Cranberry Butternut Squash Couscous

Can you believe how quickly Thanksgiving has come and gone?

The holiday season is already upon us.

Where has this year gone?

2015 has brought some good times and some not so good times so I am a little ready for 2016 and hoping for a slightly better year.

This year, my husband (I can say that now!) and I hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new home.  We weren’t sure how many people we would have but at minimum there would be 8 of us.  We kind of had the open house policy this year but tried to keep it a little quiet and open to family.  Maybe next year we will bring it to friends as well.

I am pretty sure between appetizers, the main course, and dessert we had enough food to feed about 20  but like I said we were only 8.

Aside from the usual main meal fixins (sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, spinach, green beans, apple sauce, corn bread, white potatoes, etc.) I knew I wanted to make something with fresh cranberries.  In the past I have tried homemade cranberry sauce and it was not a hit at all.  So that was out of the question.

I then decided to make a cranberry couscous salad.  To add a little sweetness to it I cubed up some roasted butternut squash.  I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with the fresh cranberries because they are a bit tart.

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Thanksgiving Morning I cooked the couscous according to package directions, I cubed and roasted the butternut squash in the oven, and I reduced the cranberries to make a liquid.

For the cranberries I used about 3 cups of fresh cranberries and put them in a sauce pot.  I then added about 3-4 cups of water to basically cover the cranberries in the pot.  I brought this to a boil and added about 2-3 tablespoons of honey to add a little sweetness to it.  I let the cranberries simmer a little until they were a bit broken down.  Once I felt it was ready I used a strainer to take out the actually cranberry bits and saved the “juice” that was produced.  I mixed all the ingredients together and as Emril says “BAM” we had a delicious side dish for our Thanksgiving table!

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