PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — KOIN 6 News wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving. To show thanks, the KOIN 6 News team is sharing some of our favorite family recipes, which we hope will bring a little extra joy to your tables this holiday season.

Dan Tilkin: Vanilla Pudding Pumpkin Pie

Dan presents a holiday favorite for the Tilkin household. | KOIN 6

“There will likely be leftover mixture as the pudding increases the volume,” Tilkin said. “It’s fun to make little tarts with it.”


  • Pumpkin pie filling of your choice
  • 1 box of Jell-O “cook and serve” vanilla pudding per pie
  • (Optional) Wine for drinking during the baking process. Snoop Dogg brand also optional


  • Follow a pumpkin pie recipe of your choice, but with the vanilla pudding added to the mixture.

Kelley Bayern: Grandma Pat’s 24-hour Salad

This salad is one that was always on the dinner table at every holiday meal or family get-together,” Bayern said. “It’s always a crowd favorite.”


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small head raw cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
  • 8 ounces frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup cut green onions
  • 6 ounces Swiss cheese, cut in small pieces
  • 1 pound diced bacon, fried and crisped/crumbled
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (not the fancy stuff)


  • Layer ingredients in that order into a very large salad bowl
  • Spread mayo over the top of the bacon into a thin layer using a spatula
  • Sprinkle sugar over mayo
  • Top with parmesan cheese
  • Cover with lid/foil/or saran wrap and let sit overnight
  • Toss salad just before serving
Grandma Pat’s 24-hour salad as seen during the AM Extra 2021 Thanksgiving side-dish showdown. | KOIN 6

Emily Burris’ Sweet Potato Soufflé family recipe:

“I grew up eating this version of sweet potatoes instead of a dish with a marshmallow top. Is this an actual souffle? Technically, no,” Burris said. “Did we start calling it that because it sounds fancier than casserole? Probably, yes. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it to reduce the sugar a bit and add a few new flavors. It’s the closest thing to dessert on your Thanksgiving plate before you reach for the pies, and it tastes great reheated for breakfast the next morning!”

Filling ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (whole roasted potatoes preferred, canned yams optional)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or packed brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk 
  • 1/3 stick softened salted butter 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt) 

Topping ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/3 stick melted butter 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans 


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
  • Mix together filling ingredients and pour into a greased baking dish 
  • Mix together topping, pour onto filling 
  • Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbling and top is golden brown
Dinh’s family egg rolls, sliced and served over vermicelli, carrots and greens. | KOIN 6

Elizabeth Dinh: Mom’s Vietnamese Egg Rolls

Traditional Thanksgiving dinners are subject to family tradition. With both of her parents emigrating from Vietnam, Elizabeth said that her mom’s Vietnamese egg rolls are a family staple that she likes to make for any occasion.

Ingredients: (makes 50 egg rolls)

  • 2 (25 count) packages of spring roll wrappers
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 pound shredded carrots
  • 1 pound shredded taro
  • 1 pound shredded or chopped jicama
  • 2.6-ounce bag of bean thread vermicelli (1/2 bag)
  • 1/2 pound chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Moisten creases of raw shells with dabs of water
  • Fill shells and roll to the size of small hotdogs to avoid over or undercooking meat or overcooking rolls
  • Deep fry in oil at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown

Kat Flanigan: Dad’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Everyone has to start somewhere. The foundation for Digital Director Kat’s culinary skills started with a fundamental Thanksgiving dish from dad.

“When I was struggling with basically boiling water, he boiled it all down for me,” Kat said.


  • Red potatoes (about two to three medium-sized spuds per person).
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Desired amount of half-and-half or cream
  • 1 cup of Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • Salt and season to your liking (white or black pepper, oregano, basil etc.)
  • Chives


  • Clean thoroughly, but do not peel (the red skin provides interesting texture and color).
  • Cut potatoes into halves or thirds (using downward knife strokes on a cutting to avoid losing the end of your thumb).
  • Put the potato pieces in a large pot and cover with COLD water about 2 inches above the potatoes.  Add two teaspoons of salt to water. It’s important to start the cooking process cold so that the entire mass comes up to temperature evenly.
  • Bring to a boil. Boil until you can easily stick a fork in the potatoes – but not so long that the fork test breaks the potato into a million pieces.
  • Remove the potatoes when done and drain. Put it to the side. 
  • Rinse out the boiling pot a little, put back on the stove on low heat, and melt a whole stick of butter.  Press about five or six garlic cloves (not whole heads) into the butter and sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds to remove bitterness.
  • Add spices to your liking.  Don’t try to season too much, as the potatoes can speak very well for themselves, thank you.
  • Turn off the heat and put the potatoes back in the pot. Mash vigorously. 
  •  When the mixture is smooth – but still a little chunky – gradually dribble in half-and-half or cream. Continue churning, but less vigorously. Stop adding liquid when the mix is just a little runny.  Be very careful at this step, being mindful that the potatoes will thicken a little upon standing and with the addition of the next ingredient. 
  • Mash in about a cup of Parmesan or Asiago cheese. 
  • Let stand for a few minutes and add a little more liquid if necessary.
  • Spoon into a serving dish (or transport container) and sprinkle the top with chopped chives for presentation.

John Ross Ferrara: Great Aunt Mary’s egg noodles

Aunt Mary is ready for Thanksgiving. | KOIN 6

The reporter curating this list is proud to share this country-style noodle recipe from Great Aunt Mary, which goes great in leftover turkey noodle soup. Aunt Mary is 94 years old and still cookin’. She also enjoys a nice glass of mango Moscato.


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ cup water


  • Beat eggs, salt and water
  • Work small amounts of flour into the mix
  • Continue adding small amounts of flour until the dough is thick
  • Divide dough into balls and roll out with rolling pin
  • Cut rolled dough into 4-inch strips
  • Stretch strips and dust with flour to avoid sticking
  • Cut strips to preferred noodle length
  • Drop raw noodles directly into soup and boil for about four minutes, or until fully cooked (noodles will thicken broth as they cook)
File photo of apple pie. | (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Amanda Arden: Fail-Proof Pie Crust

Sometimes family recipes need to be acclimated. That’s what KOIN 6 News digital reporter Amanda Arden did with this “fail-proof” pie crust, which she swears is better adapted for the Willamette Valley.

“I came across this pie crust recipe after trying multiple times and failing to make a successful pie crust using my mom’s recipe,” Arden said. “Her recipe works great where she lives in Montana, but I’m convinced that there’s something about the lower elevation that makes it fall apart here in Oregon. This one works much better for me and I’ve made my own adjustments to it over the years.”


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ice water (add more if dough is not holding together)


  • Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl.   
  • Add the pieces of diced butter and use a pastry cutter or fork and knife to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue mixing until the butter is crumbly and the size of peas.
  • Add one tablespoon of ice water at a time, mixing in between. This recipe usually only requires 2 tablespoons of ice water for me, but feel free to add another half tablespoon or full tablespoon if the dough doesn’t stick together and start forming a ball.
  • Use your hands to continue thoroughly mixing the dough until it comes together. Don’t mix for too long or the dough will get warm and sticky. You want it to stay fairly cool.
  • Sprinkle about 1/8 cup flour onto a flat surface and spread it around to about the size of a dinner plate. Turn the dough out onto the flour and press it into a disk. Flip the disk over to get flour on both sides of the dough.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a flat circle that’s about ¼ inch thick, flipping the disk as you go to re-coat each side with flour. If you don’t do this, the dough might start sticking to the rolling pin. If it starts sticking to the rolling pin, place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on top of the dough and roll on top of the paper. Roll the dough until its diameter is a few inches wider than the pie plate you’re using
  • Lift the dough into a pie plate, press it to fit snugly into the bottom and trim or tuck in any excess edges. Feel free to use a fork to press a design into the edge or use your fingers to crimp it.
  • Chill the dough in the pie pan until you’re ready to fill it and then bake according to whatever pie recipe you plan to use it for.
  • To blind-bake the crust, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place a sheet of parchment paper in the bottom and up the sides of the crust. Fill with pie weights or dry beans or rice and back at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper carefully and then continue baking it until it’s golden brown.

Adele Steiger: Pickle Rollups Appetizer

KOIN 6’s overseer of incoming news shares this easy-to-make and an easier-to-eat recipe for holiday appetizers.


  • As many packets and a variety of cheap, thinly sliced luncheon meat you can find
  • 1 to 2 packets of softened cream cheese
  • 1 to 2 jars of baby dill pickles


  • Spread a dollop of cream cheese on one slice of meat
  • Place pickle on one end and roll it up like sushi
  • Repeat ’til you are out of supplies
  • Chill overnight in fridge if you can keep people from eating them
  • Serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas

Any KOIN viewers or readers who’d like to share their family recipes with us this holiday season can send them to news@koin.com.

Please provide a list of ingredients, cooking directions, a photo of the dish and a sentence or two about why the dish is special to your family, and we may feature your family recipe online or on the air.