I love Christmas cookies as much as the next person but our little sugar stash of holiday treats that can typically hide on top of the fridge without reminding us constantly of its existence is growing by the minute, slowly taking over our counter space…and sanity. We already relocated the boys’ gingerbread houses to the tippy top kitchen cabinet to kick the “Oh I’m walking by why not grab another gum drop…” habit.

This inspired me to take a nontraditional approach to holiday treats and make a batch of Cranberry Sherbet for a festive holiday dessert.  Sherbet is like sorbet in that fruit is the star of the show but sherbet has a bit of dairy making a silky, creamy texture.

I love a lot of things about this recipe – the simple list of affordable ingredients, the fact that there is no actual cooking or baking involved, the make ahead option (just pull from the freezer and scoop!), and the use of bright winter fruit. There is also a fun element of surprise when you pull out a container of Cranberry Sherbet to end a holiday meal – everyone is expecting a rich, chocolatey treat but a bright, tart, scoop of ruby red sherbet truly hits the spot.

I’m also willing to bet most of you have a cup of frozen cranberries hiding someone in your freezer – get those babies out!



Cranberry Sherbet

Serves 4 to 6

1 cup frozen Dole cranberries

1 cup water

½ cup cane sugar

½ a lemon, juiced

⅛ teaspoon salt

¾ cup Dole pineapple juice

¾ cup heavy cream


Combine the frozen cranberries and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a strong simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Every few minutes, using a potato masher, mash the cranberries into the water so the fruit pops open and begins to release its juices.

While the cranberries are on the stove, combine the sugar, lemon juice, salt, and Dole pineapple juice in a blender. Blend for about 30 seconds, until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this liquid into a bowl and stir in the heavy cream.

Once the cranberries have broken down and the water is a deep pink, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the cranberry mixture through a fine sieve set atop a bowl. Use a spatula to gently push the fruit into the sieve so you get all the flavor. Stir the strained cranberry liquid into the sherbet base. Set the sherbet mix into the fridge to cool down for 30 minutes.

After the mix has chilled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process until it is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. You may serve the sherbet directly from the ice cream maker or transfer it to a lidded container and place in the freezer for later enjoyment.

This post is sponsored by Dole Packaged Foods.



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Hey island friends – I am doing two special holiday events and I’d love for you to stop by and buy some books (I’ll sign ’em all)! Thursday night I’ll be hanging at the local bookstore with my friend and fellow cookbook author Susie Middleton and next week I’ll be hanging at Morrice Florist for the day with another pal, local jewelry maker Nettie Kent. All the details are below! I hope to see you there.



Thursday December 14th – Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven – 6:00 to 7:00 (evening shopping!)

Thursday December 21st – Morrice Florist, Vineyard Haven – 10:00 to 2:00 (daytime shopping!) 


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Hey there – I got you a present! You can win $75 to spend however you’d like on my new favorite thing – a Gathre bonded leather mat. Head over to this instagram post to enter and win.

Gathre makes a huge variety of beautiful, multi-purpose leather bonded mats in a range of sizes (tablecloth, maxi square, maxi circle, midi, mini, micro) and prints (york branches, buffalo check, starlight , solids) that can be used in a million different ways from the beach and park to under a highchair, for baby changing, picnicking, crafting, practicing yoga, on a playroom floor, as a tabletop placemat, or a full size tablecloth. Here is a helpful gallery of images that show the many ways to use a Gathre mat.

We have a tablecloth sized buffalo check mat and I love the mat’s texture (smooth on the top and soft suede on the underside) and the fact that you can just wipe them down with warm water and gentle soap after using. We pulled out our mat on Sunday to use as a gingerbread cookie making surface. The mat held up perfectly under the flour, dough, rolling, stamping, and general mess. I just ran a damp cloth over it and packed it up when we finished.

Head over now and enter – I hope you win!



Gingerbread Cookies

Makes a couple dozen depending on your cookie cutter size


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2/3 cup molasses

1 egg


1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt in a mixing bowl.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar together. Pour in the molasses and egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the sugar-butter mixture and mix to combine. Turn the dough out on a work surface and form into a ball. Divide the ball in half then shape each half into a disc. Wrap the discs in plastic and place them in the fridge to cool.

5. Once dough has cooled down (about 30 minutes in the fridge or 15 minutes in the freezer), flour a work surface and roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thick. Stamp the dough with cookie cutters and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

6. Let the gingerbread cookies cool on the baking sheet then store cookies in a lidded box or jar on the counter for up to 4 days.



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My latest food column for Martha’s Vineyard Magazine is here and it has my new favorite slow cooker dinner recipe inside. Here is a bit of it…

“Have you ever had a slow-cooker fantasy? You know the one, where you imagine walking into your house after a long day at work, push open the door, and are immediately hit by the smell of a homemade meal simmering away? Maybe it’s beef stew, a vegetable curry, pulled pork, or butternut squash soup? Me, too, and I don’t think we’re alone. There is something magical about a nutritious, affordable, warm, home-cooked dinner ready and waiting for you. Even if you did all the dinner planning, preparation, and filled that slow cooker mere hours before, the reality that dinner cooked itself is never anything less than extraordinary…”

Click here to read more of the story from Martha’s Vineyard Magazine – Slow & Steady and get the recipe for Slow-Cooker Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato.

This recipe really is a winner – it looks like it took blood, sweat, and tears, but your slow-cooker secret is safe with me. Another benefit, Slow-Cooker Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato tastes exotic but calls for a short list of easy-to-find ingredients. I like to serve it over couscous, though any grain or vegetable makes a suitable bed. Don’t skip the toppings – the fresh cilantro, squirt of bright lemon, and crunchy almonds make a big difference.


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I woke up Monday morning determined to eat well this week. After last week’s Thanksgiving escapades (creamed spinach 4-life!!) and extended road trip diet (which consisted of mostly bagels and coffee) I needed a restart. One strategic move that always works to improve my vegetable intake is preparing a handful of favorite dressings, all unique and packed with flavor, to have on hand. These three little jars are my ticket out of this carb jungle.

Each dressing can be made quickly and easily  by simply combining the ingredients in a lidded jar and shaking vigorously. Below are the recipes for Lemon-Tahini Dressing, Carrot-Ginger-Miso Sauce, and Mustard Vinaigrette. I love the Lemon-Tahini number over quinoa and roasted root vegetables. The Carrot-Ginger-Miso is especially good mixed into a stir-fry or tossed with dark leafy greens. The vinaigrette is good on lentils and simple salads.


My 3 Favorite Dressings:

Lemon-Tahini Dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

2-3 tablespoons hot water

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Tahini-Lemon Dressing can be stored on the counter for a week.


Carrot-Ginger-Miso Sauce:

1/2 cup miso paste, white or red

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup shredded carrot

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup water

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Carrot-Ginger-Miso Dressing can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.


Mustard Vinaigrette:

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/2 a lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, halved

Pinch dried or fresh herbs – dill, thyme, cilantro, and oregano are my favorites.

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Mustard Vinaigrette can be stored on the counter for a week.


DON’T FORGET! You get 20% copies of Feeding a Family using code FAF20 at this link. Give the gift of food and family this holiday!



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