Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts

Simple Christmas Coloring Pages

 Simple Christmas Coloring Pages are a great and fun activity to do with kids during the holiday season. It's no prep for busy moms, and tons of enjoyment for kids!


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I had no idea when I started doing these coloring pages in 2020 that they would soon become some of my favorite projects that I've brought to the blog this year. It's been so fun to have new content to create, and to challenge myself in a new way! I'm ending the year with these simple Christmas coloring pages that will be great for kids as school lets out and we need easy activities for them to work on! 

Simple Christmas Coloring Pages

These coloring pages consist of seven different pictures for your children to color this holiday season. We have everything from Christmas trees to Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, and so much more! Christmas is one of my favorite seasons which made these super fun to work on! My personal favorite might be the holiday baking coloring page!

These Christmas coloring pages are great for kids from preschool all the way through fifth grade. If you have older kids you could even spice things up with an at home Christmas coloring contest! Winner gets a candy cane or another fun and festive prize!

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How to Print Simple Christmas Coloring Pages

To print these coloring pages simply scroll down to the bottom of this post where you'll see a large link to click. It will take you to a google drive where you can click the down arrow in the top right corner to download these to your computer. From there you can print the PDF as you normally would!

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My Favorite Printer

I bought the Epsom EcoTank Printer back in February and it's by far been one of my best purchases in 2020. While the initial cost might be high, I can say that I've used this a ton and have not had to purchase new ink yet! The ink that the printer comes with is enough ink to print 4,000 colored pages and 7,500 black and white images. It is seriously the best feeling to not have to worry about running out of ink and being able to use your printer whenever you need it!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD SIMPLE CHRISTMAS COLORING PAGES

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15 Christmas Kid's Books

Is there anything better than celebrating the holiday season with some Christmas kids books? These 15 picks will help you celebrate the season!

With Christmas a little over a month away, now is a great time to add a few new Christmas kid's books to your holiday collection, or to start placing those holds at the library so you can get your hands on some new read-aloud-books with your kids. Books are my favorite way to celebrate any holiday, and you can't go wrong with any fo the Christmas Kid's Books on this list.  

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Christmas Kid's Books:

A Creature Was Stirring: The story of a little boy who couldn't fall asleep on Christmas night and found himself awake when Santa got there!

Room for a Little One: A short cute story about the birth of Jesus. I love how it's written so young readers really know whats going on. 

Mooseltoe: One papa Moose will do all he can to make sure his family has a great Christmas. Find out what he does when they find themselves without a Christmas tree the night before Santa gets there.

Ten on a Sled: A fun story about a reindeer going on a sleigh ride with his favorite animal friends.

The Christmas Story: A Little Golden Book story about the Birth of Christ. This one goes a lot more in depth than the Room for a Little One, and it's incredibly affordable if you can't find it at your library.

The Night Before the Night Before Christmas: You know me and my love for Natasha Wing books. This one was a no brainer for the list.

Christmas Farm: This story is beautifully written and one of my favorites. It's about an older woman that has a sunflower farm and decides to switch things up with Christmas trees. It's a really great story with beautiful illustrations.

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree: Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree is too big for his house. So he cuts off the top and the story tells how the little top of his tree provided Christmas cheer for all the animals near and far. 

Olive, The Other Reindeer: Olive the dog here's the song "all of the other reindeer...", and thinks they're saying "Olive", read all about her fun adventures as she tries to help Santa and his team.

Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!: We're huge fans of Click Clack Moo and have loved getting the other books in the series. This one has been welcomed addition.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas: I personally love the Grinch and find that it's not Christmas without reading the book and watching the movies. It's a holiday classic and there is something great about someone who softens their heart and gives back to others. 

The Polar Express: Another holiday must! We admittedly have never read the book and have only watched the movie, but I think this is the year we need to add it to our collection and make it a part of our traditions. 

Little Red Sleigh: This book is a new release for 2020 and is about a little red sleigh that has dreams of becoming Santa's real sleigh one day. I hear this is really heartwarming and a great story to read, and I can't wait to read it this year. 

Pick a Pine Tree: This fun book takes you through the process of picking out a Christmas tree and getting it ready for the holiday season! Maybe it's because we don't have our tree up yet, but this is one that I'm excited to read with the kids soon!

5 Sleeps Til Christmas: Another new release for 2020 from Jimmy Fallon! He has some really wonderful children's books, and I can't wait for this sweet book about a child counting down the days until Christmas morning. 

What are some of your favorite books to read during the holidays? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

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Nativity Advent Calendar

This free Nativity Advent Calendar is the perfect printable to make with your family this holiday season to help you celebrate the birth of our Savior and the true reason for the season.

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I used to make an advent calendar for our family every year, and then the last two years our kids had advent calendars gifted to them, so I didn't make one. This year I decided to try my hand at making one again, and thought it would be fun to share it with all of you! This free printable nativity advent calendar is the perfect way to count down to Christmas and remember the birth of our Savior and the true reason why we celebrate this holiday.

Nativity Advent Calendar:

This nativity advent calendar can be printed from the comfort of your own home. There is a scripture for each day that you can read with your family, and then from there you can discuss as a family what is happening in the scriptures and break it down for young children to understand.

I simply wrote which scripture to read, and didn't type them out because I know so many people read different translations of the bible and I wanted to give families the opportunity to read whichever version works best in their home. 

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How to Make This Nativity Advent Calendar:

For this project you will need a printer, scissors, glue stick, tape, and string. 

To make this advent calendar you're going to need a printer to print out all the papers. You're going to print 8 pages of the star sheet, and then just one copy of each of the scripture pages. 

From there you're going to cut out all 24 of your stars, and then cut out around each of the scripture squares. If you cut as close to the holly wreath as possible on each of the scripture verses, you'll be able to glue them onto the back of each of the stars like I did here.

I made sure all of my stars were in rotating color order, "gold, green, red, gold, green, red, etc...", and then used a long piece of twine that I tapped onto the back of each star to form it into a garland in number order. 

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How to use the Nativity Advent Calendar:

I hung the garland onto my wall, and then each day leading up to Christmas we'll take one of the stars off and read the accompanying scripture and discuss it together as a family. I used stars as the shape for the calendar because the wise men followed a star to Christ. Likewise, we can follow these stars throughout the month of December to follow the journey to the birth of Christ.

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Click Here to Download The Nativity Advent Calendar


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Karo Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe

The only pecan pie recipe you need is this Karo Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe. It brings together all the warm and delicious flavors of the holiday season with the delicious nutty goodness from Karo Syrup. 


Pecan pie is not a pie I grew up eating during the holidays. When I was a senior in high school my dad was dating someone who had an amazing pecan pie recipe that she would make for my friend and I. We might have been bribed to like her with pie... I think it worked? But my dad and her also aren't together anymore so maybe it didn't? Hard to tell. When Derek and I hosted Thanksgiving in 2013 I made this Karo Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe and it turned out perfectly. If you're looking to make Pecan Pie this year, you're in the right place. 

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Karo Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe:

Pecan pie is actually really easy and straightforward to make as long as you have the proper tools, and follow the directions closely. You're going to boil your sugar and Karo Corn Syrup for two minutes and allow it to cool slightly. Then in a different bowl you'll beat your eggs while slowly pouring the sugar mixture into the eggs, while you keep beating. You must keep beating while you pour the sugar mixture into your eggs, otherwise the eggs will scramble from the heat of the sugar and you'll have a clumpy mixture. 

Once your sugar and eggs are mixed together, get a mesh strainer and strain the the mixture into another bowl to make sure it's nice and smooth. Then mix in your remaining ingredients, pour into a pie crust, and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes!

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What type of pecans to use for this Karo Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe?

For this recipe I used either pecan pieces or halves because that is what was available at our grocery store the Thanksgiving of 2013. You'll still want to use those because the recipe calls to chop them for the mixture anyways, however, I think the next time I make this pie I would purchase some whole pecans as well to lay on top of the pie in a pretty design, but that is totally optional and not required.

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Can I make Karo Syrup Pecan Pie ahead of time?

Yes! You can actually make this pie, cool it all the way, and then freeze in an airtight freezer bag for up to three months. Simply thaw it in the fridge 24 hours before serving and you're good to go. You can also make this the day before Thanksgiving, cover it with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until you're ready to serve!


Ingredients: 
3/4 cup light  corn syrup
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped 
1 unbaked deep dish pie crust (I used frozen, thawed)

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350. In a sauce pan boil together sugar and corn syrup for 2 minutes and then cool slightly. 

In a large bowl beat the eggs lightly while slowly pouring the syrup mixture into the bowl, stirring constantly so the eggs don't scramble. Strain the mixture over a large mixing bowl to remove any lumps and then add the butter, vanilla, and pecans. Stir together and then pour into pie crust. 

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until set. Make sure to bake it with tin foil covering it, not tightly, just lay a sheet gently on top to prevent the crust from browning too fast.
Karo Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe
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Karo Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe

Yield: 8
Author: Paige Flamm
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 50 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M
The only pecan pie recipe you need is this Karo Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe. It brings together all the warm and delicious flavors of the holiday season with the delicious nutty goodness from Karo Syrup.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 unbaked deep dish pie crust (I used frozen, thawed)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. In a sauce pan boil together sugar and corn syrup for 2 minutes and then cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl beat the eggs lightly while slowly pouring the syrup mixture into the bowl, stirring constantly so the eggs don't scramble. Strain the mixture over a large mixing bowl to remove any lumps and then add the butter, vanilla, and pecans. Stir together and then pour into pie crust.
  3. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until set. Make sure to bake it with tin foil covering it, not tightly, just lay a sheet gently on top to prevent the crust from browning too fast.

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Recipe for Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch apple pie, or apple crumble pie, is a delicious spin on a traditional apple pie. It's sugary crumble topping makes this the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving!

If someone made me choose between a traditional apple pie, and a dutch apple pie, I don't think I could choose. Although they both seem similar, they're just so different! This recipe for dutch apple pie has been in my family for years, and it's a dessert I love having at least once a year. I'm a sucker for all things apple crisp and cobbler, so putting it into a pie just feels right. If you need a recipe for Dutch apple pie this Thanksgiving, look no further, this one is perfect. 

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Recipe for Dutch Apple Pie:

This recipe for dutch apple pie is super easy to make! You start off by cooking water, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and cornstarch together in a pot on the stove. Once it's thickened remove it from the heat and stir in your apples and vanilla extract. Then you'll pour the apple mixture into a frozen pie crust, bake for 10 minutes, add your crumble topping, and then bake for another 35 minutes. It's a super easy process and turns out fabulous every time. 

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Can You Make Dutch Apple Pie Ahead of Time?

Yes! I love to make all my pies the night before Thanksgiving so that it's one less thing I have to worry about the day of. Does it make it incredibly hard for me to exercise self control and not eat all the pies ahead of time? Yes. But definitely a time saver. This pie can be covered with foil, and sit at room temperature until you're ready to serve.

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Difference Between Apple Pie and Dutch Apple Pie:

The major difference between apple pie and dutch apple pie is that a traditional apple pie typically has two crusts. One on the top, and one on the bottom. A Dutch apple pie, or apple crumble pie, has one crust on the bottom, and a brown sugar crumble baked on top. Both pies are amazing, but if you love a good apple crisp, this pie might be the one for you!


Recipe for Dutch Apple Pie

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Recipe for Dutch Apple Pie
Yield: 8
Author: Paige Flamm
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 Hour
Dutch apple pie, or apple crumble pie, is a delicious spin on a traditional apple pie. It's sugary crumble topping makes this the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients

Filling
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp apple juice, apple cider, or lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 Frozen Pie Crust
Crumb Topping
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

Filling
  1. In a large saucepan, combine water, juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and cornstarch. Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and apples. Cool to room temperature then pour into frozen pie crust.
  2. Bake for 10 minutes covered with foil and then add the crumb topping, reduce heat to 375, and then continue baking for another 35 minutes, still covered with foil.
Crumb Topping
  1. Mix all ingredients together until it becomes crumbs and then sprinkle on top of pie.

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Baked Sweet Potato Casserole

Baked sweet potato casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side dish. If you're looking for the best sweet potato casserole recipe, this one will be a crowd pleaser.

I will admit sweet potato casserole was never a part of my Thanksgiving growing up. However, after having Thanksgiving dinner with several families in my adulthood, I have to say baked sweet potato casserole is a dish I look forward to eating each Thanksgiving. This baked sweet potato casserole has a little flare with orange spice that brings out the perfect bright and fresh flavor from this otherwise sweet dish!

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How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole:

To make this sweet potato casserole, you start by cooking your potatoes in the microwave until tender. Then you scoop the flesh out into a bowl and mash. Then you're going to mix in your orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar, 3 tbsp  butter, eggs, and maple syrup. 

Then to make the topping you'll crush some graham crackers, and then add in your sugar, two tbsp butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to your crumbs and then mix until well combined. 

Put your sweet potato mixture into a 9x13 baking dish, and then top with your crumb mixture and bake in the oven! It's pretty straight forward and easy!

Can I make Baked Sweet Potato Casserole ahead of time?

Yes! Make the sweet potato mixture and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Then make the crumb mixture and store in a zip lock bag in the fridge for up to 24 hours as well. Allow to come to room temperature for one hour before baking, and then place your crumb mixture onto your sweet potato mixture. 


Baked Sweet Potato Casserole
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Baked Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 8
Author: Paige Flamm
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 1 H & 4 M
Baked sweet potato casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side dish. If you're looking for the best sweet potato casserole recipe, this one will be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes
  • non stick cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp brown sugar, divided
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 tsp nut meg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 6 graham crackers

Instructions

  1. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Place on paper towels in the microwave and cook on high power for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender, turning after 10 minutes. Remove from microwave and cool slightly. When potatoes are just cool enough to handle, slice each one in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Mash well with a potato masher (you should have about 4 cups).
  2. Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. To the sweet potato flesh, add the orange zest, orange juice, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 3 tablespoons of the butter, eggs, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, half of the cinnamon, all of the nutmeg, and the ginger. Stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared dish, spreading evenly. Cover and chill until baking time or up to 24 hours.
  3. Place the graham crackers in a quart-size resealable plastic bag. Seal and use a rolling pin to crush into fine crumbs (you should have 1 cup crumbs). Add remaining butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to crumbs. Seal bag and shake and knead to combine. Chill crumbs until baking time or up to 24 hours.
  4. If chilled, allow sweet potato mixture to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle the crumbs over the sweet potato mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until heated through (165 degrees F) and crumbs are golden.

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Moist Stuffing Recipe

This Moist Stuffing recipe is a must have on your Thanksgiving table this year! Bake in a 9x13 with chopped veggies, butter, and broth for the best stuffing you've ever had!

Back in 2013 I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner, and this moist stuffing recipe was one of the rave dishes of the meal. I don't love the idea of cooking stuffing inside the turkey because well, that just doesn't sound appetizing to me and I have issues, so we cooked this moist stuffing recipe in a 9x13 casserole dish, but you could very well cook it inside the bird if that's your preference as well. 

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Moist Stuffing Recipe:

What makes this stuffing so moist is the fact that it's cooked with both broth and butter. I think that helps to keep things moist and not dried out, without leaving you with soggy stuffing as well. There is definitely a balance you're trying to achieve when cooking your stuffing, and I personally believe this stuffing is the best of the best. 

What You Need for This Moist Stuffing Recipe:

For this stuffing recipe you will need one 12oz bag of seasoned bread stuffing cubes. You will also need two medium onions, celery, butter, salt, pepper, turkey stock or chicken broth, celery salt, sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley. It has the perfect blend of herby thanksgiving spices that make the holiday special.  

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Can you make stuffing ahead of time?

If you're baking this in a pan in the oven you could make it the day before and then reheat it, but I don't recommend doing so. I think that stuffing is best prepared the day of. Obviously if you're making your stuffing inside your bird you'll need to do that the day of as well. 

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What is the difference between Stuffing and Dressing?

While you can certainly use the words interchangeably, and most people do... the real difference is that stuffing is usually cooked, stuffed inside the bird, while dressing is usually referred to the same dish, but cooked in a separate dish. I guess I'm a liar and this is a dressing recipe, and not a stuffing recipe. 


Moist Stuffing Recipe
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Moist Stuffing Recipe

Yield: 8
Author: Paige Flamm
Prep time: 20 MinInactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 50 Min
This Moist Stuffing recipe is a must have on your Thanksgiving table this year! Bake in a 9x13 with chopped veggies, butter, and broth for the best stuffing you've ever had!

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 6 stalks celery with leaves, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (14-ounce) package seasoned bread stuffing cubes
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups canned turkey stock, plus 1/2 cup more if baking all of stuffing outside of turkey

Instructions

  1. In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderate heat, heat butter until hot but not smoking. Stir in onion and celery, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. (Vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing: In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderately high heat, sauté, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes.)
  3. Transfer contents to a large bowl and add stuffing cubes, parsley, celery salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups hot stock.
  4. If using to stuff turkey: Use immediately to fill cavities and spread remainder in baking dish as directed in recipe.
  5. If baking entire recipe as in a baking dish: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter 3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and drizzle with 1/2 cup hot stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

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Gourmet Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry sauce is a great side dish to throw in the crock pot on Thanksgiving morning. This gourmet cranberry sauce tastes amazing and will be the perfect side this holiday season.

As it turns out, I'm not a huge snob when it comes to cranberry sauce. I like homemade just as much as I like the jellied version in a can. They both have room in my life, and I'm not afraid to admit that. When we made Thanksgiving dinner in 2013, we made this gourmet cranberry sauce recipe in the slow cooker though, and it was amazing. It is the perfect set it and forget it side for Thanksgiving dinner that you can put together with little effort. 

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How to this Make Gourmet Cranberry Sauce Recipe?

This recipe is super easy to make and takes very little prep work. Simply combine your sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, water, and sugar together in the crock pot with your cranberries. Set your crock pot on high for three hours, coming back to stir it every hour. You can serve it hot or cold, but I prefer chilling before serving. 

What do you need to make Cranberry Sauce?

To make this cranberry sauce recipe you will need white sugar, brown sugar, water, orange juice, cinnamon, and 12oz of fresh cranberries. 

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Can you make Cranberry Sauce ahead of time?

Yes, in fact I would recommend it! I personally think cranberry sauce tastes better when served cold instead of hot. You can make this cranberry sauce 1-2 days before Thanksgiving and then store it in the fridge until you're ready to serve!

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And because I spaced on getting a picture of just the cranberry sauce, here you have a picture of our entire feast!

Gourmet Cranberry Sauce Recipe
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Gourmet Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Author: Paige Flamm
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 3 HourTotal time: 3 H & 5 M
Cranberry sauce is a great side dish to throw in the crock pot on Thanksgiving morning. This gourmet cranberry sauce tastes amazing and will be the perfect side this holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 12oz fresh cranberries:

Instructions

  1. Throw everything together in the crock pot on high for three hours, stirring each hour. Then mash before serving and cool. This is seriously the easiest recipe ever!

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