Thanksgiving Talk: Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes


Elise Bauer. [Photograph: Ree Drummond]


Mama Bauer's turkey stuffing. [Photograph: Elise Bauer]

We are longtime fans of the recipes and want-to-eat-the-computer-screen photography by Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes. She took the time to chat with us about her Thanksgiving plans this year—which will, absolutely not, involve the green bean casserole with fried onions.

Where are you feasting? At my mom and dad's house in Carmichael, California, with all of my siblings—there are six of us kids. We like to keep it really simple. Thanksgiving is not a time for experimentation. There's enough chaos and stress with all the family showing up, we want the actual meal to be as easy as possible.

What's on the menu? Any family recipes that reappear every year? My grandmother's stuffing recipe. She wasn't known for her cooking but she did a few things right. This one we do every year. We call it "stuffing" even though we prepare ours in a separate casserole pan—it's easier and safer that way. To get the turkey flavor, we use stock from the giblets and one of the secret ingredients? Olives.

Thoughts on cranberries. We are a very pro-cranberry family, especially my father. We never use the canned stuff though. There's no point when it's actually cranberry season. We do two cranberry dishes. One raw relish with apples and oranges (great on leftover sandwiches the next day) and of course the plain ol' sauce.


Green Beans with almonds and thyme. [Photograph: Elise Bauer]

And the green beans? This is actually one of my favorite recipes. I got it from my friend Heidi. We've got a whole bunch of beans growing in my parent's backyard garden. I cook them until their crisp-tender with Dijon mustard, garlic salt, fresh thyme, and lightly toasted almonds.

No crispy fried onions on top? Oh, no. I've never actually had those. In fact, I'm scared...mortified...appalled that anyone would. I don't understand it. They actually don't sound remotely appetizing.


Sour Cream Apple Pie with Streusel Topping. [Photograph: Elise Bauer]

And for dessert? We always have a cran-apple pie. My father just loves cranberries. I must have about three different recipes for it on the site now—finally I told him, that's enough. We make it with our own Granny Smith apples growing in the backyard. There are three trees, fifteen different varieties. My favorite pie though is a sour cream apple pie, a recipe from my mom's friend. I'd opt for that over pumpkin.

Favorite way to eat leftovers? My mom's turkey soup. She gets it started at the end of dinner. While we're doing the dishes she's putting the bones in a pot to let simmer on low for hours. We enjoy it for days.

Elise Bauer's Thanksgiving Menu

Mom's Turkey Stuffing
Raw Cranberry Relish
Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme
Sour Cream Apple Pie with Streusel Topping
Mom's Turkey Soup