Saturday, November 21, 2015


I love it.
In some areas of the country they call it
In other areas of the country they call it
At my house we call it
one of
Nana's Make-You-Fat Foods.

Whatever you call it,
each family has their
own special secret recipe,
often guarded by a
 bulldog of  a mother-in-law 
wonderful cook.

Well, I don't have many secrets so
I am gonna share my own
recipe with you.
Why get fat alone when
you can share the 
fat with a few good friends, right?

With this recipe I 
do all the messy work the 
day before.  
The morning of Thanksgiving
I just have to get up,
mix the ingredients together. 
and stuff that baby...
or in our case...
that FAT BOY.
Not such a good picture---sorry.
He weighed in at almost 
And here is what got stuffed 
up his -ahem- behind.
(and in the place where
his poor neck used to be)
So...the day before
I chop about 1-1/2 cups celery.
I cut up a huge onion.
I quarter my own and peel the
quarters- so much easier 
to get the skins off that way,
if you've never tried it-
you might want to give it a go.
Then I put the celery and the onion in a 
microwave safe bowl with 
1/4 cup BUTTER
and nuke microwave them for
about 6 minutes...more or less..
till they are softened.
While they are getting nuked
I brown one pound of sausage
in a pan. 
Have you ever used a potato
masher to smash up your meat?
It is the best thing ever...
but it has to be a wire one like
this to work.  
I do all my ground meat this way.
Then I chop up a can of
Water Chestnuts and a can
of Mushrooms.
When the meat is browned and
the celery/onion mix is done
I put them, along with the 
mushrooms and water chestnuts
in a tupperware container
in the fridge.
The next morning when I am
ready to stuff the 
(the turkey-not MyHero)
I beat two eggs a bit and
add 1 large container 
Swanson's Chicken Broth.
I add this to 2 to 3 
large bags of stuffing crumbs.
2-1/2 bags makes my own
dressing moist enough 
for our family.
(yeah- I really wanted to lie
and be all Martha Stewartish
and say I made my own bread cubes
Here's what I use.
Then I proceed to stuff
the neck cavity and the 
area of the turkey.
Can you see he barely fits
in my roaster?

Now because my family
loves dressing I always 
make a side pan of it, too.
And...HOW do you get that
the side dish

You know those parts nobody
I stick them on top of 
my dressing....cover with tinfoil
and bake away.
MyHero says...
DIANA! You can't post that last picture!
It's disgusting!  
I say..
(you will notice that I
didn't watermark THAT one)

So, tell me...
What do you stuff
Big Boy with?

My "girls" and I will be on our annual
Mother/Daughter Christmas walk today.
They are predicting snow, howling winds
and freezing temps.
Sounds like a good time to me!

your photo name


  1. Looks positively delish Diana! Your pics are great. Enjoy your weeknd!

  2. Well that last picture was a little un-appetizing but a great tip. I make my stuffing almost the same way but I do not put sausage in it. It's always the best part of the dinner, except for the mashed potatoes and gray, the rolls and the pumpkin pie! LOL!
    Enjoy your walk with your Darlings.

    Have a wonderful weekend Diana.


  3. I have a mild and plain recipe, then there's a fancy sausage etc one, and I have a zucchini casserole with stuffing and water chestnuts recipe that I love so now you have me thinking to do yours this time around for that water chestnut crunch. Last year was the first time my DIL was dealing with a whole turkey and when the neck came out she was like " WHAT IS THAT!" I told her it was the turkey penis ha ha.

  4. That giblet tip is worth the photo. Thanks. I actually made stuffing from scratch last night as a practice run...pretty awful. Bland. Back to the drawing board.

    You gals wrap up warm now and have fun! Take pics...lots and lots of pics.

  5. If I am having a big bunch of people for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I make stuffing in my crockpot. Sometimes I stuff the turkey myself, and sometimes (shhh, don't tell anyone... ) I buy the pre-stuffed frozen turkey which you cook from frozen and it is delicious!!! I have never put sausage or water chestnuts in my stuffing, just the basics like onion, celery, mushrooms, parsley, and lots of seasoning.

  6. Diana, All you girls better bundle up.. Some say dressing, some say stuffing....shh, don't tell I told you, my daughter calls it Stove Top...eewwwee. Now stove top is good but you really better put some secret thing in it to keep from being too dry. I learned to make stuffing from my MIL..the best cook ever, she used to help cook for threshing crews when she was 14. I have boiled all those turkey nasties for the broth. LOL My MIL would cover her washer and dryer with newspapers and then layer with wax paper and dry bread on it for a day to make bread crumbs. She made oyster dressing, I loved smelling it but never ate it. I always did the celery and onion dressing. Blessings for a fun day with your girls. xoxo,Susie

  7. I don't add water-chest nuts . The breadcrumbs yes. We use Italian bread crumbs for more flavour. Thyme, poultry seasoning. Butter to moist all the ingredients. I get up and dress the bird .

    Now the change. over the years. My grown kids the last years or more. Have us up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They like to do the dinners and boy do they do dinners and desserts. We have had our thanksgiving already. Enjoy your weekend with family and your big fat dinner.
    My daughter is coming over today and she is making the dinner. See what I mean. She is bringing my best friend her Mother in-law. We clicked as friends the day her son married my daughter. How nice is that. A bonus I would say.

  8. Your stuffing sounds like mine, minus the water chest nuts. I do add sage, even though I use Bob Evans sage sausage. and I add some chicken flavored soup base when I saute' the onions, celery and mushrooms in the butter.Herb flavored packaged stuffing works well for me. After stuffing the giant bird, it all goes into a cooking bag with some extra Swanson broth poured over the extra stuffing that's packed around the bird. It comes out as moist and golden brown as can be!! I'm hungry for Turkey Dinner!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving, Diana!
    Love you!

  9. My stuffing has celery, onions, mushrooms and shredded carrots. I use the same type of croutons and add thyme and sage along with a little salt and pepper. I have discovered Stove Top stuffing with cranberries which is very good so I might go that route this year. Or I might just add cranberries to my own stuffing. Hmm. I rarely stuff the bird, though. I just make it in a separate pan. But adding the neck and giblets is a great idea and I think I'm going to do that this year.

  10. Well now I'm starving!! This sounds so delicious!! Isn't it funny how everyone has a different recipe?

  11. I make my stuffing with sausage too, it's how my Mom made it and can't do it any other way. I just tuck a little sutffing up his behind and cook the rest in a casserole dish. I make my own breadcrumbs from stale bread like MOM. My holiday meal are always about the Mom/friend I miss so much.

  12. I am so jealous of the snow!! I'm locked away in my kitchens today getting prepped and would love to see snow out the windows! And I have Christmas music blaring anyway, so why not?! I'm so glad we can get fat together. Or, fatter, in my case. One of my favorite dinner songs for Thanksgiving is "big, blonde, and beautiful" from Hairspray. Suits this week! Enjoy your walk!

  13. I can now say....I've seen it all! That neck on top of your dressing has me rolling in the floor!

  14. Your dressing sounds really good, but I really, really don't like those spare parts! I throw them away. One year my sister-in-law dug them out of the trash! I don't stuff my turkey. I roast the Big Boy and put the dressing in a separate pan, using dripping and broth for the dressing.

    You and your girls will have a great time today in spite of the cold. I remember standing outside watching the Christmas parade with my knees literally knocking together and my teeth making a big racket! We are inside today, house is quiet, kids are gone to see the other Nana.

  15. Ok, it is only 10:13 and I am craving stuffing!! Sounds delicious.

  16. I don't eat meat so I never have to worry about who's making the turkey

  17. It's STUFFING here!!!! ,-) Well why not? You stuff it up the bird's behind, don't you?????? You don't "dress" the bird, in it.

    My husband has his family favorite stuffin' recipe. Not secret. But since I don't do it, I don't know it. Has both hamburg and sausage in it, I know. And smellllllls heavennnnnnly being made!!!!

    No matter where Thanksgiving Dinner is held, he always make the stuffin. The evening before, next door son and 'grands' come over, and help. All the meats are cooked... Things like onion and celery are also. So when it is done, it is fully cooked!!!!!!!

    Put in refrig, over night. Who ever is cooking they turkey, comes and gets it and stuffs turkey at their house and cooks it. :-)

    Family happiness reigns. :-)

    Have fun on your Walk, whatever that may be. Here there is a "Turkey Trot" run, on Thanksgiving morning. Makes all the participants feel virtuous early, and eat the feast, without guilt. Nope, I don't run. I see no use in feeling virtuous at any time. >,-)

    Hugs, Tessa

  18. OK, I have never used a potato masher to smash up meat. That sounds a lot easier than a big fork. Learn something every day. Your stuffing sounds delightful. I haven't been able to eat bread for a few years so I had to skip the stuffing, but this year I just may have some of Jess' stuffing that she makes with the turkey.

    Have a great day today with your girls. My girl Jess is coming over today too and hanging out.

    love, ~Sheri

    now, why do you put foil around the edges of the bird? Have never seen that.

  19. Yummy, I can practically smell/taste it from here. You're an awesome Nana!
    Enjoy your Mother/Daughter walk ... sounds like FuN to me! xo

  20. Looks great! We have several different kinds of stuffing around here. Lucky me...I'm hosting. We have gluten free, nut free and meat free varieties. Obviously none of it gets stuffed in the turkey...then no one could it. Fun! ;)

  21. We call in stuffing here and you make a dinner the way my Mom would make hers except no chestnuts in the stuffing. You make me so hungry right now and I cannot wait til Thursday.

  22. Oh Diana.. looks so good I can smell it now..(:)
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,,,


  23. Hi Diana! Yup that potato masher is not only for smashed red bliss potatoes... I love how it works on a can of whole tomatoes in a pomodoro sauce. Ground meats without the masher never brown as well. I make a Cornbread stuffing, I sauté fresh sage turkey sausage than add all fresh veggies, onions, shallots, celery and baby Bella mushrooms and then add the neck and chicken stock and simmer for a half hour. I buy Hens, ours is a much smaller gathering - but this year on Thanksgiving Gabby wants Lobster, yeah I know!!!! Eating out in Cape May. John is off for a week on vacation so Black Friday (I never go shopping on that day) I am butterflying a boneless Turkey breast, stuffing it with my cornmeal stuffing and then wrapping it up with Turkey Bacon ... No calories there.
    Many blessing to you and yours this Thanksgiving.

  24. It's a great recipe. I make mine almost the same, but i use steal bread for my stuffing. Yummy!


  25. I've heard that it's called "stuffing" if you put (stuff) it into the turkey, but it's called "dressing" if it's in a separate pan (dresses things up?) Don't know if this is correct, but will be the story I use forever more! Never heard of water chestnuts in the dressing/stuffing but sounds good. Otherwise, our recipes are very similar.

  26. Diana, your dressing sounds great! My Mama and my sister were the dressing queens. They did the whole dry out the bread deal, turkey stock, celery, onions and poultry seasoning deal. It was delicious...but now they are in heaven laughing at me because mine doesn't taste as good as I remember theirs. Oh well, I guess I have other talents. Stay warm and have a great time with your girls! xo ♥


  27. Hi Diana..
    We make our stuffing pretty much the same except I put the extra pieces of the turkey into a sauce pan and let it simmer, add a cube of butter and cook until the meat falls off the bone and then use the liquid to moist the dressing and add the turkey parts of the neck, etc, to the dressing. Everything else we pretty much do the same. I used a different brand of dressing bread. Mrs. Cubbison's. I've never seen the brand you use before. I don't have to do all that you are doing anymore. The daughters and daughters in law do all that. My time has been served. I've been *sigh* put out to pasture. :)

  28. You know we've got your snow here in Chicago! 10 inches so far since last night and still going.....hope you have a nice wintry walk with the girls! Your stuffing sounds delicious. I'd love to share "my" stuffing recipe with you but my husband is the cook. All. the. time. So much for Martha! xoKathleen

  29. Water Chestnuts and Mushrooms...sounds very interesting. I may have to give that a try.
    Thanks for Sharing

  30. I use a combination of cornbread and wheat bread crumbs, with celery, onion, and lots of rubbed sage. I also use the neck and giblets -- I cook them in advance and then dice the giblets very, very fine and shred off some neck meat. I add some of the meat/giblets to the stuffing and some to the gravy. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. We're doing turkey on the Saturday following so that everyone can be here.

  31. Love your photos - and my goodness a 30 pounder - what a big boy for sure. Love the last pic you didn't watermark. You'll let anyone steal that. Mine is very similar too - boy my mot her in law made a good one and do you think I have that recipe - no! :(

  32. oh my that's a big turkey!Makes mine look like a baby - LOL. I don't stuff mine. I bake the dressing in the oven. I like your tip of putting the unwanted pieces on top. Not really a dressing/stuffing fan but my family likes it so I make it. I'm making a cornbread dressing. It has a lot of the same ingredients as yours. Not the water chestnuts or mushrooms though. :o)
    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  33. That is one big bird. Everything sounds so good, but being from the old days, my mother made it different. Going to my sons where his wife loves to cook and is very good. Do not overdo it and h ave a blessed day with family.

  34. Looks beautiful and yummy. We always had water chestnuts in our stuffing. I used to doctor up Pepperidge Farm stuffing.. Send some my way! We are having meatloaf! Yes, meatloaf. I don't even like it. That's what my sister and her husband decided they wanted... Last Christmas we had lasagna. Don't ask .... I will miss the turkey sandwiches. I'll be thinking of you on your walk. Have a blessed Thanksgiving. R

  35. Great tip about quartering the onion before peeling it! It will become part of my onion-chopping routine from now on! My lovely sister-in-law is hosting Thanksgiving and makes her stuffing in the crockpot. Even though I am not doing the cooking, I will have to make stuffing for my son and me--we are both celiacs and have to eat gluten-free. I just make it the way my mother always did and substitute gf bread for the wheat bread cubes and it turns out fine. Don't think I would have ever come up with your idea of using the pieces parts atop the stuffing in the dish to add turkey flavor to it! Very clever! Good luck with your huge turkey! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

  36. Now that is a turkey! :) Isn't it interesting how different areas use different ingredients? My mother made the most wonderful "dressing" and I've never been able to duplicate it. She often baked a chicken and use some of it in the dressing ~ talk about flavor! Down here in Texas and in the south, you "must" use cornbread...a combo of that & bread/leftover rolls. :) All of the other ingredients combined and baked separately. It's my favorite dish of all!

    Hope you're having a fun day with the girls!

  37. I've never had dressing like yours. It sounds delicious! We make ours as s side dish. I'm not having turkey this year...I know, I'm breaking tradition. We're having Cornish game hens instead. Maybe I'll write a post on how I make dressing. It seems to be very different from those I've be reading about. Happy weekend!

  38. Your recipe is definitely different. Never seen one with mushrooms or water chestnuts. We always cut up the gizzards into bitty pieces, cook and add to the dressing. I remember when they announced it was unsafe to cook a turkey stuffed with dressing. Mom said, "Been doing it all my life and haven't killed anyone yet."

  39. the onion tip is worth this whole post! i hate peeling an onion. THANKS!

  40. Hi Diana, fabulous!! Your stuffing sounds delicious. Well I do my as dressing about the same but I don't add water chestnuts. I have also quartered my onions and you are right, works like a charm. Sometime I add raisins, apples pieces, cranberries etc. to the dressing. Prepping the day before makes Thanksgiving morning so much easier getting everything ready to put in the oven. Most of the time I do my dressing separate form the bird.
    Have a great walk with the girls. Sounds like fun!!
    Have a great weekend. xo

  41. We actually call it filling. Oyster filling goes in the bird and potato filling is served as a side. Potato filling is like a combination of mashed potatoes and stuffing all mixed together - yum! ,,, Happy Thanksgiving Diana!

  42. Diana,

    I've been so bad about getting to my blog roll and I've missed so many of your posts...and your great sense of humor. :(

    Oh, so many tips here. That is one big a** bird!! Pardon my implied French! I never thought to do the veggies for the stuffing in the micro. I have always done them in a big skillet. I tried adding sausage to my stuffing/dressing one year and my family vetoed it promptly. They love the tried and true. I stopped stuffing the turkey, it never served enough and it was easier to just make a casserole. But if you leave the cavity empty you will end up with a dry turkey skeleton. I mix up roughly cut carrots, celery and any other 'older' veggies I have and they steam a little inside and keep the turkey moist inside. I actually make my whole pan of stuffing the night before and pop it into the oven with the day ahead mashed potatoes (add extra butter to both so they say moist) after the bird comes out. If you take them out of the fridge and hour or two before and they are at room temp, they will heat through in 40-50 minutes. Keep your turkey covered and you can also do the last minute stuff like veggies, rolls, your hair and makeup...

    I'm definitely going to add that neck to the top of the stuffing. I chop up the livers and boil them to use the broth for my gravy.

    I love the, we are all a little different but on the same wave length. Thanks so much for these ideas.

    Wishing you and your beautiful family a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

    Jane xxx

  43. Oh my gosh Diana this is almost my families favorite recipe of mine. I knew we were so much alike. The only thing different with my recipe is I do not put in mushrooms. It is so delish. We deep fry our Turkey so I do a separate tray of my stuffing and I never thought to put the neck and parts on the dressing while cooking. Going to do that this year. Good suggestion. Thanks. Hope you had a good day with the girls.

  44. I just put a bunch of herbs and an onion inside our turkey. Sometimes I may include an orange or an apple. I stopped stuffing it several years ago, and also stopped making such a huge amount of stuffing/dressing - whatever it's called.:-) I have a definite weakness where this yummy dish is concerned! xo Nellie

  45. I make mine almost the same way you do. I take the turkey parts and put them into the onion and celery with butter and chicken broth and cook until soft and I always make a side pan of dressing. I like lots of sage in my dressing along with either bacon or sausage and 2 eggs also. I can hardly wait, no diet on Thursday.
    You are expecting snow and we had 89 degrees. today with 30 miles an hours winds. Crazy weather.
    Have a wonderful thanksgiving with your family.
    Hugs to you xxoo

  46. Oh, one other thing, I save the giblets and chopped them up, not the neck and put them in the gravy yummy,

  47. My family recipe is similar but I make my own bread crumbs by drying out 2 loaves in the oven. I also use 1 1/2 lbs of sausage and 1 1/2 lbs ground beef. I cook the 'giblets and neck' and use the liquid to moisten my dressing before I put it in the oven. My mom will NOT allow us to stuff the turkey so it's all in a huge roast pan. But, however you cook it, ENJOY!!!!! I think it's the Best part!! Happy Day! Cindy xo

  48. That recipe looks amazing my friend!! Are yall getting snow??? Please take pictures?

  49. Amazing recipe and love the idea of how to bake the additional stuffing so it has the turkey flavor.

    Have a wonderful turkey day.

    Hugs Diane

  50. Hi Diana, I can smell that turkey cooking clear in Utah! I use the same recipe! Can't believe it. Great minds . . . you know. lol Have a wonderful weekend. Jo

  51. Your stuffing sounds similar to mine, until I got to the water chestnuts and mushrooms! Great additions I will have to try it that way! Not this Thanksgiving's only three of us so we cheat and get a prepared dinner from a fabulous grocery store...Wegmans...have you heard of them? They are quickly becoming a national chain. Anyways, I also like the idea of putting the nasty neck and other unmentionables on top of the stuffing. Why just throw it away? When my SIL is here he wants it boiled to eat....he is a southern boy, so that must be why. Yuck!

  52. Great tip on the onions and the potato masher! My stuffing is similar to yours but I put some of it into a cupcake pan and make "stuffin' muffins." I like the crunchy texture the stuffing gets on the top. This post makes me feel very Thanksgiving-y!

  53. Your stuffing sounds delish! I don't know why, but we've always called it dressing. Maybe because we don't stuff it into the turkey? We just bake it in a pan separately. It's my mom's recipe and my favorite dish during the holidays. I could eat an entire bowl of just dressing. Lol! I can't wait to get my baking on. I've got several desserts to make. Wait...maybe the desserts are my favorite part, not the dressing. Hee hee! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  54. That recipe looks amazing!
    Where I am from in Canada we call it dressing.
    A potato masher - you are a genius...I am so going to start using that, what a great idea!
    My mother-in-law makes an amazing dressing and gravy - and she does guard her recipe like bulldog! ;)
    Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  55. Diana, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. Your stuffing recipe sounds very tasty. I think stuffing tastes better cooked in the bird but I think baking the turkey extra pieces parts in the dish over the stuffing is the perfect answer for getting the same taste as baked in the bird. I learned to make stuffing from my Mom. Being Southern Mom used equal amounts of toasted bead to cornbread plus the celery and onions. Lots of butter and sausage in her recipe too.


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