How was everyone’s Halloween? We got ZERO trick-or-treaters, which is so surprising. We have plenty of children in our complex, but maybe we are scary (or too far) by being a back-facing apartment down a set of stairs? Everyone I talked to this year mentioned that they had fewer as well. Is trick-or-treating no longer the “in” thing? Is everyone going to parties and trunk-or-treats? (Unless you live out in the country where there is too much distance between houses, I do not see the appeal of trunk-or-treats, by the way.) I was lucky enough to grow up on a cul-de-sac in a sprawling neighborhood that was flooded with children. Our street, at one point, had about 40 children amongst the seventeen or so houses. We walked blocks on Halloween night, all through the other neighborhoods. M grew up in a more rural, wooded area, but all of Main Street took on the responsibility of creating an amazing Halloween atmosphere, so the further houses would drive down to let their children trick-or-treat in town. So I just don’t get it. And now, I’m left with so much Halloween candy…oy.
Otherwise, November has been off to a pretty rocky start. M is on a full week of tech rehearsals and performances, meaning he starts work late enough that I don’t see him before I go to bed and he sleeps past when I leave in the morning. We are communicating through texts, post-it notes, and leftovers. On Tuesday, I also had my longest-lasting gall bladder attack, yet. Thankfully, it wasn’t the most severe, pain-wise, but certainly the longest time in constant pain, from 10pm until almost 5 in the morning. I did not get any sleep and I still feel like I am recovering from that. Ugh. I am counting down the weeks (6!) until my surgery and hopefully then this will all be over. (Though I am steadfastly not thinking about the surgery part. Eek!)
Anyways, as a proper lead up to Thanksgiving this year, I though I would update a few old posts with some badly-needed new photos and share a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes every Friday! We are starting things off with my #1 Thanksgiving necessity: stuffing. After I had to skip it on my very first GF Thanksgiving (just two months after cutting gluten) I spent the rest of that first year endlessly researching this stuffing. Growing up, my mom always used the Pepperidge Farms mix, with the tiny shriveled, dry cornbread pieces and the packet of seasoning. It is the taste of my childhood Thanksgivings, so I knew I wanted to make a gluten-free stuffing that emulated those flavors. This recipe uses a combo of home-made cornbread (baked in a jelly-roll pan, so is nice and thin) and store-bought GF bread. Just be sure to give the bread a few days to dry out (or at least some solid time in a low-temp oven the day before Thanksgiving). Drier = better, here.
I have successfully made this stuffing in a crockpot, in a separate dish in the oven, and stuffed into the turkey, so it should stand up to any of your preferences. These days, I also like to jazz things up with added cranberries, like in the photos*, or roasted chestnuts, or even some sage sausage (just cook the meet before adding it to the stuffing). Add up to 2 cups of these additional mix-ins after stirring in the melted butter and before adding the chicken broth to the bread mixture.
Click through for the recipe for Knock-off Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing!
*the dish in the photos is holding a 1/2 batch of this recipe in an 8×8 dish!
The big day is just a week away! While many bloggers are posting a recipe a day, with every dish you need for your Thanksgiving meal, I’ve got to be honest with you: I have a huge fundraising event on Sunday, a final paper due on December 1st, and our shows’ going up on December 12. We currently have half of a set that is 3/4 painted, and are only just beginning to make progress on props and costumes. I am up to my ears in cardboard, feathers, and comparative assessments. If it were left up to me, there would be no Thanksgiving at all this year. I’ve turned most of the responsibility over to M’s mum (which she did suggest before I said anything at all!) She has been gracious enough to host most of my family as well, angel that she is. So I’ll make a batch of cornbread tomorrow to allow it plenty of time to go stale (for my Knockoff Pepperidge Farm’s Stuffing–a must) and I will set aside my paper for long enough on Wednesday to whip up a couple of pies, but that will be the extent of my Thanksgiving contributions.
Luckily, I do have a handful of recipes from seasons past that just might be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. Check out below for ideas on stuffings, breads, desserts, and even breakfast for the big day!
My Knockoff Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing will absolutely be gracing our table. It is the closest it could be to the real deal! And, it is totally chill with tasty, extra additions like precooked sausage, cranberries, and chestnuts! Just gently stir right before the stuffing goes into the oven!
How about some French Bread? Perfect as a base to cube for traditional stuffing, or to slice as is for the table.
Popovers are always first in line on our table at any occasion.
This Quinoa and Wild Rice Stuffing is chock full of apples, squash, sausage and herbs, and a nice change from traditional bread stuffings.
I am all about my pies at Thanksgiving. This year, I’ll be making Bourbon-Toasted Pecan and an adaptation of Deb Perelman’s Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie. And I’ll be using the Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust for both!
Or how about some Coconut-Pumpkin Custard for a dairy-free dessert option?
Chocolate-Coffee Pots De Creme are surprisingly simple, but make for an elegant (and MAKE-AHEAD) end to the evening.
Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies have all the flavors of Thanksgiving paired with the comfort of chocolatey brownies. The recipe is a cinch to whip up well ahead of the big Turkey day!
These Pumpkin Scones makes the perfect breakfast on a busy Thanksgiving morning. Make ahead and freeze, then thaw for a delicious start to a hectic day!