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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yam Casserole

I missed out on this one as a kid--not appreciating it like I do now. It has become a must-have in my adult years. Super tasty!

Bake or boil, then mash 5 medium yams. To the mash add the following:

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cream

Place mixture in a casserole dish.

Topping ingredients:

1/4 cup soft butter
3 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans.

Mix topping ingredients together until like coarse meal. Sprinkle over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Lefse is a traditional Norwegian food that is like a potato tortilla. It is definately one of those foods that it's not Thanksgiving without it. They are time consuming to make, and require special care to make a good one, which is why we only enjoy them once a year. We like to eat lefse spread with butter and sugar then rolling it up. Others like them with fillings like cinnamon, honey, stuffing and turkey, or peanut butter and jelly. This is my mom's (the expert) recipe and instructions.

17 cups Russet potatoes (10#s) *
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup butter, melted *
2 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
8 cups flour
*Use only Russet potatoes and do not substitute margarine for butter.

Peel potatoes and boil in salted water until tender. Drain and rice potatoes while still hot. Measure and put in large container. Add all other ingredients except for the flour and mix by hand or with a spoon. NEVER use a mixer. Let stand in the refrigerator until cold (I usually do this overnight). When mixture is completely cold, mix in the flour only until incorperated - DO NOT overmix. Don't add the flour until you are ready to roll them out. Measure 1/4 cup of dough and roll out into a thin circle on a floured surface. Fry on a hot skillet (450 degreese or medium high heat) until lacey brown. Wipe loose flour from griddle after each lefse is fried and brush flour off the cooked lefse also. Cool lefse slightly before stacking and packaging. I cool on a rack while one is frying, then stack about a dozen and cover them with a paper towel to cool completely. Can be frozen but are best fresh.

Ambrosia Salad

This is a typical salad served in our family around the holidays. Kellen had it for the first time when he came to Thanksgiving in South Dakota the first year we were married and has often asked for it since.

2 cups pineapple chunks, drained well
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained well
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sour cream

Mix all together 12 hours in advance. Stir just before serving.

Baked Corn Casserole

Shirley Bachmann made this delicious corn casserole for the Memorial Day potluck in Summit in May of 2005. We loved this baked corn so a request for the recipe was made. Thank you Shirley. Kellen often asks for this dish and specifically requested it this Thanksgiving.

1 16 oz whole kernel frozen corn (Shirley would use 2 cups of her home frozen corn)
1 16 oz. cream style corn (Shirley would process 1 bag of her home frozen corn in processor)
2 eggs, beaten
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
Mix all ingredients. Bake at 350* for 1 hour in deep dish or 1/2 hour in shallow pan.
*Notes from Shirley. I use my own frozen corn (I put about 2 cups per bag). I put 1 pkg in processor to make it creamy, Also I have used 1 cup evaporated milk if I didn't have sour cream on hand. To make a larger amount, I use 3 pkg corn, and 3 eggs but other ingredients were about the same.

Savory Spinach and Artichoke Stuffing

My mom found this recipe on Food Network one year when searching for a unique stuffing recipe. It isn't your traditional stuffing but it is delicious and worth the extra expense once a year

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Yeild:10-12 Servings


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds spinach, washed (3 cups cooked and roughly chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Emeril's Italian Essence, or other Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 (8 1/2-ounce) cans quartered artichoke hearts, any tough outer leaves removed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 12 to 14 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old French bread (1 loaf)
  • 1 pound Brie, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Once cool, squeeze as much water from spinach as possible, then roughly chop, and reserve.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 2 teaspoons of Italian Essence, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Combine the eggs, cream, chicken stock, lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon Italian Essence, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the bread, spinach, artichoke mixture, brie, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and parsley and stir to combine. If bread does not absorb all of liquid immediately then let rest until this happens, about 20 minutes.
Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until firm in the center and golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve warm.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pumpkin Scones

These scones are delicious, nutritious, and easy to make. I have not tried the berry butter but it looks just as good. Great fall recipes!

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled margarine or butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries or dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry blender cut in the 1/2 cup chilled margarine or butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of dry mixture; set aside.

2. In another bowl combine egg, pumpkin, and milk. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened.

3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough by folding and pressing gently for 10 to 12 strokes or until nearly smooth. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges.

4. Place wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. If desired, brush tops with additional milk. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Remove scones from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm with Berry Butter. Makes 12 scones.

For Berry Butter: In a small bowl combine dried cranberries or dried blueberries and boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain well and finely chop berries. Stir together the 1/2 cup margarine or butter, powdered sugar, and the cranberries or blueberries. Cover and let chill at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to blend. Makes 3/4 cup.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 252, Total Fat (g) 16, Saturated Fat (g) 3, Cholesterol (mg) 18, Sodium (mg) 321, Carbohydrate (g) 24, Fiber (g) 1, Protein (g) 3, Vitamin A (DV%) 42, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

This savory bread can be served with pasta, or other main dish, and can be made into a sandwich, as pictured here. The flavor of the herbs add some life to regular sandwich toppings. I found this particular recipe on and made a few changes to make it my own. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour and I successfully substituted 1/3 of the all-purpose flour with freshly ground whole wheat flour. Any herb, such as sage, thyme, etc. can be substituted for the Rosemary (or a combination of herbs). I also added shredded parmesan cheese to the top before baking.

  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm (110F) water
  • 2 1/2 cups room temperature water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
  • 6-7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • Italian herb of choice - sage, rosemary, thyme, etc.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt (coarse or flake)
  1. Combine yeast and warm water in a large bowl and leave until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in 2 1/2 cups water, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 cups flour and 1 Tbsp salt into the yeast mixture. Add in the remaining flour, one cup at a time, until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl into a ball. Add the herb(s) halfway through the flour additions. Move dough to flat surface and knead dough for 5-8 minutes, until the ball is smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap, until doubled - about 1 hour.
  3. For a rectangular focaccia: Gently lift the dough onto an oiled 11X16 jelly-roll pan (or cut in half and sue two smaller baking sheets with sides ), stretching it out slightly as you transfer it. For a round focaccia: Cut the dough into three pieces and gently lift the dough into three oiled pie pans. *FYI baking stones work great as well.
  4. Splay your fingers and press into dough, indenting it and pushing it out towards the sides of the pan, much like a cat kneading a blanket, until the pan is full. This keeps the air bubbles in the dough. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400F.
  6. Dimple dough again with your fingertips, brush with 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil, sprinkle liberally with salt and garnish with herb of choice. Let dough rest until the oven is fully preheated.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bread is golden brown. Let cool in pan for 20-25 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.