Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Bread ~ The Way to His Heart ~ A perfect quick bread for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Studded with cranberries, it's quite festive and works well for the holidays

At this stage of the season, most people are in the thick of baking cookies and other sweet treats. This year, I’ve decided not to make so many candies, cookies and cakes. Now, don’t get me wrong, there will be cookies and candies and one or two cakes, but there wont be as many. I really love making quick breads and my family loves having them in the house. They are great for breakfast, snacks, and perfect for a little treat in the lunchbox! I’ve actually decided to do some quick breads for gift giving this year as well. Who doesn’t love getting cute little quick breads festively wrapped?

This Cranberry Bread is wonderful because there is a great blend of tartness and sweetness. The turbinado sugar adds a wonderful crunch as well. I love using cranberries in the kitchen throughout the year, but there is something so festive about them this time of year. This could make a wonderful gift or even an easy make ahead bread for Christmas or Thanksgiving morning breakfast!

 

Cranberry Bread ~ The Way to His Heart ~ A perfect quick bread for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Studded with cranberries, it's quite festive and works well for the holidays

 

Cranberry Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan and cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar, for optional topping

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine butter, egg, and milk. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and whisk to combine.

Rinse cranberries and lightly dry and sprinkle flour lightly over them. This will insure that the cranberries distribute evenly throughout the bread rather than sink to the bottom. Fold cranberries into batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about an hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let bread cool for 30 minutes. Invert onto rack and immediately turn right side up to let cool completely.

Serves 8

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewert

Texas Chili

Texas Chili ~ The Way to His Heart ~ Slow Cooker

Much to my daughter’s dismay, my husband and I have been in chili mode for the past couple of months. My husband loves making it and as I’ve gotten older I appreciate it a lot more. It’s easy to make, so warm and comforting, you can have leftovers for days, and it can be pretty inexpensive as well. I call that winning.

My husband really wanted to start making chili with nice chunks of beef, rather than our go to ground beef or just beans. I found this recipe and we gave it a go and loved it. It has such a great balance of spices and depth. While true Texans will say this isn’t a classic red because it contains beans, we were okay with the beans. It’s more filling and I don’t have to make a pot on the side and dirty up more dishes. We like beans so much, we actually added more beans since we felt the original recipe had a poor bean to meat ration.

What I really liked about this recipe is that every time I make it, I can go straight off the recipe. There isn’t too much “to taste” going on. It’s pretty perfect just the way it is. That means I can phone it in, throw everything in the slow cooker and do bus duty, gymnastics drop offs, etc. and come home to a great meal. It’s getting colder out there, so stay warm with some of this great chili.

Texas Chili ~ The Way to His Heart ~ Slow cooker

Texas Chili

Ingredients

  • 3 onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Minute tapioca
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, plus extra as needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (5-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin

Microwave onions, chili powder, tomato paste, oil, garlic, cumin, and oregano in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.

Stir beans, tomato puree, broth, tapioca, soy sauce, chipotles, sugar, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker.

Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

Let chili settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using a large spoon. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Adapted slightly from Slow Cooker Revolution, America’s Test Kitchen

 

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip ~ The Way to His Heart ~ This beautiful dip is sure to impress everyone. It's sweet, tart, and packs only a slight heat. It's super easy to make and looks gorgeous and festive

Alright everyone, I think I’ve got your super easy holiday appetizer right here. It takes minutes to make and transports easily. Looks gorgeous and is different enough to impress!

This Thanksgiving I was asked to bring an appetizer and I debated on what to bring. I wanted to try something new because it’s my chance to test a bunch of different palates, but I also didn’t want to go too far out on a ledge. As a lover of dips, I knew I wanted to try a new dip to hopefully add to my arsenal. When I found this Cranberry Cream Cheese dip online I was excited. I adore using fresh cranberries for the taste and the gorgeous color they add to any meal. It’s also just so festive looking. I knew a few family members have been enjoying my recent appetizers with cilantro and jalapeno so I figured this was a safer bet.

This dip was everything I was looking for. It’s absolutely stunning, although it does look better once it’s on the cracker so if you have a tentative crowd you may want to mix it up ever so slightly or take a few bites to get the plate going. Once everyone started trying it and word got around that it was delicious, it started going pretty quickly. The flavors are prefect. It’s got enough heat to add depth to the cranberries while not being “hot.” As we know, I’m not a huge fan of hot. The cream cheese also mellowed it out. My husband isn’t a fan of cream cheese unless it’s baked and it isn’t glaringly cream cheese, but he enjoyed some of the leftover cranberry mixture with the crackers and chips as a stand alone salsa.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip ~ The Way to His Heart ~ This beautiful dip is sure to impress everyone. It's sweet, tart, and packs only a slight heat. It's super easy to make and looks gorgeous and festive

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Ingredients

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 3/4 cup sugar (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature

Place the cranberries in a blender or food processor and pulse to give them a rough chop. Add the remaining ingredients, up to the cream cheese, and pulse until finely chopped. You don’t want to process too long as you don’t want it turning into a puree. Refrigerate for 4 hours but up to 24 hours.

Spread the cream cheese on a serving plate or pie plate in an even layer. Top with cranberry mixture. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with crackers, pita chips, or tortilla chips.

Source: Buns In My Oven

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies ~ The Way to Hi Heart ~ Soft, Chewy yet crispy, and loaded with chocolate chips. These cookies are amazing!

This fall has been rough for us as we seem to have been battling a “forever” cold. Every time one seems to get over it, someone else gets it, and so on. I kind of figured this would happen with our new Kindergartner coming home with fun new germs. I was finally feeling a bit better and thought that a nice warm, sweet treat to fill the bellies may make everyone feel a little better. Plus, there is nothing better than the oven warming the house.

These cookies really have it all. While the classic chocolate chip cookie will hold a special place in my heart, these will most likely become the cookies that I make when we are making cookies for others, need that extra comfort, or I have a lot of chocolate chips on hand. That doesn’t seem like much of a challenge, but in my house it is. I’m actually the chocolate chip monster!

Back to the cookies. These are soft and chewy, yet have a nice little crunch to them. The rolled oats create a nice little nutty taste and there are plenty, I mean plenty of chocolate chips. With 2 sticks of butter and 3 cups of chocolate chips, can you go wrong? And since there is oatmeal in them, they are kind of good for you, right? You’ve got to give these a try. I really believe you’ll be thankful. The great part is the recipe makes a lot so what I do is make some and freeze some so when that inkling for more cookies comes, I can just pop them in the oven!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies ~ The Way to Hi Heart ~ Soft, Chewy yet crispy, and loaded with chocolate chips. These cookies are amazing!

 

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla exttract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 3 cups (18 oz) Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease several baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Beat the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg, egg yolks, and vanilla one at a time, beating well after each. Whisk toether the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture. Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix briefly. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop* the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2″ t0 2″ between cookies.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden with slightly darker edges. Their¬† middles may still look a tiny bit shiny; that’s OK, they’ll continue to bake as they cool on the pan.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and as soon as they’re set enough to handle, transfter them to racks to cool.

Yield: 20 to 100 cookies, depending on size.

*A muffin scoop (1/4 cup) will make 20 large, palm sized cookies. A tablespoon cookie scoop (4 teaspoons) will make 50 medium cookies (2 3/4″ to 3″). A teaspoon cookie scoop (2 teaspoons) will make 100 small cookies (2 1/2″).

Source: Cookies for Kids Cancer via King Arthur Flour