I am whole heartedly embracing maternity jeans this Thanksgiving! #praisehands
Along with many, many other blessings. I really can’t think of anything else to say or any other way to say it, other than that I am oh so thankful and blessed in this season. I’m vividly aware that I have so many things that I and so many others have prayed for, and I’m so grateful for that. I also pray that I remember this during the hard times and when I’m tempted to complain. I’m grateful for wonderful family and amazing friends and an easy pregnancy and a healthy pregnancy and a cozy house and a thriving business and a good full-time job and the ability to work from home and two sweet, hilarious, weird dogs and the sweetest cat alive and for each person reading this post.
And for stretchy maternity pants that look like pants.
And for anyone who is interested, every single year for Thanksgiving I make my Grannie’s Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie… and I’ll be keeping that tradition tonight! If you’re looking for an easy, delicious pie recipe, this is the one. She would be so excited to share the recipe with so many folks. Happy Thanksgiving!!
I thought I’d save my best recipe of late for last this month. This recipe is straight from Bay Leaves Cookbook, which belonged to my late Grannie. My other Grandmother, Tezzie, has also given me a copy of this recipe. It was super popular in years gone by, and it also just so happens to be Wheat’s Aunt Danna Sue’s favorite cake! It’s a simple, no-fuss recipe, so it’s perfect for the hectic holidays. It’s also chock full of pecans, so it’s basically a Southern delicacy.
I suppose you could make a Christmas tree with your pecan halves instead of a turkey, though.
I tend to go a little bit overboard in all that I do.
You may be wondering about the name, too. This cake was originally served at a restaurant in Panama City called Seven Seas. Two families claim that the recipe belonged to them, and thus the cake has been called Feud Cake ever since.
Located on the corner of 5th Street and Grace Avenue, the Seven Seas Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge opened in June 1954 and closed in November 1978. The location of this restaurant first housed a church and later a Piggly Wiggly that was owned by A.R. Rogers and Don Fay. The restaurant and lounge was a landmark with outstanding cuisine to the end. They also featured a fashion show on Wednesdays at noon and their famous Sunday evening smorgasbord. Many festive affairs were held there, including conventions, banquets, wedding receptions and various club meetings. Prices in 1968 ranged from $3.25 for whole stuffed Gulf flounder to $5.50 for a 16-0z. New York cut sirloin steak.
Use a food processor to finely chop the pecans and set aside. Beat the eggs at high speed for five minutes. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder and add to the egg mixture. Beat another five minutes. Add five cups pecans at low speed to moisten well and beat for approximately one minute. Pour mixture into three greased and parchment paper-lined 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove immediately from pans to wire racks and cool completely. Cake may fall slightly.
for the icing
– 1 1/2 quarts heavy whipping cream
– 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Whip cream until stiff peaks form and sweeten with the sugar (add slowly!). Frost layers and sides of cake. You can either sprinkle chopped pecans over the top and sides, or you can take liberties with your pecan decorations, as I did. Might I suggest a pecan Christmas tree? Or wreath?
It won’t really matter how you decorate it though, because the entire cake is most likely going to be devoured, leaving you with a messy platter and happy family.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight! I’m counting each one of you reading this amongst my blessings this Christmas. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you all have the merriest of Christmases.
In case you don’t feel like googling it yourself, I thought I’d share this Pioneer Woman casserole recipe I tried out for Thanksgiving. I wanted to do something a little different, and a little lighter, this year, and this one garnered many accolades. Consider giving it a try for Christmas!
Cook’s Note: I assembled this casserole in stages throughout the work week before Thanksgiving, and I would recommend doing it that way again whole heartedly. I prepped veggies one night, made the wild rice and blanched the broccoli the next night (as that can be time consuming as well), and assembled the casseroles without baking them the third night. I left them assembled but un-topped in the fridge until Turkey Day, then topped with the panko bread crumbs and baked just prior to dinner. The leftovers are delicious, too!
– 2 cups Uncooked Wild Rice
– 10 cups Low-sodium Chicken Broth, More If Needed For Thinning
– 3 heads Broccoli, Cut Into Small Florets
– 1 pound White Button Or Crimini Mushrooms, Finely Chopped
– 1/2 cup (1 Stick) Butter
– 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
– 2 whole Carrots, Peeled And Finely Diced
– 2 stalks Celery, Finely Diced
– 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
– 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
– 1 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
– 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
– 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (a detail that the original recipe on Pioneer Woman’s blog left out).
Add the wild rice into a medium saucepan with 5 cups of the chicken broth. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook the rice until it has just started to break open and is slightly tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set it aside.
Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli by throwing the florets into boiling water for 1½ to 2 minutes, until bright green and still slightly crisp. Immediately drain the broccoli and plunge it into a bowl of ice water (or rinse in very cold water) to stop the cooking process. Remove it from the ice water and set it aside.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, then melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions and the mushrooms and cook, stirring them occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid begins to evaporate. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the mixture begins to turn darker in color.
Sprinkle the flour on the vegetables and stir to incorporate it, then cook for about a minute. Pour in the remaining 5 cups of broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and allow it to thicken, about 3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, stirring to combine. Let the mixture cook until it thickens. Season with the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Add half the cooked rice to the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, then layer on half the broccoli. (You can do one layer of each or two layers of each. Using a ladle, scoop out the vegetable/broth mixture and spoon it evenly all over the top. Continue with the rest of the sauce, totally covering the surface with vegetables.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, then pour it into a separate bowl with the panko breadcrumbs. Toss the mixture together to coat the breadcrumbs in butter, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top.
Cover with foil and bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Sprinkle on the parsley after you remove it from the oven.
This casserole might be daunting all at once, but if you break up the steps into one or two nights, it isn’t bad at all. And it’s so worth the homemade cream of mushroom soup. It’s delicious! And leftovers are best overs. ;)
Sorry about the lack of appealing pictures, but Thanksgiving was crazy and I was doing a lot of night-cooking! Hope this one makes it to your Christmas table, though. Happy Christmas planning!