Ask JohnHart: Delicious Thanksgiving Dishes

A photo collage of employees and real estate agents from JohnHart Real Estate

Ask JohnHart is a recurring piece, cooked up by yours truly, that peels back the curtain of this second family of mine to showcase the personality of the people of this real estate company. I want to give our readers and visitors to our website a behind-the-scenes look at the people of JohnHart. From our agents to our staff members, the people of JohnHart are great, varied, and spread across 9 different offices in the Los Angeles area. 

First up, Thanksgiving. That time of the year when families and friends gather to eat, drink, and be merry. Whether you’re dreaming about a day full of football on the couch or bustling about the kitchen whipping up delicious food — Turkey Day is beautiful American holiday, a veritable food fiesta. Here are some of the favorite dishes (appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts), as chosen by the people of JohnHart. Enjoy!


Perfect Thanksgiving Manhattan
by Marc Gross

A Manhattan cocktail, garnished with a luxardo cherry
Perfect Thanksgiving Manhattan

The holidays can be stressful for any number of reasons. This simple-to-build classic will keep you warm and fuzzy and ready to deal with the “craziest of the crazy uncles” in any circumstance. This drink really epitomizes the holidays for me. I remember my step dad mixing them for his parents and teaching me how to do it so he could get back to the turkey. Later in life, it became a source of bonding among my brothers and I when I would visit home for the holidays. It really will keep you warm on those cold NYC nights in November & December. After a few, the laughs start coming a little easier, the smiles grow wider, and the spirits work their magic.

(Email to discover how Marc crafts this delectable drink!)


Turkey Bacon Deviled Eggs
by Chrissy Rodriguez

A close-up of turkey bacon deviled eggs, garnished beautifully with chives and cayenne pepper
Turkey Bacon Deviled Eggs

Those who know me say I can be a little “extra,” so this is my holiday all time classic with the “extra” twist! Classic recipe topped with shredded cheese and turkey bacon, drizzled with sour cream, and garnished with a sprinkle of chives and cayenne pepper. Devilishly delicious. Happy holidays! 🙂

(Email to learn more about this tasty treat)

by Amanda Pndlyan 

Julienne in a serving platter with a spoon elevating the cheesy deliciousness inside.

This traditional appetizer dish in my family is called Julienne. This has been my favorite since I was a kid, since I am a cheese lover. In my family, we make it without onions because I am severely allergic (don’t get any ideas). It’s a warm dish that almost anyone can love and enjoy. It’s simple yet very hearty. In my eyes, you can never go wrong with Julienne.

(Email to uncover this positively scrumptious appetizer)



Arroz con Pollo
by Dorian Zuleta

A large pan full of arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), and a spoon to serve it.
Arroz con Pollo

My favorite family dish that brings back great memories is Arroz con Pollo, which translates to rice with chicken. Every country has a variation of this dish but in my opinion, us Colombians make it the best. As a kid I remember sitting there and picking out the vegetables  so I could just eat the rice and chicken.

(Email for more details on this tantalizing meal)

Shepherd’s Pie
by Patricia Sarkisyan

A delicious serving of a classic Irish dish
Shepherd’s Pie

My shepherd’s pie is the reason my loved ones show up for Thanksgiving (sorry momma, your turkey is great too). No recipe at all, I follow my heart and add in different layers of ingredients every year. No two years have been alike. We hardly ever have leftovers, because it’s just that scrumptious.

(Email to get more insights into her popular delight)

Kerala Appam and Chicken Stew
by Tessy Thomas

A Kerala Appam pancake is paired with traditional Indian Chicken Stew for a hearty meal made typically for Easter and Christmas.
Kerala Appam and Chicken Stew

This is a traditional dish usually made for Easter and Christmas in the state of Kerala in India. The origin of this dish is said to be British, but has been improvised over the years with our staple ingredient, coconut milk. This is like soul food for me every time I go back to see family. So what better dish to serve when spending time with friends who are like family!

(Email to learn all the ins and out of making this delicious dish)

Smoked Pork Ribs
by Derrick Cabrera


Multiple racks of smoked pork ribs, ready to eat off the cutting board.
Smoked Pork Ribs

I’m not a turkey guy however; I love a good meal just as much as the next person. My favorite meal for the Thanksgiving holiday is smoked pork ribs hot off the smoker or some good braised beef ribs with garlic mash potatoes.

(Email to discover how Derrick smokes the perfect rib)

Side Dishes

Fresh Corn
by Cyndi Lesinski 

Multiple ears of corn, with butter melting on top
Fresh Corn

Our favorite dish is Fresh Corn. My extended family in Pennsylvania harvests corn every year. They painstakingly cut it down, husk it, cut the corn off the cob, bag it and freeze it. We then have bags earmarked for the special holidays so that we can have this delicious side dish!

(Email to learn more about her family’s corn haul)

Cheesy Potato Casserole
by Selvy Buchanan

Cheesy potato casserole, topped with corn flakes and ready for serving in a hot bowl
Cheesy Potato Casserole

Want to add something different to your Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner?! Look no further than a Cheesy Potato Casserole with Corn Flakes! This is one of the very first dishes I ever learned to make, so it holds a special place in my heart and for my family. It’s a dish that’s unique and delicious! 

(Email to get all the insider tips on this tasty side dish)

This Ain’t Your Mama’s Cranberry Sauce
by Lindsey Wallace

A tangy cranberry sauce topped with a lemon garnish, placed near the Thanksgiving turkey
This Ain’t Your Mama’s Cranberry Sauce

My family has never been big on Thanksgiving. But I have always been a Friends-giving fanatic. Since I moved across the country by myself, far from the comforts of home, I’ve created my own holiday tradition with friends. Nothing beats a nice apple-cider mimosa and a Thanksgiving potluck with all of my fellow Los Angeles transplants.

My favorite contribution every year has been my Patron infused Cranberry Sauce. It’s sweet, tangy and includes a nice citrus twist.

The recipe includes fresh cranberries, Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur, water, a disgusting amount of sugar, a dash of fresh lemon juice, topped with lemon zest.

A saucy recipe from a saucy lady. Enjoy.

(Email to learn all the ins and outs of her eye-opening dish)

Creamed Corn
by Sevana Grigor

A warm bowl of rich creamed corn, complete with serving spoon
Creamed Corn

My family is a super fan of my creamed corn! Easy and quick to prepare, especially when using a crock-pot. It is rich, creamy and flavorful!  Simply delicious, and everyone reaches for seconds.

(Email to ask her how she creates this supremely yummy side dish)


S’mores Pie
by Nairy Bruer

A piping hot S'mores Pie, positively oozing with gooey deliciousness
S’mores Pie

My brothers and I were never in scouts and never went camping growing up. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learned what s’mores were — the interactive element of putting your food over an open fire felt so organic, natural, and cool. S’mores have easily become one of my favorite desserts, and throughout the years I have incorporated the yummy flavors of graham crackers, chocolate, and the smoky flavor of toasted marshmallows into a pie that we can all enjoy on Thanksgiving. Everyone loves this delectable pie, even picky eaters. After all, what’s not to love?

(Email yours truly to find out more about this sumptuous dessert! I’ll be sure to send it on to my better half)

Maple Pumpkin Pie
by Izabell Manukyan                                                                        

A pumpkin pie infused with maple and topped with crust cut-outs in maple leaf shapes
Maple Pumpkin Pie

This is my favorite classic desert hands down. You can never go wrong with Maple Pumpkin Pie because it comes out perfect every time. We love it so much that I make it year round, not just during the holidays! That is, when I’m not too busy showing property, of course.

(Email to get the inside scoop on this rich dessert)

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
by Linda Ojeda

Two large pumpkin pie cheescakes, joined by three individual pumpkin pie cheesecakes
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Our family’s tradition is to make pumpkin pie cheesecake… It’s so velvety and yummy sweet, but not too sweet! My sisters, and daughters have been baking it for the past 10 years. We even get orders from other family members and friends 🙂 As you can see we also make individual pies!

(Email to learn more about this succulent dessert)

Website | + posts

Michael Bruer is a Los Angeles native, and serves as the Social Content Creator at JohnHart Real Estate. Michael received his Bachelor's Degree in English from Saint Mary's College, and has spent the last 10 years honing his skills in Copywriting, Social Media Management, and SEO best practices. He is an avid fan of basketball, soccer, and college football, and even captained an improv team for a couple of years!

About Michael Bruer

Michael Bruer is a Los Angeles native, and serves as the Social Content Creator at JohnHart Real Estate. Michael received his Bachelor's Degree in English from Saint Mary's College, and has spent the last 10 years honing his skills in Copywriting, Social Media Management, and SEO best practices. He is an avid fan of basketball, soccer, and college football, and even captained an improv team for a couple of years!


If you are what you eat, then we’re getting to know some flavorful personalities at JohnHart. Makes you think they could “wamp up” some pretty attractive, and even deliciously creative homes too! Thanks!

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