What I'm Thankful For...

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!  Who doesn't love holiday Monday's?  Especially holiday Monday's surrounded with good eats.
Today is the day we give 'thanks' for all that we have.  I'm thankful for so many things: family, friends, good health, being my top 3.  Cheers to that.  
Going forward I want to make it a point to give 'thanks' daily, not just during this three day stretch in October.  I think we begin to take for granted the little things in life, we forget/neglect to tell those around us how much we love them.  So that's my goal, thanksgiving  'giving thanks' year round.
Okay, now that the 'thanks' have been established, let's move onto the food side of this holiday.  Let me start by saying, I think this is my favourite 'food' holiday.  The menu is similar to Christmas, but without the stress of Christmas.  No crowds to contend with, as you try and find the last 'it' toy in the entire city.  No freezing weather or blizzards keeping you from your loved ones.  Instead, this is a low key holiday filled with carbs, carbs and sweets.  Oh and you know I'm a fan!  (you had me at hello carbs)
We had our big dinner last night, we always celebrate on the Sunday.  We need the extra day to recover from the turkey and sides overdose that occurred the night before.  Mom & Dad took the job of hosting the big family gathering this year, so I was only in charge of bringing a side dish.  Done.  This one is a favourite.  Sweet potato casserole.  Maple syrup, coconut, raisins and a pecan crumble topping make this almost dessert-like.  This pile of carbs sat right along side my turkey, and then 2nds were had.  This dish is only made a handful of times during the year, so when the time does come, I get my sweet potato on.  Until we meet again at Christmas sweet potato casserole, you will be in my dreams...

I hope everyone enjoys what's left of the long weekend, spend it with family and stuff your faces.  That's what its all about!

Sweet Potato Casserole

5lbs sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut

Pecan Crumble
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
3 Tbsp butter, softened

Bring the potatoes and enough cold water to cover them to a boil in a large pot.  Reduce heat and simmer till fork tender, approximately 20 minutes.  Drain and cool.  Mash the potatoes in a large bowl until smooth.
Preheat oven to 375F.  Spray baking dish with non stick spray.  Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together milk, syrup, egg and vanilla.
Add the milk mixture to the potatoes, stirring to combine well.  Add in the raisins and coconut and stir until blended.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
To make topping, combine sugar, flour, pecans and butter in medium bowl.  Working with a fork or hands, mix until ingredients are combined well and resemble pea sized crumbs.  Sprinkle the topping over the potatoes and bake uncovered until center is hot and topping is browned 25-30 minutes.
Yields: 14 servings
(slightly adapted from bobby dean)


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