Easiest Chicken Potpies

I love Potpies. They are the perfect cold weather dish. This one from tasteofhome.com is especially good with loads of veggies, creamy filling, and a nice flaky crust. Plus this recipe has instructions for baking one and freezing one for later!

And....its really easy! You only need one large mixing bowl and there is no chopping veggies or making crust from scratch involved. Now, that makes a winning recipe for me.

Impossibly Easy Chicken 'n Broccoli Pie

I thought this would be a good time to publish this because it is so good when made with left over turkey!  I mean, you can only eat so many turkey sandwiches right?

Sweet Potato Casserole

I have no idea how long I have had this recipe but I can tell you I have made this A LOT! It was submitted to an old Farm Bureau News magazine by Ms. Janie L. Haislip. Below is a picture of the original recipe cut from the old magazine. On the back of the recipe there is an article about some Senate Bills awaiting the Governor's signature and ratified by the General Assembly on 8/28/1997. So that gives me some reference for dating it.

I apologize for the pictures or lack of good pictures. I made this batch for my hubby to take to work so it was made in one of those throw away metal pans instead of a pretty dish. Also, I was making it rather late at night and just didn't take a lot of pictures. Maybe I can add some pics later to show you how nice this looks. All I can tell you is how nice it tastes. Even guests that do not like sweet potatoes love this dish.

Personally I prefer this without the little marshmallows but it does look a lot more yummy with them on top.


  • 5 medium sweet potatoes, cooked & mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick butter (sofened or melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Mini marshmallows (optional)


  • Mix all ingredients for the filling together and pour into a 13" X 9" pan. I like to use a hand mixer to get it really smooth. 
  • Mix together all ingredients for the topping except marshmallows. The original recipe said to "pour" this mixture on top of the filling but  it is way too thick to pour. I just drop small globs of it all over the top, covering as much as possible.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • Top with marshmallows if desired and cook about 5 more minutes.

Original recipe

Just started putting topping on the filling

Ready for the oven

Ready for marshmallows.

As always, I welcome your comments!

Applesauce Bread

I couldn't wait to try this recipe that I found on joyofbaking.com. I had decided to bake them into mini loaves so I could give them away. Well, all but one of course. One was to "test" to make sure they are gift worthy! lol

As with all quick breads, you won't need your mixer for this. You will just fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients by hand, over mixing will cause it to be tough. You will also only need 2 bowls, one for dry ingredients and one for wet ingredients.

Here are my mini pans. They are 5.75" X 3".

So here's what I did.

Assemble ingredients

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
Add Raisins

Combine the beaten egg, applesauce, oil, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla.
Lightly fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s).
Garnish with dry oatmeal or nuts if desired.
Bake, let cool, slice and serve!

Applesauce Bread Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) currants, raisins or chopped nuts
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 grams) chunky or smooth applesauce (lightly sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) vegetable, corn, canola, or safflower oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) plain yogurt or sour cream (full or reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) lightly packed light brown or turbindo sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract

If you don't have whole wheat flour you can increase the all-purpose flour to 2 cups, which is what I am doing today.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
  • Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inch) (23 x 13 x 8 cm). 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
  • Stir in the currants, raisins, nuts.
  • In another large bowl, combine the beaten egg, applesauce, oil, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla.
  • With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until all the ingredients are combined and moistened (do not over mix or the bread will be tough).
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. 
  • For garnish, you can sprinkle the top of the bread with 2-3 tablespoons of rolled oats or chopped nuts.
  • Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes (about 30 minutes for mini loaves) or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool about 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  • Wonderful served warm or at room temperature.Can be stored in an airtight container for several days at room temperature, or it can be frozen.
  • Makes 1 regular loaf or 3-4 mini loaves. (I made 4 but they were not very full)

See "how to" video for this recipe or read more here....

Almond Pinecones

There are only two things I have to say about this recipe. 

  1. EVERYONE loves it!
  2. I am always asked for the recipe.

I have been making this as a holiday appetizer for as long as I can remember cooking holiday meals (that's a long time). 

Here's what you need.

  • 1 1/4 cups (1 can) Smoked Almonds. I use Smokehouse brand.
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 5 crisply cooked bacon slices, crumbled.
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Here's what you do.

  • Fry bacon very slowly (low heat) so it will cook extra crispy.
  • Drain bacon on a paper towel until it cools. It will then crumble very easily.
  • Combine softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, crumbled bacon, finely chopped onion, dill weed, and pepper. Mix well.
  • Cover and chill several hours or overnight.
  • Form the mixture into two pinecone shapes on serving plate.
  • Beginning at the narrow end, press almonds at a slight angle into cheese mixture in rows.
  • Continue overlapping rows until all cheese is covered.
  • Garnish with artificial pine sprigs.
  • Serve with crackers.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Idea! Let older children put the almonds on while you're working on something else. A good way for them to help.

What I cook for Thanksgiving

I have cooked a lot of holiday meals over the years. Most of what I cook is traditional and old fashioned, the kind of dishes that don't need a recipe. I respect tradition and although I will usually throw in something different its basically the same main dishes each year.

Here's what I make:
  • Roast Turkey (sometimes I get 2 small turkeys, one to roast and one to fry.)
  • Dressing
  • Gravy
  • Baked Ham
  • Collards (fresh)
  • Potato Salad
  • Sweet Potato Casserole (Click here for recipe)
  • Homemade Rolls
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Almond Pinecones and crackers (Click here for recipe)
  • Sweet Tea
  • Coffee after dinner
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
Hot Pepper Vinegar is put on the table for those who want on their collards (delish!). Potato Salad and Deviled Eggs are often brought by others as is various other deserts like Apple Pie. I might also add String Bean Casserole or some sort of Corn dish.

One thing I like about having the Deep Fried Turkey is that the men usually cook it and it gets all the guys outside and out of the kitchen. lol  But I find I must have the traditional roast turkey as well as some of the family really expect that. Plus its hard to have dressing and gravy without it.

Here are ways I make all this a little easier.
  • The collards can be cooked and chopped at least one day before.
  • I bake the sweet potatoes and make the main part of the casserole the day before.
  • I make the cheese part of the Almond Pinecones the day before.
  • Deviled Eggs can be made the day before.
  • I set out a stick of real butter in nice butter dish at least an hour before dinner so it will be easier to spread on the rolls.
  • The pies can be made the day before.
  • Dump ice trays into container and make sure there is enough ice at least day before.
  • Set the table the day before.
  • Clean out the refrigerator at least one day ahead, I'm gonna need the space.
  • Any house cleaning that is not done before now doesn't get done (except kitchen cleaning as I go). I may wipe down the bathroom before guests arrive but that's it. I've learned not to stress over it and just get on with dinner.
  • Stop everything at least a half hour before time for family to arrive and "chill"!
  • I have learned to let others wash the dishes after dinner. They want to do it and I enjoy the rest. 
One battle I have is space. I have a small house and its hard to come up with enough seating as well as counter space for desserts and such. Even some side dishes end up on the counter because there is no way to get everything on the table. But you know what? No one seems to mind, they just want to enjoy the day with family. They don't even seem to care if the turkey is dry or the gravy just never thickened enough. It seems every year there is something that just doesn't turn out just right.

Would love to hear your comments. What do you cook for holiday meals?