Here in America, Thanksgiving falls on this Thursday, and for me it’s the BEST holiday of the year! Not only does it fall right after my birthday, but it’s a chance for me to gather my family and friends and cook a huge, beautiful, DELICIOUS meal.

About a year ago, I put all of my favorite Turkey Day recipes into a cookbook, “Secrets for a great Thanksgiving you will LOVE”. It’s available as a kindle download for only $2.99 and is the perfect tool for anyone who loves the trappings of Thanksgiving, even if they’re not American. It includes a handy schedule that will help anyone who is preparing a big meal do so stress-free. Ever since I wrote the book I’ve been able to follow this process without fail and always have time to both entertain and enjoy my family on the holiday.

I’ve decided to share with you one of my favourite recipes from the book, Cornbread Sausage Stuffing with Apples, Pecans, and Sage.

Sage is a wonderful herb. It gives such a full, savoury flavour to everything it touches, and apparently it has been considered a health-promoting herb for centuries! Ever heard that famous song “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme?” All of those were considered essential herbs in the Middle Ages and all have proven health benefits. Sage is full of antioxidants and flavonoids; it promotes better brain health and even has been shown to combat the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease! How many Thanksgiving stuffings can boast that?

In any case, I hope you enjoy this recipe and, if you celebrate it, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

CORNBREAD SAUSAGE STUFFING WITH APPLES, PECANS, AND SAGE

-Serves 12-14 people (more than enough stuffing for a 20 lb. bird)

  • 1 ½ sticks of sweet butter (12 Tbs.)
  • 2 ¾ cups of finely chopped yellow onions (use your food processor for this)
  • 3 tart apples, cored and chunked, not peeled (Jonathan are good)
  • 1 lb. lightly seasoned bulk sausage (I use breakfast sausage with sage)
  • 3 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
  • 3 heaping cups of crustless, cubed, day old whole wheat bread
  • 3 heaping cups of crustless, cubed, day-old white bread (I prepare and cut my breads the night before so they can dry out a little)
  • 2 rounded tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3⁄4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 1⁄2 cups shelled pecan halves
  • 1 raw egg
  • Chicken broth to moisten

 

  1. Melt half of the butter in a skillet. Add chopped onions and cook over medium to medium/low heat, partially covered, until tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes. Scrape onions and butter into a very large bowl – the biggest one you have!
  2. Melt remaining butter in the same skillet. Add apple chunks and sauté over high heat until lightly colored but not mushy. Transfer the apples and all of the butter to the same mixing bowl with the onions.
  3. Squeeze the sausage out of the casing if necessary. Crumble it into the skillet and sauté over medium heat, continuing to break up the sausage into small pieces, stirring until no pink remains and it’s lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the mixing bowl and throw away the fat.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients to your large bowl and fold together with a large spatula, gently combining everything. Beat an egg in a separate small bowl and fold that in as well. Moisten with homemade or low sodium chicken broth. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool completely before stuffing the bird.
  5. With leftover stuffing, or if you choose not to stuff your bird, spoon stuffing into a casserole dish, cover with a lid or aluminum foil, and set in a large, deeper pan. Pour enough hot water around the casserole dish so it comes halfway up the sides. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes at 325 degrees. Serve it with LOVE and enjoy!

About The Author

Mary Frances

My name is Mary Frances. I am a designer, creative director, painter, wife, mother and cook. I own an internationally recognized, award-winning brand development and marketing communications firm in New York City, and am a graduate of Parsons School of Design. I especially love to cook and serve great food to make people content and happy. Hearing mmmm’s makes my heart soar. I grew up in suburban St. Louis, in Webster Groves, the youngest of six and the only girl. (Yes, that’s FIVE older brothers!) My mom was a great home cook, and she made sure that I could make a mean pie from scratch. After Parsons, I married, had two boys and moved from NYC to the NJ suburbs where I threw myself into cooking and entertaining. Now it’s time for me to share the great recipes, tips, stories and LOVE with you. The inspiration for LOVE – the secret ingredient www.lovethesecretingredient.net came from our youngest son when he wrote in a gift cookbook that the one ingredient that was ever-present in my meals was love. When you cook with LOVE, everything just tastes better.

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