Vickie's This and That: Holiday Cooking, Kitchen Tips

November 19, 2020 - Good afternoon, I hope everyone is having a great day. It has been a very busy week for me as I have been cooking preparing for our family Thanksgiving. We always have it the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Lots of good food and visiting with extended family. I am including one of my favorite recipes for a breakfast brunch. I cook this recipe when I have a house full especially at Christmas.

Frittata Recipe

3 cups of shredded cheese (mozzarella/Provolone)
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup of thin sliced celery
1/4 olive oil
1/2 medium red bell pepper or can use jar of pimento or roasted tomatoes
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained or fresh, sliced thin
1 pkg of diced ham
8-10 eggs
1 1/4 cup of Half-half
4 tablespoons butter
8 oz sour cream
3-4 med potatoes sliced crossways and cook until done but still firm
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp. marjoram 
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 dried thyme 
1/8 dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste


Place sliced peeled potatoes in salted water and cook until done but still firm. Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat, add onions, bell pepper, celery and mushrooms, cook until tender. In large bowl beat eggs well and add salt, pepper (to taste) and other spices, mix well. Add half-half and sour cream. In a sprayed 13x9 inch pan layer potatoes and ham then vegetables (onions, bell peppers, celery, and mushrooms); add 1/2 of cheese. On top of this add the egg mixture. Then sprinkle other half of cheese on top.

Can cover and refrigerate the night before. Set out to let casserole reach room temperature before baking. To serve, heat oven to 350 degree and bake uncovered for 55 to 65 minutes or until mixture is set and top is browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Can garnish with fresh red bell pepper and fresh parsley.

This version is more Italian; to make it Southwestern use: Mexican cheese blend, 2 cans chopped green chiles, sour cream and half & half milk, 2 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp of cumin. Omit celery, marjoram, basil, parsley and thyme. Top with salsa and chopped fresh cilantro.

Squash Dressing

1 pkg of cornbread mix
1 can cream of chicken
2 cups milk
2 cups squash, cooked and drained
1 cup bell pepper
1 cup onions, chopped (can use green onions)
1 cup celery, diced
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake cornbread as directed on package, once cool crumble. To crumble mixture, add remaining ingredients. Mix well and add mixture to greased 9 x 13 pan, place cut up butter on top of mixture. Can add browned breadcrumbs to top of dressing. Bake in oven until dressing is done according to your likeness. Just be sure to not overcooked so you don’t dry out the dressing.

Maple Cream Pie (1 pie)

1 deep dish pie crust
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
4 Tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp maple flavoring
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, bake crust 10-12 minutes. In medium saucepan, melt butter and heavy cream, whisk in cornstarch and sugar stirring continuously until thicken. Stir in maple and vanilla flavorings and salt. Pour filling into baked crust then drizzle melted butter over pie. Then add sugar and cinnamon. Bake 30 minutes or until done. Pie will giggle slightly in middle when done.

Kitchen Tips

Prevent bubbling over with a wooden spoon - quickly place a wooden spoon across the rim of the pan.

Use salt to soak up eggs - In the off chance you drop a raw egg (this is the worst and most common kitchen problem ever), throw some salt on the remnants. It'll soak up the egg whites.

Freeze leftover tomato paste into a plastic baggie - All you do is spoon the leftover tomato paste into a bag, then spread it in an even layer pressing the air out. Zip the top then separate the paste into rectangles using your fingertips. Since the paste is so thick, it will stay put. Place the baggie into the freezer, then when you’re ready to use just open the bag and push a segment out. Easy as that!