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                   HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 It's January 2015! 
              Welcome to
    Great Cooking! 
    2015?       REALLY!? 
Wait... I haven't put away all my Christmas decorations yet! Besides.... didn't we just get the Thanksgiving leftovers finished off? It really is true that the older we get, the faster the time flies by, don't you think? The year 2015 seems so far away! Like something you'd read in a futuristic science fiction book.

Well anyway, here's to a very happy 2015 to you all! I'm Patti Saunders Mays in Boise, and I'm so glad you're here. As the owner of Great Cooking, I'm the one responsible for how often you visit my site, how much you like it and find it helpful, and whether you tell your friends. And I take that responsibility very seriously.This site is all about casual, affordable recipes that are kitchen tested (that's important!), family friendly and exceptionally good. I have lots of terrific recipes and ideas to share with you.... I also have an untameable sense of humor and you'll find it throughout the site as well. Enjoy! Copy, repost, and use the recipes (please, oh please give me credit!) and by all means - come back often!  - Patti Mays 

                            Typical scene at the Mays Mansion

                       these last few weeks...
            "Oh, I love livin' in Idaho, tra la la la. . . "

These yumm-o recipes are perfect for bringing in the New Year, but also for settling in for short days and long, cold winter months. All my recipes are kitchen-tested and ALL are extra-delicious (if I do say so myself!) :>

For New Years Day, we had a great family get-together at my sister's home (we are blessed to have a very large family).  We all contributed our favorite dishes, and the food was SO good. I LOVE POTLUCK! 

Here's what we served. The recipes are easy and good.   Everything was buffet-style (meaning we put everything out on the kitchen counter and let people help themselves. I like the casual nature of buffet-style, and it's so much easier!)  Click on the title for complete recipe and 


This is TRULY the best ham I have ever eaten, and that includes Honey Baked Ham and all the other uber-expensive "Gourmet" hams that cost a whole paycheck. Walmart puts it in an easy-to-identify purple foil wrapper. (Remember that at Easter!). It is fully cooked, so all you do is heat it up, which takes about 30-45 minutes (depending on size). I swear it is the best ham you will ever eat! The one I got was extra-large because of all the people, and the price was under $25. YESSS!  Then I made ham bone & beans with the leftover ham bone. Mmmmm!!                                                                                                          Delicious!  

                    WE ALSO HAD. . . 

By this time, everybody is sick of turkey so this fills the bill nicely. And it's so pretty! Here's the link: CLICK HERE

                Layered Mexican Rice 

I made this as a side to go with the Mexican Casserole & Mango Salsa.This is so good I often fix it as a main dish, with a hearty salad, like maybe a big shrimp salad.There's just something extra special about the combination of flavors - the green chilies, rice and Mexican cheeses. And the best part is you can make it in advance. (My favorite kinds of recipes!)

                 Asparagus & Crab

       Absolutely delicious and makes a great impression with dinner guests. It's so creamy, yet not over-the-top rich. It just looks scrumptious, and the smell of the crab with the asparagus is divine!

These get raves!! (and they're easy,with less than 5 ingredients.) People will never know you didn't make them from scratch. Don't tell 'em! :>

Oh dear me, this is the best Caesar dressing you will ever taste and it does NOT contain raw eggs. You can make the dressing a couple days in advance so the flavors can develop. Then right before serving,dress the Romaine lettuce - toss with the dressing, add home-made croutons, fresh Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of fresh-ground pepper. 
        You now have AN ABSOLUTE WINNER.

               MICROWAVE FUDGE

Whenever I've made this it takes about 10 minutes rather than 2, but I'm not complaining! It is a terrific recipe - almost too easy to make!  My husband and daughter LOVE this fudge and I say... why go to the effort of making the long-stir-watch-over-it-constantly-kind?  I always make two batches; one without nuts and one with.  People are very particular about that! :>
                                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

    Have you heard about my new eBook?
It's my first book, called "Was It Something I Said? Common Things We All do that Drive Others Away Without Even Knowing It And What to do Instead."  It's getting rave reviews and you can download it immediately! See the Amazon listing by clicking here:  AMAZON LISTING 

"This is my first Kindle book and boy was it a good choice! This is a great book with loads of helpful information that all of us could gain from reading. It's written in an easy to understand format that really got me to take a closer look at myself and area's that needed improvement.. . "

How many of those types of people have we met in our lifetime or have we seen staring back at us in the mirror? The book is very informative, quick read and was an eye opener for me!"

There are lots more reviews on Amazon and on the book's website.   Amazon:  click here
            Website:  click here