When the temperature changes and the days grow shorter, my entire world becomes a little brighter.

I. Love. Fall.

And although there is a special place in my heart for a little holiday called Halloween, it doesn’t compare to the space I’ve made for Thanksgiving; a holiday that is strictly about family and friends, traditions, togetherness, football (totally an ode’ to my sweety) and of course, the star of the show… food.

In a very short amount of time, life has drastically changed.
2011 brought a plethora of unexpected surprises: both challenging and life changing.

So, with that said, I have a LOT to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for my family, for without them, traditions and memories wouldn’t exist.
I’m thankful for my mother’s doctors who have helped her kick cancer’s ass.
I’m thankful for my friends, who have been my silver lining through it all.
I’m thankful for my boyfriend, who has shown me what true love really is.
I’m thankful for my job and the opportunity I have been given to teach what I love.
I’m thankful for my health and my happiness, for I’ve never felt more fulfilled.
I’m thankful that I’ll get to spend another holiday season with those whom I love.
And most important, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy another 365 days in 2012 making NEW memories and enjoying MORE moments.
I KNOW that the best is yet to come!

Here is my Abuelamom’s recipe for her Thanksgiving dressing. It’s a tradition we’ll never give up. Although she isn’t physically here to dine with us anymore, she’s here with us in this recipe.

12 cups of your favorite cubed/diced stale bread
1 1/2 lbs of ground sausage (I use Jimmy Dean Regular)
4 stalks of celery, diced
1 1/2 large vidalia onions, diced
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 stick of butter
2 cups of craisins or raisins
1 cups of chopped pecans
1 cup of chopped walnuts
8-10 cups of chicken broth or stock
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Saute onions and celery until translucent. Put aside. Brown then crumble the sausage. Do not drain. Mix dry ingredients together and place into a large pan. Add sausage and broth. Mix well, but do not “mush”. Place cold sliced butter all around the top of the stuffing. Bake covered in a 350 degree oven until center is warm. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes if you like the crispy edges like I do!

I’ll be sure to follow up with a picture tomorrow.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and to all a good feast!
-Steph, The Faker Baker