Sunday, December 20, 2009

Recipes that make me feel merry

You may have heard that there's a snowstorm out East. Let me tell you, I have not seen this much snow since we lived in Big Sky Country. Our church cancelled Sunday services, and Baptists churches just don't cancel. So, since we were literally unable to get the car out of the garage, we went sledding this morning. The snow was up past my knees! It sounds like the roads are going to be iffy for at least one more day, and then it's going to start getting tense around here. I need to get to Wegman's so I can start cooking Christmas dinner! Here are the recipes for a couple of dishes that make it an official holiday meal in the Button Factory.

Susan's Texas Squash Casserole

10 yellow squash, sliced
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I'm not a fan of green bell pepper, so I chop it really small. Or just leave it out entirely. Don't tell Susan.)
1 package jalapeno cornbread mix
8 oz. Cheese Whiz or Velveeta (or Mexican Velveeta if jalapeno cornbread mix is unavailable and you had to settle for plain cornbread mix.)
stick of butter, melted
1 egg

Boil the squash, onion and bell pepper until soft and drain it very, very well. (The squash won't hold its shape, but don't get upset.) Set aside. Melt the Velveeta and butter together and mix in the egg and cornbread mix, then combine all that with the squash mixture. Pour it into a greased 9x13" casserole dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees until browned and bubbly around the edges.

Will's Favorite "Orange Mashed Potatoes" (Sweet Potatoes, to the rest of the world)
5 or 6 yams or sweet potatoes (the ones with the orange flesh, whatever they're called where you live.)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt
2 eggs
, lightly beaten

For the topping:
1 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup flour
1 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of pecan pieces

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into uniform chunks. Boil potatoes in plenty of water until a fork easily pierces them. Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl with sugar, milk, butter, vanilla and salt. Mash with a potato masher--NOT an electric mixer. Taste and if they're sweet enough for you, add the eggs. Pour into greased casserole dishes. Mix together the topping ingredients and spread over the top of the potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

*This recipe comes from The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love, and I promise it will make a sweet potato lover out of you. It also freezes beautifully, which makes me love it all the more. If I'm going to freeze it, I either plan to thaw it completely before baking or bake it for an hour, frozen, and add the topping for the last 30 minutes.

And finally, the carb that steals the show, the dinner roll. I don't have a go-to holiday roll recipe, but we had these for Thanksgiving and they were delicious. They reminded me of the rolls you get at the Dixie Cafe in Little Rock. I highly recommend a squirt of honey on them, in addition to the requisite butter. Mmmm!

Dinner Rolls
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup rolled oats (My friend Tobie told me the oats give them sweetness.)
1/3 cup sugar (This could also give them sweetness.)
1 package active dry yeast
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt

Combine the butter and milk in a saucepan and heat to melt the butter, stirring occasionally. Let it cool to 120-130 degrees. Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, oats, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and one egg, stirring well. Add 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour and salt, stirring until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Dump dough onto a well-floured surface and knead five minutes, adding another 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, if necessary, to keep dough from being sticky. Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn to oil the top. Allow to rise, covered loosely, warm place free from drafts, blah, blah, blah, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. After dough has risen, punch it down (doesn't seem fair, I know.) and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Arrange rolls in a greased 9-inch square pan, leaving 1 inch of space between rolls. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned.

(modified from Sister Schubert's Herb Rolls.)

1 comment:

Susan said...

I'm so delighted that our family tradition (which I'm not making for Christmas, BTW) has made it into YOUR holiday must-haves! Have you considered switching to red bell peppers, or are you just wholly offended by the pepper regardless of color?