It’s the final countdown! Only 1 week until Thanksgiving! You know that “Final Countdown” song by Europe that’s in a Geico commercial right now, well that’s what’s playing in my head as we head towards Thanksgiving and Christmas. Plus, my toddler loves when that commercial comes on so she can dance to it, and by dance I mean doing her one and only move that looks like Chris Kattan and Will Ferrel in A Night at the Roxbury.
I love traditions, and Thanksgiving is full of them. From baking the night before to watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in the morning, and then all. the. football. I love how one day can bring back so many memories just because you do the same thing every year. Although as we get older, have our own families, etc. traditions change. A few years ago I wanted to make my own stuffing and sweet potatoes (don’t get me wrong, I love some Stove Top and marshmallow topped yams) and found the most amazing recipes. Since then I declare those two side dishes are a new Thanksgiving tradition and make them every year. My mouth is literally watering thinking about them!
This recipe is from the Food Network and originally made by Bobby Flay. The flavors and amount of extra goodness in this stuffing is amazing. It’s not just some bread and seasonings. The recipe is as follows:
1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing dish
1 large red onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 large egg, slightly beaten
4 cups stale country bread, cut into 1-inch dice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups warm chicken stock
Heat large saute pan over high heat. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Add butter to the rendered fat in the pan, and then add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the heat and fold in the sage. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
When the vegetable mixture has cooled slightly, add the sausage to the bowl. Add the egg and bread and mix to coat. Add the chicken stock until the mixture is moist. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Butter a large baking dish and scrape the mixture into the dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Sweet Potato Casserole
If you like your side dishes to taste like dessert this recipe is for you. It’s definitely on the sweet side, but it’s sooooooooo good. You can indulge just one day, right? I found it on Allrecipes.com, and it’s been made 2,000 times and has a 5 star review, you can’t go wrong with that.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9X13 inch baking dish.
In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.
You still have plenty of time to go to the grocery store and pick up everything you need to make these delicious side dishes for your Thanksgiving meal, and believe me, you’ll want to add them to your menu.
What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Is there a Thanksgiving food you can’t live without?