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    Five Quickest Holiday Side Dishes

    The center of any Thanksgiving meal is the large main dish. Most folks choose turkey, but modern twists include roast beef, pork tenderloin, Cornish hens, duck, salmon, roast chicken, lasagna and meatless options. A large amount of thought and preparation goes into this dish and for most it requires a great deal of time and money. Once decisions are finalized, attention is placed on dessert, which is usually a delicious pie, cake, cheesecake or pudding. Slowly, the entire meal looks a little overwhelming and shortcuts become a tempting option. Fortunately, there are numerous quick and delicious side dishes that take less than 30 minutes to prepare. Try these simple sides to alleviate stress and leave your guests impressed:

    Start to finish: 15 minutes
    Servings: 6

    2 medium onions, minced
    2 -3 stalks celery, chopped fine
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups turkey broth or 2 cups vegetable broth
    Hot water
    Two 6-ounce packages boxed seasoned stuffing mix

    Sauté onions and celery in butter and sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Set aside to cool slightly.
    Toss this mixture into your favorite dry stuffing mix. Heat broth and set aside.

    Read directions on your favorite stuffing mix box. Add enough hot water to the broth to make up the required liquid needed. Omit butter the recipe calls for as it was already used to sauté vegetables. Pour over stuffing/vegetables mixture and mix well.

    Stuff your chicken or turkey. For a side dish place stuffing in a baking dish, cover and bake for 15 to 25 minutes at 325 F.

    Start to finish: 15 minutes
    Servings: 8

    Two 10-ounce packages frozen corn kernels, thawed
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 cup whole milk
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    In a skillet over medium heat, combine the corn, cream, salt, sugar, pepper and butter.
    Whisk together the milk and flour and stir into the corn mixture. Cook stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and corn is cooked through.

    Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot.

    Start to finish: 15 minutes
    Servings: 6

    2 pounds carrots
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley

    Peel the carrots and cut them diagonally in 1/4-inch slices. You should have about 6 cups of carrots. Place the carrots, 1/3 cup water, the salt and pepper in a large (10 to 12-inch) sauté pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are just cooked through.

    Add the butter and sauté for another minute, until the water evaporates and the carrots are coated with butter. Off the heat, toss with the dill or parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

    Start to finish: 7 minutes
    Servings: 4-6

    One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup orange juice or 1 cup water

    Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil; simmer until berries pop. Chill until ready to serve.

    Start to finish: 20 minutes
    Servings: 4 to 6

    4 large Idaho potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
    1 celery root (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
    4 cloves garlic, peeled
    3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
    Salt and ground black pepper

    In a large saucepan, combine potatoes, celery root and garlic cloves. Pour over enough water to cover and set pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.

    Drain and transfer potatoes, celery root and garlic to a large bowl. Add buttermilk and olive oil and mash until smooth (or lumpy, whatever you like!). Fold in chives. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

    Rather Not Cook?
    If home cooking isn’t in the cards this year, consider heading over to Calypso’s® Buffet at Isle Casino Hotel® Bettendorf for a special Thanksgiving feast. Join us on Thursday, November 26, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for a stunning menu featuring:

    Bourbon glazed ham steaks with roasted turnips
    Sweet potatoes with apples and cranberries
    Roasted whole carved turkey with sage dressing
    Braised red wine short ribs
    Asian marinated chicken thighs with noodles
    Butter pecan cheesecake
    Pumpkin pie
    Harvest spinach salad
    Turkey and chicken salad

    All for only $18.99!

    It’s your choice to stay in or go out this Thanksgiving, but remember simplicity is best. Don’t stress over the small stuff and take shortcuts when necessary. After all, spending time with family and friends is more important than spending hours slaving in a kitchen.


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