December 15, 2011

CranPeary Salsa

My husband had some cranberry salsa a few years ago at his work Christmas party. He said he really liked it so he got the recipe and requested I make it. I did and it was soooo sour! And I just didn't care for the combo, even though I love cranberries. I tossed the recipe and I've never had the desire to make it again until the other day when I got this recipe from "Skinny Crock Pot." It's not a crock pot recipe so I'm not even sure why it was on their site, but I'm glad it was! This batch turned out wonderfully, I loved this combination of flavors. It includes pear & apple and I think that worked to tone down the sourness of the cranberries. I added a bit more sugar than it called for. Other than that, I think I followed the recipe pretty closely. Here is how I made it:

CranPeary Salsa
(I came up with that clever name, they just called it plain old 'cranberry pear salsa')

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1 pear, peeled and chopped
1/2 apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
juice of one lime
juice of one orange
3 T honey
3 T sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Can sweeten it up or down depending on taste.

I think I'm going to make a batch for our Christmas Eve gathering this year. It's so light & refreshing and it's really pretty & Christmasy looking too!

December 12, 2011

Super Easy Fleece Scarf

I cannot resist the fabric remnants at Joann's. Especially the fleece! They always have so many bundles to choose from and they are so soft & cuddly. And, I have learned how to really get a great deal on remnants at Joann's...the remnants are always half of the current price of the fabric. So, if that particular fabric is on sale, it will ring up the sale price then they will take another 50% off that. Fleece is now 50% off, so as a remnant, they are 75% off! I can't pass up a bargain like that even if I don't have a need for it at that moment. So, yeah, I have lots of random, odd fabric pieces in my stash.

Anywho, I bought some funky print fleece the other day and decided to use a tutorial I found to make a scarf. This blog, Make it and Love it has SO many fun little projects! I used two of her tutorials for Christmas gifts already. THIS sweater bag and THIS pleated scarf. I can't show pics of my finished projects yet, juuuust in case someone sees them who shouldn't ;)

HERE is the link to the Simple Fleece Scarf. I cut my 'ruffles' a bit wider than she did so it is a little 'chunkier'. I admit, this scarf is a bit funky & almost clown-like, but it's soft & warm & fun & different, so I like it.

December 09, 2011

Oatmeal Cake

Today was such a cozy day. It was cloudy and cold, perfect to just stay inside and make a cozy comforting cake. I've made this cake many times. It's yummy and I convince myself it's good for me since it has oats in it! It's from an old church cookbook, here it is:

Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake
1 c oats
1 1/4 c boiling water
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c oil
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon

Place oats in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow it to soak in for about 15 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, sugars & vanilla till fluffy. Add the rest of the dry ingredients then the soaked oats. Bake at 350 for 35-40 min.

For the 'topping' combine:
1/4 c softened butter
3 T brown sugar
3 T milk
3/4 c coconut
1/2 c pecans or walnuts

After the cake has baked, spread this mixture on top. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, until it is bubbly but NOT burned.

Today, I sorta didn't follow that last part about not burning it. The broiling part is always tricky for me. I really should've set the timer for 2 minutes instead of 3. By the time it beeped and I ran to the kitchen, the cake was well-done. So well-done I had to run its smoking self out to the deck to avoid the smoke alarms going off :(

But, it was salvageable. One side was worse than the other and it was really only about the top two millimeters that were burned.

**disclaimer about my awful looking of my good cake pans is still out on loan since it had birthday cake in it...the other good pan was/is currently housing some delicious Sweet Potato Enchiladas that we had for dinner. So, I was left with this pan which is my vegetable roasting pan. It did the job and after this broiling mishap, it's darker & more awful-looking than ever!

Here's a mostly edible piece. Milk on the side is a must-have.

December 07, 2011

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

I still have lots of pumpkin puree in the freezer. A good problem! I scribbled this recipe down a while back and made a batch on Sunday. I froze them and it has been our breakfast for this week. So super easy since you just use pancake mix then add a few things to make them yummier & healthier. They turn out really good!

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/2 c complete (just add water) pancake mix
1 c oats
2 T brown sugar
2 T flax seed
1 t cinnamon
1 c pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c water

Combine all and cook 'em up!

Making pumpkin things is still allowed even though it's well after Thanksgiving...right? I say yes!