Everyday Mom's Meals: December 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Blogger Challenge with Cape Cod Select

You know I can't resist a great recipe contest! And when that also includes one of my very favorite holiday flavors, well, that is just icing on the cake, so to speak.

So when my new friends at Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries asked me to come up with something festive using their yummy cranberries, I jumped at the chance! 

Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries are all natural, farm fresh, contain NO additives or preservatives, and best of all, are recipe READY! They allow you to have fresh cranberries year round, not just when they show up in your produce section! To find out if they are sold in your neck of the woods, check out their store locator. Plus, you can find out more about them, and keep up on all things cranberry by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Now when it was time for me to think about what I wanted to make with these festive little berries, that was easy. I was going to bake. And to take it a step further, I had Christmas morning on the brain. I wanted something super easy I could make ahead, and then enjoy while we are opening gifts in those wee hours of the morning. I decided I would combine the classic holiday flavors of cranberry, orange, and add in some nuts too. Well, I think I nailed it. I got exactly what I was looking for; and I know these will be perfect on December 25th.

Thanks to the great folks at Cape Cod Select, now my family will have something delicious to eat, bursting with fresh cranberry flavor! I think your family will love them too!

Cranberry Pecan Muffins 
Orange Glaze 
1 1/2 c. Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
1 1/4 c. white sugar, divided
 3 c. flour
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1 c. chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel, divided
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 TBS fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 400. Place frozen cranberries in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Place in bowl, add 1/4 c. white sugar. Mix together. Set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup white sugar. In a small bowl lightly whisk together eggs and milk. Add to flour mixture and combine until just moistened. Fold in pecans, 1 tsp. orange peel and cranberries. Line muffin tin with papers and fill each well 2/3 way full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. While baking, combine powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. orange peel and orange juice, gradually until smooth glaze forms. When muffins done, transfer to wire racks to cool. When completely cooled, spread orange glaze on top with a spatula and allow to sit for 1 hour to set.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bitter Cold Winter Days

Brrrr....Who turned down the heat? Yep, there is no more denying it. Winter is here. With the extra warm autumn we had here in Indiana, the temperature drop is even more a shock to the system than normal. But I guess it is December, so we better get used to it.

Does anything taste better on a bitter cold day than a bowl of piping hot soup? I don't think so. Well, maybe one thing. A bowl of soup that has been cooking all day while you are busy. That's right, your slow cooker is going to take care of today's recipe while you're at work, or out and about in the wind, and snow, looking forward to coming home to something that will warm you up and fill you up at the same time. 

Now, we aren't just talking about your every day soup here. This. Is. Chili. The ultimate winter food. A meal that will thaw you out from the inside and warm your soul to the core. A classic, made even easier with the help of your Crock Pot.

If you've been following the blog for a while, you will recognize this somewhat. I have had a recipe published for a long time for our favorite Buffalo Chili. (If you've never tried buffalo, do it! So lean, so delicious!) Unfortunately, we don't have any buffalo left in our freezer, so I had to take that recipe and adapt it a little so I could use the ground beef we do have. It still tastes just as great, and is just as easy. 

I love to serve this with some cheese and crackers on the side. And of course all the traditional toppings: diced onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, or even some elbow macaroni for chili mac. In fact, if you're having a party this holiday season, a chili bar would be so fun! Or maybe some house guests you need to feed? A big pot of this will get the job done!

Most people have a favorite chili recipe they rely on all winter long. But if you don't, or maybe you're just looking for a new one, I hope this is it! 

Crock Pot Chili
1 lb. ground buffalo or beef
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 large can Brooks Mild Chili Beans
1-2 large cans tomato juice, depending on how thick you like it
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS chili powder, more if you like it spicy
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet brown beef. Drain. In same skillet brown sausage and chopped onion. Drain. Add both meats to Crock Pot. Add beans, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour in juice. Stir to combine. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Serve with desired toppings.