Bright Tart Cranberries

 ‘Tis the season. The cranberry bogs on Cape Cod are full of these luscious tart berries that not only grace our holiday tables but have become more mainstream, replacing raspberries or blueberries in our favorite recipes.

Ideally, I prefer to buy fresh cranberries and freeze them towards the end of the season so I can enjoy them year-round.   Simple dishes like vanilla yogurt with granola and cranberries make for a fresh morning start and braising meats and chicken with cranberries adds a flavorful bite.

Chicken Thighs With Fresh Cranberries


1 tbsp. olive oil

1 pound skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 c. fresh cranberries

1/3 c. Balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 sprigs rosemary

2 tsp. thyme leaves

1 tbsp. brown sugar

Zest of 1 orange


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken skin-side-down and cook until the skin is golden and crispy about 4 minutes. Remove chicken from heat and place on plate, skin side-up.
  2. Melt butter in the same skillet then add cranberries, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, and orange zest. Return chicken to skillet and scatter herbs all around. Simmer until the liquid begins to thicken and the cranberries start to soften, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer to oven and cook until the chicken thighs are cooked through, 18 to 25 minutes more.
  4. Serve warm.

Cranberry Scones with orange zest


2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (using xanthan gum gives the scones the same consistency of gluten

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup frozen cranberries

¼ cup fresh orange zest

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and chilled (make sure the butter is very cold)

1 cup milk (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not)

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

Step 2
Combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Transfer a few tablespoons of this dry ingredient mixture to a small bowl and add the frozen berries. Toss to coat the berries and set aside the small bowl.

Step 3
To the large bowl with the dry ingredients, add the diced butter. Cut it in until the butter resembles pea-size chunks covered in flour. You can either use a pastry cutter or two knives and pretend like you’re cutting steak with them over and over.

Step 4
Add the milk to the dry ingredient/butter mixture and stir to combine. The dough will come together. Once the dough has come together, add the berries to the dough and gently fold them in until they are evenly distributed throughout. Handling it as little as possible to keep the butter from melting in your hands, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.

Step 5
Cut the dough into 8 triangles. Transfer the triangles to baking sheets lined with parchment paper, a couple of inches apart. Brush with a bit of milk and sprinkle with a tiny bit of sugar, if you like.

Step 6
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the scones are puffed up and slightly brown around the edges. Serve immediately.

Cranberry-Ricotta Pancakes


20 pancakes


  • 4 oranges
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • Maple Syrup


  1. Remove 2 Tbsp. zest and squeeze 1/4 cup juice from oranges. In a large bowl whisk together zest and juice, egg yolks, ricotta, and milk until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1 tsp. kosher salt, cinnamon and ground ginger.
  3. For batter: Add flour mixture to ricotta mixture and stir until just barely combined. (A few lumps are fine.)
  4. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold half of the whites into the batter. Add remaining whites; gently fold them in until mostly blended but some streaks of egg whites remain.
  5. Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium. Add batter in 1/4-cup scoops. Top each pancake with 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. chopped cranberries. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden. (Keep warm in an oven on low while you cook the remaining pancakes.) Serve pancakes with Butter and maple syrup. Serves 6.

Coconut and Cranberry Macaroons

I love Coconut and cranberries together and often use toasted coconut on top of cranberry muffins.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2 ½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut

3 large egg white at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

½ cup plus 2 TBSP. natural cane confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp. almond extract

**2/3 cup quinoa flakes (see below)

½ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

In food processor, process coconut until finely chopped

In a large bowl, using electric mixer on medium high speed, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Reduce speed and add confectioners sugar. Beat in almond extract. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in coconut, quinoa flakes and cranberries

Drop by the rounded Tablespoon onto a prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until bottoms are golden brown and slightly crisped. Let cool on pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then transfer to the rack to cool.

Repeat baking instructions with remaining dough.

Quinoa Flakes: Quinoa flakes are made by steaming and flattening the seeds with a large roller, similar to creating rolled oats)

A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Judi has managed restaurants and owned restaurants in the northeast and was the founder of a successful dessert company. Today, she is a sought-after restaurant consultant, TV cook on the ABC affiliate in her hometown, and culinary editor of a city magazine. Her personal passions are culinary travel to exotic places and holiday cooking in her home for huge gatherings of friends and relatives. Her guilty pleasure? Bruce Springsteen concerts. “I follow him around the country and have for years,” she admits. “But, in every city where Bruce sings, I do check out new restaurants and talk to up and coming chefs. I want all the food news I can get.”
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