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Sides for Holiday Meal

Vegan Collard Greens


  • vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, halved

  • 1 quart unsalted or low sodium vegetable stock

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 pounds collard greens, stems removed (if desired), washed, and cut into strips

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika + more to taste


  1. Heat a little bit of oil in a large pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onion cut-side down and cook until charred.

  2. Add the vegetable stock, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes and smoked paprika to the pot and bring to a boil.

  3. Add the cut collard greens to the vegetable broth, cover, and let simmer until nice and silky, anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours (or more).

  4. Add the vinegar, taste, and adjust the seasonings as you see fit. Serve.

Creamy Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

This baked mac and cheese is a family favorite recipe, loved by children and adults.

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

15 mins

Total Time

35 mins


  • 1 lb. dried elbow pasta

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 4 cups grated medium sharp cheddar cheese divided (measured after grating)

  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese divided (measured after grating)

  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. Onion powder


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3 qt baking dish (9x13"). Set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.

  • While water is coming up to a boil, grate cheeses and toss together to mix, then divide into three piles. Approximately 3 cups for the sauce, 1 1/2 cups for the inner layer, and 1 1/2 cups for the topping.

  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over MED heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Mixture will look like very wet sand. Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often. Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the milk/heavy , while whisking constantly, until smooth. Slowly pour in the remaining milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.

  • Continue to heat over MED heat, whisking very often, until thickened to a very thick consistency. It should almost be the consistency of a semi thinned out condensed soup.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in spices and 1 1/2 cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine. Stir in another 1 1/2 cups of cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine drained pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheeses, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.

  • Sprinkle the top with the last 1 1/2 cups of cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown.


Mac and Cheese can be made ahead:

  • Make as directed (but do not bake), transfer to baking dish and cool completely. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate 1-2 days ahead.

  • Before baking, let dish sit on counter for 30 minutes.

  • Bake at recipe temperature for 25-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly.


Replace cheese amounts with the following:

  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1 cup Colby cheese, shredded

  • 1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded

  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded

  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded


  • Prepare recipe as directed but bake at 350 or 375 F degrees for 20-30 minutes. Broil at the end of baking for approximately 2-5 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.


Calories: 665kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 700mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1320IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 711mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Southern Candied Yams

Candied yams is a old fashioned side dish that's slow cooked in a candied mixture on the stove-top with warm spices, sugar and butter.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour

Servings 5 people

Author April


  • 2lb sweet potatoes

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar or light brown sugar

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp ginger

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 1 stick butter

  • 4 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate thawed

  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (Bull Young preferred )


  • Scrub, peel and slice your yams into 1/2 inch rounds. In a medium pot over medium high heat, combine the sweet potatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Stir the sweet potatoes until coated in the sugar and butter mixture.

  • Let it come to a boil. Cover then simmer for about 50 minutes or until the yams are nice and tender when slightly pierced with the tines of a fork or taste. If the yam is still a bit hard. Let it cook a bit longer.

  • Remove the top then set stove to medium. Let the cooking liquid come to a boil. Stirring occasionally until the cooking liquid reduces about 10 minute or until the syrup coats the yams. Remove the pot with the candied yams from the stove and place them into the oven until you are ready to serve them. These taste best warm.



  • Double or triple the recipe if you like.

  • I always add a bit more vanilla extract to the candied yams once they're almost done cooking.

  • These aren't too sweet in my opinion but you can adjust the amount of sugar to your taste, since everyones taste is different. Start off using less sugar, taste then add more if needed. If you end up adding too much sugar, balance it out by adding a bit of water or even butter.

  • If the syrup becomes too thick, you can thin it out with a bit of water.

  • You can assemble this in advance. Up to 3 days. The flavors will be even better! Store it with an airtight lid in the refrigerator. Heat it up on your stove-top until warmed through.

  • Look for small sweet potatoes. They're easier to peel and cut. You can usually find them at Walmart. If you can't find them medium or larger sweet potatoes will work.

  • Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch rounds. If you slice them any thinner they may break apart as they cook.

  • Once they're done, carefully stir them into the sauce. If you stir to roughly the yams may break apart.

  • To test their doneness, take one out and taste it. If it's still a bit hard. Let it cook a bit longer. when the tines of fork can pierce the sweet potato easily, it's done.

  • This dish is best served warm.

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