the last of the leftovers

i made a ton of this really yummy cranberry jelly from scratch for our holiday dinner, and i've been enjoying it every day since. on toast with breakfast, on sandwiches, or just by the spoonful like a jello fruit salad - very versatile.

so i thought i'd share my recipe, i was pretty much winging it, but there are other similar recipes out there too.

it's really fast and easy to make, and i like the firm texture and golden colors that the mandarin oranges and pineapple add to the mix (don't use fresh or frozen pineapple in gelatin, it won't set). i also love the purplish shade of the blueberries and cranberries combined. i prefer to use canned fruit that's packed in natural juices, and 7-up is all natural flavors now too. using these liquids instead of just more water adds better flavor to the jelly, i think. this recipe makes a pretty large bowl, so you can halve it.

1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries; rinse well
1 cup of organic sugar
1-1/4 cups of water
1 small can mandarin oranges (reserve the liquid)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 regular can pineapple chunks (reserve the liquid)
1/2 can of 7-up soda
2 packets knox unflavored gelatin

soften the gelatin first by mixing it with 1-2 tablespoons of the orange liquid in a small coffee cup. bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium pot. transfer 1/4 cup of the boiling sugar water to the coffee cup to stir and dissolve the gelatin, set aside. add cranberries to the remaining sugar water in the pot and return to boil; simmer a few minutes until the skins pop. stir the gelatin water into the simmering cranberries, then remove from heat. stir in remaining orange/pineapple liquids and 7-up, then mix in all the other fruits. transfer to a decorative bowl or dish, cover with plastic wrap (vent it on one side), and refrigerate overnight to set the gelatin. serve solid by the scoop, or stir it up to serve chunky as shown. enjoy!