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Cranberry Orange Macadamia Bars

My husband loves the seasonal Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks, so I thought I would try to make something similar for him at home.  Most of the recipes I looked at used dried cranberries and orange extract, neither of which I love in my baked goods, so I baked a batch using fresh cranberries and the zest of a couple of clementine mandarins.  I also have a thing for nuts in my baked goods, so I had to throw in some macadamia nuts too!

Cranberry Orange Macadamia Bars

 What You Need:
1 cup butter
1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 clementines (for zest)
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup fresh cranberries
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup Macadamia nuts, chopped

 For Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Optional toppings
Clementine Zest
Dried cranberries
White chocolate

 What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F if you are using a dark or glass pan)

Line a 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper or prepare with butter.

With a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar, then add eggs, vanilla extract, clementine zest and mix. 

Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and ginger and mix until just fully incorporated. 

 Stir in the white chocolate chips, cranberries, and macadamia nuts. 

Spread the mixture evenly on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until middle of cake has set. Do not over bake. 

 While bars cool, prepare frosting by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and beat using an electric mixer until frosting is a spreadable consistency (about 3 minutes). 

 Once the bars have cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting and garnish with zest of an clementine or the topping of your choice. You can drizzle melted white chocolate, top with chopped dried cranberries, sprinkle with chopped macadamia nuts, or all of the above. 

 Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Easy One Pot Chili Recipe [Quick and Easy Chili Recipe]

I had been married for 15 years before I made my first batch of chili.  I grew up eating my grandmother's amazing chili, but her recipe started with soaking beans overnight to make ham hock and pinto bean soup the next day, then using the left over soup the following day to make chili.   Three day chili soup is really delicious.  Win a chili cook off delicious.  But not really a recipe meant for moms that don't plan dinner ahead of time and have kids that won't eat ham hock and pinto beans soup.

But one day I decided that I did want to make chili and I would use canned beans and just not tell my grandmother.  This is the quick and easy and still really yummy chili recipe that I use when the weather gets cold and rainy.  It is great with cornbread, perfect with tortilla chips, and just right for making walking Frito pies!

One Pot Chili Recipe
printable recipe

What You'll Need:

2 lbs ground beef
1 can pinto beans (15oz)
1 can red kidney beans (15oz)
2 cans tomato sauce (8oz)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup dried onion flakes
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup masa harina
1/2 cup water
1 cup beef broth 
salt and pepper to taste

What You'll Do:

In a large pot, brown the ground beef with the garlic and dried onion flakes over medium high heat.  Once browned, drain off the excess fat.

Add the chili powder, cumin, and salt to the meat and stir until combined.

Add the tomato sauce and beef broth and let simmer, covered, over medium low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.  If the chili becomes too thick, stir in 1/4 of a cup of water.

Mix 1/4 cup masa harina with 1/2 cup water.  Once completely combined, stir the masa mixture into the chili.  Then drain and rinse the pinto beans and red kidney beans and add them to the pot.

Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

If you are ready to add some soup recipes to your dinner rotations, 
you should also try our favorite

Thanksgiving Ideas

Pilgrim Treat Boxes from A Pumpkin and a Princess
Turkey Treat Cups from Happy Clippings

October is behind us and it is full speed ahead to Thanksgiving!  We have a little more time than usual, since Thanksgiving is later in the month, but it is never to early to get ready.  Here are some category links that might help!

Halloween Pudding Ghost Cups

This year I was out of town when the sign up sheets for the preschool Halloween party was set out.  I was hoping to snag the juice boxes because I wanted to make the very easy, but still pretty dang cute Mummy Juice Boxes that I made last year.  Sadly, by the time I saw the sign up, the only slots left were for table cloths and 'other snack'.  I grabbed the other slot and made a snack that turned out even easier than the mummy juice boxes.  Halloween Ghost Pudding Cups.

I actually went to the store with the intention of buying green lemon lime Jello cups to make something similar to these Frankenstein Jello cups from Craft Penguin, but they didn't have any left at my store.

If they had, I probably would have ended up making Jello blob monsters instead like these from Home. Made. Interest.

But alas, no green Jello cups meant cute little ghost pudding cups.  A black permanent marker, googley eyes, and a little glue is all you need to transform your vanilla pudding cups into cute Halloween treats.

But if you did get to the sign up sheet early enough to get juice boxes, wrap the juice box with white crepe paper streamers and secure it with tape, then glue on some large goggly eyes and you will be all set.  Halloween Mummy Juice Boxes:

How to upload photos from Canon to MacOS Sierra

Yesterday I tried to upload photos from my Canon camera to my Mac that I had just updated to OS Sierra.  After a half dozen unsuccessful attempts at getting the computer to even recognize that my Canon DSL was connected, I assumed there was an issue with my cord.  I then wasted an hour looking for another cord I could use to transfer my image files to my computer.

Luckily, right before I gave up and ordered a new Canon interface cable, I decided to do a little searching online and found out that I am not the only that couldn't import photos from my Canon DSL camera to my Mac.   It is an issue caused by the latest Mac OS update.  If you have updated to OS Sierra then it is likely that your computer is not recognizing your camera.  (I am running 10.12.1 but I have read that there are issues with all version 10.0 updates)

Thanks to the internet I found an easy work around.  You need to head into your camera settings and change your communication settings from PC Connection (or Normal) to PTP/Print.

Just like that your computer and camera will get along again and your photographs will appear, ready to import, in the Photos app on your Mac.