I love old recipes. They are not only a window to the past, but a way to stay connected to the people you love. And for me? It’s the most important way of communicating. It’s my love language. My maternal Grandmother used to make a recipe similar to this one at Thanksgiving each year. She’s still with us, but it’s getting harder and harder to cook each year. I think she’d be happy that this recipe is being preserved, even if I’ve tweaked it a bit! 🙂
First of all, can we talk about how it’s called a “salad”? That cracks me up! I think they were called such because a lot of gelatins from years past had savory foods stuck in them. But this one? This one is glorious. It’s sweet. But, not overly so. It’s ruby red color shines like a gem, like shiny red balls on the tree, like Rudolph’s nose in the night. It’s covered in a delicious creamy topping, like a snowy cap. I meannnnn. It’s so good. It’s got cranberries, raspberry, pineapple, nuts, cream cheese.
It’s a breeze to make. There’s more downtime than active time. This pairs well with both a holiday turkey and ham, and you can take my actual word with that! This also makes a fine dessert. And breakfast. Or snack.
Cranberry Jello Salad
Lightly spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. In a medium glass bowl, mix the Jello and 1 cup boiling water together. Stir for about 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in the cold cranberry juice, pineapple and cranberry sauce. Add the pecans. Mix well and pour into the pan. (I actually added the pecans next, and only to half the pan, because my boys do not like nuts) Cover with plastic. Refrigerate until firm.
Cream together cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth. When the Jello mixture is firm, spread the cream cheese mix on top. Sprinkle a few pecans on top.
For today’s lunch, I made a chocolate chip pancake sandwich (with sunbutter and raspberry jam). I also packed a mandarin orange, pineapple, dried fruit (dried coconut, dried ginger, dried dates, raisins, dried cranberries), and one gold chocolate coin.
Tomorrow is Wednesday. The week is half over. I’d call that a victory.
I made sunbutter and raspberry jam sandwiches. I also packed pineapple, red grapes, oyster crackers (with dinosaurs walking in them), and gingerbread muffins.
For tomorrow’s lunch, I packed a bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, a few pretzels, raisins, dried pineapple, cotton candy grapes, strawberries, and colby jack cheese.
Fun fact about today: my sons will only answer to “Leonardo” and “Raphael”.
Heroes in a half shell!
Tomorrow’s lunch is just as “creative” as today’s!
Hold your ears, folks (it’s showtime):
It’s a ham, cheese (I use Applegate Naturals for both), and mayo on whole wheat. I also packed a few pretzel sticks, a fruit salad (strawberries, raspberries, and pineapple), and a chocolate cherry cookie.
That is all.
This lunch could also be called “Hungover from Easter” (not in a drunk way, but in a way where we had a little too much Easter). We had such a busy Friday, weekend, and Monday celebrating Easter that the kids and I are just beyond pooped, especially with swim lessons starting today.
Here is my big one’s lunch for tomorrow:
I put PB&J on a hamburger bun. Because that’s where I’m at. I also packed pretzel sticks, raisins, fruit salad (pineapple, red grapes, and strawberries), and … a fruit-by-the-foot. It was in one of the eggs at today’s egg hunt. He’ll be shocked I’m letting him have it, but delighted.
That’s it. I’m out.
Tomorrow is my Co-op day! I’m excited to hang with my big buddy in class. I packed three lunches for tomorrow.
A salad with greens, yellow tomatoes, carrots, celery, and a whole avocado. I also packed bleu cheese dressing (although I’ll probably just mash up the avocado and use that as “dressing”). I also packed a mandarin orange, pineapple, and grapes.
For my Biggie:
I made a puzzle out of a PB&J sandwich. I also packed Goldfish crackers, pineapple, grapes, a few caramel rice cakes, and some chocolate covered sunflower seeds.
And for my Smalls:
He got half of a PB&J, some Goldfish, halved grapes, caramel rice cakes, and chocolate covered sunflower seeds for dessert.
Almost almost Friday. Let’s do this!
Tomorrow marks the first day back to school from Spring Break (cue crying/sniffling/and-also-joyful-whoops). We had a great break – we visited family several hours away, my oldest BFF came up from Miami for an awesome visit, our playgroup went on a train ride and took our kids to a fancy breakfast which was a disaster (but my cheese grits and fried green tomatoes were worth it), we went to a concert in the park, we ate overpriced froyo, and we got sick. All of us. My boys had fevers and one had a horrible ear infection. I lost my voice (happiest day of their little lives). But we survived. And to simultaneously celebrate the first day back in school and mourn the loss of Spring Break, I made a fun donut lunch.
I made a donut (doughnut, also being a perfectly acceptable way of spelling it) shaped PB & berry cream cheese sandwich. I cut the large circle shape using a mug and the little hole using a medicine cup (which I had readily available). I used a teeny bit of red spray, and then a teeny bit of pink sparkly icing to keep the confetti sprinkles from falling off. I also packed gold raisins (as my Biggie calls them), a date, grapes, pineapple, goldfish crackers, and a teeny homemade donut for dessert.
I made the donuts last week.
These little suckers are SO good. I have made them many times before and they are always a hit.
Here is the recipe:
And for the icing:
2 C powdered sugar
2 T milk (I used cashew milk)
1 t vanilla (optional)
1 t almond extract (optional)
food coloring, if desired
sprinkles, if desired (and why wouldn’t they be)
Mix the first five ingredients together. Frost the cooled donuts and decorate with sprinkles.
Get it girl. Or boy.
I have a Public Service Announcement for you – crepes are not a successful lunch choice for your kids at school. My oldest loved them, but told me how messy they were. He struggled with the dipping. And the dripping. Of the syrup. And my youngest avoided his crepe all together. I’m not at all sure what he ate his peanut butter with (probably just his finger), but at least he got some protein. So save them for dessert. Or snacking.
Here’s what I made for today’s lunch:
It’s a turkey, cheddar, and mayo on wheat sandwich. I also packed strawberries, pineapple, pickles (my Bigs loves pickles), pretzel sticks (I still refuse to say “rods” – grody), and two Oreos.
Have a great weekend!
PS – after I pick my buddy up at school, we are officially on Spring Break! WoO hOo!!
I’m going to be straight with you. I made another turkey lunch. And I’ll be doing the same tomorrow. And then that’s it. On Friday, Bigs’ class will be having a sweet, little Thanksgiving feast, and THAT’S the only reason I won’t be making a turkey lunch.
I made a PB&J turkey-shaped lunch, and added some details to the face, feet, and feathers. He’s sort of rasta looking this time. I dig it. He’s sitting upon a crusty hay bale and although it looks like he’s pooping out a Reece’s PB cup, he isn’t. Or maybe he is. My Bigs would think that’s hilarious. I also packed seasoned corn, fruit salad (red and green grapes, and pineapple), and a squeezy organic yogurt.
Here’s to a day where poop is replaced by Reece’s PB cups.