Kara’s Christmas Cranberry Jell-o

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Kara’s Christmas Cranberry Jell-o

Simple cherry jell-o full of fresh cranberries, apples and bananas makes for the best Christmas side dish on the dinner table!

Two years ago we had our cute friends over and Kara brought jell-o. Whhhhaaaaaa? When is the last time that someone brought jell-o to dinner? I was OBSESSED with it growing up, like it was one of my favorite things, but now I’m so old and it’s so sugary so I kinda ditched it, but I AM BACK!!! 

I’m so in!!

a photo of a white ceramic pie dish full of cranberry jell-o with fresh cranberries scattered around the dish.

Kara’s Christmas Jell-o is one of those unexpected surprises. It’s so flavorful, the color is so bright and cheery and my goodness, it hits every good thing about life. I cannot get enough of it and I wouldn’t even share it except based on the love you all have for our raspberry pretzel jello, lemon pudding orange jello and our lemon jello cake, I’m gonna guess you all are fans of those killer jello recipes too. 

Kara is the friend that always remembers me. I don’t know how else to say it, she just is. She’s the one that pops by when I’m totally not expecting it. She’s the one that invites us over, asks about our kids and just loves us. 

And we love her, and her jell-o. Pretty sure you’re going to love it too.

Ingredients for Christmas Jell-o

You only need 5 ingredients to make this bright and festive Christmas side dish! Here is your shopping list:

  • Cherry Jello
  • Sugar
  • Cranberries
  • Apple
  • Banana

The measurements for each can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

Pignoli Cookies (a.k.a. Pine Nut or Pinon Cookies)

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Almost 20 years ago, I was handed one of the most delicious cookies I had ever tasted. The Pignoli Cookie is unique in flavor and texture; completely unlike anything I had tasted before.

Pinon Cookies stacked on black plate with blue cloth on wooden table

The restaurant where I first tasted these cookie does not share their recipe; they simply called them Pinon Cookies (a.k.a. Pine Nut Cookies). Crunchy, chewy, sweet and nutty, these cookies are a perfect match for any almond-lover.

Pine Nut Cookies

I spent three years thinking about those cookies and wondering how on earth they were made. Many of the recipes for cookies with pine nuts that I found were merely sugar cookies or shortbread topped with or rolled in pine nuts.

I’m sure those cookies are delicious, but that was not what I was searching for this time. I eventually learned that these pine nut cookies are most commonly known as Italian Pignoli Cookies or Italian Pine Nut Cookies. In New Mexico where I first tried them, they are called Pinon Cookies.

As you can guess, I was beyond excited to share the recipe with you all after I finally found this recipe.

I followed the recipe, tasted one of these cookies, and nearly shrieked out loud with joy. The hunt was over. These Italian Pine Nut Cookies are every bit as delicious as I’d remembered.

The recipe and method below have been very lightly adapted from and with an abundance of thanks to Shockingly Delicious.

Italian pignoli cookies on plate, hand holding one

Italian Pignoli Cookies

Over the past few years, I have shared these cookies with friends and family countless times, and every single person that tastes them comments on how unique and irresistible they are.

These cookies always bring people back for “just one more”

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Bars

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White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Bars

Say goodbye to dry blonde brownies and sink your teeth into these chewy white chocolate cranberry bliss bars! They are loaded with cranberries and white chocolate chips and topped with a tasty cream cheese frosting.

I’ve been on a mission to create a soft and chewy blonde brownie, and this is it! I made them different than any recipe I could find and I really think this way is the BEST!

a photo of two trianglar cranberry bliss bars stacked on each other loaded with white chocolate chips and craisins and topped with cream cheese frosting and a white chocolate drizzle.

Growing up I never really cared about cranberries. They weren’t even on my radar in fact. But the older I get the more it’s creeping in as one of my can’t-live-without ingredients. They are so good in salads, rice dishes, desserts etc and so how could I not make the famous Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe? Except, this one is actually delicious.

I know, I know, that seems harsh, but their bars are a bit underwhelming and dry in my opinion. When looking up and testing recipes I just kept thinking, this needs to be one of those bars that you just sink your teeth into all slow and delicious. You know what I mean? But blondies, or blonde brownies I should say, seem to be nothing but dry, especially the next day.

Cue the cream cheese. I knew with less water content and more fat than butter that I could possibly make a superior bar and that’s exactly what I did. Cade wasn’t at all convinced and now he keep

The Little Things Newsletter #341 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, friends! The cooler weather has certainly arrived here in Ohio and the chilly mornings have me dreaming of snowy days and cups of hot tea or peppermint hot chocolate piled high with whipped cream.

ON THE BLOG this week: Tart cranberries and spicy peppers mingle in this sweet and spicy Cranberry Pepper Jelly. Everyone goes crazy for this spicy jam at the very first bite!

Palmiers, Elephant Ears, French Hearts, Palm Leaves: whatever you like to call them, these cookies are in the running for my all-time favorite treat. Palmier Cookies are light, airy, buttery sugar-sprinkled cookies that only require two ingredients.

You’re going to LOVE this Creamy Cranberry Jalapeno Dip – it’s even better than Costco’s version that is so popular. This dip is lightly sweetened and balanced with just a hint of heat from the peppers. Served with crackers and pretzels or spread on toast, this is an unforgettable holiday treat.

Fluffy sweet potatoes with crisp edges are tossed with crumbled bacon and drizzled with balsamic glaze to make these roasted sweet potato bites.

Crispy roasted chicken thighs with red potatoes baked right along with the chicken make a delicious weeknight meal. The skin-on chicken thighs roast slowly and baste the potatoes as they cook. This process creates so much delicious flavor and could not be simpler.

Rich and delicious is the best way to describe creamed Brussels Sprouts with garlic and parmesan. Sprinkle them with bacon and you won’t want to share. If you are wondering where creamed Brussels Sprouts have been your entire life. Wonder no more, and go make these!

Five-minute fudge recipes are my saving grace this time of year. This creamy dark chocolate peppermint fudge is topped with crushed candy canes for a wonderful Christmas treat.

Peppermint mocha ice cream is a great way to enjoy your favorite Christmas flavors in a cold and creamy bowl of ice cream. Ice cream isn’t just for summer! My ice cream maker gets a year-round workout as I churn our favorite flavors of each season together.

What I’m CRAVING: This gorgeous raspberry pastry caught my eye this week and I immediately put puff pastry on my shopping list. It’s gorgeous and

Homemade Christmas Candy Roundup

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Homemade Christmas Candy Roundup

Christmas time is here and my sweet tooth can’t be satiated. It’s a real problem over here. Here are all our Christmas candy recipes in one place in case you are in the same situation as I am!

All of these recipes are easy to make and perfect for little gifts for neighbors or friends. You can make a couple of these candy recipes and some cookies from our Christmas cookies roundup to put on a plate. We love sharing Christmas joy with our friends by making homemade goodies! 

So here are all our fudge, caramels, truffles and chocolates, and pretzel candies. All so perfect for a plate of holiday goodies!


Classic Chocolate Fudge

An easy, no fail fudge recipe that only takes a few minutes to make. This fudge will satisfy even a chocoholic’s cravings! You could top it with crushed candy cane or Christmas sprinkles.

Two pieces of fudge stacked on top of each other. A bite has been taken out of the top piece. A few red and green sprinkles are on and around the fudge.


White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Fudge

This fudge recipe is so festive with the dried cranberries and chopped pecans, and it’s so easy to make!

Rocky Road Fudge

All you need is 10 minutes, 4 ingredients and a microwave to make this easy rocky road fudge. I love all those chunks of deliciousness!

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