Posts tagged as:

make ahead mashed potatoes

Our Quintessential Thanksgiving Dinner With A Twist

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 26, 2014 · 1 comment


Thanksgiving is a big deal in our family -- we have much to be thankful for, so we relish celebrating this day with friends and family and, of course, lots of amazing food.

We typically celebrate with a classic Thanksgiving meal: turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry salad, and of course, pumpkin pie to finish it all off. However, my favorite recipes are anything but typical… Each has a bit of a twist that makes it unique to my family and/or simplifies our meal in some way, and I’d love to share them with you!

Deep Fried Turkey – I have to admit that I’m not really a fan of turkey, so there have been many years when we opted for a ham instead. Until we tried this deep fried turkey recipe… Now my turkey turns out tender, juicy and flavorful every time, and the cooking time is trimmed to under an hour!

Crescent Rolls with Fresh Herbs -- fresh chopped herbs turn the mundane crescent roll into an upscale side worthy of special occasion status. These crescent rolls with fresh herbs are an elegant roll for dinner parties and holiday gatherings!

Green Bean Casserole – I know that green bean casserole is one of those dishes that everyone seems to either love or hate. I happen to fall firmly in the LOVE category, and this is seriously the easiest green bean casserole recipe ever. It’s made with just three simple ingredients!

Mashed Potatoes – Our dinner plates just wouldn’t be complete without a heaping helping of mashed potatoes, especially my very favorite creamy make ahead mashed potatoes. Filled with sour cream and cream cheese, they don’t even need gravy, and you can make up them a day or two in advance, so all you have to do it bake them before the big meal!

Stuffing – Of course, stuffing is a requirement at Thanksgiving, but when you deep-fry your turkey, you can’t bake your stuffing in it. These cute little stuffing muffins are the perfect solution, and the perfectly sized portions make them easy to serve!

Cranberry Salad – This is definitely not your average cranberry salad recipe, but it’s an absolute must on our Thanksgiving table. Truthfully it’s more like a dessert, but we serve it right alongside our main meal!

Pumpkin Pie – And last, but certainly not least, our table would not be complete without a couple of homemade pumpkin pies. I make my pumpkin pies from scratch using the classic Crisco pie crust recipe, filling them with the homemade pumpkin pie filling recipe that was passed down from my mom. Don't forget the homemade whipped cream!

Traditional or not, I’m looking forward to sharing this special day and delicious meal with my family. Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

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Happy New Year | Top Recipes of 2013

by Tara Kuczykowski on January 2, 2014 · 2 comments

Happy New Year!!! Looking for some new recipes to try in 2014? Take a trip back through Unsophisticook's top 10 posts of 2013 for a little inspiration!

{10} Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

{9} Easy Chicken and Dumplings (like Cracker Barrel!)

{8} Slow Cooker Caramel Sauce

{7} Mini Spinach Quiche

{6} How To Make Quinoa in a Rice Cooker

{5} Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa (better than Chipotle!)

{4} Buffalo Chicken Dip (my fave!)

{3} Homemade Iced Coffee

{2} Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

Annnnddddd the most popular Unsophisticook post of 2013 is...

Baked Hard Boiled Eggs
{1} Baked Hard Boiled Eggs -- yields amazingly perfect hard cooked eggs every time and is a fantastic method for making large batches all at once!

Click through for print options on Unsophisticook, or check out my Unsophisticook Recipes board on Pinterest to pin your faves for later!

Did you try one of these recipes this year? Or one that didn't make the top 10? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 26, 2013 · 0 comments

I know it's a little late, but if you're doing some last-minute searching for new Thanksgiving recipes to adorn your Thanksgiving table, I've got a few suggestions!

These are my family's tried and true favorites, and I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does.


These delicious make ahead mashed potatoes can be prepared the night before and baked on Thanksgiving Day!


My family's super simple green bean casserole recipe uses canned green beans and only 3 ingredients total!


Our Thanksgiving meal wouldn't be complete without this creamed corn casserole! You'll want to scrape the dish completely clean to get every last bit of caramelized goodness from the corners.


These stuffing muffins are a fun take on a classic recipe! I love that you can customize them for your guests, plus they're perfectly proportioned for kids and adults alike.


If you only try one new recipe this Thanksgiving, it has to be this cranberry salad. Trust me, it's that good -- definitely not your average ho-hum cranberry side!

And of course our meal wouldn't be complete without a fabulous homemade pumpkin pie. But even if you serve a store bought pie, top it off with a little homemade whipped cream for that special touch!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

If you're feeling really ambitious, try making your own homemade Crisco pie crust -- I promise it's worth the extra effort if you have the time...

What's your favorite recipe to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner?

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Oven Baked Mashed Potatoes {Simple Easter Side}

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 21, 2013 · 0 comments

If you're looking for a great Easter (or anytime) side dish, give these make ahead mashed potatoes a try! Along with my creamed corn casserole, it's one of the most requested side dishes at family gatherings.


My favorite feature of these oven baked mashed potatoes (besides the delicious taste) is that you throw the ingredients together the night before and then refrigerate the potatoes until you're ready to bake them for your meal. Plus the recipe doubles easily for large family gatherings, potlucks, cookouts and more!

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