Monday, November 24, 2008

The Results Are In and I am Back

The hubs and I are back from a very successful trip to Pigeon Forge, but I am happy to report that our Christmas shopping is done (with the exception of a few things). God be praised. We had a great time, great fun, great food and we are extremely tired. I will be wrapping up many of our purchases today (because we have no room for them in our house except under the tree).
I would show you some of the wonderful deals we got, but most of the people we bought for read this blog.
I have to say that the outlet mall we go to was not extremely busy and many of the stores in it are closing. Unfortunately many of the employees at the stores will be losing their jobs by the end of the year. We really need to keep the people who are losing their jobs in our prayers this holiday season....there are so many that are facing dire circumstances right now and we tend to forget how blessed we really are (or maybe it's just me).

I really appreciate all your comments from this weekend. Even though out of hundreds of hits, there were only 28 comments -- come on people, what's a girl have to do to get you to comment? A giveaway? Yeah, we'll see, maybe I can do that soon too. While I don't know who left each anonymous comment, I have prayed over each one of them and am asking God to help each of you with your struggle in that area. I hope to use this information in future posts and I have another idea swimming around in my otherwise empty head, but will have to see what the Lord is up to before moving ahead with that.

So, my dad is coming to stay with us for Thanksgiving which means that I will be spending today and tomorrow throwing junk in closets and under beds cleaning and straightening. Wednesday and Thursday will be spent in the kitchen (which still has no microwave -- I am like the women in days of old, ya'll). So, my blogging time will be severely hindered by my household chores (dern - where's the maid when I need her? Oh wait, I AM the maid -- dern again).

Since I wont have a chance to blog much this week, I thought I would post some of the recipes that I will be making for Thursday........(in addition to these we will be having rolls, deviled eggs, creamed corn, green beans, dressing, turkey, spiral ham.......can ya tell I haven't had breakfast yet??)

My Sister’s Sweet Potato Casserole (served cold --- it is soooooo good!!!)

Layer 1
Crushed Ritz crackers combined with one stick butter. Press into 8x11 or 9x13 casserole dish and bake at 350 for 12 - 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Layer 2
Combine 8 oz cream cheese (softened), 1 cup sugar, and 8 oz. Cool whip. Spread on top of cooled cracker mixture.
Layer 3
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (cooked)
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 egg

Mix all together and spread on top of cream cheese/cool whip mixture and refrigerate.
Top with crushed pecans before serving.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. PLANTERS Pecan Pieces, divided
1 cup cold milk
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

POUR 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans.
BEAT milk, pudding mixes, pumpkin and spices with whisk until blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP. Spread into crust.
REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour. Top with remaining COOL WHIP, caramel topping and pecans just before serving.

Italian Marinated Vegetable Salad

1/2 lb. fresh green beans, cut in half
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 cup sliced stuffed green olives
1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing and Marinade
ADD beans and cauliflower to boiling water in saucepan; cook until crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain again. Place in bowl.
ADD remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Cover.
REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until chilled

O'Charley's Pie

2 cans of Eagle Brand condensed milk
1 pie crust
Cool Whip
Chocolate Chips and nuts

Remove all labels from milk cans. Do not open the cans. Boil the cans in water for 4-5 hours. I usually lean towards 4. While boiling, continue to check water depth. Add water as it evaporates to ensure the cans are covered. Let cans cool for 20-30 minutes. Open cans and pour caramel into pie crusts. Place in fridge to cool. Do not put cool whip on top until caramel has cooled. It will melt it. Top with any toppings. I use chocolate chips only, but many people add the nuts, too.

Corn Flake Cookies (for the kids)

7-8 cups cornflakes
1 cup light karo syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix sugar, syrup and butter in heavy sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for one exact minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until blended. Add cornflakes gradually. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool.

One last thing: Yesterday, Lake was in the bathroom and Kaden told him that he was going to performa stunt show for Lake (using his little motorcycles). Lake said okay and Kaden said, "Before I start, remember, no smoking, no food or drinks and no Flush photography"...............


Mari said...

Glad the shopping went well! Have a great Thanksgiving.
PS - Be sure you stop by my blog for a giveaway!

Anonymous said...

"FLUSH PHOTOGRAPHY"!!!! Oh crack me up!!! Yeah...the apple doesn't fall far from this tree for sure!!

The recipes sound great--totally different than my family makes. Do you serve the sweet potato casserole with the meal or as dessert? It sounds like a dessert but...sweet potatos...a veggie...this northern girl is a bit baffled by this southern hospitality!

Glad the shopping trip was a success. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Paulette said...

It sounds like you and dh had a wonderful weekend. Very productive. Your thanksgiving recipes sound wonderful. I hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Bright Blessings

Rochelle said...

Okay... I had to triple read your statement that your Christmas shopping is done. SO IMPRESSED!! The sweet potato recipe sounds nummy!!

Mommyluann said...

THis is not a weight watcher approved Thanksgiving...but who cares!!! it sounds wonderful........mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Denise said...

bethanne, i love you bloggy friend, but i could NEVER eat thanksgiving dinner with you. ick, cold sweet potatoe casserole..ahhh, just the name scares me.

Sandi Hixson said...

yes, need a giveaway! that should do it for you.......

alliekat said...

Denise - the cold sweet potato casserole is amazing - no one EVER dislikes it. Come on...just give 'er a try!

Greg P. said...


You and Steve and the boys have a blessed Thanksgiving. One of the many things I'm thankful for are friends like you and your family. God bless you all.

Greg P.(Diddy)

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Hi Bethanne,

You crack me up. Very good comment you left today.

And about all your shopping stuff... what a great tradition!

Happy Thanksgiving friend... your recipes sound wonderful!

Melissa said...

It's true about the comment thing girl! You DO almost have to have a give away or stand on your head or SOMETHING to get somebody to talk to ya! I am with you on that! :)

Mommyluann said...

I tagged you...but don't do it if you don't have time!

Kelly S. said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Love to your family!