Tuesday, November 24, 2020

It may be too late to help you out with Thanksgiving side dishes, but maybe you have these ingredients on hand?

Saturday once our kids were home we made the decision to stay at home with just the four of us for Thanksgiving. Tom’s sister lives in town but with our Covid numbers climbing we decided it was the smart thing to do. Plus, our governor has asked us to have no more than two families and no more than 8 people together for indoors.

I ordered a meal for 10 from a bbq place called Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot. The meal ($89) was a better deal than just a smoked turkey breast ($64) so I just did that. We can eat the leftovers. It comes with 5 lbs of sliced smoked turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, stuffing, and rolls. We are picking it up at 10 a.m. on Thursday so it will also get us out and about. I may suggest a walk with Ernie before picking it up. I plan to make a few extras to go with it.

Our plan is to have breakfast, charcuterie around 12, then eat around 3 or 4.

Here are a few of my recipes from the past. I have the ingredients to make these and will make them at some point over the next few weeks if not on Thanksgiving day.

My Favorite Mashed Potato Recipe (Pioneer Woman):

5 lbs. Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes – peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks

3/4 cups butter softened

1 package cream cheese softened

1/2 cup half and half (I have left this out and it is just fine)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon Lawrys seasoning salt

Boil potatoes, drain and then I use a manual masher and not an electric mixer. I keep the pot on the warm burner and it helps things along. I am o.k. with a few lumps. Add other ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon. Can be made ahead and put in a Pyrex or a crockpot for re-heating.

Tastes Like Homemade Mashed Potato Casserole

This is surprisingly delicious and you cannot tell these are instant.

3 packages instant mashed potatoes

1 package ranch powder dressing mix (I only use 1/4 – 1/2 packet because I think a whole packet is too much)

1 16oz container sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar

1 package of bacon cooked and crumbled (I have left this out for my vegetarian niece)

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a 9 x 13 dish a set aside.

Prepare bacon and mashed potatoes according to package directions. Combine potatoes, ranch, sour cream, cheese, and bacon in a mixing bowl. Spread into pan and bake for about 20 minutes.

Easy Roasted Carrots:

Preheat oven to 400.

Toss a bag or two of baby carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add Tony Cacheres cajun if you are Amy. Roast on a cookie sheet for about 45 minutes. I am kind of obsessed with these right now. So good!

April’s Mac and Cheese

April is my cousin and this is a nice recipe! My students seem to all say mac and cheese is their favorite Thanksgiving food. This has become a traditional food in modern times I guess but I did not think of this as a typical Thanksgiving food!

I like to do fun pasta shapes for this or the giant 99 cents macaroni noodles from Trader Joe’s.

2 cups of pasta cooked (I like to undercook a bit because it will still cook in the oven)

one stick butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 and 1/2 cups milk (we only buy skim and it works)

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

cajun Tony Cachere’s if you are Amy

1 cup shredded cheese – I like a variety of cheeses in mine

Melt butter over low heat.

Stir in flour and keep stirring until it reaches a smooth paste consistency.

Slowly pour in milk, stirring consistently.

Add seasonings and cook until thick.

Mix noodles and put in baking dish. Top with cheese or mix it in.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.

Cranberry Sauce:

I save a few to freeze for cocktails, by the way!

I bag of fresh cranberries

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

cinnamon – maybe 1 tsp.

Cook over medium heat stirring frequently. After about 15 minutes they should all have popped – opened up.

Remove pan from heat and let cool. I always make it ahead and it is served cold.

Hope this helps someone out there!


12 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Side Dishes

  1. Just when I thought I couldn’t love you more, you share these great recipes…with Tony Chachere’s- my favorite also. I read every single morning ❤️Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Thank you, Jenny! Do you know that we ran out and I couldn’t find it in the store for a couple of months? We have been using this on basically all our vegetables since our boys were small and I swear this is what made them eat them! One of our kids loves steamed broccoli and it is so good with a bit of Tony’s.
      Thank you for being a faithful reader – sometimes I wonder when I will run out of stuff to write about. Same to you – Happy Covid Thanksgiving!


  2. I’m hungry! I taught my students about Thanksgiving today, but I didn’t mention Mac & cheese as a traditional thanksgiving food :-D! I love mashed potatoes! My husband makes the best! (But I have to peel the potatoes :-D)
    I love it that you shared you planning for the day – please do the same for Christmas!


    1. It is not a traditional food but as you probably know from Florida it is on every kids’ menu and kids here love it! I love mashed potatoes, too. I have an excellent peeler by Cutco that makes you want to peel potatoes all day long. I do not mind it at all! Thank you! I will definitely try to do it for Christmas because I need content ideas! Ha! I am done! I have 5 days off now and I told the kids to email me by 3 because I was going dark all weekend. I have not had 5 days off since August and I am so tired of staring at screens. I am less tired than normal but more tired of screens I guess. You understand. We played Kahoot and it was really fun. Have you used it before? It is very easy and free for teachers to make an account.


      1. Cutco peeler, I will check it out when I come to the us (this summer? the year after that? who knows…).
        I’m actually glad that I’m teaching IRL, especially since I don’t have to use public transports. And I actually enjoy getting out of the apartment every day (would be easier if you live in a house I guess?) You must be so tired of digital teaching! Good job! We definitely have Kahoot, I hear the song from my colleagues’ classrooms quite often!


    1. We never used to but in the last few years my niece has started making it on one side of the family and the other started making it for the kids. It is a very easy recipe and you can add more cheese!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s