Sweet Potato Casserole (with pecan crunch topping)

I went to a class the other night on making your own mixes and seasoning packets for ranch dressings, tacos, and spaghetti sauce. The gal gave a few good tips that I want to pass on. 

For her chicken she goes to Costco and buys 4 rotisserie chickens every 3 weeks or so. Then she just pulls the chicken pieces off and puts them in baggies and freezes them for recipes. So easy! 

I also love her idea for listing the menus on her inside pantry chalkboard contact paper. On the other side she lists missing ingredients she needs to buy. Smart idea!   Check out her blog HERE.

The other great idea was she puts her dinner fixings into a bin and she keeps 3 bins lined up in her pantry at all times. That way if she is missing an ingredient for something coming up for dinner in a few days she can get it restocked in her pantry before it comes up. Then when it is dinner time she just grabs one of the bins and starts dinner having all her ingredients on hand. What a cool idea! 

This is a similar idea from Life With Both Hands Full’s blog. She puts mixes in her bins. But I do love the dinner ingredients in a bin idea too! How simple that would make it, no standing in front of the fridge just staring with that dazed and confused look! 

Anyway, here is a yummy recipe for a dinner side dish, that we don’t make often enough. She had made some sweet potato chips that had a New Orleans hot rub sprinkled on them. They were so yummy. I’ll have to try them this week! 

Sweet Potato Casserole
4 cups sweet potato, mashed
1/4 c white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 t salt
4 T butter, melted
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c flour
4 T butter, softened
1 c chopped pecans
Place canned, or baked and mashed  sweet potatoes in a large bowl and add sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour into 9 x 13 glass pan.
Sweet Potato Casserole – great for Sunday dinner with almost anything! Yummy! 
 In another bowl mix topping ingredients and sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 or until topping is light brown. 
This always makes a delicious side dish that goes great with chicken, beef, turkey or pork! Yummy! Next I’m trying Sweet Potato Chips! 

Hosting Thanksgiving Parties and Get Togethers

The 2nd Grade Teachers at my school were in charge of hosting a Fun Friday get together. We decided to decorate Turkey Day style.

Here are some of the yummy dishes we made. These potatoes were DIVINE!

The secret ingredient in the twice baked potatoes is cream! And of course the bacon makes everything betta! 
Chinese Chicken Salad with dried cranberries and mandarin oranges. I added some slivered almonds too. Yum. 

Corn pudding. I’d never tried this before but it was good! Kind of sweet and savory at the same time. I found a recipe at Taste of Home HERE that got a 4.9 rating! It would be a fun, new recipe to try! I loved it! 

I made some cute Thanksgiving cupcakes too…Scarecrows and Turkey Cupcakes with Orange Slice Candy hats and Lemonhead heads and Candycorn feathers and beaks.

I also found these fall colored Reese’s Pieces candies that added a yummy touch to these Peanut Butter Cookies. They looked pretty on my fall brown crockery platter. 

Another one of the teachers made these delectable chocolate turkey cupcakes. Yummo! 

And these pecan tartlets were to die for. I ate two of them! They are like a tiny pecan pie! I found a similar recipe at All Recipes.com, HERE.  It’s my favorite cooking website because everything is rated by like thousands of home cooks. You KNOW it’s gonna be good.

Had to have something healthy too! Everything tasted really great. 
Another yummy thing we had was Cranberry Sprite! It’s NEW and Superbly YUMMY! Try it this holiday! 

I am planning my menu for Thanksgiving Day too. I’m going to do my favs but add some of those pecan tartlets and some Sweet Potato Casserole too.

Little Pinecone Turkey Placecards….check out my previous blog post for the tutorial Here at Weekday Chef.
Besides making some excellent memories with your kids and family this year doing some fun crafts like Gingerbread houses, Little turkeys out of pine cones (above… my granddaughter is modeling them as hair bows lol) or making sugar Christmas cookies or breads….we play Pin the Hat on the Turkey. 
 What side dishes do you plan to go along with your turkey and stuffing? 

Side dishes….besides your obligatory potatoes, gravy and stuffing, WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER FAVORITES? 
WELL….And besides all of the wonderful pies we all make….My daughter-in-law Cait made these cute mini apple pies….So cute….what else do you love on Thanksgiving Day???! 
My favorite salad is one my mom always made…..fresh cranberry….Check out the recipe HERE at Weekday Chef. The fun thing about it is my siblings all make this one too. You make family traditions with all of your side dishes, did you KNOW THAT? Yeah. It’s true! 
My son  Devin made this spinach salad….doesn’t it look yummy? So pretty too! It is seriously one of my very favorite side salads to any meal….with spinach, candied pecans, avocado, strawberries and a sweet raspberry vineagrette. 
My niece Becky made this to die for sweet potato casserole…I found a recipe for it at All Recipes.com HERE. …it is really yummy and tastes almost llike a dessert it’s so good! 
One that I have always made is the French’s Fried Onions Green Bean Casserole with Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup in it. You just Have to have some green bean casserole! The recipe is on the back of the French’s Onion Can. 

And of course you can’t forget the homemade rolls and real salted butter. I love to have some really good raspberry jam to go with it.

Here is the link at Patties Place. I have lots of Thanksgiving decor I’ve taken pics of.  It’s my other blog. Try a new side dish this Thanksgiving you haven’t tried before. And have fun at YOUR get together this fall holiday!