Thanksgiving Day is almost here and it’s time to bust out our best appetizer, casserole, and pumpkin recipes. We also have a few breakfast strata recipes that you can make the day before, pop in the oven, relax and watch the parade while breakfast cooks!:
There is so much cooking to do on Thanksgiving Day which is why I like to do as much prep as possible the day before. This way, I can enjoy the day and just pop things into the oven. Peeling, boiling, and mashing potatoes, while trying to time all of the other dishes, is one of the most frustrating parts of preparing the Thanksgiving feast. So, a few years ago, I started making these mashed potatoes and I haven’t looked back.
They are just as creamy and luscious as any potatoes I’ve ever made on the day and the cheesy parmesan crust makes these Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes even better than the standard version of mashed potatoes!
This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes Recipe.
Approximately 8 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
Milk, to taste
1 bar cream cheese
1 stick of butter
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Grated parmesan cheese
Boil the potatoes in a large pot until soft all the way through. Drain the potatoes in a colander and remove all of excess water. Immediately put the potatoes back into the pot, add the cube of butter and bar of cream cheese. Put the lid back on the pot and let sit for five to ten minutes, so the butter can melt and the cream cheese can soften.
Using a hand mixer, blend the potatoes until they are broken apart and well blended with the butter and cream cheese. Add the milk in small parts and continue mixing until they are smooth and have very few lumps. Make sure the potatoes are a little runnier than you like, as they will lose some moisture in the fridge overnight. This way, they will be the perfect consistency when you serve them. Also, the cream cheese helps prevent the potatoes from drying out.
Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Put the potatoes in a buttered 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Let cool completely, cover, and store in the refrigerator. Take the casserole out of the fridge approximately one hour before baking time so they are at room temperature when you put them in the oven.
Sprinkle them generously with the parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the cheese is browned on top and the potatoes are heated through. A good way to test this is to insert a knife in the center. If a good amount of steam comes out, then they’re ready!
Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, pine nuts, cilantro and a light teriyaki dressing. It’s a truly unique combination of ingredients that absolutely works to make a healthy and light, yet filling pasta salad. It’s quick and easy and the only chopping required is for the cilantro.
Thank you, Carolyn M., for sharing this recipe!
8 ozs bow tie pasta
4 cups spinach leaves
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (use the thinner version that resembles the consistency of soy sauce)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 T. sugar
1/2 cup canola or olive oil
Cook pasta according to package instructions, rinse, and let cool completely.
Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a jar. Cover and shake well. Chill in the refrigerator.
Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large, covered bowl and store in the refrigerator.
When it’s potluck time, toss the salad with the dressing and serve!
What?!?! It’s National Key Lime Pie Day! Celebrate the day by making this fantastic Key Lime Pie recipe, courtesy of Jamie G.
2/3 cups slivered almonds, sliced
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 egg yolks
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime or regular lime juice
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. grated lime zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Combine the almonds with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and mix until evenly moistened. Press into a 9 inch pie plate.
Bake crust in oven until golden brown, approximately 10 to 13 minutes.
While the crust is baking, beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the condensed milk, cream, and lime zest. Whisk in the lime juice a little at a time to thicken the custard. When the crust is finished baking, pour the custard into the pie crust and return to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes to help the custard begin to set.
Cool to room temperature on a wire rack before covering loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
I always prefer cupcakes to cakes and these German Chocolate Cupcakes are no exception. There’s a much better ratio of coconut pecan topping to cake. And you get bonus chocolate frosting on the top! This recipe is for one batch of 24 cupcakes, but there was enough topping leftover for at least another 12 cupcakes.
1 batch of chocolate cake mix (I used a box mix!)
1 jar of chocolate frosting
4 egg yolks
12 ozs. evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans.
Bake the cupcakes in liners, according to the instructions. Let cool completely.
To make the filling, whisk the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a medium sauce pan. Add the sugar and butter. Continue whisking over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and pecans. Let cool.
Pipe frosting around the outer edge of each cupcake. Add the coconut filling to the center.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until potluck time!
I’m loving these Hawaiian Pineapple Bars! They are really easy to make and a fun change from the usual bar recipes. The pineapple gives them a perfectly chewy edge with a soft center.
Tenaiya found this recipe on the Lost American Recipes website and sent it to me. It originated in a compilation cookbook by the “Maui Extension Homemakers Council.”
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.
Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well. Add the pineapple and optional walnuts and stir until well-combined.
Pour batter into a greased 9 x 11 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let bars cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container until potluck time!
I was feeling like a non-chocolate potluck dessert (a very rare occasion!) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake sounded really good. I’ve never made it before and I thought cupcakes would be even better. (I tend to prefer cupcakes over cakes because the ratio of toppings to cake is much more evenly distributed.) Found this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes on the Betty Crocker website. The brown sugar butter glaze caramelizes the tops and the pineapple perfectly to make these cupcakes sweet and luscious!
1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Extra Moist Yellow Cake and highly recommend it!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
20 oz. can of sliced pineapple, drained and reserve the juice
1/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
12 maraschino cherries, cut in half
24 baking cups
Spray the baking cups really well with non-stick cooking spray.
Drain the pineapple slices and set the juice aside. Cut the pineapple rings into four pieces each. Cut the maraschino cherries in half.
On low speed for 30 seconds, mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and pineapple juice. Continue mixing on medium speed for two minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Put 1 1/2 tsp. of butter mixture into each baking cup. Add a maraschino cherry in the center (round side down) and then add two pineapple slices on top of the cherry. Lastly, add 1/4 cup of batter on top of everything.
Bake the cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes. Flip the cupcakes upside down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Carefully remove the baking cup liners
Serve warm or at room temperature. You’re ready for potluck time!
I can’t believe that it’s time to kick off BBQ season again! We have our top recipe picks for your Memorial Day weekend potlucks with everything from savory dips, healthy and not-so healthy salads, delicious sides, grilled dishes, and of course, desserts!:
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