Sunday, January 13, 2019

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Mini Muffins

I found this amazing cranberry chutney recipe that is absolutely irresistible! I've made it for a few different holidays now and it's been a huge success. I discovered it when I decided I was tired of the basic cranberry sauce out of a can. It was an afterthought at thanksgiving dinner, and no one ever touched it. I started wondering if there was a way to perk it up and make it a side dish that people craved. 

After some research and experimenting with various recipes and modifications, I discovered I like a savory touch to my cranberry sauce, or chutney. Naturally, the next step was to turn the leftover chutney into muffins. Right?!?

I L.O.V.E. mini muffins! They are such a perfect breakfast, a perfect little snack. They freeze wonderfully and are fresh when I'm ready to eat them. 

This recipe is not really the healthiest, but I did swap in greek yogurt which has a great flavor and tried to limit the sugar. And they are quick to make, which is always appreciated in my time-crunch life.

When I make these, I typically use my Cranberry Chutney (recipe to come soon). The recipe that I use has savory notes from onion and celery. While I enjoy that, I realize others might not. Any cranberry sauce would work.

My point here; it doesn't have to be leftover cranberry sauce. You can use heated cranberries, or a combination of heated cranberries and dried cranberries; whatever will work and/or clean out your pantry. One time, I had only half the amount I needed so I heated up the sauce and added some more cranberries to it and it worked perfectly! Love that kind of versatility.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Mini Muffins     

1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
1 c sugar
3 eggs, room temp is nice but not necessary
1 c plain greek yogurt
2t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2t vanilla
3 cups flour
2 c cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 375. Grease or paper-line mini muffin pans. 

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure one is blended in before adding the next. Add the greek yogurt (sour cream can be substituted).  

Next, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Cream together,  then add flour, one scoop at a time for blending.  Remove from the mixer and add the cranberry sauce. Fold it in with a spatula. Scoop the batter into the muffin pans, making it level with the pan.  Makes 36-48 mini muffins. Bake for 12-15 minutes. 

These are great right away, or save them in the freezer for quick snacks or breakfasts. 

Recipe adapted from the blog RunDMT

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Honey Chicken Stir Fry 2.0

This recipe is amazing, but it needed some updating. I've made it so many times now that I can look back and recognize some tweaks that needed to happen.  I hope you love it even more, just like we do.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but... I LOVE CHINESE FOOD! At first, I think my husband thought it was cute, but he quickly realized it meant he needed to learn to love it as well. He's come a long way, but there are some things I still haven't sold him on.  This meal has made the cut and been bumped to the top of the list!

The honey in this recipe adds the perfect subtle sweetness.  The meat is succulent, the broccoli has a fresh crisp, and of course the almonds are great for texture.  It's also a very healthy meal, excellent to help with all those new years resolutions. Oh, I forgot to mention how quick it is! Less than a 30 minute meal; awesome!

I don't remember where I originally found this recipe, although I have made some changes to it. It started off with stir fry sauce, but I didn't like all the extra's in the sauce and wanted something a little more simple.  I replaced the sauce with some soy sauce, and it worked great! The salty flavor of the soy sauce with the sweet of the honey is fantastic! I also love that this recipe calls for one bag of broccoli pieces; the convenience of it is wonderful. I am sure fresh cooked broccoli would be wonderful, too.  If you try it, let me know. Next time you're craving a little chinese food, this is the meal for you.

Honey Chicken Stir Fry

1 lb chicken, cubed
1 bag frozen broccoli florets
3 Tbs light soy sauce
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 c water
3 Tbs honey
crushed red pepper to taste
1/4 c almonds (or cashews or peanuts, if you prefer)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a couple tablespoons oil (canola or peanut) in a stir fry pan at medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken and stir fry for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Heat the broccoli in the microwave and set it aside.
Once the chicken is cooked through, add the soy sauce, cornstarch mixed with water, honey, and red pepper (the pepper adds heat, so the hotter you want, the more you add).  Bring the sauce to a boil.  Stir in the broccoli and almonds, and you're ready to serve with some rice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Making a Comeback

It's been too long...

It's been about a year and a half since I last posted and I have really missed the blogging world. I have also missed quilting, crafting, and cooking with heart.  It's time to get back to it. I want to add more recipes, try more experiments in the kitchen, and get back to my crafting. I also wonder what else is out there for me.

What's distracted me? Life... it has a way of doing that. We all know. My children are both in school now and I am trying to be involved in their classrooms. I am also trying to take better care of myself, both physically and emotionally. All of these things take time, and something needed to budge.

I have also gotten really into bargain shopping, which is a wonderful and yet dangerous interest. Checks and balances become extremely important. I'm thinking about trying to add a little something about that to my blog in relation to my crafting stuff.  Mmm, more to come.

Until then, I'm hoping to add some more to the blog...

like this...

and this...

and maybe a little of this...

and a whole lot more where that came from.

I hope you are all as excited as I am. Let's see where this can take us.