Traditional Thanksgiving sides + flavor bumps and modern twists
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Starting to think about Thanksgiving?

I am writing this email while biting my nails and awaiting election results. I am hoping that you are not reading this in the same state, that the results are in by the time it lands in your inbox. This is not an easy time for our country, and I fervently hope that the outcome is one that opens the door to more peace and unity for all of our citizens.
The holidays are moving towards us in the same way that all time seems to be passing right now—fast and slow at the same time. What will your Thanksgiving look like this year? I wrote about virtual Thanksgivings for the Associated Press, and have a few more pieces coming down the pike on smaller Thanksgivings as well your turkey breast cooking options, should you choose to head in that direction.
Our Thanksgiving plans are a little fluid; all I know is that, if the world allows, there will be multiple small Thanksgivings, on different dates, instead of one larger gathering. Priority #1: safety, especially where my mom is concerned. Priority #2: figuring out a way to make the holiday happen with friends and family, even if it will (and it will) involve multiple turkeys.
Meanwhile, let’s start with the sides. My family and I tend to go overboard (I can feel your surprise shimmering across the internet), but you don’t have to. Below, please find the first collection of options—pretty traditional, but with some nice flavor bumps and modern twists, which is how we like our Thanksgiving. More on the site, of course, and more coming in the next few weeks. 
And also—hey!—I am going to be on NPR’s Weekend Edition this Sunday the 9th! It’s been a while since I’ve been on NPR and I am so, so, so excited about it. I don’t know what secret sauce they have over there, but they do manage to make me sound smooth and somewhat smart in the editing, and it’s just the best day ever when I get to be on one of their shows. Tune in this Sunday morning (likely just before 9:40 a.m.) and you can hear me chat about pandemic cooking fatigue (which, dear reader, I think about a LOT). 
And one more piece of news—I'm starting some online cooking classes (finally!), and the first one is on Monday, 11/9. It will feature three simple, quintessential Thanksgiving side dishes (mashed potatoes, maple roasted butternut squash, and Parmesan roasted Brussels sprouts). Click here to sign up! Half of the proceeds will go to benefit City Harvest, NYC's largest food rescue organization. I really hope to see you there!

OK, that’s a lot for this week. I’m sure you have a lot going on as well. Let’s remember to be as caring and gentle with each other as possible, from the people you live with to the stranger on the street. A little kindness goes a long way these days.

The texture and flavor of this stuffing makes it one of those steal-the-show sides. I like to cook my stuffing (or dressing) outside of the bird, because it gets nicely browned and crunchy on the top, plus it’s safer. This is a fast-and-loose recipe, highly adaptable (the kind I like the best).

Click here for the recipe.

If you need the easiest sweet potato recipe available, this is probably it. A perfect three-ingredient recipe (including the salt)! Because sweet potatoes + butter + salt + roasting at high heat are a winning combination, and not everything has to be hard.

Click here for the recipe.

Basically, spoonbread is cornbread that is soft enough to eat with a spoon, with a cornmeal base. Corn pudding is more of an egg- and dairy-based pudding, with corn kernels studded throughout. I couldn’t decide. So I combined both thoughts into one dish: a spoon bread corn pudding mash-up.

Click here for the recipe.

These easy Cheesy Baked Brussels Sprouts are absolutely delicious, kind of like a Brussels sprout gratin.

Click here for the recipe.

This casserole can be served as a vegetarian main course or a substantial side.

Click here for the recipe.

Playing around to create this recipe brought me pure joy. These are kind of like garlic knots meets monkey bread. Monkey bread is small knots of bread dough tossed in butter and something, and piled into a pan to bake. They partially fuse together, but not completely, so you have to pull it apart with your fingers . . . monkey style.

Click here for the recipe.

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If you have meal-planning gripes, questions, or things you want to suggest, come hang out with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

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