Archive of ‘Holidays!’ category

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day from our family to yours!  As someone who considers herself privileged to have  been raised in this great country, I am so grateful for the many freedoms I am fortunate enough to enjoy. As one writer puts it… we are the land of the free,  BECAUSE of the brave!

I’ve shared this quote from Erma Bombeck before, but want to post it again, as it kind of sums up this day, where people all across our country gather together for BBQ’s, fun, and fireworks to celebrate the United States of America, and our founding fathers who put it all on the line for FREEDOM..Happy Independence Day / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Have a fun, safe, and DELICIOUS celebration, friends.  We’ll be out of state on vacation, but we (or my hubby, the Grill Master) will be grilling something tasty, and enjoying this special day!

Happy Independence Day / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The Grill Master, busy at work (Should I tell him the lighter fluid goes on the briquets?)

Happy Independence Day / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a wonderful celebration with family and friends. May God continue to bless America.

Happy Independence Day / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème

Decadent, rich, simple to prepare (in under 10 minutes!) and extremely delicious… those are the first words that come to mind when describing these Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème!Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I made this amazing dessert a couple weeks ago for a family get together… oh my goodness! Soooo good!   “Pots de Crème” is actually a French dessert “custard” that dates back to the 17th century. It’s name literally means “pots of cream”.  Let me tell you… it’s much thicker than pudding or mousse and is extremely rich (so rich I told my guests that  it would put hair on their chests!). It may be rich, but oh boy, it is DELICIOUS!

The preparation takes less than 10 minutes, which is an added benefit!  I’d been drooling over the recipe, originally posted on a favorite blogger’s website called “The Café Sucre Farine” (thecafesucrefarine.com), so I gave in and decided to make it!  If you’ve never checked out this website, I would encourage you to do so. Chris shares phenomenal recipes, and her husband Scott shares in the fun with his amazing photography work… it’s a wonderful, creative website for food lovers.

Anyways… the method to making these is to simply use a blender. Yep… that’s right! Ingredients are blended together, then poured into small dessert cups (the dessert is very rich, so small servings are the best!).  I also made a Bailey’s Irish Cream syrup which was drizzled onto the tops of the finished Pots de Creme, then they were garnished with whipped cream, a sprig of fresh mint (and dessert cookies!).  Easy and delicious… you’re gonna LOVE this dessert!  Here’s how to make it:

Before you begin, make sure you have your dessert dishes ready to go. Place them on a baking sheet. The dessert bowls I used (Libby Tasting Bowls) hold 4.25 ounces (just over 1/2 cup), so I ended up with 6 portions (I set out 8 cups but only needed 6).  The total amount of servings will depend on the size dish you use.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chocolate chips, sugar, Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur, an egg, and sea salt are placed into a blender.  The ingredients are pulsed several times, just to mix them up a bit (they will not be fully blended).

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Take out the center cap from the blender lid and place a funnel directly into the opening. Place lid back on blender (I took it off to take the photo).

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Into a large microwave safe bowl, pour the whipping cream.  Make sure to use a large bowl, because the cream will be microwaved, and will rise up as it heats.  I used a glass bowl so I could see to make sure the whipping cream didn’t bubble up and over the top of the bowl.  Heat the whipping cream in the microwave on high power for 2 to 2½ minutes, until the cream is really bubbling.  You can see from the photo below how high the cream rose in the bowl, and what the bubbling cream looked like when I took it out of microwave.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Turn blender on LOW and blend ingredients already in there for 15 seconds. SLOWLY pour the hot whipping cream through the funnel into the chocolate mixture while mixing on low.  Once you’ve added all the cream, put your hand over the top of the funnel (to cover), and turn the speed up to HIGH. Let the mixture blend on high for one minute.  When done, carefully pour the chocolate into the serving bowls. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The dessert is PERFECT to serve once chilled just as it is, BUT… if you want to kick it up a notch and make the Bailey’s Irish Cream Syrup to garnish the finished dessert, it can be made while the dessert is chilling.  It’s VERY SIMPLE to prepare, and added an extra pop of flavor to the finished dessert.  Irish Cream liqueur is poured into a little saucepan and brought to a boil on medium heat.  The liqueur is boiled and stirred for 2-3 minutes until it has reduced in volume and turned syrupy.  Remove from heat and let cool.  That’s it!  As the syrup cools down, it will thicken a little bit more. Let syrup cool to room temperature before serving.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I also decided to add some more calories fancy cookies to garnish the finished dessert, so I found these at our local grocery store… perfect!

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When ready to serve, garnish each serving with whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint, then drizzle a tiny bit of the Bailey’s syrup over the top, and insert a couple fancy cookies into the chocolate!  You can see in the picture below the Bailey’s syrup on top of the chocolate.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That, my friends, is how you make this incredible dessert, with very little effort or time involved, but with amazing results!  I made the dessert in the morning, then simply added the garnishes when ready to serve later that evening! Easy!

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sure hope you will consider making this wonderful, decadent chocolate dessert.  I will definitely be making this recipe again!  Have a wonderful day, and remember to show love, respect, and kindness to all you meet today. God Bless You.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  https://thecafesucrefarine.com/2015/03/five-minute-irish-chocolate-pots-de-creme

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème
 
Prep time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
For Pots de Crème:
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (good quality)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream (can substitute Half n' Half)
For Bailey's Irish Cream Syrup:
  • 6 Tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur
For Garnish:
  • Whipped Cream
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Cookies (optional)
  • Bailey's syrup
Directions
  1. Put small serving dishes onto a baking sheet before beginning.
  2. Put the chocolate chips, sugar, Bailey's Irish Cream, egg, and sea salt into a blender. Pulse the ingredients several times, just to mix them up a bit (they won't be fully blended). Take out the center cap from blender lid and place a funnel directly into the opening.
  3. Pour the whipping cream into a large microwave safe bowl. Use a large bowl, because the cream will be microwaved, and will rise up as it heats. (I used a glass bowl so I could see to make sure the whipping cream didn't bubble up and over the top of the bowl). Heat whipping cream in microwave on high power for 2 to 2½ minutes, until the cream is REALLY bubbling.
  4. Turn blender on LOW and blend ingredients for 15 seconds. SLOWLY pour the hot whipping cream through the funnel into the chocolate mixture while blending on LOW (the very hot cream will help cook the raw egg). Once you've added all the cream, put your hand over the top of the funnel (to cover), and turn speed up to HIGH. Let the mixture blend on high for one minute. When done, carefully pour the chocolate into the serving bowls. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
To Make The Bailey's syrup (optional):
  1. If you want Bailey's Irish Cream Syrup to garnish the finished dessert, it can be made while the desserts are chilling. Irish Cream liqueur is poured into a little saucepan, then brought up to a boil on medium heat. The liqueur is boiled for 2-3 minutes until it has reduced in volume and turned syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool. As the syrup cools, it will thicken a little bit more. Let syrup cool to room temperature before serving.
To serve:
  1. Garnish each of the chilled pots de crème with whipped cream, and a sprig of fresh mint, then drizzle a little bit of the Bailey's syrup over the top. Add a couple fancy cookies to the chocolate, if desired! Serve, and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Gingerbread Muffins

Need a little holiday inspiration? How about serving these delicious and festive looking Gingerbread Muffins for breakfast during the holidays? They are quick AND easy to make!Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I found the recipe in a cookbook that my friend Debbie gave me several years ago. I was browsing through the cookbook getting recipe ideas, but when I saw how easy these muffins were to make, I ran downstairs and whipped some up for our breakfast!  They tasted fantastic (I think my hubby ate THREE of them- they were that good!

The recipe is absolutely simple to make. If you can stir and pour batter into muffin tins, YOU can make these!!! The muffins have a wonderful gingerbread flavor and have a nice “rise” to them. Here’s how you make them:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and prepare 12 cup standard sized muffin tin by spraying the bottom only, OR by placing paper baking cups into each muffin cup.  Beat together brown sugar, molasses, milk, oil and one egg in a large bowl. You can easily use a spoon for this.

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and ground allspice to the batter. Stir to mix ingredients only until flour is incorporated and moistened. Do not over stir.

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Each one should only be filled HALF full.

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake muffins at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Check muffins at 18 minutes. Mine only took 18 minutes, so I was glad I checked them. This is necessary because oven temps. vary quite a bit!  Once done, immediately remove the muffins from the baking pan, and place them on a wire rack to cool.  Once cooled, they are ready to eat… as is, OR you can fancy them up (can’t help myself!).

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

If you want to “fancy them up” a bit, while muffins are cooling off stir together a mixture of powdered sugar, vanilla, and water until the icing is thick enough to drizzle over tops of muffins. I had some red sparkly sugar in my pantry, so I also lightly sprinkled the icing with red sugar after drizzling it on. (Multi-colored sprinkles would add a fun touch, too!).

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Let the icing firm up just a bit, then the muffins are ready to eat!  Here’s a peek at the inside of one before it got gobbled up!  My husband enjoyed his warm muffins with a tiny touch of butter, which he said made them perfect!

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It’s such an easy recipe to make… and it was kind of fun to have GINGERBREAD muffins for breakfast, right in the middle of the Christmas holidays!  Hope you enjoy them.  I sincerely hope you are finding JOY in this season. Merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:Recipe Adapted From: The cookbook titled : “Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook”, Page 158, Wiley Publishing, Inc., Copyright 2010, General Mills.

Gingerbread Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Gingerbread Muffins... delicious, EASY, and perfect for the holidays!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
Ingredients
For Muffin Batter:
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
For Decorative Icing (to drizzle on finished muffins):
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Few drops of water (a little at a time until desired thickness is reached)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. spray the bottoms (only) of a 12 standard sized muffin cups with non-stick spray OR insert paper muffin baking cups into each cup.
  2. Mix the the brown sugar, molasses, oil, milk, and egg together in a large bowl with a spoon. Mix well.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice). Stir only until all ingredients are mixed in together... do not overmix.
  4. Divide and spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups (only fill HALFWAY).
  5. Bake muffins at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffin comes out clean. It's best to check them at the 18 minute mark, as oven temperatures vary.
  6. When done, immediately remove muffins from baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Once they have cooled down they are ready to serve warm (unless you wish to add a decorative drizzle).
  7. If you wish to drizzle icing over the top of finished muffins, place powdered sugar and vanilla in small bowl. Stir in a few drops of water, stirring as you go. Continue adding a drop or two of water and stirring, until icing is thick enough to drizzle on top of muffins. Wait until muffins are completely cool before drizzling icing on top. Lightly dust with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Let icing firm up on muffins, then serve! Enjoy!

 

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Tex-Mex Party Nuts

If you are looking for a delicious appetizer for your next party (or just want a unique snack), you should give these Tex-Mex Party Nuts a try! Slightly sweet, slightly spicy and totally addicting, they will be a big hit… AND they are totally EASY to prepare!Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I found the recipe in a cookbook a friend of mine gave me several years ago for Christmas, and was anxious to try it. I waited until my husband bought an “industrial strength size” jar of mixed nuts at Costco, then smuggled enough out of the jar to make this recipe. Wow… am I glad I did! These roasted mixed nuts are amazing, and the best part is… they are easy to make with a few simple household spices, and only take a few minutes to make! Here’s how:

Measure the mixed nuts into a large bowl. Add melted butter, and stir until the nuts are coated.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate small bowl, mix together the spices EXCEPT for the granulated sugar (save that for later!). Sprinkle the spice mix over the mixed nuts, and stir to fully coat.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread the spiced nuts onto a 15 x10 x 1 inch baking pan. Spread them out in a single layer. Bake the nuts, uncovered, in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. When done, immediately pour the hot spiced nuts into a medium bowl.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle the nuts with granulated sugar while they are still HOT from the oven. Stir to fully coat.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Let the nuts cool completely, then serve on a pretty plate or in a serving bowl.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The Tex-Mex Party Nuts also make a lovely gift during the holidays. Simply place the nuts into a canning jar, then decorate, and enjoy giving them as a gift to a friend!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The first time I made them I was afraid (before trying them) that they might be TOO spicy, but was pleasantly surprised to find out they absolutely were NOT!  Perfect combo of slightly sweet/slightly spicy ingredients! The nuts will keep for up to 3 weeks, if you store them in an airtight covered container at room temperature.  The recipe is EASILY doubled… or tripled.  Sure hope you will give them a try… they are quite tasty!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: The cookbook titled : “Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook”, Page 272, Wiley Publishing, Inc., Copyright 2010, General Mills.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Southwest-inspired slightly sweet, slightly spicy mixed nuts will be a big hit at your next party!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups salted mixed nuts
  • 1½ Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
  • --------------------------------------------------------
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (set aside)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Place mixed nuts in a medium sized bowl. Add melted butter and stir until the nuts are fully coated.
  3. In a small bowl, place all spices EXCEPT for the granulated sugar. Mix together. Sprinkle spice mix over the buttered mixed nuts, and stir until coated.
  4. Place nuts onto a 10 x15 x 1 inch baking pan in a single layer. Bake the nuts uncovered for 10 minutes. The nuts should be fully roasted. Remove nuts from oven and immediately place them into a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the nuts with the granulated sugar while the nuts are still HOT. Stir to coat.
  6. Let the nuts cool completely, then serve.
  7. If storing, the nuts will keep for about 3 weeks in a covered airtight container at room temperature.

 

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Happy 4th of July!

I really like this quote from celebrated author Erma Bombeck, which is really quite fitting for our July 4th celebration today…Happy 4th of July / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

May you enjoy this special day celebrating our FREEDOM!  I am truly GRATEFUL for the freedoms that are mine as a citizen of this great country, and for those who have made it possible throughout our history because of their hard fought determination and sacrifice.

May God continue to bless America.

Happy 4th of July! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Chex Mix Munchies – Made In The Microwave!

My Great Aunt used to make Chex Mix every year. It was a treat, as a young girl at Christmas time, to grab a big handful from what seemed like a never empty bowl of this snack when we visited her home. She would bake it for hours, then serve it. Well, nowadays we can make Chex Mix Munchies… in the microwave in under 15 minutes!Chex Mix Munchies - Made In the Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!It’s as easy as mixing the ingredients together, mixing melted butter and spices, stirring, and cooking it in the microwave. Boom! Instant munchies!

Put ingredients in a large microwavable bowl.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In the Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Melt butter in the microwave.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mix up spices and Worcestershire sauce. Add to melted butter and stir.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour this mixture over the Chex mix. Stir really well to distribute sauce.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In the Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes, stirring mixture well every 2 minutes. When done, spread Chex mix out on paper towels to cool completely.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once completely cool, store Chex Mix Munchies in an airtight covered container. That’s it!

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The recipe makes about twenty four 1/2 cup servings. Plenty for everyone to eat OR package part of it up and give as gifts!! Enjoy these munchies… and don’t say I didn’t warn you. They are scrumptious!

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In the Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Adapted From: General Mills Recipe, “Original Chex Party Mix” (recipe on cereal box)

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Crunchy and delicious, these Chex Mix Munchies are perfect for a quick snack!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 24 servings (1/2 cup each)
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • 1 cup Cheerios (I used Team Cheerios)
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1½ cups stick pretzels (bit size)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons seasoning salt
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
Directions
  1. Put the cereals, nuts, pretzel sticks, and Cheerios in a large microwavable bowl. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a small microwavable bowl until melted (about 35-40 seconds on high). Stir in Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. When completely blended, pour this over the bowl of cereal mix.
  3. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes (UNCOVERED). Every 2 minutes, stir the ingredients to continue coating everything. When done, spread the Chex Mix out on paper towel and let them cool completely.
  4. Once cool, store Chex Mix Munchies in a covered container.

 

 

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Mom’s Refrigerator Fruitcake (it’s not THAT kind of fruitcake!)

So, let’s just say this right off the bat… I hate “traditional” fruitcake. You know – the “door-stopper” kind, the unfortunate victim of many jokes.  My Mom’s Refrigerator Fruitcake is not that kind of fruitcake.  Amen.Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake (it's not THAT kind of fruitcake!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
When I thought about what to name this post, I thought long and hard about calling it “fruitcake”, because many people despise fruitcake. My mom has been calling it fruitcake for as long as I can remember… BUT it tastes like candy
! It is chewy, and yes, it has bits of cherries, pineapple and raisins in it, but it also has marshmallows, butter, pecans and graham cracker crumbs. It is dense, chewy and AMAZING…and most importantly, is not baked, and tastes NOTHING like that other stuff. Oh yeah… it’s gorgeous, also (like stained glass)! If you can melt butter, chop things, and know how to stir… YOU can make this recipe!!!

Here’s what you do…

You will need candied cherries (red and green), plus some candied pineapple. These are sold in most grocery stores around the holidays. The containers look like this:

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chop up the red and green cherries, most of the pineapple and some pecans. Make sure to set aside a few red and green cherries (whole) to use for garnishing fruitcake later. Add chopped fruit and pecans, along with raisins to a large bowl. Set aside. Admire it’s beauty!

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pulverize graham crackers. I used a food processor, but you can put them in re-sealable bag and use a rolling pin to crush them finely, as well. Cooking therapy!!!  Set crumbs aside.

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Wrap 4 miniature loaf pans with aluminum foil. Note: My mom has always used empty juice cans to mold the fruitcake loaves (both ends removed, heavily buttered inside). I use aluminum foil covered mini-loaf pans. Melt butter and really coat the inside surface of the foil (bottom AND sides). Cover it well (to help prevent sticking). You will thank me. If using empty juice cans, no need to melt butter… just thoroughly coat entire inside of juice can with it. Set aside.

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To make the fruitcake, melt 2 cubes of butter in a large, heavy bottomed stock pot.

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once butter has melted, add a 16 ounce bag of marshmallows, and cook on medium low, stirring frequently until melted.

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once melted, remove pan from heat. Add the candied fruit, nuts and raisins. Stir well to fully combine. Mixture WILL be thick.

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Now add the graham cracker crumbs, and stir well. Now it will be REALLY thick. Mix until totally combined!

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It should look like this once your arms have gotten a great workout from stirring it up!

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Divide the mixture evenly between containers while mixture is still warm. Pack it into the molds tightly to help shape the loaves. I find it really helpful to butter my fingers to help pack it in. Cover loaves with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight, to solidify the loaves.

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After refrigerating, the fruitcake should look like this…

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I garnish each loaf with cherry halves like this… Use a sharp knife to cut the fruitcake into thin slices. Yum! It is soooooo good! Store fruitcake in plastic wrap, in refrigerator.

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I really hope you will consider making this delicious Christmas “fruitcake”. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at just how GOOD it is and how much NOT LIKE FRUITCAKE it really is! They make wonderful gifts for friends, as well. Merry Christmas!

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: My Mom (she’s been making this for over 50 years… have NO IDEA where she got this recipe!)

Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake (it's not THAT kind of fruitcake!)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Refrigerated, non-baked, non-traditional fruitcake, with pecans, cherries, pineapple, marshmallows, and graham crackers. This is more like CANDY!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4 mini-loaves
Ingredients
  • 1 (8 oz.) container red candied cherries (chopped-but save a few whole ones for garnish)
  • 1 (8 oz.) container green candied cherries (chopped-but save a few whole ones for garnish)
  • 1 (8 oz.) container candied pineapple, chopped
  • 16 ounce bag mini marshmallows (or 48 large marshmallows)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1½ cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 2 cubes butter
  • graham crackers (3 "sleeves" of graham crackers-1 pound)
  • Additional butter for "greasing" loaf pans.
Directions
  1. Have all ingredients chopped, crushed, etc. before beginning recipe. Line loaf pans with aluminum foil (completely cover bottom and sides). Butter the bottom and side of each foil covered loaf pan with butter. Do not skimp on this part. A well buttered loaf pan will help the foil to NOT stick to the fruitcake at the end when ready to remove it! Set aside pans and prepped ingredients.
  2. Melt 2 cubes butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
  3. Add marshmallows; continue heating (and stirring) on medium low heat until marshmallows are fully melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Add red and green cherries, pineapple, raisins, and nuts. Stir well.
  5. Add graham cracker crumbs. Stir really well, until all ingredients are fully combined (mixture will be very thick).
  6. Divide the mixture evenly (while still warm) into 4 prepared mini-loaf pans. Butter your fingers, press down and tightly compact the mixture into the loaf pan. When done (and mixture is tightly packed into pans), cover the pans with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. When done, remove each loaf from pan. Carefully remove aluminum foil. Garnish top of each fruitcake with half a red cherry and two halves green cherries.
  7. Slice with sharp knife into thin slices, serve and enjoy! Store fruitcakes in plastic wrap (in the refrigerator).
Notes
Prep time does NOT include 12 hours refrigeration necessary to solidify and firm up the fruitcake!
If using juice cans as forms for fruitcake, butter insides very well with softened butter. No aluminum foil necessary!

 

 

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Spiced Tea Mix

One of the Christmas memories I hold dear is the Spiced Tea Mix my Mom makes to give to friends and family! It’s so easy to make! Sitting in front of our Christmas tree, enjoying the lights and ornaments, while sipping a mug of this hot, fragrant orange-cinnamon-clove spiced tea is something I always enjoy!Spiced Tea Mix / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This recipe makes approximately 36 ounces of spiced tea mix. I filled 3 pint sized jars… 1 jar to keep, and 2 jars to give away as gifts. I’ve heard it called “Russian Tea” before, but have NO CLUE why… Maybe people are “rushin” to drink it? (Get it? My complete fail at a joke). My apologies… Whatever you call this tea… make it. It’s delicious!

Here are the ingredients before mixing…(Tang, Lemonade, Instant Tea, Sugar, Cinnamon and Cloves).

Spiced Tea Mix / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here are the ingredients after mixing…

Spiced Tea Mix / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here is what the mix looks like, once poured into jars… it looks pretty cool.

Spiced Tea Mix / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I enjoy giving his simple, homemade with love, Spiced Tea Mix as a gift to friends…

Spiced Tea Mix / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

But here’s how I most enjoy it… 2 Tablespoons Spiced Tea Mix, stirred into a mug of boiling water…perfect! The mug in this photo belonged to my mother-in-law and is special to me, as she went to her heavenly home a few years ago. She is missed during the holidays, but thought of often, especially when I enjoy a hot drink out of her coffee mug.

Spiced Tea Mix / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I really wish you could smell AND taste this spiced Tea. It’s so delicious! Hope you will consider making up a batch for your family and friends this holiday season!

Spiced Tea Mix / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: My Mom (years and years and years ago)

Spiced Tea Mix
 
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This delicious Spiced Tea Mix, featuring the flavors of orange, cinnamon and cloves is something you will enjoy drinking and/or giving to friends!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 36 ounces
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. 11 oz. Tang Instant Orange Drink Powder
  • 3 oz. Powdered Lemonade Mix
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup instant tea granules
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
Directions
To Make The Mix:
  1. Stir all ingredients together in large bowl until completely mixed.
  2. Store in covered container.
To Make Tea:
  1. Place 2 rounded Tablespoons mix into a mug of boiling water. Stir well. Enjoy!

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Honey & Feta

Are you on the search for new side dishes to serve during the holidays (or any old time, for that matter)? Well, here’s a sweet AND savory recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Honey & Feta.Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This is one gorgeous side dish to look at, and a very tasty side dish to accompany various meals. This dish has so many different flavors going on…roasted butternut squash, creamy saltiness of feta cheese, the “pop” of freshly roasted tangy cranberries, and of course, the sweetness from honey being drizzled over the top of all the ingredients. Whoa! I am really glad I tried this recipe!

The recipe is simple. Roast the butternut squash, add the fresh cranberries near the end of the roasting time, dish them up, garnish with the rest of the ingredients. That’s it… in a nutshell. Here’s what you do:

Get yourself a butternut squash. Got one? Okay.  You only need ONE, but here’s a photo of 2 (perhaps to inspire you to double the recipe if cooking for a small village?)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Peel and chop one butternut squash into small bite-sized cubes. (Peeling the squash is the toughest part of this recipe… really!)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drizzle some olive oil onto a large baking sheet and put the cubed squash on it, turning cubes to coat with the oil.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle squash cubes with salt and pepper, and give them another light drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and add fresh cranberries. Return to oven and cook for 15 additional minutes.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, the cranberries should have popped a bit, and softened. Remove from oven, and spoon mixture onto serving dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add a light dusting of cinnamon, then garnish with crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle honey over the top of the entire dish, then garnish with dried parsley!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it! Serve the dish while hot… and enjoy the color and the variety of tastes in this simple side dish!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a fantastic day, friends. May God bless and keep you in and through all you do.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Feta & Honey / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Adapted from Jenn Laughlin: http://peasandcrayons.com/2014/11/honey-roasted-butternut-squash-cranberries-feta.html

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Honey & Feta
 
Prep time
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Sweet and savory side dish featuring a variety of flavors featuring butternut squash, cranberries, feta cheese, cinnamon and honey.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash (peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • Salt and black pepper (to season with)
  • 2 cups fresh (and not frozen) cranberries
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • 3-4 Tablespoons honey
  • ground cinnamon, to taste
  • dried parsley (can also use fresh, if desired)-for garnish
Directions
  1. Before beginning, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pour 1 Tablespoonful of olive oil onto a large baking pan (with edges). Spread.
  3. Pour the cubes of butternut squash onto oiled baking pan. Drizzle the cubes with 1 additional Tablespoonful of olive oil. Lightly season squash cubes with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the baking pan onto the middle rack in the oven. Roast the squash at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Pull out pan; add the fresh cranberries to the roasting pan and put back in the oven. Continue cooking squash and cranberries for 15 additional minutes. When done, the cranberries will have softened, and will have popped (or burst) a bit.
  5. Remove baking pan from oven. Sprinkle squash lightly with cinnamon.
  6. Sprinkle the feta cheese all over the top of the squash.
  7. Drizzle the squash with honey (try to sprinkle evenly so all get that bit of sweetness).
  8. Taste. If you want it sweeter, add some more honey to the dish.
  9. Garnish with parsley. Serve hot, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Homemade Cranberry-Orange Sauce

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are now in the history books, but wanted to publish this recipe for Homemade Cranberry-Orange Sauce on the old blog, so I will have it handy for the future.Homemade Cranberry-Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
My mom used to make this (in a chunky version) as I was growing up, but I’d never made the recipe for this delicious sauce until this Christmas, when I found the index card the recipe was written on years ago!

For years my “go to” for cranberry sauce has been the blob found in a can (cranberry jelly), or the whole cranberry sauce (also found in the can). Guess I was just in the habit of grabbing a can while doing my grocery shopping for holiday meals and never gave it another thought. Truthfully, I was always a bit grossed out as that gelatinous blob of cranberry jelly came sliding out of the can… but that’s another story…I still bought it, and would always add just a tiny bit to my plate, but that was just because that’s what you’re supposed to do at Thanksgiving, right?

Well, my tastes have certainly changed. Enter this amazing, fresh, citrus-infused cranberry sauce. Did I mention FRESH?  It’s ridiculously easy to prepare, and the taste is light-years ahead of the canned stuff. I LOVE IT, and can eat it right out of the bowl (shhh… my little secret!)  You don’t have to wait for the holidays to make this sauce. It would be a delicious accompaniment to many pork or chicken dishes. It’s vibrant flavors will add to the meal, trust me! Truthfully, I don’t know what took me so long to get on board with this, but now that I have, I don’t think I will ever buy canned cranberry sauce for a holiday meal ever again.

This sauce can be made chunky or semi-smooth (photo is semi-smooth sauce). Fresh cranberries, an apple, an orange and a bit of sugar are the only ingredients necessary to make this fresh, delicious cranberry sauce. Sure hope you’ll give it a try…

Homemade Cranberry-Orange Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My Mom

Homemade Cranberry-Orange Sauce
 
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Fresh cranberry sauce, infused with fresh orange zest. Why buy it, when you can make your own better tasting sauce?
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 apple (any variety), peeled, cored, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (plus more to taste, if desired)
Directions
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor (or heavy duty blender).
  2. Process until all ingredients are mixed and consistency is to your liking... chunky or semi-smooth.
  3. Taste. Add additional sugar, if desired.
  4. Place sauce into serving bowl; Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  5. Enjoy!

 

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