Giving Thanks – Holiday Sausage Stuffing

“Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.” “If the only prayer you said in your life was ‘Thank you,’ that would suffice.” “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift.

I love this season, from the crispness of the Fall air to the Halloween decorating that brings us joy when we get to entertain the neighborhood children. The fun we have getting together with our family for Thanksgiving dinner and just sharing conversation and catching up over a wonderful meal. Autumn reminds me to remember to be thankful for our backyard garden and how we enjoyed the vegetables Mother Nature’s earth allowed us to grow through the Summer, no matter how large or small the garden was that year. For those who take the time to read my musings let us remember to be thankful for our kitchens where we get to make our favorite baked goods and meals for ourselves and our loved ones every season of the year.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I love all the many dishes that are prepared for the Thanksgiving family dinner but the one thing my family loves is the sausage stuffing I have been making for years. My mother made a similar stuffing (or dressing as some prefer to call it) but when I had my own kitchen I changed it up a bit and this is the recipe I have stuck to. Whether it’s used in the bird or not it tastes great either way.

Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

2 lb of Day Old Bread, cubed (weight is approximate) Several days before I try and bake a large size loaf of Brioche bread and use that but you can use your favorite store bought bread cubes which is about 1 large bag of bread cubes.

2 Medium size Onions, diced

4 Stalks of Celery, chopped I like to include the tops of the celery too)

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (optional)

Olive Oil

1/2 cup of Butter plus a bit more is needed for greasing the pan

1 lb of Italian Sausage, casings removed, crumbled up

4 Eggs, whisked

About 1 Quart of Chicken Stock

1 tsp of Poultry Seasoning

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup of chopped Parsley

1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Slice your bread into large cubes, toss with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and pop it in the oven for about an hour making sure to give it a toss every 20 minutes. Once the bread is toasted, increase the temperature to 375 degrees.

2) Start with a large pot as everything will get tossed in. First start to cook the crumbled sausage in a touch of olive oil until it begins to change color then add the diced onions, chopped celery and sliced mushrooms.

Add a pinch of salt and allow to cook on medium heat for about 7 to 10 minutes the vegetables are soft and the sausage is golden and a bit crispy.

3) Stir in the poultry seasoning, cook it for about 30 seconds, then add the toasted bread cubes, then slowly start adding the chicken stock. Toss to mix and make sure you add more stock as needed, as it gets absorbed in the bread.

4) Stir in the whisked eggs and add the parsley, to the bread mixture in the pot. Put the entire mixture in a buttered casserole dish. (I like to use a 9″x13″). Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top.

Thank you again for visiting!
Please share this site with your family and friends and ask them to join Sundays in a Small Kitchen to see what my next cooking adventure will be. I hope my recipes will inspire you to get take some time to cook in your kitchen no matter what size your kitchen is.
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When Your 1960’s Casserole is Calling – Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Casserole

I haven’t done a whole lot of cooking lately as I get caught up in a few things one is my crafts, whether I am crocheting or doing a variety of arts and crafts and the other is computer gaming. Even at my age I love computer gaming and my current obsession is Farm Together. If you are a computer game lover you understand how it is easy to get sucked down into the proverbial “Rabbit Hole” where hours can just whiz by. So I haven’t made much time for cooking other than fast easy meals. So last week we purchased a rotisserie chicken and from it I made a basic pot of soup with chicken and tortellini and with the remaining chicken I made a chicken noodle casserole my mom used to make. It’s nothing special other than 1960’s comfort food recipe so here it is, it does use what some people refer to as the “dreaded canned soup” but it wouldn’t be mom’s casserole without it. It’s an easy meal for when you want something other than burgers and gets you back to what else you would rather be doing.

My mom’s Chicken Noodle Casserole recipe

Mom’s Chicken Noodle Casserole Recipe

This is the basic recipe I always use. All my measurements are approximate I adjust as I go along, never seem to make it the same way twice.

2 (10 3/4 ounce) can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken and Herb soup (I some times mix and match the cream of chicken soup with cream of celery soup or cream of mushroom – use what ever you either have on hand or you can choose what you like) 

1 soup can of milk 

10 oz pkg frozen peas and and or carrots or mixed vegetables

1 1/2 to 2 Cups leftover cooked chicken

1 pkg (16 oz) medium or wide egg noodles – cooked

Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce to taste (optional)

1 small can of sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)

½ cup dry breadcrumbs 

4 tablespoons butter, melted 

Stir soup, milk, peas & carrots, chicken, Worcestershire sauce and noodles together. Put in a lightly greased 9×13 casserole dish. (You can use Pam spray for this). Mix bread crumbs with melted butter in a cup and sprinkle over chicken mixture

Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, until hot and bread crumbs are golden brown.

Happy Halloween – Bubble Pizza

Even though our children are grown and no longer living at home we enjoy Halloween. We decorate our front yard and look forward to the trick-or-treaters and seeing their costumes. This year however it may end up being a wash out as it has been raining all week and more predicted for today. So we will just roll with it and hope we can hand out most of the treats we have.

So tonight I’ll be making Bubble Pizza. It’s a quick easy version of pizza and can be lots of fun when you add your favorite toppings. Not sure who actually created the recipe but this is the version I adapted for our family. I make it all different ways and you can too. It can be made easily at home, great for a Friday night or family night not just for a holiday, Make several different versions if you have a small gathering or kids sleep-over.

Bubble Pizza

Servings: 8 

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 (14-16 ounce) jar pizza sauce or favorite tomato sauce

Add about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of dry Oregano to the sauce if not using pizza sauce

1 or 2  packages Grands refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough (depending how large you like your crust. (1 for a thinner crust, 2 for a thicker crust)

* Note – Toppings below are up to you and only suggested in the recipe – the possibilities are endless. You can also use your favorite cheese or cheese mixture.

1/4 pound sliced pepperoni sausage (optional)

1/2 onion, sliced and separated into rings

1 (10 ounce) can sliced black olives

1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms

1 thinly sliced green pepper

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish or slightly larger. Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Stir in pepperoni (optional), and cook until browned. Drain excess fat. Stir in the pizza sauce. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  2. Cut biscuits into quarters, and place in the bottom of baking dish. Spread the meat/sauce mixture evenly over the biscuits. Sprinkle top with onion, olives and mushrooms, peppers, what ever you like.
  3. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Veggie Bubble Pizza
Sausage & Mushroom Bubble Pizza with a thick crust (sort of a Sicilian Style pizza)

Baked Parmesan Tilapia in the Instant Pot Vortex Oven with Basil Penne on the side.

I had been away a bit longer than I had planned. Since the beginning of Summer, my weekend time where I usually enjoy writing about my cooking adventures has been filled with vacation time, house projects, and several milestone birthday parties that needed planning, all great times but it means time away from my computer. So I am trying to pull back the reins to get back on track which can be difficult when you are an easily distracted person like myself.

One of the most exciting things I purchased while on vacation was an Instant Pot Vortex Oven. It is just what I needed now that we are empty nesters and don’t necessarily need to use our larger oven for smaller weeknight meals. Years back I had one of those Showtime Rotisseries which I loved using, but unfortunately during a kitchen renovation when we put it in storage the oven was damaged and became unusable. I enjoyed having a rotisserie for roasting chickens and roasts. While the IP Vortex is a bit smaller than the Showtime Rotisserie it will still do the job perfectly. So I have been having fun making dishes this hot Summer while avoiding heating up the house which is a plus.

Here is a photo of my first time cooking in the IP Vortex making chicken wings in the rotisserie basket and I also made home cut fries that turned out great.

One hot night this past week, I made an easy Baked Parmesan Tilapia in the IP Vortex oven. You can easily adapt this recipe to be made in any oven.

Baked Parmesan Tilapia

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two large pieces of Tilapia fish fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning for rubbing on to the fish
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • coarse ground black pepper to taste

On a plate or small cutting board sprinkle the Old Bay seasoning on both sides of the fish. Mix the mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and garlic powder in a small bowl. With the fish still on the plate apply the mayonnaise mixture to the top of the fish. Transfer the fish to the baking tray. I set the oven to bake then baked these two lovely pieces of fish at 380 degrees for 12 minutes. They came out golden brown, moist and delicious. I served the fish with a few lemon slices and a side dish of penne pasta tossed with pesto made with fresh basil from our garden.

Basil Pesto Sauce

3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts walnuts, almonds, pignoli (pine) nuts or pecans
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper. Toss over warm pasta. (Note: You may want to reserve a cup of the pasta water to thin the pesto sauce should you feel it is a bit too thick)

Enjoy, and thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you will share it with family and friends.

Father’s Day Menu – Chinese Style Pineapple Chicken & Spare Ribs

The weather here has been disappointing on the weekends lately, on again off again showers. This Spring has brought lots of rain and our backyard garden is enjoying it even if we aren’t. My husband had made some of his great smoked ribs for the family for Mother’s day this year but he fought the elements throughout the whole day just to prepare me a fantastic meal. Rain showers are predicted again for all day tomorrow so I decided to plan a fun indoor meal for our family and one I know he will enjoy as well.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there!

Here is my menu:

Eggrolls for an Appetizer – Not making them from scratch this time because of time constraints.

Instant Pot Chinese Spare Ribs – the terrific recipe can be found here:

pressure-cooker-char-siu-pork-ribs

Instant Pot Chinese Spare Ribs

 

 

 

 

Chinese Pineapple Chicken with White Rice

Chinese Style Green Beans – the recipe can be found here:

Chinese Restaurant Green Beans

Sweet baked hawiian chicken

Chinese Restaurant Style Pineapple Chicken

Ingredients:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ cup cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
¼ cup canola oil

1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ tablespoon cornstarch
1 red pepper chopped
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.
(yes, you dip the chicken first in the cornstarch. I promise this method is amazing.)

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, and cornstarch.
Add the red pepper and pineapple tidbits. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour.
I stir the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.