Cranberry Jello 5 Different Ways

Cranberry Jello 5 Different Ways

It all started with this jar of cranberry juice chilling in my fridge.  Cranberry juice is not something I can just grab and guzzle. It’s just WAY. TOO. tart.  Especially this brand that uses pure cranberries. I love this brand for that reason of purity- no added sugar or junk. BUT, it’s pretty unappealing to just drink straight. Enter gelatin and the idea of making some cranberry jello! Oh, YES indeed! When I bought my first container of grass-fed gelatin I scoured over Pinterest for anything and everything that uses gelatin. Seriously, check out my Pinterest board devoted to gelatin. I promise it will not disappoint. Anyway, I came across this super basic and easy to make jello recipe from Tiffany, aka Coconut Mama, and knew it would be just perfect for using up my jar of cranberry juice. But I wanted to have a little flavor play so I made a few different varieties (ok, more than a few… FIVE different varieties).  And I’m stoked to share all 5 of them with you! Here’s how to make em: For pure cranberry jello- Use Tiffany’s recipe but sub pure cranberry juice for the coconut water and add one extra TBS of honey to help balance out the tartness of the cranberry. This is your base for the other 4 flavors. For cranberry and pear jello- Add 1 pear, chopped, to the pure cranberry jello before cooling/setting in the fridge. For cranberry almond jello- Add 1 TBS almond extract & ¼-½ cup of slivered almonds to the pure cranberry jello base before cooling. For a chocolate chip cranberry jello- add ½ cup...
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

My husband is pretty in tune with his taste preferences. He knows, and makes known, 2 bites in when he likes a meal. I can tell a meal isn’t a favorite when he eats more than two bites and doesn’t say anything. This recipe creation, inspired from a friend’s facebook post about hot dogs (I’ll get to that later), was deemed “freakishly good” after his first bite. 🙂 His enthusiasm has me sharing this meal with you. Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Most of my meal creations are born out of a whim and what I have on hand in the kitchen. I used to spend hours pouring over recipes and then make them in meticulous fashion so they would hopefully turn out ok. You see, I started out not knowing how to cook and being pretty timid in the kitchen. Nowadays I just go with the flow. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. And I can live with the ups and downs of experimenting in the kitchen. It’s part of the whole experience and journey. I have learned that relying on some basic kitchen skills as a guide can help you have more ups than downs. To create this meal, I relied on knowing how to make a mornay sauce. (Thank you Wikipedia for putting a name to this sauce for me. Mornay is the beginning of the fancy cooking terms coming your way via this post, so brace yourself. But translation- it’s simply a cheese sauce). A mornay (aka. cheese sauce) starts with a roux. A roux is simply butter and flour. I melted a chunk of grass...
Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, & Paleo I’m sure we are all familiar with how valuable eating salmon is for our bodies. They are packed full of healthy omega 3 fats, selenium, zinc, B vitamins and much much more.  Wild-caught salmon is definitely the way to go, but it’s also pretty pricey. Want to know my budget-friendly way to enjoy wild-caught salmon on the regular?   ———–>> CANNED Wild-Caught Salmon I actually stopped buying tuna and switched over to salmon.  Costco sells 6/6oz cans for just over $15.  That’s a lot more affordable than buying wild-caught salmon fillets (about half the cost/serving)! Plus, I have this great salmon cake recipe that makes for a healthy, delicious (and money-saving) way to enjoy more salmon! These Salmon Cakes are gluten free and grain free, dairy free, and Paleo.  I make a big batch and then freeze the extra portions. Did I mention they are toddler-approved? Salmon Cakes Serves 6 Ingredients 6 cans, boneless & skinless, wild-caught salmon 3 eggs ¼ cup sesame seeds (or chia seeds) ½ cup almond meal (feel free to sub panko or bread crumbs if you are not gluten free) ½ cup onion, chopped ¾ cup shredded carrots (optional) season with some garlic, pepper, a little salt and 1 TBS of either dill or basil. (I’ve been seasoning with a TBS of 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joes.) Directions Preheat oven to 400. Drain canned salmon. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add all remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix together well. Shape into round “cakes” and place on parchment paper or greased pan. (TIP- I use a...
Homemade Larabars

Homemade Larabars

One of my favorite things to make in my food processor are homemade larabars.  Larabars are amazing and a healthy choice even when bought straight from the store.  Unlike most packaged bars, larabars don’t have any added icky ingredients.  They are pure and delicious! But they can be quite expensive at over $1.50 a bar at most stores.  It’s much easier on the budget to buy the ingredients in bulk and make up some from scratch.  Plus they are so easy to make! There are endless flavor combinations, but at the most basic level, the formula is 1 cup dates + 1 cup nuts/seeds + <1 cup additional mixins + < 3TBS flavor = Homemade Bars My favorite combo is anything with coconut. Below is what I like to call JOY bars- They are a spin-off of an Almond Joy candy bar but actually nutritious! 😉 PrintJOY Bars Prep Time: 5 minutesTotal Time: 5 minutes Ingredients1 cup dates 1 cup almonds ¾ cup shredded coconut 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract ¼ cup chocolate chips InstructionsAdd everything to your food processor or super high powered blender. Blend until the ingredients start to come together & reach your desired consistency of size (coarsely chopped and sticking together is how I like them) Dump and smooth into a rectangular pan (Pyrex works nicely, especially if you put parchment paper down first). Stick in freezer for 20 minutes, remove and cut into bars. Store in fridge for up to 1 week.NotesStore in fridge for up to 1 week.3.0http://www.savoringjoy.com/homemade-larabars/   The other day I was in the mood for some homemade bars but...
Fabulous 4-Ingredient French Fries

Fabulous 4-Ingredient French Fries

I think we can all agree that french fries are AMAZING.  Good fries are crispy, salty, delicious on their own but even better when paired with something saucey… but the beauty of french fries is that they make a humble potato something glorious. Perfect french fries can be made from home using only a few ingredients. For reals. All you need is oil, potatoes, and salt. That’s it. 3 ingredients.  McDonald’s seems to think fries need 19 ingredients.  NINETEEN.  Want to take a peek at what those 19 ingredients are? Take a look here. Immediately after reading that article linked above, I was inspired to go buy a Large fry right then and there!! Ha, no. Not even in the slightest. I was however inspired to make some french fries from scratch, using what I already had on hand.  And they turned out YUMMY! Beautifully gold and crispy on the outside, soft in the middle- these fries are tasty! My little guy thinks so too.  See him double-fisting it? Like I mentioned, you can make fries with 3 simple ingredients, but for this I went fancy and used 4. My added ingredient- arrowroot powder.  I figured arrowroot powder would help coat them so they get crispy.  And I guess I was on to something because more than a few fry recipes I saw online used cornstarch or arrowroot for that same reason! So that’s pretty cool, huh? I also came across the method of soaking your cut fries before cooking.  Now, I like simple.  I like quick. But I also like perfectly cooked fries. So I went ahead and made one batch that had been soaked and...
5 Do’s and Don’ts of Crockpot Cooking

5 Do’s and Don’ts of Crockpot Cooking

I love the ease of using a crockpot. There is SO much you can do with it (and a few things that should never be done). 5 Do’s and Don’ts of crockpot cooking: 1.) DO use your crockpot to “roast” chicken. Click here to check out how I make budget-friendly “roasted” drumsticks in my slow cooker at least 2x’s a week! And don’t forget to save the bones for broth! 🙂 2.) DO use your crockpot to cook up a bunch of ground beef all at once. I found this idea recently and gave it a try. Success!  The beef turned out great and didn’t burn or dry out even while letting it cook away in the crockpot all day long. Plus it freezes great so you can make a lot ahead of time and thaw when you need it for quick use. 3.) DON’T cook spaghetti squash all day long in your crockpot. Some things just do not turn out right when they slow cook for too long. I saw the suggestion of making 2 whole spaghetti squashes in my crockpot on facebook the other day- the idea is great, but the directions that you could do this while away at work… well, that didn’t work out so well for me. Cooking spaghetti squash in your crockpot all day long results in overlooked, bitter, unpalatable MUSH!   I bet you this TOTALLY works, IF you watch the time and keep a close eye on your squash.  It however does NOT work when you let it cook while you are at work or can’t attend to it.  I found that it needs a little...