Drink & Dish: Cornbread Sausage Stuffing {gluten-free}

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

Warm and comforting Thanksgiving cornbread sausage stuffing packed with veggies and cooked in truffle oil for an extra-special flavor kick.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

One of my favorite questions to ask people is “What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?” It says a lot about you, and what you like. I always thought that my favorites were pretty non traditional. It’s actually a tie, and neither of them are dessert! I know, I know, but trust me, I love the desserts too.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

The first is my mom’s sweet potatoes. Mashed up with cinnamon and topped with melty, bubbling marshmallows. Uggghh, I die. I will only eat them that one day (and a few days after for whatever’s left over, obviously) a year. Food can bring up so many feelings and memories, and those sweet potatoes just feel like Thanksgiving.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

The other will come as no surprise. This stuffing. My stuffing. I was never the biggest fan of stuffing when I was younger, but once I tasted it, I realized exactly what I was missing. Last year was the first time I made my own. Before then? I was a sucker for the boxed stuff. Whatever, it totally tasted delicious at the time, but it is nothing compared to this gem. My family has been asking for this stuffing since last November. It’s become one of my traditions, and something I hope to pass down someday.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

I often get caught up in trying new things and experimenting in the kitchen, but there is something so special about creating lasting family traditions. This stuffing is special enough to me that it has become just that. Soft and tender cornbread with perfectly sauteed veggies cooked up in bold, flavorful truffle oil (<–my secret ingredient, and totally worth the splurge!), along with sweet turkey sausage. It could be a meal on it’s own, or a standout Thanksgiving side dish.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

Obviously, Nicole and I couldn’t let November go by without sharing a Thanksgiving Drink & Dish. Nicole makes probably favorite drink I’ve tasted, like ever–a pumpkin pie martini made with homemade pumpkin pie infused vodka (I mean, come on…). And we both share some time saving tips for the big day.


If you’re still deciding on your menu (or what to bring along to friends and family), this dish is simple, easy, and sure to impress!

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing #glutenfree #dairyfree

So tell me… What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish??

Drink & Dish: Cornbread Sausage Stuffing {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 as a side dish, 8 as a main course

Drink & Dish: Cornbread Sausage Stuffing {gluten-free}

Warm and comforting Thanksgiving cornbread sausage stuffing packed with veggies and cooked in truffle oil for an extra-special flavor kick.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp truffle oil (can sub olive or coconut oil, but it will not taste quite as incredible)
  • 1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 6 cups cornbread cut into 1" cubes (I used gluten-free), about 1 8x8 pan prepared
  • Generous pinch fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth
  • 4-5 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Heat truffle oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage until browned. Add veggies and garlic. Season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and slightly tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add cornbread and fresh herbs. Gently toss to combine. Transfer to baking dish. Add 1-2 cups chicken broth. 1 cup will yield a crispier stuffing, while more liquid will create a stickier texture closer resembling box mix. Place bay leaves on evenly around the top.
  3. Bake until cornbread begins to brown and edges become crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Again, less time will yield a softer stuffing.
  4. Remove bay leaves and serve. Leftover can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-cornbread-sausage-stuffing/

Buttermilk Cornbread Crusted Chicken Tenders

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Friends, here is the deal–I have eaten my fair share of fried chicken in my day. I used to be on a diet of fast food, chicken nuggets and french fries. With tons of ranch. It was delicious. So yeah, I’ve had enough fried foods to last a life time, so unless it’s a sweet potato fry, I really try my best to steer clear these days. At least I lived it up in my teenage years, right?

Well one thing I love about fried chicken is that it’s super easy to recreate in a healthy way. I feel you can make almost any food healthy, but some are definitely more challenging, and not the same as the original when it comes down to it. Has anyone mastered creme brulee? If so, we should become BFFs because I’d like to eat healthy creme brulee for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of my life. With calorie free ice cream for dessert. Let’s get to work on this people! Until then, I will get excited about other foods that usually cause heart attacks, but don’t when I make them. Like Buttermilk Cornbread Crusted Chicken Tenders.

Holy crispy chicken goodness! And you know what’s a million times better for you, and even better tasting than globs of ranch dressing? This maple mustard dipping sauce. I’ve started using this stuff on eeeevvvveerryything…salad, chicken, my spoon…

All served up with some delicious crispy kale chips. This dinner was a total hit! Last night was actually the second time I made it. I did a lot of really good cooking while Steve was away (guess I was trying to keep myself busy?) so now I’m trying to recreate it, so I can make him spend many laborious hours photographing it he can taste it too.

Buttermilk Cornbread Crusted Chicken Tenders

yield 10 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups cornbread mix (use gluten-free is applicable)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 3 lbs chicken breast
  • garlic pepper to taste

Yes. That’s seriously all you need. I love recipes like that!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place a cooling rack inside a large baking sheet, then cover with aluminum foil (optional), and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Measure cornbread mix into a large bowl for coating.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and buttermilk together. Add garlic pepper.
  3. Slice chicken into strips.
  4. Dip chicken into egg white/buttermilk mixture, then coat with cornbread mix and lay onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all chicken tenders.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for an addition 15. Then broil for an additional 2 minutes to get a little extra crispiness.
  6. Let stand for 2 minutes then serve with Maple Mustard Sauce.

Maple Mustard Sauce

yield approx 10 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 tbs yellow mustard
  • 3 tbs sugar free maple syrup
  • garlic pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together, then serve as a dipping sauce or dressing!

Family Dinner

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This week my aunt is in town from Kansas City! She usually is only able to make it out here about once a year, and unfortunately she has to leave on Thanksgiving morning so last night I invited the family over for dinner at my place. I would almost always rather cook and be in my own home than go out, but sometimes I have a hard time figuring out what to make for people with such a variety of tastes. My dad is vegetarian and Steve is a meat-a-tarian, and my grandma is, well, old. I really love spicy foods, but sometimes I worry that it will be too spicy for someone older. Not sure if that even makes a difference?

Anyway,  a few weeks ago, Lauren posted a recipe for Pumpkin Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili. I was immediately intrigued and tried it pretty soon after. Let me first say that Healthy Food For Living is probably my favorite recipe blog. I have absolutely loved every recipe I have ever tried and her substitutions have introduced me to several things that I now do on a regular basis. If you’ve never read her blog, check it out. However, when I made this chili the first time it was a little bit of a kitchen flop. You see, I had also recently seen a recipe for chili that you top with unbaked cornbread and then throw in the oven so the cornbread bakes on top. Well, the chili takes at least an hour to set and then the cornbread takes like 40 minutes so by the time it went in the oven it was 8pm and I was hungry enough to start chewing on my left arm. Well I decided it was done before it was and the cornbread to chili ratio was not working. I mean, I LOVE carbs but there was so much bread to so little chili and the bread was not really cooked and although I knew the chili recipe was good because everything tasted good, it was definitely NOT something I would share on here haha.

Last night, I used my brain a little and made cornbread muffins instead ;) I followed Lauren’s recipe almost exactly with the exception of adding adding some canned green chilis (I’d already opened the can for the cornbread, so I figured might as well), adding a can of corn, and using half regular black beans and half cuban style. I also doubled the recipe because I was cooking for 6.

The chili was delicious. *Almost* perfect. The one thing I would change next time is I would either boil/bake/microwave the sweet potato chunks for a few minutes first to cook them through slightly, or I would put the whole thing in a crockpot and let it cook on low probably all day long. Some of the sweet potatoes were cooked enough, but some of them were not quite as soft as I would have liked, but no one seemed too bothered by it :)

For the corn muffins, I took a box of Trader Joe’s cornbread mix, 3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk, 1 egg, 1/2 can medium heat green chilis and 1/2 cup pumpkin. Mixed everything together, transferred to muffin tins and baked according to directions on the box, although muffins definitely cook up faster, so you have to keep an eye on them.

I left Steve in charge of filling the tins, so we ended up with 1o huge muffins instead of 12 haha. He of course took all the credit for their deliciousness because I let him take over at the end.

The nice thing about this meal is that even though the chili takes a while to cook, once you put everything together, it just does the rest of the work on it’s own which gave me time to visit with the fam.

My aunt Rocky

I’m glad this is documented because I think this is the most conservative outfit my dad has ever worn.

G-ma. I think Steve did a pretty fab job on this picture! Doesn't she look good for 88?!

Steve got artsy with the camera. For a change ;)

Annnnnndddd Janie brought over our Chanukah/Christmas present super early!! She reads the blog so she knew exactly what I wanted!

"Present!!! I love presents!!!"

IT'S THE FLAMINGO!!!!!!!!!!

EEEEEE!!!! The wait is over!!!!

Do you remember how long I’ve been wanting this flamingo light?!?! Since last year!!! Obviously, I was ecstatic! I’ve said it a million times, but I am the easiest person to shop for. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy, and I love presents so much that pretty much anything with a little bit of thought, I go over the moon for. Janie is actually a really fantastic gift giver. Last year, she got us holiday martini glasses that I can’t wait to break out this year–perhaps an eggnog martini is in my future :) She also got us this

Menorah ornament!!!

Steve and I almost bought that ornament and actually when I was at Target yesterday with Bethany I almost bought the flamingo. So glad we didn’t buy either! Thank you Janie for the amazing kick off to the holiday season!

After dinner we had some cranberry bars for dessert, and took some family pics.

I am not a fan of this picture and I do not find it flattering, but it is necessary for the funniness that is about to come, so I'm taking one for the team, or the greater humor, or something.

After I looked at this photo, I started complaining about my double chin. All the sudden in pictures, it appears without fail. I have to be super careful about my angles because I’m vain and I do in fact care about it. As I started complaining, my dad suggested I try his neck exercises.

Thanks for the tip dad. Clearly, I have something to learn about my strength training from you ;)

“You see how I tighten in the most tensed position?” Oh yes, there is no arguing about tightened and tense position hahahaha. My dad is ridiculous and now you can see where I get my silliness from. My mom is actually pretty silly too. I didn’t stand a chance!

We spent the remainder of the evening loving on the puppies.

Clementine is learning to raise the roof.

And I'm trying to learn from her how to be cute. She is the master.

Can you see the photographer dog favoritism? Poor Winnie always seems left out of all of the pictures :( If I was in control of the camera, there would be shot after shot of Winston in all his glory! :)