Stuffing It

by Rachel on November 16, 2010

All right, it’s only nine days away — let’s get down to the business of Thanksgiving.

If you’re cooking this year and need some dish inspiration, take some from me, the girl who wishes she were cooking this year! Yes, I’m the Thanksgiving equivalent of a backseat driver — please bear with me. I have kitchen envy.

Last Thanksgiving was my first time doing all the cooking, and it turned out to be a pretty delicious meal. I made a lot more food than this, but here are some recipes I have to share!

Cranberry-Walnut Baked Brie. Cut the waxy top off of an 8-inch round of brie. Top with 3 tbsp toasted walnuts, 3 tbsp cranberries, and a couple teaspoons of thyme. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and serve with crackers.

Creamy Garlic Herb Dip

Bacon-Wrapped Dates. Cut bacon into small pieces, wrap around pitted dates, and stuff them with cheese if you’re feeling fancy — but they don’t need it. Then pop in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turning halfway. This unexpected combo will be the hit of the party! Seriously, you should just make these for a snack sometime if you don’t have a party to go to.

Turkey Roulade with Apple Cider Gravy

Green Beans with Bacon

Smashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake & Loaded Brownies. Soften one carton Edy’s Slow-Churned vanilla and then add one cup canned pumpkin, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp ginger, and 1/8 tsp cloves. Mix and re-freeze in a springform pan. To make the loaded brownies, just add chopped walnuts and butterscotch chips to boxed brownie mix before baking. When dessert rolls around, remove the ice cream cake from the pan and serve with the brownies and top with caramel sauce.

Moving right along…last fall, I responded to a call for submissions in a new book about Thanksgiving. It was be a collection of essays with personal experiences of this true American holiday. I figured they were looking for touching, heartwarming stories about Thanksgiving and family — you know, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” kinda stuff. Well…now that you know what my family is like, you also know what holidays in my family are going to be like.

So…I wrote an essay about that.

Given that no one seems to appreciate a sense of humor when it comes to things like this, I was seriously surprised to see that my essay had been chosen and is now a part of Thanksgiving Tales: True Stories of the Holiday in America.

Since I’m mostly a Web girl, it’s very exciting to see my name in print!

And I’m glad that I can represent the families that are more “Roseanne” than “The Brady Bunch.” It always feels good to turn Crazy into Career.

Speaking of writing about the holidays, bloggers — I have a new post on Hollaback about how to make your holiday posts creative and fresh.

All right, I’m in the mood for a discussion…If you could have anyone as a guest at your Thanksgiving this year, who would it be?

My darling boyfriend has given me his horrible cold so I will be reading your ideas in bed while I try to muster up the energy to go downstairs and watch Food Network. HOLLER.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Smash @ Appreciate The Now November 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

Wow — cool that you were published! :) All of the food photos and recipes look amazing; I definitely LOVE Thanksgiving and feel extra ready for it this year. My dinner guest? Paula Dean from the Food Network, mostly so she can cook with lots of butter and spread her infectious laugh. <3


2 Kaley November 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

Love the baked brie idea. Sounds delicious + easy (also how I usually describe myself, as an added bonus!).

Anyway, congrats on the book. That’s awesome! Wish I could read your entry!


3 Cat @ YoungFoolishHungry November 16, 2010 at 9:40 am

I’m so using that Brie recipe for me and the boyfriend’s “Thanksgiving” (we’re having our own prior to the big day since we’ll be with our own families for the real thing).

As for a Thanksgiving dinner guest…Dumbledore?


4 ashleigh November 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

Congrats on getting your story published! I’m sure it’s hilarious!!


5 Matt November 16, 2010 at 9:58 am

I am all about the turkey. If I just had a massive plate of turkey, I am good to go ;)


6 Jes November 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

Anything wrapped in bacon has to be delicious! haha… I would have Tom Petty as my Thanksgiving guest of choice. I would love to just pick his brain and see what makes him tick.


7 Lori November 16, 2010 at 10:05 am


Your cranberries look devine. If you have a chance, could you post the recipe?

I hope you feel better soon! :o)


8 Rachel November 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

@Lori — I have been hunting high and low for that cranberries recipe! I know it was SUPER simple, but I can’t find the exact recipe. Will keep you posted!!


9 Leah @ L4L November 16, 2010 at 10:12 am

I think I might back gorgonzola stuffed bacon wrapped dates for an appetizer! THanks! YUM!


10 Stephanie @ Single in the City November 16, 2010 at 10:17 am

My guest would be my dad. He passed away five years ago, and although we weren’t on bad terms, we simply didn’t make each other a priority and we lost contact for a few years. He was taken suddenly by a massive stroke and I would do anything to be able to hear him laugh just one more time.

The holidays were one of the few times our extended family would come together each year because we all led such different lives and everyone was going in different directions. I miss sitting around the table, the 11 of us (the non-Italian side of the family) talking, laughing and eating until it looked like a tornado hit the dinner table. The guys would then retire to the living room for the football game and the ladies would take to the kitchen to clean up the mess. I always went to watch the game; to hell with doing dishes! :)


11 shelby @ eatdrinkrun November 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

Bacon wrapped dates are one of my favorite foods EVER. EV-ER. And now I am salivating uncontrollably. Thanks.

Congrats on getting your essay published! Looks like it could be a pretty entertaining book. :)


12 Cynthia (It All Changes) November 16, 2010 at 11:01 am

I want yummy stuffing with cranberries and apples this year.

And I’d love to have my great grandmother. She passed away when I was 13 but was a big brassy woman who made great conversation that I miss.


13 Manon November 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

Damn girl, you just made me huuuuuuuuuungry! My dad, and his love for horseradish (obvs if you had his meatloaf) have requested I make the same horseradish deviled eggs I made last year. Since I’ve been working on my cooking skillz we’ll see if I’m allowed to do anything besides stir and fetch beer :)

I wish my grandma AND my great aunt could come because they are sooooooo opposite (think beer/cigs/’president of the itty bitty titty club’ tshirt Vs. Brie from Desperate Housewives), watching them get into it was always great (I’m sure I could have appreciated it even more if I was over the age of 8 and actually knew what the names they were calling each other meant). Plus, if grandma was here, Dad and I would have someone else to chug flabongos with. Sometimes it’s lonely being the only two party animals in the fam :)


14 Lauren at KeepItSweet November 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

i would love a pumpkin cake! great dessert for the fall in general:-)


15 Tenecia November 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Bacon makes EVERYTHING better!!! I don’t even like dates but I would eat them just because you wrapped them in bacon!!

And I would want Tupac to be my guest for dinner….I’d want to know how he feels about the 2010 version of the rap game, did he really bang Faith Evans?, how does he feel about the fact that we now have Black president, you know….important stuff :)


16 angela November 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I think you should be my guest Rachel, because then you could bring dessert and it would be amazing! ;)

Congrats on getting published, that rocks!


17 Triz November 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Congratulations Rachel! That’s just terrific!


18 Allie Finch November 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Congratulations on your publication. You have such a talent; I’m sure your essay is brilliant & just the perfect amount of “crazy”.
I’m really bad at the “guest for dinner” question. I wonder why that is.


19 Alyssa November 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Congratulations on the publishing, that’s a huge deal!!

Also, all of your recipes look basically amazing. I’m currently in Germany for work and I’m missing Thanksgiving so this allowed me to atleast pretend I was eating that food.


20 Christie November 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Yay Roseanne. One year I made Thanksgiving dinner all by myself. My parents both had food poisoning (yet they still wanted to celebrate? dont ask) so I cooked the turkey, the stuffing, everything. All by myself. I was 15. Its still one of the best dinners we had. I love cooking. I am so upset that no one will let me help them cook this year. Probably tired of me taking over the whole meal.

Get well soon and chug that Vit C


21 Retta @ RunRettaRun November 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I’m in charge of dessert for my side of the family. Your pumpkin cake and ice cream would be a hit w/ the fam! Christmas is my holiday for my family. Love cooking big meals, hosting, all that jazz.

For the guest, I’d love for The Lover’s grandfather to be w/ us again.


22 Fit Girl November 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Get better Rach, I just got over a tummy bug from last week, royally pissed off! First of all I will be stealing some of those recipes as I am cooking for the fam in early December as I am away Xmas. We don’t celebrate thanksgiving here in the UK but I still want to join in the fantasy fun. I’d like Rodrigo Santoro, poor thing was left with some unfinished business in the film Love Actually, it’s only fair that I serve myself up to him, no? Finally awesome news for getting published!!


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