Tag Archives: #recipes

Stuffing Waffles

Stuffing or dressing is a standard side dish for turkey or other poultry. Often, once the meal is over and there are dribs and drabs of vegetables, stuffing, and gravy. What better way to make a completely new meal with what you have on hand? The best part is that you can use whatever is available.


2 cups leftover stuffing

1 egg

Chicken or vegetable stock, or water, as needed

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Non-stick spray or vegetable oil

Preheat the waffle maker.

In a large bowl, stir together the leftover stuffing, parsley, and egg. If the stuffing seems a little dry, add chicken broth or water a few tablespoonfuls at a time and mix until well combined. Continue adding chicken broth or water as needed until the mixture is well-moistened (but not soggy).

Grease the heated waffle maker with cooking spray or oil.

Scoop 1/2-3/4 cup of the stuffing mixture into the prepared waffle iron, spreading it evenly. Close the lid and let the waffle bake until golden brown and the egg is cooked throughout.

Transfer the waffle to a serving plate then repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining stuffing. Serve the waffles with turkey a la king gravy and enjoy.


Make sure that the vegetables in the stuffing/dressing are relatively small. This will ensure even baking of the waffle.

Don’t repeatedly open the waffle baker while the waffle is baking or it will pull apart.

Stuffing waffles take longer to cook than regular waffles, because the egg must be completely cooked throughout. Don’t be afraid to let the waffle bake until it’s golden brown and crispy.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with topping with chili, cheese, pulled pork, or whatever is your favorite topping.

Sous Vide Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa

sous vide jerk pork tenderloin with mango salsa

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can use more if preferred)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper
2 1-pound pork tenderloins
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 mango, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (I usually have more on hand because I love cilantro.)
3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely diced

Set your sous vide temperature to 135 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, allspice, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, 2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Rub mixture over tenderloins.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the pork and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.

Place tenderloins and any leftover spice rub in a large vacuum seal or zipper bag (think freezer instead of storage weight). Seal using the water immersion technique or vacuum sealer on moist setting. Once the water temperature is at 135F, place the bag in the water bath and let go for 2 hours.

Prepare the salsa by putting the mango, bell pepper, cilantro, onion, lime juice, and jalapeno in a medium bowl. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use.

When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the sous vide bath. Let rest 10 minutes, then remove from the bag and pat dry. Slice the tenderloin and serve topped with the mango salsa.


This recipe is easy to pull together in a short time, which makes it perfect for weeknights. One way to change this recipe up is to substitute mustard greens or kale for part of the cabbage. The leftovers (if there are any) make a great filling for pierogis. This dish can be a meal by itself, the star of the show, or just a supporting actor. The choice is up to you.

Colcannon and corned beef

3-4 potatoes (about 2-2 1/2 lbs), peeked and cut into chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups of chopped cabbage
1/2 leek, diced (trim off dark green part)
2 green onions, minced (including the green tops)
1 cup milk or cream (1/2 and 1/2 works too)

Put the cut potatoes into a medium pot and cover with cold water, then add 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain well in a colander, the place in a large bowl.

With the potatoes in a bowl, return the pot to the stove. Over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the cabbage (and greens if using them). Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the cabbage is softened and given off some water. If using greens as well, cook until the greens are wilted, about 4-6 minutes. Add the green onions and tops, and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Using a fork or potato masher, mash the potatoes with milk or cream and fold into the greens. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and mix in. Reduce the heat to medium. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more butter or milk/cream.

Taste the colcannon, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with a dollop of butter in the center.

NOTE: If you are substituting greens for part of the cabbage, I wouldn’t change out more than half of the cabbage. It loses part of the Irish feel if there isn’t enough cabbage.

Spicy Green Beans

Green bean casserole. Just the mention of it conjures up the specter of Thanksgiving dinner. It also brings up heated debates regarding what is in it, do we really need it, who fixed it well, and heck, why can’t we just have green beans with butter and bacon? Enter Food Network chef Alex Guarnaschelli with her take on green beans. I adapted my recipe from hers, because we all want to copy the best.

3/4 cups green beans (washed, tipped, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
3 tablespoons creamy horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
zest and juice of one lime
6 sprigs basil, stemmed
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon mustard
bacon pieces, to top beans with
salt and pepper

Whisk together the horseradish, olive oil, cider vinegar, mustard, lime juice and zest. Make sure everything is incorporated well. Taste, then add a touch of salt and pepper. Whisk and taste again. Set aside.

Cook green beans in boiling salted water. Make sure to have a bowl of ice water with a colander in it ready. When the beans are cooked but slightly crunchy (about 2-4 minutes), remove from boiling water and put into the colander in the ice water. Stir the beans in the water to cool them quickly.

Once the beans are cool, drain well and put into a medium bowl. Add the dressing and some of the almonds, then toss to coat. Taste again, and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Stir in the basil leaves and sprinkle with remainder of slivered almonds and bacon pieces.

Optional ingredients: bacon (obviously); cocktail onions, cut into quarters; diced peppers; dried cranberries; fried garlic or onions

Easy Poultry Brine

Ok, so while I was writing this recipe I kept humming Grandma Forgot To Brine The Bird by Alton Brown. Those two times on stage (2015 and 2017) still make me smile. This brine is simple and straight forward. Please dispose of properly, as the quantity of salt in the brine will kill plants if you dump it on the lawn.

3 pints water
1 cup salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, quartered
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (you can add more or less)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about three cloves)

In a large pot, heat the water until almost boiling. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat until cool. To prevent food spoilage issues, don’t add the poultry until the brine is cool.

Variations: substitute orange for the lemon; add 1/4 cup soy sauce to the liquid; add rosemary.

Roasted Cornish Game Hen

2 Cornish game hens, defrosted
6 cups brine (see recipe here)
3 stalks celery, large diced
1 cup diced carrots (or 1 cup baby carrots)
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
2 large potatoes, large diced
1 sweet potato, large diced
1/2 medium onion, cut into eighths
2 clove of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground sage or poultry seasoning
fresh sage leaves (optional)
olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter
salt and pepper to taste

At least 24 hours ahead:
Place defrosted game hens in large zip bags or other sealable container and add the brine. Put in the lowest area of your refrigerator for 14-48 hours.

Heat oven to 350F.

On the day of:
Remove the game hens and brine from the refrigerator. Take the birds out of the liquid and rinse in fresh water. Discard brine.

In a large, heavy baking dish or roaster place the game hens and all of the vegetables. Add the water or broth, ground sage or poultry stuffing, and salt and pepper. Lay sage leave across the top of the birds, and drizzle with olive oil.

Cover and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 30 minutes, or until the hens register 165F on a thermometer. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, baste with the melted butter every 10 minutes.

When the birds are done, remove from the pan.

You can serve with the roasted vegetables as a side dish, shred the game hen down and add to make a hearty soup, or save the broth and vegetables to eat the next day as a light meal.

You can also add shredded chicken or turkey, mini meatballs, or cooked pasta or rice to the vegetable and broth mix. Two meals with one stretch in the oven makes this an easy thing to fix.

Easy Bread Stuffing

Ok, is it just me, or do you think stuffing/dressing should be enjoyed all year? This recipe is easy to put together, and super simple to swap out ingredients for what you have on hand. It is also a great way to increase the amount of vegetables that you (or your kids) enjoy with a meal. I made this with French bread, but you can use sandwich bread, rolls, or even soft pretzels. If you don’t have croutons, you can make your own or simply increase the bread chunks by 1 cup.

1/2 loaf French bread
1 cup croutons (homemade or store-bought)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup orange and red bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons unsalted pepper
3-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (you can use water, if preferred)
1 teaspoon ground sage or poultry seasoning
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Tear bread into 1-inch pieces and let dry for several hours in a large, heat-resistant bowl.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Melt butter in a large skillet and cook the onions, celery, half of the peppers, and mushrooms until just starting to get soft, about 4-5 minutes. Pour in 3 cups of broth and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Add the croutons and poultry seasoning or sage to the French bread pieces, then pour the broth and cooked vegetables into the bowl. Mix well and add more broth if it seems too dry.

Fold in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly grease an oven-safe dish and fill with the stuffing mixture. Smooth out the top so it is even, and bake uncovered until golden, about 25-30 minutes.

Variations: substitute chopped walnuts for croutons; top with sliced almonds or dried cranberries; add browned sausage to the stuffing mix before baking.

Quinoa Stuffing

The annual holiday debate seems to center around stuffing or dressing. They are the same thing, but dressing is cooked outside of the bird and stuffing is, well, stuffed into the bird before cooking. I grew up with stuffing, but as an adult I prefer is prepared as dressing. When a turkey or chicken is stuffed, it takes so long for the poultry to get to a safe temperature to eat that the meat winds up drying out. If your family prefers stuffing, I suggest preparing dressing and then fill the cooked bird right before taking it to the table.

1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (you can use plain water as well)
1 cup quinoa
1/8 cup olive oil
1 small butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cubed)
1 zucchini (diced into 1-inch cubes)
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground sage or poultry seasoning
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
chopped parsley for garnish
1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Put chicken or vegetable stock into medium pan and bring to a boil. Add quinoa and sage or poultry seasoning, then cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the diced zucchini and butternut squash until slightly browned.

Stir in the cooked quinoa, chopped green onion, dried cranberries, then drizzle with parsley and lime juice. Enjoy.

Note: this recipe works really well to make stuffed portobello caps.

Quick Cranberry Sauce

I happen to like both types of cranberry sauce (fresh and canned), so I don’t have to take a side in the matter. However, making your own cranberry sauce or relish only takes a few minutes and you can make it to your liking. If you wind up having leftovers, use them on a turkey sandwich spread as an ice cream topping, or swirled into oatmeal the next day.

1 12-oz. bag cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Reserve 1/2 cup of cranberries and set aside.

Put 1/2 sugar and the rest of the cranberries in a medium, non-reactive pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the berries are soft.

Increase the heat to medium and cook an additional 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the remaining sugar, orange juice, and reserved 1/2 cup of cranberries. Cook 3-5 minutes more, then remove from heat. Stir in the orange zest.

Pour into a heatproof glass dish and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Graham Cracker Crust

This is one of the easiest pie crusts to do, and you can always have children help with filling the pie pans. Just make sure to check it before putting it into the oven to make sure it isn’t too thick or uneven in spots.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl add the graham crackers, sugar, and salt, and stir. Drizzle the cooled melted butter over the crumbs and mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan or eight 4-inch tart pans. Make the crust as thin and even as possible, pressing it down with a large spoon or measuring scoop.

Bake until golden and crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before filling.

Variations: swap out some of the graham crackers for crushed chocolate cookies, gingersnaps, or pretzels.

This is the perfect crust for my no-bake pumpkin cheesecake.

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