Karen's Bean Dip

    • cup olive oil
    • ½ cup sugar
    • cup apple cider vinegar

    • Heat until sugar dissolves.

    Mix in large bowl:
    • 1 can corn (rinsed)
    • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
    • 1 can pinto beans (rinsed)
    • 1 medium red onion chopped
    • 1 small can jalapeno peppers chopped (or 1-2 fresh peppers chopped)
    • ½ chopped red bell pepper
    • ½ to 1 cup chopped celery

    Add marinade to bowl, cover and let marinade in refrigerator overnight.
    Drain prior to serving.
    Serve with tortilla chips.

Deb's Pigs in a Blanket

  • 1 Package Hillshire Farms L'il Smokey sausages
  • 2 Packages Cressent Rolls
  1. Heat oven to 375°F
  2. Remove the crescent rolls from the package and re-seal the pre-perforated seams.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, cut strips that are 2" x ½".
  4. Roll 1 sausage into each cut piece of crescent roll.

Makes approximately 40 pieces. You can use the extra dough to make rolls for dinner :-)

Kate's Hoagie Dip

  • 1 lb. imported ham - from deli in slices
  • ½ lb. mild provolone cheese - from deli in slices
  • ½ lb. genoa salami - from deli in slices
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small bottle zesty Italian salad dressing
  • 2 french baguettes sliced thin
  1. Cut lunch meat and cheese up into small 1cm squares
  2. Dice tomatoes and onion
  3. Mix ingredients together and add salad dressing, almost whole bottle
  4. Serve with sliced baguettes

Tip: If you would like to cut the ingredients up the day before, store each ingredient in a separate container. Mix ingredients together and add salad dressing right before serving.

Main Dishes

Karen's Butter Bird

  • 1 thawed turkey
  • 1 apple (I use red delicious)
  • 1 onion (I use yellow onion)
  • 1-2 sticks butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch flower
  • Turkey Roaster Oven Bag (can find in reynolds wrap section of market)
  1. Preheat oven 350°F.
  2. Introduce yourself to your bird (optional)
  3. Wash bird, including cavity, and pat dry (1st reason why it is a good idea to introduce yourself to your bird)
  4. Massage bird with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper (2nd reason)
  5. Cut apple and onion in half, place face down in a bowel of water. Microwave for 3-4 minutes until soft- poke with fork/knife
  6. Add apple and onion halves, salt, pepper and garlic powder in the cavity
  7. Create a pocket between the skin and the turkey breast
  8. Cut butter into pats and place into pocket with some salt, pepper and garlic powder (I usually use at least 1 stick of butter...the more the better)
  9. Add a pinch of flour into bag (prevent sticking) along with some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder
  10. Place bag into roasting pan
  11. Cook bird until the meat thermometer reaches 165° when inserted into the thick part of the breast/180° deep in the thigh. Juices should be clear, not reddish pink, when thigh muscle is pierced deeply. (example directions for estimated bag times) or consult online for recommended times.

Karen's Bacon Bird

  • 1 thawed turkey
  • 1 apple (I use red delicious)
  • 1 onion (I use yellow onion)
  • Thick cut bacon (nice and fatty) - I used a approx 4lbs of bacon for a 19lb bird
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Yellow onions
  • Water
  • Toothpicks
  1. Preheat oven 350°F.
  2. Introduce yourself to your bird (optional)
  3. Wash bird, including cavity, and pat dry (1st reason why it is a good idea to introduce yourself to your bird)
  4. Create a pocket between the skin and the turkey breast (2nd reason)
  5. Add slices of bacon underneath lengthwise (from neck to cavity) under the skin (pocket between skin and turkey breast)
  6. Wrap the turkey in a coffin of bacon (lengthwise or weaved- however you prefer). You many need some toothpicks to keep the bacon in place.
  7. Cut apple and onion in half, place face down in a bowl of water. Microwave for 3-4 minutes until soft- poke with fork/knife
  8. Add apple and onion halves and a piece of bacon into the cavity
  9. Cut up some celery, onions, garlic and carrots and place into the bottom of a roasting pan along with some water
  10. Place bird onto a roasting rack in a roasting pan
  11. Add water to pan if necessary throughout cooking time
  12. Cook until the meat thermometer reaches 170° when inserted into the thick part of the breast/180° deep in the thigh. Juices should be clear, not reddish pink, when thigh muscle is pierced deeply. (consult butterball or other website for recommended cooking times)

Turkey Gravy

  • Juices from the bird
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in flour, being careful to get out all the lumps. ( you are basically making a flour rich roux). We added more flour to compensate for the added fat in the turkey juices.
  2. Cook this flour mixture until it forms a golden-brown color and has a somewhat nutty smell.
  3. Meanwhile, put the pan you cooked the turkey in on the stove-top and turn the burner on medium heat.
  4. Add some of the warmed drippings to the roux mixture, whisking the entire time to avoid lumps.
  5. Return the drippings- roux mixture to the roasting pan, whisking continuously and scraping all the goodness off the bottom of the pan.
  6. If you don’t have enough drippings, add some turkey or chicken stock to the mixture. Simmer slowly until it reaches the desired consistency.
Keep in mind that as gravy cools, it will thicken.

Heavenly Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 1½ inches think
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp half & half or whole, low-fat, or nonfat milk
  • ¼ cup Mascarpone cheese
  1. Put the potatoes into a pot of cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. After reaching a boil, lower the heat to maintain a vigorous boil.
  2. Cook until the potatoes easily pierced by a small knife. About 20 min.
  3. Drain the potatoes and let them steam dry in the cooking pot.
  4. Add the butter, half & half and mascarpone cheese and mash with an electric mixer or by hand until fluffy.
  5. Season w/ salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Laura's Sausage & Apple Stuffing

  • ½ pound ground pork breakfast sausage
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 (4 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (12 ounce) package herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
  • 3 apples - peeled, cored, and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth
  1. Place ground pork breakfast sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in celery, onion and water chestnuts. Cook and stir until tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).
  4. Prepare herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix according to package directions. Mix in sausage, celery mixture, apples and chicken broth.
  5. Transfer mixture to a medium baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Herb and Sausage Stuffing with tangy Granny Smith apples (2014)

  • 8 tbsp. butter (1 stick)
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ lb. sweet Italian pork sausage, casing removed (I used 1lb) – could use sage sausage as well to enhance flavor
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth or Swanson® Certified Organic Chicken Broth (I used ~5½ ; add enough to make all bread is moist)
  • 14 oz. (1 bag) Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing
  • 16 oz. (about 2 cups) Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain Seasoned Croutons
  • ½ cup chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 egg, beaten (1 used two medium eggs)
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the apples and cook for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the apples from the skillet.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add the sausage, onion and celery and cook until the sausage is well browned, stirring often to separate meat.
  5. Stir in the broth and remaining butter and heat to a boil.
  6. Stir the apples, stuffing, croutons, sage and egg in a large bowl.
  7. Add the sausage mixture and mix lightly.
  8. Spray a 3-quart shallow baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.
  9. Spoon the stuffing mixture into the baking dish. Cover the baking dish.
  10. Bake at 350°F. for 45 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot.
  11. Uncover the last 10 minutes to brown the top.

Side Dishes

Kelly's Vegan Green Bean Casserole

  • 2 cans French-cut green beans
  • 1 can French-fried onions
Mushroom sauce:
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup soy creamer (or try full-fat unsweetened soymilk)
  1. Chop the mushrooms into pieces.
  2. Heat canola oil in a pan. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook until mushrooms are very soft and exude their juices.
  4. You can add some other seasonings to taste. Examples: cayenne pepper, smoked hickory salt, etc.
  5. Whisk the flour into the vegetable broth and add to the mushrooms.
  6. Simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add the soy creamer and simmer until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Drain the beans and put them in a casserole dish.
  8. Stir in the mushroom sauce. Then stir in about half of the fried onions.
  9. Top with the other half of fried onions.
  10. Cover with foil and heat for 20-30 minutes at 350°.
  11. Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until the topping is brown.

Leah's (Mom's) Sweet Potato Casserole

Combine the following:
  • 3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potato
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (beat before adding)
  • ½ stick melted butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
Spoon mixture into 1½ quart sprayed cooking dish.

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (we usually use walnuts)
  • stick melted butter or margarine
Spread topping over potato mixture. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

Or if you want to make it the day before, cook for 20 minutes & then on the day of, microwave 1 minute & bake at 350° for 15 minutes

Laura's Avocado and Tomato Salad

  • Ripe Avocado
  • Ripe red tomatoes from the vine
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  1. Cut tomatoes and avocado into cubes
  2. Mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar in almost a 1:1 ratio (I put a tiny bit more vinegar than oil).
  3. Whisk oil and vinegar and add to veggies right before serving.


Alyssa's Iced Sugar Cookies

Ingredients for sugar cookies:
  • 1½ cup butter unsalted
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
Ingredients for icing (makes 3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 5 tbsp pure clear vanilla extract
Sugar Cookies
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Break eggs into separate bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla into butter and sugar. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Split dough into 3 or 4 large chunks and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill dough for at least 1 hour or overnight until fairly hard (but not a rock).
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Rollout dough on cool floured surface ¼ to ½ in thick. Keep the surface and rolling pin floured. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Use thin spatula (with end covered in flour if needed) to pick up cookies. Place cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Note: Dough can get warm and unusable quickly, so work fast. You may need to rechill dough if this happens.
  3. Bake 10min in preheated oven. Cool completely before icing. Note: Baking time will vary depending on oven and thickness of cookie.
Royal Icing
  1. Beat all ingredients for about 7-10min at low speed with a heavy duty mixer until icing forms peaks. Icing should have the consistency of really thick maple syrup. Add more water for thinner icing. For stiffer icing, use less water. Add or decrease by 1 tbsp at a time.

Kelly's Pumpkin Pie

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ounce can Pumpkin
  • 12 ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 9 inch unbaked deep dish pie crust (I use the frozen kind from the store but you can make your own)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl.
  3. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F
  5. Reduce temperature to 350°F. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Kelly's Dutch Apple Pie

  • 5-6 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • cup butter
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 9 inch unbaked deep dish pie crust
  1. Peel and slice apples. (I use an apple-peeler-corer-slicer)
  2. Mix ½ cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples
  3. Put apple mixture into pie crust
  4. Combine remaining sugar and flour. Add butter and rub together with a fork until crumbs are formed.
  5. Sprinkle fine crumbs over apples
  6. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes and then reduce temperature to 350°. Bake 35 minutes longer.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Karen's Peanut Butter Dirt

  • 1 to 1½ packages of Nutter Butters
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 boxes Instant French Vanilla (or regular vanilla) Pudding
  • 3½ cups Half and Half
  • 12 oz Cool Whip
  1. Crush cookies in food processor
  2. Mix cream cheese and confectioners sugar
  3. Make pudding (with half and half instead of milk)
  4. Fold cool whip into pudding
  5. Mix cream cheese mixture and pudding mixture together
  6. Layer cookie crumbs and pudding/cream cheese mixture in a glass bowel to look like dirt

B.Ware's Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

  • 1 box of 10x confectioner's sugar
  • 3½ sticks of butter
  • 1 18 oz can of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy - your preference)
  • 1½ packs of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1½ cups of crushed graham crackers
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham crackers and 10x sugar.
  2. Add in the peanut butter and 2 sticks of butter until all is combined.
  3. Spread the peanut butter mix out evenly onto a metal cookie sheet.
  4. Combine and melt the pack and a half of chocolate chips with 1½ sticks of butter (I just microwave them for about 2-3 minutes then mix together).
  5. Spread the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mix.
  6. Refrigerate and cut into squares. Leave in fridge for a couple hours, then remove squares from cookie sheet. Enjoy!


Alyssa's mulled hot apple cider