The Recipe Gals: A Thanksgiving classic with a twist — and sweets aplenty

Well, here we are folks. Another Thanksgiving is upon us.

We all say we can’t believe it is here already and where did the time go? Especially during this most difficult and trying time in 2020.

We must keep our spirits up and try to have a Thanksgiving that we all can enjoy.

I have a couple of simple recipes just for the upcoming holiday.

Pumpkin dip

1 15 ounce can pumpkin

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese ( softened)

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

Mix all the above ingredients together and place in a holiday bowl. Serve with ginger snap cookies, sliced apples or sliced pears. This makes a great starter or dessert, whichever you prefer.

Hint: This is a gluten-free recipe. You can replace the regular ginger snaps with gluten free ones.

-Pam Rolley

This sticky bun recipe is easy and delicious — and a family favorite.

Sticky buns

1 1/2 cup walnut or pecan pieces

24 frozen yeast rolls

1 4.6 ounce box cook and serve vanilla pudding mix

1 stick butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoon milk


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.

Chopped nuts and sprinkle in the bottom of the pan.

Melt butter in a saucepan, add the brown sugar, box of pudding mix, two tablespoons milk, bring to a boil. Pour the sauce over the nuts in the prepared pan.

Cut each thawed individual roll dough into 3 pieces and roll into balls, equally spaced, six across and 12 down over cooled sauce in pan.

Sprinkle cinnamon over rolls. Cover rolls with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Let rise overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 mins.

Place a platter or serving tray on top of the pan and flip over to turn the sticky buns out upside down. Now they are actually right side up.

Time to dig in! Eat and enjoy!

-Karen Sick

This whipped cheesecake recipe is quick and easy to prepare for any occasion.

Whipped cheesecake with pistachio crust

Pistachio crust:

1 cup roasted pistachios

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Pinch kosher salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter


1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup heavy cream


2 cups fresh raspberries

1/4 cup granulated sugar

juice from 1 lemon

For the pistachio crust: Blend the pistachios, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Distribute the mixture among 6 to 8 serving glasses, then use a muddler or the back of a spoon to pack it down firmly. Set aside while you make the filling.

For the cheesecake: Beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until smooth. Beat in the vanilla, almond extract and salt, then add the yogurt. Beat on high until combined and smooth, a few seconds. Add the heavy cream and beat on high until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about another minute. Distribute the mixture among the serving glasses over the pistachio crust, then chill for 1 hour or up to overnight.

For the raspberries: Add 1 cup raspberries to a medium bowl along with the granulated sugar and lemon juice. Muddle slightly with the back of a wooden spoon or muddler, then add the remaining raspberries and mix to combine. Allow to sit for 30 minutes for a juicy sauce or serve immediately. Spoon 2 tablespoons over each cheesecake and serve.

-Karen Sick

Green bean casserole with crispy shallots

1/4 cup olive oil

6 medium shallots, sliced into rings ( about 1 cup)

1 1/2 pounds thin fresh string beans or you can use the petite frozen beans and thaw

1 pound button mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced or you can use the jarred minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried

3 cups milk of your choice

3 tablespoons flour

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1/4 cup shallots and cook, stirring until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining shallots, cooking 1/4 cup at a time. Reserve oil in the skillet.

Place the green beans in a steamer basket fitted over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until bright green and still crisp, about 3 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved shallot oil in a large, deep, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom liquid is evaporated and they begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl.

Whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the mixture to the skillet and whisking constantly, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green beans, mushroom mixture, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Spoon the green bean mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle top with the crispy shallots and the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake until golden on top and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Hint: This can be a gluten free recipe just swap out the flour. Once you make this green bean casserole from scratch you will never go back. It tastes so fresh and delicious.

I hope you enjoy these recipes over your Thanksgiving holiday. It is always nice to add a new dish or revamp an old one each year. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

-Pam Rolley

The Recipe Gals, Pam Rolley and Karen Sick, together have more than 60 years’ experience as nutritionists in the public school and university settings. You’ll find their delicious offerings every other week in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette’s section, The Taste.


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