Food, family and friendship are some of the themes explored in the critically-acclaimed film THE HELP arriving on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/6/11.  To celebrate the  upcoming release here are some delicious recipes for you: Cheesecake Pecan Pie, Spinach-Stuffed Squash & Sweet Potato Casserole!
These delicious Southern-style holiday recipes are from THE HELP’s food stylist Lee Ann Fleming.

Cheesecake Pecan Pie

1 (15 oz.) pkg. refrigerated pie crusts

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

4 large eggs, divided

¾  cup sugar, divided

2 tsp. vanilla, divided

¼  tsp. salt

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup light corn syrup

Unfold and stack 2 piecrust; together gently roll or press together and fit into a 9 inch pie plate according to directions; fold edges under and crimp. Beat cream cheese, 1 egg, ∏ cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and salt at medium see with a mixer until smooth. Pour into piecrust – Sprinkle with pecans. Stir together corn syrup, 3 eggs, remaining π cup sugar, and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla and put mixture over pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes until set.

Homemade Pie Crust

1 ¼ cups plain flour
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening (butter flavor shortening is great, too)
4-5 tbsp. cold ice water

In a medium bowl, stir flour and salt together.
Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size.
Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of water over part of the flour mixture; gently toss with a fork.
Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat using 1 tbsp. of water at a time, until all the flour mixture is moistened.
Form dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin.
Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it.
Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edges as desired.


Spinach-Stuffed Squash

4 yellow crookneck squash

Melted butter

Salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese

Spinach stuffing:

½  cup chopped onion
½  cup butter

2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained

1 tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

Bread crumbs

Cook whole squash in boiling, salted water for about 10 minutes until tender. Very carefully cut into halves and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle each shell with butter, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

Spinach Stuffing: Sauté onions in butter until tender. Add spinach, salt, sour cream, and vinegar and blend well. Stuff each squash shell with spinach mixture. Sprinkle each with Additional Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated to serve.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

 cup melted butter

2 eggs beaten

1 Tbsp. vanilla

½ cup raisins (optional)

Mix well and pour into a butter casserole


1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup melted butter

Mix topping with fork and sprinkle crumbs on top of casserole 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


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