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I know it’s not quite the new year yet, but I have been looking back over this past year and 2014 has been a year of new things: new adventures in fitness (my first triathlon!), new health challenges (hip problems, ugh), a new home (yay!!), and some new traditions for the upcoming holidays.
Things have changed over the years and we are branching out into new and exciting things in our lives and we are establishing some new holiday traditions with our family. One of them is doing my own holiday cooking and hosting holiday meals and parties at our house.
I need to up the ante on my cooking skills and come up with some new holiday party recipes – they have been rusty to say the least! In the 10+ years Zach and I have been married, we have never really made our own Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
With our new house and more room to entertain, we are devoting more time to holidays this year: hosting dinners/parties, spending more time at home creating memories, and taking the time to decorate for the holidays to create a festive and warm atmosphere.
As we sat and planned our Thanksgiving dinner, we weeded out some of the traditional foods that we didn’t really care if we made or not. Stuffing? Nah. Cranberry sauce? Zach isn’t a fan. Dinner rolls? Maybe not. Green bean casserole? Not sure about that one. Some of the traditional fare normally served at Thanksgiving just didn’t seem to fit us. We wanted something different.
So, we are smoking a 15-pound Turducken with creole sausage filling (it’s allergy friendly!), alligator sausage, and I’m making some pies, salads, Easy Chipotle Dip, and Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes. I decided to keep it simple as far as side dishes – nothing too complicated or fancy since it’s my first time making Thanksgiving dinner.
For my Thanksgiving dinner I two delicious holiday party food recipes with the Chipotle Tobasco® sauce: Easy Chipotle Dip, and Smoky Mashed Sweet Potatoes, both dairy free and allergy friendly! I jazzed up the recipes and kicked up the flavor with some Chipotle Tobasco® in keeping with our Cajun-inspired Thanksgiving dinner. The dip and mashed sweet potatoes are simple and easy to make, and I’m sharing both recipes with you!
If you’re curious about whether Tobasco® is gluten free, check out their FAQ page for all the details! Some of their flavors are gluten free and some are not, so check their list to find out. The Tobasco® Original, Chipotle, and Green Jalapeno sauces shown here are all gluten free.
You can find the Tobasco® sauce varieties at just about any store. I got these ones at my local Wal-Mart since they always have pretty good prices.
This Easy Chipotle Dip is just that – it’s super easy! It takes maybe 5 minutes to put together so you can focus on your other holiday dishes and your guests.
- 1/2 cup egg-free mayo garlic flavored (I used Garlic Just Mayo)*
- 2-3 Tablespoons Chipotle Tobasco Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Chill and serve with fresh veggies.
- If you don't want your dip to be very thick, mix in some canned coconut milk to help get the consistency you like.
Notes: If you don't have garlic flavored egg-free mayo, then use regular egg-free mayo and add 1 teaspoon garlic powder to the recipe
Next recipe! The Smoky Mashed Sweet Potatoes are perfect for the holidays: since this is made in a slow cooker, that means less hands-on time for you and more oven space or stove-top space for your other holiday menu items.
For the recipe, I cut the sweet potatoes in half so they would cook faster, but I ended up getting dark oxidation spots on my sweet potatoes. You can avoid this by leaving your sweet potatoes whole and cutting the ends off after they have cooked, it will just take a bit longer to cook the sweet potatoes.
- 5 sweet potatoes medium
- 1 cup water
- 3 Tablespoons Earth Balance Soy-Free Margarine or coconut oil
- 3 Tablespoons egg-free mayo garlic flavor (I used Garlic Just Mayo)*
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
- 1-2 Tablespoons Chipotle Tobasco
- Wash sweet potatoes and cut in half width-wise. Place in an 8-quart slow cooker with 1/2 inch water in the bottom (about 1 cup or so). Cutting the sweet potatoes in half means less cooking time, but you can keep them whole and cook them a bit longer to avoid dark spots from oxidation in your sweet potatoes.
- Cook on high for about 2-1/2 hours (longer if left whole) or until the sweet potatoes are tender and softened.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the slow cooker and remove the peel. The skin should come off easily.
- Place the cooked and peeled sweet potatoes in a large bowl with the other ingredients and using a hand mixer, blend the sweet potatoes until everything is mixed well and there are no lumps.
- Serve immediately or return to the slow cooker on low setting to keep warm until your other dishes are finished cooking.
If you can't find garlic egg-free mayo, you can use regular egg-free may and add some garlic powder