Welcome to the FIRST SimpleHolidaySurvival Tip for 2014! For the next six weeks, I will feature a tip that will save you time during the holiday season!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and for many of us, that means pulling out the good china and silverware to set the table. I can pretty much count on my silverware being tarnished – and I really don’t enjoy cleaning silverware. I thought there had to be a better way,
WELL, I could not believe how easy this tip was until I tried it myself! And check out the before and after:
This wonderful recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and tart (I happen to LOVE cranberries)! Here is the recipe:
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
12 oz. fresh cranberries, rinsed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan.
Mix together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, using a mixer on high speed, for 5-7 minutes. The mixture should double in size and lighten to a soft yellow color. Do not skip or shorten this step – it is what provides the cake’s light texture.
Add the vanilla and softened butter, beating until the butter is thoroughly mixed in – approximately 2 minutes. Add the flour, mixing until it is completely moistened. Stir in the cranberries using a spoon, then pour the batter into the buttered pan.
Bake 40-50 minutes, until the top of the cake is light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before cutting.
I found this recipe on BarefeetInTheKitchen.com, a site chockfull of wonderful recipes! Check them out when you have a chance!
I did not make up the title of this recipe, but I have to be in full agreement with the title! I discovered this recipe online on the site JaimeCooksItUp.com, a great site with lots of family friendly recipes. My first reaction was, “Yuck, turkey in a crockpot?”, but then I thought about how simple it sounded. And how great this would be for, perhaps, someone with very little room in their kitchen or oven (like apartment dwellers). A perfect way to save space in the mad dash to cook up a Thanksgiving Day meal!
I made the recipe a week ago, with the intention of taking photos of the final product. Well, the final product was so good, there was nothing left to take pictures of! (Photos are taken directly from JaimeCooksItUp.com!)
Though the skin was not golden brown like when you roast the turkey, this dish was seriously good, easy to make, and the turkey was very moist and fell off the bone! And the drippings left in the crockpot make a TASTY gravy!
One 5-6 pound turkey breast (bone in)
1/2 Cup Orange Juice (or chicken broth)
One packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
One can whole cranberry sauce (14 oz.)
Salt & Pepper to taste (I did not use salt, because soup mix had enough for me!)
Place turkey breast in crockpot (be sure crockpot is large enough- you need to make sure the lid will fit over the turkey!).
In a bowl or measuring cup, mix together the OJ, onion soup mix and cranberry sauce. Pour mixture over the turkey breast, cover with lid, and let cook on low for 8-9 hours.
That is it!! Enjoy!! For my 30SecondMom.com video version of this recipe, Click Here!
Be sure to check out the original post from JaimeCooksItUp.com! I think she’s a cooking genius!
Did you know spices have a shelf life? Humidity, heat, sunlight, and exposure to air can pull the flavor and aroma right out of spices and dried herbs. With the holidays here, now is the perfect time to replace those holiday spices you bought last year! Colleen Messner of The Spice & Tea Exchange in St. Augustine, Florida, has a list of the top spices you should have in your cabinet for the holidays. (And most of them can be used year round!)
Top Spices For The Holidays
Nutmeg – This brown seed, when grated, provides a warm, spicy/sweet flavor to dishes. A whole seed can be stored indefinitely in an airtight container. Best when freshly grated.
Allspice – This spice tastes/smells like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. I love it on pork tenderloin!
Cloves – This fragrant, nail-head shaped spice is perfect for decorating a ham or whole orange. Imparts a warm and sweet flavor.
Green Pod Cardamom – Cardamom has a strong, unique spicy-sweet taste. Best when purchased in pods, which are removed and discarded before grinding the seeds. Adds great flavor to danish and other pastries.
Star Anise – Sweet/warm spice with a licorice flavor. Great to use in pastries, stews or even asian cooking (It is one element in Chinese 5 Spice Blend).
Candied Ginger – Perfect to use in gingerbread or even chopped as decorative (and tasty!) topping for cupcakes!
Cinnamon – The favorite in the Simple Solutions Diva household! Warm and sweet, cinnamon works well in so many recipes during the holidays!
Keep all spices in a dark, cool and dry place, away from heat. (So I guess that means I need to move my spice shelves away from the stove!)
Leafy items, such as oregano, basil, bay leaves do best when stored in the fridge.
Order Fresh Spices and Dried Herbs
If you would like to order any or all of these spices FRESH from the Spice & Tea Exchange, follow this link HERE to be taken directly to the products page of their website!
Holidays are a wonderful time to bring family to the table to share meals and enjoy time together, but what do you do when extended family or friends are gluten intolerant? Make Gluten Free side dishes that everyone will love! It doesn’t take much to do gluten free, and your family won’t be able to taste the difference! Tammy Barr, personal chef and owner of Change Your Crave, gives some simple tips and recipes to help you provide gluten free options for your guests.
Food ingredient lists don’t include the actual word for gluten, so it can be difficult to know if something is gluten free. You can look for a few Warning Words:Caramel Coloring, Malt, Barley, Rye, and Monosodium Glutamate. These ingredients are usually derived from wheat products or contain gluten.
The easiest way to make sure the items you buy are gluten free is to look for the GF symbol on the shelf tags at your grocery store. You can usually find these in the organic aisle, and these are products specifically marketed/approved as gluten free.
Try one or both of these simple and TASTY recipes, both provided by Chef Tammy. No one will know they are gluten free!
Let’s face it, the holidays can get a little crazy! Between cooking, cleaning and general holiday celebrating, it can get a little exhausting! Join Simple Solutions Diva every Saturday through Christmas forSimpleHolidaySurvival, where she celebrates this harried season with simple ideas to make things a little easier!
And to help you get into the mood, and hopefully a little more organized, she has a Free Printable: the SimpleHolidaySurvival Calendar. This 11×17 inch, two page calendar features helpful tips on planning your holidays and really enjoying what truly matters to you. Use it to plan out your holiday activities!
Be sure to check out Simple Solutions Diva on Facebook and Twitter as she rebroadcasts her 2012 SimpleHolidaySurvival videos – or simply click on the SimpleHolidaySurvival link under the Topics Bar to the right of this page.