Green Apple & Sausage Stuffing

For Thanksgiving dinner, we usually stuck to the classics. There was always a great deal of mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, rolls that would blow your minds, and stuffing. For the most part, I think my Mom usually would use that package stuffing mix for the traditional stuffing dish. It tasted alright from what I remembered, but it wasn't until the one year she decided to try something completely new and out-of-our-usual-stuffing-box that my expectations of stuffing were all-the-sudden changed. And changed for good. Wicked style, man. 

She served up a giant dish with layers of crisp sourdough bread, spicy sausage, spots of cranberries, and a few random slices of green apple - all soaked together in the bright beautiful flavors of whatever incredible broth she had baked it in. My overall view of stuffing was completely changed, and even to this year, I try to casually request for her to make it for the Thanksgiving table. Today, I'm sharing this very recipe (or as close as I can taste) with you fine people. 


The Best Mashed Potatoes

You guys. I have a secret. A dirty, dirty, dirty little secret about mashed potatoes. 

Saying that mashed potatoes are a favorite at the Thanksgiving dinner table is a filthy understatement. in our house. For what felt like an entirety of my childhood, mashed potatoes WERE Thanksgiving dinner. They were the star. They were what we all loaded our plates with first, and the other traditional Thanksgiving dinner dishes were just that - sides. The mashed potatoes trumped the turkey in every way, and we always fought over the leftover clouds of fluffy buttery heaven whenever we had the blessing of taking leftovers home after the bounteous meal. This year we have the privilege, honor, and huge responsibility of bringing the mashed potatoes and gravy for my entire family at Thanksgiving. For a family who is mashed potato obsessed, you know darn well I need to bring a batch that will blow their socks off. And my friends, I have that recipe right here for you today. 

But that's not my secret. The one ingredient that makes THE BEST MASHED POTATOES ON THE PLANET is the secret. I've tried a ton of mashed potato recipes in my lifetime, and this one is by far the greatest, best, and well... just try it and join me on proclaiming it's well-deserved champion title. 


Bacon Alfredo Bake with Whole Grain Pasta

It's been a while, eh? I guess since last Wednesday, no too long, but apparently a billion years in the blogging world. Instead of ripping my hair out with the billion things I have on my plate  AND keeping up with blog land, I decided to put the blog on the back-burner for a few days while I got everything sorted out (made it through the primary program, a full week of Utah Wind Symphony rehearsals, and one crisis after another). It was a nice break (although stuffed with other non-blog related things). Blogging isn't the center of my family & social life, so it wasn't a big deal for me, but I truly missed sharing recipes with all of you, and made sure to take a second to at least photograph what we've been munching on. 

With the cold weather rolling into the valley on a more frequent basis (we woke up with snow flurries this morning!), my favorite thing to make for dinner is either soup or a really hearty casserole. Of course, we can't have something like this every night (especially a dish like this), but it's always a special treat for us - especially if bacon in involved. And as you can easily see - there's a lot of bacon punch in this dish. 


Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Chicken Sliders

Sometimes I share recipes that take a long time to make, have a long list of ingredients, and use kind of a lot of dishes to make. For that, I apologize - in their defense, they probably tasted amazing. In all honest, they tasted WAY awesome. 

But not all the time before dinner can be sucked into well, making dinner. Sometimes, yes. Most of the time, nope. That's why recipes like this one exist. They're simple, the ingredients are very few, and this dishes it takes to make them can be counted on one hand. So before we all get cranky about how simple this recipe is... make it... and thank me later. :) 


Harvest Cobb Salad

I wasn't going to post these pictures because the lighting came out really funky, but the salad was TOO DANG GOOD to pass up sharing with you lovely friends & readers today! 

As many of you know, I love a good salad. I love trying the different salad components together in different bites, and seeing how everything tastes together. The perfect salad, to me, has a little protein (in our case today, yummy eggs!), some light crunch from fresh fruit or veggies, some salty bacon, some toasted nuts, and a little bit of cheese. This salad uses a bunch of amazing ingredients, and when they all came together on the same plate...

holy smokes, guys. 


Stuffed Pepper Soup

When we were first married, Ryan and I took turns cooking dinner. We cycled through some of the same meals most of the time, but sometimes I'd have time in my busy undergrad schedule (yes, I was that idiot who took 23 credits in a semester with special approval from the department of Music - bad, bad, idea. But it had to be done if I was going to graduate within 4 years with a Music Degree at BYU!!!), to try a brand new recipe. I think this era was when the small seedlings of Baking with Blondie were planted, and my love of trying new recipes was born. 

They weren't all successes at first, though, I totally BOMBED dinnertime plenty of times. I remember burning a pan of orange glazed chicken so badly that I called Ryan crying. We threw the pan away, and agreed to get our weekend date-meal that night at Cafe Rio. I felt like a total failure! Little did I know that only a few years later, I'd be able to make that same chicken with ease, along with a crazy toddler "helping" along the way. 

One night I remember making stuffed peppers for dinner. I used some green peppers, and stuffed them with just about the same ingredients that are in this amazing soup...