Sunday, November 7, 2010


Do I even need to mention that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday? I see it as my showcase day: the day when I share my cooking passion and skill with friends and family. My wares are on display. I get to see cleaned plates and food-drunken grins. It's quite an ego-stroke.

This year, I'm toning my Thanksgiving down quite a bit, for two reasons. First, because I want a stress-free holiday season. In years past, I have worked myself into a frenzy cooking ten or more side dishes and an equal number of desserts. Also, I'm working on my weight, so I need to be careful what I serve. There are a couple dishes that I'm going to make that are very fattening but very worth the caloric cost. Other than those, I'm making my dinner plans healthier.

Each day this week, I'll share with you a recipe that I'm using for my family's Thanksgiving celebration. I'm cooking these in real time, and freezing them to use on the big day. That's another way to de-stress your holidays: plan ahead, prepare ahead. I hope you enjoy my recipes.

First recipe: Sweet Potatoes made healthier

Normally, my sweet potato recipe consists of tons of butter, brown sugar, pineapple, and pecans. Here's a healthier option:

Honey-Nut Crunch Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries

What You Need:
  • 2 1/2 lb peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (1" cubes)
  • 6 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 6 oz whole almonds (unsalted), ground into a coarse meal
  • 1/4 cup honey
How it's Done:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Layer the sweet potatoes and cranberries in a 2 quart baking dish.
  3. Pour the apple cider over the sweet potatoes, then sprinkle with the cinnamon.
  4. Combine ground almonds and honey. Sprinkle over the top of the sweet potatoes.
  5. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 15 minutes to brown top.

I'm thankful for full bellies and full cupboards...I'm thankful my family never

needs to experience true hunger. What are you thankful for?


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

What a pretty side dish! Love the almond honey topping, too! Great idea to premake things & freeze before the big day. You're so smart :)

Michelle said...

Thanks Andrea!

Jenn said...

What a great way to change up the normal sweet potatoes! I love this idea. And I'm glad you are attempting a less stress holiday.. it seems silly that we almost kill ourselves over the holidays!

StephenC said...

I'm cogitating daily about this year's Thanksgiving. Thanks for yet another idea to put in the hopper.

Keli said...

Yum!! Without the cranberries of course :)

Jenny said...

These look heavenly. I'm hosting Christmas dinner at my house and had a bumper crop of sweet potatoes this year, so I thing this will be on the menu. Thanks for posting. Also, glad to know this freezes well.

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