The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Students and Staff Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes


Photo by Kristina Stamper of her mother and children making their favorite Portuguese sweet bread for the holidays. 

As we wrap up the last day of classes before the Thanksgiving break, Signal reporters asked CSU Stanislaus students and staff to share their favorite recipes. The recipes vary from rich family traditions handed down through generations, to inspired dishes created by famous chefs. As the Stan State community prepares to give thanks on a holiday where food is front and center, you might find inspiration for your own holiday meals.  

Grandma’s Portuguese Sweet Bread

Kristina Stamper, director of communications and creative services, shares her Portuguese families sweet bread recipe. The recipe is special because it was handed down from her great grandmother. 
“There is a handwritten recipe from my great grandmother who immigrated here from the Azores in the 1930s,” she said. “We make it all together with several generations; my mom, me and my sister, and our kids. My mom is also a Stan State alumna, so she has a campus connection as well.”



  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 packets of yeast
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of salt
  • 2 dozen eggs, beaten in a bowl
  • 2 grated lemon peels
  • 2½ heaping cups of sugar
  • 1/2 lb butter, melted
  • 3½ heaping cups milk, warmed


  1. Knead
  2. Butter pan
  3. Let rise for six hours
  4. Punch down, place in pans
  5. Let rise for 30 to 90 minutes
  6. Bake 300° for 15 minutes
  7. Continue baking at 275° for 30 minutes


Rainbow Jello from Kansas

Natasha Mich (senior, Kinesiology) looks forward to an interesting dish that her family brings on Thanksgiving.
“I have an aunt from Kansas that makes this 10 layered, multicolored jello with cool whip on top and it’s just the tradition that she brings it,” she said. “It’s in a fancy clear dish and everything.” 

  • One box of each jello color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple
  • A large tub of cool whip

Prepare purple jello using the “quick chill” method, meaning add some ice:

  1. Pour jello into glasses, (or a 9’x13′ baking dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray), reserving about 1/3 of the liquid jello.
  2. Put dish in the refrigerator and chill for 15-30 minutes, or until slightly set. Mix about 1/3 cup of cool whip into the remaining purple jello.
  3. Pour the jello/cool whip mixture on top of the slightly set purple jello already in the dish.
  4. Repeat for each color and cool whip gets added to the top after the jello layers are stacked.


Garlic Bacon Green Beans

Sometimes a recipe doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated to be delicious. Irlanda Vela (senior, Business) shares her favorite side dish to help celebrate Thanksgiving.
“My favorite dish for Thanksgiving are garlic and bacon green beans!”
Vela explained the recipe is just one pound of fresh green beans, salt, one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of butter, six minced garlic cloves, seven bacon strips, and large hot pot of boiling water.

  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 6 minced garlic cloves
  • 7 bacon strips
  • A large hot pot of boiling water
  • Salt to taste

Juiciest Turkey Ever

Azizah Tohiet (senior, Communication Studies) swears by YouTube chef, Laura Vitale’s turkey. 
“It’s the juiciest turkey I’ve ever had,” she said. “Normally I never liked turkey because it’s dry, but this recipe makes it so juicy!”

  • ~17 pound turkey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 2 tablespoons each of Fresh Rosemary, Thyme and Sage, very finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Grated
  • 1 cup of Chicken Stock
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Veggies for stuffing the turkey and for the pan such as Carrots, Celery, Onion and Garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place roughly chopped veggies in the bottom of your roasting tray and coat with olive oil, mix and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine together the fresh chopped herbs, grated garlic, salt pepper and butter, mix until it’s all well combined.
  4. Rub the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey and on the outside.
  5. Place the turkey in the roasting pan on top of the veggies, pour the chicken stock around the edges, and roast for 2 hours.
  6. Remove from the oven and baste it well, cover with aluminum foil and cook for 1 and a half hours making sure to baste it every 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste it will one last time. Put it back in for 15 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey (between the thigh and breast) reaches 170 degrees when tested with a meat thermometer.
  7. Let it rest for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil and a kitchen towel before carving. Enjoy!

Not Your Basic Boxed Macaroni and Cheese

If you’re looking for a delicious and unique recipe for your Thanksgiving feast, look no further than Oscar Lopez’s (senior, History) macaroni and cheese recipe, which he says is packed with flavorful ingredients and topped with panko breading. He said it’s become a Thanksgiving staple for his family since the first time he cooked it. 

“I found this recipe a few years back and have been cooking it ever since,” he said. “The mac is the best thing I’ve ever tried. It is so creamy, cheesy, and if you cook it right, crispy.”



Breadcrumb Topping

  • 3/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbs Za’atar
  • 2 tsp Fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Pasta Portion

  • 3 cups Cheddar
  • 3 cups Gruyère
  • 1 lb Macaroni 
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk 


  1. Start by mixing your bread crumbs, za’atar, and fresh chopped thyme. Mix all together until combined and mix in your melted unsalted butter. 
  2. In a second bowl mix your shredded cheddar and gruyere. 
  3. In a large pot, boil your pasta just before al dente, strain, and set aside. 
  4. In the same saucepan, melt your butter over medium heat and add your flour. 
  5. Cook for 45 seconds and then slowly whisk in your milk until it begins to thicken.
  6. Add 4 cups of the cheese mixture making sure to save the leftover. Stir until sauce forms and add back in your pasta. 
  7. In a baking dish, pour in half your mac and cheese, add your remaining cheese mixture, put the other half of mac and cheese on top, put more cheese, and place bread crumbs
  8. Place it into the oven set to 350 for 25 minutes. 


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Students and Staff Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes