Thanksgiving holiday celebrations call for creativity in preparing meals for family

November Recipe Box

Fresh greens, savory brussel sprouts, do-ahead mashed potatoes and pumpkin layer cake scream Thanksgiving. (Photo provided)



by Annette Kukoy and Jackie Shayotovich


These delicious side dishes and the awesome pumpkin cake would be great additions to your Thanksgiving feast. Thanks to Becky Banashak, Millie Thompson, and Shirley Golden for sharing their recipes.



Holiday Spinach Salad (courtesy of Millie Thompson)


1 pound fresh spinach leaves

1 apple, sliced thin

3/4 cup pecans

1/2 cup dried cranberries


1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1-1/2 teaspoon chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon paprika


In a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, combine sugar and vinegar; stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and shake well. Store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, layer salad ingredients in a large bowl then add dressing.



Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (courtesy of Shirley Golden)


5 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces

1/2 cup sour cream

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon dry minced onions

1/4 teaspoon salt



Boil potatoes until tender; drain and mash. Mix in the sour cream, cream cheese, 2 tablespoons butter and salt; blend together thoroughly. Place in a 3 quart, or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; sprinkle paprika on top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes. This dish can be made the day before; store in refrigerator and take out 20 minutes before baking.



Maple/Bacon Brussels Sprouts (courtesy of Becky Banashak)


1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

4 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the brussels sprouts in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and maple syrup; toss to coat. Sprinkle with bacon and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven until the bacon is crispy and the brussels sprouts are caramelized, about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.



Pumpkin Layer Cake


3 cups flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup light brown sugar

2 cups canned pumpkin puree

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1-1/4 cup canola oil


2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons sour cream

2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with buttered parchment paper.

Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl; whisk to mix and set aside. Place the brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and work in the pumpkin until there are no lumps of brown sugar. Use a whisk to incorporate the oil and eggs, one at a time. Whisk in the dry ingredients, a third at a time. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cakes stand for 5 minutes before removing from pans and cool completely.


To prepare the frosting, place the cream cheese, butter and sour cream in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer,  beat the mixture until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and mix again until smooth then frost the cake.



Annette Kukoy is a member of St. Thomas More Parish in Munster. Jackie Shayotovich belongs to Ss. Peter and Paul in Merrillville. For more information contact Annette or Jackie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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