Brightside Thanksgiving Recipes: Pass the Plate

The Brightside team is sharing their favorite family Christmas recipes.

S T. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Brightside team invites you into their homes this Thanksgiving to see how they celebrate the holiday with their loved ones.

For the past week, they’ve been cooking up some of their favorite recipes, from dishes passed down through the generations to quick hacks for those who don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

Here are the recipes so you can cook at home.

Sarah’s Hubby’s Cornbread Stuffing

Sarah’s husband, Matt, does most of the cooking at their house, so she joined him in preparing this Thanksgiving staple.

This stuffing or dressing recipe starts with cornbread. You can buy some pre-made or make them from scratch. Sarah and Matt used this recipe from BudgetBytes.

Once you have your cornbread, you will need the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups onion (½” diced)
  • 2 cups celery (½” diced)
  • 3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon thyme (chopped fresh or dried)
  • ½ teaspoon sage (chopped fresh or dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½-3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth*
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped fresh for garnish)

*The amount of chicken broth needed will depend on how dense and moist your bread is. You want your filling to be moist with no pie broth before baking.

Sarah and Matt followed this recipe from The Carefree Kitchen, but gave it their own Louisiana twist by adding some Cajun seasoning.

Frank’s Pumpkin Spice Rum Cake

Frank and his wife Karli made this sweet dessert using the recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • ¼ cup) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of spiced rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Find a full recipe video here.

Aaron’s Armenian Appetizer (Mock Kheyma)

Kheyma is a raw meat-based Armenian dish – Aaron’s “mock kheyma” is a vegetarian version. He grew up eating the dish on all the holidays.

  • 1 cup bulgur (finely ground No. 1 wheat)
  • 3 eight-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 small bunch of chopped parsley
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of chives, thinly sliced
  • ½ green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (save the lemon for the zest)
  • pinch of red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix the bulgur and tomato sauce. Leave it in the fridge for three or more hours, long enough for the sauce to absorb.
  2. Add vegetables and spices and finish with oil, lemon juice, and a little lemon zest.
  3. Mix and leave in the fridge overnight. Toss again before serving with Syrian or pita bread and crackers.

Jenny’s Hacked Mac-n-Cheese

Jenny is all about hearty recipes that are easy to make. This recipe takes your traditional macaroni and cheese recipe to the next level with a special trick: alfredo sauce.

  • 1 box of cooked elbows
  • 2 bags of grated cheese (choose your favorite cheeses and mix them together)*
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 large jar alfredo sauce (any brand, any flavor)
  • ½-1 cup half and half (The amount will depend on how moist you like your macaroni)
  • Salt and pepper to taste**
  • Optional Add-ins: Chopped Bacon and Jalapenos
  • Optional topping: breadcrumbs or crackers mixed with butter for a crunchy topping

*Jenny used sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and provolone.
** Be careful with the salt – the alfredo sauce will have salt in it. If you add bacon, it will also be salty.

  1. Rinse the cooked noodles in cold water (we don’t want them hot when mixing them with the cheeses).
  2. Add grated cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on top at the end. Mix together alfredo sauce, half and half, jalapenos, and bacon.
  3. Sprinkle extra cheese, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs on top.
  4. Cover with foil and cook at 375 F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and grill for a couple of minutes until the topping is golden brown. Stay close to the oven when broiling to make sure you don’t burn the macaroni and cheese.

Caitlin’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This simple recipe has gone viral on the internet. With just two ingredients, it’s essentially foolproof.

  • 1 fifteen ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • Optional: chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased muffin tin.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, let cool and enjoy.

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