Food for Thought: Easy Thanksgiving Sides

Easy, Tart Cranberry Sauce

Serves 5+   Total Time: 30~ minutes

This fresh cranberry sauce has a tart, sweet bite that is perfect warm right off the stove or cooled down with leftovers. So easy you won’t miss the canned sauce!

  • One 12 ounce Bag Fresh Cranberries
  • One Cup White Granulated Sugar, more to taste for preference
  • One Fresh Orange
  • Three Tablespoons water, adjust as needed
  1. Pick through cranberries to discard unwanted/rotten berries and rinse. 
  2. Zest the orange, remove the white pith, and segment the orange into small slices. You should have orange zest and small segments of orange. 
  3. Add cranberries, water, sugar, orange zest and segments to a medium-sized saucepan with high sides. 
  4. Turn on to medium heat until the berries start to bubble, add more water by tablespoons if necessary. More water will equal a thinner sauce. 
  5. Let the sauce cook down until most of the berries burst and the sauce becomes thick enough to stay on the back of a spoon. 
  6. Taste for sweetness, add more if too tart. 
  7. Remove from heat. 
  8. Serve warm or chilled. 

You can make this sauce up to a week before Thanksgiving, storing it in a tight-sealed container in the refrigerator. Freeze leftovers for up to 6 months. 


Rich and Easy Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6-8    Total Time:  60~Minutes


These mashed potatoes use the delicious power of buttermilk to fool you into eating seconds! A great dish to make while you prep the rest of the meal due to boiling time. You can even peel and chop the potatoes the night before and store them in a bowl of salted water. The two types of potatoes used create the perfect still-chunky but also incredibly-creamy texture. 

  • 2 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled/unpeeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 pounds of yukon gold potatoes, peeled/unpeeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, more for finishing
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt to taste, the water should taste like the ocean
  • Black pepper, fresh ground is preferred


  1. Place chunked potatoes into a large pot of salted water (salt more than you think because this is the best chance to season potatoes) ensuring that all potatoes are covered with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender (you should be able to smash a piece with a fork). This will take 40-60 minutes depending on your stove, pot size, etc. 
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, add the cream, buttermilk, whole garlic cloves (these will break down and become soft), salt, and lots of pepper to a saucepan. Bring this to a simmer and reduce heat as low as possible. Continue on lowest heat for 15-20 minutes and remove from heat. 
  3. Once smashable, drain potatoes and return them to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to stir and smash the potatoes. Lumps are preferred, but the mixture should be creamy at this point. 
  4. Add hot buttermilk mixture to potatoes, add stick of butter, salt and pepper to taste and mix. They should be well mixed, but not stiff or runny. 
  5. Serve with more butter, chives, parsley, cheese, etc. 

Refrigerate leftovers, if there are any! These can be reheated on the stove, additional cream may be needed.