Friday, November 17, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cranberry apple crisp


Traditional apple crisp is enhanced by the addition of tart little cranberries in this dessert. We are almost finished with our apple haul from our picking trip this year, but we had some Rhode Island Greenings hanging out in the fridge, which are perfect for desserts like pies and crisps. Apple crisp is always a must-have during the fall season for us. But, as we approach late fall or get close to winter and I see fresh cranberries appear in the store, I become compelled to put them in more things besides cranberry sauce. I feel like cranberries are often overlooked, but completely delicious (and also so pretty.) I think I've inspired myself to try to use them more frequently. Maybe that will be a winter mission for me this year! Cranberries in everything! They do pair really perfectly with apples like in this dessert (or in this pie.) This would be a simple dessert to make for Thanksgiving or the holidays if you don't feel like making a pie crust. This dessert will feed about six people. Serve it as is or with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream while it is still warm for an extra-special treat.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Slow cooker ranch chicken & rice bowls


The slow cooker is my food best friend lately. I've been using it several times a week. It does, of course, require menu planning so that I know what to thaw, put in the slow cooker in the morning, and what ingredients I need to have on hand. But as a frugal mom of toddler twins, it's essential for me to plan ahead so that our meals go as smoothly as possible and I resist the temptation to order take out. I also like versatile dishes where I can use up some things in the fridge and pantry to create a delicious meal like this ranch chicken. It's versatile because you can add or remove vegetables based on what you have. I use chicken, corn, peppers, and onions - you can use any/all of these and/or others like black beans, pinto beans, jalapeno, green onions, etc. I topped mine with cilantro, cheddar, salsa, and sour cream, but other options are avocado, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, pickled jalapenos, etc. It's also nice served with a side of corn chips (or sprinkle crumbs from the bottom of the bag on top for a little crunch). You can also wrap it up in a burrito shell! Easy family friendly meals like this are what work in our life right now. This recipe will serve about four people, but can easily vary (stretch it with beans or make more rice).


Friday, November 3, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

Jack O' Lantern cheese quesadillas


Are you looking for a fun, simple, and kid-friendly Halloween meal? Look no further than these cheese-filled quesadillas! You simply "carve" your Jack O' Lantern face into a tortilla, fill it with cheese, and pop it in the oven. These will be a hit for a quick Halloween dinner or lunch for kids and all Halloween lovers (like me)! I like to serve these with a side of salsa and sour cream or guacamole as well as some fresh vegetables because you can use slices of green bell pepper (or an avocado) to give your pumpkin a stem. They also go well with a bowl of tomato soup which is perfect if it's going to be a chilly Halloween.

The below recipe is per quesadilla. You can make as many as you need or want for your family. I can fit two quesadillas on a standard baking sheet and bake two trays side by side in the oven. The longest part of this meal prep is making your Jack O' Lantern faces. I like to lay a tortilla on a large wooden cutting board and cut with the point of a sharp paring knife. You can toast up the leftover carving pieces and dip them in your soup or salsa as well. I use a mix of sharp orange cheddar cheese (for color and flavor) and mozzarella (because it melts well and gives it the "gooey" factor). You can use whatever cheeses you like best, but try to use some orange.