Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Caramel Apple Salad

This is a whole bowl of YUM!  Seriously, what’s better in the fall than a caramel apple?  When you’re finally sick of all the pumpkin stuff…

Plus, this salad has candy in it.  It’s a CANDY salad.  What the wha???

Caramel Apple Salad

  • 5-6 apples, cored, peeled and chopped (I used a combo of Granny Smith and gala)
  • 1 bag fun size snickers bars (about 25 fun sized bars, cut into quarters) – could also use Milky Way if you’re avoiding peanuts
  • 1 container cool whip
  • Caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup Chopped peanuts (optional)
  1. Place chopped apples, chopped candy bars, and cool whip in a large bowl.  Mix well.
  2. Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with nuts.  



Weeknight Mash

weeknight Mash

Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods.  We are experiencing a mixture of warm sunny days and cold/windy/rainy days.  When it’s cold, I like having something warm and comforting to eat.  And going outside to grill just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

On days like that, I want a comforting side dish.  The most comforting side dish I can think of is mashed potatoes.  But, I grew up in a small town in Idaho where our high school mascot is a potato.  So, if you don’t know how to make a decent mashed potato and you come from Shelley, Idaho, there is definitely something wrong.  Well, these potatoes are more than decent.  They’re delicious.  And QUICK!

The ingredients are the normal mashed potato ingredients: potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper.  It’s the method that makes these potatoes my go-to recipe.  And there’s enough for 6 to eat, with leftovers!

Sure, you can feed your family potatoes from a box.  Or spend close to an hour waiting for the huge pot of water and potatoes on the stove to come to a boil.  But, seriously, boxed potatoes taste kinda funny.  And who has time to wait for water to boil on a glass-top electric stove?  I swear, the stove we have is the SLOWEST thing I’ve ever cooked on.  Ever.

I hope you’re able to try this recipe, and that you love it as much as we do.

Weeknight Mash

  • about 5 lbs russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
  • 4 quart glass (microwave-safe) casserole dish with lid
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Place potatoes in the casserole dish with enough water to come half way up the sides.  Put on the lid and microwave on high for 10 minutes.  Check the tenderness of the potatoes with a fork – if they are soft and break easily, then they are ready to mash.  If not, give them a good stir, and microwave on high for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Drain potatoes.
  2. Place milk and butter in a microwave safe dish (I use my pyrex measuring cup) and microwave about a minute.  Watch it to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
  3. Place potatoes back into the casserole dish or in a mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Using an electric mixer, add about half of the milk/butter mixture, and whip on low speed.  Keep adding the milk until your desired consistency is reached.  If you like thinner mashed potatoes than I do, you might need more milk.
  5. I whip mine in the same dish I use to cook it in, but you could also whip the potatoes in another dish and add back to the casserole dish.  I like to serve in that dish because it’s already warm!

You could also flavor these mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, sour cream and chives, sour cream and cheddar– whatever!  🙂

Leftover Turkey Potato Noodle Soup


Going through pregnancy close to the Holidays makes some funny things happen.  Things like craving roast turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy in October.  With just the two of us, I had to figure out what to do with the leftover meat, potatoes, and gravy!

One of my favorite things that my great grandma used to do a few days after Thanksgiving was to make turkey and homemade noodles over mashed potatoes.  So good!  This is a variation of that recipe, but instead of serving over mashed potatoes, I just stirred the potatoes right in, making a velvety thick soup. This one’s a winner on a cold day!

What do you like to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers?

Leftover Turkey Potato Noodle Soup

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion (optional in my house)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 quart chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 quart water
  • small package frozen noodles (I didn’t have time to make them this time)
  • about a pound of leftover turkey, cut into bite sized pieces
  • about 2 cups leftover turkey gravy
  • about 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp chicken Better Than Bouillon (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a medium soup pot over medium high heat, melt the butter.  Add the carrots, toss to coat in melted butter, and cook about 3 minutes.  Add celery and onions (if using) and saute another 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the broth and water.  Bring to a boil.  Add the noodles and cook according to package directions (mine took 20 minutes).
  3. Once noodles are tender, add turkey, gravy, potatoes, and bouillon (if using).  Bring to a low boil.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve!

Cran-Pomegranate Jello Salad


Once in a while, you have a bite of something and all you can think of is Christmas.  This is one of those recipes!  I got the recipe from my dear friend, Leslie.  Leslie’s mother saw it in the paper and made it for Thanksgiving a few years ago.  It was so good!  I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it my own (like adding pomegranate perils and cool whip).  This salad is beautiful and I hope you love it as much as we do.

‘Tis the season!  I love shopping for other people.  The only person I’m having difficulty in shopping for is my Dad.  When he wants something, he just goes right out and buys it!  How do you shop for a person like that?  Any tips?

Cran-Pomegranate Jello Salad

Based on a recipe from the Post Register a few years ago (can’t find the exact date or recipe)

  • 15 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
  • water
  • 6 oz. raspberry jello (one large box or two small boxes)
  • 14.5 oz. can WHOLE cranberry sauce
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh Pomegranate perils
  • 1 small tub Cool Whip or 2 cups freshly whipped cream
  1. Place the reserved pineapple juice in a measuring cup and add enough water to make 2.5 cups of total liquid.  Bring to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Remove from the heat and add the jello.  Whisk until the jello is completely dissolved.  Let cool until it thickens to the consistency of gravy, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the crushed pineapple, chopped apple, and pomegranate perils with the cranberry sauce.  Stir in the cooled jello.  Pour into a jello mold or 9″ x 13″ glass pan.  Refrigerate until the jello is completely set.  I usually put it together the night before.
  3. When ready to serve, unmold by briefly dipping in warm water, then turning the mold upside down on a large plate.  Cover the jello salad with cool whip or whipped cream and serve!

Pumpkin Cornbread

This recipe is so good, you won’t believe it’s actually good for you. This stuff is packed with whole grains. As an added bonus, it helps to use up the purée of your favorite gourd. You can use fresh or canned, whatever you have on hand.

This recipe is based on one I saw on Tasty Kitchen. I used some pumpkin pie spice in place of the nutmeg and cinnamon, and replaced the all purpose flour with whole wheat. The resulting bread is sweet, moist, and only a little crumbly. It’s perfect with a spicy bowl of chili or steamy bowl of soup. Hope this recipe becomes one of your Fall favorites!

Pumpkin Cornbread

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar and cornmeal.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the pumpkin, oil and molasses.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients (pumpkin mixture) into the dry ingredients (flour mixture) until combined.  Do not over mix.  Pour batter into pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.
  5. Baked for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Serve warm drizzled with honey!

Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins

Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins

Do you remember a couple of years ago when there was a pumpkin shortage?  I do!  Finding a can of pumpkin was difficult.  I didn’t get to make pumpkin muffins or cookies that year.  I think I went through withdrawls!

Pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients.  I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, and PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES!!!  Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and is very nutritious.  My dogs also enjoy a scoop every now and then.  😉

This recipe from King Arthur Flour is taking the health of pumpkin and elevating it to a new level.  Don’t get me wrong– it’s still packed with sugar and chocolate.  But there’s whole wheat flour in there, too.   These muffins freeze extremely well.  I froze the batch and pulled out a muffin at night for breakfast the next morning.   Yum!

Thank you, King Arthur Flour, for coming out with a Whole Grain Baking Book.  This book is PACKED with AWESOME recipes everything from savory breads to sweet cookies and tarts.  It would be a perfect gift for anyone that loves to bake, but wants to be more health conscious.  It’s already one of my favorite cookbooks!  I would also like to mention that I contacted King Arthur Flour and asked permission to post the recipe on my blog.  They were quick to reply and give permission.  Hows that for customer service?

Hope you can scare up a can of pumpkin to make these soon!! 😉

Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins

A King Arthur Flour Recipe from Whole Grain Baking

  • 2 cups King Arthur whole wheat flour (traditional or white whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) chopped nuts (I used pecans)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (or raisins or dried cranberries)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease muffin tin cups or line with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Beat in vanilla and pumpkin.  Add the dry ingredients, mixing until evenly moistened.  Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop batter into the muffin cups so they are about 2/3 full.  Bake until a toothpick  inserted into the center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and wait at least 5 minutes before removing muffins from the pan to cool.

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Wheat Rolls

I love bread, everything about it.  Making it relaxes me.  I like the smell of fermenting yeast.  I know.  I’m weird like that.  The smell of the bread baking isn’t have bad either. 😉

This recipe is based on my recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls.  I replaced the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, added a little vital wheat gluten to keep the texture light, and replaced the sugar with molasses for flavor.  I think they turned out pretty well!

Wheat Rolls

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  • 1/4 cup warm water (115°F)
  • 2 tsp rapid rise yeast (1 envelope)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk (115°F)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter,  plus more for greasing the bowl and pans
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 2 tsp vital wheat gluten (aka gluten flour)
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Place warm water in a small bowl with 1 tsp sugar.  Sprinkle yeast over the water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together salt, vital wheat gluten, and the flours.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, cook the milk and butter just until the butter is completely melted.  The mixture should be about 115°F.  If it is too hot, let it cool.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the warmed butter and milk, molasses, and eggs.  Whisk in the foamy yeast mixture.
  5. Change the standing mixture attachment to the dough hook.  With the mixer running on low, slowly add the flour mixture, a little at a time, until all the flour is incorporated.  You may need to stop and scrape down the bowl a few times.
  6. Mix on medium speed for 6 minutes to knead.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead another 2 minutes.  Form dough into a large ball.  Coat a large bowl with butter and place the dough ball inside.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  7. Butter two 9″ x 13″ pans.  Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gently pressing to deflate.  Pinch off golf-ball sized pieces of dough and form into a ball.  Place the balls of dough on the pans, 16 per pan.  Cover with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Bake the rolls in the center of the oven, one tray at a time, for 20 minutes.  If necessary, rotate half way through baking time.
  9. Once done, remove from the oven and place pan on cooling racks. Lightly brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter and allow to cool.  After about 10 minutes, remove rolls from pans and serve warm.