Tag Archives: thanksgiving sides

{Thanksgiving Potluck} Wild Rice and Quinoa Baked Apples with Brie

Nicole from Baby Food Scoops is bringing a wonderful dish to our virtual potluck today.  Nicole is best known for making food that is toddler friendly but still wonderfully delicious for adults.  These Wild Rice and Quinoa Baked Apples with Brie are no exception!  Nicole and her fellow blogger Jess began BabyFoodScoops out of their passion to infuse nutrition, family values, community, sustainability and creativity into their daily lives.  Here is a little bit about Nicole:

Favorite Thanksgiving Dish or Tradition?  Honestly, I think my favorite day of the year is actually the day after Thanksgiving.. and it has nothing at all to do with bargain shopping on Black Friday! The leftovers are plentiful, the spirit of the holiday season is undeniable, and year after year we choose to spend this day in our pajamas and slippers with nothing to do but lounge in front of the fireplace, appreciate one another’s company, and decorate our Christmas tree (oh, and watch news clips showing throngs of shoppers outside of Target at 4am). Does it get any better than that?

Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie?  Oooh.. pulling out the tough questions! I’ll answer with an indecisive “it depends.” I’d generally go with apple pie, however my husband’s aunt tests my loyalties each year with her nearly-famous molasses pumpkin pie (at least I think it’s molasses.. the recipe is top secret)!

Cooking Mantra:  Eat real food! The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ hits a chord with me, I feel strongly that the less processed food the better – I don’t tend to worry so much about calories or coupon bargains. Instead, I focus my energies on wholesome ingredients and avoiding preservatives or additives whenever possible.

What are you thankful for this year?  This one is easy – I am blessed to spend my days and nights with a beautiful newborn, a chatty toddler, and a husband who loves all of his girls enough to do the laundry. I am thankful for this on a daily basis, but especially on laundry day.

Wild Rice and Quinoa Baked Apples with Brie

A holiday all about food! This one has my name all over it. You’ve seen Katie’s Stuffed Squash.. maybe even my Crab-Stuffed Zucchini.. So, why stuff something else from the produce department? You would be forgiven for thinking it was an attempt at being coy–Apples.. Haute Apple Pie.. get it?—but the truth is, for holiday meals I’m drawn to tying traditional staple ingredients into a fresh, new presentation. Cranberries, apples, wild rice and sage are all holiday staples, and here they come together in a glam, single-serving twist without detracting from the traditions of the Thanksgiving table.

For me, there is an added level of appeal when at least a portion of a meal can be made ahead of time. This allows more time and attention on game day for other things, like enjoying the company of those you are cooking or eating with! Most of the filling for these beauties can be made up to two days before baking, but save the apple preparations for the day of. Topping with white cheddar cheese or chopped nuts is an optional last step appreciated by many, however I prefer my baked apple as-is.

Serves 8

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
1/4 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped shitake mushrooms (dried or fresh)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup brie, cut into small pieces
Salt, to taste
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped*
4 medium Red Delicious apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup grated sharp white Cheddar cheese, optional
¼ cup chopped walnuts, optional

Filling Assembly (can be prepared up to two days ahead of time):

If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute with 1 cup warm water for 20 minutes, then drain water, pat dry, and chop mushrooms. Set aside.

In small saucepan, bring chicken broth and water to a boil. Add wild rice, cover, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in quinoa, cover, and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until majority of water is absorbed. Set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion, sauté 7 minutes. Stir in sage and wild rice/quinoa mixture, increasing heat to medium-high. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, and stir in brie and cranberries. Add a dash of salt, to taste.

On Thanksgiving Day:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Halve apples lengthwise, then remove core and seeds. Using a finger, apply lemon juice to cut surface of the apple, to preserve appearance and prevent browning.

Continue to scoop out apple from each halve to create a vessel for wild rice mixture (a melon baller is helpful here). Attempt to leave a 1/4-inch-thick wall of apple around sides. Reserve apple scooped out in this step. Chop and fold into to wild rice mixture.

Fill apple halves with wild rice mixture, gently pressing mixture in to apple to set. Place halves in baking dish. Add 1 cup water to bottom of dish, cover tightly with foil, and bake 45 minutes. Uncover apples, sprinkle with white Cheddar or nuts (if using), and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until apples are soft and tops are beginning to crisp.

Serve warm, and enjoy!

*After many failed attempts at chopping dried cranberries, I found that placing them in the freezer for 20 minutes makes a world of difference when attempting to chop the otherwise sticky fruits. Try it!

Inspiration: Vegetarian Times



Filed under Cook, Sides, Thanksgiving

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Our Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck is in full swing!  Today I am so excited to share a recipe from Alison Sherwood who gives Brussels sprouts a new, and delicious, twist!

Alison is a multimedia producer and blogger for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Her blog, Post-College Kitchen, is all about trying new foods and cooking techniques, and saving time and money in the kitchen.

Favorite Thanksgiving Dish or Tradition? I love stuffing! If that were all I ate on Thanksgiving, I’d still be satisfied.

Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie? Apple Pie for me. I like my pie sweet and gooey! I did try making a pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving, but realized (after it was being served) that I had forgotten to add the sugar. Whoops! I may have to take a second shot at it this year!

Cooking mantra? “It’s worth a try.” There isn’t much I wouldn’t at least try making once.

What are you thankful for this year? I am thankful that I can run again after spending the first part of the year injured. I like to balance my time in the kitchen with time being active.

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Makes about 6 servings

3 slices bacon
1 large yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, or whatever bread you have
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over low heat, turning often until bacon is crispy. Remove from pan, but leave drippings. Drain bacon on paper towel, crumble by hand or in food processor and set aside.

Add the sliced onion to the pan and sauté over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes or until browned. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook the onions for about 20 minutes, or until caramelized. Meanwhile, process the bread in a food processor until it is chopped into breadcrumbs. Wash the Brussels sprouts and slice the ends off (about 1/8 inch). Remove any wilted or loose leaves and slice in half from top to bottom.

When onions are done, remove from the pan and set aside. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat and add the breadcrumbs and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toast, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are browned. Remove from the pan and combine with the bacon crumbles.

Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and cook for a minute before adding 1 cup of white wine and bringing to a boil. Stir the Brussels sprouts, reduce heat to medium and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are tender. Stir in the caramelized onions, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a baking dish rubbed with butter or sprayed with cooking spray. Top with bacon and breadcrumb mixture and broil about 4 minutes, or until heated through.

Note: You can cook the bacon, caramelize the onions and braise the Brussels sprouts a day ahead, then simply toast the breadcrumbs, assemble and heat in the oven on Thanksgiving.

recipe adapted from Cooking Light


Filed under Cook, Sides

Pumpkin Smashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Parmigiano

It’s day two of our Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck and we have Chef Kendra Peterson from Drizzle Kitchen and writer of the blog Urban Tarte, joining us to shed some culinary insight and innovation to our Thanksgiving meal.

Hello all! My name is Kendra Peterson and I am a chef living in downtown Chicago.  I own a business called Drizzle Kitchen, which offers personal chef services, boutique catering, private cooking lessons and culinary consultation to individuals and businesses. The focus of Drizzle is “whole food” cuisine, that is, food that is not processed or manufactured.  Clean food that is good for the mind, body and soul. There is a Spanish Proverb that reads, “The belly rules the mind,” so fill your belly with the best food you can and make your body happy

For most people Thanksgiving is a holiday full of family tradition, the knowledge that your favorite dish will be on the table ready for you to take a big bite of and that familiar smell of the turkey in all its glory roasting in the oven.  Well, that’s a nice story and all but in my little world of culinary craziness tradition=boring.  Much to the dismay of my family!  For me, the tradition has to do with the china that is placed out, the crystal that is wiped, the silver that is polished.  The dining room set with its formal place settings, the candles that are lit and the comfortable glow of family smiling, chatting and enjoying each other’s company.

When I began my serious passion for cooking I saw the holidays as a fabulous time when I had a large audience at my ready, willing to try what I brought out of the kitchen.  And because at an age of 15 I wanted everything to be organic, look beautiful, taste fabulous and be healthy (over-achiever) I spent much time honing my holiday creation repertoire. Through the years my family has been very kind and has put up with some of the crazy concoctions that I presented to them (lentil-chestnut loaf. Yep.) But they have also been the happy recipients of many recipes that are now part of my collection. Pancetta roasted Brussels sprouts (in lieu of green beans amandine), sweet potato biscuits with ginger butter (in lieu of canned crescent rolls) and flourless chocolate tart with orange and crystallized ginger (in lieu of-gasp!-pumpkin pie). Yes, it’s true. There is only ONE person in my entire family who likes pumpkin pie (Good ‘ole daddio) and for the rest of us dessert is typically pumpkin mousse with gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin cheesecake or anything chocolate based!

So, now that you have an idea of what will be on my Thanksgiving table this year here is a recipe that maybe you can use to sass up your “traditional” menu!

Pumpkin Smashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Parmigiano

Serves 4

1 whole head garlic
1” Yukon gold potatoes (“butter” potatoes)
3 generous pats of unsalted, organic butter
¾ cup canned organic pumpkin puree
¼ cup milk, any kind-whole, skim, plain soy, plain coconut
1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano plus another ¼ cup, divided
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
2 T. minced fresh parsley
sea salt, cracked pepper, olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut the top off the garlic (think about cutting off a “hat”).  Place the garlic-discard the top-in the center of a piece of foil, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Close up the foil into a packet and roast 30 minutes until nice and soft.

Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with cold water.  Add the potatoes, a nice big pinch of salt and cover.  Place on medium heat and cook until potatoes a knife slips into the potatoes like a hot knife through butter.

Drain the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Gently smash with the back of a fork and add the butter.  Let it melt into the potatoes.

Remove the garlic from the foil.  Using a paper towel, grab the base of the garlic and squeeze the cloves out into a small bowl.  Discard the papery skin. Smash the cloves with a fork (oh yeah, it smells ammmmazing!).

Into the bowl with the buttery potatoes add the pumpkin puree, the smashed roasted garlic, the milk, the 1/3 cup parmigiano and a hefty pinch of salt.  Smash all together with the back of a fork until pretty blended.

Add the fresh lemon zest, parsley, cracked pepper and more salt if needed.  Stir to blend.  Spoon into an oven safe baking dish (8×8 or smaller. Perhaps a pretty oval stoneware dish?!).

Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup parmigiano over the top and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Place under the broiler just until the cheese begins to melt the tips of the potatoes start to brown.

This year I am grateful for the incredible gift of my girlfriends.  Without them I would not have made it through this past year.  They held me up as I dealt with a very difficult situation and have pushed me forward in both my personal life and with my business.  They have made connections and opened up doors for me within the creative realm of Drizzle Kitchen that I never thought possible. So make sure to mentally send all your friends a little “thank you” during your Thanksgiving Day festivities and I guarantee that gratitude will come back to you tenfold.

With a big smile and a non-traditional Thanksgiving hug  ~ Kendra

Join the Party!

Got a great Thanksgiving dish or decorating idea? Share a link to your Turkey Day blog post or recipe in the comments or on our Facebook page!


Filed under Cook, Holidays, Sides