Turkey Day 2010

These are the recipes that I made to bring to grandma's tonight... eat up! Yum!

Crunchy Sweet Potato Casserole
5 med sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
1 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C dk brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 C milk
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg

Topping: 2 C crushed cornflakes, 1 C chopped walnuts, 1/2 C dk brown sugar, 1/2 C butter, diced

Boil diced sweet potatoes in salted water until tender. Let cool. Smash / process until smooth.
Combine with remaining ingredients. Spread in a greased 9x13 baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 375 for 20 min.

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over potatoes. Bake 10 min. until topping is lightly browned.

From Taste of Home Thanksgiving 2008

And even though I have already posted these...I made a double batch of  Kick Ass Green Bean Casserole, which seems a little too muchroomy, but we will see! 

The Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna used up the remaining butternut squash from my mom's garden. I used a large container of ricotta cheese,  2 packages of casserole ready (no-boil) lasagna noodles in a 11x14 pan. And I had about 2 C leftover squash cheese mixture and 2 leftover noodles to spare! 
I love the holidays and my family!


Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi with Vodka Cream Sauce

Gnocchi has to be one of my favorite Italian foods. There is just nothing quite like it. Its the best part of pasta and dumplings and deliciousness. I had no idea that it was also super easy to make.  The garlic flavor was intense but perfect. I served this with vodka cream sauce, which again, couldn’t believe how delicious or easy it was to make! FYI - Katie says that potato gnocchi dough is much more difficult to handle.

Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi
1 (8 ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-3 cups all-purpose flour

1.                   Stir together the cheeses, eggs, and spices in a large bowl until evenly combined. Mix in 1 cup of flour.  Continue to add additional flour to form a soft dough.
2.                   Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3.                   Bring a pot of salted water to a rapid boil and prepare your sauce.
4.                   Roll a section of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. (The gnocchi almost double in size during the boiling time, so take that into account when cutting your pieces.)
5.                   After you have approx 15-25 pieces, add them to the boiling water one piece at a time to prevent sticking.
6.                   Boil gnocchi for approximately 5 minutes after they float to the surface.
7.                   Using a slotted spoon, transfer the finished gnocchi directly to the sauce.
8.                   Repeat steps 4-7 until all dough has been processed.
Adapted from All Recipes

Vodka Cream Sauce Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis's Everyday Italian
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 C of your best vodka
½ C whipping cream, room temperature
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt

Simmer the marinara and vodka together at medium-low heat for 20 min, stirring occasionally. Warm whipping cream, if needed (Don’t add cold, it will curdle, yuck!). Slowly add to the sauce. Let cook a few minutes until the sauce is heated through. Add cheese and salt, to taste.

Pumpkin Pasties & Butterbeer

Katie & I decided to make Pumpkin Pasties and Butterbeer in honor of Halloween & James & Lilly Potters' death date (Katie reminded me). The neighbors agreed that the Pumpkin Pasties were great! Its the perfect ratio of crust to filling that I love especially with pumpkin. I'll be making these again.
I have enough filling to make another batch, I just need to make an additional 2-layer pie crust.
We had some issues with our pastry dough cracking after stuffing and folding over. I think that's pie dough is just something I just don't have enough experience to get the right "feel" yet. I think the pre-made dough might be worth the convenience.

Also, I did use fresh pumpkin because of availability ( a 15oz can was $3.39 at the co-op, but a 5 lb fresh pumpkin was $2.99) but don't feel it is worth the added work. On a good note, now I've got a few spare cups of leftover pumpkin that I need to find an awesome recipe right away! :-)

The butterbeer is waayy too *SWEET!* to my liking to be able to drink in mass quantity, maybe because I'm a muggle :-) We mixed vanilla cream soda with butterscotch schnapps and even experimented by adding a little condensed milk. I liked it with the milk, but felt like it should be warm and more bubbly, which I don't think is a feasible combination. More taste testing is required!