Thanksgiving dinners include a turkey, and usually mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Then there are the typical salads and vegetables. Instead of serving the same recipes, try changing them up this year. Bring a new twist to the recipes as you add different ingredients or use new methods to cook the side dishes. Bring your microwave and stove top into play as you add variety to the menu with Balls of Sweet Potatoes, Cherry Cranberry Sauce or Broccoli Cheese Casserole.

Bake Balls of Sweet Potato as your Thanksgiving side dish this year. Calculate one large sweet potato for every two guests, and then microwave the sweet potatoes on high until they are soft. Remove them from the microwave and scoop out the center of the sweet potato into a large mixing bowl. Smash them into tiny pieces with a fork. (This recipe uses a ratio of four sweet potatoes for measured ingredients. Adjust the recipe for your actual potato use or season to taste.) Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg to the bowl. Mix it with the sweet potatoes and then form tiny balls- that look like meatballs- and put them into a cooking dish. Put the dish into the oven minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and set timer for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the potato balls after 10 minutes. Reset timer for an additional10 minutes and remove the dish from the oven.

Another holiday side dish to consider is Broccoli Cheese Casserole. You can use either fresh or frozen broccoli for this Thanksgiving side dish. Steam 2 packages of frozen or 2 pounds of fresh broccoli in the microwave. Remove the broccoli from the microwave and put it into a casserole dish that has been lightly greased with butter. (Grease the casserole dish by cutting one teaspoon of margarine and rubbing it on the sides and bottom of the dish). Pour 2 cans of cream of chicken and broccoli soup into the dish and mix the broccoli around. Add 2 large handfuls of sliced cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is integrated into the mixture. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and then insert the casserole dish. Set the timer for 25 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven when the timer goes off and sprinkle another handful of cheese on top. You can add chopped nuts to the top of the dish for a bit of crunch.

What Thanksgiving meal is complete without cranberries? This side dish - Cherry Cranberry Sauce - is a twist on the traditional method of opening the can and slicing. For this recipe, mix a frozen package of cranberries with a cup of dried cherries in a saucepan over medium heat. As the mixture melts, add 1 cup of fine white sugar and 2 cups of water to the mixture. Bring it to a boil and then allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes. Simmering opens the berries and forms sweet syrup. After 15 minutes, dip a clean spoon into the syrup and taste it. If it is not sweet enough, add more sugar, if it is too sweet, add more water to the mixture. After 20 minutes, remove the mixture from the stove and pour into a sealable bowl. Let the mixture cool down before putting it into the refrigerator. This is one dish you can make in advance, such as the night before Thanksgiving.