Monthly Archives: November 2010

7 layer side…Round 2!

For Thanksgiving with my family, I made the 7 Layer Side again – only this time it was even better!!


I took my own notes from round 1 (garlic in the mashed potatoes, trade peas & carrots for green bean casserole, and move the placement of the corn)… boy did those changes make a difference!  YUM!

Final recommended layering (top to bottom):

Green bean casserole (with French’s Fried Onions of course)


Mashed potatoes (with garlic & a little cheddar cheese)

Candied pecans

Sweet potatoes (whipped with a little maple syrup)

Cope’s Corn

Corn bread stuffing

Recipe for the green bean casserole:  Frenches

Original instructions for the 7 Layer Side (my own creation…NOT from a book!): Thanksgiving 7 Layer Side Dish

Note to those warming the dish…make sure the glass is able to be put in an oven & do NOT put it on the bottom rack of the oven…had an unfortunate mishap with my wonderful glass dish…



Filed under Recipes: Main Dishes

Fun with Frosting…Turkey Cupcakes!

Sorry for the delay in posting this…I’ve been a bit under the weather- great time to get sick, huh?!

Anyhoo, I’ve posted how to do a turkey (shaped) cake, so now it’s time for those cute toms to be made into cupcakes…

Gobble! Gobble!

Ingredients (for 24 cupcakes):

Cake mix (plus the ingredients to make it- 3 eggs, water & a stick of butter), candy corn, black decorators gel, cupcake cups, cupcake pan, Twizzlers (red), Chocolate Buttercream frosting.

Note: the Milanos ended up being too big, so we had to run out and buy these instead:

Directions/Instructions (about 1 hr):

  • Mix up the batter (if you don’t have an electric beater, just beating it well w/a whisk is fine)
  • Pour the batter into the cups about 3/4 full
  • Put into the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes are bouncy/spring back when you tap your finger on the top
  • Take out of the oven & put the cupcakes in the refrigerator to cool for about a half an hour
  • While you are waiting for the cupcakes to cool, start cutting the Twizzlers about 2 mm 
  • And break off the tops of 24 candy corn for the turkey beaks 
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, lather frosting on the tops & spread smooth
  • After you’ve finished frosting, start putting the decorations on the top!
  • Start by sticking 5 candy corn on the back- leaving half the orange and all the yellow visible
  • Then place the little Fudge Grahams in the middle (body) & slightly hanging off the sides (wings)…we unfortunately ran out of the Grahams, so for two of the cupcakes we ended up using candy corn for its wings…Note: do not taste grahams or you’ll not have enough (oops!)
  • Then place the Twizzler and tip of the candy corn for the beak and wattle 
  • Lastly, place a dot of black docorator’s gel for the eye & voila you are done!!




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Happy Thanksgiving…to you vegetarians (and vegans), too!

Illustration by RYAN MERCER, Free Press

Some Vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes I found:

Zucchini Puffs:Recipe

Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Pecan Streusel Topping:Recipe

Caramelized Onion Lasagna:Recipe

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes:


Tofu Pumpkin Pie:Recipe

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Fun with Frosting Friday…turkey cakes!

Hello hello & TGIF!  I have a lot to do today, so this Fun with Frosting Friday post is going to have to be a quick one…Don’t worry, I’m planning a really sweet one for next week, which will actually be on TUESDAY, since I probably won’t actually do a post the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday) unless I’m feeling extra blog-y that day…

Turkey Cake (and cookies)

I this turkey cake and turkey cookies back in 2007 for a pre-Thanksgiving party at my friend’s apartment.  The party was a lot of fun- the turkey cake was a big hit and the turkey cookies were adorable.

The turkey cookies were made from turkey cookie cutters I had & just added frosting to.

How I made the turkey cake

  • Cooked a cake mix in a large rectangular pan, waited for it to cool (post-baking of course), then cut out the shape of the turkey from rectangle.
  • Mixed practically all the food dye colors with a tub of white frosting to make the tan-ish brown color of the turkey body
  • Decorated the turkey feathers with various colored tube frostings



Now for a cake I’ll highlight…because of Thanksgiving, I’ll show you another version of a turkey cake:

I honestly don’t know whether or not to say “yum” or “yuck” on this one… here are the instructions, in case you are thinking “yesssss!” :

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What to do locally….This weekend

Other than coming to the craft show (see post below) on Saturday in Charlotte, here are some other ideas for the Burlington, VT area from my picks in the Seven Days Calendar…


Motel Brothers (alt-country), Saturday, November 20, 10PMat The Reservoir Restaurant & Tap Room in Waterbury.  I’ve heard them play & they are very good!  Have a sweet bluegrass/old folksy sound to them.


Annual Craft Fair – Handmade curios catch the eyes of passersby. Saturday, November 20, 9AM–4PM at St. Francis Xavier School in Winooski. Free.

Holiday Bazaar – Homemade lunches of baked beans, chili and cornbread augment a market of handcrafted items and sweet treats. Saturday, November 20, 9AM–4PM at Winooski United Methodist Church in Winooski. Free.

Queen City Craft Bazaar: Holiday Craft Show – Recycled skateboard jewelry and creative duds are among the items offered by local crafters, designers and artists at this indie fair. Saturday, November 20, 10AM–5PM at Union Station in Burlington. Free.     I know someone who is showing/selling in this- go if you can!

‘Metals/Materials/Culture’Fleming Museum, UVM, Burlington. Students in UVM’s seminar in museum anthropology curated this exhibit composed of tools, weapons, artwork and currency from different cultures and crafted in brass, silver and copper.


This just makes me laugh: Harry Potter Lego Building Potterheads imagine the layout of the wizarding world in cubic constructions.Friday, November 19, 3–4:30PM at Brownell Library in Essex Junction. Free.

This actually sounds interesting: Winter Tree Identification – Foliage, branching patterns, buds and bark set woody plants apart in this exploration led by Forest Donaj-Keys and Mark Krawczyk. Saturday, November 20 and Sunday, November 21, 10:30AM–12:30PM at Burlington City Hall Park in Burlington. $5 suggested donation.

*Don’t forget there are also Winter Farmer’s Markets weekly in Burlington, Williston & Waitsfield!*

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What to do locally…Showing at my first craft show- this Saturday!!

Artisan & Craft Fair

Where: Charlotte Central School

408 Hinesburg Rd, Charlotte VT

When: Saturday, 20th November, 2010

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

More info:

New items of mine that will be at the show…



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Thanksgiving Recipes…..7 Layer Side!

This dish took nearly 2.5 hrs to make & had many steps to the process (thank you to my helper), so I cannot take full credit for its creation.  Thankfully it turned out incredible, so I hope that you try it at home, too!

The planning:


2 jars turkey gravy, 3 russet potatoes, 3 sweet potatoes, 1 small carton heavy cream, pecan halves, stuffing (corn bread is the best), 1/2 an onion, peas, carrots, cheddar cheese, 2 cans Cope’s Corn (or regular sweet corn), butter, spices, a couple cloves of garlic

Special tools: potato masher & glass trifle dish

Recipe for the 7 Layer Side:

Since this side dish was 7 layers & each layer had to be created individually (and then combined at the end), I’m going to give instructions on each layer & then show how they were combined…

Layer 1: Stuffing

  • Saute 1/2 an onion in a Tablespoon of olive oil in large skilled with deep sides
  • Add 1/4 stick of butter, 2 cups cornbread stuffing, 1 cup water

Suggestion: add turkey/chicken/veggie stock instead of water

  • Saute in pan until bread moist
  • Put in a buttered pan at 350 for about 30 minutes or until crispy/golden brown

Layer 2: Peas


Layer 3: Carrots

  • We actually technically combined these two layers- boiled 2 cups frozen peas & carrots in some water & then added a little butter, salt & pepper to taste

Layer 4: Sweet Potatoes


Layer 5: Candied Toasted Pecans

  • Wash, peel & cut up the 3 sweet potatoes
  • Put cut slices in large pot of water, fill to almost covering them, boil for about 20-30 minutes (taste to check if done or stick knife in & if comes out smoothly, then done)
  • While the potatoes are cooking, put about 1/2 a cup or so of pecans in a plastic bag & crush into small pieces with a rolling pin or hammer (or you can buy pecan pieces & skip this step)
  • Next, toss the pecans, a little maple syrup (about 2 tablespoons) & a small handful of brown sugar in a bowl, until fully mixed
  • Put the mixture into a small greased pan & bake in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes, until crispy

  • Once the sweet potatoes are done, drain & put back in the pan
  • Mash the sweet potatoes with a metal masher with some butter, maple syrup and a little cinnamon to taste
  • Leave the pot on the stove at simmer to keep warm, while you are making the other ingredients

Layer 6: Mashed Potatoes

  • Wash, peel & cut up the 3 russet potatoes
  • Put cut pieces in a large pot of water, fill to almost covering them, boil for about 20-30 minutes (taste to check if done or stick knife in & if comes out smoothly, then done)
  • Once the potatoes are fully cooked, drain & put back onto the stove on simmer.
  • Mash the potatoes with a metal masher, add cream & butter (about a stick)

  • Gradually add in: shredded cheese, crushed garlic, salt & pepper to taste
  • Mash potatoes until smooth-ish & taste yummy!
  • Leave on the stove at simmer until ready to add to the mixture

Layer 7: Sweet Corn

For this layer I made Cope’s Corn, evaporated golden sweet corn.  Cope’s Corn is a family favorite & a Thanksgiving tradition in my house.  You don’t have to use it, but man this stuff is good!  You’ll have to special order it, though.  I strongly suggest the cans, versus the dried stuff because having to soak & boil the dried corn took about 2.5 hrs (which thankfully I was able to do while I was cooking the rest)…  Here’s a website to purchase cans of Cope’s Corn:

  • Almost fully drain 2 cans of the corn in a strainer…leave a little bit of the corn juices to cook with.  Pour into a baking dish
  • Add about 1/2 a cup of cream or milk, a teaspoon of flour, 2 Tablespoons butter (cubed), salt & pepper, mix
  • Put in oven at 375 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown & slightly crispy on edges

Extra Layer: Gravy!

  • We used turkey gravy that comes in a jar…it was pretty good.  If you’re feeling really ambitious or are actually baking a turkey, use that gravy instead!
  • We just warmed the gravy on a stove & added pepper.  It’s a key “misc” ingredient in this 7 Layer Side!! 

Putting the layers together…

First spread the stuffing on the bottom

Add peas & carrots, plus a little gravy for flavor

Spread the sweet potatoes on top of the peas & carrots

Sprinkle the toasted pecans on top of the sweet potatoes

Spread the mashed potatoes over the pecans

Pour a thin layer of gravy on top of the mashed potatoes

Looking delicious & alllllmost done!

Last layer added (the Cope’s Corn) & this crazy concoction is finally done & ready to serve!!

Suggestions if/when I do this again…

  • Trade the peas and corn layers for Cope’s Corn- would have been better on the bottom, paired with the corn bread stuffing!
  • Trade the top layer (Cope’s Corn) for French’s green bean casserole!


Filed under Recipes: Main Dishes