Monday, November 23, 2009

Dinner Rolls and Thanksgiving Stuffing

Flashback 30 years ago to my Thanksgiving menu. Some kind of processed turkey breast roll thing, instant mashed potatoes, Stovetop Stuffing, jarred gravy, brown 'n serve rolls and a frozen pumpkin pie with Cool Whip.

My family's Thanksgiving celebration this past Saturday was a total hit. I mean I nailed it people. Please indulge me while I brag on myself a little bit. You see, up until a few years ago, I didn't really even know how to cook. Surprised? Let's just say that the craziness of life, job and kids kept me from pursuing this interest at any serious level. When I finally found the time to devote to learning how to cook, I threw myself into it wholeheartedly and I've found that there's nothing I love more than spending my entire day in the kitchen. Because of that, I was able to prepare my entire Thanksgiving menu from scratch. Right down to the bread for the stuffing, every element of our dinner came from my hands. How cool it that? Me, Mags, cooking an entire feast by herself... FROM SCRATCH! Who'da thunk.

The reason for the bragging is partly to pat myself on the back, of course, but mostly because I'd love nothing more than to inspire those who think cooking/baking from scratch is too difficult. Let's take these dinner rolls, for example. From start to finish, these can be on the table in less than an hour and a half, and you're really only actively involved for just a short percentage of that time. The recipe comes from Frieda over at Lovin' from the oven and they don't come any easier, quicker or more delicious. Soft and fluffy, these dinner rolls even passed my picky daughter's Bob Evans standard (you know, the ones that come frozen in tins that you then have to thaw and bake.) Frieda even shows different shaping techniques and how you can make your rolls the day before, refrigerate overnight, then bake the next day. I chose to go that route and while the turkey was resting I popped my dinner rolls into the oven. Perfect!

Now onto the stuffing. Remember that sourdough bread I made last week? I had this stuffing recipe specifically in mind when I made that and took one of the loaves, cubed it, then toasted it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. This is a fairly basic stuffing recipe but the family said it was the best ever. I thought it was delicious too, especially when topped with Cathy's gravy.

Sourdough Stuffing

1 pound loaf of sourdough bread, cubed and toasted
1 stick (8 TBSP) butter
1 onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
6 oz. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
3-4 cups chicken or turkey stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Place breadcrumbs in a large bowl.

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute until vegetables have softened. Add garlic, sage and thyme and saute for another minute or two. Add vegetables to bread in bowl. Gradually add the stock until desired moistness is achieved.

Put stuffing into casserole dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until browned and heated through.


Moogie said...

Way to go Mags!!!!

HoneyB said...

Oh, this is all just killing me because I know my thanksgiving meal is going to be like your first ones were....and I'm NOT looking forward to it. I would much rather have what you have here!! Those rolls are beautiful!

June said...

Holy cow Mags - are you kidding me? I just assumed you'd been cooking up a storm since you were an ankle biter. Congratulations! You're amazing and a definite inspiration.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Your dinner rolls look amazing! Mine never turn out like that. They look just like the ones my grandmother always made!

Mags said...

Moogie: Thanks!

HoneyB: Had I known I would have invited you to join us!

June: Nope, I'm a relative newbie at this whole cooking/baking thing but when I tackle something I tackle it hard...LOL

Jen: That's the greatest complement because I was striving for my mom's rolls too and these are the closest I've ever come.

Barbara Bakes said...

I would have never guess you hadn't been cooking all your life! I'm always so impressed with everything you make! The rolls do look perfect!

Frieda said...

I am SO impressed! From scratch, huh? Congratulations! Looking through your blog, I would've never guess you were a newbie at this cooking/baking gig! You have a new-found passion in the kitchen, girl!

Mags said...

Barbara: Thank you for such a nice comment.

Frieda: Thank you again for posting such an easy and tasty dinner roll recipe!

Debs said...

Good for you. No reason why you can't pat yourself on the back. That's part of the reason we have blogs, I thought!

Those rolls look fabulous, a must try recipe for me, thanks.

real estate Vancouver BC said...

Hi. This stuffing recipe is very similar to that one I prepared for our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. I must admit that it's very delicious and with good gravy it makes the food perfect. Despite the fact that the Canadian Thanksgiving was few weeks ago I wish you all Happy Thanksgiving. I'm just little bit sad that it's not in the same day like in the U.S.

Good luck,

Rosemary & Garlic said...

I am still trying to decide what to serve for rolls. Yours look delicious, did you add the gluten

Mags said...

Debs: You're right! That is why we have blogs.

Jay: Thanks for commenting!

Rosemary: Yup, I added the gluten.

Katerina said...

That goes to show the importance of planning doesn't it!

Well done, you have the right to brag.

Nerd Girl said...

Those rolls look awesome - I think I'm going to give them a try.

I have a quick question - I looked over the recipe and it seems straight forward enough, but I am unclear on the eggs - I am to add warm water to the beaten eggs and then drain them? Is that correct?

Thanks in advance!

Mags said...

Katerina: Thanks for commenting!

Nerd Girl: That's funny because I had to ask Frieda the same question. You put the eggs (uncracked) in warm water for about 10 minutes and this is just to get them to come to room temperature so you're not using cold eggs. Then crack them and whisk them. Does that help?

Erin said...

I'm glad someone else asked the egg question because I wondered as well! :)
Which shaping technique did you use for your rolls?

Mags said...

Erin: I just shaped them into balls and placed them in a cake pan to rise and bake.

Hubby said...

Mags, you are too modest. You have always been a good cook, but in the last year and a half, you have taken it to the ultimate level. I love you and your cooking.

Mags said...

Aww hubby, I love you too. Your first comment too!

Frieda Loves Bread said...

Thanks for popping by my blog to say 'hi!' I'm still getting a LOT of traffic from your site for my rolls ~ a good recipe is like a good husband. Stick with it and don't look anywhere else. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

Happy Baking!