Tag Archives: fall recipes

Friendsgiving and My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes!

22 Nov

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 ūüôā 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.

Tailgating Recipes

30 Oct

After tailgating¬†this weekend for a UK football game, I decided to write a post on my favorite tailgating recipes. Some of these are my go-to’s¬†when it comes to tailgating, and I also added in some that I haven’t tried yet but look scrumptious. If you have any quick and easy tailgating recipes, let me know! You can post here or link to your own blog. (Note: these are not my photos; I wish I could claim them!)

Good ‘ole Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip is so popular right now and really easy to make. It’s not the healthiest, but I use all fat free ingredients to reduce the calories. You can serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or carrots/celery to boost the nutritional value.

  • 1 cup buffalo sauce (you can also use hot sauce, just use a lesser amount)
  • 1 cup fat free ranch
  • 1 package fat free cream cheese
  • 2-3 large cans of chicken
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all the ingredients and bake in a casserole dish at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms

You need a grill for this one. This is another simple appetizer and it’s so delicious!

  • Large whole mushrooms
  • Bacon
  • Sweet chile sauce
  • Toothpicks

Wrap mushrooms in bacon strip and secure with a toothpick. Brush with sweet chile sauce and grill until the bacon is crispy. You can get the sweet chile sauce in the ethnic food section of your local grocery. It’s in the Asian food section at Kroger.

Pumpkin Dip

I haven’t made this yet but I had it at the tailgate this weekend and it was sooo good! You can serve it with ginger snap cookies or apples. I’ve seen a couple different recipes but this one looks pretty simple. It’s from a great blog called She Wears Many Hats.

  • 1 pkg (8 oz.) fat free cream cheese
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

In a food processor (or in a bowl by hand) pulse the cream cheese until smooth. Add next 4 ingredients (lt. brown sugar, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon) to food processor and blend well. Empty cream cheese mixture into a bowl, add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Refrigerate until served.(makes about 3 cups)

Easy Pumpkin Recipes for Fall!

28 Oct

One of my favorite cooking blogs is Gina’s Skinny Recipes. She has recipes for any and every occasion, and they are all healthy and fairly easy to make! As any working girl knows, we don’t have much time to shop for obscure ingredients that you will only use once and then they just take up cabinet space. After a long day at the office, we want to be able to make a meal that is delicious, simple, and quick. I’m going to start posting my cooking trials with my own feedback,¬†and I’ll also¬†link to blogs and recipes that I think look simply delicious.

I¬†was looking through Gina’s site today and clicked on the Skinny Pumpkin Madness¬†icon, and found several pumpkin inspired treats that¬†are sure to get you in that Fall mood. Here are a few of my favorites:

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting:


  • 18.25 oz Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Super Moist Cake Mix*
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup water

For the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 tbsp packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350¬į. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers. Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. You can use a spatula to ice the cupcakes or pipe them which may require making more frosting.¬† (Makes 24)

Pumpkin Spice No-Bake Cheesecake

  • 7 oz 1/3 less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 8 oz Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • 9 inch reduced fat Graham Cracker Crust

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, whip cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar for a few minutes until fluffy. Add Cool Whip and whip until smooth. Spoon mixture into pie crust and chill for a few hours, until firm.

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Recipes

  • 12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup¬†pumpkin pie filling

Heat¬†oven to 350¬į.¬†Line¬†cupcake tin with liners.¬†Place¬†a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner.¬†Gently¬†beat¬†cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually¬†beat¬†in fat-free yogurt, egg whites and flour. Do not over beat.¬†Pour¬†into cupcake liners filling half way.¬†Top¬†each with 1 tbsp of the pumpkin pie filling. Using a toothpick,¬†swirl¬†the pumpkin butter into the cream cheese mixture for a marbling effect.¬†Bake¬†25 minutes or until center is almost set.¬†Cool¬†to room temperature.¬†Chill¬†a few hours in the refrigerator before serving.

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