Cranberry Bars


This recipe isn’t Whole 30.  This recipe isn’t Paleo.   This recipe is good, old-fashioned baking and it has cranberries.  Win and win again. This week’s recipes are all courtesy of  Christina Lane at Dessert For Two.  You already know how much I love  Dessert For Two.  I have posted many of her recipes over the years.  Christina Lane is my favorite blogger ever.

What you don’t know is if  I had never come  across Dessert For Two there would be no A Solitary Feast.  It was never my intent to start a food/recipe blog when I started adapting recipes for one or two.  My intent was to adapt some recipes for my friend, Steph, who was moving out on her own for the first time and I wanted to encourage Steph to  cook.

When I gave her the recipes, Steph started telling  me I should start a recipe blog.  I kind of blew her off because 1.  I didn’t really know what a blog was.  2,  I didn’t really think anyone outside my circle of friends and, maybe, my mother would be interested in the recipes.  The idea of recipe blogs intrigued me enough I wanted to  check it out, though.

The very first blog I found was Christina Lane’s Dessert For  Two.  I love to bake as much as I love to cook so I tried her recipes right away.  I fell in love.  I have made dozens of her recipes over the years.  As I watched Dessert For Two bloom and grow, I started thinking there might be some place on the internet for my dinner recipes.  Three months later I posted my first recipe on A Solitary Feast.

Christina is not only my cooking and baking inspiration she also inspires me as a person.   In a world that seems to take pleasure in tearing you down, Christina has taken time to build me up and encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone.  In a world full of negative, she is a bright and shining positive.

Cranberry Bars

From Dessert For Two

6 TBS butter, cold and diced

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1//2 cups leftover cranberry sauce

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.  Leave enough parchment paper hanging over the sides to help remove the bars after baking.  In a medium bowl, add the  flour, sugar and salt.   Add the diced butter to the flour.  Using your fingers,  rub the butter into the flour.  You will know when the butter and flour are mixed well when it sticks together when you lightly squeeze it in your fist.  Spread the flour/butter into the bottom of  the prepared pan. Using  your  hands,  press the  crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the  pan.  You want to press relatively  hard  so the flour/ butter  mixture sticks together to form the crust.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, stir the vanilla into  the  leftover cranberry sauce.  When the crust is done baking, spread the cranberry sauce over the crust.  Bake another 20 minutes or until  the crust is golden brown.  Let cool in the  pan before slicing.


Brussels Sprouts Salad (Whole 30)


Good grief!!!  How did it get to be Saturday and I haven’t posted anything?  It isn’t that I haven’t been cooking.   I think the problem is most of what I have been cooking isn’t mine to share.  I was picked to help recipe test for  a cookbook that is coming out in the fall.  Since the cookbook isn’t small batch I have sooooo many leftovers.   I will share more with you when I can.  For now I will tell you it is going to be an awesome  electric pressure cooker cookbook when it comes out.

In the mean time,  I am going to tell you about another cookbook that is already out and you should have in your cookbook library.  On Sunday,  I picked up a copy of Mark Bittman’s 10th anniversary edition of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian.   My love for Mark Bittman is no secret so it was no surprise,  I love this book.  The book isn’t just a reprint of the original How To Cook Everything Vegetarian.  The majority of the recipes are new.  The recipes have also been revised to rely less on dairy and cheese to fill out the recipes  so many of them can easily be made Whole 30 compliant, which has become important to me.   As usual,  Mark Bittman’s recipes use ingredients you probably have on hand already.

I noticed two things about this book that are different from his other How To Cook Everything books.  First,  there are absolutely gorgeous food photography.  Mr.  Bittman”s other How To Cook Everything books have  line drawings.   The second thing I noticed about this book is the recipes don’t have as many variations to each recipe as the original How To Cook Everything Vegetarian does.  I think this is in line with Mark Bittman’s adoption of a simpler style of eating and in no way detracts from the loveliness of this book.  `

Brussels Sprouts Salad

Adapted From The 10th Anniversary Edition How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

3/4 lb Brussels sprouts


2 1/2 TBS olive oil

1 TBS lemon juice

1/2 small red onion

1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1/4 cup nuts, chopped

Using a paring knife thinly slice the Brussels sprouts.  Transfer the sprouts to a medium bowl.  Add a pinch of salt and gently work the salt through the sprouts with your hands.  Just left, separate the strands while rubbing the salt through it.   Add the olive oil, lemon juice,  red onion, cranberries, and nuts.  Mix well.   Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.   

Elsie’s Cranberry Pie

The good news is we are finely to the best part of Thanksgiving dinner, dessert. The bad news is the dessert is not Whole30 compliant. I was going to try some desserts that were technically compliant, remember desserts wouldn’t actually be allowed on a Whole 30, but my friend, Heather, and I paid our first visit to the new Aldi grocery store in Moorhead Monday night. They had fresh cranberries for .98 cents a bag. I bought one and Heather gave me hers because she didn’t know you had to cook cranberries to make them edible. I have to find something to do with the 24 ounces of fresh cranberries I have.

I dug this recipe out of the recesses of my draft pile where it had been hiding for at least 2 years. It is super easy because there is no pie dough to make and roll out. Instead you make a batter and just spread it over the top of the cranberries. Serve this pie warm.

Elsie's Cranberry Pie

The cookbook I adapted this recipe from came from the library and I can’t remember the name of it.


1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup honey, divided

1 egg

6 TBS all purpose flour

4 TBS butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a 5 inch deep dish pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Add the cranberries and pecans. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of honey over the cranberries and pecans; set aside. In a small bowl, beat the egg until the white and yolk are well combined.  While still beating, add the remaining 2 tablespoons honey, flour and melted butter; mix well.  Spread the mixture over the cranberry pecan mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is lightly toasted brown.  Let cool 5 minutes and serve warm.

Thanksgiving Round Up 2017


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Thanksgiving is only 18 days away.  Since I was planning on doing a Whole 30 in November, I planned a Whole 30 Thanksgiving feast.  I still plan on posting those recipes this month even though I am not doing a Whole 30.   For those of you not interested in Whole 30 Thanksgiving recipes, I am posting a round up of all the Thanksgiving recipes I have posted since the beginning of A Solitary Feast so you can plan your holiday meal.  I hope you can find things to enjoy.

Brown Sugar Rubbed Turkey Breast

Wildrice Stuffing With Cranberries And Walnuts

Balsamic Honey Brussels Sprouts

Scoop And Bake Dinner Rolls

Cranberry Pie

Spiced Cornish Game Hens

Homemade Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Classic Green Bean Casserole

Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Pie


Cranberry Pork Roast


Once the pumpkin and pumpkin spice everything hits the shelf, I know it’s time for me to pull out my cranberry recipes for A Solitary Feast.   If you have been here a while you know I have made it my own personal crusade to raise cranberries reputation to more than the stuff from the can that no one wants to eat at Thankgiving.

What most people don’t know about cranberries, is they are equally at home in savory, main meal dishes as they are in sweet dessert dishes.  I found this recipe for cranberry pork roast on New Leaf Wellness, a site dedicated crockpot freezer meals.  Although I am not a crockpot cook, I will be adapting the recipes on this site not only to serve one or two but also to be done in the pressure cooker in the future.  I did this pork recipe in the oven and it worked just fine.  The recipe combines two of my absolute favorite things to use in my recipes, cranberries and pork.

Cranberry Pork Roast

Adapted from New Leaf Wellness

Note:  You could use a can of cranberry sauce, if you absolutely must.

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup dried onion flakes

1 3 lb pork roast

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small sauce pan, over medium high heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the berries pop and the sauce start to thicken.  Let cool for 10 minutes. Combine the cranberry sauce and dried onion flakes.  Place the roast in a baking dish. Dump the cranberry/onion mixture over the top and bake for 60-70 minutesor until a thermometer inserted  in the center reads 155 degrees.  Let sit for 10 minutes before carving.