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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Make Every Day Thanksgiving

By Sherrie Norris

Every day should be a day to reflect upon our blessings of life. Yes, even in a time such as this. Regardless of our circumstances, or those that surround us, we all should acknowledge our gratitude and be thankful that things are not any worse than they are.

My heart hurts for those families who will be going through the motions this year minus a loved one at the table. It’s been a rough year for many families who have suffered serious illness and death. The pain is real, there’s no doubt about it. Holidays and special occasions seem to be the hardest times for families following a death. My dad died on Thanksgiving Day in 1992 and it’s never been the same for us, so I understand.

Even in our distress, we should still be mindful of what we still have. Of the things that are still OK. Let’s try together to focus on the positive and make it count.

And, we still have to eat, so hopefully some of these appetizers, sides and desserts to accompany the main course will help get us through the day.

Spinach Squares

4 tbsp. butter (no substitutes)

3 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 lb. grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

1 tsp. baking powder

2 pkgs. chopped spinach, drained well

Preheat oven to 350. Put butter in large baking pan and melt in the oven. Beat eggs, then add flour, milk, salt and baking powder. When well mixed, add cheese and then spinach and mix thoroughly. Pour into buttered pan and bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes until set and lightly browned. Cool and then cut into bite-sized squares. May be frozen and used later. If frozen, heat in oven about 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 25 squares.

Savory Pull-Apart Bread

1 can refrigerated soft breadstick dough

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

½ tsp. dried basil leaves

½ tsp. dried thyme leaves

¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate dough into 8 rounds but do not unroll. Place rounds on a cookie sheet, slightly overlapping dough, in 2 rows of 4. In a small bowl, combine butter and herbs and mix well. Brush this mixture over top of rolls, using all of the mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove immediately from cookie sheet to wire rack; serve warm. 8 servings

Apple Cranberry Walnut Pie

5 cups sliced apples

3 tbsp. Tapioca

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp butter for 9-inch pie pan 

1 package Pillsbury  refrigerated pie crust

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter bottom of a glass pie pan. Line pan with Pillsbury piecrust and bake for 7 minutes.

Mix all ingredients except the butter and let sit for 15 minutes. Fill pre-baked crust and dot with butter. Seal with top Pillsbury crust and cut out vents. Sprinkle top crust with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 50-65 minutes…until bubbly and crust is done

Potato Patties 

2 cups mashed potatoes

1 egg, beaten

1 minced onion

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2½ Tbs. olive oil

Mix together mashed potatoes, egg and onion in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper; stir.

Over medium heat, heat olive oil in a medium nonstick frying pan. Drop about ¼ cup potato mixture into pan, patting mix into 4- inch circles, ½” thick. Cook until bottom is browned and crisp. Carefully turn patty over and cook the second side until brown and crisp. 

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

1 large can pumpkin

1 large can evaporated milk

½ tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 eggs

½ cup sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

2 sticks margarine

1 box yellow cake mix

Blend first six ingredients; pour into greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover mixture with dry cake mix; chopped pecans and pour melted margarine over top. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto plate – pecans will be on top. Cool. 


1 cup confectioner’s sugar

½ tsp. vanilla

¾ cup whipped cream

Mix well and ice cake. Chill until time to serve. 

White Turkey Chili

(Making good use of your leftovers!)

1 Tsp. oil 

¼ cup onion, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped 

4 cups cooked turkey, chopped 

2 cans (15.5 oz.) Great Northern beans, drained 

2 cans (11 oz.) corn, undrained 

1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies 

4 cups turkey or chicken broth 

1 tsp. ground cumin 

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery, cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir well. Cover and cook about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thoroughly heated.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, if desired.