Are you a work-ahead type, or a procrastinator? I’m definitely a work-ahead type. I know some (family members) who might call me OCD. Or Type A. Or just plain annoying and crazy. But I hate saving things till the last minute. I don’t care how you do it, but I always need to be ahead of the game.
Of course that occasionally backfires, like when I start my Christmas shopping in early September, and by December I can’t remember what I’ve bought or where I’ve hidden it, so I end up spending twice what I would have had I just waited.
Or when I plan vacations a year in advance, and then I find really great airfare sales to someplace I’ve always wanted to go, but it’s too late because I’m all booked with non refundable airfares and I can’t afford to have two vacations.
And always when I high five myself for raking out all my gardens by early November and we have a wind storm that blows down the rest of the leaves as well as those from our neighbors the very next weekend.
OK sometimes it doesn’t pay to be super organized, but for holiday cooking, it always pays off. Who wants to be slicing and dicing and wiping down counters when you could be spending time with your friends and family? Not me. So for Thanksgiving I’ll be making my chopped cranberry relish by Monday, my desserts by Tuesday, and this sweet potato soufflé by Wednesday (mostly). That leaves the quick cooking mashed potatoes and veggie sides for Thursday. Oh, and I bought the turkey pre-brined.
Did someone say you go girl?
This sweet potato dish is lighter than traditional baked sweet potato casserole, because of the whipped egg whites. It can be prepared the day ahead up to the egg white part. Just take it out of the refrigerator ahead of time to come to room temperature, whip the reserved egg whites to stiff peaks 30 minutes before dinner, and fold them in and bake. It's traditionally spicy with the crunch of pecans, and the slight flavor of orange.
- 1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Tbs melted butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 egg yolks beaten
- 2 Tbs orange liqueur like Cointreau
- ½ cup toasted pecans chopped
- 4 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Boil sweet potatoes with ½ teaspoon salt, until tender. Drain well in a colander
- Transfer the sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl and whip them with a mixer until they are completely smooth.
- Add the melted butter, brown sugar, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, egg yolks, orange liqueur, and pecans to the potatoes and mix for another 30 seconds with the mixer.
- Gently fold in beaten egg whites.
- Place mixture in a 2-quart baking dish.
- Bake 30 minutes.
What's your Thanksgiving dinner game plan?