Frozen Cranberry Salad

By Stephanie


I am warning you…this stuff is addicting!  I love the sweet and the tartness of it.  And of course super non-low fat.  Just what you need at the holidays.  But hurry and make it so you can eat it before you start your diet Jan. 1st!!  And before the fresh cranberries are no longer available.  I made the mistake a few years ago of trying to find fresh cranberries after New Year’s.  It was a sad, sad day!  I now buy a few extra and stick in the freezer so in March, when I get a craving for this salad, I can still have it!



Frozen Cranberry Salad

serves 6-8

1 package whole fresh cranberries

2 apples (any kind, but I like granny smith)

1 cup sugar

2 cups mini marshmallows

1 cup nuts (I LOVE walnuts, but kido with allergy so usually I use pecans, but use what you’ve got)

1 pint whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

Quarter and core apples.  Put in food processor with cranberries and sugar.  Pulse until fruit is in 1/2 chunks.   Add in marshmallows and nuts and pulse 2-3 more times.  In separate large bowl whip whipping cream to soft peaks.  Add in vanilla to cream.  Gently fold in apple/cranberry mixture.  Line 9X13 pan with tin foil and then plastic wrap leaving enough hanging over the edges to fold to cover the salad completely.  Pour mixture into lined pan.  Fold plastic wrap and then tin foil over.   Put in the freezer for 1 hour.  Take out and score with knife for serving size pieces (you don’t have to do this, but it makes it MUCH easier to get out once it is completely frozen).  Put back in the freezer for 2 hours or overnight.  TRY not to eat it all in one sitting!!


Avery Update

By Stephanie
We were doing so well……..
Then we went to the church Christmas dinner…
And she ate a cobbler with walnuts……
We knew that Avery had a tree nut allergy.  Mostly walnuts.  It makes her mouth itch.  And pecans, but they aren’t as bad.  The other tree nuts they said to avoid, but they have never bothered her.  So we haven’t been as vigilant at keeping her away from them. 
I saw the cobbler.  It was blackberry with a walnut crumb topping.  I saw the walnuts.  I was excited.  I never get to eat walnuts, because of her allergy.  So I got and ate the cobbler (it was delicious!)
Avery saw the cobbler, but didn’t see the nuts.  She enjoyed the cobbler too.  Then she started to itch… in her mouth.  Then her face started to swell.  In the meantime I had run home (5 minutes away) to grab the Benadryl.  Just a good dose and her symptoms would go away.  We have an epi-pen, but I had never had to use it, nor did I expect to, so I didn’t grab it…hindsight. 
There is a lady at church, Judy, who is allergic to everything.  Okay, not everything, but practically.  I called her over and asked if I should take Avery to the hospital.  My hubby said her face looked like “Mask.”  I think she looked more like the blue people on Avatar, just not blue.  But she was REALLY swollen.  So I took her to the emergency room.  By the time we got there, she was wheezing.  They rushed her right in and gave her one dose of Epinephrine.  Then 20 minutes later another.  Plus a bunch of other stuff including hydrocortisone.  Which she is dependant on and she needs extra in emergency situations…like that one. 
Anyway, they kept her overnight.  Just because she ate so much and they were afraid there might be some sitting in her digestional track they might cause another reaction.  But it never happened. 
And now we know that she needs to avoid ALL tree nuts and have epi-pens with us at ALL times. 
Also she had her follow up MRI on the 7th.  It appeared the tumor pieces were smaller.  That might be because the last one was done right after her surgery and there was swelling.  In any rate, it is at least smaller or the same.  So that is good news.  She has another one in March and she meets with Endocrine in January.  That gives us Feb. off.  So far at least. 


Blogs that I get lost in…

By Stephanie
So I have been stuck in pinterstland and bloglandia….wasting hours of time…..
But I found some new sites.  I have been do a bit of research on milk paint and chalk paint.  I found that Annie Sloans chalk paint is sold somewhat locally.  I am SO buying some next time I take Avery to Seattle!! (that’s in January).  This girl at Miss Mustard Seed, has a great article on both paints and their pros and cons.  I love her pics!!  Check her out…try not to get lost on her site too long….



By Stephanie

      Okay, I accidently made myself a skirt.  I know what you are thinking…how do you “accidently” make something?  Here is how it started.  I was making my girls tiered ruffled dresses (i do NOT recommend this for a beginning sewer).  The pattern I had only went to size 8.  Avery is not a size 8, even in patterns.  So I measured and cut the skirt bigger.  Only I accidently cut it the bigger amount on each side instead of adding 1/2 the amount on each side.  When she tried it on, after I had all FOUR ruffles on it, she was swimming in it.  At that point I knew it would be easier to start over than unpick the entire thing! 

The girls dresses…



      That night when I was laying in bed I thought, “I wonder if the skirt would fit me?”  Sure enough if did.  It was even long enough, barely.  I actually originally turned it into a dress using my early Christmas gift…the dress form seen here.  Only I didn’t try it on myself.  HUGE mistake.  HUGE.  SO….after unpicking all that, I turned it into a skirt.  And paired with these divine ruffled boots my sister’s sent me last year and this ruffled cardigan from Down East Outfitters.  My skirt is more champagne colored and there’s are all light gold. 


PC129011    PC129022

  I got compliments GALORE!  Don’t ask for a tutorial, I couldn’t duplicate it if I tried.  But it you would like to try, I started with Butterick Pattern number 4967#.   You will have to figure it out from there.  But it’s a good start.    

Hot Spiced Punch

By Stephanie

This is a recipe I have had since I was a little girl.  I have adapted it to make it easy and quick.  It’s perfect for a treat after caroling or on a chilly morning.  Or actually any time it is under 50 degrees (which is all the time here!).  I love the spices and citrus.  And you get that boost of vitamin C which if your house is like mine, we can always use this time of year!  If you don’t have whole cinnamon sticks and cloves you can add in 2 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. ground cloves. 




Hot Spiced Punch

Make a lot!!

1 can frozen orange juice concentrate

1 can frozen lemonade concentrate

1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate

3-4 lemons and oranges

3-4 cinnamon sticks

20-25 whole cloves

In LARGE Crockpot or stock pot add in juice concentrates.  Put cloves into lemons and oranges (pokey side poke into the fruit).  Add one gallon of water, oranges and lemons too pot.  On medium high heat, heat and then turn to simmer.  Simmer at least 30 minutes but up to 3 hours.  Serve warm.



By Stephanie

I LOVE the spices in gingerbread.  It’s not too sweet and has all the taste of the holidays.  And actually I LOVE the smell of molasses too.  My kids don’t, bit it brings back memories and has a taste that can’t be duplicated.  I turned these into some mini muffins, but you can put it in a 8X8 pan and make it into a cake.  Either way…SO good.  I would add in nuts…but kido with allergy. 



Makes 1 cake or 24 mini muffins

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup sugar

5 Tbsp butter, melted

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp white vinegar

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

In large bowl combine egg, molasses, sugar and butter.  Mix together well.  In separate bowl combine flour, soda and spices.  Put vinegar into milk.  Alternately add in milk and flour mixture 1/2 at a time.  Put into greased pan.  For muffins cook at 350 degree for 13-15 minutes.  For cake cook for 30 minutes. 


Sweet Chex Mix

By Stephanie

   This is crazy good.  I had a friend post it on facebook.  She warned me.  She called it crack…I should have listened.  But I thought, she is just tired and needs a snack.  I mean, she does have SEVEN kids.  (I am amazed at anyone who has even a half kid more than me!)  So I made it….and I ate, and ate, and ate. 

   Now if you are diabetic, like Dyney, don’t even try it.  You will end up in a coma for sure.  I on the other hand just have to do triple the cardio for the next two weeks to counter the carbs. 

  Oh, her recipe calls for M&Ms.  I didn’t have any, and it was plenty sweet and addicting without.  But you can add them if you like….



Sweet Chex Mix

makes a lot


· 1 1/2 c butter

· 1 c light karo syrup

· 1 c sugar

· 3 c Rice Chex

· 3 c Corn Chex

· 6 c golden grahams

· 2 c coconut

· slivered almonds or cashews. I prefer cashews.

· Big bag of M&Ms

How to make it:

· In large bowl combine cereals, coconut and nuts

· In saucepan combine butter, sugar and karo syrup (I actually did this in a large microwave proof bowl and once it was melted and combined put it in again for the 2 minutes cooking time)

· Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes

· Pour over cereal mixture

· When the mixture's slightly less warm, toss in the bag of M&M's. 

· Spread on wax paper till slightly dry to touch

Also, here's a cool tip about the karo syrup. If you spray your measuring cup first with Pam cooking spray it will come out without being sticky. Now don't say I didn't warn you. 


Cranberry Apple Walnut Pie

By Stephanie

  This pie tastes to me like Christmas.  Not too sweet, crunchy and spicey too.  I got this recipe in a BH&G Simply Perfect Holiday Baking in 2003. I have never seen a recipe since that compares.  It’s my FAVORITE pie.  It’s the reason I buy extra cranberries and freeze them.  So in Januray, when cranberries are no longer in the store, I can still make this pie.

If you have or your kids has (like mine) nut allergies, I have been substituting pine nuts for the walnuts.  They are VERY expensive, but she isn’t allergic.  I have also used pecans, but in this walnuts are the best!

   The other pie in the pic is a caramel apple pie.  Just use my caramel sauce recipe and layer with apples.  I did a lattice top and drizzled more caramel.  It got crunchy and delic!


Cranberry Apple Pie

Serves 8-10 (This is for a 9” deep dish pie)

Your favorite pie crust recipe

6-8 granny smith apples, quarter and peeled then graded

12 oz cranberries

1 Tbsp orange zest

1/2 cup sugar

3 Tbsp flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/3 cup maple syrup (I have left this out and it’s still great)

1/2 cup walnuts

I use my food processor and grate the apples.  Take out and set aside in a large bowl.  Into food processor put in everything else.  Pulse a few times until cranberries and nuts are in 1/2” peices.  Pour mixture into apples and toss.  Put into unbaked pie crust.  Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then make topping.  In food processor combine 3/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 tsp salt.  Pulse two or three times.  Then add in 1/3 cup cold butter cut into small cubes.  Pulse until resembles course crumbs.  Take out pie and spread on top.  Turn down oven to 350 degrees and cook for 50 minutes more or until fruit bubbles up.  Cook at least two hours.  I suggest overnight.  When you cut a hot pie the juices will run into the crust and make it soggy.