Category - Food

BEST Thanksgiving Side Dishes for 2018

Wondering what to make for Thanksgiving this year? We asked Army spouse, Wendy Nawoichyk, who is known for her extraordinary culinary skills to provide the Military Spouse team with some of her BEST recipes for 2018. Here’s what she says will make your Thanksgiving meal extra special this year: Bringing a side dish to your Friendsgiving celebration? Search no further than this prized recipe, right here! These sweet potatoes are basically candied bacon and pecans with buttery, brown sugar sweet potatoes… and bourbon too, because bourbon, bacon and pecans really are the perfect match. If you don’t want to use bourbon, you can leave it out and STILL enjoy and absolutely delicious dish that will steal the show! *Bourbon Sweet Potatoes with Sweet ‘n’ Savory Bacon Pecans* INGREDIENTS: 4 medium sweet potatoes 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup butter melted 2 eggs lightly beaten 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional) SWEET ‘N’ SAVORY BACON PECANS 6 slices thick cut bacon chopped 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (use gluten free if needed) 1 1/2 cups raw pecans roughly chopped 1/3 cup salted butter melted 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped 1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped (optional) INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes and bake for 1 hour or until soft and tender. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them in half and allow to cool. Meanwhile, make the topping. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Next, add the brown sugar, flour, pecans, butter, cayenne, sage and rosemary (if using) to a bowl and mix to combine. Stir in the fried bacon. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Peel the skins away from the flesh of the sweet potato and add the sweet potato to a mixing bowl. Mash well. Mix in the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, butter, eggs and bourbon until fully combined. Pour the sweet potatoes into a greased casserole dish (I used a circular). Spread the pecan topping over top of the sweet potatoes. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pecans are golden. Remove from the oven and serve warm. *Avocado Corn Salad* INGREDIENTS: 1 lb cherry tomatoes halved or quartered 4 ears of corn cooked, shucked and cut off the cob (or 2 cans of sweet corn and 1 can of White Shoe Peg corn) 2 avocados peeled, pitted and sliced 1/2 red onion (medium) thinly sliced 1/4 cup cilantro chopped (1/2 small bunch) 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 to 3 Tbsp lime juice from 1 to 2 limes 2 garlic cloves pressed or finely minced 1 tsp sea salt or 3/4 tsp table salt 1/8 tsp black ground pepper INSTRUCTIONS: In a large salad bowl, combine sliced tomatoes, corn kernels, sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and press in 2 garlic cloves. Drizzle the top with 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2-3 Tbsp lime juice (adding it to taste). Add 1 tsp sea salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper, or season to taste. Toss the salad gently just until combined and serve. Toss the salad gently just until combined and serve. At the mere mention of Brussels Sprouts I can guarantee the reaction will be a crinkled nose and squinted eyes and an actual physical reaction but once you make my version, you will change the minds of the masses! Sprinkled with bacon and with the tartness of the lemon, it is a fantastic combination! *Bacon Brussels Sprouts* INGREDIENTS: 1-2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and halved 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 lemon, juiced Thick cut bacon, chopped Salt and Ground pepper, to taste Red pepper flakes, pinch INSTRUCTIONS: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to broil. Clean and slice Brussels Sprouts in half. Place cut side up on parchment lined cookie sheet. Drizzle the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Use your hands to toss and coat the sprouts. Ensure they are cut side up before going into the oven. Cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the top of the sprouts. Broil for 10-15 minutes. Charred leaves are good! While all of these ingredients might not have been present at the first Thanksgiving meal, it is a wonderful, flavorful, colorful addition to your table! Serve as an appetizer or double the recipe and serve as a side dish. Either way, your guests will be pleasantly surprised. My favorite childhood memory from Thanksgiving was the big batch of ooey-gooey chocolate chunk brownies my grandmother would bring every single time. Yes, there were pumpkin, apple, pecan, rhubarb, coconut cream pies but there were brownies too! Gooey, rich, melty chocolate brownies. They were wrapped in aluminum foil on her festive turkey platter and I just KNEW what was waiting for me on that platter. I patiently waited for the adults to finish their dinner and conversation and then the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting out of the kitchen. was a sign that I was moments away from being able to enjoy all of the desserts beautifully laid out on the dessert table. This recipe is a little throwback to my childhood with a uniquely “adult” twist. *Salted Espresso Brownie Cookies* INGREDIENTS: 1 (18 oz.) box brownie mix 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2 large eggs 5 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 tablespoon water 2 tablespoons espresso powder 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional Sea salt, for sprinkling INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine all of the ingredients and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed. The dough will be very sticky. Use a silicone spatula, do not use a whisk. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and drop onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-9 minutes to start, cookies should have a thin film on top and the batter should no longer be glossy, should still be able to see small ripples of darker batter. DO NOT OVERBAKE THESE COOKIES. They will cook up fast and can dry out easily if cooked too long. Every oven is different, so do a few in a test batch to see how long they need. I found 9 minutes to be perfect. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Connect with us on Facebook!

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