Thanksgiving Side Dishes

It was the annual Thanksgiving pot-luck lunch at work. My contribution this year was a yummy stuffing. I’ve also included for the first time a recipe not tested by me. Jolanda made a cranberry salad that everyone loved. I’ve included her recipe and the pics.

apple rye stuffing

RYE AND APPLE STUFFING (recipe from Real Simple magazine)

4 tbsp unsalted butter (plus extra butter for dish)
½ loaf rye bread, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ loaf or white bread, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into ½ inch pieces
3 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh sage, chopped
2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 400. Butter a deep 3 qt casserole dish. Place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and ½ tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in apples and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil.

Add the vegetable mixture, parsley, and sage to the bread and toss to combine. Mix in the eggs. Transfer to the prepared dish and cover loosely with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, about 12-15 minutes.


cranberry salad

1 bag fresh cranberries, finely chopped
2 tbsp cranberry sauce
1 can crushed pineapple (in its own juice)
1 package of strawberry, lemon OR raspberry gelatin (pick one)
1 cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup boiling water
½ cup granulated white sugar

Combine the cranberries, celery and walnuts.
Combine sugar, water and gelatin.
Combine cranberry and gelatin mixes.
Add pineapple, and stir all ingredients together.
Pour in dish and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

Christmas Cookies

cinnamon chocolate chunk cookies and ginger spice cookies

This year I got a few recipes from a random book “Christmas with Southern Living 1998”, which my mom found on my grandmother’s bookcase. One recipe was for a twist on the standard chocolate chip. I didn’t add the walnuts, as I don’t like the texture of nuts in baked goods.


1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 (3.9 oz) package chocolate instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (11.5 oz) package semisweet chocolate chunks/mega morsels
1 (2.5 oz) package walnut pieces (toasted and chopped, 2/3 cup) – OPTIONAL

Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars and pudding mix, beating well. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Combine flour, soda and cinnamon; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended (do not overbeat). Stir in chocolate morsels and walnuts.
Drop dough by tablespoons onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 9 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute. Remove cookies to wire racks; cool completely. Yields 5 dozen.

The ginger spice cookies were NOT from scratch. I don’t usually bake anything from a mix, but these looked really good, and the ingredients were all natural.

Apple Pie for Christmas Dinner

I don’t actually like pie, but my former mother-in-law made an apple pie once that I just loved. She served it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious! She gave me the recipe, and I finally had a chance to make it this year for dessert at Christmas dinner.

serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream


6 medium-sized apples, pared, quartered, cored, and sliced thin
1 cup sugar
2 ½ tbsp flour
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
For topping: 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp milk or cream

Prepare pastry or use ready made 2 crust pastry from Pillsbury.

Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Add apple slices. Toss gently to mix.

Spoon apple mixture into bottom crust. Dot with butter.

Cover with top crust. Pinch crust edges together; turn up and in. Pinch again to form stand-up edge Flute.

Brush top with milk or cream. Sprinkle with sugar. Slice top crust to vent.

Bake in a hot oven at 425 for 35 minutes or until golden brown and juices bubble through slits. Cool pie completely on a wire rack.