home about us advertise with us subscribe to Jonesboro Occasions submit an event contact download the 2008 datebook
give a gift subscription

Favorite Southern Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

This November, Occasions Publisher and Editor Audrey Poff shares recipes for a few Southern side dishes that her family requests each year. While her family’s Thanksgiving meal is always a collective effort of several generations, these are the most requested side dishes that grace the table for the family’s annual Thanksgiving celebration.

Creamy Jalapeno Corn Casserole (serves 6)
A double batch of this corn casserole has been a staple for holiday meals for more than 25 years.

• 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
• ¼ cup diced jalapeno peppers (drained)
• 4 15-ounce cans whole kernel white shoepeg corn, drained

Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, mix cream cheese and jalapenos until well incorporated. Add corn and fold into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-45 minutes. Garnish with sliced jalapeños.

The Lady And Sons Macaroni and Cheese (serves 6-8)
Paula Deen’s recipe for classic mac and cheese can add comfort to even the most chaotic family gatherings.

• 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained
• 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
• 3 eggs, beaten
• ½ cup sour cream
• 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup milk

Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook and drain macaroni and place in a large bowl. While still hot, add the cheddar. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired.

Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots (serves 6)
This recipe is ridiculously easy, but these roasted carrots are so delicious that they sometimes disappear before they get to the table.

• 2 pounds carrots, diagonally cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces
• 5 tablespoons butter
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
• Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Directions Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Cut up the carrots and set aside. Melt butter over medium-heat in a large nonstick skillet or pan. Add garlic and cook for three minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Do not burn the garlic. Toss the carrots with the garlic butter either in the pan or pour the butter over them in a mixing bowl. Toss until well combined. Transfer carrots to previously prepared baking sheet. Arrange in one layer and bake for 22 to 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows and Cinnamon Streusel (serves 6)
Why choose between marshmallow and streusel topping for your sweet potato casserole when you can have both?

Sweet Potatoes Ingredients
• 5 pounds sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick)
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 cups mini-marshmallows

Brown Sugar Streusel Topping Ingredients
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
• ¼ cup dark brown sugar (packed)

Sweet Potatoes Directions Bring large pot with water to boil over high heat. Add sweet potato pieces and cook until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and place back into pot or large bowl. Mash potatoes with a potato masher or blend with an electric mixer, until mostly smooth. Add butter, brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract and cinnamon and using a potato masher, mash until combined. Add heavy cream and combine until well incorporated. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with 2 cups of mini-marshmallows and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Streusel Topping Directions Mix flour, salt, ground cinnamon, butter and dark brown sugar with a fork until a desired crumble texture is achieved. Add more sugar for finer crumbs.

Final Assembly Top the sweet potato mixture and marshmallows with the prepared crumble topping. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until center is warmed through and marshmallows and topping are lightly browned.