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The old standbys are great for Thanksgiving

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Posted: Friday, November 20, 2009 12:00 am

It’s fun to go through food magazines this time of year. There are numerous variations on traditional recipes, tempting me and taunting me to try something new. I’m all for new, but for Thanksgiving, I’m a bit leery to stray from what’s become the norm in our family; recipes we only break out once a year, not because they’re difficult, but because they are traditional for us. Additionally, some of them are loaded with ingredients like butter and cream so year-round consumption would result in multiple butterballs at the table.

This is also the time of year for office pot lucks and the ubiquitous Jell-O salad. In spite of an informal survey my brother took on Facebook where Jell-O salad did not fare well, I will risk sharing a recipe with you. Not only does it receive rave reviews, it has cranberries in it and a lovely presentation that works well all the way through the holiday season.

I noticed that in some brands  the can size has decreased in the last year. I did test this recipe with the smaller size cranberry sauce and it was fine. The 16-ounce size is the original amount. If you find an older, larger-sized can in your pantry to use, go ahead with that. Well, as long as it’s not expired. Please check the date though … better to throw out an expired can than have expired guests.

My only caveat with the creamed corn is make sure it is securely stabilized for transportation. Many years ago, I took a corner a bit too sharply with a full Crock Pot of creamed corn … and, well, our nearly new minivan was no longer pristine. Lesson learned.

Both of these recipes will work for holiday dinners or office pot lucks and can be made ahead of time.


Cranberry-Pineapple Jell-O Salad


1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple

1 can (14 or 16 oz.) whole cranberry sauce

7 oz. ginger ale

6 oz. package raspberry gelatin



1 cup heavy whipping cream

8 oz. softened cream cheese

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

½ cup chopped pecans (toasted with 2 tablespoons butter in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes)


Drain pineapple and reserve the juice. Add enough water to the reserved juice to make 1 cup liquid. Boil the liquid and add the gelatin to it. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved and pour mixture into medium bowl or Jell-O mold. Slowly pour in ginger ale. Chill until partially set, 30 to 45 minutes. In another bowl, mix together the crushed pineapple and cranberry sauce. Fold into the partially set gelatin. Chill until firm (can be made one day ahead).


Topping: Whip cream until soft peaks form. Whip the cream cheese and combine with the cream and powdered sugar. Spread over the top of the gelatin. Sprinkle with pecans. Keep chilled until serving.



Creamed Corn

1 (16 oz.) package Trader Joe’s Cut White Corn

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons flour


Combine all ingredients, except flour and butter ,in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend melted butter and flour together, add to the corn. Mix well and remove from heat (can be made one to two days ahead, refrigerate and warm before serving).


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Lori Rossi began collecting recipes at age 14, but her real love affair with cooking started after picking up a December 1989 Bon Appetit magazine. Today, she shares her love of the kitchen with her two kids, Nathan, 11, and Nicole, 8. If you’d like to get in touch with Lori with a question or idea, e-mail her at

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