Making Spirits Berry and Bright

Hi all,

The new year is fast approaching and I have a dessert for your New Year celebrations.  Cranberry Gooey Butter Bars ! Tried this recipe from Betty Crocker and everyone asked for seconds Smile I did cut back on the fat by using egg substitute, low fat cream cheese and also cut back on the powdered sugar. Can honestly say the results were still sweet and the cranberries had just enough tart to compliment the sweet creaminess of the filling.  In rough numbers the carbs were cut from  34g to about 24g +/-.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  

 See the source image  Have a great 2022!

Enjoy!   Raggedy Anne

Cranberry Gooey Butter Bars

  • Prep 15 MIN
  • Total 3 HR 0 MIN
  • Servings 24

Cranberry Gooey Butter Bars


Cake Base
  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 1 egg (used substitute eg. egg beaters)
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (used low-fat)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I cut this to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 3 eggs ( I used egg substitute, eg. egg beaters)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
Topping ( skipped this step)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream, if desired


  • 1

    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.

  • 2

    In large bowl, stir Cake Base ingredients until well blended. Press evenly in pan.

  • 3

    In another large bowl, beat cream cheese and 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Beat in 1/2 cup melted butter and the eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in cranberries. Pour and evenly spread batter into pan over cake base.

  • 4

    Bake 38 to 43 minutes or until golden brown and center is set. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

  • 5

    When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon powdered sugar over top. Using sharp knife, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows, cleaning knife blade after each cut. Serve with whipped cream. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

  • Calories
    260, Calories from Fat
    110, Total Fat 12g 19%, Saturated Fat 7g 37%, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 60mg 20%, Sodium 230mg 10%, Potassium 45mg 1%, Total Carbohydrate 34g 11%, Sugars 26g, Protein 2g
  • Exchanges:

    1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 2 1/2 Fat;


Hope, Love and Joy

Hi all,

Just a note to wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Christmas Season!  Times are not easy for everyone, in the season or apart from it. Keep hope in your heart, love for each other and be joyful in your family, friends and help others in need when you can.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all See the source image


Enjoy!     clip_image003See the source image

A Soup-er Delight

Hi all,

In a previous post I gave you a recipe for Hamburger Soup. I was at the the grocery and noticed in the canned tomato section Crushed tomatoes in puree. As noted in my former post we like the soup a bit thicker, so I picked up a can to try.  Tomatoes are a favorite in our vegetable and meat soups so in went can of diced and the can of crushed tomatoes.  Needless to say the new version was a big hit.  Again very good the first day, but better the next, as the flavors had a chance mingle. Hope you try this new tweak and are as happy with it as we are! I also included the recipe for the cornmeal rolls.

Enjoy!    Raggedy Anne

Hamburger Soup

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 to 3 cups beef broth 9depending on how juicy you like your soup. we like it with less leftover broth) 
  • 1 to 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained ( you can also add chopped fresh roma tomatoes, 2 or 3 med size) or 1 same size can of crushed tomatoes in puree

  • 3 medium carrots, sliced

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (I have also substituted dehydrated hash browns, about 1/2 to 3/4  of a 4 oz carton)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 1 teaspoons beef bouillon granules (I have used onion soup mix, 1/2 to full envelope, in place of fresh onion and bullion, If you like more onion also use the fresh chopped) 
  • 1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt  (depending on taste or diet) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, optional 
  • 1 cup cut fresh or frozen green beans  ( sometimes I put in frozen mixed vegetables)

After browning and draining beef, put everything in crockpot and stir well. I usually only just cover ingredients with broth, but if you like more liquid, by all means go for it.  If using frozen veggies, wait to put them in until the last couple of hours.  My pot has an auto setting that starts at high then turns to low after about an hour.  If you need to start out on high set a timer and adjust temperature to low after about 90 min. Potatoes and carrots don’t always cook the same every time so my soup cooks for about 6 to eight hours.  Start it early (8 to 10 in morning) check after about 5 hours for doneness on potatoes.  Soup is easy to reheat and usually tastes better the next day, after the flavors get together and partywlEmoticon-winkingsmile2  Potatoes and carrots… don’t cut to big or allow more time for cooking.  This can be frozen, just cool completely. 

You can vary ingredients to suit you. I’m not sure I make  this soup exactly the same every time myself. Feel free to experiment! I am adding the recipe I posted a while back for Crusty Cornmeal Rolls.  They go great with this and most hearty types of soup.

Crusty Cornmeal Rolls

List of Ingredients
1/3 Cup Cornmeal
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup
shortening, melted
2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
4 cups all purpose flour
3 TBSP butter, melted

in a double broiler, combine cornmeal, sugar, salt, shortening and milk. Stir the mixture often, cooking until thick. Allow to cool, then add the eggs. Dissolve the yeast in water and add to the batter. Beat well, then allow to rise in a greased bowl for about 2 hours.
After the batter has risen, add the flour to form a soft dough. Knead the dough lightly, and allow to rise again for another hour. Then knead again. Roll the dough out with a floured rolling pin and cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter.
Brush with butter, then if you like, with floured hands, fold into desired shapes (fans, twists, rolls, etc.). Place on a greased baking sheet and allow to rise for another hour.
Bake at 375 for just 15-20 minutes.
Makes 36 rolls.

This takes a while but the results are worth the time.

Stay warm!