Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey and Sage Dressing ala ~DKBB~

Turkey with Sage Dressing ala ~DKBB~
(based in part on Lyola Brown’s Sage Dressing recipe)

We brine our turkey…it makes for a much moister bird.

Basic brine recipe (this amount per 4 pounds, increasing amounts as needed for your size of bird)
1 cup water
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar 
  • Allow salt and brown sugar to dissolve in water thoroughly.
  • You can place the bird in a large plastic bag and then add the brine – or – you can use a very large stock pot, place in the bird and then brine, then cover. Brine overnight, or at least for 8 hours.
Brine your bird overnight, removing bird from brine about 2 hours before you plan to stuff it to allow the skin to dry a bit.

1½ to 2 loaves of bread
(I usually bake my own bread – Cracked Pepper Bread, Onion Bread, Oregano Herb Bread, Rye Bread, Wheat Bread…any and/or all combinations thereof. I slice the cooled loaves, then dice each slice into ½ cubes, place the cubes in one layer on cookie sheets, and bake at 250° F for 1 hour to create my own stuffing bread. Or you can do it the easy way and buy 2 packages of stuffing bread from your local grocery/bakery.)
½ to 1 cup diced onion
½ to 1 cup diced celery
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cubes of butter/margarine
Chicken broth
2 chicken bullion cubes
3 ½ tsp.* Rubbed sage
Salt and cracked pepper to taste

(* I personally use a lot more than 3 ½ tsp. rubbed sage…I’d say add this “to taste,” same as the salt and pepper.)
  • Heat 1½ to 2 cups chicken broth, the butter/margarine, and the bullion cubes in a saucepan on low heat until butter/margarine melts. Remove from heat.
  • Place dressing bread in a big bowl.
  • Add eggs, onion, and celery.
  • Pour some of the broth mixture over this; add sage, salt and pepper.
  • Mix all well until moist (with hands – it’s a good idea to have short fingernails before you start mixing, or you’ll be dealing with messy fingernails for a while).
  • Add more broth mixture as needed to get it to the point where it holds together, put is not soppy.
  • Add more sage, salt and pepper as desired. You can gauge the taste from smell (that’s my husband’s specialty) or taste (that’s my specialty).

  • Stuff the neck and body of the bird. If there’s more stuffing than will fit in the bird, bake it in a foil-lined casserole dish, adding a little broth just before baking (350°F oven for about 1 hour).
  • Put the stuffed bird in a 350°F oven until internal bird temp is 170°F and internal dressing temp is 165° to 170°F. Use the remaining broth mixture to baste the bird (make more broth mixture if needed).

  • When you put the bird in the oven, place the neck and giblets in a pan of chicken broth on the stove to simmer on lowest heat for the duration.
  • When the bird is done, use a turkey baster to remove the drippings into a large saucepan.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from the pan they’ve been simmering in; strain that liquid into the pan with the drippings.
  • If desired, strip the meat from the neck, cut up the giblets, and set aside.
  • Add Wondra flour one Tbsp. at a time to the gravy liquid; using a whip, mix well before adding another Tbsp. Plan on 2 Tbsp. of Wondra per cup of liquid. Keep adding Wondra until you have the consistency you desire.
  • If desired, add in the giblets, etc.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Snowball Cookies ala ~DKBB~

Snowball Cookies ala ~DKBB~
(“Russian Teacakes” original recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, rev. 1978)

2 cups margarine or butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4½ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1½ cups finely chopped nuts (optional)
Powder sugar
  • Heat oven to 400° F.
  • Mix margarine/butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • Shift flour and salt together.
  • Mix in flour (and nuts, if desired) in 1-cup batches until dough holds together (I get in there with my hands to get it all mixed well).
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place about 1 inch apart on parchment-covered cookie sheet.
  • Bake until set but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes (or 12 to 18 minutes on airbake cookie sheets).
  • Cool 5 minutes, then roll each cookie in powdered sugar while still a bit warm.
  • Roll in powdered sugar again.
  • Makes 4 to 6 dozen cookies (depending on how big you make each cookie ball).
These cookies are a favorite in my family. I usually make 4 or more batches during the course of the holidays. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mexi-Beef Cornbread Casserole ala ~DKBB~

Mexi-Beef Cornbread Casserole ala ~DKBB~
(original recipe “Chili Beef Corn Bread Casserole” from Dec/Jan 2014 issue of Simple & Delicious)

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. chili powder
Cumin and/or turmeric to taste (⅛ to ¼ tsp. of either or both)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (Mexican style, if available)
1 can diced tomatoes w/green chilies
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cornmeal (yellow preferred, but white will work too)
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 can cream-style corn
1 cup shredded cheese (Mexi-blend or cheddar)

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Brown hamburger, onion, green pepper, and garlic over medium heat; drain.
  • Stir in cornstarch, chili powder, cumin/turmeric, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened; remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and oil until blended; stir in cream-style corn.
  • Add the flower mixture to the egg mixture; stir just until moistened; then stir in cheese.
  • Spread half the batter in the bottom of a greased 3 qt. casserole dish, then layer in the beef mixture; top all with the remainder of the batter, covering the beef filling.
  • Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the corn bread portion comes out clean.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with sour cream, salsa, and/or Pico de Gallo condiments.