Turkey stuffing for those of us who used to hate stuffing.  I started making this dressing many years ago and it’s always been a hit.  Can be prepared the day before and then baked with Turkey the next day.   For a vegetarian version use Knorrs vegetable cubes prepared in water to replace chicken broth.

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Rice Mixture:

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup mild onions; chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup celery; chopped into small pieces
1 cup Basamati rice
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 pinch saffron; optional
1 teaspoon ground sea salt; or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Cavendars Greek Spice; or substitute poultry seasoning 

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Bread Mixture:
1 pound bread stuffing; cubes/seasoned
1/2 cup mushrooms; canned/drained & chopped into small pieces
2 small granny smith apples; chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup pecans; chopped, can substitute slivered almonds
2 cups chicken broth; substitute Knorrs Vegetable cubes in water for Vegetarian

Preparation

1.  In a very large skillet, saute onions and celery in butter over low heat.  Add rice and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes until onions and celery are slightly tender.  Add chicken broth, salt and Cavendars Spice. .  Bring to a boil.  Cover pan tightly, lower heat to maintain slow boil, and continue to cook 15 minutes (rice will not be fully cooked).  Rice will be soft and of a thick soup consistency.

2.  Remove rice mixture from heat and mix in bread croutons, canned mushrooms, apples and pecans.  If your pan is not large enough then combine rice and bread mixture in a mixing bowl large enough to handle all the ingredients.

3.  With a large spoon, mix bread and rice together along with other ingredients until well blended.  I like my stuffing to be of a slightly dry texture prior to adding to the bird. After combining all the ingredients, I then slowly add more chicken broth and continue to turn the stuffing until I reach my desired consistency which is loose and slightly moist.  If you like your stuffing more on the dry side, then leave the texture loose and slightly moist.  If you like your stuffing soft and thoroughly moist, like bread pudding, then continue to add broth until the bread and rice begin to pack together into a slightly tight and soft consistency.

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(If prepared the day before: place 1/2 of dressing in a one gallon bag and the remaining in a baking dish.  Refridgerate until following day.)

4. Fill the cavity of a medium sized turkey or large roasting chicken with lightly packed dressing and allow to overfill a little.   Fill the breast pocket if the turkey with more dressing as well and make sure to tuck and secure the skin with a metal or wooden skewer.  When you begin to brown the bird, cover the dressing with foil so that it will not burn, but is brown and slightly crunchy on top. Bake according to Turkey Recipe instructions.

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5.  Place any remaining stuffing in a covered clay baking crock or fancy baking dish if for a holiday.  Cover and refrigerate baking dish until the final hour before dinner then bake in 350 oven for 1 hour.

6.  Remove the cover from the baking crock for the last 15 minutes of cooking so that it can crisp a little on the top.

7.  Serve hot in baking dish.

Almost without fail, when I have a dinner party or a gathering  for a fun cocktail hour evening, I will serve this appetiser.  It’s a great one to mix up for your friends and to get your friends to mix together.  Sometimes, a Bruschetta is served with the tapanade already on the bread.

I like to serve mine with toasted baquette and the Bruschetta on the side so the bread does not get soggy.  Hate soggy bread for some reason.

So, if you like to have the tapenade flavor mix into the bread, then feel free to serve the toasties already topped.  The difference though is that your friends may just load their plate and not mingle as much around the appetiser table.  There are a couple of other appetisers in the feature image; Stuffed Mushrooms.  One is a Stuffed Mushrooms with Sweet Italian Sausage, Goat Cheese & Figs and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Water Chestnuts.  Look for these in the future.

This baquette toastie is different from most that I have tried because it is a nice appetiser all on it’s own.  It has a robust flavor that is enhanced by the Bruschetta.  You can use this baquette recipe for almost any tapenade.  Enjoy… from KCinAZ.

Ingredients

Bruschetta Topping:   Baguette:
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil 1  pound French bread Baguette
1  tablespoon Champagne Wine vinegar 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2  cloves garlic, peeled; chopped 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
3  large Tomatoes; chopped  Italian seasoning to taste
12  sprigs Basil; chopped 1/4 cup Asiago Cheese shredded
Salt; To taste

Preparation

Remove seeds and pulp from tomatoes and then dice into small pieces.  Mix together tomatoes, chopped or minced garlic cloves, olive oil, Champagne wine vinegar, chopped basil, salt and pepper and set aside to serve at table.

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Slice French bread baguette into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices; your choice depending on the crowd.  Place on flat baking dish like a heavy cookie pan.  Brush top of each slice with extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with garlic salt and lightly top with shredded Asiago Cheese on each bread slice.  Place under hot broiler and cook on BROIL until lightly browned.

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If you don’t have Asiago Cheese on hand, feel free to substitute fresh shredded Parmesan.  It will still be great!

Makes 12 servings.

Just a few days ago, I made my favorite Banana Bread recipe and usually it’s a special treat full of goodness and loaded with nuts. Not this time. Oh, there were plenty of nuts (including the cook) but the final baked bread was not what I expected. Only word to describe is “horrible”!! A word to the wise baker. When mixing the final batter for sweet breads DO NOT over mix. I was having so much fun mixing the batter that I over mixed the heck out of it. My thinking was oh, this is going to be so much better because I spent more time and energy mixing. Do not repeat my mistake or the loaves will not rise. The 4 mini loaves ended up 1/2 the normal fullness and were overly dense.   They turned out like over baked hockey pucks. Gus said it tasted good, but normally our mini loaves are gone in 2 to 3 days.  However this time there are still 2 1/2 loaves left. Guess I will just have to take them outside for the birds. Hope the birds like them better than we did.

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This is what it should look like when cooked right. Full rise and browned. Yummy!
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This is how it turned out by overmixing! Flat, dense and not really browned. Yucky!!

Will be making one of our favorite treats for when there are left over banana’s going a little over ripe.  Here’s are some pictures of the yummy treats right out of the oven.  Making four mini loaves this weekend.

This banana bread is loaded with walnuts and has a crusty edge just like the tops of those banana nut muffins we all love.  It’s like just eating the top off a muffin with every slice.   Prepare individual slices and spread with softened butter.  I prefer the four mini loaf version over one loaf.

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Ingredients

2  cups Unbleached flour 1/3 cup Butter
1  cup Sugar 1/3 cup Shortening
3/4 teaspoon Salt 2  extra large Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda 3  tablespoon Half-and-half cream as needed
3 Bananas 1  cup Walnuts chopped
1  teaspoon Vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom and up the sides a bit of 1 large non-stick loaf pan; 9″ x 5″ x 2.5″ or 4 non-stick mini-loaf pans.  Lightly coat with flour on the bottom to prevent sticking if pans are not non-stick.

Mix sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in medium size mixing bowl with whisk.   Add shortening, eggs, bananas, and vanilla to the dry ingredients.   Cut the shortening, softnened butter, eggs, banana mixture into the dry mix with double pastry knifes or kitchen knifes then finish mixing with large mixing spoon. Add half-and-half until batter is still somewhat thickened.  Batter may seem to be too thick but it will mix in.  Fold in 3/4 cups of the walnuts and retain around 1/4 cup to top the baking loaf.  Do not overmix.

Spoon batter into the baking pan, or 4 mini loaves and spread to flatten to edges of pan.  Top with remaining walnuts.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 60-75 minutes for large loaf pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes for mini-loaf pans.  Start checking at the lowest bake time and continue cooking until fully cooked.

Place in the middle of the oven for even baking.  Test with toothpick or wooden skewer until it comes out clean, but do not overcook.  If loaf is browned and beginning to split, it may appear to be done,  Don’t be fooled.  Check with “long” toothpick or wooden skewer.  If the toothpick is not coming out clean from the center then cover with a little foil so as not to over brown the top while the center finishes cooking.

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.