Last night my friends and I got together for our first annual Friendsgiving! I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the result. We had all the fixings of a traditional thanksgiving dinner, and everything tasted pretty darn good. Pretty impressive for a group of twenty-somethings who aren’t all that experienced at cooking. We actually ended up with waaaay too much food. But my boyfriend was pretty happy when I brought him a heaping plate of leftovers I have to say – good food, good wine, and good friends make for a fabulous evening.
My contributions to our evening consisted of my mom’s world-famous cheesy potato casserole and Kentucky Derby pie. My siblings and I have literally fought over cheesy potato leftovers. It’s one of those dishes that we ask my mom to make for every family get-together. And the Kentucky Derby pie is one of my favorite desserts. Both are super simple to make. I was actually at work late so I rushed home, whipped everything together in about 20 minutes, then let them bake for 45 minutes while I got ready for the evening. Check out the recipes below if you are looking for ideas on what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.
I’m headed home to WV tomorrow for the holiday weekend. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Let me know how your cooking adventures go this weekend.
Cheesy Potato Casserole:
- 32 oz. bag of southern style (cubed) hash browns
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Crushed cornflakes
Mix the potatoes, soup, sour cream, cheese, and most of the butter together and spread in a greased baking dish. Top with crushed cornflakes and drizzle with the remaining melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
Kentucky Derby Pie:
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup walnuts
- pie shell
Mix all ingredients and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Straight from my kitchen comes my first weekly recipe- easy enchiladas with guacamole dip as an appetizer. The guacamole is a mixture of avocado, edamame, and pesto sauce, with some onion and lemon juice. I like avocado, but in smaller doses, so this is a great mixture of flavors. The enchiladas are super easy and absolutely delicious. To cut down on the number of ingredients, I use a packet of McCormick’s Enchilada Seasoning. This recipe actually comes from the back of the seasoning packet. This is not the quickest meal, especially if you also make the guacamole, so give yourself a little time for this one. The result, however, is a hearty meal that is large enough for a group and will please any boyfriend! Fair warning- if you don’t have a food processor, the guacamole can be pretty tedious. I don’t have a food processor (Though it’s on my Christmas list . That’s how you know you’re getting old; when your Christmas list consists of work clothes and cooking gadgets!) I actually cook the edamame, then put it in a big plastic bag and mash it up with a hammer, then my hands. Your guacamole will be a little on the chunky side but still delicious!
Edamame Avocado Dip:
- 1 12 oz. package of frozen shelled edamame
- 1 medium avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut up
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. purchased basil pesto
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- chopped tomato (optional)
- pita chips (I love Stacy’s Pita Chips)
Combine edamame, avocado, onion, lemon juice, pesto, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until nearly smooth (or chop and mix well by hand). Top with chopped tomato and serve with pita chips.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 package McCormick® Enchilada Sauce Mix
- 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey (I use Laura’s Lean Beef)
- 8 corn or flour tortillas (6-inch), warmed
- 1 cup shredded low fat Cheddar cheese
- low fat sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix water, tomato sauce and Sauce Mix in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. While sauce is cooking, brown beef in medium skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat. Stir 1/2 cup sauce into meat. Spoon about 1/4 cup meat filling onto each tortilla. Roll tortillas tightly. (Tip: use a little of the sauce as a kind of glue to hold the tortillas together.) Pour a little sauce into the bottom of a greased 11×7-inch baking dish. Place enchiladas seam-side down in dish, and pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted. Top with sour cream. This makes about 6 enchiladas. (I split it up into two smaller dishes to make saving leftovers easier.)
My boyfriend and I are both lovers of the outdoors. A couple weekends ago, we went ziplining at the Red River Gorge here in KY. It would have been an expensive date, but with a half-off Living Social deal, we had a great time for a very reasonable price. One of our guides referred to the area as Red River Gorgeous, and he was right! I have been to the Gorge several times, but never seen it from this vantage point. The first few ziplines took us through the tree tops, and the fall colors were beautiful. The last two ziplines went over one of the canyons, literally hundreds of feet up in the air, and the view was amazing. And they were dual ziplines, so we got to race! Dave beat me both times But it was still an absolute blast. Here are a few photos from the day:
I know I’m a little biased but I think my boyfriend is such a stud This was a great date… It was a bit of a thrill and the setting was gorgeous. We finished up the last two ziplines right as the sun was setting, and topped off the day with some pizza and beer. All around an awesome day!