Just some recipies you might find on the tables of The Valley Reporter this holiday season. Wishing a happy Thanksgiving to all.



Thanksgiving Carrots

This recipe was developed over many years of celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family. In recent years it has been made with multi-color carrots grown in the garden.

Serves 8-10

  • 1.5 pounds of small multi-color carrots cut about 1-1.5” in length and halved in diameter
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • ½-3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. white pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 cup slivered toasted almonds
  • Salt to taste
  1. Melt butter in wide skillet
  2. Add carrots, sauté for 5 min on high
  3. Add wine, pepper, maple syrup, salt if using and lower heat to simmer. Simmer 20-25 minutes until carrots are crisp tender and liquid has cooked off. If there is too much liquid and carrots are tender, pour off excess liquid
  4. Top with toasted almonds.

Credit: Lisa Loomis.


Butternut Squash Apple Soup

An easy butternut squash soup with a green apple for added flavor.

Serves: 4-6


  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 carrot, chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped, seeds discarded
  • 1 tart, green apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash and apple ratio 3:1)
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth (use vegetable broth if cooking vegetarian)
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper


  1. Heat a large thick-bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and let if foam up and recede. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Lower the heat if the vegetables begin to brown.
  2. Add the butternut squash, apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the squash and carrots have softened.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup or work in batches and puree the soup in a standing blender.
  4. Add pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.

Credit: Simply Recipes.

Orange-Cranberry Relish

  • 1 large, unpeeled juice orange.
  • 1 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries.
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.
  • Cinnamon to taste.

Gently cook the cranberries in a bit of water until soft and skins have burst. Add water as needed to keep from scorching. Do not overcook.

Add sugar, cinnamon and vanilla -- heat gently until sugar is dissolved. For a more robust flavor use brown sugar or a combination of white and brown sugar.

Cut the orange (including peel) into wedges, remove seeds and chop in a food processor. The orange can be as fine or coarse as desired. A seedless juice orange should be used as it has less bitter pith than a navel orange. Stir into cranberry mixture.

Chill. Sweetness can be adjusted with more sugar after the sauce has had a time to set.

Chopped walnuts or pecans can be added if desired.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Credit: Roarke Sharlow and Gary Eckhart.


Mashed Potatoes and Parsnip with Garlic

This is a combination mash with the peppery taste of parsnip and the sweetness of roasted garlic wrapped in buttery potato goodness.


  • 4 heads of garlic roasted
  • 2/3 potatoes to 1/3 parsnips (turnips work great too)
  • 4-plus cloves of garlic
  • Butter
  • Half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper

The easy version (aka rustic)

  1. Cube potatoes and parsnip and boil until fork tender (peeling potatoes is optional, I like the rustic aspect of peels and a chunkier mash)
  2. (Cut parsnip smaller as it takes longer to cook than the potato)
  3. Drain and return to your big cooking pot
  4. Mash the cooked potatoes and parsnips
  5. Add roast garlic and continue to mash (1-head of garlic for every 4-large potatoes-or more to suit)
  6. Add butter, 1-stick to start (for holiday meals, I add more butter than would go into a weekday mix). Even a chunky mash will benefit from a nice helping of local butter
  7. Add half-and-half/milk for desired consistency. For more flavor mince a clove or two of raw garlic and steep in your half-and-half/milk over low heat before adding to mixture for even more garlicy goodness.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste. Don’t forget the salt, even a little will make the flavors stand out better.

Want it smooth and creamy?

  1. Remove potato skins before cooking.
  2. When cooked and drained, run potatoes and parsnips through a rotary mill or ricer.
  3. Then add all the other ingredients and continue to mix.
  4. This can be a great side, or used almost as a sauce under your main, be it a protein or vegetable.

More flavor you say?

  1. Roast half the potatoes and parsnips to concentrate the flavor before mashing and mixing.
  2. The combination of roasted and boiled will give a deeper flavor and texture profile.

Credit: Jeff Knight.

Vegetarian Main Dish: Seitan with caramelized onions and roasted garlic


  • 1-pound frozen seitan (available at Mehuron’s Supermarket), thawed
  • Olive oil to coat seitan
  • A dash of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A dash of Italian seasoning (or oregano and thyme or your favorite seasoning blend)
  • 3 yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 3-4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 head garlic


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut tops off garlic and roast whole and unpeeled for approx. 30 minutes (until cloves are soft and golden brown).

Slice seitan into slabs. Marinate in olive oil, herbs and seasonings. Roast for approximately 25 minutes, until edges are crispy but still moist.

Slice onions thin and cook over low heat in a saucepan with a generous helping of butter. Stir periodically until reduced and browned.

Serve sliced seitan topped with caramelized onions and roasted garlic.

Vegetarian side dish:

Roasted brussels sprouts and shallots


  • 1 stalk or approx. 1-pound brussels sprouts
  • 1-pound shallots
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425.

Slice brussels sprouts in half. Slice any large shallots in half so they’re roughly the same size.

Toss in enough balsamic vinegar to coat vegetables. Season to taste.

Roast in a roasting pan for approximately 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are fork-tender.

Credit: Erika Nichols-Frazer.

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

Tender broccoli florets coated in a homemade cheese sauce and finished off with a buttery cracker topping. An easy make-ahead dish.

Servings: 8


  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • ½ cup onion finely diced
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (divided – 2 and 1 cups)
  • 2 oz cream cheese (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • Cooking spray


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bright green.
  2. Transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water. Let cool, then drain the water and pat the broccoli dry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the flour to the pot and stir to coat the onions; cook for 1 minute.
  5. Slowly whisk the milk into the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until sauce has thickened (coats the back of a spoon).
  6. Add the cream cheese, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and the salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic to the sauce. Stir until smooth.
  7. Place the broccoli in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the top and toss to coat evenly.
  8. Pour the broccoli mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the top, along with the crushed crackers.
  9. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Make Ahead Instructions

Make the casserole without adding the crushed crackers, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Add the crackers right before baking. Add an additional 10 minutes to bake time.

Credit: Dinner at the Zoo by Sara Welch.