Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spooky Halloween Print and Frame Idea

Here's a cute printable...just in time for Halloween. You can add your own name to the printable and then create a fun spooky frame.  Find it at Homespun with Love.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

You Put the Sun in My Sunflower

A fun fall themed dinner party....

Dinner party for four....

Appetizers: Antipasto Tray

Pasta Fagioli (soup like at Olive Garden)...
Bread Sticks

Caramel Pretzel Brownies

My daughter made us Sunflower Head bands and we used them for some fun photo ops!

I love my crazy friends (they always indulge my craziness) and that is why I enjoy hosting little get togethers

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Halloween Prep

I'm just curious....what types of Halloween fun to you need to prepare for?  There are all kinds of possibilities that come to mind:

1. School parties
2. Trips to the pumpkin patch
3. A Boo Bash (Halloween party)
4. A Creepy Dinner party
5. Decorating your house
6. Preparing candy and treat bags for the spooky trick or treaters
7. Planning lunch boxes notes for your children
8. Participating in Booing

I guess it really all depends on your family traditions and where you are in "life" right now. Families without small children may not have school parties but don't give up on the fun of Halloween. This time of year is perfect for a creepy or autumn related dinner party. Life is too short...you might as well enjoy it fully.

You might remember last year I hosted a Ghoul Friends dinner party. It was a fun relaxing evening for a few friends.  I used a black and purple color scheme and came up with lots of fun "ghoul friends" things.

This wear I'm going with a Wigs and Wine theme if I can find some time in my busy October schedule to host it. We aren't buying wigs....we will each wear a funny (or cute) wig, drink wine, eat, and laugh!  Laughter that is the most important part! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Printable Fun!

This and several other adorable Thanksgiving printables are available over at Big Red Clifford. So cute!!!
Lunchbox card printables for November from Crafts and Sutch
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
And a fun one to frame at These Creative Juices.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fall Menu Challenge Recipe: Pasta Fagioli

One of the things I love best about the autumn season is....simmering pots of soup....I just went to olive garden and had this very soup....then I saw this recipe online....can't wait to try it.

Pasta Fagioli

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped...
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta

Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Photo: Pasta Fagioli slow cooker crock pot version... just like Olive Garden 

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta

Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Party Favor Ideas for Halloween

Halloween party favors ideas
Cute and easy idea from Great Party Ideas
Pumpkin soda bottles. Idea from My Sister's Suitcase
witch halloween party favors
Witches Hats with a free printable over at U Create.  There's monster eyeballs also.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fall Menu Planning Update

How is the fall menu planning going?  I'll have some more recipes up soon for your consideration.  It's finally September but the weather is hot and muggy. Soup time is just around the corner though!

I thought to make it fun I'd share a few menu planners you can print and use to brighten up your kitchen.


This one is from Ollibird

This one you can bind into a menu book. It's from seven thirty three.

Meal Planner

Another version from Tip Junkie.

Good luck with your plans. I'll be back soon with some recipes.!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Happy August Great Pumpkin Day

Happy Great Pumpkin Day....Look what I found! Some free printable Halloween shadow stick puppets over at Chez Beeper Bebe
And how about an assortment of Halloween printables to frame:
This one and the one below can be found at Craftily Ever After.
And the two versions below are from Domestic Dork
free halloween printable poster skull
free halloween printable poster crow
As always I love free printables....the hard part is deciding which ones to print....here's another adorable one:

Do it yourself Halloween crates at My Paper Crane

So Happy Great Pumpkin Day and happy printing!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunflower Ideas

I'm think of using sunflowers as one of my little theme dinner parties this fall so I have been searching for fun sunflower printables and ideas.

These cute little sunflower tags are available to print and I like the rustic look. You can find them at Ephemera's Vintage Garden. 
Something like this would work quite well as a centerpiece and work with the rustic touch!
Place card idea.
And a sweet tablescape over at Dining Delight

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Elf Recipe in Celebration of Month of the Elf

Elf Food

Check out this super sweet idea over at Betty Crocker. Little hanging baskets of Elf Food. This would be so fun for the elves to leave as a special little treat.

Look what appeared by the door. Three little elves and sodas.... Hmmm along with Santa tags marked naughty... You better watch out!!!

 Our elves brought some special soda last year complete with little tags from the North Pole.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fall Menu Recipe: Quick Quiche

    Quick Quiche                   
8 slices bacon

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.
  3. Line bottom of pie plate with cheese and crumbled bacon. Combine eggs, butter, onion, salt, flour and milk; whisk together until smooth; pour into pie pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, until set. Serve hot or cold.
Source: All Recipes .com

Sometimes I just love breakfast for dinner and this quiche makes it a nice meal!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fall Menu Recipe: Cheater's Enchiladas

                         Cheater's Enchiladas Recipe
Cheater's Enchiladas
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Great Pumpkin Day

Today I will work on my Halloween Notebook and my Autumn Notebook. Halloween is wel ljust for Halloween and Autumn is my mini Household Notebook that I use during the fall season.  As I wok on them I will be looking for ways to make them more effective. I'm always on the look out for printables and happened across the one above at Pinch a Little Save a Lot

Happy Great Pumpkin Day!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fall Menu Recipe: Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

Sweet and Sour Pot Roast
12 small white potatoes, peeled
1 boneless beef chuck roasts (about three pounds)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 can 915 oz) tomato sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Place potatoes in slow cooker. Trim the fat from the roast and brown in hot oil on all sides in a skillet. Place the meat in the slow cooker. Discard all but about 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Saute the onion until tender. Stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and salt. Pour over meat and potatoes.  
Cover and cook on high 4-5 hours or until the meat is tender. Before serving, pour sauce into skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Serve with potatoes and meat. Yield 4-6 servings.
Source: Taste of Home Slow Cooker Recipes.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fall Menu Recipe: Red Pepper Chicken

Red Pepper Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can (15 oz.) black beans drained and rinsed
1 jar (15 oz.) roasted red peppers, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) Mexican stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Hot cooked rice
Place the chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl combined all the other ingredients. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low six hours or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve over rice. 4 servings.
Source: Taste of Home Slow Cooker recipes


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fall Menu Recipe: Southern Chicken and Dumplings

I haven't tried this one yet but look forward to doing so some cool autumn day!

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

3 10 3/4 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup onion, chopped
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 3/4 c. water
3 12 oz. tubes refrigerated biscuits, quartered

Pour soup into slow cooker, add onions and chicken. Pour in enough water to cover the chicken. Cover and cook on low setting for 4-6 hours. About 45 minutes before serving, turn slow cooker to high setting. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon, shred into bite sized pieces and return to cooker. Drop biscuit quarters into slow cooker, stir well. Replace lid and cook for 35 minutes more or until dumplings are done. Stir and serve. Serves 6-8

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fall Menu Recipe: Magic Meatloaf

Any decent fall menu plan wouldn't be complete without at least one meatloaf recipe. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes have been known as everyday comfort foods for many years. Here's a crockpot recipe for meatloaf so you can avoid the oven during those still "warm" days of autumn.

Magic Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 c. milk
1 c. saltine cracker crumbs
.87 oz. pkg. brown gravy mix
1 1/2 tsp. salt
6-8 new red skin potatoes

Mix all ingredients except potatoes in a large bowl. Mix well and form into a loaf.  Place in a lightly greased slow cooker.  Arrange potatoes around the meatloaf. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or on high 3-5 hours.  Serves 4-6 people.

I've made meatloaf in the crockpot several times but never with this recipe so it will be a new one for me!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fall Menu Recipe: West Burrito Casserole

It's time for another yummy fall recipe to try. This one uses the oven so you need either a cool September evening or to put this in the rotation for October or November.

West Burrito Casserole

1 1/2 cups sour cream
10 3/4 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup
1 pound of ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1 package taco seasoning
4 oz. jar of mushrooms, diced
16 oz. can refried beans
1 pkg. (10) soft tortillas
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together the sour cream and soup. Put 1/2 of the mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish

Fry ground beef, onion and pepper. Add taco seasoning, mushrooms and refried beans

Divide mixture into tortillas. Roll up and place on top of sour cream mixture in the baking dish. Spread remaining sour cream and mushroom soup mixture on top. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

(Makes 10-12 servings)

Recipe Source: A Quilter's Christmas Cookbook

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fall Menu Recipe: Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

Some may not think that a "grill recipe" is very fall-ish but around here the weather is plenty warm in September and October to enjoy some patio grilling time! Plus I just made this yesterday and it was DELISH!  It popped into my head while I was typing this that they would be good with some nice grilled veggies too!

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
5 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into one inch cubes.

In a medium bowl stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, vinegar, pepper and sugar. Let stand five minutes. Place chicken in bowl and stir to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Thread chicken onto skewers along with green peppers, onions, or other veggies. Grill skewers for 8-12 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear.

(These are really flavorful. I do not have a lot of experience with fresh herbs but I would say using the fresh rosemary really added flavor.)

Recipe Source: Allrecipes.com (one of my favorite recipe sites and you can create your own online recipe box there so as you browse you can add recipes that interest you)

Fall Menu Recipe: Confetti Casserole

There's no better time to start the challenge then TODAY.  It's not actually fall, of course, but I am going to stick this in the crockpot today and give it a test run.

Confetti Casserole:

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 medium carrots, cut into one inch chunks
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen green beans
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen corn
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained

In a skillet brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic powder over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain.  In a slow cooker, layer potatoes, carrots, beans, and corn, Top with beef mixture. Pour tomatoes over the top. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender.  Yield 8 servings.

Recipe Source: Taste of Home Slow Cooker Recipes

Let me know if you try this. I am interested in flavor as I often have trouble with slow cookers because the food tastes a little bland. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fall Menu Challenge

I know...I know....it's not even close to fall yet. Although I hardly wait until the actual first day, I usually consider it fall as soon as September first rolls around. Anyway I've been working on menu planning and recipes. Fall is my favorite recipe time because it starts to cool off enough to use the oven a bit and the flavors of fall are so yummy!
So I decided to start a recipe/menu planning challenge that will start tomorrow July 14th.  Here's how it will work. I challenge each of you to gather up calendars for September, October, and November. Then we will start filling in menu plans and complete with recipes. 
You will need to start by filling in each week with two days where you will use a tried and true recipe or a family favorite (for examples Tacos)  I am planning to have one day where it is "eat out". You can choose to do that also or if that does not fit your lifestyle then fill a day in with a third family favorite. You can repeat these through out the three months as many times as you feel your family will enjoy them. For example we could have tacos every other week and no one would complain!
Then several times each week I will be posting Fall recipes here at Cranberry and Company. Use these to fill in the rest of your monthly plans or dig around and find some others you would like to include.
The goal is to have three months worth ready by September 1st! 
Here are some tips:
1. Start a file for copying and pasting the recipes I post here. You can also copy and print which ever suits you best. Call this your Fall Menu Challenge file. (You will see why it needs a name in a little bit.)
2. Start some online recipe boxes at sites like allrecipes.com and foodnetwork.com I am trying hard to use more technology and have less paper clutter so I challenge you to try this also if you haven't already done so.
3. Print the three monthly calendars or make a list so you can see the months and the days. I just happen to like a calendar format the best.
4. Consider your days of the weeks and your schedule. Are there some days when you have more time for cooking dinner?  If so plan on putting the new recipes on those days of the week and the family favorites on days when you know you will be short on time.
5. When you are ready to write the menus develop a code so if it is a menu where you need to look at the recipe you will know where the actual recipe is "housed". If it is one from the challenge you can use the code FMC (Fall Menu Challenge) then you will know you need to look at the file on your computer or here on the blog. If it is a cookbook that you have then jot a short hand version of the title and page number so you can locate it quickly.  If it is your allrecipes box then you would list that. I can't tell you how many hours this has saved me!
I will not post on a predetermined schedule...like every Wednesday or whatever but I will try to get several posts in each week with recipes.  I'll update with the Facebook group and at the forums at MHH when new recipes are posted. Good Luck...let's get fall planned so we can create yummy meals for our families!
If you are planning to join the challenge, please leave a comment. If you plan on blogging the challenge on your own blog, please include the link. I'd love to visit!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cranberry Tuesday: A Fairy

Cranberry Tuesday
It's Cranberry Tuesday again and I want to show you a sweet little fairy that I received for Christmas. Made out of items from nature. I bet when fall arrives we can find some items and create fairies of our own! 

The leaves are sprayed silver but I think any color would look super. I love fall colors of red, yellow, orange and brown.

Here's the tag that came on her. I thought one might goggle the item and see if there are others out there....

Last here's a close up of her head which is I believe a wooden ball but not completely sure about that.

Fall crafts are some of my favorites since my favorite month is October....and as I said I love the colors of autumn!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cranberry Tuesday: Little Skeletons

You may take a look at this little guy (or gal, it's so hard to tell) and think he's pretty blah. He came in a package of four or five from the Dollar Tree. They had them in a couple of colors. Here's what I did with them:

They became "ghoul friends" and I used them as party favors here:

My Ghould Friends dinner party. I used the purple tulle since my color scheme was black and purple but you could use regualr material and it would be very cute too.  i also used little purple gems on them but there are a variety of ways you can dress them or add hair etc.
The point is for pennie....they each cost about 20 cents and using scraps of materials they were very inexpensive. There are other ways you could use them...not just as party favors. You could decorate a Halloween tree with them, or hang them from a shelf, use them in a haunted village display or put them in a big jar and call then "dead faeries" for a Witch's kitchen.
So when early fall arrives and you see some sort of scruffy items at the dollar stores...start thinking about WHAT might you do to improve them....and how might you use them! 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy January Great Pumpkin Day

I'm planning to follow the same format here at Cranberry and Co as I am doing at Rudolph Ramblings....I will be posting about what I am actually doing on Great Pumpkin Day.  I might  throw in some internet ideas here and there but I want it to be more personal.
It’s Haunted Plans month. This is the month to declutter and get your Autumn/Halloween notebook ready for a new year! Print out planner pages or organize your tear files. With Halloween followed quickly by Thanksgiving and Christmas sometimes the notebook/planner gets neglected. This is the month to get it in order and ready for a haunting new year.
Here are some photos and ideas from my own Halloween Notebook:

Here's my Halloween Notebook. I actually have a general autumn notebook also but this one is specific to Halloween.

The first section in the notebook is Great Pumpkin Day:

As you can see I have the dividers inside page protectors. I'm honestly NOT a big fan of page protectors so maybe as one of my GPD projects this year. I'll buy some dividers and glue the fancy picture dividers onto them! Behind this section are lists for GPD, craft ideas I might want to try, movies to watch etc.

Next is recipes....I really am not finding myself using this section much because I have recipe notebooks set up and most of them are in those but it's a great place to file pictures and recipes torn from magazines that I might want to try.

This is probably the section I love the most because every year we have an annual BOO BASH. Two years ago we hosted a Mystery Haunted Dinner and last year a Witch Hunt Dinner party. I'm not sure about 2013 yet.

Another section I don't really use much. I really need to develop it.

This is a great section to file ideas for party decorations and other ideas. You can also include an inventory list so you know what you already have.

Last is the Halloween Countdown section that includes all the sheets and lists for a six week countdown to Halloween. Some years I have followed it closely and others not so much but it is a GREAT way to be all ready for school parties and our annual Boo Bash.

Great Pumpkin Day List: Time to plan the year. Find some cute autumn paper and create a GPD list with some ideas to try each month.  (I'm starting this and will share more about it as we move forward into the year!)