Cranberry Orange Nut Cream Cheese


Flying can be an adventure. New destinations, vacations, memories to make. Flying can also be nostalgic. On Thursday morning I got  up before the sun even thought of gracing the Ohio landscape with its presence and headed to the airport for a trip to Minnesota. Yes, by myself. Without kids. (My husband is being kind enough to hold down the fort and make sure all little parties get where they need to go, dressed, fed, and in one piece. I’m more than grateful!) But back to the nostalgic part…

I don’t fly often. I’m not technically employed, so business trips aren’t a reality in my world. The last time I flew we had only one of three kids and a lot less stuff. Before that I had flown to get home to see family and my then-fiance-now-husband. So as I boarded the plane, buckled up, turned off all electronic devices, and sat back, those memories swirled around in my head. I flew into Chicago, which conjured up memories of life in the ‘burbs there as a few familiar landmarks became visible from above. Lots of emotions, lots of smiles, a few sighs.

Life is about making memories, about remembering the past and applying it to the future–not letting it dominate and usurp the present, but relishing in the experience it gives you. It’s about enjoying the people and places and moments. It’s about learning. It’s sweet and bitter, happy and sad, all at the same time. It’s about faith and love and hope and fun. It’s about sharing. It’s taking journeys and enjoying the ride, because you never know what you’re going to find along the way.

After more than a decade, I’ve figured out the recipe to this memory. It’s sweet; it’s tart; it’s awesome.


Cranberry Orange Nut Cream Cheese

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (reduced-fat works fine, too)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • juice and 1 tsp. zest from one medium orange
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and orange juice and zest until combined.  Stir in cranberries and walnuts. May be served immediately but best if refrigerated for at least a couple hours to combine flavors.


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