Weatherford Living

Use a slow cooker to help with holiday meal

As the days drift into true fall, I am reminded of years past when we prepared for the upcoming holidays and my family took time to plan the meals together. I think I took for granted that my parents would always be there to fix too much food and way too many recipes that everyone treasured. Now it's the Mikester and me trying to create the same wonderful traditions and memories for our family. Let's take the time this year to invite folks over who may not have a place to go and eat a dinner during the holidays, or we can volunteer to help serve meals to others.

This year I’m going to be using several slow cookers to help make dinners easier. The stuffing recipe will work wonders for our group this year.

Sweet potatoes, or yams, have been important on the Thompson table and there's always a discussion how best to prepare it. Do we boil these, mash, cover with marshmallows, etc.? But with "Sweet Potato Supreme" most people will say this is delicious just the way it's fixed.

Thompson's Slow Cooker Stuffing

If you're serving a big group, you could have several slow cookers doing this recipe at the same time.

I use a large cooker-7 quarts - for this recipe.

• 14 cups cubed whole wheat bread



• 1/2 cup butter



• 3 Tablespoons olive oil



• 3 onions-chopped



• 4 cloves garlic-minced



• 2 (8 ounce) packages sliced fresh mushrooms



• 1 (10 ounce) can golden Cream of Mushroom soup



• 2 cups chicken broth



• 2 eggs-beaten



• 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage



• 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme



• 1 teaspoon celery salt



• 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt



• 1/4 teaspoon pepper



1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Place the bread cubes on two cookie sheets and bake for 20-30 minutes until the cubes are very dry and slightly toasted. Let cool.

3. In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat.

4. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook and stir for another 5-7 minutes or until veggies are tender. Set aside.

5. In a very large bowl, combine soup, broth, eggs, sage, thyme, celery salt, seasoned salt, and pepper, and mix well.

6. Stir in onion mixture. Then add bread crumbs, 3 cups at a time, stirring well to incorporate everything.

7. Spray slow cooker insert with Pam.

8. Add the stuffing mixture, cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours. Stir ONCE during cooing time.

This serves about 12-14 and is very moist.

Dee Dee's Sweet Potato Supreme

(Made in oven, NOT slow cooker)

• 3 medium sweet potatoes



• 1 stick butter



• 1 teaspoon cinnamon



• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg



• 1 cup brown sugar



• Salt to taste



• Milk



1. Peel and cube potatoes and boil until tender, but not mushy.

2. Mash potatoes well with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and salt. Add enough milk to make mashed potato consistency.

3. Pour into baking dish. (1 1/2 quart casserole)

The Topping:

•  1/4 stick butter



•  1/2 cup white sugar



•  2 Tablespoons milk



•  1/4 teaspoon salt



•  1 teaspoon vanilla



•  3/4 cup pecans-chopped



1. Combine first 4 topping ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low eat, stirring until thick and bubbly.

2. When cool, add vanilla. Sprinkle pecans on potatoes and pour topping over.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Aunt Mattie's Chocolate Pie

I found this old, clipped and very fragile recipe in a box we inherited years ago. This is supposed to be a State Fair winner, and after tasting it, I believe it is indeed a WINNER!

•  1 baked 9-inch pie shell



Filling:

• 1/4 cup cocoa



• 1 1/2 cups white sugar



• 5 Tablespoons flour



• 1/2 teaspoon salt



• 3 egg yolks-beaten



• 2 cups whole milk



• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



• 2 Tablespoons butter



1. Combine cocoa, sugar, flour, and salt together in a heavy saucepan.

2. Add egg yolks, milk, and vanilla.

3. Cook over LOW heat stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens.

4. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Let cool a little before pouring into pie shell.

5. Cool pie and add whipped cream, Cool Whip, or make a meringue for the topping.

If I have time, I prefer making my own pie crust, which I believe makes this pie even better.

I'm still waiting for the days to be consistently cooler before diving into pansy planting. This year is probably the latest I have ever had to wait to put in a fall "show" garden. Actually, right now our sprinkler system is on and we're watering everything because it's still so dry here. Guess everyone could use a good soaking rain, for sure.

Be sure and visit your favorite plant nurseries; all kinds of pottery, bushes, trees and more are going on sale. Enjoy the bargains and have another great week in Parker County.

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