray website has so many unique ideas for incorporating them into your meal. I need more time to try all these recipes! Visit your local grocery store, Walmart, or hit Amazon (easy shopping!) to grab all the Ocean Spray products you’ll want on your Thanksgiving table.
One of the ‘greet your guests’ tips I got at the event was to have some appetizers available for munching before the main course is served. They had these cinnamon sugar cranberries for us and they were delicious!
I’m making my first batch at home with Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries: Roll washed and dried fresh cranberries in whisked egg whites, roll in cinnamon sugar, and let them dry for 2 hours. That’s it!
Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juices and Ocean Spray® Mocktails are perfect for serving at a drink station when your guests arrive. This cocktail is so festive and pretty with the fresh cranberries in it! It comes from one of the CranMas, Diane Moss who is a third-generation cranberry farmer! To a cocktail shaker add ice, 2oz. high end vodka, 2oz. Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail, and 1/2 oz. cassis (black currant liquor). Shake and strain into a martini glass, adding Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries for garnish. Cheers!
One of my favorite cranberry recipes is this Cranberry, Orange, and Rosemary Bread. I found it years ago in a Prevention magazine and it’s one of my go-tos for holiday meals. The flavors are fresh and delicious, and I think it looks just as wonderful as it tastes. The cranberries and rosemary make it so festive! Here’s the recipe:
Cranberry, Orange and Rosemary Bread
- 2½ C all-purpose flour
- ⅔ C sugar
- 1½ tsp chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 lg eggs, beaten
- ½ C olive oil
- ½ C fat-free plain yogurt (not greek)
- 6 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C fresh or frozen cranberries
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use cooking spray to grease the inside of a 9"x5" loaf pan. Set aside.
- You'll use two bowls, one for wet ingredients and one for dry. In one bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the second bowl, stir together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the cranberries to combine everything.
- Pour the mixture into your loaf pan and place in the oven. Cook for 55 minutes and then check it with a toothpick. It will come out clean when the bread is done.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for about 20 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the pan and invert it to remove the bread from the pan.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving. Wrap in plastic wrap and foil to keep really fresh in the refrigerator.
Let it cool completely before slicing, and I use a serrated knife and kind of saw back and forth to make nice clean cuts. This bread is great to serve with your meal, or even as finger foods beforehand. If you go that route, you might want to cut each piece into quarters for easy eating.
More Holiday Help from Ocean Spray
Visit the Ocean Spray website for tips and delicious cranberry recipes, and if you’re working on pulling off your very first Thanksgiving hosting gig, visit the Ocean Spray Facebook page to #AskCranMa for Thanksgiving help.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ocean Spray. The opinions and text are all mine.