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by Caitlin Saniga

These meatballs were super tender and juicy, and the sauce was to die for. I served mine on a bed of big basil leaves. Overkill, perhaps. But I'm in summer withdrawal.

These meatballs were super tender and juicy, and the sauce was to die for. I served mine on a bed of big basil leaves. Overkill, perhaps. But I’m in summer withdrawal.

(more…)

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Every family has its staples and traditions at Thanksgiving, and that’s part of what makes the holiday great. But every once in a while, it’s not just the bread for stuffing that gets stale. If you’re looking for some inspiration for a new dish or two, try our guide! We collected some of our favorite recipes from the past few years.

Should you try any of these recipes, please let us know. We would love to hear that we gained a spot at your Thanksgiving table.

— Sarah and Caitlin

Staples

Ideas for Thanksgiving basics: stuffing and turkey.

Ideas for Thanksgiving basics: stuffing and turkey.

Green beans

Our green bean recipes include a fresh take on a canned classic.

Our green bean recipes include a fresh take on a canned classic.

Potatoes

Roast 'em, mash 'em, boil 'em. Whatever you do — eat your potatoes.

Roast ’em, mash ’em, boil ’em. Whatever you do — eat your potatoes.

Carrots

Carrots at Thanksgiving? Helps to make sure your eyesight is perfect for watching the football game.

Carrots at Thanksgiving? Helps to make sure your eyesight is perfect for watching the football game.

Sweet potatoes

The only thing that could be better than a regular potato — is a sweet potato.

The only thing that could be better than a regular potato — is a sweet potato.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels have become a popular Thanksgiving side, so make some room for the little cabbages.

Brussels have become a popular Thanksgiving side, so make some room for the little cabbages.

Cranberry sauce

Sure, the stuff in the can ain't bad — if you don't mind seeing the can rings on your food (but really, we wouldn't judge).

Sure, the stuff in the can ain’t bad — if you don’t mind seeing the can rings on your food (but really, we wouldn’t judge).

Rolls and biscuits

Hey, it's Thanksgiving — the more starch the better.

Hey, it’s Thanksgiving — the more starch the better.

Beverages

You've got a long day ahead — and we all know what could help speed it up.

You’ve got a long day ahead — and we all know what could help speed it up.

Pie

And to wrap it all up: the fabulous pies.

And to wrap it all up: the fabulous pies.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Any time company comes to visit, I try to squeeze in a trip to Euro Bakery for some fresh, hot burek. It’s impressive to watch baker Bari Sinani prepare the pastries, and the burek, like this pepperoni and mozzarella version, is to die for. Heck, I don’t need visitors for an excuse to stop by Euro Bakery. I go somewhat regularly for lunch or on Saturdays during my trip to the Roanoke farmers market, which is across the street.

Bari and Elizabeta Sinani own and operate Euro Bakery in Roanoke. On most days, you can spot their young son curled up in the back of the kitchen, watching TV from a folding chair. Bari, who was born in Macedonia, owned a bakery in Serbia. In 2000, he and Elizabeta, of Bosnia, moved to Roanoke. The couple opened the original Euro Bakery in 2010. You can read more about the Sinanis and their business in this Roanoke Times article from 2010.

I visited: Euro Bakery, a vendor inside the City Market Building in downtown Roanoke, Va., that specializes in Middle-European baked goods. Most notable is the selection of burek, rolled pastries made from fresh-tossed phyllo dough and filled with an assortment of goodies, including beef and onion, spinach and cheese, and my new favorite: pepperoni and mozzarella. Also available is a selection of baked goods such as braided breads, pretzels, crescent rolls, dark chocolate-filled rolls, baklava and tiramisu.

Elizabeta uses a rocking knife to cut burek into bite-size pieces.

I tried: This time, I had the pepperoni and mozzarella burek with marinara dipping sauce. But I’ve also tried and have been a fan of just about every type of burek they serve, including many of the specials.

Why it stood out: Bari Sinani, owner and baker at Euro Bakery, makes his own phyllo dough. Each pastry starts out as a small disc of dough that he works into a fine sheet by pressing out onto a flat surface with buttered hands and then lifting and tossing in the air. It’s an eye-catching spectacle. He says many people who prepare and sell burek, even in Turkey where it originates, use frozen dough. His burek is special because everything is fresh and it’s always served hot from the oven, so it’s totally crispy and flaky.

Bari tosses some fresh phyllo dough before rolling it full of beef and onions.

It cost: $5.50

Find out more:
Euro Bakery
32 Market Sqaure S.E.
Roanoke, VA 24011
540-344-0460
Euro Bakery on Facebook

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried. Help our map grow by submitting your own review. Find out how!

Euro Bakery on Urbanspoon

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by Caitlin Saniga

This time of year, my family’s usually having some sort of get-together. Whether it’s my brother’s birthday, Fourth of July or visits from out-of-town relatives, we’ve got plenty of reasons to celebrate. And we tend to gather outside at a park or the picnic shelter down by the pond at my house. Slowly but surely, carloads of relatives show up, unloading a cooler of this or a glass Pyrex dish of that. This meatball recipe would be a hit at one of these events. Prepare the meatballs ahead of time, and bring them along to the party, keeping them warm in a plugged-in slow cooker. They’ll be gone before they have time to cool off anyway.

For the meatballs:

  • 3/4 pound lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup panko

For sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice, drained

Lining the baking sheet with parchment makes for easy cleanup.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the meatballs, use your hands to combine all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until just incorporated. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 20 minutes or until golden and cooked all the way through.

See what I mean?

In the meantime, combine the ketchup, syrup, soy sauce, tapioca, allspice and mustard in the bowl of a large slow cooker. Stir the mixture together. Carefully add the pineapple chunks and meatballs, coating them in the sauce.

Cover the slow cooker with a lid, and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Serve with toothpicks.

Makes about 24 meatballs.

Meatballs recipe adapted from: Alton Brown
Slow cooker recipe adapted from: Crock-Pot Cookbook

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by Caitlin Saniga

This meatloaf is delicious served with salsa and sour cream, too.

  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 14.5-ounce can beef broth
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 pound uncooked ground turkey
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup picante sauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed popcorn
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomato, sliced green onion, salsa and sour cream, for serving

In a saucepan, cook the onion in hot oil over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the rice and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until rice is brown. Add broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in beans; cool slightly, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the turkey, corn, picante sauce, popcorn and seasoning. Stir the in the rice mixture. On the baking sheet, shape the turkey mixture into a 10″x5″ loaf. Bake for 1 1/4 hours to 1/12 hours, until an thermometer inserted near the center of the loaf registers 165 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, tomato and green onions, and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens

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by Caitlin Saniga

Part pot pie, part hot pastry pocket, this is the best way I've found to serve leftovers yet!

  • 1 prepackaged refrigerated pie crust dough (or Sarah’s crust dough recipe)
  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup shredded turkey
  • 2 tablespoons gravy
  • 1/2 cup broccoli (or another green vegetable such as spinach, kale, green beans or asparagus)
  • 1/2 cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make as many substitutions as you want in this recipe. Use what you have! But make sure to include at least one moist ingredient (cranberry sauce, gravy, Italian dressing, etc.).

Preheat the oven to to 425 degrees.

Use a pizza cutter to slice the chilled, flattened dough into halves, and use the cutter to lightly score each half in half again.

Divide the sweet potatoes between each piece of dough, using a spoon to spread them  over half of the piece, avoiding about 3/4″ of dough around the edges and the scored line. Divide the turkey, gravy, broccoli, and cheese between the dough pieces, and lightly season each with salt and pepper.

Carefully lift the unused half of dough over the fillings, and use your fingers to press the edges of dough layers together. Reinforce this by pressing the prongs of a fork along the edges. Use the fork to poke holes in the top layer of dough.

Place the pocket pies on an baking sheet and bake 15-18 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown.

Serve hot.

Makes 2.

Other filling ideas:

  • pumpkin pie filling with chocolate chips, pecans and toasted coconut flakes
  • stuffing, turkey and gravy
  • cranberry sauce with mandarin orange slices
  • roasted potatoes with green beans and carrots

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by Caitlin Saniga

Don’t even bother trying to cut this turkey with a knife. By the time it had cooked and I tried to lift it out of the slow cooker, the meat I was holding on to was so moist and soft that it fell away from the bone. I ended up using my hands to dismantle the turkey and pull it into thick, meaty shreds.

  • 1 6-pound bone-in turkey breast
  • 1 (1-ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix

I served this turkey for a small Thanksgiving gathering, and it was perfect for the group. There were three of us, and this made enough for dinner and lots of leftovers.

Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off any excess skin, but leave the skin covering the breast. Rub onion soup mix all over the exterior the turkey and under the skin.

In the bowl of a slow cooker, pour just enough water to cover the base. Place the turkey in the slow cooker. Cover, and cook on High for 1 hour, then set to Low, and cook for 7 hours.

Save the liquid from the bottom of the slow cooker! Use it to moisten up the turkey when you reheat it later or use it to make gravy.

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

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