A twisted Thanksgiving

Recipes take holiday to next level


Photo by Allyson Smith

Story by Macy Maynard, Culture Editor

Don’t let the same ol’ holiday foods get you down this Thanksgiving. Try some of the unusual twists on the holiday favorites.

Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce is a great addition to many Thanksgiving spreads and can compliment many dishes, but after a while it can become bland and typical. This recipe can change a typical recipe to something new.


  • 1/2 orange
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, pippin or
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves


Squeeze the juice from the orange and set the juice aside. Remove and discard the membrane from inside the orange rind and cut the rind into small dice. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside. 

Peel, core and quarter the apple. Cut into 1/2-inch dice and place in a saucepan. Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. Add to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Transfer the cranberry sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for 1 hour before serving. Or cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a sauce boat and pass at the table.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Thanksgiving & Christmas, by Chuck Williams (Time-Life Books, 1993).


Apple Pecan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This next recipe can take your typical baked sweet potato to a sweet and tart side dish perfect for a tasteful Thanksgiving. With a new flavor added it can take sweet to a whole new level.


  • 4medium sweet potatoes (3 1/2 lb) 
  • 3/4cup coarsely chopped pecans 
  • 1/4cup butter 
  • 1large Rome Beauty apple, chopped 
  • 1/4cup golden raisins 
  • 1/2cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4teaspoon ground nutmeg


Heat oven to 425°F. Line cookie sheet with foil. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork; place on cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until tender. Cool for at least 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, sprinkle pecans in an ungreased heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until nuts begin to brown, then stirring constantly until nuts are light brown. Remove from skillet; set aside.

In the same skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook apple and raisins in butter for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apple is tender. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

Cut each sweet potato lengthwise in half; scoop pulp into a large bowl, leaving thin shells. Add apple mixture to pulp in bowl; stir until blended. Spoon mixture into shells. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with toasted pecans.


Dill and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Dill and sour cream mashed potatoes can add some spice and flavor to a typical holiday. It will be a fun twist to the normal mashed potatoes at the table.



Place milk & butter in a medium bowl.

Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover, 15 minutes or until tender; drain.

Mash with milk & butter in the bowl.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Serve immediately.