Monthly Archives: December 2011

Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

Meat is definitely Alyssa's specialty.  She has been making these ribs for a couple of years now.  

She gets her ribs at Findlay Market at Mackie Quality Meats


When it was decided that Alyssa would be in charge of Thanksgiving dinner last year, her Grandpa Joe requested Barbecue Ribs.  That's pretty funny because Grandma had just told everyone we were having a traditional Thanksgiving.  I guess Grandpa got smart and went straight to the chef.

That was random, I know.  But a nice a memory.

We use Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce.  It's yum.  

Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs

Compliments of JennaDish

Adapted from a recipe on 

2 slabs baby back ribs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce (we use Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Peel off tough membrane covering bony side of the ribs, if necessary.   Mix sugar and spices to make the rub, apply rub to ribs on all sides.  Lay ribs on two layers of foil, meaty side down.  Lay two layers of foil on top of ribs and seal tightly all around.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone.  Remove from oven and heat broiler.  Arrange on broiler pan, bone side up.  Brush on sauce and broil for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce is cooked on and starting to bubble.  Turn ribs over and repeat on other side. 


Japanese Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers

Japanese Pork and Shrimp Potstickers
Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers

I wanted to take on the project of learning how to make Pot Stickers the old fashioned way.  No store-bought wrappers.  Went to the library and borrowed Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen.  Since I'm a total newbie at this, it took a total of about 2 1/2 hours with constantly reading the cookbook and checking myself, so in the future the time should be cut way down.  Overall, I didn't mind spending the time on this project – it was actually fun.  

I made the filling first, then made the dough.  In the future, I will do the opposite.  If you make the dough first, it can sit in a bag softening while you make the filling.  The recipe says to let the filling sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavors to meld, but believe me, it will sit out and meld as you make the wrappers. 

The following photo captions won't make much sense until you read through the recipe.  But if you try the recipe, looking back at these photos may help to make sense of the instructions.  


After water was drawn out of this Napa cabbage, squeezed by hand and then with a clean cotton cloth.


If you are thinking of leaving out the shrimp, that's fine, but don't even think about leaving out the pork. It's fat is necessary for the method of cooking it requires.

My dough is probably a little on the dry side, probably because I used King Arthur's flour which oftentimes requires a bit more liquid than other flours would need.  But it still worked out fine…


Although I was concerned about my dough being dry, the recipe author explains that the dough should bounce back slowly when you press it with your finger, which it did.  


And what I didn't realize was that because the dough is made with hot water, when you leave it in the bag with the air expelled, it softens from the moisture and becomes easy to work with.


I cut the top off a zip-top bag and put a little flour in it or otherwise the dough sticks.  Then I put the little dough ball in the bag and used a saucepan to flatten the disk as flat as I could, about 1/8".  


Then you take each wrapper and, leaving a thicker "belly" in the center, roll the edges toward you while rotating the circle around 1/4 turn.  


Mine turned out to be somewhat irregular circles but it worked out just fine, especially for a beginner.  Pot stickers don't have to be pretty, nor perfect, to taste good.  The smaller disk in the back of this photo is one that hasn't been rolled out yet.  This shows the size difference you can expect.

The flavors of this filling were awesome.  Bought many of my Asian ingredients at Jungle Jim's over the weekend.

Pot Stickers

Not as beautiful as some, but certainly tasty.

Japanese Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers
Compliments of JennaDish

from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

MAKES 32 DUMPLINGS (4 as main course, 6-8 as appetizer)

2 cups lightly packed, finely chopped napa cabbage, cut from whole leaves (about 7 ounces or 3 leaves)
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced and crushed into a paste (I minced only)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons chopped Chinese chives or scallions (white and green parts)
6 ounces ground pork, fattier kind preferred, coarsely chopped to loosen
1/3 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, and chopped (4 1/2 ounces net weight)
 Scant 1/4 teaspoon sugar
Generous 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons Japanese soy sauce or light (regular) soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sake (I used Sherry)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

10 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
About 3/4 cup boiling water 

Canola oil or sesame oil or a combination of both, for pan frying

5 Tablespoons Japanese soy sauce or light (regular) soy sauce
2 1/2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chile oil (optional)

Japanese hot mustard, Chinese hot mustard, or Colman's English mustard for dipping (optional)

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Set aside for about 15 minutes to draw excess moisture from the cabbage.  Drain n a fine-mesh strainer, rinse with water, and drain again.  To remove more moisture, squeeze the cabbage in your hands over the sink, or put into a cotton (not terry cloth) kitchen towel and wring out the moisture over the sink.  You should have about 1/2 cup firmly packed cabbage.

TRANSFER THE CABBAGE to a bowl and add the garlic, ginger, Chinese chives, pork, and shrimp.  Stir and lightly mash the ingredients so that they start coming together.

IN A SMALL BOWL, stir together the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the sugar, pepper, soy sauce, sake, and sesame oil.  Pour these seasonings over the meat and cabbage mixture, and then stir and fold the ingredients together.  Once you have broken up the large chunks of pork so none are visible, briskly stir to blend the ingredients into a cohesive, thick mixture.  To develop the flavors, cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.  You should have about 2 cups of filling.  (Can prepare filling 1 day ahead – bring to room temperature before assembling the dumplings.)

MEANWHILE, form 16 wrappers from 1/2 the dough.  Aim for wrappers that are about 3 1/4 inches in diameter.  (This is where I found a glitch in this recipe.  It never mentions again to make another 16 wrappers with the remaining dough – but you WILL need to do this to use up all dough and filling.  When using only half the dough in the beginning, place the other half back in the plastic bag and remove all air, letting sit until needed.)

BEFORE ASSEMBLING the dumplings, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  (If you plan to refrigerate the dumplings for several hours, or freeze them, lightly dust the paper with flour to avoid sticking.)  For each dumpling, hold a wrapper in a slightly cupped hand. My simplified instructions: Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of filling and place in the center leaving just enough edge to pinch together – no fancy pattern.  I chose to make 24 fat dumplings so I put at least 1 tablespoon in each 3 1/4" diameter wrapper, and even when the filling oozed to the edge, the dough still pinched together just fine.

When finished with the first half, cover with a dry kitchen towel while making the other 16 (or 8) wrappers and filling.

ONCE ALL The dumplings are assembled, they can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for several hours; they can be cooked straight from the refrigerator.  For longer storage, freeze them on their tray until hard (about 1 hour), transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag, seal well, and keep them frozen for up to 1 month; partially thaw, using your finger to smooth over any cracks that may have formed during freezing, before cooking.

TO PANFRY the dumplings, use a medium or large nonstick skillet (using skillets or pan with fitted lids work best), if both sizes are handy, cook two batches at the same time.  Heat the skillet over medium-high heat and put 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons oil (canola or 2 parts canola to 1 part sesame oil) in each pan.  Add the dumplings one at a time, placing them sealed edges up in a winding circle pattern or straight rows.  The dumplings may touch.  Fry 1-2 minutes until they're golden brown on the bottom.

HOLDING THE LID over the skillet (ready to protect yourself from the steam that is to come) add about 1/3 hot water to each skillet.  It will boil and sputter dramatically.  Put the lid on each skillet and lower the heat to medium and let the water bubble away until it si mostly gone, 8 to 10 minutes.  After 6-8 minutes, move the lid or foil so that is is slightly ajar to allow the steam to shoot out from underneath. This lessens the drama of condensation dripping down onto the hot oil when you remove the lid.

WHILE THE DUMPLINGS cook, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chile oil in a small bowl to create a dipping sauce.  Taste and make any flavor adjustments.

WHEN THE BUBBLING noise in the skillet turns into a gently frying sound (a sign that most of the water is gone), remove the lid.  Allow the dumplings to fry for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are brwon and crisp.  Turn off the heat and wait until the sizzling stops before transferring the dumplings to a serving plate, using a spatula to lift up a few of them at a time.  Display them with the bottoms up so that they remain crisp.

SERVE IMMEDIATELY with dipping sauce in a communal bowl or divided up among individual rice bowls or dipping bowls.  If serving hot mustard, use a separate bowl for this.


TO MAKE THE DOUGH (with food processor)

Put the 10 ounces (or 2 cups) flour in the work bowl of the food processor.  With the machine running, add 3/4 cup of water just-boiled water in a steady stream through the feed tube.  As soon as all the water has been added, stop the machine and check the dough.  It should look rough and feel soft but firm enough to hold its shape when pinched.  If necessary, add water by the teaspoon or flour by the tablespoon.  When satisfied, run the machine for another 5 to 10 seconds to further knead and form a ball around the blade.  Avoid overworking the dough.

Transfer the dough and any bits to a work surface; flour your work surface only if necessary, and then sparingly.  Knead the dough with the heel of your hand for about 30 seconds.  The result should be nearly smooth and somewhat elastic; press on the dough; it should slowly bounce back, with a light impression of your finger remaining. Place the dough in a zip-top bag and seal tightly closed, expelling excess air.  Set aside to rest at room temperture for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.  The dough will steam up the plastic bag and become earlobe soft, making wrappers easy to work with.

After resting, the dough can be used right away to form the wrappers.  Or, refrigerate it overnight and return to room temperature before using.

When the dough is ready, take out, cut in half and work with the first half while the 2nd half goes back in the bag to keep soft.  Roll the dough you are starting to work with into a 1" log as even as possible.  Cut into 16 even pieces, shaping the dough into somewhat of a ball.  One by one, put the ball of dough between two pieces of wax paper or in a freezer bag dusted with a little flour, place on table and find a flat item such as a saucepan to flatten into a circle 1/8" thick.  Lay aside each round on non-stick paper until all are finished. 

Going back to each round, take a small rolling pin or dowel and, keeping away from the very center (leaving a nickel or quarter size area of thickness in the center), roll the wrapper from near center toward you, spin 1/4 turn, do the same all the way around until it's about 3 1/4" in diameter with a slightly thicker "belly" than the rest of the circle.

Double Chocolate Brownies

 Birthday Brownies!!!

Alyssa requested for her birthday either an apple pie, Rice Krispie treats, or brownies.

Double Chocolate Brownie w Spumoni

 I chose to make her Brownies.

Double Chocolate Brownies
She and her sister thought they were too chocolatey.  I haven't found one person (other than my two daughters) who thinks anything can be too chocolatey.


Oh well.  My friends and I (and Allen) thought they were awesome.  Especially with spumoni ice cream after an Italian dinner.

Double Chocolate Brownies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Martha Stewart Cookies

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used bittersweet)
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang.  Butter lining (not overhang).  Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until melted.  Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salit in a bowl.  Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes.  Add chocolate mixture; mix until combined.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combines.

Pour batter into pan; spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet about 35 minutes.  Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes.  Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.  Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Fleur de Sel Toffee

Fleur de Sel Toffee

Sometimes I spend a lot of time and effort on a meal or recipe and it doesn't work out for one reason or another.  Whether it's the recipe or the cook, being hurried, not having the right equipment, not planning ahead… it happens. 

But this new recipe was a happy moment.  I did become highly frustrated at the person who evidently "submerged" my candy thermometer in water.  Condensation covered the little red line, so the candy was bubbling and seemingly burning as I tried to guess the temperature … but it still (amazingly) worked out.

Gave this as a gift to friends at work.  Tastes like a lightly salted Heath bar, without the chocolate.

Jenna's Tips:  I poured this candy into a half sheet rimmed baking sheet, sized approximately 13" x 18".  Perfect size, however some of my baking sheets are bowed from oven heat.  I didn't consider this and my candy was slightly thinner in the middle of the pan, and slightly thicker on the edges.  Choose one that is completely flat to get even pieces.

Also, the recipe doesn't mention how much salt to use.  I believe I used about 1 Tablespoon, or slightly more, over the whole surface.

Fleur de Sel Toffee
Compliments of JennaDish


MAKES 2 POUNDS (two 6" diameter x 3" high gift tins)

Vegetable oil, cooking spray
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Bring butter, sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil in a large saucepan, whisking frequently until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Cook, undisturbed, until mixture registers 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 12 minutes.

Whisk toffee mixture, then immediately pour onto prepared sheet, tilting pan to spread over entire surface. Let stand for 30 seconds, then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Let cool. (Do not move the pan for first 30 minutes.) Break toffee into pieces. Toffee will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.


Marcella Hazan Meatballs

 Happy Birthday Alyssa!

Marcella Hazan Meatballs

Thank you for making Italian Meatballs from the famed cookbook Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan on your birthday.

Meatballs and Sauce


Compliments of JennaDish

from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan


A slice of good-quality white bread (used Italian bread)
1/3 cup milk
1 pound ground beef, preferably ground chuck
1 Tablespoon onion, chopped very fine
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 egg
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Whole nutmeg (I used ground nutmeg)
Black pepper, freshly ground
Fine, dry, unflavored bread crumbs, spread on a plate (processed about 3-4 large Italian bread slices)
Vegetable oil

1. Trim away the bread crust, put the milk and bread in a small saucepan and turn on the heat to low.  When the bread has soaked up all the milk, mash it to a pulp with a fork.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

2. Into a bowl put the chopped meat, onion, parsley, the egg, the tablespoon of olive oil, the grated Parmesan, a tiny grating of nutmeg – about 1/8 teaspoon – the bread and milk mush, salt, and several grindings of black pepper.  Gently knead the mixture with your hands without squeezing it.  When all the ingredients are evenly combined, shape it gently and without squeezing into balls about 1 inch in diameter.  Roll the balls lightly in the bread crumbs.

3. Choose a saute pan that can subsequently accommodate all the meatballs in a single layer.  (or cook them in two batches) Pour in enough vegetable oil to come 1/4 inch up the sides.  Turn on the heat to medium high and when the oil is hot, slip in the meatballs.  Sliding them in with a spatula will avoid splashing hot oil out of the pan.  Brown the meatballs on all sides, turning them carefully so they won't break up.

This is a partial recipe of Marcella Hazan's Meatballs and Tomatoes recipe.  I just preferred to use Muir Glen Organic Pasta Sauce in place of cooking plain tomatoes.

Christmas-Spiced Chocolate Cake


Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake Lights

Christmas Spiced Flourless Chocolate Cake II

Popped into the Walnut Hills Library to renew my library card.  Spotted Nigella Christmas propped up on a display.  Grabbed it. 

Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake
Found this cake recipe and couldn't wait to try it.  So I decided this would be my offering for the church Christmas Party.  

Tasted great.  Would do a few minor things different next time.

Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake III
Here's what it looked like the next day.  This is a flourless chocolate cake, made with 6 eggs.  So it's like a cross between a brownie (top) and a custard pie (bottom).  And just like many cakes and pies, it can be better the next day.  You can pick this up and eat it like a brownie.  You make it in a 9" spring form pan.

Notes to Self
1) Serving the cake on the bottom of the spring form pan with wet parchment paper left on bottom works fine, but is not the greatest when taking to a party.  People who don't understand this cake will likely think it's soggy and maybe even underdone. To resolve:  Plate the cake.  Flip the cake after it's cooled enough, remove the parchment, place on flat serving plate.

2) Caramelized almond slivers stick together in clumps.  Makes a pretty presentation but impractical for cutting through them.  You can easily scoot them over and cut the cake, but other ideas are:  when ready to serve, take the cake into the kitchen, remove the clumps of glued-together almonds, slice all the cake and place on plates.  As it's time to serve each person, plop some whipped cream on each piece and top with the almonds.  Or slice the cake without the almonds on it while leaving it on the serving plate, then toss the almonds back on.  

3) The batter leaks a bit through the bottom.  To resolve:  When preparing pan, before pouring batter in, put the pan on a piece of foil large enough to cover the bottom and come up over the seams about 2 inches.  Form the foil around the bottom tightly.

Some prep photos…


Christmas-Spiced Chocolate Cake
Compliments of JennaDish

from Nigella Lawson's Nigella Christmas 


Nigella recommends serving with Cointreau Cream – whisk 1 cup heavy cream until softly whipped, with about 3 Tablespoons of Cointreau Cream (or Triple Sec or Grand Marnier).

For the Cake:
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1 stick plus 3 Tablespoons butter
6 eggs
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour (meal)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used Vietnamese cinnamon)
pinch of ground cloves
zest of 1 clementine (I used 2 teaspoons granulated orange peel)
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder

For the Topping:
juice of zested clementine (I used 3/4 the juice of an orange)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Bring eggs to room temperature (cover in bowl of warm water for 10 minutes).  Preheat oven to 350o. Butter or spray the sides and cover the bottom of a 9" spring form pan with parchment paper.  Cover the bottom of the pan with foil and bring half way up pan to keep batter from leaking onto oven floor.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave or on the stove top in a double boiler or similar method.  Set aside.

Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick, pale and moussy.  They should have at least doubled in volume.  Using a stand mixer makes this much easier.

Gently fold in the almond flour, cinnamon, cloves, clementine zest and espresso powder, taking care not to lose the air you have whisked in, then add the melted, slightly cooled, chocolate and butter, folding gently again.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.  The top will have a have firmed while the underneath will still be gooey (but you won't know what the bottom is like until later.)

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  

To make the almond topping, put the clementine juice into a small, non-stick frying pan with the butter, sugar and cinnamon and melt everything together over medium low heat, then let it sizzle for a minute or two in order to caramelize before adding the almonds.  Keep stirring over until the extra liquid (beyond what is clinging to the nuts) has disappeared.  Gently scoot almonds onto a plate or wax paper, not allowing them to clump  all together because once they cool, they will be glued together in this pattern.

Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan before releasing the spring pan.  Once cooled enough, flip the cake over on a plate upside down, carefully remove the bottom of the pan from the gooey cake bottom, place a flat plate against the bottom and carefully flip the cake upright on the plate.  Sprinkle with almond mixture.

Make the cake up to 3 days ahead and store in an airtight container. Make the nut mixture and store on parchment paper in a ssmall airtight container or wrap in a loose bag of foil.

Freeze the cake up to 1 month ahead Thaw overnight in a cool room.   


Chocolate Orange Espresso Thins

Chocolate Orange Espresso Thins
These are small cookies.  One and a half inches in diameter.  Tastes deeply chocolatey and melts in your mouth – like shortbread.


When I look at this picture, I keep wanting lean to the right to move the shadow.  But that doesn't work.  Ah.  Good times. I couldn't take the time to pose my roll because I made 4 cookie doughs this day and if I took the time to get the right lighting, I would be up to my eyeballs in confections til midnight.


Chocolate Orange Espresso Thins
Compliments of JennaDish

from Martha Stewart's Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons good-quality instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt into a medium bowl.

2. Put butter, confectioners' sugar, orange  zest, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium sped until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium-low, and gradually add flour mixture until just combined.

3. Transfer dough to a 12 16-inch piece of parchment paper; shape into a log.  Roll in parchment to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of paper at each turn to narrow the log and force out air.  Transfer in parchment to a paper towel tube; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350oF.  Cut log into 1/4-inch-thick slices; transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Brush tops with water; sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Bake until set, 15 to 17 minutes.  Cool on sheets on wire racks.  Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
This Thanksgiving my mom requested that I bring canned cranberry sauce.  She reminded me of "that stuff you brought last year" – an overly-gingered sauce with oranges and nuts.  Way too uppity for mom. 

So I thought what she REALLY would like is a homemade sauce, but toned down to the most basic.  No additions.

Cranberry Sauce x
Well, my mom didn't seem impressed (again).  My dad (80 years old) said it was too sour.  Hmmm.  I guess what she REALLY wanted was exactly what she said.  Canned sauce. So I trucked my sauce back home.

And the next day it was so good, I ate half the bowl for lunch.

LESSON LEARNED #1:  Don't make and take the same day.  Sitting in the fridge sweetens it up so that you want to shove it in your face.

LESSON LEARNED #2:  If you throw a bag of fresh cranberries in the pan to boil, along with a smaller amount of frozen cranberries, then you cook until they pop as directed, you are likely to think they've all popped when really the frozen ones didn't.  Then the next day, you will have a sauce with most cranberries broken down, and a few cranberries that will pop lightly in your mouth.  FUN!  Notice in the photos that some are smooshed and some are more whole.  On the day of cooking, I think the ones that pop in your mouth were what was making the sauce sour.  But wait til the next day and they will pop, but no longer be sour.  That's my experience, anyway.

LESSON LEARNED #3:  Compromise.  Make your fancy fresh sauce but take a can of sauce just in case it sucks.


Compliments of JennaDish

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
12 oz. bag fresh cranberries

Rinse cranberries and remove any twigs.
Put water in saucepan on med high heat and bring to boil.  Stir in sugar.  Add cranberries return to a boil or near.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes or until cranberries burst. 

Let cool then cover and place in refrigerator overnight.