Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Roundup: Thanksgiving Recap, Exciting News, Blog Awards AND Cranberry Compote!!

Well...Thanksgiving is over for another year. Before moving on to All Things Christmas here at The Weekend Gourmet, let's take a few minutes to reflect on Thanksgiving. I also have some exciting news, a blog award to share and pass along, AND a recipe for a FAB Cranberry Compote to share with y'all!! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with those you love and lots of yummy food. We had a lunch for six here at Casa Garcia yesterday. My husband's parents, brother, and sister-in-law celebrated with us. We ate ourselves silly, watched a bit of football, and took a few food-induced naps! All that's left now is the remains...lots of leftovers in the fridge and a turkey carcass in the freezer that is destined to become a nice pot of soup very soon. 

I received some VERY exciting news earlier this week. My friend Louanne at Louanne's Kitchen sponsored a contest with Spices Inc. earlier this month. The contest was to pick 10 seasonings or spices from the Spices Inc. website and design and name a 10-jar spice set. The winner receives their customized set and it's featured at the website for purchase. I created a 10-seasoning set that I called Wendy's Wow Factor. The CEO of the company picked two winners, one of which was mine!! I was thrilled and honored to have my spice set selected. I hope you'll check out my Wendy's Wow Factor 10-jar spice set and let me know what you think!!

In other good news, my friend Tracy at Tracy's Living Cookbook has presented me with the following Stylish Blogger Award:

I'm so very honored to receive this award! Tracy's blog always has great recipes, so go check it out! As part of my award, I need to share seven things about myself that you might not know. goes:
  1. I'm a native Texan. I grew up in the Houston area (Alvin) and have also lived in Denton for college (UNT) and San Antonio. I moved to San Antonio in 2000 to attend law school and have been here since.
  2. I love to travel. Last year, we spent a week eating our way through New York. Then we spent July 4th weekend in Chicago. We were supposed to see U2 at Soldier Field, but the show was cancelled when Bono hurt his back. It's rescheduled for July 2011, so we'll be heading back!
  3. My favorite color is RED, which you can probably tell from my blog design.
  4. I love movies...comedy, documentaries, Oscar-worthy name it!
  5. My favorite musicians are Sting/The Police, The Beatles, Elton John, and U2.
  6. I saw Elvis Presley (in a slammin' white jumpsuit, no less!) at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at the Astrodome when I was a kid.
  7. Foods that I can't stand include: liver, olives, and really stinky cheeses. 
There you have it...a little more about me! Now I want to give this Stylish Blogger Award to 15 of my favorite blogs. These are the blogs that I visit regularly and always enjoy...I hope you'll check them out if you haven't visited them before!
  1. Kim at Liv Life
  2. Veronica at The Enchanted Cook
  3. Sommer at A Mama With Flavor
  4. Georgia at The Comfort of Cooking
  5. Monet at Anecdotes and Apple Cores
  6. Debbie at Squirrel Bakes
  7. Lindsey at Gingerbread Bagels
  8. Louanne at Louanne's Kitchen
  9. Kim at Quit Eating Out
  10. Elisabeth at Food and Thrift Finds
  11. Evan at Sweets by E
  12. Amber at Sprinkled With Flour
  13. Gina at What's For Dinner Across State Lines
  14. Sydney at The Drinkwater Kitchen
  15. Koci at La Kocinera
Now I want to share a fantastic recipe for cranberry compote. This is a great recipe because it tastes fantastic, and it makes a big batch! This batch made enough for White Chocolate Cranberry Oat Bars, a simple cranberry compote-cream cheese appetizer, and a generous bowl for the Thanksgiving table. Best of all? I still have enough left to make another batch of those fab oatmeal bars in the next few days! Cranberries aren't just for Thanksgiving...they're a good flavor profile the entire holiday season, so I hope you'll give this yummy compote a try in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Cranberry Compote
adapted from Paula Deen

Step 1:  Add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add one 16-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries and stir to combine.

Step 2:  Lower heat so that the liquid just simmers. Add 1 cup chopped peeled Gala apple, 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts), 1/3 cup currants, 1/3 cup Grand Marnier, 1/2 cup orange juice, the zest of one orange, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. Stir to combine.

Step 3:  Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens. Remove pan from heat and let the sauce cool before adding to the serving bowl. This is best made the day before and refrigerated to allow the flavors to combine.

This recipe caught my eye because it had a lot of flavors and textures. The apple, currants, and nuts gave it a nice flavor...and Grand Marnier makes just about anything taste better! 


  1. Hi Wendy! Congrats on winning that spice contest and your deserve both, sweet woman! Thank you so much for honoring me too. You are precious, and I loved learning a little bit more about you. I hate olives too, by the way! Thank you for sharing your cranberry sauce. It looks like it was a winner!

  2. Wendy, congratulations on your Stylish Blogger Award, and thank you so much for passing this along to me! I very much appreciate it. Your cranberry compote looks absolutely delicious, full of flavor and perfect for the pork tenderloin I'm going to make soon. Thank you for sharing! Happy holidays!

  3. Congratulations on the spice contest!! Your spice collection sounds delicious, especially the Greek blend. Makes me want to get grilling! :D

    Thank you so much for the award! I really appreciate it!

  4. Wendy - Awesome post on so many levels! Congrats on winning the contest to name a spice collection - wow! And congrats on the Stylish Blogger Award, and THANK YOU for awarding me! I loved learning more about you. And lastly, the cranberry compote looks fantastic! I made a similar one (using Grand Marnier) but not near as "fancy" - lol! I will have to try yours next time!

    All the best,

  5. Congrats on the winning the contest, how cool is that?! And congrats on receiving the Stylish Blogger Award! Thank you soooo much for giving me the award, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. You made my day!

    Your cranberry compote looks so incredibly delicious! I love that you added Grand Marnier!

    By the way, I hate olives too!

  6. Congrats on winning the contest and thank you so much for the award :) This cranberry compote looks absolutely delicious and if it's Paula Deen then you know its good! Hope you had a lovely holiday!!

  7. Congrats on the contest and the award! What a weekend it sounds like you had. I still have company, thank you so much for thinking of me. I love the cranberry compote too. I think I had cranberries in four dishes this year, I couldn't get enough!

  8. Congratulations on the spice contest award, and also on the stylish blog award. You truly deserve them. Your cranberry compote looks amazing, and yummy. Beautiful photos, as well.

    Wendy-I can't thank you enough for honoring me with the Stylish Blog Award. I'm honored to receive it from such a wonderful friend with a gorgeous red blog. Red used to be my most favorite festive color for a long time... now I love all colors, as well.

    I see you had a lovely Thanksgiving too with all kinds of goodies!

  9. Congratulations!!!! You do have a lot of flavor, not surprised you won!!! And thanks so much for the award!!

    Mmm that cranberry compote looks fab!

  10. Congratulations!!!!!!! That is so super darn cool. Seriously super darn cool. Great to learn about you more - agree with you on the olives and stinky cheeses, but I love liver!

  11. Congrats on winning the spice contest, the Baharat blend would go perfect when I'm in the mood for some Mediterranean- Middle Eastern dishes.
    Congrats on the award too, you deserve it.
    Thanks for sharing the cranberry compote recipe, sounds so good.
    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend

  12. Yes...having a good holiday weekend! Busy, so could use another day off tomorrow to get the Christmas decor up. Lot of leftovers in the freezer, so need some good turkey and ham recipes...

  13. Congrats on winning both awards! Very exciting that your spice recipe was recognized! The cranberry relish looks divine!

  14. Wow--congrats for winning the spice award! That's awesome. =) Also, the compote looks amazing. Cranberries just have such gorgeous color.

  15. You are too sweet! Thank you for the award, and congratulations to you for winning it, too! I loved seeing your spice set on Spices Inc - too cool!

  16. THANK YOU so much! And congratulations to YOU on this award. {hugs to you}

  17. Wendy! I can't believe I missed this email until now. Well, I actually can due to what's been going on in our lives...but THANK YOU! You are very kind and I enjoy following your blog as well. :) I will have to write a little bit about this award and link you to it. I feel like such a silly for missing it until now; normally I'm quite "techy" and don't do that!
    Anyway, hope you had a wonderful Christmas, New Year, and anniversary! We both married Michaels. :) Thanks, again, Wendy.


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