You recovered from that turkey & football coma yet? My goodness, that was glorious. And gloriously painful. And if we’re talking about the Texans & Cowboys games, just flat-out glorious.
I wasn’t disowned for healthifying the broccoli & rice casserole. My dad was well enough to be up and about for the day. My cousin Sarah did all of the dishes as we cooked (what a novel idea – and what a saint). And I had exactly enough tequila for a pitcher of Pomegranate Margaritas.
Pomegranates are kind of a pain in the ass to deal with. They’re beautiful. They’re delicious. And they’re high maintenance, kind of like the crawfish of the fruit world.
You have to crack the fruit and dislodge the seeds carefully so you don’t ruin your shirt… all while still impressively ruining a shirt and an apron. That apron has since been known as the Dexter Apron.
But they’re beautiful. And they’re delicious. And it’s fun to put them in salad and on salmon or just eat them by plain by stained hand. And when you leave the hard work to the bottled pomegranate juice companies, they make one heck of a beautiful, delicious margarita.
Pomegranate juice makes the perfect winter margarita.
Hey, look. It’s another super easy way to use up leftover cranberry sauce. And it only involves a little math:
1 part barbecue sauce
1 part cranberry sauce
3. Watch your husband dip a tester sweet potato fry in it and complain about it being too cranberry-y.
4. Add another part barbecue sauce.
7. Get approval from the barbecue sauce snob in the house.
8. Spoon it over pulled pork sandwiches. Or turkey sandwiches! And use the rest as a dipper for sweet potato fries.
9. Eat too much.
10. Declare the entire house a carb-free, lean-protein-only zone ’til Christmas.
11. Forget and eat a brownie for dessert.
Thanksgiving leftovers don’t have to suck. I mean they can, and after 3 days of the same exact thing, they usually do. But they can be reimagined in non-sucking ways. Take cranberry sauce, for instance.
Leftover cranberry sauce is something that I firmly believe can never be a bad thing. Cranberries themselves are good with chocolate, turkey, tequila, and even cheese. And cranberry sauce can be slathered on and in anything. Like hamburgers.
We’re “blessed” with the kind of weather that allows us to grill nearly year-round in southeast Texas. There are still plenty of times that I’d like to trade 10-day forecasts with a further-up-north friend – it really is a little depressing to need the AC on Thanksgiving. But being able to grill fajitas and enjoy a pitcher of Pomegranate Margaritas under a gorgeous, fiery Texas sunset is a trade-off that’s gets easier and easier to accept, the farther away we get from the oppressive heat of August. And September…
And let’s be real here. All but 3 days of October, too.
But the weather has changed enough to allow a person to believe that the holidays are fast approaching and I can now get my annual overdose of cranberries and grapefruit and Christmas Vacation.
Fancy Burger Night last week was the perfect way to help use up some of the leftover cranberry-apricot chutney. And the little bit of brie that I somehow managed not to eat all by myself.
The tangy, barely sweet cranberry sauce is the perfect balance to the rich, buttery brie. We used ground beef for the burgers but ground turkey would be just as good, if not better!
It was simple and boozy. And beautiful. And boozy.
In trying to brain storm a way to use those leftovers, I decided it wasn’t quite right for The Cranwich and I definitely didn’t want to be tied down to a big cake or full batch of cupcakes so close to “Pie-palooza.” And that’s when I spotted the box of Ghirardelli brownies I keep on hand in case of emergencies.
(And now you know how we define “emergency” in this house.)
I simply prepared the brownies as directed on the box and then I dropped the leftover boozy cranberry sauce over top by the tablespoon, swirling it together.
I don’t know why it took so long to come up with the idea of cranberry brownies. Cranberries and chocolate are a delicious and under-appreciated pair. Around the holidays, Costco used to (and maybe still does?) sell dark chocolate-covered cranberries. Those things were like crack, if crack made you gain 3lbs in 3 days. The dark fudgey brownie was the perfect compliment to the cranberry sauce.
Use your favorite brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli Triple Fudge, it’s insanely chocolatey… and has chocolate chips!) and leftover whole berry sauce (homemade is easy and takes almost no hands-on time).
Rich, fudgey brownies swirled with leftover cranberry sauce. Dessert couldn't be easier.
1 box brownie mix (or your favorite recipe) prepared in an 8x8 pan, according to package directions
~1/2 cup leftover whole berry cranberry sauce
Preheat oven according to the directions in your brownie recipe.
Prepare the recipe according to directions and transfer to a greased 8x8 pan.
Drop small spoonfuls of leftover cranberry sauce over the top of the batter (I used about 1/2 cup).
Using a knife held vertically, swirl the cranberry sauce and the brownie batter together.
Bake as directed in your recipe, (take note that my recipe needed an extra 8 minutes).
Let cool and then cut into 4x3 or 4x4 servings.
Leftovers should be covered and stored at room temp.