Fresh Cranberry Salad

For a Thanksgiving meal to be complete, cranberries are just as important as the turkey, in my opinion.  Aunt Ruby’s Fresh Cranberry Salad is one of my all-time favorites.  It was on the holiday table at most of our Bolton family Thanksgiving dinners when I was growing up.  
 
When I was old enough to be interested in the recipe, I pretty much had to take an oath that I would never share the recipe.  As it turns out my aunt had given it to my mother in confidence, and my mother made me promise, just as she once had, never to share it.  
 
Time has gone by, and my aunt passed several years ago.  I think I’m safe in sharing it now.  In fact, I think it would make her smile to know that I was sharing it with my readers now.  Preparing this recipe and many others passed down through the years is just one way to keep their memories close.
Our holiday dinner table seems to be missing a few more every year.  I miss each of them terribly, but the memories I have of our wonderful times together warms my heart year-round.  Give thanks for those you love most of all, and I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving!
Fresh Cranberry Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.
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Aunt Sara’s Cranberry Bread with Cranberry Butter

 

cranberry bread with cranberry butter 2

 

Cranberries are finally available! I have been looking forward to this for months now. Cranberries are a seasonal treat that I enjoy.  I try to freeze a few bags when they are in season, but apparently, I forgot to do that last year.

I always say that my best recipes were passed to me by friends and family!   This family gem is no different.  Cranberry Bread with Cranberry Butter is one of my favorites. It’s delicious warm out of the oven, but my favorite way to have it myself is lightly toasted and served warm with this flavorful butter.

With many planning for Christmas already, this bread makes a thoughtful and lovely gift.  It’s also wonderful to take to parties and gatherings during the holiday season.

Aunt Sara's Cranberry Bread with Cranberry Butter
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Bread:
  • ¾ c. orange juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. chopped fresh cranberries
  • ½ c. chopped pecans or walnuts
  • Butter:
  • 1 c. fresh cranberries
  • 1 c. sugar
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. For the bread: Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour a 4 x 8-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together orange juice, egg, and oil. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until moist. Fold in the cranberries and nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Serve with Cranberry Butter.
  3. For the butter: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sugar and cranberries until chopped well. Add butter and lemon juice and pulse just enough to mix well.

 

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Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole

Holidays are the times that I feel most nostalgic.  At Thanksgiving that means I like to see certain dishes on the table.  Turkey, of course, with dressing and cranberries in some form, sweet potato casserole, and always a broccoli casserole!  Until recently it was about the only time of the year that I made casseroles.

As a young cook I always made a broccoli casserole to take to family dinners.  Broccoli casseroles and Five Cup Salads were my specialities back then.

Many broccoli casseroles call for frozen broccoli.  I prefer fresh broccoli.  Don’t cook the broccoli to mushy, but cook it slightly past tender crisp.  I always tend to be heavy handed on the cheese, and the end result is delicious!

 

Broccoli Casserole
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
  • ¼ c. butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Chop broccoli into large bite-size pieces. Steam broccoli to just past tender-crisp, set aside.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, onion, mushroom soup, and eggs until blended. Stir in the broccoli and cheese and pour into prepared baking dish.
  4. Mix crushed crackers with melted butter. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  5. Bake at 325℉ for 30 minutes or until brown.

 

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Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years

Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years

Shortly after moving to the country I decided to start a blog.  I had never visited many blogs at the time.  However, my friend, Jennifer, had a blog and I needed something to do.  My days of being a room mom and doing carpool were long gone.  It was either find a job outside the home or find something else to do at home other than cut 10-acres of grass, do laundry, and clean the house.  So in January of 2011, with the Super Bowl coming up, I decided it was the perfect time to start Not Just Sunday Dinner.  I had always enjoyed cooking and sharing recipes with my family and friends.  A food blog would be the perfect hobby!
The name came about because Sunday dinners growing up were always special.  By dinner, I mean the meal in the middle of the day, after church.  Daddy was a Baptist preacher, and many Sunday’s were spent having dinner with different families from the churches he pastored.  Other Sundays my grandmother Ma, would cook a big Sunday meal.  So you see, the name is rather special to me too.
On February 1, 2011, I posted my first online recipe.  One of my all-time favorite dip recipes, Hot Crab Dip.  I never imagined in 2011 that I would still be doing NJSD, and so much more, six years later.  NJSD has opened up many doors for me over the years.  Writing for a number of newspapers and doing a local cooking show has enabled me to grow my audience, and so far, this month alone, I have had over 56,000 page views.  I have done several product reviews for various companies, and earlier this year I was contacted by a large publishing company to do a cookbook review.
Today, as I reflect on the past six years, I want to share the very first recipe I shared.  Hot Crab Dip is an amazing dip served with toast points or toasted baguette slices. It is easy to prepare and has always been a hit anytime I have served it.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read NJSD!  You can not imagine how it makes my day to get comments on NJSD or emails from my readers.  Feel free to email at notjustsundaydinner@yahoo.com with any questions you may have or if you just want to share a recipe.

NOTE:  Please excuse the quality of my photo.  I am still working on getting a photo program up and running and this is a copy of my picture I used back in 2011.  I think my food photography has improved slightly since then!

Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 8-oz. container sour cream
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 lb. fresh crabmeat, drained and picked
  • 1½ c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 French bread baguette
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice baguette on a diagonal about ½-inch thick. Place on baking sheet and toast on top rack of oven, about 5 - 6 minutes or until golden brown. Depending on the size of your oven, you may need to do this in batches. Set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, ground mustard, and garlic salt until combined (a few lumps are okay). Fold in crabmeat.
  4. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon crab mixture into dish. Sprinkle evenly with Cheddar Cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately with toasted baguette rounds.

 

 

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Mother’s Day Luncheon

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The older I get, the more that I realize that all of those times that Mama said: “don’t spend your money on me,” she meant it. She wanted then what she still wants, time spent together. Time is something we can never get back, and the older my mama gets, time becomes more precious to me.

In comparison to many families today, my mother’s family was a big one. She had six brothers and sisters.  Today, my mother and her sister are the only siblings that remain. I decided that my mama would like nothing better than a little family time for Mother’s Day. So on a recent visit, I invited my aunt and a couple of cousins to a luncheon at mama’s house.  I kept the menu simple with homemade chicken salad, pasta salad made with fresh vegetables and purchased Italian dressing, cucumber sandwiches, purchased cheese straws, and I bought a fruit tray, cut up and ready to eat and made a poppy seed vinaigrette dressing.  The table was elegantly set with mama’s best china and crystal and the memories we made are priceless.

                           mothers-day-luncheon-4                                 mother's-day-luncheon-1

As you struggle to come up with a gift for mom this Sunday, keep in mind that time spent with you is something she will always treasure!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Simple Pasta Salad
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¾ c. sliced black olives
  • sliced red onion
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • chopped bell pepper
  • 1 to 1½ c. Italian dressing
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Toss pasta, cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, feta cheese, and bell pepper with Italian dressing.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Notes
You may need to add a little more Italian dressing to salad just before serving.

 
5.0 from 2 reviews
Fruit Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh fruit
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut up fruit, set aside. In a small bowl whisk vinegar, oil, sugar and poppy seeds. Pour over fruit an gently toss. Serve immediately.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cucumber Sandwiches
 
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Ingredients
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cucumber, peeled & seeds removed
  • 1 medium onion
  • dash salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • mayonnaise on bread, if desired
Instructions
  1. Grate cucumber and onion and squeeze dry. (I do this using a clean dish towel. Put in the center of a towel then roll towel and twist.) Set aside.
  2. Blend cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Store in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. If using mayonnaise, spread on desired bread. Top with cucumber spread and another slice of bread.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Perfect Chicken Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 lg. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 to 2 c. mayonnaise, depending on how you like it
  • ½ to ¾ c. chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Mix shredded chicken, mayonnaise, celery, mustard, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl and refrigerate.

 

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