What’s Cooking?2016-11-23T10:20:39-06:00

Make-Ahead-And-Relax Meal Ideas For The Holidays

Make Ahead Meal Ideas_Country PastaCan you believe there are only two weekends left to get everything finished up before the holidays are upon us? Soon, houses will be filled with scents of the season, maybe a hot toddy or two, and best of all, relatives and friends ready to celebrate and make memories together.

If you are one of those who will be hosting this year, we want to offer you some help in using the last few days left to pre-prepare some of your meals, so when your visitors arrive, you can focus on spending time together rather than working away in the kitchen.

One of our favorite dishes to make up in advance is actually one of the original Country Pasta recipes. The Country Pasta Bake is easy to make, serves a handful of people, and best of all, is delicious. To make ahead of time, you’ll just need to prepare the dish per the recipe, let it cool after being in the oven, cover with tin foil, then toss in the freezer. You’ll then need to remove from freezer and put in the refrigerator 24 hours before you’ll be serving, and about 1.5 hours before eating, you’ll want to preheat the oven to 375 degrees, pop it in and bake for approximately 1-1.5 hours (keep in until it is hot and bubbly in the center). Simply serve with a little side salad and garlic bread, and dinner is done!

We also liked many of these recipes, both for breakfast and dinner, that you can find here: TheSpruceEats.com

Wishing you a relaxing, fun and delicious holiday season with family and friends!

Bon Appetit!


Soup Season, Favorite Recipes Shared with Us

Turkey Noodle SoupIs there anything better than hearty soup on a cold winter day? Last month we did a drawing asking folks to share their favorite soup recipes with us. We received some amazingly delicious looking recipes, so we wanted to pull them all together to share with everyone. Here’s a link to all the wonderful soup ideas we received.

Favorite Soup Recipes Shared with us


Please note that while we kept the majority of the information as it was submitted, we did add a little detail to some of the recipes.


11-26-18 Jingle All The Way

Horse drawn sleigh

Coming across an old photo was the inspiration for our holiday blog this year.The picture, from our local newspaper in the mid-80’s, is of Country Pasta’s founder, Dean Knutson, driving his team of horses with kids headed to see Santa at the “North Pole,” pictured in the background. One of the greatest things about my dad, Dean, was how much he loved to make people happy. He thoroughly enjoyed giving these kids and parents an experience like this.

I still have vivid memories of this hayride when I was a kid. Helping people get on and off the wagon, leading Christmas carols, and being one of Santa’s elves handing out candy canes to the kids who came to share their wish list, were my main duties. Whether you were part of the crew, or one of the visitors, I’m sure this event has left lasting memories for all.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Although we no longer have the Holiday Hayride, there are many other events in our small community providing kids and adults alike, with wonderful holiday memories. Our annual “Parade of Lights” has grown so much in recent years, and has become an incredible community-wide event.Since it seems the entire town comes out for the experience, catching up with friends and enjoying the holiday spirit together rounds out the experience. And this will be the second year that “Lights Under the Big Sky” will take place in our neighboring community. Lights, games, photo opportunities, and a holiday market all make this an occasion to remember.

We know events like this don’t organize and run themselves, so we want to take a moment this holiday season to say ‘thank you’ to all of the event coordinators and volunteers in our town, and in all small towns and big cities across the country. We hope you know that your efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. You are providing experiences, and memories, that will last a lifetime for so many people. Thank you.

Happy Holidays!