Stuffed Pumpkin, Stuffed Turkeys and Stuffed People

I hope by now that this post finds everyone stuffed and enjoying turkey sandwiches.

On Thanksgiving day, we were invited over to our friends Greg and Cauleen’s house along with our friend Mike. Traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing and gravy were on the table, but I wanted to share a couple of unique side dishes that found their way onto her beautiful table.

First of all, Cauleen is from Pennsylvania where they call the traditional dish of bread crumbs, celery and spices “filling“. I call it “dressing” and Mike calls it “stuffing“. What do you call it?

A few weeks ago, I won the beautiful, and I mean beautiful cookbook from Barbara over at Movable Feasts. Thank you so much Barbara, you don’t know how many hours I’ve spent reading, studying and planning out of this book.  It’s “Around My French Table” by Dorie Greenspan.  If you don’t have it you may want to put it on your Amazon wish list so Santa has time to get it under the tree.  Beautiful 500 page cookbook with lots of gorgeous photos and wonderful recipes.

From the book I made this festive side dish. Stuffed Pumpkin. It’s a sugar pumpkin, strings and seeds removed, stuffed with a mixture of bread crumbs, onions, thyme, Gruyère cheese, fried bacon pieces and cream and then baked for two hours. It turns a beautiful rust color and inside you have a steamy, cheesy and delicious side dish. When you scoop out some of the mixture, make sure your spoon gets an ample portion of the cooked pumpkin meat. Mmmm.

I cleaned and toasted the pumpkin seeds in a mixture of four tablespoons of butter, a little salt and one tablespoon of Aleppo pepper. I really liked the flavor that was returned by using the savory and spicy Spanish hot pepper flakes.

Cauleen served a Lancaster, PA  Amish specialty. Made of coarsely ground corn with milk and sugar and then baked, it made a wonderful casserole treat for the Thanksgiving table. Gotta get me some of this!

Mike brought some cranberry and apple chutney to serve on crackers and these Ina Garten Chipotle toasted nuts.  The chutney was exquisite with the little swirls of orange zest on top and the toasted nuts were the best I’ve ever had…EVAH!  This recipe is from her new cookbook, How Easy Is That.

Cauleen’s “filling” was oh so good. As I mentioned, it’s cooked in the bird with simple flavors of spices, celery with chunks of Land-o-Lakes Butter mixed in. After the turkey was done, she removed the filling and mixed some of it in with a pan of reserved filling. Then she baked it, ending up with a wonderful flavor, not to mention a little crunch here and there from that butter.

Missing photos include pumpkin pie, my Mom’s recipe that I’ve made for years, Cauleen’s delicious cheese ball appetizer…got to have the recipe, the 4 empty wine bottles, and of course Greg’s perfectly roasted and carved turkey…and the people.

We have our family Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow, so I’m nowhere done with all this turkey business.  I’m not making anything new or exciting for tomorrow’s dinner, just pure traditional fare.

So, I’m probably the last one to weigh in on the feast, sorry to hold everyone up.  I’m thankful for a lot of things and one of those things is this unbelievable view I have of Mt. Evans and the Front Range when I walk my dogs.  Happy Thanksgiving from Highlands Ranch, now let’s bring on all of those Christmas Cookie recipes.

On this day..

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    • says

      Nothing special for tomorrow, except the turkey, dressing and potatoes. I did make a new Cranberry relish that I’m already impressed with. Happy Thanksgiving to you Doggy.

  1. says

    If it’s stuffed into the bird, I believe it’s stuffing and if in a pan it’s dressing. What a magnificent scenery shot – did you all play a round after dinner.

    • says

      I think the sign when you first enter this “open space” area prohibits model airplanes, open fires, motorized vehicles and loitering. I think golf falls into the loitering category, in my humble opinion. Happy Thanksgiving Larry and Bev.

  2. says

    Looks great! Read your ABOUT page, I also like to patronize the small business/family owned restaurants, although my family has gotten away from that…. Going back to it!

  3. says

    I LOVE the title of your post, Lea Ann. Yes, stuffed people here, too, still. I couldn’t wait for Santa to bring me Dorie’s new book and bought it a little while ago (along with three other cookbooks). It is fantastic. The pumpkin dish sounds so good. I will have to prepare it. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Kirsten

  4. says

    I call it stuffing but it isn’t stuck in the bird. I know stuffing sans bird is dressing, but stuffing is more appropriate because I ate it until I was stuffed as a kid.

  5. Vickie says

    Beautiful feast! I especially love that sugar pumpkin stuffed with all the lovely goodies – sounds fabulous. And the chili spiced seeds sound sooo good. I’m s sucker for crunchy munchies. Fabulous photo of the mountains! Our snow started a little early this year, but it’s supposed to be a heavy snow year due to El Nino or the wooly worms or something like that. 😛

      • says

        I love those crunchy edges too Vickie. This year mine didn’t cook long enough to get those, but when reaheating for tonight’s leftovers, I have a 2nd chance. I call it stuffing no matter where or how it’s cooked.

  6. says

    It’s dressing to me whether it’s in the bird or in a pan next to it. Aren’t we lucky ones to walk out our doors and have that great view. Happy Thanksgiving Lea Ann!

    • says

      Thanks Karen, yes, we are very fortunate. I never take those views for granted and believe it or not, sometimes when I comment about how pretty the mountains are, I get replies, “I’ve lived here so long I hardly notice them anymore”. What’s up with that?

  7. says

    Dressing, but not with bread crumbs–half croutons and half cornbread. Stuffing is what happens when I eat it.

    That sugar pumpkin recipe sounds divine!

  8. Patty says

    That pumpkin recipe does sound good. Mike is the chef at our house on Thanksgiving. But today we put away the turkey and made sugar cookies and decorated. while the kids decorated cookies…my sons had a chili contest, and they both won. So now I can officially say “Christmas Season is here. Glad you had a good Thanksgiving…and tomorrow too. Enjoy family and will talk soon.

  9. says

    That was a brilliant title! I am hoping to unstuff myself soon! This is getting to be too much for every day eating.
    I love that stuffed squash, I hope to be able to make it soon: recipe please>

  10. says

    The view is stunning! Everything looks wonderful – I especially love the pumpkin you made. I am seeing Dorie’s book everywhere and I think you just convinced me it belongs on my Christmas list!

  11. says

    I love that you mixed nontraditional sides into a traditional feast! So much fun. That pumpkin recipe sounds fantastic. But with Dorie, I would expect nothing less!

  12. Laura says

    Looks yummy… and what a great view in that last shot! What spot was that taken from? Great view of my in-laws’ neighborhood, right there above the trees.

    • says

      That was taken at the top of the hill heading up Gateway Street. I walk my dogs up that hill almost every day. Great exercise and you can’t beat the scenery. :-)

  13. says

    Stuffed people is right, Lea Ann! :) We were!
    So pleased you are enjoying the book and already are cooking with it! What fun. And this was a delightful yummy food-laden post!

  14. Zia Liz says

    Wow, that looks like quite the feast! I admit the photo of your view affected me most… I miss the mountains I grew up with here in the flatlands. Thanks for a wonderful post!

  15. says

    I use “stuffing” and “dressing” interchangeably, although more often the former. I’ve never heard it called filling! And lucky you to have won that cookbook — you’ll definitely enjoy it a lot!

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