Friday, November 28, 2008

Crockpot Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Makes 14 Half-Cup Servings

3 lbs small red potatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chives and onion cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped


Wash potatoes--do not peel--and cut into quarters. Place in greased crockpot dish. Add garlic, oil and water. Mix well to coat potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and toss to cover evenly. Cover and cook on high for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender. Mash potatoes and garlic and stir in cream cheese until melted and incorporated. Stir in milk until well blended. Serve immediately, or cover on keep warm or low setting for up to 2 hours. Before serving, drizzle melted butter on top and sprinkle with fresh chopped chives.

These potatoes are a nice twist on the traditional favorite. The flavor is amazing, and it's so much easier to pop these in the crockpot while you do the rest of your Thanksgiving cooking. I usually put them in the crockpot at around 7 or 8 in the morning, so that they are ready to eat by 2, when we eat. I have also prepared them the night before, then put them, crockpot dish and all, into the fridge overnight. Then I put them back into the crockpot cooker on low or keep warm for a couple hours until heated through. Just don't put the melted butter and chives on until right before you are about to serve them.

Apple & Onion Stuffing "Muffins"

Makes 12 "Muffins"

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 stick butter, softened
1 bay leaf
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 apples, chopped
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 cups cubed stuffing mix
2-3 cups chicken broth


Heat olive oil and 4T butter in a skillet until butter melts. Add the bay leaf and the vegetables and apples. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook 5 minutes until vegetables and apples begin to soften, then add parsley and stuffing and mix well. Pour in the chicken broth, just until stuffing is soft, but not wet. Use remaining butter and pastry brush to butter 12 muffin tin cups liberally. Use an ice cream scoop or soup ladle to place rounded mounds of stuffing in muffin tins. (Remove bay leaf when you find it!) Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes until set and browned on top.

I love a homemade stuffing, and this year we did a trial run of our typical cornbread stuffing but with apples in it. It was delicious! I also tried making them in muffin tins and that was great! On my trial run I used packaged stuffing, but on Thanksgiving we'll use real dried cornbread cubes, as well as some additional seasoning to taste, since we'll be losing some of that seasoning by not using packaged. We also love the taste of apples and sausage together. A nice Italian sausage would be delicious in this recipe! About 1/2 a pound of ground bulk Italian sausage would do nicely, or the same of sliced chicken sausage links.

Cherry Cranberry Sauce

Makes 8 Servings

1 12oz. bag fresh cranberries
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons orange marmalade


Mix cranberries, sugar and water in saucepan over high heat. Bring to boiling then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 10-12 minutes, uncovered, until cranberries have popped open. Stir in marmalade and let mixture cool for an hour. Spoon sauce into a serving dish and cover and refrigerate an additional hour until chilled.

I have never been a fan of the canned cranberry sauce, but fresh I can do! This is delicious, and the surprise of getting a bite of cherry here and there gives it a great flavor and newness to an old favorite.

Golden Green Bean Casserole

Makes 8 Servings

2 12oz bags frozen green beans or 4 cups fresh green beans
1 cup onions, diced
2 cans golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Dash pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 cups French's fried onions


Microwave or boil on stovetop green beans for 4–5 minutes or until hot. Transfer beans to 4 quart greased casserole dish. Stir in onions, milk, soy sauce, pepper and soup until blended. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, then French's onions. Bake 10–15 minutes or until cheese melts, top is browned, and casserole bubbles around edges of the dish.

This is a slight twist on an old favorite that is delicious. The cheese goes really well with the green beans and the golden mushroom soup has a more unique flavor than the original cream of mushroom. Delicious!

Creamed Pearl Onions

Makes 6-8 Servings

3 bags frozen tiny onions (boiled according to package directions and water reserved)
2 1/2 cups half & half
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Melt butter over low heat. Gradually stir in flour with a wire whisk to avoid lumps. Stir in salt and pepper, whisking evenly. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Slowly stir in half and half and onion water, again, whisking constantly after each addition to avoid lumps. Cook on low heat and stir until the mixture boils. Boil and stir 1 minute, then stir in the onions. Let cool and give a quick stir before serving.

This recipe has always been my Papa's specialty, but now either my mom makes it or I do. It is simple and delicious, and even though my picky, onion-hating kids don't like it, us grown-ups sure do! All the more for the rest of us!

Southern Style Candied Yams

Makes 12 Servings

2 cans cut yams, drained and mashed -or- 4-6 fresh yams, peeled, cubed and cooked until softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup whipping cream
32 marshmallows


Mash together all ingredients except marshmallows. Cut 12 marshmallows in half and mix in with yam mixture. Turn into buttered baking dish and top with rest of marshmallows. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned.

Can't beat Southern-style candied yams! I prefer fresh yams to the canned ones, but if you're in a hurry--which, who isn't on Thanksgiving--canned will do just fine.

Pumpkin Meringue Pie with Ginger Crust

Makes 1 Pie - 8 Servings

1 15oz can pumpkin
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup finely crushed gingersnaps
1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 egg whites
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt


In large bowl combine gingersnaps, graham crackers and sugar. Mix in melted butter. Spread evenly on bottom and up the sides of 9" pie plate. Bake at 375 for 4 minutes and let cool. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, sugar, ginger, salt and cinnamon. Add whole eggs and combine with fork. Gradually stir in milk and maple syrup. Pour into crust-lined pie plate. Cover edges of pie with foil and bake 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. *While pie is baking, prepare meringue topping: In large bowl let egg whites stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Add vanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add brown sugar, beating on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks. When timer for pie goes off, uncover edges and reduce oven temp to 350. Carefully spread meringue over hot filling and seal to edge. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool and refrigerate to chill before serving, if desired.

Yet another twist on an old favorite, the meringue on top is a great change from regular old whipped cream. We like to sprinkle additional nutmeg on ours before serving it. It's delicious both warm or cold, however you prefer it.

Amber's Chocolate Cashew Pie

Makes 1 Pie - 8 Servings

3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup cashew halves


Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat until chocolate is melted. Pour into a crust-lined 9" pie plate. Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes.

It is a tradition in our house for me to make a Chocolate Pecan Pie every holiday. But it is not the easiest recipe to make, unlike this one. My good friend Amber brought this pie to one of our family get-togethers and it was an instant hit! The saltier version of cashews mixed with the classic chocolate flavor was amazing and considering how easy this pie is to make, we just couldn't NOT make it this year. So I am off the hook...for Thanksgiving this year at least, we will have Chocolate Cashew Pie in place of Chocolate Pecan Pie. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving Menu

Fried Turkey


Garlic-Smashed Potatoes

Apple & Onion Stuffing Muffins

Cherry-Cranberry Sauce

PW's Butternut Squash

Golden Green Bean Casserole

Creamed Pearl Onions

Southern Candied Yams

No-knead Yeast Rolls

Ginger-Pumpkin Meringue Pie

Chocolate Cashew Pie

Apple Pie

Once again, it has been awhile since my last update. I am having a hard time getting motivated to post with everything else that has been going on in my life. And since this was supposed to be a hobby, something fun for me, I decided just to take a little break. But I couldn't let the holidays go by without posting some of my favorite holiday recipes! There's a few new versions of old favorites, as well as some of the traditional recipes. I hope you'll try and enjoy these this Thanksgiving holiday.