'Tis the season for cranberries

Cranberries make the perfect addition to any holiday party! Try one (or more) of these flavor-packed cranberry recipes.

Baked Brie with Cranberries

Makes 8 servings

Need an elegant, crowd-pleasing holiday appetizer? This simple baked brie with cranberries and nuts is not only festive and flavorful, it comes together in just minutes.

1 8-ounce wheel brie cheese, top rind trimmed off
2 Tbs + 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (divided)
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg
1 to 2 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts), chopped
Crackers or toasted baguette slices
Optional: Fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place brie on a rimmed baking sheet or in a 5-inch cast iron skillet; sprinkle with 2 Tbs brown sugar. Bake until softened, about 12-15 minutes; let cool for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until foamy (about 1-2 minutes). Stir in cranberries and nuts. Top brie with the cranberry mixture; serve warm with crackers or toasted baguette slices. Garnish with rosemary, if desired.

Note: The cranberry mixture can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Prior to serving, warm the mixture in the microwave.

Cranberry Feta Salad

Makes 8 servings

This easy, colorful salad is a big hit on any holiday table.
For extra wow, serve it in a crystal bowl.

1 bag (10 oz) mixed salad greens
1 cup dried cranberries
2 ripe pears, cut into slices or bite sizes
1 package (4 oz) feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans), toasted
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 Tbs honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Spread walnuts in single layer on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Toss greens with cranberries, pears, feta cheese and walnuts in salad bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard and pepper until well blended. Gradually add in oil, beating until well blended. Pour over salad and toss to coat.

Cranberry Orange Sangria

Makes 10 servings

This sangria recipe might just be the perfect cocktail for holiday get-togethers: It’s easy to make; it can be made ahead of time; it makes a big batch; and it’s festive!

1 750ml bottle red wine (Merlot, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or a Red Blend)
3/4 cup orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier or
32 ounces 100-percent cranberry juice
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3 cinnamon sticks
2 oranges, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup simple syrup

Additional Garnishes (Optional):
Apples, thinly sliced
Oranges, thinly sliced
Sprigs of rosemary

Combine all ingredients (except for garnishes) in a pitcher; refrigerate for 4 hours or, even better, overnight. Just before serving, add ice and additional garnishes, if desired.

Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Zest from 1 medium orange
2 cinnamon sticks halved

Combine water, sugar, cranberries, orange zest and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the cranberries soften (about 5 minutes). Pour syrup mixture through a fine mesh strainer to separate the liquid from the solid ingredients. Set syrup aside to cool.