Search Results for: stuffing

Firehouse Challenge: Stuffing

Two stuffings

Next up came stuffing. Arguably, this has the most "active" time of any of the traditional side dishes. There's chopping and sauteing involved. I made this dish twice, once manually cutting up the vegetables as a home cook's pace and a second time using a food processor which dramatically cut the prep time. Otherwise, it's just a matter of cutting up bread and letting it go stale or toasting it  in an oven.  In the photo … [Read more...]

Bread Stuffing with Apples, Bacon, and Caramelized Onions


Recipe by Diane Morgan, from The Thanksgiving Table Who can resist crisp bacon, sautéed apples, and the slightly blackened edges of caramelized onions? With the addition of savory herbs, this is the perfect combination for stuffing. Children, especially those (like mine!) who don’t like mushrooms, really gobble this up. This stuffing pairs deliciously with the Butter-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Apple Cider Glaze. Serves … [Read more...]

Fearless Holiday Meal Guide

Holiday Dinner Plate Setting

We all know that holiday dinners should be a time to celebrate family, friends and food, but more often than not, it's a stressful holiday, with anxious hosts more worried about the turkey than about the people around the table. Enough! I talked to various home cooks hosting holiday dinners for the first time. I asked, what do you want to know? Questions poured in, from what turkey to buy to how to make a pie crust. … [Read more...]

The Great Firehouse Challenge: Packaged vs. Homemade Holiday Dinner Classics

Turkey Dinner

For years, a relative of mine served boxed stuffing at her holiday gatherings, spiced up with cut-up pre-cooked turkey sausage. When I offered to make some homemade stuffing one year, she waved me off. “No one can the tell the difference, anyway.” This made me wonder. How do real mashed potatoes, gravy, fresh green beans and cranberry sauce stack up to their processed cousins? What about supermarket turkey versus a … [Read more...]

Challenge: Green Beans canned vs. fresh

green beans canned

Green beans are a classic side dish for any holiday. I debated an update on green bean casserole, but decided instead to serve fresh green beans and canned green beans, each were lightly sauteed in butter with garlic, salt and pepper and finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon.  Fresh Green Beans Green beans are pretty simple to prepare. I put mine into a skillet with a bit of water and steamed them for about eight … [Read more...]

Challenge: Real mashed potatoes vs. Instant

mashed potatoes

I can understand the lure of instant mashed potatoes. You want comfort, you want it now. According to, a Canadian scientist developed instant mashed back in 1962. Nutritionally speaking, instant mashed potatoes offer roughly the same vitamins and minerals as the real mashed potatoes with the exception of Vitamin C. To please palates, they tend to be higher in sodium, significantly higher than the amount of … [Read more...]

Firehouse Holiday Dinner Challenge: Gravy

Making gravy

At its heart, gravy is a sauce. Sauces flummox home cooks. I interviewed a woman at a supermarket who told me, "I've burned gravy, I've made greasy gravy, I've made lumpy gravy, I've made bland gravy. So, I add a packet of seasoning to my homemade gravy and it somehow works out."  Her reasons are why many cooks turn to packaged gravy, either in the form of a packet or in a jar.  Homemade gravy Homemade gravy is … [Read more...]

Firehouse Challenge: Cranberry sauce

cranberry fixings

Growing up, I assumed that cranberries grew in the shape of a can. I am not alone.  When I was nine, my Aunt Judy made cranberry relish from whole berries and nothing was the same again. Of all the classic side dishes, cranberry relish is by the far the least challenging. If you can open a can, you can make it from scratch; it's a pour and stir operation.  Homemade Cranberry Relish My family recipe calls for adding in … [Read more...]