Note: Be sure and click on over to iLash Girls today for two great giveaways. We’ve been featuring great Fall items – I want that apron but Leigh Anne says I’m not eligible to win. Fine, but then I at least want one of YOU to win!
Sometimes I avoid looking at the monthly calendar because it can overwhelm me. Does anyone else do that or is it just another quirky thing I do? Never mind, don’t answer that.
I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized it is two weeks and two days until Thanksgiving. AHHHHH!
I have seen some great tips on how to get organized before Thanksgiving including starting to clean and dust last week.
Lucky for me, this is our third year in a row we’ve taken our Thanksgiving on the road. Which means I won’t be troubling myself with cleaning and dusting my house.
At least I’m not behind on my non-existent checklist. Whew.
If I had a checklist – and yes, I have had one for many years – I have a timesaving trick or two that I can share to help you prepare. We have had many, many Thanksgivings here at my house with other families who do not have extended family living near (like us) or with family members who traveled to Georgia to be with us.
I remember the early years of marriage where I cooked everything ALL DAY and I was exhausted by the time we sat down to eat. Timing everything properly even with two ovens was always a challenge for me.
The one item that always bogged me down but is a Thanksgiving MUST is piping hot, homemade mashed potatoes. Even though Mr. Flexible PhilBillPaul would have eaten those flakes from the box. Ick.
I always review our holiday menu with the kids because I love to hear what their favorites are and these potatoes are always on the top of everyone’s list. Even though we are going away, I make several of our favorites and as of last year, we ordered the rest from a restaurant. For me, it’s a great combination of homemade and easy so we can all enjoy the day!
When I found the recipe for Make Ahead Party Potatoes, it changed my Thanksgiving-Homemade Mashed-Potato-Life! No more beating the potatoes minutes before everyone sits down to eat. (Remember I only got a grown-up Kitchen-Aid mixer two years ago so it was a workout to beat 5 pounds of potatoes!)
Make Ahead Party Potatoes
- 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and chunked
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 stick butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 C sour cream
- 1/2 C milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- bread crumbs
- Parmesan cheese, to taste
In large saucepan, cover potatoes with water. Add good pinch of salt and cook over medium high heat until tender. Drain off water and coarsely mash potatoes. Add 6 tablespoons of butter, cream cheese, sour cream and salt and pepper. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Add milk gradually – you want the potatoes to be light and fluffy so if they seem too wet, don’t add all the milk.
Transfer potatoes to a greased casserole dish or 9×13 pan and top with bread crumbs, Parmesan and last two tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces. Refrigerate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days before baking. Before baking, bring dish to room temperature. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until heated through and top is lightly golden.
Next week I’ll feature another one of our family favorites – The One that PhilBillPaul makes every single year!
Oh, I almost forgot…for those of you who are
nosey interested and are asking “Where do you go?”
We head to the Great Smoky Mountains. Granny flies in from Texas and we pack up our cars and head to a semi-secluded cabin in a quiet, beautiful area of Tennessee that we have vacationed at for many years.
If you have a timesaving tip or favorite Thanksgiving recipe, share it here – the clock is ticking and we could all use a little help!