Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two of My Favorite Holiday Dishes!

I think I've officially made it official...I am in love with November. I imagine in great part my thoughts of November are laced with happy memories and occasions: My dad's birthday, my parent's anniversary, my husband and son's birthday, and of course, Thanksgiving. I love the simplicity of the holiday---no expected gifts to give, no costumes to conjure up, no massive amounts of candy to buy. Just a beautiful meal intertwined with notions of gratitude and thanks, shared with the ones we love the most. I truly love it.

We recently shared a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with a dear family in our neighborhood who is moving the day before the holiday and will likely be spending Thanksgiving Day traveling. We had all the traditional yummy foods, and I shared two of our family's favorite holiday dishes: My sister's "Raspberry Pretzel Salad" and my dear friend Lara's "Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls". They are both fabulous recipes and I would love to share them with all of you. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Raspberry Pretzel Salad

2 c. smashed but chunky pretzels
3 T. sugar
1/2 c. melted butter

8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
1 small can (or half of a large one) crushed pineapple
8 oz. Cool Whip Topping

2 small or one large package raspberry Jello
2 c. boiling water
1 package frozen raspberries

1. Mix pretzels, 3 T. sugar and melted butter. Bake in a 9 x 13 oblong casserole dish for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.
2. Blend together cream cheese, 1 c. sugar, pineapple, and Cool Whip. Pour mixture over cooled pretzels and refrigerate.
3. Mix Jello with 2 c. boiling water until dissolved and add frozen raspberries. Mix until syrupy.
4. Refrigerate Jello mixture until it is no longer runny, then pour on top of cream cheese mixture and chill until completely set up.
5. Slice into squares and serve. Yummy!!!

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls (this recipe is actually doubled for feeding a larger crowd. You can half it for a smaller amount of rolls if desired.)

2 c. hot water
1 c. sugar
4 pkgs. active dry yeast (equivalent to 9 teaspoons or approx. 3 tablespoons)

1 29 oz. can Cut Sweet Potatoes, drained and mashed
1 c. butter
2 eggs

3 tsp. salt
9 1/2-10 cups flour

1/2 c. melted butter

1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in hot water. When water has cooled to a warm temperature, add yeast and allow to foam up a bit.
2. While yeast mixture is sitting, beat together the potatoes, butter, and egg in a mixer.
3. Add the yeast mixture when ready, followed by the salt.
4. Add the flour a few cups at a time to form a stiff dough.
5. Knead until smooth.
6. Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise about an hour until doubled. Punch down and divide into six sections.
7. Roll each section into a circle and slice into several wedges.

8. Brush with butter and roll into a crescent shape starting at the wide end.

9. Place on greased baking sheet and let rise.
10. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown, depending on your oven.

I hope you enjoy planning your meal for the upcoming holiday!! What are your favorite holiday dishes?? I'd love to hear!


  1. Shelli, I LOVE these recipes. I am so happy you posted them. I just posted the link on my own blog. Everyone should run and copy these down they are two of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in my life! :) Seriously! Thanks for sharing in our pre thanksgiving celebration. We love you and life will not be the same without you so close! Love Ya, Dana..

  2. Ooh, both of these look so good! I love that both of them are so unique for holiday foods! YUM!

  3. Thanksgiving food tradition that I have made almost every year here in AZ is Pecan Tassies. It was my assignment for our dinner and everyone loves them. They are just the perfect bite-size pecan pie taste. Getting ready to make some in a few days!

  4. You're so right about Thanksgiving. Nothing to do but prepare a wonderful meal and count blessings. It is a wonderfully simple holiday. We need to see you soon! I miss you Shelli. Which sister has the pretzel salad recipe?


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