Holiday Handbook: Thanksgiving Side Dishes 

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Thanksgiving may be all about the turkey, but let’s not forget about the side dishes. Below are three quick and easy (and my favorite) dishes to make for Thursday!

Macaroni and Cheese:


  • 12 oz dry macaroni
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 cup light cream
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar, divided
  • ½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese
 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and let cook 2 minutes while stirring. Slowly whisk in cream, milk, mustard powder and onion powder. Cook over medium heat while stirring until thickened.
4. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese & 3 cups cheddar cheese until melted. Add soup if using.
5. Toss cheese sauce & macaroni noodles together. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 18-24 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over cook. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.


Sweet Potato Casserole:


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1/4 cup finely chopped candied or crystallized ginger
  • 4 pounds Garnet sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows


  1. Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the lower third.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the brown sugar, water, salt, and ground ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, stir to combine, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, stirring every few minutes, until the sweet potatoes are knife tender and starting to fall apart at the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Transfer the sweet potatoes and any liquid to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.
  5. Sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the sweet potatoes. Broil until the marshmallows are puffed and golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Place the dish on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Apple Crumble Pie: 


For the Crust

  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup shortening (Very cold and cut in cubes)
  • ½ cup butter (Very cold and cut in cubes)
  • 6 tbsp ice water + 1 tbsp white vinegar (mixed)

For the Filling

  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 5 lbs apples, peeled, cored and cut in large wedges
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1½ tbsp corn starch dissolved in a little water

For the Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup cold butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats


For the Crust

  1. Pulse the cold butter or shortening into the flour sugar and salt using a food processor until the shortening & butter is reduced to pea sized pieces.
  2. Remove to a large bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the water& vinegar mixture over the surface and toss with a fork until the water is just incorporated into the dough. Do not over work the dough; handle it only enough so that the dough stays together.
  4. Separate the dough into 2 balls and wrap in plastic. Place in the fridge to chill well. You can freeze one for another time.
  5. Roll out into a 10 inch round and place into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Tuck the excess pastry under the edges and flute the edges with your fingers or a fork.
  6. Wrap an aluminum foil strip around the outside of the crust and blind bake the pastry using baking weights in parchment paper for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. (I reuse dried kidney beans for baking weights all the time) Remove the baking weights and parchment paper.

For the Filling

  1. Add all the ingredients except the cornstarch to a large saute pan.
  2. Saute until the apples are just begging to soften and some of the juice is released,
  3. Add the dissolved corn starch and stir well continuing to cook for one minute or so. Set the apples aside to cool a little before adding them to the blind baked pastry shell.

For the Crumble Topping

  1. Rub all the ingredients together with your hands until the butter is fully incorporated into the flour, then sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour or until the filling is bubbly. You may need to use another strip of aluminium foil over the outer crust if it begins to get too dark during the baking time.
  3. Cool for at least a half hour before cutting and serving. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!




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