Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow

We are now less than a week away from Thanksgiving, are you ready? I’m sadly not cooking a feast this year so I don’t have a menu to share but that doesn’t mean that I can’t experiment a little to find tasty dishes for future Thanksgivings and/or holidays. So, I have been cooking and coming up with a few new (to my family) dishes that would be great on Thanksgiving  or anytime you are wanting something a little extra special.

We eat a lot of sweet potatoes in our house, they are a staple. My top ways of making them are baking and roasting and typically on holidays I make my sweet potato casserole. It is awesome, it’s even award winning,lol, but i’m keeping that recipe to myself for a bit longer. What i’m going to share with you is,Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow. It  is simply awesome.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow | Country Girl Gourmet

When looking at this recipe you may be thinking cream cheese and sweet potatoes, say what? I know, I thought the same thing. I never thought to mash sweet potatoes with cream cheese but guess what? It works and it makes them awesome. To make them even better just add browned butter and finish by giving them a spicy bite cayenne pepper. Oh and of course top with some toasty marshmallows. It is a flavor explosion in your mouth!

Outside of how great these taste the only thing better about this recipe is how easy these are to make while looking like you spent hours on them. While they do take a while to make that is because you roast the sweet potatoes and that takes time the rest is pretty easy. While your potatoes are cooling enough to handle you brown your butter. Once that is done set aside while you carefully split and scoop out you sweet potatoes. While you can use a hand masher I use a hand mixer to mash my sweet potatoes to help get some of the stringy fibers that can sometimes be found in sweet potatoes. Then all is left is refilling the sweet potato skins and to do this I use a piping bag to get it done quick and easy. Top with mini marshmallows  and bake until toasty. Then there you have it, a side dish that will make your guest go wow that looks amazing that will be soon be followed by it taste amazing too.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow | Country Girl Gourmet

So how are you making your sweet potatoes this year? Try Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow and you and your family and friends won’t be disappointed!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • sea salt to taste
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rub olive oil onto the outside of each sweet potato and sprinkle sea salt over each. Arrange sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a sharp knife easily pierces the potato, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool sweet potatoes until easily handled, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until solids begin to brown and smell nutty, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop insides into a large bowl. Add browned butter, cream cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper and mash using a potato masher until smooth. Spoon mixture back into the sweet potato skins and top each with ¼ cup marshmallows. Place sweet potatoes back onto the baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven until warmed through and marshmallows are toasted, about 10 minutes.

Recipe from

Gluten Free Upside-Down Double Apple Coffee Cake

It is Thanksgiving week, have you finalized your meal plan? Not yet? Did you get a last minute invite and need something to bring? I’m here to help with a Gluten Free Upside-Down Double Apple Coffee Cake that is perfect for Thanksgiving. It is easy to make but it will look like you spent hours on it. I discovered the recipe this month while working on Mott’s recipes for Allrecipes. The original recipe needed some tweaking but the tweaks produced a wonderful cake that is perfect for any holiday dessert table.

Upside-Down Double Apple Coffee Cake | Country Girl Gourmet


Applesauce is used in this cake to replace some of the fat. Have you ever tried using applesauce in place of oil or butter? I am a long time applesauce user in baked goods. It works well in quick breads, muffins and cakes. I always use it in my carrot cakes and zucchini bread so using it in this recipe was nothing unusual for me. Need some more reasons to use applesauce when you bake?  Applesauce dramatically reduces the calorie count in your baked goods and an added bonus it can add must needed moisture. You can substitute 1:1 with typically no issues  but if you are worried about the texture you can switch to a half applesauce/ half fat (oil or butter). I like to keep the single serve cups on hand just for baking. Each applesauce up is 1/2 cup, perfect for baking!

So what do you think? Ready to try out this recipe for Gluten Free Upside-Down Double Apple Coffee Cake? A beautiful, healthier cake on Thanksgiving. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Upside- Down Double Apple Coffee Cake | Country Girl Gourmet


Gluten Free Upside-Down Double Apple Coffee Cake
Recipe type: Cakes
A easy to make beautiful and delicious gluten free apple- cranberry upside down cake.
  • ¼ cup Mott's® Natural Applesauce
  • 1 medium apple
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups gluten free all-purpose flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut apple in half and remove core. Cut each half into slices approximately ⅛-inch thick.
  2. Stir together brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and water in medium saucepan. Add apple slices. Cook, stirring gently over medium heat, until apple slices are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle cranberries in bottom of nonstick or greased springform or 9-inch cake pan. Arrange apple slices over cranberries, drizzling with brown sugar sauce. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl or mixer, beat butter with granulated sugar until thoroughly combined. Add apple sauce and egg. Mix in greek yogurt and vanilla extract.
  5. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum,salt and cinnamon. Gently blend into apple sauce mixture. Spoon batter over apples and cranberries, spreading evenly.
  6. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes before turning cake out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Upside- Down Double Apple Coffee Cake from

Gluten Free Corn Casserole

This year for Thanksgiving I have the challenge of making our normal Thanksgiving feast gluten free. After talking to my husband and kids about what they want to eat I discovered there were only a couple things that would need a gluten free makeover. The stuffing, corn casserole and any baked goods like pies. The stuffing is the easiest makeover as it will be made using gluten free bread instead of regular bread. The corn casserole and pies, well more so the pie crust would be a bit more tricky but I felt I could do it. I chose to tackle the corn casserole first and save pie crust for another day.

I have been making corn casserole for years. I cannot even tell you how many years ago I started making it. I can tell you it all started after watching Paula Dean on Food Network. It looked good and it was easy to make. One of the key components of the recipe was Jiffy corn muffin mix. This is where my gluten problem is. I needed to figure out how to make the recipe without the Jiffy corn muffin mix. Well, lucky for me I saw an article on Buzzfeed about how to make your own DIY mixes and as luck would have it Jiffy corn muffin mix was on the list. I then checked on Google and found multiple other websites with similar DIY recipes. I figured I could convert those recipes to gluten free and test things out. It seemed to easy to me but I did and it worked! My kids were none the wiser and gobbled up my test run of Gluten Free Corn Casserole.

Gluten Free Corn Casserole | Country Girl Gourmet

I can’t wait until Thanksgiving now to see what the rest of my family thinks. I wonder if they will be able to tell it is gluten free? Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Gluten Free Corn Casserole | Country Girl Gourmet

Gluten Free Corn Casserole
Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
An awesome and easy to make Gluten Free Corn Casserole. Sure to become a family favorite!
  • ⅔ cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar or cheddar-jack cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl, mix well.
  3. Add can of corn and can of creamed corn, sour cream, and melted butter. Mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan/dish and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with desired amount of cheese 1-2 cups. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until cheese has been melted.

My Thanksgiving Menu

What are you having for Thanksgiving Dinner? Still looking for meal inspiration? Look no further! Here is what we are having in our home with some helpful tips sprinkled in! Just excuse the bad pictures, they are a lesson to me to take better pictures this year!


 This year we will be having a traditional roast turkey instead of fried turkey.
My husband is the family turkey fryer…My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmetand the US Army has decided he must work this Thanksgiving. So sadly no fried turkey here. Boo!

I start my turkey off with a turkey “bath” or brine. Brining helps allow for a super juicy and flavorful turkey!

I like Alton Brown’s explanation… I’m a’ll about the science and cooking.

Just note that he does not include a recipe. But I have one right HERE.

For the turkey I rub 2 sticks of margarine and generously sprinkle with poultry seasoning.
I also stuff the cavity and add aromatics like onion, celery and fresh sprigs of thyme. Cover with foil and roast based on size.

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

As I mention I stuff my bird. Yes, I know this is controversial. I also make a pan of stuffing.

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl GourmetI make Bread and Celery Stuffing. This is the same stuffing I ate growing up and I can remember my dad making. I have converted my husband who grew up on the stuff from a box.

You can use any type of bread, store-bought, homemade, white or whole wheat. I do love to load this up with fresh thyme leaves.

The Side Dishes!

Mashed Potatoes are up next on the menu!

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet
While I do have a basic recipe I have never taken the time to write it up. It is simple… red potatoes, garlic, butter, sour cream and season salt. I eyeball it and mash them by hand.
Mashed Potatoes can be problematic for some so has made some videos with helpful how to save your spuds and be a Thanksgiving Hero tips.

How to fix Lumpy Mashed Potatoes

How to fix Gluey Mashed Potatoes

Corn Casserole is another side my family loves and I make every year.The cheese on top really puts this dish over the top!

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

Then there are the Sweet Potatoes

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

I add oatmeal to the topping and marshmallows, just because I can.

 Mac and Cheese will be part of the line up.
I use a recipe using a béchamel sauce/white sauce and a variety of cheeses and a few spices and baked.

We will have homemade Creamed Corn. I made it for the first time last year and it was a huge hit!

Finally I will also be making some steamed green beens.

My Mom will also be bringing Baked Butter Beans , Collard Greens and Marshmallow Salad.

All of the little extras that round out the meal!

Do you like gravy? Have you perfected the perfect mashed potato and gravy volcano? Here is a collection from some great gravy recipes. I make a classic simple gravy from the pan drippings. Although I have to say the make ahead gravy recipes look tempting!

Do you have problems making gravy and skip it and buy the jar stuff? Never fear Allrecipes can make you a gravy making guru! Gravy too thin or does it turn out lumpy? Check out these helpful hints-

How to fix Thin Gravy

How to fix Lumpy Gravy

I will also be making Cranberry Sauce. Say so long to the stuff in the can. Once you try this there will be no going back.

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

Deviled Eggs will be part of our Thanksgiving day feast.

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

Rolls and biscuits will be part of the day as well. The biscuit recipe I use can be found HERE.

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

To round out the extras we will also have some relish trays.

Give Me Dessert!

Our family keeps our desserts pretty classic.

Pumpkin Pie will be topping our dessert list.

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

Apple Pie will be making an appearance as well.

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl GourmetCherry too!

My Thanksgiving Menu 2013 | Country Girl Gourmet

I follow this recipe for my pie crust but I use half shortening/half butter and add sugar. About a tablespoon for a double crust recipe. I also cover the edges of my pie crust to help keep them from getting too dark.

If your crust gets too dark never fear as Allrecipe’s has some helpful tips of how to save your pies!

How to fix Burnt Pie Crust

I hope I was able to help you with some Thanksgiving menu inspiration! Now, what is on your menu?

Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole

It will be here before we know it, what you may ask? Thanksgiving! Do you have your menu planned out yet? I know I am still finalizing mine. I know turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes are a must for our turkey day menu. While the turkey day feast is delicious there is one thing that is better, the leftovers! Do you ever get a rut and not know what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? How about putting everything together for a Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole? I have to thank Kraft and Allrecipes for this idea, I had never thought to put all my leftovers together this way and my husband agreed it was a great idea. Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole can be easily modified to your own personal taste. You can bump up the flavor with your favorite holiday seasonings, swap the miracle whip or mayo for plain greek yogurt or even swapping the stovetop crust with homemade stuffing. Top your Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole with turkey gravy and some cranberry sauce on the side.


Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole


  • 1 (6 ounce) package STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Turkey
  • 4 cups chopped leftover roasted turkey
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, peas), thawed
  • 3/4 cup KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise or MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika


1.Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.Prepare stuffing as directed on package; spread onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

3.Combine turkey, mixed vegetables and mayo; spoon over stuffing.

4.Mix potatoes and cheese; spread over turkey mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.

 5.Bake 30 to 40 min. or until heated through.


Thanksgiving Crafts and fun!

If you go into most any store you will find a very limited selection of Thanksgiving decorations and things to do. So sometimes you just have to fo an old fashioned do it yourself.

Here are some votive holders I made-

These were pretty simple. Here is what you need:

6 mason jars
fake leaves


6 votive candles

straw raffia

brown acrylic paint (and a fine paint brush for writing)

hot glue and glue gun

This craft is pretty easy peasy. Take clean jars and paint a one letter from the word THANKS on each jar. You can make them as simple or as fancy as you would like.Allow to dry. Next take about 12inch sections of rafia (about 4-5 pieces) and tie around the jar. Hot glue leaves onto the knot.Next add pebbles to the jar and then the votive and voila you have your THANKS candle holder.

looking for more things to make or things to do with your kids? Check out my Respect the Bird board on Pinterest.

Respect the Holidays

Back in September I was in shock when I found this:

On September 17th. The next day I saw inflatables up at Walmart across the street.

I then saw this a couple weeks later-

I did half expect to see this. After all Hobby Lobby is a craft store. Those who make holiday crafts tend to start a month or two in advance. While I did expect to see Christmas crafting supplies I did not expect Christmas trees.

Then I had to go to the mall-
This is at Sears at Cielo Vista Mall

This I did not expect to see before Halloween-

Oh and yes this was up before Halloween! Come on people Respect the Pumpkin!

These pictures were all taken around El Paso, Texas.

What has happened? It seems as soon as the School supplies are put away the Christmas decorations come out to play. I love my holidays each and every one, individually. They each get their own special attention. That is why I am asking you to take back Thanksgiving and Respect the Bird.

I am a military wife so each holiday my husband is home it is extra special. In this life you never know if your soldier will be home the next.  We love to cook and well, eat. We even try to cook together, well sometimes. I am the head chef and he is my sous chef,lol.
Last Thanksgiving we took an adventure into frying turkey. I brined our turkey as usual with my own turkey brine and then he did the rest. He watched video, DVR’ed Alton Brown…. He was ready and on turkey day he was ready to tackle the bird by himself.

He made up a system to lower the bird into the oil and was ready to go

no puppy, that Turkey isn’t for you!

fry, turkey, fry!

Fried Turkey!

My husband finally after years of talking about it fried his first turkey.  The whole commotion that surrounded frying the turkey definitely made the day an adventure and memorable. A good memory, happy memories that I can look back upon today.

Today a day when my husband is on the other side of the world in Afghanistan for his 5th deployment. This year his Thanksgiving will  most likely consist of him and his platoon in their sand bunker, with no running water, heat, etc. eating who knows what. He and others do this so hopefully their children do not have to one day, so their siblings don’t have to, so you and yours don’t have to. They do this to protect our freedom to live free and make our own choices. For this I am thankful. Words cannot express my gratitude to these soldiers and the sacrifices they make so the rest of us don’t have to.

This year I ask you to make the choice to Respect the Bird. Take back Thanksgiving, take back the day and what it’s suppose to mean. It is about Family not Black Friday and taking a nap as soon as dinner is done to prepare to be in line at Walmart as soon as the doors open to get the best deal. I ask you to spend time with your families, love a little and make memories do it for all the military families that can’t spend the day with their loved ones.