Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Corn Bread Stuffing

First off, let me just say, for those folk who have to make snippy little comments; I do not care a bit whether this is actually a “stuffing” or “technically” a dressing.

You call it whatever you like when you make it, then get your own blog and publish.

That settled, even though our September has remained warm, I was in the mood for Air Fryer Turkey Breast, and, since I had just made Corn Bread Croutons in the Air Fryer, I chose to make stuffing to go with.

I had found a recipe on line on for a corn bread, sweet potato, and chorizo stuffing and I thought, with a few tweaks here and there, it would be just the thing for our turkey dinner.

This was not a holiday feast, so I cut back on the quantities called for, swapped out breakfast sausage for the chorizo, and used these Flatiron Pepper Company Hatch Valley chili flakes (available from Amazon, because, of course). They are nothing but dried chili flakes, nothing else added.

•3 cups Corn Bread Croutons
•1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
•1 tube breakfast sausage
•1/2 cup diced celery
•2 cloves garlic
•1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1 egg
•1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
•1 tsp hot sauce
•1/2 tsp dried sage
•1/2 cup pecan halves
•1/2 tsp Hatch Valley dried green chili flakes – or more, to taste
•Olive or avocado oil

Bring the sweet potato cubes to a boil in a pot with one tablespoon of salt added and simmer for seven or eight minutes, until the cubes are just starting to get tender, but are not soft enough for mashing. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Heat your oven to 350º.

Warm one tablespoon of olive or avocado oil in the same large pan over medium high heat and add the ground turkey, the celery, and the garlic.

Cook, stirring and breaking up the ground turkey, for ten minutes or so, until the turkey is cooked through and most of any cooking juices have been simmered off.

Add the sweet potatoes, croutons, chicken stock and seasonings and stir to combine and moisten the croutons.

Brush a two quart casserole with melted butter, then add your stuffing.

Whisk the eggs until lightly beaten, then pour over and stir into the stuffing in the casserole. Mebbe dot a few pats of butter over the top.

Cover the casserole, then bake for for 45 minutes, until the stuffing is nicely heated through.

Uncover and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the top is crispity and golden.

We totally loved this stuffing with the turkey breast, and just think of the sammich possibilities with cranberry and mayonnaise and perhaps a dab o’ blue cheese (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).

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Corn Bread Croutons in the Air Fryer

A while ago, (like, six years?) I published a post about an OK corn bread recipe, and the redemption that turned it into Most Excellent Croutons, with only 1/4 cup of melted butter, a four hundred degree oven, and a bit of patience.

Well… now, I have an air fryer, a pretty nice corn bread (made from a Stonewall Kitchen mix), and, it is every bit as tasty as the original, but I only used two tablespoons of olive oil – so no butter, and half the amount of added fat total. Bonus!

Honestly, I have yet to be disappointed in anything I have made in my machine; but I do know of some folk who weren’t happy with their results. Different machines? I do not know.

I do know that I relied on a good friend who did a bunch of research before she bought and started raving about hers, so, I double checked her brand and model, and bought one myself.

Love it! And at around $70, worth it for the sweet potato fries alone.

But, on to the croutons!

•3 cups cubed bread*
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1/4 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper

*I used day-old cornbread, but a nice, crusty loaf of white or sourdough bread would work a treat here, too.

Cut the bread into 3/4 inch pieces, then toss with the salt and peppers.

Note: if you use regular salt instead of seasoned, cut the amount back to 1/8 tsp.

Drizzle the olive oil (avocado oil works here, too) over the bread cubes and toss to combine.

Transfer to your air fryer basket and set the fryer to 350º.

Cook for six to ten minutes, tossing the croutons every two minutes, until you have achieved your desired level of crunch.


Use as you will for soups or salads, or… why not air fry a turkey breast and turn those croutons into sweet potato and sausage stuffing (regular oven, not airy fryer).

Details, tomorrow…

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Parfait! Coney Dog Chili Sauce

For today’s Parfait! (repeat) post, let’s take a look at a lightened up version of Coney Dog Chili Sauce, which is one of our favorite toppings for hot dogs or (even better) Vienna Beef Polish Sausages steamed in beer!

The cool thing with this “lightened” recipe is that, instead of adding extra “stuff,” I made it all just a bit healthier by swapping out ground turkey for ground beef, unsalted chicken stock in place of beef stock, and used honey in place of most of the sugar.

I was gonna use cracker crumbs, but I had just happened to make a most excellent batch of corn bread croutons in the air fryer (details to come), so used them instead.

Note: you want to make this gluten-free as well? No worries! Replace the cornbread (or cracker) crumbs with G-F panko crumbs or almond flour. Both work a treat.

•1 lb ground turkey
•1-1/2 tsp olive oil
•1 cup chopped celery
•1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
•1 tbsp Mike’s Hot Honey
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp onion powder
•1 tsp chili powder
•1 tsp paprika
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp mixed dried green Hatch peppers
•1 tsp sugar
•1/2 tsp allspice
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1/2 tsp oregano
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•2 tbsp ketchup (I used a spicy local brand)
•1 tbsp yellow mustard
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1-1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
•1/4 cup espresso
•1 tbsp corn bread crouton crumbs
•1/2 cup Heinz 57 Sauce

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the ground turkey and chopped celery.

Cook, stirring to chop up the turkey for about ten minutes, until the turkey is mostly cooked through.

Stir in the seasonings and remaining ingredients until well mixed.

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the chili sauce is reduced and nicely thickened, about 45 minutes.

Note: my chili sauce was a touch, ermmm, zippier than I wanted, so I stirred in two tablespoons of half and half and cooked it down a bit more. Worked a treat.

A note on the ketchup: I used 78 Red Spicy. It is imported from Poland by a local Chicago company and has no weird additives or corn sweeteners. If your market doesn’t carry it, Amazon (of course) does.

A note on the peppers: this blend of Hatch Valley peppers is the real deal – dried pepper flakes and nothing else. It, too, is (of course) available at Amazon.

Once your chili sauce is ready, set it on a back burner to keep warm and bring about 24 ounces of your favorite beer to a boil in a small pot.

Add your hot dogs or Polish sausage, cover the pot, and let rest off the heat for five or ten minutes while you lightly toast your poppy seed hot dog buns on a 225º oven.

Note: obviously, this method is only good for fully cooked hot dogs or sausages.

Buns toasted, chili sauce thickened and ready, and hot dogs (or Polish sausages) nicely heated through, go ahead and serve.

We like ours with yellow mustard and a home made quick relish I make of chopped spicy pickles, red onion, and tomatoes.








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Gin and Tonic Pickles


Yes. You read that headline correctly.

Gin and Tonic. Pickles.

The recipe, from the nice folk at, could not be simpler, or tastier, except…

I was unaware that a lot of my friends are not fans of teh gin, so, whoops!

Oh well. More for me, and other friends.

I did (of course) need to make a few adjustments to the original recipe.

I spaced about buying limes, but lemon slices seemed to work a treat; and, I had Key Lime juice already in the fridge, so used that in place of the called for plain lime juice.

My canning jar was actually a leftover pasta jar and so, not really a true “quart” – so five quartered Persian cucumbers quite filled the jar instead of the called for six.

All in all, well worth the couple of minutes it took to toss these together, but…

If you, like some of our friends, also do not care for teh gin; a vodka and tonic pickle might could be just what you never knew that you needed.

•5 (or 6) Persian cucumbers
•4 slices of lemon or lime
•1/2 cup gin
•1/4 cup lime juice (or Key Lime)
•2 tsp sugar
•1 tsp canning salt (Kosher salt is cool, too)
•1/2 cup tonic water

Trim both ends of the cucumbers and slice lengthwise into quarters.

Add to a quart sized canning jar with the lemon or lime slices, the juice, and sugar and the salt.

Pour the gin into the jar, close the lid and shake to mix.

Add the tonic water to the jar, close and shake again, then stash in the fridge for at least 24 hours to allow all of the pickle magic to happen.

Keep the jar in the fridge and use as needed. They will keep for up to one month or so, so, mebbe it’s time to get pickling!

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Ranch Salsa

A while back, I was reading an interview with one of our presidential candidates, “Mayor Pete” from South Bend, Indiana.

The interviewer was asking Mayor Pete about his stance on what is, apparently, a popular dip and/or spread in his home town: ranch dressing salsa.

Mayor Pete would not confirm or deny that he and his husband partake in this unusual condiment, but, me? I was intrigued, and determined to try this exotic Indiana treat.

But first.

The salsa.

We have recently discovered the wonder that is Trader Joe’s Bloody Mary Salsa. I have been told by one cashier that one customer uses it as the basis for his actual Bloody Mary’s.

I don’t really care for the cocktail – the tomato base is too thick tasting for me – but this salsa, tho…


So, salsa settled, I opted for Hidden Valley Ranch dressing – which was named best of a bunch of different ranch dressing tasted by a food website I respect.

Note: I screwed up at the market, and this is reduced fat Hidden Valley (!). Folk who’v followed this blog well know my view on “reduced fat” or “lite” anything, but, dammit, I had the bottle and wanted to try this out, so, I gritted my teeth and went, for just this once or so, “reduced fat.”

Preparation could not be easier; simply add equal amounts of salsa and ranch dressing to a container and stir to combine.

Give it a taste. I do believe the good folk of South Bend, Indiana are on to something.

Make this, then try it with chips, burgers, brats, veggies, who knows?



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A New Take on Steak and Chop Marinade

I have been using my old favorite Steak and Chop Marinade for years and, we do really love it, but, while prepping for a week away in a (very) nice cabin up north, I found myself without a few of my usual ingredients.

What to do?

Why, improvise, of course!

I already had a couple of decent Beer Marinade recipes, so, I went off from that.

•12 oz beer
•1/4 cup peanut oil (or canola)
•2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
•2 tbsp lower sodium Tamari
•1 tbsp hot sauce
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp lemon juice
•1 tsp rosemary
•1 tsp parsley
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp onion powder
•1 tsp dried shallots
•1/2 tsp curry powder

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Note: this was plenty of marinade for six small lamb chops, mebbe four nice pork chops, or two steaks; whatever will fit comfortably in a gallon zipper bag.

Whisk the marinade ingredients together and then… well, we were driving three hours north, so I stashed it in a quart canning jar in the fridge.

As we packed, I pulled the lamb chops out of the freezer and added them to an insulated bag along with the jar of marinade and whatever coldstuffs we were bringing along.

When we got to the cabin I opened a bottle of wine (hey, priorities!) then added the chops to a gallon sized zipper bag, gave the marinade a good shake in the jar, and poured it over the chops in the bag.

I sealed the bag, gave it a few tosses to coat all sides, then stashed it in the fridge overnight.

The next evening, we opened a bottle of wine (see above), and Rich grilled the chops, as he does, and they were delicious!

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Pesto Sautéed Cabbage

Everyone is talking about “zoodles” or “cauliflower rice,” but, consider the mebbe not so humble cabbage…

Pick up a bag of coleslaw mix at most any supermarket, add a little melted butter and a jar of pesto sauce, and you have yourself a perfectly lovely and pretty darned inexpensive, too, side dish.

Like, for Grilled Ranch Swordfish, mebbe, but this could stand on its own as  a main course, with some garlic bread on the side.

•1 bag coleslaw mix
•1 jar pesto sauce
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tbsp butter

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Note: you wanna go old school and shred your own cabbage and make your own darned pesto? Go for it! I, however, am really quite happy with coleslaw mix and ALDI’s premade pesto sauce.

Melt the butter in a large pan over medium high heat.

Add the cabbage and Sherry Peppers Sauce and toss to coat well.

Sauté for three or four minutes, until the cabbage has wilted a bit.

Add the pesto sauce, toss to coat well, and cook for another three to four minutes, until everything is nicely heated through.


Like mebbe with that Ranch Swordfish.

Tho… a regular steak or even some chicken would work a treat, too.

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Grilled Ranch Swordfish

Our local fishmonger had a pretty decent sale on swordfish steaks, so I thought, why not pick up a couple?

I had originally thought to do them, as I had with the Salmon, in the air fryer, but the evening was decent and Rich didn’t mind starting up the grill, so we went that route.

Back in the day, I always slathered my swordfish with mayonnaise on both sides before cooking, but this time, I opted for a little something different.

For these two beautiful steaks, I made a ranch dressing marinade and stashed ’em in the fridge for an hour, then flipped them over, and put back in the fridge for one more hour.

The result? Swordfish perfection!

•1 swordfish steaks
•1/4 cup ranch dressing
•1/4 cup canola oil
•1/4 cup water

Whisk the ranch dressing together with the oil and water in a gallon sized zipper bag, then seat, toss to coat the swordfish evenly, and stash in the fridge for one hour.

Flip the bag over and return to the fridge for one more hour.

Set your grill to medium high and, when hot, add the swordfish and a bit of the marinade.

Rich likes to use a little grill tray, but you do what you want.

Grill the swordfish for three to four minutes per side (depending on how thick your steaks are) and serve.

We thoroughly enjoyed ours with sautéed cabbage pesto and a nice, refreshing Vidal from Ontario.

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Air Fryer Salmon Fillets

I gotta be totally honest here. I liked these fillets, and my mom-in-law and niece, too; but my husband was not quite sold on them.

Mebbe if I had served some of that tasty aioli on the side?

In any event, beautifully done, tender and tasty salmon in the air fryer.

Mebbe just think about another sauce or marinade – like teriyaki or a honey Dijon kinda thing.

Or, stick with my home made Catalina French dressing, but do think about serving that Aioli on the side at the end.

•2 to 4 salmon fillets
•Catalina salad dressing
•Aluminum foil

Place a foil sling for the bottom of the air fryer.

Add the salmon fillets (I prefer ours skin off) to a gallon-sized zipper bag, then pour in Catalina dressing to cover. I used my own recipe, foud here, but feel free to use a bottle, or mebbe try teriyaki sauce.

Close the bag and toss the salmon in the dressing to coat all sides, then set aside to rest for 20 minutes or so.

When ready to cook, arrange on the foil lined sling and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Set your air fryer to 400º.

Cook for seven minutes, then rotate the salmon, return to the air fryer, and cook for another five to seven minutes, until the salmon is nicely done.

Transfer to plates and serve.


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Aioli, Again

So, yeh, I have posted a bunch of mayonnaise/aioli recipes, but, making a fresh, Whole 30 safe, batch for a gathering with friends tomorrow, reminded me how very simple it is too toss together, and how very tasty it is, so, here we go again…

Aioli is, simply put, mayonnaise with garlic added, so, egg, lemon juice, salt, pepper(s), garlic and, at the last, oil.

I used my mini food processor, which has an oil drizzler built into the lid, but a plain ole

blender, or even an emulsion blender will work, you just need to stream the oil in very slo-o-o-wly. to allow the aioli/mayonnaise to absorb it and emulsify into a pretty magnificent sauce.

•1 egg
•1 tbsp lemon juice
•1 clove garlic, crushed
•1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
•1/4 tsp sea salt
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/2 cup vegetable oil

Add all of the ingredients, except for the oil, to your device of choice and pulse to chop the garlic and whip the egg.

With your device of choice running, slowly stream the oil into the mixture and watch, amazed, as it turns into a creamy thing of garlic mayonnaise beauty.

Note how cool that built in drizzler in the lid is on this mini food processor? For about $30, I think that kinda cunning lid design alone is worth the space in your kitchen.

And, there you have it.

In a bit under five minutes, home made, deelicious garlic mayonnaise.


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