Cornbread Dressing

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It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without dressing. It’s my favorite part.
And, since I’m a Southern girl, it’s all about the cornbread dressing for me.
This is the recipe my mother makes. Every year, she makes it without measuring her ingredients. She just does it.
So during our pre-Thanksgiving dinner, I *made* her measure everything. I’m so happy to now have a written recipe of her amazing dressing!
Cornbread Dressing
Ingredients:
4 pkgs cornbread mix, baked (follow instructions on pkg)
6 c chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter
2 medium green bell peppers, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp ground sage
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Salt, to taste
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake the cornbread according to package instructions. Cool. (This can be done the day before serving).
Melt the butter over medium-high heat and sautee the onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent and the bell pepper is soft.
In a large mixing bowl, crumble the cornbread into small pieces and add the sage and poultry seasoning.
Pour the chicken broth over the cornbread and seasoning and stir to combine.
Add the onions and bell pepper, then mix with a large spoon.
Stir in the eggs and salt, making sure the cornbread is moist and the seasoning is distributed throughout the mixture.
Pour into a large cake pan and bake for 50-55 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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Enjoy!
Cornbread Dressing…just like my momma makes it! It’s not Thanksgiving without this side dish on the table!

Nightshade Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered my Fall into Fantasy Nightshade Giveaway!
In the end, there were 129 entrants with 519 entries.
This was so much fun, and Nightshade is such a great read, I’m excited to get to share a signed copy with one of you!
My super-awesome brother created a web program for me yesterday to calculate the winner of the contest.
It lists all the entries and randomly calculates a winner from the list.
It’s pretty great, actually.
And, the winner chosen by the random contest picker is…
Brenda C!
Congratulations!
I’ve emailed Brenda to get her shipping information.
She has 48 hours to respond with her address or another winner will be chosen.
If you have any questions, you can check out my contest policy.
If you didn’t win this time, don’t despair!
You can enter one of the other contests I have currently running:
Thanks for looking!

Cranberry Sauce

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My whole life, we’ve always had cranberry sauce from the can.
You know, that yucky jellied glob?
Yuck.
Then, I married The Nerd and we had our first Thanksgiving together. Cranberry Sauce is his favorite thing at Thanksgiving.
But his mom made homemade cranberry sauce. I just couldn’t disappoint him.
So, I scoured the Internet for an easy recipe for cranberry sauce. And Our Best Bites came to the rescue, yet again.
I like that you put all of this in a pan and bake it. You don’t have to worry about burning it on top of the stove or anything.
Love it!
Cranberry Sauce
Ingredients:
1 bag cranberries
1 c white sugar
1 c orange juice
1 c water
1 stick cinnamon 
1 very small pinch ground cloves
 Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash the cranberries and remove any bad ones.
Put in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and add water, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
Bake for one hour.
Mash the cranberries for a textured sauce or process with a blender for a smooth sauce.
Allow to cool. It will thicken as it cools.
I put it in the fridge until it’s time to serve.
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Enjoy!
Cranberry Sauce is a holiday dinner essential in our family. This is my favorite recipe for whipping up some the day of the event.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

A month ago, I got to meet Kiersten White.She is so funny and bubbly and cute! It was a great night.

Since then, I’ve been *dying* to read her debut novel, Paranormalcy. I finally had the chance to this week, and let me tell you — it was awesome!

By the way, I’m giving away the extra signed copy of her book I scored at the event. Stay tuned ’til the end of the post!

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours, but still. Normal.Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.”

–Description from GoodReads
Evie is one of the funniest characters I’ve read about in a long, long time.And White paints such a clear picture of her, from her zebra print dress to her pink rhinestone weapon, Tasey.  I can totally see her vegging out on her purple couch eating popcorn and watching cheesy teenage dramas.

But then, I can see her in a cemetery wearing a “vamping” outfit as she neutralizes a rogue vampire.

Evie is like a contradiction, but a realistic and *fun* contradiction.

And the spark between her and Lend is bleeping awesome. Literally.

White created an amazing paranormal world, with gremlins and hags and non-sparkly vampires. And, of course, the bureaucrats who police that world.

I totally didn’t see the end coming, and I really liked how there was a definite plot ending in this book.

There are two more books in the series, but we weren’t left with a cliffhanger ending.

I would highly recommend this book to those with a love of the paranormal and teenage snark. It’s bleeping awesome!

Signed Paranormalcy Giveaway!
Enter to win a *signed* copy of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.

The Rules:

Only one entry per person.

The contest is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

You *must* be a follower of my blog to enter.

If you are a new follower, you will receive 1 entry.

If you were a follower prior to the start of this contest, you will receive 2 entries.

Fill out the form below to enter. Do not leave your entry in the comments.

Increase Your Chances:

Complete the following tasks to increase your chances to win!

  • +1 – Become a fan of The Nerd’s Wife on Facebook.
  • +1 – Follow The Nerd’s Wife on Twitter.
  • +2 – Tweet about this contest. Sample tweet: Enter to win a *signed* copy of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White from @thenerdswife:http://bit.ly/9BMuMj
Contest ends Nov. 19 at 11:59 pm CST.Good luck!

Green Bean Bundles

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When I sat down to plan out our menu for Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to include some items that we hadn’t tried before.
These green bean bundles looked like the perfect side dish.
So, I made a few during our pre-Thanksgiving trial run. And boy was I glad I did!
The sauce puts them over the top with the salty, sweet flavor. 
Let me just tell you, the ladies at Our Best Bites know what they’re doing.
YUM.
Green Bean Bundles
Ingredients:
1 pound fresh green beans with the ends snapped off
8 slices bacon
3 Tbsp real butter
1 Tbsp rice vingear
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp minced red onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a pot of water to boil and add the green beans. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the green beans start to pop and have turned bright green.
Strain and run under cold water until cool.
Divide the green beans into eight equal piles. Wrap a slice of bacon around each pile and secure with a toothpick.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is crisp.
While the bundles are baking, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan.
Add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant.
Reduce heat and add vinegar, sugar and salt. Remove from heat.
Drizzle the bundles with the sauce immediately before serving.
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Enjoy!
Green Bean Bundles are wrapped with bacon and topped with a salty, sweet sauce that really brings out the flavor. They’re the perfect holiday side dish!

I Have a Problem…

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So…I may have a teensy, weensy problem.A problem with holiday decorating.

You see, it’s November 4th, people. It has been November for four days.

And I’m *dying* to put up my Christmas tree.

I want to so badly!

I really don’t think I’m going to make it through this weekend without some form of Christmas decoration being put up.

Seriously, I have a problem.

Last night, I decided we would go “browse” for new holiday decorations.

I practically ambushed The Nerd when he walked in the door from work.

We got those lovely red ornaments from Pottery Barn.

Aren’t they pretty?

And we found this Christmas tree at Target:

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It’s November 4th.And this is just the beginning.

Thanks for looking!

I have a problem…with buying Christmas decorations too early! I bought these lovely ornaments in early November.

Cherry-O Cream Cheese Pie

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Every Thanksgiving, my grandmother makes this recipe. It’s been part of our holiday tradition for as long as I can remember.
I’m sure there are variations of this recipe everywhere on the Internet. In fact, my friend Ashley has the same recipe on her blog.
I don’t really have a source for this recipe, as I got it from my grandmother. I hope that doesn’t taint me in the eyes of my food blogging compadres, as I’m not really going to go through the effort of hunting down a source. I’m sure you can find one if you look long enough.
Suffice it to say, this is one of the few family recipes I’ve had handed down to me. And it’s a good one.
Cherry-O Cream Cheese Pie
Ingredients:
9-inch graham cracker pie crust (or baked pie crust)
8 oz cream cheese
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling
Directions:
Let the cream cheese soften to room temperature. Using a stand mixer, whip it until it’s fluffy. This is very important, as the pie won’t set properly if the cheese isn’t light enough.
Gradually add the canned milk while continuing to beat until well-blended. 
Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.
Pour into the baked pie crust or graham cracker crust.
Chill until set and garnish top with cherry pie filling just before serving.
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Enjoy!
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Cherry-O Cream Cheese Pie is a holiday tradition at our house. This simple cheese pie is easy to make and so yummy!