by Lauren Petr
Contributor and Registered Dietitian

Are you looking to impress your guests with some creative Thanksgiving recipes? If so, you must try the Savory Sausage & Apple Dressing and the Apple Cranberry Crisp recipes listed below. These dishes will give your holiday meal a twist and leave your guests begging for more.  Plumgood Food has a number of mouthwatering recipes available online that will dress up your Thanksgiving feast.

Sausage & Apple Dressing and/or Stuffing
1 9x13-inch baking dish serves 8-10
1 8x8-inch baking dish serves 6 with remainder for stuffing the turkey

1 Cup raisins
3 Cups apple cider
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Cup chopped celery
1 Cup chopped yellow onion
1 lb. Plumgood mild Italian sausage
2 Braeburn or Fuji apples, peeled and diced
6 Fresh sage leaves, minced
5 Cups cubed Mayberry Bakery Harvest Grain Parbaked bread, thawed and baked Salt & black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly oil the glass baking dish of choice (see above for size).
2. If bread is fresh, spread cubes on a baking sheet and dry in the oven for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring cider and raisins to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a heavy-bottomed pot over moderate heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add celery and onion and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes.
4. Add sausage to the vegetables, breaking it into small chunks with a spoon while browning, about 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of water to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add apples and sage and cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.
5. Stir bread cubes into the sausage mixture. Increase the heat, add the cider and raisins, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. When mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and transfer it to the oiled baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
5. Bake* the stuffing for 20 minutes. Remove foil, stir and bake uncovered for 7 minutes more. Liquid should be absorbed and the stuffing moist.

*Note: Stuffing used for the turkey need not be baked. Reserve this portion and cool thoroughly before stuffing the bird.

Apple Cranberry Crisp
Serves 6-8

4-6 Apples (preferably Braeburn or Fuji) peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
3/4 Cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2-3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup white sugar

Topping:
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
6 Tablespoons white sugar
3/4 Cup pecans, finely chopped
Generous pinch of salt
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 Sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1. Prepare Topping: blend flour, sugars, pecans, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the butter, working it into the flour mixture with your fingers until it reaches a crumbly texture, no bits larger than a pea. Keep chilled (Topping can be prepared a week in advance. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container).
2. Preheat oven to 375°. 
3. In a large bowl, combine sliced apples with the cranberries. Sprinkle with flour and sugar, and toss gently to combine. Transfer fruit mixture to an ovenproof baking dish, mounding slightly in the center.
4. Cover fruit completely with the topping, pressing down gently. Bake in the oven on a lined cookie sheet (to catch drips) for about 45 minutes, or until the crisp is a deep golden color. If it starts to get too brown, shield it with a piece of foil for the remaining cook time.
5. Serve the crisp warm with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened cream.

Lauren Petr, Plumgood Food’s registered dietician, answers questions about diet and nutrition for all Plumgood customers, free of charge.  Lauren also can develop personalized meal and dietary plans for individual customers for an added fee. For more information, visit www.plumgood.com or contact Lauren at lpetr@plumgood.com or (615) 248-4448 ext. 102.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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