Sunday, November 19, 2017

Brandied Cranberry Sauce #recipe #Thanksgiving #mystery #giveaway

Oops!  It looks like Peg Cochran and I were singing from the same hymn book when we both came up with cranberry recipes for our Thanksgiving Week posts. 

Peg's cranberry fig compote yesterday was a super choice and I can't wait to try it.  AND I have one too. 

There's a reason for our back to back recipes: Not long ago, I did a little poll on Facebook asking friends what dishes they loved most on Thanksgiving. Except for creamed onions (really!!!???!!!) there weren’t too many surprises. Right at the top of the list was cranberry sauce

That made me very happy  because cranberry sauce/compote/relish is one of my favorite parts of the meal. We have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The results of that poll reminded me of a gift I’d received from my good friend of many years, Wendy Watkins (not to be confused with our mystery writer pal, Wendy Watson).  Some time back, Wendy gave me a jar of her own homemade Brandied Cranberry Sauce for Christmas. It was terrific and made a special gift and was a great addition to the table when the big day came.   

There’s so much going on during the holiday season, that it’s a bonus when one recipe is delicious and very easy and suitable for a gift!  Wendy's original gift was one that kept on giving.

So last week, I asked Wendy for the recipe and she sent it right away. All I can say is this is soooo easy and yet it tastes like it was a lot of work.  What could be better?

You can make a lot or a little. You can make it for yourself or for others. Or all of the above.  I have made cranberry sauce with brown sugar and bourbon for Mystery Lovers Kitchen but I think Wendy’s brandied cranberry sauce wins hands down.  I even had a bit of it with breakfast the morning after I made it.

Brandied Cranberry Sauce


1 bag FRESH cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup brandy
Have ready three sterile jelly jars with lids

You could easily double or triple this recipe!


Rinse cranberries. Transfer to a medium size pot. Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of brandy. 

Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then turn up the heat to high.  Once it's boiling, cook for 10 minutes. Cover most of the pot with the lid, because the berries sometimes don't behave and pop out of the pot. You don’t want to be the target. 

After ten minutes cool and transfer to jelly jars or your favorite serving dish.   

This glass turkey has been ours for many years and was MJ’s mum’s before that. It’s been on the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas for all of Victoria’s life and most of MJ's.  I’m pretty sure you’ve seen it here before too.
So, how easy was that?   Enjoy it and enjoy the time you save making it.  Perhaps read a mystery!

 If you make a few batches, there's a hostess gift or two and some small gifts taken care of.  That’s another good thing. 

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for!  We’re thankful that you keep coming back and engaging with us here in the kitchen.
We love your suggestions and comments. Come on by and tell us what you would add or subtract or substitute in this recipe. Not everyone loves every ingredient! 

In case you don't know, Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between  me, Mary Jane Maffini, and my daughter Victoria. Together we write the book collector mysteries.   We think that reading them is like taking a lovely trip to a mysterious place where books are everything and, yes, murder happens and great meals are served and some relatives are not to be trusted. Of course, justice prevails in the end and books are loved.

The book collector mysteries are fun, easy to read and surprising too. All five titles are available in print, e-book and audio format. Don't miss out.  You can get to meet Peachy (posing below) aka Walter the Pug.  Watch out for the Siamese cats - one is good and one will get you! 

But of course, this is our Thanksgiving Theme and (wait for it!) The Wolfe Widow (book collector mystery # 3) takes place at Thanksgiving. It is one of our favorite books so it makes sense to us to make a little Thanksgiving gift to one of our faithful readers.  To get in the giveaway, comment below AND don't forget your email address.  We'll chose a random winner!   Stay tuned.

I'm Peachy the Pug and I approve this Post.
Get in on more fun with  our email newsletter.  All you need to do to get on the list is ask us RIGHT HERE.

Here are some of MJ's books: set in Canada's capital with feisty lawyer Camilla MacPhee and various fleeing felons and frustrating family. Trust me,  Jordan doesn't have a monopoly on unusual family and friends.  This series is very well priced now in e-books, but also available in print. 

We’re also on Facebook and love to hear from you.  Click to link to Mary Jane Maffini

and Victoria Abbott. 

We're dying to meet you!


  1. Hi ladies, love your writing. I read ad much as I can. Love this cranberries recipe as if you add sugar and booze and friends it's the best! Happy Thanksgiving

  2. I have never tried to make cranberry sauce, looks really good; thanks for the chance to win :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  3. Fabulous cranberry sauce recipe and book selections!

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE cranberry sauce!
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

  5. Your cranberry sauce recipe looks delicious. And, a Thanksgiving read!
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot) com

  6. Recipe looks yummy! Thank you for an awesome sounding Thanksgiving read chance and Peachy aka Walter looks adorable! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. I make cranberry sauce but my boyfriend only likes the canned kind so I buy a can just for him.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  8. That's certainly easy enough but, since I am allergic to alcohol (sad, I know), does the alcohol all burn off? I would think so but, I have to be careful. I do like to breathe.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    1. It seems to burn off, BUT if you are allergic you probably won't want to take a chance, Linda. Try orange juice instead and keep breathing. Hugs. MJ

  9. Love the glass turkey.
    This does sound tasty. Is that much sugar really needed? Or could I use a bit less?
    I hope your Thanksgiving was all it should be.
    And may all the other holidays shine brightly.

  10. I think you could reduce the sugar without any problem, Libby. Happy thanksgiving to you! Hugs.

  11. I have a similar recipe, but my cranberries have bourbon in them; I put brandy in the sweet potatoes. Next year I'll have to try your recipe. Thank you for the giveaway, I am eager to read this book.

  12. Recipe sounds great,I appreciate the suggestion of orange juice. The book sounds great! Terell dot Byrd

  13. I enjoy trying different variations on cranberry sauce---this one sounds yummy.

  14. Peachy is so cute! I think its perfect the way it

  15. Sounds really good!! How fun to write books with your daughter!! Dream job!!

  16. Hi ladies! This cranberry sauce recipe sounds delicious. I make the recipe my great grandmother and grandmother made, but this one almost tempts me to try a new one. I'd love to win a copy of the book because there are so few Thanksgiving books that I've found!

  17. Looks delish! I love all the books in this series too.

  18. Hubby loves to make the cranberry sauce (I'm happy with canned smooth jellied cranberry sauce). I do think we would like this recipe.
    And I look forward to reading THE WOLFE WIDOW.

    donna (dot) durnell (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  19. amy guillaume lindermanNovember 19, 2017 at 4:20 PM

    what a delicious recipe! have to try it! love the book cover! aelinderman (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  20. We had a glass turkey like that when I was growing up. The recipe sounds

  21. Love the variation on cranberry sauce. Whoever wins "The Wolfe Widow" is in for an extra Thanksgiving treat. The whole series is delightful!
    Thanks for all the recent celebration recipes MJ.
    Yours, Nancy R

  22. YUM...I must try this one soon. grammyd01 (at) comcast (dot) net

  23. Brandy and cranberries sounds wonderfu