Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Joyce’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Nearly every family has its favorite stuffing recipe; each a variation on a theme of left-over bread, seasoned and cubed, with further variations and additions. The following recipe has been in my family for three generations. While that sounds impressive, it’s still simply a variation of sage flavored bread cubes with sausage. And really, nothing says Thanksgiving like sage and sausage.

Ingredients ~

  • 16-24 ounce bag of stuffing bread cubes, toasted
  • Giblets from the turkey
  • 1 quart (4 cups) water
  • 1 package Jimmy Dean Sausage, Sage flavored
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, or 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sage
  • Raisins, craisins or cranberries, optional

Method ~

Add the giblets to 1 quart (4 cups) water with sage and salt. Bring this broth to a boil, then back the heat off, simmering for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, brown the sausage, breaking up the meat as you go, 5-7 minutes. Add the onion and celery and continue to cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender, another 5-7 minutes.

When the giblets have been cooked, remove the giblets from the broth and set the giblets aside to cool and reserve the broth. Pull the meat from the neck, finely chop the other giblets and add all of this to the sausage, onions and celery. Cook for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread cubes and the sausage mixture. Toss to combine. Add the fruit is using. Then add the reserved broth and stir until the mixture has a moist consistency. Season to taste with sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and more sage to taste.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with turkey and gravy.


Cauliflower Mash-Up

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on February 18, 2011

Ingredients ~

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or light cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt
  • Chopped chives or green onions for garnish

Method ~

Steam the cauliflower in or over boiling water for 15 – 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. Purée the cauliflower using a stick blender or place the cauliflower in a traditional blender along with ½ cup chicken broth until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a medium cooking pan. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch with the remaining ¼ cup broth and add to the purée. Add cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the puree begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped chives or green onions.

 ~ Serves 4

Sage and Cranberry Stuffing

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes by Paul Gauche on December 3, 2009


Ingredients ~ 

  • Turkey giblets (heart, liver, gizzard, and neck)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) water
  • 1 pound Italian sausage with sage
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 14 ounce bag Organic Stuffing Mix with Cranberries (I prefer 365 Everyday Value Organic Stuffing Mix with Cranberries and Organic Chicken Flavor from Whole Foods)
  • Sage to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Method ~

Place the turkey giblets (heart, liver, gizzard, and neck) in a medium saucepan and cover with 4 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, brown the sausage, stirring frequently and draining the grease. Cook sausage until it is browned and begins to crisp. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened.

When the giblets have finished cooking, remove them from the broth—reserving the broth, and set the giblets aside to cool. When cooled to the touch, take the meat off the neck. You’ll have to use your fingers to accomplish this rather tedious task.

Once the meat has been removed from the neck bones, add the neck meat along with the other giblets to a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until the meat is the texture of oatmeal.

Combine this meat mixture with the stuffing mix and combine well. Using the broth from the giblets, pour one cup at a time over the stuffing mix, stirring well to incorporate until the mixture is just moist. The stuffing should not be mushy. It should have a good texture.

Season with to taste with salt, pepper and sage.

Place the stuffing in a casserole and bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes.

Scalloped Corn

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes by Paul Gauche on October 6, 2009

Photo Credit: Taste of Home,

This retro dish was always accompanied by Scalloped Salmon.  Both entrees baked and served in loaf pans. As a kid I was always intrigued with the pungent aromas coming from the kitchen with this recipe and the salmon were baking.

Ingredients ~

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup crushed saltines (about 28 cracker squares)
  • 1 can cream style corn

Method ~

Crush crackers fine.  Beat eggs and add milk, corn, ½ teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, dot top with butter. Bake at 350° F. for 45 minutes.

Scalloped Salmon

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes by Paul Gauche on October 6, 2009

Salmon Loaf 1 

This “delicacy” is probably in the “comfort food” category for most of us over 40.  My guess is that it won’t make its way to too many tables these days, but then, what else are you going to do with that little can of salmon in your pantry? Whatever you do, serve this with Escalloped Corn.

Photo Credit:

Ingredients ~

  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups canned salmon
  • 1 cup medium white sauce
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup crushed saltines (about 28 cracker squares

Method ~

Mix all ingredients together nad pour into greased (sprayed) loaf pan. Bake at 350° F. for 30 minutes.

Green Bean Casserole

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes by Paul Gauche on July 28, 2009

(Photo Credit:

Ingredients ~

  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 bag frozen French Cut Green Beans
  • The remaining French Fried onions

Method ~

Open the French Fried Onions and take out 2/3 cup of the onions, set aside. (This goes on the top during the last 5 minutes).  In a bowl, mix the following together and pour into the glass baking dish.

Bake at 350 degress for 35 minutes.


Sweet Potato Gratin

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients for Gratin ~

  • 1 large can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk

Ingredients for Topping ~

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup butter (5 Tablespoons)

Method ~

Combine the ingredients for the Gratin and mix well. Pour this mashed happiness into a well greased 2 quart glass baking or gratin dish and set aside.

Mix the ingredients for the Topping and pour evenly over the Gratin.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the Gratin sit for 10-15 minutes to set.

Serving Suggestion ~

To serve this as an hors d’oeuvre, buy a box of frozen pre-baked phyllo cups and fill them with a small, bite-sized scoop of the gratin (you can use a melon baller for this). Remove enough baked gratin and stir it all up to incorporate the topping into the gratin and then fill the cups.  Bake an additional 5 -7 minutes and serve.

Company Potato Casserole

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 11, 2009


Cheesy Potato Casserole 

 Ingredients ~  

  • 1 (2 pound) package hash browns, thawed
  • 1 can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 cam Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, diced
  • ½ to 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded

 Method ~  

Layer bottom of casserole with thawed hash browns.  In a separate bowl, mix celery soup and mushroom soup, sour cream, onion, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour over thawed hash browns.  Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees for at least 1 ½ hours.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake another 15-20 minutes.

~~With thanks to Theone Gilbertson

Company Potatoes

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Vegetables by Paul Gauche on July 11, 2009


(Photo Credit:, potato-gratin-ck-1072216-l)

Ingredients ~

  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup Half & Half
  • 8 – 10 mashed potatoes
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • 2 T chives
  • 5-6 T butter
  • Paprika

Method ~  

Beat the cream cheese and sour cream and add to hot mashed potatoes.  Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Spoon into a 2 quart casserole and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

~~With thanks to Donn Johnson

Baked Rotini

Posted in Casseroles, Gratins & Hotdishes,Pasta by Paul Gauche on July 5, 2009

(Photo Credit:

Ingredients ~

  • 1 pound either lean ground hamburger or ground Italian sausage (mild or hot–your choice)
  • 1-2 onions, diced
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 jars prepared spaghetti sauce
  • 1 16 ounce carton Sour Cream
  • 3 to 4 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 box Rotini pasta—cooked as per package directions

Method ~

Brown the meat, drain if needed. Add diced onions and peppers and sauté 2-3 minutes, until onions and peppers are tender.  Add mushrooms and sauté 2-3 minutes.  Stir in Sauce.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Layer in a greased casserole:

  1. ½ noodles
  2. ½ spaghetti sauce
  3. ½ sour cream

Repeat the layering.

Top with mozzarella and bake covered with greased foil (spray the side that goes down on the cheese) at 350º for 40 minutes.  Remove foil, bake for 20 minutes uncovered.

~~With thanks to Kari Boldt

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