Stuffing from Scratch

It’s 5AM and I’ve been awake for about an hour now. After 30 minutes of tossing and turning in bed, I had a bit of a panic attack when I remembered that my uniform for work was in the laundry. I jumped out of bed and found myself sorting laundry in the closet as to not wake my fiancé.

I guess that is a bit of news I’d hadn’t shared here. My boyfriend proposed to me at dinner a few weeks ago. It was our 16 month anniversary and we were eating at Houlihan’s in Leawood. It was where we had gone on our very first date. We had planned to go to dinner early because the Kansas City Royals were playing game five of the World Series at 7PM. We were standing outside the restaurant talking about our first date and how we stood outside the restaurant talking after a long dinner. I turned around to walk in and Jeremiah spun me back around before getting down on one knee. I was a little in shock. If I was, you should have heard all the people around us. The people dining on the patio and getting in/out of vehicles were like “Is he prosing?” “Did she say yes?” Of course, without a doubt in my mind, I said yes. We went into the restaurant and the server asked us how it was going. I said, “We just got engaged.” He was like, “Congratulations!” I was like, “It was a minute ago just outside the restaurant. This is where we went on our first date.” The table next to us asked if he could take our photo when he overheard us. He told us how it was he and his wife’s second marriage but when you find the right one, it’s meant to be. The restaurant was so sweet and the manager brought us champagne and dessert to celebrate. Phone calls were made while we waited for our lovely dinner – the George Banks Sea Scallops with risotto and fresh arugula (one of my absolute favorite dishes of all time). As you all know by now, the Royals won it in game five beating the Mets in extra innings. It was also my mother’s birthday so this is certainly a day we will never forget.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been sleeping very long since our engagement. I wake up with ideas about our vows or what food should we make during our engagement photos. The date is set for July 2016 so I need to get cracking on these details. The venue is pretty much set, the guest list has been made, our wedding app/website has been created, half the attendants have been asked (including our adorable 3 ½ month old ring bearer), and the photographer has been selected. However, I have no idea what my dress will look like or what colors I want. I also need to email my hairdresser to see if she’s available. Every hinges on what time my hair can be done. Oh let’s hope she’s available because I have zero skill when it comes to doing my hair. I better email her right now, this is really important.

So since I’m awake and my laundry is in the wash, I decided to write a blog post for all of you. It is Thanksgiving week. Can you believe it? Normally, I would have already scoped all the Black Friday ads and had a plan for our day after Thanksgiving adventure. This year, I’m worried about whether or not I need to schedule a dress outing the Saturday after Thanksgiving with my mother and sister. I’m also not sure what on earth to get my fiancé for Christmas in our $75 spending limit?

In honor of it being Thanksgiving week though, I have decided to share with all of you one of the recipes Jeremiah and I will be making for my family. This is a recipe we learned last year while taking a cooking class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. Not to worry my vegetarian friends, I’m including modifications for you to enjoy this recipe as well. I made both recipes for our Thanksgiving work potluck last week.

stuffingApple, Sage, & Sausage Sourdough Stuffing by Rachel Ciordas
12 oz. turkey breakfast sausage
1 tsp. oil
2 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped apple
2 c. chopped celery
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. black pepper
12 c. cubed sourdough bread
1 can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth

Cook sausage until browned. Add onion, apple, and celery. Sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in seasonings. In a large bowl, combine sausage mixture, bread, and broth. Spoon the stuffing into a sprayed 11 x 7 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Nutrition: Makes nine (1 c.) servings. 208 calories, 5 g. fat, 11.9 g. protein, 28.9 g. carbs, 2.1 g. fiber.

Notes:

  • Rachel said to not use green apples for this recipe. They are not sweet/juicy enough to sauté.
  • Did you know you can eat the leafy part of celery? It’s actually really flavorful.
  • I brought two loaves of fresh French bread at Spouts. I cubed 1 ½ loaves and let it sit out in a bowl overnight. I used the extra bread for a brioche French Toast.
  • I used the local brand of ground sausage. It added some extra flavor. 
  • I’ve found the lowest sodium chicken broth is Rachael Ray’s brand.
  • To make it vegetarian friendly, I substituted veggie broth and removed the sausage. In its place, I put some dried cranberries. After my luncheon, Jeremiah and I mixed the leftovers. It was good so feel free to add cranberries to the original recipe.
  • For a little crisper stuffing, bake covered 15 minutes and uncovered for 35-40 minutes.
Advertisements

Baked Pork Chops

On Friday, Jeremiah sent me a text saying his mom missed him (aww) and they wanted to come up on Saturday. Jeremiah suggested we have dinner and watch the Royals in game four of the World Series. I said, of course. This is the first time we would be able to host company for dinner. The big question was, “What would we make for dinner?” I knew I had to work until about 4:30PM on Saturday. That meant Jeremiah would have to do the grocery shopping and the bulk of the cooking. We decided to do pork chops – which we already had in the freezer. I suggested that we make fresh green beans and purple potato au gratin to go with it. Jeremiah’s dad is diabetic and Jeremiah is watching his carbs so they seemed like good side dishes.

I suggested we look for a pork chop recipe we could cook in the Crockpot or oven to save us some time. We flipped through my Pinterest and found this new recipe to cook. Dinner turned out great. I hope you enjoy it.

Ultra Crunchy Baked Pork Chops by Sugar & Spice by Celeste Blog
pork chop4 boneless pork chops
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
2 tsp. Parmesan cheese
¼ c. plus 6 T. flour
3 large egg whites
3 T. Dijon mustard
lemon wedges

Line a 13 x 9 pan with foil and place a backing rack on top of it. In a shallow dish, pour ¼ c. flour. In another shallow dish, whisk egg whites and mustard. Then, whisk in 6 T. flour. Then, pour bread crumbs and parmesan cheese into a third shallow dish. Salt and pepper pork chops. Then, use tongs to coat both side of pork chops in flour. Next, coat pork chops in egg mixture. Finally, coat both side of pork chops in bread crumbs. Place pork chop on rack and repeat for three remaining chops. Bake at 425 degrees for 17-25 minutes – until meat temp reaches 150 degrees. Let it rest for five minutes before serving. Squeeze the lemon.

Notes:

  • The original recipe has a recipe has a recipe to make your bread crumbs. I posted what we did because it saved time.
  • We baked it for 25 minutes with the potatoes and it make out just perfect.
  • With the price of eggs, we used egg white substitute instead of wasting part of an egg.
  • We also used honey Dijon mustard.