Sweet Tea

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already Day 7 of Not Just Sunday Dinner’s Thanksgiving Recipe Week. I hope you have enjoyed this week as much as I have enjoyed searching through recipes to pick my favorites to share with you. It has been bittersweet, with memories flooding my mind of times gone by.  Thanksgiving has always been a special time for me, spending time with family, sharing recipes, laughing and telling stories, seeing how much the kids have grown since the last time we were together, cousins reminiscing about the crazy adventures we had growing up together, as we’re reminded why we are so blessed to have each other.

Today is a simple recipe, but such an important part of any Southern meal…Sweet Tea.  I can’t think of anything more Southern and no holiday meal would be complete without Sweet Tea on the table.

Again, I hope you have enjoyed this week.  Thank you to those that have sent me your favorite Thanksgiving recipes via email.  I can’t wait to try them!  I hope this week has helped you in planning your Thanksgiving meal.  Believe it or not, it’s just 11 days away.


Sweet Tea
  • 5 family size Luzianne tea bags
  • 1 qt. cold water
  • 1½ c. sugar (or to taste)
  • 3 qt. cold water
  • pinch baking soda
  1. Pour sugar into large sauce pan, add 1 qt. cold water. watching closely, bring to a boil. Add tea bags and boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat and steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Pour 3 qt. cold water into a pitcher. Remove tea bags from steeped tea and add this to the pitcher. Stir to blend. Store in refrigerator and serve over ice.
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Holiday Desserts

eclair cake


pumpkin roll



















Desserts are on the menu again for Not Just Sunday Dinner’s 6th day of holiday recipes.  First is a Chocolate Eclair Cake.  I’ve seen several different recipes for the Chocolate Eclair Cake but it looks like the biggest difference is the chocolate icing.  Some use prepared chocolate frosting…not a good option as far as I’m concerned.  Then there are several homemade recipes and I’ve only tried two.  This is my favorite, from a 1984 church cookbook.  It is delicious and something that will please adults and kids.

The second recipe is for a Pumpkin Roll.  The first time I had a pumpkin roll was when Ed, the loader man, brought one into Reeves and Wagner one Christmas.  I think my friend, Taryn, and I were the only two in the office when he delivered it & I’m not sure anyone else got any.


Chocolate Eclair Cake
  • Icing Ingredients:
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. evaporated milk
  • ⅓ c. cocoa powder
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 (3.4-oz.) pkg. French vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1 (12-oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 (14.4-oz.) box Honey Graham crackers
  1. Start by making the icing. Mix sugar, evaporated milk and cocoa in a sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and add butter and vanilla, stir to melt butter and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, with a whisk, mix pudding mix and milk together. Add Cool Whip and mix well.
  3. In a 9 x 13-inch dish put a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of the dish. Break crackers in order to cover entire bottom of dish. Pour half of the pudding mixture on top of crackers. Add another layer of crackers then remaining pudding mixture. Top with another layer of crackers. Pour the chocolate icing on top and refrigerate overnight.

Pumpkin Roll
  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 3 lg. eggs
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • ⅔ c. canned pumpkin
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. finely chopped pecans
  • Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:
  • 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  1. Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan, line the bottom of the pan with wax paper and grease the wax paper, set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar, and pumpkin. Add flour mixture and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 20 - 30 minutes or until done.
  6. Sprinkle a large kitchen towel with about ¼ cup powdered sugar, turn cake out on towel. Remove wax paper. Roll tightly in the towel. Let cool rolled in the towel.
  7. Beat cream cheese and softened butter with an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  8. Unroll cake and spread cream cheese filling evenly on cake. Roll cake, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Slice with a serrated knife to serve.

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Vegetable Casseroles


I’d like to start off by wishing my baby girl a very happy birthday today!!  You are such a beautiful, caring, and smart young lady.  I am so very proud of you!  I hope you have a wonderful day!

Today I am sharing two of my favorite casseroles.  The first is a Squash Casserole.  This is the only squash casserole that I will eat.  Have you ever been to a potluck and had a squash casserole that tastes just like the broccoli casserole on the other end of the table?  In my opinion, I think a lot of casseroles with creamed soups taste just alike, no matter what their ingredients are.  Don’t write this on off just because you think you don’t like squash casseroles, you may very well like this one.

The second recipe is for Turnips Au Gratin.  This is one of my all-time favorites and is a big hit everywhere I take it.

Yellow Squash Casserole
  • 2 lb. yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 small onions, minced
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1½ c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. Ritz cracker crumbs, divided
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (2-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
  1. Combine squash and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Drain well, and mash. Drain again, and set aside.
  2. Cook onion in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until tender. Combine squash, onion, cheese, ¾ c. cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, bacon, eggs, and diced pimiento; stir well. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. casserole dish; sprinkle with remaining ¼ c. cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Turnips au Gratin
  • 3 lb. turnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ c. milk
  • ¾ c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ c. fine, dry breadcrumbs
  1. Combine turnips, salt and sugar in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; cover; reduce heat, and simmer 10 - 12 minutes or until turnips are tender. Drain well, and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Add cheese, seasoned salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat; stir in turnips.
  3. Spoon turnip mixture into a lightly greased 1½-qt. casserole dish; sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
I no longer buy seasoned salt so if you are like me and don't keep seasoned salt in your pantry here's what I use as a substitute: ¼ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. dry mustard, and ½ tsp. onion powder.

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Fresh Greens (Mustard or Turnip)

Day 4 of Thanksgiving dishes is about cooking greens.  Greens are a common side dish here in the South and I have come to love them in my adult life.  Daddy always planted Florida Broadleaf Mustard greens but I wouldn’t touch them as a kid…if he could only see me now, he would be proud!

Turnip greens have a stronger taste than mustard greens, but are delicious if cooked right.  Turnip greens are actually what I craved when I was pregnant with Savannah.  Occasionally I’ll cook turnip roots and not only do I add them to turnip greens but I’ve also added them to mustard greens.

I don’t have an exact recipe.  What I know about cooking greens has been passed down to me from my mother, my mother-in-law and Greg’s grandmother.  Basically, this is what I put in my greens and how I prepare them, but you may need to taste to season correctly and to your liking.

I buy smoked bacon at the meat market and have the butcher slice it extra thick (about 1/4-inch thick).  I then come home and cut these pieces in half.  I place one piece in a snack size Ziploc bags, then place all of the little Ziploc bags into a gallon-size freezer bag and freeze.  When I’m cooking beans, peas, or greens, I grab a piece to season whatever I’m cooking.

The directions for this recipe are lengthy.  Hopefully, I explained this thoroughly.  Please leave a comment here, at Not Just Sunday Dinner, if you have any questions.

Fresh Greens (Mustard or Turnip)
  • 10 lb. greens (mustard or turnip or a combination)
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 - 2 pieces thick sliced smoked bacon
  • 1 - 2 qts. water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
  1. The first thing I do after picking my greens is wash them outside. You'll need two big clean buckets or wash tubs. Fill a bucket (or wash tub) half way with water. Pour greens into water, pushing down into water to clean. Take out, shake off excess water and place into the other clean bucket.
  2. Next, I strip the stems from the greens. Holding the green, front side together so that leaf is "folded" at stem. Start stripping at bottom working your way up. You will not need to strip the stem from the entire leaf, just remove the bigger part of the stem. This is only for the large leaves, the small ones are fine as they are.
  3. Fill your clean kitchen sink half-way with water. Sprinkle in a tbsp. of salt (a trick I learned from Greg's grandmother to help get bugs off greens). Swirl around to dissolve salt. Place greens in water, pushing down to fill sink. Wash by swishing them around in water. Remove, shaking excess water off, into the other side of your kitchen sink or a dishpan. Let water out of sink and repeat without the salt. This is a lengthy process, but you will need to continue doing this until the water is clean after greens have been removed and there is no sand or grit in the bottom of the sink when you run your fingers across the bottom. It's much better to do this than to crunch down on a piece of sand.
  4. Now stack your leaves (about 10 - 12 per stack). Roll the stack up like a cigar and cut crosswise into 1-inch strips, set aside.
  5. Pour canola oil in a large Dutch oven. Cook bacon until it starts to brown. Now, add greens to pot, pushing down. Pour in water, I do not cover the greens, but fill about half-way up. Add sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. The greens will cook down a LOT and quickly. Stir them often.
  6. Bring to a boil and cook for about 1 hour over medium heat, or until tender. Remove the bacon and serve greens with pepper sauce or hot sauce.
Greg's grandmother would cook turnip greens for a while, then drain them. She would then put fresh water in the pot. She said this would help to eliminate any bitter taste you sometimes get with turnips.
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Holiday Cranberry Salad Recipes

Day three for Thanksgiving dishes is “Cranberry Day”. What would a holiday meal be without cranberries?  Again, I have three of my favorite recipes for you.  The salad pictured above is the Fresh Cranberry Salad.  If I’m not mistaken the recipe came from my Aunt Ruby.  It is addicting and my mother and I crave it this time of year.  We eat it as a snack.  My mother is diabetic, and we substitute sugar-free Jello and Splenda with great results.

The second recipe is for Easy Cranberry Salad.  This salad is the dish that made me a “cranberry lover”.  I’m can’t remember if I even ate cranberries before this salad.  It is my friend, Taryn’s, recipe and I’ve probably had it 20 years.  I love to serve it with an extra dollop of sour cream.

The third recipe, Stuffed Cranberry Sauce, is a Paula Deen recipe and really, really simple.  The presentation is very pretty and it is delicious.  This one is probably the most “kid friendly”.  Wes loved this one when he was little.


4.0 from 1 reviews
Fresh Cranberry Salad
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 2 (3-oz.) boxes strawberry Jello
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 lg. oranges
  • 2 lg. oranges
  • 1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 2 c. cranberries, ground in food processor or blender
  • 1 crisp, red apples, finely chopped
  • 1 c. pecans, finely chopped
  1. In a large bowl pour boiling water over Jello and sugar, mix to dissolve.
  2. Zest oranges and add to Jello mixture.
  3. Place the oranges horizontally on the cutting board. Slice off both ends of the oranges. Stand the orange up on one of the cut ends. Cut the orange peel and pith off around the entire orange, from top to bottom, so the fruit is exposed. Hold the orange over a bowl to collect juice. Place your knife in between the segments of the oranges and cut each section away from the membranes so no pith or membrane remains on the pieces of fruit. Squeeze all juice from remaining orange. Chop orange pieces finely and add to Jello mixture.
  4. Stir in pineapple, ground cranberries, apple and pecans. Mix well and refrigerate.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Cranberry Salad
  • 2 (3-oz.) boxes cherry Jello
  • ¾ c. boiling water
  • 1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 (14-oz.) whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 8-oz. sour cream
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
  1. Dissolve Jello in water. Add pineapple, cranberry sauce, sour cream and pecans and mix well. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch dish and chill until firm. Keep refrigerated.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Stuffed Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp. good-quality mayonnaise
  • ¼ - ½ c. chopped pecans
  • 1 (16-oz.) can jellied cranberry sauce, chilled
  1. Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise until creamy. It needs to be spreadable. Add pecans and mix well. Slice cranberry sauce in ¼-inch rounds and spread cream cheese mixture on 1 round and place another round on top, sandwich style. Cut each round in half like a sandwich and place in a shallow container, covered. Keep in refrigerator until time to serve.

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