Yankee Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Topped with tangy cranberries in lieu of sweet pineapple, this recipe lends a distinctive New England flavor to old-fashioned upside-down cake. To be sure you’re using the freshest berries, you’ll want to choose fruit that has bounce in it. Or you can put it to the water test. Small pockets of air trapped in fresh cranberries make them bounce — and float in water.

6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk

1.Heat the oven to 350°. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and pour it into a 9-inch springform pan.

2.In a mixing bowl, combine the cranberries and the brown sugar, then scatter the mixture atop the butter. Sprinkle on the pecans.

3.Beat the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the sugar at medium speed in a medium mixing bowl until well blended. Beat in the eggs one at time, then beat in the vanilla extract.

4.Combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir well. Beat a third of the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Continue alternating in this way until you’ve beaten in the last of the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter evenly over the cranberries.

5.Bake the cake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving platter and remove the pan. Serves 10.

Cranberry Spinach Salad

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1.In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
2.In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.
3.In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

Ultimate Nachos


1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning (whichever brand you prefer)
1 medium can refried beans
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
sliced ripe olives
shredded cheese
sour cream
white or yellow corn tortilla chips

Crumble and brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain ground beef and add taco seasoning according to directions. Heat according to package. Set aside. Heat refried beans in the microwave in a microwaveable dish. On a large sided cookie sheet layer tortilla chips, refried beans, ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, olives, salsa, and cheese. Or you can layer all ingredients in a dish and set the chips aside for dipping. Great tasting and easy!