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Thanksgiving Stuffing


The stuffing is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve made many variations of stuffing adding ingredients like ground beef, diced giblets, fennel, eggs, dried fruit…. The recipe below is our family favorite! It’s a classic stuffing with dried bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, herbs and turkey broth. The cornbread and sourdough bread is from Martha Stewart’s recipe. A 24 oz or so size of standard white bread is also very good! Such a loaf is Aunt Millie’s Buttermilk Bread


I’ve been following Martha Stewart since she began her empire. This stuffing is based on her recipe.

At least a day before prepare a cornbread recipe in an 8×8 inch baking pan. I use a Martha recipe. The recipe on the yellow cornmeal container is also good

I use a local bread called Spatz white bread. A sourdough also is good. It needs to be dried out on a rack at least a day before.

An alternative is to only use a standard loaf of white bread such as a 24 oz loaf of Aunt Millie’s Buttermilk bread instead of making cornbread and using Spatz bread.

I also make my own turkey  stock. At least 2 days before, follow my recipe for Chicken Soup with Vegetables. Make the stock only and roast 2 turkey wings and 2 drumsticks.

Also a day ahead I like to sauté the vegetables and herbs together.  This is not necessary though. You can sauté the vegetables the same time you’re making the stuffing.

  • In a large saucepan melt 4 tablespoons butter. Sauté the following:

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

4 carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 fennel bulb, chopped, optional

2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • When softened add these herbs:

2 teaspoons each dried sage, thyme and marjoram

2 tablespoons each fresh rosemary and parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Sauté another 5 minutes. Cool and refrigerate overnight or mix in with the bread if you’re ready to go!
  • On serving day put the stuffing together.


  • In a large mixing bowl combine the dried cornbread and white bread that has been sliced into cubes. I slice the bread into 16 squares
  • Mix in the vegetables.
  • Optional is to add 1 cup dried Michigan cherries. I usually don’t.
  • Lastly, take 4 cups turkey stock that has been heated and mix into stuffing.


  • Pour into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Cover with foil.
  • Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes. It only needs to be heated through and slightly crisped up. Over baking will dry it out. 🦃
  • Voila!



Candied Sweet Potatoes

This recipe comes from my mom, Sonia Sanders.  I added the vanilla, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and lemon rind alla Paul Prudhomme.

4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 7)

Wash potatoes well. Prick each several times with a fork. Bake in a 400 degree oven just until tender. Or cook in a pressure cooker with 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Potatoes are done when easily pricked with a fork or knife. Let set until they are cool enough to handle.

In a medium saucepan combine:

2 cups water

1 pound brown sugar

Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Then add:

2 teaspoons vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick butter

3-4 shakes of cayenne pepper

Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat mixture until butter is melted.

  • Peel your cooled baked sweet potatoes. Then cut into halves lengthwise.
  • Place in an orderly fashion in a 9 x 13 inch glass or ceramic baking/serving dish.
  • Pour sauce over.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until sauce is simmering. Throughout cooking time, baste potatoes with the sauce.  Flavors meld when cooled and reheated the following day or so.
  • Serve piping hot directly from your baking dish!
  • You can also add pecans at this time if desired.

I prepare this dish a day before serving so flavor so meld. Refrigerate in the baking dish overnight.

Thanksgiving Menu 2011

Our family prepares many of the same traditional foods every Thanksgiving. We may adapt the recipes a bit or try a completely new recipe, but the basics are always there. Here was our menu this year. I try to please everyone, so there are alot of options to choose from. You will find many of these recipes here at NinaintheKitchen. Others I have included the website where you can find it. If you don’t find a recipe you’d like, let me know. Comment on this post.

Cheeseball with Ritz Crackers

Curry Dip with Fresh Veggies

Tuscan-Style Turkey alla Porchetta (

Turkey Gravy 101

Corn Bread-Sourdough Stuffing ( made with Martha’s corn bread recipe

Mashed Potatoes

Green Beans

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Russian Style Cabbage

Russian Homemade Sausage

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Crescent Rolls (Pillsbury)

Apple-Cranberry Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Butternut Squash Pie with Whipping Cream

Apple-Cranberry Pie

A fabulous Thanksgiving pie from It has a similiar sweet sour flavor to a sour cherry pie! I doubled the recipe to make 2 pies. To further accentuate the delicious fruit flavor, I roll my pie dough very thin. I also use fresh cranberries!

Makes one 9-inch pie

Use sweet, crisp apples, such as Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, or Braeburn. The two fillings can be made ahead, cooled, and stored separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.



  • 2cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4cup orange juice
  • 1cup granulated sugar (7 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon for top of pie
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4cup water
  • 1tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 1/2pounds sweet apples (6 to 7 medium), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see note above)
  • 1 recipe pie dough (see related recipe)
  • 1 egg white , beaten lightly


  1. 1. Bring cranberries, juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and pressing berries against side of pot, until berries have completely broken down and juices have thickened to jamlike consistency (wooden spoon scraped across bottom should leave clear trail that doesn’t fill in), 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in water, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cornstarch in large microwave-safe bowl; add apples and toss to combine. Microwave on high power, stirring with rubber spatula every 3 minutes, until apples are just starting to turn translucent around edges and liquid is thick and glossy, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  3. 3. While fillings cool, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. 4. Transfer cooled cranberry mixture to dough-lined pie plate and spread into even layer. Place apple mixture on top of cranberries, mounding slightly in center; push down any sharp apple edges.
  5. 5. Roll second disk of dough on generously floured work surface (up to 1/4 cup) to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side.
  6. 6. Using kitchen shears, cut evenly through both layers of overhanging dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal. Brush top and edges of pie with egg white and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Using sharp paring knife, cut four 1 1/2-inch slits in top of dough in cross pattern.
  7. 7. Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake until top is light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, rotate baking sheet, and continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack to cool at least 2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

Spiced Red Wine-Cranberry Sauce

A spicey rich cranberry sauce from which we loved this Thanksgiving!

  • YIELD: 10 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup)
  • COURSE:          Sauces/Condiments


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cabernet sauvignon or other dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1  (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries


1. Combine all ingredients except cranberries in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries; simmer 12 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill (mixture will thicken as it chills).