Is It Dressing or Stuffing? (Recipe)

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What do you call it? Dressing? Stuffing? You know, that cornbread stuff that is a staple side of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hear some people actually stuff it into the bird but I’ve never actually seen this done.

I called it dressing for years but people kept thinking I was talking about salad dressing so I’ve switched to calling it stuffing. Either way, the following is the recipe for my family’s version and is absolutely one of my FAVORITE foods. Following the recipe I’ll share a couple variations as well. (And if you are gluten free like us just use a gluten free cornbread recipe or mix-we like this one!)

 

Sorry I don’t have any pictures, I will take some to add when I make it this year.

 

Tip: let the cornbread sit out a little bit and dry out a bit, it seems to cook better this way and is definitely easier to crumble.

 

Cornbread Stuffing/Dressing

1 Cup butter

1-2 Cups chopped onion

1-2 pans of crumbled cornbread*

1 tsp poultry seasoning **

1 1/2 tsp salt **

1 1/2 tsp sage **

1 tsp thyme **

1/2 tsp pepper **

1 cup chopped celery (optional)

2-2 1/2 cups chicken broth (I use homemade)

2 well beaten eggs

3 boiled eggs chopped

Crumble cornbread into a bowl. Melt butter in skillet and sauté onion. Pour over the cornbread. Add all seasonings, celery, and boiled eggs and toss well. Pour in enough chicken broth to moisten (mine ends up pretty watery, sort of the consistency of lumpy pancake batter). Add beaten eggs and mix well. Place in large casserole dish and cook at 350 F for 1-1.5 hours.

Notes:

*The original recipe called for 2 pans or 6-7 cups of cornbread crumbled. I make one package of cornbread mix or one recipe of gluten free cornbread and bake it in my deep dish cast iron skillet and it has always been just the right amount, make 2 pans if you want a larger casserole of stuffing.

**Season to taste, I don’t use poultry seasoning in mine.

 

Variations:


Rice Stuffing: substitute cooked rice for the cornbread. Use whatever type of rice you like.

Cornbread and chicken (or turkey) casserole: Add cooked and shredded chicken (or turkey, or duck or whatever type of poultry) to the recipe and cook together. Then you have a great one dish meal!!

 

What is your favorite holiday side dish? Let me know in the comments! 

 
This post was shared on The Schoolhouse Review Crew Winter Cooking Inspiration Roundup:

Homeschool Review Crew Winter Cooking Inspiration

Thanksgiving Traditions

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Last year I posted quite a bit about our Advent and Christmas traditions but I just realized that I haven’t said anything about what we do for Thanksgiving.

I know there is a lot of discussion and debate about the fact that the Thanksgiving story we were all taught as children isn’t correct and what actually happened isn’t anywhere near as warm and fuzzy. I have thoughts on this but this isn’t the post for that.

The current reality is that our country DOES observe Thanksgiving and it is a wonderful opportunity to think about all the things in our lives we are grateful for! So this is how I view it. I also feel that observing a month of gratefulness as an excellent way to prepare our hearts for Advent. That said, I keep it very simple so we don’t end up exhausted before we even get to December.

Corn Kernel Thankfulness

Starting November 1st (yep this post is a bit late but there is no reason you can’t start now) I put a bowl of un-popped popcorn on the table along with a jar that I tie a pretty ribbon on.

I also put out our cornucopia which I plan to add to every year (except this one since I’m in the middle of a move and all my yarn is gone). But this isn’t part of my tradition just a fun decoration (you can find the pattern here).

Anyway back to the corn. Every evening at supper we go around the table and each say what we are thankful for. Everyone is allowed to say as many things as they would like. For each thing they list they put a kernel of corn in the jar.

I allow the younger kids to say the same things night after night. They are still learning the concept and my main goal is to instill a habit of expressing thanks and a heart full of gratitude so I don’t mind them repeating the same thanks every day. I do encourage the older kids to think of new items to be thankful for each day. I freely offer suggestions when I think it is needed.

In past years we have simply popped the corn (in my awesome whirley-pop!) on Thanksgiving so the more they have been thankful the more they get. But since we have popcorn on a regular basis already this isn’t all that motivating. Next year I think I’ll make caramel corn out of the corn in the jar-that should prompt LOTS of thankfulness!

Operation Christmas Child

OCC boxes

Another thing we usually do in mid to late November is participate in Operation Christmas Child shoebox collecting. The past few years we have been out of the US and not able to participate hands on (but we did build our boxes online). Next year we will be back to being able to participate more. Collection week is always the week before Thanksgiving week and we spend time during that week volunteering at our local collection or relay centers. There are also opportunities from Thanksgiving weekend through most of December at the Regional Processing Centers but sign up for those volunteer positions happens earlier in the year and fills up very quickly. Next year I will let you know before registration opens!

When we first started we took the kids to the store, grabbed a plastic shoebox and let them pick out items for a child their own age and gender to fill the shoebox (and hubby and I packed one each for a teenager). Now we collect items for our boxes all year. We also always include a note and a picture. I will post more early next year about collecting year-round or you can check out Clip With a Purpose, a blog dedicated to packing boxes on a budget throughout the year. If you are just now thinking about packing I suggest each family member packs one box for a child of their choice. You can find instructions and drop off locations at the OCC website.

Do you have other November/Thanksgiving traditions? Please share them in the comments. I’m always looking for new ideas!!

Make sure you subscribe to my blog (using the form on the right), I will share more about Operation Christmas Child next year and I am considering sharing my “secret family recipe” for the best stuffing ever-you won’t want to miss it!

Holiday Recap

With my family being in the middle of a move we will be spending Thanksgiving in a hotel and Christmas will very likely be in an empty house. So, unfortunately, most of my normal holiday traditions will be out the window this year. Since I don’t have any new plans to share with you I thought I’d give you a handy list of my previous posts about end of the year holidays. Hope you can find some fun ideas to try with your family!!

What I do about Halloween

5 Ideas For Your Best Christmas #1

5 Ideas For Your Best Christmas #2

5 Ideas For Your Best Christmas #3

5 Ideas For Your Best Christmas #4

5 Ideas For Your Best Christmas #5

Our Advent Calendar Activities This post includes instructions for a download of our Advent Activities, this is my 2015 calendar but is still available. I probably won’t be making a new one for this year since we will be in transition and it is hard to plan what we can do. Feel free to use the ideas and fit them into your calendar!

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions Video and My Favorite Gifts to Make

Holiday Duck Recipe

Putting this list together made me realize I don’t have much about Thanksgiving. We don’t do a lot for Thanksgiving but I’ll try to share a couple ideas next week.

What is your favorite fall holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) tradition? Share in the comments!!

Easter Traditions

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I don’t think we do Easter justice…..

I feel like Easter should be at least as big of a celebration as Christmas. Christmas is important because Jesus came, but Easter is essential, without the death and resurrection nothing would have been accomplished. I am still working on adding to our Easter Traditions to make this holiday a big celebration.

Here are a few things we do to celebrate Easter and make it fun and meaningful:

Eggs

My kids can’t have food dye so coloring eggs can be tricky. We have come up with some solutions.

We paint wooden eggs and then use them as decorations.

 

Painted wooden eggs
Wooden eggs painted a by my children a couple years ago.

We make confetti eggs.

Blown out dyed and painted eggs
Blown out and painted eggs waiting for confetti.

To make confetti eggs we blow out any eggs we use during the month or two prior to Easter. To do this use the point of a knife to make a small hole in the top (smaller end) of the egg. Then use the knife to make a somewhat larger hole in the bottom (larger end) of the egg. Blow into the top hole to force the egg out through the bottom hole. Rinse the egg shell gently and let dry.

We then decorate the eggs, sometimes we use normal egg dye and sometimes we just paint them. BE VERY CAREFUL!! Then we fill with “confetti.” We don’t want to trash the areas where we use the eggs so we use birdseed, flower petals and biodegradable paper.

Finally, we cover the holes with small pieces of paper and thinned glue (just add some water to glue, or even better, make flour glue). Then we have fun confetti bombing each other!

We also paint some of the blown out eggs and run a ribbon through the holes to make decorations. I am hoping to get an egg tree this year to hang them on.

We hunt eggs.

When we do our egg hunt we include a set of Resurrection eggs. This is a great tool for sharing the Easter story in a way children can understand.

Resurrection eggs

Resurrection eggs

We also have the book Benjamin’s Box that goes along with the resurrection eggs.

Benjamin's Box book

Easter Cross

My kids’ favorite tradition is our Easter cross.

I have a metal cross that stands on its own. On good Friday I place it on our table with a black cloth draped around it. The black cloth symbolizes Jesus’ death. We encourage our kids to be solemn from Friday through Saturday night-of course with four small kids solemn and quiet are relative. We read about Jesus’s arrest, crucifixion and death during these days.


Cross in mourning

Then on Sunday the kids wake up to find the black cloth gone and the cross covered in flowers and draped in a white cloth to symbolize HIs resurrection.


Celebration cross

We also have a cross that hangs on our door that we do the same with. The kids love this and look forward to finding the flower covered cross on Easter morning.

Other Things:

We don’t really do the Easter Bunny but we do usually get the kids some candy and small gifts, usually a Veggie Tales movie or devotional book or something along those lines.

Here are some of our Easter themed items that have been given in the past:

Buck Denver and Friends Present Why Do We Celebrate Easter? (Curriculum)
The Easter Carol Veggie Tales DVD
The Parable of the Lily Book by Liz Curtis Higgs

  IMG_2806 The Parable of The Lily book

I hope these ideas can inspire you and encourage you to develop your own Easter tradition and make it a special celebration in your own home.

Do you have any great Easter tradition? Share them in the comments! I would love to get some new ideas to add to our traditions!