This is a recipe I will be making during the holidays every year for the rest of my life! I based this off a different dressing recipe , and added the things that I like best! I hope you make it this holiday season & love it as much as I do!
Amy’s Pecan Sausage Dressing
3 carrots, rough chop
2 large yellow onions, rough chop
8 stalks celery, 4 large chop, 4 small chop, keep separate
¾ bunch fresh sage
3 apples, small chop
Craisins 10 oz.
3 lbs. Jimmy Dean Sage sausage or loose sweet italian sausage
1.5 lbs. Cubed sourdough (crust removed)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter a very large baking dish. If you aren’t worried about it being in a “pretty” dish, you can get a large aluminum disposable one. In a food processor puree the rough chopped carrot, onion, celery and sage until you have a fine pulp. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the sausage in a little olive oil. Once you have a nice brown color and the fat has rendered – about 5 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegetable pulp to the pan and saute until most of the moisture has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the mixing bowl with the sausage and also add the bread cubes, pecans, apple, celery, and craisins.
Mix together chicken stock, cream and egg. Pour this wet mixture over the dressing mix. Season and fold everything together. Pour out into the roasting dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on the top (if it gets too brown before the 30 minutes is up, tent with foil).
Well, needless to say… Well, maybe I do need to say it. This year has been CRA A PPY. Not ALL of it, but a lot of it. Leukemia is not a word you want to hear mentioned in the same sentence with you child’s name. Since I am a control freak, and life being so out of control, the only thing that I could control is my food, my baking. That’s when I go to my world. A couple months ago I wrote in my journal:
“Nothing can touch me here… The smell of the oven warming, the feel of cold butter between my fingertips as I toss in into the flour. Baby sleeping, the dryer running, shadows flickering on the table from the turning leaves outside, dancing in the wind. I breath out. I can make it through another day.”
This is the best.
Yes! It’s what Ina uses & I completely agree with her, use “Good” vanilla in your baking!
My sister in law, Adrienne Sandvos, created & perfected this recipe. She is a genius, try it. Really. You will thank me, and then I will thank her for you.
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar OR 1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unbleached white four
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbl ground flax (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Note: You can also do all white flour if you don’t have whole wheat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a bread loaf pan. Mix together butter, bananas, brown sugar/honey, yogurt, vanilla and eggs. Make sure you add the eggs last. Separately mix together flours, baking soda, salt and flax. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just incorporated, then stir in the walnuts. Pour into prepared pan and bake for a little over an hour.
This recipe comes from my BFF Ashley. I like to call her SmAsh, among other nicknames 😉 She is one of the only people (besides my sis in law Adrienne) that gets as excited about cooking & food as I do. This is a great recipe to serve along with some steak, or I like to put it over some green salad, crumble some tortilla chips & add a little shredded cheddar cheese… yum!
Black Bean & Corn Salad
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans corn, drained and rinsed
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 jicama, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 c. olive oil
½ c. red wine vinegar
¾ c. honey
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. pepper
2 tbsp. Tabasco
1 tbsp. salt
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
In a medium, bowl whisk dressing ingredients together. Add the remainder of the ingredients and chill for 1 hour before serving to let flavors infuse. This salad is best served the second day.
These always make me think of Christmas parties! These are like home made peanut butter cups, but better! This recipe is from my dear friend Suzie.
Suzie’s Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 lb butter
2 cups peanut butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix and form into 1″ balls. Chill 1/2 hour or up to overnight.
For Chocolate: 1 package chocolate chips
1/2 bar paraffin wax
Melt in double boiler.
Dip pb balls in chocolate using toothpicks, set them on a tray lined with parchment paper. Cool and enjoy!
Some tips… I like using natural peanut butter (I like Trader Joe’s) but any kind will work. And I typically don’t need quite so much butter and end up needing to add more powdered sugar to make it the right consistency. So I would recommend starting with half the amount of butter and adding as needed. You can test the dough by rolling it into balls and if it holds and rolls well, you’re golden. (You can also taste test too!). The wax you can buy at grocery stores, usually in the baking aisle or at craft stores near the candy making stuff. I always just ask around. It comes in big blocks though, use small chunks at a time. You just need a little extra wax to make the chocolate chip consistency work better.
Have I mentioned my love for the food of Ina Garten? ( a.k.a The Barefoot Contessa) I really do LOVE her food. This year for Nolan’s 2nd Birthday, I made this Mac N Cheese (Mac N Cheese is his fav) This recipe changed my life. No other Mac N Cheese can compare… so far…
1 pound elbow macaroni o
1 quart milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.