Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Jumbo Dogs w/ Barbacue Sauce

Bacon Wrapped Jumbo Dogs w/ Barbecue Sauce

8 Jumbo Beef Franks (like Hebrew National Jumbo Beef Franks-come 4 in a pack, need 2 packages-best tasting hot dog, in my opinion!).
8 regular sliced, partially cooked bacon (the kind that you can cook crisp in a microwave-not thick cut).
Favorite barbecue sauce (I use "Sweet Baby Rays"-honey barbecue sauce)
8 hot dog buns

  • Pre-heat oven 425 F.
  • Put a layer of tinfoil down onto cooking sheet with shallow sides.
  • wrap bacon around each hot dog link and set on tin-foiled cooking sheet.
  • cook in oven, middle rack, until bacon is crispy on one side then turning over the dogs so that the underside bacon gets crisp too (about 15 or more minutes per side).
  • Take out of oven and brush on barbecue sauce on all sides; place back in oven to heat sauce until it gets bubbly and thick (about 3 minutes)
  • Take out of oven, bun it and garnish to your liking-Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mini Upside Down Pineapple Cakes

I love Pineapple Upside down Cake; unfortunately my family doesn't. But I love to make it for Christmas anyway! (it looks so Christmassy!) So that I don't eat a whole cake by myself (which I could easily do). I make smaller versions to give some away and the rest I refrigerate in an air tight container or freeze in a freezer bag. I just pop one out of the fridge or freezer when I want a treat! 

2 cans (20 oz. each) crushed pineapple for the bottom of your cupcake tin and to add to your cake batter- (Important!-save juice from cans-about 1 cup).
About 1/3 cup butter, melted (for bottom of tins)
About 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
24 maraschino cherries
1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme cake mix.
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup melted butter
6 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2-24 count dark metal cupcake/muffin tin
wax paper
2 cookie sheets

  • Drain crushed pineapple really well. I put the pineapple in a mesh sieve over a bowl and push down as much liquid as you can with a spatula; discard the juice. 
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of melted butter to each cupcake tin then sprinkle a packed 1/2 Tablespoon of brown sugar on top of the butter. Place a cherry in the middle of each tin and then add 1 heaped Tablespoon of crushed pineapple  around each cherry (any extra crushed pineapple will be added to the cake batter mix) .
  • Add the cake mix to a mixing bowl and add in 1 cup of milk, 2/3 cup melted butter, 6 eggs and the vanilla, mix gently until moist then fold in reserved crushed pineapple. Using a 1/4 measuring cup pour batter into cupcake tins.
  • Bake at 350 F. 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and/or the edges are a little golden.
  • Place a wax paper lined cookie sheet on top of the cupcake pan. Using oven mitts grab both pans and flip over and let it cool in this position on top of a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before lifting the cupcake tin. To store, cool fully and then put in and air tight container in the refrigerator or freeze in a freezer bag.
Serve on its own warm or room temperature and/or with ice cream or whipped cream.
Makes 24 servings

DIY Dessert/Appetizer Tier Stand

This is so easy! And you can reuse the candle sticks and plates by using a hair-blow dryer to reheat the welded glue sticks to take the tiers apart!!

You'll Need:
  • 3 plates different sizes; ideally a large, medium and small. (the picture shows 2 medium plates and 1 small-because that's what I had on hand and they worked great).
  • 2 candlestick holders
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  1. Hot glue the top of the candle stick holder and place it upside down onto the center of your largest plate (gluing the smaller part of the candle holder to the plate-top-surface, gives more room on the plate for goodies!). Hot glue the upside-down bottom of candle stick holder and place the medium plate in the center on top of hot glue.
  2. Follow the same steps as in direction 1 to glue second candle holder and small top plate tier.
If you glue the plates off center, just blow dry on high near glued area with a hair dryer to un-stick and start over.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chicken Supreme

This is the ultimate comfort food!!  As a kid, I would ask my Mom to make it all the time for me. Now my kids beg me to make it all the time for them. It's creamy, flavor-full and the chestnuts add a little crunch. It makes your home smell so good when it's cooking in the oven.
This would also make a great meal after Thanksgiving with the left-over turkey meat! This is also a great dish to take to a sick neighbor or a family who has just brought a newborn baby home.

1 whole roasted chicken; meat removed and torn into bite size pieces.
1 regular sized box chicken flavored Rice-a-Roni: Cook the Rice-a-Roni following the directions on box; set aside.
3/4 cup Best Foods Mayo
1-10 3/4 oz. can-cream of chicken soup *(don't throw away the can!).
Milk-*Using empty soup can (from above) fill with milk.
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup minced celery (about 1 1/2 large stalk)
1/2 cup minced white onion
1 can sliced water chestnuts; drained
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large bowl add all above ingredients (for salt and pepper add about 1 generous pinch of salt and 6 grindings of black pepper); mix all ingredients together and transfer to a non-stick sprayed 9x13 inch, glass baking dish.
  • Bake for 1 hour, uncovered.

Chicken Asian Salad with almonds and ramen croutons


Salad Ingredients:
2 small packages slivered almonds
1 bottle roasted sesame seeds-if you can't find roasted then you can roast them along with the almonds-(*see directions below).
2 packages ramen noodles; break up noodles in package and discard season packets.
2-bags coleslaw mix  (16 oz. each)
2 cups shredded carrots (if coleslaw mix doesn't come with carrots already)
1 bundle green onions; green and white parts chopped
1 large or 2 small roast chickens; meat removed from bone & torn into bite size pieces.
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Dressing Ingredients:
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup rice vinegar (murukan)
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon white sugar or honey
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce

  • Turn oven to broil; put almonds and *unroasted sesame seeds on shallow sided pan and broil until golden:  Don't put to close to the broiler and keep an eye on it while its under the broiler. Do the same with the broken ramen noodles, stirring and turning over during the broiling until most sides are toasted. Set aside toasted almonds, sesame seeds and ramen noodles to cool.
  • In an extra large bowl add; coleslaw mix, shredded carrots, green onions, chicken meat, (cooled)roasted almonds, sesame seeds, ramen noodles and salt and pepper to taste (about 1 generous pinches of kosher salt, 8 "grindings" of pepper).
  •  Shake in a mason jar or mix together in a medium size bowl, dressing ingredients; pour mixed dressing over salad and toss well, ready to serve.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mormon "Funeral" Potatoes w/ ritz cracker topping

Popular Sour Cream and Cheddar Potato casserole usually served at Funerals.  
I changed the standard recipe to a better tasting casserole with different cream of soup flavors, real onions (not dehydrated), minced garlic and a Ritz cracker topping-which is so much better then the cornflake kind! We love these potatoes with Ham or Barbacued Ribs.

--The Best Tasting Funeral Potatoes!!


extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 lbs diced-cut(not shredded) frozen hashbrowns- I use Ore-Ida country style cubed cut hash browns. 
1 cube butter, melted (1/2 cup)
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 pint sour cream (2 cups)-don't use low-fat or nonfat.
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (recommend Tillamook brand)
1 tube package of Ritz crackers-finely crushed in a large ziplock bag with rolling pin or hands

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Heat olive oil in fry pan, add onions and saute until onions are almost translucent, add minced garlic to onions and stir until onions finish cooking-don't burn the garlic!  Set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl add hashbrowns, 1/2 cup melted butter, cream of chicken & celery soup, sour cream, salt, cheddar cheese and cooked onions & garlic; blend together and put in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the crushed Ritz crackers evenly over the top. (You can mix into the crushed crackers ziplock bag, 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter before adding them to the top of the casserole. But there is so much butter & cream in the potato mix that as it cooks, it bubbles up into the cracker topping. So I've never added melted butter to my crushed crackers and it always turns out great).
  • Cover with tinfoil and bake in oven for 2 hours, yep, that's not a misprint=2 hours. Then uncover foil and cook until topping is golden (about 5-10 min.).
  • Let set for 15 minutes before eating.
  • Optional: Add chopped chives or parsley on top to garnish.  

Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad w/ Bacon

This is a great salad to take to a Barbecue or Picnic. It's sweet, savory, crunchy, chewy and creamy-all the favorite "food" senses that I love.  It's also the only time my Husband will eat other vegetables, beside a potato, due to the power of BACON!!

Ingredients for dressing: (Important: you must let the dressing chill over night before you are to assemble this dish)

1/4 cup white onion finely minced
2 cups real mayo (like Best Foods)-not Miracle Whip
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar

Mix all above ingredients together; cover and chill overnight.

Salad ingredients:

1-pound of thick-cut Apple Wood Smoked Bacon; cook on a sheet pan covered with foil in a 425 degree oven until crispy (about 35-45 minutes); let cool on a paper toweled platter then crumble, and set aside.
1 head Cauliflower-cut into bite size pieces.
3-4 bunches Broccoli florets (enough to equal cauliflower) cut into bite size pieces.
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (opt.-save some to garnish the top of the salad).
Optional: 1/3 cup Golden Raisins

In large bowl mix prepared dressing with Cauliflower, Broccoli, crumbled Bacon, Mozzarella cheese and Golden Raisins.  Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish the top with reserved Mozzarella; cover and chill before serving. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cranapple Juice with Lime

This drink is so refreshing and easy to make.  We like to drink it when we eat hot Mexican food or it's a great drink for Christmas Dinner (holiday red & green colors).

You need: 1 large jug of Ocean Spray Cran-Apple juice and 2 limes.

  • Wash and dry your limes then slice 1 lime into round-discs and add to a large serving pitcher with screened spout lid.
  • Pour Cran-Apple juice over the top of sliced limes in pitcher and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • When ready to serve, slice other lime into wedges and put in the bottom of a ice filled glass or on the edge of the glass.
  • Pour the chilled Cran-apple/lime juice, thru screened spout so the lime discs stay in the pitcher, over the ice and enjoy!

Short-Cut Hot & Sour Tofu Soup-using Bear Creek soup mix

You'll need:
1 package of dried shitake mushrooms (you'll find in any Grocery Store Asian Food Aisle)
1 Bear Creek Hot & Sour Soup Mix
1 package of firm Tofu
sliced scallions (opt.)


  • Put shitake mushrooms in large bowl; add hot water over the top and cover with plastic wrap to catch steam-this will reconstitute the mushrooms. Leave covered until soft (about 20 minutes). Drain; cut off and discard coarse stems. Cut caps into thin strips; set aside.
  • Rinse tofu and pat dry with paper towel or clean cloth; cut into bite size cubes; set aside.
  • Pour 8 cups of hot tap water in large soup pot on a cold stove top. IMPORTANT!-The Bear Creek recipe instructions say to add the soup mix to boiling water-Do not do this-it boils/explodes over stove as soon as the soup mix hits the water!! Add and whisk in the Bear Creek Soup Mix to the pot of water.
  • Add the sliced shitake mushrooms to the soup mix, then turn on stove top to high, watch the soup until it comes to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the tofu; bring to a boil again then reduce to a low simmer  for 5 minutes.
  • (Opt. 2) I don't do this option because my family doesn't like the look of cooked egg in soup. But if you don't mind, you can add more protein  to your soup with 2 eggs. Crack 2 eggs and whisk in a bowl, stir the cooked soup in a clock-wise motion and pour whisked eggs in slowly, then stir to break up cooked egg.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sliced scallions.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY Halloween window eyes

O.K., I know this isn't a food recipe.  But as much as I like to cook I also loooove Halloween.  I know, it's the middle of summer!-but I look forward to the Fall, it's my favorite season.  So here's a Halloween decor"recipe" for your windows.                                                       
You'll need:
  • extra large, lawn/leaf-black trash bags- a name brand like 'Hefty' is best because it's really thick and you won't be able to see through it.
  • banner paper
  • scissors
  • mailing tape
  • transparent scotch tape
  • double-stick tape
  • sticky tac

  1. Take large, black lawn/leaf trash bags and cut into bag so you have one large open layer. Do this with other bags until you have enough trash bag material to piece together with mailing tape, to fit your windows. 
  2. Use the leftover trash bag scraps to cut 2 round circles for the pupils.
  3. Put one of the pieced bags up to your window to mark the area you want to cut for the eyeballs, mark the top of where you want the eye to start, with a tiny snip of the scissors.
  4. Take both taped-pieced bags, with the marked/snipped piece on top and cut eyeball holes through both trash bags, starting at the area you marked, so the holes will be the same size.
  5. Cut your banner paper into 2 large squares big enough to cover the eyeball holes. Decide where you want your eyeballs to face thru your window and tape the banner paper on the opposite side.
  6. Tape the pupils to the banner paper-eyeball, that will be facing the front, with double stick tape.
  7. Using double stick tape or sticky tac, mount finished decoration directly onto your window frame or window. Turn the light on in the room/rooms of the windows so the eyes glow at your trick-or-treaters.
For the garage, I cut out fangs from the black garbage bag and attached to the garage door with sticky tac--instead of tape to protect the paint on the garage door.

For an even scarier eyeball glow change out your rooms light bulbs for different colors like green, orange or red (find colored bulbs at Lowes, Home Depot or Walmart).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Under 300 Calorie Large Fruit Smoothie

 Under 300 calorie, 18 oz. smoothie that tastes good and is good for you!

1 cup water
1/2 cup skim milk
1 scoop Slimfast "French Vanilla" powder
1 packet of orange flavor drink mix like Walmart's Great Value Drink Mix-"Orange Early Rise" or Crystal Light brand(the kind you mix into a water bottle).
1 and 1/2 cups Walmart Great Value Frozen Mixed Fruit (strawberry, peach, mango & pineapple)

  • In a blender add water, milk, Slimfast powder & Orange drink packet; blend until mixed together.
  • Add frozen fruit to blender and blend until smooth.  If blender sticks, turn off and stir around too break up frozen spots or if smoothie is too thick add more water.
Experiment with different protein powders, frozen fruits & drink mix packets to make your own favorite smoothie flavor.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Fall is my favorite season, and the scent of cooked apples and cinnamon is the best scent representation of Fall, don't you think?  
The original recipe was from Studio 5, but I tweaked it and it's (in my never to be humble opinion) even better! 
 I am not a baker, so I like shortcuts when it comes to baking desserts. Thats why I use the Rhodes "Anytime' Cinnamon Rolls.  If you want, you can make your own dough or use the "regular" Rhodes frozen Cinnamon Rolls but you'll have to place them in a non-stick sprayed pan, cover loosely with non-stick sprayed plastic and let rise 2 hours in a warm place-too much effort when I want my dessert NOW!

12 Rhodes Anytime! Cinnamon Rolls (comes in 6 pack rounds-need 2) thawed, but still cold (easier to cut when cold).
1-21oz. can apple pie filling; dice up apples in mixing bowl.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (to make crumbs mash graham crackers in a plastic bag)
1/2 chopped pecans (opt.)
2 packets cream cheese frosting (included with cinnamon rolls)
1 cup of caramel ice cream topping

  • Cut rolls into four pieces and arrange in a non-stick sprayed, 9x13 pan; set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine apple filling, brown sugar, cinnamon, graham cracker crumbs and pecans.
  • Sprinke apple mixture over cinnamon rolls.
  • Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until well browned.
  • Combine the 2 packets of cream cheese frosting with the caramel topping then heat in microwave for 30 seconds or more until it's a "pour-able drizzle" mixture. Drizzle over top of individual, warm slices of apple-cinnamon rolls right before serving. "Welcome Fall!"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mashed Potatoes with Parsnip & Chives

Mashed Potatoes with Parsnips & Chives

Before you get all scared about parsnips, try this recipe.  The parsnips give the mash a little something different then boring old mashed potatoes and I use Yukon gold potatoes because they have a buttery flavor---it's so yummy. These mashed potatoes I make to go along with Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon-(recipe on my pinterest), Sunday Pot Roast-(the beef gravy is divine over the top of these potatoes!), and our Thanksgiving Cider Glazed Turkey-(Sandra Lee recipe, also on pinterest).  So if you're tired of the same old, boring spud mash-Try these!!

4 large parsnips, peeled and diced; 2" size pieces
5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced; 2" size pieces
Kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  (season to taste)
Finely chopped chives-snip with a clean pair of scissors

  • Put the parsnips in a large pot filled half-way with water, add a generous pinch of salt and bring the parsnips to a boil  over medium high heat and cook for 5 min.
  • In the same pot along with the partially cooked parsnips, add the yukon potatoes and more hot water if needed, to cover the potatoes. Again add more salt and bring to a boil, cooking the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Put the butter, heavy cream and chicken broth in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot.
  • Drain the potatoes and parsnips well and return them back to pot away from the hot burner.
  • Add the hot butter mixture to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher or electric mixer until desired consistency.  Mix in by hand the chopped chives and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Add enough chives so the mash is semi-speckled with these tasty little green gems).  .
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of chopped chives on top.

    slow cooker-Barbecued Meatballs

    We like to use this recipe for meatball subs/sliders topped with coleslaw.  Or you can stick a cocktail toothpick in for o'duerves style.  You can short cut and buy frozen already made meatballs, but I find they taste like hotdog meat-yuck!  Meatballs made from scratch are much better.
    The soy sauce gives the barbecue sauce a dark rich color.  It's also great with cocktail franks*(see below). 

    1 lb. lean ground beef
    1 lb. ground pork
    1 1/3 cups kethup, divided
    3 tablespoons seasoned dry bread crumbs
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
    3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
    1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
    1/4 cup cider vinegar
    1 1/2 teaspoons Tobasco sauce (opt.)

    • Preheat oven to 350.
    • Combine ground beef, pork, 1/3 cup ketchup, bread crumbs, egg, onion flakes, garlic salt and black pepper in medium bowl.  Mix lightly but thoroughly.
    • Shape into 1-inch meatballs and place in two 15x10-inch jelly roll pans or shallow roasting pans.
    • Bake 18 minutes or until browned.
    • Transfer meatballs to slow cooker.
    • Mix remaining 1 cup ketchup, brown sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, vinegar and tobasco sauce in a clean medium bowl-(don't use same bowl that the raw meat was in). Pour over meatballs. 
    • Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours.  Makes about 4 dozen meatballs

    Cocktail Franks Variation:* (I recommend to use Hillshire Farm "beef" Lil' Smokies-they taste better than other brands I've tried)
    • Arrange 2-16 oz. packages of Lil' Smokies in slow cooker.
    • Combine 1 cup ketchup, with sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, vinegar and tobasco sauce; pour over franks and cook on LOW 4 hours. 
    Serve with cocktail toothpicks

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Sausage Con Queso Dip

     Con Queso
    or Sausage Con Queso

    I was first introduced to this recipe from my college roommate from New Mexico-(many years ago). We made this a lot, we should have called it "The Freshman 20 dip" it's not so figure friendly, but oh, is it good, and so addictive!  I still make it today for game night, brunches, Superbowl Sunday, or when ever my husband craves it!

    • 1-32 oz. (large) box of "Mexican" Velveeta Cheese (the Mexican flavor has jalapeno peppers in it, and the box has a purple marked corner.)
    • 1- 16 oz. (1 lb.) Jimmy Dean "Hot" sausage roll.
    • 2 cans of "original" Ro Tel (diced tomatoes & green chilies)-do not drain; add liquid and contents from both cans.
    • 1 'shake' of Tapatio hot sauce (opt.)-my secret ingredient that just gives it another spicy kick!
    • 1 bag of hearty corn tortilla rounds (like Mission brand or any chip that's thick enough to not break in the dip)
    • Celery stalks (opt.)-my favorite way to eat this yummy dip.

    Microwave Instructions:

    1. Break up sausage with spatula in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat  until sausage is browned and fully cooked. Set aside cooked sausage onto paper toweled lined platter to drain extra oil.
    2. Remove Velveeta from packaging, dice in small cubes.  Put cubes in microwave safe bowl and cook in the microwave, checking the melting process ever so often and stirring until fully melted.
    3. Add cooked sausage, all contents of both Ro Tel cans and 1 shake or more of Tapatio hot sauce too melted cheese; Stir & put back in microwave to heat through again.
    4. Serve with "hardy" corn tortilla chips & celery stalks.

    Slow-Cooker method: To fill a large slow-cooker for a potluck or party; double the recipe. The ingredients above will fill a large slow-cooker half way.
    1. Turn your slow-cooker to high and add the diced cubes of Velveeta and the cans of Ro Tel; juice and all. Place lid on slow-cooker and cook on high.
    2.  Meanwhile brown sausage and then add to slow-cooker using a slotted spoon; discard the remaining oil.
    3. Cook until cheese melts; about 2 hours, stirring half way through. (This cooking time is based on the doubled recipe. If not doubling; check after a 1 hour).
    4. Add 1 'shake' or more of Tapatio hot sauce; stir and serve immediately.  
    Caution:  If not serving right away; set slow-cooker to warm and check regularly so not to scald the cheese. If cooked to long even at a warm setting, the cheese will curdle-yuck!

    Mandarin Chicken Salad w/ raspberry vinaigrette


    1/2 cup sliced almonds
    1 large or 2 small heads of iceberg lettuce, torn into bite size pieces, washed and spin or towel dried.
    1  rotisserie cooked chicken-remove meat & tear into large bite size pieces.
    1 small bag of ready to eat baby spinach-tear off  and discard any long stems.
    1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin half moon shapes.
    1 large can of mandarin oranges, drained.
    2 large handfuls of Craisins-(dried cranberries)-more or less if you like.
    1 bottle Kraft Raspberry Vinaigrette lite salad dressing-if new bottle, keep cooled in fridge before use.


    • Spread sliced almonds onto sheet pan, set oven to high broil. Place pan on top shelf (do not walk away or get distracted, they will burn in no time!-lesson learned after 2 burned attempts that resulted in 2 store runs!)  When almonds are toasted-golden, remove from oven and let cool before adding to salad.
    • Into a large salad bowl add the lettuce, spinach, red onion, oranges, chicken & cranberries; toss until mixed evenly.
    • Serve with the raspberry vinaigrette (add the vinaigrette to individual servings and serve right away-do not pour the vinaigrette over the whole entire salad, because in 5-10 minutes the lettuce and spinach will wilt and turn into a gloppy mess!).
    • Garnish with toasted almonds.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Cranberry-Pine Nut Dressing with Sage Sausage

    Cranberry-Pine Nut Dressing with Sage Sausage


    1/2 cup pine nuts (opt.-I use them if it's for a Christmas dressing, and leave 'em out for Thanksgiving)
    1 Tablespoon Olive oil
    4 Tablespoons salted butter
    1 large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
    2 C. celery, diced
    1 large carrot, peeled and minced finely (about 3/4 cup)
    8 oz. cremini (baby bella) or button mushrooms, diced
    Kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper
    1 lb. (16 oz.) Jimmy Dean "Sage" sausage roll
    2 boxes of Mrs. Cubbison's Cube Stuffing-Herb Seasoned
    4 C. *Turkey stock (recipe below) or Chicken broth
    1 C. 2% milk
    1/2 cup of Craisins (dried cranberries)

    • Pour Mrs. Cubbison's cube stuffing into extra large mixing bowl, set aside.
    • Brown sausage on medium heat in a large non-stick pan, remove browned sausage with a slotted spoon onto a paper toweled lined plate. Keep the fat drippings in the pan.
    • Place butter and oil in the pan with the sausage drippings, add & sauté onion, celery, carrot, & mushrooms until the vegies are soft, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked vegies to the bread cubes.
    • Add pine nuts to the same pan and cook on low stirring often until the pine nuts are toasted golden color. Add to the bread cubes.
    • Add browned sausage, *Turkey stock/Chicken broth, milk & craisins and stir until all the bread cubes are moistened. Taste test to see if you need more salt and pepper-careful with the salt, if using salted butter.
    • Pour dressing into buttered 9x13 baking dish and cook covered in a 350 F oven; center rack for 40-45 minutes until the dressing is hot then uncover and continue cooking until toasted on top (about 10-15 min).
    Serves 10-12
    *Turkey stock: The morning of Thanksgiving the first thing I do is prepare the Turkey stock that I add to my dressing, mashed potatoes & gravy.
    In large stock pot put turkey neck, giblets, large onion-halved, 1 large unpeeled carrot-halved, 2 celery stalks with leaves-halved, 1 red delicious apple-halved, fresh sage-rosemary-thyme bundle (wrap herbs with butcher's twine), 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teas. black pepper corns. Add 16 oz. water and 2-32 oz. cartons of Swanson's low sodium chicken broth (NOTE: always buy more chicken broth than what you think you will need).  Bring to a boil then partially cover with lid for steam to escape and simmer on medium low for 2 hrs., skimming any scum that comes to surface. Pour stock into a sieve over a large bowl, reserve Turkey stock until needed. Discard all other stock ingredients once cooled (or it will melt your garbage liner-lesson learned!).  If you don't yield 4 cups and/or need more stock then add more chicken broth to the stock for your needs.