Are you entertaining guests this holiday season? Well, Cranberries love being entertained this time of year too, which is perfect, because they are a great ingredient to work into your holiday festivities. Here are few ways the hostess with the mostest can add these delicious, healthy red berries into your holiday party (and season) – cook, decorate, relax!

Cooking With Cranberries

CRANBERRY TEA

Things You’ll Need:
Quart of Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 1/2 Quart of water
1 cup of sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
15 whole cloves
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 2/3 cup freshly brewed tea

In large soup pot combine cranberry juice, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks & cloves. Bring to a light boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Next, carefully strain mixture through a wired colander to remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves. (Caution, tea will be very hot.) Once this is done, combine your cranberry mixture with the brewed tea. Stir well. Place lemon slices in tea cups and using a ladle carefully pour the fresh, hot tea over top. Refrigerate leftovers.

CRANBERRY BRUSCHETTA

Things You’ll Need:
1 14-ounce can of Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 8-ounce loaf French bread
Oil

Combine all ingredients, except bread and oil, in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is limp and sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Cut bread diagonally into 3/4-inch slices; brush both sides with oil. Broil each side for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Top each slice with cranberry mixture. Store bruschetta refrigerated for up to 1 week. Makes 16 servings.

Decorating with Cranberries

  • Mantle Decorations: Use cranberries in place of florist marbles in arrangements. Fill glass cylinders with fresh cranberries and white candles, flowers, or interestingly shaped twigs. Use different height cylinders and candles for interest.
  • Cranberry Garland: String cranberries to make a festive garland.
  • Cranberry Ice Cubes: Freeze cranberries into ice cubes to keep your holiday drinks and spirits cold.
  • Cranberry Topiary Centerpiece: Take a topiary Styrofoam ball. Break toothpicks in half, and insert toothpicks into fresh cranberries, then stick the cranberries onto the topiary, making sure to cover it completely with cranberries. You can fill any empty spaces with whole cloves
  • Cranberry Float Centerpiece: Take a clear glass bowl and fill 3/4-full with water. Add cranberries and floating candles. Arrange candles so they are evenly spaced amidst the berries. Add a single spectacular bloom and light candles.

Unwinding with Cranberries

With all the planning, cooking and decorating hosting a holiday get together requires, you sure will need a day of rest.  If you’re looking to take that cranberry obsession one step further – then, take it to the spa!  Such as: WELL Spa at the Platinum Hotel in Las Vegas, serving up their cranberries in a Brown Sugar Body Scrub and an Aromatherapy Massage.

You can find December Cranberry Spa Specials at any of these spas:

WELL Spa at the Platinum Hotel
211 East Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169
702.365.5000
www.theplatinumhotel.com/well-spa/
Choice of a 25 Min Cranberry Brown Sugar Body Scrub with 25 Min Massage for $75 (reg. $90), OR a 50 Min Cranberry Brown Sugar Aromatherapy Massage for $75 (reg. $95).

Tribeca Beauty Spa
8 Harrison Street
New York, NY 10013
212.343.2376
www.tribecabeautyspa.com
Very Merry Cranberry Manicure and Pedicure for $35 (Reg. $60)

Ettore Salon & Spa
Marriott Hotel, 1201 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.928.9010
www.ettorespa.com
60 Min Winter Wonderland Package: includes Cranberry Botanical Buff and Pumpkin Masque for $59, (reg. $85)

Floral Vale Spa
117 Floral Vale Boulevard
Yardley, PA 19067
215.968.8881
www.thefloralvalespa.com
Choice of Cranberry Pedicure for $45, Cranberry Massage for $80 or Cranberry Scrub for $65.

The Catamaran Spa
3999 Mission Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92109
858.539.8820
www.catamaranspa.com/
50 Min Crimson Cranberry Facial for $95 (reg. $115)

Skin Innovations Skin Care & Spa
56 Winchester Street, Suite 8
Newton, MA 02461
617.332.7546
www.skininnovations.com
50 Min Cranberry Crush Scalp, Neck and Shoulder Massage with local cranberries picked form our local bogs in Carver, MA

A berry big thanks to pollsb.com for the photo.

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