Ciabatta & Bacon Stuffing

Ciabatta & Bacon Stuffing

Rustic By Nature

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 12 ounces Bacon cut into 1/4-inch dice (can use low-sodium option)
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (may use dried)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 loaf Ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can low-salt chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Butter a 9 by 13 glass baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a large bowl; do not drain drippings from pan. Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet, with bacon drippings, over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are tender. Gently stir in the parsley and remove from heat.

Transfer the onion mixture to the large bowl with the bacon. Add the bread and parmesan and toss to coat. Add broth to the stuffing mixture. Season the stuffing, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Cover with foil and bake until the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.

 


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    Winter has come!

    It was inevitable. The first “real” snowfall has started. We currently are expecting 4-8″ of the fluffly stuff. However, all you do is turn around and that changes.  We are very excited about this. Except maybe the kids. They are homeschooled, so no real snow day for them. We are looking forward to snow angels, snowball fights and hot chocolate this afternoon though. Who wouldn’t be?  We have our Dutch Oven ready, our closet full of camping gear and we are ready for what ever comes our way. Hooray for having 3 Boy Scouts in the family!!

    It always amazes me though how people prepare for upcoming weather. My husband and I were watching the news last night and they were interviewing shoppers.  I laughed at the kinds of things they had in their carts. Applesauce cups, frozen waffles, etc. Not exactly essentials. What happened to cases of canned goods, dried goods and peanut butter?  If the power goes out, are we to just keep our food out in the snow and then tredge in and out all day to gather the  meals? While, of course,  letting out all the precious heat it took us all day to conserve.  I may not be an expert at weather prepardness, but can’t we rethink our misguided notions of what is actually needed if the time comes and buy smart? Or be stoked about the full pantry of food we can’t cook? Hey, I stocked up!


      Posted in Dutch Oven Recipes, Homeschool, Kids, Miscellaneous, Rants, Scouting by with no comments yet.

      Holiday Traditions- Thanksgiving

      Thanksgiving is very big in a lot of households in this country.   However, I’ve noticed more this year that our family doesn’t put as much into it as I think we should.  I mean, we have a few things we do. For one, I like to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade while reading the ads for the Black Friday sales in my pajamas.  Of course, my Mother-in-Law and I go out to do a little shopping and then have lunch together the day after Thanksgiving.  It’s a girl thing.

      I especially like making dinner in the Dutch Ovens outside.  We have had the juiciest turkey since doing it this way. This was our second time.  I couldn’t go back to the oven or roaster method.  This year we decided to cook our stuffing in a Dutch Oven as well. It was awesome!  Next year I look forward to adding more culinary creations to our rustic way of cooking.

      We really don’t miss the stress of having a large gathering anymore. I used to want that when I was in my twenties and starting my own family traditions. I grew up spending the holidays with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents.  However, my family hasn’t all been together for Thanksgiving since 1998 when my second son was a few months old.   I see very few of them throughout the year and everyone seems to like it that way.  Or at least no ones complaining.

      Now, I rather make it extra special for those who matter most. Those in the family who genuinely get together with you all through the year and not just because it’s a holiday.

      Do you have any suggestions of some fun family taditions we could try for next year?


        Posted in Holidays, Miscellaneous, Thanksgiving by with no comments yet.

        Holiday Traditions- Halloween

        Our family is big on traditions.  It starts in October with Halloween.  Better yet, the preparation for Halloween. We always go to a pumpkin patch.  When my husband and I were dating we visited a pumpkin patch and have been going there every year since.  Shaake’s Pumpkin Patch is the best.  It is a real working farm that began as a 4H project and developed from there.  They offer a hayrack ride to and from the patches.  Animals to check out. Play areas for the kids, like a couple of playsets, on where you slide into a bunch of hay. A haybale maze and now a pumpkin launch using big slingshots.  Of course, lots of photo opportunities.  Not to mention all the crafts and food items.

        We’ve done the same thing every year.  We start out wandering the grounds checking out the animals. They usually always have a young cow to get up and close with. We take our pics of how tall the kids are this year up against the giant measuring board.  The kids play some and go throught he maze.  We did the pumpkin launch again this year, in which dad got in on it this time.  Very close to a free slushy!  We eventually make it to the hayrack and head out to find the perfect pumpkin.  It is hard to find the very best one among the sea of perfect orange.  However, we manage to each choose the best.  Getting them back to start is sometimes fun too.  This year a 12 or 13 year old lost her flip flop off the side of the hayrack and jumped off.  Had a good laugh about that one. She did too.  After weighing, paying and loading the loot we head to our final stop on the farm.  We get cider, slushes and cookies at their concession stand.

        We can’t think of a better way to start our fall.

        What about you?


          Posted in Halloween, Holidays, Kids, Miscellaneous by with no comments yet.

          Another Blue and Gold in the History Books

          Another year has come and gone again, and everything seemed to go off without a hitch.

          We had our blue and gold (yellow) tablecloths and balloons on the tables. Unfortunately we hadn’t any table decorations made by the scouts this year. We decided not to put up streamers this year. It seemed to take away from the simplicity of our decorations.

          Dinner was great. We decided on a pasta dinner with a homemade meat sauce and an Alfredo sauce. The pack paid for the main courses and the garlic bread. Each family, however, contributed $2.00 per person to help with that cost. We have a small pack.  Each den then became responsible for bringing salad side dishes and desserts. It turned out to be a very filling evening.

          Our awards ceremony was really nice. Each scout that acheived their rank was awarded their rank during a painted face ceremony. Each scout had lines and symbols placed on their face, using costume face paint, by their leader. Each line and symbol represented a valueable trait in scouting. The scouts thought it was pretty cool. It was a great symbolic ceremony. We also gave out the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies for the winners of the Pinewood Derby which was held on the same day. As well as patches for that event. Finally, we gave out all the certificates from the Father and Son Cake Bake. This years cake theme was “America the Beautiful.” Each scout who participated was to design a cake using a line from the song. They looked really neat. Scouts can be so creative. Families were also allowed to bid on their favorite cakes in a silent auction. The winning bids were then placed into the scouts pack account to be used for camp fees or equipment for camp.

          Overall it went very well. We were so proud of the scouts achievements. Despite all the stress and frustration involved in putting together such a big night. We look forward to a strong finish to this scouting year.


            Posted in Cub Scout by with no comments yet.