Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

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?

Malva Pudding


This dessert is a little jewel. My brother-in-law Mike made it during our Thanksgiving festivities in Kentucky.

It’s kind of like a very moist cake. Picture a Tres Leches cake, but more thin and–dare I say–more delicious? I haven’t decided if I dare or dare not, since I love a good Tres Leches Cake.

This is a South African dessert. Mike happens to be from South Africa, and this recipe has been passed along through the generations. You are making a historical artifact, essentially, and engaging in a cookery lore that has been fine-tuned to hit your taste buds just so.

I had the honor of holding the original, 200-year old recipe card in my own hands, and kissed it with my own lips.

Well, that was the interesting version, but the real version if that Mike hopped on the worldwide web and found this recipe on food.com. Heh heh.

But whether it came from the in’ernet or came from his South African grandmother’s sticky recipe box on a hand-written card with the marks of love, age, and flour all over it, it’s equally delicious.

If you’re dubious about the ‘moist’ part (as I was–I hate anything that remotely rings of sogginess), take your doubts and give them a swift kick in the groin. They have no place here. Here, only deliciousness reigns.


(Serves 6)

For the pudding

3/4 c sugar

2 eggs

1 TBS apricot jam

1 1/4 c flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBS butter (generous TBS)

1 tsp vinegar

1/3 c milk

For the sauce

3/4 heavy whipping cream

7 TBS butter

1/2 c sugar

1/3 c hot water

2 tsp vanilla

Let’s get started!

First, find two strapping young men to do the work.

And don’t come out until you have that pudding on a plate!

Then, go watch funny youtube videos with your sister . . . .

. . . and let the magic unfold in the kitchen ‘by itself’ so to speak.

Now get your oven preheating to 350.

Grease an oven dish (a 7×7 square Pyrex dish works, or a circular one like Mike used). Baking spray never hurt anyone if you don’t feel like getting down and dirty with the butter dish.

Beat together the sugar and the eggs until the mixture is thick and yellow.

Add the apricot jam, and mix it in.

Melt the butter, and add in both the butter and vinegar.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; add it to the wet mixture along with the milk and give the whole thing a good beating.

If your mixer has a really deep bowl, be aggressive with your spatula. You don’t want flour hanging around the bottom of the bowl.

That’s what happened to Mike, and he was obliged to pour the batter back into the bowl from the baking pan and remix it.

I’m sorry I had to point that out, Mike, but you may have just saved our readers from making the same mistake! It’s called a ‘moral’ and I always have to include one in my ‘story.’

Pour the whole mixture into the greased oven pan.

Bake that baby until the pudding is golden brown and has risen (somehwere between 30-45 minutes).

Meanwhile, make the sauce: melt the butter and mix all the ingredients together. Very straightfoward.

As soon as the pudding comes out of the oven . . .

. . . pour the sauce over it as evenly as possible.

Let it stand for a few minutes before serving. This gives the cream time to invade every inch of this amazing dessert.

It really should be served warm, so gather everyone together. C’mon Dave and Erica! Let’s boogie!

Time to serve it up, whether Erica and Dave are willing to stop suggling or not.

Every bite caused my senses to celebrate this thing called ‘dessert.’

This South African treat is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Malva Pudding