Creamy Cranberry Dip

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This creamy cranberry jalapeno 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.

creamy cranberry dip in shallow bowl on cutting board with crackers

Creamy Cranberry Dip

As soon as I tasted the Cranberry Jalapeno Dip I shared with you last week, I knew I was going to be making it on repeat. I quickly discovered that by stirring it all together, versus serving it in the more striking layers, it was easier to snack on without the potential for crumbling crackers in the cream cheese.

I love the flavor combination but I just may love the festive holiday colors even more. You’ll just do a couple of things differently in this recipe, in order to achieve a perfectly spreadable creamy cranberry jalapeno dip.

I am a big fan of fresh or frozen cranberries. As I’ve said for years, stock up on cranberries while you can, my friends. I buy as many bags as I can get my hands on during the holidays and stash them in the freezer. You don’t need to do anything special with them. Just toss the bags in the freezer and use them while still frozen for any number of recipes.

You can make this with either fresh or frozen cranberries. I did find this to be a teeny tiny bit more crunchy when made with cranberries that hadn’t been frozen, but it honestly wasn’t noticeable to anyone but me. I’ll happily be making this with frozen cranberries throughout the year for every possible occasion.

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip Costco

Have you tried the Costco Cranberry Dip that everyone is talking about? Well, I did and it’s delicious. Guess what though? We like this one even better.

The Costco dip is made with both cream cheese and sour cream. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but we found that we preferred using all cream cheese and just thinning it a bit with the reserved cranberry juice to achieve the desired consistency.

If you want a near-exact match for Costco’s recipe for cranberry dip, add ¼ cup of sour cream while beating the cream cheese smooth. Just be cautious if you add any extra cranberry liquids, as that will thin it out quickly. Add just a teaspoon or so at a time to keep the right creamy consistency.

Cranberry Pepper Jelly

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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!

When I realized I had been buying cranberry pepper jam almost every time I was at the grocery store, I knew it was time to make my own version of this jam.

Cranberry Pepper Jam - get the recipe at

I first tasted this jam with brie and fancy wafer crackers. Then I poured the jam over a simple block of cream cheese and served it with Ritz crackers. My kids went nuts over that.

Next, I spread this pepper jam on the Best Ever Ham Sandwich. When you layer this Cranberry Pepper Jam with creamy goat cheese, salty ham, and fresh arugula, it’s the sandwich that everyone is going to be talking about.

Cranberry Jalapeno Jam

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned an upcoming recipe that has been as highly anticipated as this recipe for pepper jam.

I mentioned that I would soon be sharing the recipe when I first shared that awesome ham sandwich recipe a few weeks ago. In the time since, I’ve received countless emails, messages, and snaps asking when I’ll be sharing the recipe for cranberry jalapeno jelly.

I’ll apologize now for the delay, because the recipe just wasn’t perfect until this version. And when I say it is perfect, I mean it. It is absolutely positively PERFECT now.

Side note: if you love sweet heat combinations and cranberries as much as we do, you definitely need to put this cranberry jalapeno dip on your must-try list too!

Cranberry Pepper Jam is everyone's favorite appetizer!

Spicy Jam

When you’re working with cranberries, I’ve found that it’s really easy to make a cranberry sauce. As evidenced by this classic homemade cranberry sauce and this spicy hot pepper cranberr

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

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“The sweet heat that you can not stop eating” is the best way to describe this creamy cranberry jalapeno dip. Double it for a crowd so you don’t run out!

cranberry jalapeno mixture over cream cheese with crackers

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

My love of cranberries knows no bounds. So when my friend Margaret shared this recipe with me, I jumped at the chance for a new cranberry jalapeno combination.

Cranberry Pepper Jam with brie and crackers is my appetizer go-to anytime I have that jam stashed in the pantry. Sometimes I pour the jam over a simple block of cream cheese and serve it with Ritz crackers. My kids go nuts over that.

cranberry jalapeno mixture over cream cheese in dish with crackers

HOLY SMOKES! That is all I could say after I made it. I took it to a gathering with friends and everyone asked for the recipe. I made this for my boys and they licked the plate! No joke.

Sweetness with a little heat combined with the tart cranberries and the cool creaminess of cream cheese hits all the right notes. With salty crackers or pretzel chips on the side to dip or spread this on, it is nearly impossible to stop eating this.

cranberries in food processorRead more

Steak Quesadilla

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Crisp tortillas filled with tender bites of steak and plenty of melting cheese create this easy-as-can-be Steak Quesadilla.

quesadilla with cheese and steak on a curvy wooden board with striped towel

Steak Quesadilla

My whole crew loves quesadillas so much, I tend to set aside a bit of whatever meat we are cooking for dinner, so we can make quesadillas the next day.

I made these with leftover buttered steak bites, just slice the cold steak bites as thin as possible and layer them into the quesadillas. (If you’re lucky enough to have mushrooms leftover, definitely add them too!)

Steak quesadillas are great made with Southwest steak bites, Cajun steak bites, and these Asian steak bites too.

Set aside some steak bites next time you make them. Then slice those leftover steak bites thin and pile the strips of beef onto the tortillas.

cheesy pull of quesadilla

You only need a handful of ingredients to make these quesadillas:

  • flour tortillas
  • butter
  • freshly shredded cheese Mozzarella, cheddar, Colby jack, Pepper jack all work well
  • cooked steak sliced very thin and chopped bite-size
  • sauteed bell peppers and onions OPTIONAL
steak and cheese on tortilla in skilletRead more

Caramelized Almonds

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A hint of sweetness with tons of crunch, caramelized almonds are a deliciously nutty and easy salad topping.

Caramelized Almonds on parchment with forks

Caramelized Almonds

Salad toppings range from savory to sweet for me. While corn chips are my go-to for a savory salad, caramelized or glazed nuts are perfect for lighter salads.

Especially those with fruits paired with a light vinaigrette, like this Orange Parsley Salad. (If you haven’t tried that one yet, put it on your list to make soon. It’s been a huge hit with everyone who has tried it.)

Do you know what often makes the difference between an everyday salad and the fancier salads that we are willing to pay for in restaurants? A couple of minutes in the skillet and a spoonful of sugar.

That is all that is required to transform a handful of plain sliced almonds into a slightly sweet and crunchy topping perfect for any salad!

sliced almonds in storage container

Candied Almonds for Salad

It never fails to make me grin when I serve a salad and the first question I hear is, “where did you get these nuts?” These almonds taste better than any salad toppings you can buy in a store and they cost a whole lot less as well.

Yes, you can buy sweetly glazed nuts in the store but trust me when I say they take just minutes. Bonus it makes your house smell amazing as well. Like you spent hours preparing dinner.

Just a few minutes is all it takes to make your salad extra special.

Orange Parsley Salad with almondsRead more