Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family and I would like to wish you a very . . . 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

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Colton's Turkey

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Katie's Thanksgiving picture she made in art class.  
I think is so beautiful! She has developed a great talent for it. 

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Colton's Hulk 
He created this Hulk all by himself.  For a 4 year old, I don't think it bad at all.  
I must add that he insisted on cutting it out himself.  Not bad. 

Another year has passed and it is time to look back and give my Heaven Father a special thanks.  

Psalm 100:1-5 says,  
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endure forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." 

There is so much sorrow and strife all over the world and at home.  Pain, fear, loss and death.  For today, I am thankful for God's mercy and strength.  God has blessed me that my cup runs over.  I don't know why he has allowed so many blesses to come my way, but I hope I am able to show gratitude and thanks to him.  I pray I will be the servant He would like for me to be that I might be obedient to him and humble to hear his calling.  I pray for continuous grace and protection for my life and my loved ones.  I pray that His will be done in my life that I might be a beacon for the Lord.  


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Exploring Thanksgiving Recipes

Doug and I were discussing Thanksgiving food items several days ago. He loves green bean casserole and I haven't made one for him in a few years. The only recipe I've ever had and made was the Campbell Soup recipe. You know the one with cream of mushroom soup and French's fried onions. I'll eat it, but I don't crave it. I guess you could say. It's like it is missing something, more flavor. Well, Mr. Doug asked me if I would make him a green bean casserole this year. I didn't realize how much he missed or loved it until he asked. I would do anything for my hunny. He does so much for me and I know he appreciates all that I do for him and the kids. Yes, I would love to make him one, but I asked if I could make a different version. He didn't seem to mind. I went on a big search for a couple of days to find the casserole that would contain the right flavor and ingredients that we like. A couple of recipes intrigued me, but I started with the one from "Taste of Home" magazine. The recipe is titled "Festive Green Bean Casserole" and that is what it is - colorful and (to us) the right flavor. If you are tired of the same ole bland green bean casserole, I urge you to give this casserole a try. Now, I didn't follow the recipe to the tee. It called for frozen green beans. In the past, I've had bad luck cooking recipes as written using thawed frozen vegetables. More than likely, they are always under cooked and crunchy. Doug hates crunchy unless it is suppose to be like chestnuts.  Of course, fresh green beans are best.  I recommend that they cook until tender before putting them in a casserole.  I'm one of those women that just grab a can.  In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with canned veggies.

I made this dish tonight. Doug, Katie and I all really like it and I will be making it for our Thanksgiving dinner. I hate that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product before we all dug into it. I won't take a picture, while it looks like a mess. LOL!

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Festive Green Bean Casserole

1 chopped sweet red pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (add a little extra, if needed)
1 can Family Size (28 oz.) French-style green beans 
1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese 
French's fried onions

  • In a large skillet, saute red pepper and onion in butter until tender.  Add soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce; stir until smooth.  Stir in beans and water chestnuts.  
  • Transfer to an ungreased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until heated through.  At the last 5 minutes, sprinkle fried onions around the dish or as desired and continue baking.  
Serves: 6-8 
Prep/Total Time: 30 minutes

Nutritional Facts:  1 serving (1cup) equals 144 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 404 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein. 

Of course, you can adjust the recipe to meet your diet needs (fat free milk, low-sodium Worcestershire sauce, fat-free cream of celery soup, etc.) 

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You may remember in my past posts, I love movies that have a lot of cooking.  I never had the opportunity to read "The Help", but did get to watch the movie.  I've seen it several times and just LOVE IT!  I do believe Minnie is my favorite character.  I think Octavia Spencer is a terrific actress and also an Alabamian.  She's a good Southern woman in my book.  {wink!}  All throughout this movie, Minnie's famous Chocolate Pie is shown and mentioned.  I'm telling ya, it does look delicious on the big screen.  All except for the scene, where Minnie gives one of her pies to Mrs. Hilly.  Yeah, you remember that one right?  LOL!!  Hilarious!!!  Oh, if you haven't seen this movie, you've got to go get it right now.  I can't believe I don't have the movie in my library by now.  Such a great movie and Minnie makes it funny with her special pie to Mrs. Hilly.  Just watch it, if you haven't.  

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Now that I've mentioned the movie, I've been wanting to try the famous Mrs. Minnie's Famous Chocolate Pie.  Guess what?  I found the recipe! I made the pie tonight and it is delicious.  It is so simple and inexpensive to make.  I even made the Whipping Cream to go on top.  

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Does this pie look familiar?  Yes, this is the
Minnie's Chocolate Pie with Whipping Cream that I made today.

Minnie's Chocolate Pie with Whipping Cream 

makes one 9" pie 
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pie crust 
Whipped cream (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  1. Roll out pie dough, lay in pie plate and crimp the edges.  Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.  Take a sheet of aluminum foil and carefully press into crust, now take 1 lb. of dry beans pour them into the foil and bake pie crust for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes before removing foil and beans.  (save the beans in a zip-loc after they cool for your next pie)
  2. In a mixing bowl combine sugar, cocoa, melted butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt. Whip until smooth.  Pour into pie crust.  Return to 350 degree oven and bake for 50 minutes or until pie is firm, but just barely has a jiggle to the middle.  
  3. Remove from oven, place on wire cooling wrack, allow to cool completely before serving with whipped topping.  If you have any leftovers store them in the refrigerator.  
Whipped Cream:  1 cup of whipping cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and a dash of vanilla whipped with a mixer until stiff peaks form.  

Our family has gotten so big that we've gone from bringing 3 or 4 different plates for dinner to 1 or 2 sides.  LOL!  Even then there is always so much food that no one can eat it all.  We always have the traditional Thanksgiving meal with deep fried turkey, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, various casseroles, pies and other sweets galore.  I think we made the right two choices for our meal.  What will you be making on Thanksgiving day?  Share your recipe with me.  Thanks!