New Holiday Recipe Ideas

New Contest!

Send in your favorite holiday breakfast, casserole, side dish, dessert, appetizer or entire meal!  Each recipe submitted will provide you an entry into our drawing on December 18, for a four-pack of Darlene Dixon’s cookbooks!  This is your chance to win one of each: Sharing the Best, Treasured Recipes, The Cookie Book and Apple Delights!

Recipes will appear in a future Now We’re Cookin’ edition.

Good luck!

Submit your recipe and register to win at:  

(All submissions will be entered into the drawing and need to be received by Dec. 18, 2023.  Please include: Name and phone number/email address. Winner will be announced and contacted. We do not ship the prizes, but are available for pick up Mon.-Thurs., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.)  

Sausage, Peppers, Onions, and Potato Bake


Prep Time: 20 mins 

 Cook Time: 40 mins 

 Total Time: 1 hr


2 tsp. olive oil

2 lbs. Italian sausage links, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 C. olive oil

4 lg. potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced

2 lg. green bell peppers, seeded and cut into wedges

2 lg. red bell peppers, seeded and cut into wedges

3 lg. onions, cut into wedges

1/2 C. white wine

1/2 C. chicken stock

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

salt and black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400° F.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the sausage until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to a large baking dish.

Pour 1/4 C. of olive oil into the skillet, and cook potatoes, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Place the potatoes into the baking dish, leaving some oil in the skillet.

Cook and stir green and red peppers and onions in the hot skillet until they are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables to the baking dish.

Pour wine and chicken stock over the vegetables and sausage, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Gently stir sausage, potatoes, and vegetables together.

Bake in the preheated oven until hot and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.


Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs


Yields: 4-6 servings



2 T. olive oil

1/2 sm. onion, finely chopped

1 sm. each, finely chopped: celery rib, trimmed carrot

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 can (28 oz.) crushed Italian-style tomatoes

1 can (14 oz.) whole or crushed Italian-style tomatoes

1/4 C. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. each: salt, dried oregano

1/4 tsp. each: freshly ground pepper, ground allspice


Turkey Meatballs:

1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken)

1/2 C. panko breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

2 T. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Vegetable oil


For Serving:

4 links (total 12 ounces) Italian-style chicken sausage

1 lb. spaghetti noodles

1/4 C. thinly sliced fresh basil (or 1 T. dried)

Toasted breadcrumbs (see recipe below)

Fresh basil, for garnish

Freshly grated parmesan for serving


For sauce, heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, oregano, pepper and allspice. Heat to a boil, then simmer (use a splatter guard, if desired) until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Add 1-1/2 cups water and simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Sauce can be made several days in advance and refrigerated.

For meatballs, put turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, 2 T. basil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes into a bowl. Use clean hands to lightly mix everything together. Shape into 1-1/2 inch diameter balls (about 15) and set on a plate in a single layer. Refrigerate covered for at least 15 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Add a film of vegetable oil and then the meatballs in a single, uncrowded layer. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to a plate. Cut the chicken sausages into thirds and add to the meatball pan juices. Cook, turning often, until browned, about 5 minutes.

Heat sauce to a simmer. Add browned meatballs and sausage to the sauce. Simmer all together until meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large kettle of salted water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook, stirring often, until al dente (nearly tender to the bite), about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 C.  of the cooking liquid, then drain the spaghetti. Return spaghetti to the pan to keep warm. Moisten with drizzles of the reserved cooking liquid if needed.

Stir 1/2 C. basil into the sauce mixture. Pile a portion of the spaghetti onto warm serving plates. Top with sauce, meatballs and sausage. Garnish with toasted breadcrumbs and basil. Sprinkle with cheese.

Optional- Toasted breadcrumbs: Heat 1 T. olive oil or butter in a medium-sized nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 C. panko or coarse dry breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate. Stir in 2 T. finely chopped fresh or dried parsley. Cool and use as a garnish. Toasted breadcrumbs can be prepared in advance.


Green Bean Casserole Crescent Cups


2 cans (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls

1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 C. milk 

1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 cans (15 oz each) green beans, drained, or equal amount of fresh steamed green beans, cut 1/2” pieces

1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

1-1/2 C. French-fried onions


Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray 16 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.

Unroll each can of dough. To make 2 large rectangles, pinch seams and perforations to seal. Cut each rectangle of dough into 8 equal squares. Line each muffin cup by pressing 1 dough square in bottom and up sides of cup.

In large bowl, stir together soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce and dash ground black pepper with whisk until smooth. Add drained green beans, 1/2 cup of the cheese and 2/3 cup of the onions; gently stir until combined. Divide mixture evenly among dough-lined cups.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Divide remaining cheese and onions evenly onto tops of cups. Return to oven; bake 5 minutes longer or until onions and cups are golden brown. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove from cups; serve warm. 16 servings

Tip: You can also use frozen cut green beans. Simply cook and drain before adding them to the soup mixture. This recipe can easily be doubled to make the perfect amount for your dinner guests.


Easy Apple Cobbler


Prep Time: 10 mins

 Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 40 mins


3 T. white sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

6 lg. Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

1 C. all-purpose flour

1 C. white sugar

1 lg. egg

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 C. water


Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Combine 3 T. sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Layer apples in an ungreased 9x13-inch baking pan, sprinkling each layer with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Combine flour, 1 C. sugar, egg, and baking powder with a fork. Sprinkle over apples. Lightly sprinkle water over top.

Bake in the preheated oven until topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, serve with whipped topping, ice cream, etc.


Behr Track Cookie Bars


Prep: 30 min. + chilling 

Bake: 10 min. + cooling

Makes: about 4 dozen


1-1/2 C. all-purpose flour

2/3 C. confectioners’ sugar

1/3 C. baking cocoa

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C. butter, melted


Caramel layer:

1 pkg. (13 oz.) caramels

3 T. heavy whipping cream

1-1/2 C. lightly crushed pretzels


Peanut butter layer:

1 C. creamy peanut butter

1/4 C. butter, softened

1/2 C. confectioners’ sugar


Chocolate layer:

2 C. semisweet chocolate chips

3 T. shortening


Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa and salt; stir in butter. Press onto bottom of a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake until set, 10-15 minutes. Cool completely.

Microwave caramels and cream, covered, on high, stirring occasionally, until melted, 3-5 minutes. Spread over crust; cover with crushed pretzels. Refrigerate until set.

Meanwhile, combine peanut butter and butter; beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over pretzels. Return to refrigerator.

In the microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer. Refrigerate 15 minutes before cutting into bars.


Quote of the Week:

“We’re not pumpkins. We’re stunning autumn gourds.” 

~ Penny Reid


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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