When my (now) husband and I were dating, he was coming out of a divorce and I was an eternal bachelorette. As such, we had many many MANY late-night conversations regarding how we weren’t looking for a forever relationship.
“You know, I’m not looking for a main dish here,” I said one night. “I am the main dish. I’m just looking for a nice complimentary side dish or something.”
“Like cranberry sauce,” he offered. “Everyone loves cranberry sauce. And it’s not Thanksgiving without it.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “Like cranberry sauce.”
That became our little trademark. Small cans of jellied cranberry sauce litter our memory boxes, left in unexpected places hoping to evoke a smile from the other. And every year, these many many MANY years later, it gives us an extra reason to be Thankful around the table. It’s fitting that when I started learning to cook, something I wanted to make (and make well!) was homemade cranberry sauce. This recipe is not only easy, I’d say it’s downright fool-proof. And it makes your house smell AMAZING.
What I’m thankful for:
1. Skinny jeggings that were created with a bit of “stretch” in my tummy section for holiday eats and treats 🙂
2. For my family – the ups, downs and in-betweens makes us family. Without it, we wouldn’t truly appreciate each other!
Oooweee Goooeeey Mac and Cheese
1 large box of macaroni noodles
3 1 pound bags of sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 stick of margarine/butter
heavy whipping cream
3 medium eggs
Boil macaroni noodles until tender. Drain. In a large baking dish layer macaroni noodles and cheese. In a separate mixing bowl, beat 3 eggs, add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream add salt and pepper for flavor. Pour mixture over the layered macaroni noodles and cheese. Add more whipping cream evenly across layers until it’s 1/3 full. Take margarine and cut into small pieces and place over the top of the layers. Bake on 350 for approximately 40 minutes and until creamy. ENJOY!
I’m thankful for Kaffeeklatsch coffee (and also family and friends and health and all that…). I made this recipe last year and I thought my sister was going to pass out from loving it so much. It is that good. And simple. I like simple.
1 (4 pound) butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cubed
1/3 yellow onion, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Toss the squash, onion, olive oil, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, thyme, and blue cheese in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned on top, 35 to 40 minutes.
This year, I am thankful for the health and happiness of my family and friends, the amazing grace of God, the culinary genius of ice cream and cookie sandwiches, Hourglass Veil makeup primer, Happy Endings, which, IMO is the funniest show on television right now, jeans with 2% spandex, and the two lovely ladies – Jennifer and Stephenie – who run RCM. Happy Thanksgiving!
Southern Pineapple Casserole
This year I am thankful for where I am and who I am around. I feel like the past few years have been filled with metaphorical valleys and peaks but that crazy journey has helped me learn more about myself. I feel that I have a greater understanding of who I am, what my abilities and limits are, and why I’m here. To me, that self-knowledge is a tremendous gift. I’m grateful for those friends and family members who surround me with love and support. Those who let me laugh, cry, and watch silly movies with them. I’m grateful to have a job that I love and a way to reach out and impact the community around me for the better. I’m grateful to be surrounded by people that share that passion and help me re-catch the vision when it flickers. I’m grateful for my sweet husband and son, who are my safe place in this crazy world. And last (but not least): I’m grateful for chocolate, shoes, books, and the super smart, super awesome, beautiful, amazing, and supportive Rocket City Mom readers.
Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole My changes: double the vanilla, add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg to the potato mixture, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the pecan mixture. Also, I “round up” on the butter!
The story behind this dish: A few years ago, I was searching for a really good sweet potato casserole recipe to take to a Thanksgiving luncheon at work. I made this recipe and one of my coworkers said, “Whoa girl! You really put your foot in it!” There was a pause, and then I said “WHAT??? It tastes like FEET???” The coworker (now laughing) had to explain that “putting your foot in it” is a good thing – it meant it was really good. So ever since then whenever I make this casserole I think “OK, Lexie. It’s time to put your foot in it!”
I can’t possibly list all the things I’m thankful for this year, but besides the usual-but-always-sincere blessings of my dear family, friends, and health, I do have a few UNusual highlights. I’m thankful for fresh eggs every morning from my silly backyard chickens, for the maniacal giggles of my boys, for the constant support of Spanx, for good books, that LEGOS exist, a great business partner that agreed to share her vision with me and the amazing local moms & dads that write for RCM. But mostly? I’m grateful for the best husband in the universe.
If you would like my Grandad’s recipe for Cornbread Dressing, here’s the link – but whatever you do, don’t leave out the secret ingredient, no matter how yucky you might think it is.
Papa Loyd’s Famous Cornbread Dressing.
This year I am grateful for the blessing of “mom moments”. I am the mother who just yesterday had a wet shirt while shopping because one of my little blessings put their mostly full juice box in my purse to save it for later and it leaked thru to my clothes. I am grateful to not miss moments like the other night when my youngest was found “helping” by digging both her little hands in my homemade chicken pot pie (which was about to be loaded up to deliver to a friend who had a new baby) and heaping fistfulls onto plates for our family. I am grateful even for the time I tried to take a rare, relaxing bath complete with a good book and lots of bubbles, only to be interrupted no less than nine times by kids breaking down the door to get in there.
My little blessings…or troublemakers, whichever you’d like to call them. Wouldn’t life be boring without them? Happy Thanksgiving, all you Rocket City mothers out there.
This recipe is a favorite among my kids, who for the most part would prefer a Thanksgiving feast comprised entirely of chicken nuggets, mac ‘n cheese, and an apple slice or two to make me happy since it’s a special holiday.
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained (I usually use frozen corn to reduce the sodium)
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
Combine all ingredients. Place in a lightly greased 9×13 casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
2012 has been an amazing year filled with more blessings than I could possibly list here. The biggest is obviously the beautiful new addition to our family – Iris. In her short 4 months on this planet, she has reminded me of everything that is pure, true, and wonderful about our world. Her big sister is constantly making me laugh and her smiles are infectious. For that, I am also grateful. Most importantly, I am thankful for an amazing husband who not only helped create these two wonderful creatures but helps to mold them and raise them up in the best way possible. I would also be remiss not to mention that I am truly grateful for this wonderful outlet for my creative ventures and for my business partner without whom RCM would most definitely have gone dark this summer. I am so blessed not only to work with her every day but to truly call her a friend. If you’ve ever had the chance to work with friends, I highly recommend it.
Alas, because I am no cook I do not have a recipe to share but if you are looking for an outstanding and ridiculously easy appetizer to put out before the festivities begin, I can highly recommend the following.
1. Soften a block of cream cheese or brie
2. Pour Dr. Pete’s Praline Mustard Glaze over the cheese
3. Serve with crackers
4. Eat Fast! This goes quickly once people try it and they will all ask for the recipe 🙂
Stephenie has worked with and around books and authors for over 12 years, both at retail booksellers and public libraries. She is a rare Huntsville native, mother of two high-energy boys, wife of one, and eerily addicted to community volunteering. When she's not being the Managing Editor for RCM she likes to stalk her favorite authors online, cook with way too much butter, and also manages to conduct freelance marketing and PR work.