Eat, Uncategorized

Cheesy Squash Casserole

This squash casserole recipe has been a part of our Thanksgiving family tradition for many years.  It’s easy to double for crowds at the holidays and is such a great fall dish.  It’s so cheesy and yummy, it has all the ingredients for ultimate flavor.  Make sure to drain the squash well after it is cooked before adding it to the rest of the ingredients, this will prevent the casserole from becoming too runny.  You can add more cheese to make it even cheesier or substitute the cheese in this recipe with your favorite variety.  I sometimes use panko bread crumbs instead of the regular buttered bread crumbs, it just depends what I have on hand.  This is a very simple addition to any meal but has become one of our families favorite Thanksgiving additions.

yellow round vegetables
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2 LBS Yellow Squash, sliced

2 Eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 C Chopped Green Pepper

1/4 C Chopped Onion

1 C Mayonaise

1/2 C Grated Cheddar Cheese

1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt and Pepper

Buttered Bread Crumbs

Cook squash until tender; drain well. Add remaining ingredients.  Taste for seasoning.  Place in a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  When almost done, sprinkle with crumbs.  Return to oven to complete baking about 5-10 more minutes.

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Eat, Uncategorized

Cranberry Relish

We are in the last stretch of Thanksgiving planning and shopping! Where has this month gone? One of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes is this cranberry relish dish.  It was passed along to me from a dear friend and I’ve tweaked it over the years.  It’s a fun addition to your Thanksgiving menu, and adds beautiful color to your table.  You can costomize it to your to your taste by adding more sugar to make it sweeter or less sugar for a nice tart relish.  You can make it in advance and freeze it as well for your convenience.

1 bag of fresh cranberries (finely chopped in food processor)

1 small can crushed pineapple

3 TBS honey

1/3 C – 1/2 C Sugar (depending on your preference)

1/2 C walnuts or pecan pieces

zest of naval orange

Juice of one naval orange

Combine all ingredients together

Wonderful for ham, pork, turkey and chicken

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Outdoor Party on Halloween Night!

For the last several years we have hosted a Halloween Party for friends and neighbors right on Halloween night. It’s become a wonderful tradition and relatively easy to pull off. I usually send out a FB invite to my friends living outside of the neighborhood a couple weeks in advance and ask them all to bring a dish to share pot luck style. The guests RSVP in advance and let me know what they are bringing. There are a few people who bring different kinds of soups in their crock pots, we have ham sandwiches, a lot of yummy appetizers and of course candy! The other item all the invited guests are asked to bring is a big bag of candy for the neighborhood trick or treaters. A couple of days prior to the event, my husband and I do a quick cleaning up of our garage…usually just pushing junk to the side! I use cheap black plastic table cloths and tape to hang like a sheet in front of anything I don’t want seen just to make the garage look a little more inviting. We have a couple of outdoor tables that I set up with power strips and coordinating black plastic table cloths for the guests to plug in their crock pots and room for the rest of the food. I make up a big batch of chili, some dessert and provide drinks (water, soda, coffee and hot cider) and all the paper products. Once everyone has arrived and the food is set up, it’s very casual and everyone just serves themselves throughout the evening. We have quite a few outdoor chairs, but sometimes I’ll ask some people to bring some additional lawn chairs.

“Trick or Treat!”

For families with young children, they have a great time trick or treating while those not walking around the neighborhood enjoy eating, playing corn hole, roasting marshmallows, meeting new people and passing out candy right in the driveway.
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Some years we set up a fire pit, sometimes we may pull out different yard games but every year one of my favorite things to do is have an outdoor movie playing while the neighborhood children are coming around for candy. It wouldn’t be Halloween night if we didn’t show “The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” as the little ghosts and goblins come and go collecting their yummy treats. My husband hangs a sheet up on one half of the garage door opening and we project the movie from behind the make-shift screen…it’s great!!! We usually end the night by playing “Just Dance” in the driveway with our friends and neighbors. It’s so much fun to see the clever costumes each year, visit with our friends and neighbors and just get outside on a brisk fall evening. Clean up is a snap! Everyone pitches in at the end of the night and before we know it, everything is back to the way it once was…except our waistlines!
  • Make it a potluck outside or in the garage for easy clean up
  • Provide a Coffee Bar and Hot Cider
  • Set up outdoor games like corn hole or bobbing for apples
  • All the guests bring a bag of candy for trick or treaters
  • Outdoor movie
  • Create atmosphere: fire pit, photo area, seating, etc.
  • Costume contest!
  • Be creative…Let me know if you have a fun idea!!!!

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Eat, Recipes

Black Bottom Brownies…YUM!

The holidays are right around the corner and I start getting excited about digging out my apron, dusting off my Kitchen Aid mixer and baking up some delectable confectionaries.  It’s great to have some homemade desserts on hand to throw in the freezer to have available at my disposal during the craziness of the holiday season.  I love to bake apple pies, cranberry bread, chocolate chip banana bread, and one of my new favorites: Black Bottom Brownies!  These are to die for, it’s like a cheesecake and a brownie tied the knot and produced the most beautifully delicious dessert you could ever imagine.  These are the cutest little brownies, and are easy to make with ingredients most everyday chefs would keep in their kitchen pantry.  So, let’s get started!

Cheesecake Center

  • 1 C. Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/3 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt

Chocolate Bottom

  • 1 1/2 C. Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 C. Cocoa
  • 1 C. Water
  • 1/3 C. Canola Oil (I use melted coconut oil)
  • 1 T. White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

To prepare the cheesecake filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg and salt in a small bowl and beat well.  Stir in the mini chocolate chips and set aside.

To prepare the chocolate bottom, combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl.  Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla then stir to combine all the ingredients.

Use a muffin pan lined with paper baking liners and fill each cup with 1/3 of the chocolate batter.  Top each one with a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes

I hope you will try making these and I know you will love them!!!  Eat some now and freeze some for later.  Happy baking…