When it comes to holiday cooking, there a few dishes that stand out in my mind. The ones you have at your table year after year, and the ones you want you kids to then pass on to their families one day. For me, these family dishes are my father-in-law’s sausage stuffing, my mom’s sweet potato puff, and my dad’s favorite cranberry sauce. I am so thankful for these special dishes and the people they represent. Their smell, as they cook, brings back so many memories of previous holidays, and I just can’t have a Thanksgiving without them. May these recipes bring your family as much happiness as they have brought to mine!
My Father-in-law’s Sausage Stuffing
3 onions- chopped
3 mild sausages
3 hot sausages
1 1⁄2 lbs of ground beef
3-4 slices of white Italian Bread
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Place a large sauce pan (4qts) on the stove on medium heat. Add some olive oil and the
chopped onions. Cook onions about 10mins. Then add ground beef and stir, continuing to cook
onions. Once beef is cooked, turn down the heat to low.
As the beef is cooking, in a frying pan, begin to cook the sausages in a little olive oil. Once the sausages are cooked, cut them into small bite size pieces and add it to the beef/onion mixture.
Tear the bread into little pieces and stir them into the mix. Beat the eggs in a bowl and then add them in too. Add a few pinches of Red Pepper Flakes. Cook on low about 15-20 minutes, continuing to stir.
(You can add more bread if you want, but it really is supposed to be more meat than bread.)
This can be made the night before. Once cooled, keep refrigerated. Then, reheat for serving.
My Mom’s Sweet Potato Puff
2 large cans of Yam’s. (not your normal soup can size, double that!)
Salt and pepper
1 bag of small marshmallows
1 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
3/4 cups of brown sugar
3 tbsp of butter
Bring yams and the liquid in their can to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add a pinch of salt and pepper while boiling. Cook until soft.
While the yams are cooking, in a large mixing bowl add 1 cup marshmallows, 1-2 tbsp of frozen orange juice, butter, and brown sugar. Set aside.
Once yams are soft, strain them in a colander to discard the cooking liquid. Add the warm yams into your mixing bowl on top of your other ingredients. The heat will start to melt the butter, orange juice, and marshmallows. Beat with an electric mixer on medium until completely smooth. Half way through, rinse the fiber stings off your beating appliance.
Once smooth, pour into a baking dish. Top with the rest of the bag of marshmallows. Set aside.
Right before serving, bake at 375 degrees just to toast the marshmallows. You can turn the heat up, if you want them to toast faster, just be careful!
My Dad’s Favorite Cranberry Sauce
3⁄4 cup water
1 1/8 cup sugar
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1⁄2 cup apricot jam
2 tbsp lemon juice
Mix water, sugar, and cranberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until all sugar dissolves.
Cranberries will pop open as they heat. Press berries against sides of pan with the back of a
Once smooth, remove from heat and stir in jam and juice.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Can be made several days in advance.