Oh man, Thanksgiving is a really wonderful holiday when you have a bunch of cooks in the family. The Qwerty crew came together this year, each one of us contributing a few dishes, and it felt like a pretty effortless affair. Especially when compared to years past where I hosted it solo (even the year I gave up on the headache of waking up early to put a turkey in the oven and served steak in its place).
Adam made an incredible corn casserole as well as a deconstructed turkey, Brandie contributed a divine pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and garlic sour cream mashed potatoes, Brie pulled together a delectable butternut squash soup, cranberry sauce, and gravy, and I made a green bean casserole and a sweet potato casserole. (If you’re lucky, they’ll post their recipes here soon!) Everything turned out beautifully, even though we cheated by going with store bought pies – apple, pecan, AND pumpkin, StoveTop stuffing, and Hawaiin dinner rolls. Yum!
It all came together quite nicely, just look at all the colors and textures and flavors and *drooooooooooooooooooooooool*…
It also looked so lovely served buffet style!
I’ve been making the same sweet potato casserole, originally discovered at Epicurious.com (and augmented slightly), for nearly ten years. It’s always a hit, and someone always comments on how perfectly sweet it is – not too much like a dessert like some of the marshmallow laden casseroles, and a nice departure from the more savory dishes typically in the spotlight on Thanksgiving.
See that bottle of Martinelli’s apple cider behind the pumpkin? And another one to the left of Adam’s head? We went through nearly five of them! Forget the wine, beer, and hard liquor! We love our sparkling cider here in the Wendt household. 😉 (It’s not even a dry house, it’s just that we reaaaaaally love the Martinelli’s. “Growed-up” apple juice, baby!)
I thought for certain that I’d be sick of Thanksgiving flavors now that the leftovers have finally cleared out from the fridge – but alas! Alack! I’m still craving more! All of it turned out so perfectly and I was careful not to eat too much in one sitting.
I think you’ll really enjoy this recipe – I tend to serve it just once a year, but it makes a wonderful side dish for any fall meal. Happy eating!
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 stick melted butter
- 5 pounds yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 large eggs
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Combine the brown sugar, chopped pecans, and melted butter with a fork in a small bowl and set aside.
- Boil sweet potatoes in salted water for about 12 minutes or until tender.
- Beat together eggs, maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Drain sweet potatoes (let stand for about ten minutes) and then mash them into the egg mixture in a medium sized bowl until well combined.
- Transfer sweet potatoes to a buttered 13" x 9" casserole dish and smooth the top.
- Sprinkle brown sugar and pecan mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.
- Bake until the top begins to bubble, or about an hour. Let stand for 15-20 minutes and serve.
She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.
She is also allergic to felines.