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Giving thanks

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Sometimes it’s a challenge to convince young children that Thanksgiving Day is really not all about the deLysscious food. Of course there is turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, favorite family recipes, and pies. However, hidden inside this palate-driven holiday is an opportunity to teach the meaning behind the celebration. It is a day to give thanks for all that we are fortunate to have. I try to remind my children each and every day that we are fortunate to be happy and healthy. I am going to try and give my family a Thanksgiving Day that is served with memories that will last a lifetime.

Thanksgiving time in New York City is just magical! This year, I am going with my kids to check out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation. We will go to the Upper West Side (beginning at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue near the Museum of Natural History) on Thanksgiving Eve to watch as they fill up the balloons for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I can’t wait for the kids to see them go from deflated shapes on the ground to sky-high, blown-up balloons. I personally can’t wait to see Hello Kitty at the parade.

The Big Apple Circus is back, kicking off its 38th season with a brand-new production, “The Grand Tour,” transporting families to the Roaring ’20s when ships, planes, trains, and automobiles transformed travel as we knew it. This is always a favorite for city families. (Big Apple Circus in The Grand Tour at Lincoln Center Oct. 21, 2015-Jan. 10, 2016, Damrosch Park, 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues in Manhattan, www.bigapplecircus.org.)

This year, I will be volunteering with the children. We love God’s Love We Deliver; visit the website (www.glwd.org) and see if you can sign up to help.

Many churches and synagogues also have programs through which you can volunteer. Call around in the beginning of the month before all the spots fill up.

As for our Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be filling up on an amazing feast my sister will be cooking — with my boys lending a helping hand as her sous chefs. I cannot wait to spend quality time unplugged (no iPads, iPhones, etc.) all day and night. We are going to make place cards for everyone’s spots at the Thanksgiving table, and write why we are thankful for each family member. I can’t wait to see what my boys come up with.

I wish everyone a fabuLyss and wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family and friends.

Lyss Stern is the founder of DivaLysscious Moms (www.divamoms.com).

Brown sugar-glazed sweet potatoes with marshmallows

A favorite recipe of mine for Thanksgiving is brown sugar-glazed sweet potatoes with marshmallows (or as my younger son calls them, “smarshmall­ows”).

INGREDIENTS:

4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar

5 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375-degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange potatoes in 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger in heavy, small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Cover dish tightly with foil.

Bake potatoes for 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 500-degrees Fahrenheit. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes.

From Epicurious.com: www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/brown-sugar-glazed-sweet-potatoes-with-marshmallows-813

Updated 5:30 pm, December 9, 2016
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