November 27, 2015

Ultimate Sweet Potato Casserole and a Thanksgiving Recap


This side dish recipe, originally from Southern Living, is the ultimate creamy Sweet Potato Casserole topped with cornflakes, marshmallows, and pecans!
Perfect for big family meals during the holidays.
Check out the recipe below and a photo recap of my family Thanksgiving this year including my Boursin Cheese Appetizer Houseparty.

Ingredients: 

Makes 8 servings
  • 4 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. 
  2. Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour or until tender.
  3. Let stand until cool to touch. Then cut open the potatoes, scoop out the flesh, and mash the sweet potatoes. Place in a large bowl.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  5. Add sugar, butter, milk, eggs, salt, and vanilla to the bowl.
  6. Beat mashed sweet potatoes mixture at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. 
  7. Spoon potato mixture into a greased 9X13 inch baking dish.
  8. Combine cornflakes cereal, pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl. 
  9. Sprinkle over casserole in diagonal rows 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes. 
  11. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. 
  12. Sprinkle marshmallows in alternate rows between cornflake mixture; bake 10 minutes.
Recipe from Southern Living.
Bake sweet potatoes {about 4-5} for 1 hour at 400 degrees or until tender.
Let stand until cool to touch. Then cut open the potatoes, scoop out the flesh,
 and mash the sweet potatoes. Place in a large bowl.
Add sugar, butter, milk, eggs, salt, and vanilla to the bowl.
Beat mashed sweet mixture at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
Spoon potato mixture into a greased 9X13 inch baking dish.
Combine cornflakes cereal, pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl.
Sprinkle over casserole in diagonal rows 2 inches apart.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.
Sprinkle marshmallows in alternate rows between cornflake mixture
and bake 10 minutes until melted.
This casserole is best served hot with the gooey marshmallows and crunchy topping.
Serve this casserole during the holidays.
It's so popular you won't have any leftovers!

We were blessed to spend Thanksgiving again this year in Florida with my family. 
We had a wonderful trip home and the girl's loved
visiting with their grandparents and family.
 I hosted a Boursin Cheese Appetizer Houseparty at our condo before dinner.
 My mom loves to cook just like me.
 She's making her traditional stuffing and cranberry sauce.
 My Dad {aka Papa} can't get enough of his grandbabies!
I also cooked up roasted brussel sprouts with maple pecan glaze for dinner.
A buffet of delicious homemade food.
 My whole foodie family loves to cook!
A little bit of everything including turkey and ham!
 Ava's favorite part?
Eating on the balcony and painting her wooden turkey!
 Sweet Stella Rose had a fun and delicious first Thanksgiving!

My husband Ashton was home this year to celebrate with us. 
We sure missed him when he was deployed and I am so happy he is home safe. 
 Full moon and Destin, FL from the balcony Thanksgiving night.
A family picture after dinner. 
My babies never stay still but we were all full and happy!
I hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving 
and enjoyed your time together as much as we did.
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November 24, 2015

Cream of Artichoke Soup



I created this silky soup one rainy afternoon when I had a craving for a warm bowl of creamy soup for lunch. We cook and eat a lot of soup in our home but unfortunately I didn't have any soup on hand. But I did have cream cheese {my favorite} and chicken broth and after looking through the pantry I found a can of artichoke hearts. And this folks was how a delicious soup recipe was created!

Ingredients:

Makes 6 servings

  • 8 ounce Cream Cheese spread {I like Chive and Onion or the hard to find Spinach and Artichoke}
  • 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth {or substitute vegetable broth for vegetarian}
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 baguette, sliced, toasted, and topped with olive oil and Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, add butter and melt over medium heat.
  2. Add shallots and cook for a couple minutes until golden, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and let simmer on med low for about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in Cream Cheese spread and let melt and combine.
  5. Finally, add chopped artichoke hearts.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender (or pour into a blender) until smooth and creamy. Blend well!
  8. Serve in a soup bowl with a couple Parmesan bread slices on the side.



I originally used Spinach and Artichoke Cream Cheese spread for this recipe but I believe {sniff, sniff} it has been discontinued.
 Plain cream cheese will work but I like the Chive and Onion flavor the best.

Drain the can of artichoke hearts and roughly chop.
In a saucepan, add butter and melt over medium heat.
Add shallots and cook for a couple minutes until golden, stirring occasionally.
Pour in chicken broth and let simmer on med low for about 5 minutes.
Mix in Cream Cheese spread and let melt and combine.
Finally, add chopped artichoke hearts.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender
 (or pour into a blender) until smooth and creamy.
Be sure to blend well or it will be stringy.
Slice a baguette and top with a drizzle
of olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Toast in the oven until crunchy.
Serve in a soup bowl with a couple Parmesan bread slices on the side.
Smooth, creamy, and a tasty soup for a cold, rainy day!
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November 20, 2015

Duck Dynasty Mashed Potato Casserole

It's holiday time and that means I am cooking much more than usual {and that says a lot} and most of the time I am cooking for a crowd! This week we attended a Thanksgiving Potluck for my husband's unit and their families. I wanted to bring a kid friendly side dish to go with the turkeys everyone was going to be gobbling up {pun intended!}. I came across this recipe by Ms Kay from Duck Dynasty and I knew it would be a crowd pleaser! 
Who doesn't like the ultimate comfort food- creamy, warm mashed potatoes?!

Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings
  • 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes 
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 pkg {8 oz} cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  •  1/2 stick {4 tbsp} butter, softened
  •  1 tsp seasoned salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  •  1 tbsp butter, melted

 Directions:

  1.  Add the potatoes to a large pot of water. 
  2. Add the salt and garlic cloves.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Drain then pour potatoes into a large bowl.
  5. Mash the potatoes and garlic with a masher.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, milk, and butter to the potatoes and stir until smooth.
  8. Stir in the seasoned salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Pour into a greased 9X13 baking dish and smooth evenly on top.
  10. In a small bowl, stir together the panko, Parmesan, and paprika.
  11. Drizzle with the melted butter and toss to coat. Sprinkle over the potato mixture.
  12. Bake until the potatoes are heated through and the topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Duck Dynasty's Miss Kay.
*I doubled the ingredients to feed a crowd in the recipe pictured. 

Start with a few pounds of baking potatoes. 
Peel them...
and cube them.
One of my favorite tips is to add whole cloves of peeled garlic
 to boiling water and potatoes!
 Place the potatoes in a large pot filled 1/2 way with water.  Add the salt and garlic cloves.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain then pour potatoes into a large bowl.
Mash the potatoes and garlic with a masher.
Add the cream cheese, sour cream, milk, and butter to the potatoes. 
Stir until smooth.
Stir in the seasoned salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into a greased 9X13 baking dish and smooth evenly on top.
In a small bowl, stir together the panko, Parmesan, and paprika.
Drizzle with the melted butter and toss to coat. 
Sprinkle over the potato mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees until the potatoes are heated through 
and the topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Slice into square portions and serve to your hungry guests.
The ultimate comfort food and the best casserole in one dish!


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