Holiday Recipes: Ode to Cranberry

Post by Megan

Our city just opened a new Costco store and like crazy people, we stood in a really long line twice (it’s a long story) to get a membership. I really think they have some amazing deals in that store, but my most recent purchase was a 3lb. bag of fresh cranberries for $5. What am I going to do with 3lbs. of cranberries? I should have thought that one out better, but I couldn’t help getting caught up in the nostalgia of the holidays. So, I took my cranberries home and decided to ask my Facebook friends for suggestions. They came through with some great ideas!

Don’t forget to print this awesome coupon!

$1.00 off 1 12-ounce bag Ocean Spray Cranberries

$1.00 off 1 12-ounce bag Ocean Spray Cranberries

Here are some recipes in honor of the cranberry:

Cranberry compote

(to be used as a garnish for meats or dressing):

Ingredients:

12 oz. cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1-2 tsp orange zest (grate the outside of the orange peel)

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a small sauce pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the cranberries reach a certain temperature, they will begin to burst. Continue cooking until sauce has thickened. Serve with your favorite meat such as turkey, chicken, or pork.

Cranberry Citrus Pork Tenderloin

(slow-cooker recipe):

Ingredients:

1 Pork tenderloin
1 cup of water
1 cup of orange juice
1-2 cups cranberries
1 Orange
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place pork tenderloin into slow cooker, followed by 1 cup of water and 1 cup of orange juice. Next, add desired amount of salt and pepper on top of tenderloin followed by the cranberries. Cut orange into slices and arrange on top of meat. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread:

One of the BEST pumpkin bread recipes I’ve found is the Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread
It makes three loaves of bread, so this is a great one to make and share with the neighbors or your friends…I’ve actually made quite a few friends with this bread. The recipe that follows is the one from allrecipes.com with a few changes of my own.

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
A handful of cranberries

TIP:

I alter this recipe slightly by using 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice instead of the nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans OR if you don’t have that many pans, you can use one loaf pan and one bundt pan. I also like to save time by using Baker’s Joy spray because it provides the grease and flour in one easy, less messy step. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the four, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until blended. Pour into the prepared pans. Sprinkle the cranberries on top of the batter and gently push them down into the pan. Use more or less cranberries, depending on how much you love them!

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. Insert toothpick into loaves. If they come out clean, then the loaves are done. (Recipe Credit)

 Baked Oatmeal with Cranberries:

I don’t remember when I first discovered this recipe, however it has been a favorite of mine over the years. I make it all winter long as a comfort food and my children love it as well. It makes a great breakfast or can even double as a dessert if served fresh out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Baked Oatmeal is versatile in that you can add whatever you want to it. I’ve made it with bananas, apples, blueberries, etc. This year is the first time I’ve tried using cranberries. For this particular recipe, I did half cranberry (for me) and half chocolate chip (for my kiddos).

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups quick oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cranberries

Directions:

Cream first 3 ingredients together. Add all other ingredients to creamed mixture. Bake in a 9×13″ pan at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. Bake until slightly brown and firm all the way through (like cake). Serve warm.

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Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Salad & Wraps

I am so excited to be able to participate in the American Cancer Society More Birthdays “A Healthier Holiday Table”!

Though not a traditional “holiday” recipe, this is one of my family’s favorites…and it is so easy…and it is low cal!

I love this recipe because I do not like spending all my time in the kitchen (Embrace the Crockpot- it is your friend!)

This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Salad and Wrap recipe is prefect for a quick lunch or dinner.

Plus, you can make it as mild or as hot as you like….

Ingredients for The Chicken:

2 pounds of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

1/2 White Onion

1 Clove of Garlic

1 Can of Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth

Hot Sauce (I use Frank’s)

Add the chicken to your crockpot. Next throw in a roughly chopped onion and the clove of garlic. Pour in one can of chicken broth. If it doesn’t quite cover the chicken, then add a little water. You want the chicken to be completely covered with liquid.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Remove the chicken and reserve 1/2 cup of broth. You can discard the rest. Return the chicken to the crockpot and shred the chicken. (It shreds easily with a couple of forks)

Pour the reserved broth over the shredded chicken. Then add in your hot sauce (1/2 cup- 1 cup depending on your desired heat level). Stir.

Set the crockpot for an additional 20-30 minutes. During this time you can prepare your salad ingredients.

I used bagged salad mix, tomatoes, red onions, mushrooms, cucumber, shredded Colby Jack cheese and and turkey bacon bits.

Serve with Reduced calorie or Fat Free Blue Cheese and/or Ranch and extra hot sauce if desired.

We use the leftovers to make Buffalo Chicken Wraps the next day. You can find wraps in a variety of flavors including spinach, whole wheat and multi-grain. Serve with a side of low-cal dressing and you have a quick meal!

The American Cancer Society has offered up some tips:

· Did you know that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk? The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day. Here are two resources filled with ideas for upping your fruit and vegetable consumption through the day.

· Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products. Here are some innovative ways to add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your day while watching your refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat intake.

· Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat. Some studies have linked eating large amounts of processed meat to increased risk of colorectal and stomach cancers.

Be sure to checkout all the Healthier Holiday Table recipes here

You can also follow #HealthierHolidays and @morebirthdays on Twitter! (and @jessicasCoupons too)

The fabulous recipe for the chicken was found and just slightly adapted from Skinny Taste (It is a great source for wonderful recipes)

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Recipe: Quinoa Patties

Guest Post by Megan

If you have ever tried to cook quinoa, you know it can be difficult to make this healthy grain taste good. While it is typically described as having a nutty flavor, it can also be quite bitter.

Quinoa also isn’t cheap! Costco has the best deal so far selling a 4lb bag for around $8-9.

With the cost being what it is but still wanting to include this health food in my diet, I went in search of a worthy recipe. I didn’t find what I was looking for, so I made up my own.

Here are the ingredients needed to make quinoa patties:

-1 cup quinoa (prepared according to package)
-bread crumbs
-salt
-garlic powder
-onion powder
-2 eggs
-olive oil for cooking

1. Prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions. Mine said 1 cup uncooked quinoa to 2 cups water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until water absorbed.

2. Prepare bread crumbs in food processor. I like to use those pesky end pieces no one eats anyway.

3. Combine cooked quinoa with bread crumbs, eggs, and season according to your preference. I like a lot of flavor, so I was pretty generous shaking my garlic and onion powder.

3. Shape quinoa mixture into patties.

4. Heat skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil. When the oil is nice and hot, carefully place your patties in the pan and cook approximately 2 minutes per side until golden brown.

Serve as a healthy side dish to whatever you like. I had some peas and rotisserie chicken with mine. It was delicious!!!

TIP: Always rinse uncooked quinoa under cold water prior to cooking. It helps ensure none of that bitterness gets into your dish!

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Holiday Sugar Cookie Recipe & Tutorial

Guest Post by Megan

Not all sugar cookie recipes are the same. Some doughs expand when baked so you can’t even recognize the shape you originally cut out, some are too thin and flat, and some just don’t taste good.

After years of making the type of dough that expands too much when baked, my sister introduced me to the Alton Brown sugar cookie recipe. Of course Alton would get it right…he understands the science in cooking. His sugar cookie dough is easy to make, roll out, and retains the shape from the cookie cutter when baked. I refuse to use any other recipe now that I have my Alton one!

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

 TIPS:

When baking, always spoon your flour into your measuring cup (never scoop your measuring cup into the flour because flour gets compacted and your cookies will be more dense).

When a baking recipe calls for softened butter, never heat it in the microwave. This is a big no-no!!! Let your butter sit out at room temperature until it becomes soft enough you can leave your fingerprint in it, but not so soft you can push your finger right through it.

Directions:

1. Beat sugar and butter together on low speed until combined.

2. Add egg and milk.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add these dry ingredients to the mixing bowl beating on low speed.

I usually wrap my dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, remove dough from refrigerator, cut it in half (for more manageable rolling) and allow to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle a generous amount of powdered sugar on a clean work surface. Roll dough to approximately 1/4″ thickness (I’m not great at this, but these cookies are fairly forgiving if the dough is a little too thin or slightly too thick).

5. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shape cookies, gather up the scraps, form them back into a ball, roll it out and cut more cookies until dough is gone.

Look, even my 6 year old can do it!

6. Arrange cookies onto baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes.

Here are my cookies cooling on the rack. Yummy! They can be eaten as is OR you can decorate them.

We chose to decorate ours.

Decorating sugar cookies is actually pretty easy, as long as your expectations aren’t too high. Most of my baking involves having children help, so I’m not really expecting my cookies to look like the ones from a high end bakery. Maybe some day…not today!

We chose to decorate our cookies with royal icing using the Wilton’s recipe that came with the meringue powder, except I cut the recipe in half. It was plenty of icing for the amount of sugar cookies we had. Here is the Wilton’s recipe cut in half!

Ingredients:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp meringue powder
3 Tbsp water (I may have added an extra half Tbsp to make mine thinner)

Mix until desired consistency is reached.

Next, divide icing into separate bowls and add food coloring to make desired colors for decorating.

When decorating, I like to place my cookies face down in the icing to give it a good coating.

Carefully pick up your cookie around the edges and allow excess icing to drip off.

Add whatever decorations you’d like while the icing is still wet. We used candy sprinkles, colored sugar, etc.

I like to use these bottles to help me get a little more detail into what I’m doing. They are easy to use and keep your icing liquid for longer.

Here are a few pictures of the kiddos and I decorating…

Chocolate candy melts made the turkeys look so cute!

The finished product…a plate full of yummy cookies!

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$1.00 Off 3 DOLE Canned Fruits Coupon & Casserole Recipe

There is a new $1.00 off any THREE (3) DOLE Canned Fruits coupon available to print….and wouldn’t wait…these canned fruit coupons are always popular and never last very long…

$1.00 off any THREE (3) DOLE Canned Fruits

Here is one of my favorite recipes for Pineapple casserole….and it so easy…

Pineapple Casserole Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 can crushed pineapple with juice (20 ounces)
1/2 pack of  Rolls (like Hawaiian) or 6 pieces of white bread
3 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of Confectionery Sugar to top
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1 quart baking dish (I used butter)….in a bowl mix together the sugar, flour and salt. Then add in the eggs (beaten), canned pineapple with juice and mix together. Pour the mixture into your baking dish. Break the rolls/bread into pieces to top your mixture. Then dot the with the butter. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is nice and brown. Once I remove the dish from the oven top with the confectionery sugar and cinnamon. I like to let the dish set for about 5-10 minutes before scooping out portions to cool.

I served this for breakfast with a side of bacon. Since the pineapple dish is sweet…the saltiness of the bacon compliments it quite well.

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Crockpot Recipe: Salsa Chicken Black Bean Soup

Guest Post by Megan

My all time favorite soup from is Salsa Chick Black Bean Soup. Plus it is super easy since it can be done in the crock pot.

Ingredients:
1 pound chicken (frozen breasts)
2 cans black beans
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen corn
1 jar prepared salsa
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup sour cream (to stir in at the end)
Shredded cheese, avocado slices, cilantro (all optional)

Place all ingredients in the crockpot (except sour cream and cheese/avocado/cilantro)

Cook 6-8 hours on low heat OR 4-5 hours high heat.

Stir in sour cream before serving and shred chicken. Add garnishes.

I omitted the mushrooms, sour cream, avocado and cilantro. It still tastes great without those ingredients. Our family enjoys this soup with tortilla chips! (Recipe idea credit)

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Fun & Easy Recipe: Halloween Cookie Pops

Guest Post by Megan

Need a last minute treat for a Halloween Party? These Cookie Pops are easy to make! (Plus you could change the colors and make them for any special occasion.

Ingredients:
Oreo cookies
Candy melts
Lollipop sticks
Candy decorations

Step 1:

Separate Oreos as shown above

Step 2:

Heat candy melts in microwave as directed on package.

Step 3:

Dip lollipop stick tip into melted chocolate and place onto Oreo.

Step 4:

Follow by placing cookie back together. This step isn’t necessary, but it helps “glue” the cookie to the stick for easier dipping.

Step 5:

Dip cookie into melted chocolate coating evenly and twirling excess chocolate into bowl.

Step Six:

Decorate with candy and set on wax paper to harden. Allow to dry and arrange your cookie pops and enjoy! An easy but impressive treat!

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Frugal Fall Recipe: White Bean and Kale Soup

.Guest post by Megan

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I LOVE soup! When the weather cools down, I can’t think of anything more comforting than a warm bowl of soup.
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I am a Foodgawker fan. Whenever I need inspiration for new meals, I go to my Foodgawker app on my phone and browse the pictures until something catches my eye. (Foodgawker website) This week, the White Bean and Kale soup from The Curvy Carrot stood out. It’s colorful, light, and yummy!
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Here are the ingredients you will need:
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.1-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 stalks celery, chopped (I omitted this ingredient from our soup because one of my family members has a mild allergy to celery)

1/2 cup carrots, chopped (about 1-2 medium carrots)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups water

4 cups vegetable broth

5-6 red potatoes, chopped (leave the skins on)

Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), or 5 cups fresh cooked beans

One large bunch kale

1/4 cup heavy cream, optional

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook carrots and onion until softened.

Add the garlic and sautee for about a minute, then remove from heat and set aside. (I used 3 carrots, because we like them a lot and I used 4 cloves of garlic to add more flavor)

 Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring vegetable broth and water to a boil.

Chop potatoes into desired size for soup.
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TIP: If your broth isn’t boiling by the time you finish chopping your potatoes, you can place them in a bowl of water to keep them from turning brown while you wait. When the broth is boiling, simple remove the potatoes from the water and pat them dry.
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 Add the cooked vegetables, beans and potatoes to the boiling broth, reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are done.

Next, add your kale…
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Then 1/4 cup of heavy cream (I actually added 1/2 cup to make the soup a little creamier)
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Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.

 Finally, serve your soup with your favorite bread and enjoy. I paired mine with rosemary foccacia bread.

VERDICT: While this soup was delicious, colorful, and healthy, my husband and I both agreed it could use a little more flavor. The Curvy Carrot doesn’t incorporate meat into her recipes. I think this soup’s flavor would be enhanced with either some cooked ground sausage or using some Hillshire Farm smoked sausage cut into half rounds.
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I did have plenty of soup leftover to freeze for 2 meals and to keep some for lunch.
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Tuesday’s Tips: Make Ahead Olive Oil & Fresh Herbs Saute’ Cubes

I am a busy mom. I hang on for dear life pretty much on a daily basis…and well..in case you haven’t noticed… I am also a tad bit frugal…I am always on the lookout for time saving and money saving tips….so I teamed up with some good friends of mine to start a NEW blog series….Tuesday’s Tips.

Good Deal Mama, Jessica’s Coupons, Kroger Krazy, Rose Knows Coupons

Every Tuesday we will be offering our readers one time saving and/or money saving tip…something that will make life a but easier and it will not break the pocketbook.

Today’s tip is brought to you by Yours Truly!

So let’s just say I have some “problems” keeping my herbs alive.  You know but these potted herb plants are only around $3 and the pre-cut fresh herbs are always at least that much…so I always think I am being “frugal” by purchasing the live plant…when in fact most of the “herbs” were going to waste due to death.

So I came across this somewhere a while back and thought the idea to be rather brilliant….you just take fresh herbs and olive oil- freeze them into flavor cubes….these make for a super quick meal. Just add your pasta, chicken, shrimp or fish to the saute pan with one of these and wah-la!


I love these- they are such a time saver/money saver in the kitchen and a hit with everyone in the family!

What you will need:

Fresh Herbs (of choice)

Olive Oil

Ice Cube Tray (I used these)

Step One:

Fill each section of the ice cube tray about 50-75% full with your fresh herbs of choice.  You can do a single herb, or mix if you like.

Step Two:

Next top each section with olive oil (repeat). (I actually prefer to fill it about 50%)

Step Three:

Freeze (the cubes should set in 1-2 hours)

Once they have set, I pop them out of the ice cube tray and into a freezer bag. Then I just grab cubes as needed.

You can add these to your favorite recipes. I add mine to angel hair pasta. It smells great and taste wonderful. Very light. A great alternative to Red Sauce. Plus super frugal too! You could also saute shrimp or chicken…so many ideas!

You can click on any of the images to make larger if you like.

Thanks so much for checking out Tip Tuesday! Be sure to come back next Tuesday for a new tip!


Do you have a tip you want to share with The Tipsters? If so, you can contact me via email HERE! Your tip could be chosen and featured on Tuesday’s Tips!

(You can view last weeks tip here)

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Quick & Easy Recipe: S’mores Cookies

I love sweets….S’mores are no exception. The fabulous folks from Hershey’s sent yours truly some s’mores ingredients and I decided to get a bit creative….I personally think S’mores are a great year-around treat. (Especially with Fall festivals and Halloween around the corner. ) But if you want to mix it up, below is my recipe for S’mores cookies…don’t worry…it is easy!

Ingredients:

Pre-made Cookie Dough (from the refrigerator section)

Hershey’s Chocolate Bar

Marshmallows

Graham Crackers

Foil Cupcake liners (optional)

Cookie Spray

Directions:

I used pre-made cookie dough (judge me if you must). I have a sugar cookie dough here, but you could use chocolate chip or anything you like. Just smash the dough flat.

Then sprinkle the dough with graham cracker crumbles

I bake my cookies in a foil cupcake liners…this step is optional. Next, place a piece of chocolate in between your two pieces of cookie dough.

You will want to press the dough together to seal the chocolate in between the cookie dough. Sprinkle with more graham cracker crumbs.

Bake the cookie per the package direction….about 2 minutes or so before the cookie is done…pop the marshmallow on top and watch your cookie like a hawk.

There you have it…remember it is going to be hot!

Here is the inside- yum!

Don’t ever miss a deal: Find Jessica’s Coupons on Facebook & Follow Jessica’s Coupons Tweets on Twitter. This post may contain affiliate links, when you use them, you support this site. Please refer to the Disclosure Policy for more details. Photo Credit: Jessica’s Coupons. I was provided *these ingredients complimentary for the purpose of review. My opinions are my own as is this recipe.