Cornbread, Apple and Turkey Sausage Stuffing

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Apple and Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!
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Baked Apple Crisp French Toast

apple crisp2  bread1 apple crisp

Yes, I know it’s supposed to be 90+ degrees in DC this week but I’m still blissfully pretending it’s almost Fall and I’ll soon feel a cool breeze.  I was very excited last Friday when I made three very successful loaves of homemade bread – not an easy feat. I’ve had my share of attempts at bread making that turn out to be brick-like loaves of a waste of good flour. But this week’s batch actually came out really well so I’ve been thinking up ways to eat it all up. Then, Saturday my husband and I went apple picking and now I have waaay more apples than I know what to do with. So, Sunday morning breakfast was an apple crisp french toast to use up both the bread and some of the apples!

Baked Apple Crisp French Toast
(This recipe is only enough for two people, so you’ll want to double or triple it if you have a large crowd).
4 medium sized apples peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
4 thickly cut slices of bread
2 eggs
3 tablespoons of milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick of cold butter cut into small chunks
3-4 tablespoons flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine the eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a shallow bowl and whisk.

aple crisp43. Dunk the bread slices in the egg mixture until completely covered on both sides.

4. Place the bread in a baking pan.

5. Place the butter, 2 tablespoons of flour and both sugars in a food processor and pulse until just combined. Add more flour as needed until you get small chunks.

6. Arrange the cut up apples on top of your bread and and pour the butter/flour/sugar mixture on top of the apples.

7. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, until brown and bubbly! Enjoy!

baked apple crisp