Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving Day Sides

Happy Friday before Thanksgiving, Peeps! I hope you've had an awesome week and that you're looking forward to spending some time with family and friends this coming week! Our turkey day plans are pretty quiet and relaxed this year and I'm fine with that.  We'll have lunch at my mom's and then it's leftovers for the remainder of the weekend.

Maybe I should have titled this post, "Long Live the Casserole." Today I thought I would share some favorite casseroles and sides that are - without fail - on our Thanksgiving table every year and the memories that come with them. I hope you enjoy reading about them.

{one.} Green Bean Casserole. When I was a kid, we alternated the holidays every year with my two sets of grandparents, who lived about 65 miles away. My mom, being the Southern Girl she is, never went to a family get-together without bringing a dish.  In the late 80's, "Campbell Soup Casseroles" became popular and she was introduced to Green Bean Casserole from a friend at work and the rest is history.  GB casserole has been a staple of our TG feast for probably thirty years, and although tons of varieties of this dish have evolved over the years, mom and I still stick to the same version, which is the recipe off the back of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup! On a side note, Wayne absolutely detests GB casserole and it's a joke every year between him and my little brother. This one casserole has caused great memories and lots of laughter.

{two.} Cajun Corn Casserole. Every few years, we like to mix things up a bit when it comes to holiday meals!  To keep it interesting! Ha! So sometimes we have the "traditional" TG meal and some years, we grill steaks.  Sometimes we have gumbo.  One year, we had Crawfish Ettouffe. A few years ago, Wayne grilled a Boston Butt and I made this Cajun Corn Recipe that I found on Pinterest. All I can say is that it's the newest side dish to our repertoire of side dishes!!  We love it! It's perfect if you like a little kick with your corn! Ha!

The BEST Ever Cajun Corn Casserole - Unexpected Elegance:

{three.} Sweet Potato Casserole. My grandma C always made candied sweet potatoes with lots of butter and sugar, and mom likes to keep the tradition alive.  When I was a kid, they were my favorite side dish.  When I met Wayne and we began celebrating the holidays with his family, his mom was a fan of the Sweet Potato Casserole, but I'm not wild about the marshmallows. So a few years ago, I struck out to find my own recipe and once again, Pinterest obliged! If you're looking for an awesome SPC without the marshmallows, then Ruth Chris' Sweet Potato Casserole will not disappoint!

Ruths Chris Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe:

{four.} Simple Salad. Back to my grandma C. A lady after my own heart!  She believed in salads, nothing elaborate, or fancy.  Just lettuce with tomatoes and cheese would do. Despite the HUGE spread every TG, nothing mattered if there weren't small bowls beside everyone's plate for a side salad because she didn't believe in mixing lettuce with turkey and dressing!  Ha!  To this day, I always ask my mom, "Are we having a salad?"  It's just the way that I personally like to remember my grandma! I miss her but I treasure the memories.

{five.} Mashed Potatoes. This is a weird for me. I mean, why do we have mashed potatoes - with gravy, of course. We have stuffing. And sweet potatoes.  Why do we need mashed?  Again, all I can say is that it's just our southern tradition.  Enough said.

{six.} Consider this one a bonus. Oh, what I would give to have a picture of all the cousins surrounded around my grandma's coffee table! It was the '80's version of the "kids table" and they were happy times! Grandpa would move the coffee table from the formal living room into the dining room so that even though we weren't at the "big table" with our parents, we were still all in the same room as family. And that's what mattered most.

{seven.} Turkey Salad. Our Heavenly Ham recently closed in our area and I can't tell you how disappointed I am.  It was convenient for me to run over and pick up a box lunch when I didn't have a lot of time on my lunch break and I have my friend, Meredith, to thank for introducing me years ago to their turkey salad. I love it! Especially on a croissant with a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato! Yummy! So now I'm on a mission to find a similar recipe for our turkey day leftovers. Anyone have a great turkey salad recipe to share?

Get your Christmas cookies ready, girlies! The Lady Lawyer and her friend, Bourbon & Lipstick are hosting a cookie exchange on December 4th!  



I'm taking a blog break over the TG holiday, but you can keep up with me on Instagram.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

8 comments:

  1. I didn't make the green bean casserole for years, but recently started making it again. My brother in law hates it just like your hubby, but enough people love it that I'll be tripling the recipe this year :-)

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    1. Oh, wow, Vicki! TRIPLING the green bean casserole! You go girl! When someone asks Wayne for a "helping" of GBC, he gives them what equates to about three! He doesn't want to see it anymore and wants it ALL eaten!

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  2. This was the perfect post for me - I've been tasked with bringing the sides next week! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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    1. Can't wait to read about what sides you decide to make, Biana!

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  3. What a fabulous idea for Friday favorites my friend! All they sound so good and you know I love me that sweet tater casserole! And too funny, our thanksgiving plans consist of exactly the same: going to my moms for like a one-ish lunch and then home for leftovers to watch movies! It's funny some years I love the green being casserole and some years I do not. I do not like that the French fried onions have gone up in cost so much, that's just silly; French fried onions come on! Have a blessed weekend my dear friend and let's watch some football!

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    1. OMG! I had no idea there was a run on French fried onions! I'll have to be sure and look at the price, because you know, they could just break or make a GB casserole!! HA! I'm like you though, I can eat it, and I fix it because it's tradition, but I really could care less. Now, Wayne, on the other hand...it just grosses him out and my friend Angie refuses to cook it for her husband on TG even tho he likes it because she can't stand to look at it, either! Have a great footballing and decorating weekend!!

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  4. Green bean casserole. My absolute favorite

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  5. Good for you taking a break! Always fun to see what everyone else eats for Thanksgiving.

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