Consider this a formal reminder for your Thanksgiving break: bask in whatever community you find yourself in this season, remain mindful of other people traveling to and from thanksgiving celebrations, and wear loose-fitting pants for your second plate of turkey and stuffing.
To pair with the traditional Thanksgiving meal, here are three recipes to help give your holiday a little extra flavor!
What you might not know about Thanksgiving dinner is that the protein (aka the turkey) must be balanced with generous helpings of carbohydrates for maximum food coma after consumption. With this in mind, I suggest a Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Macaroni and Cheese. This loaded dish is the epitome of the American Dream, oozing creamy cheese and optional (but who ever considered bacon optional) bacon toppings. It’s a twist on classic Mac!
Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Macaroni and Cheese.
What you will need:
- 1 and ½ cups elbow noodles, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3-4 cups cubed sweet potato, peeled
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ¾ cup 1 percent milk
- 1 and 1/14 cup of cheese (sharp cheddar, but you can use your preferred cheese)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Optional: fresh parsley
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat.
- Cut the onion into thin rings and add to the butter in the pan. Add the sugar on top.
- Saute, stirring occasionally until tender (about thirty minutes).
- While sauteing, peel the potatoes, cutting them into large chunks.
- Boil the sweet potatoes until completely tender and then drain. Place the potatoes in the blender with the caramelized onions, pepper, broth, paprika, milk and salt to taste.
- Pulse until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked noodles and add the cheese.
- Stir until melted.
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with parsley garnish, if desired.
If you’re looking to add some class to your dinner, consider updating your bread rolls with these Rosemary Maple Cornbread Muffins. Rosemary Maple is an unlikely, yet iconic, duo and the cornbread tells your guests, “I will spare no expense to satisfy your soul.” Incorporating these muffins into your dinner presentation will only strengthen relationships and bring more warmth and joy into their holiday season.
Rosemary Maple Cornbread Muffins
What you will need:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350° F and spray your muffin tin with a nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chopped rosemary.
- In another bowl, stir together the milk, honey, maple syrup and vegetable oil.
- Mix the dry and wet until just combined. Note: Do not over stir ingredients or else the muffins will become dense.
- Fill the prepared muffin cavities ¾ full.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Watch guests “ooh” and “ahh” and revel in your incredible hospitality.
What really gets me spiritually excited for Thanksgiving break is my mother’s mashed potatoes – light, buttery, keeps me warm on a cold November night. That being said, no mashed potato is absolute perfection. In my humble opinion – though my mother’s mashed potatoes make me weep – even the best potatoes have room for improvement, which is why I recommend trying Pesto Mashed Potatoes topped with Pine Nuts.
Pesto Mashed Potatoes topped with Pine Nuts
What you will need:
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: pine nuts
- Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a saucepan. Cover the potatoes with water then bring to a boil.
- Cook until the potatoes are tender, roughly 12 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes then place them into a larger bowl.
- Mash the potatoes and add the butter and milk.
- Beat until smooth. Add more milk if needed.
- Stir in the basil pesto and season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with pine nuts.
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No matter what your holiday meal looks like, remember it tastes best when shared.