Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Unilever Spreads: Thanksgiving Dishes


    Can you believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner?  Wow times flies!  I look forward to this time of the year to see my family.  This year only my Mom is joining me and my family for Thanksgiving, but I am still excited to see her for about a year now.  Thanksgiving always brings a joy to my family, because we laugh, share recipes, and reminisce of our childhood days.  It's all about being grateful for what you have been blessed with and also to share your fortunes with the less fortunate.

    But the best part of  Thanksgiving is the food.  I go way overboard when cooking for Thanksgiving.  I start the eve of Thanksgiving and finish just before noon.  My favorite part of the meal is the different sides to go with the turkey.  Scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, cornbread, dressing, sweet corn, cranberry relish, sweet potatoes, creamed peas, and the red peas and rice.  The list could go on, because you could never have too many sides. 

    Today I want to share with you my favorite side dishes.  It is so good.  But I decided to take a twist on my recipes.  Instead of using the normal butter I used, I used Country Crock spread in my dishes.  Yes, I noticed the difference.  Light, and even taste way better.

   The first one is my favorite Sweet Potatoes Casserole that I adapted from The Pioneer Woman on Food Network.

Unilever Spreads: Thanksgiving Dishes Sweet Potatoes Casserole

    Looks good right?  It even tastes AWESOME!

Sweet Potatoes Casserole


4 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. Country Crock butter at room temperature


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place sweet potatoes on the oven rack and bake until tender for about 55 minutes.  When the potatoes are finished cooking, let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Slice then open lengthwise and scrape out the flesh with a fork into a large bowl.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

2.  Add the granulated sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt to the bowl with the sweet potatoes.  Mash the mixture with a potato masher until combined and slightly lumpy - you don't want it to be perfectly smooth.

3.  Now in a separate bowl, mash the brown sugar, pecans, flour, and butter with a pastry cutter or fork until thoroughly combined.  The mixture should resemble a crumble.

4.  Spread the sweet potato mixture into an oval-shaped baking dish and sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top.  Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

Now I got you drooling, there is no Thanksgiving without dressing. 

Unilever Spreads Thanksgiving Dishes Good Ole Simple Dressing

    Yes!  This is one simplest dressings you would ever come across.  You can even use croutons if you not interested in getting loaf bread.

Good 'Ole Simple Dressing slightly adapted from Bon Appetit


10 cups day old white bread, torn into pieces
3/4 cup Country Crock butter plus more for baking dish
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups celery
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 tbsp. cilantro
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. basil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 large eggs


1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Butter preferred baking dish and set aside.  Scatter bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake stirring occasionally, until dried out about 1 hour.  Let cool; transfer to a very large bowl.

2.  Meanwhile, melt 3/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions and celery.  Stir often until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add to bowl with bread; stir in herbs, salt, and pepper.  Drizzle in 1 1/4 cups broth and toss gently.  Let cool.

3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Whisk 1 1/4 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl.  Add to bread mixture; fold gently until thoroughly combined.  Transfer to a prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake for about 40-45 minutes.

Thank you to Good to Know & Unilever Spreads for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip & Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate Chip & Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies - Never Dessert You
    Are you still in love with pumpkin?  I know I am.  My daughters begged me to make a chocolate dessert for them.  So how can I combine my craving for pumpkin and chocolate together?  Yep, a brownie.  I added two different types of chocolate in this dessert.  White chocolate on the bottom and chocolate chips to garnish the top.  I love this and my daughters loved it also even though they are not fans of pumpkin.

Chocolate Chip & Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies - Never Dessert You

Chocolate Chip & Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

1 1/2 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cheesecake Batter
1 8-ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.  In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth.  Cool slightly. 
2.  In a large bowl dissolve coffee in water.  Stir in pumpkin, eggs and chocolate mixture.  Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture.  Transfer to baking pan coated with baking spray and lined with parchment paper.
3.  For cheesecake batter, in a small bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.  Beat in the sugar, vanilla, and spices.  Add egg beating on low speed until combined.  Spoon over chocolate batter.  Sprinkle on the chocolate chips.
4.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs.  Cool on a wire rack.  Cut into bars.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Fall Baking

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins - Never Dessert You
    I got pumpkin on my mind.  Can you blame me?  It is fall and thanksgiving is a few weeks away.  I love these little muffins that mimic a doughnut. If you looking for that pumpkin and doughnut flavor, this is the perfect recipe for you.  These muffins are perfect for breakfast or a late night snack with icecream.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Muffin Batter

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

Sugar Coating

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted.


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour muffin pan.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and pumpkin spice together.  In another bowl whisk buttermilk and pumpkin puree.  Using an electric mixer beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy for about 5 minutes.  Add in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition.  Turn mixer down low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of pumpkin mixture.  Just beat until combined.

2.  Spoon batter into muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.  In a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon.  Remove muffin one at a time from a pan, brush melted butter all over muffin, then toss to coat in sugar mixture.  Let muffins cool completly on a wire rack.  Serve and enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

Friday, November 2, 2012

Chocolate Crinkles

Chocolate Crinkles - Never Dessert You
    Hi Desseritas.  The holidays are almost here.  I love this time of the year.  But Christmas has been on my mind and of course I made one of the best Christmas cookies - chocolate crinkles.   

   I love these soft fudge chocolate cookies rolled in a confectioner's sugar.   
Chocolate Crinkles - Never Dessert You
                                        What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Chocolate Crinkles

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1.  In a small saucepan combine chocolate and shortening.  Heat and stir over low heat until melted and smooth.  Cool for 15 minutes.
2.  In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and salt.  Stir in chocolate mixture.  Gradually add flour, stirring until thoroughly combined.  Cover dough; chill about 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly grease cookie sheets; set aside.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll balls into powdered sugar to coat generously.  Place balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake about 15 minutes or until edges are just set.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.  

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