Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving Thanks

What an amazing time we shared during our Thanksgiving holiday! With having our newlyweds Blake and Meredith home for the weekend it was important to prepare our favorite family recipes.  While they are easily accessible I have documented them for future festivities.   

A week before Thanksgiving I started with preparing the family cheese ball.  This is an easy recipe and something that you can make ahead of time.  I typically make many and freeze.


Folks have been known to eat an entire cheese ball at one sitting!

1/3 square blue cheese
1/4 lb. Velveeta cheese
2 small pkg. cream cheese (or 3/4 of a large pkg)
green onions chopped
chopped pecans

Combine blue cheese, Velveeta and cream cheese, add the green onions and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

Roll all the ingredients into a ball, then roll the ball into chopped pecans.

Either refrigerate or wrap tightly and freeze for unexpected company or your next event.


6 potatoes ( recipe calls for Idaho)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( I like sharp)
1 stick butter
2 cups sour cream
1/2 chopped green onions
salt and pepper

Cook potatoes in the skins until tender, (they're done once you can insert a fork into the potatoes) pull the potatoes off the stove and refrigerated until cool.  Once the potatoes are cooled peel and shred them coarsely.  In another bowl mix your cheese and melted butter.  Then add the prepared potatoes.  Add onion and season with salt and pepper, add sour cream and mix.  Put in a greased baking dish and sprinkle the top with paprika.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.


The first time I had this recipe was at Aunt Lauren and Uncle Steve's rehearsal dinner in Topeka, Kansas. They were prepared by Steve's mother, Johnnie Drenner, this recipe I have been asked for the most often.

2 cans green beans
6 strips of bacon - fried crisp
1/2 cup of vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 onion

Fry bacon, in bacon fat add 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar,1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Pour over beans and slice an onion thinly over the beans and then crumble bacon.

Set on the stove until ready to serve.  It's best when fixed several hours ahead of time to let the flavors mix.


The smell and taste of this dish can only bring back fond family memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas in San Antonio.  There are many little steps to make this special stuffing but well worth the effort!  Kudo's to Heidi for keeping the tradition alive for so many years....

The key to making this moist stuffing is to use the stock to mix and top the entire mixtue with the gravy.


2 large celery chopped fine, divided
Equal amount of finely chopped onions, divided
2 sticks butter
1 batch biscuits
1 batch cornbread
salt and pepper to taste
Stock (this can be canned, approximately 2 quarts, 2 - 32 oz)
sage to taste - (2 tablespoons - fresh)
2 cups flour
Kitchen Bouquet
raisins - optional



2 cups of flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons Crisco (or butter)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together, bake in a greased baking dish at 375 for 25 minutes.


1/4 cup of veg.  oil
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 - 4 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg - beaten

Combine all the dry ingredients then pour the oi, milk and egg together.
Bake in a greased baking dish at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.


Chop celery and onions and put in separate bags.


Take out giblets.  Put with 1/2 celery and onions.  Fill large (2 plus quarts) pan with water and make broth.  Use the tops of celery.  Simmer 4-5 hours.  (you can do this early and refrigerate)


Start preparing the stuffing 2 hours before dinner.  Saute 1/2 onions and celery until clear.  Crumble the biscuits and cornbread together. 

Crumble biscuits and cornbread together

Put sauteed onions and celery in cornbread and biscuits and mix,  add sage (2 tablespoons, fresh), salt and pepper to taste.  Add enough turkey stock to make it moist.  Divide in half, and add raisins in one of the halves.


1 stick butter, 1/2 of the celery and onions and saute.  Pour 1/2 cup of turkey juice, 1 1/2 cups of flour and some broth.  Strain the flour and broth mix into celery and onions.  Mix, add more flour if needed.  Darken with Kitchen Bouquet.  Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer.  Add more broth if it cooks down too much.

Pour gravy over stuffing and bake until bubbling at 350 for 30-40 minutes. 


"Sweet, thick and full of cherries, this pie is irresistible.  The filling is whipped up from a classic combination of canned sour cherries, sugar, flour and almond flavoring."


1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1 (20 ounce) can pitted sour cherries
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoons butter
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (optional - I did not use)
1 egg yolk


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Make pastry and refrigerate.
2. Drain cherries, reserving 1 cup liquid.  In a saucepan combine sugar, flour and salt.  Stir in cherry liquid and bring to a boil, stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Mixture will thicken

3. When mixture is thickened, add butter, almond extract, food coloring and cherries.  Cover and refrigerate.
4. On lightly covered surface, roll out half of the pastry into an 11 inch circle.  Put into 9 inch pie dish.  Roll other half of pastry into another 11 inch circle.  With a knife or pastry wheel, cut eight 1/2 inch strips.
5. Pour cooled cherry filling into pie dish.  Place pastry strips horizontally, then vertically,across the top of the pie and lightly brush with egg yolk.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, and cool before serving.


I find myself being grateful for the smallest of things these days.  I know how very lucky I truly am. I cherish the smiles, the laughter and just being together.... It was almost perfect, but we missed our Natalie...

Happy Thanksgiving.........

1 comment:

  1. You are the BEST mom ever!!!!! Thank you so much for the perfect Thanksgiving. It was amazing in so many ways. Xoxo WE MISS YOU NATALIE!