Seasonal, Small Bites

Sausage Stuffing Bites

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we all are face to face with the Leftover Problem. Well have no fear, I have the perfect solution for all the leftover stuffing. These Sausage Stuffing Bites are perfect to use leftover stuffing to make! They can be used for an appetizer at your Friendsgiving celebration. You can also make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake and serve them. They are perfect for parties and family gatherings during the holidays.

Ingredients

Sausage Stuffing Bites

  • 2 boxes Savory Herbs Stuffing or 2 cups leftover stuffing
  • ½ pound of hot Italian sausage
  • ½ pound of mild Italian sausage
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup of mozzarella cheese or shredded cheese cheddar
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, minced
  • 2 beaten eggs

Gravy Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¾ stick of butter
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, more to taste 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Brown the sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Add the garlic and cranberries, mix and cook for 5 minutes. 

While the sausage is cooking, cook the stuffing.  

Once sausage and stuffing is cooked, combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix with your hands. Do not ocean out the sausage pan, we will use the drippings for the gravy. 

Using a cookie scoop, (or hands) scoop the sausage balls onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, till they are browned on top.

While sausage stuffing bites are cooking, make the gravy dipping sauce. 

Over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle on half the flour and stir so that the butter soaks it all up, then add more little by little. Stir it around and cook it for another minute or so, then pour in the broth, stirring constantly.

Cook the gravy, stirring frequently, until it thickens. (This may take a good 10 to 12 minutes.) Sprinkle in the salt and pepper and continue cooking until very thick and luscious. If it gets too thick too soon, just splash in another 1/2 cup of broth or more if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Place dipping sauce in a serving bowl and serve with Sausage Stuffing Bites

Recipes, Seasonal, Sunday dinner

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Happy Fall Ya’ll! We may not have the fall weather here in Florida but we can create those delicious fall flavors! 

Acorn squash gets roasted to perfection and tossed with chicken sausage, kale, cranberries, pecans and melty goat cheese for the perfect salty and sweet combo.

Ingredients

Acorn squash

  • 2 acorn squash medium
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more
  • black pepper freshly ground

Squash filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion small, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pint mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 10 oz chicken sausage, crumbled
  • 4 oz kale, chopped 
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese 

Instructions 

Roast acorn squash

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cut off the top and the bottom of each acorn squash to create a flat base. Make sure not to cut too deep into the base of the squash. 

Slice each squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.

Place acorn squash cut sides up on a baking sheet. 

Drizzle the cut sides of acorn squashes with olive oil and rub the oil into the squash. Season generously with salt and pepper. 

Turn the squash over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet.

Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Make squash filling

Make the sausage filling while the squash is being roasted in the oven.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add diced onion and garlic, and cook it on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until cooked and a bit charred.

Add the chopped mushrooms, and saute until soft. 

Add crumbled sausage and rosemary, cook on medium heat until the sausage is completely cooked through.

Add fresh kale and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat until the kale wilts.

Add dried cranberries and chopped pecans and mix everything.

Season with salt and pepper. 

How to stuff acorn squash

By this time, you have roasted the acorn squash for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and turn cooked squash halves cut sides up.

Divide the sausage filling among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled or a little bit higher. Sprinkle each half with goat cheese. 

Bake the stuffed acorn squash in the preheated oven at 350 F for 10 or 20 more minutes until the sausage mixture is heated through.

Cookies, Seasonal, sweet tooth

Apple Whiskey Cookies

Who’s ready for fall? Buttery, soft, and oh-so-delicious, these Apple Whiskey Toffee cookies boast all your favorite fall sensations. Trust me these homemade cookies are hard to turn down.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 apples, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee chips
  • 1 cup whiskey 

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 

Add that mixture to the creamed mixture. Stir to combine.

Stir in the whiskey, applesm, chocolate and toffee. 

Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes or more. 

Heat the oven to 375F degrees.

Spoon the batter using a medium cookie scoop onto a lined cookie sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

Let rest for 5 minutes. Then, remove to a cookie rack to continue cooling.

Recipes, Seasonal

Orange & Honey Baked Ham

Sticky, sweet, tangy, and full of flavor… this orange & honey glazed ham is one that you’ll be happy to have as the star of your holiday meal or Sunday dinner!

Ham is perfect to serve for family holiday gatherings. There is not a lot of prep, it feeds a big crowd and it can be served warm or at room temperature.

Making a glazed ham is really simple, as the ham is already fully cooked, you’re just heating it up and adding a great glaze.  So don’t be intimidated here, I highly encourage you to give this recipe I try! 

Trust me when I say that you’ll be wanting this ham for MORE than just holidays or just Sundays!

Ingredients

Glaze 

  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. pumpkin spice 
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 orange sliced, thin 

Ham 

  • 1 bone-in spiral ham (approximately 8lb.)
  • 10 whole cloves 
  • 1 orange, sliced 

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 325°. 

In a saucepan, whisk all the ingredients for the glaze. Heat on low, stirring occasionally until it is well combined and smooth. Remove the pot from the stove.

Place one whole clove throughout the ham just push the clove into the ham.

Place the oranges slices in between slices of ham. 

Place the ham in a large roasting pan and cover top of the ham with foil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Every 20 minutes, remove the ham from the oven and brush all over with the glaze. 

After 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove foil from ham, brush with the glaze & cook for additional 25 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 135°. 

Transfer the ham to a platter and tent with foil. 

Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. 

Recipes, Seasonal

Red Chili Roasted Turkey Thighs

These turkey thighs are garlicky, herby, spicy, and a little tangy, perfect for whether an ordinary weeknight meal or a special holiday feast, they will be a hit! You can honestly use any meat with this recipe, chicken, fish, pork or even steak- the seasoning is delicious!

Serve them with my Thai Roasted Brussel sprouts and butternut squash and of course crusty bread to soak up the mouthwatering drippings. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb Turkey thighs or choice of meat
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 stick butter 
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoon poultry seasoning 
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on turkey thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium limes, for garnish
  • Cranberry sauce, optional for garnish 

INSTRUCTIONS

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Mince 4 garlic cloves. Mince 1 large shallot (about 1/3 cup). Coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems from 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro until you have 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons.

Place the garlic, shallots, 3/4 cup of the cilantro, stick of butter,  2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Pat 2 turkey thighs dry with paper towels. 

Season with the poultry seasoning, coating each side. 

Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, add turkey thighs skin-side down, then use tongs or a spatula to press down on the thighs to create good contact with the hot pan for even browning. Cook until the skin is golden-brown and fat has begun to render, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Flip the turkey and pour the red chili butter sauce over the turkey. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Transfer to the oven.

Every ten minutes, remove from the oven, baste each piece of turkey with the melted butter and turkey juices in the pan.  Cover and return to the oven.  Repeat this every ten minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 40 minutes. 

When the turkey is ready, uncover and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, cranberry sauce and serve with the lime wedges.

Recipes, Seasonal

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Squash

If you are like me, fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. I can’t wait to get my hands on fall vegetables.

This Roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and olive oil pair beautifully with caramelized savory squash. As they roast in the oven, their flavor intensifies. They come out of the oven sweet, tangy, and with a deep flavor that’s almost wine-ish. The poached egg takes this dish to the next level. I used fresh duck eggs from my friend’s farm, Red Beard’s Farm.  Duck eggs are pretty much just like chicken eggs, except they are larger and richer. You can use regular eggs, of course.

INGREDIENTS

For the squash:

  • 2.2 lbs acorn squash, about 3
  • ⅔ tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the tomatoes:

  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme

For the poached eggs:

  • 4-6 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • Fresh thyme, garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425F

For the squash:

Scrub the squash clean, pat dry, and cut into ½-inch rounds (length-wise).

Scoop out the seeds and remove the stringy parts.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Spread the squash out in a single layer over the sheet. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over the squash. Coat well.

Bake in a middle rack for about 20 minutes and flip the rinds to bake 8-10 minutes extra.

For the tomatoes:

Place the tomatoes in a baking dish.

Add the ingredients from oil to thyme.

Stir to coat well.

Roast until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to burst, about 20 minutes.

For the poached eggs:

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.

Add the vinegar. Turn heat down to a simmer.

Crack an egg into a small bowl. Stir the water with a wooden spoon to get it spinning in one direction.

Gently lower the egg into the water.

Cook for 5 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.

Reheat with other eggs.

To serve:

Arrange 3-4 squash rinds to each serving plate or shallow bowl.

Divide the tomatoes among plates and drizzle with the cooking juices.

Place the poached eggs on top.

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme, and salt.