Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu 2012

This year's Thanksgiving menu has officially been selected! When we came back home from the river this evening, Blair had the menu board cleared with Thanksgiving Dinner for the heading and Blueberry Salad underneath. That just made me realize I needed to get it together and get the rest of the list finalized or I'd be crying at the grocery store. We've been so busy working on the cabin that time has slipped away and it got here before I realized it.

Now that all the kids are grown and doing their own thing, it takes some serious rounds of texting to get everyone together even for a few hours. I'm thankful this year we will be together for a late evening dinner. That should give me plenty of time to get it all together. Below is what will be served at the Grisham household this year. All posted recipes can be selected and printed and any that aren't will be updated right after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu 2012

Roasted Hen & Cornbread Dressing* 

Pan Dripping Gravy

Smoked Ham

Asparagus Casserole

Granny Grisham's Corn Casserole

Mashed Potatoes

Cole Slaw

Deviled Eggs

Blueberry Salad

Buttermilk Pie

Boston Cream Poke Cake



*Cut back the amount of chicken (or turkey) to one cup when fixing regular cornbread dressing as a side dish.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Southern Fried Poutine

 This past September, I spent a week in Arborg, Manitoba training for my new job. The week in Canada was fun and quite filling. It was there I got to experience the well-known dish Poutine. I ate it twice at the Chicken Chef. Their fried chicken was actually pretty good. Not being a snob or anything, but fried chicken is a staple in the South. The Chicken Chef gravy was a little more on the brown side. I didn't have the fresh stock to make homemade gravy, so I cheated and bought a jar of  Heinz Home Style Classic Chicken Gravy. My intention was to add 1/8 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet until I reached the right flavor/color. But straight out of the jar was pretty good so I let it be this time.

  • 12 oz. jar of chicken gravy
  • 20 oz. bag of skinny french fries
  • Mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, cover the bottom with 1/4" canola oil. Let it get hot (350 degrees)! Pour the whole bag of fries in the skillet and spread them out evenly. Let the oil come to a good sizzle again and set the timer for 8 minutes. Sprinkle a little salt on top. Let them be until the timer goes off. Turn all the fries and let them cook another 8 minutes. Move to paper-lined plates to drain well.

While the fries are doing their thing, in a small saucepan, heat up the gravy.

When everything is fried and/or hot: Put a pile of fries on your plate, spoon gravy over the top and sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top. Pop into the microwave long enough to melt the cheese. Dig in!!

Fried Hot Dogs

Sometimes we just don't have a whole lot of time to throw a meal together. When that happens, we pull a good ol' Redneck meal out of our back pockets. Last Monday we saw the pack of red wienies in the fridge and decided to fix up a skillet full of fried hot dogs and oven baked fries. Laugh as much as you was pretty darn good!

 Barely cover the bottom of a non-stick skillet with canola oil. Let it pre-heat as you "butterfly" the hot dogs. For the uninformed, that means slice the hot dogs almost in half and leave just enough uncut that it's still one piece. Place them cut side down in the hot oil.
 Fry until the hot dogs start to slightly curl.At that point, flip them and cook the other side.
 This is the color you are trying to achieve. For the folks who like their hot dogs charred on the grill, leave them on a little longer.
Ready to eat! 
Don't forget to cook up a pan of onions to top your hot dogs with. chop 1 onion and season with salt, pepper and a little sugar. Cook in the left over oil but add about 3 tablespoons of butter. Stir and turn as needed until the onions are a light brown color.
Toast your bread and top the hot dogs with pickle relish, cooked onions and mustard. If you want to add a little "fancy" to your ketchup; cover it with black pepper and swirl your fries in it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Easy Fruit Salad With Honey Dressing

Are you tired of serving a plain ol' fruit tray when you are expecting guests? Well here's a great substitute. I was getting several finger food trays together for our company this weekend and I just wasn't feeling fruit slices. Paula Deen always has a fruit salad or two up her sleeve and I was feeling something light and refreshing. I'm telling you, the mixture of honey and lemon and that little tang of orange juice made this an immediate hit. The honey dressing is a keeper! I could drink it out of a cup! Paula's recipe called for avocado sliced up in it, but we had kids coming over and I figure that wouldn't go over very well. Make a double batch and serve it in a trifle dish for Thanksgiving and your family will think you really went all out! And easy? The hardest thing you'll have to do is cut up a banana and apple (or two)!


  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus the juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsps.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 2 apples, cored and diced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2-1 oz. boxes raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans


Put diced apples and banana slices in medium bowl. Stir in 2 tbsp. lemon juice to keep the fruit from turning brown. In a small bowl whisk, honey, orange juice, canola oil, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, poppy seeds and mustard until well blended. Pour over fruit. Add mandarin oranges, raisins and pecans and gently stir all ingredients. Serve chilled.

Adapted from: Paula Deen

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cousin Christine's Peanut Butter Pie

When I lived in Connecticut, I spent lots of time with my family, especially  my cousins. My Wadsworth cousins are: Pam, Eddie, Kelly, Christine and Dallas. Their Mother Patricia and my Mother Marguerite are sisters. When I think back on memories with the family, I remember me and Dawn getting to spend several days with our girl cousins in the summer. We loved playing and swimming and rambling around. Out of everyone and everything that has stuck with me all these years, it has to be my cousin Chrissie's (that's what we called her then) smile. I notice even now her face still lights up when she smiles.Christine has prepared several of the desserts included in the blog and is so sweet to send me a few pictures. I especially love how she made both of her twin boys happy when she fixed the Snicker Cheesecake Squares for them. One had the chocolate Oreos and on the other she used the vanilla for the crust. That brought up a whole new conversation on using Nutter Butters or any other sandwich cookie to give it a twist.

Last week my sweet cousin Christine Jessen shared her Peanut Butter Pie recipe with me. This just looked too good to pass up sharing with you all. I asked her if she would mind sharing it in a Guest Post. She was kind enough to do so. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, so I thought this was perfect timing!


  • 25 Oreos
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese- softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 (11.75 ounce) Jar of hot fudge topping
  • 15 Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (frozen, unwrapped)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container of Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350. Crush Oreos in food processer until crumbs and you no longer can see the whites of the cookies. Mix in melted butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool completely!
With a mixer beat together peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar. Slowly beat in Cool Whip until well combined. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the filling, spoon remaining mixture into cooled pie shell. With an off center spatula, smooth filling to the edges of the pie.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the hot fudge topping. Using a microwave, heat the hot fudge topping for 30 seconds, stir and heat for additional time no more than 30 more seconds. Topping should be thick and pourable but not to runny. Start in the center of the pie and pour the hot fudge topping over the filling. With your off center spatula, smooth topping to edge of pie. Refrigerate until set up.
Take 10 of the frozen, unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and chop them into small pieces. Sprinkle chopped candy over pie, lightly pressing into the fudge topping. Reserve 4 tablespoons of Cool Whip.

With an off center spatula, spread the remaining Cool Whip over the entire pie. Smooth to edge of pie.
With the reserved Hot Fudge Topping, place in plastic baggy, cut a small corner from the bag and drizzle over pie. With the reserve filling, place in plastic baggy, cut a small corner from the bag and drizzle over pie going in the opposite direction then the Hot Fudge Topping. With the reserved Cool Whip, place in a plastic baggy, cut a small corner from the bag and pipe a boarder around the edge of the pie. Quarter the remaining five peanut butter cups and place around the piped boarder along the edge of the pie. Refrigerate until ready to eat.