Cranberry Orange Slaw

Similar Tray // White Bowl

I don’t think I will ever get enough cranberries! I love them so much. It’s too bad that I can only find them around the holidays. I do try to buy as many as I can and keep them in the freezer. But while they are available, I try to use them in as many dishes as possible including this Cranberry Orange Slaw.

Cranberry Orange Slaw is a wonderful side dish for ham, roast chicken, or grilled salmon. It is also a terrific accompaniment on fish tacos or a chicken salad sandwich. And I can totally see using this dish as a topper for a BBQ chicken or pulled port sandwich. There are so many ways to use this versatile side dish since it is so full of flavor.

It’s also super simple to make, which is a plus during the holidays, right? All you need is…

1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries

One orange, seeds removed

1/2 cup white sugar (Substitute 1/2 cup xylitol or erythritol if desired.)

1 bag slaw mix (I use the kind with red cabbage, white cabbage, and carrots.)

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Wash the cranberries well and remove any stems.  Cut orange into quarters. Squeeze juice of orange into a mixing bowl. Chop cranberries and orange in food processor. I keep it at a rough chop instead of letting it get too emulsified. Pour into bowl with orange juice. Use a cutting board to give a rough chop to the slaw mix. Add slaw mix, sugar, and mayo to other ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate for about an hour before using.

We hope you love Cranberry Orange Slaw as much as our family does. Let me know in the comments how you plan to eat it. If this recipe looks interesting to you, please check out our other recipes in our Recipe Index.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens from

My southern is showing a little with the publication of this recipe. But I can’t help it. I have only recently acquired a taste for greens, so I’m learning to make them. If you haven’t ever tried your hand at cooking greens, let me introduce you to my recipe for collard greens.

Collard greens aren’t hard to make, but they take a long time. But since they are incredibly healthy and we all need more green in our diet, they are worth the effort. 

Collard Greens from

There are as many ways to make collard greens as there are southern cooks, so feel free to tweak this recipe to fit your tastebuds. You can buy collard greens fresh in a bunch, but then you’ll have to de-stem the leaves and wash them really well. I prefer to buy mine shredded.

Collard Greens from

And can you imagine washing all of those collard greens after they have been shredded? So this is what I’m looking for…

So much easier! In order to make a big pot of collard greens, here’s what you’ll need…

2lb bag of shredded and pre-washed collard greens

2 quarts of chicken stock

2 small white onions, diced

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound of bacon, cooked and diced, with grease reserved

1/3 cup vinegar

1/3 cup maple syrup or molasses

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon grease over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic in bacon grease until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in cooked bacon, red pepper flakes, and salt. Pour in one quart of chicken stock and heat until simmering. Let simmer for about 30 minutes to allow bacon to flavor the stock. Add part of the greens to fill the pot, as they won’t all fit until some have cooked down. Place lid on pot, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to let green wilt. When able, add more greens, stir, and allow to wilt. Continue until all greens are added to the pot. Add the second quart of chicken stock.

Once all greens are cooking, add vinegar and syrup. If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember my favorite vinegar from Trader Joe’s, which is what I use in this recipe.

Allow to simmer covered for about an hour. Collard greens are a tough green, and you want to cook them low and slow to make them tender. Serve with pepper sauce if you like them a little spicy.

Collard greens are a wonderful complement to most any meat-and-veggie type meal. We like them with roasted pork and cheese grits, and they are also wonderful with a rotisserie chicken and sweet potatoes. 

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Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish fron

Cranberry Orange Relish is a new-to-us recipe on our holiday table this year. While I’ve long been a fan of cranberry sauce – yes, I like the canned stuff! – I wanted something a little more special this year. Festive, maybe. This simple recipe is just the ticket. It takes about five minutes to make, and it is absolutely delicious! 

Cranberry Orange Relish is full of bold flavor, so it is definitely best as a relish instead of a full-size side dish or salad. A little goes a long way. 

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You can go with a nutty option or a non-nutty option. I like both. You’ll need a 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries, one orange, a half cup of sugar, and an optional half cup of chopped pecans or walnuts.

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Wash the cranberries well. Quarter the orange with the peel on. Take seeds out if there are any. Squeeze orange juice in a mixing bowl. Place cranberries and squeezed orange in food processor and chop for a few seconds. Be sure to get all big chunks of orange peel chopped or they will be bitter. Put chopped fruit mixture in bowl with orange juice. Add sugar and mix well. Store in fridge for at least an hour. Stir again and add nuts just before serving.

We hope you enjoy Cranberry Orange Relish as much as we do!

Cranberry Orange Relish from

Cookie Dough Dip

A few months back, I got together with some of my favorite food blogging friends. We ate and cooked and ate some more. I tell ya, it never gets old sharing your work with people who get it. And these people get it. 

While we were together we made several recipes that we could all share with our readers, and this cookie dough dip was one of the favorites of the weekend. I made it for my family, and they whole-heartedly agree. It’s a keeper, and it’s a great recipe to take to parties, showers, or to tailgate. Here’s what you’ll need…

6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
1 block cream cheese (8 oz), softened to room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips
graham crackers, chocolate graham crackers, animal crackers or vanilla wafers, for serving


  • Using a stand mixer, or an electric hand mixer, combine softened butter and cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl until mixed well.
  • Turn mixer to low speed and mix in brown sugar, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  • Serve with chocolate graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or animal crackers for dipping!

Corned Beef with Potatoes and Carrots

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and what a perfect time to try your hand at cooking corned beef with potatoes and carrots! Though this dish is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day favorite, it is actually a wonderful dinner any time of the year.

I cook my corned beef with potatoes and carrots low and slow in my Le Creuset braiser, but you can do it in a covered casserole dish or even in a Crock-pot. No matter what kind of baking dish you use, remember to cook low and slow to make it tender. Corned beef is not a cut of meat you want to cook too quickly.

My favorite corned beef is the one pictured above from Cook’s. It comes with a pickling spice seasoning packet, and it’s the one I use for this recipe. I rinse my brisket in cold water before cooking.

Spray your pan with cooking spray, and place the rinsed brisket in it, fat side on top. Sprinkle the top with the seasoning packet, pour in 1-2 cups cold water (can use beer for a fuller flavor), add the minced garlic to the water, place onions around brisket, and place 2 rosemary sprigs on top. **Do not add potatoes and carrots at this point.

Cook on 275 degrees for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Pull out of oven to add potatoes and carrots. Place remaining sprigs of rosemary on top. Return to oven for another hour.

Plate and serve! This recipe for Corned Beef will melt in your mouth. It is incredibly tender and flavorful.

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Pickled Onions

Pickled Onions from

Good evening, everybody! We are about ready to ring in the new year, but I didn’t want 2017 to get away before I have a chance to show you a delicious accompaniment to your traditional southern New Year’s Day meal or any southern meal. I made a batch of these pickled onions today, and they were quick enough that you can make them in about 30 minutes and enjoy them with your good luck meal.

Pickled Onions from

I started out with three medium sized onions, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ or smaller rings. My preference for pickled onions is to use Vidalia onions (check to be sure that they were grown in Vidalia, Georgia, as these are the real deal. You just can’t imitate onions grown in that good Vidalia soil!). However, this time of the year I didn’t have Vidalias, so I used regular sweet onions. They will be a little spicier than Vidalias, but they will be delicious.

Though I am making these in canning jars, I am actually not going through the canning process with these. I will put them in the fridge, so no need to sterilize jars. I filled the jars all the way to the top with onions and packed them down pretty tightly to fit in as many onions as I could.

I don’t pre-cook my onions because I like my pickled onions a little crunchy. Pouring the hot brine over the onions cooks them a little anyway. But if you don’t want any crunch to your pickled onions, you can boil them in a pan of water for about two minutes before you put them into jars.

The brine I used was a combination of apple cider vinegar, water, salt, turmeric, celery salt, cinnamon, sugar, whole cloves, and whole peppercorns. See recipe below for specific measurements, but I brought all of this to a boil and poured over sliced onions. Be aware that turmeric stains terribly. Be very careful not to get it on your clothes, countertops, dish towels and use only jars you don’t mind getting stains.

Pickled Onions from

Once I poured the brine into the jars, I let them cool on the counter. This allows the onions to cook a little in the jars before going into the fridge. Once completely cool, they are ready to be refrigerated until ready to eat. I can’t wait to pull these out on New Year’s Day to eat with my traditional meal of ham, greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread!

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Abram and Sarai and Marriage and Comfort

I’ve always been enthralled by the story of God calling Abram to leave his home and family and follow God to a place that He would show him. Abram was from the area we now know as Mesopotamia – the land of the nomads. The theological belief of most of the nomadic people was polytheism – the belief in many gods, each of whom controlled a different aspect of the world. It was common practice that if one had a desire – a baby, say – then one would pray to the fertility god and offer gifts and sacrifices to that god. But if one also needed safety for a journey, one would call on the god of travel. This would have been common practice for Abram, his family, and all those with whom he lived in community.

That’s why it has always been so significant to me that when God called Abram to follow Him to a land that He would show him (Genesis 12: 1-2), that Abram recognized the voice of the One True God, turned his back on polytheism, and followed God without knowing where he was going. Amazing faith, right?

But until today, I’d never noticed much about Sarai’s part in Abram’s calling. Read with me from Genesis 12:4-5…

So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to the land of Canaan.

God called Abram, and Abram obeyed quickly, without hesitation, submissively, and fully – even when he’d only known a religion of many gods before. Sarai went with Abram supportively, though she’d only had the same religious beliefs before God’s call to Abram. She didn’t command that the LORD also speak to her; it was enough for her that He’d spoken to Abram. I love Matthew Henry’s commentary on this, “If Abram leave all to follow God, Sarai will leave all to follow Abram. And it was a mercy to Abram. It is very comfortable when husband and wife agree to go together in the way to heaven.”

Abram walks so closely with God that Sarai is able to trust his judgement, even when it doesn’t make sense to her. What a beautiful picture of a wife who honors her husband, and in so doing honors God!

Balsamic Roasted Carrots

Balsamic Roasted Carrots from

I adore fresh veggies. And carrots are just about the easiest of fresh veggies to come by. The grocery always has them, and they are a pretty cheap and flavorful side dish with most any meal. And for just a tad bit of effort, you can have Balsamic Roasted Carrots on your family’s plate.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots from

You can use whatever kind of carrots your family likes, but I just use a bag of regular old carrots. Wash them, chop the ends off, and peel them. Then cut them into 3″-ish lengths. If they are too fat, cut them in half lengthwise, or even quarter them.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots from

Throw the carrots into a plastic sealable bag with about two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of good, high-quality balsamic vinegar (I use Trader Joe’s), a half teaspoon of sea salt or himalayan pink salt, and about a tablespoon of dried chopped parsley. Shake well to coat carrots.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots from

Pour carrots out onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.
Roast on 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, watching well so as not to burn.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots from

Balsamic Roasted Carrots are terrific with salmon, chicken, pork tenderloin, beef roast, or just about anything!

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Healthy-ish Fried Rice

Healthy-ish Fried Rice from

Our family LOVES dinner out at a Japanese steak house. And I have to admit, I love watching the hibachi cook. One of these days I’m goig to install a hibachi grill in my kitchen. One of these days. The fried rice is one of my favorite parts of the meal. I’ve tried to make it at home, and mine just doesn’t turn out like theirs does, and it is super unhealthy with the amount of butter and starches and salt. However, I have been able to perfect a lighter version that I refer to as Healthy-ish Fried Rice.

Healthy-ish Fried Rice from

One of the ways I cut out a lot of simple carbs is to use half brown rice and half cauliflower rice. I buy the packaged frozen brown rice and the organic riced cauliflower at Trader Joe’s. Another fat-cutting trick is to use coconut oil instead of butter. To cut salt, I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of straight soy sauce. Same taste, but a lot less salt.

Healthy-ish Fried Rice from

Until the day comes that a hibachi grill is installed in my kitchen, I use my cast iron skillet to make Healthy-ish Fried Rice. I can get it super hot, and the coconut oil melts like a dream in it.

Healthy-ish Fried Rice from

You can serve this dish in place of most any starch. I sometimes add chicken or shrimp to make it a one-dish meal. It is also good with a piece of grilled chicken. Most of the time, though, we eat it as a side dish to salmon. Super healthy meal that is also super delicious! If you, like me, can’t stand the thought of giving up the yum-yum sauce, don’t fret. I have that recipe for you, too.

Healthy-ish Fried Rice from

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Healthy-ish Fried Rice from

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Free Family Fun in Washington DC

Free Family Fun in Washington DC from

A couple of years ago our family went on one of the best vacations of our lives. We traveled to Washington DC as a combination work/fun/educational trip, and we are still talking about how much we want to go back. One of the best surprises we discovered is that there is plenty of free family fun in Washington DC. My girls were 13 and 7 at the time, and there was so much to see and do that we had a hard time fitting it all into one trip. We were blessed to be able to stay six days, but there was still so much we didn’t get to that we want to make another trip soon.

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One tip that wasn’t free but made a world of difference for us is the DC Metro. We walked as much as we could, and DC is a terrific walking town, but when we got tired or it got to be too dark we rode the Metro. It was easy to navigate and we felt very safe the whole time. People were friendly and the Metro staff is very helpful.

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We didn’t have clearance for a White House tour, but we did walk by it. It is just as moving as you’d think. It is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that one of the most powerful men in the world is just inside that gate and that so many decisions are made there that influence the entire world. It really is breathtaking.

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Just down the street from the White House is the White House Visitor Center. It is an information center that has tons of exhibits and displays about life in the White House. You can see a 15 minute film about life in the White House. It holds lots of artifacts and memorablila that we enjoyed seeing as much as we enjoyed the Smithsonians. They also have a shop that sells the official White House Christmas ornaments and lots of other fun souvenirs. Don’t miss it, even if you don’t go to the White House. Note that the hours are 7:30am-4:00pm, so this one closes a little earlier than other sites.

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The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is tops on our list. It holds a historic collection of aircraft and spacecraft. My girls have always enjoyed studying about the solar system and space travel, so this was a fun tour for them. We spent about 3 hours in this museum, which was plenty of time for us to see it all.

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If you are an art lover, you will not want to miss out on the National Portrait Gallery. Honestly, this was one of my favorite of the Smithsonian museums. The NPG is home to portraits of our nation’s presidents, historical figures, and many notable Americans of modern times. You will see such famous and notable pieces as Alexander Gardner’s portrait of Abraham Lincoln, John Trumbell’s portrait of Alexander Hamilton, John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Henry Cabot Lodge, self-portraits of Mary Cassatt and Paul Cezanne, and the Gilbert Stewart portraits of George and Martha Washington. If you are touring with kiddos ages 4-14, stop by the info desk and ask for a portrait discovery kit to make their trip more interactive. The NPG stays open the latest of all the Smithsonians, closing at 7:30 pm.

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We were pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had at the National Postal Museum. If you, like us, might be thinking, “How much fun can a museum dedicated to mail be?” you are in for a treat. It really is intriguing to see the history and development of our nation’s postal service. We were especially enthralled with the stamp collections and postal delivery vehicles. Until March 2018, they have a special exhibit entitled “Trailblazing: 100 Years of Our National Parks.”

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By far the most beautiful interior we saw in DC was at the Library of Congress. As a homeschooling family, we have long been fans of any library, but this one tops them all. I really wasn’t prepared for how breathtaking the architecture was.

Free Family Fun in DC from

And of you don’t see anything else in the Library, you can’t miss the Thomas Jefferson collection of books. President Jefferson is said to have had one of the largest personal libraries in the entire country, and much of it is on display at the Library of Congress. It really is something to see!

Free Family Fun in DC from

The one place I wish we’d planned on spending more time was Arlington National Cemetery. To let the heaviness of the experience fall on you, you really need to spend several hours there. You will want to talk around and look at the grave sites, but also plan to do the tour at Arlington House. My only regret about Arlington is that we didn’t make time to attend a changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. That is tops on our list when we return to DC.

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No visit to our nation’s capital would be complete without seeing where our laws are made. If you want to see the US Capitol, I highly recommend booking a tour through your senator’s or representative’s office. These tours book up early, so you are really taking a risk by not booking ahead of time.

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The National Archives houses an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the US Constitution, as well as many other documents with national significance. While it is all interesting to see, you don’t want to miss the Rotundas for the Charters of Freedom.

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The monuments are among the most iconic sites in DC. Most of these are view-it-yourself type experiences, except for the Washington Monument, which is a guided tour. They are bigger and more grandiose than you can imagine. And though they look like they are really close together, it takes time to walk around to all of them. Like, half a day.

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I saved the best for last… The National Museum of American History. This is where you will see Dorothy’s red ruby slippers, Julia Child’s kitchen, a fragment of Plymouth Rock, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves, Archie Bunker’s chair, Kermit the Frog, Alexander Graham Bell’s big box telephone, and Benjamin Franklin’s walking stick. Plan to spend the better part of a day in this museum, as you will want plenty of time to see all of the fun artifacts.

If you are traveling to Washington DC soon, take a look at our list of Best Washington DC Restaurants for Foodies.