Suzi’s Blog

TBT Recipe: Suzen’s Apple and Rye Stuffing


I first posted this recipe three years ago. We've had our Thanksgiving turkey and that "standard" stuffing. With Christmas and New Years approaching, many of us will double down: the final turkey of the year is destined for our table. But, and this happens to me, a second round the regular stuffing does not have the same Thanksgiving excitement. Don't misundertand. I want stuffing. But I want different stuffing. My wife Suzi bakes break, sourdough and rye. Here is her solution for stuffing boredom. It's a great solution.

There is a lovely work called the Thanksgiving Cookbook by Holly Garrison that has a Calvados Rye Stuffing. Suzi was inspired by the recipe, but this particular recipe has her own signature. And, no calvados, so it's kid friendly.


Suzen’s Apple and Rye Stuffing

Yield: 2 ½ cups


  • ¼ pound butter
  • 5 celery ribs, finely chopped [2 cups]
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped [1 cup]
  • 3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and chopped [about 3 cups]
  • 9 cups of bread rye bread pieces, dried and broken into postage stamp-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup turkey stock


Heat the butter in a large skillet until melted. Pour off ¼ cup and set aside. Add the celery, onion, and apples to the butter remaining tin the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp. Combine the skillet mixture, bread, sage, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss gently until well mixed. Drizzle the ⅔ cup of the stock over the ingredients and mix well. If the stuffing mixture is too dry, add the remainder of the stock. You can add water as well. The mixture is properly moist when it hold together when lightly pressed in the palms of your hands.

Place in a greased pan big enough to support a 2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 60 minutes. If the top of the bread begins to singe, pull it.

Source: Inspired by Thanksgiving Cookbook by Holly Garrison

Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/100 second, ISO 200


TBT Cookbook Review: Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts by Elinor Klivans


Elinor Klivans is a name you may not know — you should — but it is quite possible you have tasted her food. For over 20 years, Elinor has been a prolific author of baking books: cupcakes, cookies, and cakes fill her life and her wonderful books.Many, many home bakers depend on her books, her recipes and her expertise. Try one of the chocolate chip cookies and you'll understand.

This volume is 19 years old and is a baking treasure. The idea here is simple: you have some spare time, bake a great dessert and freeze for future use. Her treats can be frozen for a few days, if they are fruit-based, but up to three months for cakes with frosting [cakes without frosting are good only for a month, which is just one more reason to always make frosting!]

Now, I have to say this: if you make one of these desserts, I think you are going to be extremely tempted to NOT freeze it and instead to eat it IMMEDIATELY. But, that is just my greedy perspective and you are quite free to do what Elinor suggests: bake, freeze and enjoy later.

The book begins with a chapter called The Frozen Pantry. Here, she gives you a set of components that can be used in later recipes: sweet butter pastry, multiple cookie crumb crusts, a Devil’s food cake, chocolate soufflé cake, chocolate sauce, caramel filling, caramel sauce and many more.

Then come the chapters filled the deep chocolate satisfaction:

  • Fast Chocolate Desserts for Sudden Chocolate Attacks
  • Brownies, Bars, and Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Pie, Tarts, and Confection
  • Mousse Desserts
  • Cheesecakes and Steamed Puddings
  • Outrageous Chocolate Cakes
  • Tube Cakes and Loaf Cakes
  • Coffee Cakes and Yeast Cakes
  • Ice Cream, Sundaes, Sandwiches, and Pies

There are many “basic” recipes here. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies and chocolate pies — all solid recipes perfected by Elinor for freezing and storage. For me, the interesting recipes are those “special” ones I have not encountered before. Things like:

Chocolate Pecan Rugelach

Dense Fudge Frosting

Black Russian Chocolate Chip Cake — named for the vodka and Kahlua syrup poured over this cake, a syrup you could employ on the pound cake of your choice

Mocha Pie with mocha whipped cream

Milk Chocolate and Caramel Pecan Tart

Mocha Crumb Cake

Somewhere, or somewheres, in this book you will encounter a recipe that demands “Make Me Now” and you should do that. You can freeze it, as Elinor suggests, or you can follow my example. I have never made anything from this book and frozen it. Never. The only way that is going to happen is if I make a double batch. And that will require negotiation with my wife, Suzi. You see, she bakes bread, lots of bread, and our freezers [multiple freezers] are pretty well stashed with bread.

I’m happy not to disturb my wife’s baking routine. I’ll cooperate with her and simply bake from Bake and Freeze and eat while still warm. And I bet Elinor won’t mind.

With the holidays upon us, many homes will make the traditional yule log cake: chocolate cake with whipped cream filling. This picture is Elinor’s riff on that delight: chocolate sponge cake filled with white chocolate buttercream and studded with dark and white chocolate rectangles. Yes, I’ll post the recipe just before Christmas!



Cookbook Review: The Ultimate Soup Cleanse



I know. You hear the word “cleanse” and you think that something medical is at play. And yet, on the TV sports show Inside the NFL, former pro quarterback  Boomer Esiason is there describing his cleansing progress. Well if he can do it then …

This slim little book has two parts: explaining what a cleanse is and then offering serious soup recipes for your enjoyment during the cleanse.

What is a cleanse? It’s basically a technique to get your body back in balance. During the holiday season, it’s easy to get “fooded out.” You feel awful. You can’t stand to eat another bite. Yet, somehow those cravings for “something” appears but nothing you can imagine rings a note of satisfaction.

It’s time to back off. For a couple of days, for a week. Eat simpler, healthier. Drop a few pounds and let some of the fats and spices and carbs escape your body.

To cleanse is to reduce, restore, renew and resolve your body. A menu of soup provides just the mechanism to achieve those goals. On the book cover you see the Carrot, Cumin and Miso Soup with Grain salad.

The book has a few dozen recipes, all with distinction. For many of us, “soup” means something from a red or blue can. Here, there are no cans and the ingredients tend towards the healthy and often the Asian. Here are some of the top ideas for you to taste:

Butternut Squash and Horseradish

Cum-Roasted Sweet Potato with Onion and Pomegranate Molasses

Curried Parsnip and Apple

Sichuan Peppercorns and Chicken

The recipe ideas here bold and intense. Whether you are in cleanse or not, these recipes will offer you sparkling soup alternatives. Scanning the recipes, you are certain to find a few that you’ll tag for future enjoyment. As winter comes to us this weekend, that Sichuan Peppercorns Chicken combo will be on our stove. Let it snow all it wants. Suzi and I will be warm and spicy.

The Ultimate Soup Cleanse will be officially published on December 20. You can preorder now on line and be ready for outstanding soup by Christmas!