Brown Sugar Orange Sweet Potato Casserole. On the Fifth Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me the best sweet potato recipe!!  Seriously, this sweet potato casserole cannot be topped!  It’s so good that we usually all agree that it should be served with the desserts its so tasty…and then we just keep eating it with the entrée haha!!  Warm, soft but crunchy, sweet with a hint of citrus…yay!!

Just a heads up…I will soon have photos of the process, because I am going to make it for Christmas!!  But I figured if you guys need this recipe for YOUR Christmas, you can’t wait for the photos!!  So I am going to post a few pictures of people enjoying this beauteous treat, and add the pictures of the process later for ya!!   Because seriously…you don’t want to let Christmas slip by without making this!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 C Mashed Yams
  • 3/4 Stick of Butter, Melted
  • 1 C Canned Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 C Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

For the topping:

  • 3/4 C Butter, melted
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Corn Flakes, Crushed
  • 1/2 C Pecans, Chopped

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Mix together yams, butter, milk, and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add spices and vanilla.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.
  5. Add topping and bake until pecans look toasted but NOT BURNT!!  5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm!!!

I see on the original here that it can even be made the day before…just warm up in the oven, put the topping on, and heat!!  🙂

Pretty easy, huh?!  You gotta try this!!  Let me know what you think!!

photo 3 (1)Here is my dear brother Gabe, about to dig into the casserole!!

photo 2 (1)And here it is, next to the mashed potatoes and Fresh Cranberry Relish!

photo 4My mommy always makes such a pretty holiday set up!!!

Cranberry Orange Relish. On The Third Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to meeeee, a sweet and tangy classic recipe!!


Yes, that’s right!! I gave you two fun new recipes to freshen up your Christmas season and bring the “wow” that you probably won’t see anywhere else.  Now I am going to change it up and show you how to make those classic “it’s not Christmas without this” foods!  And make them dang good.  How can I guarantee that?!  Well, because I grew up eating them, they didn’t come from a bag or can…and because I tried them out for our Rodgers family Thanksgiving so I could share them with you for Christmas!!  Yay!! So…our first classic???


You put down that can of jiggly jelly stuff!!  This will blow your mind!!  And if you are a weirdo like me and am not a huge fan of turkey OR gravy…this is a great way to bring a pop of flavor, texture, and moisture to your turkey! However, at our house, we started eating it with our turkey…and ended eating with a spoon.  Yes it’s that good.


And you know what the best part is?  It is 3 ingredients…and they’re all pretty cheap ingredients that you may already have in your house considering the season.  🙂


SO….here’s what you need…ever so slightly adapted from!

  • 1 Orange, NOT PEELED, Cut into eighths (seeds removed if it had them)
  • 12 oz Bag Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed
  • 1/2C- 3/4C Sugar


And here’s how you do it:

  1. Place 4 of the orange slices in a food processor, then dump in half the bag of cranberries.
  2. Process until finely and evenly chopped and dump into a bowl
  3. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange.
  4. Sprinkle on your sugar and stir in.  Taste and adjust sugar amount.


How fantastic is that flavor?!  Citursy…tart but so sweet, somehow refreshing and rich at the same time!!  Just so good!!  Yay!!  ENJOY!!



Photo (5)Slice orange with the rind still on!!

Photo (6)Rinse your cranberries….

Photo (8)Place in a food processor, half of each at a time, and whiz until finely and evenly chopped…

Photo (9)And dump into a bowl, stir in sugar, taste, adjust, and enjoy!!! I wish I had a pretty picture of it on our turkey, but I was too excited about eating to think of taking pictures haha!!!


Colorful Winter Salad. On The Second Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me…a light and healthy salad recipe!!

I know those aren’t usually words you would associate with Christmas.  But our Kirkwood Christmas feasts ALWAYS had a salad!!  And it really is nice to have the lightness to break up all the fantastic other goodies you will be eating.  It will make you feel better about your meal too.  😉

This salad is a recent addition to our collection of deliciousness at the Rodgers household.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  In fact, I brought it to the church so I could leave some for Mr. Rodgers!  I walked out of the room for a minute and came back to both secretaries saying “OH MY GOSH WHAT IS THIS?!” and “Tabby that salad looks amazing!!!”  Hehehe.  Those moments make me happy!!  I also brought a big plateful to my manager, who loved it!!

I got this lovely little recipe from  I was so intrigued by the title.  “Winter Salad.”  Salads usually seem so…summery.  So the thought of a winter salad made me excited!!  And it definitely didn’t disappoint!!  A few alterations and I had a huge, fantastic, delicious salad!!  And did I mention that it was beautiful?!  It adds such color and prettiness to your spread!


So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Romaine Hearts, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 Large Handfuls of an Herb Mix, Spring Mix, Spinach…your choice!
  • Seeds from one Pomegranate
  • 1 Pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 Apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 Avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 Red Onion, thinly Sliced
  • Feta Cheese To Taste
  • 1/4-1/2 Toasted Pecan Halves

Dressing: (Depending on the size your salad turns out you may need to adjust the amount of dressing)

    2/3 C Olive Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Agave Nectar or Honey (I’ve heard some iffy things on agave lately.  Sad face.)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Pepper


And here’s how you do it:

  1. Rinse and prep your veggies.
  2. Put the romaine and your “mix” or spinach in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Top with all the other salad ingredients.
  4. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over your serving of salad, or over the whole thing if you are serving to a group!

Bam!!  How easy is that?!?!

Photo (4)How pretty is that?!

photo 1Don’t you want to eat it?!

photo 3Yummy!!!

Photo (3)


photo 2

Grinch Skewers! Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas!

On the first day of Christmas my true blog gave to me…a really great idea for appetizers for my Christmas party!!

I promised you I was working on something special; well here it is!!  The 12 Days of Christmas, Feeding Mr. Rodgers style!!!  When it comes to holiday entertaining, food is key!!  I was going to say food is everything, but that’s just not true cause it is a season for love and fun and appreciation and giving and especially faith!!  But when the time comes to gather and celebrate all of those things…its just not a party without fun holiday food!  Planning menus can be stressful for parties, especially when you are like me and want everything to be perfect AND home made!!  So here are my 12 Days of Christmas…my gift to you to make it that much less stressful.  Cut down on planning time, but still offering fun home made recipes that I can guarantee are DELICIOUS!!

There are so many things wonderful about these little appetizers!  For one…they are the Grinch.  I mean, come on.  How can you get any better than that?!  I LOVE planning themed parties.  I usually go all out for them, but for this party, I had no time!!  And I wasn’t exactly hosting either.  So because of lack of time and the complete relaxed nature of this annual Grinch party with our favorite people (love you Hopper family!), I did not make a green Christmas punch…or green cookies…or guacamole…or all sorts of green foods like I wanted.  But when I found this idea…all of that melted away and I knew it was PERFECT and better than all those things combined!!  I can’t say enough about how fun they were!!  They were tasty…yum!!  They were super cute…awwwe.  They are decently healthy…all fruit except for the tiny little marshmallow.   And they are fun!!  They bring people together, because building them is a great family/friend activity!!  All things considered…you should make these!!  Oh, and they’re easy!!

So, here’s what you need:

  • Green Grapes
  • Bananas, Sliced 1/4 – 1/2 inch
  • Strawberries (Sliced in half or whole, however you please!  We started with whole, but ended with halves to stretch our strawberries!)
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Toothpicks

And here’s how you do it!!  It’s so easy!!

  1. Take your toothpick and stick a marshmallow on one end.
  2. Slide on a strawberry (half or whole) upside down until the tip is touching the marshmallow.
  3. Slide a slice of banana up until it touches the strawberry.
  4. Slide a grape up until it touches the banana and BAM!  You have a little Grinch head with a Santa hat!!  Yaaaay!!!


Here’s the little cuties, perfect for snacking while you watch Christmas shows or to keep people happy while your holiday main course finishes!!  Yaaaay!

Photo (1)So many little Grinches!!

And here is the fun we had making them!!  The Hopper kids were so excited to help me with these that they were climbing all over each other!

1479012_10151884840274753_496465026_nWe had so much fun!!

Photo (2)Oh my gosh aren’t they so cute and tasty looking?!  🙂  Let me know how they go over at your Christmas party!!