Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Cranberry and Pecan Pound Cake with Orange Glaze

This Cranberry and Pecan Pound Cake with Orange Glaze has a lot of seasonal flavor and was s very pretty little cake! I like making a loaf pan size so I'm not tempted by a large bundt size cake for days:@) This recipe has orange extract in both the cake and icing, if I had a fresh orange on hand would have added some zest too. If you're looking for a tasty cake to have with a nice strong cuppa, you can't go wrong with this one folks!

Perfect for Thanksgiving right through Christmas:@)

Cranberry and Pecan Sour Cream Pound Cake with Orange Glaze-Loaf Pan Size Recipe
1/2 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1/2 C sour cream
1 1/2 C A/P flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/3 C dried cranberries
1/3 C pecans, chopped and toasted
extra finely chopped pecans for garnishment if desired

1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp orange extract
a little milk or half and half or cream

  1. Grease and flour loaf size 9x5 pan (or use Baker's Joy-I like the Aldi brand), set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the sour cream. 
  3. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add the sifted flour to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating in each egg one at a time. 
  4. Mix in the vanilla and orange extract.
  5. Gently fold in the cranberries and pecans, and pour mixture into prepared pan. 
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes (for loaf pan) or until toothpick comes out clean. 
  7. Let cool 10 minutes on rack, then invert and release from pan.
  8. If you'd like to add the glaze, make while cake is cooling in pan. Add powdered sugar and vanilla to small bowl, slowly, a little at a time, add milk until desired consistency. I wanted mine to be a little thicker and stay white on the cake.
  9. If using garnishing pecans, immediately sprinkle onto wet icing.
Remember, holiday calories don't count and...
Have a happy day:@)

Monday, November 23, 2020

Chocolate and Toffee Dipped Grape Appetizer

If you're looking for an appetizer that's different, easy and pretty economical... May I suggest these Chocolate and Toffee Dipped Grapes. The most it will cost you is a little of your time:@) I picked up a pack of Heath Bars for pennies after Halloween and tucked them away to try a couple new goodies. I found large grapes on sale for 99¢ a pound. This is another fun idea from a magazine advertisement, and we all enjoyed this nice snack.

While they wrote this up using semisweet chocolate, they showed white chocolate in the picture too. 
They used dark on the green grapes and white on the purple grapes. 
Want to change it up a bit? Dip some in seasonal (or team:@) colored sprinkles instead of toffee. 
Or use color coordinated candy melts.

Chocolate Toffee Grapes-from Grapes From California
25 green and/or red seedless grapes
1/2 C finely chopped toffee bits-I used Heath Bars
1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
1 tsp vegetable oil

  1. Push toothpick into grapes and set aside. I suggest dipping grapes first and adding food picks last.
  2. Line baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. 
  3. Place toffee bits into small bowl.
  4. Melt chocolate and oil your favorite way, either double boiler or microwave.
  5. Dip grapes in chocolate then into the toffee (or sprinkles). Place on baking sheet.
  6. Chill until set. 
Enjoy a snack and have a happy holiday season:@)

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Saturday, November 21, 2020

Saturday ReView: Italian Sausage Meatballs w/Cranberry Glaze & Barbie Ribbon Poncho

I made these Italian Sausage Meatballs with Cranberry Glaze way back in 2013... I think it's time to make them again:@) Not only are they really different, they are ~very~ good. A little sweet and a little tangy with a nice sticky glaze. This might just turn out to be one of your signature dishes for the holidays or get-togethers folks, don't hesitate to give it a try!

And Barbie says colder weather and the holidays are coming up fast!
This is a quick little craft and you might even have some ribbon already in your stash...
I like that in a project:@)

Happy Thanksgiving Week Everyone...
I know it will be a different holiday this year, but let's still make it a good one:@)

Friday, November 20, 2020

Inspirational Friday


Happy Thanksgiving Week:@)

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes -Slow Cooker

These Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes are are one of those side dishes that's even better than expected! It has quickly become one of my favorite recipes for this holiday staple to date. The recipe I started with called for 10lbs of sweet potatoes... That's a crowd size for sure!!! I scaled it down to one large sweet potato, it weighed 1 1/4 lbs. I also changed it to a slow cooker version to free up stove and oven space for the holidays. And you have to love that serving from the Crock Pot helps keep side dishes hotter longer too. Oh, and while plenty sweet, it only calls for a Tblsp of maple syrup... This one's a keeper folks:@)

I used my 2 quart Crock Pot, I'm guessing 2 1/1 lbs of sweet potatoes would have fit with no problem.
As a side dish, my recipe below is easily enough for 3-4 people.

The ad:

Leftover coconut milk?
I'll list what I did for the sweet potatoes below.

Slow Cooker Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes-adapted from Marcus Smuelsson ad in Food Network Magazine

1 1/4 lbs sweet potatoes, peel well, wash, 1/2" dice
1 tsp coconut oil
1 Tblsp maple syrup
1 Tblsp + more to desired consistency coconut milk
salt to taste

  1. Add liner to Crock Pot if using, spray vessel if not-I used a liner.
  2. Cover and cook sweet potatoes on high for two hours or until tender (every slow cooker is different).
  3. Add coconut oil and maple syrup to potatoes, and gradually add coconut milk while mashing to desired consistency. I used a hand held potato masher.
  4. Add salt to taste.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Monday, November 16, 2020

Quick Holiday Spiced Peaches from Canned Peaches -Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner

I love that we can even find large cans of peaches at Dollar Tree and thought it would be fun to share a recipe for some Quick Spiced Peaches for the holidays. They come together in no time, from opening the can to doing dishes is less than 30 minutes. The key is that they do need marinating time in the refrigerator though. So we do need to do a little planning... The can I had were sliced peaches, you only need 2-3 days for them, the halves would require longer and would be fine for up to a week. I'd just whip the halves up the weekend leading to Thanksgiving:@) This made the house smell vinegary and spicy and we all really did enjoy this tasty side dish!
One summer I did make an old recipe for Canned Spiced Peaches here
That one is a true canning recipe that starts with fresh peaches right off the tree:@)

Quick Holiday Spiced Peaches-slightly adapted from Deep South Dish
For each 28-29 oz can of peaches:
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
10 cloves or up to 1/2 Tblsp whole cloves if your crew ~really~ loves them
2 sticks cinnamon, broken in half
1/8 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated if you can
juice from one slice of lemon-optional-no measurement, like you might add to a glass of iced tea
small pinch allspice-optional

  1. Drain juice from can into pot. Set peaches aside in a bowl or whatever you will store them in.
  2. Add everything else to pot, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour over peaches, cover bowl or jar.
  4. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 days to a week.
Happy Holiday Planning Everyone:@)

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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Saturday ReView: Barbie (or Elf) Holiday Aprons and Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

As we're getting closer to the holidays I wanted to share my Free Pattern for Easy No-Sew Barbie Aprons! This is a fun little craft that comes together in no time and only requires 6" of fabric, ribbon and some hot glue. It fits standard and Curvy Barbie, ~and~ just in time for his day after Thanksgiving arrival... It fits Elf on the Shelf too:@) And of course they could be made using any fabric, it doesn't have to be a holiday print. Much like me, Barbie says she's ready for some Christmas cookies!

As we're gathering recipes and ideas...
This Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce couldn't be easier and it was pretty darn tasty too!
If you've never tried making homemade cranberry sauce, this McCormick recipe is a great one to start with.

Less than two weeks until Thanksgiving folks...
Just sayin'.
Have a great weekend:@)

Friday, November 13, 2020

Inspirational Friday


I was around 20 years old when I read a Dear Abby column...
The woman said her husband bought her a beautiful set of dishes when they were first married. 
She cherished it and kept it safely in the china closet. 
When her husband passed away it dawned on her...
He never once saw the table set with those dishes he took the time to pick out.
Use the nice dishes this holiday season folks!

Happy holiday planning and have a great weekend:@)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Iced Dried Cranberry Spritz Cookies

I thought this recipe for Iced Dried Cranberry Spritz Cookies would be fun for the holidays and decided to make mine using leaf discs with the dough tinted for fall. We liked the little tart bite from the cranberries, and the icing was very nice too. They require a little more work because the cranberries need to be finely ground in a food processor but it's well worth it to have a new and unique spritz cookie to try:@) I was pleased with these cookies and will make them again, they were very nice with a cup of coffee!
My best tip: Try to dip only the very top of the cookie into the icing to help show off the fun spritz shape.

The discs I used:
Oak leaf from Oxo fall disc set and maple leaf comes with the Oxo press.

They do fit my Kuhn Rikon press and that seems to be the one I reach for the most often.

Dried Cranberry Spritz Cookies with Glaze-from New England Today
3/4 C dried sweetened cranberries
1 C butter
2/3 C sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt-I just added a small pinch
2 C A/P flour
2-4 drops food coloring
Glaze: 1 C powdered sugar, 2 Tblsp milk, mix until smooth.
  1. Place cranberries in food processor and pulse until finely ground and beginning to clump together (you'll know).
  2. Add butter and pulse until smooth.
  3. Cream sugar and cranberry butter in large bowl, mix in egg and salt.
  4. Slowly mix in flour and food coloring.
  5. Load cookie press with desired disc. Press onto cool, ungreased baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown around bottom. 
  7. Transfer to rack to cool.
  8. Dip top of each cookie into glaze, set back on rack for icing to dry. 
  9. Store in airtight container.
Enjoy a cookie and have a happy day:@)


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