Gourmet Veggie Mama

Thanksgiving Dress Rehearsal: Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post, I am trying out some new dishes in advance of Thanksgiving. That means you, dear readers, get to share in my trials and tribulations and learn from my mistakes before the big day rolls around. I cook so you don’t have to! Well, sort of.

Anyway, on today’s docket are a couple of new recipes (one from Cooking Planit) and one old family favorite thrown in for good measure.

4. Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

I am a classic sweet potatoes girl. For Thanksgiving, I like them just the way my mom used to make them: roasted, cut into chunks, topped with honey, butter, cinnamon and pecans, and then baked together. But, you know me — I can’t resist bourbon. So, of course, this recipe for Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole from Ginny’s Austin struck my fancy.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

Nom nom nom.

Was it good? Abso-freakin’-lutely. But is it better than my old standby? And worth the extra stick of butter and heaps of brown sugar? I’m not so sure. I will tell you that I “sampled” the raw topping before it went on the casserole. Repeatedly. It was gooooood. But… I have to come down on the side of tradition here. Hubby would probably disagree with me, since he kept proclaiming the greatness of the dish as he shoveled bite after bite in, likening the melt-in-your-mouth texture to cotton candy. So I guess we’ll have to duke it out.

5. Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms

This is another new spin on an old favorite. Do you love old-school green bean casserole with french-fried onions from the can and cream of mushroom soup? Sure. But this is better, and it’s made out of real food. This is definitely the best of the gourmet green bean casserole wannabes I have tried (and I have tried a few). Gold star — it earns a place on my Thanksgiving table!

Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms


Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms
  • ¾ lb green beans, trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 11 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 Tbs champagne vinegar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Bring about an inch of water to boil in a large sauté pan. Add the green beans and blanch for 3-4 minutes, until bright green but still crispy. Drain in a colander, wipe out the pan and return it to the heat.
  3. Warm the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallot. Sauté until softened, stirring, and add the garlic. Stir in the mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and the moisture has evaporated. Add the vinegar and cook until absorbed. Stir in the cream, chives and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the green beans to the pan and stir to combine. Transfer to an 8 x 8 baking dish.
  5. Combine the butter and the panko in a small bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly over the green bean mixture.
  6. Place under the broiler for a couple of minutes, until the panko is golden brown. Serve warm.


6. Sausage Balls

Wait, what? Yeah, this is an old family favorite that is decidedly non-vegetarian. However, the hubby loves them, so he continues to make them every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, fear not, there is a yummy meat-free version that can be made with tofu-based sausage. The brand we get is called Gimme Lean, which always makes me laugh. The sausage balls aren’t as greasy in their vegetarian incarnation, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

Sausage balls

Either way, yum.

Sausage Balls
  • 8 oz grated cheddar
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage (substitute tofu-based sausage for a vegetarian version)
  • 3 cups Bisquick or other biscuit mix
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl using your hands until well combined, and then roll into 1-inch balls.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and sizzling. Serve warm.


Note: I received a small grocery stipend from Cooking Planit in exchange for reviewing these meals, but I was not otherwise compensated, and my opinions are my own.

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9 Thoughts on “Thanksgiving Dress Rehearsal: Part 2

  1. This and yesterday’s looked DELICIOUS!!!! I’m decidedly running behind in my blogging.
    Jester Queen recently posted..A favor continuedMy Profile

  2. Ooh, I’m on green bean casserole duty this year so may have to give that recipe a shot! My family loves mushrooms. Also, I used to make sausage balls just like that back in the meat-eating days! I bet soyrizo would be an awesome substitute.
    Jessica recently posted..Bucket List of Eats & Drinks!My Profile

  3. Les Virgil on November 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm said:

    All of these look great! BTW – I have always liked your photography, and I love the new look of your blog site. If it were an ad for a restaurant, I would definitely eat there!

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  6. I love sausage balls!! Haven’t had them in years…
    traciep recently posted..Letter for Little Sugar, 3 MonthsMy Profile

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