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It’s that time of year when friends and family gather at the dining table to share lighthearted stories, enjoy some good laughs and reflect on what to be thankful for. A moment like this is not complete without some delicious homemade food.

Amy Day, an account support supervisor at City of Lubbock Utilities (COLU), has a love for cooking and understands how creating a homemade meal can bring family together. Once the plates hit the table, everyone is ready to sit, enjoy the food and share what’s going on in their lives.

“Our family recipes are gateways to memories and help us stay connected to our family members past and present,” said Day. “The tastes and smells take me back to specific times in my life like growing up in the kitchen with family, seeing my kids when they were young and running around and now spending time with my grandson.”

From her grandmother’s famous cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving to her mother’s rolling enchiladas, Day carries a wealth of family recipes passed down to her. In 2019, Day entered the COLU Casserole Cook-off where she masterfully executed her Aunt Kim’s goulash recipe and won the competition.

With the holiday season here, Day is ready to sit down with her family, enjoy wonderful homemade food, and indulge in the love and laughter in the air.

“My hope is that passing down our recipes will inspire the next generation of my family to get in the kitchen and share the same experiences,” said Day. “There is a warmth and comfort in thinking that a future family member in the kitchen will someday say, ‘Oh man is that Great Grandma Amy’s recipe I smell?’”

Interested in recreating the award-winning goulash casserole for the holidays? Follow this recipe:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 16 oz. rotini or elbow macaroni
  • 45 oz. prepared marinara
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Once you have gathered all the ingredients, follow these steps:

  1. Bring rotini or elbow macaroni to boil, then drain.
  2. Season the ground beef with garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Then brown and drain the ground beef.
  3. Add marinara, corn and cooked pasta to the ground beef and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Finish up the dish with any family favorite garnishes like crushed red pepper to spice it up or shredded cheese.
  5. Bonus: If you want to kick it up a notch, Day’s family also loves to pair the goulash with a hot cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet.

We are thankful for all of our employees and customers and wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!