Holiday Baking (part 2)

I promised you I’d share some of my savory recipes today – some of the family favorites that we enjoy during the holidays. I’m also going to share one that is brand new to us and that we’re trying out this year.

The new recipe we’re trying is a corn casserole recipe. It’s not something that was traditionally made at my house (or Grandma’s) when I was growing up, but I’ve had it when other people have made it and loved it. So, I decided to try my hand at making it this year… introduce a new tradition to the table, so to speak.

I’m excited to see how it turns out!

One of the old standbys we make every holiday is a sweet potato casserole. Mom has been making this for years and years – I think the original recipe is one that she clipped out of a magazine or the newspaper. After it’s debut at one of our family dinners, it quickly replaced the ultra-sweet marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole that we used to eat.  I absolutely LOVE it. I’d eat it every day if I thought I could get away with it.  Of course, since my WLS surgery, I have to be very, very careful when I’m indulging like this or I’ll be curled up in a ball crying in a few hours.  So, I enjoy it sparingly but I do have a tiny bit when we make it for the holidays.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (you can use one large can of sweet potatoes if you wish)
1/2 – 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 – 1 cup finely chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, egg, vanilla, milk and butter (1/4 cup). Whip with hand mixer until smooth.
  3. Pour into 2 quart baking dish. (8×8 or 9×9 works well)
  4. For topping, mix remaining ingredients to form a crumble topping.  Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

What about you? Any family favorites that you just have to make or it doesn’t seem like the holidays to you?

And, now, I’m off to bake and enjoy my family!!

Holiday Baking

I’m baking today.

Pies and breads and sweets in preparation for the big day on Thursday.

You’d think we were having an army over for dinner and not just the four of us.

But it sort of mushrooms – you think “oh, I’ll just bake a simple meal.” and then someone asks “but you’re going to make this, right?” and you say “yes, of course!” and pretty soon you have a feast on your hands.

But that is part of what Thanksgiving is about, right? Feasting? Well, it’s become that, anyway. It’s really  supposed to be about GIVING THANKS for all the blessings we have, but somehow it has turned into a day about eating. But, I’m OK with that, as long as we remember to be thankful for the fact that we CAN eat all this food and that we are so BLESSED to have an abundance of food to select from and eat.

But, enough of the soap box. I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’m baking today:


  • Pecan Pie (one of those things that just popped up on the menu, unbidden but welcome) I’m trying this recipe from Tasty Kitchen because it seems very, very close to the one my mom makes.  I used a combination of spiced pecans and plain ones. I saw that on Food Network this past weekend and thought it sounded like a really good idea.

Watergate Salad recipe

  • Watergate Salad (also known in our house as “green stuff”)
    Well, this one is not baked, but I’m making it today.  I’m also making it with sugar-free pudding, sugar-free cool whip and no-sugar-added pineapple so that it will be WLS friendly.  A girl’s gotta have dessert, right?
  • Honey Oatmeal Bread – this is just because I haven’t made any fresh bread in a couple weeks and I thought I’d try a new recipe and see how the family liked it.
  • I’m also planning to bake a mincemeat pie this evening, but I’m cheating and using a jarred filling. It is what my mom always makes and I love it.
  • For Thanksgiving morning, I’m planning to make these for breakfast.Pecan Pie Muffins Recipe

Mom made them a few weeks ago and said they were really good so I’m going to give them a try.

That’ll be enough baking, I think. Don’t you? Smile

Tomorrow I’ll share some of the savory recipes we’re planning for Thanksgiving.

An even BETTER Apple Crisp

I shared with you an apple crisp recipe not too long ago – it was one of the best ones I’ve had in a long time. But, I have continued to tweak the recipe and I think I have an even BETTER recipe to share with you.

I made it Sunday to have as dessert after dinner with friends.  Everyone agreed it was fabulous.  And, SuperMan and I have eaten leftovers for breakfast a couple times this week – it makes an awesome breakfast – think Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal but in the best possible way.

One of the secrets to the new and improved recipe is using Grape Nuts cereal as part of the topping. I found just plain oatmeal was a little too soft and not “crispy” enough for me. I wanted a little crunch, but didn’t want to use nuts (the girls don’t care for nuts) in the topping.

I just happened to be reading my December/January issue of Cook’s Country magazine and they had a recipe for a low-fat apple crisp.  I decided to combine the top half of their recipe with the bottom half of my original recipe.  I also added raisins for a little more fruity goodness…

The result?



If you are looking for something to add to your holiday menu, I would strongly suggest this little dish.  The version below makes a 9×13 dish and I served it with frozen vanilla yogurt and caramel sauce. *swoon*

Here’s the recipe.

Don’t be afraid to try a little for breakfast! It’s so good… and it’s full of the same breakfast-y ingredients we eat anyway – fruit, oatmeal, cereal, etc.  Why not?

Even Better Apple Crisp


1 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp salted butter, diced into cubes and chilled
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt


10 cups of apples, peeled, cored & sliced (I used honey crisp apples)
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup apple cider (or juice)


  1. Place the sliced apples in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples.
  4. Pour the apple cider over the apples.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the topping ingredients, adding the butter last and using your fingers to mash the butter into the topping ingredients.
  6. Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture, spreading to evenly cover the apples.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until the juices are bubbling and topping is a deep golden brown. 
  8. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.KitchenAid black Fruit Slicer Wedger

Note: I use my apple slicer to make my slices because I like big, chunky pieces of the apple in my crisp.  You can use diced apples or smaller slices if you choose, I just prefer to have more discrete bites of fruit in my crisp.