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Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar & Pecan Topping

This is a wonderful dish for the holidays. It’s very light, the kids love it and so will you! It’s incredibly delicious and really easy to make. Sweet Potatoes:22 Ounces Red-Skinned Potatoes6 Tbls Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)1 Egg (large)6 Tbls Sugar1 tsp Pumpkin Pie SpicePinch of Salt Topping:1 1/2 Cups Cornflakes (crushed)1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans6 Tbls Unsalted Butter, Metled Sweet Potato Directions:Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add butter. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add egg, sugar, spice and salt. Beat to blend. Transfer the mixture to an 8×8 inch baking dish. (This can be made up to a day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring back to room temperature before continuing if refrigerated.) Bake potatoes until beginning to brown around the edges and slightly puffed, about 25 minutes. Prepare Topping:Mix together all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon the topping evenly over potatoes. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes longer. Serves...

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Cranberry Sauce

1 Cup of Orange Juice1 Cup Sugar12 oz Fresh Cranberries Directions:In a sauce pan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries and stir occasionally until the cranberries pop (about 10 minute) and the mixture turns into a sauce. Serve chilled. Serves...

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Friend’s Thanksgiving

Friend’s Thanksgiving

I have a tradition with my friends that I started sixteen years ago (I can’t believe it’s that long ago, someone really did hit the fast forward button on my clock), and I’m happy to report that it’s still going strong! It’s one of my favorite days of the year. And now, even when some of our friends have to fly in for the occasion, we always make it work. And it is exactly what it sounds like, a Friend’s Thanksgiving! When I first moved to the East Coast, I left my rather large family (some 60 odd cousins) and moved to the big city where I didn’t know anyone. As my friendships started to grow, those friends became my family. I realized how lucky I was to have them. All of us were transplants, having moved from some other part of the country. So, we started to rely on each other as our “other” family. This tradition of Friend’s Thanksgiving started one year when three of us couldn’t afford to fly home for the holiday. As someone who loves to cook, I decided to buy a turkey and make us a traditional Thanksgiving dinner! I lived in a studio apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The kitchen (and by kitchen I mean the 2×2 linoleum covered box were someone put a miniature range) was so small that I had to cube the bread for the stuffing in phases. Dressing the turkey was quite the chore as there was barely enough room for me and the turkey in the same space. Whipping the cream for the pie and mashing the potatoes were my favorite parts of the preparation because I could stand in one place. I had what I like to call an “Annie Hall” moment on Thanksgiving morning as I attempted to put the turkey in the oven and realized that it wasn’t going to fit. I spent a great deal of that day leaning on the oven door so it would stay closed. I wish I had taken a picture! I’m happy to report that it took a little bit longer than I had planned, but the turkey was cooked through. The three of us sat on my living room floor, shared photos and laughed about how great it was to actually eat a real Thanksgiving dinner while being so far away from our families....

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Grandpa’s Stuffing

Grandpa’s Stuffing

When I was young, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. I starts off the whole holiday season, my mom always made an incredible meal and I got to have my cousins come to the house and eat with us! Nothing could be better. My favorite part of the dinner was my mother’s stuffing. Every year when I make it now, the smell of the onions cooking and the sage being tossed on the top, sends me right back to my mother’s kitchen, the excitement of waiting for my cousins and the childhood joy of the holidays. And the stuffing itself is incredible. But the really special part of this recipe is that it was the stuffing that my great-grandfather used to make for my mother’s family when she was young. So the stuffing that I now feed to my children has been passed on through four generations of my family. That means a lot to me as I enjoy it every holiday season. In addition to sharing this recipe with my family every Thanksgiving, I also share it with my friends. I’ve created a holiday that we call “Friend’s Thanksgiving.” Every November, on the Friday before Thanksgiving, I host a full on Thanksgiving dinner for around 25 of our friends. I started this holiday celebration when I moved to New York City, and I couldn’t always afford to go home for the holidays. At that time, my girlfriends had become my new “family.” I thought, “Hmmm…why not make sure we get a celebration as well?” After all, you don’t get to choose our families, but we do get to choose our friends. And just like that, Friend’s Thanksgiving was born. So, today, I’m proud to say that my friends rave about the stuffing the same way I did as a child. I’m so happy to be able to share it with them and to share it with the Better Way Moms community! Grandpa’s Stuffing 1 Cup Pecans (if desired) 1 Square of Butter 6 Full Stalks of Celery 1 Large Onion 2 Cups of Mushrooms One Large Loaf of Your Favorite White Bread 1 Tbls Sage 1 Cup of Water or Poultry Juice (optional) Directions: Chop celery, onion, mushrooms and sauté together with butter for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Cube the bread (you may include the crusts of the bread if you choose) and lay the...

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Moment of Gratitude

Moment of Gratitude

I am so happy today. It’s one of those rare moments when I’m alone in this beautiful house, I am getting a lot of work done, I’m firing on all cylinders and I know that I get to see my son and my husband soon. I actually found myself saying “Thank you, thank you so much” out loud a few minutes ago. Some of this gratitude has to do with an article I read earlier this week. I had to pause a few times to let the tears clear from my eyes. It really woke me up: CNN: I was told to kill, to rape children. It’s not an article for the faint of heart, especially for mothers. That this is happening in our world, on our planet, just amazes me. Here we are in our paradise, “having” to run to the grocery store to select from our luxurious selection of incredible, fresh food and having our biggest concern be that we haven’t had a haircut in 7 months. The article made me want to run out and save the world (again). All of those children, their parents, that land…the constant fear…how is that possible? And I get upset when someone cuts me off on the highway. What a privileged life we live. So this morning as I was sitting in my beautiful house, eating breakfast with my healthy son and watching my smart husband sweat over the latest news on interest rates, I decided that today I would be grateful for this life. And a funny thing happened, the day just seemed to get better and better. Now, I don’t mean to sound all happy-go-lucky. I know we have to deal with the life we live here. It reminds me of an interview with Oprah I heard once. She really framed this up well as she was being interviewed about a new school for girls in Africa that she had founded and supported. She went through her experiences there, and how grateful these girls were to have a school to go to, especially because many of them were orphans. The cost of school for a year was something like $15 (I may not have that exactly right, but it was under $20). And these little girls would well up with tears as they talked about maybe not being able to go to school next year because they wouldn’t...

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