November 14, 2016

As I did my weekend grocery shopping I noticed frozen turkeys in grocery carts heading to homes for Thanksgiving. Maybe your family’s holiday favorites include cheesy potatoes, green-bean casserole, pretzel salad or homemade rolls. Our family likes to keep our Thanksgiving feast fairly traditional with mashed potatoes and gravy and dressing with the addition of our favorite side dish, corn pudding.

We also like to throw in a new thing or two whether it’s a new salad, appetizer or side dish.

This year kick up your Thanksgiving feast with something new and different. Who knows, it might turn out so well your family asks for it again next year.


Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites

These seasonal delectable little bites from Southern Living can be served as hors d’oeuvres or even a side dish. Chorizo is tasty Mexican sausage with lots of flavor and a little spice.

In order to make your busy day run smoother, makes these bites ahead of time and freeze them.


1 lb fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casings removed

2 1/4 cups all-purpose baking mix (such as Bisquick)

1 (8 oz) pkg shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chilled mashed roasted sweet potato

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt

6 tablespoons plum jam

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Stir together sausage, baking mix, cheese, mashed sweet potato, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Roll into 48 (1 1/2-inch) balls, and place about 1 inch apart on a prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until sausage balls are cooked through and deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Stir together jelly and mustard in a small bowl until well-blended. If the jelly is too stiff to blend with the mustard, microwave the mixture on high in 15-second increments until soft enough to stir. Serve sauce with sausage balls.

Yields 48 bites, about 4 bites per person.


Note: Sausage balls can be frozen on baking sheet and transferred to freezer bags for storage. Bake sausage balls from frozen. You may need to add 1 or 2 minutes to baking time.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Brussels sprouts have long been one of my favorite vegetables. I grew up liking almost all vegetables, and anytime we had Brussels sprouts it was a real treat.

Typically when I prepare them for a holiday I cook them along with bacon and then steam them in chicken broth. It’s a very simple preparation, but tasty. This following method has a few more ingredients that give the Brussels sprouts that extra special touch perfect for a holiday feast.

1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

6 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a large baking sheet, season Brussels sprouts, bacon and garlic with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and toss until combined. Bake until Brussels sprouts are tender and charred, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make balsamic glaze: In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and honey. Simmer until reduced by half, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes (the mixture should coat the back of a spoon). Let cool.

Drizzle roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic sauce and serve.