Shared Holiday Traditions

Melissa C holiday photoThe holidays are approaching and it’s a great time to share some of our family traditions.  Melissa Cullipher, our energetic manager at East Mountain Apartments, has a favorite recipe that she looks forward to enjoying each Thanksgiving when she gets together with her extended family. Maybe it will be a new favorite on your table!

Melissa C’s Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil water, place 5-6 sweet potatoes in the boiling water.  Peel and slice potatoes once they are boiled.Once they have been sliced place in an empty pot add 1/4lb of margarine melted w/ 4oz of brown sugar, mix together. Put into a greased casserole dish.


  • 4oz brown sugar
  • 4 oz of chopped pecans
  • 1 oz soft not melted margarine and add a little milk.

Mix all together and place on top of potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Tasty Tuesday: Hot Spinach Dip

Try this tasty recipe as a Thanksgiving appetizer, movie night snack, or party snack.


2 teaspoon(s) olive oil, plus more for baking dish
1 medium onion, diced
2 clove(s) garlic , minced
2 pound(s) spinach, cleaned, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup(s) milk
6 ounce(s) reduced-fat bar cream cheese
3 dash(es) Worcestershire sauce
3 dash(es) hot sauce, such as Tabasco
3/4 cup(s) shredded mozzarella
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Baguette slices, breadsticks, or crackers, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add spinach in two additions, letting the first batch wilt before adding the next; cook until completely wilted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander; drain, pressing to release all excess liquid.
  3. In the same pot, warm milk over high heat. Whisk in cream cheese until melted, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  4. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with accompaniments, as desired.

Tasty Tuesday: Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberries are in season. Now is one of the best times to make some delicious blueberry recipes. When you think of blueberry recipes, many think of muffins, blueberry pie, or pancakes. Try this blueberry crumb cake instead.

For the streusel:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
  2. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,
  3. crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

Found at Food Network.

Recipe Idea: Pesto Primavera Tortellini with Chicken

Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: 6

“Colorful roasted vegetables are mixed with cheese tortellini, chopped pan-fried chicken breasts, and homemade basil pesto for a complete meal-in-one dish.”



2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cup torn fresh basil, lightly packed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut
into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh button
1 medium red bell pepper, trimmed and
3/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves
2 (9 ounce) packages refrigerated
cheese-filled tortellini
2 cups red grape tomatoes, halved
Ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh basil
Grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For pesto, combine garlic, the 1 cup basil, the 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Cover and process until chopped, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary. With processor running, gradually add the 1/3 cup oil. Transfer to a small bowl or airtight container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (Pesto may be made up to 1 day ahead; allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using).
2. Combine zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss to coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender and start to caramelize, stirring twice.
3. While vegetables roast, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Cook the chicken in hot oil for 12 to 14 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink, turning once. When cool enough to handle, chop the chicken (You should have about 2 cups); set aside until ready to use.
4. Cook tortellini according to package directions in a large pot; drain and return to pot. Add the roasted vegetables, chicken, and pesto, stirring gently to coat. Stir in cherry tomatoes. Season to taste with black pepper. Top with additional basil and Parmesan.