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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Southern Style Cornbread Dressing

13x9 pan of cornbread cooled and crumbled
2-3 cups of breadcrumbs
1 pound of boiled chicken gizzards cooled and minced
2 cups turkey or chicken broth
1 cup diced onion
3 celery stalks diced
1 cup diced green onions
1/2 cup of diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup of chopped parseley
Salt, pepper and dried sage to taste

Cooking Instructions:
-Saute the chicken gizzards, onions, celery, bell pepper, green onions and parseley on low until the vegetables are transluscent.
-In a large baking pan combine the cornbread, breadcrumbs and gizzard and/or meat mixture described above.
-Stir in the chicken/turkey broth and season to taste.
-Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Usually 30-40 minutes.
-Have extra broth and or turkey drippings on hand to make sure that the dressing doesn't dry out while baking. Use your discretion for moistening.
-Stir once halway through cooking.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a staple holiday side dish in many African-American households. Unlike boxed macaroni and cheese dinners, it is a wonderful casserole of creamy cheesy goodness!

2 lbs of elbow macaroni noodles
1 stick of butter or margarine cut into pats
2 eggs
2-3 cups/cans of milk
1 block of cheese such as Velveeta
2 cups of shredded cheese(preferably mild cheddar but use whatever kind you want)

Cooking Instructions:
-Boil the noodles, drain and put them in a big mixing bowl or pot.
-Put the butter or margarine into the pasta and lightly stir.
-Lightly beat the eggs along with 2 cups of milk and salt and pepper to taste.
-Pour the egg mixture and the shredded cheese onto the noodles and stir well being careful not to break the pasta.
-Pour the noodle mixture into a lightly buttered baking dish.
-Cut the block of cheese into slices and put on top of the noodles.
-Pour the remaining cup/can of milk on the noodles. You want to make sure that the mixture is moist before you put it into the oven.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is starting to get a beautiful color. Be careful because you don't want the cheese to burn.

Turkey Baking Tips

Try these easy tips to make sure your holiday turkey is perfect!

A beautiful juicy turkey is the centerpiece of most holiday meals. From Thanksgiving, to Christmas even on Easter, turkey is one of the most coveted meat dishes in this country. Turkeys can be cooked in a variey to ways but is most traditionally baked.

It's best to follow the cooking directions on your turkey for it's weight!

-If you are not stuffing the turkey with a dressing try putting an onion that has been peeled and halved, two celery stalks and a few sticks of carrots inside the turkey before you bake it. Don't forget to take the vegetables out of the turkey before presentation. They are just used for flavoring during baking.

-If you don't have anything in particular in mind try making a mixture of olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. You can even put in minced garlic if you like. Massage the oil mixture underneath the skin of the turkey and on the outside. Be careful not to rip the skin!
This is an easy way to season your turkey and help make sure it is juicy throughout!

-To help ensure the inside is cooked well loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil for the first half of the cooking process. Take the foil off and finish the cooking process. This is also a good time to start regularly basting the turkey.

-Don't discard the drippiings from the turkey. Besides basting, these turkey drippings help to make delicious gravies and wonderfully moist stuffings and dressings.

-It's best to allow the turkey to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

These easy tips can help make your turkey the easiest and less stressful part of your meal. Remember that baking a turkey is just like baking a chicken. The only difference is that a turkey has to be baked a lot longer because it is bigger than a chicken. So don't stress. Sit back and enjoy baking your turkey!

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