Ready, Set, Dine!

By staff November 19, 2006


Countdown until Thanksgiving.


By Judi Gallagher


Here it comes—the day of feasting, overeating and napping, where cranberries never had such star power and pumpkin and cinnamon sticks dance next to warm apple pies. No wonder Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The other night at dinner, Sarasota Herald-Tribune social columnist Marjorie North and I were reviewing our Thanksgiving menu. Marjorie has decided to serve only one carbohydrate as a side dish this year. I immediately shot my husband a look. No need to tell me friend that the eight carb side dishes that we serve alongside the turkey and stuffing are not on the American Heart Association’s list of healthy living tips!


While my TV show, Gulf Coast Cooking, has been on reruns recently, I am pleased to tell you that we are now running our holiday cooking segments. Looking for that leftover creamy casserole or how to decorate your pumpkin sage ravioli with crispy sage?   I’ll see you Saturday and Sunday mornings between 6 a.m. and noon on SNN, Channnel 6.


My husband, Paul, just loves a relish tray so I am anxious to check out what might be new at Casa Italia ([email protected]) over on Constitution Avenue off the South Trail. We love their olives and roasted eggplant and certainly the baby artichokes —but the true star of the relish tray is always the sun-dried tomatoes. Almost too good to mix in a pasta dish, they’re delicate and sweet, perfect with a wedge of pecorino Romano nearby. Here’s a great tip for leftover relish trays and roasted vegetables. Make a fabulous egg white frittata using leftover sun-dried tomatoes, cold roasted asparagus and onions (although if you get them from Casa Italia, I doubt there will be any leftover). Top with the leftover cheeses from your cheese tray and place the pan under the broiler until lightly brown. Top with sour cream, chopped scallion and diced leftover olives. Thanksgiving leftovers aren’t just talking turkey any more.


Garnett Isham shared a fun and creative side dish for her family Thanksgiving, and daughter Johnette raves about this family classic: homemade applesauce sweetened with red-hot candies. I will be whipping up a batch this weekend, so stay tuned. Don’t forget to enter our side dishin’ contest to win a dinner gift certificate to a Sarasota restaurant. Email your recipe to [email protected]


I wish everyone a moist and tender turkey, a gravy free of lumps, a juicy apple pie with a flaky crust, and just the right amount of servings of warmth, friendship and giving thanks for all that we have, and all that we can do for others. Bon appetit! 





3 c. mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. melted butter

Mix ingredients and beat well. Pour into a well-greased baking dish. Mix topping (below).


1/2 c. plain flour
1/3 c. melted butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. chopped pecans

Mix ingredients and spread on top of souffle mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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