Thanksgiving is almost here.
A time to spend with family and friends, celebrating blessings and creating new memories. A chance to remember the most important things in life, and catch up with old relatives.
And of course, a time to indulge in the traditional Thanksgiving feast! But are you sick and tired of the same old sides?
We’ve got you covered mama, check out these sides which are sure to satisfy every palate and budget:
1. Gourmet Mac And Cheese: Put away the Kraft Mac and Cheese, and make your own from scratch.
Not only does Mac and Cheese taste better with real ingredients, it’s healthier too.
Intimidated in making your own cheese sauce from scratch?
Tastes Better From Scratch lists this savory recipe:
- 1/2 lb. elbow macaroni or other bite size pasta
- 6 slices Sugardale Hickory Smoked Bacon
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Cook pasta according to package instructions, just until al dente. Don’t overcook! Strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Remove some, but not all of the grease from the pan.
Add 1 tablespoons butter to the pan and then whisk in flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in milk. Add the cornstarch to the half and half and whisk until smooth. Gradually add it to skillet followed by mustard, chicken bouillon, onion powder, garlic, powder, parsley, salt and pepper.
Cook sauce for a few more minutes, just until it begins to slightly thicken. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheddar cheese. Crumble/chop the bacon and add most of it to the pan, reserving a little for topping later. Add cooked pasta and toss to evenly combine.
Pour mixture into 8×8’’ baking dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
Add panko, melted butter and olive oil to a skillet (or, I use the pan the pasta was cooked in, just to use less dishes). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until crumbs are golden brown. Evenly sprinkle them over mac cheese. Add remaining bacon crumbles on top.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm.
2. Crock Pot Sweet Potato Delight: Who doesn’t love a hearty starch filled potato dish?
Even if you’re watching your carbs, today is the day to put it all aside and taste this sweet dish.
And the best part is, since you are making it in a crock pot, it frees up your oven to cook other dinner options, and it’s quick and easy to make.
First, cut up 3-4lbs of sweet potatoes, and combine them into a slow cooker.
Next, combine ¼ cup butter, 2 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. water, 1tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. vanilla and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Whisk together.
Pour the mixture over the potatoes, and cook on high for 4 hours.
And that’s it, you have the perfect side!
For an extra treat, throw in some marshmallows and pecans.
Hit Delish.Com for this fabulous recipe!
3. Salad Splash: Yes, Mommy Underground is including a salad recipe.
With all the heavy and hearty dishes, it’s important to balance it with something light.
And your gluten free relatives will thank you!
Try combining spinach and arugula lettuce together for the base.
Chop up fresh organic apples, with honey goat cheese and a splash of walnuts, and you have yourself a gourmet salad.
You can make your own homemade dressing with a dab of honey, mixed in with olive oil and fresh sea salt.
If you are tasked with bringing a thanksgiving dish, think outside the traditional green bean and casserole, and get creative!
And remember, don’t get too stressed out, or spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. The most important thing is to spend time with those you love, and enjoy the holiday season.
(h/t Mommy Underground)