Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Day Leftovers

I thought we had a pretty big house. Not so much when you stuff 24 people into it. It was worth it though!
This is a recipe that you can always add a little of this or that. I think it's different everytime I make it. We topped ours with leftover cranberry sauce.
Chicken (or Turkey) Bundles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together:
1 cup cooked chicken or turkey
8 oz soft cream cheese
2 TBS green onion
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms

Flatten crescent or biscuit dough and add mixture to each one. Roll and seal inside dough and roll in melted butter and then bread crumbs. Place seam side down on baking sheet.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
I have frozen these raw before and it worked out well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


When making this really, yummy recipe...don't get distracted, start layering the eggplant without baking it first, and then decide to go with it because it won't make that much difference...

It will make a lot of difference and you will barely be able to gag it down...

Seriously. Take my word for it.

We almost had take out last night.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanks Givin'

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's all about family, gratitude and good food! It's interesting to talk to people about what HAS to be on their Thanksgiving table when the meal starts. I know people who insist on brussel sprouts, or ham, or rice pilaf. I was raised a Thanksgiving traditionalist: turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, stuffing, and cranberry sauce - with a table for pies of every kind.

Nowadays it's less about the variety of food and more about the company at the table for me. People gathering over a communal table to discuss what they're grateful for. There should be more Thanksgiving dinners in politics...just sayin'.

My contributions to the Thanksgiving feast this year include:

Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Pumpkin pie
Cherry pie
Chocolate pie
Apple crisp pie
Green bean casserole
and a store bought pecan pie that my mom couldn't pass up.

Mashed potatoes are starting to appear more at our dinner table. I haven't mastered gravy making, so most of the time I make them yummy by adding butter, milk, cheddar cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. That way no one complains about the lack of gravy. I never peel my potatoes before boiling and I mash by hand, the old-school way. We like them a little chunky.

Sweet potatoes are my family's favorite. We always have a stock of sweet potatoes in the pantry. For Thanksgiving I'll be making three types of sweet potatoes. I love this recipe - for Thanksgiving I'll be making the potatoes with that topping and with plain marshmallows. I'm also going to try a new recipe:


Green bean casserole will be a new adventure for me. It gets eaten one time a year - Thanksgiving - and I've never made it. It might make it on the menu more often if I ever remembered to actually purchase the French Fried Onions. It's a simple recipe, right on the package of French's French Fried Onions or found here.

That brings us to the pies. Pie fits into the category of yummy but kind of a pain because you have to roll it out...right there with sugar cookies, pizza dough and biscuits. If you like homemade pie crust try this recipe:

2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water

In a bowl combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don't over work it. Makes two pie crusts or one double crust pie.

If you want a new recipe for apple pie, try this one:

pie crust
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 7 cups)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tbsp. sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 450°. Prepare pie crust in 9-in. pie plate. Set aside.
Prepare topping: in a medium bowl combine flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in almonds. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine brown sugar, apples, lemon juice and cinnamon. Toss until well coated. Spoon apples into pie crust. Sprinkle with topping.
Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350°. Bake until bubbly, about 40 minutes longer. Remove onto wire rack and serve warm with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.

My husband's only request other than a good football game for Thanksgiving is Chocolate Pie. He makes his own, seriously, because he's that into chocolate. I still have this recipe written on an envelope scribbled on the drive to Vernal for our first Thanksgiving a month after we started dating. Thankfully the recipe and the chocoholic are still mine!


9 tbsp. cocoa
2 1/3 cup sugar
4 tbsp. and 2 tsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
3 1/8 cup milk
4 tbsp. and 1 tsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
pie crust

Mix cocoa, sugar, salt, and cornstarch together. Add milk slowly and mix well. Cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Add beaten eggs and cook until thick enough for pie. Cook slowly over low heat stirring constantly. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into baked pie shell and top with whipped topping.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Powdered Milk Biscuits

Growing up in the south, I love biscuits. The kind you buy in a can do not compare! I have several biscuits recipes I like, this one is a good tender version. I will post my favorite flakey and buttermilk ones another day.

1 3/4 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
3 tsp Baking Powder
3-5 Tbsp Softened Butter
1/4 cup Powdered Milk
3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Sugar

Preheat Oven 450 degrees .
Combine all dry ingredients and cut in butter (I just use my Kitchen-aid).
Add wet ingredients to mix. Do not overmix!! The less you handle the dough from now on, the better and more tender your biscuits will be.
Roll out dough onto a floured surface about 3/4 inches thick.
Cut out biscuits with cookie cutter or mason jar ring.
Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Turkey Day

I am not going to post about "the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner ideas ever". If you want those I'll refer you to either Karen or here. I'll admit I've never hosted an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself. I can do rolls, salads, potatoes, yams, etc. but I've never cooked a turkey or made green bean casserole...whew, that's kind of a big weight off my shoulders.

I'm going to talk today about what we'll be facing a week from tomorrow...

No, not incredibly huge sales and crowds...(thankfully, I do the majority of my shopping on-line)

I'm talking about LEFTOVERS. *cue angelic singing*

We all know next week's menu skips Friday, Saturday and Sunday because those days are going to include eating what's left of Tom Turkey, right?

How about a recipe to help out?

Turkey Tetrazzini

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz mushrooms, sliced as small as you need to to hide them from your kids...
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 oz cream cheese
12 oz uncooked spaghetti, or other long, thin pasta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp crushed saltine crackers

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onion, carrot, pepper, salt and mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
Add 1/4 cup chicken brother, cook for a minute.
Gradually add flour to pan. Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add remaining broth, stirring constantly.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken and stir until mixed.
Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the pasta.
Combine breadcrumbs and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over pasta.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly brown.
Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pumpkin + Breakfast

Ignore the spider, I made these Halloween morning. They would be great on Thanksgiving as well. Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin (I just used canned)
3 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Makes 2 dozen 3 inch pancakes.

After making these, I remember how much I like them and wondered why I don't make them year round. I think I will now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Feelin' Saucy

Last night we did chicken nuggets. Seriously. Tyson, all white meat, super yummy chicken nuggets. You'd have thought the children were in heaven. Apparently they have no idea how their enthusiasm for all things store bought and premade makes it really hard to slave over a hot stove on all of the other nights!

We paired the chicken yumminess with some fresh, steamed asparagus and garlic-cheese mashers. The chicken nuggets were still the hit of the night, even the babies each had seconds!

If you've read this blog much you know I have some weird taste issues. Chocolate and fruit together? Nasty. Milk chocolate? Not so much. Tomato soup? Ick. Barbeque sauce? Blech. (No need to remind me I married into the wrong family and live in the wrong state for a couple of those, I me, I know)

I don't know what you put on your nuggets, but my family loves barbeque sauce. We have plenty of options in the fridge....

I made my favorite nugget dip - Cranberry Mustard. Yeah, I was feeling a little Thanksgiving-ish yesterday. The cranberry mustard is a throw-back to my mom and Hickory Farms. For me it's the only way to go with nuggets...and turkey sandwiches which we all know will be on the menu two weeks from today. (trust me on the sauce for turkey sandwiches...amazing!)


Mix 1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce with 3 tbsp. honey mustard. You can add more of one or the other to get just the right mixture for you.

Next week I'm thinking of surprising the kids with fish sticks...maybe I'll make some homemade cocktail sauce. You know, just to feel saucy again.


1/4 cup horseradish (I'll use wasabi - you get the same effect)
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup ketchup

Mix it all together - chill, then serve.

Or, if you prefer tartar sauce with your fish...


1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. dill pickle relish
1 tbsp. minced onion
2 tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's a Pumpkin Time of Year

I'm all about pumpkins...they are a symbol of my favorite time of year. They represent fun, food, family.

I love carving pumpkins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and my mom even made pumpkin juice one year as a nod to Harry Potter (it was really good).

I found a new recipe in one of my 'new' hand-me-down recipe books and decided to try it a few weeks ago.


1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
pinch salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, well beaten

Combine above ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 in. baking pan.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup melted butter

Spread dry cake mix over top of pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with pecans and drizzle with butter. Moistening as much of the dry cake mix as you can with the butter. Bake 1 hour at 350°. Cool slightly and serve with whipped topping, if desired.

This was the lone piece left after we served this for company...
sorry for the poor picture quality, it was taken by my phone before someone snatched the last piece and I had nothing to document this amazing dessert

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I love fall, Ya'll

Sorry that I haven't been around in the blogging community lately. I promise, I'll try to do better. Try.
One thing I love about fall is soups. Yum. Soups when you live close to the ocean and can get fresh seafood is even better. This is really easy to make and it is really good. You need to try it, even if you have to buy that frozen stuff.

1 lb crawfish tails
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
2 cans corn (don't drain)
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of potato soup
1 16-oz carton half-and-half
Tony Chachere's Cajun Seonsoning, to taste

Saute onion in butter.
Lower heat and add cream cheese to soften.
Add corn and soups. Stir.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Comfort Food

Everyone has that one food (or several foods) that make you feel better. I'll pretty much eat anything warm on a cold day; my husband will eat anything chocolate.

Today it's cool (I'm freezing, but really it's like 60° outside) and I'm feeding people tonight...perfect combination for warm, comforting Oatmeal Cake with Coconut frosting.

OATMEAL CAKE w/ Coconut Frosting

1 cube butter, cut up
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Combine butter, boiling water and quick oats and let sit. Mix together sugars and eggs in separate bowl, then add to first mixture. Stir in flour, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Place in greased cake pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350°.

1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp canned milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup coconut

Mix well. While cake is still hot, spread on top. Broil in oven to brown coconut. Watch closely so it doesn't burn.

Doesn't that look amazing?