The results are in! Our team of “Judgmental Foodies”, as we called them, have cast their votes, and we are incredibly happy to announce the winners!
In the HEALTHY SIDE DISHES category, the winners are:
Oma’s Red Cabbage by Cindi_Lockard_Tracy
This is a German inspired dish that my mother, who was from Germany made every Thanksgiving (as well as Christmas and other special occasions). She uses the recipe that her mother made, and now I make it and taught my daughters. I call it Oma’s Red Cabbage because Oma means Grandmother in German.
You will need:
One head of red cabbage, halved and sliced in 1/4 inch thick (Remove damaged outer leaves and remove core)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 stick butter (not margarine)
Tablespoon black peppercorns
Tablespoon whole cloves
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Melt butter in medium to large saucepan. Add onions and slightly sauté. Add sugar, vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, salt, & pepper. Add about a cup of water and stir well. Add sliced cabbage in small bunches and carefully blend with spice mixture until all cabbage is added. Add another cup or so of water. Do not cover cabbage with water; it will eventually cook down. Cook on low until cabbage is tender, about an hour and a half to 2 hours. Add more water if it cooks out. You can adjust spices more or less according to taste.
PS – You do not have to eat the peppercorns and cloves. You can use a spice ball if you have one; I just never bothered with one. Have a Very Happy Thanksgiving!
SECOND PLACE Cheesy Au gratin Potatoes by Bunny_1965
1 small onion,
Chopped 1 clove garlic, minced
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large russet potatoes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
divided 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion, garlic and 2 tablespoons butter. In a skillet saute onion until onion is tender.Using a spiralizer, make ribbons of potatoes. Arrange potato ribbons in baking dish and cover.poach potatoes until fork tender, about 3 minutes . In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour, mustard, salt and black pepper until smooth. Add milk. Whisk until smooth and thickened, about 4 minutes.Remove skillet from heat. Add 1 cup cheese and stir until melted.Pour cheese sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Using a spoon, press mixture into baking dish. In oven safe bowl in oven, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in crumbs. Sprinkle over top of potatoes and cheese sauce.
Bake in oven until potatoes are tender, cheese is bubbly and crumb topping is browned, 30 to 45 minutes
THIRD PLACE: Caribbean Sweet Potato Casserole by BobS
2 ½ Large cans of yams
2 small cans crushed pineapple
4 heaping Tbsp. shredded coconut
2 level tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter
1 bag of marshmallow miniatures
1 small package crushed macadamia nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Step One: In a large deep casserole layer in the yams in ¾ to 1” thick layer
Step Two: place in a layer of crushed pineapple
Step Three: cover pineapple with ½ of the Shredded coconut, ½ of the cinnamon and 1/2 the macadamia nuts
Repeat steps one through three
Cover casserole with thin slices of butter, spread evenly
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 to 40 minutes
Remove from oven and cover with marshmallows
Return to oven for approximately 10 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown
*Specific quantities are guesstimates do to never having used a measure
In the BEST STUFFING category, the winners are:
FIRST PLACE: Grandmother’s Stuffing by Katherine_Bradford
1 Medium organic onion
6 stalks of organic celery use the hearts
2 tbsp Unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 cups organic chicken broth low sodium
Make the cornbread and biscuits the night before
Finely chop celery and onions
Sautéed in unsalted organic butter until onions are clear.
Crumble cornbread and biscuits in a large bowl
Mix in the onion and celery
Slowly mix in the chicken broth
Stir in one eye at a time
Mixture should be like cake batter.
Pour in 9 by 12 casserole dish
Bake at 350 for one hour.
SECOND PLACE: Sage Sausage Stuffing with Craisins and Walnuts by Carol_Fournier_Critt
This has evolved over the years and is our family favorite
1 16 oz. Roll Sage Sausage
½ stick unsalted butter
2 Stalks Celery, cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup Craisins
1 package Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large frying pan, brown sausage over medium heat. Drain grease and set aside. In the same pan, melt butter. Add celery, onions, Craisins and walnuts. Cook until onions are translucent but do not brown. Add browned sausage and mix well. Add stuffing mix. Add water until desired consistency is reached. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
THIRD PLACE: My Dad’s Recipe for Homemade Stuffing by CriminalJusticeMaj20
2-3 loaves of bread (break apart and mush together)
Cut up celery stalks and spread all throughout the mashed bread pieces
Add some chicken broth to moisten the bread but don’t make it too mushy
Onions cut into small pieces and spread throughout the stuffing
Add stuffing seasoning
Then put it in the oven until nice and crispy outer look
Then enjoy at dinner!!!
In the BEST ISLAND-INSPIRED category, the winners are:
FIRST PLACE: Trichocolate Cream Pie!! by SunshineKetchum
This recipe is so easy kids can make it!!!
First you need a box of hot cocoa
1 pack of cream cheese
1 container of whipped cream (frozen or refrigerated)
One package of cookies or Graham crust
(Some cookies are better than the old fashioned Graham cracker crust)
3 tbs of Coconut oil melted
A pinch of salt
In a bowl make your crust with cookies or Graham. Add a pinch of salt and the coconut oil. You should have enough crust to fill an 8 inch or 9 inch baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl mix together the cream cheese whipped topping you can add nuts if you like for some crunch. Then put in your hot cocoa may need a mixer for this on high speed or you will be mixing with manually for a long time.
Once filling is mixed until it’s nice creamy chocolatey goodness place it in the pan on top of your crust refrigerate for one hour and serve as desired.
I make this for every event and it serves a lot – not like normal pies. I hope you enjoy it.
SECOND PLACE: Pecan Pie Lasagna by Christina8100
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:
2 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
½ c. granulated sugar
1 c. heavy cream
FOR THE FILLING:
4 1/2 c. whole milk
3 (3.4-oz.) packages vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ c. toasted chopped pecans
½ tsp. kosher salt
FOR THE TOPPING:
1 ½ c. toasted whole pecans
¼ c. caramel, microwaved until pourable, plus more for garnish
½ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch kosher salt
16 graham cracker sheets
In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, pudding mix and vanilla. Fold in pecans and kosher salt. Let sit 5 minutes, until thickened slightly.
In another medium bowl, stir to combine whole pecans with caramel, cinnamon, and salt.
Assemble lasagna: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture in a 9″-x-13″ baking dish. Top with a layer of graham crackers. Add half of pudding mixture and top with half of cream cheese mixture. Top with the remaining graham crackers, then layer the remaining pudding mixture and the remaining cream cheese mixture. Top with pecans and refrigerate at least 6 hours, up to overnight.
Drizzle with additional caramel.
THIRD PLACE: Yogi’s Taste of Hawaii by Yorichie
I call this Yogi’s Taste of Hawaii. It’s made with Coconut (my favorite), mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail, pineapple and mini marshmallows, with the most important ingredient being Cool Whip.
You will need:
1 can of mandarin oranges
1 can of fruit cocktail
1 can of pineapple
1 bag of coconut flakes
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 container of Cool Whip
Here’s what you do:
Open and drain the canned fruit. You can pour the juice into a tall glass. Empty the cans of fruit into a nice size bowl. Depending on how much you like coconut start by putting in half a bag and gently folding ingredients together add a bit more or the whole bag. Next fold in the marshmallows about half the bag or more; if it appears dry put in about a one or two tablespoons of the drained juice in the glass. Last but not least fold in the Cool Whip, usually the whole container.
The cool thing about this recipe is you can add your own flair to it. More fruit or less, just your favorite ones. Make it your own.
Oh and if you enjoy drinking the juices from the canned fruit it’s already to go for you.
Hope you enjoy this side dish as much as I do.
And finally, In the SALAD category, the winners are:
FIRST PLACE: Jennifer’s Silly Dilly Grilled Beet-Carrot Salad by Jennifer_Rouhani
4 beets peeled
4 carrots sliced into 1/4 inch round thick discs
Dried dill to taste
Salt to taste
Balsamic glaze to taste
Boil beets until 3/4 done, remove and let cool. Dice into small chunks, mix in carrot slices, add oil to lightly coat all. Put all into a veggie grill basket and cook in barbeque until carrots and beets are lightly well done, soft and nicely charred. Remove, let cool, mix in olive oil to lightly coat, salt and balsamic glaze to taste.
SECOND PLACE: Spring Mix and Pear Salad by Belinda_Martin
This is a very simple salad but people rave about it every time I make it and request it when they come to my home!
8 to 16 ounces spring mix, depending on how much you want to make
2 ripe pears ( can substitute Mandarin oranges)
⅓ to ½ cup raw unsalted walnut halves (walnuts work best but could substitute pecans if you prefer)
⅓ to ½ cup Feta cheese
Aged balsamic vinegar (I generally go to the olive oil store and get either a pear balsamic or good aged balsamic. Otherwise, I prefer at least 25 years at the grocery store)
Olive oil (I generally get a walnut olive oil at the olive oil shop, or a good extra virgin olive oil will do as well)
Salt and pepper
Assemble the salad by putting washed spring mix in a large serving bowl
Sprinkle feta and halved walnuts in to your preferred amount. I generally use around 8 ounces of spring mix with 1/3 of a cup of crumbled feta and a 1/2 cup halved walnuts. You can also candy your walnuts or pecans if you would like, I prefer the healthier route of raw, unsalted nuts.
Peel and slice the pears. You can slice these as deadly as you like but I prefer to have at least a quarter inch slice. For a more decorative luck you could thinly slice the pairs and fan them along the top of the salad.
Make your dressing by putting ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of balsamic into a jar or something that can be shaken or mixed.
Sprinkle in a small amount of Salt and pepper
Shake the olive oil and vinegar mixture rigorously and then taste. If I have a very good balsamic
I will do a larger amount of balsamic. Sometimes I will do twice as much balsamic as I do olive oil but you can experiment to your liking.
The salad can be served dry and people can add their own dressing. I like to put everything in the bowl and toss with the dressing and serve it that way. I find it mixes better and people prefer it.
One option is to toss just the spring mix in the dressing and layer the other ingredients on top for presentation. Or toss the salad with the walnuts and feta and then fan that the pears on top.
THIRD PLACE: The Boes Boys Zucchini & Apple Salad by Rebekah_Watson_Boes
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. red or white wine vinegar (I use whatever is on hand)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dry basil
About ¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 medium size golden Delicious apples (peel!)
½ medium size red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise (or just buy pre-chopped!)
1 green pepper (seeded and cut into matchstick pieces)
½ pound zucchini (thinly sliced)
In a large bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Core and dice unpeeled apples and add to dressing; coat apples well with dressing. Add onion, green pepper, and zucchini. Stir lightly. Cover and chill.
Just before serving, mix salad again until well combined.
While it may sound like an interesting combination, it is EXCELLENT! Hence renaming it from my original title (Rebekah’s Zucchini & Apple Salad) to Boes Boys Zucchini & Apple Salad. My children (8, 13, 15 & 16) and my nephew would especially disappointed if this was missing from ANY holiday meal!