Holiday tips from Recipes, Etc.

As promised, Recipes, Etc. will be devoted again to some Thanksgiving time savers for you. Here are some tidbits: 1. Do your grocery shopping before the influx of shoppers - you are asking for trouble if you wait until the day before! Take your recipes with you.

2. Write out a menu - go through it and try to simplify.

3. Never test out a new recipe on your guests - by the way the easier the better.

4. Make out a game plan - work backward - for example if your dinner is scheduled for 4:00 pm – the turkey must go into the oven at noon; have the turkey come out an hour or so before your guests arrive - then have the turkey rest for an hour. Make your side dishes the day before like salads, cutting up veggies, etc. 5. Set your table the day before - Thanksgiving is about celebrating the harvest season, so bring some of the Earth’s bounties to your dinner table with branches and leaves collected from your backyard, for your dinner napkins, place a sprig of your favorite herb like rosemary and tie with raffia. Add a simple parchment paper with the guest’s name. Simple and inexpensive.

6. Use your crockpot for side dishes - some people have even used for their turkey (such as turkey breasts!) Talk about flavor!!!!

7. Add cream cheese, sour cream to your mashed potatoes - a family member of mine always adds sugar! A tip I was taught years ago from a cook who prepared wedding dinners was to add potato flakes to your mashed potatoes.

8. A simple, but yet very great tasting green beans, is to saute margarine with bread crumbs and then add your green beans and mix together. Mrs. Janicki of St. Cas always prepared the green beans like this for our annual fall festival chicken dinner. Try it, talk about simple!

9. Special touch for a pretty presentation of your turkey is to garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary, sage leaves, grapes and whole cranberries.

10. If you like thinner turkey gravy, add 2 - 3 T. more cold milk; on the other hand; if prefer it thicker, add 1T flour dissolved in 2 T. cool water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.

11. For faster cooking time for the turkey, don’t stuff the turkey.

12. Add onion soup to your casseroles (instead of chopping onion)

13. Add holiday flavor to your boxed cake mix by adding fresh orange juice and 1 cup fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries to your cake mix.

14. As family guests arrive, hand each a drawn leaf and have them write about what they are thankful for and place on a board or whatever you choose.

Sausage-Cheese Balls Make these bite-sized appetizers up to a day ahead of time and refrigerate; bake as directed or cover and freeze unbaked balls up to 1 month. Bake frozen balls 25-30 minutes until brown.

3 cups Bisquick 1 lb. uncooked bulk pork sausage 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces) ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup milk ½ tsp dried rosemary leaves, crumbled ½ tsp parsley flakes

Stir all ingredients until well mixed. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place on sprayed jelly roll pan; bake 20-25 minutes or until brown in a 350 degree oven. Serve warm. Etc. — Remember this old fable - “those who cook - don’t clean up!” Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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