Simple Cranberry Jam (Sauce)

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Cranberry sauce is used/eaten like jam at our house. It’s cooked up in batches and used on everything from the Thanksgiving bird to toast every morning for the next several weeks. It’s also eaten with peanut butter and poured over ice cream. It’s pretty versatile. That’s why I hesitate just calling it “cranberry sauce.” It’s very limiting.

I decided to start this season’s batch early because I wanted one less thing to do for Turkey Day, and it keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks anyway. The second jar went straight into the freezer for later use.

This recipe is so easy to make, so reliably delicious, that my official taste tester (my 4 year old) grabs a bowl of it every time it’s fresh off the stove.

And remember, it’s not just for Thanksgiving anymore.

Simple Cranberry Jam (Sauce)

– 2 twelve ounce packages of fresh cranberries. If frozen, thaw before using.

– 1 cup granulated sugar

– 1 cup water

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and let it come up to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently to prevent the sugar from burning on the bottom and sides of the pan. The cranberries will pop and hiss as they get hot.

20131117_201407Then, turn down the heat and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes. Continue to stir occasionally to prevent burning and sticking. Once the mixture is shiny and coats the back of your spoon, it should be done. It will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.

ImageLet it cool for 30 minutes or so before placing into a tupperware, bowl, or mason jars for freezing/storing. It should keep for 2 weeks.

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Italian in Mountain View

rist.jpg Courtesy of www.dongiovannis.com

If you’re ever in downtown Mountain View, specifically Castro St., you’ll never have any trouble finding a good Asian restaurant. There’s a wide selection of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese joints all up and down the street.

Unfortunately, my friend and I weren’t in the mood for Asian food. And our options didn’t look good, until we saw Ristorante Don Giovanni.

I was a little afraid upon entering the place because of it’s stereotypical Italian bistro decor of peach colored walls, dime a dozen Italian posters and the pungent smell of garlic. The place needs a facelift to make it more modern and give it some distinction.

Upon opening the menu, I noticed an abundance of typical Italian favorites you’d expect to see like pastas and scallopinis. Nothing terribly innovative or exciting, but there were a lot of choices.

If you love veal, you’ll love this place. There is a ton of veal on this menu and not as much in the way of chicken or beef. I decided on the Veal Scallopini with Marsala and Mushrooms. I LOVE marsala dishes, so I was hoping for the best.

But first, my friend and I shared the crab cake appetizer. There are so many ways to screw this dish up, but fortunately, it exceeded my expectations. The crab meat was flavorful, fresh tasting, moist, and the breading was light and crispy. A solid dish.

My friend ordered the ravioli stuffed with ricotta in meat sauce. She loved it and practically licked the place clean. And my veal marsala was surprisingly good. The veal was pounded thin and was moist and tender. The mushrooms and marsala sauce were sweet and tangy, just like it should be. It was simple, but delicious.

At one point we both stopped ourselves in mid meal realizing how fast we were eating! We enjoyed the food thoroughly, and the service was friendly and attentive. The menu and decor could stand a little more imagination, but the simple food was hearty, yet not heavy, and solidly good.

If none of the Asian restaurants on Castro are calling your name, you could do a lot worse than this place.

Ristorante Don Giovanni – 235 Castro St., Mountain View – 650.961.9749

SPECIAL OFFER: On Thanksgiving, November 22nd, 2007, Ristorante Don Giovanni will be serving their annual FREE Thanksgiving meal, as a thank you to all their loyal customers! Just show up between 11am-4pm to get a free turkey meal! Not valid on takeout orders, while supplies last. Please call the restaurant for more details.

Don Giovanni on Urbanspoon