Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know we did. It was very quite, laid back, and cold. We woke up to a bit of snow on the ground Thrusday morning, just enough to cover the ground and make it very cold outside for Thanksgiving. Which none of us minded. We got the fireplace going and set about our day.
Our day was spent quietly at home. A late lunch with family was the perfect setting. All the typical Thanksgiving foods were served, with some exceptions. I don’t fix the traditional meal necessarily….turkey is not something our family really likes, so we always opt for ham. Our menu consisted of ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, a gluten free rice dressing, green bean casserole, gluten free rolls, regular rolls, and two apple pies. None of us are big on pumpkin pie around here either so apple pie is always the pie of choice at our house. I’ll be posting the recipes for the apple pies and the rice dressing over the next few days. These are recipes that I could make in my sleep and for some reason I only make them for Thanksgiving. The rice dressing is easy and everyone loves it, so I am not quite sure as to why I only fix it at Thanksgiving time. I guess this is something I will have to remedy.
Apple pie is something that I fix a few times a year. It’s time consuming but not hard. This year I used frozen gluten free pie crusts from Trader Joe’s, which made it much easier.
I did use some short cuts this year. Making things ahead, using the frozen pie crusts, and also using gravy from a jar. I wanted this Thanksgiving to be stress-free and enjoyable for everyone. So making some dishes ahead of time and taking a few short cuts made that happen. I don’t think anyone realized the difference.
Thanksgiving this year was extremely relaxing and laid back. Part of this was due to the fact that I prepared just about everything the day before. The only thing I actually cooked on Thanksgiving day was the ham. Everything else was made the day before and reheated on Thanksgiving day.
I have never done this before so I was hoping it would all work out. You know how these things go…sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
I started with making the mashed potatoes. Super simple to make. The key was to make them creamy, get them cooled off, and then to get them reheated properly the next day.
- 12 russet potatoes, peeled and diced or cubed
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 6-8 tbsp butter
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1/2 c half and half
- 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
- 1 tsp chives (optional)
- 4 tbsp butter (for later!)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes, cut/dice into about 1 inch pieces. I try to make all of them approximately the same size so they cook evenly.
- Place them in a large pot of water. Cover with water and boil over high heat for approximately 20-25 minutes, until fork tender. Once the potatoes are soft, drain them and pour them into a good sized bowl.
- Mash the potatoes until smooth.
- Mix the 6-8 tablespoons into the mashed potatoes.
- Add the heavy cream, half and half, cream cheese, garlic and chives (optional). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue mashing/mixing until creamy.
- Spread them into a large buttered casserole dish, smoothing out the surface. Cool the potatoes, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- When you are ready to reheat the potatoes, heat the oven to 350. Bring the potatoes to room temp. This means you need to set them out a few hours before putting them into the oven. Dot the top of the potatoes with the 4tbsp of butter. Cover them with foil. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are piping hot.