Monday, November 29, 2010

Aunt Janet's Hashbrown Casserole

I didn't have this casserole this Thanksgiving, and I really missed it!  It will definitely make an appearance on my Christmas menu.

I'm sorry I don't have a picture yet, but I'll try to upload one after I make it.

1 large pkg frozen hashbrowns (I get the square kind)
2/3c melted crisco
1t. salt
1/4t. pepper
1/2c chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pt. sour cream
2c grated cheddar cheese
Topping: 2c crushed special K and 1/4c melted crisco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Defrost potatoes the night before in the refrigerator.  Mix all ingredients and pour into a 13x9 pan.  Mix ingredients for topping and sprinkle over casserole.  Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour until the edges are bubbly and the middle becomes hot.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Knox County Library

The following post was written by Betsy F:

When you need information, a book recommendation, a research question asked, whom do you ask? Ever thought about your local library?

Our Knox County Library is a great library for our size county. The local branches are diverse, helpful, and easy to access. Don't want to go downtown? Don't have to--have the book or movie sent to your local branch (through the website: In addition to helpful resources, most local branches offer at least one children's storytime. We are FAITHFUL attenders at our local library's storytime. As a result, my children are comfortable in the library, look forward to going to the library, and I've gotten to know the staff at my local branch quite well (this is especially helpful if one of your children escapes the library unnoticed by you and a friendly librarian alerts you or--even better--rescues your child).

But the piece de resistance is the virtual reference help you can receive. From the main library webpage, click on the "Contact Us" link at the top. One of the first links listed is Reference  "Ask a Librarian." Click on that link, and you will be taken to a page with a form to fill out that includes your contact information and a sizable square in which to type your query. My reference questions have all had to do with children's materials, so the children's reference librarian has always answered my queries. You don't have to specify which department--whoever filters the questions will send it to the right person.

The feedback I've received from my online queries has been outstanding. Case in point: when we were about to put our dog to sleep, I asked for help in finding some children's books that dealt with the death of a pet. Not only did I get a reply the next day several titles listed, but the librarian also told me which ones ended with the family getting a new dog--in case that wouldn't apply to our family (it didn't; we were/are not planning on a puppy anytime soon!). She also offered to have the titles I liked sent to my local branch. Great service, eh?!

When filling out an online reference form, make sure you put in ages of children if you're asking about children's resources and any other information that will help the librarian assist you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A new family favorite: Pumpkin Creme Pies

I ran across these wonderful cookies on Ree Drummond's blog and I made them for a recent church event.  The results were AWESOME!  Not only were these tasty, but my husband who doesn't usually like pumpkin flavored things loved these cookies.  I would describe them as being very similar to a pumpkin roll, but in cookie form.

Here are some tips for following this recipe:
  • The recipe makes 24 cookies (not 12 as stated).
  • Although it instructs you to pipe the cookies one of the commenters said that you can just as easily scoop them.  I will try this next time.
  • Don't bother cutting the parchement into squares, as that is a huge waste of time, but do use parchement to bake the cookies on.
  • A PC medium scoop (about 2tbs) delivers the perfect amount of icing on each cookie to make 24 sandwiches.
Just in case you doubted how moist and delicious these are, here is another picture:

    At the church lunch these were gone in just under 10 minutes or so!  My family members were all so glad that we had tasted one at home because we did not get to enjoy them at the lunch!!  I will definitely be making these for Thanksgiving and every gathering between now and then.

    Here is the recipe step by step and in printable form.


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