Have you seen Swanson’s “Great Stuffing Debate”? It all started with the debate of whether you cook your stuffing inside the bird or on the side. (I’m an “on the side” kind of girl myself.) But every Monday, they list a new Thanksgiving debate. This got me thinking about what the debate would be in my kitchen. And I realized my biggest dilemma every year is:
Tried and True or Something New?
I’ve never hosted Thanksgiving before. Luckily, I have great family (on both sides!) and it usually ends up being more of a pot-luck event. In the past, I’ve brought pies, I’ve brought sweet potatoes, I’ve brought salads. But no matter what I bring, I always debate on whether I should make something that I know is good, or if I should use the opportunity to try a new recipe. Now, many of you know that I’m always game for a new recipe. In fact, 90% of the meals I make at home are recipes I’ve never made before. But when you are cooking for others, is it better to make something that you’ve made before and that you know will be good?
I don’t know what I’m contributing to the Thanksgiving feast this year, but I thought I’d have fun with testing out my debate. I made two dressing recipes – one tried and true and one a new recipe that I’ve never tried before. And do you know what? I think I would have been safe bringing either of these to the Thanksgiving table!
First up – tried and true. This recipe is actually one that my sister makes every year, and I LOVE it. I have to be honest – I love turkey and all, but I mostly get excited about the side dishes. And the dressing – one of my favorite side dishes!! This dressing has so many flavors going on and it really brings all of the flavors of Thanksgiving to the table for me.
- 1 ½ cups cubed whole wheat bread
- 3 ¾ cups cubed white bread
- 1 pound turkey sausage
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ¾ cup chopped celery
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 ½ teaspoons dried sage
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 golden delicious apple, chopped
- ¾ cup Swanson’s chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until evenly toasted.
- Meanwhile, cook the sausage and onions in a skillet, breaking up the sausage. Cook until browned and cooked through. Add the celery, sage, rosemary and thyme and cook another 2 minutes to heat through.
- Put the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl and pour sausage over. Add the apples, cranberries and parsley. Mix lightly.
- Grease a baking dish and pour dressing mixture in. Cover with foil. Bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook an additional 10 minutes to brown the top.
Then there is something new. I chose to make this recipe for 2 reasons. First – I wanted something meat-free since I knew the tried and true recipe I was making had sausage in it. Second, I wanted something very simple and fuss-free that anyone could make. This recipe was perfect for both reasons!! This recipe could even easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock. And on the easiness scale – it really doesn’t get any easier than this! In fact, this recipe could easily be made up as a side dish for dinner any night – not just on Thanksgiving! The only change I would make would be to use a different vegetable blend next time. I made the mistake of going to the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon – and in Utah, if you go on a Saturday afternoon, you can expect half of the things you want to be gone! This was the only kind of mixed vegetables I could find, and I really think a good, high quality mix would make this so much better.
You can get the recipe for the Garden Vegetable Stuffing on the Campbell’s site.
So in the end, I still didn’t even solve my own debate! I guess that means I need to bring something tried and true and something new!
This was a paid post sponsored by Swanson Broth and BlogHer, but all views and opinions expressed are my own.