Simple takes on classic holiday recipes for your Friendsgiving potluck

Media Credit: Donna Armstrong | Contributing Photo Editor

This Thanksgiving, you can rethink casserole and enjoy a dish with crunch that goes unmatched.

From tiny kitchens adjacent to a set of bunkbeds to shared spaces in the basements of residence halls, some buildings across campus will be littered with the scent of burnt turkey this Thursday.

If you are staying in Foggy Bottom and are one of the brave students organizing a Friendsgiving potluck for the holiday, here are three easy takes on classic Thanksgiving dishes that can prevent you from bankrupting your GWorld balance – and from setting off the fire alarm.

Turkey sliders

1 pound freshly sliced deli turkey or cut from a roast turkey
1 dozen store-bought cornbread muffins
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup cranberry jelly
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 package of sliced Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper
Dash of Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce

If your culinary skills haven’t prepared you to create a full-on turkey dinner, these savory sliders have the goodness of a Thanksgiving meal all in one sandwich.

To begin, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, slice a dozen store-bought cornbread muffins into tops and bottoms and arrange them on a baking sheet. Fold one or two pieces of freshly sliced deli turkey – or freshly sliced roast turkey if you’re up for it – onto each muffin bottom, and place a slice of Swiss cheese over the turkey.

Place baking sheets into the oven, and let the muffin bottoms heat up until cheese melts and tops until they are lightly browned around the edges. While you wait, mix together your aioli with ½ cup of mayonnaise, ¼ cup of cranberry jelly, 1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard and a dash of optional hot sauce, if you are looking for an extra kick.

Once you have removed the muffins from the oven, let them cool slightly for about five minutes and spread the cranberry aioli on the muffin tops generously. Sandwich together, and serve to a hungry crowd.

Green bean casserole topped with tater tots

2 cans (16 ounces) French-style green beans, or fresh green beans
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag frozen tater tots

We have all been forced to down a family member’s greasy and lackluster casserole with a smile on our face. But this Thanksgiving, you can rethink the staple and enjoy a dish with crunch that goes unmatched.

Grab a large bowl and a medium baking dish, then preheat your oven to 375 degrees. If you opted for fresh green beans, start by cutting them in half vertically and boiling them until slightly tender. Then in a bowl, mix together green beans, one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Season with pepper to taste.

Transfer the green bean mixture into your baking dish and cover with a healthy layer of frozen tater tots. Pop your complete casserole into a preheated oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown and crisp.

Golden pumpkin bars

1 (18 ½ ounce) box yellow cake mix
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (16 ounce) can of pumpkin puree
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin spice
½ teaspoon salt

Instead of being the fourth person adding to a pile of store-bought pies at your potluck, try this easy dessert alternative that will guarantee there are no leftovers to bring home.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, or 325 degrees if you are using a glass baking dish. Start by setting aside ½ cup of one 18 ½ ounce box of yellow cake mix. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining cake mix, ¼ cup vegetable oil and one egg with a fork until a crumb-like mixture has formed. Transfer the mixture into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish and press down evenly to form a crust.

In the same bowl used for the crust, mix together one 16 ounce can of pumpkin puree, one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, three eggs, the extra ½ cup of cake mix, 1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir until combined and pour over the crust in the baking dish.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool and cut into bars for serving.

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