Did you hear about the woman who invited 27 people for Thanksgiving dinner and ordered a fresh turkey? Her husband stopped to pick the bird up Wednesday evening, but learned the store had sold it. The manager felt so bad that he gave them a frozen turkey. Not having time to thaw it, the woman and her husband slept with the turkey under the electric blanket. The plan worked, but there’s a better way to deal with it!

CATERING SECRET: When you want to defrost something really fast, place the frozen item in a sealable plastic baggie. Submerge in cold water by placing something heavy on top, so that the item stays under the water. Don’t allow any of the water to get inside the sealed baggie.

Here’s an easy recipe that won’t use your oven when you need it available for other things.


  • 9 Microwavable sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • ¼ pound butter, cut into 8 tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup, good quality
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper, pinch (optional)
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows

Place sweet potatoes in the microwave and follow package directions for cooking. Split each cooked potato lengthwise, which will yield 18 potato skins. Discard six and reserve twelve for later use.

Carefully scoop potato flesh into a bowl. Mash while hot, using an electric beater or potato masher. Add butter, syrup, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Beat until smooth. If mixture is not hot enough, cover and warm in microwave, beating again if necessary. Fill the twelve remaining potato skins with this mixture and press mini-marshmallows into the tops.

Place in preheated broiler and cook until marshmallows have turned brown. Watch carefully. Do not burn.

Note: Can be prepared ahead of time by using either of two methods.

Oven baked method

Make filled potato boats ahead, wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Return to room temperature and top with marshmallows before heating. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake filled potato boats uncovered until warm. If necessary, place under broiler to brown marshmallows.

Microwave method

Place whipped sweet potato mixture in a microwavable container and refrigerate overnight. Wrap skins and refrigerate separately. When ready to When you’re ready to carve the turkey, remove from insulated cooler.  Unwrap and place on a carving serve, heat potato mixture in the microwave until hot. Using an electric beater, whip potatoes until smooth. Fill 12 potato skins and press marshmallows into the top. Preheat broiler and broil until marshmallows are brown.

For more great chef’s recipes and catering tips, click on http://www.lettucemakeyoulaugh.com.

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Fun Halloween Lunches

Halloween Lunches that Will Make Your Child the Envy of the Class

Here are some great Halloween lunch ideas from contributors to www.lettucemakeyoulaugh.com


Linda Larson: Buy Halloween cookie cutters and cut two slices of bread with them. Fill with your child’s favorite fillings.  (Thanks, Linda. Great idea!)

Trudy Lundberg: Purchase large plastic gloves with wide fingers. Fill with cooked popcorn and place scary rubber rings on the fingers. (Won’t the other kids think that’s cool?)


When working with canned tuna, open the can but don’t remove the lid. Invert can over the sink and press the top into the can, squeezing all of the liquid into the sink. Flush drain with hot water.> Tuna salad can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to use. The following recipe calls for chopped celery, but don’t add it until you make the sandwich or it won’t stay crunchy.


1 small albacore white tuna

Scallions, chopped finely, including green tops

Celery, chopped

Mayonnaise, to taste

Dill, dried

Drain tuna and place in missing bowl. Add ingredients and use enough dill to cover the top. Mix well and fill Halloween sandwiches. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in lunch bag. Decorate lunch bag with Halloween stickers… and don’t forget the candy corn!

Joke: Do you believe in life after death?” The boss asked one of his employees.

“Yes, Sir,” the employee replied. “Good”, the boss said, “because after you left

yesterday to attend your grandmother’s funeral, she stopped by to see you.”

For more great recipes, catering tips and jokes, visit Chef Jill’s site at http://www.lettucemakeyoulaugh.com!

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Why not host an Oktoberfest party? The food is inexpensive and easy and you can find plenty of party decorations at this time of year.



Bratwurst sausage links, fresh or frozen
Brawurst sausage links, fresh or frozen
Onion, sliced

Fill a large pot with beer. Add onions, cover and bring to boil. Reduce temperature to simmer and add sausages. Cover and cook until plump. Remove pot from heat. Allow sausage to sit in beer broth until ready to grill.

Place sausages on hot grills and brown, rolling frequently to prevent
burning. Serve on long hot dog buns or hoagie rolls.

Don’t forget all the toppings; spicy mustard, sauerkraut, pickle relish, chopped onions, ketchup and of course, plenty of beer.


Boil sausages in inexpensive beer and sliced onions. Allow to cool in liquid until ready to grill. To heat grill, place foil on grates. Turn to high heat and close grill for 15 minutes. Raise grill top and remove foil. Brush off cinders and spray grill grates with Pam.

Joke: Someone asked a six-year old girl where her grandmother lived. “Oh,” she said, “she lives at the airport. When we wannna see her, we just go get her. When we’re done with her, we take her back.”

For more great recipes and jokes, see

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Hello world!

Welcome to my Blog!

Thank you for stopping by. We’re going to have lots of fun learning how to successfully entertain and still have fun in the process. Stay tuned for caterer’s tips and stop in frequently.

Today we’re going to talk about tailgating. It’s almost football season, and you know what that means… Super Bowl is really Supper Bowl with football.

Instead of grilling in the parking lot, maybe you’d rather precook food and keep it hot. That can be done. Here’s the secret. Buy lightweight Styrofoam coolers. They come in all sizes, they’re lightweight, and disposable.
Line the cooler with aluminum foil and a large towel, so that hot items won’t destroy the cooler.  Cook or reheat foods such as ribs, wings and roasted chicken. Wrap the hot food in plastic wrap and rewrap it in foil before placing in the prepared cooler. You may want to bake in disposable foil containers for easy cleanup. Have a great time!

Try this salad for something a little different.
California Slaw

Preheat oven 300 degrees

1 medium head white cabbage, sliced thin (prepackaged sliced or chopped cabbage may be substituted

3 to 4 scallions, chopped including green tops

1 small package almonds, slivered

1 package Raman Noodles (chicken flavored)

White sesame seeds, about the same amount as almonds (sunflower seeds may be substituted or added)

Butter or spray butter

Balsamic dressing
Cut a piece of aluminum foil twice the size of your cookie sheet, folding the excess foil underneath.  Break up the Raman noodles into small pieces and place them on the cookie sheet, only taking 1/3 of the available space. Add nuts and seeds, keeping everything separated.  Dot everything with butter, or spray with artificial butter and bake until lightly browned and crisp, being careful not to burn anything.
Remove from oven and wrap tightly, using excess foil. Place in cooler containing hot foods.  If this is going to be the only hot food, place items in a thermal bag or cup and seal.

Place washed cabbage and scallions in serving container.  When ready to serve, toss with balsamic dressing and top with toasted almonds, noodles, and seeds.

Tip: If you wish to keep a small amount of food warm, place a hot baked potato in the cooler to increase warmth. Normally, other hot foods packed in the cooler will be enough to keep everything warm as long as you keep the top on the cooler.
Balsamic Dressing
Makes 2 cups

¼ cup light brown sugar plus 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar

½ cup plus 2 Tablespoon very good quality balsamic vinegar

¾ cup sesame oil

¾ cup plus 1 Tablespoon good quality olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 ½ tablespoon granulated chicken bouillon, including Raman

noodle foil packet
Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. If fat congeals, microwave for 40 seconds on high until fat has dissolved. Shake vigorously before using.
This Week’s Joke: What is the difference between football in the north and football in the south?
North – College stadiums hold 20,000 fans

South – High school stadiums hold 20,000 fans
Future topics will include:

  • GHOULISH GOOLASH for Halloween

Visit my website at http://www.lettucemakeyoulaugh.com and get the Recipe of the Month and a new Joke of the Month.Thanks for dropping in! Please leave a comment and recommend this site to your friends.

Yours for cooking,

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