Ideas for tasty and creative side dishes for Thanksgiving.

The other thread about Turkey Time has me wondering what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner as a side dish! Does anyone have any good recipes?

I LOVE to cook, but I’m not a gourmet cook. I can follow a recipe like nobody’s business though! Does anyone have anything to recomend? I’m totally open to all kinds of suggestions!!!

Take two boxes of that Rice-A-Roni chicken flavored rice and make per instructions. While it’s hot, stir in one small jar of marinated artichoke hears, a small can of sliced black olives and 4 tablespoons of mayonaise. Stir and serve hot. For a summer rice salad, add cubed cooked chicken breast and refrigerate overnight. Tangy, yummy and very well received.

Zesty Baked Corn

2 12 oz cans white shoepeg corn undrained
6 T melted butter
2/3 C grated Cheddar Cheese
6T Parmesan Cheese grated
2 4oz cans green chiles, drained and chopped
1C (20) Ritz Cracker crumbs

Topping
2/3 C grated Cheddar Cheese
4T Parmesan Cheese grated
1/2 C Ritz Cracker crumbs

Combine all ingredients (except topping) in a large bowl. Mix well.
Pour into buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over caserole. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

1 lb ground breakfast sausage
1 large apple (I use Granny Smith)
1 box seasoned cornbread stuffing
1/4 cup apple juice
1 1/3 cup chiken broth
1/3 cup pecans

Toast pecans in a 300 degree oven for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Crumble the sausage in a skillet and cook until it is no longer pink; pour off drippings. Coarsely chop the apple. In a 3quart pan, place apple, chicken broth, apple juice, and seasoning packet. (The recipe says to boil the apple, but I like it to be crunchy, so I usually add it to the mixture at the same time I add the stuffing mix) Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and stir in stuffing mix. Cover and let stand 3-5 minutes until stuffing is tender. Stir in sausage. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with nuts.

This has been a hit every time I’ve made them, and even those who don’t care for water chestnuts like them.

2 cans water chestnuts
2 packages bacon
3 bottles BBQ sause (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ)
1 cup brown sugar (I use a little less, do it to taste)
1 tablespoon Mustard

Note: You can use either the whole or the sliced chestnuts, I prefer whole.

Cut bacon in half.
Wrap bacon around water chestnut, poke toothpick through it.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Drain grease
Mix rest of ingredients together well, pour over the top of bacon/chestnuts.
Bake at 350 for ten minutes.

These are very tasty. I also use disposable pans, fot it really sticks to the pans.
Enjoy!!!

Easy Company Potatoes
Mmmm…this is great for a party or dish to pass (or holiday!)

We call these “Heart Attack” potatoes, so make them only once in a while. They’re easy, and really good, but LOTS of fat.

Easy Company Potatoes

32 oz Frozen hash brown potatoes
12 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 C butter, divided
8 oz sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C crushed corn flakes

Melt cheese and 1/2 C butter over low heat or in microwave. Remove from heat and add sour cream and soup mix. Stir in potatoes and mix well. Pour into 9x13 ungreased baking dish. Coverwith crumbled corn flakes and drizzle remaining 1/2 C butter over the flakes. Baked uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Dilled Squash Casserole With Cheese

2 pounds of yellow squash, cut into 3/4 cubes (This usually comes out to about six squashes, as I recall. When I first started cooking, I didn’t know anything about preparing yellow squash, so FYI you just wash it and cube it up, you don’t have to peel it or anything.)

3 large eggs

1 3/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons (packed) chopped fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried dill

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup butter

2 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Butter 13 x 9 baking pan. Steam squash under tender, about ten minutes. Transfer squash to food processor, process until coarsely chopped. Or mash it up with a fork or potato masher.

Beat eggs in large bowl, add 1 cup cheese, onions, dill, salt, pepper. Mix in squash.

Melt butter over medium heat, add bread crumbs. Stir until beginning to crisp and brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix 1/2 crumbs into squash mixture, transfer mixture to prepared pan. Mix remaining 3/4 cup cheese into remaining crumbs, sprinkle over casserole.

Bake until topping is golden and squash mixture is set, about 35 minutes. Let stand at least ten minutes before serving.

*This recipe as is has enough cheese for normal people. But if you LOVE cheesy things, you can add more. Also, I have made this recipe in a deep 9 x 9 pan, and it worked out just fine. *

Stuffed Mushrooms! (Works with any kind, but I like them with crimini, portobelllo, or other full-flavored ones.) The original recipe is from the old NYT Cookbook, which I don’t have, so I approximate (i.e. sorry, no real recipe).

Chop the mushroom stems and saute with onions, garlic, and spinach. Add some sour cream, a pinch of thyme, and a pinch of nutmeg. Stuff mushroom caps with the mixture, sprinle with Parmesan cheese, and bake until tender in a 350 degree oven (about half an hour, depending on the size of the mushrooms). Everyone loves 'em!

Yum, yum, yum.

8 medium Belgian endive heads, washed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup boiling chicken stock, veggie stock, or water
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I like the Italian-seasoned ones)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter an 8 x 8 baking dish.

Put a layer of endive halves in the dish. Dot with half the butter. Put the rest of the endives in. Dot with remaining butter. Drizzle the lemon juice over the top and then pour in the boiling stock/water.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Uncover and sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese over the top.

Turn the oven up to 375 and bake until the endives are brown (~20 minutes more).

How about Creamed Onions?
Anyone have a good recipe for that?

Oh these are all sounding good…

You guys really know how to cook!

Creamed Onions

Ingredients:

1 cup pearl onions
4 cups water
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel onions, and drop into boiling water. Cook until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Set onions aside while you make sauce.

2 .Melt butter or margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour to make a paste. Mix together cooking water and milk. Add milk mixture slowly to the saucepan, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add onions, and transfer to a serving dish.

There’s some wonderful ideas here! I usually bring deviled eggs and coleslaw to Thanksgiving… how boring!!

I’m bringing Cranberry Ginger Pear Chutney - I’ve brought it for a few Thanksgivings now, and everyone seems to love it.

thinks about the bacon wrapped chestnuts Ah, I haven’t drooled this much since I was teething. Although I am teething now . . . doubly damned wisdom teeth. I don’t feel any smarter.

I’m going to say now that no one should buy Kraft parmesan cheese. The monkeys that run Kraft use foreign milk (that is, milk from outside the United States) to produce their cheese, and they make more cheese than any other single company. Also, real parmesan cheese tastes so much better. You’d probably be supporting your local economy more, too. (If you live where I do, where you can’t throw a stone without hitting a cheese factory.) Support American dairy farmers! The milk market has been crap for the past . . . forever.

This is going to sound prosaic, but I adore the French’s Onions green bean caserole. And if you want cookies, you can’t go wrong with snickerdoodles. They’re easy as all get out.

Here is a simple but good one:

Mashed Carrots

Boil peeled carrots (or baby carrots) until cooked through (20 mins or so).
Add a squirt of maple sirup to taste - just a little to sweeten them up.

Also add just a pinch of cinnamon, also, if you like. Be careful though. Too much ruins it.

BTW, the food channel had a great special last year on “good eats” about cooking turkey. It was all about the brine! I tried it and now am a huge fan. However, I am still an amateur at brines. Anybody know a good recipe for brined turkey?