Cranberry Fluff Recipe

This side dish is always present at my family gatherings for the Holidays! We have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I first got my hands on the Cranberry Fluff recipe when I signed up to bring this to a Ward Christmas Party in 2006 or 2007. I still have that recipe, hand written by Robin Leishman, and pull it out every year at this time!Cranberry Fluff Recipe - Kara in the Kitchen Cranberry Fluff is sweet, delicious, and mysterious. It is highly addictive and you will find yourself grabbing more to put on your plate! This recipe takes some planning, because the cranberries need to soak in sugar overnight. Then the whole fluff has to chill for at least one hour, so plan ahead for this one! You won’t be sorry :) Cranberry Fluff Recipe - Kara in the KitchenThe original recipe calls for nuts, but we don’t use them. On the side dish spectrum, it definitely falls on the dessert side of things. We make it in place of a Jell-O salad which really isn’t a salad at all, right? You’ve got your pineapple, marshmallows, cranberries, and whipped cream. Magical! Cranberry Fluff Recipe - Kara in the KitchenHere is the recipe (note – we usually double this):

Cranberry Fluff Recipe
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 bag cranberries, frozen
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1 16 ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice
  • ½ package miniature marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Grind cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Stir in the 2 cups of sugar and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, whip the heavy cream until semi-stiff peaks form. Chop the nuts (if using) and drain pineapple. Stir together the cranberry mixture, pineapple, nuts, and marshmallows. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Chill at least 1 hour and serve.

 

Apple Bacon Biscuit Dressing or Stuffing Recipe

I found this dressing recipe in a Williams-Sonoma catalog years ago. I ripped it out and saved it for years, then finally made it for the past two years at Thanksgiving. The only problem is that the original recipe called for mushrooms, and I don’t like those. So, I decided to substitute apples from my grandpa’s tree and it made the perfect stuffing! I know, you can’t technically call dressing stuffing if it wasn’t cooked inside the turkey, but I do what I want :)Apple Bacon Biscuit Dressing Recipe - karainthekitchen.comThe first time I made this, I made the biscuits from scratch. The next year I used freezer biscuits. It tasted exactly the same both times. So do yourself a favor, save yourself some time, and use freezer biscuits! Apple Bacon Biscuit Dressing Recipe - karainthekitchen.comHere’s the recipe:

Apple Bacon Biscuit Dressing
 
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Ingredients
  • Twelve 4" cream biscuits, cut into 1½" cubes
  • 1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 celery stalks, diced
  • 8 ounces tart apples, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread biscuits out on baking sheet. Toast until lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  3. In a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisy, 7-9 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 3 Tablespoons of the fat. Over medium heat, cook the onions until translucent. Add the celery, apples, parsley, sage, and thyme, cooking until the celery and apples are soft (about 5 minutes).
  4. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl. Add bacon to bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add biscuits and 3 cups of the chicken stock, stirring to combine. If the mixture looks too dry, add the last cup of chicken stock. Otherwise, leave it out.
  5. Transfer dressing to a baking dish. Cover with foil or lid, bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil or lid and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the dressing is lightly browned. Enjoy!

Apple Bacon Biscuit Dressing Recipe - karainthekitchen.comI love the salty bacon married with the sweet-tart apples. It’s a match made in Thanksgiving heaven! Next to turkey, mashed potatoes, and covered in gravy, it’s to die for! I would eat a big scoop of stuffing alone for lunch in the days after Thanksgiving.  Apple Bacon Biscuit Dressing Recipe - karainthekitchen.comYum! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season surrounded by good food and the ones you love!

Thanksgivings 2013

The day after we got home from Virginia, we just took it easy around the house. There were cookies, princess buns, and dress up.

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The next day, we went to visit Nana & Bobba. They have the cutest playhouse for the girls in the backyard that they love :)

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Wednesday night, I got down to baking for Thanksgiving with Matt’s family the next day!

I made Sweet Potato Muffins (recipe coming soon),

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Apple Pie (recipe coming soon),

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And stuffing. No pictures of it alone because it just doesn’t photograph well! It’s in the pic below on the plate…covered in gravy :)

I was up until 3 AM and got it all done but was too tired to join in the 5K my sister-in-law puts on every year, I was so bummed :(

Marsha hosted down in Lompoc & everything was wonderful at their new place.

Ada & I in a happy food coma! Poor girl got knocked to the ground by her cousin swinging at the park. Why is it that kids just walk in front of swings? It makes me so sad. She hit her chin and it’s looked like a little goatee bruise for the past weeks.

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The whole Miller bunch!

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Love these ladies: Lori, me, Kandie, Karina, & Alissa

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We headed over to Matt’s parent’s for PIE + truffles!

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I found a meat cleaver in the drawer and it was the same height as the pie, so I thought, “Why not?!” Alissa wielded that thing with strength and fortitude.

Princess cousins & pie!

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Lola after a long day!

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The next day, we had Thanksgiving with my family! We had planned on getting our Christmas tree in the morning, but it was raining so we went the next day. I was grateful for the extra sleep & got to making Nana’s rolls!

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Devin & Liz hosted and everything was beautiful!

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I’m hungry again…

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We went and saw Catching Fire the next day with Matt’s siblings & spouses and I loved it! I only read the first book, so it was fun to see what happened next. Excited for the 3rd!

I am so grateful to have so much family in the area and to be living close to them now. It was so fun cooking in my own kitchen and being with family and friends this year! Hope you all had great Thanksgivings too!

How many Thanksgivings do you usually have? – 2 this year. We trade off Thursday and Friday between families every year.

Anyone else see a movie over the holiday weekend?

Tomato Basil Crostini

Crostini means, “little toasts” in Italian. Isn’t that cute?

These little toasts are easy to make and leave a huge impression on whoever you serve them to. Use good olive oil & cheese and fresh bread, basil, garlic, and tomatoes for the best results!

I love serving these along with a big bowl of pasta and a salad. It’s the perfect Italian dinner!www.karainthekitchen.com

Tomato Basil Crostini
 
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Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 6-8 slices of crusty bread (baguette or similar)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler to 400 degrees. Slice bread into 1 inch slices and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes, or just until toasted golden brown.
  2. Remove toast from the oven, and, using an oven mitt or towel, hold each toast while you rub a clove of garlic over the top of the bread. The toasted bread will grab the garlic as you run it across the top, leaving your bread with garlicky goodness in it.
  3. Place toast back on the cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Put tomatoes on the toast, split side down, and push down on the tops of the tomatoes to saturate the bread.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh basil and top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Enjoy!

www.karainthekitchen.com

Hasselback Bacon Potatoes

I’ve seen potatoes prepared this way and have always wanted to try making them. They look so pretty! I did some research and found out that they are named after the restaurant that created them, located in the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. Now that you’ve had your history lesson, it’s time for your cooking lesson! Hasselback Bacon Potatoes

When I buy my bacon, I cook up the whole package in the oven and then freeze it. Alma Carson taught me that trick! Then you always have cooked bacon ready to go and can just zap it in the microwave without the mess and smoke every time.

Bacon Hasselback Potatoes
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 8 Russet potatoes, similar sizes
  • ½ cup grated cheese of your choice
  • 4-5 slices bacon, cooked and frozen, chopped
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven for 450 degrees. Grease a large baking pan and set aside.
  2. Scrub potatoes and pat dry. Place a wooden spoon on each side of the potato to prevent slicing all the way through it. Slice through the potato, making your cuts about ¼ in. thick. Rinse each potato under cold water, pulling the sections apart and letting the water run through each one. This will rinse the excess starch out and help the potatoes fan out while cooking. Dry the potatoes well and place in prepared baking dish. Stick bacon squares into random slices (I put 3-4 in each potato). Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes, opening up some of the slices to get the cheese down in there.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over all of the potatoes, followed by salt. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and the skin is nice and crunchy.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool, serve warm, and enjoy!
  5. These froze well after being individually wrapped in foil and placed in a freezer baggie.

www.karainthekitchen.com