Most people I know seem to fall into one of two categories on Thanksgiving: they’re focused on the food or they’re focused on the table/decor. Both are important, but it’s nearly impossible to nail both. I grew up in a family that was solely focused on the food, so that’s where my energy naturally gets focused and today I’m sharing two of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you today: Sausage, apple and sage stuffing with apple cider gravy. Yummy!
But here’s the thing, I’m also really into the table decor as well, I just end up not having time to plan or execute my ideas which can make the day of Thanksgiving stressful. If I’m hosting, sometimes I end up asking a guest to be in charge of the table or I wing it last minute with rotting pumpkins from Halloween and mismatched napkins. And I always regret it!
So, I really appreciate these gorgeous Thanksgiving Kits from Makr, who I’m partnering with for this post. The designs are beautiful, you can personalize them, and most of all you can check the decor item off your to-do list so you can focus on rolling out your grandma’s buttery rolls and stirring that delicious gravy. Keep reading for more about them and my two favorite recipes…
For this Thanksgiving table we seated adults with the kids, so we used both the Makr Classic Thanksgiving Kit and a few elements from the Kids’ Table kit together. The Classic Thanksgiving Kit comes with everything you need: customizable menu cards, place cards, coasters, napkins and even a beautiful table runner, banner, and a set of gift boxes if you buy the deluxe version. The artwork is really stunning- done by a Brooklyn based illustrator, Libby VanderPloeg. And good news! You get can get 20% off the kits at checkout by using SAYYES.
For the kids’ settings, we included some of the cute stickers and Thanksgiving tattoos in the Kids’ Table Kit along with the menu cards the adults have. The kit also comes with coloring placemats which are a great busy activity for the kids. I love any kind of busy activity for kids during the hectic day of Thanksgiving.
We also added some foraged foliage and berries onto the plates and as arrangements for the table. That was it! The Makr kits made setting the table so easy and beautiful.
Now that the table is done, let’s move on to the food! Below is my favorite stuffing recipe. Some of the measurements aren’t exact since a lot depends on the type of bread and how much extras you want to throw in.
Sausage, Apple, and Sage Stuffing
1 lb. hot sausage
1/2 loaf of sandwich bread or other bread/cornbread
3 stalks of celery
1/2 cube butter ( 1/4 cup)
1-2 T of sage
1-2 T of parsley
1-2 T of thyme
dried cranberries and nuts
4 beaten eggs
1 t each of salt and pepper
About 2 cups of chicken broth.
1. Take any leftover dried out bread or a 1/2 loaf of sandwich bread dried out in the oven and break into large chunks. Set into a large mixing bowl. We also used leftover cornbread from Halloween. I sometimes will freeze the cornbread leftovers specifically for this purpose. The mix of cornbread and sandwich bread is a great combo for the stuffing.
2. Sautee 1 lb. of hot sausage (I like the Jimmy Dean log in a pan. Break into chunks and cook until there’s no more pink visible. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Sautee up 1 onion, 3-4 stalks of celery, 1-2 apples with 1/2 cube of butter for about 10 minutes until soft. Add 1-2 T each of sage, thyme, parsley.
4. Throw the sausage and sauteed veggie mixture into the bowl with the bread. You can also throw in any nut and dried cranberries as well. I like to add in a box of that pre-made stuffing mix for some nice additional dried bread chunks.
5. Last, add the 4 beaten eggs and about 2 cups of chicken broth. The amount of chicken broth will vary, but you want the end result to be very moist since it will dry up in the oven. Sometimes if it’s too wet I add a bit more dried bread chunks.
6. Pour into a casserole dish and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven.
Apple Cider Gravy
(from my friend Meg of Bread and Barrow)
1 stick of butter
6 T of flour
2 cups chicken juices or chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider
pinch of salt and pepper
Make a roux with the butter and flour, cooking for 1 minute on the stove. Then slowly add in the chicken juices/broth and apple cider, cooking and stirring until thick. You can add more liquid if it becomes too thick until it reaches the desired gravy consistency. Season with salt and pepper after removing from heat.
When the meal is over and done, these little gift boxes included as part of the Classic Thanksgiving Deluxe Kit are perfect for wrapping up leftovers and sending them home with your guests. I think I might use some as teacher gifts as well this year. Aren’t they beautiful? Hope you’re Thanksgiving is delicious and beautiful as well!
Thanks to Makr and their gorgeous, customizable Thanksgiving Kits for sponsoring this post. For 20% off a Thanksgiving kit, use the code SAYYES at checkout on makr.co. Valid through 11/11/15. Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sarah Iveson and Ashley Aikele.