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For me, the best part of Thanksgiving dinner (besides licking the bowl after mixing the cake batter) are the side dishes. The thought of casseroles, stuffings, and mashed-up anything all fill my heart with warm memories of our family gathered at the big table sharing old stories. I’ve been tasked with created a few dishes this holiday season and I want you to know that I am beyond thrilled to make my favorite classic treats for the crew.

I figured I’d do a little of the work for you and share some of my familiar favorites and a few new creations to try on your Thanksgiving menu.

Shrimp and Grits Dressing

Classic dressing with shrimp and grits fuse together in this must-try dressing.


1 pound peeled, medium-size raw shrimp (5 1/60 count)

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 cup uncooked regular grits

1/2 cup butter

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs

1 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 325°. Devein shrimp, if desired.

2. Bring broth and next 2 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in grits, and return to a boil; reduce heat to low, and stir in butter. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.

3. Stir together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot grits mixture into egg mixture; add egg mixture to remaining hot grits mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp until blended. Pour grits mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

4. Bake at 325º for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until mixture is set. Let stand 10 minutes.

Icebox Dinner Rolls

This coveted dinner roll recipe is one you’ll want to keep in the family.


1 cup boiling water

6 tablespoons shortening

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, melted and divided


1. Pour boiling water over shortening and next 2 ingredients in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, and stir until shortening melts and sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes or until about 110°.

2. Meanwhile, combine yeast and warm water in a 1-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

3. Add yeast mixture and egg to shortening mixture; beat at low speed until combined. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed 2 to 3 minutes or until flour is blended and dough is soft and smooth.

4. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 1 minute). Gently shape dough into 60 (1-inch) balls; place 3 dough balls in each cup of 2 lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans. (You will fill only 20 cups.) Brush rolls with half of melted butter.

6. Cover pans with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

7. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake rolls for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with remaining melted butter. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Gratin

You’ll know when the potatoes are perfectly cooked when a table knife slides easily through the center.


2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 lb.)

2 large russet potatoes (about 1 3/4 lb.)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 400°. Cut sweet potatoes and russet potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices, using a mandoline or sharp knife. Toss together potatoes, 3/4 cup heavy cream, and salt in a large bowl. Transfer to a lightly greased 2-qt. gratin dish, and spread potatoes into layers. Top with 1 cup Gruyère cheese. Pour 3/4 cup more heavy cream over potatoes, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Gruyère. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack; cool 5 minutes.

Maple Sweet Potato Cups

Swing by the freezer section in Walmart for one of our favorite convenience items―frozen sweet potatoes. If you want to skip the meringue, top with miniature marshmallows instead.


2 (24-oz.) packages frozen steam-and-mash sweet potatoes

1/3 cup butter, cut up

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

3 teaspoons orange zest

1 teaspoon salt

4 egg whites

1/2 cup granulated sugar


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Steam potatoes according to package directions. Mash together sweet potatoes and next 5 ingredients. Spoon mixture into 8 (6-oz.) custard cups. Place on a baking sheet.

2. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread meringue over sweet potato mixture.

3. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

My mouth is drooling! Maybe I’ll get started early and do a practice run of these treats. I’m logging off to stalk to grab all my ingredients. Join me!

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4 Mouth-Watering Spectacular Thanksgiving Sides  was originally published on