Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving Sides

We know the day is all about the bird, but what is along the side is just as important. If you are looking for those last minute ideas we have a few……

Cranberry Sauce

Forget the canned sauce……this is so much better,
and it can be made up to 10 days ahead……..that’s right…….. ten days!!!

Cranberry Chef

Thanksgiving Sides
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries ( preferably organic )
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary minced
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • Zest of 1 orange
  1. Heat oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté shallots until softened about 5 minutes. Reducing heat to medium low if necessary. You do not want to brown the shallots. Add ginger and sauté until fragrant another minute or two.
  2. Add cranberries,both sugars,vinegar,orange juice, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add rosemary and simmer for 10 minutes until the cranberries have burst and sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and remove cinnamon stick. Stir in orange zest and cool.
  3. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 10 days.


Green Bean Casserole

All the flavor of the traditional but homemade……with a little store bought…….can beat those french fried onions……get the recipe here Green Beans Casserole Recipe  

Green Bean Casserole

 Pear Salad

This is sure to be a show stopper. It’s a beautiful salad and the taste of the roasted pears will surely be remembered by your guests…….get the recipe here Roasted Pear Salad

Roasted Pear Salad

 Butterfinger Pie

I am all for the traditional Pumpkin pie, but not everyone likes pumpkin pie, so why not switch it up and have a Butterfinger pie. This is one of my oldest and most favorite recipes……….make it as a second option. My bet is on the Butterfinger to be gone first…..get the recipe here Butterfingers Pie.

Butterfinger Pie

Tim and I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you will try at least one of our sides for your Thanksgiving fare. Enjoy!

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Nothing says holidays like…………Green Bean Casserole. 

The green bean casserole was first created in 1955 by the Campbell Soup Company. Dorcas Reilly led the team that created the recipe while working as a staff member in the home economics department. The inspiration for the dish was “to create a quick and easy recipe” around two things most Americans always had on hand in the 1950s: green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup.

The tradition of this casserole has been here for almost 60 years. Now, sometimes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”……well this wasn’t so much broke, as it needed an update. 

Canned vegetable to my mind are mushy and oddly colored. I prefer fresh. Canned cream of mushroom soup…….everyone grew up with it as the base for…….well anything with the word casserole in it. Again I prefer homemade. Sure a little more time consuming, but come on…… the holidays. Doesn’t your family deserve your very best?

Now, I have a story to tell about green bean casserole………I have a brother……he was married…… a very nice woman who gave him an absolutely amazing son……..that being said…….she did not really cook, except on holidays and she always made….you guessed it…..Green Bean Casserole. It was perfectly fine, don’t get me wrong, but by this time I had become kind of a food snob. So, anything that was not made from scratch…….well I turned up my nose. I have eased up a bit on the homemade thing……not a lot but some…….after they divorced it was kind of a joke that we wouldn’t be having green bean casserole anymore.

Green Bean Casserole 1

Ok……. so I swooped in on my white…..apron……… and revamped the recipe so it was part homemade, part traditional.

I used real green beans, onions, mushrooms, a simple white sauce with sour cream for …..well creaminess. I just couldn’t make the fried onions for the topping that were anywhere near those traditional store bought ones. Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone so, I added some panko crumbs for extra crunch.

It is not as easy as the open can and dump method, but you can make it ahead, so all you have to do is throw it in the oven.

So, treat you family right and make them a homemade Green Bean Casserole for this holiday season.

Green Bean Collage

Green Bean Casserole
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup fried onions
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cook the green beans to desired doneness in a pot of salted boiling water. Plunge in an ice bath (big bowl of ice and water) to stop the cooking.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add onion and mushrooms cooking about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly whisk in milk. Simmer 5-10 minutes, until mixture thickens. Whisk in sour cream, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drain beans add to sauce in saucepan. Stir to combine. Bake 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Top with fried onions and panko crumbs and bake 5 minutes more or until topping is golden brown.



Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza

You can’t please everyone…….but sometimes you find someone who appreciates the out of the ordinary recipe. I made a Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza for Tim and I. It was incredibly tasty and we both really enjoyed it. Beets are not everyone’s cup of tea and the color can be off putting to some…….unless they know how great beets are!

I went for my routine Mammogram and was talking to the tech about food. I told her about writing the blog and gave her one of our cards. She mentioned the fact that she liked simple things without odd ingredients. I told her about the pizza and although she didn’t turn up her nose, I could tell it might not be her thing. She proceeded to tell me one of her co-workers really liked beets and she would tell her about the blog.

After I was finished, as I was leaving the co-worker ask if I was the blog lady…..too cute. I said I was and she in a pleading voice said “Please tell me there is goat cheese on your pizza”. She said she had been to a restaurant that had a beet pizza and it had goat cheese……guess what….. mine does!!

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza

Mine also has spinach, and mozzarella cheese. I bought a crust……way easier if you are in a time crunch like I am so much these days. I made the beets into a pesto……….walnuts, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil. Whatever you do with beets, roast them first, it makes them sweeter, and a breeze to peel.

I plant them every year in my garden, and when I harvest them, I roast them all. I line a sheet pan with foil, wash the beets leaving about an inch of the top and the tap root……that long mouse tail looking part………I put them on the lined sheet and cover them with foil, into a 400* oven for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the beets. Let them cool slightly, peel them, cutting off the stem and tap root. Then I freeze them. They freeze beautifully, so when you need them for a recipe….. boom… have them, roasted and ready to go.

So, for this recipe I smeared the beet pesto on the crust, topped it with baby spinach and the cheeses, and into the oven for 15-20 minutes………Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza.
If no one but the tech at the hospital tries this, I will have made one person happy…….wait three as I said, Tim and I really liked it, so don’t be put off by the color or the idea of beets, roast them and give Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza a try……..

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza Collage

Roasted Beet Pesto
  • 1 cup red beets, roasted
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, roasted
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  1. Add all ingredients except for the olive oil to a food processor or blender and blend briefly
  2. Leaving the food processor (or blender) running, slowly add the olive oil until all ingredients are well combined. If the pesto is too thick try adding a small amount of water until pesto is smooth.

Roasted Beet Pesto Pizza
Serves: 4
  • 1 pre- made pizza crust such as Boboli
  • 1 cup beet pesto
  • 2 cups spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400*
  2. Spread 1 cup Beet Pesto on pre- made pizza crust. Top with spinach, mozzarella cheese, and goat cheese
  3. Bake pizza for 20 to 25 minutes or to desired crisp.
  4. Allow pizza to cool 5 minutes before serving.


Honey Mustard Roast Chicken

Honey Mustard Roast Chicken

Honey Mustard Chicken

Nothing says Sunday dinner like a roasted chicken…….Honey Mustard Roast Chicken.

When I was growing up, having a roasted chicken was like a mini Thanksgiving. We usually had mashed potatoes with gravy, and corn. We had corn because that was about the only vegetable my picky brother and I would eat. But, the best part was, my Grandma’s  stuffing…….every family has a special dressing for holidays and my Grandma’s was the dressing that we all fought over when it was time to go home and she was packing the goodie bags. Lucky for me I lived right next door, so I had special access. The dressing has special memories of holidays and Sunday dinners.

Back in the day when everything, and I do mean everything was cooked until it was falling off the bone. The only complaint I had was that sometimes the chicken was dry…….well until you covered it with gravy. So, what to do to make that Sunday chicken moist……….

One of my favorite recipes is Simple Roasted Chicken ……….only salt and pepper on a very well dried bird and into a high heat oven…….I know, I was skeptical at first too, but it is truly the best chicken.

 A nice sauce can produce a moist bird, as is the case with this “yard bird” recipe. On top of super yummy, it’s super duper easy. Mix, pour, bake, gobble up………more on the gobbler meal later in the week.

A simple sauce of yellow mustard, soy sauce, honey, and curry powder poured over the chicken and roasted……..hmmm,hmmm,hmmm……… was delicious.

You can serve this with potatoes, rice, pasta, or as Tim and I did……… the Roasted Pear Salad.

Leftovers…….if you have any……..which I suspect you will not……….can be used in chicken sandwiches, or added to a pasta or soup dish.

Honey Mustard Chicken Collage

When you can’t decide on what to fix for a special Sunday dinner, give this bird a try!!

Honey Mustard Roast Chicken
Serves: 4
  • 3T HONEY