I want to apologize, because there are a lot of things I would like to post on here but life gets so crazy and the time gets away from me! Although really, who am I kidding…I’m sure my five or six loyal readers aren’t exactly chomping at the bit for my new blog posts or recipes to try. Either way, I wish I was more consistent with the posts! Maybe in the new year…possible resolution for 2010 perhaps?
Moving on…I wanted to do a Thanksgiving follow-up, but now it is practically Christmas! Here are some of the dishes from our Thanksgiving meal that were my favorites, just for the record. They could also work for a Christmas dinner or really any holiday meal.
Best Thanksgiving Stuffing
I got this recipe last year from a friend and just had to have it! Growing up I wasn’t the biggest fan of stuffing/dressing at Thanksgiving, but this one wins my vote! It is not overly strong, and I think the biscuits add a good consistency and flavor instead of just using bread crumbs. It is very moist and ours was actually a tad undercooked, but still delicious…and great leftover!
- 6 cups biscuit crumbs
- 4 cups cornbread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp minced parsley
- 1/2 tsp sweet marjoram
- 1 tsp salt (more or less to taste, depending on how salty your broth is)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 to 1 cup minced celery
- 3/4 to 1 cup minced onion
- 4 1/2 cups liquid (about 1/2 chicken broth, 1/2 hot water)
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 tsp baking powder
1. In a very large bowl, lightly toss to combine first 6 ingredients (breadcrumbs + seasonings). Saute celery and onion in the butter.
2. Spoon out celery and onions over breadcrumb mixture, then pour in the hot liquid. (Don’t mix yet). Let stand for 1 hour.
3. Add beaten eggs and baking powder, and blend with either your hands or a slender fork. (A spoon will mash the dressing and cause it to be heavy. I kind of “tossed” it lightly with my hands and that seemed to work well.)
4. Turn dressing into a 9×13 greased casserole.
5. Bake covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for 20 minutes @ 350 degrees.
Creamy Mac N’ Cheese
My friend Nikki shared her macaroni & cheese recipe with us, and I really liked it! She used penne, but you could really do any pasta of your choice – I think it would be fun to experiment with different kinds or even a combination. We didn’t do any kind of topping but I think I would recommend using breadcrumbs or crushed ritz crackers or something on top to keep the creamy goodness underneath from drying out on top. I like the way the cheese is all melted together beforehand, and it is a great smooth taste!
- 1 pound uncooked pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
- 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
- 1 package cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
- 1-2 cups breadcrumbs (depending on size of dish)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk; cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in Gouda, cream cheese, salt, and 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Combine pasta and cheese mixture, and pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Stir together bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and remaining 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper; sprinkle over pasta mixture.
4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Sweet Potato Cups
I found these online and thought they were the perfect solution to having a smaller number of people this year at Thanksgiving. I copied the idea but used my mom’s sweet potato recipe because it is to die for! So smooth and creamy and the perfect combination of seasonings! In my opinion, the secret is whipping them for a long time (I hate when sweet potato casserole is still partially stringy). You can adjust the recipe for the number of cups. I made six with the recipe below (this picture is before they were cooked, minus the topping).
- 3 c. peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 c. sugar
- 1/3 c. butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 c. half and half or whole milk
- three large oranges
1. Preheat oven to 425º. Place sweet potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender. Let stand 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350º.
2. Meanwhile, cut oranges in half crosswise. Scoop out pulp using a spoon, leaving peel intact.
3. Peel sweet potatoes, and place potato pulp in a large bowl. Add all ingredients except for cream and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add cream and mix well.
4. Spoon about 1/2 cup mixture into each empty orange cup and place orange cups in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
4. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with marshmallows or nut mixture, pressing lightly to adhere. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until marshmallows are melted and golden brown.
Note: Orange cups and sweet potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Chill scooped orange cups and baked sweet potatoes in separate zip-top plastic bags until ready to assemble.