My Thanksgiving Passion

Thanksgiving conjures up so many different meanings & memories for so many people! The gratitude is flowing, the holiday season is in full swing, all of the fun decorations come out & the kids are off from school. For me it brings to mind one of most favorite passions: FOOD!

Many don’t know this about me however, I am a chef by trade. I graduated from Penn State University and Johnson & Wales, both with hospitality & food degrees. I love food! I am a Foodie, I married a Foodie, I’m raising a Foodie (yes, Lucas has been in Chef’s school for almost a year now) – FOOD – all different shapes, flavors & sizes. Before I established myself in Real Estate I was the Operating Partner for eatZi’s Market & Bakery in Atlanta, GA- remember that awesome place? In fact, Bill & I met while both working at Houston’s in Chicago in 1994. Our relationship originated around FOOD!

Nearly 20 years later, our diet and nutrition have vastly evolved. We are 95% gluten free, dairy free, organic & processed food free. We are very conscious of what we eat, the portion size as well as the nutritional aspect of food. While the B.A.L.A.N.C.E. of our habits is very empowering for us, our kids and Jamison & Co., there are times, like the holidays, when our food background really comes into play, especially when it comes to substituting ingredients and making measurement adjustments. We greatly enjoy eating the Thanksgiving favorites, and we choose to prepare them without the butter, sour cream, flour or from a box. Instead, we substitute those ingredients for more healthy ones.

For example, Bill’s mom Rebecca has a dressing recipe of German influence, that has been handled down to him from 3 generations ago. It’s absolutely delicious & I’ve committed to mastering that recipe using gluten and dairy free ingredients. For the past 2 years, I’ve cooked, measured & tweaked using the healthier ingredients until perfect.

Thanksgiving Pic 2015

Today, I am sharing the recipe with you! Share in the comments below – I’d love to hear your feedback!

MOM’s Dressing

6-7 cups, Gluten Free Bread, cubed, toasted – we use Udi’s multigrain

1 can of water chestnuts, sliced

½ c EarthWise, vegan butter*, melted

¼ c each FRESH herbs: rosemary, chives, thyme,

1 sage leaf, minced (optional)

3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

½ c white onion, diced

½ c celery, diced

20oz. chicken stock (homemade)*

1# – italian, sweet, turkey sausage

3 large eggs*

½ tsp. baking powder

  • Heat oven to 250F, bake or convection
  • Cube bread & spread out on sheet pans. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Toast in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
  • Increase oven temperature to 350F.
  • Melt butter to room temperature, not too hot otherwise it’ll scramble the eggs
  • In a separate bowl, crack and beat eggs.
  • Remove turkey sausage from casing and crumble. Set aside.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine & mix well: melted butter, diced herbs, garlic, onion and celery, beaten eggs, baking powder, chicken stock, water chestnuts and sausage.
  • Slowly add and fold in toasted bread cubes, mixing until evenly coated with the sausage mixture
  • Spray 9×13 pyrex with your favorite cooking spray (we use coconut oil), oven should now be at 350F.
  • Add dressing to the pyrex, spreading evenly. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & several pats of butter on top of dressing.
  • Cook at 350F for 50 minutes, covered. If you want to toast the top, remove the aluminum foil for the last 8-10 minutes of cooking.

Bon Appetit & Happy Thanksgiving!!


It’s a Great Life, Nancy Jamison


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