Dee Dee says it’s about time to plan those holiday menus

Posted Tuesday, Nov. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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We finally got our car in the garage after that big garage sale. Funny, but once the sale is over, going back out there is like pulling teeth. However, we did donate the first boxes of "leftovers" and in a week we'll donate more to a good charity.

It's time to begin our holiday planning and food shopping. Today, I am featuring the beginning of a series of different holiday dishes that the Thompson family enjoy. However, be very quiet and don't tell anyone that I sometimes add a dish or two that I didn't make. The "secret" is out now!

After recently eating lunch at Luby's Cafeteria on Hulen, I picked up their call-ahead brochure called "Luby's Bird is the Word." They will be making Butterball turkeys, fried, roasted or smoked. One year, we ordered their turkey breast; it was very good. This year, I will likely be ordering their wheat dinner rolls and a chocolate ice box pie. They also have individual dinner pricing, which is so nice for those folks who may only want one or two plates of a Thanksgiving dinner.

One year, we visited our favorite barbeque restaurant and had them smoke a turkey and a ham for us. This really saves time and it's fun to try something a little different, as well as getting help with a big meal.

Son Michael's Mozzarella-Stuffed Mushrooms

When Michael makes these, people come out of the woodwork! They are a perfect appetizer.

1 pound medium sized mushrooms (about 2 dozen)

1/2 stick butter, melted

1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 Tablespoon seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives

Preheat broiler.

Remove stems from mushrooms, rub off any dirt from mushrooms. In a bowl, gently toss mushrooms in melted butter. Place mushrooms top down on broiler pan; broil 3 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cheese and breadcrumbs. Spoon approximately 1 teaspoon of the mixture into each broiled mushroom and top with an olive slice. Return mushrooms to oven and broil 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Optional:

I have added chopped boiled shrimp to the mixture and it was really good!

About a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving or Christmas, I make my cornbread ahead of time, then freeze it. When I am ready to make the cornbread dressing I simply remove from the freezer the morning I need it. This is an old southern recipe that has been handed down for many years in our family. Sometimes I stuff a turkey with another kind of dressing, but this is our favorite when making the dressing apart from a stuffed bird, or when we have only a turkey breast.

Thompson's Holiday Cornbread

Make 2 batches of this, or double this basic recipe. Freeze ahead of time if desired-or make it the day before you are ready to put together the cornbread dressing.

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

1/2 cup self-rising flour

2 Tablespoons white sugar

3 Tablespoons butter

1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour and sugar. Melt, but do not brown or burn, the butter in an 8X8-inch baking pan in the oven. Combine the melted butter, buttermilk and eggs. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread evenly in the baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until brown on top. This serves 6.

Our Cornbread Dressing

This recipe can be served with turkey, and giblets can be added if desired.

1 stick butter

1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

3 cups finely chopped celery

2 batches Thompson's Cornbread-crumbled (See above recipe.)

4 cups bread crumbs-or bread ends, or sliced toast (torn in small pieces)

3-4 cups turkey broth-make it soupy, may need less or more according to the breads used.

1 Tablespoon dried sage

2 Tablespoons poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté the onion and celery in the butter over medium heat until tender but not brown, about 8-10 minutes. In a bowl, mix the sautéed vegetables together with the cornbread, bread crumbs, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, broth and eggs. Spread evenly in a baking pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until dressing firms up.

This serves 12.

• Next week, we'll venture on with more recipes we have tried and liked. Time to get your marketing done, gathering those items that may be difficult to find the day before you need them.

It's a wonderful time now to plant pansies, snapdragons and ornamental kale. It will be so refreshing to look outside this winter and still see some color in our gardens, borders or pots. Have a great week in Parker County and gather those recipes you know YOUR family enjoys.

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