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Mix Up Thanksgiving with These Delicious Southern Recipes!

It’s that time of year again: the Halloween craze has ended, and the air is getting colder and crisper, but it’s not quite time for those chestnuts roasting on an open-fire.  Midterms are over (hopefully), and everyone is buzzing with excitement for Thanksgiving break.  Whether we’re going home, visiting family, or staying in Boston for the holiday, we’re all ready to stuff our faces with turkey and pie until we reach food-coma-status.  Who doesn’t love that? 
I want all of you to start preparing yourselves for this year’s Turkey Day— but with a twist.  I have strong family roots in Tennessee, and my family’s Thanksgiving dinner usually involves a hint of Southern comfort.  All of the dishes are homemade with hard work.  I have memories of my great-grandmother picking pecans on Thanksgiving morning, cracking them with her 92-year-old hands as she sits by the furnace with her dogs, preparing for her homemade pecan tassies or pies, while onions cook on the stove and corn bread bakes in the oven.  This year I want to spread that Southern comfort into your homes on Thanksgiving with some of these special recipes.
Corn Bread Dressing

What you’ll need:
¼ cup chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 can sliced water chestnuts
¾ cup melted butter
4 cups toasted sliced bread or biscuits
4 cups corn bread*
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 cups cream of chicken soup (chicken broth if needed)
How to make it:
Cook the onion and celery in butter.  Combine them with the water chestnuts, bread crumbs, and seasoning.  Add the broth if it’s too dry.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
*If you want to go all out and make your own homemade corn bread…

What you’ll need:
2 cups corn meal
2 Tbsp. flour
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. oil
1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
How to make it:
Heat the oil in an 8-inch iron skillet in the oven (at 350 degrees).  Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Add hot oil to the batter and pour the batter into the hot skillet.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees until it is golden brown.
Pecan Tassies

What you’ll need:
1 cup butter
6 oz. cream cheese
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups finely chopped pecans
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour to form the dough.  Divide the dough into 48 one-inch balls.  Press each ball into a miniature muffin tin cup.  Combine the rest of the ingredients and fill the cups.  Bake for 12-15 minutes to make 48 Pecan Tassies.
Sweet Potato Pie

What you’ll need:
2 cups peeled, cooked sweet potatoes
1 cups sugar
½ stick melted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 cup milk
9-inch unbaked pie crust
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  For the filling, mix potatoes, 1 cup of sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices, then add milk.  Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve with whipped cream.

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