Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rub a dub, dub, thanks for the grub...

Thanksgiving for my family is always a huge eating event. My parents host my mother's siblings and their families for lunch the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It has been that way as long as I have been alive I think. We begin the day usually with a pancake breakfast prepared by my dad. Then the family starts arriving about mid-morning. The snacks are put out, and we continue eating until our late afternoon lunch. Really...we just eat ALL DAY LONG! Here are some family favorites though!


Mississippi Sin

8 oz. cream cheese (Softened)
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup chopped ham
1 cup shredded cheddar (mild)
½ cup chopped green onions
1 loaf Hawaiian bread

Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Dig out center of bread. Put mixture into shell and cover with foil. Cook for 45 at 350 degrees. Eat with bread bits, Fritos, melba toasts, etc.

Easy Cheesy Chili Dip

1 pkg. cream cheese
1 can chili
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Frito Scoops

Directions: Spread cream cheese in small baking dish. Dump chili on top. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chili is bubbling. Serve with chips.

Main Course: Fried turkey and honey baked ham.

Side Dishes:

Mixed Vegetable Salad

Southern Cornbread Dressing

Squash Casserole

3 lbs. squash
½ cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1 tsp. sugar
½ cup chopped onion
1 stick margarine

Wash and cut squash. Boil until tender, drain, and mash. Add eggs, sugar, onion and ½ margarine. Melt ½ margarine. Pour mixture into baking dish and spread melted margarine on top. Sprinkle crackers on top. Bake at 375 degrees until brown. (Apprx. 1 hour)


Dutch Apple Pie

It's The Great Pumpkin, Bars

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

1 butter cake mix
3 oz. chocolate instant pudding
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
¼ cup water
8 oz. sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla
6 oz. chocolate chips
½ cup frosting (chocolate)

Mix first seven ingredients well for 2-3 minutes. Fold in chips. Pour into greased bundt pan. Cook at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Don’t open door. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove cake to serving plate and allow to cool for at least an hour. Drizzle frosting over cake. Allow frosting to set before covering cake.

Coconut Cream Pie

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix thoroughly in saucepan.

1/3 cup sugar
3 ½ tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup shredded coconut
3 egg yolks

Step 2: Stir in gradually until smooth mixture of following ingredients.

1 cup Evaporated Milk
1 cup water

Cook and stir over low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Step 3:
Remove from heat and stir in 1 ½ tsp. vanilla. Cover and cool thoroughly. Put into cold 9-inch baked pasty shell. Spread with meringue.

Step 4: Meringue –Beat 3 egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Gradually beat in 6 tbsp. of sugar. Spread on top of pie.

Step 5: Sprinkle ½ cup shredded coconut over top. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until light brown. Cool thoroughly before cutting with wet knife.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Bars

Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow, and I decided to post a few recipes for any of those folks who need a last minute idea. I am also posting my pumpkin bar recipe finally. I never heard back from the newspaper about whether or not I made it to the third round of the contest. I would think they would notify all finalists like they did for the semi-finalists, but who knows.

Anyway, here it is! It's the Great Pumpkin, Bars! And, April, will you notice where I got the inspiration for this? It's totally from the yummy brownie treat you submitted for the first blog-a-thon!

Layer 1: Graham Cracker Crust

1 stick melted margarine
3 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ cups Keebler Graham Cracker Crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9x13 in. baking dish with aluminum foil (Enough to hang over handles). Mix margarine, sugar and graham cracker crumbs in bowl and press into bottom of baking dish. Bake crust in oven for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside for next layer.

Layer 2: The Great Pumpkin

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can packed pumpkin
1 egg (beaten)
1 (12 oz.) can fat-free evaporated milk

In large bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir in pumpkin. Blend in egg and evaporated milk. Pour over graham cracker crust. Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes, or until knife inserted 2 inches from edge comes out clean. Pull from oven for layer 3.

Layer 3: The Great Topping

1 small bag butterscotch or caramel chips
1 small bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix chips and pecans in a bowl. Pour over pumpkin mixture. Return to oven for about 3-5 minutes, or until chips “glue” themselves to the top of the pumpkin. Remove from oven and cool. Lift aluminum foil out of baking dish and lay flat on counter. Cut into bars and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

**For best results – Cook the night before and let cool on counter overnight. Cut into bars in the morning and either serve or refrigerate.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bully's Best Banana Bread

Apparently I am a banana bread genius. Actually, I am not, but I can follow a simple recipe and end up pleasing tons of people. I have made three loaves of this banana bread in the last week, and they have disappeared faster than I can say "Does anyone want some banana bread?" Try it out!

Banana Bread (From my alumni cookbook at MSU)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar (or make it low-fat with Splenda)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup oil
3 tablespoons buttermilk (I always use low-fat.)
3 bananas, mashed
½ cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 9/5/3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add sugar, eggs, oil and buttermilk; stir to blend. Fold in bananas and nuts (if desired). Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cooking time will vary with each oven. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Yields 1 loaf.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Holiday Blog-A-Thon - Part 2

There is nothing better than some good cornbread dressing on Thanksgiving! I have to say that my mom has the best recipe ever, and over the years she has taught me well! The key...fresh ingredients! Nothing beats this recipe!

Southern Cornbread Dressing

1 large pan of crumbled cornbread (cooked and frozen early is best)
1 cup of plain breadcrumbs
Apprx. 4 cans chicken broth (have extra just in case!)
3 boiled eggs diced
3 raw eggs beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion
3 stalks of celery
1 bell pepper
Fresh rosemary, cilantro, and sage to taste

Sauté together onion, celery, bell pepper, rosemary, cilantro, and sage in two tablespoons of oil.
Mix together all ingredients in a large baking dish. Mixture should be soupy.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until brown on top.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Turkey Tortilla Casserole

Courtesy of Rachel Ray's Magazine....Quite delicious and easy!

2 limes, quartered (or just lime juice!)
1 lb. turkey breast cutlets
1 large onion, finely chopped
1-4-oz. can diced jalapeño chiles, liquid reserved
2-14.5 oz. cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes 1-1 lb. bag tortilla chips, lightly crushed
1-14.5 oz. can chicken broth
1 lb. Mexican shredded cheese blend (4 cups)
1 cup sour cream at room temp.
Optional – Add spicy chorizo

1. Preheat a grill pan to medium-high. Squeeze the limes over the turkey cutlets; season with salt. Grill the turkey until just cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool, then slice into 2 inch long strips.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the onion, the jalapeños with their liquid and the tomatoes. Add the tortilla chips and turkey and toss well. Transfer the mixture to a greased 9x12 baking dish. Drizzle with the chicken broth and top with cheese. Bake until cheese is golden around the edges, about 40 minutes. Serve with the sour cream.

My tip:
I baked the turkey cutlets the night before when I was baking chicken for dinner. That made it so much faster to prepare the casserole! I seasoned the turkey with lime juice, lemon juice, and taco seasoning. It turned out well!

Side Suggestions: Black Beans, Corn, Mexican Rice, Cornbread, Tortilla chips, etc.

Holiday Blog-A-Thon - Part 1

Thanks to my friend April, here are two great recipies!

Sweet Potatoes w/Praline Topping

8 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup stick margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and halved (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1 (5-ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to form a streusel. Set aside.

Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until very tender. Drain well; mash in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup streusel, granulated sugar, vanilla, egg white, and milk. Spoon into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray; top with remaining streusel. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

McFaddyen Zucchini Casserole

6 cups diced or sliced zucchini
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded carrots
1 (6 ounce) package dry bread stuffing mix
2 cubes butter (one for sauteeing, one to be melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, sautee zucchini and onions in 1 cube butter until soft. Remove from heat and add carrots. Stir in the sour cream and soup.

In a small bowl, mix together stuffing and the second cube of melted butter. Spread half of the stuffing mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish, add a layer of the zucchini mixture, and top with remaining stuffing mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown.

April's Tip for Easy Entertaining:

Here's a really interesting tip I read somewhere and put into practice last year... the microwave is insulated and will serve as a warmer if you only have 1 oven (like me). I kept a few dishes warm for about an hour in my microwave and it worked GREAT! Given my education and background with food (smile), I'm always a little excitable about food safety and keeping hot foods hot, cold foods cold. My hot foods definitely stayed hot!