Thursday, November 24, 2011

QUICK LAST-MINUTE TIPS for Thanksgiving Dinner


Quick Tips for the Big Dinner Success:

Breathe.
Be THANKFUL.
Look around at your table and cherish those faces-- trust me- someday, some seats will be empty and you'll regret having stressed over a menu!

Even if you don't normally pray, start a new tradition. Pray. Thanking God for each person at your table- call them out by name.

Be grateful for the blessings you have been given. If you're reading this, you have eyesight and comprehention (many have neither), you have enough money to pay for an internet connection and some sort of computer device to interact...there's your start- you take it from here!

MAKE it a day of gratefulness, YOU have that power!
*If you need a little help being grateful, read my post on my other blog, about the THANKSGIVING FLEA!(How some fleas set the tone for the day....)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Layered Cauliflower Salad ( a repost)





A beautiful and delicious salad that deserves a high holiday ranking, Of course it can be served anytime, but if you need a salad to serve during the holidays, this one will have your guests raving! The dressing is creamy and sweet- and the crunchy veges make for a perfect recipe. Although this can be assembled ahead of time,if you choose to serve it "mixed up", serve immediately.





YOU WILL NEED:

1 head lettuce (washed and crisped)torn into bite-sized pieces
1 head cauliflower-washed and cut into small pieces
1 lb. bacon, fried and drained, then crumbled
Chopped or dried onions, to taste (optional)
2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 sugar
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese

In glass serving dish, Layer:
lettuce
cauliflower
mayo
sugar
onion
bacon
parmesan cheese

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge till ready to serve.

ENJOY!

EASY PEASY -Creamed Peas (a repost)


Sorry for the corny title...I just couldn't resist!

Simple creamed peas jazzed up a baked potato the other night and thought I'd go ahead and share this recipe, although most of you probably have one of your own.

This would be an easy addition to a Thanksgiving menu for a new or BUSY cook!

Give it a try.


YOU WILL NEED:

* 1 can peas
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon sugar

Directions

Cook peas on stove till heated through. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until blended; gradually add milk and sugar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Drain peas; stir into the sauce and heat through.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Easy Thanksgiving Sides- Asparagus and Green Beans( a repost)


"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."
-- Meister Eckhardt

Just a couple of simple side dishes for last minute additions to the Thanksgiving table, or any meal.
*Check out my sidebar for many more Thanksgiving recipes you can add to your feast!




ASPARAGUS
Ingredients

* 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
* 1 bunch fresh asparagus
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* sprinkling of Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and asparagus spears; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus is tender.Top with parmesan. If you like your asparagus well done, reduce heat and cook an additional 10 minutes.



GREEN BEANS






Ingredients

* 5 (15 ounce) cans green beans, drained
* 7 slices bacon
* 2/3 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 7 teaspoons soy sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the drained green beans in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. Cook bacon in a microwave on microwave-safe plate for 2 minutes until slightly cooked. Lay the bacon on top of the green beans.
3. Combine the brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Pour the butter mixture over the green beans and bacon. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.


Both recipes adapted from Allrecipes.com

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweet potato casserole (a repost)



I never was a fan of sweet potatoes, even at Thanksgiving when covered in brown sugar and marshmallows. Then, my friend Pam brought this recipe to a church Thanksgiving dinner and I was won over by the deliciously sweet flavor of this dish. The crunchy topping texture is a nice contrast to the smooth texture of the potatoes. I make it every year now for our table at Thanksgiving, and it always a hit when I take it to potlucks.

Prepare for rave reviews!


YOU WILL NEED:

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (2 16 oz. cans)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 stick melted butter
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

topping

3/4 cup crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup. chopped pecans
3/4 stick butter, melted

In Lg. bowl mash potatoes with mixer. Add remaining ingredients, Excluding topping. Mix well. Pour into 8 x8 baking dish sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a dull sheen forms on top. Mix topping ingredients all together. Spread evenly over top. Return to oven for 5- 10 min.

Let set a few minutes before serving.

If you need to prepare a larger quantity, just make another 8x8 dish - as doubling the recipe did not work well for me in a 9X13" pan. It took forever for the center to set up.

Have a wonderful holiday.

*Check out more delicious Thanksgiving Dishes on my side bar.

People who live the most fulfilling lives are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they have.
-- Richard Carlson

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NEVER-Fail Dressing casserole (a repost)


When I was younger, I had a hard time getting the perfect texture when I made dressing. I tried this recipe at a church dinner that everyone raved over, and later the cook submitted it into our church cookbook. It is simple to prepare and tastes wonderful. Nothing fancy, just a simple dish that can be enjoyed at a main dish any time of year, and would also impress guests around your Thanksgiving table.

So, thank you Mary Darnell for this wonderful recipe.


1 chicken (boiled and deboned, save broth)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 small pkg. Pepperidge Farm Dressing with herbs
2 eggs
1 medium onion
3/4 can milnot 2 stalks celery, diced

Boil chicken, save broth. Place shredded meat on bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Pour soup over meat. Mix dressing, eggs, onion, celery and milnot together until well blended. Spoon over soup. Pour chicken broth over all to 1/2 inch of the dish top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Enjoy.

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes (a repost)




Perfect Autumn breakfast without all the fuss! My guys loved them and it was SOOOO quick and easy.

These make a heavier pancake, but very tasty!

Serve with maple syrup and butter.


YOU WILL NEED:




2 cups favorite pancake mix (plus water, or eggs/milk, as indicated on box)
1/2 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger

Substitution Options:
Substitute 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, allspice and ginger



Directions

In mixing bowl, combine pancake mix with water or eggs/milk. Whisk. Then whisk in canned pumpkin and water. Finally, whisk in spices.



Pour batter in 1/3 cup portions onto griddle. Let cook until bubbles form. Flip and let cook another 1-2 minutes.




Now how simple is that?

Just another Fast and Furious Friday recipe so you can enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My video tuturial (of sorts) on PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING

This morning I was in featured a short presentation on PRESENTATION on our local news morning show. (You can read the last post for more details).

YOu will find the Glazed Carrot recipe here that I shared in the video.

The glassware used in this presentation was from thrift stores (as was my table cloth and runner) and the other gorgeous dishes were from a wonderful product line I happen to represent, BLESSINGS UNLIMITED.
Simple ways to make a dinner special.

Click HERE to view video and enjoy a SPECIAL Thanksgiving holiday meal , whether or not you consider yourself a great cook.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Feast for the Eyes...or Presentation is Everything!




We eat with our eyes first. It's true. Especially me, a visual person. I eat with my smeller next, it has to smell good, too, but first I must be drawn to the dish with my eyes before I ever try to sneak a smell and before I take the first bite.

The photo above is from a small wedding party I had in my home for my son and his wife. They were married out of state, and plan to have a reception later for everyone, however, we wanted to celebrate their marriage in a non-fancy way before-hand, so I made up my son's favorite dishes and added a few more simple things, but served them on all nice serving pieces and it became special.

I remember back in 1979, my Freshmen year of high school, Mrs. Pappas instructed us on the importance of contrasting colors and textures for our meals. She explained how no one wants to eat an "all-brown meal" (beef, brown gravy, brown rice, chocolate cake)or an all-smooth textured one (dumplings,mashed potatoes, applesauce, pudding).At this point in my life, these are no-brainers--I rarely have to stop and think about these lessons anymore- it is automatic while choosing my menu selection.

However, something I notice often, is how many very ordinary dishes, can look EXTRAordinary just by serving them from a not-so-ordinary dish!



This is just yogurt with fruit and granola, that was first served to me at a Bed and Breakfast as a first course. (I've never served mine any other way now!)

Simple dessert can be revved up much the same way.I often go to thrift stores to purchase interesting stemware to serve pudding, ice cream, etc. It makes such a difference!

My Pumpkin Mousse is much more appealing served this way, don'tcha think?




And here, I served simple fruits and marshmallows to be dipped from a chocolate fountain. I used pretty vintage glass dishes (from an antique shop)to serve them and it took on a more elegant look, although there is really nothing fancy about this at all!


Simple pretzel rods dipped in almond bark and rolled in colored sprinkles, served on nice glass apothecary jars, even looked fancy.





Or simple veggies can look much more appetizing served in a bright contrasting colored dish ( or bright veggies served in a contrasting colored dish).

Do me a favor...DON'T serve the dish you bring to the Thanksgiving table in your plastic Tupperware (great products, just not for the serving table)or old chipped, faded dishes. Make your guests feel special just by putting some thought into the serving pieces.

You don't have to spend a lot of money. Thrift stores, yard sales and Dollar stores are FILLED with great finds.

IF you don't have time to scour the deals, and prefer to shop online, I happen to be a consultant for BLESSINGS UNLIMITED- a FABULOUS line of entertaining products, home decor, etc. all with inspirational messages or scriptures adorning them.

These are a few of my favorite pieces:

The dishes are GORGEOUS! Such beautiful detail...






This stand will hold various cookies I am making for Thanksgiving. I will use it again at Christmas- probably decorating the top. It will also hold plates and bowls full of your favorite recipes! And what an eye-catcher!









*I keep this on my island in the kitchen. SOmedays it serves as a large grocery list or to-do list, but most days, I write inspirational messages on it to remind me of the really important things!


And of course, every good cook, needs a good apron.



The best thing is you can order them securely online, and they will be shipped directly to your home and you will receive them QUICKLY-normally, just a few days- NO HASSLE! While you're shopping the online catalog, you may also find some Christmas gifts for others on your list.

The products are TOP QUALITY and really must be seen to be truly appreciated. I receive so many compliments on mine- and my sales increase each time I use them to serve some of these delicious recipes from them. :)

Click on my website SHOP ONLINE to view the products and have them delivered directly to your door!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Creme Muffins


My friend and co-worker Glenda, shared this recipe with me recently and it has become a favorite of the masses! I whipped up a batch of the DELICIOUSLY moist muffins that are a cross between pumpkin bread and pumpkin cheesecake -- very moist and perfectly sweet.

You gotta try them-- I get rave reviews everytime I make them.



So, here's what you need:



BATTER:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

FILLING:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. creme cheese
1 egg
1/3 sugar

STREUSEL TOPPING:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 T/ flour
2 T. butter

Mix together batter ingredients; set aside.


Blend filling ingredients till smooth;set aside.
Combine streusel ingredients; set aside.

Pour pumpkin batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Fill 2/3 full. Spoon heaping tsp. cream mixture in center. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. streusel topping.



Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 min. Makes 18 muffins.