Thankfully Good Deviled Eggs

The Best Deviled Eggs – These really are the Best Deviled Eggs. A dash of cayenne pepper makes them exceptionally devilish, too.

INGREDIENTS

1 Dozen hard boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise

3 Tbsp. Light Sour Cream

3 Tbsp. Light Mayo Reduced Fat Mayonnaise

1 Tbsp.  Sweet Pickle Relish

1Tbsp.  Dijon Mustard

1/8tsp.  ground red pepper (cayenne)

DIRECTIONS:

Mash egg yolks in medium bowl with fork.

Add sour cream, mayo, relish, and mustard. Mix well.

Spoon into centers of whites, sprinkle with pepper.

Special Extra

Garnish with fresh dill.
How to Easily Fill the Egg White Halves
Spoon egg yolk mixture into small resealable plastic bag. Cut small corner from bottom of bag; use to pipe filling into egg white halves.

Banana Pudding…YUM!

I love banana pudding. Its sweet and delicious and so simple to make.

 

The Best Banana Pudding

Ingredients
  • 2 bags Vanilla Wafers
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5 oz.) box French Vanilla pudding
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Line the bottom of a 13×9 inch inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
  2. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
  3. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.
  4. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.
  6. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

 

The Cheesiest Mac n Cheese

I am always in search of great mac n cheese. I found this recipe and tried it. Absolutely incredible. A must add to your holiday dinner or anytime!

Pressure cooker mac and cheese. I just gained 5 pounds looking at this...but ooohhhh man it looks good :)

  • 2 lbs macaroni
  • 20 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated (don’t use the preshredded)
  • 20 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated (don’t use the preshredded)
  • 2 lbs velveeta, cubed
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (use whole for this or 2%. There is really no use using skim or 1%. I mean… really… with all the cheese?)
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook your pasta, drain well and set aside.
  2. While it’s cooking, combine your cheddar and monterey jack cheeses in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pour your milk into a medium, preferably non stick, pot. Over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer.
  4. Add in the velveeta cheese and stir constantly until smooth and completely melted.
  5. Take about 1/2 cup of the hot milk/cheese mixture and SLOWLY drizzle it into the bowl of beaten eggs, whisking with a fork constantly. When you have it all tempered, slowly pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture, again stirring constantly.
  6. Butter a 3 quart baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Don’t use a smaller one… this makes a LOT of mac and cheese. Pour half of the pasta into the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and layer the sliced butter all over the top.
  7. Sprinkle half of the cheddar/jack cheese mixture over the top of the pasta, then pour half of the hot milk/cheese mixture over the top. Repeat this layering one more time.
  8. Bake at 350 until mac and cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Rolls, rolls, butter your rolls

Homemade rolls are the best. I know, I know, they take more time but in my opinion, the payoff is well worth it. So if you would like to try your hand at homemade rolls this Thanksgiving, here is a simple recipe to help you in your quest for the perfct dinner roll.

Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Time: about 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 12 rolls
3/4 C milk
4 T butter
3/4 C hot water
4 T sugar
1 t salt
4 – 4 1/2 C flour
1 heaping T yeast (use active dry)
DIRECTIONS:
  • Pour your milk into a microwave safe container. These Pyrex glass measuring cups work fabulously. Add your butter to the milk and put it in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. While the milk is getting nice and toasty, turn on the tap to get your hot water. Temperature is important to making these rolls rise quickly. If you add cold water, your rolls will are going to rise at a snails pace, and you’ll feel like cursing.  Add hot water. You want it to be almost too hot to put your hand in.
  • Put your milk/butter and hot water in the bottom of your Kitchen Aid Mixer. Add the sugar and salt. Then add 2 C of the flour…let it mix for 1 minute.
  • Add the yeast. Turn the mixer on and add the rest of the flour 1 C at a time.
  • You have enough flour when the dough scrapes the side of the bowl clean. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. You need the plastic wrap to trap the heat.
  • Take a bit of butter and coat the inside of a 9×13 pan.
  • Spray your counter, or a cutting board with cooking spray. Lay your dough on top of it.
  • Take a sharp knife, spray it with cooking spray and cut your dough into 12 pieces. Make them as equal as you can….perfection is not necessary.
  • Gently round them into balls, and put them in your buttered 9×13 pan.
  • Put the pan into your warm 170 degree oven. Let them rise for about 20 minutes or until they have risen an 1 inch above the rim of the pan.
  •  Leave your pan in the oven and turn the heat up to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. The 15 minutes includes the time it takes the oven to increase in temperature. If your oven takes a long old time….you will of course need to increase the time baking. Bake until golden brown.

Thanksgiving sides anyone?

Ok, so you’ve figured out how to cook your turkey and pies but what about the rest of your dishes? Here’s a few recipes for one of the staples of Thanksgiving fare:

mashed potatoes and the best gravy

Mashed Potatoes:

Basic Recipe:

  • 8 potatoes (or 2 per person), peeled
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk (or cream for richer potatoes), room temperature
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut potatoes in small chunks, cover with salted water, and boil just until tender (about 20 minutes or so). Drain well (important). Once drained, put the uncovered pan of potatoes on the burner over medium heat for just a couple of minutes; this will steam off any additional water so your potatoes will be fluffier – careful not to scorch them.

Once all water has evaporated, remove from the heat and immediately add the butter and milk. Mash with a food masher, using an up and down motion, just enough to remove the lumps – do not stir them, as your potatoes will end up like glue. Salt and pepper to taste.

Best Homemade Gravy Recipe

Ingredients for Best Homemade Gravy:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups hot pan juices, strained and with as much fat removed as possible

Directions for making the Best Homemade Gravy:

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted – but not burned. Add the flour and whisk until it’s well incorporated – important to cook at least 1 minute so the flour taste is absorbed – whisking continually. Add the hot pan juices and whisk until thick. If the pan juices are not seasoned, add salt, pepper, and rosemary to taste. If you’d like it a little thicker, keep it on the burner a little longer so that it cooks down prior to serving it.

Thanksgiving is only 2 days away!

Ok, so the biggest eating holiday is only 2 days away. By now, you should plans in place, all of your food bought, and are raring to go. Some of us will have Thanksgiving dinner at home, some of us will go to a family members’ house (or as in my case, several family members’ houses to make all the rounds), and still others may decide to go out to a restaurant with their families and friends, effectively avoiding all of the time consuming cooking and equally time consuming clean up. But wherever you go, just be sure to take a moment-or several-to remember that this holiday is not about the food that’s prepared and eaten. Its about being with your family and friends. And being thankful for what you have. I know I am thankful that I get to be with my family because there are plenty of others that don’t get to be. Our troops spread out across the globe, the homeless, the orphaned. Those people don’t get to see their families or even have families. Realize how lucky we are to have what we have and to be where we are because it could be so much worse. And while your saying grace before diving into a delicious meal, add those less fortuante to your prayers. Ask for them to be looked after and blessed. And although the holidays may be stressful, enjoy your family and the time that you get with them no matter where you are. Happy Thanksgiving All!

THE BEST LEMON MERINGUE PIE

Lemon meringue is soooo tasty. Sweet but with a tart zing…delicious!

lemon

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups water

2 lemons, juiced and zested

2 tablespoons butter

4 egg yolks, beaten

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

4 egg whites

6 tablespoons white sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

To Make Lemon Filling:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.

Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter.

Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture.

Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture.

Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick.

Remove from heat.

Pour filling into baked pastry shell.

To Make Meringue:

In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy.

Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

 

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE

Who doesn’t love a little chocolate pie?

chocolate

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crust

28 Nabisco Chocolate Wafers (or 1-1/2 cups finely crushed crumbs)**

1/3 cup sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the Filling

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large egg yolks

3 cups whole milk

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping

3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, grated or shaved

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Make the filling:

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy medium saucepan.

Whisk gently until combined.

In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk and egg yolks.

Add the milk mixture to the saucepan in a slow and steady stream, whisking until the mixture is smooth.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, 6-8 minutes.

Immediately turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, for one minute more until thick. (The constant stirring and low heat prevents the eggs from scrambling. Be sure to stand attentively at stove and keep scraping the whisk against the bottom and edges of the pan where the mixture is more likely to overheat.)

Turn off the heat, immediately whisk in the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla extract.

Transfer the filling to a bowl.

Press a piece of saran wrap directly over surface of the filling to prevent a film from forming; refrigerate until cool, 1-2 hours.

Make the crust:

Combine the chocolate wafers, sugar and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the cookies are finely crushed.

Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan (spread it with your hands first, then use the back of a spoon or bottom of a measuring cup to press and even out).

Bake for 10 minutes until crisp. Set on a rack to cool completely.

Once the filling and crust are cooled, spoon the filling into the crust and spread evenly.

Cover with saran wrap, pressing directly against surface of filling, and chill for at least 6 hours or up to one day.

Up to 3 hours before serving, make the topping:

Place the heavy cream in chilled mixing bowl.

Using an electric mixer, whip on medium-low speed until the whisk or beaters begin to leave tracks in the cream.

Add sugar and whip until the cream holds medium, silky peaks. Go slowly towards the end; if it gets grainy or curdled, you’ve gone too far.

Spread the whipped cream over the filling, leaving some of the chocolate filling showing around the edges.

Sprinkle with the grated chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve.

**Nabisco cookies available in the cookie aisle at most major supermarkets.

THE BEST PECAN PIE

This is probably my favorite pie in the entire world!! (It stinks that somewhere along the way I became allergic to pecans…)but I want to share this delicious recipe with you.

pecan

INGREDIENTS:

Pastry:

1 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening

2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

Filling:

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 cup corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup pecan halves or broken pecans

DIRECTONS:

In medium bowl, mix flour and salt.

Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas.

Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Heat oven to 375°F.

With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; press with times of fork or flute if desired.

In another medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients except pecans with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.

Cover edge of pastry with 2- to 3-inch-wide strip of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled before serving. Store in refrigerator.

THE BEST APPLE PIE

Good ‘ol apple pie. You can’t beat that!

apple

Do you ever notice some apple pies have a gap or space between the top crust and the filling? Would you like to know the secret to avoid that? All you have to do is cook your apples with all the spices first. Other apple pie recipes don’t tell you that.

By cooking the apples first, they cook down which means you can get more apples into the pie. Then as the pie cooks in the oven the apples don’t shrink much if at all. With no shrinkage there is not gap or space between the upper crust and the filling.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 to 7 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)

1 tablespoon butter

1 egg white

Additional sugar

2-3 tablespoons instant tapioca (keeps juice from being too runny)

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine the sugars, flour and spices; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice.

Add sugar mixture; toss to coat.

Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust; trim pastry even with edge.

Sprinkle tapioca on bottom of crust.

Fill with apple mixture; dot with butter.

Sprinkle tapioca on top of apple mixture.

Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges.

Cut slits in pastry.

Beat egg white until foamy; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with sugar.

Sprinkle tapioca on top.

Cover edges loosely with foil.

Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.

Remove foil and bake 20-25 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 8 servings.