Thursday, November 29, 2007

One Week Ago Today...

My house was full of people, and I was running around trying to pull off hosting my first Thanksgiving. I'm really pleased with how well it went. My in-laws smoked the turkey and they also brought a ham, potatoes, and stuffing. I was especially relieved to not have to cook the turkey myself! One of the hardest parts was allocating oven space. My mother, grandmother, and great-aunt helped with the rest of the food, and everyone seemed to be satisfied. Even my great-uncle found nothing to complain about! (just kidding, Uncle Jerry!) Now onto pictures and recipes of the food!

The Thanksgiving table

Dig In!!

My sister-in-law Kathleen stayed with us a few days and helped me get the house ready. We also made a Chocolate Mousse Pie together, which was very tasty. I was glad to pass on some of my cooking knowledge to my young padawan!

The luscious result.

Black Bottom Cupcakes, a family recipe.

Apple Streusel; a new recipe from Penzey's Spices! It wasn't the prettiest dish to grace my table, but it cooked while we were eating dinner and tasted great warm!

My mom made pumpkin cheesecakes. We almost never have pumpkin pie in favor of another, more unique pumpkin recipe. We've also had a delicious pumpkin dip in years past.

My dad and uncle, post-gorgefest

Edited 11/30: I thought you all might like my mashed potato casserole recipe. It's been in the family for years, and was one of my grandfather's favorite things to eat. I hear he was a very picky man, so that's saying a lot!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Recipe: Taco Tot Casserole

This recipe was on the back of a bag of Ore-Ida Tator tots. This isn't something I would usually make, due to the fact that it's not exactly health food, but I wanted to make something special for Mike, and anything involving potatoes, meat, and cheese is great in his book. Corn is an added bonus.

I did make a few changes in the recipe, as noted. It calls for something called Nacho Cheese Soup, which I have never heard of, and frankly the idea grosses me out, so I just used Cheddar Cheese Soup by Campbell's. I also used no salt-added corn instead of corn with peppers.

Mike really liked this dish, and was glad there were lefovers for him to bring for lunch the next few days.

Again, apologies for the poor quality of the picture. SOMEONE still has not found the camera, so this is from that SOMEONE'S phone.

I have been busy setting up the house for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. My great aunt and uncle (okay, really just my aunt!) usually host this holiday, but they just got back from Hawaii and thus will not be doing it this year. I volunteered because this is the first holiday where I have a house and can fit everyone. Of course that was BEFORE we moved in, and now I find myself wondering what I was thinking when I volunteered! But really, I'm looking forward to it. It's been a lot of work, but I'm glad I can finally be the hostess! Hopefully my mom will take pictures of the food, so I can post them. I WOULD take some myself, ahem.....

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I DID have a few pictures of food from this past week, but once again, SOMEONE has misplaced the camera. So you'll have to do with tonight's dinner taken from Mike's cameraphone:

Sirloin steak, mashed potatoes, grilled corn, and green beans. After a busy week and weekend, we wanted to go out somewhere for dinner, but decided on grilling a nice dinner ourselves in lieu of spending all that money. Spending nine dollars for both of us was nice, as opposed to close to thirty.

The busier I get, the more my cooking style is changing. I don't consider myself a "new" cook anymore. I still enjoy trying new recipes, but if I'm too busy that week, I have "standby" recipes to fall back on. I'm putting together a series of my most-used recipes to show you all. And you can expect a lot of pictures from Thanksgiving, which I am hosting for the first time. So......lots to look forward to!