Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

I LOVE Thanksgiving for many, friends, fellowship, football and of course food. Besides my Thanksgiving staples - turkey, dressing & some kind (or two kinds) of potatoes - I like to switch up the sides from year-to-year to keep it fresh & fun. I also like things that I can make in advance so I can enjoy the other parts of Thanksgiving, too. I've included a few of my favorite go-to crowd-pleasing recipes for you below. They each serve about 6 people so double or triple as necessary!

Stuffed Potatoes

3 medium baking potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon green onions, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 slices bacon, cooked
1 tsp each salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash potatoes; rub with salt and a touch of olive oil. With fork, pierce potatoes 5-6 times in different places around the potato. Place on baking sheet and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Remove and reduce heat to 375°.  Let potatoes cool for 10-15 minutes. While potatoes are cooling, chop green onions and prepare garlic. Cut each potato in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp leaving a thin shell. In a large mixing bowl, beat the pulp with butter. Add in milk, cream, ranch mix, and garlic; beat until well blended. Stir in green onions, cheese and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into potato shells. Bake for 20 minutes. If making ahead you can put on a baking sheet and cover with saran wrap; let potatoes come to room temperature before baking.

Corn Pudding recipe adapted from Southern Living

6 cups frozen corn (or 12 fresh ears of corn, kernels removed)
1 tbsp butter, and an additional 6 tbsp butter, melted
¼ cup sugar

2 tbsp flour
2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt
5 eggs
2 cups half & half (or heavy whipping cream)
Handful of parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions: Thaw corn according to package directions then saute in 1 tbsp butter to add some flavor.
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs, whipping cream, and butter in a large bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients into egg mixture, whisking until smooth; stir in corn and cheese. Pour mixture into a [lightly greased] 9 x 13 dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes.

SFB's Deviled Eggs
12 large eggs
¼ cup mayo
2 tsp yellow mustard

1 tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp each salt & pepper
dash of pickled jalapeno juice 
paprika and sliced green olives for garnish

Directions: Lay eggs in bottom of a medium-large sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to boil and let cook for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and cover with lid; let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water. Crack shells and carefully peel under running water. Dry off. Slice open eggs, removing yolks into a bowl. Smash yolk with a fork and add in remaining ingredients, mixing well. You can spread into eggs or pipe in (if you don't have a piping bag a Ziplock with do the trick - just cut a small hole in one of the tips). Garnish with sliced olive and paprika, and place in refrigerator to keep cool until serving.

 Whipped Sweet Potatoes

4 large sweet potatoes, washed
olive oil & salt for the rub
1 cup half and half
2 tbsp butter
, softened
3 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork, then rub olive oil and salt on them. Roast for 40 minutes or until very soft. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, or to the point where you are able to handle them but they still have some steam once skin is removed. Scoop out the potatoes and place in your mixer, add remaining ingredients and whip until smooth & creamy.

Spinach & Berry Salad

Fresh baby spinach
container of strawberries, washed and sliced
½ container of blueberries, washed

1 pear, peeling removed and diced
1 avocado, sliced
¼ cup  red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup feta cheese

½ cup glazed (or regular) pecans

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
½ extra virgin olive oil¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp dijon mustard¼ cup red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced

salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a mason jar and shake up!

I hope y'all have a blessed holiday! Enjoy :)


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