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Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Blessing & Dressing

Thanksgiving is so rich in tradition; I love it! My husband and I have hiked "over the mountain and through the woods" from our house to my parents home at the beach (about four miles) for the last 10 years. It is such a refreshing way to arrive; a little tired, super hungry and ready to enjoy the company of family and friends. Giving thanks for the simple and complex things and moments present in our lives right now. We are blessed to have each other, our animals, our friends and families and our health.

By no means am I a food stylist (as will be apparent below) or a food blogger (also apparent below), but I do love great food! And every once in a while I make something that's pretty fantastic. I am lucky enough to have a husband that cooks 90% of our meals...Yes, I'm spoiled! I do however, have a few favorite recipes that I love to cook for special occasions, whether that's a casual Sunday dinner with my sweetie, a potluck dinner party with friends or Thanksgiving dinner with family. Here's one of my all time faves and a tradition for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Dressing


  • 1/2-1 yellow onion (This year I only used 1/2 an onion, because we had it in the fridge from the dinner the night before)
  • 1 bin (about 8-12) mushrooms (I used small crimini mushrooms, but any would be fabulous!)
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1-2 apples ( I used one from the neighbors branch that reaches into our yard & a fuji apple)
  • 1-4 Tbsp herbs (this year I used sage & oregano from the garden)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 box breadcrumbs (the past few years I've used the cornmeal version from TJ's, but any will do)
  • 1 box (or 4 cups) Veggie Broth
  • 1/2-1 stick salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 (or more) glass(es) of Chardonnay (I'm usually a Sauvignon Blanc gal, but this calls for a little fuller wine) or a nice Pinot Noir

  1. Pour yourself a glass of wine.
  2. Dice the onion & set aside.
  3. Clean the mushrooms with a wet paper towel or cloth. Slice mushrooms & rough cut them into small chunks.  Set aside.
  4. Dice the entire bunch of celery & apples into rough chunks. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Place veggie broth in a saucepan on medium to low to warm.
  7. Place 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) of butter in a large stock pot on medium to high heat. Add olive oil, so butter doesn't burn.
  8. Add onions & stir until soft.
  9. Chop herbs & set aside.
  10. Add mushrooms to stockpot with onions & stir until gently sautéed.
  11. Grease a baking dish on the bottom & sides. Set aside.
  12. Next, stir in celery & apples & saute until slightly soft. Keep lid on so the moisture is retained. Crack pepper into mixture.
  13. Turn heat off & add breadcrumbs. Add herbs & fold mixture into breadcrumbs so vegetables are evenly dispersed.
  14. Slowly add the veggie broth into the mixture & again gently fold mixture until the breadcrumbs are saturated, but not smashed.
  15. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  16. Scoop the mixture into your greased baking dish & cover with foil.
  17. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil & bake another 5 minutes to create a slightly crispy top layer.
  18. Remove, serve & enjoy.

This recipe can be modified in so many ways:
  • I've used pear in place of the apple before
  • Some people might like cranberries
  • You could definitely use stale bread instead of the lazy boxed version
  • Homemade broth would definitely be a nice touch
  • You could add garlic
Let me know your favorite dressing (or stuffing) recipes.

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