Thanksgiving is almost here! In the next few columns, we will concentrate on just simple and southern Thanksgiving favorites—some new and some classic favorites! This week I have for you a superb peanut butter chess pie, my easy creamy cream cheese mashed potatoes (loaded with good butter, sour cream and cream cheese), and my mother’s ultimate sweet potato casserole, with a brown sugar pecan butter topping—all for you to enjoy and try out this year! Please send me some of your favorites. I especially love dessert recipes and casserole recipes! Let me know if you try any of my recipe selections! I would be very delighted to hear from you! Enjoy readers!
Easy Peanut Butter Chess Pie
Note: Good chess pie is hard to beat for Thanksgiving, but peanut butter chess pie is even better!!! My friends must try out this recipe! It’s definitely a keeper recipe!!!
1 unbaked pie crust (refrigerated pack of 2)
1 stick butter, melted
Half cup creamy peanut butter
One and one half cups sugar
2 Tbsp. cornmeal
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Place pie crust in 9” pie plate and crimp edges as desired. Chill until ready to fill. Whisk together butter and peanut butter. If the peanut butter is too stiff to whisk, microwave it for about 20-30 seconds. Whisk in eggs, sugar, cornmeal, flour, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until crust is browned and top of pie is browned. It will still jiggle slightly in the middle. Cool completely before cutting.
Easy Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Note: If you’ve never added cream cheese and sour cream to your mashed potatoes, you are missing out big time! This recipe is super simple, and anyone can do it! Try it out, and let me know what you think!
2 bags Ore Ida steam & mash frozen potatoes
2 sticks butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
Half tsp. lemon pepper
8 oz. sour cream
Half cup heavy whipping cream
Milk (enough to get them creamy)
Salt and pepper to taste
Microwave potatoes according to bag directions. Place them into your electric mixer bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and mix on medium speed, until all ingredients are incorporated well. Make sure your butter and cream cheese are room temp and softened well. If too thick, add a little milk, or heavy cream to get the potatoes creamy. Mashed potatoes that are too thick are not pleasing. You want them creamy and delicious. If not seasoned enough for your tastes then add more salt and pepper (depending on your tastes). To make the potatoes cheesy, add 8 oz. of grated cheddar cheese. Using Ore Ida steam and mash potatoes, you don’t have to cut and peel any potatoes—which makes for a less stressful Thanksgiving feast!
Mama’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Note: This is a classic recipe of my mother’s that everyone must try! We have this every Thanksgiving, and it’s a winner recipe!
7 large sweet potatoes
1 stick real butter, melted
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. heavy cream, or more if too thick
5 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 cups sugar
Pecan Brown Sugar Butter Topping:
One and one half cups all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans
1 box light brown sugar
Microwave sweet potatoes, wrapped in plastic wrap, until soft. Peel and blend peeled sweet potatoes with remaining ingredients with mixer. Pour into large casserole dish. For topping, gently stroke flour and butter with fork until crumbly. Add pecans and brown sugar. Bake casserole for 35-40 min. at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, crumble topping over the sweet potato mixture. Bake another 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees, covered. Topping should be golden brown.
Editor’s note: Brock Wetherly Rogers is an experienced southern food writer, educator, overseas traveler, and passionate student of the culinary and pastry arts. E-mail your comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Facebook at Brock’s Bites-Southern Recipes.