Whether I like it or not, I prepare recipes that have been handed down from my mother-in-law for Thanksgiving. I’m not a “natural” cook (meaning, without a recipe in front of me, the kitchen becomes a disaster area and dinner becomes take-out). So, by preparing her tried-and-true recipes, I am able to reproduce the dinner that she brought to the table year after year.
You see, I firmly believe that if you can follow DIRECTIONS, that you can do anything. Armed with my stack of recipes (directions), I don’t stray very much. I definitely take the path of least resistance when it comes to Thanksgiving. Heck, I take that path EVERY DAY when it comes to the domestic arts (or my lack of them).
There are still times when I want to venture out into the vast unknown of cooking, trying a dish or two that is new to my family. This year I’ll be adding a NEW twist on some OLD classics, with the help of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts.
You see, not only will Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line help you with the dilemmas that you might face, but they are also a wealth of new recipes and ideas for creating a day that your family will remember all year long.
Take Mary for example. Mary works at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line and she sent me this INCREDIBLE recipe for her favorite Loaded Mashed Potatoes. By just adding a few everyday products, I’ll be able to WOW the family with Mary’s favorite Loaded Mashed Potatoes recipe:
LOADED MASHED POTATOES
8 to 10 servings
4 pounds medium baking potatoes
1 cup milk
12 ounces (1-1/2 cups) French onion dip
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Asiago or fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
- Peel potatoes and cut into eighths. Place in large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; return to saucepan. Using potato masher, mash potatoes with milk. Blend in dip, salt and pepper.
- Place potato mixture in shallow 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon. Heat in 350ºF oven 20 minutes or until hot.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Complete step 1 and place potato mixture in 4-cup glass measure or large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 2 days. To complete potatoes, vent plastic wrap on container and heat in microwave on HIGH (100% power) 8 to 12 minutes or until hot, stirring several times. Continue with step 2.
You see, you don’t need to go out and spend a fortune on overpriced gourmet ingredients. You might even have these foods right in your cupboard or refrigerator. You can add a little extra OOMPH to your stuffing by using breakfast sausage (this is one of those ingredients that my mother-in-law uses in HER stuffing as well), and there’s no need to scour the aisles at the gourmet shop. Here is my mother-in-law’s recipe:
1 stick unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
3 medium celery stalks & leaves, chopped
1 pound Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and dried overnight1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning)
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat parsley
1 lb. Butterball Turkey Sausage Links
1 1/2 – 2 cups turkey or chicken broth, as needed
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and celery leaves. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden, about 8 minutes.
In a separate skillet cook 1 pound of the Butterball turkey sausage over medium heat, breaking up with a spoon until cooked through. about 10 minutes.
Scrape the vegetables and butter into a large bowl. Mix in the bread cubes, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in about 1 1/2 cups of broth, until the stuffing is evenly moistened but not soggy. Add the sausage.. Use as a stuffing. Or place in a lightly buttered casserole, drizzle with 1/2 cup broth, cover, and bake as a side dish.
I’m very excited about having this new resource for all of my turkey day questions and can’t wait to surprise my family with my new-found prowess in the kitchen. Although, I kind of like having them think that I don’t know what I’m doing. That way I will always be the girl who when asked what I’ve made for dinner, I can say “reservations.” It makes my Thanksgiving dinner that much MORE special.