Sausage-Apple Cornbread

Here’s a recipe that I made when my children were younger.  Recently my husband recalled and requested the meal.  What a perfect suggestion for the fall!


Sausage-Apple Cornbread
Sausage, apples, and thyme top this delicious cornbread!
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
  1. 1 small red onion, diced
  2. 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
  3. 1.5 lbs sausages
  4. 1T olive oi
  5. 1/2t thyme
  6. 1c yellow corn meal
  7. 1/4c all-purpose flour
  8. 1T baking powder
  9. 1t salt
  10. 1 jalapeno pepper, diced {optional}
  11. 2 large eggs
  12. 8oz sour cream
  13. 8.5 oz creamed corn
  14. 1.5c grated cheddar cheese, separated
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute the onion in olive oil.
  3. Add the sausage, breaking up as you cook it. When cooked through, add the apples and thyme.
  4. In a bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In another bowl whisk eggs, sour cream, creamed corn, 1 cup of the cheddar, and jalapeno.
  6. Add the dry cornmeal mixture to the wet ingredients and stir till just combined.
  7. Spread cornbread mixture into a greased 9" cast iron skillet. Top with the sausage mixture, then the remaining cup of cheddar.
  8. Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 45 minutes.
  1. Serve with a fancy green salad.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine ~ August '99, p.74
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine ~ August '99, p.74
The Excellent Wife

Refrigerator Pickles

Store in jars and give as summer time gifts.

If you’re harvesting a lot of cucumbers this week  you might enjoy this recipe for refrigerator pickles.  No need to can or preserve.  Just mix up a batch, let them cool, portion them out into jars, and refrigerate.  They make nice gifts for neighbors!

Here’s how to do it:

Slice 6 cucumbers and one large onion.  Layer them in a bowl.  In a sauce pan, bring 3 cups of white vinegar and 1.5cups sugar, 2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon celery seeds, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, 1 teaspoon turmeric and 4 cloves of sliced garlic  to a boil.  Pour over cucumbers and onions & let cool.  Portion into jars, cover, and store in fridge.  They’ll be ready in 4 days and keep about 2 weeks after that.

Slice cucumbers and onions



Ben’s Famous Health Salad

This is the tastiest, healthiest coleslaw I’ve ever had.  Originally found at Harold’s Famous Deli in the Pickle Bar,  my friends Robin & Ben have shared their adapted recipe!

Here’s how to do it:

1 medium green cabbage, shredded thick
2 carrots very thinly sliced
1 green pepper very thinly sliced
2 kirby cucumbers very thinly sliced
1 onion sliced very thin (I use a red onion)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I use the organic one)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (I use a very heaping teaspoon but if you err, err with too little otherwise it will taste more like cucumber salad)

Prepare vegetables and put in large bowl. Whisk together your liquids, sugar, herbs, and spices. Pour dressing over salad and coat the salad well with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate overnight (very important).

I used a potato chip slicer for the carrots and cucumber and a knife for the rest. Now I have a mandolin so I would probably use that. This recipe also doubles well when I make it.

Black Beans & Rice

We love this quick, simple, healthy, and inexpensive meal.

As with so many recipes, there are an infinite ways to prepare black beans to serve over rice.  Find what works best for your family.  Incidentally, this is a great protein to bring to a potluck or to serve a large group.

To begin choose either canned, rinsed black beans or dried.  If using dried, prepare them by boiling for several hours or soaking overnight, then adding to a slow cooker.  See package instructions for further details or click here.

Next saute one chopped onion and one chopped carrot till softened ~ about 5 minutes.  Then add 3 cloves of minced garlic & cook another minute.  Top this mixture with fresh tomatoes or a can of some type of tomato puree, crush, or dice.  Mix it all up.  Add beans and about 4 cups of broth.  Season the beans with salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin.

At this point you can take lots of liberties.   Open up your spice cabinet and add something funky if you’d like, such as turmeric or chili powder or a dash of curry.

If you’re happy with you have, start the rice as your beans simmer.  I like to serve these over white or brown rice, but basmati is our favorite. You can flavor your rice with adobo spices, cumin, lime, cilantro, or anything.  Cooking the rice in broth or coconut milk is an option too.

While your rice cooks prepare some toppings.   You can shred cheese or prepare diced red onion, sliced scallions, chopped red peppers, fried strips of tortilla, chopped cilantro, slices of lime, or even scramble an egg or two.

When the beans are done simmering (cook from 30 minutes to an hour or more ~ but they can be eaten sooner rather than later), I like to shmoosh mine up with a stick blender, leaving a few whole beans here and there.

To serve you can choose to either spoon beans over the rice, or place the beans in a bowl and top with a rounded scoop of rice.  Put toppings on the table along with sour cream and hot sauce.


{Side Dish} Asparagus & Spinach

Fresh produce abounds this time of year.  If you happen by your local farmer’s market, pick up some healthy & gorgeous greens like spinach and asparagus and make your family a nutritious and delicious side dish!

Here’s how to do it:

{Asparagus-Spinach Side Dish}

Saute one chopped onion in a bit of olive oil.  When soft, but not brown, add 2 cloves of minced garlic & cook for 1 minute longer.  Add one healthy-sized bunch of peeled and diagonally 1″ sliced asparagus & cook for about 1 minute.

Top the mixture with well-washed and roughly chopped spinach {2-3 bunches}.  Turn the mixture over with tongs till spinach is cooked down just a bit.  Season with salt & pepper and hot red pepper flakes if desired.

Remove from heat and transfer to a pretty serving bowl.  Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Honey Mustard Pork with Bacon & Cranberry Wild Rice

Roast pork dinner

This week’s menu includes a pork dish which took me about 10 minutes to prepare – and what results!   An enthusiastic five thumbs went up for this fall dish.

Here’s how to do it:

Roasted Pork

Slather a 4 lb pork roast with a sauce made of 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 4 tablespoons or so of honey, 2 tablespoons of rosemary, and 4-5 garlic cloves minced.  Use the quantities that your family would prefer.

Next, wrap the pork in strips of bacon.  Place in a roasting pan and cook for 2 hours or so at 350 till the pork is cooked to the correct temperature and the bacon is crispy.  This depends on the size of your roast.

Remove the pork and let it sit for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, deglaze the pan with a 1/2 cup of white wine.  Cook till the alcohol evaporates, strain, and put in a gravy boat.  Slice the meat and serve over rice pilaf, passing the sauce on the side.
brown rice - bulgur pilaf w/ sage sausage & cranberries!

Rice Pilaf

Cook long grain wild rice according the package directions.  You can substitute chicken broth for water if you desire.  When the rice is done add toasted almonds, walnuts, pecans, or pignolis, and a few hands full of dried cranberries.  Other options include goat cheese, celery, sauteed onions, herbs.