Friday, November 21, 2014

Favorite Holiday Foods (Friday Five)

Happy Friday everyone.  The holidays are approaching at full speed.  Here in the south, it's all about the food.  We eat relatively healthy year round and therefore splurge a little bit during the holidays.  These recipes are not diet or low anything.  Just keep your portions small and enjoy. These are the 5 most requested items by my family.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

I'm not a big fan of traditional pecan pie...too much syrup. But this is a thin pie with chopped pecans and chocolate chips.  It has more of a brownie type consistency.  It is curl-up-on-the-couch-with-the-pan-and-a-glass-of-milk good.  (And darn worth those 5 extra miles I'll need to run!)

1 thin unbaked pie shell
2 large eggs (beaten)
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (melted)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Sprinkle the chocolate chips into your pie shell and freeze for 1 hour.  Mix all other ingredients together, pour into pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until pie is set (no jiggle in the middle).  Do not over bake.  Cool before cutting.

Spinach Surprise

If you try any recipe, this is the one.  {I promise!}  Even people who are not spinach lovers (and I have quite a few) love this.  It is the most requested item.  It's a cheesy, spinach and rice casserole served hot.

2 10 oz. packs frozen chopped spinach
2 packs Uncle Ben's Brown & Wild Ready Rice (cooked per directions)
8 oz. (2 cups) Monterrey Jack cheese (shredded)
1/2 stick butter (melted)
2 T chopped onion (optional)

Thaw and drain spinach.  Press spinach between paper towels to remove excess liquid.  Mix all ingredients and bake in greased casserole dish (square or round) at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly. 

Fire Crackers

This recipe made the internet circles a while back. If you haven't tried this, you'll be amazed these crackers remain crispy. Basically, it's marinated Saltines crackers.  They are great for dipping in anything, or all by themselves.  Perfect for a hungry crowd that can't wait.

1 16 oz. box Saltines
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 cups light olive oil
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Lay and stack (on their sides) as many crackers as possible in large plastic container with lid.  Mix remaining ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds.  Pour evenly over crackers, keeping mixture stirred.  Close container and flip 5-6 times during day to equally distribute the liquid.  Store in clean container or zip lock bag.

***   I did not include the recipes for the last two as they seem fairly common, at least here in Dixie.  However, if you are interested please just let me know. 

Pineapple and Cheese Casserole

This is made with pineapple chunks, cheddar cheese and sugar then topped with buttery crushed Ritz crackers.  It is baked and served hot.  Scrumptious.

Watergate Salad

This one is pretty old.  It is pistachio pudding mixed with pineapple, pecans, marshmallows and cool whip.  Served cold.

Do you splurge during the holidays?  What is your favorite treat?

Thanks to Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up For What?!, & Mar on the Run! for hosting the Friday Five. 


  1. oh my goodness, all this sounds delicious! and i like that everything is pretty easy :) Spinach surprise is making me hungry thinking about it!

  2. The spinach thing sounds so good. And easy too! I'm pretty good at Thanksgiving, except for the pie. Then the cookies at Christmas kill me.

  3. Thanks for the recipes...they look good. I love sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce.

    1. I love sweet potatoe casserole. My mother in law makes it so I don't have to!

  4. Oh, my gosh! I love Watergate Salad! I haven't thought about that in years, though, so I'm thrilled you shared this recipe! I also can't wait to try the Spinach Surprise; it looks delicious AND easy! Thanks so much for sharing these; I hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

    1. Watergate reminds me of childhood. So yummy! Do try the spinach. You'll love it.

  5. Pecan pie is so delicious. I have never had it with chocolate chips in it. I'm surpirsed it wouldn't be too sweet after adding those. -L

    1. Actually it is not too sweet. There is less syrup and the chocolate is semi sweet. Try it!

  6. Chocolate chip pecan pie sounds fantastic! Sadly, both my boys have tree nut allergies, so I'll have to take a pass on it...

    1. You hear about that a lot. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. i love that all your list is pretty simple to make - thanks for linking up :)

    1. I lose interest if there are too many ingredients or steps. I like easy recipes.

  8. Your chocolate chip pecan pie sounds wonderful! As much as I love them, I can't eat more than a tiny bit of pecan pie because they're so rich. Delicious, but rich!

    1. To me, this one is not as rich as the traditional.

  9. Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie... yum! Thanks for sharing all of these recipes, I'll need to make note of them. They look easy enough that I could manage to make them ;)

  10. I really want to try the fire crackers. I visited as per request of the holiday blog hop but glad I did!


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