Cranberry & Coconut Granola

Cranberry & Coconut Granola

I’ve always been a girl that loves sprinkles.  Get me a vanilla ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles and I was good to go.  I spent my high school years working at our local Dairy Queen and we had a giant plastic container full of rainbow sprinkles.  It was pretty great, if you like your sugar to come in several artificial colors.    

I consider granola to be a more grown up substitute for rainbow sprinkles and while I put it on ice cream (No I’m not kidding.  No, it doesn’t make ice cream healthy.  Yes, it is very tasty.), I get much more mileage out of my granola than I ever could with my beloved rainbow sprinkles.  A pretty firm exception here is sprinkles on top of cookies and cupcakes.  Granola is not a good substitute there!   A little bit tossed on top of my oatmeal or layered with fruit and yogurt are my favorite, but recently I even put some on top of my mom’s leftover sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving which was also delicious.  

Cranberry & Coconut Granola

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Cranberry Jack Cocktail

Cranberry Jack Cocktail

Have you tried Jack Daniels Winter Jack Cider?  If not, go out and buy some pronto, because it is super tasty.  You could just sip it from a glass as is, but it is equally nice in this perfect-for-the-holidays cocktail.   

Cranberry Jack Cocktail

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Slow Cooker Cranberry Pear Applesauce

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pear Applesauce

This applesauce is special.  Did you know that some applesauce is considered special, whereas other applesauce is not?  It’s okay if you were not aware of this fact; after all, it’s my job to think about these things and report back to you.  So this is me letting you know that your applesauce needs to be special.  I feel that I can speak pretty confidently on this topic because we are applesauce people.  This is primarily because my kids are picky eaters and I don’t cook them something separate for dinner, so I always like to have one or two things at the meal that I know they will eat.  Enter trusty old applesauce.  If you make your own, you can control the amount of sugar in it, which is good for all of us.  An added bonus is that it is a good source of fiber, a nutrient that is always lacking in my kids’ diets.  At this point in my life as a parent, I have made gallons upon gallons of applesauce.  I freeze it, I can it, I add blueberries, I make it on the stove, in the oven, I’ve tried it all.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pear Applesauce

 

 

 

 

Applesauce 1

Of all the different variations and ways I make applesauce, this is by far my favorite.  In fact, even if I didn’t want to keep applesauce around for the benefit of my kids, I’d still make big batches of this particular kind because Ray and I like it so much.  There is a little bit of pear in there, a few handfuls of cranberries, some lemon, orange, and cinnamon.  There are just enough cranberries to make the sauce a little bit tart, but the added pears are sweet enough to mellow out the tartness.  The orange and lemon are not pronounced flavors, they just help enhance the others.  There’s not enough of anything that it dominates the flavor of the apples, but just enough so that when they all come together you get something a little unexpected and a little special.   I find that it is sweet enough that I don’t need any added sugar, but you can always add some if you like.  

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