Brittany wrote this on 16 October 2016
Hello friends! You may not know it, but you have stumbled upon DAY #2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour! Traci, the fabulousness behind the blog Traci & Co., has organized a special blog tour of recipes, crafts, and gift tutorials to get us all ready for the holidays! There is a different blogger each day so don’t forget to click here to see all the amazing stuff we have for you!
And it gets better! There is a HUGE giveaway after the tour wraps up so be sure to head over to see what is happening each day and to enter the GIVEAWAY! There will be several winners and, among other outstanding prizes, one lucky friend will win a copy of my holiday eCookbook, Cooking Through The Holidays, releasing November 1! It has been quite the project and I am thrilled to be able to announce its debut here on the 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Tour!
So what do I have for you today?
The gift of food!
I am all about passing along a plate of cookies or a fruit cake to the neighbors (or RECEIVING a plate of cookies or fruit cake…) but occasionally I try and shake things up. A little jar of this Harvest Fruit Spread will definitely bring a smile to whoever enjoys it! Tuck it into a gift bag and pass it on as a hostess gift at an upcoming holiday party or top it with big bow and leave it for a teacher! This spread would be perfect as a secret santa gift. Make a gift for under the tree and fill a pretty mixing bowl biscuit mix, a fun mixing spoon, a seasonal kitchen towel, and a little jar of this! Boom! Better than Santa! Just don’t forget to save some for yourself!
The ingredient list may be a bit different, but cooked down, it becomes a smooth, spiced spread that has been know to make a fellow swoon. The flavor is a bit sweet, a bit tart, and perfectly spiced! If you plan to make a batch or two and want to share the love with family and friends, I made a handy dandy printable to make that a bit easier! Although a ribbon and a holiday tag work just as well!
Harvest Fruit Spread
This will make you house smell divine! The mix of flavors is comforting and just a little addicting! Be sure to cut the squash extra small; it will take the longest to cook. Any variety of apple and pear will do!
2 c small cubes fresh butternut squash or fresh pumpkin
1 large apple, peeled, cored and cubed
1 large pear, peeled, cored, and cubed
1 c raisins
7 ounces dried figs, snipped into small pieces
1 scant T freshly grated ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon-or 1 whole tsp if you like things nice and spiced
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
1 c water
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Simmer gently until fruit and squash is VERY tender and falling apart. If the pan starts to go dry before everything is soft, add more water. This will vary depending on the ripeness of your fruit and how big the chunks are! When everything is soft and most of the moisture has evaporated, let the mixture cool a bit. When ready, remove the cinnamon sticks and pulse in a food processor until desired consistency. I like it uniformly smooth, but not to the point of baby food. You decide! Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to puree the spread. Mix well and be sure to give it a taste! If your fruit is extra tart and the mixture makes you pucker a bit, now is the time to stir in some honey. This spread is not supposed to be like candy, but feel free to adjust it to your liking. I won’t tell! Store it sealed, in the fridge for up to two weeks or freeze for later for several months. Enjoy!
Note~These are all the ways we devour this fruit spread:
- smeared on a panini with turkey, cheese and mustard
- spooned over pancakes and waffles
- as a dip for graham crackers
- spread on a tortilla with cream cheese and rolled up for a snack
- on a peanut butter sandwich
- paired with salty butter on these Sweet Potato Biscuits (Good LORD its good!)
- on cinnamon raisin toast
- smeared on crostini, topped with crumbled goat cheese, and served as an appetizer
- tucked onto a cheese plate and served with crackers and brie
- directly out of the jar with a spoon 🙂
Don’t miss out on all the fun! Click here to go to ALL of the handmade tutorials for The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Tour and to enter the GIVEAWAY!!
Brittany wrote this on 5 October 2016
When the inevitable pumpkin spice craziness begins to invade our lives, I like to be ready for it.
I love me some lattes, but when my kids asked to have one too, I hesitated. We generally don’t give them coffee, seeing as how they are wired enough already. Personally, I don’t think it is very good for them, and if they want to pump themselves full of java later in life, I can’t stop them. Until them, I call the shots *evil laugh* and they will have to make do with this hot chocolate recipe.
Although, I would argue that it is not ‘making do’ but is instead, even better! Ok. So you don’t get the caffeine hit, which, to be honest, is my favorite part of ANY latte, pumpkin spice or otherwise. But I would choose a mug of hot chocolate over coffee just about any day of the week so this drink is as much for me as it is my kids. Your house will smell ah-may-ZING and you may want to keep the entire batch just for yourself. It is easy to make and not too sweet so a second helping is completely acceptable.
If you add a shot of espresso, I won’t tell a soul.
Get the recipe for my Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate over at the Columbia City Moms Blog!
Brittany wrote this on 26 September 2016
I have talked before about my love affair with homemade bread.
My very first blog post EVER was a recipe for the bread machine and this pillowy Buttermilk Yeast Bread has been know to send friends and family to their knees when I serve them a slice slathered in butter and honey. It is that good.
As much as I love both those recipes, I have been looking for a really good, really easy recipe for multigrain bread. The chewy, almost nutty texture of whole grains is a favorite of mine, but I didn’t want to have to spend the money and purchase multiple kinds of flour that I may not use for anything else. Years ago, I had seen a recipe using a 7-grain hot cereal mix to make bread and I never forgot about it! A few months ago, I started searching and testing recipes, and several loaves of bread later, I FINALLY have the perfect version!
This is one of the easiest bread machine recipes you will ever make. There is no soaking of grains and no extra steps; the ingredients are just dumped in. It makes fantastic sandwiches, but toasted with butter and jam is nothing short of beautiful. Crusty and chewy on the inside and oh. my. GOSH! My Mom used to make homemade bread when I was a kid and we had hot bread as a bedtime snack on nights when we sat up and watched movies. With my kids, it is more likely that they will have it as an after school snack, opening the door to the scent of freshly baked bread. Either way its a memory that I hope always makes them think of home.
I would love to share with you too! I’ll keep the butter and honey pot on standby. 🙂
Multigrain Bread For The Bread Machine
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker
This recipe makes a 2 lb loaf. In the market for a bread machine or want to add it to your Christmas wishlist? Try this one!
1 1/2 c water
2 T coconut, canola, grapeseed, or vegetable oil
1 1/2 c bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or whole wheat flour
1 c 7-grain hot cereal (uncooked) such as Bob’s Red Mill brand
1/4 c brown sugar or honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast or 1-.25 oz packet
Place all ingredients in your bread machine according to manufacturers directions. Choose the 2 lb, whole wheat or standard loaf setting and I recommend the light or medium crust option if you have the choice. The whole wheat tends to really darken and you don’t want it to burn. This bakes up great on standard or rapid baking times. Remove to a cooling rack as soon as it is done and TRY not to cut into it until it has cooled a bit!