For Your Culinary Consideration: Holiday Side Dish Recipes

Home is where the heart and a mighty holiday hunger is.  People get ready, there’s a holiday coming, and holiday side dish recipes are on the menu. The Places In The Home gang holiday side dish requests are noted and the recipes selected.  I like to bring at least one new or improved upon recipe with the accent mark on easy to the holiday table. This Thanksgiving I am paying homage to my great-grandmother by serving two of her favorite dishes.


Country Living Magazine provides the recipe for English Pea Salad and Martha Stewart comes through with the recipe for Glazed Pearl Onions. Southern Sweet Potato Casserole is a must have, must serve at our holiday dinner table, and if it’s Thanksgiving, it is definitely cornbread dressing time at our house.  I am most intrigued with a new recipe from the Kitchn, Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole.  I considered eliminating one of the starches but reasoned it out with simple math. Starches + tryptophan= full, satisfied and sleepy husbands, fathers, sons, brothers and nephews, and that means guilt free Black Friday shopping, keyboard style.


English Pea Salad


2 large hard-boiled eggs, whites chopped and yolks crumbled

1 (½ cup) yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

2 ounce(s) (½ cup) Cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup(s) mayonnaise

½ cup(s) sour cream

3 tablespoon(s) dried basil

2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped red onion

2 teaspoon(s) chopped pimiento

1 teaspoon(s) apple-cider vinegar

1 teaspoon(s) sugar

1 teaspoon(s) soul-food seasoning or seasoned salt

1 teaspoon(s) granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper

2 dash(es) hot sauce

60 ounce(s) (four 15-ounce cans) early peas (such as Le Sueur), drained


In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the peas, mixing well. Then stir in the peas. Refrigerate the salad for at least 10 hours or up to overnight. Serve at room temperature.

– Country Living Magazine

glazed-pearl-onionsPhoto- Clive Streeter

Glazed Pearl Onions


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound frozen pearl onions, thawed and patted dry

2 teaspoons sugar

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried)


Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Cook, tossing occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add 2/3 cup water and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.

-Martha Stewart


Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole


3 pounds small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-inch chunks

1  tablespoon kosher salt

6  whole garlic cloves, peeled

1  whole bay leaf

4  (3-inch) thyme sprigs

1  (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1  cup sour cream (full-fat)

¾  to 1 cup whole milk, warmed

1  teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2  tablespoons butter, cut into bits and chilled


Generously butter a shallow 2 ½-quart gratin dish or baking dish.

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water to a depth of 2 inches. Add the kosher salt, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Do not let the potatoes break apart or become waterlogged. Drain well and let stand until the potatoes steam dry and their edges look chalky, about 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems.

Press the hot potatoes and garlic through a food mill or ricer into a large bowl. Alternatively, mash them as smooth as possible with a hand-held potato masher.

Add the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and ¾ cup of the milk to the warm potatoes; stir until smooth. The mixture will firm up as it chills overnight, so at this point it should be slightly softer than you want to serve it. Season with seasoned salt and pepper.

Scrape the potatoes into the prepared dish and smooth the top. Dot the top with the bits of chilled butter. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days ahead.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are heated through, about 1 hour. Serve warm.  Serves 6 to 8

– The Kitchn


Southern Sweet Potato Casserole


3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

½ cup sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup milk

½  cup melted butter


1  cup brown sugar

½  cup flour

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans


Combine first 6 ingredients. Pour into a buttered 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish. Mix remaining ingredients together and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is browned. Serves 6 to 8.









Holiday Household Hints and Tips

Home for the Holidays comes with its joyful share of pulling out all the decorating, baking, entertaining, and celebrating the season stops.

Here’s a few holiday household hints and tips that may prove to come in holiday handy, and here is a few more holiday hints and tips from holiday posts past.

I’m all about kicking off the holiday season in a no problem November zone.


Remove wax drips from candlesticks by placing them in the freezer for thirty minutes.

The “drips” will come right off.


Garlic belongs in the gumbo, not on your hands.

Handling garlic and onion goes with the culinary territory and with that comes the smell that is  left on your hands.

Rub your hands on a stainless steel surface such as the kitchen faucet to cut the smell.

coffee carafe

Remove coffee stains from a glass coffee carafe with a simple recipe of  1 tablespoon salt, a handful of ice cubes and 1 tablespoon of water.

Add salt, ice and water to the cool carafe and swirl until clean.

Rinse well with water and dry.

 clear vase

Cloudy vase?

Fill vase with luke warm water and drop in a denture cleaner tablet.

Let the tablet do its thing overnight.

Pour out solution, wash vase with luke warm water and dry.

Do not use hot water- it can cause the vase to crack.

baking pans

Gunk, funk and baked on junk left behind on roasters and baking pans is not my idea of a welcomed holiday leftover.

Baked on will be gone in two simple steps.

Grab a couple of dryer sheets from the laundry room.

Fill the pan half full of warm water and place the dryer sheets in the warm water.

Soak the pan overnight.

wedge shaped pie box

Pack guests a parting piece of  pie in these deluxe Wedge-Shaped Pie Box Kits from A la Modo on Etsy.

The kits include:

25  wedge shaped boxes

25  wooden forks

25  food safe parchment liners

14  yards of traditional red & white bakers twine

seasonings swap

Here’s a couple of helpful conversion charts to assist with the aforementioned pie and all your holiday seasoning and measuring needs.

kitchen conversion chartvia

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Planning For The Holidays

Now that the calendar has turned to November I am no longer under obligation to avoid the elephant in the room.  I’ve contained my excitement long enough.  By all accounts we are in the presence of the Holidays, and I’m ready to get the planning, decorating, baking, cooking and tablescaping underway!   I don’t know about you, but I would have no problem settling in, getting cozy and planning for the holidays in this gorgeous space.

Laurel Nestvia

Holiday oversaturation is something I guess we all come in contact with in one way or another.  I came to better understand the commercial aspect of holiday shopping when the subject of holiday open house planning and prep rolled around. A beautifully crafted holiday celebration complete with decoration and culinary delights does not just happen overnight. Planning and budgeting for holiday gatherings and celebrations begins weeks in advance. When the first leaf hits the ground so do my feet.  I’m running full speed ahead straight towards fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

red vases

I find what works best for me is to evaluate what decorative and tabletop items will transition beautifully from holiday to holiday.  Take color palette choices for example.  A red vase filled with black roses used at Halloween can reinvent itself as an appropriate accent in complementing holiday color on both the Thanksgiving and Christmas tablescape. Another wonderful option is to go with gold and silver accessories for the all important touch of elegance. I refer to the metals as the holiday neutrals.  Orange goes a long way as a color consideration for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorating, but have you noticed the different shades of orange being used in all forms of Christmas decorating?  Verdant, eggplant, mocha and curry are also finding a place on the holiday color wheel.


The Kerr jars I used on my fall tablescape will soon be filled with homemade pear preserves and a dual decorative purpose for Thanksgiving.  These chalkboard style fall food gift labels designed by Lia Griffith and hosted by are designed for your own text.  I’m giving the pear preserves in decorated jars as “I’m thankful for you” gifts, and the  labels will serve as the place cards for our Thanksgiving tablescape.  Click on the image below to download the PDF.

chalkboard labelsvia

Over the next few weeks I hope you will join me for the Places In The Home For The Holidays series.

home for the holidays

I will be featuring  new and classic posts full of  home decor accessory resources, ideas, tips, talking all things turkey, recipes and helpful holiday suggestions for feathering and decorating your home for the holidays nest.

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