Surviving the Thanksgiving Potluck: Tips for Travel Nurses

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

November 7, 2020



Surviving the Thanksgiving Potluck


5 easy crowd pleasing recipes

There’s nothing like a Thanksgiving potluck to bring families and a work crowd closer together. But as a travel nurse, it may also be a bit stressful for a busy person to find the perfect recipe. There’s no need to stress and raise your blood pressure, we found five super simple recipes you can bring to your thanksgiving potluck. Bon Appétit!

1.) Parsley-Herb Rice with Cranberries

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook 15 mins
Stand 5 mins

2 2/3 cups water
1 1/3 cups uncooked long grain or regular brown rice
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed, or 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon salt or 1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/2 cup walnut pieces

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, rice, butter, dried basil (if using), and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes for long grain rice (about 40 minutes for brown rice) or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in cranberries. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Stir fresh basil (if using), parsley, and walnuts into the cooked rice just before serving.

2.) Gingered Fruit Compote

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time 15 minutes
Chill 1 hour to 6 hours
Cook 5 minutes

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon snipped crystallized ginger
4 cups assorted fruit (such as sliced peeled kiwifruits, orange sections, chopped apples, sliced bananas, berries, and/or seedless grapes)

For syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, and ginger. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a small bowl; cool. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator about 1 hour or until cold.

In a large serving bowl, combine desired fruit. Pour chilled syrup over fruit; toss gently to coat. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours.

To serve, spoon fruit and syrup into dessert dishes.

3.) Pepper Jack Corn Casserole

Makes: 6 servings
Hands On 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr

1 egg
1-  15 1/4- ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1-  14 3/4- ounce can creamed corn
1 1/4 cups crushed rich rectangular or round crackers, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees . Butter a 2-quart au gratin or baking dish. In a medium bowl, beat egg slightly. Stir in whole kernel corn, creamed corn, 3/4 cup of the crushed crackers, 1 cup of the cheese, hot sauce and salt. Spread evenly in prepared baking dish.

In a bowl, stir together melted butter and remaining 1/2 cup crackers. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Sprinkle evenly over casserole. Bake about 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

4.) Cranberry-Apple Sweet Potatoes

Makes: 6 to 8 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Bake 25 minutes to 30 minutes

1- 21- ounce can apple pie filling
1- 40- ounce can cut sweet potatoes, drained and cut into chunks
3/4 cup whole cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Spread pie filling in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish (2-quart square). Arrange sweet potatoes over pie filling. In a small bowl, stir together the cranberry sauce, apricot preserves, and orange marmalade. Spoon over sweet potatoes.

Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. If you like, sprinkle with chopped pecans. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings

5.) Bacon-Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Makes: 10 to 12 servings
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook 20 minutes 

3 pounds russet, Yukon gold or red potatoes, peeled if desired and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup butter
1/2-3/4 cup milk, whipping cream, half-and-half or light cream
6 slices bacon, crumbled
6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, sliced
Melted butter (optional)

In a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, cook potatoes, covered, in enough lightly salted boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Return the hot, drained potatoes to the hot Dutch oven. Add the 1/4 cup butter. Let stand, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until hot but not boiling.

In a medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels; set aside.

Mash potatoes with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until light and fluffy. Stir in the warm milk, blue cheese, salt, and pepper. Gradually stir in additional milk to make potatoes desired creaminess. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and sliced green onion. If desired, serve drizzled with additional butter.

We hope that these recipes for your Thanksgiving potluck help you this season. Do you have a favorite recipe for Thanksgiving potlucks? Comment it below.

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