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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Mouth-watering recipes for your Thanksgiving feast

Here are 10 easy to make, delicious dishes that will surely leave everyone wanting more.

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to bond over food while celebrating the company of one another. No matter how you are spending Thanksgiving this year, these recipes are sure to make anyone drool from your grandma at the family feast to your friends at a potluck dinner.

1 | Baked macaroni and cheese:

Cheesy, creamy and slightly crunchy, this traditional American dish consisting of cooked macaroni pasta and cheddar cheese sauce will be a delicious addition to one’s Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe was found on “Mom on Timeout”, a blog created by a food blogger and stay-at-home mother named Trish, who frequently posts her recipes for other busy mothers.

The recipe requires the following ingredients: 16 ounces of cooked elbow macaroni pasta, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, six tablespoons of unsalted butter, one-third cup of all-purpose flour, three cups of whole milk, one cup of heavy whipping cream, four cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, two cups of shredded Gruyere cheese, salt and pepper to taste, one and a half cups of panko crumbs, four tablespoons of melted butter, a half cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and one-fourth teaspoon of smoked or regular paprika.

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a large three or four-quart baking dish and lightly grease it down using butter. After setting this aside, go ahead and combine the shredded cheddar cheese, Gruyere cheese and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.

Throw the uncooked macaroni pasta in a large pot and cook it one minute shy of al dente. Once cooked, remove the pot from heat, drain the pasta and place it in a bowl big enough to hold it. Trickle some olive oil over the cooked pasta, making sure to mix so nothing remains uncoated. Leave this aside and let it cool.

To prepare the cheese sauce, grab a deep saucepan and melt butter in it over medium heat. Following the butter, add in the flour using a whisk. Continue whisking until the mixture is bubbling and golden. After, slowly whisk in the heavy cream and milk and keep going until the consistency is smooth. Once bubbles appear on the surface, whisk for another two minutes. Add in some salt and pepper to one’s liking.

Dump two cups of shredded cheese, mixing it into the saucepan with the whisk until it appears smooth. Add in two more cups of shredded cheese and keep stirring until there’s a thick, creamy texture with no lumps.

Toss in the cooled macaroni from earlier into the saucepan and mix, ensuring that the pasta is fully covered with the sauce. Take the baking dish from the first step and pour half of the macaroni and cheese mixture into it. Spread the remaining two cups of shredded cheese over it, followed by another layer of macaroni and cheese.

For the crunchy topping, grab a small bowl and mix paprika, panko crumbs, melted butter and Parmesan cheese together. Scatter this all over the macaroni and cheese. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

The result should look golden brown and bubbly on the top, with a gooey texture on the inside.

2 | Pecan pie:

A combination of sugary and salty, this old-fashioned pie consists of pecan nuts and a caramel-like flavored gooey filling, with a subtle syrupy sweetness making it great for a Thanksgiving dessert. The recipe was found on a website called “Cookies and Cups”, created by a mother named Shelly who used the site as an outlet for her creativity in baking.

To make this dish, one would need one cup of Karo light or dark corn syrup, three eggs, one cup of granulated sugar, two tablespoons of melted butter, one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, six ounces of coarsely chopped pecans and one nine-inch unbaked or frozen deep-dish pie crust.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a rubber spatula or a spoon, mix the corn syrup of one’s choice with eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Toss in the pecans afterward.

Slowly pour the mixture into the pie crust and place it onto the center rack of the oven for approximately 60-70 minutes. Once done, safely take out the pie and let it cool completely for about two hours on a wire rack before serving. To make sure the pie is fully cooked, tap the middle surface of it. If it springs back, it is ready.

The final appearance of the nuts and custard should take on a medium-dark brown color, whereas the pie crust should be golden brown and crisp to the touch.

3 | Pumpkin nut muffins:

These muffins include a delicious combination of walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin and nutmeg. Cooking teacher Ms. Brooks came up with this recipe, aiming to teach her students how to bake these treats for the holiday season.

Ingredients required for this recipe consist of one and a half tablespoons of all-purpose flour, a half cup of brown sugar, a half cup of granulated sugar, a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon, one-eighth teaspoon of salt, a half teaspoon of baking soda, a half teaspoon of baking powder, a cup of pumpkin purée, a half cup of vegetable oil, two and a half tablespoons of water, a half teaspoon of vanilla, three large eggs and a half cup of walnuts.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grab a 12-cup baking pan and line it with 12 muffin wrappers.

In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients. Using a whisk, combine and mix one and a half cups of flour, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin purée, oil, water, brown and granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, walnuts, baking soda and baking powder. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The resulting mixture should have a light and fluffy consistency.

When pouring the batter into the baking pan, make sure each muffin wrapper is filled approximately three-quarters full. Place the pan into the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Take the muffins out and let them cool for 10 minutes.

The end result should look tender and cake-like. When eaten, it will have a light, fluffy texture while also being slightly crunchy due to the walnuts.

4 | Dauphinoise potatoes:

This is a classic French dish that can be described as a cheesy casserole with sliced potatoes and heavy cream, flavored with nutmeg, garlic and bay leaves. The recipe was created by studio food editor Jesse Szewczyk, who writes for a daily online food magazine called “Kitchn”.

The recipe calls for a variety of ingredients, including one tablespoon of unsalted butter, eight ounces of Gruyère cheese, two and a half pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, three cloves of garlic, two cups of heavy cream, two cups of whole milk, one teaspoon of kosher salt, one teaspoon of ground black pepper, one-half teaspoon of ground nutmeg, two dried bay leaves and one teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves.

The first step is to place a rack in the center of an oven and preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. With one tablespoon of unsalted butter, coat a four-quart baking dish with it. Then, grate around two cups of Gruyère cheese using a box grater.

Next, peel two and a half pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes. Slice them into one-fourth inch thick rounds and toss them into a large pot. Take three garlic cloves and mince them. Along with the minced garlic, dump two cups of heavy cream, two dried bay leaves, one teaspoon of black pepper, two cups of whole milk, one teaspoon of kosher salt and one-half teaspoon of nutmeg into the pot. Bring these to a simmer over medium heat for around five to seven minutes. Remember to stir often, until the potatoes feel tender enough to easily pierce through with a fork. Then, discard the bay leaves from the pot. This will be the cream mixture.

Scoop half of the potatoes from the pot into a baking dish using a slotted spoon, arranging them into an even layer. Spread half of the grated cheese on top of the potatoes, arranging the remaining potatoes on top of the cheese in a similar manner. Pour two cups of the cream mixture from the previous step over the potatoes, making sure to stop once it reaches the bottom of the first layer. Take the remaining cheese and spread it all over.

Lastly, place the potatoes into the oven and bake them for 40-45 minutes until they’re golden brown. Take them out and garnish with one teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. Let them cool for around 15 minutes on a wire rack.

When the dish is done, it will appear golden brown and bubbling at the top. In addition, its texture should also be meltingly tender and rich.

5 | Peppered beef brisket:

Featuring rich flavors of garlic, pepper and smoked meat that melts in one’s mouth, this dish will leave guests scrambling for second servings. A writer of two cookbooks, author Regina Charboneau came up with this recipe and had it posted on an American magazine and multi-platform publisher called “The Atlantic”.

First, the recipe calls for two cups of pepper marinade. The necessary ingredients would include four tablespoons of chopped garlic, four tablespoons of chopped basil, four tablespoons of cracked black pepper, one-fourth pound salted butter, one-fourth cup of olive oil and one half cup Worcestershire sauce.

In a saucepan, place warm butter, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce in it. Add chopped garlic, basil and cracked black pepper. Simmer the sauce for approximately 15 minutes. Be sure to let the brisket marinade stay at room temperature.

To make the beef brisket, one would need the following ingredients: 12 pounds of beef brisket, three tablespoons of sea salt and one tablespoon of cracked black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, take the brisket and season it with pepper and salt. Place the brisket in a roasting pan, making sure to leave the fat side up. Put it in the oven to cook for about 40 minutes until the fat has browned. Lastly, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Using the brisket marinade from earlier, add it to the roasting pan along with two cups of water. Cover the pan with foil and put it back in the oven for two more hours.
Finally, take out the brisket from the oven and pour the drippings into another pan. With a knife, slice the brisket and pour the drippings over the meat.
This delicious dish is ready to be served. When it’s done, it should look as if it has been burnt to a crisp on the outside, but tender and juicy on the inside. Make sure that it doesn’t have a chewy or dry texture, as that would indicate that it is likely overcooked.
Spice cookies:

With tangy notes of orange and ginger, these zesty delights require approximately 30 minutes of cooking time. The following recipe produces a batch of between roughly eight and 12 cookies.

Ingredients include two cups of all-purpose flour, one teaspoon of baking soda, a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon of ground cloves, a quarter teaspoon of allspice, one teaspoon of scraped seeds from a vanilla bean or two teaspoons of vanilla extract as a substitute, half a cup of molasses, one and half a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, one egg, one cup of dark brown sugar, half a cup of salted butter at room temperature and grated zest from one orange.

While preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and allspice into a bowl.

Then combine the vanilla, molasses, ginger, egg, brown sugar and salted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on a low speed until it reaches a fluffy consistency; this can also be done by hand. Add the mixture of dry ingredients from the initial bowl and carefully combine the ingredients, slowly, so as not to overmix the contents.

It is encouraged to leave the dough to sit before baking, allowing the spicy flavor to develop.

Grease a sheet pan with melted butter or vegetable oil, condition it with nonstick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. After doing one of the previously listed actions, scoop the dough into balls uniform in size and place them onto the pan. Proceed to bake the pastries for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping each cookie over halfway through when it reaches a light brown hue but maintains a soft consistency.

When the time has passed, take the pan out of the oven and remove the cookies from the pan, placing them onto a surface to cool and solidify.

Finish up by sprinkling the desired amount of orange zest over the top of the cookies for a decorative effect as well as an addition of flavor.

6 | Toasted S’mores Bars:

For a warm, delicious gooey dessert to bite into this holiday, these s’mores bars make for a simple yet tasty end to a Thanksgiving feast. The recipe was found on “Betty Crocker”, a website dedicated to sharing knowledge with home cooks.

This recipe calls for one pound of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, one cup of graham cracker crumbs, one cup of melted butter or margarine, three cups of milk chocolate chips and four and a half cups of mini marshmallows.

Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a large bowl, combine and mix the cookie mix and graham cracker crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and stir until a soft dough is created. Take this mixture and spread it onto an ungreased 13 by nine-inch pan, making sure to press it in.

Put the pan in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until fully set. Quickly drizzle chocolate chips over the crust, letting it stand for three to five minutes or until the chocolate has melted. Be sure to spread the chocolate evenly on the crust.

At the oven, set the control to the broil option. Grab the marshmallows and scatter them over the melted chocolate. Place the pan in the oven and broil for 20-30 seconds or until the marshmallows have toasted. Be careful not to burn the marshmallows, as they will quickly brown once in the oven.

Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. To serve, cut into six rows by four rows.

The s’mores bars should appear golden brown on the outside, the marshmallows and graham crackers well toasted. The layer of chocolate should remain sandwiched between the two graham crackers, slightly melted.

7 | Butternut Squash Soup:

With rich flavors that are slightly nutty and aromatic, this creamy soup consisting of butternut squash, ginger and various vegetables tastes just like fall. This recipe was found on a website called “The Food Network”, which is a lifestyle network, website and magazine centered around food.

For this recipe, one needs two to three pounds of peeled and seeded butternut squash, two tablespoons of unsalted butter, one chopped medium onion, six cups of chicken stock, nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Start by slicing the squash into one-inch chunks using a knife. Melt butter in a large pot, add onion and cook for around eight minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Following that, throw in the squash and chicken stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the squash becomes tender.

With a slotted spoon, remove the squash chunks from the pot and place them in a blender until a puree is formed. Pour the blended squash puree back into the pot, stirring and seasoning with pepper, nutmeg and salt.

The soup should have a rich, creamy texture that is slightly orange, similar to that of a carrot. Now, this warm dish is ready to be served at the dinner table.

8 | Chocolate Hazelnut Caramel Tart:

Ingredients for the crust include six tablespoons of sugar, six tablespoons of hazelnuts, six tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature, one cup of all-purpose flour and half a tablespoon of kosher salt. For the caramel, ingredients are half a cup of heavy cream, two-thirds cup of sugar, one and a half tablespoons of light corn syrup, three tablespoons of unsalted butter and half a teaspoon of kosher salt. Ingredients for the chocolate are a three-quarters cup of heavy cream and six ounces of bittersweet chocolate. And for decorating, ingredients include pomegranate seeds, edible gold flakes, flaky sea salt and a quarter cup of halved hazelnuts.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin preparing the crust by placing the hazelnuts onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and into the oven to roast for roughly five to eight minutes. Upon noticing a golden hue emulating from the hazelnuts, remove the pan from the oven and with the use of a large kitchen towel bunch up and rub the hazelnuts until a considerable portion of the skins have been removed.

Grease a 13 and a half by four and a half-inch rectangular tart pan with melted butter or vegetable oil, condition it with nonstick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.

After doing one of the previously listed actions, pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor with two tablespoons of sugar to result in fine crumbs. Add the butter into the food processor and pulse to combine it with the crumbs. Continue on to add flour, salt and the four remaining tablespoons of sugar into the food processor and pulse until the various ingredients are combined to form a batter.

Press the batter against the bottom and sides of the prepared tart pan and place it into the refrigerator, allowing it to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Once again, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prick the surface of the crust with a fork and proceed to place the pan into the oven and bake for roughly 15 to 20 minutes until the crust reaches a light brown golden hue. When the time has passed, take the pan out of the oven and carefully remove the dessert from the pan, placing it onto a surface to cool.

To prepare the caramel, place the corn syrup, sugar and three tablespoons of water in a saucepan and, refraining from stirring the ingredients, cook on medium to high heat until noticing the formation of bubbles at the edges of the pan. After around one minute, stir the mixture in a swirling motion.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and then augment it to high heat, letting the ingredients boil for five minutes while persistently stirring until it reaches a deep caramel color. Continue to remove the pan from the heat and immediately add salt and butter, swirling the pan and combining the ingredients.

Return the saucepan to a temperature of medium heat and add in the heavy cream. As it bubbles, whisk three-quarters of the liquid for one minute until it reaches a thickened and smooth consistency as well as a rich amber hue. Pour the glaze into the cooled crust and refrigerate the confection for approximately one hour as it cools.

To prepare the chocolate, place the bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it becomes hot but resists boiling and proceed to pour it over the chocolate. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is fully melted. Then pour the melted chocolate over the caramel and place the tart into the refrigerator for around 10 minutes.

After it has sufficiently cooled, conclude by sprinkling the halved hazelnuts, pomegranate seeds, gold flakes and flaky sea salt over the top of the tart for a decorative effect as well as an addition of flavor and texture

9 | Cranberry Cobbler:

Ingredients include one cup of all-purpose flour, six tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, eleven quarters cups of cranberries, three-quarters cup and two tablespoons of sugar, eleven quarters teaspoons of baking powder, half a teaspoon of fine salt, half a cup of whole milk and one large egg.

While preheating an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet with melted butter or vegetable oil or condition it with nonstick cooking spray.

In one bowl, combine the cranberries with two tablespoons of sugar. In a second bowl, whisk together the baking powder, flour, salt and the remaining three-quarters cup of sugar. In a third bowl, combine the egg, milk and butter.

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until a batter is formed.

Pour the batter into the skillet and after it settles evenly, distribute the cranberries on top. Proceed to place the skillet into the oven and bake for roughly 25 to 30 minutes until the cobbler reaches a soft and springy consistency.

When the time has passed, take the skillet out of the oven and carefully remove the dessert from the skillet, placing it onto a surface to cool.

10 | Bonus: Turkey curry

If one ends up with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, here’s a quick and easy way to whip up something delicious out of them. A warm, earthy blend of savory spices and vegetables, turkey curry is a nice way to end a cold winter evening at the dinner table. Created by a food writer named Katy Greenwood, this recipe was found on “BBC Good Food”, a global food media brand with a monthly magazine and website dedicated to home cooking and quality recipes.

The following ingredients are needed to prepare this meal: one tablespoon of sunflower oil, one large thickly sliced onion, one deseeded and chopped green pepper, two tablespoons of curry paste, two crushed garlic cloves, 400 grams of can chopped tomatoes, 300 grams of diced leftover turkey, 300 grams of diced leftover cooked potato, two tablespoons of mango chutney, a small pack of roughly chopped coriander and rice or naan bread.

First, grab a large pan and heat the sunflower oil in it over high heat. Toss the onion and pepper in the pan, cooking for three to four minutes until it has softened and slightly browned. Mix in the garlic and curry paste, cooking it for one to two minutes. After, throw in the chopped tomatoes and 150 mL of water, bringing to a boil for around five minutes.

Then, lower the heat and mix in the potatoes and turkey, letting them cook for two to three minutes. For the finishing touches, add in the mango chutney and drizzle with coriander. Serve with rice or naan bread.

In order to know if it is fully cooked, there should be bubbles appearing on the top of the curry.

The result should have a light brown appearance, with a glossy and thick consistency for the sauce. It shouldn’t be too runny or gummy.




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About the Contributors
Angelina Kanno
Angelina Kanno, Staff Writer
Angelina Kanno, a senior, is a News/Features writer in her second year of journalism. She enjoys writing poems and making various types of pasta from different regions of Italy. Her playlist is filled with retro music, especially music by Kate Bush, Tears For Fears, and Journey. Her favorite movie is "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith'' because of its medieval setting, intense duel fights, and extravagant outfits. Angelina plans to major in forensic psychology at a four-year university to study the link between criminal behavior and mental disorders. She also plans to minor in investigative journalism to cover unsolved crimes. She wants the public to know the truth behind these mysteries. 
Angelica Venturina
Angelica Venturina, Print Editor-in-Chief
Angelica Venturina is the Print Editor-in-Chief. A senior now, this is her last year of journalism. She likes reading historical fantasy books, creative writing, video editing, watching Korean dramas, listening to music and playing with her cat, Chowder. Outside of journalism, Angelica is involved with TASSEL Cambodia and First Gen. In the future, she hopes to visit the Philippines again and spend time with her relatives there while enjoying Filipino street food. After graduation, Angelica wants to pursue a career as a surgical technologist.
Angelina Gevorgyan
Angelina Gevorgyan, Executive Editor
 Angelina Gevorgyan is the Executive Editor of The Mirror newspaper publication and website. She is currently a senior, and this is her fourth year in the journalism program. As a writer, organizer, strategist and visionary, she strives to elevate The Mirror to its highest potential in hopes of making a lasting impact on her community. She looks forward to graduating from high school, and plans on becoming an attorney and pursuing a career in law.
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