Cook It Forward

Sweet Maple Potatoes

— 6 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled and pricked with a fork
— 1/2 cup maple syrup
— 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
— 1 cup sour cream
— 1/2 tsp salt
— 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Bake sweet potatoes at 375°  F for 1 – 1-1/2 hours, or until softened, and let cool. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and discard the skins. Mash and put in freezer bags and freeze for up to two weeks. THE DAY BEFORE, thaw sweet potatoes, put in mixing bowl, and add the maple syrup (to taste), butter, and sour cream. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, mix until smooth. Season with salt and nutmeg. Place in casserole dish and refrigerate for no more than 24 hours. THE DAY OF, bake at 400° F for 30 – 40 minutes.

Double Cream Mashed Potatoes

— 10 large potatoes, unpeeled and pricked with a fork
— 2 (3 oz.) packages cream cheese
— 8 oz. sour cream
— 1/2 cup milk
— 2 tsp garlic or onion salt
— ground pepper to taste

Bake potatoes at 375°  F for 1 – 1-1/2 hours, or until softened, and let cool. Decide if you want to include the skins in the dish or discard them. Mash potatoes and combine all ingredients. Cover and freeze in a casserole dish. THE DAY BEFORE, remove to the refrigerator. THE DAY OF, cover with foil and bake at 325° F for 30 – 40 minutes.

One week before . . .

All you have to do this week is get the turkey and prepare the dessert sauces. These will
be refrigerated, not frozen. Also, make sure the tablecloth you’re going to use is clean,
that you have all the fl atware, silverware, and glasses you will need, and that any table decorations are ready to go.

Three days before . . .

Move the turkey to the refrigerator to thaw and purchase the green beans and lettuce.

The day before . . .

First thing in the morning set the sweet potatoes on the counter to thaw. Then move the
cheese balls, the soup, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, gratin, and apple cake to the
refrigerator. Leave the fruit salad, rolls, and ice cream pie in the freezer. Prepare the green beans and refrigerate. 

Perfectly Lemon Green Beans

— 2-1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
— 4 tbsp butter
— 6 tbsp slivered almonds
— 2 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
— 1/4 tsp salt
— 1/8 tsp pepper

Cook green beans in boiling salted water 5 – 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge beans in ice water to stop the cooking process; set aside. Melt the butter in the same saucepan; stir in the almonds. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, or until the almonds are very light brown. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Drain the now-cooled green beans thoroughly, shaking off any excess water. Put the beans in a microwave-proof casserole or serving dish, pour the lemon butter mixture over them and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until just before it is time to serve the meal. Reheat the beans by microwaving them on high for 4 – 6 minutes, or until they are heated through and thoroughly cooked. Toss the green beans with the lemon butter again to distribute it evenly over the beans before serving.

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