Morrison’s Cafeteria Deluxe Cornbread Pecan Dressing

Fall is here in Middle Tennessee and there is a chill in the air! The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s not too soon to be planning for Thanksgiving. I have made a variation of this stuffing every year for almost 40 years for family and friends.

The recipe is adapted from a Morrison’s Cafeteria recipe which had been a time honored classic in the south for many years. If you were born or raised in the south, there is a good chance that you have devoured it somewhere along the way with sliced turkey breast and gravy on top. Most likely Sunday’s after church.

Sadly, Morrison’s Cafeterias are now a thing of the past, (I think there may still be one in Mobile, Alabama owned by Piccadilly Cafeterias) but some of their recipes live on.

(Diners in Morrison’s Cafeteria in Tallahassee, Florida on November 15, 1984. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.)

The original recipe is for 120 servings, and on Sundays, we would quadruple the recipe at Morrison’s. On Thanksgiving, we prepare about 1000 servings! I have broken the recipe down to yield 10 servings.

Some of my most viewed blog posts have been adaptions of Morrison’s recipes, so I thought I would share another one with you. Below are the links to Custard Pie and Beef Stew.

Servings – 8-10

Cook/Prep time – about 3 hours (less if you cook and dry the cornbread the day before)

For the cornbread…

  • 1 3/4 cups corn meal
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and spread batter on a greased pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let it cool. If you are making the cornbread the day before, let it cool and dice into 1/2 “ cubes and let it dry overnight. If you are making it the same day, after dicing into cubes, put it back in a 175 degree oven for about an hour until good and dry. This will make more cornbread then you need. You can just eat the rest while it’s warm!

** if you are making the cornbread the day before, you can also dry the bread cubes, too.

*** for a shortcut, you may use a cornbread mix, but don’t use a sweet one like Jiffy.

For the dressing….

  • 1/4 lb dried bread cubes
  • 1/2 lb dried cornbread cubes
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp salt (less if using salted broth)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 boiled egg, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cooked, diced chicken or turkey giblets (optional)

I never use the boiled egg or giblets, but the original recipe calls for them so I have listed them here.

Heat the canola oil in a skillet. Add the diced celery and onion and cook just a few minutes, removing from the heat while they are still firm. Let them cool.

Add the dried bread and cornbread to a mixing bowl. Pour the cooled chicken stock over them, stir and let them set for 20 minutes.

Add the cooled onion, celery and oil and mix together.

Add the salt, pepper, chopped pecans and baking powder and mix well. Whisk the raw egg and blend it in. If you are adding the giblets and chopped boiled eggs, add them also and mix them in well.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add the mixture to a greased pan and place in the oven and cook for 45 to 60 minute until well browned.

Remove from oven and serve immediately!

That’s it! Enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Pan Fried Mozzarella Marinara

Just another meatless Monday… Who doesn’t love fried cheese? I sure do – especially with homemade marinara sauce – and it’s easy to prepare!

You can make it even easier if you use store bought marinara sauce! Just skip the steps to prepare the sauce.

Or if you want to use fresh tomatoes for the sauce, you can find my recipe for that here…

Cook/Prep Time – about an hour

Servings – 2


For the Marinara sauce…

  • 1 – 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small celery rib
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 small bell pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For the Mozzarella….

  • 3 – 1/4 inch slices of loaf mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (for frying the cheese)

For the sauce, finely chop the carrot, shallot, celery, pepper and garlic. Place the olive oil in a saucepan or Dutch oven on medium heat and add the chopped vegetables. Sauté while stirring for about 10 minutes. Add the red wine and cook another 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and turn heat down to low. Chop the basil coarsely and stir it in. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low heat, stirring frequently for 30 minutes.

While the marinara is simmering, prepare a cheese marinade by adding the olive oil, red wine, basil and crushed garlic and a dash of salt and pepper to a dish and add the sliced mozzarella and marinate for 15 minutes.

For the breading, whisk the egg and add the milk and stir together. Set up a breading station with a plate or dish of flour, and another with the panko mixed with the Italian seasoning.

Keeping one hand wet and one hand dry, grab a slice of cheese with your wet hand and place it in the flour and press the flour onto both sides with your dry hand. Place the floured slice into the egg wash and wet both sides with your wet hand. Remove the slice with your wet hand and place it in the panko mixture, pressing it onto both sides with your dry hand. Repeat the process with the rest of the slices.

Heat the canola oil in a skillet on medium heat. When the oil gets hot, fry the cheese slices until browned and flip and brown the other side. Remove from skillet and top with the hot marinara sauce. Serve with your choice of pasta. (I used pappardelle)


Suggested songs to listen to while preparing the goodness…..

How about Luciano Pavarotti‘s “Pavarotti: The Duets” released in 2008 featuring duets with Elton John, Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Sting, Frank Sinatra and others?

“Manic Monday” – written by Prince and made famous by the Bangles from their 1986 album Different Light. Just substitute the word “meatless” in place of “manic” while preparing this dish!

Grilled Banana Leaf Wrapped Chilean Sea Bass & Asparagus

I consider Chilean Sea Bass the king of the sea with its thick white flaky texture and delicate flavor almost reminiscent of King Crab but not as rich. This easy recipe uses banana leaves that create steam and lock in the flavor of the fish, herbs and spices.

We have several banana trees in the yard. They are easy to grow but are hard to get to fruit before the first freeze comes along. They die back in the winter but come back up in the spring. I did get one to flower last summer but the blossoms eventually dropped off.

Banana blossom

If you don’t have banana leaves available, you can usually get some from a Latin market.

Cook / Prep Time – about 30 minutes

Servings – 2


  • 2 – 6 oz. Chilean Sea Bass Filets, fresh or frozen
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus
  • 3 large banana leaves
  • 1 small bunch baby leeks (or green onions)
  • 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • 3 tbsp herb butter
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (or something similar)
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered

For the herb butter:

  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

I mixed fresh dill, chives, thyme, rosemary and tarragon from my herb garden, but feel free to use any of your favorite herbs.

Step # 1 – If using frozen fish filets, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Prepare the herb butter by adding the chopped herbs and salt to the softened butter and mix well. Spoon the ball into wax paper and roll up into a tube shape. Place back in the refrigerator to harden.

Step # 2 – clean and trim the asparagus then parboil it in boiling water for just a few seconds until it turns bright green. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

Step # 3 – rinse the banana leaves and dry them with a paper towel. rinse the sea bass and pat dry with a paper towel. Set the three banana leaves on the counter and set the asparagus in the middle of one, and the fish filets in the middle of the other two.

Step # 4 – if you are using a charcoal grill, get the coals started. Season the fish and the asparagus with the lemon pepper and Cajun seasoning. Unroll the herb butter and add a tablespoon slice to each fish filet and the asparagus. Add the baby leeks, lemon wedge and rosemary sprigs to the fish and wrap each fish filet and the asparagus tightly with the banana leaves. Secure with toothpicks or use these ovenproof rubber bands like I used.

I used Lawry’s Lemon Pepper and Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning.

Step # 5 – if using a gas grill, turn on medium heat and preheat you oven to 400 degrees. Place the fish and asparagus in the banana leaves on the grill. Grill the asparagus for two minutes on each side and remove from the grill. Grill the fish for about 8 minutes per side and put all three leaf packages on an ovenproof tray and place in the oven for about 6 more minutes until the flesh of the fish is tender, white and flaky.

Unwrap the fish and asparagus and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Suggested music to listen to while preparing the Sea Bass…..

This is a sort of a tropical dish, so how about some reggae? It doesn’t get much better than Bob Marley and the Wailer’s “Legend” featuring all of his best songs on one album, recorded from 1972 – 1983.

And “The Name Game“ by Shirley Ellis from 1964. “ Banana nana fo fana fee fi mo mana – banana” !!

Chunky Chuck Chili

Can you say that six times? I don’t always prepare Chili in May, but when I do, it’s cold and rainy and nasty outside like it is today in Middle Tennessee.

I was going to make some beef soup with some chuck that I had taken out of the freezer and placed in the refrigerator yesterday but I decided on chili instead due to the weather. Due to the pandemic, I have only been able to find chuck at the grocery store in 3-4 pound packages so I cut them into one pound chunks and freeze them.

Note: I made this on Wednesday. The weather today has changed drastically since then. Currently 84 degrees, sunny and humid!

Cook/Prep Time – about 2 hours

Servings – Four bowls


  • 1 lb chuck roast (12 oz after trimming)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced sweet onions
  • I cup diced bell peppers (any color)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 – 14.5 oz can beef broth
  • 1 – 15.5 oz can pinto beans
  • 1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic

Trim the chuck and remove the lineaments and fat. Dice the cleaned beef into 1/4” cubes. Season with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil gets hot, add the seasoned beef cubes and brown well. Dice the onions bell peppers and mince the garlic and add to the beef after it is browned.

Continue to sauté until the onions and peppers are translucent, then add the tomato paste and stir in for a few more minutes. Add the beef broth and turn on medium low heat, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until the beef becomes tender.

Add the diced tomatoes, sauce and pinto beans. Stir in seasonings. Blend well and turn to low heat and cook for another 30 minutes. When done, you can just turn to warm heat or put in a crockpot on warm until ready to eat.

I served it with this crusty Dutch oven bread that I made the same day. I will share that recipe sometime in the near future.

That’s it! Enjoy with your favorite toppings – cheese, sour cream, chives, hot sauce or Fritos!

P.S. I intentionally left something I usually mention on my blog posts off of this post to see if anyone notices. Let me know if you do. Thanks!

10 Foods That Will Bring You Good Luck in the New Year Recipe | Bon Appétit

From pork to bagels to cakes hiding secret coins, here are 10 foods to bring you good luck in the New Year
— Read on

Morrison’s Cafeteria Beef Stew

I was recently asked by a reader if I could share some more Morrison’s Cafeteria recipes. There is actually a pretty good website for Morrison’s recipes at this link but I’m going to pull one from the archives that I shared with the food editor of the Fort Myers News-Press (Florida) back around 1986. Below is the newspaper article and recipe for their beef stew…

The recipe is actually a little vague, (and the weather around here is certainly not cool around here right now), but the stew meat should be cut from chuck rather than inside round for a much more tender bite. Also, fresh or frozen pearl onions are fine to use instead of the canned ones.


Note to my readers / followers: This time of year I spend a lot of time on gardening, yard work, our grandchildren, etc. and don’t spend as much time as I used to with my blog as I did during the winter months. And although I cook everyday, I have already shared a lot of my favorite recipes that I prepare over and over again during the summer months, so I am in need of suggestions and ideas from you! Please leave ideas or suggestions in the comments below. Do you want to see more gardening, recipe or photography posts? I have a copy of Thomas Keller’s French Laundry cookbook – should I try to replicate some recipes from that? What would you like to see? Please let me hear from you. Thanks!

Suggested songs to listen to while preparing the beef stew…..

Since Chris Isaak joined the exclusive 63 year old club (of which I am a member) this week, here are a couple of my favorite songs from the Roy Orbison of the nineties…

“Wicked Game” from his 1989 album “Heart Shaped World”

“Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” from his 1995 “Forever Blue” album that was also featured in the film “Eyes Wide Shut”

Continue reading Morrison’s Cafeteria Beef Stew

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Skewers

Grilling season is finally here! Here is a delicious recipe for Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Skewers that will melt in your mouth…

You will need 5 – 6 skewers. If you are using the wooden ones, be sure to soak them in water before you start preparing the chicken. You may substitute breast meat for thigh meat but the thigh meat works better for this recipe because the thigh meat is more juicy and tender.

Servings 3-4

Cook / Prep Time – about 2 hours


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 – 6 oz. can pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake or a dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. grated citrus peel, orange or lemon
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water. Cut the chicken thighs into 1-2″ strips or cubes. In a bowl, whisk the pineapple juice and the next 8 ingredients together to make the marinade. Divide the marinade in half. Put half the marinade in a sauce pan. Soak the chicken pieces in the other half of the marinade. Place the marinated chicken in the refrigerator and soak for 1 hour.

If you are using a charcoal grill like I did, get the coals started. When the chicken is done marinating, put the chicken on the skewers securely by weaving them. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. When the coals are white place on grill turning frequently so that they won’t burn. Grill them until they are browned well on all sides. Don’t worry if they are not completely done because we will be finishing them off in the oven.

Pull the skewers off the grill and place them in the oven. Bring the marinade that is in the saucepan to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch and water together and pour into the marinade to thicken into a glaze. Remove from heat and brush the glaze onto the skewers and cook for about 10 minutes. That’s it! Serve with your favorite rice dish.


Suggested music for your listening pleasure while preparing these skewers…

Since the “super worm equinox moon” appeared last night, let’s go with the album “Equinox”, the fifth studio album by Styx featuring “Lorelei” released in December 1975.

And since it is his Birthday today, how about “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money from his album “Can’t Hold Back” released in August 1986. The song features Ronnie Spector on the chorus vocals that mimic “Be My Baby” , the hit song from 1963 on which she was the original vocalist with the “Ronettes”.

Click on the link below to view the Lodge Cast Iron Hibachi Grill that I used on Amazon….,B00006JSUA,B00063RXQK&lp_mat_key=lodge&lp_query=lodge%20hibachi%20grill&linkCode=ll2&tag=joynts55-20&linkId=d6b60948daeea215cf1f135df41285f6&language=en_US

Hemp Oil Vinaigrette

Dude! Here is a very simple recipe for a hemp oil vinaigrette.

You can get hemp oil on Amazon or at your local health food store like I did. The one I used is a cold pressed virgin oil. It is rich in vegan omegas. Many people claim that Hemp oil, much like CBD oil, is used to assist with stress, pain and sleep.

  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons Hemp Oil
  • I Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Agave
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a mason jar and shake like hell!

You can put this on a nice spring salad or on some weight watcher friendly roasted tofu like my wife Susan did.

I would not suggest using as a marinade because the hemp oil instructions suggest not to heat above 300 degrees.

**Warning** may cause less aches and pains, less anxiety and better sleep. Other side effects may vary. If you have an erection for more than 4 hours, you may want to consult your doctor.

What is your experience with hemp oil / butter and CBD oils? Have you used them? If so, how do you benefit from them?