Oregon Zoo Zoolights

This year is the first year that I’ve indulged in the Oregon Zoo Zoolights.  It was quite a spectacle with gorgeous colors and patterns!  Apparently, it runs from after Thanksgiving through the 1st week of January 5-830 PM.  It’s closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

oregon zoo zoolights 1

It was quite thick traffic from the freeway through the zoo parking lot and tricky to get a parking spot.  It was a chilly evening, but I was dressed in a cozy wool scarf and wool peacoat.  The line to get in actually wasn’t too long and it was busy throughout the zoo, but not terribly and it didn’t interfere with maneuvering through the zoo and enjoying the lights.

oregon zoo zoolights 2

It was quite festive with groups of friends and family exploring the patterns together.  Kids were snuggled cozily into wagons and strollers and all were bundled up to fully enjoy the experience.

Of course, these photos don’t do justice to how dramatic these lights are in person.  I look forward to checking it out next year!


Holiday cranberry sauce

Happy holiday season!  I decided this year to make something a bit more natural than canned cranberry sauce so I tried the Holiday Cranberry Sauce from Alaska from Scratch.  It seemed simple enough and I thought I had most of the ingredients at home, but be careful as a couple of them weren’t what I was initially thinking they were so I had to adjust on the fly.

Apple cider syrup or pure maple syrup
Crystallized ginger

Notice from this photo of my ingredients that I erroneously thought cider vinegar and fresh ginger were called for in the recipe and it’s actually apple cider syrup (or maple) and crystallized ginger both of which I fortunately had. 🙂


First, pour the fresh cranberries into your saucepan.


Then, zest and juice 1 large orange.

orange zest and juice

Next, mince your crystalized ginger.

crystallized ginger

Finally, add the orange zest and juice, crystallized ginger, syrup, and salt to the saucepan of cranberries and simmer on medium heat.  Add sugar as needed for your desired sweetness.

cranberries with sauce

Store it in the fridge to thicken until you’re ready to serve it.  It’s beautifully simple for the holidays.

holiday cranberry sauce

Another more complex Cranberry Chutney recipe from Alaska from Scratch looks worthy of trying next year.   You may be interested in checking it out as well.  Bon appetite…