Friday, November 19, 2010

A New Spin on the Old Favorites

Last night I starting making my Thanksgiving shopping list. I started with the usual...Turkey, stuffing mix, potatoes, squash, peas. Then it hit boring. For as long as I can remember my family had had the same Thanksgiving dinner with the same food. It has not even changed with the person hosting. I know there are just some things that CANNOT be changed like potatoes and stuffing (which happen to be my favorites).  So I went on a hunt to find some variations on the old favorites...keeping in mind I have a picky 5 year old that will need to eat with us!

I found the yummiest looking dishes that I cannot wait to try.

Sweet Potato and Pear Gratin Recipe

Active Time: 20 minutes  Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Recipe Ingredients
3 lb medium sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp stick butter
2 tsp grated peeled ginger
1/3 cup maple or pancake syrup
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
3 firm-ripe Anjou pears (1 1/4 lb), peeled, halved, cored and sliced crosswise 1/4 in. thick

Recipe Preparation
1. Boil potatoes in a large pot with water to cover 20 to 25 minutes until firm-tender. Drain in a colander; let stand until cool enough to handle.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in pot. Add ginger; cook until fragrant. Remove from heat; stir in syrup, lemon zest and salt.

3. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a shallow 2 to 2 1/2-qt baking dish.

4. Peel potatoes; slice 1 1/2 in. thick. Layer, alternating with pears, in baking dish (microwave-safe if reheating in microwave). Brush with half the butter mixture.

5. Bake 15 minutes; brush with remaining butter mixture. Bake 15 minutes more, or until pale golden around edges. Spoon juices on bottom of dish over top.

Planning Tip: Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Reheat in microwave, or in oven if space permits.  I love this part - anything I can do ahead is great!

Mashed Butternut Squash and Apples

Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes

Recipe Ingredients

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
3 1/2 lb peeled, seeded butternut squash, cut in 1- to 1 1/2-in. chunks (11 cups; see Note)
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Garnish: thyme leaves and apple slices

Recipe Preparation
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with nonstick foil. Put 1 Tbsp of butter in each lined pan. Place in oven 1 minute, or until melted.

2. Remove pans from oven; spread half the squash and apples on each pan. Toss to mix and coat.

3. Roast 40 to 45 minutes, tossing once, until tender.

4. Place squash and apples into a bowl. Add remaining 2 Tbsp butter and the salt and pepper. Mash until smooth. Scrape into a serving dish and garnish.

Note: Look for peeled, seeded butternut squash in the produce section.

Planning Tip: Can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated, or 1 week ahead and frozen. Reheat in microwave. I love this part even better - 1 week ahead of time!!

Both recipes can be found at or here.

Cheesy Mashed Potato Puffs

Yield: 5 to 6 servings


2 pounds of potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks (Russet, Red or White Skin, or Yukon Gold )2 Tablespoons butter, cut up
1 Tablespoon butter melted
1/3 cup sour cream
4 ounces of Parmesan Cheese grated (about 3/ 4 cup )
4 eggs, whisked

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, fresh cracked preferred
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, optional


Place the potato chunks in a 2-quart saucepan with water to cover. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain well, leaving potatoes in saucepan on the burner on low to dry for a few minutes.

Add the butter, sour cream and mash to desired consistency.

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees

Let cool 20 minutes and fold in the eggs and Parmesan cheese, and chives if you desire.

Place in 2 quart casserole dish and brush with a little melted butter

and Bake for 20 to 30 minutes till top lightly browns.
Stir in the salt, pepper and parsley and serve hot.

Find this recipe here.

Do you have any recipes that take a new spin on the old favorites you would like to share?  I would love to hear about them!

Have a great weekend!


  1. I'm your newest follower!

    Would love a follow back!


  2. We all need sometimes a change from the classic and routinely made meals. I think you will prepare a very unique festive Thanksgiving table this year with all these wonderful dishes.

  3. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)


  4. The new recipes look really good. I saw one on the foodnetwork this morning - yams & banana. It actually looked really good.

    Would love for you to check out my recipes on my blog, anytime you like. Let me know what you think, as well.

  5. Yum! These recipes look outstanding!

    I'm sending an award your way:

    Congrats on being wonderful!

  6. Hi! This recipes look great!

    We're giving you a blog award. Come over to pick it up then pass it on! :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Barefoot in Portland | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates