Giving Thanks

I'm thankful for so, many, many blessings this year.
To name a few I'm thankful for our new home, good health, and family and friends.  I'm also thankful for the wonderful food I will be cooking today and tomorrow for our Thanksgiving Feast.

So today I want to share one of my favorite recipes that has been in my family for years. The Holiday Cranberry Salad.  I usually make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It is a great alternative to plopping out a can of cranberry sauce.

Holiday Cranberry Salad

1 13 oz can crushed pineapple (short can) 
1 lb. can whole berry cranberry sauce 
1 sm box Raspberry or cherry jello
12 oz cool whip
8 oz. cream cheese softened
3/4 cup chopped pecans toasted in about 2 tbls. butter.
1/2 cup sprite or 7 up

First of all drain and reserve the liquid from the crushed pineapples. I could not find the small can of crushed pineapples so I got way more liquid then I needed. I bought the 20 oz can and used about 3/4 of the pineapples. 
Save 1/2 cup pineapple liquid to a cup and then add 1/2 cup sprite or 7 up to that to make 1 cup liquid.
Now make the jello with 1 cup boiling water. Stir jello and boiling water in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish for about 2 minutes. Then add the one cup mixture of 7 up/ pineapple liquid to the jello. Put in refrigerator to set the jello for about an hour. ( just until set)

Mix the cranberries and pineapples together and set aside.

Toast the butter and pecan pieces over medium heat and set aside to cool.
I usually just saute the butter and pecans in a pan 3 to 5 minutes instead of toasting in oven.

Once the jello has set you can either gently mix the fruit in the jello or layer on top of the jello.
Then put this jello mixture back in the refrigerator again to completely set.

Meanwhile mix with hand mixer the cool whip and softened cream cheese. Cream cheese really needs to be soft, at room temperature so that it will mix well into the cool whip.

Spread the cool whip/cream cheese mixture over the Jello/ fruit and sprinkle toasted pecans on top of all.
Keep cold in the refrigerator.
It's delicious! And great as a dessert too.
Best part you can make it the day before.

Front Door Halloween Decorations

Jack Skellington

Here are my outside decorations for Halloween.  I love my Jack Skellington carved pumpkin and I had fun painting the black stripes on the other two pumpkins.
Above the door is a Boo Banner which I made from orange burlap. All it is, is stenciled letters on the cut out triangles, then sew the triangles onto jute twine. There is black guaze hung to cover the huge window above the door, orange lights and black garland over that.
I went down into the wooded area of our property and found a dead branch for the spooky tree. I painted it black and hung purple skulls and purple lights. I found a cute wire lighted scary Halloween cat at "Big Lots". Love, Love, Love "Big Lots" for decorations. I bought a black wreath pre made because I ran out of steam and just did not feel like making a wreath.
This is all I did for the outside, unlike a lot of my neighbors who went crazy with orange lights on trees bushes and animated scary figures. That's fine and it looks good, but I like to be a little more creative. I know I have a lot of store bought stuff as well but to me making and creating is most of the fun.