Cornbread, Apple and Turkey Sausage Stuffing

photo(16)
It’s finally the week of Thanksgiving! Only 3 work days between us and the delicious food and precious family time that Thanksgiving brings. Last year was my first attempt at making the entire meal myself. Since my husband and I couldn’t get enough time off of work to go home, I bravely bought a Turkey, read a ton of recipes and how-tos and decided I’d figure it out on my own. The meal had a few failures (the fear of undercooking my bird led me to overcook it) but overall turned out pretty well. This year, we’re lucky enough to go home and enjoy the day with the rest of our family but I still wanted to make a big batch of stuffing for us to enjoy as we please.

Stuffing is by far my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. I love digging into a big dish of crisp, bubbling stuffing. I decided to try something new this year and use cornbread. I also added apples and turkey sausage. The sweetness that the apples get when they bake perfectly balances the slight heat of the sausage.

If any of you are cooking your first Thanksgiving this year, this dish is sure to be a hit. As for the Turkey, I suggest getting a thermometer, I sure wish I had!

Cornbread Apple and Turkey Sausage Stuffing
1 pan of cornbread , if you need a recipe I like this one from the Neely’s – just make it in a cake pan instead of cupcake tins photo(17)
1 lb Italian turkey sausage
2 medium onions, chopped
5-6 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 apples, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 T sage
1 T parsley
1 T oregano
salt
pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break your cornbread into chunks and place them on a large baking sheet. Since cornbread is naturally kind of crumbly it can be hard to get good sized chunks, if you end up with some crumbs that’s fine. Toast the bread in the oven until it starts to brown, about 10 minutes.

photo(18)

2. Add the butter and olive oil to a large pot on medium – low heat. Add the onions, celery and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Crumble the turkey sausage as you add it to the pot and turn it up to medium heat. Add the rest of the spices. Stir occasionally and cook for about 8-10 minutes.

4. Add the apples to the pot and continue to cook until your sausage is cooked through.

5. Once the sausage has cooked, turn off the heat and add your cornbread. Add 1 cup of stock and stir to combine. Continue adding stock as needed until the mixture is moist, but not soggy.

photo(20)

6. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350. Remove the foil after 30 minutes and continue to cook for another 25-30 minutes, just until the top starts to get crisp, enjoy!

photo(21)

Simple Sautéed Kale

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

photo (45)

I know I know, its cliche now to say you recently discovered kale is an awesome superfood, but I never tried it until a few months ago and now I’m obsessed – where have you been all my life kale!? Kale is good in so many preparations and this is one of my favorites. A super simple way to get all of the healthy benefits of this great ingredient.

This could be a great Thanksgiving side if you’re looking for ways to lighten up traditional holiday sides. To all my other kale fans out there, let me know how you like to cook it!

Simple Sautéed Kalephoto (46)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion sliced into thin strips
1 glove garlic, minced
1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

1. Add the oil and garlic to a pan on medium heat.

2. Let the garlic cook for 30-60 seconds and then add the onion and season with salt and pepper.

3. Let the onion cook for about 4 minutes and then add the kale, if the entire bunch won’t fit in the pan you can add some, let it cook down a little and then add the rest.

photo (47)

4. Add the lemon juice and red pepper flakes and continue to cook until the kale has wilted, about 8 minutes, enjoy!

20131120-204225.jpg

Apple and Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

photo(8) photo(9) photo(10)

I have to give credit to my husband for the genius behind these cinnamon rolls. While I was debating what I should put in them, he suggested Nutella, I immediately decided to go with that idea and it I’m glad I did. This weekend I ran my first 5k. I begrudgingly signed up for it after my husband and friend decided to do it and had been dreading it ever since. For those of you who don’t know, I absolutely HATE running, I never run and I certainly never understood the idea of paying to run. But it turns out the 5k was actually pretty fun and kind of motivated me to see if I can do another.

After successfully finishing the race, I decided I deserved an indulgent Sunday morning breakfast. Given the chilly weather and my seemingly endless surplus of apples I decided a cinnamon roll was the perfect choice. These were great treats, super soft and gooey on the inside perfectly browned on the outside. These would definitely make a great breakfast Thanksgiving morning to tide your family over until the big meal is ready.

Apple and Nutella Cinnamon Rolls
Dough:
3 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons meted butter
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg

Filling:
1 large apple cut into small chunks
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup Nutella

1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a separate bowl add the milk, melted butter, the egg and combine. Using the dough hook attachment slowly combine the wet ingredients with the dry until it forms a ball. If your dough seems really sticky add a bit more flour.

photo(11)

2. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise for 60 minutes.

3. To make the filling add the cut up apples to a bowl and then mix them with the lemon juice. Combine the rest of the fillings ingredients with the apples.

photo(13)

4. When the dough has risen place it on a floured surface and begin rolling it out (I have limited counter space so I had to do this in two batches). Roll the dough out evenly until its
about 1/4 inch thick.

5. Spread the filling in the middle of the dough. Roll the dough up and cut off the ends. Cut the dough into 2-3 inch segments and place on a baking sheet.

photo(14) photo(15)

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until the rolls begin to brown. Some of the filling will likely spill out while they’re cooking but that’s ok. Enjoy!
photo(8)

Butter Cookies

20131113-213435.jpg 20131113-213335.jpg 20131113-213255.jpg

Time for another holiday cookie! These simple little bites are one of my all time favorite treats. I would always get so excited when my mom would make these, but then again what’s not to love about butter, sugar and flour? I’m not usually a fan of eating unbaked cookie dough (weird, I know) but I always take a few spoonfuls of this dough for myself while I’m making these.

These cute delicate little cookies melt in your mouth. The texture that comes from pushing them through a pastry tip gives them a little something special and the literal “cherry on top” adds a touch more sweetness.

This recipe makes a LARGE batch of cookies, you can half it if you want, but I bet you’ll wish you had more once you start eating them!

Butter Cookies
4 cups flour
1 lb room temperature butter
1 cup 10x sugar
maraschino cherries

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
2. Cut maraschino cherries into quarters and drain them on a paper towel
3. Combine butter, sugar and flour in a large bowl and mix well.
4. Using small amounts at a time push the dough through a pastry tip
5. Top each cookie with a cherry 6. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, enjoy!

20131113-211343.jpg

Chocolate Almond Cookies

photo(7)
I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged about more about baking and sweets.  For a long time all I could do in a kitchen was bake cookies and cupcakes, I had no idea how to actually cook any “real” food. So due to my lack of sweet posts I’ve decided it’s time to get some holiday treats on here! Holiday baking is truly one of my favorite things. I have so many great memories of baking sugar cookies and watching my mom come up with lists of new recipes to try each holiday season, constantly increasing her list of family favorites that she needed to make every year.

I recently discovered a new ingredient that is definitely going to be making an appearance in a large amount of my holiday baking this year. A few weeks ago my husband and I took a cooking class at Sur la Table where we made a cake with this almond paste . It adds a slightly different flavor than almond extract. Of course you could always substitute almond extract if that’s what you have in the pantry.

Chocolate Almond Cookies
2 cups flourphoto(5)
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon almond paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed almonds

1. Combine flour, sugar, butter, almond paste and salt in a large bowl and mix until everything is smoothly combined.

2. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.

3. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes.

4. When the cookies have cooled, melt your chocolate in a double boiler. When the chocolate has melted carefully dip each cookie half of the way in. Then dip the cookie into the crushed almonds, enjoy!