Eric loves Thanksgiving.  And he loves that the Detroit Lions play football on Thanksgiving!

His mom (Jeanne) has been the official hostess for Thanksgiving for us as we’ve been married.  We’re going to miss being around all the family this year!!

Since we’re separated by a thousand plus miles this year, Eric and I are doing what we can to re-create our fondest memories. 

Yet, as much as we are trying to feel like Thanksgiving has arrived ... we’re still not mentally there yet ... I guess it would have something to do with the fact that we are still wearing shorts and looking at palm trees ... an incredibly different scene than we are used to thing time of year having lived in Michigan! 

Eric and I recently hosted a “Trial-Run” Thanksgiving of our own ... we wanted to see if we could pull it off. 

We were pleased with the results ... and I’m very excited to be posting the Turkey soon!

So back to the recipe ... I think Eric loves this recipe so much because of the sausage.

In fact, I’m certain he likes this recipe because of the sausage. 

He doesn’t like anything real fancy - like dried cranberries - so when I got to make this - I made a little side dish for myself with the sweet dried cranberries - you’ll see it below.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. -1 16oz package Pepperidge Farms Stuffing  (I could only find a 12oz package - so I got 2 packages)

  1. -2 1/2 cups chicken broth

  1. -1 stick butter

  1. -1 cup celery (finely chopped)

  1. -1 onion (finely chopped)

  1. -1 pound Bob Evans sausage (sage flavored if possible)

  1. -2 apples, cored, peeled and chopped

  1. -2 tablespoons sage (adjust the amount of stuffing mix and sausage are sage flavored)

Here’s how we put this together:

  1. -Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (you can use this to stuff your bird if desired).

  1. -Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish (or 2 smaller dishes, or however it’s going to work for you).

  1. -Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep skillet.

  1. -Sauté sausage, sage, onion and celery until soft.

  1. -Placed stuffing mix and apples into a large mixing bowl.  (I didn’t peel my apples)

  1. -Add cooked sausage, onion and celery to stuffing/apple mixture.

  1. -Toss together.

  1. -In same large (now empty) skillet, melt 1 stick of butter and chicken broth.  * I had a few splashes of apple cider left in the fridge, so I added that with the chicken stock to come up to the 2 1/2 cups total.

  1. -Pour melted butter and chicken broth into mixing bowl, over the stuffing mixture.

  1. -Spoon into your prepared baking dish.

  1. -Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes until brown on top and hot throughout.

NOW ... if you’re like me and want a little extra in your dressing ... here’s the one I tweaked just a bit for me!

  1. -I took a cup or so of the dressing mixture and added a couple tablespoons of dried cranberries.

  1. -I spread this in a much smaller baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray.

  1. -Baked this for about 30 minutes, until golden!

Now that I have this recipe - I’ll be making it more often for Eric.  There’s nothing wrong with that ... and it would be a perfect side dish alongside the Beer Can Chicken - especially for those of us in the south that are grilling year round!

So embrace your family this Thanksgiving - be truly thankful for what you have ... take the time to count your blessings ... and find more ways to give back with the talents God has blessed you with!

Happy Thanksgiving!