"Dexter" star Julie Benz is not only an actress, she's also an avid cook!
While Thanksgiving dinner can be a difficult time for those in the kitchen, Julie has shared her favorite tips for making tasty and stress-free memories during the holidays.
The most important suggestion: Don't sweat it!
"Inevitably, something will go wrong – take a deep breath, remember that everything will be okay, and enjoy the fact that you have the people most important to you there with you to laugh about it," Julie explains.
"If someone spills on the tablecloth or a side dish burns, it's not the worst thing in the world – you can always make a last-minute trip to Boston Market for another side (they're open Thanksgiving Day!)."
Check out a few of Benz's easy (and delicious-looking) recipes below! Butternut-Sage Mashed Potatoes
"I like to add a bit of roasted garlic and rosemary to my mashed potatoes, but if I'm feeling really festive this recipe is my go-to. The richness of the butternut squash complements the potatoes perfectly, plus the orange and white swirls are beautiful and look just like autumn in a bowl!," she tells us.
-2 large side containers of Boston Market Mashed Potatoes, hot (can be heated in their microwaveable containers) -1 1/2 lb. butternut squash -4 tablespoons butter -1 tablespoon finely chopped sage -2 teaspoons salt
• Peel and cube butternut squash; boil 8 minutes or until tender. • Drain, puree and swirl squash using a blender or food processor until smooth. • Swirl pureed squash into 2 large containers Boston Market Mashed Potatoes. • Brown 4 tablespoons butter with 1/4 cup chopped sage and 1 teaspoon salt. • Melt butter in a light-colored, heavy-bottomed skillet on medium heat. • Stir continuously – the butter will foam and subside, and browned specks will begin to form. When the butter has a nutty aroma, remove from heat and pour over mashed potatoes/squash mixture
Makes 8-10 servings. Apple Cranberry Walnut Stuffing
"No Thanksgiving is complete without stuffing – I like to add these toppings to put a little spin on the traditional dish. The walnuts and apples add a crispness to the side that I really love, and the cranberries add a surprise burst of flavor that's really unique!," she says.
1 cup apples, peeled, seeded, small dice 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 1/2 cup dried cranberries 2 large side containers Boston Market Fresh Vegetable Stuffing
1. Place stuffing in a greased 8X8baking dish, and top with apples, walnuts and cranberries. 2. Bake on middle rack of preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes or until toppings are crisp. Makes 6 servings. Corn Soufflé
"This corn soufflé is so simple to make and will get you an unbelievable amount of compliments from your family and friends. The cheese topping is to die for!"
2 Tbsp.butter, melted 1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, cubed, softened 1 large side container Boston Market Sweet Corn 1 pkg. (8.5 oz.) corn muffin mix 2 eggs 1/2 cup milk 2 green onions, thinly sliced 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Heat oven to 350ºF. 2. Stir the melted butter and cream cheese in large bowl until blended. Add Sweet Corn, corn muffin mix, eggs, milk and onions; mix well. 3. Pour into a greased 2-qt. casserole dish. 4. Bake 45 to 50 min. or until golden brown. 5. Remove from oven and top with the cheddar cheese. Return to oven 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Makes 6-8 servings
Creamed Spinach Gratin
"None of the kids at your table will be complaining about eating their vegetables after they've tried this recipe. The most delicious spinach I've ever made, and the prep time is almost non-existent. It's great as an appetizer or side, and you can add artichokes or mushrooms for a tasty surprise!"
2 large side containers Boston Market Creamed Spinach ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Coat a rectangular gratin dish with nonstick cooking spray. 2. Place spinach in the gratin dish and top with breadcrumbs and cheese, then drizzle olive oil over the top. 3. Bake 10-15 minutes or until top is golden brown and spinach is heated through.
Share your own favorite recipe in the comments below!