November 30, 2011

Time for Hot Cocoa!

"The greatest gift is love...Happiest of Holidays!"

"...Furapparelled for the skating, comes the pond's acknowledged Belle; I am duly there in waiting, for I'll lose no time in stating That I love the lady well. Then to don her skates, and surely mine the task to fit them tight, Strap and fasten them securely while she offers me, demurely, First the left foot then the right. Off she circles, swiftly flying to the pond's extremest verge; Then returning, and replying with disdain to all my sighing, And the love I dare not urge. Vainly do I follow after, she's surrounded in a trice, Other men have come and chaffed her, and the echo of her laughter Comes across the ringing ice..." (Excerpt from "Mr. Punch's Book of Sports")

Chocolate Mint Hot Chocolate
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
2 Andes chocolate mints
1/8 tsp. salt
6-1/2 cups hot water
Marshmallow cream or mini marshmallows
Chocolate shavings

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, peppermint extract, chocolate mints, and salt; mix well. Slowly stir in the water and heat through, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Pour the hot chocolate into mugs, then garnish each cup with marshmallow cream or mini marshmallows. Chocolate shavings can also be added, if desired.

November 29, 2011

A Snowy Thanksgiving

The Maine House was blanketed in white on Thanksgiving day. We arrived in Boston on Tuesday evening to greet Rob as he flew in from Dallas. Oh, to see this boy's sweet smile made my heart sing. Don't you just love those moments at the airport when everyone greets their loved ones with hugs, kisses and smiles? This was perfectly reflected in the movie "Love Actually" love is all around you! We then headed toward Beacon Hill to have a fine Italian dinner at Antonio's! As normal, Rob was starved and ate not only his entree, but some of Darling's and a little of mine. We shared the cannoli which is just a little bit of heaven! Arriving back in Maine we discovered two raccoons on the deck on the hunt for a little bird seed. Rob commented how good it was to be back in Maine and observe the wildlife right in our own little woodlands! Here is what it looked like when we woke up on Wednesday!

Wednesday was a perfect day. We baked our favorite Chilighetti, made our Smoked Cheddar Rolls, took in a movie and shared family time.

Alas, Thanksgiving day arrived! Time to bake the pies~

Darling and Rob fried the turkey in the snow, while Estelle's was preparing the side dishes in the warmth of the kitchen!

The aroma is incredible!

Preparing the Appetizers

November 24, 2011

Our Daily Bread

May the holidays find you in the company of those you hold dear.

Happy Thanksgiving Day and Many Blessings~

These are simply melt in your mouth delicious~


My Taste Tester!


2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
2 cups whole buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
2 teaspoons salt
6 to 7 cups bread flour, divided
2 cups shredded smoked sharp Cheddar cheese
Melted butter (optional)

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat buttermilk, melted butter, egg, and salt at medium-low speed with a mixer until combined. Add yeast mixture, beating until combined. Gradually add 4 cups bread flour and shredded cheese, beating until smooth. Beat in enough remaining bread flour to make a soft dough.

On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough. Knead dough for 6 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 1 hour or until dough is doubled in size.

Spray 18 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.

Shape dough into 54 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Place 3 balls in each muffin cup. Cover, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush hot rolls with melted butter, if desired. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

November 23, 2011

Being Thankful

Some people think a family is the collection of people you're tied to by DNA. "Blood is thicker than water. Ties of blood are the strongest of them all!" Being a family means that these are the people that make you feel good about yourself, who accept you as you are, who don't expect you to be perfect, who listen when you talk and let you change your mind if you need to. The people whose presence makes your life deeper and richer and more fulfilling.

For them, I am thankful.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

For them, I am thankful.

November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Breakfast....Southern Creole Style!

 Lagniappe derives from New World Spanish la ñapa, "the gift," and ultimately from Quechua yapay, "to give more." The word came into the rich Creole dialect mixture of New Orleans and there acquired a French spelling. It is still used in the Gulf states, especially southern Louisiana, to denote a little bonus that a friendly shopkeeper might add to a purchase. By extension, it may mean "an extra or unexpected gift or benefit."

Shrimp and grits — a Southern favorite — relies on two key components: fabulous cheese grits and buttery sauteed shrimp. The rest is in the details. Of course, that lagniappe, or "little something extra," infuses character and flavor to the dish and tells your guests they're worth the added effort. Welcome to our Thanksgiving breakfast at Estlle's....the southern creole way!

Comfort Grits
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
11⁄2 cups and 2 tablespoons grits
1 cup milk
1 to 11⁄2 sticks butter, or more to taste
6 slices American cheese

Place water, salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add grits, milk and butter. Stir and cover. Cook for at least one hour over low heat. Stir frequently. About 5 minutes before serving, add cheese, and continue to stir. Add more butter or milk if grits need to be thinned.

Creole Gulf Shrimp
1⁄2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound medium (70/90) shrimp, divided
2 teaspoons garlic powder or more to taste, divided
1 teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon bacon drippings or olive oil
1⁄2 red, green or orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 onion, coarsely chopped
1⁄4 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 to 11⁄2 teaspoons minced garlic or more to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 green onions, chopped

Cook bacon; drain and crumble. Set aside. Reserve drippings.

On high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in skillet and sauté 1/2 pound of shrimp seasoned with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper and salt. Repeat for remaining shrimp.

In another skillet, heat butter and bacon drippings or olive oil. Sauté vegetables and stir in black pepper, paprika, salt, garlic and onion powder. Serve shrimp over Comfort Grits. Top with sautéed vegetables, bacon crumbles and green onions.

November 21, 2011

The Best of Holiday Salads

The Garden Club met for the quarterly meeting last weekend to discuss winter gardening in Maine. We each brought pictures of our autumn gardens to share with the group and talk about the sights of the fall season we each discovered. Winter is approaching so we discussed how to winterize our flower and vegetable gardens which should carry us all the way through May, until the next Spring planting season begins.

Lovely Garden of Private Residence in Kennebunkport

During the club meetings, we each share some of our favorite holiday recipes to sample and we then exchange our best family favorites. This year I chose to take two side salads that have been extremely popular at our holiday table in the past years. The grape salad was given to me by our friend Jean in Pensacola. I mean there is not one ounce of this yummy salad left once you make a bowl of this two grape salad.. The topping just completes it so this is always requested if we have a gathering of friends and family or a potluck! You cannot imagine that anything so easy to mix together can be so darn good! You will be the hit of the party when you bring this lovely dish!

Best Grape Salad
2 lbs green seedless grapes
2 lbs red seedless grapes
 8 ounces sour cream
 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar, packed
 1 cup crushed pecans

Wash and stem grapes. Set aside. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, white sugar and vanilla by hand until blended. Stir grapes into mixture, and pour in large serving bowl. For topping: Combine brown sugar, and crushed pecans. Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely. Chill overnight.

This cranberry relish was always served by our dear friend, Miss Sidney  from Jackson, Mississippi. Sid was a registered nurse who had four children and two grandchildren. It became her signature dish and when we were fortunate enough to travel home to Jackson for the holidays, Miss Sid always came to dinner with this absolutely scrumptious cranberry relish served in the most beautiful leaded crystal bowl. It was simply elegant!!

 Best Cranberry Relish
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
12-oz. package fresh cranberries
1 orange, peeled and pureed
Juice of one lemon
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 pear, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup chopped dried mixed fruit
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, boil the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in cranberries, pureed orange, lemon juice, apple, pear, dried fruit, pecans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.

November 20, 2011

Turkey, Stuffing and Cider Glaze

"Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers."
- Edgar A. Guest, Thanksgiving

A Maine House Mosaic

 A brine makes turkey or any poultry moist, juicy, and delicious.
The recipe below, with the sausage stuffing and cider glaze,
makes this dish perfect for the holidays.

Estelle's Savory Tip
To brine a whole turkey, quadruple the
 brine ingredients below.

The Turkey
2 1-1/2 to 2-lb. boneless turkey breasts
1 qt. vegetable stock
1 qt. apple cider
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 Tbsp. dried sage
1/2 Tbsp. dried thyme
1/2 Tbsp. dried rosemary, crushed
2 qts. ice water

The Stuffing
1 lb. loose sage sausage
3/4 cup onion, diced
1-1/2 cups celery, diced
3/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 (10.75-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
12 cups soft bread, cubed

The Cider Glaze
6 cups apple cider
2 Tbsp. maple syrup

To prepare the brine for the turkey, combine all ingredients above except the ice water in a large saucepot or stockpot. Bring to a boil; cook until the salt dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When the brine is room temperature, add the ice water. Add the turkey breasts to brine, being sure that the turkey is completely submerged; refrigerate in the brine for 12 - 18 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Place each breast, skin side up, in a casserole dish or on a cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 90 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 165°F.

Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Start by cooking the sausage over medium heat in a large skillet until evenly browned. Add the onion, celery, butter, black pepper, and thyme. Continue to cook until onions and celery are translucent. Add the mushroom soup and chicken stock, stir until combined, and bring to boil.

Remove from heat then fold the bread cubes into the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

To prepare the cider glaze, cook the apple cider in a large saucepan over medium heat until it reduces down and becomes a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup. Drizzle over the stuffing and sliced turkey breast. Now, you are ready to serve.

"Come said the wind to the leaves one day,
Come o're the meadows and we will play.
Put on your dresses of scarlet and gold,
summer is gone and the days grow cold."
A Children's Song of the 1880's

November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Pies!

"Do All the Good You Can, In All the Ways You Can
As Long as Ever You Can, By All the Means You Can,
In All the Places You Can."
John Wesley

"If you were to be shot at sunrise," I said to my dinner companions in an Atlanta restaurant, "what would you have for your last meal?" Barbara Bush, our witty and beloved former First Lady replied. "I would have five desserts, maybe six! Otherwise, I would have a Big Mac!" John McDonnough, professor of the marvelous voice that enlivens many of the Mitford audio books stated, "I would request enough food so that my executioners could enjoy a hearty post-mortem feast, themselves. This would include a real lemon pie, the kind that makes you kick off your shoes, followed by a fitful sleep!" Albert Ernest, lumber man, banker, sportsman and poet dreamed of pecan pie and a cigar of distinction. Liz Darhansoff, a literary agent, stated, "a Maine wild blueberry pie with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream!"...You get the picture!!!!.....Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon flour, plus more for tossing chocolate chips
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup 100 percent pure cane syrup (recommended: Steen's)
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line the pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Place in the oven and bake until the top edges are lightly golden and the bottom of the crust is set and no longer looks doughy, usually about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove paper and weights and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Spread the pecan pieces along the bottom of the par-baked crust. Toss the chocolate chips in a little flour just to coat, then spread them evenly among the pecan pieces.
Combine the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, cane syrup, corn syrup, vanilla, salt, butter, and remaining tablespoon of flour in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Pour the mixture over the pecans and chocolate chips.
Bake until the filling sets and pastry is nicely browned, usually about 1 hour.
Transfer to a cooling rack and allow pie to cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Harvest Pie
1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded (about 2 1/4 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
10 tablespoon fat-free whipped topping (optional)

Position oven rack to lowest setting. Preheat oven to 400°. Place squash, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Cool slightly, and peel. Mash pulp to measure 2 1/2 cups. Combine the pulp and milk in a food processor; process until smooth. Add granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through cloves); process until smooth.
Increase oven temperature to 425°
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl; cut in butter using two knives or a pastry blender. Add pecans; toss to combine.

Roll dough into a 13-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Pour squash mixture into prepared crust. Place pie plate on bottom rack; bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Remove pie from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over filling; shield edges of piecrust with foil. Return pie plate to bottom rack; bake an additional 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool on a wire rack. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped topping, if desired.

Thanksgiving Blessings from The Maine House

November 18, 2011

Anniversary Wishes

Moons and Junes and ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way you feel, as every
fairy tale comes real, I’ve looked at love that way......

On November 18th, 1972, my Darling and I walked down the isle of Christ Lutheran Church in Jackson, Mississippi and precisely at 1:30 PM we agreed to love and honor each other for a lifetime. We have made it through the rain. We met in high school in our mid-teens. He graduated a year ahead of me and off he went to Ole Miss. I followed a year later. I guess you could say, looking back, our parents thought we were far too young to get married and begin the journey through life. But here we are, four children later, four dogs later and six cats later...thirty-nine years of married life! We have weathered several moves, only owned four homes and endured the loss of our grandparents and our parents. We had good role models as we remember our parents. Such a remarkable generation they were! It's a good thing to be each other's best friend, to be thoughtful and kind to each other. Has it really been a fairy tale?'s just been a wonderful ride!


2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

6 tablespoons fresh key lime juice
1 1/4 ounces (1 envelope) package unflavored gelatin
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
10 (1-ounce) squares white chocolate, chopped
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest
1 1/2 ounces white chocolate, grated or shaved into curls, for garnish
Candied Lime Peel, for garnish, recipe follows

Mix together the cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the lime juice. Whisk in the gelatin and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat. Add 10 ounces of white chocolate and stir until smooth. Allow to cool. Using an electric mixer, blend together the cream cheese, sugar and lime zest in a medium bowl, until smooth. Slowly beat in the cooled white chocolate mixture into cream cheese mixture.
Using clean, dry beaters, beat the remaining 2-cups heavy cream in a small bowl, until it forms soft peaks. Fold it into the white chocolate mixture and pour into the pie crust. Cover and freeze overnight.

Remove from freezer and run a sharp knife around inside of springform pan to help loosen the pie. Release springform ring from the bottom of the pan and transfer the pie to a serving plate. Grate or curl the white chocolate over the top and garnish with candied lime peel. Cut into wedges with a knife that has been dipped into hot water and serve.

Candied Lime Peels
4 limes, peels removed and sliced into strips
2 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
2 cups water

Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the peels in and blanch them for a few minutes. Set aside. Put the peels in another medium saucepan and cover with equal parts of sugar and water. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 1 hour. Remove the peels and drain until almost dry. Roll into sugar and set aside.


November 17, 2011

Good Southern Dressings

Insomnia! Why am I awake, having coffee with Mae Mo and
 writing about the dressing for Thanksgiving?

Too much to think about and ponder. You know that feeling of a relocation I talked about earlier? Perhaps it is in the very near future....we shall see what unfolds in our life's journey. Anyway, The Divine Miss M and I were discussing "the dressing" for the holiday meal. Of course, my Mother made the most heavenly dressing there ever was. She also made Oyster Dressing for was simply his favorite! We always bought the oysters from Castigliola's in Jackson. The aroma was scrumptious. We also never referred to "the dressing" as stuffing! I don't even like that term. I have tried over the many years to do Mother justice in making the dressing, but somehow I don't think it compares. However, my children love it and never want me to change it up, so to speak. Miss M is having "loads" of family in for the Holiday, so she thought about trying a new dressing recipe. She wondered about putting cranberries and apples in her recipe,but we both decided we prefer a more savory taste. Miss Judy did make a recipe from Southern Living many years ago, which had sausage and pecans in the dressing and it was actually quite good. We had this new version she had made, in addition to Mother's however! So if you would like to serve a good southern dressing this year, these two recipes will sure to please your sweet family and friends! Blessings! Enjoy the warmth of your family and cooking with your heart!

Andouille Sausage Cornbread Dressing
1 cup butter or margarine, divided
3 cups white cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 large eggs, divided
3 cups buttermilk
3 cups soft breadcrumbs
2 medium onions, diced (2 cups)
1 large bunch celery, diced (3 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage
6 (10-1/2 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1 tablespoon pepper
3/4 pound diced, Andouille sausage
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
2 cups chopped, toasted pecans

Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13X9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425° for 4 minutes. Combine cornmeal and next 5 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk. Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, and set aside.

Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and sauté until tender. Stir in sage, and sauté 1 more minute. Brown Andouille sausage in a skillet over medium heat; drain.
Stir vegetables, remaining 4 eggs, chicken broth, and pepper into cornbread mixture. Add sausage, Granny Smith apples, and pecans into cornbread mixture; pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours. Bake, uncovered at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.

Southern Cornbread Sausage Creole Dressing
1 cup butter or margarine, divided
4 cups white cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
4 large eggs, divided
3 cups buttermilk
1 (12-ounce) package andouille sausage, chopped
8 green onions, thinly sliced
3 large celery ribs, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 medium-size green bell pepper, diced
1 (8-ounce) package fresh mushrooms, diced
1 cup dry sherry (optional)
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth

Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13- x 9-inch pan, and heat in oven at 425° for 4 minutes.

Combine white cornmeal and sugar in a large bowl; whisk in 2 eggs and buttermilk. Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and crumble into a large bowl.

Sauté chopped andouille sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add sliced green onions, diced celery, diced onion, and diced green bell pepper to skillet; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Spoon sausage mixture into bowl with cornbread mixture.
Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in skillet; add diced mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes. If desired, reduce sauté time to 3 minutes, and add 1 cup dry sherry to skillet. Cook, stirring often, until liquid is reduced by half.
Add mushroom mixture, chopped pecans, chopped parsley, and Creole seasoning to cornbread mixture in bowl.
Whisk together remaining 2 eggs and chicken broth; add to cornbread mixture, and stir gently until moistened. Spoon into 1 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly greased 8-inch-square baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

To make ahead: Chill prepared, unbaked dressing in the refrigerator overnight. Let dressing stand until room temperature, then bake as directed.

November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving....Saying Grace

I'm trying to remember how it felt to pray when I was a child. First, I think it made me feel happy that, when called upon, I had something special to say. Better still, it gave me an introduction, however small, to God....I learned that He was Great! You know, God Is great, God is good, that little blessing you first learned from your parents? I knew that God provided for our family. That's a lot of lesson for a little prayer to accomplish.

I think it's wonderful when a prayer pours straight from your heart. Saying Grace can be short, sweet and simple. My darling Grandmother Grace always told the story about when Katherine Tuttle came to dinner at their house and was asked to bless the food. Katherine was a child at that time and she had waited anxiously for dinner to be served. So by the time they were all seated at the table, she recited, "Papa has died and gone to heaven, now pass the potato soup!" 

"Lord, we thank You for the richness of this life and our friendships, and the this golden-crusted cornbread. Please bless the hands that prepared it, and make us ever mindful of the needs of others, through Christ our Lord, Amen!" .........Father Tim......The Mitford Cookbook Kitchen Reader

2 cups crushed pretzels
3 teaspoons plus 3/4 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 packages (3 ounces each) orange gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 cans (8 ounces each) crushed pineapple, drained
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups whipped topping
Additional whipped topping

In a small bowl, combine pretzels and 3 teaspoons sugar; stir in butter. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add pineapple and oranges. Chill until partially set, about 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over crust. Gently spoon gelatin mixture over cream cheese layer. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours or until firm. Cut into squares. Garnish with additional whipped topping if desired.


3 packages (3 ounces each) orange gelatin
3 cups boiling water
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
3 cups cold water
4 medium firm bananas, sliced
2-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted

In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Stir the cold water, bananas, marshmallows and pineapple into gelatin.
Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. dish coated with cooking spray; refrigerate until firm.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine sugar and flour. Stir in reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into the egg; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Cool. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in cooled filling. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over gelatin (dish will be full). Sprinkle with nuts and coconut.

Wishing for you an abundance of blessings...

Happy Thanksgiving