AP NEWS

Simple Sides for Holiday Entertaining

November 16, 2018

( Family Features ) Preparing side dishes can be time consuming. Save those precious minutes to enjoy the holidays by using refrigerated, never-frozen options like mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, baked apples and even macaroni and cheese that can be heated in the microwave and ready to serve in minutes.

Like many hosts, you are likely searching for perfection in your holiday get-togethers. With an ever-expanding guest list, each year may seem more and more difficult to pull off the perfect gathering. Make things easier and still delicious by serving ready-to-eat options like refrigerated macaroni and cheese made with real milk and cheese.

Perfect Holiday Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple on many holiday menus, but all that peeling and mashing can take hours. This year, save time by using refrigerated, ready-to-eat mashed potatoes, such as Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes, which taste just like homemade.

Add your family’s special ingredient, like sage butter, and no one will know they aren’t homemade.

Microwave the mashed potatoes just before dinner or throw them in a crockpot on low and pitch the packaging so no one knows you didn’t make them ahead of time.

Buy a couple extra and store them in the fridge in case you have unexpected holiday guests.

Find more ideas to make your holiday sides simply delicious at bobevansgrocery.com.

Fancy Mac

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Nonstick cooking spray1 package Bob Evans Macaroni and Cheese1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained1 1/4 cups shredded Gouda cheese, divided1 package Bob Evans Thick Sliced Hardwood Smoked Bacon, cooked and broken into pieces1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper2 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 400° F. Spray four ramekins with cooking spray.Heat macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Once cooked, stir in spinach, 1 cup cheese, bacon, salt and pepper.Let mixture stand 10-15 minutes to cool. Add eggs. Spoon evenly into ramekins. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.Bake 20 minutes, or until centers are set.

Sweet Potato Cookies

Prep time: 28-33 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Serves: 36

3/4 cup vegetable shortening3/4 cup brown sugar1 large egg1 cup Bob Evans Mashed Sweet Potatoes2 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon kosher salt1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice1 cup butter, unsalted3 cups powdered sugar1/2 teaspoon maple extractchopped honey roasted pecans (optional)mini marshmallows (optional)

Heat oven to 350° F.In large bowl, using hand mixer or paddle attachment, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and sweet potatoes; mix until combined.In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture until well mixed. Using small cookie scoop, drop rounds onto greased baking sheets.Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before frosting.In separate bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar and maple extract until frosting is light and fluffy. Frost each cooled cookie with maple butter cream frosting.Sprinkle with pecans and mini marshmallows, if desired. Carefully toast marshmallows with culinary torch, if desired, while avoiding melting frosting.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Mini Hash Brown Casseroles

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 24

1 pound Bob Evans Original Roll Sausage4 large eggs1/2 cup milk1 package (20 ounces) Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns3 tablespoons butter, melted1 cup ham, cubed1/2 teaspoon black pepper1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In skillet, cook sausage according to package directions.Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins.In bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add hash browns, butter, ham, black pepper and cheese; mix thoroughly. Fill muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake 27-30 minutes, or until toothpick or knife inserted in center comes out clean.Substitution: For healthier alternative, substitute 1 cup AllWhites liquid egg whites instead of eggs.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 40

2 packages Bob Evans Thick Sliced Hardwood Smoked Bacon, slices cut in half1 package Bob Evans White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes1 package garlic herb cheese spread20 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded with membranes removed1/4 cup brown sugar1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 400° F. Set bacon out to thaw to room temperature so it is pliable.In mixing bowl, use rubber spatula to combine mashed potatoes and garlic herb cheese. Stir until incorporated. Spread 1 teaspoon mashed potato mixture in each jalapeno half; level each with butter knife or spatula.Wrap each jalapeno with bacon; use three half slices for large jalapenos or two halves for smaller sizes. Be sure bacon is wrapped sealing in mashed potato mixture tightly.In small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Generously sprinkle over bacon and pat gently to make it stick.Line cookie sheet with piece of parchment paper so sugar does not burn to pan. Bake until bacon reaches desired crispiness, around 25-35 minutes.Let peppers cool slightly before serving, about 5 minutes.

AP RADIO
Update hourly