Bread · breakfast · cakes · Crock Pot · dessert · Make-Ahead · Pie · Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner Favorite Recipes

Favorite Recipes

In case you need a little inspiration for your upcoming Thanksgiving celebration (or for Christmas), I’m going to share some of my favorite recipes for special holiday meals.  That doesn’t mean they’re difficult or fussy, they’re simply delicious!

Everyone needs a great start to the day.   What will you serve for breakfast?  Here are a couple delicious breads:

Breakfast

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C chopped pecans
2 tsp grated orange rind
8 oz. pkg reduced-fat cream cheese
2 (11 oz) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted
1 C sifted powdered sugar
1 T orange juice

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Place about 1 tsp cream cheese on half of each biscuit; fold biscuit over cheese, pressing edges to seal.
  • Dip biscuits in melted butter, and dredge in sugar mixture; place, curved side down, in a lightly greased 12-cup Bundt pan, spacing evenly.  Drizzle any remaining butter over biscuits; sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until done.  Immediately invert onto a serving plate.
  • Combine powdered sugar and orange juice, stirring well; drizzle over warm coffee cake.  Serve immediately. If you’re fixing this ahead, warm in oven or microwave before serving.

OR Pumpkin Scones

Now some other suggestions for your Thanksgiving Dinner:

Breads:

These are my favorite biscuits.  They’re Angel Biscuits done lighter! Now you can have another piece of pie!These are my favorite rolls.  You can make them ahead of time and stick them in the freezer to bake on Thanksgiving Day!  So easy!!

Salad:

This is a great salad that is also made ahead of time.  It has all the cranberry goodness that a Thanksgiving dinner needs!

Another easy Cranberry relish is to simply pour a can of Whole Berry Cranberry sauce into a pretty dish and break it up with a spoon.  Top with a drained can of Mandarin oranges, then topped with chopped walnuts.  So easy and so good!

Sides:

Here a few of my favorites:

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes make for an easy way to cook the potatoes while the turkey is in the oven.  You’ll mash them after they’ve been in the crockpot and just before it’s time to eat.  Leaving mashed potatoes in the slow cooker will make them runny…not the best.  But the instructions on the page I’ve linked makes it super simple and delicious!
Corn Cheese Bake is the best creamed corn you’ll ever taste!
Broccoli Corn Scallop is creamy and a nice change from the usual casserole.

Dessert:
Can we talk PIE????  This Peanut Butter Pie is over the top!  It’s also really easy!
If you want a show-stopper then Peanut Pie with Peanut Crust is for you!
Kentucky Derby Pie is our family tradition.  Someone might die if this isn’t on the counter when it’s time for dessert!I’ve shared LOTS of pumpkin recipes you can search here on my blog, but among the favorites for most people is the Pumpkin Roll.  My recipe shows step by step instructions.  You can do it!
An easy cake is the Pumpkin Crunch Cake.  It comes together in a few minutes and will remind you of a pumpkin pie in cake form!  Yum!!

Whether you’re doing the whole meal or just bringing a dish for the meal, you can cook with confidence with any of these recipes!  You know what else will help?  Pray and ask the Lord to help you make the most of your time, your resources and your heart!Whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving, I pray you will give thanks to the God Who allowed you the blessings you enjoy.  He is a God who loves you and has given His Son so you can enjoy more than a happy turkey day – He wants you to enjoy a personal relationship with Him and an eternity in heaven through trusting Christ as your Savior. What joy He brings to my life every day!

With love and blessings from my country kitchen,

Bread · freezer · Make-Ahead

Making Your Own Frozen French Bread Dough

So, I had a little accident last week. I decided to make my French Bread recipe for a meal I was preparing for guests that were coming the next day. We were having a Bible Conference at our church and I thought I had plenty of time to get the bread baked before it was time to leave. Well, I misjudged the time and realized after I’d made the dough and had it rising in the bowl for the first rise that I wouldn’t have time to bake the bread and still be on time for the service. Ahhhh! I was frustrated at myself for not calculating the time correctly!

Then I had a thought…

I wonder if I can freeze the dough after it rises in the bowl?

So often when I wonder if something would freeze well, I simply let my mind wander the aisles of the frozen goods at the grocery store. Then I realized, “Yes! I know they sell frozen frozen loaves that are ready to set out and rise, so surely I could shape these loaves and freeze them before I leave for church!”

I took the bread and shaped it into the French loaves and placed them on a greased baking sheet.

I covered them with Syran Wrap and put them in the freezer and headed out for our Bible conference at church. Then before I went to bed that night, I took the loaves out of the freezer and placed them in the fridge to thaw overnight.

When I was ready to bake them, I set them on the counter where they rose for about 30 minutes. Then I finished as the recipe says, and cut the slits on top and baked them as usual.

They rose beautifully and my husband told me they were better than any other time I’ve made them!

This was a really happy accident! Now I know I can work ahead and get the dough made way ahead of time. It’s nice to know I can just have bread loaves hanging out in the freezer until I need them! Working ahead is my favorite way to prep meals!

So, first of all, let me say that this recipe is super easy! Now you know how to prep the first part and freeze them. Then when you’re ready for a hot loaf of homemade French Break all you’ll need is about 45 minutes total to let them rise and bake them! It doesn’t get fresher than that!

Have you tried freezing bread dough? Here’s a roll recipe that freezes great too, and is our favorite for special meals like Thanksgiving!

I hope you’ll give this freezing method a try!

Brunch · Healthy Eating · Make-Ahead · Weight watchers

Crustless Quiche

When I make up my weekly menu, I look at what I have on hand and look for recipes that use those items. Last week I had fresh broccoli in the fridge and I had some ham slices in the freezer. When I was looking at my Pinterest boards for healthy recipes, I came across a pin for a Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche on Skinny Taste’s site. She has such delicious, healthy recipes! This one joined the ranks of favorites!

I used Swiss cheese as my cheese option and it was so good with that ham! Steaming the broccoli just a couple of minutes gave it tenderness without being super limp or soggy. This whole recipe is just delicious! I also prepped the ingredients ahead of time because I was working outside on my back porch and wanted supper to be easy to complete.

To make ahead, I chopped the broccoli and ham and grated the cheese and then set all that in the fridge. I mixed up the custard ingredients and set that bowl in the fridge. All I had to do 45 minutes before suppertime was assemble it in my pie plate.

Here’s Skinny Taste’s recipe:

Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche

INGREDIENTS

  • cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cups diced ham steak or leftover ham, 9 oz
  • 1 cup chopped steamed broccoli, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup fresh grated Swiss cheese
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup half & half cream
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the to 350F degrees. Spray a pie dish with oil.
  • Evenly spread the broccoli in the dish and top it evenly with the ham.
  • Make the custard mixture by whisking together the milk, half and half, eggs, salt, black pepper, and the nutmeg.
  • Pour the custard into the dish and top with Swiss Cheese.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is set.
  • Cut the quiche into 6 pieces and serve.

I served this at supper with a side salad, toasted bread and fresh fruit. It would also be perfect menu item for brunch!

This recipe is 5 points on the Blue WW plan and 6 on the Green Plan.

Enjoy!

Dinner · Make-Ahead

Shepherd’s Pie Made Light

I have a beloved cookbook that houses the recipes of some of our nation’s best Bed and Breakfasts.  One such recipe is for Shepherd’s Pie.  If you’ve never had it, it’s basically a roast beef dinner served in a casserole dish.  The beef, gravy and vegetables are on the bottom and then it gets “iced” with mashed potatoes! 

My cookbook’s recipe  contains a very detailed list of ingredients, including roast beef to make this delectable dish.  I don’t often have a roast on hand to make it, so I’ve learned that there is a simpler, but still delicious way to make a Shepherd’s Pie. It uses ground beef instead of roast. That makes it so much faster, but still delicious! 

My favorite new substitute for the roast is ground turkey, making it lower in fat.  Don’t worry – you still get the gravy, the vegetables and the mashed potato topping!  I like using just carrots and celery with the meat. I don’t want it to taste like a beef stew, but you could certainly add other vegetables to it. This is a great weeknight dish with all the hearty flavors your family will love!

Another blessing of this recipe is that you can make the whole thing up to two days ahead of time and pop it into the oven to heat up for dinnertime!

Here’s the easy recipe:

Shepherd’s Pie

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes:

  • 1-1/2 lbs  potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika

Filling:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (of course you could use lean ground beef as well)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • kosher salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Boil potatoes in a medium pot of salted water until cooked and soft.
  • Drain and mash with chicken broth, sour cream, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large saute pan brown meat over medium high heat, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.
  • When cooked, set aside on a plate.
  • Add the oil, onion, garlic, carrots and celery. (Add other vegetables of your choice) Sauté on medium heat about 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the flour, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, cooked meat and mix well. Simmer on low about 8-10 minutes.
  • Spread the meat on the bottom of casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with paprika
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes, then place under the broiler 1 to 2 minutes until the potatoes turn golden.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool 5 minutes before serving

This would be a great dish to take to a new mom, someone recovering from illness or surgery, or a new family that’s moved into your neighborhood.  Add a salad (how about a copycat Olive Garden Salad?) and a biscuit (here’s my favorite recipe) and you’ll have a complete meal!

If you like make-ahead recipes, you might enjoy this one for Hot Chicken Salad!

With love from my country kitchen,

breakfast · Fast meal · Make-Ahead

Bump up your breakfast game

I always eat breakfast, but I find it the most difficult meal to want to prepare. I’m ready to get my day started and don’t like fussing over that first meal of the day. Can anyone else relate?

It’s for that reason that I try to have this things on hand that are either quick to prepare or can be made ahead and just warmed up.

If you’re like me and struggle with getting breakfast ready, let me share a few of my favorite go-to morning meals.

Baked Oatmeal with apples or bananas is hearty, easy to prepare and reheats nicely. Here’s one of the recipes I use often. This same page has a delicious Banana Bread that’s another great addition for breakfast, and it’s also a lighter version!

Bakedoatmeal1 (2)

Baked Eggs With Hashbrowns and Canadian Bacon
Here’s an egg dish with all the morning breakfast foods! It is also hearty and reheats well.

Baked Eggs with Hash Brown Crust
  • 6 spray(s)cooking spray
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cup(s)frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1 small uncooked onion(s), thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1⁄4 tsp dried thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 3 slice(s)uncooked Canadian bacon, diced
  • 12 large eggs

Instructions:
1. Place oven rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 12-hole standard muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Heat a medium skillet over high heat; add oil and swirl to coat pan. Reduce heat to medium-high; add potatoes, onion, salt and thyme. Sauté until lightly golden and tender, 5-7 minutes; remove from skillet. Spoon about 1/4 cup potato mixture into each prepared muffin hole; bake 15 minutes – Less if you want a runny yolk!

3. Meanwhile, return skillet to heat; add Canadian bacon. Sauté until crispy on edges, 3 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

4. Crack an egg, one at a time, into a small ramekin or cup; gently slide an egg into each muffin hole. Bake for 9 minutes; remove from oven and evenly divide bacon over eggs. Return pan to oven; bake for 3 minutes more.

5. To serve, run a knife around edge of each egg and lift out onto individual plates or a serving platter; sprinkle with dried thyme and serve immediately.

6. Serving size: 1 baked egg with hash brown crust

Then there’s this Fruity Peanut Butter Toast I made recently and LOVED!! It’s as pretty as it is delicious! It’s simply whole grain bread, toasted and topped with peanut butter and whatever fruit you like. Then add a tiny drizzle of honey over the fruit. So good!

There’s no need to go without breakfast just because you don’t have time to stop and make it in the morning. Get a jump on things and prepare ahead so you can have a delicious meal at the start of your day!

Anyone else love breakfast but dread making it?

I hope you’ll refresh your breakfast routine with one of these easy ideas!