Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Sides

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.” by Charles Dickens

During the 70's and well into the 80's I was swept into the jello craze. Tupperware parties squeezed out our monies tempting us with all sorts of all shapes and sizes of jello molds we just had to have. We strove to recreate those recipes pictured in magazines and cookbooks with jello, marshmallows, fruits, nuts, cool whip and sometimes pudding.
We held our breaths at that final moment burping the mold hoping it would all came out in one glorious piece. But ah, I remember the one recipe that I call piece de resistance. It was the one that used many different flavors of jello and each layer was a different color. Now that was something to strive for!
Over the years the popularity of these jello recipes has diminished but when the holidays roll around they are a coveted side that can't be missed.

Cranberry Jello Salad

  • 6 oz. cherry jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup chopped apple (like Delicious brand)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1- 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drain and save juice to be used for part of the 2 cups of boiling water mixture
  • Dissolve jello in boiling water, cool and stir in rest of ingredients
  • Chill in a slightly greased9 x 13 pan
Orange Flavored Watergate Salad
  • 2- 11 oz. cans of mandarin oranges
  • 1 small box of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1- 8 oz. container Cool Whip
  • 1-cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Make pudding mix up as directed on box
  • Drain oranges and cut up into small pieces
  • Fold all ingredients together and refrigerate

Cranberry Salad


  • 1 (6 ounce) package raspberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 (4 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup whipped topping


  • Place the gelatin into a bowl, pour in the boiling water, and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Mix in the cranberry sauce, pineapple, celery, pecans, and orange zest until evenly blended. Pour the gelatin mixture into a mold or serving dish.
  • Chill in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 8 hours.
  • To make the topping, beat the cream cheese with half of the whipped topping. Fold in the remaining whipped topping until well blended. Unmold the gelatin, and spread with the topping mixture.
Thanksgiving Sides

Corn Pudding Casserole Serves 12-14
  • 2 cans cream style corn
  • 1 can whole corn liquid packed drained
  • ½ stick of margarine melted
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 box jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2TB. parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional chili peppers and grated hot pepper jack cheese
  • Combine all ingredients except the Jiffy mix, then stir in the dry mix till just combined
  • Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan
  • Bake @350 1 hour and then start checking to make sure center is done 
  • Cool and cut in squares

Broccoli-Cauliflower Bake
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1-cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 TB. butter
  • 1 can of cream of chicken
  • 4 oz. Swiss cheese cubed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • ¼ tsp. dried basil, marjoram and thyme
  • 1-cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 TB. parsley flakes
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • In a large saucepan cook broccoli and cauliflower covered in lightly salted water 6-8 minutes till vegetables are crisp-tender
  • Drain
  • In a skillet cook onion in butter stir in soup and cheese and milk
  • Cook and stir just till cheese melts
  • Stir in cooked vegetables and then transfer to a greased 1-1/2 quart size casserole bowl
  • Toss breadcrumbs with 1 TB parsley flakes and 1 TB. melted butter
  • Sprinkle over vegetable mixture
  • Bake uncovered 20 minutes
  • Another topping idea: 2/3 cup crushed wheat crackers, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup Parmesan shredded cheese and 2 TB. melted butter

Cranberry and Dried Cherry Sauce
  • 12 oz. container frozen cranberry- raspberry juice cocktail thawed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 TB. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • 1- 6oz. package dried tart cherries
  • 1- 12oz. bag fresh cranberries (produce dept.)
  • ¼ cup Merlot 
  • Dissolve cornstarch in water and add cran/raspberry mixture, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks,allspice 
  • Bring to boil in a saucepan stirring to dissolve sugar
  • Reduce heat and add in cherries and cook 2 minutes
  • Add cranberries cook until berries pop about 8 minutes and mixture thickened
  • Stir in Merlot
  • Cover and chill overnight
  • To serve discard cinnamon
  • Refrigerate till serving-heat on low to warm slightly or serve at room temepratrure
  • Serve sauce over turkey, chicken or pork


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