Family Time Not Kitchen Time…..
Alright, we are in the home stretch! Just FOUR days until Thanksgiving. Are you ready for this? Today I am not just going to give you a recipe, I am going to give you a few easy tips to ensure that you aren’t spending your entire turkey day in the kitchen. While we love to cook, when we are celebrating a holiday, who really wants to spend their entire day slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else gets to enjoy each other’s company? Ok, let’s get started!
First, anything that you can make ahead, do it! I know, I know, so many people envision that Normal Rockwell Thanksgiving table with a whole turkey, all the sides, and a giant family gathered around. Guess what, your guests won’t think any less of you if you cook your turkey a day, or two, ahead of time, slice it up, and present it ready to eat on a tray. It is just as appetizing, you can garnish it for a little flair, and you won’t have all that crazy clean up on a day that you want to be relaxing, and enjoying your friends, and family. If you want a super no fail recipe make sure you pop over to my sweet friend’s site. Juli, at Tangled with Taste, has mastered the bird, she is the queen of Thanksgiving turkey.
Second, make as many sides, and desserts, that will hold together, a day or two ahead of time. Your pies can be made ahead, potatoes and gravy can be made ahead, rolls, and sweet potatoes can also be made ahead. You can make my Sweet Potato Casserole & Homemade Marshmallow Topping a day before and serve it cold, or make the base the day before, and add the topping right before dinner. (Seriously though, this sweet potato casserole is so easy you can make it right before dinner.) Another side you can make is my Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Dry Roasted Hazelnuts. The creamy green bean portion of my Creamy French Green Bean Casserole can be made a day ahead, but the onion topping should be cooked right before serving for full yumminess. And now, I will give you a recipe that can be made up to THREE days ahead (look at all the free time you have now 😉 )
This year I made my cornbread stuffing a little bit different, and I like it so much better than the old version. I will give you my cornbread muffin recipe, it is a denser version, not fluffy, so it holds up under the broth, but feel free to use your favorite cornbread recipe if you like. I will give you the measurements. This year I added a sweet and tart apple (A granny and a fuji), and I also added chopped up turkey, this seriously took it to the next level. Stuffing doesn’t get any easier than this. Want to make it Vegan, super simple, swap the broth for veggie broth, and leave out the turkey. Bam, you are done! But if you do like turkey, I suggest that you try it the way it is written because it will make all other cornbread stuffing pale in comparison, even if you are a hard-core southerner that knows your holiday foods, you will stick with this recipe.
There really aren’t any special directions for this particular recipe, it is seriously just that cut and dry. I ate it for four days after I cooked it (No one else in my family likes stuffing/dressing of any kind.) and it kept its amazing flavor the entire time. I think that the flavor actually got better after sitting for a day. It didn’t get soggy, or anything like that, it was just as yummy as when I cooked it fresh. All I can say is, take note of the tips above, prep and cook ahead as much as you can, enjoy those who are around you, don’t spend your entire day in the kitchen, have a peace filled Thanksgiving, sit back, relax, and enjoy!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tip?
Double Apple Sweet Cornbread Stuffing
By Angie Gouchenour
½ teaspoon coconut oil
½ cup red apple ( ½ small apple, I used Fuji) chopped
½ cup green apple ( ½ small apple, I used granny smith) chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup onion, diced (I used frozen)
½ cup cooked turkey, shredded
2 cup cornbread muffins crumbled (Recipe for mine below)
½ cup broth (I used 1 chicken bouillon cube and ½ cup water)
½ teaspoon dry rubbed sage
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350’f
In a fry pan heat your coconut oil; add your red and green apple, celery, and onion
Cook your fruit and veggies for 5 minutes
Add your shredded turkey, crumbled cornbread, and broth and carefully fold until the broth is evenly absorbed. (Don’t get too aggressive, you don’t want mush.)
Fold in the sage, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper
You can either wrap your frying pan handle in foil, like I did, and transfer it to the oven, or spoon the mixture into a casserole dish
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes
Remove, and enjoy!
(Refrigerate all leftovers for up to 5 days)
Cornbread Muffin Recipe
¼ c Sugar 2.0
2 Tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
½ cup wheat flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon baking powder
3/8 cup plant based milk (I used unflavored vanilla cashew milk)
Preheat oven to 375’f
In a medium bowl combine the Sugar 2.0 and apple sauce
Stir in the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder until combined
Slowly add the plant based milk to avoid lumps
Evenly distribute the batter between 6 oiled, or paper lined, muffin tins
Cook for 15 minutes
Remove and allow to cool
NOTE: These are dense muffins. If you are looking for a fluffy muffin to eat as a side, this is not that muffin 😉