Saturday, November 28, 2020

New Traditions

Lots of things have changed for the better this year and the holiday was one of them. New houses, new husband for my sister, and our first Thanksgiving together was the start of some new dishes at the feast. Starting with dessert, Brooke's husband John likes LOVES chocolate so I decided to feature a chocolate pie as one of the dishes. I stole this picture off another website, but it looked pretty much like this. 

Graham cracker crust, a big box of Jello Pudding, or two of the regular size, 2 cups of milk, Cool Whip, and peanut butter and chocolate chips. Couldn't be easier. I had a jar with some remaining peanut butter, didn't measure, but it musta been about 3/4 cup. I tossed in some chocolate chips, both semi-sweet and milk and nuked them to melt in the peanut butter. Then I spread this mixture on the crumb crust. (Next time I will use the chocolate cookie crust). Then mix the jello with milk and pour half onto the crust and then add a lot of Cool Whip to the remaining half of the pudding and spoon it on for the next layer. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, add more Cool Whip as the crowning glory. It was a huge hit. My sister and I love pumpkin pie, so we had a little of both, with lots of Cool Whip. At the store I saw a woman pile 5 tubs of the stuff in her cart. What's a holiday without it? I've been thinking of variations to this basic idea, crunchy peanut butter? slices of Reeses peanut butter cups, or forget the peanut butter and do Andes Mints melted, or Nutella...o my! All the possibilities.
  Brooke brought her famous Bacon with roasted brussel sprouts. Suddenly brussel sprouts are our fave. Roasting them makes all the difference. In fact roasted veggies were the theme of 2020. 

My niece was not able to attend, since someone at her Starbucks job got the plague, so she and her boyfriend self quarantined. We missed having her, but of course she and the boyfriend got big take-home plates of the goodies after we were done. She recently posted on Instagram that she was interested in learning to like mushrooms, and coincidentally I found a fellow mushroom lover in brother-in-law John, so I made Stuffed Mushrooms. Another stolen picture. I didn't have my camera in the kitchen...yeah, right.

Bella mushrooms, Italian sausage, whipped cream cheese, and parmesan, with a few breadcrumbs and parsely to add body and color. Cook the sausage til dark brown and crunchy (ok, just blacken it) and add it to some cream cheese and parm, sprinkle on bread crumbs and parsely flakes and pile into the caps. O, forgot! I did remove the stems and chopped them fine and sauteed them prior to adding them to the sausage mixture. Bake! I reserved two of these for my niece and hope she finds them tasty. 
One suprising new thing this year, is that I pretty much stayed sober. Usually I start drinking as soon as I start cooking, and things get blurry fast. But this year, in my older wiser age, I have been on the wagon for most of the year. So instead of losing my focus, I did what my sister has done and make a punch as a beverage to drink as the dinner gets assembled.

Pineapple juice, cranberry-raspberry juice and coconut-pineapple soda. Not too sweet, a lovely pinky-orange color and just a bit of fizz. Yummy. Pino Grigio was served with dinner and I had a couple of goblets full but was not as affected. 

A fine time was had by all and the weather was superb. Tennessee is just about the best place I could have chosen for my retirement. And my new neighborhood is wonderful. So much to be thankful for. 


  1. It sounds like a wonderful day! I love that you and your sister get to spend time with each other...makes me jealous but then I bet you don't spend 8'ish hours a week talking on the phone with her. My hubby and I invited an old friend who moved to WY a year ago to be our guest for the meal. All three of us have been faithful about masking-up when we leave our homes so I felt we would be safe to be together for a meal. I had a wonderful day cooking. Because of allergies I found and made a great recipe for a no egg, no dairy, no bake pumpkin pie. Left off the pie shell and use non-dairy "whipped" cream and it was really good! I love it when a recipe becomes a keeper!

  2. Everything looks so wonderful. I am definately saving the mushroom recipe. I hope you are settling into your new place and have many happy years here.