Tag Archives: Jello

Delicious Thanksgiving sides

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d put together a little post with 10 ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes. I’ve ignored plenty of holidays on this blog–Halloween, for example, went by completely unremarked. And last year I don’t remember sharing a single Thansgiving-friendly recipe when November hit. It’s not even like I’ve fallen off the bandwagon, because to fall off it means you were on it at some point.

And I never claim to have been on any bandwagon, at any time.

So I’m trying to change–not too hard mind you (no pie-filled week like Tracy, no pumpkin-alicious recipes like Sarah), but the least I could do is put together a few of the delicious sides that have happened on this blog in the past. None are exactly traditional, but I think they’d be quite lovely if you’re looking for a little something different this year!

First up!

1. Roasted carrots with feta and parsley–my favorite thing is the roasty sweetness of the carrots. My other favorite thing is the salty, magical feta. And my other favorite thing is that it couldn’t be easier. The steps can be broken down as follows: roast. Toss. Consume.

2. Brussel sprouts!

Shredded. Pan-fried with bacon and nutmeg and a squirt of lemon juice at the end. You may remember this recipe from the cooking class I taught with my friend Cassia earlier this year–and for me, the brussel sprouts were one of the highlightiest highlights of that meal. This little pile of greens would go so well with a big hunk of turkey–if you’re of the turkey persuasion, that is. I’m more for the roasted chicken myself.

3. Creamy Parmesan orzo with asparagus! How I love that stuff.

4. This roasted potato and green bean salad that I LOVE (and I don’t break out the caps for just any old thing). It’s sweet and tangy and mustardy, with just the right amount of bitey vinegar on the tongue. I’ve made it twice, and eating it again would make so very happy.

5. A fruit salad with all fresh fruit (and lotsa berries, though that’s not exactly seasonal at this time), topped with a minty honey lime dressing.

6. Mushrooms drowning in melted fontina. *groan*

And it’s another super easy dish (score)!

7. Divine creamed corn. Easy, delicious, and not-from-a-can.

And all the food bloggers said. . . Amen.

Or at least this food blogger did.

8. Roasted green beans. They are so, so, so good. And you just toss them in the oven and let the heat do the work!

They truly are finger-lickin’, just as I dubbed them in the recipe.

9. Israeli couscous with spiced sweet onions, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of cilantro.

It’s so colorful! The red and green reminds me of Christmas. And of course, it’s as tasty as all get out.

10. I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention one of the more traditional dessert type things which can also function as a Thanksgiving side–très Americain

Jello! With berries. And cool whip. And I’m not apologizing, either.

I mean, I can’t exactly apologize after what happened last year:

It was devoured by a pack of hyenas.

I mean . . . a pack of sisters. Right.

So! Do tell all. Have you all already planned out your Thanksgiving menus? Or–for my Canadian friends–were your Thanksgivings full of deliciousness and new culinary heights? Or old but still heighty culinary heights? And for my international friends, does the sight of Jello completely disgust you, or do you understand how necessary it is to the American soul?

Berries in a Cloud Jello Dessert

This is one of the least photogenic desserts I have encountered. It’s also extremely delicious. My sister Erica served it for Thanksgiving this year, and I could hardly keep my fingers out of it.

My hand was smacked many times.

But nothing could stop me! My days of feeling hoity-toity about Jello dessert are over, man.

Here are the traces of this supremely elite dessert on  my emptied Thanksgiving plate.

Hint: it’s the red splotchy stuff at approximately 11 o’clock, wedged between the gravy (brownish stuff) and the mashed sweet potatoes (orangeish stuff).

It’s so complicated to make that Erica had to go to culinary school just to learn the building blocks. It involves things like mixing Jello powder into water. Mixing Jello liquid into Cool Whip. Pouring a bag of frozen fruit into  the Jello. These are all very delicate operations that you need specialized utensils for, such as a spoon. And a bowl or two. Have I scared you off yet?

Since I don’t have step by step photos, I have instead chosen to insert some choice shots of the three of us sisters devouring this dessert like hyenas. We descended on it with spoons, with passion, and with raging appetites. Viewer discretion is cautioned. Or viewer caution is discretioned. Cautionary discretion is viewed. Whatever.

As usual, the printable Word document link is at the bottom. Enjoy, all ye peoples!


(Serves 8)

2 packages black raspberry Jello

2 packages strawberry Jello (or other berry Jello)

1-8 oz container Cool Whip

1 bag frozen mixed berries

Prepare the strawberry Jello following the package instructions. Once the liquid is cool, reserve 2-3 TBS of the liquid.

Mix the frozen berries into the strawberry Jello, and pour the mixture into a Jello mould or Bundt pan.

Chill the strawberry Jello in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to an hour.

I love how my husband is donning an apron in the background. He’s getting ready to clean up our Jello mess, a mess so huge that it will require All Hands on Deck.

Stir the 2-3 reserved TBS of Jello liquid into 1 container of Cool Whip and chill. It will become pink and delicious.

Prepare the black raspberry Jello according to the package instructions. Erica uses ice cold water to temper it. Pour it into the mould or Bundt pan on top of the chilled strawberry Jello and chill the whole shebang for several hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, fill your sink with some hot water and put the bottom of the Bundt pan in the water for a couple seconds (literally 2 seconds, without submerging). Turn it upside down on a platter, and the Jello should come out easily. Top with pink Cool Whip delight.

Soon, your lovely platter will look something like this:

It’s inevitable, so just accept it.

Click here for printable version: Berries in a Cloud Jello Dessert