Preparing for Thanksgiving – The Day Before!

Well, my list and step-by-step notes looked a lot easier to accomplish then the actual work. Why is that? Could it be that laundry, children needing to get here and there for work, and stopping for needed nutrient re-enforcement had something to do with that? Well, we started the morning off with Mass so I suppose things could have gone way wrong or become more tiresome than normally expected. Anyway, done for the day although my poor husband is mopping floors to do. And, like a puzzle, we actually found room for most of today’s dishes in the refrigerator. We have, however, learned to never expect that to be easy and have ice chests standing by for anything that might not make the A-team in the modern appliance.


Today, was dessert baking day. Since we have gone gluten-free, I’m always looking for the perfect pie crust recipe. Every year, the pie crusts have been more than adequate but not up to comparing with it’s wheat flour version. This year, success! I was even able to bake a crust for filling with chocolate/peanut butter custard and it turned out tender and flaky. Once I saw I was finally on the right track with this gluten-free recipe, it made baking the pumpkin and pecan pies more enjoyable. There is also an apple crisp cooling on the counter for anyone who doesn’t like any of the other choices . . . or wants some of EVERY choice available. It happens at Thanksgiving.


I read that people generally consume a bit more calories at Thanksgiving. Wow, they figured that out, huh? Seems the calorie count can get up to 5,000. I went with some healthier choices on the menu this year and have three salads ready for tomorrow, too.P1010057

Our new kitten, Buster, doesn’t get up on counters or into too much trouble but is enjoying all the hustle and bustle going on today. Wait until he gets to try his first bit of turkey tomorrow.


Faith Equality Index

Here is a great idea, an index that rates various stores and venues as to how they line up with Christian values. Since the secular liberal agenda rules the world, would they consider this intolerant because it doesn’t fall in line with their idea of tolerant?

Christmas Cookie Recipes!

Instead of fighting the crowds on Black Friday, start your Christmas baking! These recipes are relatively easy to accomplish and freeze well. In fact, one year, I had prepared gift tins of cookies for several friends. As happens in life, one ‘friend’ decided Christmas was the good time to suddenly start ignoring us, even in person, so we didn’t meet and greet during the holidays. Around February, my son discovered a happy surprise – the huge tin or cookies I had prepared to give to the ex-friend who now had some kind of issue going on entirely in her own head. He wanted to know if he could have them but I warned that after three months in the freezer, I wasn’t sure how good they would still be. He happily opened up the tin and the scent of Christmas baking immediately scented the air. They were just about as good as when they were packed for gifting. A funny result of this find was my husband’s expression when he came home from work that evening. He watched my son come back from the freezer in the garage, followed his passage through the kitchen to his room with a very quizzical look on his face. He turned to me and asked, “Was I seeing things right. Did that kid just walk by with a handful of . . . Christmas cookies?”

Butter-Rich Butterscotch Cookies
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup very finely chopped pecans or walnuts
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups butter (You need it for taste here. Margarine just won’t do!)
1 cup packed, light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a pan over low heat, melt the butter, letting it simmer but avoid burning. Add the sugar and beat it until well-mixed. Let cool before adding egg, beating vigorously until smooth. Add vanilla and flour mixture until well combined.

Form dough into two rolls, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, minimum of an hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove rolls from freezer and slice into 1/4 inch thick cookies. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie
sheets. Bake for approximately ten minutes or until just golden. Cool and store in covered container for one week or freeze for as long as two months. Make approximately five dozen cookies.


Fiesta Cookies
1 cup butter
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 heaping tablespoon instant coffee
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
½ cup chopped, drained, maraschino cherries
1 cup powdered sugar for coating

Beat butter until light; gradually add sugar. Continue beating until
light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat to blend well.

Sift together flour, cocoa, coffee powder. Gradually add to creamed
mixture. Blend in nuts and cherries; chill until easy to handle dough.
Shape dough into one-inch balls and place one inch apart on ungreased
baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove cookies to
cooling racks and while still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Makes
approximately 4 to 5 dozen cookies..


Holiday Roll-Out Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add baking power and flour, mixing well. The
dough will be stiff so you may have to blend the last bit by hand.

Don’t force it. If the weather is dry, less flour may be needed. Do not chill dough.

Roll out a portion of dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out desired
shapes and bake on ungreased baking sheets for about eight minutes or
until lightly brown around the edges. Remove from baking sheets
immediately and cool thoroughly before decorating.

Christmas Cookie Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk or light cream
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
Mix sugar and milk thoroughly. Add corn syrup and incorporate well. Icing
may be divided up and tinted according to your creativity. Colored sugar,
sprinkles, bits of crushed candy cane, candied fruit or nuts will
brighten up your cookies.

Quick Almond Toffee Bites

Sharing with you my quick and easy recipe for coming up with a last-minute gift or a hostess gift to bring to a holiday party . . . or to make for yourself and indulge.

Quick Almond Toffee Bites

1 ½ sticks butter, no substitutes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped almonds

Melt the butter and sugars together in a pot and bring to a rolling boil. Maintain the rolling boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Add the nuts, bring to a rolling boil and continue for another five minutes, stirring to prevent burning.

Spread the mixture on a sheet of greased foil (heavily use Pam or any other vegetable spray.). Sprinkle with chocolate chips and spread out as they melt. Put in the refrigerator until set. Break into pieces and store in a closed container in a cool place.

Anti-Slavery Legislation and the KKK

Interesting article on support of anti-slavery legislation, the KKK, and democrats through our history. I didn’t realize that besides minorities, the KKK were not fond of Republicans, too, but should have figured on that.

Three Days to Prepare – One Hour to Eat!

Cooking dinner for Thanksgiving is a gift of love from the cook to the family and guests at the dinner table. . . and I wouldn’t change the process one, little bit.

Preparing for a Thanksgiving meal isn’t hard but it takes time, planning, and about three days to pull it all together. Today, was day one. And, yes, I’m a great one for making lists for anything I have to do in life. Thanksgiving requires a few more than one list. I need a grocery list, a dinner plan, and a cooking schedule. The background list to all this is what cleaning up around the house and yard need particular attention. Yesterday, was shopping day and, as usual, Tuesday is the beginning of the cooking and shopping to pick up what escaped the list yesterday.


Today was the simpler day. First thing this morning I put a bit pot of water, vegetables and turkey necks to simmer all day. This is my basis for making the gravy and for moistening the dressing. Baking started as one can’t make dressing without bread and we are gluten-free so I make the bread myself to keep everyone healthy. Cranberry/Apple sauce is now chilling in the refrigerator. No canned jelly stuff around here. It has too much sugar and I like to be able to taste the fruit.


Salads always make an appearance at the Thanksgiving table so the beet salad is marinating in a dish in the refrigerator awaiting some last-minute seasoning on Thursday. The apples for the Apple Crisp have been peeled, sliced, and are soaking in sugar, lemon, lime, and cinnamon.


Tomorrow, things heat up a bit as I have three pies to make besides baking the Apple Crisp.

Cat’s World – Everything is for Playing!

We inadvertently acquired another cat. My husband learned to never say to my daughter, “Oh, look at that kitten under the neighbor’s care.” because said kitten soon took up residence much to the dismay of our two dogs and two cats. Buster is only six months old and needs a lot of play time which our older cat is not interested in providing. Buster is interested in everything and vacuum cleaners do not scare him and anything on the floor belongs to him. Last night, we moved the carpet runners into the living room while the shampooed carpets in the hallway dried. Suddenly, we noticed a ‘lump’ in one of the runners and, sure enough, it was now housing Buster. It was easy to take a picture. My husband just set the camera in front of the opposite side of the tunnel created by Buster and kept shooting pictures . . . until Buster tore through to catch the flash on the camera.