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!
This pumpkin soup is great for any Fall potluck! The combination of pumpkin and cream cheese give it a rich, creamy texture and the cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar provide just the right amount of sweetness. The original inspiration for this soup came from The Joy of Cooking cookbook. I omitted the ham and added a bar of cream cheese.
1 T. butter or olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced celery
3 cups canned pumpkin
3 cups scalded milk
1 bar of cream cheese
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Heat the butter or olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, milk, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
Heat through, but do not boil. Use an immersion blender, or a regular blender, to puree the soup.
You can make this soup the day before your potluck. Reheat the soup on low and then transfer to a crockpot for potluck time. You can also serve it with a side of toasted pumpkin seeds or croutons for toppings!
These pumpkin bars are insanely delicious! The combination of pumpkin and cinnamon, topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting make these bars a perfect dessert for any Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Fall potluck. Thank you to Joyce, who got the recipe from Debbie, for sharing these!
1 cup oil
2 1/4 cup sugar
16 oz. can pumpkin
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 T. butter or margarine, softened
1 T. half and half or orange juice (which ever you have)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat eggs, oil, and sugar. Mix in pumpkin, then flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 12 x 11 inch baking pan (you can also use a 9 x 13 inch pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
Beat cream cheese with butter or margarine until creamy. Add half and half or orange juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Spread the top with cream cheese frosting. Cut into bars*. Makes 40. Refrigerate until potluck time.
*Alternate serving idea: Use a 9 x 13 inch pan and serve it as a pumpkin cake instead!