With Thanksgiving a week away, I thought I’d share some stand-by recipes. Before I had children, I would cook Thanksgiving dinner for a week. I mean, I had a gravy recipe that took 3 entire days, starting with roasting the vegetables and ending with simmering the liquid down by 4 cups…and then making the liquid into the gravy! Once I had a baby or two, all that prep just wasn’t practical. I found a few easy recipes to intersperse with the more elegant ones, and guess what? It’s the easy ones that get requested year to year. This is not the usual Italo fare, but on Thanksgiving? eh, let ’em eat cream!
First up is cousin Michelle’s famous cranberry sauce. You longtime blog readers might remember Michelle from last Thanksgiving, where she paid for her holiday invitation by wrapping me in duct tape to create a dressform. Michelle, in addition to being a good sport, makes a great cranberry sauce! Hi Michelle! Wait until you hear what I have planned for you THIS year!!
- 1 med onion
- 2 tbls oil
- 2 cup dried cranberries*
- 2 cup port wine
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp of ground cloves
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 c white sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
Heat the onions and the oil until they are
transparent. Put everything else in and bring to a
simmer. Keep simmering until most of the liquid has
been absorbed. (*note by Susan-I am too busy to use dried cranberries. I used a can of whole cranberries and omitted most of the water, cutting down on the sugar and port wine, too. You have my permission to drink any remaining port you don’t use for the recipe.)
Next up is the inelegantly named Corny Casserole. I keep trying to call it Corn Souffle, or even Corn Pudding. This is a dump and stir recipe that is always a crowd pleaser, although the ingredients are simple. I think it’s all the sour cream….
- 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 can cream style corn
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup sour cream (I use lite–shhhh!)
- 1 box corn muffin mix
Mix all ingredients together. Bake in a greased (spray with Pam) 2 quart casserole, uncovered, at 350 for 1 hour. If the top browns too quickly, cover with aluminium foil. Serve warm. (note by Susan– this freezes quite well. Re-heat in the microwave!)
Oh! Look who’s coming now on the Thanksgiving recipe parade! It’s Broccoli Rice Casserole. You can mix this casserole (and the Corn Souffle, too) ahead of time. I’ve even mixed them the night before, and then I throw them in the oven at the appropriate time.
- 3-4 cups cooked rice (or 1-1/4 cups instant rice plus 1/2 cup water plus 1/4 cup milk)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 oz cheddar or Velveeta, cubed
- 2 Tbl. butter, in pieces
- 2 cups lightly steamed broccoli, cut in small pieces OR
- 16oz bag of frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
- 1 10oz can cream of mushroom soup
Combine all ingredients. Place in greased (sprayed with Pam) 2 quart casserole. Back at 350 for 45 minutes. Cover if it gets too brown on top.
Another crowd pleaser is my mashed potatoes, with a secret ingredient. Real secret once I post it, I guess, what with the internet being so private and all.
Wash the potatoes. DH says to peel them, I never do. Cut them into chunks and drop them in a pot of cold water to cover. Peel a couple of cloves of garlic and drop them in for good measure. Boil it all until the ‘taters are soft, then drain out the water, saving a 1/2 cup or so of cooking liquid. Mash ’em, with lots of milk, butter, sour cream, and (shhhh) cream cheese. Stir in lots of garlic powder and Lawry’s Seasoned salt. Be sure to lick the spoon, but then don’t put it back in the pot of potatoes.
One more Thanksgiving tradition, that was started by my wonderful Daddy (no, ma’am, I’m not telling these nice readers about Daddy always burning a pan) : a bottle (or two) of Beaujolais Nouveau wine, which comes out right around this time of year. Here’s to you Daddy!