On the Fourth Day of Christmas... Two Fabulous Sides!!

For most people turkey is the focal point of Christmas dinner - they look forward to it all year and they are very excited to heap a bunch of turkey on their plate. I like turkey too, but my favorite part about Christmas dinner is the side dishes. These are two of my absolute favorite side dishes and they go so great with a perfectly roasted turkey. The first recipe I am going to share with you is one for a golden mashed potatoe casserole. It is a delicious spin on the traditional mashed potatoe side dish. Second I'm going to share a recipe for Vegetable Gratin which my mother in law shared with me. It is my husband's favorite side dish and this is the one time each year I see him heap his plate full of veggies (even though they're smothered in a delicious cheese sauce, they're still veggies!!!).

Golden Mashed Potatoe Casserole
Recipe from Everyday Favorites (Canadian Living) p. 156

  • 10 yukon gold potatoes (about 3.5 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup choped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup milk, heated
  • 1/2 cup herbed cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded old cheddar cheese


  1. Peel and cut potatoes into chunks. In large pot of boiling salted water, cover and cook potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes; drain and return to pot. Add 1/3 cup of the chives, the milk, cream cheese, butter, egg, salt & pepper; mash together until smooth.
  2. Spoon into greased 8-inch square glass baking dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese for remaining chives. (You can also make this dish ahead at this point: let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Uncover. Increased baking time to 55 minutes).
  3. Bake in 375F oven until knife inserted in centre comes out hot, about 40 minutes (mine took less than this).

This really was a delicious recipe and adds some great flavour to mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoe lovers will still love it and people who don't really like mashed potatoes will like it too!!

Vegetable Gratin
Recipe adapted from my mother in law's Cauliflower & Carrot Gratin

  • 2.5 lbs mixed veggies (I do cauliflower, carrots and broccoli) (enough to fill a 9x13" pan)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste and pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded old cheddar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded old cheddar (for topping)
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs (for topping)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (for topping)


  1. Cook veggies in salt water until tender crisp (don't overcook them because they will cook more in the oven). Drain & set aside.
  2. For the sauce: Melt butter, stir in flour and cook stirring constantly a few minutes. Don't brown the mixture. Whisk in milk and broth, stirring until thickened and smooth. Stir in seasonings. Blend in cheese. Place veggies in greased 9x13" baking dish. Spoon sauce over veggies.
  3. For the topping: combine cheese, crumbs & butter. Sprinkle over casserole.
  4. Bake at 375F 15 minutes (if warm) 20-25 minutes if room temperature. Broil 2-3 minutes to crisp topping.

Both of these recipes will be a hit with your families and friends. I have been making the recipe for vegetable gratin since my husband and I got married and it never fails to impress everyone who eats it. :) I know you are all busy with your holiday preparations, so I won't ramble on and on... I am off to find a Christmas tree! Finally get to decorate my house for Christmas.

Happy Cooking my Friends!

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