I love this time of year! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so I count it as the kickoff to the holiday season. Thanksgiving is an excellent time to reconnect with family and friends, and I think it is necessary to pause and acknowledge the blessings in our lives. But, there is something truly magical during the Christmas season. There is a sense of hope and expectation that lingers in the air.
I've already watched several Christmas movies, which I'm sure isn't surprising, since I'm a romance writer. I must admit, I may have gone a little overboard with the Christmas decorations this year. I blame it on those Christmas movies that I just mentioned. All of the set decorations are gorgeous, and I couldn't help purchasing some extra blankets and throw pillows and sprinkling them around the living room.
Don't forget to check out how Gabrielle and Andrew (A Perfect Miracle) and Eve and Thomas (Living on a Prayer) celebrate their holidays! The cranberry salad (also known as Cranberry Fluff by some of my cousins) that Eve brings to Gabrielle's house in Living on a Prayer is actually a family recipe brought to my mom's family by my Aunt Helen. She married my Uncle Chuck who was a WWII Navy Veteran.
If you'd like to try the recipe, I'll post it below, I don't think Aunt Helen would mind. If you get a chance, post a comment about how you liked it!
Aunt Helen's Cranberry Salad:
Ingredients for a medium-sized bowl (we like to use a crystal or clear bowl because it shows the pretty layers)
3 Ocean Spray jellied cranberry cans (you can use other brands, but we love the taste of Ocean Spray the best)
1 box of graham cracker crumbs (you'll probably use about half the box)
1 large tub of Cool Whip (you can mix your own heavy whipping cream into a fluff instead, if you have the time, but we've always used cool whip)
1) Mix the cans of jellied cranberry in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand-mixer, adding one at a time, until it becomes a smooth puree.
2) Put a thin layer of cranberry puree (about 1/8-1/4") in the bottom of the bowl to form layer 1.
3) Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs until the cranberry is covered (also about 1/8-1/4").
4) This step is important and I finally figured it out just this year (Up until this point, mine tasted different than when my mom made it): press the graham cracker down with the back of a metal spoon until it looks compressed, but not flattened into the cranberry to form layer 2.
5) Drop dollops of Cool Whip on top of the graham cracker. Gently connect the mounds of Cool Whip, by spreading them with the back of a spoon until it forms one layer about 1/8-1/4" this is layer 3.
6) Repeat layers until you've reached the rim of the bowl.
7) Refrigerate for at least an hour or more before serving.
8) Leftovers last 1-2 days in the fridge.
Summer is one of my favorite seasons to catch up on all the reading I plan to do the rest of the year!
Living on a Prayer Is Now Available!
Katrina Alexander is a Contemporary Romance author who finds writing inspiration from her extended family, the natural beauty of her surroundings, and sometimes a quirky name she comes across at the grocery store.