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Dig in to Blue Fern’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

November 22, 2021

Dig in to Blue Fern’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving Day is quickly approaching, so in the spirit of giving, our team at Blue Fern is handing over some of our absolute favorite Thanksgiving meals. Get ready to curl up in a blanket and spend some much needed family time inevitably taking a nap after diving into these delicacies. 

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Submitted by: Wendy Galindo, Administrative / Accounts Payable

There’s nothing better than breaking out the family recipes for Thanksgiving. Soon, you get to the point where you don’t even need a recipe to follow, but for those who would like to try adding this to their own holiday meal, here’s a similar version of homemade turkey gravy. 

All-purpose flour
4 cups turkey drippings
Rosemary & thyme (if desired)


  • Ensure you have enough turkey drippings for 4 cups (add in chicken broth if needed to equal that amount). 
  • Add a little bit of butter to a large skillet over medium high heat. 
  • Once the butter has melted, add in a little bit of flour to thicken the gravy.
  • Slowly add turkey drippings, starting with 3 to 3½ cups and adding more if necessary for your preferred consistency.
  • Bring the gravy to a simmer to allow it to thicken up for a few minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add in salt and pepper to taste, or any other preferred herbs like rosemary or thyme for more flavor. 

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Submitted by: Max Chappron, CPA, CFO

Sometimes, there’s a certain dish you need to keep an eye on to make sure it’s not gone before you get to it—this is one of those dishes. 

6 slices bacon, chopped into 1” pieces
3 tbsp. butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 lb. russet potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed clean
2 cups shredded cheddar
¼ cup finely chopped chives
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, add the bacon to a large skillet over medium heat and cook until crispy (roughly 8 minutes). Set aside on paper towels to drain. 
  • In another large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, add in the garlic and cook for about one minute, until fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional minute. Add in the cream and chicken broth, whisking constantly, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes until it has slightly thickened then remove from heat. 
  • Peel potatoes and slice into thin coin pieces.
  • Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a large casserole dish, and add a layer of potatoes on top. Spoon another layer of sauce over the potatoes and add cheese and bacon. Repeat this 3 to 4 times or until the dish is almost full.
  • Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the potatoes are tender (about 1 hour and 15 minutes.) Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving. 

Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole (Dairy-Free Option)

Never let food allergies keep you from re-creating some of the most well-loved Thanksgiving dishes. 

Submitted by: Melanie Berger, Director of Procurement, Multifamily

Ingredients: Gluten-Free Fried Onions
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 cup milk (dairy-free use almond, cashew or coconut milk)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon gluten-free seasoned salt
3 cups vegetable oil 

Ingredients: Casserole
1 10.5 ounce can gluten-free cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup milk (dairy-free use almond, cashew or coconut milk)
1 teaspoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 14/5 ounce cans whole green beans, drained

Instructions: Serves 8

  • Thinly slice the onions.
  • Make buttermilk by adding the milk and vinegar together to a shallow dish and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Add the onions to the buttermilk and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the gluten-free flour, cornstarch and seasoned salt to a plastic storage bag and mix well.
  • Heat up vegetable oil in a large pan (375°F)
  • Add the buttermilk and onions to the flour mixture in the plastic bag and mix until the onions are well coated. 
  • Add the battered onions to the oil, frying in batches, until they are golden brown. 
  • Remove the onions from the oil and set to the side to drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray a 1 ½-quart casserole dish with the gluten-free cooking spray.
  • Mix together the gluten-free cream of mushroom soup, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, milk and pepper until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the drained can of green beans to the casserole dish, and pour the soup mixture over the green beans.
  • Take 1 cup of gluten-free fried onions and add them to the top of the soup and gently mix in.
  • Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the gluten-free fried onions to the top of the casserole and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until bubbly and the casserole sides begin to brown.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Submitted by: John Graves, Forward Planning

It always seems like you’re eating leftovers from Thanksgiving for weeks to come, but with this broccoli cheese casserole, you’ll want to load up on it right away before it’s gone within the hour. 

3 heads of broccoli cut into florets (about 8 cups)
½ cup butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk or heavy cream
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black or white pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups crushed buttery crackers


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add broccoli florets to a large heavy-bottomed stock pot of boiling water, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes before draining and setting aside. 
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour until fully combined, then mix in the milk, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese. 
  • Reduce heat to simmer and continue whisking until the sauce simmers slightly at the edges and has thickened. Then stir in the sour cream. 
  • Arrange the broccoli in the casserole dish and pour the cream sauce over the broccoli. 
  • Add the cheddar cheese and crushed crackers to the top of the casserole. 
  • Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes.

Whiskey Glazed Sweet Potatoes

When you’re in the mood for something sweet and savory, this sweet potato dish is just what you need. 

Submitted by: Darren Trimble, Superintendent 

3 pounds sweet potatoes (roughly 4 large potatoes)
1 cup pecans
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for preparing the baking dish
¾ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup whiskey
2 cups crisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch slices


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and cook them whole. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour.
  • Lightly squeeze the potatoes. If they are soft, they’re done. Set aside to let cool.
  • In a small sauté pan over high heat, add the pecans and lightly cook. Add in 4 tablespoons of butter, reduce the heat to medium, and add in the maple syrup and spices. Allow to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes before adding in the whiskey. Continue to let simmer for a few minutes. 
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into ½ inch thick slices. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8x8 inch baking dish.
  • Add in the sweet potatoes and apples, alternating between the two, and then pour the whiskey-pecan mixture over the top and place the pan in the oven. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Lefse—Norwegian Soft Flat Bread

A lot of families have their own holiday traditions, but it’s always an incredible experience to have all of your loved ones together in the kitchen making homemade bread and catching up. 

Submitted by:  Michelle Branley, Chief Operations Officer

8 cups mashed potatoes
6 tablespoons canned milk
½ cup oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons sugar
2 cups of flour


  • Over heat, mix the mashed potatoes, canned milk, oil, salt and sugar together. Once thoroughly mixed, allow to cool. 
  • Once the mixture is cool, add in 2 cups of flour.
  • Roll and bake on low heat.

Easy Cranberry Orange Relish

No matter what else is being served at your Thanksgiving—this cranberry orange relish is a necessity.

Submitted by: Benjamin Paulus, CEO

1 navel orange
1 (12 once) package fresh cranberries
½ cup white sugar
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Grate 2 teaspoons of zest from orange—discard the remaining orange peel and pith from orange. 
  • Divide orange into sections.
  • Place orange sections, orange zest, cranberries, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and mix until finely chopped. 
  • Add the mixture into a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. 

Pumpkin Pie

After you’ve gone through the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and other sides that are lining your dining room table, there’s still always room for pie. 

Submitted by: Chas Peterson, Acquisitions & Entitlement

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. 
  • Whisk the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt together until smooth. 
  • Pour into the crust and bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until you insert a knife 1 inch from the crust and it comes out clean.

No-Bake Oreo Pie

Although pumpkin and pecan pies are classic staples in a Thanksgiving meal, sometimes, they don’t hit the mark with everyone—that’s where this no-bake oreo pie comes in.

Submitted by: Kali Youngdahl, CPA, Financial Analyst

39 Oreo cookies (standard Oreo cookie package comes with 39 cookies)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
16 ounces cool whip


  • Add 24 Oreos to a food processor or blender and grind into fine crumbs.
  • Mix the Oreo crumbs with the melted butter, and pour the mixture into a 9” pie dish—pressing an even layer on the bottom and up the sides. 
  • Place the crust into the refrigerator.
  • Add 12 Oreos to a food processor or blender and grind into fine crumbs. 
  • Add the crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in 8 ounces of Cool Whip.
  • Spoon the filing into the Oreo pie crust and smooth the top. 
  • Add the remaining Cool Whip to the top of the Oreo filling and smooth it out.
  • Crush up 3 Oreos to sprinkle over the top of the pie.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

With all of these tasty dishes to make for the holidays and the endless amount of family and friends to entertain, you may be thinking that now is the time to start looking for a new home with plenty of space. At Blue Fern, our expertly crafted kitchens are perfect for cooking holiday meals while our open floor plan living space designs make it easy to enjoy everyone’s company whether you’re helping prepare the meal, or lounging in the living room waiting to dig in. 

If you want to be in your dream home when the holiday season comes back around next year, give us a call at (206) 319-9681 or contact us online

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