Thursday, December 26, 2013


My guest chef today is Kaitlyn, my granddaughter!  She is now 21 and beginning her own life away at school, but still comes to her "Granny's" house to spend the night.  The best part, besides sleeping with Granny and talking the night away, is that she is beginning to cook for us!
Christmas Day Dinner is a tradition at our house; a time when our daughter, son-in-law, my mom, and, of course, Katie Bug come to celebrate another year as a family.  It's an intimate time for just the immediate family, but often we share it with one of Kaitlyn's friends.  This year it was Mercedes, a high school friend.

The following recipes with the exception of the cornbread, she said, came from a search on Pinterest
She started a crock-pot pork-chop dish around noon and cooked it on low until meal time around 6PM.  It was simple enough, and best yet, she never had to touch it again until the meal was served.

Here is all she had to do:

  • Pork chops (she used 8 boneless pork-chops 1/2" thick)
  • 1 Ranch Seasoning Dry Mix Packet
  • 1 can Cream of Cream of Chicken Soup (plus 2 cans of water or milk)
  1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot and mix well.
  2. Cook on low 4-6 hours.
Around 4PM she began her side dishes consisting of macaroni, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes (giving us a choice, but most, like me ate both kinds), mixed vegetables, and cornbread.
The macaroni dish was prepared normally, drained, Velveeta, colby-jack, and some shredded mild cheddar cheese and milk was added, and then poured into a baking dish.  She then added Panko bread crumbs and baked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375.
She baked 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and put them into a baking dish.  To the potatoes she added a can of pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, salt, chopped pecans, cinnamon, and half and half and mixed thoroughly.  She baked it for about 30 minutes at 350.

The mashed potatoes were prepared normally, except for the addition of garlic powder and Parmesan cheese.
Katie then patiently chopped up fresh zucchini, yellow squash, orange bell pepper, and salad size tomatoes.  She placed the veggies into a baking dish and poured vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and olive oil over the pieces, salted and peppered them, and baked for 45 minutes at 350 covered.
Next, she turned up the oven to 450.  In a 4-cup glass measuring bowl, she added 2 cups of cornmeal, milk to make a batter, an egg, 1 heaping tablespoon of sugar, and 2 heaping tablespoons of flour in a large measuring bowl and mixed.  She put a large cast iron skillet with about a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in it into the oven.  When the skillet was hot, she poured in the cornmeal mixture.  The mixture should start to rise around the edges immediately.  Put back in the oven for 25 minutes.
Katie (R) and Mercedes (L) relax after Christmas dinner.  

All this, including a glass of Barefoot wine, (and a bowl of "store bought" slaw) was placed on our Christmas table and we dove in with both hands!  It was quite a change from the norm, and everyone seemed to enjoy it...most of all the family time.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year folks!
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