Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I’m bringing to The Feast

I have been in the kitchen it seems ALL DAY preparing for Thanksgiving. Are you sighing thinking, “me too"? The more I bake the more festive I feel and it gets me in the holiday mood, so despite the mess (which my sweet husband cleaned up for me while I went running tonight…gotta prepare to offset the gorging) and the sore feet (probably more to do with the running), it is all worth it.

I promise, for reals, the air outside this evening smelled of roasted sweet potatoes while I was out running. Maybe I just had it on the brain and I’ve been smelling it all day in my home, but seriously the breeze just had that Thanksgiving smell. LOVED IT!

For Thanksgiving this year, I am in charge of bringing all the round things (and I don’t mean my tushy): the potatoes—the sweet ones and the mashed ones; the cranberries; the rolls.

Now that I’m typing this, I’m realizing I am making like half the feast…how’d that happen? No wonder I was so busy today. Well, my sis-in-law is baking all the pies and her creamy jello.

Here are my recipes…

Thanksgiving 065

I don’t particularly  like Sweet Potatoes, but this recipe I’ve adopted from my sister Heather is more like dessert with a sugar and pecan crumble topping. Because Heather is one of the sweetest people I know, I’ve titled it:

So Sweet Potatoes with Crumble Topping
3 cups mashed cooked* sweet potatoes (about 2-3 sweet potatoes)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup softened butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
Mix all these ingredients with a hand or stand mixer until creamy. Pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cold butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecan pieces

Crumble together flour and butter with fork or pastry cutter. Add brown sugar and pecans. Mix together. Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, uncovered.

Almost as good as candy.

*Tip: I like to roast my sweet potatoes to save the step from peeling. Simply set your oven at 400 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place whole potatoes on top and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool. Cut down the middle and the skins will easily slide of.
Oh, and I double this recipe because there’s never enough.

Thanksgiving 068

The Guilt-free mashed potatoes I made, at the request of my four-year-old, for his birthday dinner on Sunday were such a hit, so I decided to use that recipe again for Thanksgiving.

Guilt-free Mashed Potatoes
about 12 servings

6-8 Butter Gold Potatoes
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Rinse and skin the potatoes. Cut into quarters. Place in large pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil, and boil until potatoes are fork tender. (I think mine took like 20-30 mintues.) Drain potatoes. With a stand mixer cream potatoes. Once the lumps are gone, add yogurt, salt and pepper. Mix until nice and creamy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

That's it. Serve with your favorite gravy.

*If you want to make these more fancy add in:
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

(The secret to this recipe is using Butter Gold Potatoes because they come out more creamy.)

Thanksgiving 069

Cranberries are a must at Thanksgiving, yet when I had my first Thanksgiving as a newlywed, I noticed the cranberries were missing at my husband’s family feast.  I love the jellied and the fresh whole ones…yes, I dish up both! So, I bring the pretty cranberries for me. This year I wanted to try something different. 

One of my new favorite candles at Scentsy is called “Cranberry Spice”. So, I thought why not try to make cranberries to taste like how the candle smells? I love how it turned out!

Thanksgiving 071

I used these three spices to create that holiday spiced element.

Cranberry Holiday Spice Sauce

1 bag (12 oz.) fresh whole cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan. Heat to boiling. Stir in cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Return to boiling. Reduce heat; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from stove, stir in brown sugar and salt. Cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Thanksgiving 072

Whew! I’m just tired again sitting on my bed and drinking my tea while typing up all this.
Tomorrow I am waking up bright and early to start the World’s Best Rolls…after I run three miles just to prepare for them. The recipe comes for Our Best Bites. I made them for Easter this year, and I am so excited to eat them again tomorrow! I may just go to bed right now to make it come even faster : )

Enjoy every bite, every smile, every blessed moment.
{and yes, Melody, my toe-nails are painted a festive brown.}

Happy Thanksgiving to my blogging family
I am thankful for you!
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Winston Salem Carpet Cleaning said...

they say sweet potatoes are a good replacement for potatoes

Warner / Debbie Blair said...

I'll bet your house spelled delicsious (sp?). The cranberry recipe looks good. I'll have to try it.

Heather Lytle said...

I'm going to try those cranberries next year. And the yams will forever be a holiday tradition - hopefully passed on to my children even though Emrie is the only one who loves them. I DO NOT understand how the boys can NOT love them!

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"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. "

-Margaret D. Nadauld