HOMEMADE DRIED CRANBERRIES

by Holly on December 10, 2012

in rambling,recipes

I have the best intentions in the world.

I genuinely intend to call my best friends back after they’ve left three messages. To go to hot yoga after work. To cook a homemade dinner. To answer two-week-old emails in my inbox. To smile at strangers. To say an extra thank you to the checkout lady for not giving me the evil eye for talking to my mom on the phone during our whole transaction. To blog. To do the dirty dishes. To buy bold red lipstick and flaunt it like I got it. To organize my business finances. To finish homework for class tomorrow. To take a leisurely bath while reading. To meditate for 10 minutes.

Instead, I buy sparkly gold Sally Hansen nail strips and spend time meticulously putting them on. I check social media 1,047 times. I beach myself on my bed and wake up 30 minutes later. I text my friends I love them and will call them later this week. I eat no-name rice krispies with a sliced banana and almond milk. I stare at my pores. I lay on my bed some more. I read blogs instead of writing one. I look at the clock. And I ask myself how it is already 11pm at night. 

This all happens on a fairly regular basis.

But this week…this week is finals week, which means my good intentions are likely to fall even farther to the wayside. My two art finals are a perfectionist’s worst nightmare, so I am eating a lot of homemade nachos to compensate. Next week is my birthday, and I swear to you, if the world does in fact end on my special day (the 21st), I am going to be pissed at those damn Mayans. Then it’s onto the holidays! And family time. And 2013, when a royal baby will joyfully be born!

Life is good. Finals are stressful. The end of the world is unacceptable.

Have some dried cranberries.

Homemade Dried Cranberries with Lime
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 3 to 4 hours

1 (16-oz) bag fresh cranberries
1/3 cup cane sugar or 1/4 cup agave syrup
juice + zest of 1 small lime

Chop fresh cranberries in half and place in a medium-size bowl. Add sugar or agave, lime juice + zest and 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Let soak for at least four hours, stirring occasionally (if possible).

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

In a colander, strain cranberries, reserving the juice. Spread cranberries on a baking sheet, and drizzle 2 to 3 T of reserved cranberry juice. Place in the oven and let cook for 3 to 4 hours, turning cranberries occasionally. Cook until cranberries are lightly brown around the edges but still soft in the middle. Let cool. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes 1 to 2 cups dried cranberries

{ 22 comments }

dana@minimalistbaker December 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Me likey. Me likey very much : )

Karey @ Nutty About Health December 10, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Mmm, I LOVE dried cranberries, so good. Good luck w/finals! :)

Robyn @thereallife_RD December 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

the first two paragraphs are the story of my life. well said my friend.

good luck on finals!

Ann December 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm

As someone who has just finished finals after finding new levels of procrastination, I can confidently say, with conviction, that you will be fine. You’ll do great. I think procrastination/slacking covertly helps somehow. I have no proof, but it’s a fact! And then, once they’re done, you get a double celebration with your birthday.

Personally, I’m celebrating by making brownies.

Sophie December 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Good intentions, yes, I write lists of my good intentions…and then I forget to take the list with me and I discover it months later and am inspired to write another list to get back on track. But it’s all in the pursuit isn’t it?! Pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of spreading the happiness…

P.S. I like you cranberries.

Jordan Lynn (Ciao Cow) December 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Good luck with everything! I am also in the midst of finals right now, so I feel you.

Shayne December 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

If the world is going to end on your birthday, then it’s all the more reason to enjoy yourself and do the things that keep you happy during finals season, well intended or no! Best of luck and happy early birthday—I hope some of those dried cranberries wind up in a self-congratulatory cocktail next week!

Kathryn December 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

Oh I hear you. Every night I get home from work and I’m determined that I’m going to tackle my to do list and then I spend all evening watching TV and checking twitter. One day, I tell myself, one day I’ll learn to stop procrastinating.

I get through a huge amount of dried cranberries as my boyfriend is pretty sure that there isn’t a baked good that isn’t improved by their addition so I love having a recipe to make them myself. Thanks Holly and good luck with your finals!

Lauren December 11, 2012 at 7:23 am

I would never ever think to attempt this but now I’m considering it! Natural dried cranberries, say it ain’t so! :)

Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper December 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

Lime zest? Whattttttt? That just kicked these up about 200 notches.
Good luck on finals! You and I are on the same boat. Let’s just skip exams and go straight to Christmas, eh?

Katie December 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

Don’t know why I’ve never made my own cranberries – we go through handfuls an hour over here! Good luck with finals!

Claire December 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

You seriously hit the nail on the head with that one. It’s finals week for me, too, and I find myself drawn to social media/reading more blogs than studying. Heh, guess that’s just how it goes sometimes. Good luck on all your finals! I’ll be treating myself to some froyo after I take mine. :D

Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) December 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

The end of the world is totally unacceptable. I have stuff to do, yo.

I thought these were sundried tomatoes at first… but cranberries are great too, and now I want BOTH. Ps. Good luck on finals! :)

elizabeth December 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

You and me! although I finished my finals, yesterday and they nearly killed me. Do those Sally Hansen nail strips really work? I always think about buying them to try, but then $10 seems like too much when I’m already buying 10 things I don’t need at Target for $10 a piece because that’s the way that store works. Darn it!

Mari December 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I can’t wait to try this recipe. As for the other procrastinator things you listed, they sound like just another day in my life as well!

Teri [a foodie stays fit] December 12, 2012 at 6:19 am

i tried making dried cranberries once and they were TERRIBLE. i need to try them again apparently. :)

Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans December 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

Pretty accurate portrayal of my finals week too. Except replace the nachos with cookies, wine, chocolate and coffee, and add in one mad rush to finish everything you put off all semester the night before it’s due.

Emily December 12, 2012 at 10:23 am

Well. This is brillant.

Maren December 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I hope these are getting you through finals! And afterwards, you celebrate with some beers! xo

Hillary December 14, 2012 at 7:15 am

So, this sounds too familiar for words. I have “no time,” and yet I manage to spend a sizeable chunk of my day watching Bravo and scanning Pinterest. Priorities, right?

As for the apocalypse, I dropped Nick off at the airport last night and realized that he’ll be gone until the 31st. I actually said to him, “BUT WHAT IF THE WORLD ENDS AND I NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN?!” Catastrophe is my middle name, apparently.

(Happy early birthday! Weirdest transition ever).

Megan (Braise the Roof) December 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

Oh girl, I hear ya. Too much to do, not enough time and too many distractions! At least you’ve got delicious snacks to get you through it. ;)

Raizel @ Sweet Pickled Reality December 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm

This sounds just like me! I have two final exams on Monday and despite my best intentions the time has just flown by. I can’t wait to try these cranberries though; they sound like the perfect exam-period snack.

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