Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cranberry Mousse (aka Jello Salad)

When I was growing up, my Grandma always had some type of jello salad at family gatherings. I, being the picky, stubborn, petulant child that I was, would never eat the jello salad because I do not like jello. And it often had either marshmallows or fruit cocktail in it...and I didn't like those either. Don't you feel sorry for my parents? Anyway, jello salad consisted of jello, obvi, and fruits, nuts, etc. If it was formed or molded into a shape...it was called a jello mold. I'm telling you all this for no apparent reason just to say that for Thanksgiving I wanted to make a jello salad. My Grandma is no longer on this earth, but she is very much a part of me and I knew my mom would like it. I found a recipe that felt familiar and I liked from Taste of Home, but they have given it a much more sophisticated name...Cranberry Mousse.
But to me, it will always be jello salad. You can call it whatever you like, but I know something else we can call it - a keeper! It was delicious! Obviously my tastes have changed a little over the years, and even though I still don't care for jello, this salad/mold/mousse has a lot of flavors and textures going on and I really enjoyed it. I also decided to lighten it up by swapping out the sour cream with Greek yogurt. The ending result was delish. If I do say so myself. Which I do. I think my Grandma would be proud!
This plastic mold actually came from my Grandma's house, but you could use any pan you like (it doesn't have to be in a mold, I just think it looks pretty!) I have a Christmas tree shaped baking pan that I want to try for Christmas. Yes, I plan on making this again! I think it's perfect for the holidays with it's bright color and I love the multitude of textures going on...you have cranberries, crushed pineapple, crunchy nuts, then the creamy yogurt/gelatin combo. And even better...it's easy!

Cranberry Mousse (aka Jello Salad)

1 package (6 ounces) strawberry gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained (SAVE juice)
1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups (16 ounces) Greek yogurt (I used Chobani, can also use sour cream)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • In a large heat proof bowl, pour in gelatin mix. Add boiling water and stir until jello mix has dissolved. 
  • Add juice of drained pineapple. 
  • Stir in can of cranberry sauce, gently breaking up the large chunks.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon peel and nutmeg. Stir to combine and chill until mixture begins to thicken. (Not fully set, just thick like pudding)
  • Remove from fridge and fold in yogurt, crushed pineapple and pecans. 
  • Pour into desired serving bowl or a lightly sprayed mold (9-cup). 
  • Chill until set, at least 2 hours. (I made mine the day before)
  • If using a mold, let mold sit at room temp for 20-30 mins., inverted onto serving plate. Gently remove from mold. It will soften as it warms, but not so soft that it loses shape.
Recipe Source: Taste of Home & my Grandmother

What kinds of foods are traditions at your house? Are there certain foods that always trigger memories for you? 


I may be linking up at any of the following - (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy's Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from Above,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen's Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage ChicLady Behind the Curtain (Saturday) Six Sisters' StuffMade from Pinterest

Thursday, December 11, 2014

3 ingredient Meatballs & other time-saving Holiday Hacks (#sponsored)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Farm Rich. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Christmas countdown is ON in the Mo'Betta house! I have a 6 year old that is literally counting down the days, and his excitement is contagious. (Let's just hope the cold he had last week is not. 'Tis the season.) I'm sure we all have some favorite recipes for the holidays, some being more labor intensive than others (can you say old-fashioned fudge?!), but we all need a few quick and easy ones lined up that will feed a crowd, yet be delicious. I thought I would share a few that have served me well over the years. These little 'holiday hacks' get me out of the kitchen, and able to spend more time with my friends and family.

These 3-ingredient meatballs have been around for years. They make an appearance around the holidays, as well as baby showers, bridal showers, you name it. I got the recipe from one of my uncles many years ago, and I'm surprised it has not made the blog before now. The ingredient list seems a little odd, but it works! I always have people asking for the recipe...and it's SO easy! 

3-ingredient Meatballs

  1. 2 lbs. frozen meatballs
  2. 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce 
  3. 1 bottle (12-15 ounces) grape jelly
*These can be prepared on the stove top, or in a slow cooker. The slow cooker is also great for keeping them warm during a party or get-together. Amounts can also be adjusted based on the number of people you are feeding. 

Add meatballs to crock-pot aka slow cooker. Mix together the chili sauce and grape jelly, then pour over meatballs. Heat through on high for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally, then turn heat to low or 'warm' setting for serving.

I've seen many variations of this recipe so feel free to play with it...you can use barbecue sauce in the place of chili sauce; you can use cranberry sauce in the place of grape jelly; you can use turkey meatballs instead of beef, which I do often. Farm Rich Snacks makes original and turkey meatballs that are also gluten free. They look like this:

but you can use the Farm Rich Product Finder to find them near you. Before heading out, I would go get $1.50 off 2 Farm Rich snacks coupon! Another quick and easy meal is to heat up your meatballs, and add them to slider buns with a little pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. Stick them in the oven to melt the cheese...

In addition to frozen meatballs, you can save yourself a lot of time by stocking the freezer with other snacks that can easily be heated and served like Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks, Loaded Potato Skins, Pepperoni Pizzeria Bites, Toasted Ravioli, and Breaded Mushrooms. My girls and I LOVE Loaded Potato Skins. Top with a little sour cream (or plain yogurt) and green onion and you are good to go. 

Sausage Balls are another family favorite, and to save time, I mix up a batch early in the season, roll into balls, and freeze. Then when company comes or we want sausage balls, I can pop them in the oven straight from the freezer. 

What about a breakfast timesaver?

These Oven Baked Pancakes can serve a crowd quickly with all the great comforting taste of pancakes, without all the standing and flipping over a griddle. Or this Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole that can be made up the night before and just baked when ready in the morning.

And of course, if you know me, you know that I will definitely have plenty of sweets...our favorites being a sweet and salty combo...

This Chocolate Lover's Snack Mix can be whipped up fast and easy, using basically whatever is in your pantry. Also, these little gems...

These easy Turtle treats can be made in minutes. 

So, these are a few of my 'Holiday Hacks'...feel free to share yours!

You can find more recipe ideas by following Farm Rich on Pinterest. (They are also on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram)

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sausage & Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

I love a breakfast casserole. Actually, I love a casserole, period! What can I say...they are easy, and I like to have all my food mushed together so I get all the flavors in one bite. That sounds weird doesn't it? Well, no weirder than my brother, who as a child refused to let any of his food touch. Too the point he had to have a plate with dividers, and he would even take apart sandwiches and eat them one piece at a time. Now that's weird. You're welcome little brother.
This one is a little different from my other breakfast casseroles on the blog in that it has hashbrowns. I do love a potato. It also has homemade turkey sausage, but you can use any sausage or meat you like.
This would be great for a breakfast or brunch, and feeds several so it may come in handy over the holidays. You can also easily adapt it to suit your family's taste buds.

Sausage and Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

1 pound sausage (I used turkey breakfast sausage)
1/2 cup chopped veggies (optional - I used some very finely chopped onion and green pepper, because my kids are super picky, and only about a 1/4 cup)
1/2 bag of shredded hashbrown potatoes (approx 3 cups), thawed
pinch of salt
8 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups cheese
seasonings - fresh ground pepper, parsley, etc. (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In an oven proof skillet*, cook sausage on stove top over medium high heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks. Add vegetables in (if using) when sausage is about half way cooked. (Drain fat if needed). 
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle potatoes over the meat.
  • Add a pinch of salt over potatoes.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and desired seasonings.
  • Pour eggs over potatoes in skillet. 
  • Top with cheese. 
  • Place skillet in over and bake for approx 45 minutes or until eggs are set. 
*I used a 10-inch cast iron pan.

Recipe Source: Makin' it Mo'Betta

Other crowd-pleasing breakfast casseroles:


I may be linking up at any of the following - (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy's Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from Above,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen's Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage ChicLady Behind the Curtain (Saturday) Six Sisters' StuffMade from Pinterest

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Santa's Snack Mix & 'Twas...Before Christmas!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Glad and M&M’S®. All opinions are 100% mine.

'Twas the days before Christmas when all through the store, the moms were all busy buying more, moRE, MORE!! When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a display full of Christmas candy that I raced to get near! Red ones, greens, big ones and small....I just knew I had to have them all, aLL, ALL!
They had dark chocolate, pretzel, and mini's too...and when I saw M&M’S® White Chocolate Peppermint I thought it was too good to be true!

So I grabbed them all up and raced towards the door, I had cookies to bake and egg nog to pour! I would take cookies to neighbors so they wouldn't be sad, but just then I spotted Holiday Storage products by GLAD!
These would be perfect for the cookies I bake, making it easy and convenient for the goodies I take. I grabbed a few and checked out with a swipe of my card, got home and searched Pinterest long and hard. 

Found the perfect recipe, it was out of sight! And when the cookies were all done I exclaimed "Happy Christmas to all...and to all a goodnight!"

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used 1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark and 1/4 cup regular Hershey's cocoa)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s (available at Target)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the red and green holiday ones)
  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and coffee crystals together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well mixed, add vanilla.
  • Slowly add in flour mixture to the butter/sugar (I say slowly since I use my stand mixer and everything will be covered in a flour cloud if you pour it all in too quickly). Batter will be thick.
  • Fold in candy and chocolate chips.
  • Chill in refrigerator for 30 mins. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • After dough has chilled, scoop about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball.
  • Place on cookie sheet approx. 2 inches apart. 
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes. (The inside will seem slightly underdone.)
  • Allow to cool on wire rack and then consume several. Or package in your Holiday Glad containers and get them over to the neighbors ASAP!
Recipe Source: Bakerella



Not only are the Glad Holiday Storage containers great for gifting, they also include recipes on the back! Each recipe will fit in the container it comes with. Of course, I just had to try out the Santa's Snack Mix. The sweet and salty combo is always a favorite around here.

How yummy does that look?!

Santa's Snack Mix from Glad

  • 8-10 cups Popped popcorn
  • 2-3 cups Holiday shaped pretzels
  • 1 cup red and green Holiday sprinkles
  • 1 package DOVE® Dark Chocolate candies *I used white chocolate drizzle 
  • 2 cups Peanuts *I omitted due to my son's peanut allergies and used Cheerios instead
  • 3/4 c. Corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Butter (1 stick)
  • 1 package M&M'S® Holiday Baking Mini's and/or M&M'S® Holiday Mint candies
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine the popcorn, pretzels, and peanuts Cheerios. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, melt butter, vanilla, sugar, and corn syrup over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring constantly.
4. Pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Toss until all covered.
5. Spread the popcorn mix on a baking tray or cake pan (may want to use two pans). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Holiday sprinkles, stir. Sprinkle with M&M'S ® candies, stir again.
6. Place DOVE® chocolates (or white chocolate) in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until melted and smooth. Drizzle over the popcorn. Sprinkle with remaining sprinkles. Let cool approximately 10-20 minutes (may put in refrigerator so chocolate hardens more quickly. Once cool, break into chunks.

Tip: Store in a perfectly sized GLAD® storage container for up to 7 days.

Perfect :-)

M&M’S® White Chocolate Peppermint and Glad Holiday Storage products are ONLY available at Target. Just another reason for me to love them so!

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