We have really been enjoying fresh cranberries around here since Thanksgiving time. I learned my lesson last year that after Christmas they become hard to find in the store and disappear quickly, only to return to the shelves the next year around the end of October/early November. So, this year I bought some extra bags and put them in the freezer so we could enjoy them for a little while longer :).
I wanted to find something new to make other than cranberry sauce and cranberry bars (both of which are very tasty, just didn’t want to get burnt out on them!), so when I found this recipe I bookmarked it pretty quickly to try for the next week after my grocery run. It is a nice combination of sweet and tart, and I bet it would be a good “comfort food” for the cold winter days that will soon come!
I got this recipe from a former co-worker, and I had actually forgotten about it until this past weekend when making “Thanksgiving dinner” for my parents, who were leaving for Florida for the winter the next morning. My husband and I had it once in the past and liked it, but we didn’t eat it fast enough (or store it in the fridge), and that was a mistake. After a few days it had developed a “stringy” sort of texture and just didn’t taste right. So, this time around when making it I made sure that there would be more people to eat it, and I stored the leftovers in the fridge (it was great the next day warmed up with butter on it for breakfast).
This cornbread has a moist, cake-like texture with a hint of sweetness to it. We ate all but 2 pieces of it that night at dinner, which must mean that it’s pretty good ;).
With fall officially being here, let the pumpkin craze begin. I have traditionally been a pumpkin pie kind of person on Thanksgiving Day, then not a pumpkin person on too many other days. (Plus I enjoyed my pumpkin pie with more Cool Whip than pie, oops!!) In the past few years, however, I have grown to like it more and have tried it in a breakfast smoothie and different kinds of bars.
Last week I was going to get one of the smaller cans of pumpkin to try this cookie recipe. I don’t think I have ever encountered this before, but every brand of the small cans of pumpkin was sold out, and there was only the giant cans left. I figured I could just make a double batch of cookies and use it up. Well, we got our double batch of cookies, plus a loaf of pumpkin bread, plus a batch of chocolate pumpkin muffins, plus a pumpkin smoothie for me this morning. It’s a good thing these baked goods will freeze well, and a good thing that we have a nice variety of them so we don’t get sick of pumpkin :).
Anyhow, the first batch of cookies I made was under baked. It made them really hard to get off of the cookie sheet and then again really hard to get off of the cooling rack (but in the end, this didn’t bother me because I like my cookies moist and gooey). I believe I baked those for ~11 min. The second batch came out much less gooey, and I baked them for ~14 min. I’m not sure that you can get a crunchy cookie out of these in that the pumpkin and nut butter add so much moisture to the mix. I am not a fan of having nuts in cookies, so I omitted them. If I make these again I think they would be good with some dried cranberries in them.
I think of meatloaf as a sort of “comfort food.” I have always enjoyed it, especially when smothered with ton of ketchup. In the past, when we were on road trips and were craving something more “homestyle,” we would stop at Cracker Barrel to eat. I never had to look at the menu; it was always meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans on my plate.
My husband doesn’t care for meatloaf, so I rarely make it at home (only if I’m having a serious craving). So when he sent this recipe to me and asked for it for dinner, I was very surprised to see that it was a type of meatloaf. Then I saw two very key ingredients: the chorizo and bacon. Not just a regular meatloaf we’re talking about here.
This did take quite a bit of prep and cook time, but it was certainly worth it. Ours turned out just a little dry, not sure if it was a bit overcooked or if I need to add some additional liquid of some kind next time. I made my own chorizo because the one kind at Kroger had all sorts of fun “crap” in it that I wasn’t interested in eating. The recipe for the chorizo is posted below.
When it is not a day of peanut butter and chocolate cravings and desserts, and berries are in season, it is nice to have a “lighter” sweet treat for those hot, humid summer days. This is the first of the berry or fruit “cobblers” or “crumbles” or whatever else you like to call it, desserts that we have tried this year, and it was delicious. No extra sweetener was required (other than in the crust “dough”), the fruit was sweet enough in itself.
Another favorite pastime: me getting to eat the very center (and last bite) of my husband’s Pillsbury cinnamon roll at breakfast. The softest, gooiest, and most icing-soaked part of the roll, always put a smile on my face. Obviously those days are gone, but I found a muffin recipe that is pretty good at taking the place of the cinnamon rolls, minus the icing (which I still miss!). Seems like many “vanilla” or “cream cheese” icing recipes that do not contain dairy or sugar are made with coconut milk/cream, and I just can’t quite get myself to like coconut all that well yet. Maybe one of these days my taste buds will allow it, as it has other flavors since the diet change…
Think back to a time your were making homemade chocolate chip cookies (before the “break-n-bake” times!) Were you able to resist taking a spoon/fork full of the raw batter and eating it? What about after buying the “tube” of raw cookie dough, did half of it go into your mouth before realizing that you would only end up with half a dozen actual baked cookies? If you can relate, this recipe is for you :). And for those who are afraid of eating those raw eggs, the recipe contains no eggs (as well as no white sugar, grain or dairy!) I have to admit, when I took my first bite of this, I think my face must have lit up immediately due to the similarity in taste to the good ol’ cookie dough in a tube, or the homemade batter!!