Today’s guest post is from fabulous foodie mom Liza Hawkins, Frederick resident and the creative culinary mind behind (a)Musing Foodie. We’ve been LOVING Liza’s recent series on cooking with pomegranates and were thrilled that she accepted our invitation to guest post today! Many many thanks to Liza for sharing her favorite Thanksgiving recipe. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser – – with your kids and those that just like to eat like them!
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Thanksgiving is such a nostalgic holiday for so many people, and I believe that’s because it’s the one holiday that connects families from all different backgrounds, cultures, and religions. There are no boundaries or requirements, except that you need to live in the United States and that you plan to be thankful on the third Thursday in November every year. Heck, I don’t even think anyone would mind if you lived outside of the US, but still wanted to celebrate our Thanksgiving.

So, without location being critical, you’re left with one requirement to properly celebrate Thanksgiving: that you plan to be thankful on the third Thursday in November.

Oh, wait! There is one more thing….

You must also plan to gorge and feast over ridiculous amounts of delicious and traditionally made foods, typically prepared from recipes that have been passed down in your family for generations.

When I think about our family’s Thanksgiving, I can’t wait for all the staples: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries (two ways!), peas (canned AND fresh – my grandmother (my mom’s mom) still makes both), stuffing and dressing (did you know there’s a difference?), and last BUT not least:

Memaw’s Sweet Potato Casserole

Memaw (my dad’s mother) passed away over a decade ago, but Thanksgiving still isn’t complete without her tried and true…and terribly addicting…sweet potato casserole. This isn’t your typical sweet potato casserole – you won’t find a marshmallow in sight. Instead, it’s a fluffy, creamy, crunchy, gooey, can’t-believe-it’s-a-side-not-a-dessert accompaniment to an already spectacular spread. My aunt makes it every year as a tradition, and we flip coins to see who gets to lick the casserole dish clean at the end of the meal (not really, but you believed me for a second, didn’t you?). Down the road, the torch will be passed to my cousins, my sister, and me – but for now Aunt Sharon’s the resident sweet potato casseroler – and it’s critical to making our Thanksgiving complete.

Here’s the simply addictive recipe:

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×11” casserole dish and set aside.

Combine the potatoes, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla, milk and melted butter. Blend with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Pour the sweet potato mixture into your baking dish.

For the topping, in a mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar, butter and flour. Stir in the chopped pecans and sprinkle over top the sweet potatoes.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until hot. Makes 6-8 side dish servings.

How’d it turn out? 🙂