Totally Manageable Friendsgiving Menu

It's hard to believe that we're already into November and Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away! I am hosting our first Thanksgiving in our new home this year and the pressure is on. Of course I want it to be perfect and there are a hundred and one things I want to make, but I am the only one putting any pressure on myself. Eventually I will calm down and just have fun with the whole thing.

If the idea of prepping and executing an involved Thanksgiving menu gets you stressed out, you need to check out the menu I developed for Evite's Friendsgiving this year. Totally manageable recipes and the whole thing can be prepped and cooked in a couple of hours if you're short on time.

Find the whole menu on Evite's site here and in their magazine here. They also prepared this helpful graphic so you can pace the afternoon just right and get dinner on the table in time!

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Still looking for a Thanksgiving side for tomorrow? Here's your easy and healthy answer. 

Hasselback potatoes are simple and delicious. They're an easy way to add interest and flavor to a simple potato and we're raising the stakes a notch by using sweet potatoes.

Two options are included for you to choose from - sweet with a walnut maple crumb or savory bay leaf and salt.

The difficult part of hasselback is slicing the potato without cutting entirely through. The trick is to lay a wooden kitchen spoon or a ruler with some height next to the potato to stop your knife cutting all the way down to the cutting board. Make a slice every centimeter or so and the hardest part is finished.

If you don't want to bother with the slicing process, the walnut maple crumb can also be spread over a dish of mashed sweet potato - equally good for you and equally delicious. Double the crumb recipe to ensure you have enough to cover an entire dish and bake for just 20 minutes to crisp up the topping.

Count on one large sweet potato for every two people. The recipe below assumes you will make two potatoes with bay leaves and two with the crumb.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4, easily double or tripled

2 large sweet potatoes

20 - 30 bay leaves

Walnut Maple Crumb (recipe included below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry sweet potatoes, do not peel. Lay a wooden spoon or ruler next to the potato and, using a sharp knife, slice most of the way through the potato, leaving at least 1/4-inch uncut at the base. Take care not to cut all the way through the potato. Repeat slices at 1-cm intervals until entire potato is sliced. Repeat with remaining potatoes.

Take two potatoes and fill every second or third slice with bay leaves. Repeat with the remaining two potatoes using the walnut maple crumb. Place the sweet potatoes in a baking dish with about a 1/2-inch of water or stock and place in the oven.

After 40 minutes, check to see if the crumb is starting to brown. If so, cover loosely with tin foil and cook an additional 20 minutes.

Walnut Maple Crumb

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

2 tblsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.