A Tasty First Friday in November with the Gang!

Hello all! Each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day to give thanks for our many blessings. Typically, the day includes a feast with family and friends.  

Since Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks, we thought to share with you some tasty side dishes to go with your turkey or ham or whatever you are having.
So, I'll get us started with one of my family's recipes.


To me, oyster stuffing (or “dressing” as it was called from the Victorian era) is one of the best parts of a Thanksgiving dinner.  

The recipe I use has been handed down from moms to their daughters in my family for generations. The oysters make the dressing moist and add a unique taste. It's not fishy at all, but unique. I've tried many other recipes for stuffing but I like this one best.

I also make my own croutons from egg and wheat bread but you can use premade ones.
See the recipe on my website.

And, while you're waiting for that turkey to cook, why not order my new Christmas story?

Spies, Scots & Shipmasters celebrate a very secret Christmas in Scotland.

A Secret Scottish Christmas available for Preorder on Amazon!



This year’s Thanksgiving will be one for the record books. I am grateful for so much. Our holiday meals typically fall into the realm of potluck, which can be great fun! There is always a turkey, though as an added twist my son wrapped the turkey last year in bacon (mummified it) and cooked it on the grill! New meaning to “thanks!” We always have the traditional cranberry relish, yams, Iowa corn (what else?) and my MIL brings corn and oysters. My forte in the kitchen during the holidays are the things my kids remember while growing up—like Chex Mix made the old-fashioned way in the oven. I end up quadrupling the recipe and handing out snack tubs for everyone to take home afterwards.

Here is another fav recipe at this time of year—along with the traditional pumpkin and mincemeat pie--

Crackly Ginger Cookies:  Bake 350* for 10 minutes
2c sifted flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, ½ tsp cloves, 1 tsp salt
¾ cp oleo, 1 c white sugar, 1 egg, ¼ c dark molasses
Stir together dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, molasses. Beat until fluffy. Sir in dry mix. Chill 30 minutes. Roll into walnut-size balls and roll in sugar. Bake on greased baking sheet. They will crack.

Also this month, we'd love you to join us NOVEMBER 9 (6-9 pm CST) when the MARVELOUS MYSTERY PROJECT is revealed!! Party with authors Kit Morgan, Shanna Hatfield, Merry Farmer, Jacqui Nelson, Peggy L Henderson, Rachel Wesson, Mimi Milan, Danica Favorite, Amanda McIntyre, Elisabeth Burke, Caroline Lee, and Piper G Huguley.


As the random Australian on the team, I can’t help you with a Thanksgiving recipe – but because no Aussie likes to be left out of a party, I’m chiming in anyway with a dessert recipe for what is a celebratory staple over here: pavlova - named after Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured here in 1926. It's a meringue crust topped with lashings of whipped cream and fresh fruit. There are many variations, but today I’m sharing my mother’s recipe…
6 egg whites – at room temperature, and it’s essential there is no yolk anywhere to be seen
1½ cups (330g) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1½ teaspoon white vinegar
½ pint (300ml) thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Fresh fruit– whatever you like, but my favourites are strawberries and passionfruit

Preheat oven to 250°C (480°F).
Cover an oven tray with baking paper
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, using an electric mixer
Gradually add the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until dissolved after each addition
Gently fold in the vinegar
Lower the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F)
Spread meringue mixture onto the prepared tray, shaping it into a 20cm (about 8 inches) circle and pile the mixture high – it will flatten during baking. Bake for about 1½ hours – best not to open the oven during that time
Turn off the oven and leave it sitting inside with the door ajar to cool.
And then when you’re ready to serve - but the base must be completely cool before you do this…

Beat the cream and icing sugar mixture in a bowl until soft peaks form
Fill the pavlova with cream and top with fruit of your choice
Serve cold and eat immediately (no freezing this!)


Cranberries get a bad rap. I have to admit I’m not a fan of that scary red jelly-stuff that unmolds looking like the can. That's why I’m a firm believer if you don’t like cranberries, you haven’t had them prepared the right way. I hope you'll try my orange cranberry recipe. It's one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. Depending on how sweet you make it, it’s almost like dessert. And – don’t tell anyone – it’s so easy to prepare. I recommend making it the night (or even several days) before the big day. It’s one delicious thing you can check off your to-do list early. Enjoy!

Nancy’s Spiked Orange Cranberries

1 pound fresh cranberries, picked over and washed
1 1/2 cups sugar (or more, depending on how sweet you like it)
½ cup water
½ cup orange juice
2 tsp grated orange rind
Grand Marnier to taste (optional, but it gives a very nice kick)
½ cup blanched almonds, slivered (optional – I don’t put almonds in mine)

1.     Combine all the ingredients (except the almonds and Grand Marnier) in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop open (about 7 minutes)

2.     Skim the foam from the surface and stir in the Grand Marnier. If you’re adding almonds, fold them in just before serving.  


Also this month, Nancy and GLIAS crew member Katherine Garbera join Eve Gaddy and Julia Justiss to bring you four stories in A WHISKEY RIVER CHRISTMAS. Julia's A TEXAS CHRISTMAS PAST will kick off the series on November 9; Eve brings you A TEXAS CHRISTMAS REUNION on November 14; Nancy's A TEXAS CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING will be available November16; and Kathy wraps up the series with ONCE UPON A TEXAS. CHRISTMAS  November 21. For more information, check out the Whiskey River Facebook page. 

Patty (PJ)

I love all things Thanksgiving - except marshmallow covered sweet potatoes (shivers).  Recently I found a fabulous recipe that I'll be making again and again.  Brown Butter Pumpkin Fettuccine.  It's so darn good!  

You can find the recipe here on my blog. 

~~~~Welcome to CHANDLER COUNTY by way of MISSING DESIRE by PJ Fiala~~~~

Can love overcome the insecurities of the past?

Nita Brown is a big, beautiful, resilient woman. She’s endured the loss of a husband, the trials of raising three kids, and the joy of purchasing and running of her own business. But dealing with the issues her son has brought home at the same time meeting a man who sees her for who she is, now this just might bring her to her knees.

Chuck Layton is new in town. He followed his boss, Levi, to Bourbonville to continue working in his newly found profession. Learning the security business has helped him over-come the insecurities his father drilled into him his whole life, and this new case is honing his skills. But, just as he’s figured out what he wants to do with his life he finds he must weigh his livelihood against his growing love of Nita. Chuck has some decisions to make.

Barnes & Noble:  www.pjfiala.com/Books/MD-B&N



There isn't much I don't love about Thanksgiving, with the possible exception of the way my waistband feels after I've finishing eating! Everything that's traditional in our family from the sage stuffing to the cranberries to the green bean bake to the potatoes both white and sweet to the pies, is on my favorite foods list. In fact, I have to take the opposite stance on marshmallow'd sweet potatoes from my friend Patti  and admit that I can't imagine Thanksgiving dinner without them! 

We add a secret ingredient, however, one they'd love down in Chandler County where both Patti and I have stories set right now! We add just a few tablespoons (or an amount to taste) of bourbon or whiskey to the baked and mashed sweet potatoes. Talk about a taste explosion! The sweet, delicious softness of the potato and the bite of alcohol topped off with a sprinkling of browned mini-marshmallows! Seriously, I could eat the entire pan!

My next book will release on December 21st, just in time for Christmas. "Missing By a Heartbeat" will be the last book in this fall's Chandler County series and I'm so excited about my first try at a "whodunnit"! Stay tuned for more about Tori and Winn's book! 

"Missing By a Heartbeat"
 Gifted young equine veterinarian Tori Sterling teams up with thoroughbred trainer Winn Crosby to stop a backside scandal at the famed Churchill Downs that threatens their lives...and their growing love.

         Available now for PREORDER!


  1. Wow what great recipes and all the books are so exciting I am hoping that they are coming out in print form not just ebooks! Thank you all for posting these recipes on GLIAS and I am going to have hubby come to the computer later today and tell me which ones he needs recipe for as he is the chief cook and not the bottlewasher thank goodness I happen to do that along with cleaning up all the mess at my slow time! He is making apple pies this weekend from the day trip that we went to the apple country and we are going to freeze one for Turkey day as it is just he and i his step kids ignore him even though they live close. Sad but ok with us someday they will regret ! Have a good day ladies! peggy clayton ptclayton2@aol.com

    1. Peggy, A Secret Scottish Christmas will be out in print next week. I'll be posting the paperback cover on my FB timeline should you want to see it. Thanks for stopping by and I hope your hubby finds a recipe to like. Men who can cook are so amazing. I agree with you about the stepchildren. Not everyone has loving parents and the kids are foolish to ignore them. Lucky you for snagging a great man!

    2. Peggy! My hubby is chief cook as well. We are definitely lucky girls. Missing By a Heartbeat will be out in print as well as e-book just before Christmas!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    3. Thanks, Lizbeth. I know the attention of my FB followers turns to recipes at this time of year.

  2. I love seeing my fellow GLIAS authors' recipes. There are some good ones here!

  3. Lizbet, your sweet potatoes look awesome.

  4. Thanks Regan! And I agree with you--these recipes ALL look like keepers. This was a great First Friday idea!!