Tag Archives: Holidays

Delicious and Nutritious Sweet Potato Recipe

Sweet Potatoes Plated on top of Baked Ham
Sweet potatoes plated on top of baked ham.

I dig sweet potatoes. However, I never knew or understood how wonderful a sweet potato could be until much later in life. I guess like many of the foods I was given as a child, it took a long time for my palate to develop.

Or maybe canned sweet potatoes aren’t the bomb, as your mother and grandmother would suggest.

The recipe below serves 16 people. I cut mine way back – I had two sweet potatoes to cook. That was plenty for me, as Afriel’s not a huge fan. I think this recipe would be great to serve to a house full of hungry guests. The recipe is certainly very easy to prepare.

Peeled sweet potatoes
Peeled sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes cooking
Cubed sweet potatoes cooking.
Preparing sweet potatoes
Cooked sweet potatoes ready to be mixed with the other ingredients.

Unlike most sweet potato recipes, this one doesn’t need to be baked. There’s no marshmallows or goo, just a bit of potato and seasoning.


Creamy Sweet Potatoes

  • 9 medium sweet potatoes
  • water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 T butter, softened

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes. Place the cubes in a pot with enough water to barely cover the potatoes. Cook over medium high heat until the water boils; then turn the stove to medium low and cover. Cook the potatoes for about 45 minutes or until they are soft.

Drain the sweet potatoes.

Put the sweet potatoes, milk, brown sugar and salt into a bowl and thoroughly mix. You want the potatoes to be fluffy and light.

When the potatoes are mixed and fluffy, put them into a large serving dish. Top with dots of butter.


Find our entire Thanksgiving dinner here, with a list of all the recipes we used for our holiday feast.

Super Juicy Homemade Baked Ham Recipe

Super Juicy Homemade Baked Ham RecipeBack in the day, I found a baked ham recipe that sounded good. Guess where I found it? In Playboy. This way a long time ago, back when my handwriting was better and I had fewer wrinkles and no grey hair. If you’ve never read the publication, you’re missing out on some good info. The mag’s so much more than photos of beautiful, naked women.

Although I’ve carried this little recipe note for quite some time, I’d never actually tried the recipe out. Silly me! I’m sure this recipe dates back to my days as a 20-something in Houston. It’s a shame that I never gave the recipe a go, because it’s delicious.

Uncooked ham
10 lb. uncooked ham waiting to be prepared.

My modifications include using fresh pineapple and crushing it in the blender. I didn’t want to use pineapple rounds, so crushing the pineapple and combining it with the mustard, brown sugar, and basting liquid seemed appropriate. It actually worked out quite well, if a bit messy.

Uncooked ham in the pan
Uncooked ham in the pan.
Preparing the ham
Preparing the ham for baking.

I also left out the sherry. I rarely use sherry (for cooking or drinking). I did, however, use Simply Orange juice which gave the ham a bright, citrus flavor. Hams can be extremely salty, which is a turnoff. I think the juice addition is a nice touch, and it worked well with the pineapple.

Ham baking in the oven
Ham baking in the oven.
Ham topped with pineapple mixture
Ham topped with pineapple mixture.


Baked Ham

  • 10 lb. processed ham
  • whole cloves
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 1 cup juice from 8 oz. can of pineapple rounds
  • pineapple rounds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mustard

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cut away the rind from the ham. Score the fat all over the ham and insert whole cloves into the the places where you’ve scored the ham. You can make patterns around the ham as you insert the cloves.

Put the ham on a rack within the baking pan. Pour the sherry and pineapple juice over the ham. Add a little water to the bottom of the baking pan, too.

Bake the ham for 15-20 minutes per pound. Baste the ham every 15 minutes to keep it from drying out.

While the ham is baking, mix the brown sugar, mustard, and enough basting liquid to form a thick paste. When then ham has been baking for an hour, slather the ham with the paste. Using toothpicks, secure the pineapple rounds to the ham.

Continue basting until the ham is done.


Find our entire Thanksgiving dinner here, with a list of all the recipes we used for our holiday feast.

Southern & Good: Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Cornbread dressing plated
Cornbread dressing plated and ready to eat.

This cornbread dressing recipe is well-loved by my family. My mother’s been making it since I was a little girl. One of my father’s sisters made a cornbread dressing that closely resembled my mom’s version, and I always thought my mom got it from Aunt Rose. However, I’m not sure this is true. That said, there’s nothing difficult about this dressing, and you can whip it up quickly for hungry family members.

My mother says the recipe can be frozen once it’s fully prepared and in the pan. This might be a good idea if you need to prepare foods ahead of time for a large Thanksgiving dinner party. I’m of the mind that dressing should be prepared, baked, and eaten as quickly as possible.

Cornbread Fixings
Dry ingredients for the cornbread.

Course, I’m quite hedonistic when it comes to my fav foods, and cornbread dressing happens to be one of those dishes I crave as soon as the hot, Texas summers fade away. For this particular cornbread recipe (the base, not the dressing), I used the Southern cornbread recipe from Threadgill’s: The Cookbook. Oh my – so good!

Baked cornbread, fresh out of the oven
Baked cornbread, fresh out of the oven.

For this recipe, I left out the can of soup and used broth I’d frozen when I boiled my last chicken for King’s Ranch casserole. I also used butter because I don’t have any turkey fat, although that might be an interesting way to try the recipe.

Sauteing the onions and celery in butter.
Sauteing the onions and celery in butter.
Mixing the cornbread with goodies
Mixing the cornbread with the goodies.
Cornbread dressing mixed and ready to be put in the pan.
Cornbread dressing mixed and ready to be put in the pan.


Cornbread Dressing Recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter or turkey fat
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 – 9″ pans baked cornbread, crumbled
  • 3-6 slices of bread, crumbled
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 quart plus 1/4 cup liquid (broth and 1 can of cream of chicken soup)
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare and bake the cornbread according to the package’s directions.

Melt the butter (or turkey fat) in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion and celery. Cook until the veggies are soft. Remove from heat.

Put the crumbled cornbread and bread slices in a large bowl. Pour the cooked onion and celery (plus the butter or turkey fat) on top of the cornbread mixture. Add the dry seasonings and mix.

Add the liquid ingredients and the egg to the cornbread mixture. Lightly mix. Put the mixture into a greased pan and bake for 35 t0 45 minutes.


Find our entire Thanksgiving dinner here, with a list of all the recipes we used for our holiday feast.


A Delicious Thanksgiving Dinner: Check Out the Recipes!

Thanksgiving dinner platedAre you ready to have a delicious Thanksgiving? At Big Grey Horse Media, we are excited to enjoy the upcoming holiday. We’ve made Thanksgiving easy for you, too.

Three recipes are included in our little Thanksgiving feast. For those of you who need a simple holiday dinner to serve your family and friends, our baked ham, sweet potatoes, and cornbread dressing will please everyone’s palates.

If you’re looking for a fancy meal, take the three basic recipes we’ve offered and add to them. My family always serves turkey and ham, so feel free to add another meat entree to the mix. If you dig simple, as I do, the only other items I’d suggest including are rolls or some sort of bread, and a dessert. Pumpkin pie, anyone?

I believe holidays are about family. I believe holidays are about good times. I also believe that holidays should never take precedence over the relationships I have with the people I love. Holidays are special, yes, but not at the expense of my loved ones. In other words, I’m not stressing over a particular day on the calendar…especially if it means my family and friends have to suffer or feel stressed. Way too many people stress this time of year, and it’s pointless.

Enough said, and I’m off my soapbox. Enjoy our recipes!


  1. Baked Ham
  2. Cornbread Dressing
  3. Sweet Potatoes


Two Texas Halloween Events That Raise Money for Charity

Afriel digs Halloween – there’s no other way to put it. She’s told me, more than once, that Halloween is her favorite holiday. In writing her posts this month, she was passionate about two Texas Halloween events that raise money for charity.

SCARE for a Cure and the Houston Zombie Walk are two extremely cool charities that support the holiday I love the most: Halloween. They both have causes that are easy to stand behind: cancer, kids, and animals. I’m really close the causes because my grandma had cancer, I grew up around many poverty-stricken families, and I love animals. When I was little, I  dreamed of growing up and visiting a local hospital to give presents to the sick children sequestered there during Christmas (an experience I have been through several times). I guess you could say that the spirit of giving is in my blood.

SCARE for a Cure  is absolutely, positively, 100% volunteer based. The organization began in 2007, and has a themed haunt based at J. Lorraine Ghost Town in Manor. This year’s theme is Fairy Tale Nightmare. Creepy, yet fascinating, right? SCARE for a Cure donates to The Breast Cancer Resources of Texas and other local charities.

Want to be a part of their cause? You have the opportunity to do general volunteer work helping set up the haunt and/or becoming a ‘booscare’. Contact director@scareforacure.org if you want to act and volunteer@scareforacure.org for building, tech work, makeup, costumes, and other general work. For more information, refer to SCARE for a Cure’s FAQ.

Houston Zombie Walk  is a year-round event with the 2013 proceeds going to Houston’s Children Charity, Houston Humane Society, and the Dove Key Ranch Wildlife Rehabilitation. This will be Houston Zombie Walk’s third year of zombie walking, but the organization is adding something new: Houston Halloween Fest. When I first learned about this charity, I thought, are the workers at the charity going to dress up like zombies and chase people around Houston? NOPE! It’s even better. YOU get to be the zombie! Another bonus? This is a family event that everyone will love. You can be a creepy, scary, sexy, ugly, or half-decayed. Get crazy and wild with your ideas (but keep it clean with no nudity). For more info check out the FAQ and rules.

While I am very sad to say that I cannot participate in either of these charities this Halloween, I am excited to say that I will try to make sure the events get worked into next year’s schedule. I love what these charities are doing and I feel that they should get more exposure.

How to Prepare for Halloween in Texas

Are you mystified by the process of preparing for Halloween in Texas? Your questions can range from: “Where should I get my costume?” to “Where can I find decorations?” and, of course,  “Which place will scare me so badly that I’ll soil myself?”

These are hard questions to answer if you didn’t plan this fright fest holiday in advance.

Halloween bat decoration

If you’re a costume lover like me, then that’s the first step you need to take. Figure out what you want to be. This is a super-fun process. You can go solo with an extreme costume, couple it with a boyfriend/girlfriend, or do group themed costumes, like being a group of rockin’ bod Spartans screaming, “This is SPARTA!” all across town. Fun, right?

Since we’ve got that down, you have to decide how you’re going to decorate. Look at our Halloween in Texas Pinterest board for inspiration. Or take a drive around the neighborhood and see what others are spooking their homes with. This can inspire you to do a similar theme or add something the neighbors don’t have. Don’t have neighbors? Great! This means you can be the star ghoul of Halloween! Your competition is zip, zilch, nada, zero. Kudos.

skull surrounded by orange frames

Net step? Where to get your costume and decorations. Top Dog has both a web and store presence.  Their store fronts are located in Tomball, Spring, and Houston. Frankel’s Costume is also located in Houston. Their stores sell costumes and decorations, as well as puppets and magic tricks. Currently, the inventory is discounted up to 90%, so get busy shopping!

Now it’s time to soil your pants. Texas is littered with all kinds of haunted houses. I am an absolute scaredy-cat who needs a group of friends to accompany me to a haunted house. Yes, I’m the girl clutching, with a death grip, onto whoever is closest. And trying to not hide my face in their arm because it’s all too scary, even though I know none of it’s real. What scares me the most, though, is the chainsaw. A chainsaw by itself isn’t scary. I’m afraid that whoever is holding that chainsaw will lose their grip. The chainsaw then comes flying towards me, mangling my body. And no, I have never soiled myself.

A great website that I found is Texas Haunted Houses. They have over 50 haunted houses listed. This can help you decide which creepy, haunted houses are hot in your area, and which are the scariest, based on the reviews.

Have a BOO-TASTIC time preparing for Halloween in Texas!

Images provided courtesy of creepyhalloweenimages.com.

Thanksgiving: What Are You Grateful For?

I’m so grateful this year.

Course, I’m grateful every day of my life. I’m a happy girl. Life is good. My family is healthy, I have a new grandson and my business is thriving. The world continues to spin and each day is an opportunity to reach out and assist others.

It’s good to be thankful, no matter the day. We typically look to Thanksgiving as a day of thanks, however, so tell me what you are grateful for!

I want to thank my clients for giving me work. Without you, there is no Big Grey Horse Media. Some of you have been with me for years, while others are coming up on the first year mark.

In spite of a recession and hard times, my business remains strong. I’m grateful for that!

My family is the absolute best. It’s groovy to have people you love…and who love you back. Tell your loved ones how special they are. Reach out and give someone a hug today!

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. For those who don’t celebrate, have a great week!