Thanksgiving evokes many memories of family time and traditions. This is a busy harvest time in West Texas. The cotton gins are in full swing. My allergies can confirm. As a kid in Matador, Texas, my dad and brothers would be busy stripping cotton on Thanksgiving Day so we would have our family meal at supper. For the last few years, our family has had the opportunity to get together and celebrate for the whole day.

Like most of you, we have the traditional Thanksgiving meal featuring turkey, ham, cornbread dressing, salad, rolls and pecan pie. With the help of my Southern friend and great cook, Cara, we have elevated Mama’s sweet potato casserole and green beans. Bonus recipe at the end to help you take care of the hostess!

Come on over and sit a spell. Southern charm is served!™


Sweet Potato Boats

6 sweet potatoes, baked
½ cup brown sugar
2 TBSP butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, scoop out leaving a thin amount to support the skin. Blend potatoes and all ingredients Place potato halves on a cookie sheet or baking pan and spoon potato mixture into halves.



¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped
½ cup flour
1 stick cold butter cut into cubes

Blend with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over potatoes. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until topping is browned, bubbly and heated through.

ProTip: Prepare ahead of time and bake the day you need them.


Green Bean Bundles

1 stick butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire
Using whole frozen green beans, wrap a few beans with ½ slice of bacon creating a "bundle." Place in 9x13 pan seam side down.  Continue making bundles until pan is full.  

Melt butter, add sugar and seasonings until sugar is dissolved Pour mixture over bundles.  Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.


ProTip: Is someone else hosting Thanksgiving and not you? Don’t arrive empty handed. Take this delicious breakfast casserole so the hostess can relax the next morning!

Next Morning Breakfast Casserole

1 lb browned breakfast sausage
12 oz frozen hashbrowns
12 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve ½ cup for topping)
8 eggs
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
dash of hot sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
¼ cup milk or cream
1 cup sour cream

Slightly brown potatoes and onion, add in browned sausage and place into 9x13 casserole dish.

Blend eggs, seasonings, cheese, milk and sour cream. Pour over top.  Top with reserved cheese.  Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 25 minutes or until center is set and casserole is bubbly.

Another ProTip: Make ahead and freeze.



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