Post Thanksgiving – More Than Black Friday

While everyone is focused on Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals, I find the post Thanksgiving weekend as a great time to dig into leftovers and continue enjoying the fruits of a Holiday meal.

Thanksgiving Turkey [327/366]Like most years we had a full house for Thanksgiving and prepared many of our tradition dishes and deserts.  I of course had to start out with Gracie’s Farmer’s Antipasto.  In case you missed it CLICK HERE, for a quick refresher.  What I love most about this dish is that there always seems to be plenty of leftovers.  I store all the ingredients in a large zip lock bag, causing all the juices to blend together.  Makes for a weekend of great lunches.

As a first course we did Pumpkin Ravioli this year.  I simply took Gracie’s recipe for Manicotti (CLICK HERE) added some pumpkin puree to the filling and there you have it.  We had 22 people at our table and I made 36 Manicotti.  Oh yeah, plenty left over.  They were so good my sister-in-law had some for breakfast the next day.

Thanksgiving Table #2

This year for the first time I smoked the turkey.  Over the summer we picked up a Traeger Pellet Stove.  I knew back in July that I would be smoking the turkey this Thanksgiving.  The really great part about smoking the bird outdoors is that it freed up the indoor stove for the many side dishes my wife prepared.  What a time and space saver.

This year on top of our usual mashed potatoes, broccoli, cranberry sauce, spicy corn dish and stuffing we added a new side that is sure to become a regular.  My wife found this recipe for Sweet Potato Apple Gratin in the November 14th edition of USA Weekend.  I have enclosed the recipe below.  It’s a keeper.

Sweet Potato Apple Gratin
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10 servings
great Thanksgiving side dish
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger root
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and slice into ⅛ inch thick rounds
  • 8 oz. Honey-crisp apples, peeled, halved, cored and sliced ⅛ inch thick
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray as needed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray the inside of a 6 cup baking dish
  2. Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, shallots, curry powder and ginger
  3. Sweat shallots for 2 minutes until aromatic but avoid browning
  4. Add the chopped dates, apple cider, orange juice - simmer for 1 minute and remove from heat
  5. Place sweet potatoes and apples in a large bowl and pour aromatic mixture over them
  6. Add salt and pepper and mix well
  7. Neatly arrange and layer the potato-apple mixture into the prepared pan so that it is level
  8. Pour and spread any remaining aromatic mixture over the top
  9. Cover the pan and bake foe 30 minutes
  10. Uncover and move to the top rack of the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes
  11. Remove from the oven and serve while still hot


The post Thanksgiving weekend really kicks off the Holiday Season and I hope you all had a chance to truly enjoy giving thanks and had some time to polish off those leftovers.

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