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Jan's Top 10 Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Courtesy of www.Jan-Leasure.com

When you close your eyes and envision your Thanksgiving table, of course in most homes the golden-brown roasted bird is in the center, and the creative and colorful side dishes are sprinkled around. 

I try to plan the side dishes in advance, not just for easier preparation but because I am a sucker for leftovers and I want to make sure I LOVE what I have in the fridge the next day! After about 30 years of making Thanksgiving dinner and counting, here are my favorites. What are yours? 

Here are a few links for my favorites. They are all delicious and easy — these are holiday comfort foods, maybe not good for your health but great for your soul.

P.S.: I might skip the pumpkin pie this year and switch off to pumpkin whoopie pies. What do you think?

Jan’s Top 10 Thanksgiving Dishes! (The turkey is a given)

1.) Stuffing with Italian sausage (learned this from my dad). Here’s my recipe.

2.) Homemade gravy (I am spectacular at gravy — could this be why I struggle with poundage?) Tip: I put my flour to thicken with a cup of milk into the blender with salt and pepper before adding it to the drippings. This eliminates lumps and frees you up so you don’t have to stir so long and hard. My mom disapproved of this shortcut but it works!

3.) Sweet potato casserole (marshmallows vs. pineapple?) Here’s my recipe.

4.) Green bean casserole (with Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup?) Here is my variation of a great green bean casserole.

5.) Cranberry sauce (fresh cranberry or cranberry orange vs. Ocean Spray or generic jellied?)

6.) Cranberry fluff (try my Auntie Pearl’s recipe.)

7.) Mashed potatoes (Real russet, no boxed potatoes allowed!) Quick tip: add a cup of real or nondairy sour cream to the mashed potatoes, gives them a rich flavor and consistency.

8.) Scalloped corn casserole (new to me in the last two years) try this recipe!

9.) Dinner rolls (homemade, Pillsbury Crescents, Jiffy corn meal muffins?)

10.) Pumpkin pie (I was thinking of also making pumpkin whoopee pies what do you think?) Try this whoopie pie recipe.

By the way, who says you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner on a budget? Even if I make all of my favorites above and make enough for 10 to 12 people (I always make extra), I can do it for less than $100 without coupons and under $80 if I’m careful and shop right. That’s dinner really for 12 the first day and four the next day with leftovers — maybe more. If guests bring one of the dishes, we can clip that right down to $50 bucks. Happy yummy Thanksgiving! If you have any favorite holiday recipes would you share?

Jan Leasure November 20, 2011 at 05:56 PM
**My favorite Thanksgiving recipes aren't necessarily recommended by the American Heart Association--but if you need ideas for people with dietary issues, allergies or gluten restrictions, Here is some great information: http://extreme-couponing-tips.com/money-saving-tips/food-restrictions-how-to-enjoy-the-holidays-when-food-is-an-issue

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