Creamy Grape Salad

Last night we had family over for my daughter’s birthday. The food was so yummy and I have some recipes to share with you per quite a few requests. I made teriyaki beef and chicken skewers (will post that recipe later), corn on the cob, this Creamy Grape Salad, Funfetti cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting, and butterscotch cheesecake. My grandma made her Italian style pasta salad that everyone loves (will post this recipe as well), and my mom made a green salad with strawberries and fresh steamed golden beets (my daughter loves fresh beets). I’m posting this recipe first because my best friend wants to make this for her family BBQ today. Miss, I hope they love it as much as we did! This is so easy to make and soooo delicious! I made it earlier in the day, put it in the fridge till I was ready to serve it. Right before I was ready to serve it I sprinkled the brown sugar and chopped pecans over the top. I have to say I actually contemplated not putting the chopped pecans on, I was worried that some wouldn’t like the nuts. I am so glad that I put them on though, It really added to the dish and gave it a little texture. No one complained and even if they didn’t like nuts it was only sprinkled over the top so they could easily get some without. So here it is Creamy Grape Salad, (I got the recipe from Taste of Home).

The ingredients are:

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds seedless red grapes
  • 2 pounds seedless green grapes
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until blended. Add grapes and toss to coat.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans just before serving.

Yield: 21-24 servings

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Dads Fried Rice

I was very lucky growing up to have so many good cooks teach and influence me, and my Dad was definitely one of those people. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and made hearty meals like stews and BBQ ribs, and my favorites, chicken and dumplings and definitely his fried rice! Everyone loves his fried rice! There’s never been a recipe, he just showed us how to make it by sight and taste. Now my own family loves when I make my dads fried rice for them. I tried my best to write down a recipe but please taste and adjust as needed. The ingredients are:

  • 1 pound Bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup Onion, chopped
  • 7 cups cooked Rice
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • Soysauce, to taste
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

First I fry the bacon and onion until the bacon is crisp (over about medium high heat). Then drain about half of the bacon grease into a glass cup (that way you can add some more if your rice is to dry). Add your cooked rice to the bacon and onions. Mix all together. There should be a little shine on the rice. Cook (fry) for about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste. Remember the soy sauce is going to add saltyness, so start off with a little bit at a time. You could always add more but you can’t take away. Pour the beaten eggs over the rice. Leave alone for about a minute then stir the egg into the rice. Cook until the egg is set. Add the green onion and mix all together. Taste again, add salt, pepper, or soy sauce as needed. Remove from heat and serve. Enjoy! I add a little more diced green onions over the top of my husbands because he likes more than the kids do.

Pureed Butternut Squash with Ginger

 

Here is another good recipe out of the cookbook How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. So far I am really enjoying this book. I have only come across 1 recipe that I didn’t care for and that was the Corn Bread recipe (the corn bread recipe that I already have is better, and my son looked at me like why did you go and mess up a good thing. He would never say that to me because he is way to sweet, but mamma knows. My kids are such troopers when it comes to all of my food trials.) but 3 good recipes out of 4 is not a bad start. This Butternut Squash Puree was smooth with a slight sweetness and the perfect touch of ginger. It kind of looks like baby food but definitely does not taste like it (actually you probably could feed your baby this). The ingredients are:

  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cut into chunks (I used the already peeled and cut up butternut squash from Costco)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste. (I used 1 teaspoon fresh ginger. I didn’t want the ginger to overpower the delicate flavor of the butternut squash.)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, or to taste (I used 1 Tablespoon in the puree and then even sprinkled some on the top before I served it. It says to taste, and I love the taste of brown sugar on my butternut squash! : )
  1. Place the squash in a steamer above about 1 inch of salted water. Cover and cook until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. To microwave, place the squash and 2 Tablespoons of water in a microwave-proof plate or shallow bowl; cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, shake the container, and continue to microwave at 2-minute intervals, until the squash is very tender.
  2. While it is still hot, place the squash in the container of a food processor with the butter and ginger; process until smooth. Taste and add salt, pepper, and brown sugar if you like. (You may prepare the recipe in advance up to this point; refrigerate, well wrapped or in a covered container, for up to 2 days before proceeding.)
  3. Reheat over low heat or in a microwave and serve.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

My family loves Brussel Sprouts and this is our favorite way to prepare them. When you roast them at a high temperature in the oven they don’t get mushy, like I remember them as a child, YUUKKK! The rosemary and garlic in this recipe give them great flavor. If you are a fan of Brussel Sprouts like my family and I are then you will like this.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 lbs. Brussel Sprouts (washed and sliced in half)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 t. any dried chunky garlic seasoning
  • 1 t. dried rosemary seasoning blend (I use a rosemary seasoning that I got from Pampered Chef but any rosemary seasoning would probably work)
  • 1 t. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 t. Ground Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Put Brussel Sprouts on a large cookie sheet. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well to coat. (I use my hands and make sure all the sprouts are coated well)
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. The Sprouts should start to turn a little brown at the edges. (The brown ones are my faves, but be careful not to burn. Burnt Brussel Sprouts don’t taste good.)

Corn Casserole

This recipe for Corn Casserole is so simple to make and everyone loves it. My family serves this as a side dish on Thanksgiving. The texture is a cross between a corn bread and a corn pudding. It’s rich and slightly sweet with big corn flavor. I made this the other night with our dinner and it was the only thing my son wanted to eat. The ingredients are:

  • 2 small boxes of jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 Can Creamed Corn
  • 1 Can Regular Corn
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 4 T. sugar
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  3. Grease a 10×13″ baking pan and pour mixture into pan.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Should be golden brown.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Glazed Carrots

My mom has been making glazed carrots since I was a little girl. It has always been a favorite of mine and now I make them for my kids. This is not a complex or fancy recipe, just simple and good. These glazed carrots also make a nice side dish for Thanksgiving. The ingredients are:

  • 5 cups mini carrots
  • 4 T. butter or margarine
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 4 T. honey
  • Salt to taste
  1. Cook carrots in a small amount of boiling water for 10 minutes. When the carrots are tender drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet melt butter, add the brown sugar and honey. Bring mixture to a slight boil and stir. Lower heat to low.
  3. Add carrots and a little salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring so that each carrot is glazed.