Monday, November 24, 2014

Stuffing and Such

It’s Thanksgiving week, so I’m jumping on the recipe bandwagon. BUT, unlike many publications which wait until it’s the day of the holiday and too late to go buy the stuff and make the recipe, I’m not waiting until Thanksgiving Day to release my “favorite stuffing recipe.” I’m doing it today -- Monday -- DAYS in advance of the big feast. So you still have time.

It’s easy, it’s tasty, it can be made all year long, and it was always a hit with my picky-eater ex-husband and at the office potluck at my old job. Consider this my gift to you.

- Boxed/packaged Cornbread Stuffing Mix (no-name store brands are fine, save your money)
- One apple and/or pear, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks (both together is yummy)
- Chopped walnuts and/or slivered almonds (a handful -- or pick some out of the can of fancy mixed nuts)
- Raisins and/or cranberries (fresh or dried, about a handful)
- Butter (for the stuffing mix, and sautéing)
- Onion, cut into small pieces (as much as you like)
- Cinnamon (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Saute the onion, apple and/or pear, cranberries and/or raisins and nuts in butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon into it and and stir. Don’t overcook it, or it will be too soggy. Feeling adventurous? Toss in a bit of wine or orange juice (1/4 cup? I dunno, I don’t measure). (Note: You could stop right here and serve this mixture as is. Seriously.) 

Sauteed apples, pears, onion, fresh cranberries, raisins, nuts.
Prepare the stuffing mix according to the directions -- (It’s usually as simple as boil water, add the stuffing mix and a tablespoon of butter, set for five minutes then fluff with a fork).

Add the sauteed fruits and nuts to the cornbread stuffing mix and stir until mixed.

Serve. Enjoy.

If you are preparing this in advance, you can keep it warm in a crock pot.

Optional activities: If, by some miracle, there is any left over, put it into a casserole dish. The next day, or the day after that, toss in some shredded cheese and bake until hot for a modified side dish.

Meatlovers’ option: Add cooked spicy pork sausage (it comes in a tube). You can probably get away with 1/4 of the sausage tube for one package of stuffing.

I’ll catch you later. I’m suddenly craving some stuffing with fruits and nuts.

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