Did you watch The Thanksgiving Throwdown last night on Food Network? If you did, please don't tell me who wins. Although I love Bobby Flay, I'm totally rooting for my bloggy hero, Ree Drummond, a.k.a. The Pioneer Women. When I found out that the Pioneer Woman, or PW (as she's called by all her closest friends:) had challenged Bobby to a turkey day throwdown, I jumped up and down, yes, literally jumped up and down (it's a good thing I had on my sports bra). After much unintelligible jabbering, I calmed down enough to tell my family the reason for my excitement. They were slightly less than impressed, but glad to see Mommy doing a happy dance in the privacy of our own kitchen instead of out in public. Plus their brains and tummies were fast forwarding to all the the great recipes I would try after watching this Throwdown episode!
"Do your children even know who the Pioneer Women is?" you might ask. Oh, they know PW. How could they not? The Pioneer Woman Cooks, the first cookbook I've spent money on in at least a decade, has a prized place on our family room coffee table. Also, my children and husband have all been the lucky recipients of PW's creamy mashed potatoes, luscious macaroni and cheese, and her best chocolate sheet cake ever. Plus, kids of food bloggers just know these things.
My current dilemma is should I curl up on the couch with a nice pumpkin spice latte and watch The Throwdown solo style or should I wait until all the kids have done their homework, bathed, and brushed their teeth and then curl up on the couch with lots of blankets and lots of kids and watch it? Who am I kidding? I'm going to watch it at least twice, so I think I'll watch my PW Throwdown and save it too!
In the meantime, I'm sharing one of my favorite Thanksgiving dinner side dishes, Slap Yo Mama Good Sweet Potato Casserole. This recipes comes from my college roommate who transplanted from Virginia to Texas a few years ahead of me. She and her husband helped me ease into the whole celebrating Thanksgiving hundreds of mile away from all family members thing, by inviting us to spend our first Texas Thanksgiving at South Padre Island instead of home alone. Good idea! My husband and I multi-tasked that year by brining our turkey in a large beverage cooler perched in the back of the mini-van while we drove to South Padre (that's a whole other blog worthy story) while she and her husband provided the sweet potatoes. I thought I had seen it all when it comes to sweet potatoes, but this recipe is 'all that' and a bag of pecans.
In perfect Pioneer Woman style, "Slap Yo Mama Good Sweet Potato Casserole" uses basic ingredients to create an amazing side dish. The sweet potatoes are whipped together with lots of buttery sweet goodness and topped with a lovely pecan crumble. This casserole can be made ahead of time and then baked until the nuts are lightly brown, the edges are bubbling, and your kitchen smells like heaven. Yummy! Until I watch my highly protected episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay - Thanksgiving Feast, I won't know just what Bobby and PW made for their sides, but I think Ree and Bobby would thoroughly enjoy this casserole. Maybe, I should change the name to "Slap Yo PW Good Sweet Potato Casserole"!
Slap Yo Mama Good Sweet Potato Casserole
For the casserole:
3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes*
3/4 cups white sugar
3/4 stick melted butter (6 Tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the topping:
1/3 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Butter your favorite 2 quart casserole dish.
- Beat together mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Place sweet potato mixture in buttered casserole.
- Sprinkle the pecan topping over the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until the nuts are slightly browned, the edges are bubbly, and your kitchen smells like heaven.