Monday, November 25, 2013

The BEST Thanksgiving Sides

Let's face it - the best part about Thanksgiving dinner is not the turkey. The SIDES are where it's at, ya'll. I could take the bird or leave it (unless it's smoked, which is a different story #YUMZ), but I LOVE me some sides!

My aunt in New York is hosting Thanksgiving, like usual, and has already come up with a menu that sounds phenomenal. We don't get into NY until very late on Wednesday night, so most of the cooking will already be done, which means I won't be able to help cook as much as I'd like... but I thought it would be fun to do a little research ahead of time, in the name of deliciousness :) I'd love to eat ANY of these on Thanksgiving!

Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Roasted Chickpeas
A couple of years ago, my mom made Thanksgiving dinner - and kicked things off in the BEST possible way with soup. And not just ANY soup... a delicious, silky, creamy butternut squash soup. Hers actually had caramelized onions and butternut squash chunks on top, which was awesome, but I'm intrigued by this recipe - which comes with maple roasted chickpeas on top. SOLD.

I MEAN. These mashed potatoes have butter AND cream cheese, so they're basically a heart attack on a plate, but goddamn if they don't look delicious. 

I actually made stuffing for Thanksgiving using this recipe last year, so I can vouch for how delicious it was! I subbed chicken apple sausage - my family's favorite - for the spicy Italian sausage and it was awesome. 

I love cauliflower - but not more than Ram does. He LOVES it. I can picture his face now... cauliflower AND parmesan AND breadcrumbs? That boy would be in heaven.

The Shiksa's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts & Pomegranate Molasses
I love recipes that elevate a simple vegetable in a really special way. This recipe calls for roasting brussels sprouts til they are crispy and brown, then tossing them with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and a delicious vinaigrette. A platter of these on your table would look unbelievable - and taste even better!

But of course, there's one classic I will not mess with. No need for any special cranberry sauce fancied up with nuts or pecans or oranges - NOTHING beats the good old fashioned kind straight from the can! 

When Thanksgiving rolls around next year, it'll be right after our wedding - we'll be married for one month and two days, to be specific :) and I'D like to host our first married Thanksgiving!  I have a feeling some of these delicious sides will be on our menu... but you know, I have a full year to think about it :)

1 comment:

Diana M. said...

You are definitely right that it's ALL about the SIDES, but you seriously got the cranberries all wrong!! I have two cranberry dishes that I love so much that it really isn't Thanksgiving unless they're included (even if I have to make them for our leftovers party the next day)! This one is what I grew up with and it's so fresh, tart and bright!

Cranberry Pineapple Relish
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 can (1 lb. 4 oz.) pineapple chunks in syrup
1/2 cup syrup from pineapple
1/4 cup sugar
3 thin slices of lemon
3 thin slices of orange
1 stick of cinnamon

Drain pineapple - reserve liquid. Pour syrup in saucepan. Add sugar, lemon, orange and cinnamon. Bring to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Add cranberries. Simmer until they begin to burst. Stir in pineapple chunks. Serve warm or cold.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

And this next one is a relatively new addition to my tradition. I found this recipe a few years ago and I MUST have it every year! It's so amazing and nothing like my other recipe. Where the other one is light and bright, this is deep and savory and OMG...

Hopefully you'll expand beyond the can!