KWQC family Thanksgiving recipes

QUAD CITIES (KWQC) — There are so many things that make Thanksgiving a great holiday, but the biggest has to be the food. With so many tasty dishes to choose from, we asked the KWQC staff to share their favorite recipes.

Bethany Dell

(Photo: Flickr - adinaplus)
(Photo: Flickr – adinaplus)

Reporter Bethany Dell says her favorite Thanksgiving dish is Cream Corn Casserole. With six ingredients and a simple preparation, this is a dish that’s sure to please.

Bethany’s recipe from serves eight and takes under an hour to cook.

Kevin Phelps

Meteorologist Kevin Phelps shared his favorite Thanksgiving fare, Chorizo Jalapeño Cornbread Dressing. This spicy alternative to the traditional turkey stuffer will bring a little heat to the festive table.

(Photo: Flickr – Daniel X. O’Neil)

This recipe from adds the flavors of Mexico to a traditional cornbread dressing with jalapeño pepper, chorizo sausage, cheese, red bell pepper and cilantro. It serves 12 and takes about two hours to prepare.

Gary Metivier

Evening news anchor Gary Metivier shared his recipe for the centerpiece of many Thanksgiving tables, the turkey. Gary cooks his turkey in a smoker/cooker. He brines it overnight the night before and uses a dry rub before he cooks it. Cooking time varies, depending on the size of your bird.

Turkey before cooking
Turkey before cooking

Brine (near boil for 5 minutes)
4 cups water
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1/3 cup white or brown sugar
1 tbs Garlic Powder
1 tbs Onion Powder
I’ll rinse it off, use paper towels to pat dry and then add dry rub.

Cooked Metivier family turkey.
Cooked Metivier family turkey.

Dry Rub:
6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika
3 tablespoons chili powder
Up to 1 tablespoon ground red pepper (if you like things quite hot) or to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
Up to 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coffee ground

I sometimes add other ingredients like dried orange peel and cinnamon. I will then cook it at 225-250 for 10 hours using a mix of cherry and hickory woods added at various times to infuse the meet with flavor. A pan of water underneath with cherry or apple juice should keep the meat from drying out. Also tossed in a halved orange and apple.

Morgan Ottier

(Photo: Flickr - mando flores)
(Photo: Flickr – mando flores)

Quad Cities Today anchor Morgan Ottier shared a classic recipe she’s thankful for this time of year, Mac and Cheese!

1. Bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Add Macaroni; cook 7 to 8 min. or until tender, stirring occasionally.
2. Drain. (Do not rinse.) Return macaroni to pan.
3. Add margarine, milk and Cheese Mix; mix well.

***Add cut up hot dogs for some extra holiday fun

Thanks Morgan!

Bailey Deitz

Photo: Bailey Deitz

Weekend anchor and reporter Bailey Deitz shared a sweet Thanksgiving treat that I’m sure a lot of people are going to want to try, Mini Pumpkin Pies!

Bailey calls it “a new twist on the traditional favorite, with mini versions! And, hello portion control!”

You need a 4-inch round cookie cutter (or bowl as a template) and a muffin tin. One box of 2 pie crusts gives you enough dough for 12 mini pies with pastry leaves (rerolling the scraps). Spray your muffin tin with cooking spray then place your circles of dough in and fill to the top with your pie filling. You can use the recipe on the back of the can of pumpkin, adjusting the baking time for mini pies. (I like to substitute Pumpkin Pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves).

Photo: Bailey Deitz

1 package refrigerated pie crusts
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Mix pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl until smooth. Pour into pastry lined muffin cups to the top. Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake 20 – 25 minutes longer or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool 30 minutes in pan and remove to wire rack to cool for another hour for pumpkin filling to set completely.
Top with whipped cream if you like. Enjoy!

Try them with cherry pie filling too!

Gabriella Rusk

Sports/News Video Journalist Gabriella Rusk shared another sweet Thanksgiving treat. She says dessert is her absolute favorite part of the holiday feast! And Gabriella’s Caramel Brownies definitely fit the bill.

I learned how to make these when I was 12 and have made them ever since.

Photo: Gabriella Rusk

2/3 C evaporated milk
1 PKG German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 PKG of Kraft carmels
3/4 C melted butter
12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Melt carmels and 1/3 C evaporated milk.
2. Combine cake mix, melted butter, and 1/3 C evaporated milk.
3. Press half of the dough in a pan and bake at 350 F for 6-8 minutes.
4. Sprinkle chocolate chips, pour melted carmels, crumble remaining bits of dough.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
6. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Sharon Derycke

Here is my Thanksgiving Day recipe. I’ve been making it for years and my kids LOVE it. It’s kind of a pecan, pumpkin pie combo.

Pumpkin Pie Crunch

1 box yellow cake mix
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter
Whipped topping

(Photo: Flickr - Karen Breen-Bondie)
(Photo: Flickr – Karen Breen-Bondie)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13×9 pan. Combine pumpkin, evap milk, eggs, sugar, salt and pie spice. Mix well and pour into 13×9 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Top with chopped pecans. Melt butter and drizzle over cake mix and pecans. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. Cool and garnish with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers.

Marcia Lense

News at Noon anchor and web producer Marcia Lense first enjoyed this recipe during an interview with a specialist from the University of Illinois Extension Service on healthful holiday eating. This crustless pumpkin pie recipe offers all the delight of regular pumpkin pie, but without all the guilt. Only 100 calories per slice! It has the same ingredients as traditional pumpkin pie, but by using cooking spray, the pie forms in the pan.

Guiltless Pumpkin Pie

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