Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category


Festive Cranberry Pineapple Salad 

Over the years, I’ve sampled numerous cranberry salads.  Some were too tart.  Some were too sweet.  But this one is just right.  Sweet meets tangy for the perfect duo – and the crunch adds a nice pizzazz too.  Oh, did I mention it is pretty?? Did I also mention EASY?? 

  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2-4 oz packages raspberry Jello
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 apple cored and diced
  • 1 cup walnuts  

Drain pineapple and save juice.  Add enough water to the juice to measure 3 cups of liquid.  Put liquid in a saucepan over high heat.  When liquid boils, add the 2 boxes of raspberry jello and remove from heat.  Stir about 2 minutes until jello is dissolved completely.  Add the pineapple, whole cranberry sauce, diced apples, and nuts.  Pour into a 9×9 glass dish – or a pretty crystal bowl.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. 


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Fruit Dip Fluff

I love this dip because it works for most holidays and seasons. Many of our Christmas Eve’s are low key around here. I usually make trays of goodies the whole family can munch on throughout the day. Usually there’s a fire going too. But don’t limit this dip just to Christmas. It is refreshing on hot summer days too. And it may also be varied for fall by adding ½ cup of canned pumpkin to the mix.

  • 1 8 oz cream cheese – softened
  • 1 7 oz jar marshmallow cream
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 orange

Beat the cream cheese with mixer until “creamy”

Add orange juice and zest

Gently fold in the marshmallow cream

Store fruit fluff in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Serve with sliced strawberries, apples, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, pretzels, or even cubes of pound cake.

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 Tara’s Eggstraordinary Eggs

What’s the difference between a “dressed” egg and a “deviled” egg? Seems there should be a funny punch line to answer that question. Is it a north/south thing? Around here, we call them dressed eggs. I always presumed the reason is because they are a little fancier than plain old boiled eggs. Those are pretty boring. At any rate, I give you my personal expression of eggs.


In a large pot, bring 1 gallon of water to a rolling boil.


Now this is the tricky part for me – getting the eggs into the boiling pot without scalding my fingertips, or without dropping and cracking those fragile eggs. After 20+ years of scalding and suffering – the light finally came on one day. I grabbed a large spoon that has a big bowl on the end – and a long handle. Now I spoon those suckers into the boiling water one at a time. I’ve not scalded myself, or cracked an egg since my Big Spoon discovery!


Spoon a dozen (12 or 13) eggs into the boiling water. Set your timer for 12 minutes. Some folks like to stop at 10 minutes and that’s fine. I just not a big fan of underdone food. I tell myself that 10 minutes is the “by the book” “tried and true” time to boil eggs. But my OCD overcomes that knowledge, and I must boil the eggs an extra 2 minutes. Because undercooked eggs would be the end of me! Now go take a 12 minute power nap.


When the timer alerts you that your nap is – over remove eggs from the stove and pour off the hot, scalding water CAREFULLY!! We still don’t want any scalded body parts. The eggs need to cool enough to be handled, but not cool completely. When the eggs have cooled enough to touch, the shells need to be removed. I gently crack mine on the countertop and then rinse in cold water. Continue breaking, cracking, and peeling. After repeating this process 11 times, you’ll be ready to gouge out your eyes. But don’t do that just yet.


Let those shelled eggs continue to cool off a bit more. The process should be quicker now that they are “naked.” Next slice eggs in half, lengthwise. A serrated knife will give an artistic effect. Using a small spoon, gently pop out the yolks and place them all in a mixing bowl. Then flake the yolk halves with a fork to separate into a crumbly mixture. Continue flaking the eggs with mixer on low speed.


  • Add ½ cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise (there is NO substitute)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated dill pickle.
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Continue to mix on medium speed until yolk mixture is smooth and fluffy. Spoon the yolk mixture into egg whites. If I’m feeling real sassy – I get out my cake decorating bag and tip and fill the whites with the yolk mixture that way. Garnish with dill weed or paprika.

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Best Broccoli Casserole Ever

Spray a 9×9” baking dish with oil, or grease with butter.

Preheat oven to 325.

Empty 1 16oz package frozen broccoli cuts into 9×9 baking dish.

In large bowl add:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped onion (or use dried flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (if desired)

Pour liquid mixture over frozen broccoli. Add topping. Bake for 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.


  • 1 cup Ritz Cracker crumbs
  • ½ stick melted butter

Melt butter in medium size bowl. Add cracker crumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly on top of casserole.

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 Corn Pudding

My Grandmother Armstrong always put up bushels of Silver Queen Corn. Oh, how we all loved her corn. For holidays and special occasions, Granny would whip up a dish of corn pudding. I never did get her recipe, but this one rivals Granny’s.

For this recipe, you can use canned whole kernel, and canned creamed corn. However, I use my cut off the cob, frozen Peaches and Cream corn from the garden. The frozen corn can be defrosted quickly in the microwave. I use about 5 cups – but the recipe is forgiving if there is a little more, or a little less.

 In small bowl combine and set aside:

  •  ½ cup sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Seasoned Salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion

 In large mixing bowl combine:

  • 5 cups garden frozen corn, or 1 can whole kernel corn plus 2 can cream style corn
  • 5 lightly beaten eggs

 Mix well and add the dry ingredients to the corn and eggs. Stir until blended.

 Then add and mix well:

  •  ½ cup milk
  • 1 stick melted butter

 Pour into greased 9×13 casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, stirring once while cooking.

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 Sinful Sweet Potatoes


  • 3 cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ stick melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


Beat all ingredients together and pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Cover with topping and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.



  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup flaked coconut


Combine topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over potatoes before baking.

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