Turkey is great and all but it’s the side dishes that can take a Thanksgiving meal to the next level. We reached out to two of our favorite local chefs and asked what they like to cook on Thanksgiving that is a unique take on an original favorite. Kyle Davis, chef and co-owner at The Crest Café and Catering came up with an upgraded take on classic mashed potatoes. Chef Andrew Shimer from Christy Hill Lakeside Bistro submitted a bread pudding that can be substituted for stuffing.

Always remember to cook more than you need because arguably the best part about Thanksgiving are the leftovers the next day. Also, did you know that the TV dinner has Thanksgiving to thank for its creation? In 1953, Swanson misjudged how many frozen turkeys they would sell on Thanksgiving by 26 tons and sliced up the remaining meat and packaged it individually with trimmings on the side. And, voilà!, the TV dinner was born. If you follow these recipes, you will be sure to enjoy some gourmet TV dinners after the main event.

Yukon Gold & Celery Root Mashies with Crispy Potato Peels & Truffle Oil



3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes

1 celery root

¾ cup butter

¾ cup half and half

1 cup 2% milk

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp white pepper

2 tsp onion powder


Potato peels

Corn starch

Frying oil

Mashies: Peel potatoes (and reserve peels for crispy potato peels). Cut into uniform pieces and boil until soft. Trim celery root, cube into 1-inch pieces and boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Combine all remaining ingredients and heat through until butter melts. Add half of liquid ingredients to a blender with celery root and blend until smooth. Put potatoes in mixer with blended celery root and remaining liquid and mix until creamy.
Crispy potato peels: Toss all peels with cornstarch.  Heat 1-inch of frying oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Fry small amounts of peels until crisp, drain, and sprinkle with salt.

Serve potatoes, drizzle with truffle oil, and top with crispy potato peels. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Savory Mushroom, Butternut Squash, and Goat Cheese Bread Pudding


6 large eggs

3 cups heavy cream

1 cup crème fraîche (sour cream can be substituted)

8 oz goat cheese

2 cups chicken stock

2 Tbsp honey

1 loaf Truckee Sourdough Batarde

4 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

1 butternut squash (diced)

1 large yellow onion (diced)

1 bulb fennel (diced)

1 leek (diced)

2 stalks celery (diced)

1/2 bunch Italian flat parsley (chiffonade)

6 scallions (diced)

salt & pepper to taste

Whisk egg, cream, crème fraîche, goat cheese, stock, and honey to make a simple custard base. Tear bread into bite size pieces and add to custard. Sauté onion, celery, fennel, and leeks together until translucent. In a separate pan sauté mushrooms. In a very hot pan, caramelize butternut squash until soft. Combine all ingredients. Don’t forget salt and pepper. Put in refrigerator for two hours to allow the bread to absorb the custard. Finish by baking in casserole dish at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Makes 12 to 15 servings.


  • Ally Gravina

    Ally Gravina is a freelance journalist and former Moonshine editor based in Graeagle. She has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in arts and culture reporting.

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