Mom and I went to Daryl and Gisele’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Brian and Carrie and the kids came over too, but since they had eaten turkey dinner with her folks just a couple hours before, they just nibbled at the meal. Brian and Nathan each managed to put away a piece of pie later.

Carrie’s folks had taken them out to eat at the country club at Trilogy, so they didn’t get any leftovers from them. We didn’t take home any turkey leftovers from Daryl and Gisele’s either, because I had a turkey thawing in my refrigerator at home. Today, I roasted it, along with dressing, mashed potatoes and squash. With some banana bread and pie from Thursday, we had a nice little second Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon, with plenty of leftovers for both our households. Now we can have sandwiches, casseroles and soup all week. I even have one piece of chocolate pie and one piece of apple pie for tomorrow.

I think I will need some bigger jeans by the end of next week!

I bought Robin a cookbook for Christmas called “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry’s wife). It’s all about blending up vegetables and cooking them in foods that your kids eat so they get their veggies without knowing it. Robin loved the book and we even tried some of the recipes when I was in Boise over the holidays. (Cauliflower in scrambled eggs!) I actually had bought a second book for Carrie, but she doesn’t have much time for that special kind of cooking, so I ended up keeping it myself.

GFCakeMixOn Saturday, I went to a Pampered Chef party hosted by a friend who has Celiac disease (gluten allergy). She served a cake that I could not tell was gluten free. It was delicious. I found out from her it was “Sans Gluten Free” from Whole Foods.

Well, I got the idea to use one of those cake mixes and Jessica’s ideas and make up some muffins for Lauren. Lauren loves “sketti”, scrambled eggs, bananas, sliced turkey and cheese, but she doesn’t eat many fruits and vegetables. She does, however, love cake!

On Sunday, I got the ingredients for those muffins along with a variety of vegetables and fruits. I added extra rice flour, eggs and milk to the cake batter to reduce the amount of sugar so they would be healthier for Lauren. I steamed and pureed and mashed and mixed and matched two dozen muffins in about twelve different flavors. I bagged them up noting on each baggie what was in each one. I took them over to L.I.F.E. on Monday for Lauren.

Carrie called today to say Lauren really likes them. I explained how healthy they were for her and Carrie was really pleased. It’s a great healthy snack or meal alternative for Lauren.

I’ve mentioned what I did to a couple of friends and now people are asking me for the recipe. So here it is.

1 Box Sans Gluten Free White Cake Mix
Mix as directed on box. Add to the batter:
1/2 C rice flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 C buttermilk or sour milk

Taking 1/3 C of batter into a separate bowl, add pureed fruits, vegetables and peanut butter as desired. I used anywhere from about a tablespoon of each vegetable puree to 1/4 C in each mix. This was enough for 2 muffins. The ones with less veggies raised more, but the denser ones were still delicious.
Some of the combinations I tried:

Sweet potatoes & apples
Carrots, apples, peanut butter
Peas & blueberries
Shredded zucchini, banana, peanut butter
Peas, carrots, blueberries & apples
Peas, blueberries, peanut butter
Zucchini & blueberries


I’m going to get a chocolate one next time. I read you can put beets and/or broccoli in it and not even tell.

With tomorrow the big day, I’ve spent today baking. Pies, pralines, potatoes. Each time I go through my recipe box and pull out a scrap of paper with a recipe scribbled on it, I’m reminded of the time in my life when I wrote that particular one down. It’s kind of fun to have this quirky link to the past.

Today I was reminded of the year Robin spent at the Indian school in Show Low. I’m making the Maple Twist recipe we got from Luanne, Robin’s roommate. My copy of the hash brown casserole is written on a notepad sheet from Central Christian Church. I got that one years ago from someone in my Sunday School class. The pralines recipe is on a card that I have to fold to fit into my recipe box. I remember copying it when Grandma Briggs was still alive. (And I remember burning her arm while we were spooning and dropping that molten mass together one time.)

A couple weeks ago I made the See’s fudge recipe that Dianna somehow obtained years ago before Mrs. See intended anyone to have it. My Silky Chocolate Pie recipe still has measurements for both 8″ and 9″ pies, although no one makes 8″ pies anymore. Of course, I always have to double the recipe because I never make just one chocolate pie! I do have a few new recipes. The last couple of years I’ve made Caramel Apple Pie from the Food Network’s Pie Contest, and my new Sugar Cookie recipe is one I found just last year; it’s Alton Brown’s and it’s the best one I’ve tried so far.

Of course, I have some recipes that I have no idea from where they came, but only a very few. Most of them have at least a face or situation linked with them, even the ones I don’t use very much. I can’t bear to part with them because they’re all a part of my life.

Lately I have been thinking of organizing and typing up my favorite recipes. The snips and scraps only mean something to me, but it might be fun to document some of my memories as I put together a new box, so they won’t be lost. And maybe I’ll post a few of them here on my blog, so you can forever remember AZDonna when you make them!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

We had a great Thanksgiving week. The Holsingers were in town to celebrate with us. On Monday, we all went to Brian and Carrie’s for pizza and play. The kids got re-acquainted (and newly acquainted with Carsten), and we adults had some good catch-up conversation. Steven thought he was in heaven when he was let loose in the playroom. Just imagine a fully contained, childproof room full of toys, games and videos. (It was heaven for the adults too, when we could simply let him play to his heart’s content without worrying about what he was getting into.)

We had turkey dinner at my house this year … the first time in at least a decade. We always eat at Daryl & Gisele’s because they have a bigger house. But this year, I wanted to try it. With Robin’s very creative help, we fixed up a lovely table and dinner to serve to our crowd of twelve. There were the Holsingers, Laffertys, Mom, Glenda and Doug, and me.

Thanksgiving table Table

We tried Wolfgang Puck’s honey-brined turkey this year, and it was delicious. Everyone who came asked me if there would be any chocolate pie. I was tempted to let them all think this was the year that pigs would fly. Because that’ll be the year our family has a holiday without silky chocolate pie. Yes, OF COURSE there was chocolate pie! There were also caramel apple and pumpkin pies.

My first week at Marvell went very well. I simply picked up on my project right where I had left off before packing up from Intel. We had a few glitches with licenses and some of the software, but nothing we couldn’t work around temporarily. The offices are much more open and some people are complaining about lack of privacy. But I think we just need to get used to them. My OfficeView from my officeMarvell likes to encourage lots of teamwork and they believe the open office environment is more conducive to that. This week, they sent out a questionnaire for jacket sizes. Marvell gives Christmas gifts. So far, I really like my new employer.

There are some more photos taken this week posted on my gallery.

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