"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"

 Cella's News

November 2005



Thanksgiving Day Is Here

When the nights with frost are nippy

And the leaves are rusty red,

And the gobbler's getting sassy

'Cause he's being overfed;

When the kitchen is so cozy

And it's redolent with spice,

And there's pumpkins round and golden

And they're looking mighty nice;

When the cider's being bottled,

And you're chock-full of good cheer,

Then you know by all the tokens

That Thanksgiving Day is near.

When fresh pies cool in the window,

Filled with pumpkin, apple, mince,

And you see bright jars of jelly,

Made of plum and grape and quince;

When the turkey's in the oven,

Stuffed and starting to get tan,

And the vegetables are ready

And just waiting for the pan;

When the kinfolk start to coming

And they're smiling with good cheer,

You can bet your bottom dollar

That Thanksgiving Day is here.

(Gladys Harp)

The traditional Thanksgiving feast that most people expect to be served this year includes Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, and Pumpkin Pie.  Of course this is only the basic meal and guests would not consider it complete without all the trimmings of delicious desserts, fresh baked rolls, quick breads, relish plates, vegetable platters, and those favorite dishes served from year to year by their favorite cooks and shared with their loved ones.  This is a meal that no one should eat alone.  It is meant to be a celebration meal and an occasion for all to give thanks for their yearly blessings.  We will all be stuffed, as well as the turkey. 

Many have contributed their favorite recipes for this column.  Rosalie's chicken/turkey dish  would make an excellent dinner for someone who would like a low-budget turkey dinner without the fuss of preparing and stuffing a turkey.  The dish bakes in 45 minutes.  I've made it twice with chicken and have some turkey fillets in my refrigerator to try it again.

Rosalie's Chicken/Turkey and Stuffing
(Rosalie Herman)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup onions, diced
1 stalk celery, diced

8 cups fresh bread, cubed
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
1 chicken or beef bouillon cube or packet
1/2 cup boiling water
1 to 1.25 pounds raw unbreaded chicken tenders (or turkey fillets)
10 3/4-oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk

In frying pan, melt butter and saute onions and celery until onions are translucent.  Remove from heat.  Stir in bread cubes, thyme, and sage.  Mix well.  Dissolve bouillon in boiling water and mix in until bread is moistened.  Place in a 9 x 13-inch buttered baking pan.  Top stuffing with a single layer of meat.  Mix cream of mushroom soup with milk until smooth and spoon over meat.  Cover with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. 

I received Mary Lou Williams' Pumpkin Crunch recipe the first part of November and I have made it twice so far.  Three ladies requested the recipe.  I'm going to be making it for my Thanksgiving dinner instead of pumpkin pie.  Yummy!

Pumpkin Crunch
(Mary Lou Williams)

3 large eggs
1 cup white granulated sugar
30-oz. can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
12-oz. can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
18.25-oz. box yellow cake mix with pudding
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, evaporated milk, and cinnamon.  Place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle dry cake mix on top and then nuts.  Drizzle melted butter over top.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes until puffed and browned.  

Cindy Dayton's Baked Lima Beans are tender and sweet.  I made them for some guests recently and forgot to serve them.  Try the recipe, it'll make a lima bean lover out of you.

Baked Lima Beans
(Cindy Dayton)

1 pound dried baby lima beans
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup onions, diced
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Soak beans over night.  Drain and rinse.  Place beans in a 2-quart saucepan, cover with water and boil with 1 teaspoon baking soda until tender.  Drain and rinse beans.  Set aside.

Dice bacon, fry until partially done and add onion.  Finish cooking bacon and onions and combine with beans (don't drain off the grease, add that to the beans too).  Stir in sugar and salt.  Pour into a baking dish.  Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Lisa Maul said that she has been making her Spinach Casserole recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner after she was first introduced to it a couple of years ago by her sister-in-law's sister-in-law at a family Thanksgiving dinner.  It's a delicious recipe, especially for diabetics.  

Spinach Casserole
(Lisa Maul)

1/2 cup butter
8-oz. package cream cheese
garlic powder (pinch or more as desired)
3 (12-oz.) jars artichoke hearts, drained
20-oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained, or fresh cooked baby spinach
8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top

In a quart saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, stir in the cream cheese and garlic powder.  Whisk until smooth.  Remove from heat.  In a 2-quart casserole dish, make a layer of artichoke hearts, a layer of spinach, a layer of cream cheese mixture, and a layer of water chestnuts.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake in 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through.

I attended a luncheon and got the chance to taste Linda Phillips' two delicious dishes, Tater Tots Bake and Vegetable Bake Medley.  I made both dishes recently and had to give most of it away because it was so good. 

Tater Tots Bake
(Linda Phillips)

2-pound bag frozen Tater Tots
1/2 cup onions, diced
2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
16-oz. container sour cream
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (8-oz.), sprinkled on top

Place Tater Tots in bottom of 9x13-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle with onions.  Mix together chicken soup and sour cream.  Spread soup mixture on top of Tater Tots.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with foil.   Bake for an hour until potatoes are hot and cooked through.

Vegetable Bake Medley
(Linda Phillips)

2 (16-oz.) bags frozen large-cut vegetable mix (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup (4-oz.) shredded or diced Swiss cheese
2.8-oz. can French Fried Onions
2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup

Topping (Place on after vegetables bake 20 minutes):
1 cup (4-oz.) shredded or diced Swiss cheese
2.8-oz. can French Fried Onions

Cook frozen vegetables according to package directions, drain well and place in an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, 1 cup of Swiss cheese, 1 can French Fried Onions, and 2 cans cream of mushroom soup.  Spread over vegetables.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, take off foil, top with 1 cup Swiss cheese and 1 can French Fried Onions.  Return to oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted, hot, and bubbly.

I've made Sharon Underwood's Cherry Pecan Bread a couple of times now.  It is an attractive and tasty quick bread that I have decided to include in my Thanksgiving menu.

Cherry Pecan Bread
(Sharon Underwood)

3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
10-oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar, butter, and eggs.  Mix in flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.  Stir in pecans, maraschino cherries that have been drained and patted dry on paper towels, and vanilla.  Pour into one large greased and floured bread pan, or two small aluminum bread pans, greased and floured.  Bake in a 350 degree oven; small loaves for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean; large loaf for 55 to 60 minutes.  Allow bread to rest in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Laura Davies said that her family serves the Priscilla Salad regularly at their celebration dinners.  Jell-O with cottage cheese sounds unusual, but it is very tasty.

Priscilla Salad
(Laura Davies)

3-oz. package strawberry Jell-O
1 cup boiling water
4 cups miniature marshmallows or 33 large 
20-oz. can drained crushed pineapple
1 pound container small curd cottage cheese
1 tablespoon salad dressing

In a medium-size saucepan, bring the water to a boil and take off heat.  Stir in the Jell-O until dissolved.  Place over low heat, add the marshmallow and stir until marshmallows are melted in.  Remove from heat.  Pour into a quart bowl.  Mix in drained crushed pineapple, cottage cheese, and salad dressing.  Place in bowl in refrigerator to cool and firm.

I will be hosting our family Thanksgiving Dinner this year and have provided my Thanksgiving Menu in hopes that it may give you some ideas to try at your meal.  Visit my web site at cellascookbook.com for other recipes and a copy of last year's Thanksgiving column in the archived newsletters.  


Marcella's Thanksgiving Menu

Turkey Stuffed with Old Fashioned Dressing

Mashed Potatoes and Turkey Gravy

Cranberry Sauce

Fresh Vegetable Platter with Vegetable Dip (mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, radishes, and celery)

Relish Tray (sweet pickles, dill pickles, pickled beets, cheese curds, green and black olives)

Homemade Red Cinnamon Applesauce

Corn Pudding

Spinach Casserole

Sweet Potato Bake with Pecan Topping

Breads:  Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Cherry Pecan Bread, Lemon Walnut Bread, and Butter Crescent Rolls

Desserts:  Pumpkin Crunch, Cherry Cheesecake Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, German Chocolate Pie, Pecan Pie



Send your favorite family recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or e-mail me at marcellastockin@yahoo.com.  I'd love to hear from you.  Providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood.  Visit http://www.cellascookbook.com and find out how you can order my cookbook.