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Category Archives: Holiday Side Dishes

Italian Stuffing

Adrianna

My sister, Adrianna is half- Italian and her mother’s family has some incredible authentic recipes. This stuffing requires a considerable amount of preparation, but the results are well worth the effort!

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags stuffing mix
  • 8 carrots
  • 1 whole head celery
  • ½ bushel parsley
  • 5-6 cloves garlic chopped fine (to taste)
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • ½ bag walnuts chopped very fine
  • ½ Parmasan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Large container free range chicken broth
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup cranberries or raisins

Instructions:

Prepare vegetable, walnut, and cheese mixture:

  • Cook onion and garlic until slightly brown.
  • Add vegetables and cook until they are “aladante.”
  • Add walnuts to vegetable mixture and cook some more.
  • Add Parmasan cheese after the vegetables are cooked.
  • Cook cheese and vegetables together. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Prepare egg, stuffing, broth mixture:

  • Separately, beat eggs and add to stuffing. Allow to melt.
  • Add chicken broth to eggs. Stir.
  • Add olive oil.

Combine all ingredients:

  • Mix cranberries/raisins into veggie mixture and add to stuffing.
  • Put into mixture in a pan. Bake for ½ hour until it’s brown.
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Super Sweets

Adrianna

These are my sister’s version of mashed sweet potatoes. Generous amounts of butter, brown sugar, and sour cream are added to sweet potatoes/yams. If you are on a diet, I would try one of the other sweet potato recipes on this site, but if you are looking for a moment of indulgence, these fit the bill.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 yams (1 yam per person)
  • 1 1/2 cubes of butter (6 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 16 oz. whole milk or sour cream
  • Cinnamon and salt to taste

Instructions: 

  • Boil water and cook yams, leaving skin on.
  • Drain yams in cold water and peel.
  • Place yams in a bowl. Stir in butter and allow it to melt in hot yams.
  • Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and milk/sour cream.
  • Mix all ingredients using a masher or whipper until fluffy.
  • Sprinkle a little cinnamon and/or salt on top.
 

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Apples

I concocted this recipe for Christmas 2011, knowing I wanted to make something with sweet potatoes and apples to go with my homemade cranberry sauce and green beans. After some Google searching, I found a recipe I liked, but thought it was too bland. So, I doubled the measurements for the non-sweet potato ingredients and it was a hit!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (about 5 medium sized sweet potatoes)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I suggest Granny Smith because the tartness of the apples offsets the sweetness of the other ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon to taste

Instructions:

  • Prepare Sweet Potatoes:
    • Add sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender. You know they are done when the skin starts to fall off in the pot).
    • Place sweet potatoes in metal strainer. Run cold water over them for a couple minutes to cool them off.
    • Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently peel skin off with your fingers.
    • Mash in a large bowl using a potato masher or large fork. Set aside. (Be sure to measure potatoes before mashing to confirm you have enough).
  • Prepare Apple and Butter Mixture:
    • Melt butter in a large saucepan.
    • Add diced apples and cook until tender.
  • Combine Ingredients:
    • Add apple and butter mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes and stir until well blended.
    • Stir in apple juice, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  • When ready to serve, heat over low heat until hot.
 

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Simple Green Beans

Aunt Anni

(Based on a recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook)

Aunt Anni gave me this recipe for Thanksgiving 2010 when I suddenly found myself in charge of holiday food preparations while I was in the middle of studying for finals and writing papers during my first semester of graduate school. Since I was short on time, I started calling all of my aunts asking for quick, easy recipes and these green beans fit the bill.

Ingredients:

  • Green beans
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Butter and seasonings to taste

Instructions:

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil
  • Add a good amount of salt (~ 2-3 tsp. for a medium saucepan full of water)*
  • While the water is boiling, wash and trim the beans (Aunt Anni just chops about a quarter inch off both ends by the handful)!
  • Once the water is boiling, toss in the beans, bring water back to a boil, and cook the beans until they start to turn bright green (about 3-5 minutes for haricot vert and 4-5 minutes for regular beans).
  • Drain beans in a colander. Immediately turn on cold water and add a large handful of ice to the beans in the colander. Mix the ice around so that all the beans are cooled.**
  • Once the ice has melted, return the drained beans to their saucepan.
  • When you are ready to eat, reheat the beans with butter and seasonings (but watch the salt, since the water was so salty!) You can do this up to an hour ahead of time.

*Make sure you use a pot that is large enough for the beans to “swim” a bit. You don’t want them to be too crowded or else they won’t cook evenly.

** The ice gives the beans a pretty bright color and seals in the flavor.

 

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Cranberry Sauce

Original source: AllRecipes.com

I discovered this cranberry sauce recipe online when I was looking for something simple to make for Thanksgiving. It is unbelievably easy and does not require a lot of ingredients. Your guests will think you spent hours preparing this when in fact it doesn’t take much longer than toasting bread!

Preparation Time: N/ACranberry Sauce
Cooking Time:
15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice

Directions

  • In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice.
  • Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. *
  • Yields 8-12 servings.

*If you re-heat the sauce, it will become runny again.


 
 

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