A Very-Messenger Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving Feast

Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake (Photo by José Picayo)

Compiled by Jac Bergenson


Italian Sausage & Peas (Side Dish)

Submitted by Jac Bergenson


  • 1 oz. vegetable oil
  • 1 oz. extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage, bulk
  • 8 oz. hot Italian sausage, bulk
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ea. 12-oz. bag of garden peas
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 2 oz. chicken stock/water
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. rosemary, dried


  1. Heat a large sauté pan, or medium size sauce pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add vegetable and olive oil, and let stand until hot.
  3. Sauté Italian sausage meat until brown (Let stand until a golden-brown crust forms)
  4. Incorporate fennel seed and garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
  5. Add peas, stock/water, and season to taste.
  6. Add thyme and rosemary. Let simmer until sausage is fully cooked.

Quick Tip:

This recipe can be modified to include all sweet sausage, or all hot, if tastes prefer. The choice of water or stock is by preference.


Sweet Glazed Carrots (Side Dish)

Submitted by Joseph Mastando


  • 16 oz. of baby carrots
  • 1/3 cups of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter


  1. Boil one inch of water in a 3-quart sauce pan.
  2. Reduce to medium heat and place carrots into boiling water. Cover the pan to retain the heat. (12 minutes)
  3. Melt butter and mix with brown sugar in a skillet at medium heat. Stir constantly until all sugar is dissolved.
  4. Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved.
  5. Drain carrots.
  6. Mix carrots with glaze on low heat for about five minutes.


Green Bean Casserole

Contributed by Carrie Victoria


  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 C milk
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • 4 C cooked cut green beans
  • 1-1/3 C French fried onions


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Stir the soup, milk, black pepper, and beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Stir the bean mixture and then sprinkle with the remaining onions.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes.


Sweet Potato Casserole

Contributed by Katrina Avila


  • 5 sweet potatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/2 C packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs. orange juice
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 (10.5 oz) package miniature marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and mash.
  3. Place mashed sweet potatoes in large bowl, and use an electric mixer or hand masher to blend with the butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon. Spread evenly into a buttered 9×13 backing dish. Top with miniature marshmallows.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through, and marshmallows are puffed and golden brown.


Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake

Submitted by William Biersack


  • 3 C ground gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 ea. 8-oz bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1-1/4 C sugar
  • 2 ea. large eggs
  • 2 C sour cream
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C cherry preserves


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and butter. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
  3. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
  5. Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.

Quick Tip:

The cheesecake can be baked up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate loosely covered. Before serving, unmold and top with the preserves.


Easy Apple Cake

Submitted by Jade Hanley


  • 2 C apples, finely diced
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1 ea. large egg, beaten
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 C chopped nuts
  • Powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F Mix apples, sugar, vegetable oil, egg, AP flour, and salt in medium mixing bowl.
  2. Let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Add cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, and chopped nuts to mixture.
  4. Place in cake mold.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Let rest, then dust with powdered sugar.