I’m all about being prepared.  If you ask my husband he would probably tell you that I think it through and worry about having everything prepped way too much when it comes to hosting a party/dinner.  My thought behind all of this is that I want to spend the day enjoying myself with family and friends, instead of slaving away behind the stove.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the cooking aspect of it, but want to spend as much time with our guests as possibly, hence why I spend the day before prepping as much as I can.

As you probably already guessed, today was spent preparing for tomorrow.  Initially, it was just going to be the husband & I, but his family is now coming up to celebrate with us.  The only thing that could make it better would be if my family was also able to make the trip, but traveling is a bit more difficult for my family.  I woke up and headed to the kitchen right away.  First thing I started on was the cranberry sauce that I can wait to dive into.

I started with 3 cups of fresh cranberries, added the juice and zest of one tangerine, 1/3 cup of water, 3/4 cup of sugar and dash of allspice.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then lower temp and simmer for 25 minutes. Once it cools it thickens up.

Let me tell you: This smells amazing.  I love pairing a nice juicy turkey breast with the sweetness of cranberry.
After this was complete, I jumped into the next project of stuffing.  Originally I planned on making an artichoke stuffing, but was unable to get all the ingredients needed, so instead improvised.  I’m always trying to make sure to waste as little as I can when it comes to food in our house.  Often times I’ll find a recipe that sounds amazing, but use it as a base and add and subtract ingredients based on what we have in the house and what needs to be used.  For the most part it always works well, so I’m crossing my fingers that this one does as well.  
Recipe is as follows:
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 granny smith apples chopped (with skin)
  • 2 small onions – diced
  • 2 medium loaves of french bread (it’s what we had that needed used, could substitute).  Around 8 cups of bread needed.
  • 1 1/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons of italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning.
Heat oven to 375 & coat baking dish with butter.
Chop your bread of choice into small cubes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Once melted add the celery. apple and onion and saute until the apples are easily pierced with a fork.  
Add your broth, and also the poultry and italian seasoning and bring to boil.  Once you reach boil, reduce temperature and simmer for 5 minutes or so.

Add your veggie & broth mixture to your bread cubes and mix well, making sure it is evenly distributed.
Place into baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top of the stuffing starts to brown.

I stored mine in a bowl and covered and placed in the fridge until tomorrow when I plan on baking it.  The smell of it alone has me excited for tomorrow.

What’s everyone’s holiday plans?  Anything in particular that you are making or excited to make?

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