The Southern Living Guide to Mayonnaise BrandsEssential reading on a most essential condiment
[MUSIC] Hi, I'm Rebecca from the Southern Living test kitchen. Trust me, I know that planning a big meal for a festive get together can be intimidating even for the pros. But don't stress out, I'm here to help. Many of our most popular side dishes are a cinch to prepare. And with a few make ahead options, you can pull off the big meal with ease. During the holidays, make ahead items are key to pulling things off smoothly. That's why you'll want to add spinach apple salad with maple cider vinaigrette to your menu. [MUSIC] Don't shy away from the list of ingredients. Most are items you already have on hand, and can be prepared in steps. You can prepare the pecans up to one week ahead, and store them in an airtight container. The vinaigrette can be made up to three days ahead, and chilled until you're ready to serve the salad. [MUSIC] This gorgeous salad is also a nice counterpoint to the heavy food typically served around the holidays. Green beans with mushrooms and bacon is a terrific side dish option for just about any meal you serve during the holidays. Feel free to substitute button mushrooms or try a gourmet assortment that can be found in the produce department at the grocery store. You can also cook the green beans in bacon ahead of time. Just remember to save some of the bacon drippings to saute everything in just before serving. Your guests will love this change of pace from the traditional green bean casserole. If you're looking for a crowd pleaser, golden macaroni and cheese is to die for. First off, what's not to love. Cheese, cheese and more cheese. Just use your favorites. If your family loves it smooth and silky, opt for pasteurized cheese. If sharp and tangy is more your speed, reach for blocks of sharp cheddar. Soft breadcrumbs and butter bake into a delicious and crunchy topping for a side the entire family will love. [SOUND] It just wouldn't be the holidays without everyone's favorite side, au gratin potato casserole. You know, the one with the frozen hash browns. Make it up to two days ahead, and refrigerate until you're ready. Simply stir and bake this so easy comfort side for smiles from around the table. You get the best of both worlds when you serve classic sweet potato casserole at your holiday gathering. We've updated this timeless must-have with a topping to satisfy those that love crunchy pecans and cornflakes as well as marshmallows. It's not only tasty, but impressive looking too. [SOUND] Plan to make this dish up to a day ahead, then simply bake and serve. For more delicious holiday side dish recipes, pick up a copy of Southern Living Magazine and visit southernliving.com.