Happy Veteran’s Day! I hope you’re enjoying a well-deserved day off.

I wanted to talk to y’all about something today.

I think I’m going to skip posting Thanksgiving recipes on the blog this year. I’ve done them in years past and cooking them and then eating them for days afterwards… it really takes away the magic of Thanksgiving. You know, the one day of the year that you can eat whatever you want without guilt. The special, once a year casseroles. Stuff like that just loses it’s specialness (not even a word, I know) once you’ve already done it, photographed it, and yapped about it on your blog.

But depending on how many glasses of wine I’ve had by the time Thanksgiving dinner is ready, I plan on photographing and blogging. No promises, but… maybe.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a recipe that is definitely Thanksgiving-appropriate.

I’ve been hearing about these potatoes for years but since I’m not really a potato person unless they’re deep-fried and served with chicken nuggets, I’ve kind of just ignored them. But I’ve been obsessed with The Shaytards lately and they mentioned them in a vlog recently and all of the sudden, the potatoes seemed really appealing.

They are SO good. I had three bowls of them. I skipped everything else I cooked and just ate potatoes. And now I may end up making them on Thanksgiving because they are just that good.

One year ago: Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Two years ago: Monster Cookies
Three years ago: Jalapeno Popper Dip
Four years ago: Sweet Cream Biscuits
Five years ago: Enchiladas in Pumpkin Sauce

Funeral Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup dried onion
32 ounce package cubed hash browns
3 cups coarsely crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, melted butter and onions. Fold in the hash browns. Spread in the prepared pan.
  3. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes on top of the mixture. Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of butter over the corn flakes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven. If using shredded hash browns, cook for 30 minutes. If using cubed hash browns, cook for 55-60 minutes.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/11/11/funeral-potatoes/

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I have been trying to get on a Monday – Thursday posting schedule for months now but it seems like every week something happens that just messes everything up.

My blog went down Monday – my apologies if you were in dire need of a muffin recipe or something and couldn’t reach it – and I didn’t really think anything of it. Technical issues with the blog are one of the only things in life that I’m pretty laidback about. My host usually knows of an issue before I do and I figure they can fix things faster if they aren’t having to respond to my emails every 5 minutes. But anyway, on Tuesday morning it was still down and since I had a few “wtf” tweets and emails I decided to contact them. The guy emails me and says “There are no files in that database. That’s why nothing’s there.” And I’m all “Good joke but no really, where’s my 5 years of blog posts?”

He eventually got all my posts up but I had to go searching for my header and such and since I’m on my third computer this year, I didn’t have it saved. So I had to go digging through my external hard drive and once I pull that thing out, I’m done. Because why would I fix my blog and get a post up when I can go through every single photo I took in 2006?

And then I took the fat baby swimming for the first time.

So that’s my incredibly long story for why I won’t have 4 blog posts up this week. Stay tuned for next week’s excuse.

These quinoa bites are the new favorite side dish around here. Even my husband loves them and he’s anti anything weird like quinoa. They’re really easy to adapt to fit your needs too – like maybe add some diced ham to make a portable lunch!

One year ago: Everything Bread
Two years ago: Chocolate Chip Scones
Three years ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Cheesy Quinoa Bites

Ingredients

2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in low-sodium chicken broth, preferably)
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded carrot
2 stalks green onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together quinoa, carrot, egg, green onion, garlic, basil, cheese, flour, seasoned salt and pepper.
  3. Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bites are firm to the touch.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/07/31/cheesy-quinoa-bites/

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Today I’m going to be sharing a couple side dishes for the big turkey day. I know side dishes are the hardest thing for me to come up with so when I was asked to come up with a couple using I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, I jumped at the chance. I’ve worked with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in the past and was even lucky enough to make some brownies in the Unilever kitchens:

Whoa flashback!

Anyway, I’m obviously a big fan of using I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. I almost always have it in my fridge and I absolutely love the sticks for baking! Plus it has 0 grams of trans fat!

For my side dishes I went with a basic mashed potato recipe but jazzed it up with some roasted garlic. If you’ve never roasted garlic, it’s super simple. You cut off the top of the garlic bulb to expose all the little cloves, rub it with some olive oil, and then roast it for about 30 minutes. The little cloves practically fall out after that. Once roasted, the garlic doesn’t have quite the punch that raw garlic has – it’s absolutely delicious and you could easily mix it into a ton of different foods.

These Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes are perfect for Thanksgiving because they can be made ahead of time. Which means less stress on you! You simply refrigerate them until the bird is ready and then quickly bake them until they’re heated through. The roasted garlic and the Parmesan are perfection together and they are really fantastic with gravy poured all over.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

For the roasted garlic:
1 bulb of garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
For the potatoes:
5 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, melted
1/2 - 1 cup milk, warmed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    To make roasted garlic:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Slice off the top of the garlic bulb, making sure to expose the top of each clove of garlic. Rub the olive oil over the exposed tops. Wrap in aluminum foil and roasted for 30 - 35 minutes or until the cloves easily slide out. Set aside.
  3. To make the potatoes:
  4. Wash, peel (if desired - I leave mine with peels), and dice. Place in a large pot; fill with water to a couple inches above the potatoes. Boil until fork tender. Drain and mash.
  5. Place the potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer; add cream cheese, melted I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, and warmed milk. Beat slowly at first to combined everything and then at a higher speed to further mash the potatoes. Continue beating until the potatoes are as mashed as you prefer. Beat in 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
  6. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the potatoes into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  7. At this point you can cover and refrigerate overnight if you need to.
  8. To bake the potatoes:
  9. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  10. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are hot.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/11/05/thanksgiving-side-dishes/

The second recipe I chose to make is inspired by something I got from one of those fancy health food store hot bars around this time last year. It was a rice dressing that had a ton of cranberries in it. I thought it was the strangest thing when I loaded it into my little cardboard box but I definitely fell in love once I tasted it.

I used a wild and brown rice mix but if you can’t find it, an equal amount of wild rice and brown rice works just the same. This version is loaded with cranberries, pecans, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, all the good stuff. It’s absolutely scrumptious and is perfect for Thanksgiving.

Wild Rice Stuffing

Ingredients

2 tablespoon I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups wild rice blend
4 cups vegetable broth (or a mixture of broth and water)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter is melted; add onion. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add rice; stir to combine. Gradually pour in vegetable broth. Bring to a boil; cover and lower to a simmer. Let cook for about 50 minutes (check package instructions).
  2. Stir in cranberries, pecans, parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/11/05/thanksgiving-side-dishes/

Thank you to Good to Know & Unilever Spreads for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member ofClever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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Happy Hump Day! How’s about a giveaway to make this Wednesday a little less painful?

I was recently sent a mandoline slicer as part of the OXO Blogger Outreach Program. I was pretty stoked about it because I’ve wanted a mandoline forever but those dang TV chefs had me completely scared of them. I mean seriously, those chefs talk like the sole purpose of a mandoline is to cut off your fingertips. But as it turns out, it’s really no big deal. And this handheld slicer from OXO comes with a nice little food holder that keeps your fingers far from the blade.

I knew immediately that I wanted to make some sort of veggie chip. I love those veggie chip mixes that you can find in bulk bins. LOVE them but how horrible are they for you?! The veggies don’t taste or look like their original form once they come out of the deep fryer.

So I sliced a sweet potato with my sparkly new mandoline and then baked them for what seemed like days. They turned out to be everything I hoped for and more. My oldest, who doesn’t like sweet potatoes, went crazy over them! They do take a verrrrry long time to bake but I promise it’s worth it. And don’t crank the oven up to speed things along – you’ll end up with black sweet potato chips. Not that it happened to me or anything… ahem.

And now for the giveaway!!

I have an OXO mandoline slicer to give to one lucky reader! All you have to do is answer:

What would you make if you won the mandoline?

Rules:

US only, please.
Giveaway will run until Sunday April 15, 2012 at 10 pm Mountain time.
Winner will be randomly chosen. I’ll email the winner and he or she will have 48 hours to respond before I have to choose another person.

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! The winner is Abbi!

One year ago: Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Sweet Potato Chips + a GIVEAWAY!

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato, sliced thinly with mandoline slicer
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt (and/or cinnamon)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 225F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place sliced sweet potato in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over top; sprinkle with salt (or other seasoning). Toss the potatoes with your hands to make sure all are covered.
  3. Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 1½ hours (may be longer), rotating the sheets halfway through. until the sweet potatoes are crispy.
  4. Let cool slightly. Best eaten the day they are made.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/04/11/baked-sweet-potato-chips-a-giveaway/

I was sent a mandoline to test out but was given no further compensation. All opinions are my own. 

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One of the great things about French Fridays with Dorie is that we get to nominate and then vote on what we want to cook each month. I was particularly excited when I saw these Broth-Braised Potatoes showed up on the monthly ballot. I mean, what’s wrong with potatoes that are braised in broth? Absolutely nothing.

This was a very simple and quick dish. The potatoes are just sliced in half and then braised in broth with thyme (or rosemary) and some garlic. It took less than 20 minutes and was such a fun way to serve potatoes!

I wasn’t sure that my boys would appreciate this one – and actually briefly considered mashing some of the potatoes for them – but they all ended up eating some, even if they did cover them in ketchup! I thought they were delicious and was happy to eat them for breakfast the next day. I especially loved that my broth turned purple overnight thanks to my purple potatoes!

(The members of French Fridays with Dorie do not post the recipes we make so be sure to check out Around My French Table.)

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