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.

Dirt Dessert: Compost Cake & Garden of Eaten

It was Sara’s birthday. She apparently decided to channel her inner 4-year-old and requested a “dirt cake” for her birthday. I couldn’t remember ever having one, but my mother recently reminded me that we did, in fact, make one for my little brother when he was about 7 or 8.

The recipe I used was a slightly modified version from Martha Stewart. Everyone seemed to like it, so I guess it’s a success for children and adults (or maybe just adults who think they are still children).

I decided to forgo the usual flower pot presentation. I used a 8″x8″ Pyrex baking pan for my “compost cake” and a 9″x13″ pan for my garden themed dirt cake, which Allie called my “Garden of Eaten”.


2 – 16 oz packages Oreo cookies

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

4 – 3.9 oz packages instant chocolate pudding

4 3/4 cups milk, room temperature

16 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a food processor, finely chop up cookies until they resemble dirt. (The frosting in the middle will get coated with cookie crumbs and become invisible.)

In a very large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Stir until creamy. (If the ingredients aren’t at room temperature, you’ll have a hard time combining them.)

In another large bowl, whisk together instant-pudding mixes and the milk until well blended.

Using a rubber spatula, fold pudding mixture into the very large bowl of cream cheese mixture. Combine until well mixed and color is evenly brown.

Fold in the whipped cream until well mixed and color is evenly light brown.

In your baking pan or flower pot, alternate layers of cookie crumbs with the pudding mixture. Your first and last layer should be the cookie crumbs.

Chill for atleast 4 hours, but preferably overnight before decorating and serving.