Thanksgiving Sides…with Flare and Flavor!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Pecans, Cherries, Feta and Balsamic Glaze

Yield: 4 Servings


4 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 large butternut squash, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (2-3 cups)

½ cup dried cherries

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ cup toasted pecans

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup balsamic glaze


  1. Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss brussels sprouts, sweet potato, cherries, olive oil, garlic, cumin, allspice and salt to coat.
  3. Put into a small casserole dish (8-inch by 8-inch or 9-inch by 13-inch will both work!). A sheet tray works well and then you can serve in a casserole dish.
  4. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake 45 minutes, stirring once half-way through, or until veggies are golden-brown and cooked through. Remove from oven.
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Sprinkle pecans and feta cheese over the veggies just before serving and drizzle with balsamic glaze. 

Cornbread Stuffing with Caramelized Onions, Pancetta and Wild Rice

Yield:  8-10 Servings


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

½ package corn bread croutons for stuffing (3 cups dried)

4 large onions (about 2 3/4 pounds), halved, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

½ lb pancetta, diced

4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 1/3 cups wild rice (about one 8-ounce package uncooked or 2 15-ounce pre-cooked cans)

3/4 to 1 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley (for a pop of color)

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onions; sauté over medium low heat until very tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Transfer onions to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Using the pot from the onions, bring to medium heat and sauté pancetta and garlic until pancetta is crisp. Remove from heat. Do not drain oil.
  5. Bring broth, thyme and sage to a boil in heavy large deep saucepan. Mix in wild rice; return to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes. (If using pre-cooked rice, reduce broth to 2 cups and simmer 10 minutes.)
  6. Stir in caramelized onions, pancetta and garlic (including oil). Cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring often.
  7. In a large bowl, fold together the corn bread croutons and wild rice mix. Do not over stir or it will result in a mushy stuffing. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Stir in 3/4 cup parsley.
  9. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish.
  10. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes and the top layer is crispy. You may use a broiler to brown further if you wish.
  11. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley over stuffing and serve.

Fall….ing for Hasselback Potatoes 


3 large potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)

4 tablespoons melted butter, duck fat or bacon fat

Fresh herbs, chopped

Parmesan cheese, grated

Kosher salt to taste

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash and dry the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes and pat dry.
  3. Cut slits* in the potatoes, leaving the bottom intact. (Cut parallel slits into each potato, stopping just before you cut through so that the slices stay connected at the bottom of the potato. Space the slices 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch apart.)
  4. Brush the potatoes with half the fat. Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish. Brush the potatoes all over with half the butter or other fat, including the bottoms.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake 30 minutes, then brush with more fat. At this point, the layers will start separating.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the potatoes again with the remaining fat — you can nudge the layers apart if they’re still sticking together. Make sure some of the fat drips down into the space between the slices.
  8. Bake another 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are crispy on the edges and easily pierced in the middles with a paring knife.
  9. In the last 5 minutes, stuff the herbs and Parmesan into the slits and sprinkle over the top.

Serve immediately.

*You can rest the potato in a large serving spoon or on 2 wooden chopsticks


Creamy Sweet Potato and Herb Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 6-8 Servings


1 lb. package elbow macaroni noodles

8 oz. (1 stick butter)

2 tablespoons butter

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

4 cups sweet potato, peeled and cubed

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup vegetable broth

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon sage

2 cups milk, whole or 2% preferred*

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese*

¾ cup Gouda cheese*

¼ cup Parmesan*

¼ teaspoon dry mustard*


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Butter a 9×13 casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. Cook the macaroni according to package directions, less 2 minutes for al dente.
  4. Drain, stir in 1 stick of butter and set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 T butter in a skillet over medium low heat and add onion.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the sugar and sauté and additional 15 minutes. (sugar allows for quick caramelization)
  8. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes. Cut into large chunks.
  9. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender, then drain.
  10. Add the caramelized onions, salt, pepper, broth and spices and herbs and using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.
  11. Return to the stove and over medium low heat, slowly add in milk, dry mustard and cheese until melted into a sauce*.
  12. Pour the sauce* over the cooked noodles and stir until combined.
  13. Add macaroni mixture to casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.  (you may add breadcrumbs)

*Recipe for 3-cheese sauce here if you prefer to make separate for other uses (would make a great topping for the Hasselbacks)

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