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: (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'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 and 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 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!