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Jazz Up Your Holiday Dinner With A Tasty Thanksgiving Snack Bar

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With Thanksgiving less than two weeks out, we hope you have your dinner plans all lined up.

But what about the sides? Instead of going traditional, why not change it up this year?

Chef Brandon Fay stopped by to share some tasty ideas for a Thanksgiving-themed snack bar that'll be a surefire crowd-pleaser.

Below is the full list of recipes for your enjoyment:

No Hassel(back) Potato Stacks

Transform sweet potatoes into these sweet stacks. Thinly sliced and drizzled with butter and maple syrup, these sweet potato stacks are addictive (especially thanks to a heavy helping of finger-licking-good marshmallow fluff)!

Makes 24

What You'll Need:

6 large sweet potatoes or yams, sliced on a mandolin

½ cup sweet butter, melted

¼ cup maple syrup

½ tsp. cinnamon

Pinch cayenne

Pinch Kosher Salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup teaspoons chopped pecans

4 cups marshmallow fluff


How to Make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside.
  2. Whisk half of the melted butter with the maple syrup, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Add potatoes and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Stack potatoes into muffin cups so the stacks are slightly above the rim of the pan.
  4. Mix the remaining butter with the flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Mix until evenly combined and evenly disperse among potato stacks.
  5. Bake until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 45 minutes. Remove and top each stack with fluff.


Quinoa-Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Don't toss those adorable mini pumpkins to the squirrels—use them as a pot to cook this delicious quinoa stuffing.

Serves 12

What You'll Need:

14 ea. mini pumpkins, topped and cored

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups dry quinoa

¼ cup diced pancetta

2 tbsp. sweet butter

1 apple, peeled and chopped

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup chopped pecans

3 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tbsp. chopped mint

How to Make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Slice the tops off the pumpkins and scoop out the seeds. Peel and dice two of the pumpkins; set aside for stuffing. Arrange remaining pumpkins on a sheet tray and drizzle with oil and salt. Roast until tender, about 35-40 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a medium stock pot, bring salted water to a boil; add quinoa and boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a medium saute pan, add pancetta and render over medium heat until pancetta is crispy, about 5 minutes. Add butter, apples, and diced roasted pumpkins; sauté until caramelized, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add quinoa, cranberries, pecans, maple syrup, and mint. Season to taste. Portion stuffing into each pumpkin and top with lid. Serve on a festive platter.


Apples Stuffed with Cornbread Stuffing

These apples are the perfect vessel for this savory sausage stuffing.

Serves 12

What You'll Need:

12 ea. Cortland apples, cored

6 tbsp. butter, cubed

3 links sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing and crumbled

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped carrots

1 tsp. sage

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

3 tbsp. chopped parsley

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 loaf cornbread

5 ea. eggs, beaten

4 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to Make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Scoop out the apple cores to make room for stuffing; reserve apple cores and chop for stuffing. Arrange apples on a sheet pan and bake until slightly tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  2. In the interim, render sausage until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove and saute onions in the sausage fat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery, carrots, and apples; continue to saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add herbs and season to taste.
  3. In a large bowl, crumble cornbread and mix in the parmesan and vegetable mix. Mix in eggs. Slowly mix in stock until moistened (might not need all of the stock).
  4. Spoon stuffing into the baked apples. Turn oven up to 400 F, and return apples. Bake until stuffing is caramelized on top and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
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