Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News
Pumpkin Pie Squares are the perfect dessert for those who are intimidated by pie pastry, says cookbook author Julie Badger Jensen.

"This is one of my favorites; this type of soup has become really popular in restaurants," said Julie Badger Jensen, author of "Essential Mormon Celebrations." "It has a couple of apples in it to sweeten it up."

2 apples

2 1/2 pounds banana squash (1 large piece)

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons mild curry powder (optional)

1 cup apple juice

1 cup cream

Salt to taste

Peel, core and cut apples in half. Place apples and squash face-down on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Scoop out squash. Place squash, apples and chicken broth in a blender and mix until well-blended and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter over low heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add salt, pepper and curry powder and stir together. Add apple juice, cream, and squash mixture. Stir and heat through. Do not boil. Salt to taste. Serve hot. Makes about 8 cups. —"Essential Mormon Celebrations"


"Because people get so overwhelmed with everything else, it's nice to have some easy vegetables that are still a little special," said Julie Badger Jensen, author of "Essential Mormon Celebrations"

4 (15-ounce) cans corn

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

In a large saucepan, warm corn over medium heat. Just before serving, drain off liquid. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream, salt and butter. Makes 12 servings. —"Essential Mormon Celebrations"


For those who are intimidated by pie pastry, "This recipe tastes like pumpkin pie, but it has a very easy crust to it," said Jensen.

1 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup quick oats

1 cup packed brown sugar, divided

4 cups pumpkin

2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter, chilled

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 pint whipping cream

For crust: Combine flour, butter, oats and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Mix well and pat into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Cool.

For filling: While the crust is baking and cooling, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Beat well and pour over cooled crust.

For topping: Cut 2 tablespoons of chilled butter into the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. Stir in pecans and sprinkle over pumpkin filling. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Whip cream and serve a dollop on each pumpkin pie square. Makes about 12 servings. —"Essential Mormon Celebrations"


For those trying to avoid rich desserts, this is a light but festive alternative.

2 cups ( 1/2 pound) fresh cranberries

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

Juice of 1 lemon

In a saucepan, cook cranberries in water over medium heat until skins pop. Press through sieve or strainer. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Soften gelatin in cold water, about 5 minutes. Add to warm cranberry puree and stir. Cool. Stir in lemon juice.

Place mixture in a container and freeze until firm. Break into chunks. Beat smooth with electric beater. Return quickly to freezer. Freeze until firm. Makes 4 servings. —"Essential Mormon Celebrations"


4 cups (1-pound bag) fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup orange juice

Rinse cranberries in a strainer with cool water and remove any stems and blemished berries. In a large saucepan, heat water, sugar and juice to boiling. Boil 5 minutes to ensure sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.

Add cranberries. Leave over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Put lid on saucepan, turn down heat and simmer about 5 minutes longer, until you hear the cranberries begin to pop. Remove the saucepan from the heat, give it a good stir, and allow mixture to cool about 20 minutes. Pour cranberry sauce into a bowl or container and cool completely before refrigerating. —"Saving Dinner for the Holidays," by Leanne Ely


This can be bagged and given as a holiday favor as guests are leaving. Each ingredient symbolizes Thanksgiving in some way:

Mix together equal parts of:

Bugle-shaped snack crackers (horn of plenty)

Pretzels (arms folded in thanks and prayer)

Candy corn (represents the first winter when the Pilgrims lived on only five kernels of corn a day)

Candy fruits (celebration of the harvest)

Peanuts (the potential of next season's harvest, if planted and well-tended)

Mix in a large bowl. Place cupfuls in clear cellophane bags, add a festive ribbon and attach a note card with the information for each. —"Saving Dinner for the Holidays," by Leanne Ely