Monday, November 23, 2020

Stuffing vs. Dressing

Some say that stuffing is what you stuff inside the bird whereas dressing is what you cook separately on the side. I think Southern Living said it best,

"The difference between stuffing or dressing isn’t as much about technique or ingredients as it is about whether you say y’all, you all, or youse."

I grew up in the north and my husband is from the south. My family made a white bread stuffing. His family made a cornbread dressing. Both families cooked some of the stuffing/dressing inside of the bird and some of the stuffing/dressing outside in a separate pan, purely to appease all that would come to eat at the table.

Personally, I think both are absolutely delicious so there is nothing wrong with welcoming both to the Thanksgiving table. After all, the more, the merrier!

Michigan's White Bread Stuffing

12 cups soft bread cubes
1 cup butter
2 cups celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Heat butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until tender.

2. Remove from heat and stir in all of the remaining ingredients. Combine and serve.

Texas's Cornbread Dressing

3 boxes of Jiffy boxed cornbread mix
1 cup of chicken broth
2 medium onions, chopped
5 stalks of celery, chopped
6 Tablespoons of Butter
1 pound mild pork sausage
4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. In an oven-friendly baking dish soak the cornbread mixture in the chicken broth for 10 minutes. Stir to absorb the liquid.

3. In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion and celery until tender. Add the sausage and cook over low heat until the sausage is browned.

4. Drain the sausage and vegetables. Then add the sausage mixture to the cornbread mixture.

5. Bake for 45 minutes or until slightly browned.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Bourbon Pecan Pie

This Thanksgiving will be like no other in our lifetime. It's a time of food and gathering. Fortunately we can savor in the former, but sadly we are discouraged to entertain the latter. So food definitely will be had, and we will have to work hard this year at mastering our recipes so that in the years to come, we can go back to sharing them with all of our family, friends, and loved ones.

Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe

- 2 cups pecan halves
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoons of Bourbon
- 1 unbaked pie crust *

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the white sugar, brown sugar, and butter together in a bowl.

3. Beat the eggs. Add the eggs, corn syrup, and bourbon to the bowl with the sugar and butter. Stir to combine.

4. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Top with the pecans. **

5. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until set. Let cool on a rake prior to serving.

* Make your own pie crust using this delicious Homemade Apple Pie recipe!

** It's good to dip the pecans a little bit into the pie filling mixture for more flavor. Don't worry, they'll float their way back up to the top.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Tortilla Soup Recipe

Baby, it's cold outside! which also means... it's Soup season!

Chili, chowda', and soups galore. Enjoy this recipe!


- 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned, de-boned, and cut into pieces
- 4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
- 2 Quarts Chicken Broth *
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo sauce, chopped
- 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes and peppers
- 1 Lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoons of cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 sliced avocado for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the tortilla strips for about 5-8 minutes, until crisp but not browned. Remove and let cool.

2. In a large pot or Dutch Oven heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until slightly caramelized. 

3. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the cumin and stir to combine.

4. Add the chicken, chipotle pepper, Rotel, and stir.

5. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

6. Finally, add the lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir together.

7. Serve into individual bowls. Top with the tortilla strips and avocado.

* You can always make your own broth. Just follow the first few steps in this Matzo Ball Soup recipe! 

** Optional: Give it an extra garnish with some chopped onion and cilantro.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Stacking Stones, Cairns

Stacking Stones, or Cairns, are no stranger to New England. If you have visited this part of the country, then you have seen the beautiful rock walls that landscape many of the houses. But where did they all come from?

At first ask, many New Englanders will respond that these rock walls were formed with the first settlers, who were farmers, needing a fence to keep the animals in (or out!). Smart thinking, at first. Now, does that really make sense? If you truly think about it, no.

But it's not totally wrong. The first settlers were indeed farmers, and the "new" England was covered in trees and debris. So, upon clearing the forestry land for their crops and livestock, there was plenty of fire wood to be stacked, but also these nuisances called rocks, which were tossed aside into a pile, or a "dump wall" as they called it.

Well, as the years went on, and the settlers started to take more pride in their new American land they called home, they wanted their home to look nice. Thus, these dump walls became beautiful works of masonry art for each farmhouse to display with honor. They truly are beautiful after all.

The stacking of stones is seen by many as an art form, or even a meditation - needing a lot of calmed focus and concentration. It is actually an ancient form of artistry seen back in Neolithic burial grounds in Scotland, nautical travel markers in Scandinavia, and Inca Goddess Pachamama shrines in Peru, according to the New Yorker.

One's reaction to a Cairn is individual, but for me, I enjoy the natural pause to stop and enjoy the beauty of the natural world around me and the thought, care, and effort of the Creator.