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Dine In: Merry Christmas


Cranberry ChutneyMerry Christmas!

It’s one of my favorite days of the year. Not only do I get to wake up to the squeals of excited boys, but my parents are here visiting from Virginia. My heart is full to overflowing.

Growing up, we always had a big Christmas breakfast. Mom would start the day before, making cinnamon roll dough from scratch. It would rise twice and then she’d roll it out, covering it liberally with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. The rolls would rise again overnight and be ready to be popped into the oven Christmas morning then topped with a warm, gooey glaze as they were served. We had those with Little Smokies sausages. Seriously, I could have eaten those out of the pan. We never seemed to have them any other time but Christmas, so I took full advantage when they were simmering on the stove.

The rest of the day, we usually snacked. It was such a novelty not to have to sit at the table and eat a well-balanced meal three times that day that we all loved it! Often, “lunch” would be one of the many varieties of Christmas cookies my mom had baked: sugar (which we decorated, another family tradition), snowballs (or Mexican wedding cookies, my favorite), peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies (peanut butter is a viable lunch, right?) or a peanut butter chocolate swirled roll-up cookie that I also loved.

Sometimes she’d set out bowls of nuts or plates of appetizers like cheese and crackers or an appetizer dip.

I think I’m going to do the same thing today. We’ll grill steaks later, but for midday, it sounds like the snacks have it!

Merry Christmas and happy eating!

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup water
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup Granny Smith apple, finely diced
3 Tbs prepared horseradish
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
assorted crackers

Directions:
In a heavy pan, stir water and sugars together to mix. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in cranberries; return to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir in apple, horseradish and mustard.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Place a block of cream cheese on a decorative plate and surround with assorted crackers. Spoon a heaping mound of the cranberry chutney on top of the cream cheese to cover it.

Scoop the cranberry cream cheese mixture on top of a cracker and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 178, Fat: 8 g (5 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 114 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 2 g.

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