Thanksgiving part 2: Side Dishes and the Turkey

Ok, so my original hope of getting through three posts in three days obviously didn’t happen.  But these recipes are too good to go unposted no matter how many weeks have passed.  So now, the side dishes.  We made some traditional thanksgiving dishes (that our family always makes) and some that were new to the table but just as delicious.  We had two kinds of cornbread dressing (stuffing), mashed sweet potatoes, roasted green beans, and please don’t hate me, but scalloped potatoes instead of mashed.  And now, I have a confession.  I am really not a huge fan of mashed potatoes.  Yes, they can be delicious with garlic or chives or whatever you wish to add, but I always end up doing the same thing…leaving the mashed mountain on my plate and go for the greens or meat or main dish.  So this year we stuck to the mashed sweet potatoes but substituted the regular mashed po’s for scalloped deliciousness.  So here we go….

Our Traditional Cornbread Dressing


  • 1 batch cornbread (see chili and cornbread post)
  • ½ cup old white bread
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • Chicken or turkey stock until very moist (more moist is better than less.  just not dripping.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Crumble the cornbread in a large bowl
  2. add the remaining ingredients
  3. mix well
  4. transfer to a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 min
Ok, we don’t brulee our sweet potaotes and this isn’t even the recipe that we follow. But a.) I love this blog and b.) who doesn’t love a lightened version of a classic like sweet potatoes
Whole wheat dinner muffins 
  • 13/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large eggs, separated
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds for sprinkling
  1. preheat oven to 375. Crease 9 standard muffin cups; fill the unused cups 1/3 full with water to prevent warping
  2. in a bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  3. in another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, butter, buttermilk, sour cream, and vanilla until blended. Stir the buttermilk mix into the dry ingredients just until evenly moistened.
  4. In a clean bowl, using a mixer with spotlessly clean beaters on medium speed, or a balloon whisk, beat the whites just until they form soft peaks.  Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until blended.
  5. Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it level with the rim of the cup. Sprinkle each muffin with some of the sesame seeds
  6. Bake until golden, dry, and springy to the touch 2-25 min.  a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 min.  Un-mold muffins and serve warm or at room temp with butter.
This was the first year that I decided to brine the turkey…ok this was the first year that I was in charge of the turkey.  But I will say it was delicious! I was a little bummed that I forgot to bring home my new meat thermometer (one of those cool ones that has a prod in the meat but then the actual temp part is outside the oven) so we used the regular one but im sure that did not change the taste..just the foodie fun of cooking a turkey.  Anyway, we were going to make this brine but instead, bought the premade brine from Cost Plus World Market which had most of the same ingredients of the Bon Appetit brine but in one convenient package.  I compromised though and still added added the apple cider for flavor.  Let’s just say I will be referencing this post a year from now when I cook thanksgiving again.
{Our traditional cornbread dressing}
{Cornbread dressing with fall root vegetables}
{Soaking the potato in water before baking will remove the starch}
{Finished potato gratin with gruyere crust}
{I substituted white flour for whole wheat but either works perfectly! And I topped the muffins with rosemary and sea salt for added flavor}
{How can you not try this recipe after this picture}


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