Friday, December 3, 2010

Candied Sweet Potato Casserole

This amazing recipe comes to you from America's Test Kitchen.  It's the perfect Thanksgiving side dish.


Sweet Potatoes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 1-inch chunks
5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water

Pecan Topping
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg white , lightly beaten
Pinch ground cumin


1.  Pre-heat oven to 450F.
1.  Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2.  Add the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and water; bring to a simmer.
3.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the sweet potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center of the potatoes with very little resistance), 45 to 60 minutes.
4.  When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and bring the sauce to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a glaze, 7 to 10 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the topping together in a medium bowl; set aside.
6.  Pour the potato mixture into two 8x8 baking dishes or one 9x13 (it may overfill a 9x13). 
7.  Spread the topping over the potatoes.
8.  Bake until the pecans are toasted and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

This dish can be made ahead of time.  After step 7 cover dish tightly with foil and refridgerate until needed.  The bake at 400F with foil for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 20 minutes or until pecans are toasted and crisp.

Serves approx 12-16

Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I compiled this recipe by taking the best of a few other recipes I've found.  This goes great served in the center of a bread bowl.  The recipe can be found here, just cut the recipe in 1/2 and only make one large bowl:


8oz reduced fat cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed of all water
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I like Sargento Artisan Blend)


1.  Mix together all ingredients in large microwave safe bowl.
2.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until heated through, stirring 2-3 times.
3.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffing

Stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving dish and now I think I've finally perfected my favorite Thanksgiving stuffing recipe.


1 stick butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1lb or 4 links of sweet italian sausage (casings removed)
1 package Pepperidge farm sage and onion stuffing cubes (12oz)
2-3 cups fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth


1.  In large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.
2.  Saute celery and onions until soft.
3.  Add in sausage and cook throughly (like you would ground beef)
4.  Add in stuffing and mix thoroughly.
5.  Add in chicken broth until you get the moistness you desire (about 2 cups).
6.  Cook until evenly heated through.

This recipe can be made ahead of time and either stuffed in the bird or put in a 9x13 glass baking dish.  To reheat stuffing on the day of dinner,  bake at 400 covered with foil for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes until heated through and golden brown on top.

Makes at least 12 servings.