Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, and the giving spirit should be sitting on your shoulder as the whispering do good angel. It's telling you to offer to take the shopping cart from the hands full mom putting her children in their car seats; she doesn't want to walk away. It's telling you to let two, maybe more, cars onto the road when stuck in slow-moving holiday traffic.
Your do-good angel asks that you fill a plate of food fresh from your dinner table and take to the elderly shut-in in your neighborhood. Offer to stop at the grocery store for them when the weather takes a winter turn. Shovel and sweep their porch steps and sidewalk before you walk home.
It's telling you to surprise those on your Christmas card list with Thanksgiving Day cards instead. It's telling you to rubber stamp all your out-going mail, yes even bills, with a holiday greeting, such as Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. You never know, the person opening the mail may need that little bit of holiday cheer. Take a
chance on perfect timing.
It's also telling you to buy a bag of groceries for the needy, not just clean-out your cupboard of unliked and unwanted foods. Think of foods you would like to have for your family if you were in need; think nutritional as well as fun foods that some kids may never get to have at their own breakfast or dinner tables.
Bake quick breads or muffins and deliver to friends and neighbors before their holiday meal. So many cooks in so many kitchens are busy preparing dishes that are do not touch until tomorrow's family gathering. Share some fresh baked goodness as appetizers to their feast.
Purchase a gift certificate to a local diner and mail it anonymously to a family that would enjoy a restaurant meal. As you are paying for your restaurant meal, anonymously pay for the meal of a young family seated at another table, and please remember the tip. With the help of your children prepare a tray of goodies and deliver to a senior Sunday school class on Sunday morning.
Your whispering do-good angel should be getting pretty tired with all the in-ear suggestions and directions she, or he has been giving you; consider treating yourself to a hot beverage and purchase one for someone else in line.
Your angel may be sitting on your shoulder, and her feet may never touch the ground, but I bet her dogs are tired, too. Kick back and take a nap, even a catnap will re-charge the good deed doers in all of us.
Holiday snacking is around the corner, share your favorite crunchy munchies, sweet treats, and finger foods with Hearth & Home.
Hearth & Home, 5973
Blachleyville Rd., Wooster, OH,
44691. Emails are always welcome:
Smashed-Mashed Red Potatoes
3/4 pound small red potatoes, quartered
4 roasted garlic cloves
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons real dairy butter
1 tablespoon chopped green onion In a saucepan cover unpeeled potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook just until tender, do not overcook potatoes. Drain well, return potatoes to low heat and shake to dry. Squeeze in garlic cloves, cream, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash together with a potato masher until ingredients are combined but potatoes are still lumpy. Sprinkle with green onion.
(Helen Vaught, Nova)
1 3/4 cup sugar, can use either
white or brown
1 cup cooking oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 apples, pared and sliced as
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Beat together the sugar, oil and nuts with electric mixer; sift together flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir apples and nuts in by hand. Bake in a greased 9x 13 inch pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. (Dear Friend Helen, Mr. Ross
wants me to bake this today!)
1 (2 3/4 ounce) packages country gravy mix
3 cups tater tots, thawed
1/2 pound sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups water
3 large eggs
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
In a skillet, cook the sausage for 2 minutes, breaking it up with the spatula as it cooks. Add the tater tots and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes until the sausage is cooked through and the tater tots are golden brown. In a separate container, gradually whisk the gravy mix into the water. Then beat the eggs into the gravy. Lay out the tater tot and sausage mixture evenly over the base of a tall 8 x 8 or 10 x 6 baking dish. Pour the gravy and egg mixture over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is set in the center. When fully cooked, remove from the oven, sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for another 3 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Breakfast Tex-Mex Style
1 cup milk
1 green pepper, chopped (or variety)
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
10 breakfast sausage links, chopped into pieces
2 potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
4 ounces mozzarella cheese or
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces medium salsa
8 tablespoons butter or margarine
In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, spices, salt and pepper until frothy. Fold in chopped sausage, pepper and onion. Cut potatoes into small cubes, put into a greased 9 x 13 dish. Pour egg mixture over top of potatoes.
Dot with 4 to 8 tablespoons butter. Pour 1/2 of salsa over top, reserving remainder for topping after cooked. Sprinkle cheese over top.
Pass the Waffle Casserole
1 pound bulk pork sausage
6 frozen waffles, toasted and cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, reserve 1/3 cup
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
In a large skillet cook sausage until brown, drain off fat. Arrange 3 of the waffles in a 2 quart rectangular baking dish. Top with half the sausage and about 1/3 cup of cheese. Repeat layers. In a large bowl beat eggs with a fork; stir in milk, mustard and pepper. Pour over layers in baking dish. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Bake dish at 350 degrees, uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with maple syrup.
Baked Fruit Breakfast Casserole
4 to 5 tart cooking apples,
peeled, and sliced
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup golden raisins
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine
6 medium eggs
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
In a large skillet, sauté apples, pecans, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and margarine until apples begin to soften, stir often, approximately 6 minutes. Place in a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, orange juice, salt, and flour and beat till mixture is smooth, and stir around edges of bowl. Pour over apple mixture. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon, about 1 tablespoon. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near center of casserole, comes out clean. Serve with
Chilly Morning Breakfast
1 (8 ounce) can crescent rolls
1 (8 ounce) package brown and serve sausages
2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped green peppers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Separate crescent dough into 2 large rectangles. Place in an ungreased deep 9 x 13 inch pan. Press over the bottom and half way up the sides to form a crust. Seal perforations. Slice sausages and arrange over crust. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
Can't Beat It Breakfast Bake
7 slices white bread
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 pound bacon, thinly diced and fried crisp
1/2 pound mild sausage, fried crisp
Trim crusts from bread, cut into cubes, cover bottom of a 12 x 7 casserole and sprinkle with cheese. Beat eggs, add milk and mix well. Stir salt, pepper and dry mustard into the egg mixture; add bacon and sausage, stirring until well blended. Pour over cheese, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes.