Thanksgiving Recipes: New variations on old favorites

Thanksgiving Recipe Graphic


Here is a collection of cookbooks recommended by staff across the Alachua County Library District that give new takes on traditional favorites for the holiday seasons.

Title: Desserts LaBelle by Patti LaBelleBook Cover
Did you know that Patti LaBelle bakes pies as well as she sings? I didn't know that either, but it's the truth! This book is full of all kinds of desserts as well as stories about the family that inspired the recipes she shares.

Favorite Recipe: Aunt Hattie Mae's Raspberry Pie (p.123)
Everyone has that one relative who makes the best desserts. Aunt Hattie clearly inspired Patti LaBelle in the baking department because this pie is simply divine. 
Staff:  Rachelle - Tower Road Branch


Book CoverTitle: Budget Bytes by Beth Moncel
I’m a huge fan of her website ( She writes delicious healthy recipes that use common ingredients and are easy to meal prep. If an ingredient is unlikely to be used entirely in the recipe she gives tips on how to save or use the rest so you aren’t wasting food.

Favorite Recipe: Roasted Broccoli with Crispy Garlic (p. 199)
Do I really need to say anything? It’s roasted veggies with garlic. IT’S DELICIOUS! And EASY.
Staff: Naomi - Micanopy Branch


Title: AlicBook Covere’s Tea Cup by Haley Fox
I like and recommend this cookbook because it’s the menu from a lovely NYC tea room, so it’s full of recipes for scones, cakes, sandwiches, salads, soups, specialty cocktails, and all things Afternoon Tea.

Favorite Recipe: Warm Pear and Endive Salad (pp. 70-71)
With so much emphasis on pumpkins and turkey at this time of year, I wanted to add a lovely salad starter to the Thanksgiving meal. The recipe is more complicated than a typical salad because it involves baking pears and sauteing Belgian Endive lettuce and onions, and the recipe for the specialized dressing in on the next page too. I made the salad last Friday night, and it came out beautifully. A Salad fit for Royalty.
Staff: Fiona - Headquarters Library


Book CoverTitle: Vegetables Illustrated by America's Test Kitchen
This book is filled with over 700 kitchen-tested recipes. Recipes are organized by dominant vegetable, which is really handy when you are trying to come up with a new way to cook a vegetable you have on hand. I haven't tried all of the recipes, but I haven't found one I didn't like yet.

Favorite Recipe: Extra-crunchy Green Bean Casserole (p. 242)
Sure, everyone has made green bean casserole from the can, but have you tried making it fresh? There is nothing like it! This recipe is delicious.
Staff: Rachelle - Tower Road Branch


TBook Coveritle: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Cookbook, the official Black Spire Outpost cookbook by Chelsea Monrow-Cassel
Fan cookbooks: This is The Way… to get nerds more excited about food. As a former VERY picky eater, I have discovered a love of cooking by following recipes based on the fandoms I’m in and been introduced to things I would probably have NEVER tried otherwise.

Favorite Recipe: Spicy Mandalorian Stew (p. 77)
The current household favorite is the Spicy Mandalorian Stew, enjoyed best while watching the show. It’s even more delicious the next day after the flavors have mingled a bit, so don’t worry about leftovers. If you have little padawans to feed, you can eliminate some of the heat easily by halving some of the spices (and it’s easier to entice them to eat “Baby Yoda” soup!)
Staff: Danie - Newberry Branch


Book CoverTitle: The Betty Crocker Cookbook by Betty Crocker
My mother and Betty Crocker taught me to cook.  The recipes and instructions in The Betty Crocker Cookbook are consistently accurate, and are great for both beginners and the more adventurous. 

Favorite Recipe: Classic White Bread (p. 504) and Shortbread Cookies (p. 533)
I have two favorite recipes (which I don’t make anymore because – gluten), but every single time I made these, they came out perfect.  The classic white bread is simultaneously light and filling and so delicious.  It is time-consuming and requires focus, but the process is meditative.  And I cannot stress enough how much I adore the shortbread cookies.  Wholesome and slightly sweet on their own, their simplicity lends them to all sorts of embellishments and added flavors and textures.  Oh!  How I miss them!  And even more so, time in the kitchen with my sweet Mom.
Staff:  Lisa - Newberry Branch


Book CoverTitle: Cauliflower Power by Lindsey Grimes Freedman
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I had to start getting inventive with my cooking, searching for tasty ways to lower my carb intake. This book has helped so much with that! As the tagline says "75 feel-good gluten free recipes made with the world's most versatile vegetable."

Favorite Recipe: Toss-up - Shepherd's Pie (p. 166) or The Best Cauliflower Mash (p. 187)
I love a good Shepherd's Pie, but the Cauliflower Mash is great for holidays to help lighten the calories and carb load for the day. You can add a little dill to the mash instead of chives for a different flavor. 
Staff: Rachelle - Tower Road Branch


Book CoverTitle: Salt and Straw Ice Cream Cookbook by Tyler Malek
This is a great book for anyone looking to make ice cream at home! This book has easy instructions for making a standard ice cream base that you can use to make any flavor. There are even Thanksgiving ice cream flavors!

Favorite Recipe: Gooey Brownies 
My favorite recipe to follow in the book was for the gooey brownies for mixing into ice cream; we’ve loved adding them to all of our favorite flavors.
Staff:  Cindy - Tower Road Branch


Book CoverTitle: The Side Dish Bible: 1001 perfect recipes for every vegetable, rice, grain, and bean dish you’ll ever need by America's Test Kitchen
There are 500 pages worth of side dish recommendations.  From vegetables to salads, from potatoes to rice, from pastas to sauces, toppings, and more.  If you’ve cooked the same old recipes with no familial ties and ever found yourself wondering if this is all that’s possible you need this book!

Favorite Recipe: Mediterranean Braised Green Beans (p. 118)
The recipe I’d like to recommend is the Mediterranean Braised Green Beans.  There are 2 steps in order to make it.  Then you can stick the dish in the oven on a timer and not fuss over it!  Because when it comes to a Thanksgiving feast, who honestly has time to worry about a side dish?  It was absolutely delicious and something I would make again and again, not just for Thanksgiving.
Staff:  Victoria - Headquarters Library


Book CoverTitle: From Mama's Table to Mine by Bobby Dean
I like how the author lowers the calories of these classic Southern recipes.  The ingredients are what I have on hand, or easily found at the grocery store.

Favorite Recipe: Bobby’s Pimiento Cheese  (p. 5)
Pimiento Cheese is a newfound favorite of mine and this recipe is fast and yummy!
Staff:  Linda - Tower Road Branch