Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Recipe Haul

Candied Yams 
I tried this recipe when I hosted my very first Thanksgiving dinner for twenty family members. Everyone was nervous they would not cook in time but I assure you they were quick and easy to make. Also very delicious. The only thing I added was a little nutmeg. I feel like cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg are staples during the Thanksgiving holiday. You can also cook sweet potatoes this way, drain and rinse then mash them or puree them for a sweet potato casserole. 

This is as close to my Grandmas recipe that I can get. For those of you that see the liver and are going "Ewwwww!" Let me tell you a little story. Often when making the plain and liver stuffing, I forget to label the pans. When it's time to eat, no one can tell the difference so they end up eating the liver stuffing. (When they had sworn never to eat liver.) The liver provides this wonderful rich smooth texture that blends nicely with the bread and vegetables. 

Homemade Stuffing
30 Slices White Bread, lightly toasted           2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter                                   2 teaspoons of sage
1 large onion, finely chopped                     1 teaspoon garlic or garlic powder
2 stalks celery, finely chopped 
1 pint chicken livers (optional) 
   salt and pepper to taste 
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Allow the toasted bread to sit approximately 24 hours, until hard. 

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

3. Crush the bread into crumbs with a rolling pin. Place the crumbs in a large bowl. 

4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat., Stir in the onion, garlic if fresh, celery and chicken livers slowly cook until soft and no pink in middle for livers.  Remove from heat and drain. Finely chop livers. 

5. Mix the eggs and chicken broth into the bread crumbs. The mixture should be moist, but not mushy. Use water, if necessary, to attain desired consistency. Mix in the onion, celery, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. 

6.  Press the mixture into the baking dish. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the top is brown and crisp. (This recipe freezes well so you can make it ahead of time and bake when ready to serve.) 

Old Fashioned Collard Greens

This recipe is exactly how my grandparents cooked collard greens. Although my Grandma Charlie would cook with bacon grease instead. If your wanting to be super healthy during the holiday season just simmer the collards in some low fat chicken broth and oil. 

1 1/2 quarts water
1 1/2  pounds ham hocks (or add bacon grease) 
4 pounds collard greens, rinsed and trimmed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the water and the ham hock in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to very low and simmer covered for 30 minutes. 

2. Add the collards then simmer covered for about 2 hours , stirring occasionally. 

3. Add the vegetable oil and simmer covered for 30 minutes. 

4. Drain collards and begin to chop within bowl till your desired consistency. 

Green Bean Casserole 

I found this recipe on All Recipes and served it for my family, they LOVED IT. I promise I will never post recipes I haven't tried or they aren't simply delicious. With that said this is one of my go to recipes so enjoy.

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