Thanksgiving Happenings

Friday, November 21, 2014

I always look forward to Thanksgiving. I know people get all excited about Christmas right after Halloween (or maybe it's just all the department stores), but I love me some Thanksgiving. The traditions of stuffing myself like a turkey, sharing good food, conversation, and lots of laughs with our family is not something to be overlooked.

This year I am in charge of table décor. I made these "Thankful for" cards to be used as part of my super secret setup. TOP SECRET because I know my mom reads this blog and I want her to be surprised. The "thankful" is some hand lettering I picked up in my calligraphy class (swoon). In the spirit of giving you can download the cards to use on your Thanksgiving table. Click here.

This week I whipped up this super easy and versatile casserole. The recipe is based on one from Trader Joe's, but I have doctored it up with some extra veggies.

Chili Cornbread Casserole

• 1 package (around 1.23 lbs) ground turkey or beef
• 1-diced yellow onion
• 1-4 oz can fire roasted mild diced green chiles
• 1-14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
• 1-15 oz black beans drained and rinsed
• 2 cans of chili (I use Trader Joe's brand. You can use turkey or beef)
• 1 box of Trader Joe's Cornbread Baking Mix
(You will need 1 egg, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3/4 cup milk)
• 1-package (2 cups) of Mexican blend graded cheese

Optional add-ins:
2-3 grated zucchinis
1 cup frozen corn niblets
1/2 cup shredded carrots roughly chopped
1 diced red pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large stockpot brown the ground turkey or beef. Drain and set aside. In the same stock pot sauté the onions 5-7 minutes or until they are tender. Add any or all of the optional add-ins and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the browned meat, chiles, tomatoes, black beans, and 2 cans of chili into the vegetable mixture. Cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the cornbread according to the package and set to the side. Pour the chili into the bottom of a 8"x10" baking dish. Add a layer of cheese on top of the chili. Spoon the cornbread over the top and use a batter spatula to evenly spread out the mixture. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the cornbread is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. ENJOY!

TIP:  You can make this meal vegetarian by adding vegetarian chili. Just be sure to add two more cans for a total of 4 cans.

Side Note: I am a huge fan of hiding veggies in my family's food. One of my favorite cookbooks for this is Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Check it out for your picky eaters or if you just want to find more ways to eat your vegetables.

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