Down to the Wire!


Here it is – the night before the big day; right now it’s a little after 7 p.m. and I’m giving myself a well-earned sit down. Been going at it cleaning house, dragging out all the essential serving pieces/silverware/silver butter dish, etc. for tomorrow’s feast. Today was my ‘attack the living room’ day – for most of you, I’ll imagine, cleaning your entire house is a quick thing . . .  not here. I love my family members but they are all PACK RATS! Just going through the game area is a chore – sorting & dusting piles of games & systems (and finding unusual items thrown in, also – like old Sesame Street VCR tapes from when my grandson was a toddler!). I took the cleaning in stages – give the bathroom a really good cleaning – sit down with coffee, knit a few rows on a baby hat, then back at it. I’m very pleased with all I got done today; enlisted husband to do the vacuuming (we have a very HEAVY Hoover and for me it’s quite a chore just lugging it around) – that helped immensely. The red holiday tablecloth is clean and on the table – even the fiber optic little Christmas tree is up in the dining room! AMAZING – FIRST TIME EVER I have Christmas stuff up BEFORE Thanksgiving! I’m definitely a procrastinator  and am well known in our family to put off dragging the decorations down from upstairs – one year it was Christmas EVE! (That’s BAD) – haven’t been THAT bad since then. I’m waiting to see what youngest son will say when he gets home from work in a few minutes – I’m guessing he’ll be shocked to see the little tree.

Made the homemade cranberry-orange relish using my food processor – ended up with almost SOUP – by the time the processor ground up the orange, it didn’t like the idea of the frozen cranberries so getting BOTH to the right consistency just didn’t happen. Oh well – it will still taste OK tomorrow; maybe it will thicken up a bit in the fridge (one can only hope!).

Tomorrow will also be another ‘first’ – first time I only have to COOK – not clean, then cook. SO glad I took the entire thing in stages. I hate to bring up the ‘cancer’ thing but even though it’s almost been a year since I finished radiation, and about a month since I stopped taking the drugs, I’m still not up to my old energy (pre-cancer). I think, of all of it, THAT frustrates me the most. Having to ask for help doing things that used to be second nature to me – like opening a jar, cranking a hand-held can opener, going for more than 1/2 hour before I get just too tired to go on – have to take a rest. Yes, I know – it will all come (sorry for airing my grievance here – just a bit frustrated.) I am VERY grateful that I am a cancer SURVIVOR – Praise the Lord for that, as there are others who are still going through the treatments and some who don’t have a good outlook ahead. I know – be content with the ‘little things’ for, in the end, they’re ALL little things!

RECIPES! I’m guessing, at this late date, you are all pretty well into the preparation of the holiday foods and not really searching for recipes BUT I still have a LOT of recipes that just might help at the last minute!


Crockpot Turkey Breast

1 (6 lb) bone-in turkey breast
1 oz. envelope dry onion soup mix

Rinse turkey breast & pat dry. Cut
off any excess skin, but leave skin
covering the breast. Rub onion
soup mix all over outside of turkey
and under skin. Place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 1 hour, then
turn to Low, cook 7 hours.

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

(Don’t remember if I posted this before or not – this is what I’m making tomorrow)

Ruth Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole

1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. flour
1 C. chopped nuts
1/4 C. butter, melted

Sweet potato mixture:
3 C. mashed sweet potatoes
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts
& butter in mixing bowl; set aside.
Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt,
vanilla, eggs & butter in mixing bowl
in the order listed; mix thoroughly.
Pour mixture into buttered baking
dish; sprinkle top with crust mixture.
Bake 30 minutes. Allow to set at least
30 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)

Caramel Almond Poke Cake

2 boxes (Betty Crocker) pound cake mix
1 1/3 C. water or milk
1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
2 C. whipping cream
1 C. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
(not evaporated)
3/4 C. unblanched whole almonds, coarsely
chopped, toasted
1/3 C. (Betty Crocker) rich & cream vanilla
frosting (from 1 lb. tub)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 pan. Prepare cake mixes as directed
on box, using water, 1/2 C. butter & eggs. Spread
batter evenly in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in pan 30 minutes. In 2 qt. saucepan, heat
whipping cream, brown sugar & 1/4 C. butter until
boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium;
simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring frequently,
until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool
slightly. Poke warm cake every inch with handle of
wooden spoon. Slowly pour condensed milk over cake.
Let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake.
about 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle with most of
caramel sauce, pressing slightly into holes. Sprinkle
with almonds; drizzle with remaining caramel sauce.
Cool completely. In small microwaveable bowl,Â
microwave frosting on High 10-15 seconds; drizzle
over cake. Cut into 6 rows by 3 rows.

(recipe: Betty Crocker/Facebook)

Cherry Cheesecake Fluff Dessert

1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1/2 of a 3.45 oz. box instant pudding mix:
cheesecake flavor
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
10 oz. miniature marshmallows

In large bowl, mix pie filling & instant pudding
mix (remember- only half the package!) until the
pudding mix is dissolved; fold in Cool Whip. Mix
in miniature marshmallows until marshmallows
are completely coated. Cover & chill 1 hour before
serving. Serves 6-8


Cheesy Potatoes

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen Southern-style has
browns, thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
20 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1 C.)
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix soup & sour cream in large bowl. Add
potatoes & cheese; stir until well blended.
Spoon mixture into 9 X 13 pan; combine
crackers & butter; sprinkle over top. Bake
50 minutes or until heated through.
Serves 12, 1/2 C. each

Extra touches:
Add a few dashes of hot pepper sauce to potato
mixture before spooning into dish or sprinkle the
potatoes lightly with paprika just before baking.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Hot Sausage Cheese Puffs

1 lb. Hot or sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 C. Bisquick baking mix
3/4 C. water

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook sausage, breaking up with fork until
no longer pink; drain & cool completely.
Combine sausage, cheese, Bisquick & water;
mix with fork until just blended. Roll into
1 inch balls & place on baking sheet. Bake
12-15 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Ham Puffs

1/3 C. chopped, cooked ham
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Roll out crescent rolls; press triangle
perforations together. Cut into 24 pieces.
Using a mini-muffin tin, press dough
pieces into pan. Mix all other ingredients
together; fill dough pieces with mixture.
Bake 10-15 minutes, until brown.
Makes 24 puffs


Italian Broccoli

1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen broccoli cuts
3 T. water
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, garlic & oregano, drained (Hunts)
1/2 C. finely shredded Italian blend cheese

Place broccoli & water in medium skillet; cover.
Cook over high heat 5 minutes or until broccoli
is tender & water is almost evaporated. Add
drained tomatoes; cook 2-3 minutes more or
until hot. Sprinkle top with cheese. Serves 6,
about 1/2 C. each.


Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes

8 large sweet potatoes (about 4 lb.)
1/2 C. margarine
1/2 C. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bake potatoes 45 minutes or until very
soft. Peel potatoes, then mash in large
bowl. Blend in remaining ingredients &
spoon onto serving plates or pipe through
a pastry bag to serve. Serves 8

(recipe: Unilever)

Apple-Pecan Stuffing

1/2 C. margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium Granny Smith apple
(or tart apple), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.4 oz) can chicken broth
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 C. finely chopped pecans, toasted
8 oz. seasoned cub stuffing mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with non-stick spray;
set aside. Melt margarine in large nonstick
skillet over medium heat; cook onion, celery &
apple, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until
tender. Stir in garlic, remove from heat & pour
into large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients *
Turn into prepared dish. Bake, covered, 25 minutes.
Remove cover & bake an additional 10 minutes or
until golden & crispy on top.

*Make ahead: Make recipe to this * point up to one
day ahead. Refrigerate, covered, then bake an additional
5 minutes.

(recipe: Unilever)


1 (18oz) can pumpkin (or fresh equivalent)
1 box yellow cake mix (2 layer size)

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. melted margarine or butter
1 (13oz) can evaporated milk
(not sweetened condensed)
3/4 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
3 eggs
3 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs and milk together; add pumpkin,
sugar and cinnamon. Mix until well blended.
Pour into 9×13 greased pan. Sprinkle dry cake
mix over mixture. Drizzle with melted margarine.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake 50-60 min or until
done. Serve (warm or cold) with topping or whipped

(recipe: Facebook)


I would be interested in hearing from you to see if you have any tips on what YOU do for your holidays – do you have any Thanksgiving traditions you share? Any particular foods you have every Thanksgiving (besides turkey & pumpkin pie???)? It might sound a little ‘quaint’ but my family is really deeply rooted in the SAME dinner every year: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Corn Casserole, gravy, Cranberry-Orange relish, rolls, fresh veggie tray and usually pumpkin pie (with whipped cream) and the multi-variety slices of cheesecake.

I am VERY grateful, every year, to be able to enjoy this holiday with my family. There are many whose family members are far away (or in the Service) who are not able to sit down on Thanksgiving with their family members. I thank the Lord for giving me another year to enjoy and to be able to say that now I am CANCER FREE! It is with a very humble heart that I look forward to another year with my family, and sharing thoughts & recipes with you.

Enjoy your family and your holiday;





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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We are going to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner this year. A first for us. We already celebrated with my parents with a Thanksgiving buffet provided at my Mom’s memory care facility last weekend. Anyway, my family loves corn pudding, and I am taking that to our friends’ house. She said there will be two versions of corn casseroles there. Does your corn casserole use cornbread mix? That is the one I am taking.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Yes, that’s the recipe I use, too – quick, easy AND it tastes great! Enjoy your holiday and thanks for writing! I love hearing from readers!!!

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