Archives for November 2012

Stuffing for Thanksgiving

This recipe is very similar to the one my mom made every Thanksgiving when we were growing up. Then I carried the tradition on when I started making my own Thanksgiving dinners.

 

Over the years, I added a few more herbs and seasonings, but the basic recipe stayed the same until one year my brother and his wife hosted Thanksgiving.  It was their first time hosting, and they took on the task of preparing most of the main dishes including the turkey and, of course, the stuffing.  My brother found a recipe online which included Challah bread, and he expertly prepared it – in other words, it was crazy delicious!  My mom and I had always used wheat bread in our stuffing which came out good, but the stuffing made with Challah was amazing.

 

So, needless to say, I had to alter our recipe!  I kept the same base ingredients as before – the same veggies, herbs and seasonings tossed with cubes of bread and a cornbread stuffing mix, however the substitution of Challah for whole wheat really brought the stuffing over the top.

 

To make the stuffing, you’ll need the following:

 

12oz of Challah bread, sliced into 1/2 inch slices (if you can’t find Challah bread, you can substitute Buttermilk bread or Hawaiian bread which both taste similar to Challah)

1/2 of a 12oz box (i.e. 6oz) of seasoned cornbread stuffing

1/2 of a celery bunch, diced small

1 small to medium yellow onion, diced small

1/2 of a bunch (i.e. about 1 cup) fresh curly parsley, minced finely (if you can’t find curly parsley, flat leaf is fine)

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/8 tsp dried ground sage

1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp regular salt)

1/8 tsp black pepper

Dash of garlic powder

3/4 cup chicken broth

 

Toast the slices of Challah bread (in the toaster or under the broiler for about 5 minutes) till lightly toasted.  Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, and then dice it into 1/2 inch cubes.   Set aside.  Meanwhile, spray the bottom of a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot with non-stick spray.

 

In case you don’t know what a dutch oven is, here’s a pic of mine:

 

I highly recommend investing in one if you don’t already have one – they are wonderful for soups, stews, and of course stuffing!  But, if you don’t have one yet and don’t feel like running out for one before Thanksgiving, a large heavy bottomed soup pot will work, too 🙂

 

Anyway, let’s get on with the recipe!

 

Add the celery, onion, parsley, and bay leaf to your dutch oven or pot, and sauté over medium heat for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Mix in the thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and continue sautéing till the onion is translucent and the celery is softened.  Remove the bay leaf, and reduce the heat to medium low.  Add the diced bread and the seasoned cornbread stuffing and gently toss to combine.  Add the chicken stock and gently mix to combine.   Turn the heat back up to medium and heat till completely heated through (stir very frequently to prevent the stuffing from sticking to the bottom of the pot).

Note: If you plan to stuff a turkey or one or more chickens with some of the stuffing, add only enough chicken broth so that the stuffing is just barely moistened.  (While roasting, the stuffing will absorb juices from the bird and will become too soggy if you add all of the broth called for in the recipe.) Then, be sure to transfer the stuffing you plan to add to the bird to a separate bowl to avoid contaminating the whole batch as you dip your spoon back and forth between the stuffing and the bird.

Also, be sure to reserve the bay leaves and place them in the cavity of the turkey or chicken before adding the stuffing.  Then, once your bird is stuffed, add a little more chicken broth to the original batch of stuffing so that it’s nicely moistened (mix in a little at a time to avoid gloppy stuffing!)

 

If there is any stuffing left in the bowl you used to stuff the bird, add a little more broth to it, as well, and then bake it at 375˚ till hot and golden brown on top.

 

Makes 10-12 servings.

 

Enjoy!

Queen Bee, Aliso Viejo, Recap – Part 3

Before this year, I’d never actually had the chance to shop at a Queen Bee Market, but every time friends of mine would go, they’d always come back full of stories about all of the beautiful things for sale, and their purchases were just further evidence of the lovely and unique items to be found there. So, this year, when Molly told us we would have the opportunity to get to participate as a vendor, I was very excited, and my experience there didn’t disappoint!  It was such a privilege to get to be among so many creative and talented people – and everyone we met was so sweet and encouraging, too!

 

I loved so many booths and so many items that people had for sale, but there were definitely a few things that stood out to me.

 

First of all, I just love home décor that incorporates rustic, shabby chic, or country elements, so I especially loved all the use of rustic wood signs and boxes I saw scattered throughout the market.

 

I thought Cinnamon Sticks Designs made especially good use of old wooden boxes and planks to highlight her adorable jewelry.

 

I also loved the adorable “Vessel Handmade” booth with her reclaimed wood sign!

And, of course, “Grace for Grace”, which won best booth design, had a charming mix of vintage boxes and wooden fencing to show of her beautiful artwork and stationary!

 

I also loved the geeky themed pillows and aprons at “Saturday Morning Pancakes”! Having spent almost 14 years working in the video game industry, I still have a soft spot for anything geeky! Lol! My husband is also geeky (and still makes video games!), so it was fun to come home and tell him about them, too!

 

So, if you’ve never been to a Queen Bee Market, I highly recommend it! In fact, this weekend is the last Queen Bee for 2012 and it will be held in Carlsbad, California. The market will be open both Friday and Saturday, November 16th and 17th, so there is extra time to shop! Check out the Queen Bee website HERE for all the details, including info on the Girls Night Out Craft Night TODAY.

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Bee, Aliso Viejo, Recap – Part 2

Boutique Love

The last couple weeks have been the busiest of the year for Throne of Grace…and the most fun!  We have now completed another season of Boutiques.  God has truly blessed our business and our hearts!

 

As Molly mentioned in Part 1 yesterday (you can catch up HERE if you missed it!), we were so excited to finally be part of the Queen Bee!  This handmade market is fun to shop and always filled with amazing and super creative vendors.  To be a part of such a market was a huge privilege as we were surrounded by amazing artists and their booths.

 

Grace for Grace is always a favorite of mine and she was at the Queen Bee!  I met Tiffany this summer at the Penelope Lane boutique and immediately fell in love with her booth and products.  She has an amazing assortment of prints that contain Bible verses and wooden blocks she has hand-painted.  Her work is absolutely beautiful!

 Here I am admiring her booth at a local boutique this fall (I have no idea what I am trying to do with my hand…awkward!)

 

I bought some prints from her that I absolutely adore.  For this one I bought a frame at Hobby Lobby (can you believe for only $10?).  I have a friend getting married and I thought this would make a perfect shower gift.   (I hope she doesn’t read this!)

 

I also bought this print…love the chalkboard look that is so trendy right now.  I hung it up in my kitchen in a frame I bought super cheap at a garage sale.  I painted the frame turquoise and roughed it up a bit with sandpaper.  I love the reminder to work with “all my heart” in the heart of our home.   I also have a wooden sign she painted:  “Be still and know that I am God” (can you tell I am a bit obsessed?)

 

I always love having scripture around my home, and Tiffany’s work is amazing.  You can find her shop on Etsy HERE.