Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Grannie's Thanksgiving Stuffing

I have missed you guys so much!!! This year, being the opening act for the Shut Up and Hold On tour took me all across the country but it didn't take me into many kitchens.... Although, I have been having a blast. If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you have seen my travels and adventures! I've had very little time at home between the shows, recording new music in the studio and the BMI and CMA award shows, life has been amazingly busy.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I wanted to bring back one of my all-time favorite traditions to share with you. My Grannie's Thanksgiving stuffing is the absolute best. Tons of sage and veggies mixed with buttery cornbread and baked to a perfectly moist stuffing with crisp edges. Each year, it is the one dish that my sister and I enjoy making with my Grannie, which always brings back years and years of memories.

I don't know how your big feast works but our Thanksgiving feast is LARGE MARGE style. We gather 20-30 people and there is more food than we could, or should be able to eat in a week, although somehow we always manage to polish it all off.  Aside from my Grannie's famous stuffing, some of the other staples we have are my dad's turkey from our family's company Dream Walkin' Farms Premium Meats which never fails to rock our world, mom makes mashed potatoes, Grannie makes giblet gravy, my sister and I make roasted brussel sprouts and all the other family members bring the dish they are most famous for! We get fat, happy, watch football and play Moon (a domino game I've been playing my entire life). I would love to hear what your must-have staples are, leave me a comment at the bottom of this post!

2- 9x13" pans of Shawnee's Best or Aunt Jamima White Cornbread mix, prepared as directed
3 large white onions, chopped
2 clusters celery chopped
1 whole bottle rubbed sage
1 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 tsp salt
4 sleeves saltine crackers
5 cups Turkey Broth (from cooked turkey or store-bought chicken broth works too)
salt and pepper

Sauté oil, water, onion, celery and salt. Cover and cook on low until tender but not mushy. Strain turkey broth (to keep bones out of stuffing). Crumble both crackers and cornbread and combine in a large pan. Add turkey broth, onion mixture and 1/2 bottle sage. Use potato masher and mash as if you were making mashed potatoes. If needed, add more chicken or turkey broth to get the consistency you need. Add the other 1/2 bottle of sage and salt and pepper to taste. Be aware that the crackers are salted so make sure you taste it as you add it so not to over-salt. Pour mixture into 9x13 pans (should make 3 pans) Bake at 425 for 1 hour. After 30 minutes rotate pans in the oven (move top rack pans to bottom rack and bottom rack pans to the top rack), continue the remaining 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the feast begin!

Have a Happy Turkey Day! Gobble Gobble! 
XOXO Enjoy~

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Peanut Butter and Candy Pie- A Guest Post from Simply Southern Mom

There’s something about peanut butter that reminds me of the holidays. Maybe it is the peanut butter cookies my mom and I used to make to leave for Santa, or my fondness for chocolate dipped peanut butter balls I devour at holiday parties. Whatever it is, I knew when I grew up I add to add something peanut butter flavored to my holiday menu.  I found a peanut butter pie everyone loved, but it was so time consuming. Who has time for that during the holidays?  I discovered this recipe a few years ago and quickly converted over. It comes together in minutes and has a surprise ingredient of candy bars. What’s not to love? I add a few extras on top to make people think I fussed.  No one has to know how quickly it comes together.

Here’s what you need to make it:

Before you start it is important to make sure the cream cheese and whipped topping is softened. I usually place the cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds or so and allow the whipped topping to sit in the fridge overnight. 

Mix the powdered sugar, cream cheese and peanut butter together until creamy. This pie has a mild peanut flavor.  If you like a stronger peanut butter flavor, adjust the amount by adding another ½ cup. 

Fold the peanut butter mixture into the whipped topping and stir until completely blended.  Gently stir in the candy bar chunks. Spoon the pie into a prepared graham cracker crust.

Now comes the hardest part! The pie has to freeze at least two hours. Sometimes I leave it in overnight.  To serve the pie, I add a drizzle of chocolate fudge topping and sprinkle with extra candy bars. 


1 graham cracker pie crust
1 ( 8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping, softened
10 fun sized candy bars (I used Snickers), chopped
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup powdered sugar

Optional ingredients for garnish:
Hot Fudge Ice Cream Topping
5 fun sized candy bars, chopped

 For more great recipes check out Simply Southern Mom's blog!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Six Week Pre-Holiday Fitness Challenge

We all look forward to the upcoming holiday season but dread the battle of the bulge that ensues! Each year, I like to dedicate the six weeks leading up to Thanksgiving (starting on Oct 1) back to my health to try to get ahead of the game! My goal is always to cut 8-10lbs before the season so that the few pounds I might gain at Thanksgiving and Christmas are already taken care of and becuase my body gets in the habit of shedding pounds...they tend to come off faster too! The bonus to this plan is that come January 1st....my resolution doesn't have to be "lose the 10lbs I just gained" because I planned ahead!

This year I wanted to share that challenge with you and I brought one of my favorite health and fitness gurus on board to help us kick-start this challenge. My dear friend, fitness trainer and all around healthy-lifestyle motivator, Candelon Joy Jones, is the owner of Sooner Adventure Boot Camp in Oklahoma. She’s a mom, Fitness Specialist, Nutrition Guru and Green Living Enthusiast - with a degree in Health & Physical Education. Candelon has taught boot camp for women of all ages and fitness levels, trained athletes, and coached lifestyle transformations throughout Oklahoma for almost 10 years. She is on a mission to show parents/adults and kids how to incorporate more healthful meals and exercise into their everyday routines. Stop by her facebook page to thank her for putting this plan together for us! You can right-click and save both her workout routine and eating guide for easy access or print it off for a pocket guide! You could also just keep coming back to The Barnyard Bistro and it'll be here for you to use as a reference throughout the year.

You can find more info for Candelon here:

Website:  http://www.soonerbootcamp.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/candelonjoy
Instagram: www.instagram.com/candelonjoy

With all of that said, I'll let my dear friend take it from here....

Keep me posted on how it goes for you! Let's do this!