Epic Thanksgiving Sides + Weekend Recap | Fresh Fridays, November 4

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Well hi there! I hope this email finds you well, filled with hope and gratitude! And ready to “fall back” if you live in a state that goes back to standard time.

Fresh Fridays Logo new 2022.

We have quite a few new VIP members here, welcome to Fresh Fridays! Fresh Fridays is my weekly newsletter with recipes, a bit about my life, tips and tricks and a little inspiration. I reply to all of my comments personally, so pop down to the comments at the end of this post and let me know what you are making this Thanksgiving?

I am so excited about Thanksgiving, and this week have a few recipes you are going to want to print out and save for your Thanksgiving menu. Whether you are hosting or bringing a dish to share, for me, while the turkey is important it’s ALL-ABOUT-THE-SIDES!

I reposted someone else’s image on my Facebook page early this week and wow, it got quite the reaction from people. I was surprised at how many turkey haters there are out there! That and quit the controversy on baked beans at Thanksgiving — I think it’s a Southern thing, do you eat baked beans for Thanksgiving?

18 Epic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

I find my plate at Thanksgiving heaped with all of the fabulous side dishes that I typically only get a couple times year, hope you will enjoy a few as well!

Green bean casserole in dish, with serving removed.

Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe with Bacon

This homemade version of Classic Green Bean Casserole with Worcestershire is packed with creamy and savory flavors. Made with fresh green beans, a from scratch sauce, crisp bacon and topped with traditional French-fried onions. No canned soups in sight!

Image of casserole dish filled with the best stuffing ever, a variety of bread types are used with chunks of sausage, nuts, apples and more

Best Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

An easy Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe that is the best, savory sausage, apple, walnut stuffing made with fresh pumpernickel, sourdough and brown bread, a new holiday tradition!

Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Dreamy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes; enhanced with the flavorful elegance of roasted garlic, these will become your go-to mashed potatoes.

Easy turkey giblet gravy square image with sliced turkey breast on cutting board poured with rich turkey gravy.

How to Make Gravy from Scratch {Turkey Giblet Gravy}

This recipe for silky, smooth, oozing with amazing turkey flavor gravy is the last one you will ever need! Make ahead and save time on your busy holiday, while you wow your guests with this gravy.

Broccoli au gratin in gratin dish.

Easy Cheesy Broccoli Au Gratin Recipe

This creamy and cheesy Broccoli Au Gratin Recipe is made with fresh and tender broccoli florets, sharp white cheddar, nutty gruyere cheese, and seasoned with minced garlic and fragrant herbs. The perfect holiday side dish.

Recipe image of white baking dish filled with cheesy funeral potatoes with a scoop removed.

Cheesy Funeral Potatoes

Cheesy potato casserole topped with buttery corn flakes, creamy, cheesy, easy with no canned soup. The best potluck and holiday dish ever. Make ahead and gluten free option.

corner shot of cheesy baked asparagus with melted cheese in a casserole dish

Cheesy Asparagus Bake {No Fail!}

Even non-asparagus fans will LOVE this recipe for roasted asparagus cheese bake! It's a snap to make, 5 minute prep, 20 minutes in the oven — perfect cheesy asparagus every single time!

Southern-Style green beans close-up with parmesan cheese, bacon and crispy onions.

Southern-Style Green Beans

Homemade Southern-style green beans are a staple of the holiday celebrations in my home. Parmesan makes them rich and cheesy, and they have just the right amount of crunch from fried onions and toasted almonds. It's my take on green bean casserole with bacon!

Square Image of slice of potatoes au gratin, with layers of creamy, gruyere cheesy deliciousness.

Potatoes au Gratin (Potatoes Dauphinoise)

Potatoes au Gratin are the best!! This classic French potato side dish is also known as potatoes Dauphinoise. Thinly sliced potatoes layered with a creamy herb and garlic infused sauce, studded with rich and nutty Gruyère cheese; baked to golden, creamy, bubbly perfection! Oh and they are naturally gluten-free!

Square image for corn pudding casserole with square of corn pudding on a plate with a fork and yellow flowers behind.

Easy Corn Casserole without Jiffy

Easy corn casserole without Jiffy is so simple, using everyday, all-natural ingredients. This corn pudding recipe, simply put — is the best corn side dish. Plus easily adapt this recipe to be gluten-free.

Air Fryer Baked sweet potato on plate with some butter and brown sugar and a fork inside fluffy sweet potato.

Easy & Healthy Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potato

In minutes you will be serving hot, fluffy Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes. They are incredibly healthy and easy to make, and they turn out perfectly soft inside with a delicious crispy skin.

Instant Pot Carrots recipe.

Easy Instant Pot Glazed Carrots

This recipe for easy Instant pot glazed Carrots is so simple, with the fresh, earthy flavor of tarragon, a little butter and sea salt, you will have an incredibly easy, quick and tasty side dish.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Balsamic Glaze has a secret to the perfect crispy, roasted leaves, then drizzled with a warm honey balsamic glaze.

Fall harvest salad with roasted butternut squash and quinoa.

Fall Harvest Salad {with Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa}

This fall harvest salad complements any meal with its sweet and smoky flavors. There are such wonderful colors and produce this time of year, so I love having a go-to fall harvest chicken salad recipe up my sleeve for any event. This recipe is perfect for a fancy luncheon, a hearty dinner or to serve as a healthy option during the holidays.

Hand squeezing lemon on fresh air fryer roasted asparagus.

Air Fryer Asparagus Recipe

This Air fryer asparagus recipe is a healthier and easier way to prepare garden fresh asparagus. A fresh and healthy veggie side dish with simple seasonings for amazing flavor and beautiful presentation.

Heart Wild Rice Harvest Salad | www.thefreshcooky.com

Harvest Wild Rice Salad {Holiday Salad Recipe}

Wild Rice Harvest salad is overflowing with lots of satisfying crunchies, and you’ll enjoy eating the rainbow of toppings. Dressed with this easy to prepare maple Dijon vinaigrette.

Holiday Praline Yams (Sweet Potatoes)

An amazing make ahead side-dish for the upcoming holidays! Light, creamy, complex, with undertones of orange and cinnamon, touched with a hint of whiskey, not to mention the indulgent sweet pecan praline topping.

Fresh Cranberry Relish

This has been on our holiday table since I can remember, I was a young kid when I learned to love the sweet-tart flavor of fresh cranberry relish! This gets better with time, so make it ahead!

What’s Cooking in my Kitchen

It’s been a busy week in the kitchen! Check it out.

Juicy Air Fryer Juicy Turkey Thighs (or oven)

I love my dark meat and these air fryer turkey thighs are so simple, and crazy juicy and delicious. A great dinner for two! Make one or make a few — and don’t worry, if you don’t have an air fryer, I give oven instructions too!

Christmas morning chai recipe in mug with golden spoon.

The Best Christmas Morning Chai Recipe

This holiday season enjoy this copycat Dutch Bros Christmas Morning Chai recipe. A chai latte that is spicy and flavorful chai tea mixed with half and half and swirled with white chocolate syrup. Delicious hot or cold.

Weekend Recap | Girls trip to California

As I mentioned in last weeks Fresh Fridays, I was headed to California to spend the weekend with my girlfriends that I’ve been friends with since middle school! Yikes, 45 years and going strong!

Oh how we laughed, talked, cried, listened, prayed and ate great food together. Such a soul-filling time. Here are a few pictures from our weekend. See if you can spy one from the “old days.”

We had such fun together, always wonderful to reconnect with each other, I cherish our friendship.

Girls trip collage.

What Readers are Saying

Here are a few testimonies to a few of our recipes.

Easy Banana Bread Recipe + High Altitude

Alison said, “I followed this recipe exactly as written. I am at 8,000 feet and it was DELICIOUS and looked beautiful. My family devoured it. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe!

Square image of whole easy key lime pie with dollops of whipped cream and decorated with wedges of key limes.

The Best Key Lime Pie

Sara says, “I had this the other day at an event and it was absolutely delicious. Now, I’m making it myself!”

Elizabeth said, “Easy recipe! I used a pre-made graham cracker crust, and it turned out so delicious! Everyone loved it! This recipe is going in my recipe box so I can make it again.”

bowl of firecracker chili with shredded cheese, parsley and black olives

Won 1st Place In Chili Competition

A reader messaged me on Facebook and by gum if I cannot find the darn thing! The story is, he used my Firecracker Chili recipe in a chili contest and won first place! It’s spicy, but not hot — unique as it has cinnamon and cloves in it. SO GOOD!

Weekly Inspiration

With our ever increasing instant everything world, including news from around the globe, it can sometimes weary our souls. This daily devotion from Daily Bread really spoke to me today.

Hearing Christ, Not Chaos

After watching TV news for hours each day, the elderly man grew agitated and anxious—worried the world was falling apart and taking him with it. “Please turn it off,” his grown daughter begged him. “Just stop listening.” But the man continued to spend an excessive amount of time on social media and other news sources.

What we listen to matters deeply. We see this in Jesus’ encounter with Pontius Pilate. Responding to criminal charges brought against Jesus by religious leaders, Pilate summoned Him and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” (John 18:33). Jesus replied with a stunning question: “Is that your own idea . . . or did others talk to you about me?” (v. 34).

The same question tests us. In a world of panic, are we listening to chaos or to Christ? Indeed, “my sheep listen to my voice,” He said. “I know them, and they follow me” (10:27). Jesus “used this figure of speech” (v. 6) to explain Himself to doubting religious leaders. As with a good shepherd, He said that “his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice” (vv. 4–5).

As our Good Shepherd, Jesus bids us to hear Him above all. May we listen well and find His peace.

By:  Patricia Raybon

With hope,

signature of Kathleen, The Fresh Cooky Recipe developer
Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. Aloha Friday friend, not only do I look forward to what’s cooking in your kitchen, now add to the list is the devotion and book rec, you are absolutely brilliant 🌺