"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding". Prov.3:13 (NKJV)

November 30, 2015

Ideas for using up leftover Turkey

We usually have plenty of leftover turkey after a big holiday feast. We enjoy leftovers for a few days then tire of eating it the same way after a while. Here are some tasty ideas for using up that leftover turkey...

Turkey and Dressing Casserole
*This tasty turkey casserole recipe is made with leftover turkey or chicken, leftover stuffing and gravy, and a little cranberry sauce for topping. If you have leftover green beans that would work in this too.

Ingredients:
4 cups prepared turkey stuffing
2 cups cooked cut up or sliced turkey (or chicken)
1.5 to 2 cups prepared turkey gravy
1/2 cup (any leftover) jellied or homemade cranberry sauce

Preparation:
Butter bottom and sides of 2-quart baking dish. Arrange half of the stuffing in bottom of dish. Add half of the turkey or chicken then half of the gravy. Repeat layers with the gravy being on the very top. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes. Serve with cranberry sauce on top.

Serves 4


Turkey Pot Pie

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed under cold water
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups turkey or chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken
Pastry for 9-inch two crust pie, prepared or purchased

Preparation:
Drain peas and carrots; set aside. Heat butter in 2-quart saucepan over low heat until melted. Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat then stir in broth and milk. Place back on heat; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in turkey and vegetables.

Prepare pastry. Roll 2/3 of the pastry into a 13-inch square; ease into ungreased 9-inch square pan. Pour turkey mixture into the pastry-lined pan. Roll remaining pastry into 11-inch square; cut out designs with small cookie cutter. Place square over filling; turn edges under and crimp. Bake in 425° oven until golden brown, about 35 min.

Serves 6


Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
3/4 cup turkey gravy
1 can green beans, peas, or mixed veggies
2 cups prepared stuffing
1 (14-15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained (if not using mixed veggies)
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

Directions:
In a greased 2-qt. baking dish, layer the turkey, gravy, carrots, stuffing and corn. Top with potatoes. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until edges of potatoes are browned.

Serves 4


Turkey Noodle/Rice Soup
*Be sure to use the leftover turkey bones and carcass to make bone broth.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked turkey meat, chopped
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp. butter or EVOO
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1-2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon base
8 cups chicken broth (or turkey broth or water)
8 oz. wide egg noodles or 1 cup rice

Directions:
In a skillet heat oil on medium heat. Add diced veggies and saute 5-10 minutes. Transfer to crockpot with everything except the noodles. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours. *The last 30 minutes of cooking add the egg noodles or rice.


Turkey Tetrazzini

1 cup hot water
1 can (10 3/4-ounce) cream of chicken soup
1 can (4 ounces) mushrooms, with liquid

2 cups diced cooked turkey
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
dash nutmeg
2 cups broken uncooked spaghetti

Spray inside of slow cooker crock with flavored cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the water, soup, and mushrooms with liquid. Stir in the turkey, cheese, onion, parsley, and nutmeg. Add broken up spaghetti. Stir to combine and pour into crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours, until spaghetti is tender. Mix before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

***Caution Note: Instead of cooking my noodles in the crockpot I boil the spaghetti on the stove, and stir them in after the other ingredients in the crockpot are done (remember to turn off crockpot first so that noodles don’t keep cooking and make a mushy gooey mess~ewww).


Turkey and Broccoli Casserole
 
8 ounces mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed mushroom soup
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups diced cooked turkey
16 ounces frozen cut broccoli
1 cup shredded American cheese
1/4 cup toasted almonds*, optional

In a skillet over medium low heat, sauté sliced mushrooms in butter until tender. Spray inside of crockpot with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. In crockpot, combine mushrooms, soup, mayonnaise, milk, mustard, and pepper. Stir in diced turkey and broccoli. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 5 hours. Stir in cheese; cover and cook 30 minutes longer. Sprinkle with toasted almonds, if desired, just before serving.

Serves 6

**To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350° oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. Or, toast in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and aromatic.


Turkey Salad

Ingredients:
2 cups leftover cubed turkey
2 boiled eggs chopped (optional)
1/4-1/2 cup celery chopped
1/4-1/2 cup onion chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Cranraisins
1/4 cup Walnuts, chopped

Directions:

Mix everything in a medium bowl. Transfer to a container with a lid and chili in refrigerator a few hours before serving.

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To Do~ 11/30/15

This Week's To Do List

Kitchen:
Food prep
Plan weekly menu
Update pantry and freezer inventory

Household:
Dust, Sweep, Mop, Vacuum
Do laundry
Put up Christmas Decorations
Update budget binder
Pour boiling water down all drains

Other:
Clip and put up coupons
Check on dry cleaning

Personal:  
Daily Bible Journaling & Prayer
Read lesson for discipleship
Get everything ready for Homeschool week
Do CLCT, deep condition hair, and put up in twists
Record what I ate in MyFitness Pal

November 20, 2015

Homemade Minestrone

***I couldn't believe how yummy this soup is. I've made it several times to perfect it to our liking. I believe I hit the jackpot. It's so tasty we couldn't get enough of it!

Homemade Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. EVOO, EVCO (or good ole bacon grease :-D)
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
2 small zucchini, diced
2oz. (2 handfuls) fresh baby spinach
15 oz. can cannellini beans (white kidney) drained and rinsed
15 oz. can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 whole Bay leaves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Better than Bouillon vegetable base (*this helps the flavor)
5 1/5 cups chicken or beef broth (or water)
1 cup uncooked shell, rotini, or elbow pasta

Directions:
Heat oil in a skillet and saute onion, celery, and garlic 10 minutes. Transfer to a sprayed 6 qt. slow cooker. Add everything else except the pasta (save for later). Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours. Add your pasta of choice to crock pot and finish cooking 30 more minutes or til pasta is done.

*Note: The vegetable base amps up the flavor in this. It is a must so don't leave it out if you can help it.

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November 19, 2015

Why I love my crockpot-

I am so thankful for slow cookers/crock pots.  I have 4 of them that are different sizes.  My hubby got me one of those Hamilton Beach 6 qt. "set it and forget" crock pots for Christmas 4 years ago. Why do I love them so much? There are 3 reasons I'm so thankful for having a crock pot.

1. I don't have to be rushed to get dinner in the oven at the last minute. My family always has a healthy meal waiting for us rather than having to rely on takeout or unhealthy frozen, boxed, processed foods.

2. This time of the year I can slow cook all my soups, chili, and stews while I'm busy with other things. I can literally set it and forget it! LOL

3. Sometimes I don't feel well enough to stand over a stove to cook so being able to put something in the crock pot til dinner time has been a huge blessing.

Give Thanks--I will give thanks...


November 17, 2015

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup


*This soup is ridiculously easy to make. Why bother to buy the canned stuff ;-)

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. EVOO, EVCO, or butter (can do half oil and half butter)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped/diced
2- 14oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 tsp. dried basil (or 10 fresh basil leaves thinly sliced)
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4-1 tsp. sea salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup canned Evaporated milk or room temp. whipping cream (optional)

Directions:
Heat oil and/or butter in a skillet on medium heat. Saute onion and garlic up to 10 minutes. Add vine ripe tomatoes and fresh basil if using that. Saute a few more minutes. Transfer to a 4 quart slow cooker with the rest of the other ingredients except milk/cream. Cook on LOW 4 hours or High 1.5 hours. (Could also just saute veggies and add everything to simmer soup on stove top in a Dutch oven or big pot for 30 minutes.) Add milk/cream and cook 15 more minutes if you want a creamy soup. To make soup smooth, puree in a blender or use a hand held stick blender like I do.

Note: We LOVE this soup with homemade grilled cheese sandwiches. We also kick it up a notch and have sauteed onion and mushrooms stuffed inside our grilled cheese sandwiches (use Swiss, Gouda, or Provolone cheese in these). Man these are umm umm good! Sorry Campbell's but my way is the BOMB!!!

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November 16, 2015

To Do~ 11/16/15

This Week's To Do List

Kitchen:
Plan weekly menu
Do Food Prep
Make Smoothie Packs
Make master baking mix

Household:
Dust, Sweep, Mop, Vacuum
Do laundry
Fix up household binder
Update budget binder
Pour boiling water down all drains

Other:
Clip and put up coupons

Personal:  
Daily Bible Journaling & Prayer
Read lesson for discipleship
Get everything ready for Homeschool week
Do CLCT, deep condition hair, and put up in twists
Get a little exercise daily
Record what I ate in MyFitness Pal

November 12, 2015

I'm thankful for...

I am thankful that we're able to continue on with our Costco membership another year. We have been members now since 2009. I enjoy our monthly shopping trips.  It's less than 10 minutes away from where we live. Even though there is only 3 of us nothing ever gets wasted. I'm very strategic when I shop there so that I don't buy anything we won't use on a regular basis.  I'm always anxious to see what will be in their coupon booklet each month so I can see what I need to stock up on.  I didn't know I would fall in love with buying things in bulk at warehouse prices. It feels great not having to constantly go out to the store when I run out of food or supplies. Just looking at the constant prices going up on our necessities can make you depressed. I love their organic foods. We get to try things we would have never thought of before. Not only do we get certain foods but I stock up on personal and household staples. This may not be the thing for everyone but we've seen first hand how it helps us save dollars and cents :-)

Give Thanks--Enter His gates...


November 10, 2015

Recipes using Cranberries

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:
1 12oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup of sugar (can do 1/2 white and 1/2 brown)
1 cup orange juice

Directions:
Spray crockpot with cooking spray.  Put clean cranberries in crockpot.  Pour sugar and orange juice on top.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours until berries start to pop.

or this one which is my favorite...

IMG_20141126_154909

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:
12oz. fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup cranberry, apple, or Cranapple juice

Directions:
In a small crockpot (under 5 quarts) sprayed with cooking spray put in all the ingredients. Cook on High for 1 hour. Stir and continue cooking another hour. Stir every 15 minutes as the cranberries will soften and pop. Once it is the consistency you want turn off and cool down. Pour into a container and refrigerate over night for the flavors to blend.

Note: This is best made a day or two in advance so that the flavors will have time to sit and blend together. I do a mixture of white and brown sugar to give it an extra flavor boost. Using the juices instead of water enhances the flavor as well.


Creamy Cranberry Celery Sticks

Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese
2/3 cups dried cranberries
1/4-1/2 cup chopped nuts
6-8 celery stalks

Directions:
In a bowl mix cream cheese, cranberries, and nuts.  Stir til blended.  Fill each cleaned celery stalk with mixture.  Cut each stalk of celery into four equal parts.  Arrange on a platter and serve or place in a dish and wrap with saran wrap and chili in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serves 6-8

Cranberry Cocktail Smokies
1 (12 oz.) bottle chili sauce
1 can cranberry sauce
2 pkgs. Cocktail or Lil’ Smokies

Directions:
Put everything in crock pot, cover, and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

*Be sure to stir after a few hours of cooking. Serve with colorful toothpicks.


Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs
*Can use a bag of plain frozen meatballs or use this recipe to make homemade meatballs:

2 pounds Ground beef
1 cup Corn flake crumbs
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Chopped, fresh parsley
1/3 cup Ketchup
3 tbsp. Minced onions
2 tbsp. Soy sauce
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Pepper


Sauce
16 oz. can, jellied or whole cranberry sauce
12 oz. Chili sauce
1 tbsp. Brown sugar
1 tbsp. Lemon juice 



Directions:
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, corn flake crumbs, parsley, eggs, ketchup, onion, soy sauce, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well and form into small balls, from 1/2" to 3/4" in diameter. See * below. Place in a casserole or baking pan. Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Meanwhile in a saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook stirring over medium heat until smooth. Pour hot sauce over meatballs in casserole. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs. Transfer to crock pot and keep on low for serving (could also just put frozen meatballs and ingredients for sauce in a crock pot. Cook meatballs on LOW a few hours and be sure to stir every once in a while to make sure they are well coated).

*Makes 4 to 5 dozen meatballs, depending on size.

 
Here's a cranberry breakfast recipe you may like to try:


Cranberry Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 very ripe banana
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 cup milk
1-2 tsp. honey
3 ice cubes (can omit if using frozen fruit)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Pour into cup and serve.

Makes 2 cups

Note:  In place of the milk you can use water, your favorite flavored Kefir, or even cranberry juice. If you use cranberry juice try replacing the fresh cranberries with 1-2 chopped apples. Any leafy green will work in this recipe (as well as celery) or you can leave it out all together.


IMG_20150209_192608

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Ingredients:
4 chicken quarters.(can replace with 8 thighs or 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts)
8 oz. Catalina or French Dressing (I’ve tried both and couldn’t tell much difference)
1 15oz. can of whole berry cranberry sauce (I used the jellied one)
1 package dry onion soup mix (I made my own)

IMG_20150209_132255
Chicken ready 2 cook w/everything dumped on top.


Directions: 
Wash a drain chicken (If using quarters you can cut them into legs and thighs or leave whole). Put in a gallon Ziploc bag with the rest of the ingredients poured on top.  Squeeze bag to make sure everything is mixed in good (I was lazy this time and just dump everything into the crockpot).  When ready to cook spray crockpot with cooking spray and pour chicken with sauce in.  Cook on LOW 6-7 hours for chicken with bones and skin or 4-6 hours for boneless chicken breasts.

*Since I did not mix everything first in a Ziploc bag I ended up turning my chicken pieces halfway through cooking time and it still came out good. Serve with rice and a green veggie or salad. This time around I served it with cauliflower rice and sautéed cabbage and spinach with onions and garlic.

*For a freezer meal leave in Ziploc bag. Press as much air out as you can, close, and freeze to use later. Thaw out in refrigerator overnight when you are ready to use.


Cranberry Pork Roast

Ingredients:
3 lb. pork loin roast
salt and pepper to taste
1 15-16oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. dry ground mustard
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

Directions:
Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of pork loin then put into sprayed crockpot.  In a medium bowl mix cranberry sauce, sugar, juices, and spices together.  Pour over pork.  Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.

To thicken gravy: Thirty minutes before meat is done take out some of the juice from roast. Combine the 2 Tbsp. cornstarch and cold water and mix together until smooth.  Stir this into juice mixture from roast and pour back into crockpot to get warm.

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November 9, 2015

To Do~ 11/9/15

This Week's To Do List

Kitchen:
Plan weekly menu
Do Food Prep and freezer meals
Make master baking mix
Make big batch of hot cocoa mix

Household:
Dust, Sweep, Mop, Vacuum
Fix up household binder
Pour boiling water down all drains

Other:
Clip and put up coupons
Go shopping at Costco

Personal:  
Daily Bible Journaling & Prayer
Read lesson for discipleship
Get everything ready for Homeschool week
Co-wash and deep condition hair
Get a little exercise daily
Update budget binder
Record what I ate in MyFitness Pal

November 8, 2015

For the wages...

Romans 6:23 (KJV)

For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

November 2, 2015

To Do~ 11/2/15

This Week's To Do List

Kitchen:
Plan weekly menu
Do Food Prep
Write Pantry and Freezer Inventory

Household:
Dust, Sweep, Mop
Pour boiling water down all drains
Do laundry

Other:
Clip and put up coupons
Take CJ's suits and ties to cleaners

Personal:  
Daily Bible Journaling & Prayer
Read lesson for discipleship
Get everything ready for Homeschool week
Do CLCT and deep condition hair before putting in twists
Get a little exercise daily
Update budget binder
Record what I ate in MyFitness Pal


November 1, 2015

Rejoice in the...

Philippians 4:4-8 (KJV)

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be made unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.