Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Peacock Christmas

Christmas 2014 Peacock Table


I bought a white pre-lit tree this year. 
I decided to decorate in "peacock" colors
turquoise, green, gold and purple

Christmas View from Living Room

Santa Bar
I have acquired various Santa decorations over the year, so I decided to dress up the bar in red and green

Friday, February 20, 2015

Crowd Pleasing Green Bean Casserole

I have made green bean casserole so many ways.  It's amazing to make from scratch, but for Thanksgiving 2014, I was cooking 3 different casseroles (green bean, broccoli rice, and squash) for a big crowd, so I needed  to keep is simple. 
What is more simple than 
Honestly, it's delicious
I know some people do not care for it, but I happen to love it. 
My biggest challenge was determining how much of it I needed to make. 
I decided this time, I'd make notes of how I made it and how it tasted so that I know next Thanksgiving if this recipe was a "keeper"
So, here is my version of green bean casserole for a crowd


CROWD PLEASING GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Ingredients (classic recipe)
  • 4 cans (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 cans (14.5 ounces) cut green beans ( I prefer these over french green beans)
  • 4 1/3 cups french fried onions
Extra Twist- Sauteed Mushrooms 
(if you want to "jazz" it up)
  • 1 pkg fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup half n half 
Directions
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • Set aside 1 1/3 cups french fried onions
  • Whisk together soup, milk, soy sauce, and pepper to make the sauce
  • Toss green beans with sauce in a baking dish (I used a large foil roasting dish as I was taking this to another location)
  • Add the sauteed mushrooms if you went for the "extra twist"
  • Bake casserole for 40-45 minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges
  • Stir the mixture and sprinkle with reserved french fried onions
  • Bake another 5-10 minutes until onions begin to brown
I prepared this the day before serving. I place saran wrap first then wrapped with heavy duty foil.  I used a black sharpie to write the cooking temp and instructions on the outside. 






Crowd Pleasing Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole

For Thanksgiving 2014, I decided to make 3 casseroles.  
Green Bean, Broccoli Rice, and Squash

I have only made broccoli rice casserole several times. I always search the internet and Pinterest to get ideas when I do not have a "go to" recipe. 

 I decided to use Paula Deen's Broccoli Casserole as my base then added a couple cups of rice to it.  

The challenge like the Green Bean Casserole is the amount I needed to make. 

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli Rice Casserole with Topping


Crowd Pleasing Broccoli Rice Casserole
Ingredients
  • 4 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 (10 3/4 ounces) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups crackers, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste
Extra Twist- Sauteed Mushrooms 
(if you want to "jazz" it up)
  • 1 pkg fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup half n half

Directions
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • Spray a large foil roasting pan with cooking spray
  • Cook broccoli per the directions on package - set aside to cool
  • Cook rice per the directions on the package - set aside to cool
  • In the pan, combine broccoli, rice, mayo, cheese, soup, eggs (make sure the rice and broccoli are cool so the eggs do not scramble), and "extra twist" sauteed mushrooms
  • Mix well - don't forget the salt and pepper 
  • Top with crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes
I prepared this the day before serving. I place saran wrap first on top of the casserole then wrapped the pan with heavy duty foil.  I used a black sharpie to write the cooking temperature and instructions on the outside of the foil.   





Crowd Pleasing Squash Casserole

Thanksgiving 2014, I decided to make 3 casserole dishes.  
Green Bean, Broccoli Rice and Squash. 
I have never made squash casserole. It is one of my favorites any time I eat somewhere with a home style flair.  
There are so many different ways to make squash casserole.  
Here is the recipe I decided to test out - Southern Living Squash Casserole
I adapted it to feed a large crowd.  This recipe also called for basil. I chose to leave it out.
Cooked Yellow Squash & Onions

Squash Casserole




CROWD PLEASING SQUASH CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 pounds yellow squash, sliced
  • 2 large sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs divided (I used italian)
  • 2 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup French Fried Onions
DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place yellow squash and onions in a dutch oven; cover with water. Cook about 8 minutes or just until the yellow squash and onions are tender; drain squash mixture well - set aside to cool
  • Combine cooled squash mixture, sharp cheddar cheese, mayo, garlic salt, pepper, eggs, 2 cup breadcrumbs, and  1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese.  Spoon into a lightly greased large foil roasting pan. 
  • Stir melted butter, french fried onions, remaining breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the squash mixture. 
  • Bake casserole for 45-50 minutes or until set.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2014 Halloween Table

It's been almost a year since I have blogged.  
I realize that I really rely on this blog to help me remember how I decorate for each season & recipes that I have tried.  

So...
I'm going to go back to 2014 
post some highlights
and then...
I will do my best to stay current & up to date

Here's my Halloween Table

Halloween 2014
Witch Pillow

Skeleton Measuring Cups, Measuring Spoons & cupcake liners


Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken INGREDIENTS 2 cups shredded chicken 2 tbsp avocado oil 1 yellow squash, cubed 1 zucchini, cubed 1 cup mushroo...