Eat, Drink & Be Merry

This time of year there seems to be one holiday get together after another. It’s wonderful to spend time with friends and family, but sometimes it’s difficult to come up with a new dish to share at each of the potlucks and celebrations. That’s why I’ve put together a few of my favorite recipes to help you out this holiday season.

These dishes are sure to be crowd pleasers. You never know, one may even become a new tradition for your family.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

• 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• salt and ground black pepper to taste

1) Place the potatoes into a large pot, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
2) Drain, and return the potatoes to the pot. Turn heat to high, and allow the potatoes to dry for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
3) Mash the potatoes with a potato masher twice around the pot, then add the butter and milk. Continue to mash until smooth and fluffy. Whisk in the salt and black pepper until evenly distributed, about 15 seconds.

Yummy Yam Casserole
• 4 pounds yams
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 6 ounces pecan halves
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup melted butter

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2) Poke yams in several places with a fork, then cook them on high power in microwave oven until heated through and soft, about 20 minutes. When cooled, remove skins and place the yams in a large bowl.
3) Beat yams until smooth. Then beat in one egg at a time, blending after each addition. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/8 cup melted butter, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg; beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
4) Transfer mixture to an ungreased 3 quart casserole dish. Arrange the pecans in a single layer on top. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over the top.
5) Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until browned and bubbly.

Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon white sugar
• 1/4 cup onion, diced
• 1 cup sour cream
• 3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained
• 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
• 1 tablespoon butter, melted

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2) Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.
3) Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.
4) Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 3 tablespoons milk
• 1 tablespoon melted butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
2) In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
3) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
4) To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

All recipes car of