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   The month to reflect on all that we
    have to be thankful for. And oh my,
 what a tremendous amount that is.

             "Be thankful for what you have.
            Your life, no matter how bad you
        think it is, is someone else's fairy tale."
-Wale Ayeni        
           Welcome to    
Great Cooking!
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    go immediately to recipes

                                               Aren't fall colors exquisite! 

        Hello to all my favorite
      friends and foodies!

For just about everybody, November marks the beginning of the Holiday Season, and every single year I find myself saying "Watt!? Already?!" Really - doesn't it just seem that each year goes by more quickly? I feel like we just get our holiday decorations put away and it's time to get them out again. :)

We have had another glorious fall here in the Boise Valley. It's been long, warm, and stunningly beautiful. Most of the trees in this area are deciduous, so the fall colors can be breathtaking. I truly do love this time of year, and as time goes along I am more aware of the many blessings we have to be thankful for. I consider myself so very fortunate - - not rich, not gorgeous, not famous. But I have a close, loving family, wonderful husband, precious daughter, sisters that are my lifeblood and best friends, and deep friendships with special people I love and trust.  

Here's to a wonderful holiday season for all of you. Enjoy this beautiful, gentle time with your family, friends, and your home.  - Patti
               "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was
                        'thank you', that would suffice."
- Edward Sanford Martin

                                              SO COOL! Comes as a set of 5
These come in this neat cherry red, teal, or gray-black. I love them because they're sturdy yet flexible, and the tips don't burn off if you stir something in a hot skillet. In fact - you can stir something that's IN the oven! And they just feel good in your hand, you know? I use them every single day.  Click

                         TO GET RECIPE AND DIRECTIONS

            DESSERT FIRST? WHY NOT?   

This is every bit as good as it looks, in fact even better if that's possible. It's smooth and creamy with a ton of flavor without being overly thick or sweet. Who would have thought BOURBON and BANANA CREAM would be a good combination?  Well - - turns out whoever he/she was, was a genius. Check it out

I have been making these for (gulp!) 25 YEARS! They are just so incredibly good and quite different from the usual appetizers like meatballs, dips, cheese trays, etc. And Holy SMOKES are they good. 

What I really like about them is that you can make them in advance and freeze them. Then just haul 'em out, throw in the oven and VOY-OLA!   ECSTASY!!  Click here

This beautiful salad is from a favorite blog: Chelsea's Messy Apron and it is just perfect for holiday dinners (although I have to admit we eat this year round). I love it because it's different - not the usual pasta salad, tossed, or fruit, and also because it's so very colorful! It's always a big hit. And by the way, it's healthy! Don't tell the kids!
Click here

                     OOH, OOH, OOH....  BABY, BABY!

This stick-to-your-ribs soup has been in our family for years, and it's a regular for us all winter. I like to make it the day before and let the flavors develop a bit. Serve with the old standbys - hot crusty bread or biscuits and a crisp green salad. It sure hits the spot, and it's very healthy.  CLICK

Be sure to get regular barley (not the quick-cooking kind) and DON'T skip the lemons. You wouldn't think so, but they add so
                                                                 much flavor!  


Update 11/2015. . .
I have published this recipe on my last 3 Thanksgiving and Christmas Welcome pages, but I always get requests for it again. It's a winner!! You would be amazed at how many people would much prefer a juicy prime rib over turkey or ham for
                                  Thanksgiving or Christmas. 

I have two prime rib recipes that always get raves. . . 

The first is an out of this world no-fail family favorite.
I give easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions for the perfect prime rib. It's juicy, flavorful, and makes a gorgeous presentation. Click here

My second recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, called Simply Recipes. The blog owner (Elise Bauer) also provides step-by-step pictures and her recipe is just divine as well. Both recipes are absolutely delicious and easy to follow because of the clearly-written directions. Click here. Take a look at both! Prime rib is way easier than you think.

               PATTI'S EASY PRIME RIB
               RECIPE with DIRECTIONS
                RECIPE with DIRECTIONS


I first tasted this yummy delight at the Olive Garden, and I couldn't get over how much flavor it had! It's creamy and smooth, with just the right amount of chicken, spinach, and gnocchi. Did I say it's unbelievably flavorful? I am a soup lover from way back, and have to say this is right at the top of my list.  Click here



Mmm! This "stick to your ribs" delight can easily be a meal in itself. We have this a lot during the winter months. It's one of our faves because it's not just filling and flavorful, but chock full of good-for-you vegetables! We even have this when company comes, and everybody loves it!   Click here


Easy to make, and so elegant!  If you're being fancy schmantzy this little number is very classy! And as you all know - here at the Mays Mansion, "fancy schmantzy" is of utmost importance! :>



Every time I make this bread (which is often!) I always get asked for the recipe! Thing is it looks complicated but it isn't at all. This is one of those recipes you can always count on to be a big hit!  CLICK! 

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GREEN BEANS These make-at-home beans are delicious and simple! We think these are better than the kind you get in Chinese restaurants.
         CLICK HERE                                                                                                                           
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         SO FUN! And talk about great memories! 
Yep - it's that time of year again and if you start these little jewels now, you'll be able to enjoy them all during December - - on your tree or your 'fridge! These are so cute and kids LOVE to make them. They create special memories, too. This is a very thorough recipe with detailed  directions on how to do these. 
         HAVE FUN!!
       Click here.


                     BEST CARROT CAKE EVER
The very best carrot cake you will EVER eat. Creamy, moist, and unbelievably tasty. And get this! It has a BUTTERSCOTCH cream frosting that's to DIE for!


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I was married (briefly) to my first husband a hundred years ago and his mother was a so-so cook, EXCEPT when it came to this delicious vegetable casserole! I have no idea where she got the recipe and I've never run across it since, but I promise you - it will be a family favorite. And it's so versatile! You can use just about any green vegetable and you can dress it up with fresh crab which makes it over the moon delicious. Click Here


                                 For lots more kitchen-tested recipes,
                   tips,and ideas sign up for the 
             monthly Newsletter. Everybody loves it!
And when you do, you get my FREE eBOOK -
 "Six Sisters Favorite Home Recipes"
(I wrote it myself and all my sisters contributed! :>)