Like many of you, I’m sitting here wondering how it’s November already, not to mention only a week before Thanksgiving! But here we are, sliding into the holidays like butter on a hot griddle.

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I don’t know about you, but I could make a meal out of Thanksgiving side dishes alone. I look forward to bowls of buttery vegetables, baskets of rolls and casseroles of sweet potatoes, carrot souffle and cornbread dressing. Honestly, if we didn't serve the turkey, I might not even notice!

As usual, I browsed the farmers market to get many of the things on my ingredient list, stocking up on sweet potatoes, butter, cream, pecans and fresh herbs.

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Thanksgiving meals just aren't the same without a dish of whipped, creamy sweet potatoes. The sweet and hearty flavors complement everything else being served.

And, while a good green bean casserole is always a favorite, I also love a crisp green bean dish to balance out all of the other decadent dishes. You’ll love the warm crunch of toasted pecans in these fresh green beans (let's be fancy for Thanksgiving and say it in French, haricot verts), which will add beautiful color and texture to your table.

Here's hoping you all have a healthy Thanksgiving Day. May your bellies be filled with good food and your hearts filled with gratitude. My heart is certainly brimming with thanks to all of you who read this little column.

Whipped Rosemary & Bacon Sweet Potatoes

Makes 4-8 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

8 medium sweet potatoes

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup butter (1 stick)

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced

6 strips bacon cooked and crumbled, divided

1. Peel sweet potatoes and chop into large chunks. Drop in to a large pot of boiling water, and boil 10 to 15 minutes or until fork tender.

2. Meanwhile, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3. Drain sweet potatoes and reserve water (may be needed later).

4. To sweet potatoes, add butter, rosemary and half the bacon and whip with a mixer until fluffy.

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5. If the potatoes seem too dry, add some of the reserved water a tablespoon at a time until they reach desired consistency.

6. Spoon in the whipped cream and fold into the sweet potatoes in batches with a spatula. Work slowly so that the whipped cream doesn’t collapse completely but is evenly mixed in the potatoes.

7. Serve warm topped with remaining crumbled bacon.

Haricot Verts with Toasted Pecans

Makes 6-8 servings. Recipe is by Teresa Day.

8 cups fresh green beans

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ cup chopped pecans

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoon lemon juice (1 lemon)

1. Wash and trim the stems off green beans. Drop into a pot of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain beans and dunk them in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

2. In a heavy skillet, melt butter with olive oil. Stir in the brown sugar until melted.

3. Add pecans and cook until lightly toasted. Watch closely, stirring or shaking pan often.

4. Add green beans and toss until coated. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes.

5. Finish with lemon juice. Serve immediately.


Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at ieatbrla@gmail.com.