The Great Thanksgiving Side Dishes Round Up


Hello, friends. I am currently staying with my parents, helping my mom with my dad who shattered his kneecap in a fall last week. Since I am not currently baking or experimenting, I reached out to my wonderful blogging friends and asked for help with a Thanksgiving Side Dishes Round Up. My friends really came through!

There is something here for everyone–starch lovers, leafy veggie lovers, sweet-tart cranberry lovers. So great! I hope that you will take the time to browse through these recipes, and it would make me so happy to know that one or three of them will be gracing your table this year.

I hope to be back to my more-or-less normal posting schedule next week, but I’ll have to see how things go with my folks. Until things are more settled, I am so grateful for my friends in the blogging community who have stepped up to fill this groaning board with delicious side dish options for your Thanksgiving table.

This is like having my own personal cookbook! Huzzah!/span>

Vegan Boozy Shredded Apple Crisp | #tbtfood

apple crisp4crop

It’s no secret I fell so in love with Barb’s Pikes Peak Spiked Apple Crisp that I made my own version. It was remarkably delicious, and it barely lasted 24 hours because we ate it that quickly. That’s the Royal We, you understand.

boozy shredded apple crispI’ve been thinking about that crisp and how to make it even more comforting. I decided that I wanted the apples to be as soft as possible; almost jammy in consistency. Shredding was the answer, so I broke out the food processor to make Vegan Boozy Shredded Apple Crisp. The dish was *almost* vegan as it was. A simple substitution of coconut oil for the butter in the streusel topping turned this comforting dessert (or breakfast) into a vegan comfort food extravaganza.

I kind of love this idea. Bring it!

Mexican Flan Ice Cream | #IceCreamTuesday

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I am addicted to flan. Just ask The Beloved. If it’s on the menu, I have to order it. I’ve had sublime flan at restaurants. I’ve had horrid flan at restaurants. Sometimes I hesitate to order it because there are so many ways that such a simple dessert can go wrong. Then, my addiction and curiosity get the better of me, and I order anyway.

There is something so comforting about a perfect Mexican flan. Since it contains both evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk, Mexican flan has a bit thicker mouthfeel than creme caramel. And because both milks have a reduced water content, they are perfect for ice cream making.

Makes sense. Bring on the ice cream!

Boozy Apple Crisp for #tbtfood

boozy apple crisp

I think there are two basic categories of throwback foods. There are the ones that are sort of horrifying that folks like to make fun of (Ham and Bananas Hollandaise, anyone?) And then there are the foods that, when we eat them, snap us back to a particular time and place and make us feel like a kid again. Apple crisp falls into the latter category.

I don’t recall my mother making many apple crisps, although she made a lot of apple pies. What she did make though was baked apples, which she would sometimes top with streusel. As the apple skin dulled in the heat of the oven, the flavor of the apple itself intensified as its texture softened. What came out of the oven, all bubbling and buttery, was like a self-contained apple crisp, bright and mellow, soft and crunchy. A perfect little portion.

Sounds cozy and good. Show me!

Savory Grape Bread with Lemon, Goat Cheese and Sea Salt | #BreadBakers

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I must admit I was a bit Iffy about this month’s Bread Bakers’ Theme. It had never occurred to me to put grapes in bread. Raisins? Yes. Currants? Sure. Even Craisins. But shoving big old grapes into bread just seemed odd to me. Turns out, there’s a long tradition of using grapes and grape products (wine, juice) in bread. Just scroll to the end of this post to see all the other amazing breads our bakers made utilizing grapes.

I found a great base recipe for a Savory Grape Bread by Rose Prince, and from there, I used The Flavor Bible to round out the flavors. Under “Grapes,” I found lemon, goat cheese and salt among myriad other likely pairings, and this bread was born. It’s soft on the inside, bright with lemon zest, juicy with grapes (which, it turns out, are delicious in bread) and savory with both the goat cheese and the salt.

Hey, that sounds pretty good!

Pumpkin Butter Japanese Cheesecake | Pumpkin-Spiced Tangerine Curd | #tbtfood


I was intrigued by a light, airy cheesecake that I saw on Google + last August. I commented on it, and the original baker, Casey Ching told me to let her know when I made it. I said that of course I would. And that was 14 months ago.

Just because I didn’t make light and airy Japanese Cheesecake immediately didn’t mean that the idea wasn’t percolating in the back of my mind. Every few months, I’d go back to that original post and give a happy sigh because I knew that one day, when I had the right inspiration, I’d go for it.

Well it’s about time already. Let’s see this Japanese cheesecake of yours.

Creamsicle Ice Cream with Sweet Carrot-Ginger Puree | Ice Cream Tuesday (One Day Late)

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When my brother and I were kids, my family almost always spent Christmases in Plainfield, New Jersey with Auntie Ev and Uncle Ray. Uncle Ray had been a vice president with Macy’s and had traveled all over the world as part of his job. Their home was filled with vases and furniture and crystal and artwork from China and Europe. Paintings and prints lined their walls. To my child’s eyes, they all were pleasant enough but unremarkable.

And then there was John.

I don’t know what his real name was, but he sat behind a desk and used a silver letter opener to tear open some correspondence. He looked as if he’d just seen a bug scurrying across the floor, and his eyes followed me wherever I was in the room. I could even stand against the wall on which John hung, turning my head to see him peering around the picture frame.

I was terrified of John.

When I got older, Uncle Ray took great delight in hanging John in whatever room I’d be staying in for the holidays. One year, he decided to mix things up a bit. When I entered my room, it was to find John lying on my bed, staring at me with his creepy eyes and his “I just saw a bug” sour face. Merry Christmas to me.

I think I’d have liked Uncle Ray. Now show me the ice cream!

Savory Pumpkin Sage Bread for Communion

savory pumpkin sage bread

Communion seems to have snuck up on Nadine and me this time around. Nadine has been sick and working like a crazy person, and I’ve been doing a lot of traveling the past few weeks. Before we knew it, Communion was Upon Us. We talked on Wednesday to settle on a bread.

I’ve had a pumpkin-sage bread swirling around in my brain for a few weeks now, and when I found out she’d be talking about abundance this Sunday, I proposed this Thanksgiving-flavored bread. Nadine was on board, so all that was left was to make it.

Sounds really good. Show me!

Pea and Bacon Arancini | Deep-Fried Risotto Balls | #tbtfood


Remember when the Food Network used to teach you how to cook? Think hard, because it was a long time ago. Way back when Giada was still scowling about having to be on a television show, she showed me how to make arancini. And I watched. And I yearned. Oh, I wanted those deep fried balls of leftover rice with happy little nuggets of cheese in their centers. I wanted to eat them like popcorn.

Somehow, the arancini idea never happened. I sort of kept it in the back of my brain as a “someday I’ll…” item. But, eventually ideas need to become action, and the rubber needs to meet the road. That day came yesterday when I reviewed the great new cookbook, Easy Gourmet, by Stephanie Le of i am a food blog. I made and shared the recipe for pea and bacon risotto (and you can still enter for chances to win a copy of Easy Gourmet if you click that risotto link), and because I didn’t feel so great on Tuesday, I made the risotto yesterday morning. This meant that I ate some during the Photograph Taking portion of the day and had quite a bit leftover.

You deep-fried risotto? I want it!

Pea and Bacon Risotto | Easy Gourmet Review and Giveaway

pea and bacon risotto

I am thrilled to be reviewing Stephanie Le’s fantastic new cookbook, Easy Gourmet. Even if you don’t know Stephanie (I don’t), you probably know her blog, i am a food blog. Her tagline, Celebrating the Awesomeness of Food, does not lie. And as much as I hate to admit that gorgeous photographs are a necessary and integral part of a good post about food, her photographs are so immediate, they make me want to reach through the screen and grab a bite.

With Easy Gourmet, Stephanie has taken her genuine and generous blogging style and perfectly morphed it into a book that will take you by the hand and help you understand, in recipe after recipe, gourmet doesn’t have to be intimidating. It can be easy.

Gourmet and easy? I’m in!