Side dishes are on my list of “things I regularly forget about”. I’m not the only one that can plan main dishes for every night and conveniently forget that I should serve something along with it, right?
Except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about the sides for me. And this would be a great one.
Simple ingredients and quick prep make this a winner any night, but it’d be especially great for your holiday table, given how great butternut squash are this time of year.
Brown Sugar Butternut Squash
(from Chew Out Loud)
1 large butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
In a bowl, toss the squash with the oil until evenly coated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Spread out on the baking sheet evenly.
Roast for 40 minutes until the squash is fork-tender and the edges are browned.
In the food blogger world, we’re often working ahead. Like, I’m currently working on Christmas cookies, as absurd as that sounds on this 80 degree summer day. Sometimes I feel like I’m living three steps ahead, not in the moment, so I was super excited that more than 80% of you were still up for summer recipes when I asked on Facebook this week.
I feel like I’ve missed most of it, honestly. The move chewed up so much of my time that I feel like I’m frantically playing catch up now before school starts. Grilling is something I’m catching up on – we finally got our grill ready to go this week. This was the first thing I made.
This “recipe” is really flexible – it’s more of a method. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. Want it to cook faster? Cut the pieces smaller. Want the veggies to caramelize a little more? Don’t stir as often. Sub the balsamic for fresh Parmesan. Add a nice, crusty loaf of bread and serve it as a meal. So many options!
It can also be served warm, cold, or at room temp which makes it so flexible for potlucks or entertaining.
Balsamic Grilled Vegetables
(adapted from Stop & Shop)
Serves 6-8 as a side
1 red pepper
1/2 red onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, julienned
2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil and season with slat and pepper.
Add to a grill basket. Grill for 20-25 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
When done, transfer to a serving bowl. Top with fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
I hosted Thanksgiving for years before I tried making my own cranberry sauce. I always assumed it would be difficult and not worth it. It’s not – and it is.
This only takes about fifteen minutes to make and tastes so, so much better than the canned version. It’s also make-ahead friendly and is the perfect dish to bring with you if you’re travelling because it can be served warm, cold, or at room temp.
(from Savory Sweet Life)
Makes about 2 cups
1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
You’ll hear the cranberries popping as this cooks – that’s okay! You want them to open up!
This can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature.
It’s officially November which means my Facebook feed is all “hey! let’s do Christmas!” Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and I totally have Christmas prep going here (like, the fill-it-yourself advent calendar I bought about a month ago and have been obsessing over what to put in it), but I also don’t want to brush other holidays under the rug. We did Halloween big (as it should be!) and now I’m thinking about Thanksgiving.
One of the hardest things about coordinating a Thanksgiving dinner is getting everything on the table at the same time. Either space in the oven/on the stove top is at a premium or there are just too many balls in the air to keep track of it all. Using other kitchen appliances other than the stove can help things go more smoothly. I’ve always been a big fan of the slow cooker, but this year I’m excited to throw the instant pot in the mix.
These mashed potatoes are basic, but they’re hands-off and perfect for your Thanksgiving meal. I used my stand mixer to make things go super fast but if you don’t have one (or it’s tied up with other Thanksgiving prep!) a hand mixer would work just fine too.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
(adapted from The Baker Upstairs)
2 lbs. potatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wash the potatoes. Peel, if desired, and quarter.
Add the rack to the instant pot, then the potatoes. Pour the chicken stock over the potatoes.
Using the manual setting, set to cook for 8 minutes and then quick release the pressure.
Drain the liquid and add the hot potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add remaining ingredients and mix until you reach the desired consistency.