Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies


Cranberry Oatmeal

Everyone loves these Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies as they are nice and moist.  The secret to this recipe is to soak the dried cranberries in orange juice overnight. I use dried cranberries from Decas Cranberries in Massachusetts. You can find their product in stores under the name Paradise Meadows. They are the best!!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup dried cranberries, soak in
1 cup orange juice
1 cup  butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

    1.  Soak the dried cranberries in orange juice over-night.
    2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    3.  In a medium-bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
    4.  In a large bowl cream butter and add sugar and brown sugar; combine well.
    5.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
    6.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; blend well.
    7.  Drain the cranberries and fold in the oatmeal and cranberries.
    8.  Drop by rounded teaspoons on ungreased baking sheet.
    9.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.  Cool 1 minute on baking sheet for a few minutes; move to wire rack.
    10.  Store in an air tight container and cookies will keep for several days.

Yields:  4 dozen

Station House 4 wins Rib Cook Off in Sarasota

Fire EngineThis past Saturday I attended the 12th annual Rib Cook Off to benefit the Sarasota Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund.  Thirteen teams from Station Houses from all corners of Sarasota County. Over 2,000 people attended and consumed over 3,000 pounds of ribs.  It was a warm day for March, but everyone happily chewed on ribs and voted for the one they liked the most.  My first stop was at table “M” which represented Station House 4 in Sarasota. I was very impressed with their product which I found to be moist, juicy and cooked just right.  What really impressed me were the 8 different sauces (all homemade) which were available for you to try with their ribs. I continued through the event and tried several more some I liked and other not so much.  Some were cooked too much, I’m not fond of crispy meat and others not enough.

Selecting Sauce at Station House 4Finally, the time came to vote and my choice was clear – it was the fire fighters from Station House 4. They also won first place in 2014.  I believe what sets them apart from their competitors are their selection of sauces. Others had sauces, but they were bought at Publix. This pictures shows a father and son trying to decide which to choose.

They won the People’s Choice and were selected number  one by the team of judges. The Florida Division of Forestry came in second and Station House 8 (located on Bee Ridge Road) came in third.  Congrats to all the winners.

Cranberry Country Style Baby Back Ribstasteofcapecod-button


4 pounds baby back pork ribs
salt and pepper
2½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup water
½ cup sugar or honey
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup chili sauce
6 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ Worcestershire sauce Read more