Orange Bitters and Tequila Cranberries

Life is  starting to feel a bit hectic. Though I always feel stressed, now I feel stressed and have a lot to do! Agh! Turkey season is really here and if you didn’t know, all you have to do is look at the blogs and see the plethora of recipes for Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, cranberries, mashed potatoes, pumpkin, and anything with kale. Whoever invented the Internet or Google and thought it was such a time saver is beyond me. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m supposed to be writing a blog, not just commenting on others. This takes a lot of time and I am starting to feel pressured! 

Which somehow leads me to the BIG question. Have you ordered your turkey yet? I have always ordered my turkey from Whole Foods, well, at least as long as they’ve been in my neighborhood. I like the idea of calmly walking in, and picking up a turkey in the size I want, all packed in a perfect sized box. I don’t even have to worry about thawing it. I like the idea that this turkey was treated well. You know what I mean, right? I have a soft spot for turkeys. I mean this guy/gal shows up every few months and sits on my brick wall and well, just sits. Then he ambles off. I’ve only seen him/her fly once. But it is fun to have a turkey in the neighborhood. I always worry about him/her around this time of year. In any case, I like my turkey. Gobble, gobble.

Whole Foods has lots of different kinds of turkeys, besides big and small. The best part is they bring it out to you and your hands don’t have to get cold while shuffling through turkeys thrown into the frozen food bin. I watched this video on Diestel turkeys and I think I want to move there. Unlike massive turkey operations Diestel even invites you to visit their ranch. No secrets there!

Whole Foods offers 5 kinds of turkeys all from Diestel. I always order the basic bird which isn’t certifiably organic because the corn and grain hasn’t been tested for GMO’s, but they are range grown and haven’t been fed any animal by products or antibiotics or growth stimulants. You can get a turkey free of GMO’s from Heidi’s Hens for a little bit more price per pound. You can also get a turkey that is fully mature at 10 pounds and one of those gorgeous heritage turkeys with the bronze and black feathers, but it is dark meat only. This is probably what the Pilgrims would have eaten if they had turkey, which many don’t think they did.  I would want the feathers from these beauties! And last but not least, Diestel offers a pasture raised turkey. These guys roam around and are able to forage and graze naturally. 

Thanksgiving is about the company, but it is also all about the food, don’t you know?  This is a time I want to treat my family like royalty. It makes me feel better to order my turkey from Whole Foods and I’m not telling you that because they want me to. I’m telling you because I do and have and hopefully always will! I never liked watching manservant put the turkey on the grill and then a few hours later have this plastic thing pop out of it. I mean real turkeys don’t have plastic things. Now I know some of you think that’s helpful but it just never worked for me. And I really like my turkey, as just turkey. Not injected with something that is probably chemical salt water. We always brine our turkey because we always smoke our turkey.  We make our own brine so our turkey will taste the way we want it to taste. We love and honor turkey in this house! 

I have always utilized Whole Foods over the holidays to save me time. This is one holiday I truly enjoy because my family is home. This doesn’t happen  often so I like to make sure that everything is done in advance. I’ve never been accused of keeping things simple but I do try to simplify. I try to make sure that I’m not stressed and yelling at the top of my lungs. I like everything just so and Whole Foods steps in here and there.

Please note that I am not a gravy person. Never have been-probably cause I never remember having it as a kid. Well, for a long time, we celebrated Thanksgiving with a family that always had gravy. It was then I discovered that my family LOVES gravy. No one told me! So now I buy my gravy and I am not ashamed to admit it, at Whole Foods. I always add some of the drippings from our turkey as it does tend to thicken a bit when heated. This way it tastes like my gravy and I don’t have to make it at the last minute. And I’ve never heard anyone complain!

I do make my own cranberries but this year I thought I’d check out the berries at Whole foods. They are kind of a cross between jelled and  fresh berried. I liked them because they remind me of the ones that come out of the can. (Yes, I love the ones that come out of a can.) I even eat them during the year when I have a hankering for cranberries. Usually I eat them with my pb and j! Weird, I know. Well, this year we are having a Southwest Thanksgivingkuh so I thought I’d see how their cranberries work with a bit of tequila and chipotles. My, oh, my. I’ve got a winner. Simple and extraordinary. This is one way to make their cranberries, yours. I can’t wait to use the leftovers on my quesadillas or in my grilled cheese or on my leftover turkey sandwich. Damn they’d be good on a BLT, too. Now I’m still going to make the Cranberry Freeze ’cause it is tradition, but if you need to save some time on cranberries, this works. Totally!

I also buy Whole Foods cornbread to use in my tamale stuffing. It is really good. I think they add a dash of vanilla, but I’m not sure…Yes, when I’m pressed for time I buy it and use that in my stuffing. No one knows and I don’t care if they do! (That’s the thing people. Good food is good food. People always say how they are afraid to have me over because I am such a good cook. Well, I’m a good eater, too. And I don’t care how you make, bake or get your food, as long as it is good! It matters not a bit, how much time you spent in your kitchen. In this day and age anyone has access to good food and everyone should know how to serve it. That, I believe! I’ll even show you if you need help!)  But I got off track…I buy the tamales there, too and the turkey chorizo. My stuffing is easy to make then and not as time consuming.

The truth is I don’t shop at Whole Foods that often. I would like too, but it just doesn’t work out that way. I can easily get carried away there because I love to try new things And they always have something new and fun to try! You do know that groceries are in my blood, don’t you? Well, Whole Foods is like eye candy for me. I could spend hours in there. Really.  You know what I mean. 

So, take a word from the wise. Simplify. Plan your menu. Check it twice. Go find out what’s naughty and nice. Buy your pies, buy your cheese, buy your turkey (fresh or baked), if you please.  Buy your taters and your gravy, get your sauce, don’t say I’m crazy. Have some fun and keep it simple, that way you can show your cute little dimples! (OK. I don’t want to torture you anymore.)

I’m here to make your life easier. I try to find good recipes and save you time that way. Well, Whole Foods wants to save you time, too. They are offering a $50 gift card to one lucky winner. You could use it on a turkey or pies or gravy or cheese. Or cornbread. Or cranberries or whatever you want! 

Orange Bitters and Tequila Cranberries
Serves 2-4

1 cup Whole Foods cranberries (from the deli)
10 drops orange bitters (I use Fee’s)
1 t white anejo tequila
1 t chopped chipotle (from a can)
1 t zested orange peel

Mix together and serve. Please note this can be adjusted to your taste. And it does taste better after it sits a spell. This is great with turkey or goats cheese, or blue cheese or nachos, or bacon or endive, or in muffins, or on top of muffins, or spooned into your mouth!

More great dishes for Thanksgivingkuh:
Pumpkin Brown Sugar Muffins
Simple Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
Cranberry Chipotle Wonton Cups
Mushroom Lover’s Pastry
Onion Dip
3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip
Smoky Pumpkin Hummus
Dried fruit Salami
Smoked Trout Pate
Waldorf Salad
Hot Brown Sandwich
Traditional Latkes
Parsnip Latkes
My Mother’s Brisket
Shortbread Nut Bars
Frozen Cranberry Salad
Brown Sugar Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze
Green Onion Garlic Chive Corn Bread
Onion Lover’s Twist
Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Skillet Cake

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  • barblong
    November 22, 2013 at 6:40 am

    My favorite Thanksgiving side dish is green bean casserole.

    [email protected]

  • slehan
    November 22, 2013 at 6:00 am

    I love stuffing with LOTS of gravy.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

  • Roxann
    November 22, 2013 at 5:59 am

    My favorite is mashed potatoes and gravy.

  • Brian E.
    November 22, 2013 at 4:54 am

    Thanks for the giveaway…any sweet potato side dish or dessert has a hallowed place at our Thanksgiving table !

  • Anonymous
    November 22, 2013 at 4:28 am

    My favorite is my mom's scalloped potatoes:) luvs2fishmama

  • Leslie
    November 22, 2013 at 3:08 am

    My favorite is stuffing.

    theshadedmoon (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Alicia
    November 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    My favorite side dish is baked corn.

  • Beth Klocinski
    November 22, 2013 at 12:39 am

    My favorite is just plain out turkey and gravy,
    [email protected]

  • Anna and Liz Recipes
    November 21, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    HI Abbe! I hope we are not too late for entering in the giveaway! Its so nice of you to give a very generous gift. Everyone could definitely use a wholefoods gift card. Our favorite side dish for Thanksgiving ( and there are a few) would have to be the stuffed mushrooms, it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them!!
    email: [email protected]

  • ellie
    November 21, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Cornbread dressing is my favorite.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  • Susan Smoaks
    November 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    i love my green bean casserole.

    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

  • Denise Donaldson
    November 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

    My favorite side dish is home made mashed potatoes with home made turkey gravy! I cant wait! YUM!

    winz135 at

  • 07violet
    November 21, 2013 at 7:54 am

    One of my favorites is mashed potatoes.

    alterna7 at hotmail dot com

  • Timothy D
    November 21, 2013 at 4:19 am

    My favorite is the waldorf salad my great aunt makes,
    timothy j 228 AT gmail DOT com

  • annemarie562000
    November 21, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving dish!


  • brich2222
    November 21, 2013 at 2:07 am

    My favorite dish is greenbean casserole!

    Richard Hicks
    brich22 at earthlink dot net

  • bbrittbrat1398
    November 21, 2013 at 2:02 am

    I like sweet potato casserole.
    Brittney House [email protected]

  • Sonya
    November 21, 2013 at 12:41 am


  • Jennifer Reed
    November 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    My favorite Thanksgiving side dish is the mashed potatoes with the turkey giblet gravy.

  • susan1215
    November 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    My favorite side dish is stuffing, it's the one time of the year that I can enjoy stuffing in the bird which to me it the tastest,

    s2s2 at Comcast dot net

  • 1froglegs
    November 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    My favorite side dish is candied yams. Though, without the marshmallows I probably would care for them as much.

    [email protected]

  • jules mcnubbin (buttmuffin)
    November 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    my sister makes this broccoli casserole that is truly evil. it is so cheesy and delicious- we all freak out over it.

  • Kim Hardy
    November 20, 2013 at 11:17 am

    home made mac n cheese

  • smilekisses
    November 20, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I love the stuffing.
    dolniaks at consolidated dot net

  • Stephanie Larison
    November 20, 2013 at 7:00 am

    I love the stuffing, I don't know what my mother in law puts in hers (she wouldn't share, lol) but it's amazing!

  • Daniel M
    November 20, 2013 at 2:33 am

    it's all about the stuffing! – regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  • Julie
    November 20, 2013 at 12:29 am

    My favorite is stuffing
    thanks for the giveaway
    [email protected]

  • Sara Wood
    November 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I love homemade mac and cheese. sarajwood21 (at)gmail(dot)com

  • McKim
    November 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    My favorite side dish is the stuffing. I always make extra to have leftovers.

  • Amy
    November 19, 2013 at 4:12 am

    My favorite side dish for thanksgiving? Gotta be the stuffings! I think I like them even more than the turkey! hahaha….Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway. I love Whole Foods market.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  • Rachel Travis
    November 18, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I LOVE stuffing. Love Love Love. Seriously, it's what I can't wait to eat every thanksgiving 🙂

    rachelmarietravis at gmail dot com

  • YittleCat
    November 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I'm pretty fond of the fresh cranberry relish we make with toasted pecans, orange marmalade and ginger preserves. Its just about my favourite side dish. Other then that I confess I really like green bean casserole – once a year.

  • Eugenia Hall
    November 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I'm pretty fond of the fresh cranberry relish we make with toasted pecans, orange marmalade and ginger preserves. Its just about my favourite side dish. Other then that I confess I really like green bean casserole – once a year.

  • jzagarjr
    November 18, 2013 at 5:50 am

    My favorite side dish is stuffing

  • meredith m
    November 18, 2013 at 2:26 am

    I really like the zesty carrots dish my mom makes – its not very healthy, but we only eat it for thanksgiving, and its so good!!
    mermont84 at!

  • Tamar
    November 18, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I make the easiest cranberry pineapple sauce ever and it's a huge hit that people ask for it every year.
    I won't spoil the secret.
    Fine, I will.
    Take out pineapple from a can.
    Take out cranberry sauce from a can.
    Pretty pathetic, but hey, it's actually good and people want it 😉

  • Danielle Oyen
    November 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    My favorite side dish on Thanksgiving is green bean casserole.

  • Tabathia
    November 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I love chicken pastry and baked macaroni and cheese with bacon as a side dish

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  • Rebecca
    November 17, 2013 at 3:19 am

    I love the jellied cranberry!

    [email protected]

  • Diane52
    November 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Susan Stanberg cranberry relish
    Diane Baum
    [email protected]

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    i love cranberry sauce-so simple i know
    flyergal82 AT (yahoo) /dot/ $com^

  • Irina @ wandercrush
    November 16, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Cooking with tequila? Yes, please! My favourite side would have to be the cornbread. Always the cornbread.

  • Audrey T
    November 16, 2013 at 2:24 am

    My favorite side dish is the sweet potato casserole!

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2013 at 2:02 am

    my fav side dish is mashed potatoes with rosemary and gravy
    sonflower277 at gmail

  • kellyr78
    November 16, 2013 at 1:38 am

    I like candied yams for Thanksgiving.

  • kyl neusch
    November 16, 2013 at 1:17 am

    love mashed potatoes

  • Anonymous
    November 16, 2013 at 12:48 am

    corn souffle

  • Katie Roch
    November 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    My favorite Thanksgiving side dish is Sweet Potato Casserole.


  • Natalie
    November 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I love apple and craisin stuffing!

  • NancyC
    November 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I love Whole Foods! My favorite Thanksgiving dish would have to be sweet potato casserole!

  • Denise [email protected] Brazil To You
    November 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Abbe: What a gorgeous side dish for the holidays…I love its serving bowl as well.
    My favorite Thanksgiving dish is the sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows.

  • VP22
    November 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Call it dressing, call it stuffing, call it whatever you want to call it but that is most definitely my favorite side dish.

  • Stephen Alexander
    November 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Sweet Potato Pie is my fav!

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    November 14, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Laura Dembowski has left a new comment on your post "Orange Bitters and Tequila Cranberries and a #Whol…":

    My favorite Thanksgiving side dish is roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts. I'm actually not a Thanksgiving food fan. My family and I usually make filet mignon or prime rib. I love your little turkey visitor!

  • Liz Berg
    November 15, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Your cranberry dish looks wonderful…I wish my family would eat cranberry sauces and relishes! It's just the 5 of us this year, so I don't have an excuse to make any this year.

    PS…my favorite Thanksgiving side is spinach souffle.

  • amkj2002
    November 15, 2013 at 3:08 am

    My favorite side dish is homemade stuffing…chunks of good bread, sautéed onions and celery, some turkey stock, some seasoning. I can't wait!

  • Carey Miller
    November 15, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh, how I love them there potaters. 🙂

  • Emely
    November 15, 2013 at 12:03 am

    What a wonderful giveaway!
    My favorite dish is pumpkin pie 🙂 yummie!!
    [email protected]

  • Rich Morris
    November 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    I'm please by simple things such as cranberry sauce & stuffing

  • Holli Joren
    November 14, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    My favorite side dish is sweet potato casserole!

    hollisweeps (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    sksweeps has left a new comment on your post "Orange Bitters and Tequila Cranberries and a #Whol…":

    I think I have a new favorite! Your recipe sounds fabulous (I love chipotle!) will be trying it!
    sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I like mashed sweet potatoes

    [email protected]com

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Rose-Marie has left a new comment on your post "Orange Bitters and Tequila Cranberries and a #Whol…":

    My favorite side dish is stuffing! It isn't the same any other time than the Thanksgiving holiday, that is so magical! And I like all kinds of stuffing, just luv it! rose.marie447 at gmail dot com

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    sksweeps has left a new comment on your post "Orange Bitters and Tequila Cranberries and a #Whol…":

    I think I have a new favorite! Your recipe sounds fabulous (I love chipotle!) will be trying it!
    sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

  • Daraya Johnson
    November 14, 2013 at 11:52 am

    My favorite Thanksgiving dish is pumpkin pie, of course! 🙂

  • JC
    November 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I like sweet potato casserole
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  • sarah
    November 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Mine is mashed potatoes.
    stigay at

  • clc408
    November 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    My favorite side dish is my mom's cranberry salad. It just wouldn't be a holiday without it.

  • Angie Schneider
    November 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I have never had cranberries prepared this way…looks so intriguing! Love your serving bowl too.

  • Nancy
    November 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

    My favorite side dish on Thanksgiving is my grandmother's cornbread dressing . She also made special turkey gravy for me since I didn't like the giblets that were in her regular turkey gravy. I will miss her at Thanksgiving!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  • Sharon
    November 14, 2013 at 7:20 am

    [Not for giveaway]
    Oh, this is such a gorgeous dish…bowl included! Reflects Autumn's beautiful colours. It's so romantic-like ^.^

  • Stephanie
    November 14, 2013 at 5:31 am

    whipped maple sweet potato mash with pecans – yum!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  • Kitchen Riffs
    November 14, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Those are some pretty zesty cranberries! Lotta flavor there. Cranberry anything is good, but my fave side for Thanksgiving probably is stuffing (a/k/a dressing). Made my way, of course. 😉 Although it's all good. I've been finding pretty good organic turkeys at my local supermarket lately. Frozen, though, so they take time to defrost. But I've come to prefer frozen (without that basting stuff). They actually seem to have better flavor, weirdly enough. I think it's because frozen ones are frozen right after they are processed, whereas fresh ones sit for days before someone gets around to buying them. Anyway, interesting post.

  • harold - [email protected]
    November 14, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Our favorite side dish is our cajun "Dirty Rice". A mixture of ground beef, rice, chopped gizzards, seasonings.

    hd6719 (at)