Category: side dish

Grilled Sweet Potatoes & Asparagus

Grilled Sweet Potatoes & Asparagus

Grillin’ & Chillin’ We just grillin’ & Chillin’, but Pepé is confused as always. He wants to know why I’m putting my sweet potatoes in the microwave when I said we were grilling. Fair question I guess. I like to put my veggies on the […]

Light Mexican Corn Salad

Light Mexican Corn Salad

Because there are other options besides rice and beans Why does almost every Mexican meal in the United States come with rice and beans? OK, I like rice and beans, don’t get me wrong, but really? Let’s step it up already. Plus this Light Mexican […]

Sage Corn Bread Dressing

Sage Corn Bread Dressing

baked cornbread stuffing

What’s the Difference Between Dressing and Stuffing?

It’s so simple… Stuffing gets “stuffed” inside the turkey or whatever is being stuffed, and “dressing” is cooked outside the bird. A particular brand of stuffing may or may not have had something to do with the fact that nobody calls it “dressing” is anymore. So, call it what you want, but Pepé and I call it delicious! Sorry to those who are gluten intolerant, I have no substitute for you… Unless you want more meat. Yes, eat more meat or healthy veggies… I guess those are options, and don’t forget dessert.  

Could it be a North or South thing?   

Something I’ve noticed, is that it seems like the people that I know from the northern states tend to lean towards traditional bread dressing and the people that I know from the southern states tend to lean towards cornbread dressing.  My hubby, who is from way up north (ya, you betcha ‘der, eh?), And my step-father prefer the traditional bread dressing. Good news is, you don’t have to take sides. They are both delicious, so Pepé and I just make them both and everyone is happy. 

Sage Corn Bread Dressing

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving at our house without this southern style cornbread dressing. It smells and tastes like the fall season. Goes great with turkey and gravy too.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Pan Corn Bread (8" x 8") (crumbled)
  • 1 1/4 Cup Onion (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Dry Rubbed Sage
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme (stems removed)
  • 2 1/2 - 3 Cups Chicken Stock or Turkey Stock (homemade)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Make corn bread (box or homemade) and let sit over night to get stale. Crumble in large bite size chunks into a bowl.
    cornbread stuffing ingredients
  • Chop onions and celery.
    fresh herbs for dressing
  • Mince the fresh herbs.
    sauté veggies for stuffing
  • Heat skillet on medium hight. Melt the butter in the pan then add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until slightly tender (a couple of minutes).
    mixed cornbread dressing
  • Transfer butter, onion and celery mixture to the bowl with the crumbled corn bread. Season with herbs, and at least half of chicken stock. Season, stir and taste. Mixture should be somewhat wet, but not soupy. The less you stir, the more large bits of cornbread you will have. If you get it too wet, don’t worry... Just cook it longer until it’s the firmness or dryness you desire. Overall it should take 35 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven. It should just slightly turn brown on the top.
    baked cornbread stuffing
Fresh Herb Bread Dressing

Fresh Herb Bread Dressing

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Or should I say, comfort, strength, love and courage? These are just some of the ingredients that go into this classic herb bread stuffing, but because I was writing the recipe and I just happened to list the ingredients in […]

Jicama Mango Slaw

Jicama Mango Slaw

There’s no law about slaw   Well, I was smoking a pork shoulder for our guests and as usual I was going to make the standard coleslaw to go with it, when out of nowhere, Pepé le Chef jumped out and said, “NO, NO SHERIE… […]

Easy Pasta Salad

Easy Pasta Salad

Eclipsapalooza 2017

Living in the Midwest was especially cool this year because we got to experience the solar eclipse. Our wonderful friends (Ann and Rick) were gracious enough to host a spectacular Eclipsapalooza party in Columbia, Missouri. It’s  only a one and a half hour drive from us, so we packed up the car and headed south. Pasta salad, Pepé and Claude in tow. They were expecting quite a few guests so there weren’t enough rooms for us to stay in the house, so we set up our tent in their backyard. We had a few other campers, but most either lived near by or stayed in a local hotel.

A freind of ours, (Ram) took this amazing photo of the eclipe and was kind enough to share it with us.

A couple of days earlier my hubby and I were sitting by the pool and I said, “should we take Pepé and Claude?”  My husband said, “sure, why not?”  I mentioned that they didn’t have proper eclipse glasses, but my hubby reminded me that I was capable of making them. So, that it was I did.

Here’s a picture of Pepé and Claude wearing their glasses in our tent next to the coffee maker. Claude insisted that we bring some Irish Cream Liqueur to add to our coffee.

These are very custom made eclipse glasses. Claude’s head is 1/2” bigger than Pepé’s so I made sure that each pair fit perfectly. One thing that didn’t cross my mind in this process was how they were going to wear them. Once I was done making the glasses and I tried to put them on my little friends, I noticed that neither of them have ears. This might be one of the reasons that they never listen to me when I’m telling them what to do in the kitchen or wherever. LOL  No worries, I was able to use some kitchen twine to tie them behind their heads. Perfect! We are now ready to go!

I have to point out the five blueberry pies that one of the guests (Mary) made. They are made from blueberries that grow in her own yard and the pies are decorated like the various stages of the eclipse. Very creative. There were so many amazing and creative dishes that I’m not going spend much space highlighting my humble, but easy pasta salad. It’s really super easy and I don’t think all the photos are necessary.

Did I mention the band? The band was really great. Can’t wait to hear them play again some day.

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Easy Pasta Salad

This is an easy and versatile dish that can be made ahead and modified in many ways.
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 12 Ounces Tri-Color Rotini Pasta
  • 16 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes (or any tomato cut up into about the same size)
  • 1 Large Cucumber
  • 1 Medium Red Onion
  • 8 Ounces Italian Salad Dressing
  • 10 Ounces Queso Fresco Mexican Cheese (or Feta or Cheddar)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  • Boil pasta per package instructions. I like mine a little al dente, so I usually cut 1 or 2 minutes off the suggested boiling time. Plus, this will help if the salad is being made in advance. You don’t want soggy, mushy pasta.
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in quarters.
  • Slice the cucumber in about 1/4” - 3/8” thick then quarter those slices.
  • Slice onions about the same size.
  • Toss all in a large bowl, crumble cheese on top, add dressing, salt and pepper, stir and enjoy.

Notes

You can really add or delete just about anything in this dish. You can add summer sausage, shrimp, chicken, artichoke hearts, black olives, bell peppers, etc. Be creative. Make it your own. This is just a base recipe.

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