You know, I’m not sure why we only put cranberries to use during the holidays, they’re so great why wouldn’t we enjoy them throughout the year? When I was making my simple Apple Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving, of course I couldn’t help myself from licking the spoon clean after scooping it into a bowl. Then, I thought this really isn’t any different than a preserves we put on peanut butter sandwiches or toast. In fact, I enjoy this better. It’s not super sweet like most fruit preserves because cranberries are tart.
So I’m putting this out there. If you enjoy homemade jams, preserves, whatever you want to call them then this one is super easy to make. Especially if you love cranberry sauce. But while we’re on the topic, you gotta try my Blueberry Thyme Jam too sometime! It’s soooo good, and also easy to make. If you’re a diabetic or watching your sugar intake, feel free to use your favorite sugar substitute. Just make sure the sugar substitute you’re using is equal measuring to regular sugar. If you’re going for less sweet and more tart, you can use 3/4 cup instead.
You can try this on toast, peanut butter sandwich or with any other kind of nut butter, on top of eggs (I tried this once and was amazed), a turkey or chicken melt, mixed with your favorite plain yogurt, and ice cream. It’s endless!
APPLE CRANBERRY SAUCE
Place all of the ingredients in a medium-sized pot. Stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce to a simmer. Stir to blend and simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Some of the cranberries will burst and that's perfectly fine.
Once everything has softened, stir again, and use a potato masher to mash everything together. Let cool.
If you’re running out of ideas for soups or looking for something different, this is a must go! There are so many different types of sausages out there and can be used many different ways. One of my favorites is kielbasa; as a kid I loved it with cheese on crackers. But with it being pretty frigid this Winter all I’ve been wanting is soup. Here’s one that’s a bit different than your stereotypical soup options that’s packed with lots of flavor!
This soup is packed with protein, fiber, and complex carbs which are the best carbs. If you’re not a veggie person, this is the best way to get your veggies. The kielbasa really infuses a nice smoked, salty flavor to the broth and it doesn’t take much to fill you up. If you’re not feeling up to using the rainbow chard you can replace it with another hearty green like collard greens, kale, even spinach will do. As with most recipes on here, you can tweak the ingredients list that works best for you. Using another type of sausage like something spicy is entirely up to you. Enjoy!
SMOKED SAUSAGE & WHITE BEAN SOUP
Over medium-high heat, saute the onions, celery, carrots, salt, and pepper with olive oil for several minutes until softened.
Add the kielbasa sausage, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes. Then, add the rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder. Stir.
Pour in the vegetable stock and let everything come to a boil. Reduce heat, let simmer for about 30-40 minutes uncovered stirring once in a while.
Add the beans and chard the last five minutes.
Remove the rosemary and thyme stems.
Add more salt and pepper to taste.
They’re not too sweet, a little chewy from the cranberries, soft, and crumbly like your traditional butter cookie. Without a doubt it’s easy to lose track how many you’ve eaten in one sitting. I swear they magically appear in my hand, I’m not sure how it happens.
I love things during the holidays for a classy look on some dessert options but not much has stopped me from making these during any other time of the year in the past. If you’re in the mood for any kind of cook at any time of year, no one can tell you no and stop you! Just a fair warning, you’ll probably want to double up the recipe. You’ll see why! 🙂
WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY BUTTER COOKIES
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.
Cream the sugar and butter in your stand or hand held mixer then add the egg and extracts until well combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugared butter and beat until just combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, especially the bottom.
Add the chopped white chocolate chips and cranberries. Use a large spoon to fold everything together in the cookie dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a medium (1.5 tablespoon) cookie dough scooper to scoop each butter cookie onto the baking sheet. Use the back of a teaspoon and flatten the center of the cookie with an imprint.
Bake at 350 F degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let them sit a few minutes to cool before removing.
Who doesn’t love food that gives you a hug from the inside on these cooler nights? Or ONE POT MEALS? Are you tight for time? Don’t feel like standing in the kitchen long? Use a slow cooker or if you don’t have one, a dutch oven! Okay, this recipe is one of your answers of all possible options. It’s a nice rendition on a standard slow cooked chuck roast and I’m sure you’ll love it. So, if you’re going to be gone all day and want to walk in the door with dinner ready then, go the slow cooker method on low for 8hrs. Otherwise, you can do all the same quick prep work, put it in a dutch oven, and walk away for about 3 hours. Either way, you can’t mess this up!
If you plan on having guests over, this is a great way to have great food. You’ll be able to spend more time with your guests and focus on any of the other food items you plan to prepare. Personally, I’m a sucker for anything made in big batches because I love the convenience of leftovers. I love having days where I can dive deep into all the things I need and want to do where having something I can reheat quickly doesn’t take a lot of my time. Before you tackle this greatness make sure you use a decent quality balsamic vinegar. It doesn’t have to be super expensive but select your cooking balsamic like you would select your red wine. If you can’t imagine enjoying a particular balsamic vinegar in a dressing then you won’t enjoy cooking with it. If you don’t know what to select, my favorite go-to is Gran Reserva Balsamic Vinegar of Modena by Lucini.
Because this dish is very meat centric, you can keep this fairly low carb with a few baby golden potatoes and carrots. Also, feel free to add your own flare to this. Some times I like slicing a bunch of fresh garlic cloves in half and tossing it in the pot. Add more spices or other favorite veggies if you want. When it comes to one pot meals like this, you can add in anything you like. One of my favorites is rough chopped fennel. But when it comes to leftovers, you can totally slice the meat up super fine like shown in the images, make a beef sandwich, add Italian sweet cherry peppers, dip it into the au jus, and slather some damn good horseradish. You see what I’m saying? Okay good! Happy eatings!
BALSAMIC DIJON CHUCK ROAST
Rub both sides of the meat with salt. Drizzle a large pan with olive oil over high heat and sear each side of the chuck roast for about 3 minutes to get a nice crust.
Place the chuck roast in a slow cooker or dutch oven.
Saute the onions with garlic powder in the drippings over medium-high heat in the same large pan that you seared the meat in. After two minutes, add the balsamic vinegar. Let simmer and stir frequently until it becomes syrupy.
Turn heat off and stir in the Dijon mustard. Add this balsamic Dijon mixture in with the meat. Throw in the thyme sprigs, baby potatoes, whole carrots, salt, pepper, and the beef broth.
Cover and let it cook on low for 8 hours in a slow cooker. Or about 3 hours on 300 F degrees in the oven.
Add the sliced mushrooms an hour before done.
You guys! One minute muffins. I mean, healthy one minute muffins. High protein, low carb, and super low sugar. Apparently this has been a thing for a while. Sure, we can call it a trendy thing. Which is more likely why I’m just now discovering these amazing things. I’m practically never late to anything… physically. But… trends… yeah… I’m usually always a few steps behind. The most important part about all of this though, I will not die not knowing what a “one minute muffin” is! Please, scroll through this yummy picture and keep reading… it won’t be long!
I’ve always had this love-hate relationship with the microwave. I hate it because… it’s a microwave. That’s not REAL cooking. And, all the questionable things said about the microwave over the years as to whether they’re safe. Look, as of yet I don’t know of any real science saying it’s bad. Which leads me to why I love microwaves. By all means I’m not a lazy person. It’s hard at times for me to truly sit down and relax. So, I will say that when I’m crunched for time or not feeling like putting time in the kitchen I’ve been known to cook up a mean egg scramble in the microwave. Now, better yet I can make these AWESOME one minute muffins!
Once I discovered such a thing as a healthy muffin that I can enjoy within minutes, I was changing up the recipe a little bit to make all sorts of one minute muffin flavors. In fact, my recent Keto Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and Maple Blueberry Muffins were inspired by this recipe and thus evolved from. So, with the couple tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce it helps keep the muffins moist while giving it a nice natural sweetness without making it carb heavy. I will admit I’m not a big breakfast person first thing in the morning; for the most part I like small and light things that will hold me over until lunch. These have been the perfect answer and they hold over really well into the next day. Okay, enough babble! Let me know how you like these and of course put your own spin on them.
1 MINUTE APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS
In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients and blend everything together.
Add the unsweetened apple sauce, egg, and unsalted butter. Then, whisk until well combined.
Divide the mixture between the two ramekins. Shake them a little bit side-to-side to help them settle.
Microwave one at a time for about 1 minute. Some microwaves may require an additional 30 seconds.
Stick a toothpick down the center. If it comes out clean, they're ready to enjoy!
Add a dollop of the unsweetened apple sauce on top for extra oomph!