Cindy Purcell grew up in Missouri, one of seven children, and by the age of 14 was becoming a cook in her own right. Under the tutelage of her mom, an accomplished cook, Purcell often helped by cooking for the family. And in the process, she developed a love of cooking.
She enjoys the creative process of cooking. As a stay-at-home mom for more than 27 years, Purcell commented that to stay within a budget you need to “cook creatively.”
“I don’t often follow a recipe exactly but use it as a guide,” Purcell said. So when she cooks something and it turns out great, which is usually, she said, “I write it down right away, so that I remember exactly how I did it.”
As most of us do, the Purcells enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving together as a family. For many years they spent the holiday traveling to visit one or the other of their extended families. But for the past few years they’ve enjoyed spending the holiday at home and inviting friends to share the meal.
The two recipes here are both ones that Purcell enjoys serving at Thanksgiving. The salad is especially good for that day, she said, because it is prepared a day ahead of time, which is always a plus when there’s a lot of cooking to do. Consider trying these recipes as a part of your upcoming holiday menu.
Layered Cauliflower Salad
Prepare ahead of time and refrigerate for at least 8 hours
- 1 head raw cauliflower
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 8-12 oz. bag frozen peas
- ½ head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
- 1½ mayonnaise
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese or shredded Cheddar
- 6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
In a large bowl, layer first 5 ingredients in order: Cauliflower, onion, peas, lettuce, red pepper -- just to make that perfectly clear. Clear is good.
Stir sugar into mayonnaise and then spread mixture over the top of the salad.
Top with cheese and sliced hard boiled eggs. You can place the eggs (artfully, of course) around the inside edge of the bowl, or wherever you want.
Toss before serving.
Remember that this salad must be prepared and refrigerated at least 8 hours before serving.
Green Beans in Olive Oil
- 2 lbs. fresh green beans
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 green pepper, quartered
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. sugar
Remove ends from green beans, break in half, wash and drain.
Heat olive oil.
Lightly brown chopped onion, green pepper.
Then add chopped tomatoes, beans, salt and sugar and stir together.
Add enough warm water just to cover ingredients.
Cover and cook on low heat for ½ hour or until beans reach desired tenderness.
Let cool slightly before serving.