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Oct 21, 2006 06:24 PM

Suggestions for Thanksgiving day sides

Hi! I am doing Thanksgiving (as always) and I want some new ideas for sides or appetizers. I really appreciate it! I usually make, the turkey, gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, glazed sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, asparagus w/procuitto, New England clam chowder, homemade stuffing, stuffed mushrooms, quiche...I am probably forgetting a couple of other things, but that is most of it. I have about 35 - 40 people every year.

So, if you think of something good I am missing, please post! Thanks and Happy Thanksgivivng!!

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  1. We, on the west coast love our fresh fruits and vegetables. How about adding a side of spiced apples (saute w/unsalted butter, cinnamon, and pumkin spice) with carmelized pecans/walnuts. And fresh green beans or a creamed spinach. I also love to saute sweet potato with yellow/orange banana squash. I saute with unsalted butter and at the end add some maple syrup to carmelize the whole dish. Top with carmelized pecans. My appetizer of baked brie is always a big hit too. I wrap a wedge into a rolled out pie shell and bake. Sometimes I fill with other yummies like sundried tomatoes, artichokes and pesto or for sweet cover a baked wedge with fig jam - yum! For a change in dessert; make individual pumpkin and pecan tarts and serve with a side of vanilla bean ice cream or a spiked whipped cream. Kids love tart size too. Complement with chocolate brownies. Yum - Can I join ya! :)KQ

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kitchen Queen

      WOW! I just read your post and my mouth is salivating!!! Thank you!! You could join in, but we are in NJ...thanks for the West coast recipes!!

      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        You know what? We in the midwest also love our fresh fruits and vegetables. I suspect east-coasters do, as well.

      2. hi, a couple of years ago I discovered a receipe from the Cooking Light message board for a sweet potato casserole- I now make it every year. If you search the board, you'll find the receipe. Basically it is mashed sweet potatoes, cream, maple syrup, and a nut topping, very tasty. I also make Paula Deen's pumpkin gooey cake, it is a sinful dessert so I save it for special occassions, Thanksgiving being one of them. Enjoy!

        1. All three are from Epicurious, and are excellent (and perfectly fine made ahead): Maple and Tangerine-Glazed Carrots; Brussels Sprouts with Marjarom and Pine Nuts; and Wild Mushrooms with Chestnuts and Thyme.

          Ummm...only a month away.

          1. Last year I didn't think of it until a couple of days before Thanksgiving (I was going away - so not cooking myself, otherwise I would have thought of it a lot sooner) but after reading hundreds of posts about Thanksgiving and what to serve, it hit me like the proverbial ton o' bricks: of course - mashed rutabagas! They are the perfect side. Easy too. All they want is plenty of butter to be absolutely perfect with turkey.

            4 Replies
            1. re: niki rothman

              Oh add a dab of Amontillado sherry to the mashed rutabagas. It is magic.

              I used to torture myself with mashed rutabagas then one day the light wnet on. Peel, steam and then puree in the food processor instead of using the laborious Foley food mill. Why was I using the foley? 'Cause as many people have done, it is the way my mother did it.

              1. re: Candy

                Rutabagas are really easy to mash - I have a food processor but I just use a potato masher from my collection of vintage ones. I don't think a lot of people know how delicious mashed buttered rutabagas are. They are also good in a soup like beef veg. or mushroom with lamb and barley.

                1. re: niki rothman

                  Niki, my mother always made rutabagas for us when we were kids!! SHe would mash them up and put bacon in them as well!! ohhhh sooo good!!!

                  1. re: Angelina

                    If you had rutabagas for Thanksgiving as a kid I think their taste just always makes you think of Thanksgiving, because it wasn't something we ate very often, although they are really a perfect accompaniment for any roast meat. And they, like yams, seem to make you think of the autumn season more than any other - not exactly a taste one would associate with summer.

            2. Sounds like you have a great meal planned! If you are looking for a few variations, I've tried:

              4 Tbsp light butter, melted
              1 c liquid egg substitute
              1 c fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
              1 loaf day-old bread (16 slices) cut in 1/2 cubes
              1/2 cup minced scallions
              1/2 cup chopped celery
              1 c dried cranberries
              1/4 c. chopped parsley
              1 tsp. grated lemon peel
              1/2 tsp. black pepper
              1/4 tsp. salt
              1 tsp. poultry seasoning

              Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 16 muffin cups with cooking spray (PAM). (Do not use paper liners.) In a large bowl combine butter, egg and broth. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes.

              If bread mixture appears too dry add up to 1/4 cup warm water, re toss and spoon into muffin cups with an ice cream scoop. Bake 20-25 minutes. Mixture should be soft and spongy but not mushy.

              Sweet Potatoe Puree with Bananas and Buttered Pecans

              6 lbs. Sweet potatoes (about 6)
              2 ripe bananas, skins on
              1⁄2 stick unsalted butter, softened
              1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup
              2 T. ground cinnamon
              2 tsp. Pumpkin spice
              1⁄2 tsp. Salt

              1 lb. Pecans
              1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
              1 T. salt
              2 T. brown sugar

              Preheat oven to 425. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork and bake till tender, about one hour. Roast bananas with skins on for the last 15 min. When cool enough, peel potatoes and bananas, transfer to a food processor and puree until chunky. Add butter and maple syrup and puree until smooth. Add cinnamon, pumpkin spice and salt; puree to combine. Transfer to a shallow baking dish and smooth top surface.

              In a skillet, cook pecans in butter over low heat and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until well coated, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Arrange pecans on top of puree and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 300 until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.


              Sweet Cornbread
              1⁄2 cup butter (1 stick)
              1 cup sugar
              2 eggs
              1 cup yellow cornmeal
              1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
              2 tsp. Baking powder
              1⁄2 tsp. Salt
              1 cup milk
              1⁄2 cup steamed sweet New Jesey corn (off the cob)

              In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs; beating well. Then add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and heat oven to 375 degrees. Fold the steamed sweet New Jersey corn into the batter and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.


              1 Reply
              1. re: HillJ

                Cornbread...I make it all the time and never for Thanksgiving!! Imagine??? Thanks for the recipe!! I will be adding this to my party!