(better than) Granny’s Chicken Dressing

Better than Granny's Dressing

Better than your Granny’s dressing?!  Ok, well maybe just the next best thing.  Holiday dinners with my family are built around what most consider to be just a side dish – dressing.  Chicken dressing is the glue that brings the ham together with the mac-n-cheese, the strong bond that makes the greens and turkey have true meaning.  This dressing recipe can stand up to Granny’s for sure, and it is easy enough to not scare anyone away from attempting to successfully recreate it.   I’ll hush now, let’s get cookin’!

Ingredients

dressing 1

  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom
  • 3 sticks/ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • ground sage
  • garlic powder (opt)
  • salt & pepper
  • Aunt Jemaima’s self-rising corn meal mix (or however you choose to prepare unsweetened cornbread)
  • 1 egg for the final mixture
  • eggs per cornbread instructions
  • milk per cornbread instructions
  • vegetable oil per cornbread instructions

Directions

dressing 5

Prepare Cornbread by following the directions on the package, prepare 2 large or 3 medium pans of cornbread.  (pans pictured above made 2 large pans of dressing)

Let cornbread cool. (!!!)

dressing 6

With your hands or with a food processor, crumble cornbread completely, thoroughly, and smoothly into a large roasting pan or aluminum pan.

My granny would freeze and save leftover cornbread starting early in the month – eating cornbread was nearly a daily thing back then.  

Preheat oven to 350 °

dressing 7

Begin by mixing in 1/2 can of cream of mushroom and 1/2 can of cream of chicken and all of the chopped vegetables into the crumbled cornbread, and mix well.

Next, pour 1/2 – 3/4 of your chicken broth.  Fold and stir until the consistency is even all over.  Once this is folded in completely to the mixture, if the consistency isn’t smooth or slightly chunky, continue to add the creams in.  If necessary, add more broth.  You want to mixture to be smooth – no huge chunks, but definitely not runny with liquids.

Once the mixture has reached a smooth but thick consistency add in sage, garlic powder, salt, pepper.  For safe measure, add in 1/8 tsp of sage and garlic powered, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  For the risk takers (like me), just sprinkle it on and season to taste.

Your mixture should never become green from adding too much sage, and it should never be over salted.  Too much seasoning is indeed, a bad thing. 

Test taste your mixture.

Lastly, stir one egg and add it thoroughly throughout the entire mixture.  This helps to hold it all together.

Smooth the top of the mixture to an even level.  Cover (with lid or foil) and place in preheated oven for 2-3 hours, until golden brown on the top and lightly browned on the edges.  While the dressing is cooking, DO NOT EVER STIR THE MIXTURE.  Taste and check the texture of the dressing if necessary, but do not stir.

dressing 9

After removing from the oven, let the dressing cool.  It is still very hot and continues to cook from its internal heat at this point.

There ya have it!  This recipe was complied from lessons on the art of cooking dressing by my sister, my Aunts, cousins and my friend Jasmine.  It takes a village.  We hope you enjoy!

dressing 10

What is one dish that is just absolutely necessary at your family holiday gatherings?  Let me know in the comments below!

until next time Addie

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Green-ish Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for giving back to our communities and our earth.

How can you be eco-friendly & sustainable this gift-giving season?  How can you make your Christmas shopping go further than pleasing the people you are purchasing gifts for?  How can you make a difference in the lives of others by being a conscious shopper?  Do more than “buy green.”  Shop local to support your immediate economy, shop fair-trade to support companies that make a difference in the lives of their employees (instead of exploiting them), and shop sustainable to save this floating ball we live on.   After all, ’tis is the season of giving!

Shop Local

Shopping local stimulates your immediate economy.  Support small business owners and local business owners – take the time to peruse the shops on the town square that you always pass by.  Thrift stores are also a perfect way to help bring money to your local economy.  Check out Style by Dionne Dean‘s “Thrift Gift List” to learn how to find gifts for your loved ones at thrift stores.

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Shop Small

Small businesses are all over and easy to find with the internet.  Websites like Etsy, StoreEnvy and BigCartel are hosts to small businesses all over the world.  Instagram has led me to discover some awesome small brands (which I think deserve a shot at the big leagues)

Some of my favorite shops include:

Etch Studio

Etch Studio – laser cut jewelry, customizable (IG: @etch_studio)

the beanie bar

The Beanie Bar – hand made beanies, customizable (IG: @thebeaniebar)

Mecca Fox

Mecca Fox – unique jewelry brand – earrings, necklaces, etc; customizable (IG: @gypctea)

Tainted Rose 2

Tainted Rose – afforadable, fashion-forward jewelry. Pieces sell quickly, so get them while they’re hot! (IG: @shoptaintedrose_)

Tainted Rose 1

Tainted Rose – afforadable, fashion-forward jewelry. Pieces sell quickly, so get them while they’re hot! (IG: @shoptaintedrose_)

Shop Fair Trade

Fair Trade businesses give workers just compensation for the work they do.  As Americans, we do not see what happens in other countries while all of the things we so quickly purchase are being created.  Often times, our beloved “things” are created at the expense of hard labor for unfair wages – leaving the people who work hard in the factories hungry and in dire conditions.   Fair trade market places work to get rid of situations like that.  Instead, the workers who make the ‘things” we covet so much are treated humanely – they are taught valuable life skills and are paid fair wages that will help them and their families to live better lives.

Mercy House 1

Mercy House Kenya – unique jewelry, shirts, and accessories. (IG: @mercyhousekenya)

Mercy House 2

With Mercy House Kenya founder, Kristen Welch. (IG: @mercyhousekenya)

Shop Sustainable

Sustainable brands exist!  Everything that you could purchase regularly can be purchased beautifully and sustainably.  Here are some sustainable clothes I’ve purchased this holiday season!  I discovered both through Instagram (IG for the win!)

Monkee Genes Supa-Skinny

Monkee Genes – sustainably sourced cotton and commendable working conditions in factories. Everyone and the earth wins with these. (IG: @monkeegenes)

cream lace braletter - lawithlove

LA with Love – upcycled and handmade intimates. (IG: @lawithlove)

At the end of it all, remember I am not urging you to drop all that you do and support only these four manners of purchasing.  I think that is where a lot of sustainability enthusiasts lose people, and I don’t want to lose y’all!  I want you to incorporate this into your shopping experience, little by little.  I will support all of the four areas above, but I still shop at places like Target or Forever 21.  They are all conscious choices that I make.  I just know that it feels right and it helps make our world a better place when I also make it a point to shop local, small, fair trade and sustainable.  I hope you make the world a better place with me this holiday season (and all of the time).  Season’s Greetings to you all! =)

Alternative Christmas Tree coming soon!

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I have always wanted to stay at a Bed & Breakfast because they fully embody old world charm to me.  It came as no surprise that my stay at The Coppersmith Inn was one of wonder and merriment, but I was still so excited!  After winning tickets to the #BlogElevated Conference (yaye twitter contests!) in Galveston, TX, I contacted Ellen, the innkeeper, and she was gracious in providing me a room for the time that I was there.  Arriving in Galveston alone was beautiful.  When I turned down M Street and finally saw The Coppersmith Inn in person, I was like “yaaaasss, historic architecture in all of its glory!  Let me take a picture!”  I obviously proceeded to gather beautiful portraits stage some photos for y’all.  This beauty is over 120 years old and still looks splendid.  The in-depth history can reviewed at the coppersmithinn.com.

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The Old World New Philosophy of Travel is rather simple –

Go all the places!  See all the things!

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old world new \ˈōld • ˈwər(-ə)ld • ˈnü \

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Growth is such a beautiful thing, and a new season is upon us, folks.  In two short weeks on November 11, 2014, Old World New Girl will have a new name, a new face, and a new attitude *I got a new attitude!*   Read More →