Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

There were 17 guests for Thanksgiving Dinner this year, so we added a spiral cut mini ham from Honey Baked Hams to the menu. The fruit salad was light and refreshing. The Bacon Ranch Potatoes were a welcome change from the usual Mashed Potatoes and the Bacon Wrapped Asparagus was an addition to the side items. There were Hawaiian rolls as well as Meatball Rolls made with biscuit dough wrapped around pork meatballs. We celebrated two grandsons' birthdays with an ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery and had Peach and Raspberry Bellinis for beverages.

Thanksgiving Dinner 
Wednesday, November 27, 2013



Side Dishes 



Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

1 (14 oz.) can Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Open can and pour jellied sauce into serving dish.
Slice horizontally into circles and serve.

Fruit Salad

½ cantaloupe, peeled & cubed
½ honey dew melon, peeled & cubed
½ seedless mini watermelon, peeled & cubed
1 mango, peeled & cubed
12 red seedless grapes
12 green seedless grapes
2 Tbsp. mint, julienned

  1. Stir all fruits together and garnish with mint.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to mingle.
  3. Serve with party picks.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

This side dish is easy to prepare, looks appealing and tastes wonderful with or without the sauce. It was part of our Thanksgiving dinner this year.

2 lb. (48 spears) fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
12 slices bacon, uncooked
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Combine sauce ingredients, reduce to a syrupy consistency and set aside.
3. Divide asparagus spears into 12 bundles of 4 spears each.
4 Wrap a slice of bacon around each bundle, starting ½" from bottom of tips.
5. Secure bacon-wrapped asparagus with a toothpick & arrange in baking dish.
6. Place in refrigerator for half an hour, then remove toothpicks.
7. Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until bacon looks fully cooked.
Serve sauce alongside asparagus bundles.

Shared this recipe on

Bacon Ranch Potatoes

The inspiration for these potatoes came from Oklahoma Natives on Facebook, whose recipe I adapted to ingredients that were available in my kitchen. For example, we always have fat-free half & half in our refrigerator, so that's what went into making this dish.  It was a big hit at our Thanksgiving table!

6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1¼ cups milk
1 envelope Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Oscar Mayer real bacon bits or 2 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled

1.   Place potatoes in a saucepan and add cold water to cover.
2.   Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
3.   Drain potatoes and place in a greased 9” x 13” baking dish.
4.   Stir soup, milk, salad dressing mix, ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper, in a bowl.
5.   Pour mixture over potatoes and bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 25 minutes.
6.   Remove from oven, sprinkle with bacon and remaining cheese.
7.   Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Spanish Chicken Rice

Spanish Chicken Rice Bowl
Spanish Chicken Rice Skillet
GrandBoy #1 is spending the evening with us today, so this dish was made in his honor. I removed his portion before adding the green onions & chili powder. The fajita chicken strips can be replaced with shredded rotisserie or any form of left-over roasted chicken. The rice was cooked and refrigerated overnight which prevents it from becoming mushy even after all the tossing and turning.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stir-Fried Spinach with Potatoes & Peas

Palang Shaak Alu Karaishuti
I’ve noticed that if spinach is cooked uncovered, it retains its bright green color. Omit ghee to make this a vegan dish.

Cucumber Raita (Salad) with Dill & Mint

Raita is usually made with yogurt, mint and cucumber, all ingredients that are cooling to the body. Raita is often served cold as part of a festive Indian meal to help cut the heat in spicy dishes. The cucumber in this salad can be replaced with shredded carrots & raisins, chopped & blanched spinach, or a salsa of diced onions, tomatoes & green chilies. Unlike a salad which is eaten as a first course, Raita is eaten along with the different courses of an Indian meal.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Easy Meatball Rolls

Just Baked Meatball Rolls
Cross-section of a Roll
Meatballs & cheese wrapped in garlic bread. The frozen meatballs need not be thawed before assembling. They were simply delicious and the meatball inside the roll was soft and juicy.

Adapted from a Pillsbury recipe.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Mung Bean Lentils with Spinach

Kaacha Mooger Dal Aar Shaak

A quick and easy lentil dish using mung beans and a package of frozen spinach. It took exactly 20 minutes to prepare on the stove top.