Grazing with Gary

Tasty sides you'll give thanks for

By: Gary Gilligan
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Happy Thanksgiving! Today I hope you have a great day watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, watching football and eating great food. Just in case you are looking for some side dish ideas for last minute, here is some help.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon


  • 3 pounds medium Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons mandarin olive oil
  • 8 thick slices bacon (about 8 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon mandarin orange zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Trim the bottom end of the Brussels sprouts, leaving the core intact, and pull off the outer dark leaves. Halve through the core. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. (This can be done a day ahead.)
  2. Meanwhile, put the oil and bacon in a very large skillet or stewpot, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until they brown and the edges get crisp, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, mandarin zest salt, pepper, and bacon. Serve warm.


Homemade Cranberry Sauce


  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup mandarin juice
  • 1 mandarin zested



Empty a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries into a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup sugar, zest of one mandarin and 1 cup mandarin juice to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes.