Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Easy Cranberry Relish

I was at the Pinner's Conference last Saturday and I got the best and yummiest Cranberry Relish recipe from the Our Best Bites ladies.

It is made from a bag of fresh cranberries chopped up in a food processor. Then add a diced apple and a cut up orange, peels and all. Then add 2 cups of sugar. That sounded like a lot to me. But then after she pulsed it all in a food processor they passed around the relish. Oh my gosh it was sooooo gooooood!
Recipe for Cranberry Relish
1 bag of fresh cranberries chopped fine
1 granny smith apple diced
1 orange cut up into 1 inch chunks (including peel)
2 cups sugar

Mix all in a food processor and pulse till fine. That's IT!

I have to try making it myself. It was refreshing to eat with a spoon, and she said it was even better as a spread on turkey sandwiches. I think it would also be good on crackers like Wheat Thins.

I have another recipe I use with fresh cranberries called Cranberry Cilantro Salsa. It is great over a brick of cream cheese and surrounded by crackers for a party. Now I have two of these fun recipes that would make great party dips over cream cheese.

And they look so festive too!

I can't decide which I like better. One is sweet, one has a little heat because of the jalapenos. But one thing is for sure. I am buying fresh cranberries this week. :D

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween Brownie Skeletons

If you want to make somebody happy this Halloween make some Halloween Brownie Skeletons! My grandkids love baking with me. And they will love making these. They can do everything but the faces and hands and arms. It is fun to put them all together too.

Halloween Brownie Skeletons are so cute and they make up as skinny treats so they will go far. This cookie sheet (Costco's large cookie sheets) made 21 treats. 

Here is a close up of my Halloween Brownie Skeleton treats. I made the middle row into just some square brownies with some black and orange sprinkles and a candy corn. 

The bodies are just made from yogurt or white chocolate covered pretzels. I then bought some white chocolate disks from Michaels Craft Store. Those make the heads. The rest is just chocolate and vanilla icing in a piping bag using a very small round tip to make the little faces and arms and legs.
I'm all ready for the Halloween Party now!  I made this cute little Toy Story Jessie costume out of some yellow felt glue gunned onto a white  shirt and I topped it with some red braid. The cow material is just pinned to my favorite jeans. It turned out cute with the little red hat.
Have fun at the Halloween Par-tay! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween Scone Tacos

I'm making some Halloween Scone Tacos today. They are easy and really yummy.

My Halloween Scone Tacos are made from Mountain Mills Scone Mix. You can get it at Costco and I think at Walmart too. It is an easy mix to make Yummy Scones for Halloween night before your little critters run all over the street eating lots of too tempting junk! 

I tried rolling out the dough and making a "pumpkin shape using a cookie cutter. But alas, when I fried them up and covered them with the chili fixins, they kinda disappeared. But the kids won't know that! 

Here are my sad little "pumpkins". Hey, what happened to my stem? Looks more like a blob to me. But again, the kids will never know if you call them Halloween Pumpkin Scones. Hey, maybe these would be good with Einsteins Pumpkin Shmear? I shoulda thought of that! 

This stuff is to die for good. It's my new favorite thing. I eat the pumpkin Shmear on toast, bagels, fingers, anything! It would be GREAT on scones! 
But chili and all the taco toppings are also great on scones! I think I used leftover chili for these scones, but you could also used canned. I like corn in my chili, but the hubs does not. I try to hide veggies in things like casseroles and soups and chilis. Otherwise we don't eat them enough. 

I put cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers on mine since I ran out of lettuce. (gotta have a green vegetable, right?) lol 

Next I want to figure out how to make this pretzel bark. Yummo. 
I'm going to try to figure out what else would be good on a scone beside chili, pumpkin cream cheese, and honey butter. In the meantime I'm trying not to chow down on all of the Halloween candy I've bought. It is really hard!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Finger Foods

I love Halloween. I love decorating for it, partying on the day in a costume, and making fun and scary finger foods for all my guests to enjoy. Especially my little grandkiddos. 

Cute table decor can be as simple as a jar of candy corn. Isn't this so cute? My daughter put a jar inside the jar and just has the in between area filled with candy corn! Genius! 

Or decorate your chairs with simple pumpkin chairbacks made from orange felt. 

Everybody loves scarecrow cupcakes. This would be a great finger food for any fall party. 

Or individual pecan pies made in cupcake tins. Super easy and yummy. A good recipe for these is at All

Add a little pizzaz to your chips and salsa by getting these orange and black tortilla chips that are in the stores now. But hurry because they go fast! 

I went a little crazy on the Halloween cupcakes a few years ago. Check out the blog for tutorials on all of them. The tutorial and more pictures are HERE.

Some of the spiderweb ones we later added spider rings we got from Walmart. 

My very favorite party finger food is potato skins. They are always a hit. 

These brownies I decorated with yogurt covered pretzels, white chocolate disks for heads and then used white icing in a small round tip for the rest. They were fun. 

Pigs in a blanket are always a hit. Find some hot dogs you like and cut them into thirds. Then wrap them with Crescent roll dough and bake. Mustard and catsup bowls for dipping the pigs. 

Pumpkin breads cut up into half slices are always easy as well as cream cheese ham and onion roll ups. Recipe I use is from Lee Drummond HERE  only I add pieces of ham or bits of bacon to mine. 

Buy some store bought pies with the whip cream or meringue on top and just draw black spiderweb over it. Add a plastic spider. 

Veggies and dip are always popular as are fresh salads. You can always do a salad bar and ask a few friends to bring one too. Then make homemade rolls and fresh butter. That's a fun party. 

Muffins of all kinds are great party foods. Add your favorite soups. Or better yet buy some bread bowls from your local market and ask them to make them half size. That also makes fun party foods. 

Everybody likes apple wedges and caramel dipping sauce. This on was really rich and caramelly. Here is a recipe for the one I use HERE.

Candy bars for take home fun are great for kids and adults alike. 

And you can't beat a pretty yummy sugar cookie any time. 

These glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme. Just add the vampire plastic teeth and 2 chocolate chips to each one for a cute vampire donut. Kids loved these at my classroom Halloween Party. But they loved the sugar cookies even better. And they were probably cheaper.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN all you ghouls and goblins! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Strawberry Freezer Jam and Homemade Bread

Strawberry Freezer Jam
We had a really fun night making homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam as a group of women at church a few weeks ago. I just have gotten around to catching up on blogging about it. I learned a lot from some experts. 
This Strawberry Freezer Jam was to die for good. And to make it even BETTER we put it on homemade warm bread just out of the oven. What could be more delicious than that? 

Gladys made the yummy bread. It was wheat bread and it was soft and spongy and wonderful. Mine always turns out like a brick. But she did give us a few tips. She uses bread flour and fresh yeast. That could be my problem right there. And she also uses crisco instead of oil or melted butter. Hmmm.....worth a try. 

Linda made and taught us how to do the Strawberry Freezer Jam. I've made it before just using the package. She did use the package directions also. But I guess there are lots of pectins to choose from. This is her favorite pectin. 
Original recipe makes 5 pints
You can also use low sugar pectin and use 1 less cup of sugar. Lots of reviews on recipe boards suggest this. I did think the jam was a little sweet but I actually love that. yummy. So do what is your taste. 

Get the ripest strawberries that you can and use them the same day you buy the berries so they are perfect. We made this jam in June so it may not have been the best summer month. But you can often find sweet strawberries this summer at Costco. 

So they used the MCP and the SURE JELL pectins both and both were good. One was lower sugar if I remember well. There were a lot of opinions shared that night from lots of old timers who have done jams for decades so lots of good info was shared. But some disagreed with others on this and that. Especially how much sugar to add. 

While the strawberry jam was setting up we watched a demonstration on bread baking. This was her already put together bread rising in a low oven. I think she turned it on to 200 degrees and then turned the oven off and left door open for 30 minutes so oven was a bit warm. The bread rose perfectly as you can see. 

Gladys was a master bread baker. This is the bread just out of the oven. She sprays the top with butter flavored oil spray to make sure it stays soft and looked kind of glossy. 

Here is her best wheat bread recipe. I tried making it and mind was kind of hard and bricky but I didn't have dough enhancer. I also didn't have bread flour. She used half bread flour and half wheat flour. I think that is what makes the difference. Her bread is half white half wheat. Also she didn't add the 9 grain cereal. It was just plain wheat bread. The dough enhancer makes the bread softer she told me later. 

She was so cute in her little apron. She offered to come over and help me make some wheat bread with her because I told her mine always turns out heavy and bricky. haha. She is so sweet. Like I'd let her into my messy kitchen. 

She shared another great tip. She likes to use glass pans for baking because she can see the corners and she has been able to figure out just the perfect golden look to the bottom of the loaves so she knows they are done. 
The brown and white can in the front is the dough enhancer stuff. You can get it from the Bosch store. That's where I found mine. 

We each got one of these little tubs of freezer jam to take home. They had put a little note on the top on a round sticker. So cute! 

Then we all chowed down on homemade wheat bread hot out of the oven and freshly made strawberry freezer jam. OOOhhhh it was a yummy night! 


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