Grandma’s Stuffing

Thanksgiving stuffing is special to most people because it is what they grew up on. It is what makes them think of Thanksgiving. Some people serve it on the side and call it dressing. Others stuff it in the cavity of the turkey and call it stuffing. We call it stuffing but serve it on the side of the turkey. Oh, and it doesn’t have any bread in it! So, we are all confused! 🤷🏻‍♀️

This stuffing is extra special. It is special because it is THAT good, but it is also special because my Grandma was a special lady. She started this tradition and made it every year. Then my mom and aunt did the same and now my sisters, cousins and I are also following in those footsteps. Honestly, it can be served without the turkey and we would all be happy. None of our Thanksgiving’s are complete without it. 

If there is one recipe you follow of mine, let it be this one. We have all changed it a little on our own throughout the years, but this is how I have come to make it.  

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving with full bellies and lots of leftovers.

I’m thankful for the women in my family that set the traditions that made the holidays feel so special. I hope I can do the same for my family.

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Grandma's Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pounds of ground beef(not lean)
  • 2-3 cups of white rice, uncooked
  • 4 packages of baby bella mushrooms (8 oz. each)
  • 10 stalks of celery, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a big bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
  • at least 12 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions


This should be made the day before Thanksgiving.  

  1. In a medium pot cook the rice according to the directions on the box. Use chicken broth in place of the water. 
  2. When the rice is finished cooking, set aside.
  3.  In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Set aside when done.
  4. In a medium pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook down until all of their juices are gone and the mushrooms are browned. Set aside when done.    
  5. In a large skillet, add the beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until there is no longer any pink left. Drain the fat and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, add the beef. Then add the rice and combine. 
  7. Add the rest of the veggies and the parsley. Season with more salt and pepper. Stir until combined. 
  8. Cover tightly and store in the fridge.
  9. I would recommend taking it out of the fridge about an hour before baking. That will cut down on the cooking time. 
  10. Preheat the oven to bake 425.
  11. Place the stuffing in 2 separate baking dishes so that there is a thin layer of stuffing. That will also cut down on the cooking time.   
  12. Pour about a cup of chicken broth in each baking dish. You want enough to moisten it, but not too much that it is soupy. 
  13. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until heated.
  14. Every half hour or so, remove from the oven, stir and add chicken broth as needed. 
  15. Season with salt and pepper if needed and enjoy!


Other Thanksgiving dishes that you’ll want to add to your table…

Mashed Potatoes

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Butternut Squash Soup

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

Apple Cake🍎

 

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

So, you either love rice pudding or you don’t! I am one of the people that loves rice pudding. But I didn’t start eating it until I was an adult. I was missing out!

My mother-in-law has a big family. She has 3 sisters and 4 brothers! When they get together they have to make large amounts. There are favorites that they all have been making throughout the years. This rice pudding recipe is one of them. It is a crowd pleaser and it is delicious! My mother-in-law got this recipe from a friend of a friend 25 years ago and has been making it ever since. I love recipes from years ago that use such simple ingredients. I love to follow the recipes and think about the women who were making it back then. So much has changed, but so little has changed.

This recipe can feed 10 people and it is easy, but you have to set aside an hour that you are not distracted. You can’t let it boil over, so you have to keep stirring. Before you begin, make sure the kids are asleep or busy  and you have the time. 

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

RP

Crowd Pleasing Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk plus 2 more cups
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of long grain rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large pot combine the 1/2 gallon of milk, sugar and rice.
  2. Cook on medium/high heat. Once it comes to a boil, you will have to constantly stir to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom. I had to adjust the temperature frequently if it was boiling too much or too little.
  3. Continue stirring and cooking for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 more cups of milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. You will need to temper the ingredients in the bowl by adding a small amount of the hot rice mixture to the cold egg mixture to warm it a little. (If you add the cold egg mixture to the hot rice mixture all at one, the eggs will scramble and you don’t want that.)
  6. Once you’ve tempered the egg mixture, add it all to the pot and bring it to a boil while stirring constantly. Once it is boiling, remove it from the heat and pour into a large bowl or serving dish.
  7. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
  8. Cover and refrigerate.

NOTE:  This is best when made the day before. 


If you like this recipe you will love some of Pat’s other family favorites:

Annie’s Crumb Cake

Irish Soda Bread

 

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the food, the traditions we pass on from year to year, and the weather in Florida is perfect.

I usually do my food shopping and cooking for several days before. Once the cooking begins, it feels like it never ends. I always say it’s one of the hardest holidays to have because of all the dishes to make, but it is so worth it!

This recipe for butternut squash soup is not a tradition. It hasn’t been passed on from generation to generation, but it should be passed on. It is the perfect appetizer for a small crowd on Thanksgiving Day. I have made it a couple of times on Thanksgiving and everyone enjoyed it. It is really simple to make, healthy and so good! I usually serve this with roasted asparagus and stuffed mushrooms.

Traditions can be started at anytime. I love looking back on the pictures below. This was the first time I started the tradition of butternut squash soup. I remember it like it was yesterday! My sister and her husband were visiting from New York and both of my grandmas were still with us. We laughed the whole day, especially since my Mom’s mom and my Dad’s mom bickered all day. And when I served the soup to my 100 year old Grandma she laughed and said, “What is this sh**?”

I am so thankful for those fun memories.

Adapted from Food Network Kitchen(I’ve changed very little since it is perfection!)

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons for extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can of peeled plum tomatoes
  • 2-3 pounds of butternut squash(you can buy it in the produce section of your supermarket already peeled and chopped)
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • grated pecorino romano cheese

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, sage, 1 teaspoon of salt and season with pepper.
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes until tender.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes.
  5. With a slotted spoon, take 3 tomatoes from the can and place in the pot.
  6. Break up with a wooden spoon and cook for about 7 more minutes.
  7. Add the squash and the rest of the salt.
  8. Cook until the squash is tender(about 15 minutes).
  9. Add the chicken broth and 2 tablespoons of the sauce that is in the can of tomatoes.
  10. Simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes.
  11. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  12. Use the immersion blender and blend until smooth.
  13. Stir in the vinegar(which is the perfect addition to this soup!)
  14. Ladle into individual bowls and top with grated cheese.

BTW, this can be made a day before and heated when ready to serve!


If you like this recipe you will love:

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

Apple Cake🍎

Broccoli Rabe

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

So, what makes a pumpkin pie a colonial pumpkin pie? I have no idea!

I do know that this is an old recipe. Maybe that is what makes it a colonial pumpkin pie… I got this recipe from my mom’s recipe book.

I did make some changes. This recipe called for fresh pumpkin; I used organic canned pumpkin. It also called for a homemade pumpkin pie shell; I used a frozen pre-made pie crust. I do plan on tackling that pie crust and sharing. So stay tuned for that…

I usually make a pumpkin pie per the directions on the back of a can. And I always loved it. So, I wondered how this could be any better…

Oh man. It was on a different level. This colonial pumpkin pie was rich and delicious. You must put this on your menu for Thanksgiving Day. I did happen to whip up some homemade cinnamon whipped cream and spread it all over the top of the pie. That is a must as well!

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of canned pumpkin(I used Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of all spice
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, and molasses together.
  3. Mix the eggs in with the other ingredients.
  4. Slowly pour in the evaporated milk. Whisk until all the ingredients are mixed well.
  5. Pour mixture slowly into your pie crust.  Place on a baking sheet in case any pie mix spills over.
  6. Cover the edges of the pie crust with a pie crust shield or aluminum(Remove after 30 minutes)
  7. Bake for 40-50 minute or until done.
  8. Cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  9. Spread a thick layer of cinnamon whipped cream over the top and dig in!


If you love this recipe you must try these…

Strawberry Apple Pie🍓🍏🥧

Sweet Cherry 🍒 Pie 🥧

Dump Cake

Hurricane Soup

One of my favorite soups passed on from my sister Jen is her Blizzard Soup.  It’s the perfect soup when there is a blizzard headed her way. I’m all the way south in Florida and dream of a blizzard somedays, but usually all we get are hurricanes. Most of the time we all frantically rush to the store to stock up on all the pantry items that we can get our hands on. If we are lucky we have no need to dig into that stash and have a full pantry once the scare of a hurricane passes. This soup came about after our last scare. I refused to go to the store again and came up with this pasta e fagioli “Hurricane Soup”. Now this is on rotation weekly because it is cheap and easy!  Two of my favorite kind of dinners. I usually serve this with a loaf of crusty bread or garlic bread.  

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Hurricane Soup

Ingredients

  • one onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of low sodium white Northern beans and 1 can of low sodium red kidney beans(drained), or any similar beans you have in your pantry
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) of diced tomatoes
  • a small can (8 oz.) of tomato sauce
  • 8 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • a half a bag of baby spinach
  • two cups of pasta(I prefer a smaller pasta like ditalini, but again you can use anything you have in your pantry)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated cheese

Directions

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Saute the onion until tender.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. 
  4. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the pasta and grated cheese.
  5. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Add the pasta and cook per directions on the box.
  7. Serve in individual soup bowls and top with grated cheese.

Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you will also like:

Soup Season

 

Pumpkin Muffins

I regularly make Whole Wheat Banana Muffins. They are healthy and delicious. We eat them for breakfast and can easily pack them in the lunchbox for school. But when the season of fall arrives I like to switch them up a bit and make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins. We all love them just as much as the banana muffins and it gives us all the feelings of fall.

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***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon(You can definitely use pumpkin pie spice mix instead if you prefer.)
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of quick oats plus a little more for sprinkling on top.
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin or use paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the pumpkin and almond milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats. Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

If you love these, you’ll also love…

Smoothie Bowl

Acai Bowl

Make Ahead

Apple Cake🍎

apple cake

I have been waiting to get my hands on my mom’s old cookbook. It was in storage for a couple of years while they got settled here in Florida. Now that I have it, I may not give it back.

The first recipe that caught my eye was Apple Cake. She has a couple of apple cake recipes she pulled from newspapers from the 80’s. The funny thing is I never had apple cake and certainly don’t remember her ever making it. When I asked her about it she said she used to have it when she was a kid. And it was one of her favorites. So of course I had to make it for her and give it a try myself.

Being in Florida we don’t really have an apple picking season, but if we did, now would be the perfect time to start picking and baking! I love the smell of baked apples and the taste is even better.

This cake was just how my mom remembered it and delicious. The cake was moist and layered with baked apples. This is a recipe we should all keep on file to welcome the season of fall. 🍎

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 8 McIntosh apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsp. of sugar
  • 3 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 3 cups of flour, unsifted
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 cup safflower oil
  • 3 tsp. of baking powder
  • Chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large bowl combine the apples, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and the cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, 2 cups of sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil and baking powder. Mix until well blended.
  4. Spread one-half of the batter into a large square or rectangle baking pan. (I baked mine in a round pan, but I recommend a large square or rectangle baking dish.  Therefore, in each bite you will get less cake and more apples.)
  5. Add one-half of the apple mixture to form a layer.
  6. Then spread the remaining batter on top of the apples.
  7. Arrange the remaining apples and juices on top.
  8. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. This cooking time may vary depending on your oven and the size of your pan. You will need to check the batter to make sure it is done. If it is not done, keep baking at 5 minute intervals until the cake tester or butter knife comes out clean.

Enjoy this most lovely fall dessert. This apple cake would be perfect paired with coffee or tea or served at brunch.

 

 

Ravioli Soup

If you haven’t noticed, I make a lot of soup. Soup is usually easy, quick , comforting and delicious. There are two things that are a must have in soup if you intend on feeding your family at dinner time. Meat and Pasta of course! Without them a soup is more of an appetizer than a family meal. My family can eat, so I have to be able to fill them up or I’m in trouble.

Every time I go to Trader Joe’s I make sure I pick up a bag of mini Ravioli in their pasta section. I always have them in my pantry. They are really tiny, so they are perfect for kids and soup. Feel free to use any ravioli you have on hand, just adjust the cooking time per directions on the package.

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Adapted by:  Feel Good Foodie

Ravioli Soup

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. of mild italian sausage(ground, out of casing)
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste or crushed tomato sauce(either or will work)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s mini ravioli(16 oz.)
  • fresh basil and parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • grated pecorino romano cheese

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the sausage and cook until brown. Use a wooden spoon to break it up into little pieces while it is cooking.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes and stir.
  7. Add the tomato paste or sauce and stir, while scraping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  8. Add the water and stir.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  11. Add the basil and parsley and the ravioli.
  12. Bring to a boil and cook per directions on the package.
  13. Remove from the heat and serve. Top each bowl with grated cheese.

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you will also like:

Feeding the Fam on a budget

Soup Season

 

Kid-Friendly Breakfast Options

I feel the most important meal for kids is breakfast. They get rushed off in the morning and are expected to have energy and patience all day while they learn. That certainly can’t be done with a big bowl of sugary cereal or a cinnamon bun in the morning. Way back before I had kids, I was a teacher. I saw the difference between the kids that had a nutritious breakfast and the kids that did not. I taught kindergarten for a year and I used to get in trouble because I let them rest their heads on their desks in the afternoon. Most of them fell asleep. Poor babies needed a nap. Guess that’s why I’m not a teacher anymore. Lol.

But there are so many options for breakfast. It just might take a little time to make ahead each week.

I made a list of some of my favorite kid friendly breakfast items that will give your kids the energy they need to keep their brains on point all day. Most of these can be used for  lunch or snack as well!

  1. Eggs: When I eat an egg or two I am full for hours. It gives me energy and prevents me from snacking like I usually do.
    • Hard Boiled Eggs: I usually hard boil 6 at a time. These can be eaten with just salt and pepper. I love them dipped in mustard as well. That’s usually my mid morning snack while I’m rushing around. My son loves deviled eggs. Take the yolk out and mix with a little mayo, salt and pepper. Put the mixture back in the middle of the egg and sprinkle with paprika! Hard boiled eggs can also be used in salads or to make a quick and simple egg salad. I also love chopped egg and avocado. Chop one of each and stir together. Sprinkle with Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning and that is it!
    • Egg Muffins: My son Dominick has two for breakfast and sometimes two before bed. He’s growing and always hungry!
  2. Muffins: The muffins we buy at the store have some scary ingredients.
    • Whole Wheat Banana Muffins: These are filled with great ingredients and taste delicious! I have to hide them from my husband because he will eat the whole batch! My son Matthew has one as a snack in school and two for dessert.
    • Pumpkin Muffins: It does not have to be Halloween to enjoy pumpkin muffins! If bananas aren’t your thing, all you need is a can or two of pumpkin…
  3. Bring on the smoothies! I am a big fan of smoothies. I love that you can customize them with what you like. They can also be prepared in freezer bags and placed in the freezer. All you have to do is dump it in the blender and add your choice of water, milk or juice!
    • Triple Berry Smoothie: This is my go to smoothie that everyone in my family enjoys. I love that there is a big bunch of spinach in it!
    • I also make a very simple kid friendly smoothie some mornings that both of my boys love. No spinach, but a great big serving of fruit!
      • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
      • 1 frozen banana
      • 1 cup of watermelon
      • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of orange juice
    • Smoothie Bowl: If sometimes your kids need a little bit more crunch to their breakfast, you can make a smoothie bowl. We enjoy it with peanut butter and granola with some sliced bananas on top. Simple and delicious.
    • Strawberries and Cream: The perfect deconstructed smoothie for your picky eater.

 


  • Ok, so this one simple tool will assist you with all these healthy foods.  Egg Slicer 
  • And if you are in the market for a muffin pan, this would be perfect!
  • This Ninja Blender will make your life a lot easier when you start on your smoothie adventure!

***My posts contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

 

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

I have two boys that are growing fast and are always hungry. I’m constantly looking for healthy snacks and meals to fill their bellies up so they stop eating! I found a healthy recipe for whole wheat banana muffins about a year ago (I can’t find the original recipe online, but it was great) and we got hooked. I made very little changes and they are perfect! If you buy muffins in the store, the ingredients are actually scary… These ingredients are simple and clean! I usually freeze them for the week and pull out a few each day. I  have one for breakfast with my smoothie or throw one in the kids lunch boxes. My son Matthew will pick one of these muffins for dessert over ice cream, believe it or not. I am not a baker and these come out perfect every time!

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk(I use almond coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of quick oats plus a little more for sprinkling on top.
  • A handful of chopped walnuts
  • A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease all 12 cups of your muffin tin or use paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and almond milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix.  Throw in the walnuts and/or chocolate chips(tastes great with both).  Mix them in.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats.  Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Other healthy breakfast options…

Pumpkin Muffins

My Go To Smoothie

Tropical Delight