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It's Not Too Late to Make a Thanksgiving Dessert

by Kara Kimbrough

Christmas decorations have been up for days, and carols are buzzing in our ears like mosquitoes. Therefore, it’s understandable if Thanksgiving has slipped up on you. Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is Thursday. If a Rockwellian Thanksgiving feast is on your agenda, there’s only one thing to do, and that’s jump right in on the last-minute, make-or-break Thanksgiving meal details.

First, there’s the main draw. According to Butterball, most people don't think about their Thanksgiving turkey until about five days before. If you’re one of the procrastinators, you can still get the big bird on the table by noon tomorrow. Simply follow the advice of Quail Ridge Press editors, who've published hundreds of cookbooks.

According to the seasoned cooks, simple bake the turkey the night before for an hour at 500 degrees F, turn the oven off, leave the turkey in and go to bed. On Thanksgiving, it will be falling off the bone and delicious. Not quite as pretty, but foolproof, moist, and tasty.

Procrastination seems to be a common problem, so it’s no surprise that Yahoo reports the top Thanksgiving recipe search is for "easy Thanksgiving recipes." Here’s one of my own side dish recipes that can be thrown together in mere minutes when extra guests show up for dinner.

To make Easy Corn Casserole, cook a 10-ounce package of Zatarains’ Yellow Rice Mix according to package directions. Add a stick of butter to the hot rice and mix until melted. Stir in an 8-ounce can of Mexicorn and a can of cream of chicken soup. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish, top with a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. You’ll have a delicious side dish that’ll feed a lot of hungry pilgrims.

Last, I really wanted to recreate Martha Stewart’s cranberry apple walnut pie topped with 65 handmade dough leaves. Since time is short, the leaves will have to wait until next year. Instead, I’m making a cranberry cheesecake and a new pecan pie recipe I found on TikTok. Believe it or not, the social media site famous for other reasons is filled with interesting, unique recipes and how-to videos for everything under the sun.

If either of my two desserts sound too labor-intensive, try this quick pie recipe from Ocean Spray. I’ve long been a fan of whole berry cranberry sauce and wasn’t surprised to learn the company has a list of delicious-sounding recipes on its website. Ocean Spray’s cranberry mallow pie is so pretty and delicious, it’ll summon the spirit of Norman Rockwell to your Thanksgiving table.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Mallow Pie


- 32 large marshmallows or 3 cups miniature marshmallows

- 1 (14-ounce) can Ocean Spray® Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

- 1 cup chilled whipping cream

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1 (6-ounce) pre-made vanilla wafer or graham cracker crust

Combine marshmallows and cranberry sauce in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, just until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes.

Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, about one hour or until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. Beat whipping cream and vanilla in a small mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir cranberry mixture until blended; fold gently into whipped cream. Pour into crust.

Chill until set, at least 5 hours.

For a cool treat on a hot day, try freezing the Cranberry Mallow Pie until firm.

To serve, garnish slices with additional sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

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