Recipes Category

Table of Contents

  1. Contents of Recipes
    1. Fall Recipes (Apple, pumpkin, beef burgundy Thanksgiving and...)
    2. Holiday Recipes (Here are a few of the Moll familys favorite...)
    3. Springtime Recipes (Fresh and delicious!)
      1. EASTER (RECIPES AND IDEAS for a meaningful, joy-filled...)
    4. Main Dishes - Fast and Healthy (Family Favorite Meals in Minutes)
    5. Nourishing Traditions
    6. Family Favorites from Marilyn (Tried and True- Reliable Recipes the whole...)
    7. Food Preserving (A treasury of information on canning, freezing,...)
    8. Summer Recipes (Enjoy fresh, tantalizing, colorful, tasty, and...)
    9. Winter Soup and Bread Recipes (When it\'s icy cold outside, serve hot,...)

Recipes

We are delighted to share many of our Family Favorite Recipes with you!

5 QUICK AND HEALTHY DINNERS WITH.....CANNED CHICKEN

Meal #1: Chicken salad sandwiches.

Talk about quick! All you need to do is drain and flake the chicken,
add just enough mayonnaise to coat, seasonings to taste (I like basil,
onion powder, garlic powder), and chopped celery, halved grapes or green
olives if desired. Serve on bread, toast, tortilla, a 'light' hamburger
bun, a bagel, or whatever you like! I like to serve vegetarian baked
beans and a salad for side dishes.

Meal#2: Quick burritos.

Simply place chicken, black or fat-free refried beans, lowfat cheese and
chopped cilantro (if you have some) in a reduced fat tortilla. Heat in
microwave. Top with salsa and light sour cream and enjoy. [If you're
cooking for a crowd, heat up ingredients separately and build burritos
all at once. Serve with fresh watermelon slices.

Meal #3: Chicken Pasta Salad.

Simply boil pasta shells (or other pasta) according to package directions.
Drain and run under cold water until cool. Toss with drained chicken
breast, light mayonnaise, chopped veggies (red bell pepper, onion, celery,
carrots) or grapes, and seasonings. Eat immediately or chill until ready
to eat. Serve with whole grain rolls.

Meal #4: Chicken and Green Chili Quesadillas.

Heat a nonstick skillet and spray with cooking spray. Add tortillas,
top with reduced fat cheese, chopped green chilies, drained chicken breast,
and another tortilla, spray with cooking spray. Cook, flipping once, until
both sides are lightly browned and cheese is melted. Optional: Add saut�ed
bell peppers, onion and/or mushroom to quesadillas with other ingredients.
Serve with light sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Optional side dish: Brown
rice with chopped cilantro and lime juice.

Meal #5: Greek Chicken Salad.

Start with a bowl of torn romaine lettuce. Add drained and flaked chicken
breast, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, a small amount of chopped kalamata
olives and feta cheese and dried basil. Toss with a splash of olive oil
and red wine vinegar. Optional side dish: Spray pita wedges with cooking
spray and sprinkle with garlic powder, broil until crispy.

This is just the beginning of ideas for using this convenient meal-starter.
Canned chicken, and also rotisserie chicken, can be used in most recipes
calling for cooked chicken. Keep a few cans in your pantry and you can
whip up a healthy meal in minutes!

Erin Rogers is author of HEALTHY EXPRESS COOKBOOK: 101 FRESH, LIGHT & QUICK DINNERS. A downloadable recipe 20 recipe sampler from Erin called 20 FRESH, LIGHT & QUICK DINNERS is available at this link.

� Health-E-Meals.com, 2005


Urban Homemaker

7 Reasons Why Meal Planning Is A Great Idea

7 Reasons Why Meal Planning Is A Great Idea

Planning meals ahead of time is a great idea, since there are many benefits that come along with it. Meal planning affects many different aspects of life, including your time as well as your financial situation. No matter what situation one may be in, planning your meals ahead of time is always a good idea. Meal planning makes it possible for almost any size family to eat healthy meals everyday of the week on a budget.   It also gives you more time together as a family while spending less money.

Saves Time

Planning your meals ahead of time will save you a lot of time. When you visit your grocery store, take a list with you that shows everything you need for your weekly meals.  This way there will be no return visits to the grocery store for something you forgot, and you won’t waste any time deciding what you are going to have for dinner that night. Forgetting a key ingredient or having to fight in long lines at the grocery store can be very frustrating, but meal planning can completely eliminate that.   

Menu Planning Resource Pack

Saves Money

Who doesn’t like to save money?  And if you can reduce the amount you spend on grocery bills, you can save it up for something really fun – like a special night out or a family vacation.  Meal planning saves anyone a significant amount of money, since meal planning is much cheaper than eating fast food. Also, since you will be bringing a shopping list with you to the grocery store, there will be no more impulse buys and wasted food.   We’ve all fallen victim to foods that we suddenly have a craving for when we are shopping only to get home and realize that we need other ingredients to turn it into a meal.  And having a shopping list will make it easier for you to clip coupons, since you know what you will be purchasing each week.  This means even more savings to you and your family.

Meal planning allows you to create a calendar of what you will have for dinner each night.  If you create a menu one month at a time, you can ensure that you aren’t having chicken nuggets five nights a week.  Have an overall calendar of meals will allow you to shop for foods when they are on sale and buy in bulk whenever possible.

Health

Planning out what you are going to cook for dinner will make it possible to ensure you are cooking a healthy meal every day of the week.  While eating out is convenient in our ever busy world, eating fast food or at restaurants is not nearly as healthy as cooking it at home.  This is largely due to the fact that you don’t have control over  what goes in those meals.   By preparing your own meals, you can choose healthy options, like baked chicken, and add any of your favorites for a side like a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables. Most boxed or frozen dinners contain a great amount of fat and sodium, but cooking the meal from scratch can eliminate them.   You control the flavor and the fat.  You can take steps to reduce the amount of fat by adding seasoning and spices to perk up the flavor.

Prevent Obesity

The rise of fast food chains in the world means that more people are becoming overweight and obese. Obesity can bring on many health issues, including heart or breathing problems. It is important to prevent a child from becoming overweight and teach them the importance of balanced meals.  Cooking homemade healthy meals can do this. When you plan out what you are going to make, you can be certain that it will be healthy for the entire family.   It allows you to have a better handle on the nutritional content of your meals.   You can also tailor it to each family member’s needs.  If there is someone who needs to watch their fat consumption, you can cook grill or broil instead of fry.  If there is someone that is trying to get more servings of vegetables in their diet, you can help by offering two veggies for side dishes.

Spending More Time With Your Family

Because planning out your meals gives you more time during the day, you can spend it doing something that really matters. Spending time with family should be the first thing on anyone’s priority list, and being able to spend more time with them is a wonderful perk to meal planning. You can use this time to either play with your children outside, or maybe talk with your spouse about their day at work.   With the time saved with meal planning, the family can enjoy a walk together after dinner, play yard games such as croquet or bocce ball, or compete in a board game night.  No matter how you use the time, it is special and necessary to keep a family running.   And when you kids are grown up and look back on their childhood, those will be the times they remember most fondly.  Just think about all the home cooked meals that you look back on warmly.  No one cooks it like mom does.

Teaching Essential Skills

By including children in the meal planning process, they can learn many skills that will carry with them into adulthood.   They can help to plan the meals, and learn about the different nutrition groups.   Learning how to assemble a balanced meal is a great skill to have.  Measuring different ingredients in the meals teaches children about fractions.   Younger kids can just play with the different kitchen utensils, which allows them to explore and learn about the huge world they have yet to explore and learn about. Spouses can get in on the fun, making it possible to bond with one another by cooking a meal for each other.   Meals where each person can individually tailor food to their liking, such as making your own pizzas or a taco bar, allow a great opportunity for the whole family to cook and learn together.

Reduces Stress

Our world is hectic.  We are being pulled in several different directions each day.  Because we live in a fast paced world, it is important to do everything possible to reduce your stress load.   We have enough stress with our every day lives without mealtime stressing us out.  Planning meals can reduce your stress since you won’t have to worry about everything that goes into making a meal for your family. As long as you bring your list to the store and buy everything on the list, you will be all set. You can choose to either visit the store each week or twice a month, rather than a million times like before. The increased time you have will allow you to relax more often, and even feel great when interacting with your children.  If you are enrolled in a food delivery service, having a handy list makes online shopping a breeze.  Have it with you when you log in to order food and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

As you can see, there are many benefits to meal planning.  From the ever crucial facts of saving money and eating healthier, to reducing stress and spending more time with your family.  Meal planning only takes a little extra effort.  And once you get the hang of it, it’ll become second nature and make you life so much easier.  You’ll be wondering why you hadn’t started meal planning earlier.  And will all the time and money you save you can spend on something that really matters – your family!



Urban Homemaker

A Week's Menu with Recipes

A Sample Week Of Menus And Recipes  based on

Fast and Healthy Menus for Busy Moms ebook by Marilyn Moll

Monday:

Roasted Chicken
Roasted Vegetables
Applesauce

Tuesday:

Meatballs over Brown Rice
Maple Balsamic Carrots
Sliced Pears

Wednesday:

Baked Salmon
Green Beans
Sliced Tomatoes on Lettuce leaves
Basic Drop Biscuits

Thursday:

Chicken Divan (from left-over roasted chicken)
Corn
Green Salad

Friday:

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce served with
Parmesan Cheese
Large Spinach Salad with Italian Dressing

Roast Chicken
(Leftover chicken will be used with Thursdays dinner or frozen)

2-(3-4 lb.) chickens
4 tbsp. olive oil
1- 2 whole garlic bulb, optional
4 tbsp. minced fresh thyme or 4 tsp. dried, crumbled
2 tbsp. chopped, fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried,
crumbled, optional
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
6-8 med. red potatoes, quartered
6-8 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut into 3" long
pieces


Preheat oven to 350�F. Rub each chicken with 1 tablespoon oil. Slice garlic bulbs in half and then place garlic in chicken cavities. Mix 2 tablespoons thyme with rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon
salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub herb mixture over chickens. Place chickens in large roasting pan. Surround with potatoes and carrots. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over vegetables. Sprinkle vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast chickens until juice runs clear when thickest part of thighs is pierced, about 1 hour and 10 minutes, turning vegetables occasionally. Transfer chickens to platter and tent with foil. Increase heat to 400�F. Continue roasting vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes, if needed.


Drain pan juices to make gravy, if desired, or save juice for adding to stock. The aroma of this dish is wonderful, and the blends of different herbs compliment one another. De-bone leftover chicken and store in the refrigerator for Thursday night's dinner. Reserve all the leftover
chicken bones to make chicken stock in the crockpot overnight or the next day.
Serves 4-6 depending on serving size and chicken size.

Beef Meatballs in Kofta Sauce
Kofta Sauce seasoned with Garam masala is easily found in health food stores, is delicious and easy to make and is one of our most favorite family recipes.


2 pound of ground beef or lamb
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp. ground
ginger
1 small green or red chile, seeded and finely chopped,
opt.
3 tsp. Real Salt or sea salt
2 tsp. garam masala
2 eggs
1/2 cup Mary's Oil Blend (see pg. 13), butter, or ghee
Kofta sauce (recipe follows)


Mix all ingredients except the oil in a large bowl and form into small balls. Heat oil blend in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry meatballs about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown or bake in 350? oven until browned. Drain on paper towels. Simmer in kofta sauce for 10 minutes .

Kofta Sauce
(VERY easy, and outstanding flavor)

4 tbsp. Mary's Oil Blend (see pg. 13), butter, or ghee
4 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garam masala
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. sea salt
2 cans whole coconut milk


Place oil blend or butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add turmeric, chili powder, and garam masala and cook, stirring about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt. Stir in coconut  milk. Add meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Serves 8-10. Serve over brown rice (make 2 cups extra for tomorrow night's dinner). This recipe is from Eat Fat, Lose Fat p. 142. Reprinted by permission.

Easy Chicken Divan
Use leftover diced chicken pieces from Monday, or out of your freezer.

1 - 20 oz pkg of frozen broccoli, chopped or 2 -10 oz
asparagus spears
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup cottage cheese
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. curry powder (I use 1 tsp. curry), optional
1 1/2 cup cream of chicken soup (homemade white
sauce or canned)
2 cups cooked brown rice (leftover from Beef Meatballs
from Tues. night)
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese


Slightly cook broccoli or asparagus. Drain well. Place buttermilk, cottage cheese, lemon juice and curry powder in blender. Blend until cottage cheese is smooth. Add cream of chicken soup and pulse to mix well. In large baking dish, layer half the soup mixture, rice, chicken and broccoli. Top with remaining soup mixture. Place bread and cheese in blender. Pulse to make fine bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Cover and bake in a 350�F oven for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes or until hot and bubbly.Yield - six servings. The original recipe comes from Set for Life on p. 43 and is reprinted by permission.


Easy Italian Tomato Sauce

This is the easiest, most flavor-packed Italian sauce ever!


2 - 14 1/2 oz cans Diced Canned Tomatoes or fresh
equivalent
1 red bell pepper, optional
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried
2 long stems fresh oregano, or 1 tsp. dried
2-4 tbsp. olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4- 1/2 tsp. black pepper, fresh ground if possible
1/8 tsp. cayenne or 1/4 of jalapeno
1 tsp. Real salt
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste or 1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. Sucanat or 8 dates without pits
1 tbsp. Naturally Fermented Soy sauce
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, optional
2-4 tbsp. pine nuts, optional


Puree in blender for about a minute. Add 1# browned ground beef, if desired, into the sauce and heat in a saucepan before serving over hot pasta. Try serving this sauce over spaghetti or
oriental pasta prepared with brown rice or buckwheat flour which is more nutritious and easier to digest than traditional wheat pasta.


Urban Homemaker

Anzac Biscuits

Named for the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), which fought in World War I. This recipe is courtesy of my daughter, Laura.

2 C. rolled oats
11/2 C. unsweetened shredded coconut
11/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 C. Sucanat - (or sugar)
1 C. butter, softened
2 TB honey
6 TB boiling water
4 tsp baking soda


Measure oats, coconut, flour, and sucanat (or sugar) into a medium-sized mixing bowl: toss to mix.
Melt butter and honey.
Pour boiling water over baking soda and stir to dissolve. Add to the melted butter mixture.
Pour the butter mixture over the mixed dry ingredients; mix well.
Heat oven to 300 . Grease cookie sheets and drop teaspoonsful of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
Cool cookies on baking sheet 1-2 minutes then remove with spatula and cool on wire racks.

Reprint Permission Granted with the following information:

Copyright The Urban Homemaker 2004, "old fashioned skills for contemporary people".

Free 64-page catalogs are available by request at http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/catalog

Urban Homemaker

Basic White Sauce Cream Soup Alternatives

Basic White Sauce

Cream Soup Alternatives


                                        Thin                 Medium                     Med-Thick                     Thick


Butter                             1 T                     2 T                                 3 T                                 4 T


Flour                             1 T                     2T                                   3 T                                 4 T


salt                                 ¼ t                     ¼t                                   ¼ t                                ¼ t


Milk, stock,

or Combo                     1 C                     1 C                                 1 C                             1 C


Instructions:


Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Blend flour and salt into saucepan while cooking and stirring until bubbly. using a wire whisk to prevent lumps, stir in liquid ingredient choice slowly. Medium thick sauce is comparable to undiluted condensed soups and makes approximately the same amount as a 10 oz can.


Variations:


Cheese Sauce: Add ½ C grated sharp cheese and ¼ tsp mustard


Tomato Sauce: Use tomato juice as liquid and add a dash each of garlic powder or garlic salt, onion powder or onion salt, basil and oregano.


Mushroom Sauce: Saute ¼ C finely chopped mushrooms and 1 Tbsp finely chopped onion in the butter before adding the flour.


Celery Sauce: Saute ½ Cup finely chopped celery and 1 Tbsp finely chopped onion in butter before adding flour


Chicken Sauce: Use chicken broth or bouillon as half the liquid. Add ¼ tsp poultry seasoning or sage, and diced cooked chicken if available


The following ingredients can be used to vary the flavors for other casseroles or your own creative concoctions:


curry powder

garlic, onion, celery salt

grated nutmeg

lemon jice

Worcestershire sauce

chili powder

chopped or blended vegetables

chopped parsley

chopped chives


The above information is adapted from
More with Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen-Longacre.  This is a classic cookbook I have relied on for years for basic, economical family oriented recipes.

Urban Homemaker

Breakfasts for Busy Moms- Kicking the Breakfast Cereal Habit

The following recipe is from the new ebook Breakfasts for Busy Moms- Kicking the Breakfast Cereal Habit by Marilyn Moll

Zesty Baked Eggs
It's great to have a change from traditional fried or scrambled eggs.
Very yummy recipe from my mom.  My children request this dish often.

1/ 3 Cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup grated sharp cheese
8 eggs


Combine mayonnaise and seasonings.  Gradually and slowly add milk stirring after each addition until smooth.  Add cheese and cook over low heat until cheese is melted about five minutes.  Pour 2 Tbsp of the sauce into each of 4 individual greased custard cups or small sized ramekins.  Break 2 eggs into each dish.  Top with remaining sauce.  Place in 9 X 13 casserole dish and add boiling water to the casserole dish to about 1/3 to 1/2 full.  Bake 15 minutes or until eggs are of desired consistency.

Urban Homemaker

Broccoli Ham Casserole

BROCCOLI-HAM BAKE (12 servings)

4 cups broccoli, cooked and chopped
2 pounds frozen french fries
1 (10 34-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 34-ounce) can cream of broccoli soup
2 cups milk
2-3 cups ham, cubed
2 cups yellow cheese (any variety), grated

Spread frozen french fries in two greased (or sprayed) 9x13-inch baking dishes. Sprinkle chopped broccoli over fries. In a separate bowl, blend soups and milk; stir in ham; pour over fries and broccoli. Wrap baking dish; label and freeze. Place grated cheese in two small freezer bags and attach to baking dish with Broccoli-Ham Bake. To Serve: Thaw. Sprinkle grated cheese over top of casserole. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

This recipe is excerpted from Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month by Deborah Taylor Hough. $14.95 Retail. Published by Champion Press, Ltd.

For more information please email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-552-7323.

Urban Homemaker

Cheesy Tortellini Bake


Tortellini Salad with Pesto

The pesto packs sensational taste when mixed
with pasta. 
This salad goes together in minutes,
if tortellini is prepared ahead of time
Add  diced cheese or chopped leftover chicken or turkey for a complete meal.


3-4 Cups Tortellini, cooked and chilled
1/2 Cup chopped red onion
1/2 Cup Pesto, or to taste
1 cup chopped red or green pepper, opt
2-4 TB Marilyn’s French Dressing, opt
4-6 Cups torn salad greens such as romaine, red leaf lettuce
salt and pepper  to taste


Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Stir to blend all ingredients.
Taste, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe has been reprinted from Sensational Summer Salads by Marilyn Moll.
Leftover Tortellini or other pasta makes a great main dish Pasta Salad.



Cheesy Tortellini Bake

Everyone loves an easy pasta casserole

2-3 Cups Tortellini, cooked, or other leftover pasta
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 lb hamburger or Italian sausage, optional
2-3 Cups Spaghetti Sauce
1-4 oz can sliced mushrooms,drained
2 Cups Mozzerella, shredded

Saute chopped onions in olive oil until wilted, brown hamburger or sausage with sauteed onions, add minced garlic, basil, and oregano when hamburger is browned. In a medium mixing bowl, combine spaghetti sauce, Tortellini, and mushrooms, and onion/meat mixture. Pour into a 7 X 11 casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes, uncover, and bake until bubbly about 10-15 more minutes at 350°F. Serve with steamed kale or spinach.

Urban Homemaker

Civil War Cooking Recipes

Here are the recipes originally published in THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE MAZAZINE - Winter 2005 Issue in an article entitiled CIVIL WAR IN THE KITCHEN A Walk Through History.

JOHNNYCAKE
Johnnycakes were popular particularly in the Northeast but eaten across the United States since the 1600's. The recipe is very simple and fun to make.

1 Cup water
1 1/2 Cups ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 TB butter
syrup, molasses, or preserves for topping

Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Combine the cornmeal, salt, boiled water, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well. Melt the 2 TB butter in a skillet or a cast iron griddle over medium heat. Pour 1 TB of batter into the skillet, pancake style to cook. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until edges are lacy and lightly browned using a spatula to turn. Serve hot with molasses, maple syrup and butter.

NAVY BEAN SOUP
Soak the beans overnight or for at least 8-12 hours before beginning the recipe. Cook in cast iron for better flavor and an authentic re-enactment.

1 Cup (8 oz) dried navy beans
5 Cups water
1/2 pound salt pork or slab bacon
2 large carrots or 1 cup chopped
1 large onion or 3/4 Cup chopped
1 large potato, unpeeled, but cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Wash the beans in a colander and pick out and discard any discolored ones or pieces of dirt.

Place the beans in a large stock pot or Dutch oven covered with water at least 2 inches above the beans and allow to soak overnight. Drain the beans. Add 5 cups water, salt pork, carrots and onions to the beans. Stir the mixture. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer the beans at least 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. Add the chopped potatoes salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook about 15 more minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

FRIED APPLES
Tart apples cooked with butter and sugar make a wonderful side dish or dessert.

5 Tart cooking apples such as Granny Smith, MacIntosh, Golden Delicious, or other
4 TB or more butter
1 Cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Wash, core and slice the apples into 12-16 narrow wedges, do not peel. Melt the butter in a skillet or cast iron pan and add the apples. Cover the skillet and cook the apples 5 minutes over medium low heat. Stirring continuously, add the brown sugar and the nutmeg. Stir well. Continue cooking the apples covered for 10-12 minutes or until the apples are tender, check every few minutes while cooking. Add additional butter or water if needed to prevent the apples from sticking.

GINGER BREAD
Gift boxes sent to Union soldiers from home might contain the traditional gingerbread along with items such as socks, soap, and other foods.

1 TB butter
2 1/2 Cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 Cup butter
1 1/4 Cups molasses
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. allspice
1 Cup very hot water

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9" square baking pan with the butter. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, soda and spices, and cut in softened butter to the flour mixture with a fork. Combine molasses, egg and water in a small mixing bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well. Pour the batter into a baking pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 9 servings.

HARDTACK
This staple hard cracker like bread made of flour and water must be dipped into milk, tea, hot chocolate before eating as it is so hard you could break your teeth eating it dry!

butter for greasing the baking pan
5 Cups all-purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
1 TB salt
1 2/3 cups water

Preheat the oven to 450F. Grease the baking sheet. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and water. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. With freshly washed hands, squeeze the flour mixture with your fingers, this will be a very stiff dough. Flatten the dough to about 1/2 inch into a large rectangle. Using a knife, lightly trace lines into the dough to divide the pieces into 3 X 3" square pieces. Use a toothpick to prick holes across the entire surface in neat rows 3/4 of an inch apart. Be sure the holes go all the way through the dough to the baking sheet. Bake the dough about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Remove the hardtack from the baking sheet with a metal spatula. Makes about 9 hard crackers.

CONFEDERATE CORNBREAD
Wheat flour was quite scarce in the South during the Civil War so soldiers baked bread from available ingredients such as white cornmeal. Try to find white cornmeal to make this a bit more authentically Confederate. Although this recipe uses baking powder to make the cornbread fluffier, Confederate soldiers did not have baking powder.

1 TB butter
2 Cups white cornmeal (not self-rising)
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 Cups milk
1/4 cup oil

Preheat the oven to 400. Grease the 9" square baking pan with the butter. Combine the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl whip the eggs with a fork and combine with the milk and oil. Stirring only until all the dry ingredients are wet, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and then pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

TEA CAKE COOKIES
5 Cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup butter
1 Cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 cups sugar

Heat the oven to 375F. Grease the cookie sheets with butter. Combine flour, soda, and nutmeg together in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 Cup milk, 2 eggs, and sugar. Pour into dry ingredients. Stir well. Wash hands and lightly coat your fingertips with butter. Shape the dough into 1 inch round bowls. Place the balls on baking sheets. Dip a fork in flour and use it to glatten the balls in a criss/cross pattern like you might do for peanut butter cookies. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 5 dozen.

Additional Civil War Recipes can found in the following resources:
Cooking Up US History Recipes and Research to Share with Children, Second Editon by Suzanne I. Barchers and Patricia C. Marden, Teacher Ideas Press, Englewood, CO. Copyright 1999. 1-800-237-6124.

Civil War Cooking The Union by Susan Dosier, Blue Earth Books published by Capstone Press, Mankato, MN. Copyright 2000. http://www.capstone-press.com. .

Civil War Cooking The Confederacy by Susan Dosier, Blue Earth Books published by Capstone PRess, Mankato, MN. Copyright 2000. http://www.capstone-press.com.

http://www.foodhistoryl.com/foodnotes/leftovers/dstorm.htm
http://www.kidport.com/RefLib/UsaHistory/CivilWar/CampLife.htm
http://www.unctv.org/thecivilwarexperience/cooking3.htm

Urban Homemaker

Creamed New Potatoes and Peas

Creamed New Potatoes & Peas
"Enjoy the bounty of the Spring Garden!"

Makes 4 servings, double or triple as needed.

15-20 new potatoes (Or regular potatoes cut up)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 Cups baby spring peas or snow peas
1/2-1 tsp dill weed
1-2 cups chopped ham or cooked smoked sausage, optional

White Sauce (makes 2 cups)
4 TB butter or coconut oil
4 TB flour, whole grain preferred
2 Cups milk, or water, or leftover potato water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook as many new potatoes (or regular potatoes) as needed to feed your family in a Duromatic pressure Cooker for about 5 minutes and allow the pressure to come down naturally. OR, boil the new potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, saute one chopped onion in 2 TB butter or olive oil. Set aside.

3. Prepare white sauce in a small sauce pan, by melting the butter, then stir in the flour and allow to bubble while stirring for about one minute. Gradually and slowly while stirring, add the liquid. Bring to a boil, and boil for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Combine the white sauce with the sauteed onion, cooked new potatoes, and 1-2 cups of baby spring peas or snow peas.

5. Add dill weed and adjust seasonings to taste.

6. Add chopped ham, or kielbasa type sausage to make this a more solid main dish.

Urban Homemaker

CURRIED LENTILS OVER RICE

This recipe is quite simple, economical and very tasty.
If your lentils are pre-cooked you can eliminate the water  and allow them to simmer slowly with the onions and spices.

1 TB oil
1-1/2 C. chopped onions,
2 cloves minced garlic or 1 tsp. powder
1-1/2 C. rinsed lentils
5 C. water
 1 - 14 oz. can tomatoes
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. curry powder
OR 1-2 tsp curry powder - to taste
dash cayenne pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice,
optional

Saute onions in oil in a large pot for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute
briefly. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until the
mixture is a gravy consistency (approx. 2-3 hours). If cooked in the
Duromatic, pressure on first ring for 15 minutes, cut the water by 1-1/2
cups. Add salt, pepper, and, lemon juice to taste.
Serve over cooked brown rice, millet, or other  cooked whole grain.

Serving Suggestions:  Serve with Green Salad, baby carrots, pineapple slices
Urban Homemaker

FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY MOMS Reliable Recipes for Busy Families

You will find these recipes to be reliable, family favorites from THE URBAN HOMEMAKER. We have been homeschooling our children for more than 16 years and want to share our streamlined menu planning methods and recipes.

I particularly encourage you to bake your own whole grain breads as a tasty, healthy, and economical alternative to commercially baked goods prepared from refined ingredients stripped of much of their nutritional content.

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For more bread baking information and recipes go to this link.

Click on this link For 10 Steps to Getting Started with a lifestyle of Health .

DOWNLOAD THE ECOOKBOOK at the link below. Direct questions and comments to urbanhomemaker@urbanhomemaker.com

For recipes, inspiration, baking tips, and information in the Spirit of Titus Two join our bi-monthly newsletter at this link.

Urban Homemaker

Fast No-Fail Yogurt

If you use high quality powdered milk such as Country Cream, the yogurt will be especially fast, easy, and economical because you are able to skip the step which requires scalding the milk.

1/4 C. cold water
2 - 21/2 C. dry milk powder (or more if a firmer yogurt is desired)
1 T. or 1 envelope unflavored gelatin or Agar Agar. or 2 tsp. Pomona's pectin (blend at least 1 min. with 1 C. scalded milk until dissolved) (opt.)
1/2 C. plain yogurt or 2 - 5 gram packets of Yogourmet Freeze Dried
Starter
2 Qt. pure lukewarm water (110F)


Sprinkle gelatin into cold water in a saucepan. When water is absorbed, bring mixture to a boil and stir into blended lukewarm water and milk mixture (about 110F). Add yogurt or starter and blend until smooth. (If using Pomona's Pectin, blend pectin with 1 cup scalded milk until dissolved.) Pour into Yogourmet jar and incubate for 4 hours. After 4-6 hours the mixture should be set. Test with a spoon, rather than jiggling. Set yogurt should be refrigerated. This recipe will set more firmly as the yogurt cools.Add 1/4 to 1/2 C. sweetener or flavorings to mixture before incubation if you wish to make flavored yogurt. Try orange, lemon, almond, maple, or vanilla flavorings.

I have found that you may use yogurt from an old batch to start a new batch but the incubation time often takes longer because there are less live acidophilus organisms. This process of using yogurt as a starter may be repeated many times before fresh starter is needed.

Urban Homemaker

Grande Cooking and Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer

Bulk Cooking Ahead Phone Seminar with Lisa Taylor, Denice Gustafson and Monica Ferucci, Thursday,January 5, 2006.
Notes taken by Heather Tully

4 Parts to this seminar:
1) Introduction from our Guests
2) Basic Principles and Tips of Bulk Cooking;
3) E-Cookbook and Book Offer
4) Questions and Answer

Introduction by Marilyn:
Would you believe I started to Panic over dinner tonight before the phone seminar? We celebrated my husband's birthday and barely got dinner in the oven in time. I started to PANIC!

We all want to serve good, healthy, tasty dinners to our families' consistently and save dinner. My friends Suzie Martinez, Vanda Howell, and Bonnie Garcia wrote a book called DON'T PANIC DINNER'S IN THE FREEZER filled with very tasty recipes perfect for cooking by yourself or with a group of friends. This book is available with free shipping through Sunday as long as you mention free shipping in the comments section of checkout or over the phone.

My guests tonight Denice, Lisa, and Monica have all been doing cooking ahead alone or with friends for many years and are a wealth of information on how to get started and other tips.

Introduction from our Guests:
Lisa
decided to start bulk cooking so that she would not panic each day over what to make for dinner and so that she would not run out of ideas of what to make for dinner or eat the same thing over and over. Lisa found that cooking with friends was both more fun, efficient, and economical. She now has a core group of six ladies who cook with her that have been working together for five years!

Denice, wanting to save money and have more time for homeschooling, decided to give bulk cooking a try. Though she has done the cooking with a friend, since she moved, she is now doing her bulk cooking by herself.

Monica finds that bulk cooking brings peace of mind and good time management. Buying food in bulk enables her to buy good quality items and whole foods at a cheaper price. She organized and runs a Cooking Club at her church, which consists of 12 ladies that meet monthly for cooking time and fellowship while they work.

For the Complete Downloadable Grande Cooking ebook with Recipes Click Here

Basic Principles of Grande Cooking:

1. Bulk cooking's greatest benefit, besides saving you both time and money, is that it allows you to minister to others in need and be prepared for hospitality and meeting the needs of others at a moment's notice. Those we can minister include singles, elderly, the sick, those having family emergencies, as well as a systematic way to stock the church or community freezer.

2. Cook meals that your family will enjoy!!!
About any family favorite, tried and true recipe can be frozen, though some foods do change appearance or texture when you freeze the food and reheat/cook the food.

For example, fresh potatoes frozen will turn black in the freezer. Instead of using fresh potatoes use either pre-packaged frozen potatoes or shred fresh potatoes and soak them in water with cream of tarter overnight, then freezing the potatoes the next day eliminates the browning problem. (About 5 pounds of potatoes to 1 teaspoon of cream of tarter.)

3. Plan a variety of meals. While dinners/main dishes are the main part of cooking ahead , our guests also enjoy freezing breakfast, lunch and desserts. A variety of main dishes includes a balance of chicken, beef, pasta, ethnic and meatless recipes.

4. Buy pricey items, especially meats, on SALE!!!
Pre-chop, pre-cook meats, pre-measure and label baggies the night before to save on time during cooking/assemble meals day. Another way to save on time is to buy pre-chopped veggies.

5. Planning recipes for cooking day the Grande Cooking Way.
Lisa Taylor's group, first of all, puts a date on the calendar and reserves the time ahead to make sure the cooking gets done. Each lady in her group emails a list of 5-6 recipes they want to make to the other ladies in the group. The recipe coordinator compiles the list of meals into 30 recipes and then emails the list to everyone from the group, who then votes for the top 12-16 recipes they want to make on their cooking day. The coordinator then makes a final list of 12-16 recipes, making sure there is a good variety based on the vote. New groups starting out would probably want to start out with a smaller number of recipes until they work out their system.

Each cooking club participant then decides how many of each recipe she will need for her family and emails it to the Shopping Coordinator. One to two ladies calculate the amount of ingredients needed and usually do the shopping. After all the meals are assembled on cooking day, the total dollars spent is divided by the number of meals prepared and everyone pays the shopping coordinator according to how many total meals they ordered. Usually Lisa orders more meals than others in her group.

6. Here is how Monica's Church Cooking Group organizes its' bulk cooking:
At a "meal planning night", the ladies decided which recipes to prepare for 2-3 months. Usually they do 2-3 main dishes, a quick bread and or dessert, and a breakfast or lunch entree. The club then meets one night each month to cook that month's recipes. Each main dish recipe ranges in cost from $2.50-5.65 and feeds 4-6 people. The club always prepares at least two meals for the church freezer or those in need.

For the Complete Downloadable Grande Cooking ebook with Recipes Click Here

Monica's group calculates the costs based on the cost of each recipe prepared and then dividing that amount by the number of meals prepared. Each lady then pays for the total amount of meals they take home. Some take home 12 of an entree, some only take home 2. This is truly custom cooking!

Monica has found that usually a core group of 3 decide the recipes and buy the groceries, and minister to the other ladies in their group by teaching them cooking methods, and healthier ingredients/methods.

Click here for a free download of Monica's ebook FOOLPROOF (almost) FREEZER COOKING

Tips on packaging your frozen meals:
Use Zip-Lock Freezer brand gallon-size baggies for all of your meals except layered recipes, soups/stews and softer type mixtures.( All the seminar guests have found generic brand freezer bags tend to break or leak.)

For layered meals, freeze in Gladware, reusable plastic pans that can go from the freezer to the microwave/oven to the dishwasher. These products are usually found with paper goods and other packaging supplies.

Use a black Sharpie Pen to label all meals with name of recipe, date, and re-heating instructions. Lay baggies flat to freeze, layering either a paper towel or thin piece of cardboard between each baggie to stop them from sticking together when frozen. Once meals are frozen, they can then be stored standing up in a mil crate type box in the freezer like a filing system. File through frozen meals and decide what's for dinner.

Other packaging tips:
You may want to wrap your plastic pans in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to keep the lids from coming off. Write the contents and cooking directions on the foil. Another alternative would be to put two rubber bands around the pans and then slip a piece of paper with directions in-between the rubber band.

Audience Questions and Answers by email:

How can I bulk cook with friends in small kitchen?
If you pre-cook/ pre-chop food items like onions and meat the night before at home, you can focus on just assembling your meals with your friends even if the kitchen is small. Setting up an 8" folding table makes for an efficient "assembly" line during "cooking/assembly" day.

Give each person a specific job to do, for example someone labels baggies, someone is dishwasher, and rotate.

What items do I need to get started?
Large stock pots, large mixing bowls, several large mixing bowls for mixing ingredients, and lots of spatulas, measuring spoons/glass measuring cups, scrapers and large spoons!

Where can I find chicken broth without MSG?
Make it from scratch!!! Boil whole chickens, using the meat for your recipes, and freeze the broth in 2-4 cup quantities in glass mason jars and freezing. Another option is to purchase:
Frontier Chicken flavored Broth:
OR
Frontier Beef Flavored Broth:

OR
http:// www.somethingbetternaturalfoods.com and search for chicken broth.

We began offering phone seminars in November 2004. Many listeners have requested transcripts for when they are unable to listen in. Here are transcripts of recent phone seminars.

Urban Homemaker

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/4 cup flour
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (if you use salted butter,
omit the 1/4 tsp salt)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, room temp
1/2 cup coarsely ground salted peanuts

In a bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, combine butter
and sugars. Beat until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat until blended.
Mix in dry ingredients until well blended. Blend in peanut butter.
Cover bowl and place in refrigerator 15 minutes to firm. Divide dough in
thirds and form into logs 5 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter. Spread
ground peanuts on waxed paper or a rimmed baking sheet and roll logs in
peanuts, pressing them gently into dough. Wrap logs in plastic and
refrigerate 2 hours until firm. Place a rack in the middle of oven and preheat
to 325. Line 2 baking shees with parchment paper or Silpat mats. Cut logs
crosswise into 1/3 inch slices. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
bake 1 tray at a time until edges of cookies are lightly colored about 12-15
minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then remove wire
racks.�

Urban Homemaker

Pizza Sauce Supreme

From Set For Life Cookbook by Jane P. Merrill and Karen M. Sunderland
Used By Permission

Greens:
1/2 C. celery
1/2 C. chopped green onion
1/3 C. chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/4 C. water

Sauce:
2 C. canned tomatoes
1 - 12 oz. can tomato paste
1/4 C. greens (see above)
1 TB dry Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


Place greens in blender and liquify. Measure 1/4 cup. Freeze unused portion in 1/4 cup portions in plastic sandwich bags. Mix all sauce ingredients and refrigerate until needed. Double, triple, or quadruple the above recipe and freeze in "pizza size" portions in zip-locks. Thaw as needed.

Suggested Pizza Toppings
(Mix and Match)


1/2 # Italian Turkey Sausage cooked and drained.
1/2 # lean ground beef cooked and drained.
1 chopped onion - cook w/ground beef.
1 - 4oz. can mushroom drained
1 green pepper, diced
1 C. diced brocolli or cauliflower (slightly cooked)
1 - 8oz. can unsweetened pineapple

Urban Homemaker

Shredded Meat Tacos with Cilantro Sour Cream

SHREDDED MEAT TACOS with Cilantro Sour Cream
All meats cook and tenderize in minutes, rather, than
hours with a
DUROMATIC pressure Cooker.

1-1/2 Cups chicken broth
2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, 3 lbs if bone in
1-2 Cups homemade or store-bought salsa (mild or hot, Newman's Own Roasted Garlic Salsa is good)
Corn or flour (whole wheat) tortillas

Pour the broth into a 3.5-liter or larger DUROMATIC and
add chicken. Bring heat up to high pressure (2nd red
ring). Reduce heat, maintain pressure for 4 minutes.
Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally,
(about 4 minutes). Remove lid, tilting it away from you
to allow steam to escape.

Tranfer the meat to a cutting board and allow to rest.

Shred meat with two forks or chop finely. Place the shredded meat in
the cooker and stir in just enough salsa to lightly coat.
Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring
frequently, until the meat has absorbed the salsa's
flavor and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Optional Cilantro Sour Cream:

Blend:
1/2 cup low fat sour cream, or half sour cream/ half plain yogurt
1 TB fresh lime juice, optional
2 TB fresh cilantro, optional
1/4 tsp. salt

Warm tortillas in a microwave or skillet. Wrap in foil or a kitchen towel to keep warm. Serve the shredded meat in a bowl accompanied by the Sour Cream mixture, and small bowls of shredded cheese, guacamole, chopped onion, sliced ripe olives, etc. Invite everyone to fill and roll their tacos at the table.

Our free e-book, FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families includes my best and most requested bread recipes. My earnest desire is that you will find the my tips, information, and recipes to be a reliable resource of healthy, family-favorite recipes, as well as streamlined preparation methods which fit in with busy lifestyles.

For recipes, inspiration, baking tips, and information in the Spirit of Titus Two join our bi-monthly newsletter at this link.

Urban Homemaker

Top 10 Troublesome Ingredients

Top 10 Troublesome Ingredients  By Sandy Tuin

1. Natural Flavors. Listed as natural flavors.
    Found in: Baked foods, frozen dinners, candy and more.
    What’s the big deal? Natural flavors include a number of naturally occurring (non-chemical,non-artificial) substances approved for use in food by the FDA. These flavors often come from           allergy-inducing ingredients such as nuts and wheat.
    How to avoid it?  If you are prone to food allergies call the food manufacturer to learn the source of the natural flavor.

2. Artificial Colorings: Listed as yellow #6, blue #2, green #3, red #3 and more.
    Found in: Candy, soda, gelatin, and more
    What’s the big deal? Some studies link artificial colorings to a range of health problems including cancer, hyperactivity, thyroid and allergic reactions. They have no nutritional value.
    How to avoid it?  Steer clear of artificially colored foods. Opt instead for naturally colorful edibles like fresh fruits and dark leafy greens.

3.  Chemical Cocktails. Unlisted
    Found in: Non-organic product.
    What’s the big deal? Conventional farmers spray their produce with chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides to keep insects and weeds at bay. Residues of these toxic chemicals end up on your food, and some studies have linked them to cancer and birth defects.
    How to avoid it? Wash your produce thoroughly with a mixture of 1 tsp mild dishwashing detergent and 4 liters of water. Buy organic or shop at the farmer’s market.

4. Sodium Nitrite: Listed as Sodium nitrite
    Found in: Processed meats including bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunchmeats, and corned beef.
    What’s the big deal? This preservative can mix with chemicals in the stomach to form nitrosamines, a carcinogenic substance linked to cancers of the pancreas, bladder and brain.
    How to avoid it?  Replace processed meats with fresh meats or purchase nitrite-free lunchmeats. Meat found in canned soups and frozen dinners commonly contains sodium nitrite, so check labels carefully.

5. High Fructose Corn Syrup: Listed as High fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, corn syrup,
 corn syrup solids   
Found in: Frozen foods, sweets, breads, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, many canned vegetables, cereals, juices, sodas, breads and much more.
What’s the big deal? High fructose corn syrup increases your risk for diabetes. It also encourages overeating because its chemical structure tricks your brain into thinking your body is hungry. And it can raise triglyceride levels in the bloodstream, which increases risk of heart disease. Also contributes to high cholesterol and insulin resistance. Has no enzymes, vitamins or minerals and leaches micronutrients from your body.
    How to avoid it? Limit your intake of added sugar to less than 10% of your total daily calories.         And/or buy alternative foods that do not contain it!!

6. rBGH: Listed as rBGH
    Found in: dairy products, including milk and cheese.
    What’s the big deal? rBGH stands for recombinant (genetically modified) bovine (cow) growth hormone. Dairy farmers inject cows with it to stimulate milk production, and it ends up in the milk sold in grocery stores. Research has tied it to prostate, solon and breast cancers.
    How to avoid it? Look for milk that says “no rBGH” on the label. Switch to organic milk or raw milk.

7. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): Listed as Yeast extract, gelatin, textured and hydrolyzed proteins, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, and more.
    Found in: A wide range of foods including chips, canned soups, salad dressings, fast food, and frozen dinners.
    What’s the big deal? MSG can affect the nervous system and make you feel hungrier than you rally are. It may also trigger migraines.
    How to avoid it? Read food labels carefully. Even packages that say “no MSG or no MSG added” can sneak the substance in disguised as any of the ingredients above.

8. Sodium: Listed as salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking soda.
    Found in: meat, eggs and dairy products. Also found in processed foods like canned soups and frozen dinners.
    What’s the big deal? Your sodium count should not exceed 2400 milligrams a day, but some studies how Americans average intake is 3300 mgs a day. Excess sodium can raise blood pressure, which puts extra strain on your heart.
    How to avoid it?  Use herbs and spices rather and salt to flavor your food. Go easy on the salt shaker.

9. Omega-6: Listed as: Linoleic acid; sunflower, sesame, corn and soybean oils.
    Found in: frozen and processed foods
    What’s the big deal? Ideally, you should eat three omega-6 fatty acids for every omega-3 fatty acid you eat. But the ratio in most Western diets is between 10:1 and 20:1. Excess intake of omega-6 can raise blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease.
    How to avoid it? Eat fewer processed foods. Eat Omega 3 rich foods like walnuts, fish.

10. Trans Fat: Listed as: partially hydrogenated oil.
    Found in: commercial baked goods like crackers and cookies; shortening and margarine.
    What’s the big deal? Trans fats temporarily raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol.
    How to avoid it? Even foods that claim 0 grams of trans fat on the label can contain it because food manufacturers don’t have to list amounts under 0.5 rams. But eating more than one serving of a food can easily double or triple that half a gram. Read the label to be sure there are not partially hydrogenated oils hiding in the ingredient list.

Author, Sandy Tuin, is a mom, grandma of four, Norwex Consultant and Manager, and gifted in all areas of home arts.  You may contact Sandy at sandy4health@tds.net

Follow-Up - I have received some additional good information since this article was posted:

Dear Marilyn:

If you're not aware of it, check out www.feingold.org. My children are on it and have been for about 6 weeks. Their behavior alone is worth doing things a little different. It is hard to get them away from the junk they were used to (and to get family members to cooperate) but their behavior has improved, so I'm sticking with it!
Thank you,  Heather

Dear Marilyn:

FYI: "natural flavor" is often something akin to msg.
This is a way for manufacturers to get away w/not listing such offensive ingredients. "spices" and anything hydrolyzed or autolyzed are the same thing.
check it out: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/nomsg.html  
Zoe

Ranch Alternative Dressing:

Marilyn.
 
For Ranch Dressing I mix up:

6 Tbsp salt
1 2/3 TBSP pepper
2 1/2 TBSP garlic, granulated
6 TBSP onion powder
6 TBSP parsley
3/4 tsp paprika
2 1/2 TBSP sugar (optional)
 
When I want to make the dressing I add 2 TBSP of the mix to 1 1/2 cups mayo and 2 cups cultured buttermilk.  If I want ranch dip I add 2 TBSP to 1 1/2 cups sour cream.  It is the best dressing you have ever tried.  Even people who don't like normally like Ranch dressing like it.  I got the recipe from a cookbook called No-Guesswork Cooking by Kim Cahill - published by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, Inc.  I sometimes double or triple the recipe for added convenience.  Hope this helps.   Megan Volmer


Urban Homemaker

Fall Recipes

Apple, pumpkin, beef burgundy Thanksgiving and other Fall Favorites!

Acres of Apples- Frugal to the Core

Acres of Apples, Frugal to the Core
By Jill Cooper

Jill Cooper is co-author of Planning for Leftovers, Quick Dinners, and Pretty for Pennies - Homemade Bath & Beauty

I've always dreamed of having an apple tree in my back yard. You know the old saying, "be careful what you wish for?" Now that I actually have my own apple tree, I stand in my yard watching the apples piling up around me thinking, "Oh no -- What do I do with this mess now?" If I could make gasoline out of apples, I could retire, but since that is not an option and my frugal mind will not allow me to waste one apple, I have had to come up with some yummier "apple disposal" methods. If you find that you have a few dozen more apples than you know what to do with, these recipes from LivingOnADime.com will help settle your frugal dilemma.


Apple Butter

9 to 10 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. salt


Place everything into a crockpot. Stir, cover and cook on high 1 hour. Cook on low for 9?11 hours or until thick and dark brown. Stir occasionally. Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. Stir with whisk until smooth. Refrigerate or Freeze. Makes 2 pints.

Apple Pie Filling

9 cups baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
5 cups water
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg


Toss apples with lemon juice and set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in Dutch oven and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples and return to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender (6-10 minutes). Cool for 30 minutes. Then ladle into freezer containers or bake immediately. Makes two 9-inch pies.


Fried Apples

4 large apples, cored and sliced
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon


Cut apples into 1/4 inch slices. Heat butter in a large skillet. Put the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the skillet and cover. Over medium-low heat, cook apple slices 7-10 minutes or until they begin to soften and the syrup thickens. Serve coated with excess syrup on top. Serves 4.

Baked Apples

apples, cored
raisins (optional)
1 tsp. margarine
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 Tbsp. honey or brown sugar
(These amounts are per apple.)


For each person use 1 apple. Fill the center of the apple with all the ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees until tender or put in a Dutch oven on top of stove and simmer on very low until tender.

Apple Snack

2 qts. apples, peeled, cored and halved

Coarsely grate apples. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 225 degrees until dry. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Apple Crisp

6 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon and/or nutmeg
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange apples in well-greased baking dish. Blend all remaining ingredients except water. Spread evenly over top of apples. Pour water over the topping. Bake 45 minutes until apples are tender and top is crisp. Serves 6.

Peach Crisp
Use peaches in place of apples.

Other Uses:


~When you have a partially eaten apple, save the good part and chop into pieces. Place in a microwave?safe dish. Blend together 1 tsp. each brown sugar, flour, oatmeal and margarine and a dash of cinnamon. Top the apple with the topping and microwave until tender.
~Core and slice apples very thin. Dehydrate and use in granolas, eat alone or soften in warm water to use in recipes.
~Slice and use in Pancakes or waffles.
~Freeze. Peel, slice and core and then store in 2 cups portions in freezer bags.
~Use soft apples in cooking.
~Cut into small pieces and add to salads with a fruit based dressing.

An Apple a Day by Marilyn Moll

Apples are now in season!  Remember the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Apples are high in vitamins, minerals, and of course fiber, and naturally low in fat and calories.  Other health benefits associated with apples include relieving constipation and benefiting the heart.

With so many different varieties of apples available at  excellent prices, especially when bought in bulk, at this time of year and with so many different recipes using apples, I thought we would focus on creative and delicious ways to cook and bake with apples, even gift making! Dried apple slices can be used for wreath making, and applesauce can be used for scented homemade Christmas ornaments.          

Apples are great for much more than a great snack or apple pie.    Apples make fantastic fruit leather, spicy apple sauce, steaming sweet and succulent baked apples,  succulent fried apples,   salads, breads, smoothies, butters, pies, cakes, what have I missed?

Involving your children in what you are doing in the kitchen is such a great learning experience and opportunity for them.  Be patient with your “little helpers” and  take advantage of these rich teachable moments and memory-making opportunities.  Allow some extra time to get the jobs accomplished and you will have some very happy children who are acquiring new skills and enjoying the confidence of a task well-down.

When my son was only four years old, he could stand on a stool and crank the apple peeler  for hours as we peeled a bushel of apples for the dehydrating trays.  When he had just turned fourteen and we had just moved to a new home, he insisted that our apple sauce making tradition must carry on despite all the incomplete unpacking and other chores associated with moving.

Stephen was a huge help to me, a real labor saver for a weary momma who had not only just moved but lost her oldest daughter (right arm) to college attendance!  I surely never regretted the few hours set aside to fill the jars with homemade applesauce.  Now that he is in college, my sister says he is “spoiled” because he doesn’t really care for watery tasteless applesauce.  I say we are all blessed to appreciate real food from my own kitchen.

Truthfully, I have never regretted the time spent canning, drying, baking, and freezing seasonal produce or other homemade goodies, nor has anyone in my family scolded me for lovingly preparing food from basic ingredients.  Homemade is always  better tasting, better quality, more cost effective, and much more enjoyable than any commercial equivalents.

One year, I discovered a handy gadget that peels the apples efficiently and effectively in seconds called an Apple -Potato Master by Back to Basics.  This handy gadget, has a fork device to hold the apple in place and then as you  or an eager child crank the handle, the peel is cut  in a spiral pattern while the core is removed.  Voila, peeled, sliced apple in seconds, and it is so easy to use your four year old can actually help do this!


Applesauce Muffins

1 egg, beaten
1/4 Cup oil
1 C applesauce
1/2 Cup honey
1-3/4 C. whole grain pastry flour
1/2 tsp. soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 C. raisins (optional)

Mix egg, oil, honey and applesauce in a small bowl and set aside. Assemble the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir to evenly distribute spices and leavening into the flour.

Combine liquid ingredients into dry ingredients with a wire whisk gently. Carefully fold in nuts and raisins if desired and avoid over-mixing the ingredients. Fill oiled or lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Applesauce Cake with Crumb Topping
This moist quick, and easy cake can be made for special occasions or even snacking cake!

1/2 Cup oil or melted butter
1 egg
3/4 cup honey or 1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup applesauce (Can substitute 1 cup pureed apricots (drained) I use homemade sauce
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins (optional)


Combine all ingredients (except crumb topping) in a medium mixing bowl or in a mixer set on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.  Pour into a lightly greased 9 X 9 pan or 9 X 13 inch pan. Sprinkle crumb topping over the cake batter.   Bake at 350° F for 25-35 minutes or until cake springs back when touched in center or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly.

Crumb Topping
6 TB sugar
3 TB butter
3 TB flour
3 tsp cinnamon

Combine these ingredients well in a small bowl before sprinkling over the cake batter.
 
APPLE  AND FRUIT SALAD with CREAMY YOGURT DRESSING
This easy recipe is perfect when pears and apples come into season.  Don’t worry if you have all the fruits, just use what you have available.

3 bananas
2 fresh apples peeled/chopped
2 fresh pears, cored and chopped
1/2 cup seedless golden raisins
1/2 cup broken pecan pieces

Dressing:
Mix together:

 1/2 cup yogurt
 2 TB honey, warmed
 1/2 tsp cinnamon,
dash salt.


Add fruit, raisins, and pecans to dressing mixture.  Chill thoroughly before serving.  For more color - leave skins on apples and pears.


Apple Smoothie
“ A fantastic, quick way to pack maximum nutritional value in a shake to satisfy hunger, and meet energy needs throughout the morning.  An ultimate convenience whole food”


1 ripe frozen banana, broken in pieces
1 Cup coconut milk, or kefir, or plain yogurt

1 Cup orange juice
small handful of pecans, if desired
1 small  apple, cored, and peeled
1-2 TB honey or maple syrup, optional - taste first before adding sweetener
2-3 cubes ice, optional - for thicker smoothi
e

Using chilled ingredients, blend ingredients in a blender until smooth. 

Apple Butter

9 to 10 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. salt



Place everything into a crockpot. Stir, cover and cook on high 1 hour. Cook on low for 9 to 12 hours or until thick and dark brown. Stir occasionally. Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. Stir with whisk until smooth. Refrigerate or Freeze. Makes 2 pints.

Baked Apples

apples, cored
raisins (optional)
1 tsp.butter

dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 Tbsp. honey or brown sugar
(These amounts are per apple.)

For each person use 1 apple. Fill the center of the apple with all the ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees until tender or put in a Dutch oven on top of stove and simmer on very low heat until tender, about an hour.  Or do this the old-fashioned Girl Scout way and bake wrapped in foil outside over coals. 

Apple Crisp
We always have a hot-out-of-the oven apple crisp as soon as apples come in.  The smell alone will transform your home!

6 tart apples, peeled and sliced  (Hand cranked Apple peelers save so much time!)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange apples in well-greased, 9 X 9 square baking dish or glass pie pan. Blend all remaining ingredients except water.Crumble evenly over top of apples. Pour water over the topping. Bake 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and top is crisp. Serves 6.

For many more apple recipes consult, Simply in Season Recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods in the spirit of More-with-Less by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.

Apple Bread

Apple Bread

Ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups Sucanat, or packed brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups diced apple (without skins)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon flour

Mix flour, cinnamon, soda, salt, and baking powder together. Beat eggs and add Sucanat or brown sugar and oil. Add vanilla and dry ingredients. Stir in apples. Mix walnuts in a teaspoon of flour and add to batter. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Makes: 2 loaves

Reprint Permission Granted with the following information:

Copyright The Urban Homemaker 2004, "old fashioned skills for contemporary people".

Free 64-page catalogs are available by request at http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/catalog

Apple Coffee Cake, Apple Turnovers, Apple Smoothie

APPLE RECIPES

But who can just put apples aside without making some special apple cobbler, coffee cake or turnovers? Check out the recipes for these special treats in this special APPLES edition of our newsletter.
=================================================================

APPLE COFFEE CAKE
from Sue Gregg's BREAKFASTS AND ALLERGY ALTERNATIVES COOKBOOK used by permission.
==================================================================
This is a whole grain recipe using the blender batter method, no grain mill is required.

1. Preheat oven. Grease or spray baking pan, 11.5 X 8 preferred or 9 X 13 Baking Pan

2. Cook apples with water over medium heat until tender; drain, and coat evenly with cinnamon; set aside:
2 Cups apples, peeled thin slices cut in half
1/4 Cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon (add after apples are cooked)

3. Place in blender; blend on high speed 4-5 minutes until smooth:

1 Cup buttermilk or non-dairy alternative
2 eggs (or alternative
3/4 cup honey (warm slightly if not easily pourable)
1 1/3 Cup whole wheat pastry whole grain or 1 1/2 Cups kamut or spelt whole grain

4. Meanwhile, for topping, blend together in order given with a fork; set aside:
4 TB butter (unsalted preferred)
4 TB Sucanat or crysatlline fructose
1 Cup uncooked rolled oats or 1/2 Cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup shopped walnuts

5. Mix into blender batter thoroughly, but breifly, using blender and or rubber spatula, as needed:

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Spread apple slices evenly over the top and press into batter slightloy with a fork. Add topping.

7. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 -40 minutes or until knife or toothpick comes clean out of center of cake. Serve cake hot.

APPLE TURNOVERS

This is my daughters favorite apple dessert and she always treats us to these top notch turnovers!

8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup butter
1 egg separated
3 TB cold water divided
2 Cups flour
7 Cups of apples
3/4 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Mix together cream cheese and butter. Refrigerate egg white, mix in the egg yolk and 2 TB of water to the cheese and butter mixture.
2. Gradually add the flour.
3. Refrigerate the dough for one hour.
4. While the dough is chilling, prepare the apples by tossing the apples with sugar and cinnamon in a heavy skillet. Bring to a bowl and reduce heat, cover and simmer 8-20 minutes. Remove from heat to cool.
5. Turn pastry dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll the dough to 1/8 in thickness.
6. Cut into squares. Fill with fruit mixture. About 1/2 cup cooked fruit mixture per square.
7. Fold pastry over and seal the edges with a fork.
8. Whisk together 1 TB water and egg white, and brush over the pastry.
9. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 -22 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

FROSTY APPLE SHAKE

Smoothies are a great way to have a nutritious and refreshing drink. They are easy to make, just use whatever ingredients are on hand and be creative.

Blend in blender until smooth:

1 Cup nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt
1 medium, tart apple, unpeeled, such as Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (opt)
1/16 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 ice cubes

Variations:

Add one or more of any of the following ingredients per serving for variety and added nutrition:

1-2 TB peanut butter
1 TB wheat germ
1 TB wheat bran
1 TB oat bran
1 TB Flax Seeds
1 TB Sunflower Seeds
1 TB almonds
1 TB sesame seeds

APPLE RECIPES FOR SALAD, MUFFINS, AND QUICK BREADS

APPLE COFFEE CAKE
"Reprinted from Sue Gregg's BREAKFASTS COOKBOOK by permission"

This is a whole grain recipe using the blender batter method, no grain mill is required.

1. Preheat oven. Grease or spray baking pan, 11.5 X 8 preferred or 9 X 13 Baking Pan

2. Cook apples with water over medium heat until tender; drain, and coat evenly with cinnamon; set aside:
2 Cups apples, peeled thin slices cut in half
1/4 Cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon (add after apples are cooked)

3. Place in blender; blend on high speed 4-5 minutes until smooth:

1 Cup buttermilk or non-dairy alternative
2 eggs (or alternative
3/4 cup honey (warm slightly if not easily pourable)
1 1/3 Cup whole wheat pastry whole grain or 1 1/2 Cups kamut or spelt whole grain

4. Meanwhile, for topping, blend together in order given with a fork; set aside:

4 TB butter (unsalted preferred)
4 TB Sucanat or crysatlline fructose
1 Cup uncooked rolled oats or 1/2 Cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup shopped walnuts

5. Mix into blender batter thoroughly, but breifly, using blender and or rubber spatula, as needed:

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Spread apple slices evenly over the top and press into batter slightloy with a fork. Add topping.

7. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 -40 minutes or until knife or toothpick comes clean out of center of cake. Serve cake hot.

APPLE AND FRUIT SALAD with CREAMY YOGURT DRESSING
This easy recipe is perfect when pears and apples come into season. Don't worry if you have all the fruits, just use what you have available.

3 bananas
2 fresh apples peeled/chuncked
2 fresh pears, cored and chunked
1/2 cup seedless golden raisins
1/2 cup boken pecan pieces

Dressing, Mix together:

1/2 cup yogurt
2 TB honey, warmed
1/2 tsp cinnamon,

dash salt.

Add fruit, raisins, and pecans to dressing mixture. Chill thoroughly before serving. For more color - leave skins on apples and pears.

APPLE SMOOTHIE
" A fantastic, quick way to pack maximum nutritional value in a shake to satisfy hunger, and meet energy needs throughout the morning. An ultimate convenience whole food"

1 ripe frozen banana, broken in pieces
1 Cup coconut milk, or kefir, or plain yogurt
1 Cup orange juice
1 small apple, cored, and peeled
1-2 TB honey or maple syrup, optional - taste first before adding sweetener
2-3 cubes ice, optional - for thicker smoothie

Using chilled ingredients, blend ingredients in a blender until smooth.

APPLESAUCE MUFFINS

1 egg, beaten
1/4 Cup oil
1 C applesauce
1/2 Cup honey
1-3/4 C. whole grain pastry flour
1/2 tsp. soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 C. raisins (optional)

Mix egg, oil, honey and applesauce in a small bowl and set aside. Assemble the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir to evenly distribute spices and leavening into the flour.

Combine liquid ingredients into dry ingredients with a wire whisk gently. Carefully fold in nuts and raisins if desired and avoid over-mixing the ingredients. Fill oiled or lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Pumpkin Cider Bread (Makes 1 loaf)

2 cups fresh pressed apple cider or apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon mulling spices, optional
1 cup canned or fresh homemade pumpkin puree
2 large fresh eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Sucanat or light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest (optional)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350�F.

In a saucepan combine the apple cider, cinnamon stick, and mulling spices. Boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup and let it cool. If you don't have time to simmer the cider to concentrate the flavors just use 1/4 Cup apple cider.

In a bowl whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, brown sugar, orange zest, and the cool reduced cider. Into a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, mace, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Add the chopped walnuts, and stir the batter until it is just combined together. Transfer the batter to a well-buttered 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake the bread in the middle of your preheated 350�F. oven for 1 hour, or until your toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the bread pan.

The aroma of this bread alone wafting through your house makes this a family favorite recipe.

FOR INFORMATION ON CONVERTING RECIPES TO THE TWO STAGE PROCESS FOR WHOLE GRAINS GO TO THIS LINK.

Apples - Canning, Drying, Freezing Directions

CANNING AND PRESERVING - Apples

Whether you can, freeze, dry apples or all three, a quick review of the methods is in order. You will find that you will save hours of preparation time if you invest in any of the following equipment: The apple peeler , the Villa Ware Food Strainer, and the Nutri-Steamer by Back to Basics.

Don't forget to involve the children, take pictures, and build memories and traditions!!!

The Busy Person's Guide to Preserving Food

Easy Step-by-step Instructions for Freezing, Drying, and Canning By Janet Chadwick

REPRINTED BY PERMISSION FROM STOREY PUBLICATIONS

Apples store well in a root cellar and dry beautifully. Applesauce is a staple in most households, and homemade applesauce is far superior to commercial products. Homemade applesauce can be canned or frozen. Finally apples make great jams and jellies. The natural pectin in apples make them easy to handle in jams and jellies--they can even be combined with other low-pectin fruits to make a firmer jelly.

FREEZING APPLESAUCE

Fastest Method for Applesauce, Good Finished Product

1. Wash and quarter apples. Don't peel. Put in heavy-bottomed kettle with 2 inches of water. Cover and cook until soft, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2. Pass through a Hand Crank Food Mill or Food Strainer. Add sweetener to taste, if desired.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

 

3. Cool prepared applesauce and pack into rigid containers leaving 1/2 inch headspace for pints, 1 inch for quarts.

CANNING APPLESAUCE

Even though it takes time to make applesauce, it yields such a wonderful finished product that you may find it well worth your time. Figure that 21 pounds of apples will yield a canner load of 7 quarts of applesauce.

1. Wash and quarter apples. Don't peel. Put in heavy-bottomed kettle with 2 inches of water. Cover and cook until soft, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Begin preheating water in canner and tea kettle and preparing jars and lids.

2. Pass through a Hand Crank Food Mill or Food Strainer Add sweetener to taste, if desired. Reheat to boiling.

3. Pack hot applesauce in hot clean jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Process pints in water bath canner for 15 minutes, quarts for 20 minutes.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

DRYING APPLES- Great for snacks or pies.

1. Wash and core apples; peeling is optional. Cut in wedges, then in 1/4 inch slices; or cut in 1/4 inch crosswise rings. (ed. note: I prefer using the apple peeler to save oodles of time.)

2. Pre-treat if drying in the sun. Pretreating is optional with oven-drying and not necessary at all if you work quickly and slice directly onto dehydrator trays. To pretreat, dip slices in ascorbic acid or commercial fruit dip (page 85), then soak for 1 hour in diluted lemon juice (1/4 cup lemon juice to 4 cups water) or full-strength pineapple juice.

3. Dry in a dehydrator or in a conventional oven at 115 degrees F for 6-8 hours, stirring or turning the fruit once. After the first 6 hours, test for dryness every 2 hours, until there is not moisture in the center when a slice is bitten. Or dry in the sun for 2-3 days, until leathery and chewy, with no sign of crispness in the centers. Take trays inside at night.

4. Cool and package in airtight containers.

For information about dehydrators, Click Here.

MAKING APPLE FRUIT LEATHER

A favorite!

1. Core and cut up 4 medium-size apples, without peeling. Add 1/2 cup water, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Force through a sieve or use a blender and stir in 1/4 cup honey or to taste.

2. Line a drying tray with plastic wrap (or use the fruit leather sheet that came with your dehydrator). Spread the puree 1/8 inch thick on the trays.

3. Dry in a dehydrator at 120 degrees F for 6-8 hours, or until leather can be pulled easily from plastic. Invert, pull off plastic, and continue drying for another 4 to 6 hours. Dry in the oven at 120 degrees F for 6-8 hours or until leather can be pulled easily from plastic. Invert, pull off plastic, and continue drying for another 6-8 hours. Dry in the sun for 1 day, or until leather can be pulled easily from plastic. Invert, pull off plastic, and dry for 1 more day.

4. To store, roll up in waxed paper or plastic wrap, close and twist ends, and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

FREEZING APPLES WITH SUGAR SYRUP

Fast Method, Good finished Product

1. Prepare medium syrup and set aside. Wash, peel, core, and slice apples. Use an "old-fashioned" apple peeler to save oodles of time by virtually eliminating the tedious peeling/coring by hand process. You will really have fun with your children using the peeler. Pretreat apples with an antioxidant (use 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid per quart or commercial Fruit Fresh), if desired. (Medium syrup= 8 1/4 Cups Water or Fruit Juice and 3 3/4 Cups Sugar- heat water and sugar together, bring to a boil and pour over raw fruits in jars for raw packs. For hot packs, bring water and sugar to a boil, add fruit, reheat to boiling, and fill jars immediately.)

2. Pack slices in a rigid container and cover with syrup, alllowing 1/2 inch headspace for pints and 1 inch for quarts.

3. Seal and freeze.

Freezing Apple Slices with Sugar

1. Wash, peel, core, and slice apples. Use and old fashioned apple peeler to save hours of time. Pretreat with an antioxidant , if desired.

2. Sprinkle 1/4 Cup sugar over each quart of apples; toss to coat well. Allow to stand until juice is drawn out and sugar is dissolved. Pack slices in a rigid container and cover with the resulting syrup, allowing 1/2 inch headspace for pints and 1 inch for quarts.

3. Seal and freeze.

Quick Tip for Apple Pie Filling:
An easy way to freeze apples for pies is to prepare the pie filling as you would if you were baking right away. Freeze slices in a pie tin. When frozen, slip out of the pie tin, wrap in freeezer paper, and return to freezer. When you are ready to bake, slip the frozen apples into a prepared pie shell, and bake. Thawing first is not necesary.

For more information, call toll free at 1-800-552-7323 or email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com.

Reprint Permission Granted with the following information:

Copyright The Urban Homemaker 2004, "old fashioned skills for contemporary people".

Free 64-page catalogs are available by request at http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/catalog

Applesauce and Date Nut Quick Bread Recipes

DATE NUT LOAF

The Cheddar Cheese really pulls the flavor of the dates and nuts into a very pleasing taste.

3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 pound pitted and chopped dates
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1-3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar or Sucanat
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Pour boiling water over dates and oil or butter-let stand for 5 minutes or
until mixture is cool. Sift flour with salt, soda, and sugar
into a bowl. Stir in date mixture, beaten egg, cheese and walnuts. Sir
only until well blended.

Pour into a buttered loaf pan (9 x 5). Bake at 325 degree for 50 to 60
minutes. Turn out on a rack to cool. Wrap well in foil or plastic to
store. Makes one loaf.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

DATE NUT BUTTER

1/2 cup (or 1/4 lb) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar (I used a few drops of Stevia)
3 tablespoons pitted, chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Whirl all in food processor. Makes about 1 cup. Enjoy. (This butter is awesome!ed.)

OATMEAL APPLESAUCE LOAF

1 cup applesauce
2/3 cup brown sugar or Sucanat
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup olive oil
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Beat together brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Add applesauce. Sift
flour with baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into egg mixture.
Blend. Stir in olive oil, rolled oats, raisins and nuts.

Spoon batter into buttered loaf pan (9 x 5). Bake at 350 degrees for one
hour. Makes one loaf.

Contributed by Marilyn Cummelin, Picture by Marilyn Moll

BAKING WITH PUMPKIN

PUMPKIN PIE CAKE DESSERT
This is a very easy and delicious dessert for a crowd

1 – 29 oz can pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 large can Evaporated milk (Not sweetened condensed)
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup butter, melted


Combine the pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, eggs, and milk  and place in a 9 X 12 – inch baking dish.  Sprinkle one box dry yellow cake mix over the pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top of the pumpkin mixture and dribble the melted butter over the top.
Bake at 350°F  for 50-60 minutes.  Serve with real whipped cream.

PUMPKIN PIE CAKE DESSERT - Adjusted for NT by Maria Atwood author of Cook Your Way to Wellness DVD
This is the above delicious recipe adjusted to using healthier ingredients

1 – 29 oz can pumpkin (Use fresh baked pumpkin)
1 cup sugar (Use raw honey or rapadura)
1 tsp salt (Specify Real, Celtic or sea salt)
3 tsp cinnamon 
3 large eggs
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (The ingredients in this box would scare you and so maybe just use good whole sprouted pastry flour)
1 large can Evaporated milk (Not sweetened condensed) (Use real cream)
1 cup pecans, chopped (soaked with a little salt the night before to remove anti-nutrients)
1 cup butter, melted


Follow the above instructions for preparations.

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine
 

3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar or Sucanat
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups flour, whole grain pastry flour is best
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup zucchini , shredded (shredded carrot could be substituted)
1 cup walnuts or pecans,  chopped

 
In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar.  Add pumpkin, butter, and vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well.  Stir in zucchini and nuts.  Pour into two greased and floured 9-in x 5-in x 3-in loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until breads test done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack. 

Yield: 2 loaves.  

PUMPKIN APPLE STREUSEL MUFFINS
Makes 18 muffins

2 1/2 Cups whole grain pastry flour
1  Cup honey
1/2 Cup milk, buttermilk, or yogurt thinned
1 TB pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup oil
2 cups peeled and finely chopped apples
Streusel Topping* (recipe below)


Grease muffin cups well.  In a large bowl, whisk together honey, eggs, oil, pumpkin and milk.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine pumpkin pie spice, soda, salt, flour.  Stir dry ingredients into moist ingredients gently, being careful not to over mix.  Stir in apples gently.

Spoon the batter into muffin cups filling 3/4 full.  Sprinkle streusel Topping over batter.  Bake in preheated 350° oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Streusel Topping:  In small bowl, combine 2 TB flour, 1/4 Cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp. groudn cinnamon. Cut in 4 tsp. butter, until mixture is crumbly. 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins 
Incredibly rich and spicy, filled with chocolate chips and crunchy almonds,
these muffins are delicious with steaming cups of espresso.  Children also
love them with cold milk.   Make one or two days ahead for best flavor.

1/2 cup sliced unblanched almonds or pecans, chopped
1 2/3 cup  flour, whole grain pastry if possible
1 cup sugar or Sucanat
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup plain pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 F. 
Toast Almonds step is optional:
Put almonds on a baking sheet or pie pan and bake about
5 minutes, just until lightly browned; watch carefully so almonds don't
burn. (You can also toast them in a toaster oven).  Slide almonds off the
baking sheet so they cool quickly. 

Grease muffin cups or use foil or paper baking cups.

Thoroughly mix flour, sugar, pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
in a large bowl.

Break eggs into another bowl.  Add pumpkin and butter and whisk until well
blended.   Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour over dry ingredients and
fold in with a rubber spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Scoop batter evenly into muffin cups.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until puffed
and springy to the touch in the center.  Turn out onto a rack to cool.  Wrap
in a plastic bag and keep for 1-2 days.   Reheat before serving. 

JODI'S FAVORITE AUTUMN PUMPKIN PIE RECIPE
Prep Time: 5 minutes

1-3/4 C. mashed cooked pumpkin (canned pumpkin is OK)
1-1/3 C (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 Cup hot water


After blending, pour into a pastry-lined pie pan and bake for 50-55 minutes at 375� F. (Bake until an inserted knife comes out clean). Serving suggestion: Top with real whipped cream and chopped nuts! Fabulous and light!

PUMPKIN BREAD
This classic pumpkin bread recipe will make 3 large or 4 medium sized loaves, plenty for family and gifts.

4 1/2 C. sugar, white, brown, Sucanat, or combination
1 1/2 C. vegetable oil OR melted butter
6 eggs
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 TB salt
3 C. canned pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
4 1/2 C flour


Combine first eight ingredients and beat one minute. Stir together the flour, soda and baking powder, then add to wet mixture. Stir all ingredients until well-combined. Pour batter into loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake in 325° F oven for 50-60 minutes (regular sized loaf pans). Decrease baking time for muffins and mini-loaves. Test for doneness, cool five minutes in pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Wrap completely cooled product in plastic wrap or bread bags for storage.
Variation: Add 1-2 C. chopped nuts and,or raisins to batter before baking. #

BEEF BURGUNDY

Beef Burgundy Simplified

Each December, I like to prepare a favorite recipe called Beef Burgundy to serve to guests. I make a large batch, and store the rest in meal sized portions to pull out of the freezer in January or February for those nights when I don't know what else to cook. I know this recipe is a winner and will soon become part of your family's favorites. I have found the taste vastly improves if the stew is stored overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

2 T. oil
18 small white onions, peeled (or frozen)
3-5 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 T flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1-2 C. Burgundy or other dry red cooking wine

2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 Cup beef stock or canned beef bouillon)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 T. chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms
2 T. butter

Lightly brown the onions in the oil and remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Pat meat dry between paper towels and brown it on all sides in the same pot without crowding. You may have to do it in batches. Sprinkle browned meat with flour, salt, and pepper. Add wine, garlic, stock, tomatosauce and herbs. Over heat bring the mixture to a simmer and then cook it,m tightly covered for two or more hours or until the meat is fork tender. Add the onions after one hour.

Meanwhile, wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and trim off stem ends. Quarter mushrooms if large, leave small ones whole. Heat the butter and remaining % of oil in a large skillet and lightly saute the mushrooms for about 4 minutes and set aside.

When done, skim off any fat and add the mushrooms. Voila! Beef burgundy! After cooling, it can be refrigerated or frozen at this point. If the sauce is too thin, combine 2 TB flour with 1/2 Cup water and whisk the mixture into boiling beef burgundy. We like to serve this over steaming brown rice. But egg noodles are also fine.

For more information, please email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call us at 1-800-552-7323.

Beef Burgundy Simplified - Family Favorite

Beef Burgundy Simplified

Each December, I like to prepare a favorite recipe called Beef Burgundy to serve to guests. I make a large batch, and store the rest in meal sized portions to pull out of the freezer in January or February for those nights when I don't know what else to cook. I know this recipe is a winner and will soon become part of your family's favorites. I have found the taste vastly improves if the stew is stored overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

2 T. oil
18 small white onions, peeled (or frozen)
3-5 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 T flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1-2 C. Burgundy or other dry red cooking wine

2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 Cup beef stock or canned beef bouillon)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 T. chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms
2 T. butter

Lightly brown the onions in the oil and remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Pat meat dry between paper towels and brown it on all sides in the same pot without crowding. You may have to do it in batches. Sprinkle browned meat with flour, salt, and pepper. Add wine, garlic, stock, tomatosauce and herbs. Over heat bring the mixture to a simmer and then cook it,m tightly covered for two or more hours or until the meat is fork tender. Add the onions after one hour.

Meanwhile, wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and trim off stem ends. Quarter mushrooms if large, leave small ones whole. Heat the butter and remaining % of oil in a large skillet and lightly saute the mushrooms for about 4 minutes and set aside.

When done, skim off any fat and add the mushrooms. Voila! Beef burgundy! After cooling, it can be refrigerated or frozen at this point. If the sauce is too thin, combine 2 TB flour with 1/2 Cup water and whisk the mixture into boiling beef burgundy. We like to serve this over steaming brown rice. But egg noodles are also fine.

For more information, please email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call us at 1-800-552-7323.

Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup with Herbs

This simple, hearty and flavorful soup will remind you of the bounty of your summer garden. Its assortment of herbs and vegetables will warm you down to your toes. It has become a family favorite with or without the chicken added.

6 chicken thighs, skinned
2/3 cup barley
8 Cups chicken stock or water
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 small carrots, sliced
1 Cup chopped broccoli florets (optional)
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped or 2 Tablespoons tomato
powder (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
1 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon thyme
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley



Put all of the ingredients except the parsley into an 8 qt. stock pot or 5 liter or larger pressure cooker such as a Duromatic. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. In the Duromatic, bring ingredients to second red ring and pressure for 15 minutes; allow pressure to drop naturally. (Or simmer the soup conventionally for 1-1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.)

Remove the chicken thighs from the soup. When cooled slightly, remove the meat and cut into bite sized pieces. Return the meat to the soup. Simmer the soup an additional 10-15 minutes if desired. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add the parsley and serve.

 

Fall Centerpiece


Making a Fall Centerpiece is very easy and inexpensive.  Sandy has taken an inexpensive cloth napkin with Fall colors.
On top she has used two small silk pumpkins (real ones are fine) that she bought last year at 90% off at Hobby Lobby.
Combined with a few pieces of mini-Indian corn (her's is from the garden) and two or three picks in Fall colors.  This
basic plan could be changed seasonally for Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, etc with a little creativity.  Sandy says it
is quite easy and can be VERY economical if you plan ahead.  Give it a try!


 

Harvest Pear Crisp

HARVEST PEAR CRISP

Cinnamon-spiced pears bake under a crunchy streusel topping in this easy dessert. Assemble the dish ahead of time, or bake it earlier in the day and serve it at room temperature. Your house will smell wonderfully. Duane, who doesn't like pears, just loves this recipe!

6 cups Bartlett pears, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/3 cup whole grain flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar or SUCANAT
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup regular oats
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine pears and lemon juice in a 2-quart baking dish; toss gently to coat. Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; stir with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pear mixture; toss well to coat.

Measure flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in a small bowl or food processor, mix until combined. Add chilled butter; pulse the food processor or mix with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add oats and walnuts; Mix again.. Sprinkle flour/nut mixture evenly over pear mixture.

Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown. Cool 20 minutes on a wire rack; serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 8 servings

Potato Pancakes

2 C. peeled and grated potatoes
2 TB flour
2 TB mayonnaise
1 TB grated onion
1 egg
1/4 C. cream or condensed milk
1/4 C. grated cheddar cheese

Grate potato onto paper towel and swueeze to remove moisture. Combine with other ingredients.

Optional toppings:

Sour cream & chives
Tomato sauce and cheese
Sloppy Joe Mix
Applesauce

PREPARING AND BAKING WITH PUMPKIN

PUMPKIN RECIPES -
BY SHAUNA MEILNER

{ED. NOTE} Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A and fiber! My good friend Shauna is an avid gardner and fabulous cook. She put together her favorite pumpkin recipes and pumpkin cooking information for her garden club and we are the beneficiaries. I can assure you Shauna's Favorite Pumpkin Pie recipe is a winner, it is quite light and delicious!

See Pumpkin Cooking Methods below*

SHAUNA'S FAVORITE AUTUMN PUMPKIN PIE RECIPE

Prep Time: 5 minutes

1-3/4 C. mashed cooked pumpkin (canned pumpkin is ok)
1-1/3 C (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 Cup hot water

After blending, pour into a pastry-lined pie pan and bake for 50-55 minutes at 375 F. (Bake until an inserted knife comes out clean). Serving suggestion: Top with real whipped cream and chopped nuts! Fabulous and light!

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN CAKE

2 C whole wheat pastry flour or sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 Cup sugar or Sucanat
3/4 C. butter, softened
4 egg yokes
1 Cup cooked pumpkin, mashed
4 oz melted chocolate
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. chopped nuts
1/2 C. raisins
4 egg whites

Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. Blend sugar and butter. Add egg yoks and beat until light. Blend in pumpkin and chocolate. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, and blend after each addition. Stir in raisins, and nuts. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture. Bake in a 10" greased tube pan at 350 F for 65-70 minutes. Note: spaghetti squash can also be used.

PUMPKIN BARS

4 eggs
3/4 C. sugar or Sucanat
3/4 c. oil
2 C. cooked pumpkin
2 C. flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt; add to pumpkin mixture and stir well.
Spread batter in ungreased 15 X 10 X 1" baking pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

*PUMPKIN COOKING METHODS- TO PREPARE PUMPKIN FOR USE IN RECIPES
Pumpkin can be frozen in 1-2 cup portions in the freezer for fall and winter pies and muffins.

Oven Method:
Cut pumpkin in half or serving size pieces after removing seeds and pulp. Place cut-side down in a shallow baking dish. Add small amount of water (about 1/4"). Bake at 400'F for 30-40 minutes until almost tender. Turn pieces and continue to bake until tender, 20-25 more minutes.

Microwave method:
Cut pumpkin in half; remove seeds and loose pulp. Cut into pieces and place in microwave-safe dish. Cover loosely with heavy-duty plastic wrap or glass casserole dish cover. Microwave of high 5- 10 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Cool and peel off rind. Pack into measuring cup. Can be frozen in serving -size containers, which makes whipping up a homemade pumpkin pie or batch of muffins during the fall and winter months as easy as pie!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

PUMPKIN BREAD
This classic pumpkin bread recipe will make 3 large or 4 medium sized loaves, plenty for family and gifts

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

4 1/2 C. sugar, white, brown, Sucanat, or combination
1 1/2 C. vegetable oil
6 eggs
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 TB salt
3 C. canned pumpkin
1 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
4 1/2 C flour

Combine first eight ingredients and beat one minute. Stir together the flour, soda and baking powder, then add to wet mixture. Stir all ingredients until well-combined. Pour batter into loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake in 325° F oven for 50-60 minutes (regular sized loaf pans). Decrease baking time for muffins and mini-loaves. Test for doneness, cool five minutes in pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Wrap completely cooled product in plastic wrap or bread bags for storage.

Variation: Add 1-2 C. chopped nuts and,or raisins to batter before baking.

SLUMGULLION STEW

SLUMGULLION STEW
(recipe courtesy of Lake City, Colorado)

1 1/2 # Beef Stew Meat, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
3-5 medium carrots, sliced
3 red potatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 can black eyed peas(optional)
1 can tomatoes, chopped
4-6 cups water
1 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat over high heat with 1-2 TB olive oil in a dutch oven. Saute onion with meat. Add carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and water and simmer for at least 1-2 hours or until the vegetables are tender. Add seasonings to taste. You can add leftover veggies such as cabbage, corn, green beans, etc.

Thicken the broth with flour. Add 1/2 cup macaroni in last 1/2 hour cooking, if desired. Adjust seasonings if needed. If you are using stove top, be careful to not overcook. If you are preparing this dish in a dutch oven over coals, be careful that the heat isn't too hot.

Enjoy!

 


Thanksgiving Dinner Stress Free Plans and Recipes

Here is our Traditional Family Thanksgiving Dinner Plans and Recipes. Here is the menu:

Our family celebrates a Traditional Thanksgiving each year using the following menu:

Turkey, Homemade Gravy*, Herbed Stuffing* Mashed Potatoes, Aunt Helen's Sweet Potatoes*, Green Beans Amandine, Cranberry Relish Jello Salad* Pumpkin Bread*, Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls*, Apple Pie*, Pecan Pie*, and coffee or tea.

The complete ebook with all recipes and planning information is available for a free download, now. Scroll down:

For more information contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323

THANKSGIVING RECIPES

Here is the Urban Homemaker Family's Traditional Thanksgiving Menu and recipes that we have been using for nearly twenty years. Recipes follow for the * Items.

Turkey, Homemade Gravy*, Herbed Stuffing*
Mashed Potatoes, Aunt Helen's Sweet Potatoes*,
Green Beans Amandine, Cranberry Relish Jello Salad*
Pumpkin Bread*,Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls*,
Apple Pie*, Pecan Pie*, coffee and tea.

AUNT HELEN'S SWEET POTATOES
The crispy, nutty topping will appeal to children of all ages.

1/4 Cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar or honey
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 lbs. fresh sweet potatoes cooked OR 4 lbs canned, drained sweet potatoes
(Note: Sweet potatoes are distinctly and vividly orange colored, extremely high in vitamin A and often mislabeled as Yams.)

To prepare sweet potatoes in their jackets, drop them into boiling water to cover and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. (I usually pressure cook the sweet potatoes in 10 minutes to save time and money.) Peel and mash the cooked sweet potatoes and mix with the other ingredients. Place in a shallow 11 X 7 baking dish, bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Then sprinkle the topping mixture over the sweet potatoes and bake another 15-20 minutes
Topping Mixture
2 Cups Crisp Rice cereal
1/2 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. brown sugar or Sucanat

CRANBERRY RELISH JELLO MOLD
I have served this jello mold at Thanksgiving and Christmas for nearly 30 years! This recipe can be prepared several days ahead.
Yields 8-10 servings

1. Assemble and prepare the following ingredients:

20 oz. can crushed pineapple unsweetened (drain, reserving the juice)
2 pkg (3 oz each) cherry, raspberry, or strawberry gelatin
1 Cup boiling water
1 Cup fresh, whole cranberries
1 - 11 oz can mandarin oranges
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 TB lemon juice

2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice.

3. Chill until gelatin begins to set-up about one hour. Meanwhile, coarsely chop cranberries in blender or food processor.

4. Stir in cranberries, oranges, pineapple, celery, and pecans to the thickened gelatin. Place this mixture in holiday jello mold or attractive glass serving bowl. Chill until firm.

HERBED STUFFING
Stuffing recipes are easy to make.

1. Cut bread into crouton-size cubes, about 20 slices of toasted white or whole wheat bread OR use one large bag of Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Mix (For homebaked whole wheat bread use 15 thin slices.) Place in a large bowl.

2 If you are using the Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix, omit this step.
IF you are using your own croutons, Combine in a separate small bowl and sprinkle over the bread:

2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 TB sage or poultry seasoning.

3. Crumble, brown, and drain the sausage. Add the sausage to the stuffing mix or bread cubes:

1/4 pound bulk turkey breakfast sausage,
1/4 pound bulk turkey Italian sausage
(Leftover sausage can be frozen for scrambled eggs, pizzas, etc.)

4. Saute the celery and onion in 1 TB of butter:

1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped onion

5. Next, add to the bread cubes/stuffing mixture:

4 TB fresh chopped parsley
1 peeled, cored, chopped Granny Smith or Jonathan apple
3/4 cup cranberries (for color/ optional)

6. Combine together:

1 stick melted butter
2 Cups canned chicken broth or reconstituted chicken broth powder

7. Drizzle all the liquid over the other ingredients and lightly toss until well mixed.

8. Stuff the bird loosely because stuffing expands during roasting, or place the mixture in a glass casserole dish and bake the stuffing separately until hot. It is very hard to ruin stuffing; use the ingredients you have and like, but don't forget the onion and celery. I can't wait to make this right now!

PERFECT HOMEMADE GRAVY

Ladies, don't spoil your feast by using store bought turkey gravy mix. Your guests will notice the difference and remember this delicious homemade gravy. My daughter was horrified when she was helping another family clean up the meal and all the turkey drippings had been discarded! Make lots of gravy, it is perfect for leftovers, and many turkey casserole variations.

The secret to homemade gravy is to make a delicious stock/base by simmering the giblets and neck in 2-3 cups of water while the turkey roasts, and saving ALL the drippings and browned crusty bits on the bottom of the roasting pan. Canned chicken broth or commercial gravy mix is a poor substitute, so resolve not to be tempted to compromise these steps.

Pour all the turkey drippings from the roasting pan into a large measuring cup (at least 2 Cup measure) and allow the grease to separate. While the drippings are separating, pour 2-3 cups of water into the roasting pan and bring it to a boil by placing the pan on two burners on your stove top. Using a wooden spoon, stir up these browned bits so they "dissolve" into the water. This step is essential to wonderful tasting, beautifully browned gravy and makes cleaning up a roasting pan a much easier task. Reserve 4-8TB (1/4- 1/2 Cup) of the turkey grease once it separates from the drippings.

After the roasting pan has simmered with water and turned a deep brown color, combine this liquid with turkey drippings (not the fat) and the broth from simmering turkey giblets so that you have 5-6 Cups of liquid. I use my 6-Cup blender as a measuring cup.

Then combine 1/4-1/2 Cup turkey fat (or butter) with 8-10 TB flour (whole wheat pastry preferred) until it gelatinizes, or thickens in a large sauce pan. Keep stirring over medium low heat for about one minute.

Now, VERY GRADUALLY, pour the liquid from the turkey giblets and the roasting pan into the fat/flour mixture while you stir it continuously so as to not have any lumps. Stir continuously until the entire mixture thickens. Adjust the liquid if needed so you have a nice pourable gravy. Add 2-3 tsp salt or to taste, OR use 1-2 TB of Sue's Kitchen Magic for a richer/deeper flavor and for a lower sodium gravy. Save leftover gravy leftovers for future meals, open face sandwiches, etc!

FANTASTIC WHOLE WHEAT ROLLS
These wonderful rolls will be a hit for everyday or special occasions. Halve the recipe for a smaller batch.

2 1/2 Cups warm water
1/2 Cup honey
1/2 Cup dry powdered milk (optional)
2 TB yeast
2 eggs
6-8 cups whole wheat flour*
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup oil
1/2 Cup vital gluten
2 TB dough enhancer (optional)
melted butter

Combine warm water, honey, powdered milk, and yeast in mixing bowl. Allow yeast to activate. Add the eggs and 3 Cups flour. Stir until thoroughly mixed; dough will resemble cake batter. Cover, let rest until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Add salt, oil, and enough of the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Be careful to not add too much flour. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes or until the gluten is developed or the dough is soft and pliable, not dry. Place the dough on a lightly greased surface. Grease the baking sheets. Pinch off small round portions of dough, and roll into an an 8-inch rope. Tie the "rope" in a single knot. Place the knots in rows on baking sheets, cover, and let rise until double. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter if desired, and remove to a cooling rack. Makes 2-3 dozen.

Multi-grain variation: Substitute 1 cup of 7-Grain Mix, cracked OR 1 Cup cracked wheat for one cup of the whole wheat flour.

* IF you do not have high quality fresh home milled whole wheat flour I would recommend that you use half bread flour or all-purpose flour in place of some of the whole wheat flour in order to avoid heavy, dense rolls.

AMERICAN APPLE PIE
This is the best Apple Pie Recipe I have ever found. Use tart apples such as Jonathan, Granny Smith, Gala, Macintosh or a combination of apples for fabulous flavor. The spices used in this apple pie version are the best. Serve with real whipped cream or French Vanilla ice cream.

1 Double Crust Pie Recipe (use your favorite pie crust recipe or check http://tinyurl.com/2uwal for for Never Fail Pie Crust)
8-9 Large tart cooking apples, pared, cored and sliced thin. (An Apple Peeler saves LOTS of time)
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
6 TB flour, whole wheat pastry flour is good
3/4 Cup sugar or Sucanat, more if desired
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg (key ingredient)
2 TB butter (not margarine)

Place prepared bottom crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Put sliced, cored, peeled apples into a large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle 1/4 Cup of the sugar mixture on the bottom pie crust and add the rest of the sugar mixture to the apples and stir to coat the apples. Fill the pie crust heaping full with the apple mixture. Dot with the butter.

Place the top crust over the filling. Press edges together and flute. Bake about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden browned. Serve with favorite topping. Makes one pie.

PECAN PIE
A simple, easy and delicious classic!

PREHEAT OVEN TO 450

Line a 9" pie pan with single crust of pie dough (Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2uwal), fork it all over very thoroughly to allow steam to escape and bake it only partially, from 5 to 7 minutes. Allow it to cool. Reduce oven heat to 375.
Combine and beat thoroughly:

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
Stir In:
1 cup pecan halves
1 tsp. vanilla

Fill the shell. Bake the pie 40 to 50 minutes at 375 or until a knife inserted in the filling comes out clean. I have found that when the pie looks browned it is done. Serve warm or cold.

PUMPKIN BREAD
This classic pumpkin bread recipe will make 3 to 4 medium sized loaves, or lots of muffins, plenty for family and gifts.

4 1/2 C. sugar, white, brown, Sucanat, or combination
1 1/2 C. vegetable oil
6 eggs
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 TB salt
3 C. canned pumpkin
1 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking po
wder
4 1/2 C flour

Combine first eight ingredients and beat one minute. Stir together the flour, soda and baking powder, then add to wet mixture. Stir all ingredients until well-combined without overmixing. Pour batter into greased loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake in 325 F oven for 50-60 minutes (regular sized loaf pans). Decrease baking time for muffins and mini-loaves. Test for doneness, cool five minutes in pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Wrap completely cooled product in plastic wrap or bread bags for storage. Variation: Add 1-2 C. chopped nuts and,or raisins to batter before baking.

TURKEY LEFTOVER RECIPES

With all those delicious turkey leftovers, here are a few recipes we look forward to each year after Thanksgiving!!! This is absolutely the best part of Thanksgiving.

TURKEY CHOWDER

My friend, Debi Nancarrow, shared this recipe with me in 1985 that had become not only a family favorite of theirs but also part of their "Twelfth Night Party" Celebration tradition. The recipe has been published in a coffee table book celebrating Colorado Christmas traditions and it is probably in other books as well. I guarantee this recipe is a winner for those leftover bits of turkey.
If you make homemade turkey stock from the leftover bones the flavor skyrockets to a perfect "10"! Even if you can't try this recipe out this year, be sure to save the recipe for future use. I usually double the amounts to have some soup for the freezer. If you let the soup sit a day, the flavor improves with age. We've eaten this in bread bowls that I've made. Fabulous!

2 C. sliced carrots
3 C. water, turkey broth or canned chicken broth
1 large floret of broccoli OR 1-10 oz box of broccoli
1 C. onion, chopped finely
1/2 C. celery, sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. ground oat flour (blend rolled oats in the blender to make flour)
2 C. milk or allergy alternative soy product
6 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
1-1/2 C. diced turkey

Combine carrots, broth, onions, celery, broccoli, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Bring to rolling boil again, and gradually stir in the oat flour, stirring constantly.
Let simmer another 10 minutes until lumps disappear. Reduce heat. Add milk, turkey. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese. Serves 4-6.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI

Serves: 6-8 servings (2-1/2 qt casserole)

3 cups diced turkey pieces
10 oz whole grain pasta of choice or use spaghetti
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or 6 TB unbleached white flour
1-3/4 cups hot milk, low fat if desired
1 cup Turkey or Chicken broth (homemade is tastiest)
1/4 cup cooking sherry or white grape juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Cup fresh mushroom slices, sauteed in oil or butter OR 4 oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions until just barely tender or use leftover spaghetti or other pasta. Rinse, and drain.
2. Make the sauce by blending flour into melted butter and cook and stir over medium heat about 1 minute; remove from heat. Blend in milk and chicken broth. Return to heat; cook and stir until thickened.
3. Blend in sherry, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mushrooms. Combine pasta, turkey, and sauce and place in casserole dish. Top with Parmesan Cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Make two casseroles, one for the freezer and one to serve.

GOURMET TURKEY SANDWICH

Sourdough bread, French bread or whole grain equivalent
Jellied cranberry sauce
Cream cheese
Leftover turkey meat (white meat, preferably)

Spread cranberry sauce and cream cheese on opposite
sides of bread, and then simply layer on some cold left-
over turkey meat.


Holiday Recipes

Here are a few of the Moll familys favorite traditional holiday recipes that we serve every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Perhaps a new recipe will complete a holiday feast of your dreams!

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

 

My family loves this casserole because it is delicious! I love it because it can be assembled several days ahead, or wrapped and frozen up to 2 weeks ahead. Thaw before baking.

4 large eggs
2 pounds 1% cottage cheese
6 TB flour
1 20 oz bag frozen broccoli cuts or equivalent fresh broccoli
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 2 1/2 quart baking dish with non-stick spray or oil/lecithin mixture. Beat eggs in a large bowl until blended. Stir in cottage cheese and flour until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients until evenly distributed. Spread in baking dish and bake 1 hour or until set, and edges are golden brown. Makes twelve servings.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Ok, not the healthiest stuffing, but you can use whatever ingredients you have and still get a great stuffing.

1. For a 15-20 pound bird, cut into crouton-size cubes, 20 slices of toasted white or whole wheat bread. (For homebaked whole wheat use 15 thin slices.) Place in a large bowl.

2. Combine in a separate small bowl and sprinkle over the bread:
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 TB sage or poultry seasoning

3. Crumble and brown in a skillet:
1/4 pound bulk turkey breakfast sausage (Save the rest in the freezer)
1/4 pound bulk turkey Italian sausage

4. Drain the sausage and add to the bread cubes along with:
1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped onion

5. Next, add to the bread cubes bowl mixture:
4 TB fresh chopped parsley
1 peeled cored, chopped Granny Smith or Jonathan apples
3/4 cup cranberries (for color)

6. Combine together:
1/4 cups melted butter
2 Cups canned chicken broth

7. Drizzle all the liquid over the other ingredients and lightyly toss until well mixed.

8. Stuff the bird loosely, because stuffing expands during roasting, or place the mixture in a glass casserole dish and bake the stuffing separately until hot. It is very hard to ruin stuffing; use the ingredients you have and like, but don't forget the onion and celery. In fact, can't wait to make this right now!

50 Great Christmas Decorating Ideas on the Tightest Budget!"

Merry Christmas!

As our way of saying Merry Christmas, we are please to offer a free ebook called 50 Christmas Decorating Ideas on a Budget which is a free download below.

This ebook is written by Kathy Wilson author of How To Decorate Like a Pro, for Pennies. Kathy has also written Quick Decorating Ideas Under $20,00: The Budget Decorator's Bible.

If you love Christmas holidays for decorating, and you celebrate Christmas on a budget, this is the ebook for you! You may download this free pdf book below.

Kathy says that decorating your home can be done even when your budget is tight with Creativity, Not Cash! She knows, she is a stay at home mom of eight raising the children on a single income, her husband's. That's right, she and her husband have EIGHT children, so when you say you don't have a lot to spend on decorating and homemaking, She know's what you are talking about. She has been there, and is there and is convinced that "Where there is a will there is a way!"

If you would like to know How to Decorate Like a Pro, for Pennies Click Here .

A Holiday Dinner for Friends or Family

This menu is for a more intimate gathering of friends and family. The crowd won't be large and it won't be a boisterous evening, but rather a quiet time of visiting and catching up. Play your favorite holiday music in the background and light pretty candles at the table. Don't make it too formal, but more of a comfortable atmosphere. By Brenda Hyde


Appetizer:Herbed Dipping Oil
Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 large clove garlic cut in thin lengthwise slices
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Crusty French or Italian Bread

Combine all ingredients in a jar and close lid. Shake well. When ready to serve, shake again and pour onto saucers. Sprinkle with coarsely grated Parmesan before serving. Use as a dip for crusty bread slices or torn pieces.


Savory Roast Beef
Ingredients:
4 pound sirloin tip roast
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Preheat oven to 350�. In small bowl, combine garlic, onion powder, pepper, basil, and thyme. Trim fat from meat. Rub herbs into surface of the roast. Place meat, fat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until meat thermometer registers 135� for rare, 155� for medium, or 165� for well done. Allow meat to stand 20 minutes before carving.


Rosemary Potatoes
Ingredients:
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
16 new potatoes

Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters depending on how large they are and place in an ovenproof casserole dish. Combine the other ingredient and pour over potatoes. Shake back and forth to coat all of the potatoes. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes until tender. Note: If you don't have fresh rosemary you may use 2 tsp. dried, crushed rosemary.


Green Bean Salad with Walnuts
Ingredients:
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds green beans
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Toast walnuts in a shallow pan at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until toasted; set aside. Combine oil, vinegar, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper; cover and chill. Cut green beans into thirds, and arrange in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 15 minutes or until green beans are crisp-tender. You can also microwave in a small amount of water for about the same length of time in a covered microwave safe dish. Immediately plunge green beans into cold water to stop cooking process; drain and pat dry. Combine walnuts, beans, onion, and cheese in a large bowl; toss well. Chill. Pour oil mixture over beans and walnuts 1 hour before serving and toss gently.


Brownie Carmel Walnut Pie
Ingredients:
1 9 inch unbaked pastry shell
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
20 caramels, unwrapped
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1 6 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle nuts into pie shell. In small saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels with 2/3 cup condensed milk. Spoon over walnuts. In bowl, combine egg, margarine and remaining milk; mix well. Stir in melted chips. Pour mixture over caramel layer. Bake 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool. Serve warm or chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.

Author, Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three who lives in the winter wonderland of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and editor of OldFashionedLiving.com. Reprinted by Permission from www.oldfashionedliving.com.

For more information, contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323. Sign up for our complimentary bimonthly newsletter here.

A Secret to a Relaxed Holiday Dinner

Can you imagine a relaxed Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without needing to actually cook your turkey on the big day? You'd be able to enjoy the festivities as much as your friends and family!
 
Believe it or not, it's possible to roast your turkey ahead of time and store the cooked meat in the freezer to reheat and serve on the big day. If this sounds a bit too much like eating leftovers, let me assure you that by following these simple freezing and reheating instructions, you'll have moist, delicious turkey -- and not one of your guests will suspect you didn't spend the entire holiday slaving away in the kitchen keeping watch over a hot oven.
 
Feel free to use your own favorite turkey recipe if you prefer, and then follow the freezing/reheating instructions at the end of this article (but I personally don't think you'll find a tastier turkey recipe!).
 
 
TO PREPARE TURKEY:
 
3 onions, quartered
6 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups white wine (or water)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon thyme
3 cups chicken broth, canned (reserve for freezing process)
 
In bottom of a deep roasting pan, place two quartered onions, four celery stalks, the carrots, bay leaves and white wine (or water). Remove turkey giblets, rinse bird inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Stuff turkey loosely with remaining quartered onion and celery stalks. Brush turkey with olive oil mixed with salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. Cover turkey loosely with a large sheet of foil coated lightly with olive oil, crimping foil on to edges of roasting pan. Cook according to chart below. During last 45 minutes, cut band of skin or string between legs and tail. Uncover and continue roasting until done. Baste, if desired.
 
 
Turkey Roasting Chart (loosely wrapped with foil):
 
12-16 pounds / 325 degrees F / 4 - 5 hours
16-20 pounds / 325 degrees F / 5 - 6 hours
20-24 pounds / 325 degrees F / 6 - 7 hours
 
Testing for doneness:
 
About 20 minutes before roasting time is completed, test bird. Flesh on thickest part of drumstick should feel soft when squeezed between fingers, drumstick should move up an down easily, and meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of leg should read 185 degrees F. (Or follow manufacturer's instructions.)
 
 
- FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS -
 
DRIPPINGS: Pour liquid and drippings from roasting pan into a bowl. Remove vegetables. Allow bowl of liquid to cool in refrigerator until fat congeals on top. Scoop off fat with a spoon and pour drippings into a labeled freezer bag. Thaw to use for making gravy on serving day.
 
TURKEY: Allow turkey to cool in pan for 1/2 hour; then place turkey and its roasting pan into refrigerator. Allow to cool completely (several hours). When fully chilled, slice turkey as usual. Remove all meat from bones. Place breast and dark meat slices into labeled freezer bags. Pour canned chicken broth into bags over meat. Freeze.
 
TO SERVE: Thaw bag of meat and broth, and place into a covered baking dish for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Or place turkey and broth into a microwave-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap, and heat until hot (the time will vary with different microwaves, so check manufacturer's instructions). Drain off broth (reserve to make more gravy, if needed). Arrange the heated turkey slices attractively on a serving platter. Serve hot.
 
**Excerpted and adapted from the 10-Day Holiday Meal Plan in the popular book, Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month (SourceBooks).

Copyright Deborah Taylor-Hough
Used with permission.  All rights reserved.
http://thesimplemom.wordpress.com/
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
--Deborah Taylor-Hough (mother of three) is the author of several popular books including Frugal Living For Dummies(r); Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month; and A Simple Choice: A Practical Guide for Saving Your Time, Money & Sanity. For more tips and ideas on cooking, parenting, saving money, and homemaking, visit Debi online and subscribe to one of her free email newsletters at:  http://thesimplemom.wordpress.com/

ALL AMERICAN APPLE PIE

This is the best Apple Pie Recipe I have ever found. Use tart apples such as Jonathan, Granny Smith, Gala, Macintosh or a combination of apples for fabulous flavor. The spices used in this apple pie version are the best. Serve with real whipped cream or French Vanilla ice cream.

 

1 Double Crust Pie Recipe (use your favorite pie crust recipe)
8-9 Large tart cooking apples, pared, cored and sliced thin. (An Apple Peeler saves LOTS of time)
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
6 TB flour, whole wheat pastry flour is good
3/4 Cup sugar or Sucanat, more if desired
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg (key ingredient)
2 TB butter (not margarine)

Place prepared bottom crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Put sliced, cored, peeled apples into a large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice. Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle 1/4 Cup of the sugar mixture on the bottom pie crust and add the rest of the sugar mixture to the apples and stir to coat the apples. Fill the pie crust heaping full with the apple mixture. Dot with the butter.

Place the top crust over the filling. Press edges together and flute. Bake about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden browned. Serve with favorite topping. Makes one pie.

AUNT HELEN'S SWEET POTATOES

The crispy, nutty topping will appeal to children of all ages.

1/4 Cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar or honey
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 lbs. fresh sweet potatoes cooked OR 4 lbs canned, drained sweet potatoes
(Note: Sweet potatoes are distinctly and vividly orange colored, extremely high in vitamin A and often mislabeled as Yams.)

To prepare sweet potatoes in their jackets, drop them into boiling water to cover and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. (I usually pressure cook the sweet potatoes in 10 minutes to save time and money.) Peel and mash the cooked sweet potatoes and mix with the other ingredients. Place in a shallow 11 X 7 baking dish, bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Then sprinkle the topping mixture over the sweet potatoes and bake another 15-20 minutes
Topping Mixture
2 Cups Crisp Rice cereal
1/2 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. brown sugar or Sucanat

Christmas Breakfast Recipes

Our family enjoys the same Christmas breakfast each year, Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, Turkey sausage (recipe below)and Holiday Scramble. The trick to getting this accomplished is doing the preparations the day before. I have also included two recipes for make-ahead Christmas Breakfast casseroles that your family may enjoy, especially if you are serving extra guests. All the recipes are below.

Baked French Toast

1 loaf French Bread - slice 1 1/2-2 inches thick
Place bread slices in a 13X9 buttered pan close together.

6 large eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup milk, half/half or cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Mix together and pour over bread. Cover with foil and put in refrigerator overnight.

Topping:

1/4 cups soft butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts - optional
1 Tbsp light corn syrup

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over entire casserole dish. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until puffed and golden. Serve with maple syrup and butter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HOLIDAY SCRAMBLE
From
Breakfasts by Sue Gregg, p. 229, reprinted by permission
Make the usual scrambled eggs special with this simple recipe.

2-3 servings - double or triple as needed

4 large eggs, beaten until light
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 TB chopped onion, optional

2 TB pimiento, chopped

2. Scramble in: 1 TB butter

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Virginia's Egg Scramble 8-10 servings

From Breakfasts by Sue Gregg , p. 228

AMOUNT: 9 X 12 GLASS OR PYREX PAN
BAKE: 325� - 45 -65 Minutes

1. Prepare Cheese Sauce. Blend butter and flour; stir in remaining ingredients: cook and stir until thickened over medium heat:

2 TB melted unsalted butter
2 TB flour (whole wheat pastry preferred)
1 1/2 C. lowfat milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce

2. Stir in cheese to melt:

1 Cup firmly packed grated cheddar cheese

3. Prepare Toasted Bread Crumb Mixture. Mix together:
1 cup toasted whole grain bread crumbs
1 1/2 TB melted unsalted butter.

4. Grease or spray baking pan.

5. Prepare Scrambled eggs. Combine eggs, onion, and mushrooms; scramble in butter until lightly done:

12 extra large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped green onion
and or 2 oz. can diced jalapeno or green chiles
1 C. fresh mushrooms, diced
3 TB melted unsalted butter

6. Cover bottom of pan with cooked egg mixture. Spread Cheese Sauce over top; top with Toasted Bread Crumb Mixture.

Garnish with paprika and minced parsley. (optional)

7. Refrigerate until ready to bake. Bake at 325� for 45-60 minutes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TURKEY SAUSAGE
A great and tasty alternative to bacon and pork sausage, ground turkey contains 1/4 the fat of pork sausage and less than half the calories, and 1/5 the fat of bacon with less than 1/3 the calories. Many guests cannot believe they are eating turkey when they are served this recipe!

AMOUNT: 12 patties (serves 6)

1. Mix together thoroughly with a fork:

1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2. Shape into 12 small patties. Fry in ungreased skillet or bake at 350� for 10 to 15 minutes in a shallow pan until done. Do not overcook or patties will become tough. Oven baking produces juicier patties and is easier when feeding a crowd.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MARILYN'S FAMOUS PECAN CINNAMON BUNS

If you would like to have hot-out-of-the-oven rolls without getting up at 4:00 a.m., prepare the rolls a day ahead. Place the shaped rolls on the maple glaze and raise them overnight in the refrigerator (instead of a warm place), keeping them carefully covered with plastic wrap. In the morning, the dough should have doubled and be ready to bake. Voila! Fresh bread in minutes and you didn't even get up at 4:00 a.m. to do it! This recipe is extra delicious and healthy as it contains maple syrup for sweetening instead of sugar or honey. A fabulous gift to a new mom or new neighbors, or just for being friends.

2 cups warm water (120�F)
2TB
SAF Instant Yeast
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1/2 cup oil or butter
1/3 cup honey
3 large eggs
1 TB Salt
6-8 cups
freshly milled whole wheat flour
1/4 cup
Vital Gluten

Caramel Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 cup chopped or whole pecans

Cinnamon Roll Mixture:


1 cup Sucanat, (SUgar CAne NAtural) or brown sugar
1 TB + 1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine yeast, dry milk powder, vital gluten, and flour in a large mixer bowl. Add water, oil, and honey. Mix well for 1-2 minutes. Turn off mixer, cover the bowl and let dough sponge for 10-15 minutes. Add eggs and salt. Turn on the mixer; add additional flour, one cup at a time, until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. Knead for only 5 minutes and keep the dough very soft and manageable. (Stiff dough will will produce heavy, dry rolls.) If the dough becomes stiff while kneading, drizzle additional water as you knead.

To prepare sticky buns, melt butter and syrup and add the pecans. Divide this mixture evenly into the bottom of two - 9x13 baking pans. Divide the bread dough into two equal portions. Roll into a 20x28 inch rectangle. Spread 2 TB of melted butter over the rectangle of dough. Sprinkle with half the SUCANAT/cinnamon mixture. Roll up into a "jelly roll", seal the seam, and cut into 1-1 1/2 inch thick pieces with dental floss. This will yield 12-15 rolls.

Place the rolls into the prepared pans. Repeat this process with the remaining dough. Let the rolls raise in a warm area until doubled (approximately 30-60 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or till well-browned. Remove from the oven and let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out of the pan to cool onto a rack placed over a jelly roll pan (to catch the drippings and simplify cleanup). ENJOY! For more information please email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call toll free at 1-800-552-7323

Christmas Cookie Recipes Galore

Just click on the name of the cookie and  you will be taken to the recipe.   If the links aren't working, CLICK HERE for a list of every known Christmas Cookie Recipe and you will be then be linked to the recipe.  Warning:  Most of these recipes aren't healthy.  Have FUN!
 
1-2-3 Cookies 7 Layer Cookies Allie Nelson's Famous Snickerdoodle Cookies Almond Crescent Shortbread Amish Sugar Cookies Andies Candies Cookies Angel Crisps Angenets Applesauce Cookies Apricot Fold-Overs Aunt Edy's Molasses Crinkles Auntie Linda's Ginger Gems Bakel ess Dream Cookies Banana Drop Cookies Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World Biscotti Biscotti Blueberry Cookies Boiled Chocolate Oatmeal Drop Cookies Bronwnies Brown Sugar Shortbread Brownie Cookies Brownie Delight Brownies Buccaneer Snowballs Buried Cherry Cookies Butter Cookies Butter Nut Balls Butterballs Butterscotch Haystacks C.O.P. Cookies Candy Cane Cookies Candy Cookies Caramel Shortbread Cheesecake Brownies Cherry Buns Cherry Crowns Cherry Winks Chewies Chewy Noels Chinese Chews/Haystacks Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate Chip Meltaways Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies Chocolate Christmas Trees Chocolate Cream Cheese Squares Chocolate Crinkles Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (no bake) Chocolate Snowball Cookies Chocolate Streusel Bars Chocolate Sundae Cookies Chocolate Walnut Crumb Bars Choco-Scotch Crunchies Choose A Cookie Dough Recipe Christmas Crackers Christmas Crunch Bars Christmas Ginger Snaps Christmas Macaroons Christmas Mice Cookies Christmas Shaped Cookies Church Window Cookies Coconut Cookies Congo Squares Cookie in a Jar Corn Flakes CookiesCornflake Christmas Wreaths Cowboy Cookies (oatmeal) Cream Cheese Cookies with Apricot Filling Crème De Menthe Ch ocolate Squares Crème Wafers Crescent Cookies Crispy Crunchies Date Nut Balls Date-nut Pinwheel Cookies Diabetic Peanut Butter Cookies Disgustingly Rich Brownies Doodles Double chocolate chip cookies Double-Chocolate Crinkles Eatmore Cookies Eggnog Cookies Elizabeth's Sugar Cookies Elves Quick Fudge Brownies Emily Dickinson's Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Emily's Best Brownies Famous Oatmeal Cookies Firemen Cookies Fluffy Shortbread Cookies Forgotten Cookies Frosted Peanut Butter Brownies Fruit Cake Cookies Fruitcake Squares Fry Pan Cookies Gems Ginger Cookies Ginger Crinkles Gingerbread Baby Gingerbread Cookies with Butter Cream Icing Gingerbread Men Gingerbread Men Ginny's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Glory's Golden Graham Squares Glory's Sugar Cookies Gramma Chapman's chocolate coconut drops Grandma Elsie's Zimt (cinnamon) Cookies Grandma J's Butter Cookies Grandma Olson's Parkay Cookies Great Grandmothers Sugar Cookies Gum Drop Cookies Gumdrop Gems Haystack Cookies Ho-Ho Bars Holiday Cereal Snaps Holiday Chocolate Butter Cookies Holiday Raisin Walnut Bars Holly Cookies Hungarian Cookies (Little Nut Rolls) Ice Box Cookies Ir resistible Peanut Butter Cookies Italian Cookies Jacob's Peppermint Snowballs Jam Bars Jessica's Famous Brownies Jessie's Chocolate Chip Cookies Jubilee Jumbles Juliet's Peanut Butter Blossoms Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies Kentucky Colonels Kiefle (cream cheese cookies with jam filling) Kifflings Kiss Cookies Lacy Swedish Almond Wafers Lemon Angel Bar Cookies Lemon Bars Lemon Cake Cookies Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies Lemon Squares Linzer Tarts Log Cabin Cookies Luscious Lemon Squares M&M Cookies Magic Cookie Bars Melt in Your Mouth Cutout Sugar Cookies Melting Shortbread Meme's Cream Cheese Cookies Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies Mincemeat Cookies Mincemeat Goodies Molasses Cookies Molasses Forest Cookies Molasses Sugar Cookies Mom Mom's Crescent Cookies Mom-Mom's Ginger Cookies Mom's Nutmeg Sugar Cookies Mom's Old Fashion 'Puffy' Sugar Cookies Monster Cookies Moravian Christmas Cookies Nana's Famous Soft Southern Cookies Nitey Nite Cookies No Bake Chocolate Cookies No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies No Bake Cookies No Bake Cookies No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies No-Bake Chocolat e Oatmeal Cookies No-Bake Cookies Norwegian Sugar Cookies Nut Balls Oatmeal Bars Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Nut Cookies Oatmeal Coconut Crisps Oatmeal Cookies Oatmeal Scotchies Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Ooey Gooey Caramel Chocolate Dunk Ooey Gooey Squares Orange Slice Cookies Parking Lot Cookies Peanut Blossoms Peanut Butter Bars Peanut Butter Blossoms Peanut Butter Cereal Cookies Peanut Butter Chewies Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars Peanut Butter Cookies Peanut Butter Cookies Peanut butter fingers Peanut Butter Reindeer Peanut Butter Surprises Peanut Marshmallow Cookies Pecan Puff Cookies Peppermi nt Snowballs Peppernuts Persimmon Cookies Persimmon Cookies Petey's Yummy Spicy Almond Thins Pfeffernuesse Pffefferneuse Cookies Pineapple Filled Cookies Pizzelles Potato Chip Cookies Potato Flake Cookies Praline Cookies Praline Strips Pterodactyl Nests Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin Chip Cookies Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Pumpkin Cookies Queen Biscuits Quick Cookies Raised Sugar Cookies Raisin Filled Oatmeal Bars Raspberry Meringue Bars Really Peanutty Butter Cookies Reese`s Brownies Reese's Peanut Butter Bars Rich Flavor Christmas Cookies Rich Lemon Bars Ricotta Cheese Cookies Royal Almond Christmas Bars Rudolph Cinnamon Cookies Russian Tea Cookies Russian Teacakes Samantha & Kelsey's Chocolate Chip Cookies Sand Art Brownies Santa Claus Cookie Pops Santa Claus Cookies Santa's Butterscotch Melts Santa's Shorts Santa's Special Squares Scotch Cakes Scotch Shortbread Scotcharoos Scotcheroos Seven Layer Cookies Short Bread Cookies Shortbread Skor Squares Snicker Doodle Cookies Snickerdoodles Snickerdoodles Snow Balls Sour Cream Apple Squares Sour Cream Christmas Cookies Special K Cookies Spice Cookies Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Spritz Cookies Stained Glass Window Cookies Stir & Drop Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Swedish Pepparkakor (Pepper Cake) Cookies Swedish Sugar Cookies Sweet Marie's< /B> Swiss Treats Taralle (Italian Cookies) Tea Time Tassies Tex as Brownies The Best Shortbread in The World Thumbprint Cookies Thumbprint Cookies Toffee Squares Traditional Christmas Sugar Cookies Traditional Gingerbread Men Cookies Triple-Chocolate Chip Cookies Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies Vanilla Waffer Balls Walnut Butter Cookies Walnut Crumb Bars White Chip Chocolate Cookies Wild Oatmeal Cookies Will's Famous Apple Jack Cookies Yummy Yummy Peanut Butter Blossoms
 

CHRISTMAS DINNER- TIPS AND RECIPES

HOLIDAY TIPS: A HOLIDAY MENU

 

Mixed Greens With Cranberry Dressing

Ingredients:
5 cups mixed greens, herbs and lettuce
1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Dressing:
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 seedless navel orange, peeled and sectioned
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 cup olive or vegetable oil

In a blender, combine the cranberries, orange sections, sugar,
vinegar, salt, and ground mustard. Process till combined. Then
remove the blender cover and gradually add oil in a steady stream. Set aside. Rip all of the greens into bite size pieces. I like using an assortment of spring or baby greens along with romaine lettuce, spinach and herbs such as sprigs of dill, basil, and cilantro. To assemble, place a handful of the salad mix on a plate or in a bowl, and top with some of the cheese and the walnuts. Pass the dressing
to guests to drizzle over the salad.

Image hosting by Photobucket

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Honey Glaze

Ingredients:
1 cup jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 (8 to 12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
1 fresh lemon
salt, pepper to season

Make the glaze by combining the cranberry sauce, rosemary and honey
in a small pan. Cook over medium heat just until the sauce is smooth,
whisking frequently. Set aside. Remove turkey from package and take
out the neck and giblets from cavity. Rinse the turkey with cold water
and pat dry. Tuck wing tips under back or tie to body. Fasten the legs
with a metal or plastic clip or band of skin-usually whatever was holding
it in the first place is fine. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thinly slice
the lemon. Loosen the turkey skin towards the front of the breast. Using
a wooden spoon to lift skin, gently slide the lemon slices under skin on
both sides of the turkey. Place turkey breast-side up on wire rack in
shallow roasting pan. Brush turkey with cranberry honey glaze.

Roast turkey uncovered until skin browned, then cover loosely with a
tent of aluminum foil for the remaining time. Continue to baste with
cranberry glaze during cooking. Roast until a meat thermometer reaches
180 degrees F, about 2 3/4 to 3 hours. Remove from oven; let stand 20
minutes before carving. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
1 pound red potatoes
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup Half and Half or cream

4 cloves Roasted Garlic

Bake the potatoes in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. At the
same time roast the garlic. First slice the top of the garlic bulb so the
cloves are exposed slightly. Place on a double piece of foil, drizzle
with a little olive oil. Wrap and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes
till soft. Remove potatoes from oven and allow them to cool. Remove
peels if you desire or leave on. Chop the potatoes into a bowl, add the
butter and the cream or Half and Half. Mix with an electric mixture
till combined but don't over mix---lumps are okay--if you over mix
the texture will change. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the cloves
and add to the potatoes--season with salt and pepper and mix in. You
can warm these up again right before serving.

Brussel Sprouts with Onions

Ingredients:
30-40 brussel sprouts
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
4 tbsp. white wine, herb vinegar or wine vinegar
2/3 cup chicken stock
8 tbsp. butter, divided
salt and pepper

Cut the stem ends off the sprouts and remove any leaves that are
loosened. Cut the spouts in half. Heat 4 tbsp. of the butter in a
pan over medium heat and saute the onion till soft. Add the wine
or vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes,
then add the chicken stock and the brussel sprouts. Cover, and
simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sprouts are tender. Add
the remainder of the butter and stir till melted. Serve.

Cranberry Apple Pie

Ingredients:
20 gingersnap cookies
1 1/2 tbsp. margarine
2 apples, peeled and cored
1 cup fresh cranberries
5 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place gingersnaps and margarine
in food processor; process until ground. Press the mixture into
an 8" pie plate. Bake the crust 5-8 min; remove and cool. Chop
the apples in food processor. Add the cranberries, brown sugar,
vanilla and cinnamon; pulse until just mixed. Spoon the apple
cranberry filling into another 8" pie plate that has been sprayed
with cooking spray but not filled with crust. Sprinkle the fruit
mixture with granulated sugar. Bake 35 minutes or until tender.
When the filling is done spoon it into the cooled crust. Serve
warm with whipped topping.

Caramel Pecan Pie

Ingredients:
1 (9-inch) pie crust
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups pecans (toasted and chopped)

Prebake the pie crust for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F and cool. In a
heavy pan combine the sugars, butter, and honey. Cook over medium
heat, and stir only until melted. Heat until mixture reaches 240 degrees
F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream
and pecans. Pour into baked pie shell and bake for about 30-35 minutes.

Author, Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three who lives in the winter wonderland of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and editor of OldFashionedLiving.com. Reprinted by Permission from www.oldfashionedliving.com.

For more information, contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323. Sign up for our complimentary bimonthly newsletter here.

Cookie Baking Tips for Success

In baking, little things can make a big difference! Using quality ingredients such as real butter, and freshly milled whole wheat pastry flour will also improve your baking results. Here are some good tips and reminders:

* Read through the entire recipe to be sure you have all the ingredients and equipment you need on hand before you get started!

* Measure and assemble all ingredients before baking. Small glass custard cups and ramekins make great "staging" ingredient containers.

* Pack brown sugar firmly. Use dry measuring cups for dry ingredients. Liquid measuring cups for liquid ingredients. Be sure to level off the cups with a spatula for accurate measurements.

* Preheat your oven for 10 to 15 minutes before you bake. Use an oven thermomter to check the accuracy of your oven if you have doubts about how accurate the oven dial is. Adjust accordingly. (The biggest cookie baking failure I had was when my oven wasn't maintaining steady temperature and needed repair.)

*Remember that one stick of butter equals 1/2 Cup. Best mixing results will be obtained when butter is brought up to room temperature. Don't use margarine or whipped butter in cookie recipes.

*Cream the sugar and butter well; once you add the flour, be careful to not overbeat. Too much mixing can cause the flour to get tough.

* Large eggs are preferable and produce superior results in baking to small, most recipes are based on large eggs.

* An easy way to grate lemon and orange peel is to store leftover citrus peels in the freezer. Frozen citrus peel grates readily. Use only the colored portion which contains the oils and flavors.

* Recipes calling for "ground nuts" means a fine powder. A food processor or grating blad for a slicer/shredder does a good job. If you use a blender, be careful to not over do it and get nut butter.

* Fresh spices are best. Be careful to store spices in airtight containers away from heat and sunlight to promote shelf-life.

*Most cookies should be removed immediately from the cookie sheet, unless otherwise stated.

* Save butter wrappers for greasing cookie sheets when needed. A mixture of two parts oil and one part liquid lecithin spreads readily with a pastry brush and makes an economical and more healthy means to grease baking sheets. Thiese are the same ingredients as Pam, without the propellant.

*To save time and energy, place 2 cookie sheets in the oven at once. Rotate halfway through the baking time.

My favorite Christmas cookie recipes are quick and easy with a variety of shape, colors and flavors.

For more information, contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323. Sign up for our free bi-monthly newsletter here.

Cranberry Recipes

CRANBERRY RELISH JELLO MOLD
This is a traditional Cranberry Jello Mold my children expect each year:
I have served this jello mold at Thanksgiving and Christmas for nearly 30 years! This recipe can be prepared several days ahead.
Yields 8-10 servings

1. Assemble and prepare the following ingredients:

20 oz. can crushed pineapple unsweetened (drain, reserving the juice)
2 pkg (3 oz each) cherry, raspberry, or strawberry gelatin
1 Cup boiling water
1 Cup fresh, whole cranberries
1 - 11 oz can mandarin oranges
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 TB lemon juice


2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice.

3. Chill until gelatin begins to set-up about one hour. Meanwhile, coarsely chop cranberries in blender or food processor.

4. Stir in cranberries, oranges, pineapple, celery, and pecans to the thickened gelatin. Place this mixture in holiday jello mold or attractive glass serving bowl. Chill until firm.

This elegant arranged salad is what I make for Christmas dinner.
The dressing, made with cranberries looks beautiful on top of greens.


To assemble the salad, place a handful of the salad mix on a plate or in a bowl, and top with some of the onion slices, cheese and the walnuts. Pass the dressing to guests to drizzle over the salad.

CRANBERRY NUT BREAD
This recipe has been adapted from the Ocean Spray package.  My mother and our family have been making this for 50 years.

1 egg
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup orange juice
1 T. grated orange rind (opt.)
1/4 cup oil
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1`/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup nuts, chopped
1 cup cranberries, chopped  (I use my blender on pulse)


Whisk together the honey, egg, orange juice, orange rind and oil in a medium size mixing bowl.  Combine dry ingredients except nuts and berries into a small bowl and then whisk lightly into wet ingredients.  Mix just enough to dampen.  Carefully fold in chopped nuts and cranberries.   Spoon batter into greased loaf pan or greased muffin tins.  spread corners in loaf pan so they are slightly higher than in the center.  Bake at 375°F for one hour for a loaf, or 15-20 minutes for muffins.  Bake until the crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from pan and cool.  Store overnight for easy slicing and for the flavors to blend.

Mixed Greens With Cranberry Dressing
This recipe is courtesy of
oldfashionedliving.com by permission

Ingredients:
5 cups mixed greens, herbs and lettuce
1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Dressing:
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 seedless navel orange, peeled and sectioned
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 cup olive or vegetable oil


In a blender, combine the cranberries, orange sections, sugar,
vinegar, salt, and ground mustard. Process till combined. Then
remove the blender cover and gradually add oil in a steady stream. Set aside.



Rip all of the greens into bite size pieces. I like using an assortment of spring or baby greens along with romaine lettuce, spinach and herbs if available.

CRANBERRY RELISH JELLO MOLD

I have served this jello mold at Thanksgiving and Christmas for nearly 30 years! This recipe can be prepared several days ahead.
Yields 8-10 servings

1. Assemble and prepare the following ingredients:

20 oz. can crushed pineapple unsweetened (drain, reserving the juice)
2 pkg (3 oz each) cherry, raspberry, or strawberry gelatin
1 Cup boiling water
1 Cup fresh, whole cranberries
1 - 11 oz can mandarin oranges
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 TB lemon juice

2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice.

3. Chill until gelatin begins to set-up about one hour. Meanwhile, coarsely chop cranberries in blender or food processor.

4. Stir in cranberries, oranges, pineapple, celery, and pecans to the thickened gelatin. Place this mixture in holiday jello mold or attractive glass serving bowl. Chill until firm.

Enstrom's Style Toffee Recipe with Picture Tutorial

This recipe was given to my daughter by an employee where she works in Grand Junction. Enstrom's toffee is world renowned for being the best and manufactured in Grand Junction and shipped around the world. We are honored to have this recipe and share it with you!It will cost you about $7.50 for butter, sugar, chocolate and almonds to make this recipe. The finished recipe makes about three pounds of toffee, enough for several generous gifts.

Enstrom's Style Toffee

Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan - about 3 quart size over medium to medium high heat. Add the salt. When the butter is almost melted, add the sugar in quickly. Stir slowly, using a figure 8 motion with a wooden spoon. The sugar will not immediately dissolve or mix in, this is normal.

When the sugar absorbs into the butter the mixture will look more homogeneous and smooth. This takes 5-10 minutes. Then add the slivered almonds. This is what it will look like when you add the almonds. A would call this the blonde stage.

Continue to slowly stir the mixture in the saucepan for about another 10-15 minutes until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage. This is 290 ° F on a thermometer. (I use the instant read thermometer with a probe which I also use for bread.) You will notice that the sugar mixture is turning a darker more caramel color and it is almost starting to smell like burnt sugar. You can also drop a small amount of the mixture into iced water to test for the hard crack stage. Do not under cook. This picture shows how much darker the mixture becomes.

If the mixture has reached 290 or hard crack, pour the mixture onto a large cookie sheet and allow it to spread out. Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack NOT ON A COUNTER because the mixture is so hot it could warp your counter.

After the toffee hardens, about 30 minutes, melt half the chocolate chips in a double boiler and spread over the toffee in a thin layer. Sprinkle with finely diced almonds. When this is cooled, flip the toffee over and repeat. Spread the other half of the chocolate chips, melted over the toffee and sprinkle with finely chopped almonds. When it is totally cooled, put portions into cellophane bags tied with a ribbon to use for gifts.


Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls - Special for Holidays

These wonderful rolls will be a hit for everyday or special occasions. Halve the recipe for a small batch.

2 1/2 Cups warm water
1/2 Cup honey
1/2 Cup dry powdered milk
2 TB yeast
2 eggs
6-8 cups whole wheat flour*
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup oil
1/2 Cup vital gluten
2 TB dough enhancer (optional)
melted butter

Combine warm water, honey, powdered milk, and yeast in mixing bowl. Allow yeast to activate. Add eggs and 3 Cups flour. Stir until thoroughly mixed; dough will resemble cake batter. Let rest until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Add salt, oil, and remaining flour. Knead for 6-10 minutesor until gluten is developed or dough is soft and pliable. Pour out onto a lightly greased surface. Grease baking sheets. Pinch off 2-inch round portions, and roll out to an 8-inch rope. Tie rope in a single knot. Place in rows on baking sheets, cover, and let rise until double. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter if desired, and remove to a cooling rack. Makes 2-3 dozen.

Multi-grain variation: Substitute 1 cup of 7-Grain Mix, cracked OR 1 Cup cracked wheat for one cup of the whole wheat flour.

* IF you do not have high quality fresh home milled whole wheat flour I would recommend that you use half bread flour in order to avoid heavy, dense rolls.

For more information, write to me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-552-7323.


Gifts in a Jar - Just in time for holiday gift giving by Tawra Kellam

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Buy Gifts In A Jar Now!

Tawra Kellam, a passionate and creative gift jar and gift-basket maker has authored an ebook to share her expertise with you. Gifts In A Jar features ideas to make delightful Gift Baskets like those in the expensive stores -- everything from the Honeymoon Basket to the Get Well Basket to Kids Gift Baskets, Gardener Baskets, Chocolate Lover's Baskets, and many more creative ways and delicious recipes to prepare and use jar mixes for gifts.

I am amazed and impressed with Tawra's creative and clever ability. During our phone seminar, she easily suggested combinations of items to use with an assortment of pretzels to create a complete basket. Or how she could create a whole gift basket around homemade sauces. Tawra even described a gift you could make that anyone would welcome using a muffin tin and another delightful gift using a teapot for a container.

Gifts In A Jar contains a list of ideas for basket fillers and another long list for containers. Her Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix, Turkey Soup Mix, and Cafe Vienna Mix will satisfy the most difficult to buy for relatives with a gourmet flair while you are spending very few dollars.

* Where to find inexpensive basket items
* How to make a pretty basket on a dime
* Ideas for Basket Fillers
* Ideas for Containers
* Recipes for gift jars
* Theme basket Ideas
* Small gift Ideas
* Ideas for Decorating the jars

Let Tawra Kellam show you how to make all sorts of cool, yummy gifts that will save you money while endearing you to your friends for life!

Buy Gifts In A Jar Now!

HERBED STUFFING

Stuffing recipes are easy to make.

1. Cut bread into crouton-size cubes, about 20 slices of toasted white or whole wheat bread OR use one large bag of Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Mix (For homebaked whole wheat bread use 15 thin slices.) Place in a large bowl.

2 If you are using the Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix, omit this step.
IF you are using your own croutons, Combine in a separate small bowl and sprinkle over the bread:

2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 TB sage or poultry seasoning.

3. Crumble, brown, and drain the sausage. Add the sausage to the stuffing mix or brad cubes:

1/4 pound bulk turkey breakfast sausage,
1/4 pound bulk turkey Italian sausage
(Leftover sausage can be frozen for scrambled eggs, pizzas, etc.)

4. Saute the celery and onion in 1 TB of butter:

1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped onion

5. Next, add to the bread cubes/stuffing mixture:

4 TB fresh chopped parsley
1 peeled, cored, chopped Granny Smith or Jonathan apple
3/4 cup cranberries (for color/ optional)

6. Combine together:

1 stick melted butter
2 Cups canned chicken broth or reconstituted chicken broth powder

7. Drizzle all the liquid over the other ingredients and lightly toss until well mixed.

8. Stuff the bird loosely because stuffing expands during roasting, or place the mixture in a glass casserole dish and bake the stuffing separately until hot. It is very hard to ruin stuffing; use the ingredients you have and like, but don't forget the onion and celery. I can't wait to make this right now!

Holiday Gift Mixes in a Jar

Here are your 38 GIFT IN A JAR RECIPES! There used to be 101, but they vanished!

1. "ALMOST HAMBURGER HELPER" MIX IN A JAR

2 cups nonfat dry milk
1 cup corn starch
1/4 cup beef bouillon powder
2 tablespoons onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder

Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

Attach the following recipes to the jar:

Chili Mac:
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 c water
1/2 c macaroni noodles (uncooked)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 T chili powder
1/2 cup mix
Combine all and simmer 20 minutes or until macaroni is cooked.

Stroganoff:
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
2 c water
1/2 c mix
2 c uncooked egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
Combine all except sour cream. Simmer 20 minutes or until noodles
are tender. Stir in sour cream and serve.

Potato Beef Casserole:
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
3/4 c water
6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 c frozen mixed veggies
1/2 cup mix
Combine all and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 30
minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and cook until excess
water is evaporated.

Quick Lasagna:
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 c mix
1 onion, chopped
2 c water
16 oz tomato sauce
3 c lasagna noodles, uncooked, broken in bits
1/4 c parmesan cheese
2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
Combine all except mozzarella in large skillet. Bring to a boil, let
simmer for 15 minutes or until noodles are cooked. Top with
mozzarella. Turn off heat and let cheese melt.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2. BACON-FLAVORED DIP MIX

2 tbs. Instant Bacon Bits
1 tsp Instant Beef Bouillon
1 tbs. Instant Minced Onion
1/8 tsp Minced Garlic

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; blend well. Spoon mixture
onto a 6-inch square of aluminum foil and fold to make airtight.
Label as Bacon-Flavored Dip Mix. Store in a cool, dry place and use
within 6 months.
Makes 1 package (about 3 T) of mix.

Add these directions to label:

Bacon Flavored Dip: Combine 1 cup of sour cream and 1 package of
mix. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Makes about 1 cup of dip.
VARIATIONS: Substitute 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup cottage cheese or 1 (8
oz) package of softened cream cheese for sour cream.

Fill a large mason jar with any type of snacks for dipping (small
snack crackers, pretzels, breadsticks, etc.). Attach package of dip
mix to jar and decorate for gift giving.

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3. BANANA BREAD IN A JAR

WARNING: The bread and cake recipes baked in a jar are not for long term storage. This method is not considered safe. The air bubbles in the cake mix work as natural insulation preventing the cake from getting hot enough to kill bacteria in the center. The in jar cakes are safe only as long as a fresh cake would be. The egg in the mix can develop unsafe bacteria, as well as any butter or other ingredients likely to spoil or go rancid. Recipes like this have been circulating for years and are quite tasty, but most magazines have been forced to print retractions urging people not to follow them. The best way to keep a cake long term is to freeze it. The stuff they put on the shelves in stores can only last there for so long because it has been subjected to massive additions of chemical "preservatives". Try the recipes without sealing them in jars, they are all delicious.

2-2/3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
4 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups mashed, ripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
3-1/2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In large bowl, cream sugar and shortening with electric mixer. Add
eggs and mix well. Next, add buttermilk and vanilla and mix well.
Place dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Add
creamed ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Gently stir in
mashed bananas and nuts.

Prepare seven one-pint wide-mouth canning jars with vegetable
shortening. Place one cup of batter in each jar; do not use more
than one cup or batter will overflow and jar will not seal.
Place jars evenly spaced on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F
for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out
clean.

Working quickly, wipe rim, place lid and ring on jar and secure.
Jars will seal quickly. Repeat with remaining jars. When ready to
serve, bread will slide out.

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4. BLUEBERRY SCONES
These are delicious warm from the oven with butter and jam; a
perfect breakfast food. A jar of homemade blueberry jam would make a
wonderful accompaniment to this.

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup Vanilla sugar**
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dried lemon peel
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup dried blueberries

Stir together flour, sugar, milk, baking powder, lemon peel, and
salt. Cut in shortening using a pastry cutter or fork until the
mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in berries. Layer into a 1
quart canning jar, tapping gently on the counter between layers to
settle before adding the next. Add additional dried blueberries to
fill in small gaps if necessary. Stores at room temp for up to 6
weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months.

**To make vanilla sugar, fill a 1 quart jar with sugar. Split a
vanilla bean in half lengthwise and add both halves to the sugar.
Flavor gets better after a couple of weeks, and it will keep as long
as regular sugar.

GIFT TAG DIRECTIONS:
Place jar contents in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 beaten egg and 1/4
cup water; stir just until moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly
floured surface and quickly knead gently for 12 to 15 strokes or
until nearly smooth. Pat to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into desired
shape and place 1 inch apart on an un-greased baking sheet. Brush
with milk. Bake at 400* for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Transfer
to a rack to cool slightly and serve warm.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

5. BOSTON BAKED BEANS RECIPE IN A JAR

2 c Small white pea beans
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp Ground ginger
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Salt

Mix and store in an airtight container. Attach the following
instructions to jar:

*Boston Baked Beans*
1 jar Bean Mix
2 slices bacon; diced
4 3/4 c water
3/4 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic; minced
3 tbs dark molasses
2 tbs mustard

Combine all ingredients in bean pot or crockpot. Cook at 300 in
oven, or on low in crockpot 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally to
prevent sticking. 8-10 servings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

6. BREAD MACHINE MIX

2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup wheat flour

Mix salt, sugar, dry milk, and flours. Divide into two jars. Makes 2
gifts.

Attach this to each jar:
Bread Machine Mix
Add the contents of jar to bread machine in the order suggested by
machine manufacturer along with:
2/3 cup water or milk
1 tablespoon oil, butter or shortening
1 teaspoon bread machine yeast or 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

7. BREAKFAST MUFFINS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons finely minced candied
lemon peel
1/2 cup finely minced dried cherries, apples
or apricots
1/3 cup chopped almonds or walnuts

Layer ingredients in a jar and seal.

Add recipe directions to jar:
Beat 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup milk or vanilla yogurt, and 1 egg
in a mixing bowl until combined. Stir in jar contents, approximately
40 strokes. Spoon into 12 greased or lined muffin cups. Bake at 400
for 20-25 minutes, cool in pan for five minutes and transfer to a
wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

8. BROWNIE MIX

2-1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa (clean inside of jar with paper towel after this layer)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1-1/4 cups flour mixed with 1 tsp. salt

Layer ingredients in jar in order given. Press each layer firmly in
place before adding next ingredient.

Recipe to attach to jar:
Empty brownie mix in large mixing bowl; stir to combine. Add 3/4 cup
melted butter and 4 eggs slightly beaten; mix until completely
blended. Spread batter in a greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake at
350 for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Cut into 2-inch
squares. Yield: 2 dozen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

9. BUTTERSCOTCH CHIP COOKIES IN A JAR

1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup high protein crisp rice and wheat cereal
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Layer the ingredients in the order given in a one quart wide mouth
canning jar. Firmly pack each ingredient in place. It will be a
tight fit, but all ingredients will fit in the jar. Use pinking
shears to cut an 8 or 9 inch circle from gingham, calico, or a
seasonal fabric. Place the fabric over the wide mouth lid and rim
and secure with a rubber band. Tie on a raffia or ribbon bow to
cover the rubber band.

Attach a card to the ribbon or raffia with the following mixing and
baking
Directions:
Empty jar of cookie mix into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of
butter or margarine, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Use hands
to mix the wet and dry ingredients together. When completely
blended, roll into large walnut sized balls. Place on unprepared
cookie sheets and use the palm of your hand to flatten each cookie
ball. Bake at 350 in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
Makes 2 dozen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

10. BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING MIX

2 cups nonfat dry milk
5 cups brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. salt
3 cups cornstarch

Mix and store in airtight container or jar.

Attach tag to jar:
To prepare, add 1/2 cup mix to 2 cups milk. Heat and stir constantly
while boiling. Cool, then serve.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

11. CAESAR SALAD DRESSING MIX

1 1/2 t Grated Lemon Peel
1 t Oregano
1/8 t Instant Minced Garlic
2 T Graded Parmesan Cheese
1/2 t Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; stir until well blended.
Put mixture in a foil packet or 1-pint glass jar (or use a salad
dressing cruet and the dressing can be made right in the cruet!).
Label as Caesar Salad Dressing Mix. Store in a cool dry place and
use within 3 to 4 months.

Instructions for Label:
Caesar Salad Dressing: Combine mix, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 1/4
cup lemon juice in a glass jar. Shake until well blended. Chill
before serving. Makes about 3/4 cup of Salad Dressing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12. CAFE AU LAIT MIX IN A JAR

2 cups Powdered non dairy creamer
1 cup instant coffee

Blend ingredients together. Store in airtight jar.

Attach this to jar:
To use: Mix 1 tablespoon mix with 1 cup hot water.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

13. CAKE IN A COFFEE MUG
(Read all instructions before starting)
You will need 8 coffee mugs... (makes 8 gifts)

Cake Mix........
1 cake mix any flavor
1 (4 serving size) instant pudding mix (not sugar free), any flavor

Place dry cake mix and dry pudding mix into a large bowl and blend
well with a whisk. This will be about 4 - 4 12 cups dry mix and will
make 8 coffee cup cake mixes. Place 12 cup dry mix into a sandwich
bag. Place mix into a corner of the bag and tie it there with a
twist tie. Label this bag "Cake Mix".
Continue making and labeling packets until you have 8 packets.

Flavor suggestions:
Lemon cake mix- lemon pudding
Yellow cake mix- vanilla pudding
Devils food cake mix- chocolate pudding
Pineapple cake mix- coconut pudding
Butterscotch cake mix- butterscotch pudding

Glaze mix........
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 12 tsp dry flavoring (such as powdered lemonade mix, powdered
orange breakfast drink mix, cocoa powder - Select a flavoring
appropriate to the cake you are making)
Vanilla powder sold by coffee flavorings (or use French Vanilla
CoffeeMate)

Place the glaze mix ingredients into a sandwich bag and tie into
corner of bag. Label this bag "Glaze Mix" and attach it to the "Cake
Mix" bag with a twist tie. You can also include another bag
labeled "Toppings", if desired. (Example: For the pineapple coconut
cake, include flaked coconut in a separate bag with instructions to
sprinkle it over the frosted cake.)

Select one of 8 large coffee cups. Check it to be sure it holds 112
cups of water. That way you will be sure you have bought the size
the recipe calls for. It can't have any metallic paint on it because
it will be used in the microwave. Place one baggie of cake mix and
one baggie of glaze mix in each coffee cup. Add one baggie of
toppings into each cup also, if using. Continue with the remaining
coffee cups.

Now attach the following baking instructions to each coffee cup:

BAKE A CAKE IN A COFFEE MUG!!
Instructions:
Generously spray inside of coffee cup with cooking spray. Empty
contents of large packet into cup. Add 1 egg white, 1 tbsp oil, 1
tbsp water to dry mix. Mix 15 seconds, carefully mixing in all the
dry mix. Microwave on full power 2 minutes. (You may not get
satisfactory results in a low wattage small microwave). While cake
is cooking, place ingredients from "Glaze Mix" into a very small
container and add 112 tsp water. Mix well. When cake is done, pour
glaze over cake in cup. Enjoy while warm.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

14. CALIFORNIA CORN BREAD MIX
This is a sweet, cake-like corn bread that is delicious with honey
butter.

2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder

In a large glass or ceramic bowl, stir all the ingredients together.
Store in an airtight container.

Attach this to the Jar:
California Corn Bread
Serves 4 to 6
1 package California Corn Bread Mix
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the corn bread mix in a
large mixing bowl and add the eggs, milk and butter. Blend until the
mixture is smooth. Poor into a greased 8-inch baking pan and bake
for 30 minutes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

15. CANDY COOKIE MIX

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. powdered vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk the ingredients
together until they are evenly distributed, making sure all brown
sugar lumps are crushed. Store in an airtight container

Attach this to the Jar:
Candy Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 large egg
1 package Candy Cookie Mix
1 cup candy bar chunks (Reese's peanut butter cups, Butterfinger
bars, white or milk chocolate chunks)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the large bowl of an electric
mixer, beat the butter until it is smooth. Add the egg, and continue
beating until the egg is combined. Add the Candy Cookie Mix and
candy bar chunks and blend on low just until the cookie mix is
incorporated. Form the cookies into 11/2-inch balls & place them 2
inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden on the edges. Remove from
oven, and cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

16. CARAMEL NUT CAKE IN A JAR
This recipe makes 6 pint-sized cakes.

2 cups brown sugar 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter 4 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 cup milk 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Baking soda 1 tsp. Salt
1 cup chopped nuts

In large bowl, cream sugars and butter with an electric mixer. Add
eggs and mix well. Next add vanilla and milk, again mixing
completely. Place dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl and mix
with a whisk. Add creamed mixture and mix with whisk or wooden
spoon. Gently stir in nuts.
Grease the inside of the jars with Pam. Place 1 cup batter into each
jar. Place jars on baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for approx.
50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove cakes from oven, one at a time, and place sterilized lid and
ring on each while they are still hot. The jars will seal as they
cool. (Just as with canning vegetables, etc. you will hear a
slight "pop" as the jars seal and the lids bend inward slightly. If
they do not "pop" they are not sealed properly.)
Use any unsealed cakes immediately or refrigerate them and they will
last about 2 weeks this way. Sealed cakes may be stored without
refrigeration for up to 6 months.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

17. CARAMEL POPCORN KIT IN A JAR

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/3 cups un-popped Popcorn
1 cup Sugar
1 cup packed Brown Sugar

Set aside can of milk. Layer sugar and brown sugar in a one-quart
canning jar. Next, place popcorn into a small zip baggie. Seal
baggie and place on top of sugar. Place lid on jar, then using clear
packaging tape, attach the can of milk to the bottom of jar so they
are firmly connected for storage purposes & store in a cool dry
place until ready to use.

Attach the following instructions for later use, or for gift giving:
~ Caramel Popcorn ~
Remove popcorn from jar and using your preferred method, pop corn
until you have about 12 cups or 3 quarts of popped corn. Remove un-
popped kernels from corn, and set aside. In a large saucepan, mix
sugar from jar with 1/2 cup butter or margarine and the can of
sweetened condensed milk. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a
boil. Boil for one minute and remove from heat. Working quickly,
pour mixture over popped corn, coating as much as possible while
pouring, then using a large wooden spoon, mix popped corn and
caramel until all corn is well coated. Spread onto cookie sheets,
which have been prepared with non-stick cooking spray, or eat
directly from bowl.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

18. CARROT CAKE MIX

2 cups sugar
2 tsp. powdered vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine and blend ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight
container.

Attach this to the Jar:
Carrot Cake
Makes 1 13x9-inch cake
1 package Carrot Cake Mix
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3 cups grated carrots
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F & grease 13x9 inch pan. Place Carrot
Cake Mix in large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the mix
& add the oil, eggs, carrots & pineapple. Blend until smooth. Pour
into the prepared pan & bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a
toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool the cake and
frost if desired or dust with powdered sugar.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

19. CHEWY BUTTERSCOTCH NUT BARS IN A JAR

1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup pecan pieces or coarsely chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
completely
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk biscuit and baking mix (like Pioneer)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk biscuit and baking mix

In 1-quart wide-mouth glass jar, gently layer and pack ingredients
in the order listed, beginning with butterscotch chips. If there is
any space left after adding the last ingredient, add more chips or
pecans to fill the jar. Place lid on top. Cut an 8-inch circle of
fabric to cover lid. Place fabric over lid; secure in place with
ribbon or raffia. Decorate as desired. Note: To toast pecans, place
in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on High for 4 to 5 minutes,
stirring every minute. After measuring the brown sugar, crumble it
between your fingers for uniform texture. Be sure to pack the brown
sugar firmly in the jar to prevent the baking mix from sifting down
through it.
Make a gift card with baking instructions to attach as follows:
To make Chewy Butterscotch Nut Bars in a Jar: Empty contents of jar
into medium bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine,
melted; 1 large egg; and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Press into an 8x8x2-
inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for
18 to 22 minutes or until bars are light golden brown and center is
almost set. Yield: Makes 16 bars.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

20. CHICKEN SOUP WITH BOW NOODLES

Approx 3 1/2 cup Bow Noodles (farfalle)
1/4 cup Mushrooms -- dried, chopped (opt.)
2 Tbs Minced Onion -- dried
3 Tbs Chicken Bouillon granules -- instant
1 Tbs Parsley flakes
1 teaspoon Thyme
6 -7 whole cloves

You can do this two ways. You can layer the bow noodles with the
spices in between (except for whole cloves). Or you can put the
noodles in the jar with the spices tied up in a baggie.

Add these directions to your gift card...
Chicken Soup with Bow Noodles
Bring 8 cups water to boil in a large pot. Add contents of jars
EXCEPT whole cloves. Push whole cloves into a small onion and drop
into soup. Simmer until noodles are done approx 8- 12 minutes. The
cloves gives this soup a WONDERFUL flavor!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

21. CHILI GIFT BASKET

3 cups dried beans (pink, red, or kidney -- sorted).
Put into a jar or large bag.

3 Tbsp. mild chili powder
2 Tbsp. dehydrated onions
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Combine spices and put into a small bag.

Include in your gift basket:
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
2 14oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 package Corn Bread Mix

Label:
Wash beans. Put into pot with spices. Cook until done, about 1 to 1
1/2 hours. Meanwhile, brown 1 lb. ground beef (if desired), and
drain. Add meat to the beans with the tomatoes and sauce. Simmer to
blend flavors.
Serve with Chili Corn Bread, if desired.

For: Chili Corn Bread
Include in the package with the Corn Bread Mix, 1 small can whole
kernel corn and 1 small can diced green chili's (not the hot kind).
Stir the well-drained corn and chili's into the corn bread just
before baking. Bake in a well-buttered 8" square pan at 425 degrees
for 25 minutes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

22. CHOCOLATE APPLESAUCE BREAD IN A JAR

1 c butter -- softened
3 c granulated sugar
4 egg whites -- whipped
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2 c applesauce -- at room temperature
3 c unbleached flour
3/4 c cocoa powder -- sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven at 325F degrees. Place a baking sheet onto middle rack
and remove top rack from oven. Before starting batter, wash 8 (1
pint) wide mouth canning jars with lids in hot soapy water and let
drain, dry, and cool to room temperature. Generously prepare jars
with butter. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg whites,
vanilla, almond extract, and applesauce. In another mixing bowl,
combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients just until moistened. Spoon
1 level cupful of batter into each jar. Carefully wipe rims clean,
then place jars on baking sheet (or they'll tip over) in the center
of oven. Bake 40 minutes. Keep lids in hot water until they're used.
When cakes are done, remove jars which are HOT from oven one at a
time. If rims need cleaning, use moistened paper towel. Carefully
put lids and rings in place, then screw tops on tightly shut. Place
jars on a wire rack; they will seal as they cool. Makes 8 cakes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

23. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MIX

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup packed brown sugar
2-1/4 cups flour mixed with 1 tsp. baking soda and 1/4 tsp. salt

Layer ingredients in jar in order given. Press each layer firmly in
place before adding next ingredient.

Recipe to attach to jar:
Empty cookie mix in large mixing bowl; stir to combine. Add 3/4 cup
softened butter, 1 egg slightly beaten and 1 tsp. vanilla; mix until
completely blended. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls into balls. Place 2
inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 13
to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to wire racks
to cool completely. These cookies will firm up when completely
cooled. Yield: 3 dozen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

24. CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COOKIE IN A JAR

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Using a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, layer in the ingredients in the
order given.
Pack down the jar after each addition. Put the lid on, and cover
with an 8 inch circle of fabric. Secure the fabric over the lid
using a rubber band, then cover the rubber band by tying a nice
piece of ribbon or raffia around the lid.

Attach a tag to the ribbon with the following instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl,
cream together 3/4 cup of softened butter, with 2 eggs and 1
teaspoon of vanilla. Add the entire contents of the jar, and mix by
hand until combined. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto an
unprepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated
oven. Makes 2 dozen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

25. CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISIN COOKIE MIX

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chocolate covered raisins
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1-3/4 cups flour mixed with 1 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. salt

Layer ingredients in jar in order given. Press each layer firmly in
place before adding next ingredient.

Recipe to attach to jar:
Empty cookie mix in large mixing bowl; stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup
softened butter, 1 egg slightly beaten and 1 tsp. vanilla; mix until
completely blended. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls into balls. Place 2
inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 13
to 15 minutes until tops are very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on
cookie sheet; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 212
dozen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

26. CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY COOKIES

Layer the following ingredients in order in a wide mouth quart size
canning jar:

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (clean inside of jar with tissue after this
layer)
1/2 cup brown sugar (pack firmly)
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chocolate chips or shaved summer coatings
1 3/4 cup flour + 1 tsp. baking powder + 1/2 tsp baking soda
(mixed)

Remember to press firmly between each layer. Place lid and ring onto
jar. The recipe attached should read as follows:

Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl.
Add 1 1/2 stick butter or margarine, 1 egg, and 1 tsp. vanilla.
Mix until completely blended.
Shape into balls and place 2" apart on sprayed baking sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

27. CHOCOLATE MINT COFFEE

3/4 c Nondairy powdered creamer
1 c Sugar
3/4 c Instant coffee
1/4 c Cocoa
6 Peppermint candies, crushed

In blender, process all ingredients until candies are pulverized.
Store in a jar.

Attach this to jar:
To prepare Chocolate Mint Coffee-
1 1/2 tbs Mix
6 oz Boiling water
Whipped Cream -Candy Cane -- for garnish (optional)
Pour boiling water over mix in cup. Garnish with whipped cream and
stir with candy cane.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

28. CHOCOLATE PUDDING MIX

2 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
5 cups sugar
3 cups cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa

Mix all ingredients together until they are well blended. Store in a
large airtight container or jar.

Attach this note to jar:
Chocolate Pudding Mix
To use: Make sure you stir mix before using - then measure out 2/3
cup of mix in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups milk, one teaspoon
vanilla and one tablespoon butter and cook over low heat stirring
constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking and
stirring for one minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool. May be
placed in individual serving bowls then cooled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

29. CHUNKY CHOCOLATE COOKIE MIX

3/4 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder (clean inside of jar with dry paper towel
after this layer)
1/2 c. chopped pecans (you could also use macadamia nuts. yummy!)
1 c. jumbo chocolate chip morsels (I used Hershey's semi-sweet
mini kisses)
1 3/4 c. flour mixed with
1 t. baking soda,
1 t. baking powder AND
1/4 t. salt

Layer ingredients in order in a 1 quart wide mouth canning jar.
Make sure you pack all down firmly before adding the flour mixture.
It will be a tight fit.

Instructions to attach to jar:

1. Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to
thoroughly blend mix.

2. Add:
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 t. vanilla

3. Mix until completely blended. The dough is sticky, so you will
need to finish mixing with your hands.

4. Shape into walnut size balls and place 2 " apart on parchment
lined baking sheet (my daughter just sprayed it with PAM... She
didn't have a clue what parchment was!)

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 - 13 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking
sheet. Remove to racks to finish cooling.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

30. CINNAMON PANCAKE MIX

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tblsp. sugar
2 Tblsp. baking powder
4-1/2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1-1/4 tsp. salt

In brown bag or 1 quart jar, combine all ingredients; seal bag or
jar, adding dried fruits (apples are especially good!) if necessary
to fill small gaps.

GIFT TAG DIRECTIONS:
In medium bowl, combine 3/4 c. milk, 1 egg, and 2 T. salad oil. With
fork, blend in 1-1/3 c. pancake mix until moistened but still lumpy.
Cook on lightly greased griddle or skillet. Makes about 10 5"
pancakes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

31. COBBLER MIX

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. powdered vanilla

Combine and blend the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an
airtight container.

Attach this to the Jar:
Berry Cobbler
Serves 8 to 10
4 cups fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries or boysenberries)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1 package Cobbler Mix
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large mixing bowl combine berries,
juice, sugar and cinnamon. Place berries in a 13x9-inch pan. In
small mixing bowl blend the butter with the egg. Add the Cobbler Mix
& stir until the mixture sticks together. Drop the cobbler topping
by tablespoonfuls on top of the berry filling. Bake for 35 to 45
minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is
bubbling. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

32. COCONUT GRANOLA

2/3 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 oz. wheat flakes
1 1/2 sticks melted, unsalted butter
4 oz. barley flakes**
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
4 oz. rye flakes**
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
1/2 cup dry-roasted cashews

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum
foil.
Mince orange peel with sugar in food processor about 1 minute. Add
butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg and blend 5 seconds. Add
remaining ingredients; toss thoroughly. Spread on pans and bake
until dry, stirring every ten minutes, about 45 minutes. Cool and
store in airtight container or jar. Attach a pretty lid if giving as
a gift **Available at natural food stores or substitute rolled oats.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

33. COOKIE JAR SUGAR COOKIES

1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and
nutmeg. In a clean 1 quart sized glass jar with a wide mouth layer
the white sugar followed by the flour mixture. Press firmly in place
and seal.

Attach a card with the following instructions:
In a large bowl: beat 1 egg with 1 cup softened butter or margarine
until light and fluffy. At low speed of an electric mixer add 1/2
cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and contents of Jar. Mix until
combined. Using hands if necessary. Cover dough and refrigerate for
several hours or overnight.
Remove dough from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
(190 degrees C). Roll chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface
to 1/8 inch thick. Cut dough into desired shapes. Place on an un-
greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for
10 to 12 minutes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

34. CRANBERRY HOOTYCREEKS

5/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, in the order
listed.

Attach a tag with the following instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet
or line with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, cream together: 1/2
cup butter or margarine, softened, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla
until fluffy. Add the entire jar of ingredients and mix together by
hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared
baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges start to brown.
Cool on baking sheets or remove to cool on wire racks. Makes 18
cookies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

35. CRAZY CAKE MIX IN A JAR

2 cups flour
2/3 cup Cocoa Powder
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/3 cups Sugar

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, cocoa powder & baking powder.
Layer ingredients in jar in order given in a 1 quart canning jar. It
is helpful to tap jar lightly on a padded surface (towel on counter)
as you layer the ingredients to make all ingredients fit neatly. Use
scissors to cut a 9 inch-diameter circle from fabric of your choice.
Center fabric circle over lid and secure with a rubber band. Tie on
a raffia or ribbon bow to cover the rubber band.

Attach a card with the following directions:

CRAZY CAKE
This is a crazy cake because you mix the cake all together in the
pan that you bake it in. Pour contents of jar into a 9 x 13 inch
baking pan, and then add the following ingredients:
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp. Vinegar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups Water
Stir cake ingredients together using a wire whisk or fork, making
certain that all ingredients are completely mixed together. Bake at
350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Frost as desired or serve sprinkled
with powdered sugar, with fresh fruit on the side.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

36. CREOLE SEASONING MIX

2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon pepper

Combine all ingredients. Yield: 1 gift (about 1/2 cup). Place in a
pretty jar tied with a ribbon.

Attach these instructions for use: Use to season chicken seafood,
steak or vegetables.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

37. CURRIED RICE MIX
This curried rice mix is an interesting complement for plain chicken
or pork.

1 cup long-grain rice
1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. curry powder

Layer the ingredients in the order given in a 1-1/2-cup jar.

Attach this to the Jar:
Curried Rice
Serves 6
2 1/2 cups water
1 package Curried Rice Mix
In a medium saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add the rice mix.
Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

38. CUSTOM COOKIES IN A JAR

1 cake mix, any flavor
1/2 c. oats, quick or old fashioned
1 c. chocolate chips
Optional add in: Butterscotch chips, raisins, milk chocolate chips,
white chips, nuts, etc. Use your imagination and go crazy.

This is mixed up and put into a 1 quart container.

Put this info on a card and attach it to the jar....
Add to mix:
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs slightly beaten
Drop dough by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart onto un-greased cookie
sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes. Cool a minute before
removing from cookie sheet.
HINT: Do not over bake. In fact they are much better under baked a
little and left on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing.

Holiday Open House Recipe Sampler

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Holiday Open House is an ebook written by Marilyn Moll in the Spirit of Titus 2 to encourage women, wives, and mothers of all ages to restore the lost art of biblical hospitality. This ebook is filled with planning tips, decorating ideas and fabulous recipes.

Introduction:

The holiday season offers an opportunity to open our hearts to friends and relative, guests and strangers with warmth and generosity into our homes. It's important to differentiate between Martha Stewart-style entertaining, however, and biblical hospitality. Entertaining is often lavish, and done to impress others, and done so with the expectation that your equally or more lavish party will be reciprocated.

Biblical hospitality, however, emphasizes the willingness to open your home to others and share what you have without any expectations of a return or a reward, with the goal of building relationships.

Are you are thinking of having an open house, dessert party, game night, birthday party or other celebration? Wonderful! The holiday season offers an opportunity to open our hearts to friends and relative, guests and strangers with warmth and generosity into our homes.

People will be delighted just to be invited to get to know you and your family better. Here are some simple and realistic planning steps.

For Planning Steps: Scroll down

Here is a small recipe sampler from Holiday Open House:

Cheese Balls

Cheese Balls are a great way to serve cheese and crackers more economically then sliced hard cheeses. They can be made ahead easily if carefully wrapped, and re-rolled if need be. If you are going to have a party, stock up on cream cheese while it is on sale. It is used in many, many different dips, and appetizers be sure to buy plenty.

Cheese Ball #1

3 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese (3/4 lb)
8 oz cream cheese
Small jar of pimentos
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup mayo
1 small onion, finely chopped (optional)
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Mix all ingredients together. (Tip: put cream cheese out on the counter for a few hours to warm up. It will mix much easier warm than cold.) Combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the parley and Form cheese mixture into a ball or log and roll in paprika and parsley. Chill until ready to serve, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Serve with crackers.

Hummus and Pita Chips
Hummus is traditionally a creamy puree of seasoned chickpeas. Hummus is VERY inexpensive to make and really helps fill up tummies.

2 cloves roasted garlic for best flavor or raw-roughly chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup drained bean liquid to make it creamy (optional)
14 oz (400g) canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)-rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp cumin or more to taste
2TB olive oil
1/2 - 1 tsp Real salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth, scraping the sides occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with a variety of vegetables.

Variations: Spicier, Roasted Red Pepper, and Black Olive versions

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

2 cups of mayo
1 (14oz) jar of artichoke hearts (NOT marinated, just plain), drained and chopped
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cloves minced garlic

Mix all together and bake in a pie plate for 20-25 minutes in 350 degree oven or until warmed. Serve with party rye bread and wheat crackers.

Butter Nut Snowballs
I have been using this recipe for nearly 30 years!

1 Cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use kamut flour)
2 cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans ( I use pecans) (more of a coarse flour consistency)
Confectioner's Sugar

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.Add the flour, salt, and blend well. Add in the finely chopped nuts. Shape into 1 inch balls.Bake 325° F for 30 minutes. Do not brown! Roll in confectioner's sugar while still warm and place on cooling racks.

PinWheels
Red and green makes these colorful and tasty for the Christmas holidays

2 packages of cream cheese (8oz) softened,
1 package ranch salad dressing mix (dry mix)
1/2 cup minced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup minced black olives (optional)
3-4 flour tortillas (10 inch)

In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and dressing mix until smooth. Add the red peppers,celery, onion, and olives; mix well. Spread about 3/4 cup on each tortilla. Roll up tightly;
wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Slice into 1/2 inch
pieces. Yield: 15-20 servings (Double or triple as needed) Make ahead!

Chili/Cheese Dip
My children and their friends absolutely adore this dip and request it often. So
easy they can make it themselves. Double the amounts for a crowd.

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 can chili
Tortilla Chips or Fritos
Optional Garnishes: sliced green onion or chopped cilantro

Cut up cream cheese and lay on the bottom of a 8 inch baking pan. Pour chili on top of cream cheese. Sprinkle the cheese over the chili. Bake at 375 until heated through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips. Double or triple as needed.

Serving Idea: To make this into an entrée, serve with baked potatoes. Cut cooked potatoes open and spread the dip over the potatoes. Add some onions or chives.

Plan an Open House:

1. Determine the date, time, and purpose of your party or open house. Send out written invitations or make phone calls several weeks ahead so your event is on their calendar. RSVPs help with planning but are often overlooked. Be sure to give a date by which you wish to hear from people. Don't stress if people fail to RSVP and show up anyway, as the social grace of response to them is becoming lost.

2. Start planning the food you will be serving based on the time of day your party is planned. If you start your planning up to a month ahead of time, many appetizers, cheese balls, cookies, and more can be prepared or purchased and frozen ahead. It is perfectly acceptable to incorporate convenience foods and commercial, frozen appetizers such as mini pizzas or quiches, chicken wings, or desserts to make a realistic do-able menu plan.

Calculate the number of servings of each item you expect people will eat and multiply that times the number of guests. Then you will be able to make detailed lists of quantities of ingredients that will be needed for the food, as well as the supplies you wish to have on hand, including cups, plates, napkins and decorations. Paper products add more expense but also streamline cleanup, so balance cost versus convenience in all your planning.

If you use what you have on hand, expenses may be controlled. Purchase the paper products, and non-perishable grocery items as far ahead as possible, always keeping an eye open for sales when you can stock up. Keep detailed lists updated and revised as you go.

3. Identify which serving dishes will be used for each food item and set aside all the serving pieces needed for your occasion ahead of time. If you don't have enough serving pieces, borrow these items beforehand. Plan how you will present each food item attractively with a workable flow. This is a good time to determine who will be responsible, during the party, to keep food trays and beverage service refreshed. Enlist their help ahead of time. This would be a good opportunity to train a responsible child to be attentive to serving others.

4. Develop a realistic timeline for decorating (if needed), last minute food preparations, and cleaning tasks. Enlist the help of family members, friends or relatives in all aspects of food and home preparations. Remember, you do not need to do it all yourself so don't be embarrassed about asking! Guests will be delighted to contribute whatever they can. It's even okay to ask that the guest bring or prepare a specific item or recipe.

5. Pray over your plans and preparations. Ask the Lord to enable you to be creative and to plan a beautiful, delicious selection of foods without overspending. Make your party plans and preparations fun for yourself as well as the guests by keeping the attitude that you are serving the Lord and doing this for His glory. Avoid perfectionism which will rob your joy! Sometimes our best and funniest memories will be the things that were forgotten or didn't go perfectly!

6. Execute your plan on party day by allowing plenty of time for last minute preparations and assigning tasks to family members.

Menu Planning Tips:

1. When planning the menu for an open house or a buffet, consider serving a wide variety of foods that contrast in color, shape, size, taste (sweet, sour, type of seasonings), and temperatures (hot and cold). For example, a vegetable platter with orange carrots, white cauliflower, green broccoli florettes, red cherry tomatoes, and green celery sticks gives a variety of shape, color, and crunch while the accompanying dips offer complementary smooth texture. Meatballs are warm, savory, and chewy; cheese balls are cold, smooth and spicy and can be served with crackers which are dry, flat and crunchy. Mixed nuts are small and salty; cookies, candies and other desserts contribute sweetness which contrasts and complements the salty or spicy foods being served.

2. Family favorites that are tried and true recipes can be served to help reinforce the memory of the occasion. As long as you have a wide variety of food items, you will have something that appeals to everyone without boredom and monotony. Leftovers are a very good thing when having a party because no-one wants to come up short on food. Besides, when you plan for leftovers, you plan for future meals that will require minimal preparations.

3. I suggest that your open house menu include finger foods such as a platter each for veggies and fruits, including dips, a crockpot of meat balls or chicken wings, appetizers such as mini-quiches, a cheese ball with crackers or chips, sweets, and beverages. If you are planning around regular meal times, make sure you allow extra servings of each item as people will be more hungry and eat more. Events planned after regular meal times, such as early afternoon or after dinner will not require as much food and variety.

4. Beverages should be simple but tasty. Hot and cold beverages such as sweetened and unsweetened ice tea with lemon, apple cider or juice, and hot tea and coffee is sufficient. Always have a pitcher of cold water available. Beautiful, rich, sweet punches may compete with the foods you are serving. Avoid serving soda as it is expensive and the plastic bottles are tacky.

Holiday Open House contains over 30 pages of easy, tasty, mouth watering, appetizing recipes and informaton including how to adorn and decorate your home on a shoestring.

Buy you copy now by Clicking Here.

Holiday Timetable - Get a Jump Start on Holiday Planning

We, at The Urban Homemaker, don't advocate complicated or expensive holiday celebrations, and wish to encourage your family to focus on the true meaning of the holiday season.

However, this twelve-week simplified timetable could be used as a checklist and is designed to be flexible in order to assist you in focusing in on your family's priorities for Thanksgiving, Christmas. We believe holiday planning promotes order and harmony, offerring you time to evaluate what is really important to your family.

Remember, the timetable is merely a suggestion; rearrange, add, or delete activites from the schedule to meet the needs of your family.

Sheri Graham wrote The 12 Week Holiday Planner for The Christian Family So you Can Keep Your Focus on Jesus for the Holiday Season based on my Holiday Timetable!

Sheri says, "My desire in putting together this eBook is to provide a tangible way for you to plan out your holidays so they are enjoyable, less stressful, and more filled with the things that really matter."

If you would like to preview Sheri's ebook before purchasing it please Click Here:

Week #1 - List Week Oct 3- 8
Make your lists of gift recipients, Christmas cards, menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, goodies to share or to give, favorite meals to prepare ahead, decorations needed, gifts to make.

Week #2 - Browse Week Oct 10-16
Develop and record ideas for gifts, decorations. Ask yourself the following questions:
* What would our ideal Christmas be like?
* What activities are particularly important to our family at Christmas?
* How much emphasis do our Christmas activities place on the spiritual side of Christmas?

Week #3 - Supplies Week Oct 17-23
After inventorying supplies on hand, purchase non-perishables needed for holiday baking, and supplies needed for gift making,, gift wrapping, etc.

Week #4 - Baking Week: Oct 24-30
Set aside the time needed to complete holiday goodie making. Make lists of toys, books, and clothes that children would enjoy. More...

Week #5 - Gift Making Week Oct 31 - Nov 6
Focus your energies on completing gifts to be made. More...

Week #6 - Shopping Week #1 Nov 7-13
Decorate your home for Thanksgiving and focus on gift buying for prepared list. Wrap and label packages as you go. More...

Week #7 -Shopping Week #2 Nov 14-20
Complete as much shopping as possible. Take advantage of many items that are on sale before Thanksgiving! More...

Week #8 - Thanksgiving Week Nov 21-27
Use this week to prepare Thanksgiving dishes, pies, homemade rolls, and enjoy the holiday with your family. Marilyn's Traditional Thanksgiving Stress Free Plans and Easy Recipes for Busy Moms are at this link.

Week #9 - Mailing Week Nov 28-Dec 4
Complete package wrapping for gifts to be shipped...More.

Week #10 - Meal Making and Decorating WeekDec 5 -11
Prepare some favorite meals and other baked goods for the hectic days ahead. Decorate. Involve children in memory making! My recipes for Beef Burgundy and Honey Glazed Chicken and other reliable family favorites can be downloaded at this link.

Week #11 - Final Shopping/Wrapping Week Dec 12-18
Complete last minute details and enjoy holiday parties, concerts, and family activities. For quick and easy cookie recipes Click Here.

Week #12 - Enjoy Your Christmas Celebration Week Dec 19 - 25
Enjoy the Holidays with Family and Friends! Take time to drive the neighborhoods to enjoy holiday lighting displays. Enjoy family traditions and special meals. A complete holiday menu with delicious recipes is found at this link.

Some of information included in The 12 Week Holiday Planner for The Christian Family book:

*Detailed ideas of what to do weekly for 12 Weeks

*"Sheri's Tips"- tips to make your holidays meaningful

*Christmas Craft and Gift Ideas

*Memory Making Ideas for the Family

*Ideas for Baked Items to Share/Give Away

*Ideas for Meals to Freeze for Use during the busy weeks

*Decoration Ideas

*Supplies to stock up on ahead of time or when on sale

*Ideas for a Holiday Baking Schedule

*Kids' Gift Idea List

PLUS!!! "The Glorious Coming: A Jesse Tree Celebration of Advent" - Jesse Tree devotionals
If you would like to get more ideas of how to focus on Jesus as the reason for the season be sure to join our discussion!

If you would like to preview Sheri's ebook before purchasing it please Click Here:

Honey Yams

 (From Holiday Menus by Sue Gregg used by Permission)

Serves 6 to 8 (double or triple as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Wash, pressure cook (see notes below) or bake, peel, and place in mixing bowl:
6 medium yams

2. Add and mash all together:
6 TB butter
6 TB honey
1/4 cup hot milk
2 tsp. grated lemon rind (I use orange)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

3. Place in casserole dish and top with:
chopped pecans

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Layered Cookie Mix

(From The Homemaker's Forum Vol. 3, #6 by Sarah Horton) This cookie mix, layered in a quart jar, makes a great "teacher", grandma, or "hostess" gift. My children love making this mix and we have received many requests for this recipe. Layer ingredients in a quart sized canning jar in the following order: 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts) 1 - 6 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate morsels 1 cup Butterscotch chips 1 cup flaked coconut 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (in a separate bag on top of other layers) To give as a gift, place the lid on the jar and cut a piece of fabric in a circle which is several inches larger than the jar lid. Pinking shears make a nice edge. Secure the fabric to the lid with a rubber band. Attach the directions for baking the cookies to the jar with a ribbon or raffia. Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 if using a glass dish). In a 13x9 inch baking pan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Sprinkle crumbs over butter. Top with remaining contents of jar. Press down firmly. Pour one can sweetened condensed milk over all. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars. Loosely cover any leftovers. Makes about 36 bars.

Layered Cookie Mix

(From The Homemaker's Forum Vol. 3, #6 by Sarah Horton)
This cookie mix, layered in a quart jar, makes a great "teacher", grandma, or "hostess" gift. My children love making this mix and we have received many requests for this recipe.

Layer ingredients in a quart sized canning jar in the following order:
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1 - 6 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup Butterscotch chips
1 cup flaked coconut
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (in a separate bag on top of other layers)

To give as a gift, place the lid on the jar and cut a piece of fabric in a circle which is several inches larger than the jar lid. Pinking shears make a nice edge. Secure the fabric to the lid with a rubber band. Add ribbon or raffia bow. Attach the directions for baking the cookies to the jar with a ribbon or raffia.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 if using a glass dish). In a 13x9 inch baking pan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Sprinkle crumbs over butter. Top with remaining contents of jar. Press down firmly. Pour one can sweetened condensed milk over all. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars. Loosely cover any leftovers. Makes about 36 bars.

Marilyn's Christmas Cookie Recipes - Quick and Easy

We love to make cookies at Christmas time but we don't have time to do fussy rosettes and complicated recipes. All my recipes are quick and easy without multiple steps. As long as I have an assortment of cookies with different shapes, sizes, and colors including a little chocolate we are content. These are the cookie recipes, other than the sugar cookie cut-outs that my family asks for each year.

BUTTER NUT SNOWBALLS
(I have had this recipe for nearly 30 years!)

1 Cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use kamut flour)
2 cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans ( I use pecans) (more of a coarse flour consistency)
Confectioner's Sugar

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.Add the flour, salt, and blend well. Add in the finely chopped nuts. Shape into 1 inch balls.Bake 325� F for 30 minutes. Do not brown! Roll in confectioner's sugar while still warm and place on cooling racks.

PEANUT BLOSSOMS
This recipe is fun to make with your children.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose or whole grain flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
2 TB milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
48 milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped

In a large mixer bowl, stir flour, soda, and sal.t Add remaining ingredients except candy and beat at low speed of mixer until well combined, scraping bowl occasionally. chill dough 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375�F. Roll small amounts of dough into 1 inch ball.s Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and imediately press a chocolate kiss into each center. The cookie cracks around the edge. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 4 dozen, about 70 calories each.

RASPBERRY BARS
(Super fast and easy, festive, delicious)

1 yellow cake mix
2 1/2 C uncoolked quick oats
3/4 C. butter, melted
1 - 12 oz jar of raspberry preserves or jelly of choice

Combine cake mix and oats. Stir in butter until mixture is crumbly. I mix this in my Bosch mixer. It seems to distribute the butter better. Press about 3 cups mixture evenly into a greased 13 X 9 pan. Spread preserves over the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Pat gently to level the topping. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into bars. Yield 32 bars.

DATE BARS
These are excellent, festive, delicious

2 1/2 Cups dates, cut up
1/4 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts (opt)
1 1/4 cups whole grain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups Quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 TB water

Combine dates, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until like thick jam. Cool. Stir in nuts, if desired. Meanwhile, sift together flour, salt and soda into mixing bowl, stir in oats and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle 1 TB water over oat mixture; mix lightly. Pat about 2/3 od crumb mixture into greased 13 X 9 X 2 pan. Spread with date mixture. Cover with remaining crumb mixture, pat lightly. Bake at 350�F for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool; cut inot bars. Makes about 40 bars.

Double Chocolate Mint Treasures


3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar or Sucanat
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups whole grain flour
1/2 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars.
Add egg, vanilla and peppermint extract.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add to wet ingredients and then stir in chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes on greased cookie sheet.

Microwave Peanut Brittle - Fun to do with Children

My kids have made this recipe for holiday gifts for years, and the recipients always ask for more.

1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda

Stir together peanuts, sugar, syrup, and salt in a 1-1/2 quart casserole or batter bowl. Place in microwave oven and cook 7-9 minutes, stirring well, after 4 minutes. Color should turn a pale yellow-brown.Add butter and vanilla to syrup, blending well. Return to oven and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Peanuts will be lightly browned and syrup very hot. Add baking soda and stir as quickly as possible until light and foamy. Pour mixture onto lightly greased cookie sheet, let cool 1/2 to 1 hour. When cool, break into small pieces and store in airtight container.

NOTE: If roasted salted peanuts are used, omit salt and add peanuts after first 4 minutes of cooking.

Never Fail Pie Crust

PERFECT PIE CRUST
I'm not a pie expert, but this pie crust has been quite reliable for me and easy to put together. It is from the Set For Life Cookbook by Jane Merrill and Karen Sunderland reprinted by permission.

Never-Fail Pie Crust

3 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup lard, shortening, or unsalted butter
1/3 cup plus 1 TB ice water
1 egg, beaten
1 TB vinegar

Place the flour and salt in mixer bowl. Cut lard into flour until mixture is the size of peas with a pastry blender or French whips of mixer. Remove 1 cup of flour mixture, and place in a medium-size bowl. Add water, egg, and vinegar to flour mixture in medium sized bowl. Stir with a fork, or jog in with pulse feature on electric mixer. Add this mixture to flour/lard mixture in mixer bowl, and mix JUST until dough sticks together. Divide the dough into three or four equal portions.

Place one portion in the center of a 12 X 15 inch piece of waxed paper. Place another piece of waxed paper on top. Roll with rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top sheet from dough, and invert dough and waxed paper over a 9-inch pie pan. Pull waxed paper from dough. Crimp edges of crust. For an unfilled pie shell, prick dough with a fork every 1/4 inch. Bake in a 400° oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. For a filled single or double crust pie, bake as directed on pie recipe. Wrap and freeze unused portions of pie dough. Bake: 400° 10-12 min. Yield: 3-4 9" pie shells.

Additional Perfect Pie Crust Hints

1. Make sure the water is iced! If the dough is chilled for an hour or so before rolling it out, I have more success.
2. Handle the dough as little as possible to avoid creating a "tough" crust!
3. If the pie crust comes apart when placing the crust in the pie pan, piece it together, don't re-roll the dough.
4. Use half whole grain flour along with the unbleached white flour called for in the recipe.

Passover Seder Recipes

Matzah Kugle
This dish is simple delicious. It can be made ahead and refrigerated. Leftovers are welcome at our house!

6 pieces of Matzah
1 dozen eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
8 grated apples (tart ones are best)
grated rind of 1 orange
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped almonds

Crumble pieces of Matzah into water and soak until soft (do not drown!); squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands. Beat the eggs. Ad sugar, salt, and cinnamon, beating till well blended. Stir crumbled matzahs, raisins, almonds, apples, and orange rind into the egg mixture. Turn it all into a well-greased 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on top and pour the melted butter on top of that. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, until firm and nicely brown.

Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls

Chicken Soup Stock

Start with a 4-5 pound chicken or use the back and the insides of the chickens you might be serving.

3 quarts of water
2 onions,
3 carrots
2 pieces of celery, stalks, and tops
1 TB salt
Several good shakes of garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp. dill weed

Clean the chicken thoroughly; clean and cut up the vegetables. Add all of the ingredients to the water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat. Simmer for 2 hours. Pour the soup through a colander, and refrigerate broth for 2-3 hours, until the fat forms a layer at the top. Save the carrots aside. Remove the layer of fat and return the broth and carrots to the pot to reheat. This will boil down to about 2- 2 1/2 quarts of soup. If you want to stretch it a little, add more water and a few chicken bouillon cubes (when n one is looking).

Matzah Balls (a.k.a. Knaidlekh)

1 Cup Matzah meal
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil or chicken fat from the stock
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper

Traditionally, Matzah balls are made with "schmaltz", rendered chicken fat.

Beat the eggs, Add water, oil, salt, and pepper to the eggs; mix well. Add the Matzah meal nad stir thorougly. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Bring a pot of slightly salted water to a rolling boil. Form the Matzah meal mixture into 1 " size balls and drop (gently, please) into the water. First they sink, but then they should rise to the top. Cook 20 minutes. You may set these aside and later add them to the soup, before serving. Makes about 30 -1" balls.

PECAN PIE

A simple, easy and delicious classic!

PREHEAT OVEN TO 450°

Line a 9" pie pan with single crust of pie dough (Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2uwal), fork it all over very thoroughly to allow steam to escape and bake it only partially, from 5 to 7 minutes. Allow it to cool. Reduce oven heat to 375°.
Combine and beat thoroughly:

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
Stir In:
1 cup pecan halves
1 tsp. vanilla

Fill the shell. Bake the pie 40 to 50 minutes at 375° or until a knife inserted in the filling comes out clean. I have found that when the pie looks browned it is done. Serve warm or cold.

Perfect Cranberry Relish Mold

 

I have served this jello mold at Thanksgiving and Christmas for nearly 30 years!
Yields 8-10 servings

1. Assemble and prepare the following ingredients:
20 oz. can crushed pineaplle, unsweetned (drain, reserving the juice)
2 pkg (3 oz each) cherry or strawberry gelatin
1 Cup boiling water
1 Cup whole cranberries
1 - 11 oz can mandarin oranges
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 TB lemon juice

2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice.

3. Chill until thickened. Meanwhile, coarse chop cranberries in blender or food grinder.

4. Add cranberries, oranges, pineapple, celery, and pecans to gelatin. Place mixture in holiday jello mold or attractive glass serving bowl. Chill until firm.

Perfect Homemade Gravy

Ladies, don't spoil your feast by using store bought turkey gravy mix. Your guests will notice the difference and remember this delicious homemade gravy. My daughter was horrified when she was helping another family clean up the meal and all the turkey drippings had been discarded! Make lots of gravy, it is perfect for leftovers, and many turkey casserole variations.

The secret to homemade gravy is to make a delicious stock/base by simmering the giblets and neck in 2-3 cups of water while the turkey roasts, and saving ALL the drippings and browned crusty bits on the bottom of the roasting pan. Canned chicken broth or commercial gravy mix is a poor substitute, so resolve not to be tempted to compromise these steps.

Pour all the turkey drippings from the roasting pan into a large measuring cup (at least 2 Cup measure) and allow the grease to separate. While the drippings are separating, pour 2-3 cups of water into the roasting pan and bring it to a boil by placing the pan on two burners on your stove top. Using a wooden spoon, stir up these browned bits so they "dissolve" into the water. This step is essential to wonderful tasting, beautifully browned gravy and makes cleaning up a roasting pan a much easier task. Reserve 4-8TB (1/4- 1/2 Cup) of the turkey grease once it separates from the drippings.

After the roasting pan has simmered with water and turned a deep brown color, combine this liquid with turkey drippings (not the fat) and the broth from simmering turkey giblets so that you have 5-6 Cups of liquid. I use my 6-Cup blender as a measuring cup.

Then combine 1/4-1/2 Cup turkey fat (or butter) with 8-10 TB flour (whole wheat pastry preferred) until it gelatinizes, or thickens in a large sauce pan. Keep stirring over medium low heat for about one minute.

Now, VERY GRADUALLY, pour the liquid from the turkey giblets and the roasting pan into the fat/flour mixture while you stir it continuously so as to not have any lumps. Stir continuously until the entire mixture thickens. Adjust the liquid if needed so you have a nice pourable gravy. Add 2-3 tsp salt or to taste, OR use 1-2 TB of Sue's Kitchen Magic for a richer/deeper flavor and for a lower sodium gravy. Save leftover gravy leftovers for future meals, open face sandwiches, etc!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe - Family Favorite

PUMPKIN BREAD
This classic pumpkin bread recipe will make 3 large or 4 medium sized loaves, plenty for family and gifts.

4 1/2 C. sugar, white, brown, Sucanat, or combination
1 1/2 C. vegetable oil
6 eggs
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 TB salt
3 C. canned pumpkin
1 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
4 1/2 C flour

Combine first eight ingredients and beat one minute. Stir together the flour, soda and baking powder, then add to wet mixture. Stir all ingredients until well-combined. Pour batter into loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake in 325 F oven for 50-60 minutes (regular sized loaf pans). Decrease baking time for muffins and mini-loaves. Test for doneness, cool five minutes in pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Wrap completely cooled product in plastic wrap or bread bags for storage.

Variation: Add 1-2 C. chopped nuts and,or raisins to batter before baking. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Quick and Easy Last Minute Gifts from Your Kitchen

Quick and Easy Gifts from your Kitchen

MICROWAVE PEANUT BRITTLE
My kids make this for gifts with my supervision. Quick and Easy
1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda

Stir together peanuts, sugar, syrup, and salt in a 1-1/2 quart casserole or batter bowl. Place in microwave oven and cook 7-9 minutes, stirring well, after 4 minutes. Color should turn a pale yellow-brown.Add butter and vanilla to syrup, blending well. Return to oven and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Peanuts will be lightly browned and syrup very hot. Add baking soda and stir as quickly as possible until light and foamy. Pour mixture onto lightly greased cookie sheet, let cool 1/2 to 1 hour. When cool, break into small pieces and store in airtight container.

NOTE: If roasted salted peanuts are used, omit salt and add peanuts after first 4 minutes of cooking.

FUDGE

This is another quick and easy recipe kids can help with.

3 - 6 0z pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips (18 oz)
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
dash salt
1/2 - 1 Cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan over low heat, melt chips with condensed milk and salt, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add nuts and vanilla. Spred evenly in 8 X 9" pan. Chil until firm. Cut to desired size.

SNOWMAN SOUP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Directions: Fill sandwich-size zip lock bags with:

one packet hot cocoa mix - or 1/4 Cup Commercial Hot Chocolate Mix
some chocolate chips
some mini-marshmallows
a mini candy cane

Label: Snowman Soup (Poem)

I was told you've been real good this year.
I'm always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
you'll need to warm the spirit.
So here's a little Snowman Soup
complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It's sure to do the trick!

The little poem could be printed on a computer label or nicely written or calligraphied with special pens, stickers, etc. Place the baggie in cute little mugs found in the dollar store for an extra special, and economical gift.

Try using our famous Country Cream Dutch Chocolate Cocoa Mix. It is perfect for camping and cold winter nights! Made from REAL Dutch cocoa. It is the finest, creamiest, smoothest hot chocolate o
r wonderfully refreshing chocolate milk or your money back! Each can makes nearly five gallons. Compare this mix with any other brand and I think you'll see this is tops!

ZIPPY SPICED NUTS
(
This is another very easy to make snack/gift with children)

4 T oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1/2 - 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
dash cayenne ,optional, if you like something hot
1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 C. raw almonds
2 C. raw pecans
2 C. raw walnuts ( or any combination of nuts desired)
Raw sunflower seeds, optional

Pour oil into non-stick skillet. Add all ingredients EXCEPT the sunflower seeds. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, be careful that nuts don't burn. Add sunflower seeds, drain on brown paper sack and store in the refrigerator. Yummy, healthy, habit forming! Package in jars, cans or holiday decorated bags for gifts.

For more information, please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call toll free at 1-800-552-7323 Copyright 2003 The Urban Homemaker. Reprint rights granted only if proper credit is given.

Resources and Recipes to Celebrate St Patrick's Day



My family and I traditionally observe  St. Patrick's Day with traditional Irish food. 

Having read biographies of St Patrick with my children when they were younger, I wish there was more known about the man.  We know that he was  the son of a Roman nobleman, and he was born in Scotland. He was kidnapped from his hometown and taken as a slave into Ireland around the age of 16. He escaped to Gaul, at the age of 22, and returned to Scotland.

One source claims that to learn about the man behind the holiday, one can read Confessio and Epistola,
letters he wrote. The first is described as Saint Patrick's spiritual autobiography. The second is his attempt to right the mistreatment of Irish Christians at the hands of the British. These two works, however, do not teach us enough about the man to know what is true and what is fancy.

I like to believe the story surrounding Saint Patrick, that after years of slavery and imprisonment,   God enabled him to win pagan Ireland to Christ by his explanation of the Trinity using a shamrock. He taught that God is one being, with three separate personalities – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

As a teaching tool, he plucked a shamrock from the ground and showed the pagans how the shamrock is one plant with three separate leaves.

If you have younger children you might enjoy downloading
St. Patrick's Day Coloring Pages a complimentary ebook with pages to color with shamrocks and other traditional Irish lore.  You can use the pages as a jumping off point for a lesson about St Patrick.

With older children, you might like to talk about the life of St Patrick as well as have them help prepare a traditional meal of Corned Beef, cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, and Irish Cream Cheesecake.  All this information is contained in a complimentary ebook called  St. Patrick's Day:Not Just for the Irish.

Other information traditionally associated with  St. Patrick’s Day including the tradition of wearing, green, the shamrock, the Blarney Stone, and Leprechauns are also explained in the ebook  St. Patrick's Day:Not Just for the Irish .

Awhile ago, I told you about a great Menu Planning Service that is a Quick and Easy Way To Get Dinner On The Table and Enjoy More Quality Time WithYour Family... I told you about another free report that you can pick up where you'll find out the details, Plus:
Pick up your free report and find out more about how Menu Planning Just Got Even Easier. 
Healthy



Resurrection Eggs


There are several ways to use the plastic Easter eggs with "props" to teach the Easter Story to young children..

A.  You can summarize the story using the "article" in each egg as a prop as you go.

B.  Or, you can also read a book and pause using the article in each egg as a prop as you read, Benjamin’s Box  by Melody Carlson.  It is written so it can be used along with the Resurrection Eggs.

C.  Tell or read the Easter story. Have the children open the eggs and use as props.

To make your own Resurrection Eggs:

#1 – Bread or small cracker pieces – For the last meal Jesus ate with His friends (Passover) Mark 14:22 or Luke 22:14

#2 – Rooster (feather) – Jesus predicted that Peter would lie three different times and say he didn’t know Jesus by the time the rooster crowed. – Matthew 26:33

#3 – 3 silver dimes - Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver money. Luke 22:3-5, Luke 22:47-52


#4 – Thorns – People were mad that Jesus said He was the Son of God, so they made a crown of pointy thorns to put on His head – Matthew 27:29-31 and Mark 15:17

#5 – Nails – Jesus was nailed to a cross. They left Him hanging there until He died, even though He hadn’t done anything wrong. Matthew 27:31 and Luke 23:33 and Luke 23:40-41

#6 – The Cross -  They placed His cross on a hill between two other men who were criminals.

#7 – Dice – W
hen the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and played a game to decide who would get his clothes – John 19:23-24

#8 – Spear – Use a toothpick to symbolize that one of the soldiers pierced Jesus side.

#9 – White cloth –(Use cheesecloth or other small scrap) After Jesus died, His friends wrapped Him up with cloth and lay Him in a special cave, a tomb. Luke 23:53 and Matthew 27:57-60

#10 – Cinnamon Sticks – Three women brought special spices to anoint Jesus body. Mark 16:1

#11 – Stone (small pebble) – The people who had kidded Jesus put a large rock over the mouth of the tomb, to make sure that no one could get Jesus out. Matthew 27: 62-65 and Matthew 28:66

#12 – Empty!! – Three days later, the huge rock was moved and Jesus was gone from the tomb. An angel said He was alive again! This day is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday because Jesus was raised to life again and lives today!  Luke 24:3, 6 and Matthew 28:2-6

More Easter Themed Activities:

To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

Or make Hot Cross Buns.

More Ideas for Adding Meaning to your Easter Celebration.

Simple Christmas Traditions Can Still be Merry and Bright

Untitled Document

A SIMPLE CHRISTMAS CAN STILL BE MERRY AND BRIGHT


Copyright 2006 Nancy Twigg is the author of newly revised book, Celebrate
Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and
Special Occasions
.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
www.celebratesimply.com

The other day I heard something that surprised me. A recent
nationwide study showed that 70% of those polled planned to
spend the same amount or even more this Christmas than they
did last year. When I read this, I couldn't help but wonder who
the pollsters talked to when they did their poll.

They must not have talked to my friends, Chuck and Melinda,
who were both downsized from their jobs a few months ago.
They couldn't have contacted Mike and Faye, a single-income
family struggling since Mike lost his job. The survey surely
didn't include input from my friends Sarah or Rachel, both
of whom have been laid off for close to a year. Maybe someone,
somewhere is planning to spend more at Christmas, but certainly
not anyone I know.

The truth is that many Americans are facing the challenge of
celebrating the holidays this year on limited budgets due to
cutbacks and downsizing. This prospect can be both discouraging
and unnerving for those who have always done Christmas in a
big way. Even families who normally celebrate rather simply are
looking to simplify even more during these tight economic times.

Unfortunately, most Christmas traditions involve spending. Just
think about all the dollars each year that go for gifts, wrapping
paper, live trees, decorations, greeting cards and traditional
meals with all the trimmings. But for those experiencing layoffs
this year, spending a small fortune or charging up the credit
cards for these things is not a prudent option.

Are there ways to enjoy the holiday season without all the
spending? Thankfully the answer to this question is, "Yes!"
Here are some ideas for keeping the celebration simple, yet
meaningful for your family:

1) Handcrafted gifts and decorations

Experience the joy of giving something made with your own
two hands. Handmade gifts are not only unique but they also
show you care enough to invest time and energy into your
giving. Check out library books containing homemade gift
ideas or use Yahoo.com or Google.com to do an Internet
search. The same goes for decorating your home. Instead
of buying decorations, use your creative abilities plus things
you already have on hand to give your home a festive look
and feel.

2) Electronic Season's Greetings

Sending Christmas cards instead of gifts is a great way to
save money, but the cost of store-bought cards adds up
quickly. Even if you make your own, the cost of postage
can be restrictive for those on a tight budget. For friends
and relatives who use email, consider sending electronic
Christmas cards instead. Many websites send e-cards
for free, and they offer a wide variety of cards from which
to choose. Visit Gcards.com or 123greetings.com or do
an Internet search for other free greeting card sites.

3) Free family activities

When cutting corners, don't cut out all the fun. Look for
ways your family can enjoy quality time together without
spending. Check your newspaper's community calendar
for free church programs, musicals or community events.
Just driving around looking at Christmas lights while
sipping homemade hot cocoa can be great fun when you
do it together.

4) Focus on giving rather than receiving

Instead of moaning about what you can't afford this year,
why not focus on how you can give of yourself? Many non-
profit organizations need extra helping hands during the
holiday season. Contact your local Volunteer Center or
United Way office to inquire about opportunities for service
in your area. Volunteering together allows family members
to experience the joy of giving without expecting anything
in return.

5) Low-cost or no-cost gift giving

Rather than exchanging gifts with extended family members
and friends, plan a special evening together with each family
during the holiday season. Enjoy a simple meal and then
watch a favorite holiday movie or do a giant jigsaw puzzle
together while munching on popcorn and snacks. Another
option is to give gifts of time or service such as free baby-
sitting, housecleaning, cooking, etc., to those on your gift
list. Look for ways to give meaningfully instead of materially.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Twigg is the author of newly revised book, Celebrate
Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and
Special Occasions
. Celebrate Simply is filled with ideas and insights to make all your holidays
and special occasions what you really want them to be.

You can order Celebrate Simply Here.
________________________________

St Patrick's Day Recipes

I received these recipes from oldfashionedliving.com. According to the editor, Bacon and cabbage are the more traditional Irish recipe. Corned beef and cabbage is a more Irish American food
that was adapted from this recipe for Bacon and Cabbage once in America.

Irish Bacon and Cabbage

Ingredients:
2 pounds thick slab bacon
1 cabbage-you can mix regular cabbage and Savoy
8 peeled potatoes
butter
Salt and pepper

Cover the slab bacon with cold water and bring it to a boil-drain
the water off and put back in the pan again-covering with cold
water. Bring to boil again and then simmer for about an hour
and 20 minutes. Remove outer leaves of cabbage. Cut in half,
add to the saucepan and simmer for the last 20 minutes. Remove
bacon from the pan, and carve into thin slices. Drain cabbage,
season with salt and pepper, chop and add a tablespoon of butter.
Serve the bacon with the cabbage. Also serve this with boiled
potatoes that have been seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh
minced parsley. I'm sure bread was part of the meal as well!

Irish meals are very hearty and always include potatoes
and bread-at least the old fashioned farm meals!

Irish Stew (Ballymaloe)

Ingredients:
3 pounds lamb neck chops or other cut of lamb with bones
4 carrots
4 medium sized onions
1 tablespoon butter
fat of some type-lamb, beef or oil
4 large potatoes
Salt and pepper to season
2 1/2 cups stock or water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Add your fat to the pan-if it's oil, just add it and heat. If
it's a fat like bacon fat-heat til it melts. Peel the onions,
potatoes and carrots. Cut the meat into 8 pieces; cutting
of any excess fat. Bones need not be removed. Cut the
carrots and onions in quarters. Brown the meat in fat until
just browned and repeat with onions and carrots. Add stock
(use whatever stock you have on hand or water) and season.
If using canned stock, watch the salt-you won't need much.
Place the whole potatoes on top. Cover and simmer gently
until the meat is cooked about 2 hours. Pour off the cooking
liquid and defat. Reheat just the broth in another saucepan.
Taste for seasoning. Add in butter, chives, and parsley. Pour
back over stew and serve.

Irish Oat Bread

Ingredients:
8 ounces regular oatmeal (not instant)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup flour
2 tablespoons melted butter

Add the oatmeal to a bowl and cover with the buttermilk-
it should cover the oats. Let this sit overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, add baking powder, salt and part of the flour.
Mix well with a wooden spoon, continually adding flour until dough
is no longer sticky. Place dough on greased baking sheet or in
round bread pan, forming a round loaf; brush with melted butter.
Bake 30 minutes at 325 to 350 degrees. When toothpick put into
center comes out clean, it's done. If needed, bake 10 minutes
longer or until done. Makes 1 loaf.

Dressed Cabbage

Ingredients:
Whole Cabbage
4 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoons stock or water
1 pinch nutmeg or mace
1/2 teaspoon flour
Salt and pepper

Shred the cabbage. Melt half the butter in a heavy pot; then add
the cabbage and toss until covered with the butter. Add the stock
or water, cover and cook gently for about 20 minutes. By this time
the liquid should be nearly gone, and the cabbage cooked. Add the
nutmeg or mace, the flour, and stir well; then add the rest of the butter
and toss until melted into the cabbage. Season. Servings: 4


NOTE: The Irish cook often used a stock made with some type of
pork fat. You can use any type that is available.

THANKSGIVING RECIPES

Here is the Urban Homemaker Family's Traditional Thanksgiving Menu and recipes that we have been using for nearly twenty years. Recipes follow for the * Items.

 

Turkey, Homemade Gravy*, Herbed Stuffing*
Mashed Potatoes, Aunt Helen's Sweet Potatoes*,
Green Beans Amandine, Cranberry Relish Jello Salad*
Pumpkin Bread*,Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls*,
Apple Pie*, Pecan Pie*, coffee and tea.

 

AUNT HELEN'S SWEET POTATOES
The crispy, nutty topping will appeal to children of all ages.

1/4 Cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar or honey
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 lbs. fresh sweet potatoes cooked OR 4 lbs canned, drained sweet potatoes
(Note: Sweet potatoes are distinctly and vividly orange colored, extremely high in vitamin A and often mislabeled as Yams.)

To prepare sweet potatoes in their jackets, drop them into boiling water to cover and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. (I usually pressure cook the sweet potatoes in 10 minutes to save time and money.) Peel and mash the cooked sweet potatoes and mix with the other ingredients. Place in a shallow 11 X 7 baking dish, bake at 350� for 30-45 minutes. Then sprinkle the topping mixture over the sweet potatoes and bake another 15-20 minutes
Topping Mixture
2 Cups Crisp Rice cereal
1/2 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. brown sugar or Sucanat

CRANBERRY RELISH JELLO MOLD
I have served this jello mold at Thanksgiving and Christmas for nearly 30 years! This recipe can be prepared several days ahead.
Yields 8-10 servings

1. Assemble and prepare the following ingredients:

20 oz. can crushed pineapple unsweetened (drain, reserving the juice)
2 pkg (3 oz each) cherry, raspberry, or strawberry gelatin
1 Cup boiling water
1 Cup fresh, whole cranberries
1 - 11 oz can mandarin oranges
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 TB lemon juice

2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice.

3. Chill until gelatin begins to set-up about one hour. Meanwhile, coarsely chop cranberries in blender or food processor.

4. Stir in cranberries, oranges, pineapple, celery, and pecans to the thickened gelatin. Place this mixture in holiday jello mold or attractive glass serving bowl. Chill until firm.

HERBED STUFFING
Stuffing recipes are easy to make.

1. Cut bread into crouton-size cubes, about 20 slices of toasted white or whole wheat bread OR use one large bag of Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Mix (For homebaked whole wheat bread use 15 thin slices.) Place in a large bowl.

2 If you are using the Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix, omit this step.
IF you are using your own croutons, Combine in a separate small bowl and sprinkle over the bread:

2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 TB sage or poultry seasoning.

3. Crumble, brown, and drain the sausage. Add the sausage to the stuffing mix or bread cubes:

1/4 pound bulk turkey breakfast sausage,
1/4 pound bulk turkey Italian sausage
(Leftover sausage can be frozen for scrambled eggs, pizzas, etc.)

4. Saute the celery and onion in 1 TB of butter:

1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped onion

5. Next, add to the bread cubes/stuffing mixture:

4 TB fresh chopped parsley
1 peeled, cored, chopped Granny Smith or Jonathan apple
3/4 cup cranberries (for color/ optional)

6. Combine together:

1 stick melted butter
2 Cups canned chicken broth or reconstituted chicken broth powder

7. Drizzle all the liquid over the other ingredients and lightly toss until well mixed.

8. Stuff the bird loosely because stuffing expands during roasting, or place the mixture in a glass casserole dish and bake the stuffing separately until hot. It is very hard to ruin stuffing; use the ingredients you have and like, but don't forget the onion and celery. I can't wait to make this right now!

PERFECT HOMEMADE GRAVY

Ladies, don't spoil your feast by using store bought turkey gravy mix. Your guests will notice the difference and remember this delicious homemade gravy. My daughter was horrified when she was helping another family clean up the meal and all the turkey drippings had been discarded! Make lots of gravy, it is perfect for leftovers, and many turkey casserole variations.

The secret to homemade gravy is to make a delicious stock/base by simmering the giblets and neck in 2-3 cups of water while the turkey roasts, and saving ALL the drippings and browned crusty bits on the bottom of the roasting pan. Canned chicken broth or commercial gravy mix is a poor substitute, so resolve not to be tempted to compromise these steps.

Pour all the turkey drippings from the roasting pan into a large measuring cup (at least 2 Cup measure) and allow the grease to separate. While the drippings are separating, pour 2-3 cups of water into the roasting pan and bring it to a boil by placing the pan on two burners on your stove top. Using a wooden spoon, stir up these browned bits so they "dissolve" into the water. This step is essential to wonderful tasting, beautifully browned gravy and makes cleaning up a roasting pan a much easier task. Reserve 4-8TB (1/4- 1/2 Cup) of the turkey grease once it separates from the drippings.

After the roasting pan has simmered with water and turned a deep brown color, combine this liquid with turkey drippings (not the fat) and the broth from simmering turkey giblets so that you have 5-6 Cups of liquid. I use my 6-Cup blender as a measuring cup.

Then combine 1/4-1/2 Cup turkey fat (or butter) with 8-10 TB flour (whole wheat pastry preferred) until it gelatinizes, or thickens in a large sauce pan. Keep stirring over medium low heat for about one minute.

Now, VERY GRADUALLY, pour the liquid from the turkey giblets and the roasting pan into the fat/flour mixture while you stir it continuously so as to not have any lumps. Stir continuously until the entire mixture thickens. Adjust the liquid if needed so you have a nice pourable gravy. Add 2-3 tsp salt or to taste, OR use 1-2 TB of Sue's Kitchen Magic for a richer/deeper flavor and for a lower sodium gravy. Save leftover gravy leftovers for future meals, open face sandwiches, etc!

FANTASTIC WHOLE WHEAT ROLLS
These wonderful rolls will be a hit for everyday or special occasions. Halve the recipe for a smaller batch.

2 1/2 Cups warm water
1/2 Cup honey
1/2 Cup dry powdered milk (optional)
2 TB yeast
2 eggs
6-8 cups whole wheat flour*
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup oil
1/2 Cup vital gluten
2 TB dough enhancer (optional)
melted butter

Combine warm water, honey, powdered milk, and yeast in mixing bowl. Allow yeast to activate. Add the eggs and 3 Cups flour. Stir until thoroughly mixed; dough will resemble cake batter. Cover, let rest until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Add salt, oil, and enough of the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Be careful to not add too much flour. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes or until the gluten is developed or the dough is soft and pliable, not dry. Place the dough on a lightly greased surface. Grease the baking sheets. Pinch off small round portions of dough, and roll into an an 8-inch rope. Tie the "rope" in a single knot. Place the knots in rows on baking sheets, cover, and let rise until double. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter if desired, and remove to a cooling rack. Makes 2-3 dozen.

Multi-grain variation: Substitute 1 cup of 7-Grain Mix, cracked OR 1 Cup cracked wheat for one cup of the whole wheat flour.

* IF you do not have high quality fresh home milled whole wheat flour I would recommend that you use half bread flour or all-purpose flour in place of some of the whole wheat flour in order to avoid heavy, dense rolls.

AMERICAN APPLE PIE
This is the best Apple Pie Recipe I have ever found. Use tart apples such as Jonathan, Granny Smith, Gala, Macintosh or a combination of apples for fabulous flavor. The spices used in this apple pie version are the best. Serve with real whipped cream or French Vanilla ice cream.

1 Double Crust Pie Recipe (use your favorite pie crust recipe or check http://tinyurl.com/2uwal for for Never Fail Pie Crust)
8-9 Large tart cooking apples, pared, cored and sliced thin. (An Apple Peeler saves LOTS of time)
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
6 TB flour, whole wheat pastry flour is good
3/4 Cup sugar or Sucanat, more if desired
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg (key ingredient)
2 TB butter (not margarine)

Place prepared bottom crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Put sliced, cored, peeled apples into a large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice. Preheat the oven to 400� F. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle 1/4 Cup of the sugar mixture on the bottom pie crust and add the rest of the sugar mixture to the apples and stir to coat the apples. Fill the pie crust heaping full with the apple mixture. Dot with the butter.

Place the top crust over the filling. Press edges together and flute. Bake about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden browned. Serve with favorite topping. Makes one pie.

PECAN PIE
A simple, easy and delicious classic!

PREHEAT OVEN TO 450�

Line a 9" pie pan with single crust of pie dough (Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2uwal), fork it all over very thoroughly to allow steam to escape and bake it only partially, from 5 to 7 minutes. Allow it to cool. Reduce oven heat to 375�.
Combine and beat thoroughly:

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
Stir In:
1 cup pecan halves
1 tsp. vanilla

Fill the shell. Bake the pie 40 to 50 minutes at 375� or until a knife inserted in the filling comes out clean. I have found that when the pie looks browned it is done. Serve warm or cold.

PUMPKIN BREAD
This classic pumpkin bread recipe will make 3 to 4 medium sized loaves, or lots of muffins, plenty for family and gifts.

4 1/2 C. sugar, white, brown, Sucanat, or combination
1 1/2 C. vegetable oil
6 eggs
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 TB salt
3 C. canned pumpkin
1 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking po
wder
4 1/2 C flour

Combine first eight ingredients and beat one minute. Stir together the flour, soda and baking powder, then add to wet mixture. Stir all ingredients until well-combined without overmixing. Pour batter into greased loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake in 325� F oven for 50-60 minutes (regular sized loaf pans). Decrease baking time for muffins and mini-loaves. Test for doneness, cool five minutes in pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Wrap completely cooled product in plastic wrap or bread bags for storage. Variation: Add 1-2 C. chopped nuts and,or raisins to batter before baking.

TURKEY LEFTOVER RECIPES

With all those delicious turkey leftovers, here are a few recipes we look forward to each year after Thanksgiving!!! This is absolutely the best part of Thanksgiving.

TURKEY CHOWDER

My friend, Debi Nancarrow, shared this recipe with me in 1985 that had become not only a family favorite of theirs but also part of their "Twelfth Night Party" Celebration tradition. The recipe has been published in a coffee table book celebrating Colorado Christmas traditions and it is probably in other books as well. I guarantee this recipe is a winner for those leftover bits of turkey.
If you make homemade turkey stock from the leftover bones the flavor skyrockets to a perfect "10"! Even if you can't try this recipe out this year, be sure to save the recipe for future use. I usually double the amounts to have some soup for the freezer. If you let the soup sit a day, the flavor improves with age. We've eaten this in bread bowls that I've made. Fabulous!

2 C. sliced carrots
3 C. water, turkey broth or canned chicken broth
1 large floret of broccoli OR 1-10 oz box of broccoli
1 C. onion, chopped finely
1/2 C. celery, sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. ground oat flour (blend rolled oats in the blender to make flour)
2 C. milk or allergy alternative soy product
6 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
1-1/2 C. diced turkey

Combine carrots, broth, onions, celery, broccoli, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Bring to rolling boil again, and gradually stir in the oat flour, stirring constantly.
Let simmer another 10 minutes until lumps disappear. Reduce heat. Add milk, turkey. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese. Serves 4-6.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI

Serves: 6-8 servings (2-1/2 qt casserole)

3 cups diced turkey pieces
10 oz whole grain pasta of choice or use spaghetti
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or 6 TB unbleached white flour
1-3/4 cups hot milk, low fat if desired
1 cup Turkey or Chicken broth (homemade is tastiest)
1/4 cup cooking sherry or white grape juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Cup fresh mushroom slices, sauteed in oil or butter OR 4 oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions until just barely tender or use leftover spaghetti or other pasta. Rinse, and drain.
2. Make the sauce by blending flour into melted butter and cook and stir over medium heat about 1 minute; remove from heat. Blend in milk and chicken broth. Return to heat; cook and stir until thickened.
3. Blend in sherry, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mushrooms. Combine pasta, turkey, and sauce and place in casserole dish. Top with Parmesan Cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Make two casseroles, one for the freezer and one to serve.

GOURMET TURKEY SANDWICH

Sourdough bread, French bread or whole grain equivalent
Jellied cranberry sauce
Cream cheese
Leftover turkey meat (white meat, preferably)

Spread cranberry sauce and cream cheese on opposite
sides of bread, and then simply layer on some cold left-
over turkey meat.

TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING

TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING
Stress Free Plans and Easy Recipes for Busy Moms

By Marilyn Moll
www.urbanhomemaker.com

Copyrighted 2004
All Rights Reserved

Introduction:
Welcome to Traditional Thanksgiving Stress Free Plans and Easy Recipes for Busy Moms. As a very busy mom I have perfected our Thanksgiving Menu and Recipes so that we look forward to the same menu each year. Busy moms need strategies, plans and recipes for a stress free Thanksgiving. We at the Urban Homemaker believe in promoting the old fashioned skills of cooking and baking with basic, whole ingredients using streamlined methods to save time and money. Please share this ebook with your friends and relatives as our way of saying Happy Thanksgiving. If you would like to know more about the products and information that we offer, please go to our website www.urbanhomemaker.com. For a free bi-monthly newsletter with more recipes, tips, articles information, and product specials, please go to http://tinyurl.com/u4pj to sign up.

TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING
By Marilyn Moll

Over the years, my children and I have focused on various historical aspects of Thanksgiving traditions and used a variety of ways to focus on and enrich our celebrations. We have read lavishly illustrated living history stories about the Pilgrims' celebrating their first Thanksgiving, made colorful Pilgrim and Indian costumes and headcoverings, roasted our turkey outside on a spit over coals, and other hands-on activities to create memories. We have prepared traditional foods such as spicy pumpkin and apple pies, Indian pudding and arisen early to gather together and watch parades and football games. Children of all ages, however, can learn that Thanksgiving has a richer and deeper meaning when they are involved in all aspects of the preparations and are taught how to focus on the spiritual blessings God has bestowed on them and their family as modeled by their parents.


Pausing to Give Thanks

In our family, we don't have extended family members that live close by to celebrate with, therefore, we have had to dig deeper to create a fruitful and meaningful celebration that we eagerly anticipate each year. Although we use Thanksgiving as a time to reflect on material and financial blessings, we endeavor to take time to talk about and reflect on the spiritual blessings experienced both personally and as a family. In fact, we have found that amidst family afflictions and conflicts a quintessential opportunity presented to focus on and recognize God's abundant blessings amidst the challenges and trials incumbent in daily living. Reflection time enables us to experience deeper appreciation of God's love, His sufficiency, His great and precious promises of faithfulness, provision, mercy, goodness and the completed work of the cross. Difficulties and disappointments of life are tools that God uses to prune us so that we may bring forth more fruit in our lives. Difficulties help us to learn to count it all joy and give thanks in all circumstances.

Planning the Meal
In our family, preparations of our traditional family recipes sets the stage for a unforgettable and worthwhile Thanksgiving celebration. When we have eaten and are satisfied, our immediate family gathers together, not necessarily on Thanksgiving Day, to praise the Lord for all his benefits, to give thanks to him and praise his name and especially to focus on what He has been doing in the life of each of us.
Your Thanksgiving meal will be more enjoyable and noteworthy when you take time to plan the menu, assemble recipes, contact guests, make shopping lists, and prepare decorations several weeks ahead of time. When the menu is planned and the grocery list is complete, make lists and create a time line for completing food preparations, decorations, cleaning tasks and other preparations ahead of the big day. Be sure to involve all the children. Set aside the academics for a few days and focus on the life skills and memories that they can be develop.

Involve Your Children
Children of all ages enjoy simple to complex kitchen tasks including milling wheat into flour, measuring dry ingredients, stirring and kneading dough, rolling pie crusts, cutting fruits and vegetable, arranging trays of pickles, olives, and vegetables, mixing up dips, cutting fruits and vegetables, opening cans, shaping rolls, washing dishes, dusting furniture, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, putting away clutter, setting the table, preparing decorations and more.

Making Centerpieces
You might be surprised at what gorgeous centerpieces children can create from simple items such as gourds, pine cones of various shapes and sizes, nuts, acorns, mini pumpkins, oak leaves, Indian corn, ribbons, turkeys, pilgrim statues, candles, napkins, doilies, dried grasses, and whatever else you may have in hand that fits into the theme of harvest and Thanksgiving. Many of these items may be found while walking around in your neighborhood or a park. Older children can teach and supervise the younger children. Teaching practical life skills to children is the foundation of priceless traditions and memories. Try to make it a point to take lots of pictures. They will make timeless additions to student notebooks or family photo albums.

Practical Tips
Here are a few more practical tips for planning all the cooking and baking, followed by our family's traditional Thanksgiving menu as well as some of our family favorite recipes.

1. Purchase as many non-perishable items ahead when they go on sale.
2. Turkeys are usually on sale ahead of time. Buy the biggest bird that will fit in your freezer and oven. Leftover turkey can be frozen in meal sized portions to make some of the tastiest and most economical main dishes imaginable.
3. Pies, rolls and breads can be baked several weeks ahead and frozen.
4. Allow sufficient time for the turkey to thaw in your refrigerator. It may take several days for big turkeys.
5. Clean out your refrigerator and use all the leftovers several days ahead of the big day to make room for the turkey and trimmings.
6. Clear your counters of any unneeded clutter to make room for the preparations.
7. Stuffed turkeys cook slower but makes yummier stuffing and helps to save precious oven space during that last hectic hour prior to serving.
8. Allow at east one hour prior to serving time for the turkey roasting to be complete so you have plenty of time to carve, make gravy, mash the potatoes, heat vegetable dishes, and attend to other last minute preparations.

Here is the Urban Homemaker Family's Traditional Thanksgiving Menu and recipes that we have been using for nearly twenty years. Recipes follow for the * Items.

Turkey, Homemade Gravy*, Herbed Stuffing*
Mashed Potatoes, Aunt Helen's Sweet Potatoes*,
Green Beans Amandine, Cranberry Relish Jello Salad*
Pumpkin Bread*,Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls*,
Apple Pie*, Pecan Pie*, coffee and tea.

AUNT HELEN'S SWEET POTATOES
The crispy, nutty topping will appeal to children of all ages.

1/4 Cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar or honey
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 lbs. fresh sweet potatoes cooked OR 4 lbs canned, drained sweet potatoes
(Note: Sweet potatoes are distinctly and vividly orange colored, extremely high in vitamin A and often mislabeled as Yams.)

To prepare sweet potatoes in their jackets, drop them into boiling water to cover and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. (I usually pressure cook the sweet potatoes in 10 minutes to save time and money.) Peel and mash the cooked sweet potatoes and mix with the other ingredients. Place in a shallow 11 X 7 baking dish, bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Then sprinkle the topping mixture over the sweet potatoes and bake another 15-20 minutes
Topping Mixture
2 Cups Crisp Rice cereal
1/2 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. brown sugar or Sucanat

CRANBERRY RELISH JELLO MOLD
I have served this jello mold at Thanksgiving and Christmas for nearly 30 years! This recipe can be prepared several days ahead.
Yields 8-10 servings

1. Assemble and prepare the following ingredients:

20 oz. can crushed pineapple unsweetened (drain, reserving the juice)
2 pkg (3 oz each) cherry, raspberry, or strawberry gelatin
1 Cup boiling water
1 Cup fresh, whole cranberries
1 - 11 oz can mandarin oranges
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 TB lemon juice

2. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice.

3. Chill until gelatin begins to set-up about one hour. Meanwhile, coarsely chop cranberries in blender or food processor.

4. Stir in cranberries, oranges, pineapple, celery, and pecans to the thickened gelatin. Place this mixture in holiday jello mold or attractive glass serving bowl. Chill until firm.

HERBED STUFFING
Stuffing recipes are easy to make.

1. Cut bread into crouton-size cubes, about 20 slices of toasted white or whole wheat bread OR use one large bag of Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Mix (For homebaked whole wheat bread use 15 thin slices.) Place in a large bowl.

2 If you are using the Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix, omit this step.
IF you are using your own croutons, Combine in a separate small bowl and sprinkle over the bread:

2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 TB sage or poultry seasoning.

3. Crumble, brown, and drain the sausage. Add the sausage to the stuffing mix or bread cubes:

1/4 pound bulk turkey breakfast sausage,
1/4 pound bulk turkey Italian sausage
(Leftover sausage can be frozen for scrambled eggs, pizzas, etc.)

4. Saute the celery and onion in 1 TB of butter:

1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped onion

5. Next, add to the bread cubes/stuffing mixture:

4 TB fresh chopped parsley
1 peeled, cored, chopped Granny Smith or Jonathan apple
3/4 cup cranberries (for color/ optional)

6. Combine together:

1 stick melted butter
2 Cups canned chicken broth or reconstituted chicken broth powder

7. Drizzle all the liquid over the other ingredients and lightly toss until well mixed.

8. Stuff the bird loosely because stuffing expands during roasting, or place the mixture in a glass casserole dish and bake the stuffing separately until hot. It is very hard to ruin stuffing; use the ingredients you have and like, but don't forget the onion and celery. I can't wait to make this right now!

PERFECT HOMEMADE GRAVY

Ladies, don't spoil your feast by using store bought turkey gravy mix. Your guests will notice the difference and remember this delicious homemade gravy. My daughter was horrified when she was helping another family clean up the meal and all the turkey drippings had been discarded! Make lots of gravy, it is perfect for leftovers, and many turkey casserole variations.

The secret to homemade gravy is to make a delicious stock/base by simmering the giblets and neck in 2-3 cups of water while the turkey roasts, and saving ALL the drippings and browned crusty bits on the bottom of the roasting pan. Canned chicken broth or commercial gravy mix is a poor substitute, so resolve not to be tempted to compromise these steps.

Pour all the turkey drippings from the roasting pan into a large measuring cup (at least 2 Cup measure) and allow the grease to separate. While the drippings are separating, pour 2-3 cups of water into the roasting pan and bring it to a boil by placing the pan on two burners on your stove top. Using a wooden spoon, stir up these browned bits so they "dissolve" into the water. This step is essential to wonderful tasting, beautifully browned gravy and makes cleaning up a roasting pan a much easier task. Reserve 4-8TB (1/4- 1/2 Cup) of the turkey grease once it separates from the drippings.

After the roasting pan has simmered with water and turned a deep brown color, combine this liquid with turkey drippings (not the fat) and the broth from simmering turkey giblets so that you have 5-6 Cups of liquid. I use my 6-Cup blender as a measuring cup.

Then combine 1/4-1/2 Cup turkey fat (or butter) with 8-10 TB flour (whole wheat pastry preferred) until it gelatinizes, or thickens in a large sauce pan. Keep stirring over medium low heat for about one minute.

Now, VERY GRADUALLY, pour the liquid from the turkey giblets and the roasting pan into the fat/flour mixture while you stir it continuously so as to not have any lumps. Stir continuously until the entire mixture thickens. Adjust the liquid if needed so you have a nice pourable gravy. Add 2-3 tsp salt or to taste, OR use 1-2 TB of Sue's Kitchen Magic for a richer/deeper flavor and for a lower sodium gravy. Save leftover gravy leftovers for future meals, open face sandwiches, etc!

FANTASTIC WHOLE WHEAT ROLLS
These wonderful rolls will be a hit for everyday or special occasions. Halve the recipe for a smaller batch.

2 1/2 Cups warm water
1/2 Cup honey
1/2 Cup dry powdered milk (optional)
2 TB yeast
2 eggs
6-8 cups whole wheat flour*
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup oil
1/2 Cup vital gluten
2 TB dough enhancer (optional)
melted butter

Combine warm water, honey, powdered milk, and yeast in mixing bowl. Allow yeast to activate. Add the eggs and 3 Cups flour. Stir until thoroughly mixed; dough will resemble cake batter. Cover, let rest until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Add salt, oil, and enough of the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Be careful to not add too much flour. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes or until the gluten is developed or the dough is soft and pliable, not dry. Place the dough on a lightly greased surface. Grease the baking sheets. Pinch off small round portions of dough, and roll into an an 8-inch rope. Tie the "rope" in a single knot. Place the knots in rows on baking sheets, cover, and let rise until double. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter if desired, and remove to a cooling rack. Makes 2-3 dozen.

Multi-grain variation: Substitute 1 cup of 7-Grain Mix, cracked OR 1 Cup cracked wheat for one cup of the whole wheat flour.

* IF you do not have high quality fresh home milled whole wheat flour I would recommend that you use half bread flour or all-purpose flour in place of some of the whole wheat flour in order to avoid heavy, dense rolls.

AMERICAN APPLE PIE
This is the best Apple Pie Recipe I have ever found. Use tart apples such as Jonathan, Granny Smith, Gala, Macintosh or a combination of apples for fabulous flavor. The spices used in this apple pie version are the best. Serve with real whipped cream or French Vanilla ice cream.

1 Double Crust Pie Recipe (use your favorite pie crust recipe or check http://tinyurl.com/2uwal for for Never Fail Pie Crust)
8-9 Large tart cooking apples, pared, cored and sliced thin. (An Apple Peeler saves LOTS of time)
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
6 TB flour, whole wheat pastry flour is good
3/4 Cup sugar or Sucanat, more if desired
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg (key ingredient)
2 TB butter (not margarine)

Place prepared bottom crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Put sliced, cored, peeled apples into a large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle 1/4 Cup of the sugar mixture on the bottom pie crust and add the rest of the sugar mixture to the apples and stir to coat the apples. Fill the pie crust heaping full with the apple mixture. Dot with the butter.

Place the top crust over the filling. Press edges together and flute. Bake about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden browned. Serve with favorite topping. Makes one pie.

PECAN PIE
A simple, easy and delicious classic!

PREHEAT OVEN TO 450

Line a 9" pie pan with single crust of pie dough (Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2uwal), fork it all over very thoroughly to allow steam to escape and bake it only partially, from 5 to 7 minutes. Allow it to cool. Reduce oven heat to 375.
Combine and beat thoroughly:

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
Stir In:
1 cup pecan halves
1 tsp. vanilla

Fill the shell. Bake the pie 40 to 50 minutes at 375 or until a knife inserted in the filling comes out clean. I have found that when the pie looks browned it is done. Serve warm or cold.

PUMPKIN BREAD
This classic pumpkin bread recipe will make 3 to 4 medium sized loaves, or lots of muffins, plenty for family and gifts.

4 1/2 C. sugar, white, brown, Sucanat, or combination
1 1/2 C. vegetable oil
6 eggs
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 TB salt
3 C. canned pumpkin
1 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking po
wder
4 1/2 C flour

Combine first eight ingredients and beat one minute. Stir together the flour, soda and baking powder, then add to wet mixture. Stir all ingredients until well-combined without overmixing. Pour batter into greased loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake in 325 F oven for 50-60 minutes (regular sized loaf pans). Decrease baking time for muffins and mini-loaves. Test for doneness, cool five minutes in pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Wrap completely cooled product in plastic wrap or bread bags for storage. Variation: Add 1-2 C. chopped nuts and,or raisins to batter before baking.

TURKEY LEFTOVER RECIPES

With all those delicious turkey leftovers, here are a few recipes we look forward to each year after Thanksgiving!!! This is absolutely the best part of Thanksgiving.

TURKEY CHOWDER

My friend, Debi Nancarrow, shared this recipe with me in 1985 that had become not only a family favorite of theirs but also part of their "Twelfth Night Party" Celebration tradition. The recipe has been published in a coffee table book celebrating Colorado Christmas traditions and it is probably in other books as well. I guarantee this recipe is a winner for those leftover bits of turkey.
If you make homemade turkey stock from the leftover bones the flavor skyrockets to a perfect "10"! Even if you can't try this recipe out this year, be sure to save the recipe for future use. I usually double the amounts to have some soup for the freezer. If you let the soup sit a day, the flavor improves with age. We've eaten this in bread bowls that I've made. Fabulous!

2 C. sliced carrots
3 C. water, turkey broth or canned chicken broth
1 large floret of broccoli OR 1-10 oz box of broccoli
1 C. onion, chopped finely
1/2 C. celery, sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. ground oat flour (blend rolled oats in the blender to make flour)
2 C. milk or allergy alternative soy product
6 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
1-1/2 C. diced turkey

Combine carrots, broth, onions, celery, broccoli, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Bring to rolling boil again, and gradually stir in the oat flour, stirring constantly.
Let simmer another 10 minutes until lumps disappear. Reduce heat. Add milk, turkey. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese. Serves 4-6.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI

Serves: 6-8 servings (2-1/2 qt casserole)

3 cups diced turkey pieces
10 oz whole grain pasta of choice or use spaghetti
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or 6 TB unbleached white flour
1-3/4 cups hot milk, low fat if desired
1 cup Turkey or Chicken broth (homemade is tastiest)
1/4 cup cooking sherry or white grape juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Cup fresh mushroom slices, sauteed in oil or butter OR 4 oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions until just barely tender or use leftover spaghetti or other pasta. Rinse, and drain.
2. Make the sauce by blending flour into melted butter and cook and stir over medium heat about 1 minute; remove from heat. Blend in milk and chicken broth. Return to heat; cook and stir until thickened.
3. Blend in sherry, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mushrooms. Combine pasta, turkey, and sauce and place in casserole dish. Top with Parmesan Cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Make two casseroles, one for the freezer and one to serve.

GOURMET TURKEY SANDWICH

Sourdough bread, French bread or whole grain equivalent
Jellied cranberry sauce
Cream cheese
Leftover turkey meat (white meat, preferably)

Spread cranberry sauce and cream cheese on opposite
sides of bread, and then simply layer on some cold left-
over turkey meat.

Turkey Leftover Recipes

With all those delicious turkey leftovers, here are a few recipes we look forward to each year after Thanksgiving!!!

TURKEY CHOWDER

My friend Debi Nancarrow shared this recipe with me in 1985 that had become not only a family favorite of theirs but also part of their "Twelfth Night Party" Celebration tradition. The recipe has been published in a coffee table book celebrating Colorado Christmas traditions and it is probably in other books as well. I guarantee this recipe is a winner for those leftover bits of turkey.

If you make homemade turkey stock from the leftover bones the flavor skyrockets to a perfect "10"! Even if you can't try this recipe out this year, be sure to save the recipe for future use. I usually double the amounts to have some soup for the freezer. If you let the soup sit a day, the flavor improves with age. We've eaten this in bread bowls that I've made. Fabulous!

2 C. sliced carrots
3 C. water, turkey broth or canned chicken broth
1 large floret of broccoli OR 1-10 oz box of broccoli
1 C. onion, chopped finely
1/2 C. celery, sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. ground oat flour (blend rolled oats in the blender to make flour)
2 C. milk or allergy alternative soy product
6 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
1-1/2 C. diced turkey

Combine carrots, broth, onions, celery, broccoli, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Bring to rolling boil again, and gradually stir in the oat flour, stirring constantly.

Let simmer another 10 minutes until lumps disappear. Reduce heat. Add milk, turkey. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese. Serves 4-6.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI

Serves: 6-8 servings (2-1/2 qt casserole)

3 cups diced turkey pieces
10 oz whole grain pasta of choice or use spaghetti
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or 6 TB unbleached white flour
1-3/4 cups hot milk, lowfat if desired
1 cup Turkey or Chicken broth (homemade is tastiest)
1/4 cup cooking sherry or white grape juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Cup fresh mushroom slices, sauteed in oil or butter OR 4 oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions until just barely tender or use leftover spaghetti or other pasta. Rinse, and drain.

2. Make the sauce by blending flour into melted butter and cook and stir over medium heat about 1 minute; remove from heat. Blend in milk and chicken broth. Return to heat; cook and stir until thickened.

3. Blend in sherry, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mushrooms. Combine pasta, turkey, and sauce and place in casserole dish. Top with Parmesan Cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Make two casseroles, one for the freezer and one to serve.

GOURMET TURKEY SANDWICH

Sourdough bread, French bread or whole grain equivalent
Jellied cranberry sauce
Cream cheese
Leftover turkey meat (white meat, preferably)

Spread cranberry sauce and cream cheese on opposite
sides of bread, and then simply layer on some cold left-
over turkey meat. If you have other family favorite turkey recipes, or any questions, please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-522-7323.

Copyright 2004 All rights reserved

Turkey Leftover Recipes

With all those delicious turkey leftovers, here are a few recipes we look forward to each year after Thanksgiving!!!

TURKEY CHOWDER

My friend Debi Nancarrow shared this recipe with me in 1985 that had become not only a family favorite of theirs but also part of their "Twelfth Night Party" Celebration tradition. The recipe has been published in a coffee table book celebrating Colorado Christmas traditions and it is probably in other books as well. I guarantee this recipe is a winner for those leftover bits of turkey.

If you make homemade turkey stock from the leftover bones the flavor skyrockets to a perfect "10"! Even if you can't try this recipe out this year, be sure to save the recipe for future use. I usually double the amounts to have some soup for the freezer. If you let the soup sit a day, the flavor improves with age. We've eaten this in bread bowls that I've made. Fabulous!

2 C. sliced carrots
3 C. water, turkey broth or canned chicken broth
1 large floret of broccoli OR 1-10 oz box of broccoli
1 C. onion, chopped finely
1/2 C. celery, sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. ground oat flour (blend rolled oats in the blender to make flour)
2 C. milk or allergy alternative soy product
6 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
1-1/2 C. diced turkey

Combine carrots, broth, onions, celery, broccoli, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Bring to rolling boil again, and gradually stir in the oat flour, stirring constantly.

Let simmer another 10 minutes until lumps disappear. Reduce heat. Add milk, turkey. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese. Serves 4-6.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI

Serves: 6-8 servings (2-1/2 qt casserole)

3 cups diced turkey pieces
10 oz whole grain pasta of choice or use spaghetti
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or 6 TB unbleached white flour
1-3/4 cups hot milk, lowfat if desired
1 cup Turkey or Chicken broth (homemade is tastiest)
1/4 cup cooking sherry or white grape juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Cup fresh mushroom slices, sauteed in oil or butter OR 4 oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions until just barely tender or use leftover spaghetti or other pasta. Rinse, and drain.

2. Make the sauce by blending flour into melted butter and cook and stir over medium heat about 1 minute; remove from heat. Blend in milk and chicken broth. Return to heat; cook and stir until thickened.

3. Blend in sherry, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mushrooms. Combine pasta, turkey, and sauce and place in casserole dish. Top with Parmesan Cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Make two casseroles, one for the freezer and one to serve.

GOURMET TURKEY SANDWICH

Sourdough bread, French bread or whole grain equivalent
Jellied cranberry sauce
Cream cheese
Leftover turkey meat (white meat, preferably)

Spread cranberry sauce and cream cheese on opposite
sides of bread, and then simply layer on some cold left-
over turkey meat. If you have other family favorite turkey recipes, or any questions, please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-522-7323.

Copyright 2004 All rights reserved


Springtime Recipes

Fresh and delicious!

Herbed Lemon Chicken

 

This simple recipe, courtesy of my friend Stephanie, receives a four star rating! This recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled and extra batches frozen in the marinade for future meals.

3 lb chicken, cut-up or parts of chicken to equal 3 lbs.
4 medium lemons, cut in wedges
1/2 cup olive oil
9 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne (more or less to taste)

Squeeze the juice from the lemons into a large re-sealable plastic bag - leave the lemon wedges in the bag. Add oil, garlic, basil, thyme, salt and knead the bag to mix ingredients. Add skinned chicken. Seal bag, squeezing out air. Refrigerate 24 hours, turn frequently. Grill or broil chicken, turning every 10-15 minutes until juices run clear. 4 servings.

BASIC SALSA

Basic Salsa can be made using the following recipe. Add other spices to create your own "signature recipe"

14 pounds of tomatoes (scalded and peeled and cut-up)
5 cups of onions (chopped)
10 green peppers (chopped)
2 ounces or more jalapeno peppers (chopped)
1 cup vinegar
1/ 2 cup brown sugar
1/ 4 cup salt
2 teaspoons oregano flakes
1 Cup chopped cilantro, optional
3 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoons chili power
1 teaspoon garlic powder
10 teaspoons of Clear-Jel

 

Broccoli Marinade

Marinade:
1 C. apple cider vinegar
1 TB fructose
1 TB dill weed
1/2 TB salt
1 TB black ground pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1 C. safflower oil
1 large or 2 medium broccoli heads, cut into florettes

Whisk or blend marinade ingredients and pour over broccoli florettes. Marinate for 12-24 hours.

Cauliflower-Potato Soup

Cauliflower Potato Soup

This soup is delicious. You may cut both the butter and cream cheese from the original recipe in half to lower the fat content. It is still delicious and satisfying. This soup has become a family favorite anytime of year.

4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups water
2 cups milk or alternative
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 TB Spike (seasoning usually found in grocery stores)
1 - 8oz. package cream cheese (may halve)
1/4 cup butter

In a large pot, combine the first 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes**, stirring occasionally. Slightly mash mixture with potato masher in pan. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Simmer for 10 minutes uncovered.

**To save time and nutrients I combine these ingredients into my Duromatic pressure cooker and cook on the second ring for 6-8 minutes. To reduce pressure quickly put the covered pan in the sink and run cold water over it and continue according to the recipe.

COOKING WITH CHILDREN - QUICK & HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS

COOKING WITH CHILDREN - FUN AND HEALTHY SNACKS
MARILYN'S FAMOUS FRUIT LEATHER

1 Cup fruit (fresh or canned) strawberries, apricots, and peaches are my favorites
1 large apple, peeled
1 Cup. vanilla or strawberry yogurt

Blend the above ingredients in your blender for about one minute or until pureed. Taste the puree and add honey or spices such as cinnamon to taste. (Remember that drying concentrates flavors). Pour puree onto lightly greased fruit leather inserts, or saran covered cookie sheets. Dehydrate overnight at 115 degrees or in a low oven with the door ajar. Leather is ready when no wet places remain. Wrap the leather in saran and freeze. Freeze fruit leather so it doesn't vanish too quickly. Make lots. Children and their friends will love this snack and beg for more.

NUTTY BUTTER BALLS
Dried fruits are concentrated in natural fruit sugar; nuts are high in fat. Yet dried fruits are high in minerals and nuts high in protein and essential fatty acids. To learn about what kinds of nuts and dried fruits are best to buy for good nutrtion, consult p. 11-12 of LUNCHES AND SNACKS by Sue Gregg.
This recipe from Sue Gregg, used by permission, is a family favorite.

1. Chop together in small pieces in blender or by hand:
1/2 Cup date dices
1/4 cup cashews
` 1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cups wheat germ, raw or toasted
1/4 cup rolled oats, uncooked
1/4 dried coconut, unsweeteneed, optional

2. In a large mixing blowl blend together thoroughly with a large mixing spoon:

3/4 cup peanut butter
2 TB honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup nonfact dry milk powder

3. Gradually mix chopped mixture into peanut butter mixture with large mixing spoon. When you can no longer mix easily with the spoon. Knead mixture well with your hands into a smooth ball.

4. Shape into walnut-size balls; refrigerate until firm on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Store in a plastic gag or covered plastic container and referigerate.

NUTRITION QUIZ: What nutrients are dried fruits and nuts especially h9igh in? What is an essential fatty acid (see p. 100)? Name the two important essential fatty acids. Why should dried fruits and nuts be eaten in small, rather than large, quantities? Why is it healthier to use unsulfured dried fruits (p.11)?

NACHO SNACK
Another family favoraite snack from Sue Greggs LUNCHES AND SNACKS.

SPECIAL TIP: Most taco chips are not made from whole corn. Look for chips made with stoneground cornmeal (this is whole corn), and, if possible, also with canola oil. Avoid chips made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil such as shortening, or coconut oil. Some chips are made with less salt. Look in supermarkets and health food stores.

Amount: 1 serving

Oven: 325 F - about 10 minutes

1. Top chips with cheese and salsa; heat in oven at 325 for about 10 minutes or until cheese melts:

1 oz (about 3/4 cup) taco chips or Corn Chips
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salsa, to taste
2.
Garnish with CHOPPED GREEN ONION, IF DESIRED.

^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*

Snack Time!
by Leanne Ely

It's summer. They're home. They're whining and most of all,
they're constantly hungry. So what's a mom to do?

Feed 'em!

Kids need snacks, but not constant grazing. You need to make
sure the snacks are healthy and are going to do them some good,
nutritionally. Just giving them the junk that they clamor for
from watching too much TV is going to keep them eating
continually. It makes sense, if you think about it. When your
children (or you for that matter) don't get the nutrition
necessary, their bodies are still craving those nutrients and
will keep signaling that it's time to eat-even after downing a
bag of Doritos and drinking a whole liter of Pepsi. They might
be temporarily full-but never satisfied because the body was
never fed. See why good nutrition is so important?

So let's get a grip on this summertime food issue. Not having a
plan (as we well know!) is a recipe for disaster. You know how
to make a grocery list-how about adding some of these items on
your list this week?

Veggie Ranch. I think my son will eat anything with ranch
dressing on it. It's not my very favorite thing in the world
nutritionally, but if you blend it up with some non-fat cottage,
you've got a fairly decent dip. Add baby carrots, celery sticks,
broccoli flowerettes and even some cherry tomatoes and you have
a veggie platter they'll love. Keep your ready-to-go veggies
(separated in big plastic zip-top bags) and dip (in a container)
within easy reach and let that be your first answer when they
ask. Remind your children to pour their dip into their own bowls-
you just KNOW they're going to double dip!

Favor Fruit. Summer is fruit season. Snip some grapes from the
bunch and they have a great snack to go. A banana is a season-
less fruit and easy to grab, too. Watermelon is perfect this
time of year with the heat and everything-why not have it sliced
up and cold in the fridge, ready to go? Ditto that idea with any
melon. You might even make up a fruit salad of honeydew and
cantaloupe. My troops love this treat and grab the plastic bowl
and help themselves when it's in the fridge. And don't forget
the perennial favorite: apple slices dipped in peanut butter.

Pop up. I am a huge fan of popcorn. Lots of roughage (like your
grandma used to say) and a fun snack that won't take major bites
out of your budget, too. Use an air popper (way cheaper than the
microwave kind and none of those nasty hydrogenated fats either)
and add a teeny bit of butter. We also add a little grated
Romano cheese. My kids love this!

Nuts to you. I keep raw almonds in the fridge and will mix some
almonds with dried apricots. Talk about your fiber count-yee
haw! Plus the added bonus of all those nutrients. Great snack for
kids and adults alike!

Cheese Whiz! Not that icky stuff you squirt out on a cracker.
But string cheese and cheddar cubes, for starters. American
cheese--its more "product" than real cheese. For optimal
digestion, cheese should be aged over 60 days. That should be
enough to scare you away!

Creamed New Potatoes and Peas

Creamed New Potatoes & Peas
"Enjoy the bounty of the Spring Garden!"

Makes 4 servings, double or triple as needed.

15-20 new potatoes (Or regular potatoes cut up)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 Cups baby spring peas or snow peas
1/2-1 tsp dill weed
1-2 cups chopped ham or cooked smoked sausage, optional

White Sauce (makes 2 cups)
4 TB butter or coconut oil
4 TB flour, whole grain preferred
2 Cups milk, or water, or leftover potato water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook as many new potatoes (or regular potatoes) as needed to feed your family in a Duromatic pressure Cooker for about 5 minutes and allow the pressure to come down naturally. OR, boil the new potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, saute one chopped onion in 2 TB butter or olive oil. Set aside.

3. Prepare white sauce in a small sauce pan, by melting the butter, then stir in the flour and allow to bubble while stirring for about one minute. Gradually and slowly while stirring, add the liquid. Bring to a boil, and boil for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Combine the white sauce with the sauteed onion, cooked new potatoes, and 1-2 cups of baby spring peas or snow peas.

5. Add dill weed and adjust seasonings to taste.

6. Add chopped ham, or kielbasa type sausage to make this a more solid main dish.

Easy No-Fail Yogurt

Easy No-Fail Yogurt If you use powdered milk, the yogurt will be especially fast, easy, and economical because you are able to skip the step which requires scalding the milk.
  • 1/4 C. cold water
  • 2 to 2-1/2 C. dry milk powder (or more for a firmer yogurt)
  • 1 T. or 1 envelope unflavored gelatin or Agar Agar. (opt.)
  • 1/2 C. plain yogurt or 2 - 5 gram packets of Yogourmet Freeze Dried Starter
  • 2 Qt. pure lukewarm water (110�F)
  • Sprinkle gelatin into cold water in a saucepan. When water is absorbed, bring mixture to a boil and stir into blended lukewarm water and milk mixture (about 110�F). Add yogurt or starter and blend until smooth. Pour into Yogourmet jar and incubate for 4 hours. After 4-6 hours the mixture should be set. Test with a spoon, rather than jiggling. Set yogurt should be refrigerated. This recipe will set more firmly as the yogurt cools. Add 1/4 to 1/2 C. sweetener or flavorings to mixture before incubation if you wish to make flavored yogurt. Try orange, lemon, almond, maple, or vanilla flavorings or combine yogurt with homemade jam. I have found that you may use yogurt from an old batch to start a new batch but the incubation time often takes longer because there are less live acidophilus organisms. This process of using yogurt as a starter may be repeated many times before fresh starter is needed.

    German Puff Pancake

     

    I like this easy recipe because it is so easy and versatile; perfect for a company breakfast. Powdered eggs can be substituted for fresh eggs and no one will be the wiser. If you have children age 6-12, this is an easy recipe to let them help you with.

    1 cup boiling water
    3/4 cup chopped dried apples, apricots, dates, raisins or currants
    4 TB butter
    6 eggs
    1-1/4 cup milk
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 TB honey
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1-1/2 cup flour (freshly milled whole wheat pastry or kamut if available)
    Powdered sugar or berry jam or jelly, if desired

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour boiling water over dried fruit to cover. Let stand to soften about 5 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in the microwave in a 9X13 glass baking dish. Allow the butter to evenly cover the entire bottom of the baking dish. In a blender, combine eggs, milk, honey, salt, and vanilla. Blend lightly to mix. Add flour. Mix well in blender. With a wooden spoon stir in drained, chopped dried fruit. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until puffy and golden brown. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or serve with strawberry, raspberry, or your favorite jam or jelly. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.

    Juicing: Tips For Preparing Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juice

    1. Use organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables if at all possible OR grow your own. Conventional produce should be thoroughly washed or peeled.

    2. Carrots, cabbage, apples, and grapes have a high moisture content and therefore make a good juice "base".

    3. Vegetables such as tunrip, rutabaga, broccoli, parsely, onions and celery should be juiced in samll amounts because of their strong flavor.

    4. Fresh juice should be consumed right away in order to receive maximum health benefits from the live enzymes and nutrients.

    5. Limit green juices to approximately 1/4 of the juice because they are powerful drinks which can cause nausea nad headaches if you are unaccustomed to them.

    6. It is suggested that two glasses per day be consumed for health maintenance and four glasses per day to speed healing.

    For more information, please contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323 or visit us at www.urbanhomemaker.com/catalog

    Copyright 2004-all rights reserved.

    Lacto-Fermented Salsa

    LACTO-FERMENTED SALSA

    A Perfect way to use the bounty of the Fall Harvest of Tomatoes!  Makes one quart, double, or quadruple if you have lots of tomatoes and peppers.
    Does not require canning! Let your nose be your guide.

    4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
    2 small onions, finely chopped
    3/4 cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild
    6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (optional)
    1 bunch cilantro, chopped
    1 tsp dried oregano
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 TB sea salt
    4 TB whey, if not available, use an additional 1 TB salt
    1/4 cup filtered water.

    Peel tomatoes, cut along the "equator" of the tomato, sqeeze out the seeds. Dice up tomatoes, and combine with all the other ingredients, and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or large spoon, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the salsa mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage. Make several jars if you have plenty of tomatoes, as this salsa is wonderful. The same Salsa can be made using canned tomatoes in the winter time.

    Quick Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe and Tips

    THIS WEEK'S 'Dinner on the Double' Quick Mediterranean Pasta Salad

    Here's what you need: Whole wheat rotini (or similar) pasta (about
    8 oz.), 1 can (about 14 oz.) artichoke hearts (drained and chopped),
    1 jar (about 7 oz.) roasted red peppers (drained and sliced), 1 small
    can sliced black olives, turkey pepperoni (about 4 oz.), fat-free or
    light Italian dressing, shredded parmesan cheese.

    To prepare: Cook and drain pasta, rinse with cold water. While pasta
    is cooking add remaining ingredients except cheese to large bowl.
    Add cooked pasta, toss well (with enough dressing to coat lightly).
    Serve either chilled or at room temperature. Sprinkle with cheese
    before serving.

    TRY SERVING WITH: Whole wheat rolls.

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Raised Bed Gardening by Lisa Vitello

        Since we were “suburb born” rookies when we first made our move to the country, we have gleaned from a lot of different resources to educate ourselves regarding the skills required to grow food.  What we often found ourselves doing was taking a little knowledge here and a little there and then practicing those ideas in our garden.  Some practices we have continued through the years and others we chucked.

         One of the really useful things we learned was the concept of intensive planting.  In his book How to Grow More Vegetables(than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine), author John Jeavons opened our eyes to the fact that one doesn’t have to necessarily follow the recommended spacing instructions on the seed packages.  By growing plants in a raised bed which has been prepared for optimum production, you truly can grow more than you ever thought possible.

         Jeavons champions the double dig method of prepared raised beds.  This involves digging out a 12” layer of soil, setting it aside, loosening another 12” layer beneath that, and then replacing the first layer, combining it with compost and other organic matter.  While this does indeed create an incredibly rich environment for plant growth, it is extremely labor intensive.  We tried it and quickly realized that to grow the large garden we envisioned would take more energy and time than either of us possessed.

         We came up with a compromise of sorts.  Guy built raised bed frames out of redwood, ranging in size from 6x4x12 to 20x4x8, depending on what we wanted to grow in them.  We placed these over ground that we had rototilled and amended with compost, fertilizer and other minerals such as green sand and bone meal.  We added store bought soil mix.  Our favorite brand here on the North Coast is Organic Gardener, produced on McClellan Mountain, just east of us.  Ask your local nursery what they would recommend for your area.

         Store bought planting mix can be expensive.  What we have done over the years is created a couple of new raised beds each season.  That way, it is not a huge expense all at once.  We also till up a large plot, adding steer manure and minerals, for our big crops like corn, green beans and tomatoes.

         Because we grow a very large garden, we try to start many of our plants from seed.  However, for a first time garden with just a couple of raised beds, purchasing starts won’t be too much of an expense.  While you are at the nursery, browse around for catalogs or brochures on local growing conditions.  Most nurseries will have these available.  These ought to give you a good idea of what grows well in your area and when to plant.  Don’t be afraid to ask nursery employees questions.  Most of them are there because they enjoy gardening and can be a gold mine of knowledge.

         Whether or not you have a lot of space to grow a garden – try starting out with just one 20x4x8’ raised bed.  You will be amazed at how much you will be able to reap from such a small space!  You can even grow quite a bit in smaller containers, like half whiskey barrels and large pots.

         Let’s take the example of that 20 foot bed.  Below is an illustration of what you might be able to plant in it: 
    You could allot three feet for the lettuce and other salad veggies, four feet each for the bush beans, zucchini and strawberries and another three foot section for the snap peas.  That leaves you with six inches of space between each section.

         The peas can be planted as seeds in the early spring.  Buy the type that will climb up poles rather than the bush variety.  That way, they will go up instead of spreading out and taking up too much room in your bed.  One quick and easy way to create a natural “trellis” for your climbing peas is to use cut branches from trees.  If you don’t have any, ask someone you know who has trees to trim.  They will probably be glad to get some of the cuttings off of their hands.

         The lettuce, green onions and other salad greens like parsley can be bought as starts and also planted in the early spring.  Spinach can be sown as seed right in the bed.  Strawberry plants can also be put in at this time.  Wait until later in the springtime to put in the green beans and zucchini as seeds.

         Remember, you can plant closer together than normally indicated on the seed package or plant information.  When plants grow closer together, the leaves from each plant touch the other ones, creating shade underneath.  Weeds cannot grow as profusely in that shade.  This works best if you plant in a triangle pattern, rather than the typical straight rows, as shown below:

        Therefore, if the lettuce planting instructions say 12 inches apart, place them eight inches apart instead.  If the seed instructions say to thin the seedlings so they are three inches apart, thin them two inches apart, and so on.  As long as you have prepared nutrient rich soil in that bed and fertilize the plants, they will do just fine.

         For those of you who are really short on space, you can still enjoy the pleasure of eating your own, homegrown food by planting a small salad garden in a half whiskey barrel.  These barrels are normally available at your local nursery, but I’ve seen them for sale in local classifieds and usually at a much lower price.  So it pays to check around.

         The most important thing to remember when planting in a barrel is that you must be sure to drill a couple of holes in the bottom for water drainage before you fill it with dirt.  These barrels were made to hold liquid and unless you give the water a way to drain, it will stay in the barrel and drown your plants.  Trust me; we learned this the hard way.

            Fill the barrel with planting soil, leaving about six inches of space at the top.  Sprinkle some all-purpose organic vegetable fertilizer over it and work it in a little.  For this mini-garden, we recommend one cherry tomato plant in the middle. Plant several varieties of lettuce around the cherry tomato, then green onions and herbs like parsley and cilantro around that.

         If you live in an area with very hot summers, be sure to look for lettuce varieties that resist bolting (going to seed).  Keep the lettuce, onions, and herbs going all summer long by cutting off what you want at the base rather than pulling out the entire plant.  New growth will come back again and again.

         Don’t wait for the perfect time or the ideal growing situation.  Just try planting some veggies in the ground somewhere and see what happens.  Our first garden was in the backyard of our Southern California tract home.  We had no idea what we were doing – just tilled up the grass and threw seeds in.  God blessed our fledgling efforts with a very bountiful garden that year and we have been hooked ever since.  We learn something new every growing season.    

    Editor's Note:
    Lisa Vitello, editor of New Harvest Homestead Newsletter, invites you to subscribe to her newsletter.  You will receive a complimentary copy of Breakfasts for Busy Moms - Kicking the Breakfast Cereal Habit, by Marilyn Moll for new subscriptions.  This is a $6.97 value.

    Lisa will speaking about gardening February 7, 2008 during our regularly scheduled free Continuing Education for Moms Seminar.  To receive contact details, email marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com.

                     

    Strawberry-Spinach Salad

    STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD


    This recipe has been adapted from SIMPLY IN SEASON, Recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods in the spirit of More-with-Less..has infinite variations. Strawberries and spinach are the only two requirements. Use whatever other ingredients you like and have on hand.

    4 or more Cups spinach or other mixed greens
    1 Cup straberries
    2 green onions, sliced
    1 small red onion (cut into thin rings)
    1 or more garlic, minced
    2 TB sunflower seeds (raw or toasted)
    1/2 Cup bacon pieces, crumbled
    1/2 Cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds (toasted)
    1/2 Cup grated cheese or 1/4 Feta Cheese crumbled
    sliced cucumbers, optional
    avocado slices, optional
    1 cup cooked chopped chicken or turkey

    Assemble these ingredients as desired, attractively, mix and match ingredients. Add dressing, below.

    Balsamic Dressing:


    1/4 cup honey
    2 TB sesame seeds
    1 TB poppy seeds
    1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar (wine vinegar is fine)
    1/4 Cup olive oil
    dash of Worcestershire sauce
    salt and pepper to taste


    Combine ingredients in a jar with tight fitting lid and shake well.

    Time Saving Hints for Home Preservers

    ALWAYS MAKE SURE ALL EQUIPMENT IS ON HAND BEFORE STARTING. There is nothing worse than coming up short on lids or sugar, spices or some other needed ingredient once you get started in canning.

    STORE HAVESTED VEGETABLES in plastic bags and chill quickly if you are not going to get to them right away.

    TRAY FREEZE VEGETABLES - If you are faced with huge quantities of vegetables and not enough time, try tray freezing them. Wash the vege, dice and/or chop. Spread the veges out on cookie sheets and place in the coolest part of your freezer and allow to freeze. Once frozen, veges can be tossed into freezer bags and/or vacuum packed.

    TRAY FREEZE BERRIES - Whenever strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries come into season, I wash them in cold water, drain well in a collander and tray-feeze them on cookie sheets without sugar. When frozen solid, they go into freezer bags. Berries can be used later for jams, jellies, pies, puddings, smoothies, etc.

    APPLESAUCE - The fastest and easiest method of making applesauce is with a hand-cranked strainer. Apples need not be peeled or cored, just cooked until soft and pureed in the strainer.

    PUREES - Overripe, unblemished fruits can be frozen whole or sliced to make quick purees when defrosted. Fruit puree is perfect for smoothies, pancake and waffle toppings dressings for fruit salads, and other

    PUMPKINS AND SQUASH - will store well until late fall or early winter when you have more time for processing.

    HEAT SYRUPS FOR FRUITS - Try using a coffee maker pot to pour the syrup into the jars, instead of utilizing a laddle to save time and mess!

    FREEZING STRAWBERRIES - To keep strawberries from absorbing large amounts of water, hull the berry AFTER wasing.

    DEFROSTING BERRIES - Please frozen berries into a bowl, cover with sugar, and then cover the bowl, to minimize exposure to air and promote better color, texture, and flavor retention.

    If you decide to try out dehydrating and making your own healthy fruit leathers with no additives, you will be surprsied just how quickly these nourishing snacks will disappear. May I suggest you be sure to have plenty of fruit leather inserts or Teflex sheets on hand so you can make lots?

    MARILYN'S FAMOUS FRUIT LEATHER RECIPE

    This fruit leather is VERY easy to make and kids love it. A simple, nutritious snack!

    1 large apple, washed, quartered, and seeds removed (Skin removal is optional.)
    1 16 oz can of favorite canned fruit such as apricots OR 2 Cups Fresh Fruit of choice
    1 - 8 oz container of vanilla or favorite fruit flavored yogurt.

    Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until the mixture is pureed. This will make 3-4 cups of puree. LIghtly oil fruit leather tray or Teflex sheet. Pour mixture onto tray and dehydrate at 110 - 130 F or until the mixture becomes leathery with no wet pockets. (A warmed oven can also be used, with the door ajar.) Usually this will take overnight if dehydrating starts after dinner. Dehydrating time will vary based on how much puree is poured on the fruit leather tray, and local humidity conditions. When the leather is dry, remove it from the tray, wrap in cellophane, and ENJOY! This yummy treat won't last, so make several trays.

    This is a great treat for camping, hiking, car trips, and just plain snacking!

    For more information about preserving, I recommend the following resources:

    The Busy Person's Guide to Preserving Food - Easy Step by Step Instructions for Freezing, Drying, and Canning by Janet Chadwick. $14.95

    The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest - 150 Recipes for Freezing, Canning, Drying, and Pickling Fruits and Vegetables, by Carol W. Costenbader. $18.95

    How to Dry Foods - A Complete book on Dehydrating by Deanna Delong $15.95

    Stocking Up - The Third Edition of the Classic Preserving Guide by Carol Hupping and the Staff of the Rodale Food Center.$20.00

    Keeping the Harvest - Preserving Your Fruits, Vegetables, and herbs by nancy Chiofi & Gretchen Mead. $14.95

    For more information, contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323.

    Sign up for our free bi-monthly newsletter filled with recipes, information, product specials, book reviews, articles by published authors and more.


    EASTER

    RECIPES AND IDEAS for a meaningful, joy-filled holiday.

    ADDING MEANING TO YOUR EASTER CELEBRATION

    Adding Meaning to Your Easter Celebration


    Making Jesus the center of your family's celebration can present a challenge when images of the Easter Bunny are so prevalent. Parents must take special measures to help kids understand that Jesus is the giver of Easter gifts-His love, His sacrificial death, the salvation we have through Him-not a big rabbit who hands out candy and colored eggs.

    Here are some ideas for putting the spiritual significance back into your Easter celebration.

    * Put a spiritual twist on the tradition of decorating Easter eggs. Before dying the hard-boiled eggs, use crayons to write an Easter message on each egg. Because the crayon wax keeps the dye from adhering in those spots, your "Jesus is Risen" and "Jesus Died for You" messages will show through clearly.


    * If your church does not celebrate Holy Week, attend Holy Week services at a church that does. Or celebrate each day as a family by reading passages of scripture that recount what each special day commemorates.


    * Attend an Easter cantata presented by a church other than the one your family normally attends. This allows family members to experience a celebration of Easter that is different than that to which they are accustomed.


    * As a family, choose a few craft projects that emphasis the meaning of Easter. Do an Internet search or check out books from the library for ideas. Use your completed projects to decorate your home for your family celebration.


    * Celebrate the Resurrection of Christ by doing the kinds of things Jesus came to earth to do. Extend God's love to others by visiting the elderly and sick, gathering up clothing to take to a homeless shelter, or making and delivering food baskets to families in need.


    * If you don't usually do so, attend a sunrise service so your family can experience a little of what Jesus' followers must have felt the morning they found the empty tomb. Afterwards, enjoy a big family breakfast in celebration of the Risen Lord.


    * Do some research on how the Resurrection is celebrated in other cultures. Turn the Easter celebration into a learning experience by enjoying traditional Easter foods and activities from another country.


    * Many churches make Easter crosses by attaching real flowers in some fashion to a wooden cross to symbolize the new life brought to us through Jesus' death. Make your own family Easter cross by cutting out a large cross from brown construction paper. Let the children use construction paper, markers, crayons and paint to create flowers to decorate it.


    BYLINE:
    Nancy Twigg is a Christian speaker and author who loves inspiring others to live more simply. Adapted from Nancy's book, Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions.

    Bunnies and Ham and Eggs, Oh My!

    Bunnies and Ham and Eggs, Oh My!
    by Tawra Kellam
    http://www.livingonadime.com/

                It’s almost that time of year again. You’re standing, dumbfounded, in front of a mound of hard boiled eggs, sliced ham and chocolate Easter bunnies. You wonder “what am I going to do with 6 dozen eggs, 6 lbs. of ham and 25 chocolate bunnies”.  The stress of it is almost enough to send you to bed for a week--or at least tear most of your hair out. Here are a few ideas and recipes from www.LivingOnADime.com to help you avoid both of those.

                Leftover Bunnies: Take a rolling pin to them and crush the life out of them. Then use the crumbs to sprinkle on ice cream, use in milk shakes, stir a few in a mug of hot chocolate, use in place of chocolate chips for making cookies or melt for dipping fruit and candy.

                Leftover Ham: Save bone for bean or split pea soup. Make ham salad, chef salad or ham sandwiches. Chop and freeze to use in: potato salad, scrambled eggs, omelets, to top baked potatoes, for potato soup, scalloped potatoes, au gratin potatoes, pasties or pizza- with pineapple.

    Top tortilla with ham, salsa, and cheddar cheese and warm, for hot ham and cheese sandwiches.

                Leftover Eggs: Make potato salad, tuna salad, pasta salad, chef salad, spinach salad with eggs and bacon, deviled eggs, golden morning sunshine or fill tomatoes with egg salad.


    Golden Morning Sunshine

    2 cups white sauce

    4 eggs, hard boiled and chopped

    Make white sauce. Once the white sauce has thickened, add eggs.  Serve on toast.


    White Sauce

    ¼ cup dry milk

    2 Tbsp. flour

    dash salt

    1 cup cold water

    1 Tbsp. margarine

    In a covered jar, combine dry milk, flour and salt and mix well.  Add water.  Shake until all the ingredients are dissolved. Melt margarine in a 1 quart sauce pan. Stir in flour-milk mixture and cook over low heat until mixture thickens and starts to bubble.  Keep stirring until thickened completely.

    Tawra Kellam is the editor of DiningonaDime.com

    More Easter Themed Activities:

    1. To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

    2. Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

    3. Or make Hot Cross Buns.

    4. More Ideas for Adding Meaning to your Easter Celebration.

    CHALLAH - Traditional Easter Bread

    Challah

    Challah is traditionally served at Easter time or for the Sabbath meal anytime, according to author Martha Zimmerman in her book Celebrate the Feasts.

    2 TB Saf yeast
    3/4 cup warm water
    3/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup butter
    2 TB honey
    2 tsp. salt
    4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour or 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 bread flour
    2 whole eggs
    1 egg yolk (reserved for glaze)
    1 TB poppy seeds

    Mix 3/4 cup warm water, 2 eggs and yeast in mixer bowl. Stir in 2 cups flour, beat well, and allow the mixture to sponge (bubble up) for about 15 minutes or more. Meanwhile, heat milk, butter, honey, until the butter melts. Cool to lukewarm. Add these ingredients to the "sponge", add the salt, and stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until the dough is smooth, and elastic but not dry; about 7 -10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.

    Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Turn once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about one hour. A finger pressed into the dough will leave an imprint when the dough has risen enough. Punch the dough down, divide into thirds. Roll each third into an 18-inch strand. Line up the three stands one inch apart on a large, greased baking sheet. Braid loosely, beginning in center and working toward ends. Pinch ends together and tuck under.

    Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes. Brush with egg yolk that has been beaten with one TB of water and sprinkle poppy seeds over the egg wash. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven 35-45 minutes.This recipe makes one large braid or two small braids. Recipe can be doubled of tripled if you have a heavy duty mixer. This recipe can also be preapred as is, in a bread machine on the dough cycle and then shaped by hand.

    For more more information contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323.

    www.urbanhomemaker.com

    Easter Cookies with Bible Lesson

    Easter Cookies

    To be made the evening before Easter. My daughter did this in her Sunday School Class

    and really enjoyed the taste, and remembered most of the symbolism.

    You need:
    1c. whole pecans
    1 tsp. vinegar
    3 egg whites
    pinch salt
    1c. sugar
    zipper baggie
    wooden spoon
    tape
    Bible
    Preheat oven to 300.

    Instructions:

    Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden
    spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He
    was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
    Read John 19:1-3

    Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
    Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to
    drink.
    Read John 19:28-30

    Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His
    life to give us life.
    Read John 10:10-11

    Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush
    the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by
    Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
    Read Luke 23:27

    So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that
    the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He
    wants us to know and belong to Him.
    Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16

    Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are
    formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God' s eyes of
    those whose
    sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
    Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

    Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons (you don't want them too big or it
    won't work, so I'm told) onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that
    each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
    Read Matt. 27:57-60.

    Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give
    each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb
    was sealed.
    Read Matt. 27:65-66. GO TO BED!

    Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.
    Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
    Read John 16:20 and 22.

    On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.
    Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the
    first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
    Read Matt. 28:1-9

    Cookies can be left on a very very low temp..like 250 degrees. and be ready
    in a couple of hours...when surface of cookie looks dry and cracked....they
    are ready to eat!!!!!

    These cookies are quite sweet but tasty!


    HOT CROSS BUNS

    HOT CROSS BUNS

    Remember the children's nursery rhyme that goes as follows?

    Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
    One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
    If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
    One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

    Hot cross buns were sold in the street to the cry of "Hot cross buns!" around the period in English history dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

    A hot cross bun is a type of sweet spiced bun made with currants and leavened with yeast. It has a cross on the top which might be made in a variety of ways. Using confectioner's frosting, is the most common way.

    According to one source, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of Christ and the resurrection. Have fun with the children and enjoy the process of being together in the kitchen. Here's my recipe for the buns:

    Hot Cross Buns

    2/3 cup dried currants
    3-1/2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour (or half bread flour and half whole wheat
    2 TB yeast
    1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
    3/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup cooking oil
    1/3 cup sugar or honey
    1 tsp salt
    3 eggs
    1 slightly beaten egg white
    Frosting (recipe follows)

    Cover currants with very hot water. Let stand about 10 minutes or up to one hour at room temperature. Drain well. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and cinnamon. Heat milk, oil, sugar or honey, and salt until warm (115 to 120�). Add to the dry mixture. Allow to sponge for about 15 minutes if time allows. Add eggs, one at a time. By hand or mixer, stir in currants and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until the gluten is developed by mixer or on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-10 minutes.

    Shape into ball. Place in greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

    Divide into 18 pieces. Form smooth balls. Place on greased baking sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Cover; let rise until double, 30 to 45 minutes. Cut shallow cross in each. Brush tops with egg white. Bake in preheated 375� oven 12 -15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet. Use confectioner's Frosting to make a "cross" on the bun.

    Confectioner's Frosting:

    2 TB milk
    1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    Combine these ingredients together and add milk or water as needed to get a good pouring consistency for the frosting. Place the frosting in a small zip-lock sandwich baggie, clip the corner and use the baggie to squeeze the frosting over the cooled buns in a cross shape. Small children will enjoy this process even if it gets a little messy!

    More Easter Themed Activities:

    1. To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

    2. Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

    A Beginner's Guide  to Baking Bread  ebook by Marilyn Moll offers step-by-step instructions for getting started with baking yeast breads.

    Click Here to purchase this instantly downloadable ebook for $9.95.

    Learn how to:

    * How to Select Ingredients
    * Selecting a Grain Mill
    * Selecting A Mixer

    * Step-by-Step Mixing Instructions
    * How to Develop the Gluten

    * Tips for the Best Bread
    * Lots of Bread and Roll Recipes
    * Troubleshooting Guide
    * The Two-Stage Process

     Item #6059    $9.95

    Click Here to purchase this ebook for $9.95.


    Natural Easter Egg Dyes

    If you would like to try dying eggs naturally, try the following:  by Tawra Kellam

    ~Yellow-- yellow onion skins, turmeric (½ tsp. per cup water) celery leaves           

    ~Orange--any yellow dye plus beet juice

    ~Red--beets, paprika, red onion skins

    ~Pink -cranberry juice

    ~Blue--blackberries, grape juice concentrate, red cabbage

    ~Brown--black tea, white oak, juniper berry, coffee, barberry

    ~Light purple--blackberries, grapes, violets

    ~Green--alfalfa, spinach, kale, violet blossom plus ¼ tsp. baking soda, tansy, nettle, chervil, sorrel, parsley, carrot tops, beet tops or dip yellow egg in blue dye

    Hard boil eggs with 1 tsp. vinegar in the water.  Place dying ingredients in  non-aluminum pans, cover with water and boil 5 minutes to 1 hour until desired color is achieved.  Use enough material to make at least 1 cup dye. Crush ingredients as they boil to extract as much dye as possible. Strain the dye. Most dyes should be used hot. Let each egg sit in the dye until it reaches the desired color. Some dyes will take longer than others to make the desired colored on the egg.  Remove the egg and let dry.
     

    Glitter Eggs- Place 1 tablespoon each of glue and water in a cup. Stir the mixture and then paint the eggs with it. Sprinkle with glitter. This can also add sparkle to already dyed eggs!

     Crepe Paper Eggs- Wet a white or dyed egg. Dab torn pieces of colored tissue paper or pieces of pretty colored napkins on the eggs. When the paper dries, the paper falls off and leaves the color behind on the egg.

    Decoupaged eggs - Tear small pieces of wrapping paper, napkins, stickers, or clip art. Mix equal amounts of glue and water. Paint egg with glue mixture. Place paper on top and then cover with more glue mixture. Let dry. 

    Spotted Eggs- Place 1 tsp. of cooking oil in dye. Dip the egg. The oil will cause the dye to make an irregular pattern on the egg.

    Waxed Eggs- Dip a portion of the eggs in melted paraffin or candle wax. Then dip them in the dye. Remove from dye. Dry and peel off the wax. The egg will be white on one half and colored on the other half. You can also dip in dye before waxing to get two colors.

    Hollow Eggs- Poke a hole in one end of an egg with a very small needle. Poke another slightly larger hole in the other end. Then blow on the small end and the egg will come out the other side. Decorate as desired.

    Tawra Kellam is the author of the frugal cookbook Dining On A Dime: Eat Better, Spend Less. For more free tips and recipes visit her web site at http://www.LivingOnADime.com/

    More Easter Themed Activities:

    To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

    Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

    Or make Hot Cross Buns.

    More Ideas for Adding Meaning to your Easter Celebration.

    PASSOVER SEDER RECIPES

    Matzah Kugle
    This dish is simply delicious. It can be made ahead and refrigerated. Leftovers are welcome at our house!

    6 pieces of Matzah
    1 dozen eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup raisins
    8 grated apples (tart ones are best)
    grated rind of 1 orange
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1 cup chopped almonds

    Crumble pieces of Matzah into water and soak until soft (do not drown!); squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands. Beat the eggs. Add sugar, salt, and cinnamon, beating till well blended. Stir crumbled matzahs, raisins, almonds, apples, and orange rind into the egg mixture. Turn it all into a well-greased 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on top and pour the melted butter on top of that. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, until firm and nicely brown.

    Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls

    Chicken Soup Stock

    Start with a 4-5 pound chicken or use the back and the insides of the chickens you might be serving.

    3 quarts of water
    2 onions,
    3 carrots
    2 pieces of celery, stalks, and tops
    1 TB salt
    Several good shakes of garlic powder
    1/8 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp. dill weed

    Clean the chicken thoroughly; clean and cut up the vegetables. Add all of the ingredients to the water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat. Simmer for 2 hours. Pour the soup through a colander, and refrigerate broth for 2-3 hours, until the fat forms a layer at the top. Save the carrots aside. Remove the layer of fat and return the broth (without the meat) and carrots to the pot to reheat. This will boil down to about 2- 2 1/2 quarts of soup. If you want to stretch it a little, add more water and a few chicken bouillon cubes (when n one is looking). The chicken meat should be cut up and used for salad or chicken casserole recipes.

    Matzah Balls (a.k.a. Knaidlekh)

    1 Cup Matzah meal
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup oil
    4 eggs
    1 tsp. salt
    dash of pepper

    Beat the eggs, add water, oil, salt, and pepper to the eggs; mix well. Add the Matzah meal and stir thorougly. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Bring a pot of slightly salted water to a rolling boil. Form the Matzah meal mixture into 1 " size balls and drop (gently, please) into the broth. First they sink, but then they should rise to the top. Cook 20 minutes. You may set these aside and later add them to the soup, just before serving. Makes about 30 -1" balls.

    Resurrection Eggs


    There are several ways to use the plastic Easter eggs with "props" to teach the Easter Story to young children..

    A.  You can summarize the story using the "article" in each egg as a prop as you go.

    B.  Or, you can also read a book and pause using the article in each egg as a prop as you read, Benjamin’s Box  by Melody Carlson.  It is written so it can be used along with the Resurrection Eggs.

    C.  Tell or read the Easter story. Have the children open the eggs and use as props.

    To make your own Resurrection Eggs:

    #1 – Bread or small cracker pieces – For the last meal Jesus ate with His friends (Passover) Mark 14:22 or Luke 22:14

    #2 – Rooster (feather) – Jesus predicted that Peter would lie three different times and say he didn’t know Jesus by the time the rooster crowed. – Matthew 26:33

    #3 – 3 silver dimes - Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver money. Luke 22:3-5, Luke 22:47-52


    #4 – Thorns – People were mad that Jesus said He was the Son of God, so they made a crown of pointy thorns to put on His head – Matthew 27:29-31 and Mark 15:17

    #5 – Nails – Jesus was nailed to a cross. They left Him hanging there until He died, even though He hadn’t done anything wrong. Matthew 27:31 and Luke 23:33 and Luke 23:40-41

    #6 – The Cross -  They placed His cross on a hill between two other men who were criminals.

    #7 – Dice – W
    hen the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and played a game to decide who would get his clothes – John 19:23-24

    #8 – Spear – Use a toothpick to symbolize that one of the soldiers pierced Jesus side.

    #9 – White cloth –(Use cheesecloth or other small scrap) After Jesus died, His friends wrapped Him up with cloth and lay Him in a special cave, a tomb. Luke 23:53 and Matthew 27:57-60

    #10 – Cinnamon Sticks – Three women brought special spices to anoint Jesus body. Mark 16:1

    #11 – Stone (small pebble) – The people who had kidded Jesus put a large rock over the mouth of the tomb, to make sure that no one could get Jesus out. Matthew 27: 62-65 and Matthew 28:66

    #12 – Empty!! – Three days later, the huge rock was moved and Jesus was gone from the tomb. An angel said He was alive again! This day is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday because Jesus was raised to life again and lives today!  Luke 24:3, 6 and Matthew 28:2-6

    More Easter Themed Activities:

    To learn to dye Easter eggs with natural colors, CLICK HERE.

    Another fun Resurrection project is Resurrection Cookies.

    Or make Hot Cross Buns.

    More Ideas for Adding Meaning to your Easter Celebration.

    Main Dishes - Fast and Healthy

    Family Favorite Meals in Minutes

    Tamale Pie

    16-18 servings
    1 TB oil
    1-1/2 Cups chopped onion
    3 # lean ground beef
    4 Cups (32 oz) medium salsa
    4 Cups (32 oz) frozen corn
    1/4 Cup chili powder (cut the chili powder in half if you prefer milder food)
    2 tsp. salt
    2 tsp minced garlic
    1/2 - 1 tsp. ground cumin
    3 Cups milk or water
    1/4 Cup butter
    2 Cups yellow cornmeal
    1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
    1 can (16) oz large pitted black olives, drained, and sliced

    1. Lightly grease 2 - 9 X 13 inch baking dishes.
    2. In a 6 qt. pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook about
    5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
    3. Raise heat to high. Crumble beef into pot and cook until the meat is no longer pink, stirring to break up clumps. Drain any liquid and fat from the meat.
    4. Add salsa, corn, chili powder, salt, garlic, and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer mixture for about 15 minutes.
    5. In a 3 qt. saucepan, slowly bring milk or water and butter to a boil. When butter has melted, whisk constantly as you slowly pour in the cornmeal in a steady stream to prevent lumping. Cover and simmer 2-3 minutes longer, until cornmeal absorbs most of the liquid and the mixture is very thick. Remove from heat.
    6. Evenly divide the cornmeal mixture between the two baking dishes. Pour meat mixture over the top of cornmeal mixture in each baking dish and top with cheese, and olives.
    7. To serve immediately, place casserole dish in 400 degree preheated oven and heat until bubbly about 20-30 minutes.
    8. Otherwise, cover the baking dishes tightly with foil, label, and date. Store up to 4 months.
    9. To reheat: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place covered casserole (still frozen) in oven and bake 45 minutes. remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer, or until cheese is bubbly and casserole is hot in the center.

    Ginger Stir Fry Chicken

    This recipe is adapted from a recipe, courtesy of MaryLu Kusk, editor of The Homemaker's Forum. It's actually quite simple to assemble with a minimum of planning, perfect for busy moms.

    1 lb. raw chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
    4 TB Bragg's Liquid Aminos
    2 TB sesame oil
    2 C. pineapple tidbits, drained or fresh equivalent
    8 C. Broccoli, fresh or frozen florettes
    4 TB Bragg's Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
    4 tsp. ground ginger
    2 tsp. garlic, minced or dried
    Salt & pepper to taste
    18 peanuts, chopped (opt.)

    Marinate chicken breast in Bragg's Liwuid Aminos (see "Supplies" section) for at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
    Steam broccoli until crisp-tender and still with it's bright green color (about 3 minutes). Keep warm.
    Heat oil in skillet. Stir-fry chicken until cooked. Add ginger, garlic, and soy or Bragg's. Stir well. Add pineapple, cover, and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add brocolli and toss well. Remove to plate, top with peanuts. Serve immediately over hot, steamed brown rice. This is a very versatile recipe. Any vegetable can be substituted for the broccoli, and other lean meats could be substituted for the chicken breast. This is a very staisfying recipe that takes little time and we love it.

    Monterey Beans And Rice

    1/2 C. med. onion sliced or equivalent reconstituted minced
    1/2 C. diced green pepper or equivalent reconstituted dried
    2 C. cooked kidney beans
    2 TB tomato powder or 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
    1/4 C. beef bouillon or beef base
    1 tsp. chili powder
    1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
    1 C. shredded cheddar cheese or 1/4 C. cheese powder
    1/4 C. TVP bacon or equivalent turkey bacon, crumbled
    dash pepper

    Cook slowly, stirring constantly until all ingredients are blended and heated
    through except cheese and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add cheese over low heat
    and stir until mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Serve over hot, cooked
    rice, if desired.

    Fifteen Minute Split Pea Soup

    4 slices turkey bacon, chopped or 1/2 to 3/4 C. TVP bacon
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large onion or 1/2 C. dried onion
    1 C. carrots, chopped or 1/2 C. dried carrots
    1 C. celery, chopped or 1/2 C. dried celery
    2 C. split peas
    7-1/2 C. chicken broth (4 cans) or 7-1/2 C. water with 2 TB Frontier chicken
    broth powder
    1 TB Italian seasoning
    salt & pepper to taste

    Saute bacon until crisp. Add minced garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Saute
    for 2 minutes. Add split peas, broth, and seasoning. Cook at full pressure for
    fifteen minutes or simmer 45-60 minutes in stock pot. Blend soup with a
    blender for smoother texture before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

    Curried Lentils Over Rice

    1 TB oil
    1-1/2 C. chopped onions, rehydrated
    2 cloves minced garlic or 1 tsp. powder
    1-1/2 C. rinsed lentils
    5 C. water
    1/4 C. tomato powder or 1 - 14 oz. can tomatoes
    1/2 tsp. cumin
    1/2 tsp. ginger
    1/2 tsp. turmeric
    1/2 tsp. curry powder
    dash cayenne pepper to taste

    Saute onions in oil in a large pot for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute
    briefly. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until the
    mixture is a gravy consistency (approx. 2-3 hours). If cooked in the
    Duromatic, pressure on first ring for 15 minutes and cut the water by 1-1/2
    cups. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any of the above spices to taste.
    Serve over cooked brown rice, millet, or other whole grain.
    (If you must depend on one burner for cooking, cook the rice first or combine
    1 C. brown rice plus 2 addtional cups water into curried lentils mixture and
    simmer as above.)

    Chicken A La King

    Over Bread, Toast, or Rice

    1-1/2 C. chicken or TVP chicken
    1 TB chicken bouillon
    1/4 C. dehydrated onion
    1/4 C. mushrooms
    2 TB dehydrated green peppers (or 1/2 C. chopped
    1/3 C. oil
    1-1/3 C. milk
    1/2 tsp. turmeric
    1/3 C. flour
    1-1/3 C. water

    Cut chicken into small chunks or rehydrate TVP. Heat oil in a skillet and
    saute reconstituted vegetables. Blend in flour and spices. Dissolve bouillon
    in water and add to vegetable mixture. Add milk. Boil for one minute. Serve
    over rice, toast, etc.

    A free reprint of 7 Day Menu For One Pot Meals In Emergencies, a 5-page
    article that originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. issue of The Homemaker's
    Forum is available upon request with any order.

    Honey Glazed Chicken

    Honey Glazed Chicken

    With a crispy and flavor-filled coating this recipe will soon become a Family Favorite.

    Mix together in a plastic bag:

    1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. cayenne peppe
    r

    Preheat over to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 X 13" baking dish with:

    2 TB of olive oil

    Dip the chicken in a little skim milk to moisten.

    3 pounds of cut up chicken

    Drop each piece of chicken into the mixture in the plastic bag and shake to coat well.
    Arrange pieces evenly in the baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.

    Combine:

    1/2 cup honey
    1/3 cup lemon juice
    1 TB soy sauce or tamari
    2 tsp. curry powder

    Pour this mixture over the chicken and bake an additional 45 minutes or until done. Baste occasionally. Serves 6

    This recipes is so good, I think its time for me to make it again soon!!\0

    Lazy Day Lasagne

    LAZY DAY LASAGNE
    When preparing lasagna for the freezer there's no need to precook the noodles. 

    10 SERVINGS:

    12 ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked 
    5-6 cups spaghetti sauce 
    2 cups cream-style cottage cheese, or ricotta 
    12 ounces Mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated 
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

    In two greased 10x6x2-inch baking dishes, make layers in the following order:  half each noodles, cottage cheese, Mozzarella slices, spaghetti sauce, and sprinkled Parmesan cheese. Repeat. Make certain the dry noodles are completely covered by sauce. Wrap pans completely with foil; label and freeze.  (To make this meal incredibly rich, add one 8-ounce package cream cheese. Pinch off nickel-sized portions of cream cheese and plop evenly over lasagna just before adding the second layer of uncooked pasta.)
     
    To Serve: To thaw, take meal from freezer at least 24 hours before serving. Place in refrigerator. Bake tightly covered at 350° for about 45 minutes, or until edges are bubbly and center is hot. Take cover off during final 10 minutes of cooking time. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    This recipe is excerpted from Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month by Deborah Taylor Hough. $14.95 Retail. Published by Champion Press, Ltd.

    For additional questions, please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-552-7323.


    \0

    Lentil Rice Casserole

    LENTIL RICE CASSEROLE
    Takes 5 minutes to assemble. Economical, too! Lentils and brown rice mutually increase the protein value of the other. Use Sue's Kitchen Magic for the yummier flavor. If you work away from home, make it in the evening, refrigerate, and pop it in the oven to reheat for 20-30 minutes while you change your clothes and relax. Serve it with a colorful vegetable and salad or "hide" it in a burrito with chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa, and yogurt-sour cream blend. Freezeable! Double or triple the recipe to get some meals made ahead.

    AMOUNT: 4-6 servings (about 3 Cups)
    Bake covered: 300° F - 2 to 2 1/2 hours

    1. Blend all together in a casserole dish except the cheese (wash lentilas and rice, if needed):

    3 Cups water + 1 TB Sue's Kitchen Magic  or 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    3/4 cup uncooked lentils
    1/2 cup brown rice
    1 small onion, chopped or 1/4 cup instanct minced onion flakes
    1/2 tsp. basil leaves
    1/4 tsp. oregano leaves
    1/4 tsp. thyme leaves
    1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, optional

    2. Optional: Cover; let stand at room temperature overnight or for 7 hours for improved nutrition.

    3. Bake covered at 300° for 2-2 1/2 hours or until tender and the water is absorbed. Presoaking does not speed the baking. (I cut the water by 1/2 cup and cook the mixture in my Duromatic pressure cooker for 15 mintes and allow the pressure to come down naturally.

    4. Stir in grated hceease just before serving; garnish with fresh parsley. For burritos we add the cheese separately while assembling into whole grain tortillas.

    This recipe is used by permission from Eating Better Cookbooks Series(6 volumes) by Sue Gregg. All rights reserved.

    For more information please email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-552-7323. \0

    Beef 'N Broccoli

    BEEF N BROCCOLI Very Simple and Tasty 2/3 Cup A.1. Steak Sauce 1/3 Cup soy sauce or Bragg's 2 cloves garlic, crushed OR 2 tsp. Garlic powder 1 lbs. Top round steak, thinly sliced 1 or 2- 16 oz Bags of frozen broccoli, red peppers, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms or similar frozen vegetable combination Hot Cooked Brown Rice* or Whole Grain Flour Tortillas Blend steak sauce, soy sauce, and garlic in a glass dish. Add the sliced steak and stir to coat. The marinade and steak could be placed in a Zip-loc bag in the morning and refrigerated until evening. Remove steak from marinade; reserve the marinade in a bowl. Stir Fry steak in large, lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Remove steak with slotted spoon; keep warm. Heat vegetables and reserved marinade in the same skillet to a b oil; reduce heat. Cover; simmer for 2-3 minutes or until tender crisp. Stir in beef. Serve wrapped in warmed tortilla or over hot steaming rice. *If you have a rice cooker with a locking lid and timer, you can start the rice in the morning and it will automatically turn on to be ready by dinner.

    Five Quick and Healthful Mexican Dinners

    by Erin Rogers, Health-E-Meals.com

    Many of us love the fresh and bold flavors of Mexican cooking, but
    these meals can also be very high in fat and calories. But, with a
    little planning, you can enjoy many delicious Mexican specialties with
    no guilt and with very little prep or cooking time!

    There are some simple ways to reduce the fat and calories in any
    recipe, while still maintaining excellent flavor. Follow these easy
    guidelines to easily incorporate Mexican meals into any diet plan:

    * Replace full-fat cheeses with reduced-fat or fat-free
    * Replace regular sour cream with light or fat-free
    * Reduce or eliminate black olives
    * Use fat-free refried beans, or low-sodium black beans
    * Use your choice of whole wheat, lowfat or low carb tortillas, or
    corn tortillas or taco shells
    * Load up on fresh tomatoes, lettuce and salsa
    * Go easy on avocados and guacamole, but if you're a fan - a little bit
    of either can add a great deal of enjoyment to a meal

    All of the following meal ideas can be made with one of many lean
    proteins as a main ingredient. Try using ground turkey or chicken
    breast, lean ground beef, grilled chicken breast, lean grilled beef
    (such as tenderloin or flank steak), meatless soy crumbles, or even
    all veggie ingredients (bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc.)

    Meal #1: Tacos

    Season any of the above proteins with taco seasoning. Serve on your choice
    of tortilla or taco shell, and add cheese, lettuce, tomato, light sour
    cream and salsa. Serve with fat-free refried beans or black beans.

    Meal #2: Taco Salad

    The only cooking you need to do for this meal is to brown some lean ground
    beef or poultry (or use other protein above) - so it's very fast! Load
    up on lettuce, tomato, kidney beans and salsa and go light on cheese, sour
    cream, and guacamole. Crumble some baked tortilla chips on top and drizzle
    with a lowfat Catalina salad dressing.

    Meal #3: Fajitas

    While you have several options for healthful ingredients with fajitas, the
    fastest way to whip up a fajita dinner is to buy precooked chicken breast
    strips and defrost a bag of frozen, sliced fajita vegetables (usually peppers
    and onions). Saute vegetables until tender-crisp and serve on small
    tortillas with a dab of light sour cream and salsa.

    Meal #4: Mexican pizza/tostada

    Start with your favorite size of tortilla(s) on a cooking sheet. Spread
    with fat-free refried beans, sprinkle on some frozen or canned corn
    kernels and a modest amount of reduced-fat cheddar or jack cheese. Place
    under broiler until cheese melts. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped
    tomatoes, a few chopped black olives, diced avocado, salsa, chopped
    cilantro and a dollop of light sour cream.

    Meal #5: Southwestern Chicken Salad

    Start with a large bowl of torn lettuce, add strips of grilled chicken
    breast, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, corn, black beans, chopped
    cilantro, diced avocado, and salsa. For a quick side dish, spray flour
    tortillas with cooking/butter-flavor spray, onion powder, and garlic powder
    (chili powder, too - if you like a little kick!) and broil until crispy.
    Cut into wedges and serve with salad.

    For a change of pace, try new combinations that you maybe haven't
    assembled before, such as steak fajitas, or tacos with seasoned meatless
    crumbles. By varying the main ingredient in these meals, as well as the
    optional toppings, you'll be able to make nearly endless tasty new
    combinations according to your own or your family's tastes. And, you'll be
    eating quick meals that taste great and won't disrupt your healthy diet!

    If you would like to purchase Erin's Cookbook called Healthy Express Cookbook:
    101 Fresh, Light & Quick Dinners click on this link.

    To download a recipe sampler from Erin, go to this link:

    Healthy Express Cookbook: 20 Fresh, Light & Quick Dinners

    Health-E-Meals.com, 2004

    Shepherd's Pie

    SHEPHERD'S PIE

    1 pound lean ground meat, browned
    3/4 C.chopped onion or reconstituted dried minced onion
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp oregano
    1-2 cans green beans, drained
    1 - 103/4 oz. can tomato soup, or 8 oz. can tomato sauce,
    3 C. mashed potato, use leftovers or prepare dried potato granules
    [

    Brown the ground meat with onions. Drain well. Stir in seasonings and tomato soup or sauce. Layer meat mixture in a 2 quart casserole, top with layer of canned green beans,Heat through. Pour Spread mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 350° oven until bubbly and hot. 4-6 servings.

    Soup Recipes Tried and True, Savory, and Simply Delicious

    POTATO CAULIFLOWER SOUP
    "
    This recipe is fast and easy and often requested"

    4 medium potatoes, quartered
    2 onions, quartered
    1 head cauliflower, cut up
    2 cups water or chicken broth (homemade is best)
    2 Cups milk, water, or broth
    1 TB Spike
    1 - 8 oz cream cheese, diced
    1/4-1/2 Cup butter
    salt and pepper to taste

    Combine vegetables with water or chicken broth in an 8 qt stock pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer vegetables until potatoes are soft, about 15-20 minutes. If using a Duromatic TM pressure cooker, bring veggies to a boil and allow pressure to stabilize at the 2nd red ring for 5 minutes, allow pressure to drop naturally. Add 2 more cups of milk, water, or broth, diced cream cheese, and butter over medium heat, and stir until cheese and butter are melted. Add the spike and salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve!
    Serve with Banana or Blueberry Muffins, raw vegetables, applesauce.

    BLACK BEAN AND PUMPKIN SOUP

    1 TB Chili powder
    1 tsp. cumin seed
    1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomato
    1 cup coarsely chopped onion
    1 or 2 canned chipotle chilies, drained Or 1 - 4 oz diced green chilies
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 TB olive oil
    2 cans (15 oz) reduced sodium black beans or 4 Cups cooked black beans
    2 Cups chicken broth
    1 16 oz can pumpkin or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree
    1-2 tsp salt or to taste
    1/2 tsp. black pepper or to taste

    Garnishes (optional):
    fresh cilantro
    lime wedges for garnish, if desired
    1/2 Cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

    Saute chili powder, cumin seed, chopped onion, garlic and chipotle chilies in olive oil until onions are translucent, stirring frequently over medium high heat. Add diced tomato, and black beans to sauteed mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture into a blender and blend (in batches if needed) until pureed. Transfer the mixture back into a soup pot, add the pumpkin puree, and chicken broth simmer for 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Serve with desired garnishes with cornbread or homemade rolls. The flavor will improve greatly if the soup is made ahead and reheated to be served later.

    LASAGNA SOUP

    Ingredients:
    1 lb bulk Italian sausage
    2 cups onions, chopped
    1 cup carrots, diced
    2 cups mushrooms, sliced
    2 tablespoons garlic, minced
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 can Italian style stewed tomatoes, chopped (14 12 oz)
    1 can tomato sauce(10 34 oz)
    1 cup campenelle or penne or bow tie pasta
    2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
    1 cup provolone cheese or fresh mozzarella, diced
    14 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
    4 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh basil

    Directions:
    Brown sausage in a large saucepan over medium-heat. Add onions and
    carrots; saute 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic, and saute
    another 3 minutes.
    Add broth, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce, and bring to boil.
    Drop in pasta and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes, or according
    to package directions. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.
    Place 14 cup cheese into serving bowls and pour soup on top. Garnish
    with Parmesan and basil.
    Serve soup with salad.

    CHICKEN BARLEY VEGETABLE SOUP WITH HERBS
    "This simple, hearty and flavorful soup will remind you of the bounty of your summer garden. Its assortment of herbs and vegetables will warm you down to your toes. It has become a family favorite with or without the chicken added."

    6 chicken thighs, skinned
    2/3 cup barley
    8 Cups chicken stock or water
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    3 small carrots, sliced
    1 Cup chopped broccoli florets (optional)
    1 large tomato, peeled and chopped or 2 Tablespoons tomato
    powder (optional)
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 Tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
    1 teaspoon basil
    1/8 teaspoon oregano
    1/8 teaspoon thyme
    Dash of cayenne pepper
    2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley

    Put all of the ingredients except the parsley into an 8 qt. stock pot or 5 liter or larger pressure cooker such as a Duromatic Pressure Cooker . Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. In the Duromatic, bring ingredients to second red ring and pressure for 15 minutes; allow pressure to drop naturally. Or simmer the soup conventionally for 1-1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.

    Remove the chicken thighs from the soup. When cooled slightly, remove the meat and cut into bite sized pieces. Return the meat to the soup. Simmer the soup an additional 10-15 minutes if desired. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add the parsley and serve.

    FAST AND EASY SPLIT PEA SOUP
    "If you use a pressure cooker the soup cooks for 15 minutes"

    4-6 slices bacon cooked crisp, drained, crumbled and set aside
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup carrots, diced
    1 large onion, diced
    1 cup celery, sliced
    2 cups split peas, washed (1 lbs)
    7-1/2 C. homemade or commercial chicken broth (4 cans) or equivalent
    1 TB Italian seasoning
    salt & pepper to taste

    Using leftover bacon grease in a 5 Qt Duromatic Pressure Cooker or 6 qt stock pot, saute the onion, carrots, and celery until wilted, add garlic and saute for one minute. Add broth, washed split peas, and seasonings and bring to a boil. In a Duromatic Pressure Cooker, cover the pan and bring the pressure up to the first red ring and cook for 15 minutes, allow the pressure to come down naturally. If using a stock pot, simmer the soup mixture for 45-60 minutes. Taste the pea mixture to make sure the peas are soft. If so, blend and puree the split pea soup mixture in a blender in 4 Cup batches, reserving 1 cup of soup mixture to be "lumpy". Combine pureed soup mixture, adjust seasonings, garnish with crumbled bacon in individual soup bowls and serve. Note: For higher elevations add one minute cooking time for each 1000 feet of elevation above 2000 feet, if using the Duromatic . For example, if you live at 5000 feet add 3 minutes to the cooking time. Makes 8-10 servings.

    Serving Suggestions: Corn Bread, honey butter, pear halves on lettuce.

    HAM-BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
    Serves 6

    This recipe is also from my friend Shauna. I made it once and had several requests for the recipe. It is quite simple, and always adaptable to what you have on hand. Use a crock pot to make ahead.

    1 Can Evaporated milk
    3 TB flour (whole grain, preferred)
    2 C. diced cooked ham
    2 C. chopped broccoli (stems and florets)
    1 TB. olive oil
    1/4 - 1/2 C. chopped onion
    4 C. water
    1 C. light cream
    1-2 C. shredded Swiss or Cheddar cheese
    1/2 tsp. thyme
    1/2 tsp. savory
    1/4 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
    salt, pepper, to taste

    Saute the onion in the olive oil until wilted in the bottom of 8 cup or larger stock pot. Stir in the flour. Using a wire whisk over low heat, mix the evaporated milk with the onion/flour mixture. Stir in the water and bring up the heat until the soup base is slightly thickened. Add the ham, broccoli, light cream, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Simmer for up to one hour, depending on how much time you have. When ready to serve, stir in the Cheese until melted, and adjust the seasonings to taste.

    CHICKEN CHILI CORN CHOWDER
    6-8 servings

    This soup is a great variation to chili, very elegant, and delicious! Serve with hot "good earth" rolls.

    3-4 Cups cooked, diced chicken (1 1/2 lbs. boneless)*
    1/2 C. finely chopped onion
    3 TB flour, whole grain preferred
    2 TB olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 C. chicken broth ( I use Frontier chicken broth powder and water to equal 2 C)
    2 C. hot water
    1 tsp. cumin, ground
    2 C. half and half
    2 C. Monterey Jack
    1- 16 oz can cream style corn
    1 - 4 oz can green chili, chopped
    1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce - (optional)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Saute onion, and garlic in olive oil until translucent in a stock pot. Stir in flour over low heat and slowly stir in chicken broth, and water. Heat until thickened slightly. Add cumin, half and half, cream style corn, green chilies, and hot pepper sauce (opt) to the soup base and simmer together for 15-60 minutes. Add chopped chicken, stir in shredded cheese until melted, adjust seasonings to taste. (Don't boil the soup once the cheese is added or it will become stringy.) To serve: garnish with chopped medium tomato and 1/2 C. fresh minced cilantro.

    *A quick way to cook up 1 1/2 lbs. of boneless chicken breasts is to pressure cook them in a Duromatic Pressure Cooker for 8 minutes at the 2nd red ring and allow the pressure to come down naturally. While soup base is simmering,

    PANTRY MEALS - EXTRA FAST AND EASY

    Every mom has those panic attacks when dinner is upon them and preparations have not been made ahead of time. If you will keep some basic ingredients in your pantry, you will be prepared for healthier alternatives to Hamburger Helper, Pizza Delivery, or other prepared/processed foods. If you don't have all the ingredients, substitute or omit the ingredient.

    If you keep chopped onions and green peppers in your freezer, or dried minced veggies, you will save even more time. Keep browned ground meat in one pound containers and 2 Cup portions of diced chicken in your freezer to save even more time.

    Frozen ground meat can be quickly defrosted in cold water or in a covered skillet over medium heat.

    LAYERED MEXICAN CASSEROLE

    1 lb , lean ground beef
    1 onion, finely minced
    (use from freezer or dried minced)
    1 pkg taco seasoning or 1/4 Cup Frontier Taco Seasoning
    3/4 Cup water
    2 Cups cooked pinto beans or refried beans from a can or homemade
    1 - 18 oz can Enchilada sauce or spicy tomato sauce
    1-2 Cups shredded Cheddar or Jack Cheese
    3 Cups slightly crushed tortilla chips
    1/2 head lettuce, shredded
    2 tomatoes, diced
    2-4 TB sliced black olives

    Brown the ground beef with onion. Drain well. Add taco seasoning mix with water and simmer until liquid is absorbed. In a 9 X 13 casserole dish, layer the crushed tortilla chips. Top with a layer of beans. Next layer browned ground, seasoned ground beef mixture. Pour enchilada sauce over all. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 375° oven for 20-25 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

    Garnish with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and black olives. Serve immediately.
    Serving Suggestion: Offer guacamole, extra tortilla chips, raw veggies such as carrots, celery, radishes, jicama, and cucumbers.

    CHICKEN A LA KING
    Serve over Bread, Toast, or Rice

    2 Cups diced chicken from freezer or a can
    1 TB chicken bouillon or chicken broth powder
    1/4 C. dehydrated onion
    1/4 C. mushrooms (canned or dehydrated)
    2 TB dehydrated green peppers (or 1/2 C. chopped from freezer)
    1/3 C. oil
    1-1/3 C. milk
    1/2 tsp. turmeric
    1/3 C. flour
    1-1/3 C. water

    Cut chicken into small chunks if needed. Heat oil in a skillet and
    saute vegetables. Blend in flour and spices. Dissolve bouillon
    in water and add to vegetable mixture. Add milk. Boil for one minute. Serve
    over rice, toast, etc.

    SHEPHERD'S PIE

    1 pound lean ground meat, browned
    3/4 C.chopped onion or reconstituted dried minced onion
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp oregano
    1-2 cans green beans, drained
    1 - 103/4 oz. can tomato soup, or 8 oz. can tomato sauce,
    3 C. mashed potato, use leftovers or prepare dried potato granules
    [

    Brown the ground meat with onions. Drain well. Stir in seasonings and tomato soup or sauce. Layer meat mixture in a 2 quart casserole, top with layer of canned green beans,Heat through. Pour Spread mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 350° oven until bubbly and hot. 4-6 servings.

    30 Minute Meals - Fast and Easy

    Make Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
    By Jill Cooper

    Jill Cooper is co-author of Planning for Leftovers, Quick Dinners, and Pretty for Pennies - Homemade Bath & Beauty

    I was having dinner at my son's house the other night and my daughter-in-law had fixed "old fashioned" baked potatoes. You know, the kind you make in the oven and not the microwave. Boy, they were good. It seems that so many things taste better slow cooked in the oven.

    We started talking about how much longer it took to cook them in the oven compared to the microwave. That started me thinking. Yes, it does take longer in actual cooking time but in some ways it is easier. When I bake potatoes in the oven, I get them ready and in the oven an hour before dinner and then just forget about them until dinner is ready. Then, all I have to do is set them on the table and dinner is served.

    When I microwave them, I tend to start cleaning them and preparing them at the same time that I'm trying to make a salad and heat up the veggies. While I'm doing all of that, I have to remember to keep turning the potatoes and if I am cooking several, I have to put a few in the microwave and when they are done, pull them out and add more, all of this at the same time that I am trying to prepare the rest of the meal.

    Why is it that, even though we have faster methods of cooking our meals, they seem to have become more frenzied and hurried than years ago? Then it dawned on me -- With the introduction of the microwave and the idea that meals can be prepares in 30 minutes, most people do nothing to prepare or plan their meals until 30 minutes before they are going to eat. So 30 minutes before dinner you find yourself trying to thaw something, cook it, and slap it on the table and at the same time talk and deal with tired, hungry, cranky kids. Let's not forget how exhausted you are at this time of day, too.

    We need to warm up our ovens and start using them again the way our grandmothers use to do. Here are some tips and ideas that prove that cooking meals in a conventional oven instead of a microwave can be just as quick and easy, not to mention how much more delicious they taste and smell.

    I think we underestimate the power of coming home and smelling something yummy cooking. We automatically seem to relax, feeling that "all is well with the world". I really think it can change the whole atmosphere of your home for the evening.

    I am not living in a dream world. You can fix meals the way our grandmothers did. I hear some readers saying, "Our grandmothers weren't ever as busy as we are and so they had time to fix large meals." I can hear our grandmothers chuckling at that statement. My husband's grandmother had to help on the farm from early in the morning until evening. She took care of a large home garden, canned, cleaned house every day, did laundry without a washer or dryer and still provided meals not only for her family, but up to 20 farm hands as well. She had to do it all without a refrigerator, microwave, or a grocery store and the nearest water was a mile away from her house.

    My mother-in-law would go to work as early as 7 am and work until 9 pm 6 days a week, but she still managed to make three large meals each day. If you're thinking, "That's great if you want to spend all your spare time in the kitchen," consider that they spent less time in the kitchen than we do with less of the conveniences and still managed to have well balanced delicious meals each day.

    What was their secret? -- They had never heard of 30 minute meals. Even if they had they would probably have laughed and wondered who would spend so much time on a meal? They knew that the key to a quick meal wasn't how fast you could cook, but how organized you were. You can easily have a meal on the table in 15 minutes if you are organized and plan ahead.

    No, this doesn't mean you have to microwave or fry everything to have a quick meal. Slow cooking something in the oven not only makes things taste better but sometimes is quicker.

    Our grandmothers' secret to quick meals

    1. Keep your meals simple.

    2. Be organized.

    3. Decide what you are preparing the night or the morning before.

    4. Thaw anything you need the night or the morning before.

    5. Prepare as much of the meal as you can during the slow time of your day and when you are most refreshed. (This is very important.)

    6. Slow cook meats in the oven or in a crock pot.

    7. Keep your kitchen clean so you have an uncluttered work area.

    Here are some ideas on what to prepare. These aren't elaborate gourmet meals. If you are too busy to cook dinner, then you are to busy to make gourmet dinners. Stick with the basics and keep it simple like our grandmothers did.

    Roast: Place a roast in a crock pot or pan. Peel five potatoes and carrots and drop them in with it and turn on the oven. This takes five minutes. Clean and cut broccoli, celery and cucumbers for a salad -- five minutes. At dinner time, chop lettuce and tomato for the salad, adding the already prepared veggies. Then put the meat and the fixings on a platter -- five more minutes. Voila! Dinner in 15 minutes.

    Stew: It takes me seven minutes to cube meat*, peel five potatoes, carrots and onions, toss it into a pot and to season it. At dinner time, I put bread or dinner rolls on the table -- one to two minutes and I have dinner in nine minutes.

    *Ask your butcher to cube or slice all your meat for you. They usually charge nothing or just a few cents per pound. It saves not only time in cutting but in clean up too.

    Chicken: Toss a chicken in a pan or crock pot -- two minutes. Clean potatoes to put in with chicken or to bake in the oven -- three minutes. At dinner time, warm a veggie -- two minutes. Slice some fruit -- three minutes. Dinner in 10 minutes.

    Lasagna: Put noodles in a pot to boil -- one minute. Fry hamburger, get out cheese, tomato sauce and the rest of the fixings; mix sauce while noodles boil, 7-8 minutes. Layer everything -- two minutes. Cover and put in the fridge for dinner the next day or that evening. Put the lasagna in the oven to heat while getting out of your work clothes, checking the mail, etc. Set the table and cut a salad -- five minutes. Dinner is served; 15 minutes.

    Beef stroganoff: Make your beef stroganoff in your crock pot. (If you don't want to use a crock pot, this recipe usually takes very little time just stirring it up in a pan.) Dump everything but sour cream and noodles, into the crock pot -- three minutes and simmer all day on low. Clean carrots, celery sticks and broccoli for a relish dish (five minutes) and put it in the fridge. At dinner time, boil egg noodles (5-7 minutes). While they are boiling, add sour cream to sauce and set the table. Total time: 15 minutes.

    Chili: Mix everything in a pot the night before. Depending what you put in, it should take 5-10 minutes. Simmer throughout the next day.

    Soup: Do the same as with the chili.

    These are just a general example of ways to fix meals easily and quickly. It isn't really a matter of time as much as it is a matter of being organized and getting things done before you are too exhausted to think.

    If you have meats thawed and the ingredients on hand, most things can be tossed together in about the same time as it takes to order and wait to get your food at a fast food place.
    Also, remember when you have your oven going to try to cook more than one thing in it. For example, if you are going to be baking a casserole, bake a pan of brownies, muffins or baked apples at the same time.

    Jill Cooper raised two teenagers alone on $500 a month income after becoming disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Jill Cooper is co-author of Planning for Leftovers, Quick Dinners, and Pretty for Pennies - Homemade Bath & Beauty

    Planning Leftovers eBooklet Save money - Don't wait until your refrigerator is full of odds and ends to think about leftovers - Plan Ahead

    Plan Ahead Leftovers is the second in the series of "Menus On A Dime" booklets. It includes 15 pre-planned menus and 38 recipes to make your life easier! This ebook explains how you can cook once and eat three to five different meals. Plan Ahead Leftovers includes beef, chicken and ham recipes for the main dishes and includes 10 dessert recipes. The Menus at a Glance page lets you see all of the menu descriptions in one place to make substituting elements for elements from different menus easier. Plan Ahead Leftovers also includes tips to making your own menu plans.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Quick Dinners eBook- is designed to help you with meals you can prepare in 20 minutes or less. Quick Dinners includes 24 recipes, 34 tips, 10 menu plans, dessert ideas and a weekly menu worksheet. Using these easy dinner plans, you can be in and out of the kitchen faster and at a much much lower cost than eating out.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Pretty for Pennies - Homemade Bath and Beauty, Great Gift!

    Pretty for Pennies is included as a chapter in Dining On A Dime but not in Not Just Beans.
    What do foot massage oil, chocolate lip balm and almond lotion have in common? You can find these and other frugal recipes in Tawra's new Frugal Bath and Beauty Guide, Pretty for Pennies. This 32 page booklet contains 33 recipes and 69 frugal tips. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Another article by Jill is Acres of Apples, Frugal to the Core

    A Week of Menus, with Recipes and Grocery List

     

    A WEEK OF MENUS AND RECIPES

     

     

    Monday:

     

     

    Roast Beef with Gravy
    Mashed Potatoes
    Steamed Baby Carrots with Dill Butter
    Salad
    Fantastic WW Rolls

     

     

    Tuesday:

     

     

    Pesto Lasagna
    French Bread

     

     

    Wednesday:

     

     

    Crockpot Roasted Herbed Chicken with Lemon
    Roasted Red Potatoes
    Green Beans
    Peaches, halved
    Cracked Wheat Bread

     

     

    Thursday:

     

     

    French Dip Sandwiches (From Leftover Roast Beef - Mon)
    Applesauce
    Raw Veggie Platter

     

     

    Friday:

     

     

    Poached Salmon with
    Oven Fries
    Horseradish Sauce
    Steamed Broccoli
    Arranged Pineapple Slices

     

     


     

     


    GROCERY LIST

     

    Meat Counter
    3-5 lbs. Beef Brisket, Round, or Chuck Roast
    1 - 3-4 lb. Whole Chicken
    6 Salmon Fillets or 1-1/2 lbs. Salmon (pref. wild-caught)

    Produce
    5 lb. baking potatoes
    8 - 10 red potatoes (as needed to feed your family)

    1 lb. whole green beans, fresh or frozen
    Bag salad and/or salad fixings of choice for 1 meal
    1 lb. bag carrots
    2 lb. bag baby carrots
    1 lemon
    Bunch green onions
    Celery stalks
    Radishes
    5 tomatoes
    Large bunch fresh spinach or kale
    8 oz. pkg. fresh mushrooms, sliced
    Parsley
    Broccoli - bunch - fresh or frozen

    Baking/Spices/Canned Goods
    Mayonnaise
    Prepared horseradish (not creamed)
    2 - 14 oz. cans beef consomme
    or 1 envelope Onion Soup Mix
    Cornstarch
    12 lasagna noodles, whole grain if possible
    Rosemary
    Cooking sherry
    1 large jar applesauce
    1 - 20 oz. can pineapple slices
    Dill weed

    Dairy
    1 - 8 oz. thinly sliced Swiss or Provolone cheese
    1 - 8 oz. Italian blend or Mozzarella cheese
    1 -15 oz. Ricotta cheese
    1/2 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese

    Bakery
    French Bread (Homemade or Storebought)
    Fantastic whole wheat Rolls (Homemade or Storebought)
    6-8 Hoagie/Sub rolls

    ROAST BEEF With Gravy
    "Buy the largest roast you can afford, so that you have plenty of leftovers for future meals stashed away in your freezer. I have listed many suggestions for beef leftovers at the
    bottom of this recipe."

    1 - 3-5 lb. Boneless Beef Brisket, Round or Chuck Roast

    Duromatic Method:

    If you are using a Duromatic TM pressure cooker, brown the roast on all sides over high heat, using the natural release method found in the owner's manual. Add 1 Cup water, cover the roast with one finely chopped onion, if desired, bring the pressure up to the 2nd red ring, and cook the roast 15 minutes per pound. Allow the pressure to come down naturally. Keep the roast warm wrapped in aluminum foil in a warm oven. Allow the roast to "sit" for at least 15 minutes before carving.

    Crockpot Method:
    Brown the roast on all sides using a large skillet. When the roast is browned, transfer the roast into a crockpot and cover the roast with one finely chopped onion, if desired. Add 1-2 Cups water, and cook over low heat for at least 8-12 hours. Remove the drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup, and keep the roast warm in the crock pot, turned off. Carve after the roast sits at least 15 minutes.

    Gravy: Yield 2-1/2 Cups

    1 Can of beef consomme OR
    Pan juices left over from cooking plus added water to equal 2 cups
    2-4 TB Cornstarch (depending on thickness of gravy desired)
    1/2 Cup cold water
    1-2 tsp. salt or to taste
    Pepper to taste

    Skim fat from the top of pan juices if using leftover au jus from roast. Mix cornstarch in 1/2 Cup cold water, being sure to get all the lumps out. Bring the beef consomme or leftover beef cooking liquid to a boil in a medium sauce pan.

    While the broth is boiling, slowly and gradually pour the cold cornstarch/water mixture into the boiling broth while mixing vigorously with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Bring the gravy to a boil, lower the heat for 1 minute, adjust seasonings. If using consomme you will not need as much salt in the gravy.

    Carefully carve the beef roast into thin slices. We ration the amount of meat available for the meal so we have plenty of leftovers for the recipes below to be served on Thursday's Menu Plan.

    Serving Suggestion: Serve with mashed potatoes, steamed baby carrots with butter and Dill weed, a green salad, and Fantastic Whole Wheat rolls. (See pg. 58)
    Serves 5-6
    Other Possible Uses for Leftover Roast Beef: (Thursday of Week Two)

    Beef Stroganoff - Make extra gravy, add 1/2 - 1 Cup sour cream, and sliced mushrooms. Pour over heated leftover beef cubes.
    French Dip Sandwiches - Use leftover gravy or beef consomme for dipping sauce.
    Barbecued Roast Beef - Slow cook leftovers with 2 Cups favorite barbecue sauce.
    Beef Stew - Add cooked carrots, celery, potatoes, onions to diced leftover beef and gravy.
    Vegetable Beef Soup - Add chopped carrots, celery, onion, and barley with leftover gravy and water (total 8 Cups) and diced beef. Adjust seasonings.

    PESTO LASAGNA
    "Fresh garden flavors mingle with cheeses. Delicious 'year round - but especially when seasonal veggies are available."

    12 dried regular or whole grain lasagna noodles
    1 Cup purchased or homemade pesto
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1 - 15 oz. container Ricotta cheese
    1 - 8 oz. pkg. shredded Italian Blend OR 2 C. Mozzarella cheese
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
    2 Cups chopped fresh spinach, OR 2 Cups steamed kale
    1/2 of an 8 oz. pkg fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced OR
    1 - 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms
    3 medium, quartered and sliced fresh tomatoes OR
    1 - 28 oz. can whole Italian-style tomatoes
    Fresh or dried parsley, Italian style, optional

    1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large stock pot cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles; rinse with cold water thoroughly, drain well; set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, stir together egg, Ricotta cheese, 1 Cup of the shredded Italian or Mozzarella cheese, salt, and pepper; set aside.
    3. To assemble lasagna: Lightly grease a 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking pan. Arrange 4 of the cooked noodles in the bottom of the pan, trimming and overlapping as necessary to cover the bottom with 1 layer of noodles. Top with spinach or kale. Spoon half of the Ricotta cheese mixture over the spinach or kale layer, spreading evenly.
    4. Spoon one-third of the pesto over the Ricotta layer, spreading evenly. Top with another layer of noodles, trimming to fit. Top with mushrooms. Spread remaining Ricotta cheese mixture over the mushrooms. Spread half of the remaining pesto over the
    Ricotta layer. Top with another layer of noodles and the remaining pesto.
    5. Drain canned tomatoes, and slice, quarter, or halve tomatoes and place on the top layer. Cover the pan with foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle with remaining Italian blend cheese. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and the lasagna is bubbly. Garnish with chopped, fresh parsley. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
    This recipe can be prepared ahead for the freezer but DO NOT add the tomatoes and do not bake ahead. Cover with plastic wrap, and then aluminum foil. Package and label the remaining 1 Cup cheese in a resealable plastic bag. This casserole may be refrigerated up to 24 hours or frozen for about 3-6 months.

    Reheating Instructions: Thaw lasagna, if frozen, in the refrigerator for 48 hours before baking. Place thawed or refrigerated lasagna on a foil lined baking sheet. Remove plastic wrap; top lasagna with tomatoes. Bake lasagna in a preheated 375° oven, covered with foil for 40 minutes; uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 10 minutes more or until heated through or when bubbly and cheese is melted. Re-cover and let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.
    Serves 8-10

    ROASTED HERBED CHICKEN WITH LEMON
    "This easy, delicious crockpot recipe will
    make your whole house smell delightful!"

    1 whole chicken (3 lb. or larger)
    1 lemon, cut in wedges
    2 TB fresh Rosemary or 1-1/2 tsp. dried
    10 cloves garlic
    1/4 Cup cooking sherry, or chicken broth
    1 small pat butter, melted
    Small red potatoes (as many as desired) cubed
    Fresh green beans (or whole frozen green beans), quantity as desired
    Salt and pepper to taste
    `
    Clean the chicken and pat dry. Add chicken to the crockpot. Drizzle the chicken with butter and then rub with garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired. Add to the crockpot: the remaining garlic, cooking sherry, and small red potatoes. Add the green beans on top of the potatoes and sprinkle the rosemary on top of the chicken and green beans. Garnish the top of the chicken with lemon wedges as desired. Cook on high 4 hours, or on low 7-8 hours.

    Serving Suggestions: Serve with peach halves and Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls, (See pg. 58)
    Serves 5-6

    FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES

    2 loaves whole grain French or Italian bread, sliced in half horizontally; can also use hoagie/sub rolls
    1/4 Cup butter, optional
    1-2 lb.s thinly sliced cooked leftover roast beef (deli roast beef slices also ok)
    8 oz. thinly sliced Swiss or Provolone cheese
    1 envelope Onion Soup Mix or 2 cans beef consomme
    2 Cups water

    Heat oven to 325°F. Spread butter evenly on top halves of bread, if desired. On bottom bread halves, layer the roast beef and top with cheese; complete the sandwich with top half of buttered French bread halves. Wrap each loaf securely in aluminum foil. Bake 25 minutes or until cheese is melted, then slice each loaf in quarters. Meanwhile, combine soup mix and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the onion soup into 4 individual custard cups or small bowls and serve with sandwiches for dipping. Double and triple as needed for your family.
    Serving Suggestion: Homemade applesauce, and tomato and cucumber slices on green lettuce leaves.

    POACHED SALMON with Horseradish Sauce
    "
    A food processor saves time, but this meal can be ready in 30 minutes or less"

    3 Cups water
    2 carrots, sliced
    2 stalks celery, sliced
    1/2 tsp. salt
    6 Salmon fillets or about 1-1/2 lbs.

    Combine water, salt, carrots, celery, in a large skillet. Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Add salmon fillets, cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Prepare horseradish sauce (below) and add lemon juice and green onions if desired. Serve with oven fries, steamed broccoli, and pineapple slices arranged on lettuce leaves.

    Horseradish Sauce
    1/3 Cup mayonaisse
    1/3 Cup sour cream
    3 tsp. prepared horseradish, (not creamed)
    2 tsp. lemon juice
    2 green onions, chopped (optional)

    Garnish: 1 lemon, wedged (optional)

    Oven Fries:
    Use Bosch Universal Slicer/Shredder French Fry Blade or similar processing equipment to "French Fry Cut" 8 baking potatoes, or cut potatoes in 1/2" sticks. Mix the cut potatoes with 1-2 TB olive oil and 1 tsp. salt. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes are done. Stir 1-2 times during baking time.

    Moroccan Chicken

    Moroccan Chicken
    The exotic flavors of Moroccan cooking are just the thing to perk up a week night chicken supper. Serve over couscous for the perfect authentic touch. Makes 4 servings. Prep. time is about 10 minutes. Cooks at pressure about 10 minutes.

    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/2 tsp coriander
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1 - 4 lb chicken, quartered, remove skin
    1 TB olive oil
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    3 or more garlic cloves, minced
    1 Cup Chicken Stock (homemade is best)
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    6 ounces Mediterranean green olives, pitted and chopped, optional
    2 TB chopped cilantro

    Mix the ground up spices in a small bowl and rub them into the chicken. Set aside for 10 minutes. In a 5 quart of larger pressure cooker, heat the oil over medium high heat. In batches, brown the chicken on both sides turning once, in about 3 minutes, remove and transfer to a plate. Add onion, garlic and cook about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, return the chicken into the pressure cooker, with breast meaty sides up. Lock lid.

    Bring pressure up to second red ring and maintain the pressure for 10 minutes. Use the quick-release method to reduce heat, and open the lid carefully (tilt away from yourself so that you block the steam). Remove the chicken and place on a platter and keep warm. Stir in the lemon juice into the cooking liquid, bring up to a boil, and cook over medium heat until sauce is reduced, or slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve the chicken over couscous or hot brown rice, pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with cilantro. Voila, a gourmet dinner in minutes.

    Versatile Pressure Cooking

    The following information is excerpted from New Harvest Homestead Newsletter.  Here is how Kerrie makes Hawaaiian Pork, Porcupine Meatballs and Beef Stew the fast and easy way:

    Kerrie says:  Here is how I do Hawaiian Pork:
    Put one large can pineapple juice and pork in the pressure cooker.  I usually use the pork roasts that come in packages of three at Costco, and cut one up in chunks.  You can also use country style pork ribs.  Bring to pressure and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.  It will mostly depend on how big your pieces of meat are.  Release pressure, discard juice and remove pork to a baking dish.  Cover pork with a good barbeque sauce, like KC Masterpiece.  Bake in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes.  Sometimes I like to broil it for a minute so the sauce gets thick and glaze-like.  You can eat in chunks with rice or you can shred it and put on sandwich rolls.

    Kerrie's Beef Stew

    I cut stew meat into bite sized chunks and brown in oil in the pressure cooker.  Add about 2 TBS. of flour, along with some salt and pepper and stir around.  Add liquid to cover meat well.  Bring to pressure and time for about 20 minutes (depending on the size of the chunks of meat).  Instantly release pressure.  Add cut up veggies like potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, mushroom, green beans and whatever else you like.  Add any flavorings you like, such as garlic, red pepper flakes or sauces.  Check to see if you need any more liquid – you don’t need to cover those veggies with liquid.  Bring to pressure and cook another 8 minutes.  Release pressure and its done.  If there is too much liquid, you can thicken it with some flour or cornstarch, or just serve it with some good, crusty bread to soak it up.

    Porcupine Meatballs

    2 lbs. ground beef
    1 cup uncooked rice
    2 TBS. minced onion
    2 tsp. salt
    ? tsp. pepper1 crushed garlic clove
    1 jar spaghetti sauce

    Combine everything but the sauce.  Form into balls.  Pour sauce into pressure cooker.  Drop meatballs in cooker.  Bring to pressure and cook for 7 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes and then quick release under cold water.

     I do my mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker.  I just quarter the potatoes; add some water or broth and salt.  I bring to pressure and cook for about 8 minutes.  Then, I drain the liquid and add the butter, milk and use a potato masher.  I also like to cook a whole chicken with herbs and veggies.  Then, I have chicken for soup, casserole, chicken salad and I have broth to put in the freezer for later use.

    Brandie Longoria's Pressure Cooker Rice

    2 cups white rice (Basmati or Jasmine works well)
    3-4 cups water (depending on how “wet” you like your rice)

    Put rice in the pressure cooker with the water.  If I’m feeling tricky, I’ll replace some or all of the water with chicken stock and add a little garlic or other favorite spices.  Put the cooker on the stove and lock it shut.  Cook it on the second or higher pressure for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let the pressure come down naturally (about 10 minutes total).
    Option:  Sometimes I use a wee bit of saffron in the rice when I can get a hold of it.  I use chicken stock, a little garlic and leftover meat from previous dishes.  Add some cut up vegetables and shrimp if you have it and, VOILA! – you have Paella, a traditional Hispanic dish.  My husband is Hispanic and LOVES the stuff!  Brandie Longoria,  Marietta, GA

    Serves 6 with leftovers

    Brandie's Pressure Cooker Chicken

    This could not be any easier.  Put a whole chicken fryer in a 5 qt. or larger pressure cooker.  If you have fresh herbs, now is a great time to use them!  I put a couple of fresh rosemary sprig, or sage leaves, and half of an onion in the cavity of the chicken.  For a real one dish meal, cut up some carrots, and other veggies and add them around the chicken.  Add ? cup water to the bottom.   If your cooker comes with a steaming plate, use it to lift the chicken off of the bottom.  If the chicken is fresh, pressure cook it on the second or higher pressure for about 20-25 minutes, then take it off of the heat and let is rest until the pressure comes down naturally.  If it is frozen, it may take about 45 minutes of cooking, which means you need to watch the heat a little more often so that the pressure doesn’t get too high.  This amount of time usually works well, but depending on your source of heat (electric, gas, etc.) the times may vary.  Always go by what the manufacturer says.  That is just what works well with mine in the altitude, etc.

    When comparing pressure cooker keep the following Kuhn Rikon features and benefits in mind:

    TheNew York Times called the Duromatic line of pressure cookers by Kuhn Rikon  the Mercedes Benz of pressure cookers.

    It is very accurate in determining when full pressure is reached because of the spring loaded valve.

    Years ago, I was helping cook a banquet for 80 people.  I cooked baby carrots in my pressure cooker for 4 minutes and they came out perfect.  My friend cooked them in her pressure cooker, couldn't determine when the pressure was reached and ended up with all her carrots turning to mush.

    The Duromatic has a much more precise way of determining when pressure is reached and then cooking time can begin from there.  Marilyn Moll, The Urban Homemaker

    Duromatic Cooking Advantages
    Tasty, Healthy, Fast Food Fast - Duromatics cook dinner in 1/3 of normal cooking time or less.

    Safe - Duromatics are “second generation” pressure cookers with built-in fail-proof safety features that make it virtually impossible for failures to occur. These gleaming, high quality stainless steel pans with thick bottoms eliminate scorching. Six built-in safety mechanisms provide an unparalleled degree of safety.

    Easy - The spring-loadedvalve ensures much greater accuracy in cooking time, guarantees superior cooking results, eliminates hiss and whistle of outdated pressure cookers. The design virtually eliminates clogging valves, and is much quieter than cooking with a out-dated weight valve system.

    Healthy - Pressure cooking uses little water thereby retaining more of the vitamins, minerals, and natural taste of the food.

    Reliable - Duromatics have a full 10 year warranty. (We’ve had ours for over 15 years!)

    Economical - Save 70% of energy consumption.

    Nourishing Traditions

    2 Stage Process For Yeast Breads

    2 STAGE PROCESS FOR YEAST BREADS- Adapting Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe to maximize nutritional value

    1. Soak the whole grain flour in liquid. Use a minimum of 1 TB of kefir, buttermilk, or yogurt for each cup of water called for in my basic recipe. I use 2 Cups buttermilk or kefir and 4 cups water for a total of 6 cups liquid in my Bosch Mixer Method. If you are concerned about allergies, substitute 1 TB lemon juice or vinegar for each cup of liquid.

    Also add in the amount of honey and oil at this step.

    Soak about 2/3 to 3/4 of the total whole wheat flour called for in your recipe in the liquid for 12-24 hours. I use 12 cups flour with the six cups liquid in my Bosch mixer. If you are using the hand method, use 6 cups of the flour with the liquid. This soaking process will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid in grains which interfere with nutrient absorption.

    However, be flexible, soak the flour mixture as long as you have time for so that this process fits into your routine smoothly, any soaking time improves texture, nutrition, and flavor. Just mix the liquid and water long enough to moisten the flour before the soaking time begins. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid to prevent the mixture from drying out or cover the bowl with a damp cloth.

    The soaking process is done on the counter (not refrigerator) as this is a fermentation step, perfectly safe and building nutrition.

    2. After the liquid and flour has soaked overnight or at least 12 hours:

    Blend in a glass or plastic liquid measuring cup:

    1/4 cup-1/2 C. warm water
    Saf yeast called for in recipe (Conventional yeasts may be substituted)
    1 tsp. honey
    1/2 tsp baking soda, optional (Some think the soda reduces the sour taste, I don't use it.)

    Allow this yeast mixture to stand 5-10 minutes to proof the yeast.

    3. Add the salt and then very slowly and gradually add the yeast mixture to the soaked flour mixture and work it into the dough until they are well blended or combined. If you have a recipe variation, add other ingredients called for at this step.

    4. Knead the dough as normal adding unbleached bread flour or additional whole grain flour as needed so that the dough cleans the sides of the bowl and knead the bread until the gluten is fully developed.

    For whole wheat bread it takes about 8 minutes kneading time in a Bosch, or 10-12 minutes of vigorous hand kneading or about 600-800 strokes.

    5. Be sure to add as little flour as needed to keep the dough moist but not sticky or from becoming too stiff (a signal too much flour has been added). Knead the bread until it becomes smooth and elastic, and resistant to kneading action. Check to see if the gluten is fully developed.

    6. Complete the recipe according to Marilyn's famous recipe instructions for the particular version you are making*. Allow the dough to rise once in a greased bowl. and once in the bread pans.**

    Be prepared that the rising time will take longer because the dough is lower in temperature after sitting at room temperature overnight.

    7. Allow the bread to double in bread pans; bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the loaf is well browned, top, sides, and bottom of the loaf.

    * When adapting other bread recipes, complete the instructions according to the cookbook instructions for the particular recipe .

    **If using conventional yeasts OTHER than Saf Yeast, Sue Gregg suggests two raisings of the dough in the bowl before shaping, raising and baking the final product.

    Here is a testimonial I received from a baker who used the above information:

    Marilyn, "Guess what, I DID IT, I DID IT, I DID IT!!! My bread turned out GREAT! I am so excited, can you tell? :) I used your cracked grain recipe and combined it with what you sent me this morning. I already had the wheat flour "soaking" from last night, and I added the cracked grain, followed the directions from this morning, and needed to add some additional wheat flour, and it worked. I also want to thank you for making note of the time for kneading with the Bosch.browned, top, sides, and bottom of the loaf."

    For more information, contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323.

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    Click on this link For 10 Steps to Getting Started with a lifestyle of Health .

    Homemade Chicken and Beef Broth

    Homemade Soup Broth or Stock


    Meat and fish stocks comprise traditional cuisines
    worldwide and produce the most nourishing and
    flavorful soups imaginable. Properly prepared stocks
    contain minerals, such as calcium, magnesium,
    potassium, and gelatin, which promote effective
    digestion. Sally Fallon says that gelatin-rich broths
    consumed frequently protects our health from digestive
    disorders. (See p. 116-126;197-230 of Nourishing
    Traditions
    for more information and many recipes.)

    Chicken Stock
    Chicken soup is a timeless remedy for all kinds of
    ailments including the flu and viruses. Here is how to
    make a basic chicken stock to be used for cooking
    grains, sauces, and soups.

    1 whole chicken OR 2-3 lbs bony chicken parts
    including necks, breastbones, wings,
    4 qt. cold, pure water
    2 TB vinegar
    1 large chopped onion
    2-3 peeled, chopped carrots
    2-3 celery sticks, chopped
    parsley - optional

    Cut the chicken parts into several pieces, and place in
    a large stainless steel stock pot with the water, vinegar
    and vegetables (not parsley) and allow to stand for
    30-60 minutes. (This allows the vinegar to work on the
    bones). Bring pot to a boil, remove any scum that rises.
    Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1-6 hours up to 24
    hours is ok. The longer you cook, the richer and more
    flavorful the broth. Your house will smell spectacular!
    Add parsley, if desired, at the end of cooking to impart
    more minerals.

    Remove the chicken or pieces using a slotted spoon,
    and allow the pieces to cool before cutting the meat
    from the bones. Reserve this meat for salads,
    enchiladas, soups and other chicken dishes for the
    week's menu or freeze for future use.

    Strain the stock, and store in 2 cup portions in glass
    jars in the refrigerator. When the fat rises to the top and
    congeals, remove the fat, cover the containers and
    freeze if you are no going to use the stock right away.

    Make the stock once a week, if possible. It only takes
    minutes to assemble the ingredients, and virtually no
    further work is required.

    Here are two of our family favorite recipes utilizing homemade stock:

    Chicken ala King


    1-2 Cups chicken, cut up
    1 onion, chopped
    1 C. mushrooms, sliced
    1/4 Cup diced green peppers
    1/3 C. olive oil
    1-1/3 C. milk
    1/2 tsp. turmeric
    1/3 C. flour
    1-1/3 C. homemade chicken broth or equivalent


    Heat oil in a skillet and saute onion and peppers till
    translucent. Briefly saute mushrooms, until wilted.
    Blend in flour and spices. Gradually stir in chicken broth
    to the vegetable mixture. Slowly add milk, stirring until it
    boils. Boil for one minute, add chicken, and heat
    through. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or other whole
    grain prepared with 1 cup homemade stock, if
    possible.

    CURRIED CHICKEN - Indian Style
    This outstanding, authentic curry is nourishing,
    delicious, and economical. Double or triple this recipe,
    serve over Basic Brown Rice, and store extra in
    meal-sized portions in the freezer.


    1-1/2 pounds skinless chicken meat, cut into 1/2 inch
    pieces
    4 TB coconut oil, or 4 TB olive oil
    2 Cups finely chopped onion
    3-4 TB good quality Curry powder to taste
    OR use the following spices in place of Curry powder:
    2 TB turmeric
    1 TB ground fenugreek
    1 tsp. cumin
    1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, opt.
    1/2 tsp. ground cloves
    1 tsp. ground coriander
    1 tsp ground cardamom
    2 Cups chicken stock
    1/4 -1/2 Cup lemon juice, to taste
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 can coconut milk (whole)
    salt to taste


    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and
    add the chicken pieces; saute in batches. Add onions
    and saute until softened. Saute spices briefly in the oil
    for several minutes. Stir in chicken stock, lemon juice
    and bring to a boil. Add in garlic, chicken, and coconut
    milk.
    Simmer uncovered for 15-30 minutes stirring frequently
    or until the sauce thickens. Add salt to taste. This curry
    will improve in flavor significantly if made a day ahead,
    or early in the day, and allowed to sit.

    Garnish with chopped green onions, chopped peanuts, raisins, coconut and /or chutney.

    Beef Stock

    This method was written by Leslie Gray and is used by permission:

    We love to make beef stock with the meaty bones because it is really cheap
    meat. This is what I do: I roast the meaty bones in the
    oven for about 1 hour. The non-meaty bones (the ones that are just all bone
    with no meat on the outside) - I just place in a pot of vinegar water for
    soaking. Then, after the meaty bones have roasted, (this is not an
    essential step by the way - but makes them taste better) I place them
    directly into the pot of vinegar water for soaking about 20 minutes or so
    while I am preparing the veggies. Then I throw in all veggies and herbs and
    bring to a boil - then let simmer for 24 hours or as long as 72 hours. We
    pull the meat off around the 12-18 hour mark because after this the meat
    tastes yucky. All the flavor gets into the broth and it tastes like nothing
    basically.

    My husband just pulls the meat out of the pot - takes the meat off - and
    eats it for breakfast -lunch or a snack - then he just throws the bone back
    into the stock pot. With the meat - you can make beef and noodles with it -
    or make shredded bbq beef sandwiches - or save the meat for a hearty beef
    soup. We usually just sprinkle some salt on it and eat it plain like a
    roast
    .
    After 24 hours or more - strain the broth and let cool. Transfer broth into
    quart or pint canning jars. Be sure to allow plenty of head space for expansion
    in the freezer. I can usually make about 10-12 quarts of
    quality stock for about 8 pounds of bones. Place the jars into the freezer for long term storage.
    Leslie Gray

    Ingredient Changes for a Nutrient Dense Diet

    If you have begun to transition to a more nutrient dense diet based on Nourishing
    Traditions
    or Eat Fat Lose Fat, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. This article will summarize ingredient changes to make your existing recipes more NT (Nourishing Traditions) friendly.

    Ingredient changes:

    Replace commercial baked goods such as bread, muffins, biscuits, tortillas, crackers etc., with: Breads, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, etc prepared using fresh whole grain flours using the Two Stage Process. If you do not have a grain mill, many batters can be prepared with whole grains using a blender. Additional recipes for baked goods are found here.

    Replace sugar with: Rapadura, sucanat, muscovado, raw honey, maple syup, or stevia.

    Replace white flour with: Freshly milled (if possible) whole wheat flour, kamut flour spelt flour, sprouted whole grain flour, other freshly milled flour

    Replace water and bullion cubes or canned stock with: Home-made chicken or beef stock.

    Replace shortening with: Virgin coconut oil or Spectrum brand shortening which is made of palm oil, or raw butter, if available.

    Replace cream of mushroom, cream of chicken and other creamed soups with: Homemade white sauce, add flavorings yourself. Here is the recipe: 2 TB olive oil, 2 TB whole wheat flour, and 1 Cup Stock. Multiply this out for the number of cups you need to have a very healthy and tasty homemade cream of chicken soup.

    Replace vegetable oils such as canola oil or corn oil with- coconut oil or butter, olive oil or Mary's Oil Blend. Use a wide variety of healthy fat for a good balance of essential fatty acids.

    Replace canned fruit in syrup- fresh fruit with a little honey and enough added fluid for the recipe

    Replace skim or 2% milk with: Raw Milk or Coconut Milk

    Replace flavored yogurt with: Raw milk or whole milk yogurt . Add 1-2 tbs all-fruit preserves for sweetening.

    Replace dry milk with: coconut milk powder
    Replace constarch with: arrowroot powder

    Replace canned beans with: Dry beans that have been soaked overnight in water with vinegar added. Drain in the morning,, add fresh water to cover bring to a boil and simmer until softened. Drain. Add

    Replace rice, soy or almond milk with: Raw cow's milk

    Replace table salt with: Real Salt or sea salt

    Replace soft drinks and juice with: Carbonated water, NT ginger ale, kvass, kefir soda or other fermented drinks. See NT for more details.

    Replace cheese with: raw milk cheese when possible.

    Replace commercial mayo and salad dressings with: Homemade dressings and mayo from NT's recipes or use good quality mayo or dressings that do not contain soy oil.

    Replace pasta with: Brown rice pasta, spaghetti squash. or other whole grain alternative, properly prepared.

    Quick Breads Using the Two Stage Process - Soaking the flour

    BLENDER BANANA MUFFINS

    The flavor of these go espeically well with breakfast foods. For more blender tips or to mix by hand with flour see pp 82-83 of BREAKFASTS ( use 2 cups pastry, kamut, or barley flour or 2 1/3 cups spelt flour for hand mixing.

    AMOUNT: 14-16 Muffins

    Bake: 325F - 25 minutes

    1. Place in blender and blend, starting at lower speed and increasing to higest speed for 3 minutes (keep batter churing):


    3/4 Cup buttermilk or non dairy alternative
    2 TB olive oil (Extra Virgin)
    2 TB melted butter or more olive oil
    1/3 Cup honey
    (warmed slightly if too cold and thick)
    1 1/2 very ripe bananas, broken pieces (for 2/3 cup mashed)
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    Grain Choice (not flour)
    1 l/3 Cups whole wheat pastry grain or 1 /12 Cups spelt or kamut


    2. Cover blender; let stand at room temperature overnight.

    3. Grease or spray muffin pans.

    4. Preheat oven to 325.

    5. Just before baking, add and reblend on highest speed for 1 minute:

    1 egg (Or egg alternative)
    6. Mix into blender batter thoroughly, but briefly, using blender and/or rubber spatual, as needed:

    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (Rumford's is aluminum free)
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt

    7. Optional -- Fold in with rubber spatula:

    1/2 -3/4 Cup chopped walnuts

    8. Evenly fill muffin cups almost full. Fill any empty cups half full of water. Bake 20 minutes at 350. Cool muffins in pan for 3-5 minutes for easy removal.

    This recipe is courtesy of Sue Gregg's BREAKFASTS book and reprinted by permission.

    For more information, please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call me at 1-800-552-7323.

    Hot Whole Grain Cereals for Breakfast

    Sue Gregg says: "I am no longer recommending any
    commercial cold cereals. As for granolas, limit them to
    a garnish on cereal since they are not prepared by the
    two-stage process that enables the phytates to release
    nutrients."

    The following recipes are tasty alternatives to plain, hot oatmeal.


    BAKED OATMEAL
    This is my daughter's favorite way to enjoy oatmeal. I
    combine the following the night before, in a glass
    mixing bowl, it takes less than 5 minutes. One customer 's son calls this recipe the cookie casserole!

    1/2 Cup butter, melted
    3/4 - 1 Cup SUCANAT
    3 Cups rolled oats
    1-1/2 Cup Kefir, yogurt, or buttermilk
    1 tsp. cinnamon, optional

    In the morning I add:


    2 eggs, beaten
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 Cup dried raisins, optional OR 1-2 tart apples, chopped, optional


    Bake in a greased 11 X 7 baking pan at 350 degrees
    for 25-30 minutes. Top with chopped nuts, ground flax
    seeds, yogurt, warmed milk, or other topping of your
    choice.

    CREAM OF SEVEN GRAIN PORRIDGE
    This recipe has been adapted from a famous bed and
    breakfast in Helena, MT.


    The night before serving combine in a medium
    saucepan:

    1-1/2 Cups Seven Grain Mix, Cracked
    3 Cups apple juice
    3 TB lemon juice
    In the morning, add:
    1/4 - 1/2 Cup honey
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    3/4 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 TB butter

    Bring the ingredients to a boil over low heat until
    desired consistency develops 15-30 minutes. Serve
    with raw milk or yogurt or kefir, chopped nuts such as
    almonds or pecans, and dried fruits.

    DUROMATIC METHOD: Bring grain, juice and spices
    to a boil and bring pressure to 1st red ring. Pressure
    for 5 minutes. Allow heat to drop naturally. Serve with
    optional toppings above. Use leftovers in whole grain
    bread.

    CREAM OF MILLET

    1/2 Cup millet flour ( use a blender or grain mill)
    2 TB Kefir, buttermilk, or yogurt (lemon Juice may be substituted
    1 1/2 Cup Warm Filtered Water
    2 TB butter

    Combine water and buttermilk, or kefir or yogurt in a medium sized saucepan. Whisk in the millet flour. Cover and soak all night. In the morning bring the mixture to a boil, gradually, mixing frequently to avoid sticking. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes and then add the butter. Adjust liquid if needed. Serve with maple syrup, dried fruits, chopped nuts, coconut crispies, or other favorite topping. Very filling and very delicious. My family prefers this cereal over oatmeal and it is naturally very high in calcium!

    Basic Brown Rice

    Basic Brown Rice
    Brown rice is the highest of all grains in B vitamins, and
    it also contains iron, and vitamin E. Nourishing
    Traditions has recipes for many tasty, ethnic brown rice
    variations including Indian Rice, Mexican Rice, Greek
    Rice, Oriental Rice Salad, Wild Rice Casserole and
    many others


    2 Cups long-grain or short grain brown rice
    4 Cups pure warm water, plus 4 TB kefir, vinegar, or
    lemon juice
    1 tsp. Real salt
    2-4 TB butter

    Combine the rice, water, and yogurt (or kefir OR lemon
    juice) in a stock pot with a secure cover. Allow to soak
    for 7 or more hours if possible. Bring to a boil, reduce
    heat, add salt and butter, cover tightly. DO NOT
    REMOVE THE LID. Cook over lowest possible heat, for
    about 45 minutes. (I soak my rice in my Duromatic and
    pressure cook to save a lot of time.)
    Variations: Use 1 cup coconut milk, or homemade
    chicken, beef, or fish stock for part of the liquid.

    5 Easy Steps for Busy Families Transitioning to Nutrient Dense Diets

    5 Easy Steps for Busy Families Getting Started In "Traditional Nutrient-Dense" Diets

    1. Buy whole grains and legumes in bulk, and learn to
    prepare quick breads and yeast breads using the
    2-Stage Process. Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the
    grain allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful
    organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acids, but
    also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins
    and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For
    many, this process will lessen or eliminate their
    sensitivities or allergic reactions to particular grains.

    2. Avoid commercial, boxed cereals even if made with
    whole grains.
    These cereals, although convenient, are
    expensive, low in nutritional value, and difficult to digest
    because they have not been properly prepared. For
    best nutrition, think ahead, soak your oatmeal or other
    whole grains overnight and enjoy a more nourishing,
    economical alternative. Our family favorite Hot Whole Grain Recipes are at this link. Use Stainless Steel Cookware and Stainless Steel Bakeware for best results.

    3. Use a variety of high quality fats including saturated fats, and
    learn to make simple salad dressings and
    mayonnaise. High quality fats include butter, sesame oil, coconut
    oil, palm oil, and olive oil in ALL food preparation. Homemade
    salad dressings use quality ingredients at a fraction of
    the cost of bottled salad dressings which may contain
    additives, highly processed oils, and other
    undesirables.

    4. Master brown rice preparation (below) as it is
    economical, nutritious, and tasty. Start soaking rice at
    breakfast. Consider investing in a rice cookers.

    5. Make stock for soups, stews, and cooking grains
    regularly.
    Homemade meat or fish based stocks are
    very high in minerals, nutrients, and other factors that
    make them very nutritious. Homemade stock is
    economical and the foundation of many low cost
    meals. Use a large stainless steel stock pot for stock making or to save time use a Duromatic Presure Cooker.

    Basic Brown Rice
    Brown rice is the highest of all grains in B vitamins, and
    it also contains iron, and vitamin E. Nourishing
    Traditions has recipes for many tasty, ethnic brown rice
    variations including Indian Rice, Mexican Rice, Greek
    Rice, Oriental Rice Salad, Wild Rice Casserole and
    many others


    2 Cups long-grain or short grain brown rice
    4 Cups pure warm water, plus 4 TB kefir, vinegar, or
    lemon juice
    1 tsp. Real salt
    2-4 TB butter

    Combine the rice, water, and yogurt (or kefir OR lemon
    juice) in a stock pot with a secure cover. Allow to soak
    for 7 or more hours if possible. Bring to a boil, reduce
    heat, add salt and butter, cover tightly. DO NOT
    REMOVE THE LID. Cook over lowest possible heat, for
    about 45 minutes. (I soak my rice in my Duromatic and
    pressure cook to save a lot of time.)
    Variations: Use 1 cup coconut milk, or homemade
    chicken, beef, or fish stock for part of the liquid.

    Bread using Kombucha- Made in a bread machine

    Kombucha Bread in a bread machine Makes one loaf

    From the kitchen of Diane Neubauer, inspired by the book Nourishing Traditions and the website urbanhomemaker.com and Marilyn's Whole Wheat Bread recipe.

    Ingredients
    1/4 to 1/3 cup kombucha* plus water to make 1 1/2 cups total
    3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 tsp. barley malt flour (or dough enhancer)
    3 T. vital wheat gluten
    1 1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. SAF active dry yeast (less than most recipes require)
    2 T. honey
    2 T. melted butter or olive oil (or other nutritive fat)

    Directions
    1. On the day before planning to bake, in the afternoon or early evening:
    Put kombucha, water, and flour into the bread machine pan. Run the dough cycle until ingredients are just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the bread machine to soak overnight. This soaking time breaks down indigestible elements in the whole grains, and also makes the loaf tender and very tasty with an improved texture.

    2. On the day of baking, about 12-20 hours after beginning to soak: Add remaining ingredients to the bread pan and begin the dough cycle (or the whole wheat cycle, if baking in the pan). After the dough cycle is finished, remove from the bread machine pan. Punch down and shape the loaf in a greased bread pan (for use in the oven). Bake at 350 F for about 25-35 minutes, or until the top, sides, and bottom of the loaf have browned. [If the soak lasts longer than 20 hours, the gluten development of the bread will be hindered and the loaf will tend to spread instead of rise in the pan. It still makes an excellent flatbread shaped on a baking sheet. If you wish, before baking brush with melted butter or olive oil and sprinkle on your favorite herbs, spices, or seeds.]

    *Kombucha is sweetened tea fermented by a symbiotic probiotic, producing a sweet-tart, fruity flavored, slightly fizzy drink. Recently, it can be purchased bottled at some health food stores; it can be home-fermented much more cheaply. Kombucha promotes digestive health and regularity as well as other health benefits, and it tastes great.

    Directions for making kombucha are as follows:

    Kombucha Makes slightly less than 1 gallon

    Ingredients
    1 gallon purified water
    minus 1 cup
    mineral drops, enough to supplement 1 gallon (if your water purifier removes minerals)
    1 1/ 2 cups white sugar
    black tea leaves
    or tea bags, equivalent of brewing 2 quarts of tea (can be decaffeinated tea)
    green tea leaves or tea bags, equivalent of brewing 2 quarts of tea (can be decaffeinated tea)
    kombucha "mushroom" and about 1/4 cup of kombucha or vinegar OR about 1/2 cup kombucha
    required equipment: 1 gallon glass jar, cheesecloth or pantyhose material large enough to cover the glass jar, and a large rubberband

    Directions
    1. In a large stock pot (at least 1.5 gallon size), bring water to a boil. Add (mineral drops if needed), sugar, and tea leaves and allow to boil for a couple minutes. (Tea leaves can be added directly to the pot, or put in a large tea ball or cheesecloth bag if you like.)

    2. Turn off heat and allow to cool for as long as required for the tea to fall to room temperature or slightly warmer than room temperature. (If you wish to speed the cooling process, you can place the stock pot in the sink and fill the sink with cold water, emptying and repeating after the water ceases to be cold, until the tea is room temperature.)

    3. When tea has cooled, ready the gallon jar by adding the kombucha mushroom from a previous batch of kombucha, the kombucha or vinegar, OR the 1/2 cup of kombucha drink from a bottled kombucha or from another batch. Add the sugary tea, pouring through a sieve if the tea leaves are loose in the tea. Cover with the cheesecloth or pantyhose material and use the rubberband to secure it. Put in a slightly warm place for about 4-7 days, depending on the strain of kombucha and its speed in culturing. (On top of a very slightly warm heating pad, or on top of the refrigerator, are recommended.) Do not upset the kombucha while it brews.

    4. As the kombucha brews, the liquid will initially become cloudy, and later form a semi-translucent "mushroom" that covers the surface of the tea. Brown "ooglies" will form in the tea itself. These are normal signs of the activity of the probiotic bacteria and yeasts that form kombucha. At day 4, use a straw to taste the kombucha underneath the surface "mushroom". The time to harvest depends somewhat on your preference, but you want a tangy, slightly fizzy, liquid.

    5. When it tastes ready ­ on day 4 up to day 7 (or even later if the room temperature is cool) ­ pour directly through the cheesecloth or nylon into a glass gallon-sized jug (or several glass bottles) and secure the lids. Keep the kombucha in the refrigerator. Rinse the kombucha "mushroom" in cool tap water, clearing off any brown "ooglies". Use this "mushroom" to brew another batch of kombucha, or keep it in sugary tea in the fridge until ready to brew another batch.

    6. On your first time drinking kombucha, it is recommended to begin with only 2 oz. per day to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction to it (such as a reddish skin rash). Many people recommend up to 24 oz. of kombucha a day after this initial first few days has passed. We love kombucha, and drink 16-24 oz. a day. A lot has been written about kombucha's wonderful health benefits and can be found on the internet through a brief websearch.

    Kombuchu - Invest in Your Health!

    Invest in Your Health: Kombucha

    by Krystal Bickel www.investmentcooking.com

    Most Americans have never heard of kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) but
    this beverage has been around for hundreds of years. Kombucha is a healthy,
    sparkling beverage that resembles apple cider and is created by adding a
    SCOBY to a sweetened tea mixture and then allowed to ferment for 5-10 days.
    People all over the world report a wide variety of benefits from drinking
    kombucha from easing their arthritis to ending a round with cancer.

    The origins of the culture are somewhat uncertain but it seems to have come
    from the east. It has been found in Russia, China, Japan, and India. The
    earliest mention of kombucha that I've seen is 220 B.C. from China. Some
    people refer to a kombucha mushroom but it really isn't a mushroom at all it
    is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (a.k.a. SCOBY).

    Here is a partial list of benefits people have experienced from drinking
    kombucha on a regular basis:

    * Acts as a gentle laxative, helping avoid constipation.
    * Aids in the relief of arthritis.
    * Cleanses the colon and gall bladder.
    * Rids in healthy digestion
    * Relieves colitis and stomach cramps.
    * Returns gray hair to it's natural color.
    * Helps stop non-infectious diarrhea.
    * Relieves bronchitis and asthma.
    * Clears up Candida yeast infections.
    * Regulates the appetite and reduces fat.
    * Aids with stress and insomnia.
    * Improves eyesight, cataracts and floaters.
    * Relieves headaches including migraines.
    * Put Lupus into remission.
    * Helps reduces the alcoholic's craving for alcohol.
    * Eliminates menopausal hot flashes.
    * Clears acne, psoriasis and other skin problems.
    * Thickens hair and strengthens fingernails.
    * Enhances the sense of smell.
    * Reduces Cholesterol
    * Aids weight loss
    * Aids diabetics (enabling them to reduce their medication)
    * Strengthens immune system

    Although this list is impressive most articles I have read have stated that
    they believe that kombucha does not cure what ails you but instead helps
    your body to repair itself.
    It fuels your cells with important vitamins,
    minerals and enzymes that enable your body to fight off the bad stuff.
    Kombucha also helps your body to detoxify your system preventing toxins from
    staying in your body.

    Making Kombucha is a rather simple task. You make a sugar infused tea. (We
    use a combination of black and green teas.) Then you add a SCOBY to the tea
    in a glass jar; cover it with cheese cloth secured with a rubber band. Let
    it sit for 5-10 days at room temperature without being disturbed. Bottle the
    kombucha for 5 days. Then enjoy!

    (See below for websites with complete instructions.)

    You can obtain a Kombucha SCOBY from many different sources. The best way is
    to find a friend who will share with you. The SCOBYs multiple rather quickly
    and a regular brewer of kombucha should have extras to share. The Kombucha
    group on yahoo has several people who will send you a SCOBY for the cost of
    shipping. There are also several sources from which you can buy a Kombucha
    SCOBY. See the FAQ website below for those sources.

    Kombucha is a wonderful replacement for carbonated beverages. It is bubbly
    and yet it contains so many wonderful nutrients unlike pop which depletes
    your body of vital nutrients. I encourage you to look into making kombucha
    for your family. We certainly enjoy it.

    RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

    How To Make Kombucha Manual: http://users.bestweb.net/~om/kmi/manual.html
    http://users.bestweb.net/~om/kmi/manual.html

    Yahoo Group about Kombucha (This group is also a good source to get your
    first SCOBY.): http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/original_kombucha>
    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/original_kombucha

    Kombucha FAQ: http://w3.trib.com/~kombu/FAQ/

    If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at
    mailto: kbickel@investmentcooking.com

    Kefir- Probiotic Gold

    Kefir - Probiotic Gold by Jaricia Greiss

    Kefir is probiotic gold. Since it is happily growing in a substance
    that it thrives in (milk) it is more likely to set up house in the
    intestinal tract than probiotic capsules. Kefir made from kefir grains
    has more probiotic bacteria than other mediums, but in a pinch
    commercial kefir or probiotic capsules still are an aide to the immune
    system.

    My son who had terrible eczema for years completely cleared up after I started him on probiotics. (Ed note: The fermentation of the kefir culture helps digest the milk protein and often eliminates allergic reactions to dairy products.)

    My kids have a smoothie made from kefir every day. Yogurt can be mixed with kefir or used alone if you find the flavor of kefir disagreeable in the following recipes.

    Although raw milk is best when using kefir grains, store bought milk
    does have a milder kefir flavor (less sour). To make kefir at home you
    can use the commercial packet or use kefir grains. Kefir grains are
    added to milk and left to ferment in a capped jar on the counter for
    about 24 hours.

    Watch the milk change over that time. You will see itchange consistency from a liquid to a more gelatinous substance. When the kefir is ready, pour the fermented liquid into a colander over a bowl and tap the colander a little until the milk goes through into the bowl and the kefir grains are left in the colander. Use the kefir grains over and over to make more. (ed Note: The colander should be fine mesh, not big open holes or the kefir grains will be lost.)

    Don't be alarmed if you notice some pockets of whey in your kefir this just means that the kefir is a little too done, it is still drinkable unless it is really separated, it will be more sour though. Kefir whey is very easy to make with kefir grains if you let the fermenting milk sit out on the counter for about away and a half. The fermented milk becomes very gelatinous and floats to the top while the whey settles on the bottom.

    The whey is easily separated from the kefir cheese by dumping the whole jar of kefir into a dish towel lined colander. ( Once the whey has dripped through, pour the whey into a jar and refrigerate it for adding to soaking liquid for breads, grains, legumes, and lacto-fermented vegetable making.

    Be sure to retrieve the kefir grains out of the resulting kefir cheese. There is no need to wash the kefir grains, just put them in fresh milk. You can put them in a smaller amount of milk and store them in the refrigerator between batches. Remember that kefir grains are a living culture and you need to feed them fresh milk from time to time. I try to refresh the milk once a week if I am having a low use week.

    You can use the "refrigerator" kefir (stored) to cook with as you would sour milk. I sometimes give it to my dog who loves the stuff.

    When you are ready to make more kefir from the refrigerated grains they may take a little longer to ferment the milk Just add the grains to fresh milk and leave the jar of the counter out of direct light for 24 hours. Every now and then give the jar a little shake to disperse the good bacteria through the milk.It takes about 1 T of kefir grains to ferment 1 quart of milk. If you have more grains the milk will ferment in less time. Kefir grains can be kept in the refrigerator for longer period with more milk to feedom. I let mine sit for 3 weeks in the frig using a quart of liquid. Kefir grains are reusable and multiple at a good pace so you can share the wealth with others.

    If your grains are large or don't seem to be doing their job break them apart and they will kefir the milk better. Kefir grains can be used to make other non milk beverages but they must then be used exclusively for that beverage ( such as in coconut kefir) they cannot be added to milk again. They are the same kefir grains, if you want to try other beverages with your grains then I would recommend rinsing off the milk residue first.

    Apple Kefir Smoothie

    3 cups cold kefir
    1/2 tsp. Stevia powder (depends on the brand, possibly less)
    generous dribble of maple syrup (1/4c?) I don't measure it.
    3 apples with skins, cored
    good sprinkle of cinnamon
    6-8 ice cubes

    Blend well in a blender that will crush ice. I use the Vitamix. (A Bosch Universal Blender also works). Kefir smoothies make up better in this large batch.

    Tropical Fruit Kefir Smoothie

    3 cups of kefir
    1/4 tsp stevia powder or other natural sweetener
    1 banana
    2 handfuls of frozen fruit
    6-8 ice cubes
    1 T coconut oil (optional)
    2 T flax seed (optional)

    Blend well and serve. Delicious!

    Amazing Grains - Is soaking and fermenting grain necessary?

    Untitled Document

    Is it really necessary to soak grains and flours before preparation?

    My reading has persuaded me that soaking and fermenting grains and flours has many health benefits. But I also recognize that I am not the authority, or professional nutritionist on this matter nor do I expect you, my readers, to take my word for gospel.

    I would strongly suggest you do some research on this matter to make up your own mind. Here are three resources to get your started:

    1. Nourishing Traditions By Sally Fallon and Dr Mary Enig

    Proper grain preparations is for the purpose of eliminating anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, and enzyme inhibitors. In Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions she says:

    "Enzyme inhibitors can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness."

    Fallon further states regarding the soaking/fermenting processes:

    "Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption."

    Lastly, Fallon points out it is critical to consume grains with butter, cream or fats to be able to absorb the full compliment of nutrients:

    ". . . Fat-soluble vitamins A and D found in animal fats like butter, lard and cream help us absorb calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins and the many other vitamins that grains provide. Porridge eaten with cream will do us a thousand times more good than cold breakfast cereal consumed with skim milk."

    To read the complete article entitled "Be Kind To Your Grains" by Sally Click Here.

    2. Another very in depth article called, Against the Grain The Case for Rejecting or Respecting the Staff of Life by Katherine Czapp explains the wheat industry, how celiac disease is related to modern industrial food manufacturing, and of course what "real bread" is and how to make it.

    3. Understanding the Two Stage Process - Maximizing Nutritional Value

    by SUE GREGG, author of the Sue Gregg Cookbooks

    Sue says:
    "To conclude, I suggest that occasional consumption of whole grains that are not processed by one of the three two-stage methods (soaking, fermenting, sprouting) is not likely detrimental to health and may contribute a plus, while those that are properly processed as the main dietary choice will be greatly beneficial to health."

    Sue also writes:
    "Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CNN, author of The Whole Soy Story, points to the Hebrews as an example of consuming both leavened and unleavened bread. The former, which was produced through the fermentation process from wild yeasts was practiced most of the time. The latter, unleavened bread, was part of the the Hebrew preparation for Passover in early spring, "a natural time for fasting, a practice that encourages detoxification." Daniel suggests that these yearly short periods "might have been a very effective way to rid the body of any heavy metals through the action of phytic acid." On the other hand, Daniel reminds us that "Decades of research on the phytates of real foods have shown that phytates are anti nutrients--more likely to contribute to disease than prevent it." (
    Ed note: Chapter 14 addresses Phytates in much more depth.)

    You can read Sue's complete article if you Click Here

    Talking with Sally Fallon - November 2, 2006

    Sally Fallon Seminar held Thursday November 2, 2006

    Sally is co-author of Nourishing Traditions and Eat Fat Lose Fat.

    Unfortunately, this seminar was not recorded due to unforeseen technical problems.
    I have summarized some of the key points below:

    Nutrient Dense Foods are primarily animal based foods such as meat and fats. These foods are high in a host of nutrients including vitamins A and D. In comparison to an apple, for example meat has much higher nutritional breakdown of important nutrients including iron, B12, vitamin D and vitamin C.

    Sally commented on the announcement on Oct. 30 that Kentucky Fried Chicken will no longer be using unhealthy transfats in their fries or chicken. Instead they will be using unhealthy soy oil. Soy oil is objectionable because any fat in liquid oil form, by definition, is less stable hence much higher in free radicals which are cancer pre-cursors. Soy oil is high in Omega 3, very fragile components of oil. Since the soy oil to be used will be partially hydrogenated some transfats will occur which contribute to thyroid problems and endocrine disruptions. Beef tallow, used in the past for fries, is a much more stable fat and should be used for fries instead.

    Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Woman:

    Pregnant women need to avoid soy products because it has been shown that plant estrogens can cross the placenta and disrupt neurological development. Pregnant women need to include in their daily diet:

    *4 cups raw milk - it is a complete food and nutrient dense with calcium and other minerals
    *liver once a week
    *Cod Liver Oil - 20,000 units of Vitamin A w Vitamin D (Note A and D are not toxic when consumed together, only when consumed separately)
    * Lots of Eggs which are high in choline - essential for brain and neurological development
    * Bone Broth which helps with morning sickness because it contains high levels of minerals and gelatin which is soothing to the digestive tract. The high amino acid content of bone broths are a gentle and safe detoxifier.
    * Healthy Fats

    Raw Milk:
    Raw milk is a very nutrient dense food and considered very safe because the milk is from healthy pasture fed cows versus cows kept in confinement and fed a grain based diet.
    Be sure to feed your children raw milk where possible. If it is not available, whole cream, thinned with pure water is a good choice for oatmeal and hot cereals, along with butter.
    Fats found in butter and milk enable the body to more effectively absorb the full nutrient content of grains.

    Feeding Infants
    Infants should be nursed for at least six months if at all possible. If nursing is not possible or the baby is not thriving there are homemade infant formulas in Nourishing Traditions that contain raw cow milk and raw goats milk a long with other components. There are MANY testimonials on babies thriving on this formula.

    Transitioning babies to food:
    Liver and egg yolk (no egg white) are suggested as good first foods for babies because they are so high in nutritional content including iron. Liver can be pureed into a paste and given in small amounts. If a baby reacts to the egg yolk, wait several weeks to try again.
    Grains should not be given to children before they are 12 months old. Avocado would be another nutrient dense food that babies could be started on.

    For more information on feeding children and pregnant and lactating women, The 2005 Wise Traditions Journal - Childrens Health Issue has been reprinted by popular demand and is available by calling 202-363-4394.

    Why Children Should Not be Fed Commercial Breakfast Cereals:
    Commercial cereals are extruded at high temperatures and high pressures which is a very damaging process to the proteins in the grain. Sally called breakfast cereals neuro-toxic and some of speculated that breakfasts cereals contribute to hyperactivity. Hot cereals should always be served with butter and cream for maximum nutritional value.

    Several audience questions revolved around what do we feed our children who may be intolerant to eggs, wheat intolerant and adverse to frequent servings of oatmeal:

    Alternative Breakfast Suggestions:

    Egg yolk without the white (whites are hard to digest)
    Raw Cheese, good quality yogurt
    Smoothies with different flavors based on coconut milk or raw milk, etc
    Use leftovers
    Sausage

    Rapadura vs. Sucanat:
    Check to see if Sucanat is made from the whole sugar cane juice. Rapadura is considered a better choice by Sally. Other good sweeteners include maple sugar and date sugar

    Fruits and Vegetables:
    Fermented vegetables such as cabbage are much higher in nutrients and probiotics and are an important part of the diet. Read up on fermenting veggies in Nourishing Traditions. Use whey to help preserve the veggies more effectively.

    Phytic Acids:
    Because there is some information circulating the internet about phytic acid Sally wanted to comment on this topic. Basically, phytic acids are strong chelating agents which means large amounts of minerals bind to the phytate. She suggested we look to the Jewish culture that uses leavened breads for most of the year and uses unleavened breads for a two week period once a year when the phytates become a detoxifying agent.

    Soaking grains and flours:
    Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting breads is not just about phytates but much more about releasing enzyme activity that helps to break down proteins and neutralize tannins. Here is a link for much more information on soaking grains so you can do your own research and make up your own mind:
    http://articles.urbanhomemaker.com/index.php?page=index_v2&id=647&c=root
    Also, if you go to info@westonaprice.org and look up Food Features and then bread you will find updated recipes from Nourishing Traditions and even bread machine recipes.

    Healthy Fats:
    Healthy fats include butter, lard, coconut oil. For more detailed information about Fats, go to this phone seminar link where we discussed Eat Fat Lose Fat with Sally and coauthor Mary Enig last year.http://articles.urbanhomemaker.com/index.php?page=index_v2&id=650&c=23

    Bread Making Questions:
    Sally does not claim to be a bread making expert and referred those questions to me, the moderator, Marilyn Moll, and to the bread section at her website.

    7th Annual Nourishing Traditions Conference will be held November 10-11-12 in Chantilly, VA. All are invited to enjoy Sally's all day traditional foods presentation on Friday, technical seminars ,and other cooking oriented seminars. The traditionally prepared food is always the highlight of the conference. You may register up until Wednesday for the conference at westonaprice.org. If you are not a member your registration cost will cover membership for one year.

    There were many audience questions answered and many questions left unanswered for a future seminar with Sally Fallon. If you have more complete notes from this seminar, could you forward this information to me for posting?

    If you have any questions about Nourishing Traditions and Eat Fat Lose Fat., please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com.

    Cook Your Way to Wellness - Kefir Testimonial

    Cook Your Way to Wellness Testimonials - Kefir

    by Leslie Romano

    Dear Marilyn,

    I really appreciate the phone seminars you set up and it means a great deal to me that you make
    the info from the seminars available on your site.

    I particularly felt this from the last seminar about fermenting foods. I listened carefully to the entire recording, took notes and then bought the DVD.

    My buying the DVD was a very big deal here because we are on a very limited income,
    but I was so excited by the info in the seminar that I felt the DVD was a necessity. I need a boost to get more deeply involved with fermenting foods so I am looking to the DVD and booklet to be just that boost!

    There isn't enough yet to do much else. - especially with my four year old who absolutely guzzles the stuff! Occasionally I have been able to make soft cheese which I flavor with herbs and garlic and use as a sandwich spread. This is delicious and I have calls to have some always on hand so I am working my way up to that. Being able to eat cheese that is full of probiotics is amazing, isn't it?

    What I particularly want to draw your attention to is kefir mascarpone. My husband now makes this daily and we eat it with practically everything and it is amazingly good. Directions and inspiration are on Dom's site. Do you know about Dom? He is probably the world's expert on
    kefir and he has many, many web pages about every aspect of kefir making, history, molecular structure, recipes and so on. Making the mascarpone is simple in any case. Mix milk and cream. Ferment with kefir grains for 24 hours and then turn out into a draining cloth and drainfor 24 hours. We find that kefir consistently makes cheese with a velvety texture and really shines with this mascarpone which is supposed to be velvety.

    When it is done, you add a bit of salt and then use your imagination. We have mixed it with mango jam and served that on pancakes. We have mixed it with horseradish sauce and served it on sandwiches with roasted peppers, onions and portabella mushrooms. We serve it on baked potatoes or slather it on bread. Whatever. Anyway, it is easy and delicious, full of probiotics in addition to the nourishment of cream.

    One last note, we make pizza every week or two here. This last time, I used mostly kefir and some water as the liquid in the pizza dough. I let it sponge an extra bit of time and then proceeded as usual.

    It made a stickier dough than usual but, oh my, the results were spectacular! The flavor and the
    texture were by far the best ever. I will be making our pizza crusts this way from now on.

    Leslie R., Virginia

    Ed Note: My last batch of bread made with Kefir definitely had a different texture but delicious taste.

    Nourishing a Growing Baby by Jen Albritton, CN

    Jen Albritton spoke to our Continuing Education for Moms Seminar October 25, 2007  Jen, author of the Growing Wise Kids series,  helps establish a Foundation for Family Health incorporating traditional foods in the diet and dispelling nutritional myths, based on the writings of Weston A. Price (Nutrition and Physical Degeneration) and Sally Fallon (Nourishing Traditions).

    Food is what nourishes the body and makes us healthy and strong – especially when one’s weight hovers around 20 lbs! Infant nutrition is critical for proper development, maximizing learning capacities, and disease prevention. At no other time in life is nutrition so important. But what is best? The research clearly points in the direction of Weston A. Price Foundation principles.

    Breast or Bottle
    Numerous studies support the benefits of breastfeeding. For example, breastfed babies tend to be more robust, intelligent, and free of allergies and other complaints like intestinal difficulties. Other studies have shown breastfed infants have a reduced rates of respiratory illnesses and ear infections., Some researchers believe breast-fed infants have greater academic potential than formula-fed infants, which is thought to be due to the fatty acid DHA found in mother’s milk and not in many U.S. formulas.

    However, other studies show the opposite. In 2001, a study found breastfed children had more asthma than bottle-fed. A Swedish study found that breastfed infants were just as likely to develop childhood ear infections and childhood cancer as formula-fed babies.
     
    So, what is the best for baby? It comes down to nutrition! Hands down, healthy breast milk is perfectly designed for a baby’s physical and mental development, but this is only true when a mother supplies her body with the right nutrients.

    A typical modern diet is filled with products based on sugar, white flour, additives, and commercial fats and oils, which do not nourish or build. The proper nutrients are necessary to create breast milk that will provide all a growing baby needs. These include quality fats and proteins from foods such as grass-fed meats, butter, olive oil, cod liver oil and egg yolks as well as complex carbohydrate-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, and legumes – think whole food, natural, and seasonal.

    Bottom line, in a perfect world, with perfect nutrition, every woman would breastfeed. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. What about low milk supply, an unwell mother, or adoption? Luckily it is possible to make a wholesome food baby formula (see Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon).

    After (or With) the Breast or Bottle
    Ideally, breastfeeding should be maintained for a year, with a goal of six months for working mothers. The first years of life require a full spectrum of nutrients, including fats, cholesterol, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Once breast milk is no longer the sole source of these nutrients, where should one go?

    There are three concepts to keep in mind. First, make your little one a “whole foods baby”! Avoid processed and refined foods as much as possible, including many brands of baby food; they are usually devoid of nutrients and have added “undesirables.” It is always best to make your own baby food from organic, whole foods. (You can freeze it in one-serving sizes for later use). Better-quality, additive-free, prepared brands of baby food, like Earths Best, do exist, but it is still better to make your own baby food to be assured of the quality – plus making baby food puts mom on the right track for home food preparation for the years to come.

    Second, go slowly and be observant; every baby will have an individual response to different foods. Introduce new foods one at a time and continue to feed that same food for at least four days to rule out the possibility of a negative reaction. Signs of intolerance include redness around the mouth; abdominal bloating, gas and distention; irritability, fussiness, over-activity and awaking throughout the night; constipation and diarrhea; frequent regurgitation of foods; nasal and/or chest congestion; red, chapped or inflamed eczema-like skin rash.

    Finally, consider the tiny, still-developing digestive system of your infant. Babies have limited enzyme production, which is necessary for the digestion of foods. In fact, it takes up to 28 months, just around the time when molar teeth are fully developed, for the big-gun carbohydrate enzymes (namely amylase) to fully kick into gear. Foods like cereals, grains, and breads are very challenging for little ones to digest. Thus, these foods should be some of the last ones to be introduced. (One carbohydrate enzyme a baby’s small intestine does produce is lactase, for the digestion of lactose in milk.

    Foods introduced too early can cause in digestive troubles and increase the likelihood of allergies (particularly to those foods introduced). The baby’s immature digestive system allows large particles of food to be absorbed. If these particles reach the bloodstream, the immune system mounts a response and is likely to cause an allergic reaction. Six months is the typical age when solids should be introduced,,, however, there are some exceptions. 

    Babies do produce functional enzymes (pepsin and proteolytic enzymes) and digestive juices (hydrochloric acid in the stomach) at this younger stage work on proteins and fats. This makes perfect sense since the milk from a healthy mother has 50-60 percent of its energy as fat, which is critical for growth, energy, and development. In addition, the cholesterol in human milk supplies an infant with close to six times the amount most adults consume from food.

    In some cultures, a new mother is encouraged to eat six to ten eggs a day and almost ten ounces of chicken and pork for at least a month after birth. This fat-rich diet ensures her breast milk will contain adequate healthy fats.

    Thus, a baby's earliest solid foods should be animal foods since their digestive system, although immature, is better equipped to supply enzymes for digestion of fats and proteins rather than carbohydrates.  This explains why current research is pointing to meat as being a nourishing early weaning food.

    Is Cereal the Best First Food?
    Remember, the amount of breast milk and/or formula decreases when solid foods are introduced. This decrease may open the door for insufficiencies in a number of nutrients critical for baby’s normal growth and development. The nutrients that are often in short-supply when weaning begins include protein, zinc, iron, and B-vitamins. One food group that has these nutrients in ample balance is meat.

    Unfortunately, cereal is the most often recommended early weaning food. A recent Swedish study suggests that when infants are given substantial amounts of cereal, it may lead to low concentrations of zinc and reduced calcium absorption.

    In the US, Dr. Nancy Krebs headed up a large infant growth study that found breastfed infants who received pureed or strained meat as a primary weaning food beginning at four to five months grew at a slightly faster rate. Kreb’s study suggests that inadequate protein or zinc from common first foods may limit the growth of some breastfed infants during the weaning period. More importantly, both protein and zinc levels were consistently higher in the diets of the infants who received meat. Thus, the custom of providing large amounts of cereals and excluding meats before seven months of age may short-change the nutritional requirements of the infant. 

    Meat is also an excellent source of iron. Heme iron (the form of iron found in meat) is better absorbed than iron from plant sources (non-heme). Additionally, the protein in meat helps the baby more easily absorb iron from other foods. Two recent studies, have examined iron status in breastfed infants who received meat earlier in the weaning period. While researchers found no measurable change in breastfed babies' iron stores when they receive an increased amount of meat, the levels of hemoglobin (iron containing cells) circulating in the bloodstream did increase. Meat also contains a greater amount of zinc, which means more is absorbed. These studies confirm the practice of traditional peoples, who gave meat – usually liver – as the first weaning food. Furthermore, the incidence of allergic reactions to meat is minimal and lower still when pureed varieties are used.

    Don’t fear fats!
    Pediatric clinicians have known for some time that children fed low-fat and low-cholesterol diets fail to grow properly. After all, a majority of mother’s milk is fat, much of it saturated. Children need high levels of fat throughout growth and development. Milk and animal fats give energy and also help children build muscle and bone.

     In addition, the animal fats provide vitamins A and D necessary for protein and mineral assimilation, normal growth and hormone production.
    Choose a variety of foods so your child gets a range of fats, but emphasize stable saturated fats, found in butter, meat, and coconut oil and monounsaturated fats, found in avocados and olive oil.

    Foods to Introduce
    Egg yolks, rich in choline, cholesterol, and other brain-nourishing substances can be added to your baby’s diet as early as four months, as last as baby takes it easily. (If baby reacts poorly to egg yolk at that age, discontinue and try again one month later.) Cholesterol is vital for the insulation of the nerves in the brain and the entire central nervous system. It helps with fat digestion by increasing the formation of bile acids and is necessary for the production of many hormones. Since the brain is so dependent on cholesterol, it is especially vital during this time when brain growth is in hyper-speed.

    Choline is another critical nutrient for brain development. The traditional practice of feeding egg yolks early is confirmed by current research. A study published in the June 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the nutritional effects of feeding weaning infants 6-12 months of age regular egg yolks, enriched egg yolks, and an otherwise normal diet. The researchers found that both breastfed and formula-fed infants who consumed the egg yolks had improved iron levels when compared with the infants who did not. In addition, those infants who got the egg yolks enriched with extra fatty acids had 30 percent to 40 percent greater DHA levels than those fed regular egg yolks. No significant effect on blood cholesterol levels was seen.

    Thus, the best choice for baby is yolks from pasture-fed hens raised on flax meal, fish meal, or insects they will contain higher levels of DHA. Why just the yolk? The white is the portion that most often causes allergic reactions, so wait to give egg whites until after your child turns one.

    Don’t neglect to put a pinch of salt on the egg yolk. While many books warn against giving salt to babies, salt is actually critical for digestion as well as for brain development Use unrefined salt to supply a variety of trace minerals.

    Around four months is a good time to start offering cod liver oil, which is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (also important for brain development) as well as vitamins A and D. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil or ? teaspoon regular dose cod liver oil, double that amount at 8 months.

     Use an eye dropper at first; later baby can take cod liver oil mixed with a little water or fresh orange juice.

    If baby is very mature and seems hungry, he may be given mashed banana during this period. Ripe banana is a great food for babies because it contains amylase enzymes to digest carbohydrates.

    At Six Months
    Pureed meats can be given at six months (or even earlier if baby is very mature). Meats will help ensure adequate intake of iron, zinc, and protein with the decrease in breast milk and formula.

    A variety of fruits can be introduced at this time. Avocado, melon, mangoes, and papaya can be mashed and given raw. High-pectin fruits such as peaches, apricots, apples, pears, cherries, and berries should be cooked to break down the pectin, which can be very irritating to the digestive tract.

    As time goes by, move up in complexity with food and texture. At about six to eight months, vegetables can be introduced, one at a time so that any adverse reaction may be observed. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets are excellent first choices. All vegetables should be cooked (steamed preferably), mashed and mixed with a liberal amount of fat, such as butter or coconut oil, to provide nutrients to aid in digestion.

    Early introduction to different tastes is always a good plan to prevent finickiness. Feed your little one a touch of buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir from time to time to familiarize them with the sour taste. Lacto-fermented roots, like sweet potato or taro, are another excellent food for babies to add at this time.

    At Eight Months
    Baby can now consumed a variety of foods including creamed vegetable soups, homemade stews, and dairy foods such as cottage cheese, mild harder raw cheese, cream, and custards. Hold off on grains until one year, with the possible exception of soaked and thoroughly cooked brown rice, which can be served earlier to babies who are very mature.

    One Year
    Grains, nuts, and seeds should be the last food given to babies. This food category has the most potential for causing digestive disturbances or allergies. Babies do not produce the needed enzymes to handle cereals, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat, before the age of one year. Even then, it is a common traditional practice to soak grains in water and a little yogurt or buttermilk for up to 24 hours. This process jump-starts the enzymatic activity in the food and begins breaking down some of the harder to digest components.

    The easiest grains to digest are those without gluten, like brown rice. When grains are introduced, they should be soaked for at least 24 hours and cooked with plenty of water for a long time. This will make a slightly sour, very thin porridge that can be mixed with other foods.
    After one year, babies can be given nut butters made with crispy nuts (recipe in Nourishing Traditions), cooked leafy green vegetables, raw salad vegetables, citrus fruits, and whole egg.

    Just Say No
    One important warning: do not give your child juice, which contains too much simple sugar and may ruin a child’s appetite for the more nourishing food choices. Soy foods, margarine, and shortening, and commercial dairy products (especially ultra-pasteurized) should also be avoided, as well as any products that are reduced-fat or low-fat.

    By the way, baby fat is a good thing; babies need those extra folds for all the miraculous development their bodies are experiencing. Chubby babies grow up into slim, muscular adults.

    Common sense prevails when looking at foods that best nourish infants. A breastfeeding mother naturally produces the needed nutrition when she consumes the necessary nutrients. The composition of healthy breast milk gives us a blueprint for an infants needs from there on out. Finally, be an example. Although you won’t be able to control what goes into your child’s mouth forever, you can set the example by your own excellent food choices and vibrant health.

    Editor's Note:  The above information originally appeared in the Weston A. Price Journal and is reprinted by permission from the author.  This information is not intended to replace the advise of your doctor.  When making feeding decisions for your baby, be sure to consult with a physician.

    Follow- up Comments:  After reading this article, Angela Plunkett, certified Nutrition Consultant felt compelled to reply witih a slightly different point of view regarding Breast Feeding.  I personally agree with Angela, that breast feeding should be encouraged well past age two in a baby where possible.  I personally breast fed all my children past the age of two including when I was a full-time working mom. Here is Angela's reply:

    Dear Marilyn -
     
    I am an RN, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, La leche league Leader, Mom, ....etc.
     
    I believe that a lot of Jen's data isn't current. She refers to research studies that show that formula fed babies are healthier. Often these studies aren't set up in a way that their outcomes can be generalized to the entire population, like the researchers would like you to believe. The studies are often funded by formula or pharmaceutical companies too.  Therefore, they have no place in an article that should be encouraging breastfeeding.
     
    The article suggests that babies should be breastfed for only one year and that babies who's moms work only get to breastfeed for 6 months. That's not very encouraging for breastfeeding and isn't data supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics or the World Health Organization. AAP says babies should be breastfed for at least 1 yr and for as long there after as mom and baby desires. The WHO suggests a minimum of 2 yrs. Many working mom find they can pump at work and provide all the breastmilk their baby needs for as long as they are willing to pump. I would say babies in daycare need to nurse even longer to get all the immune factors they can from Mom since they are subjected to an increase amount of germs away from mom
     
    The article states that breastfeeding is only best for the baby if Mom has the right nutrients. This is a very discouraging statement to moms who may consider their diet not good enough to be able to breastfeed their new baby. Plus it's not entirely true. Consider moms in 3rd world nations. They have a far from nutritiously sound diet, yet their breastfed babies are much healthier than the formula fed babies, even when ready made formula is used. A lot of nutrients that are low in our diet, can be made extra by and are pulled from our body for the breastmilk. One such mineral is Calcium. If our diet is low in Calcium, Calcium will be pulled from our bones in order to make our breastmilk perfect for our baby. After weaning, that Calcium will be replaced in our bones at a higher rate than it was pulled, so our bones are actually stronger after lactation.
     
    The article next suggests that if a mom has a low milk supply or is unwell, one should just start feeding the baby wholesome, nutritious food. I think perhaps we should consider helping the mom increase her milk supply because her milk is more nutritious than any whole foods we could feed the baby.
     
    I do like the articles ideas on introducing solid foods slowly and making ones own baby food. I would like to see the research data supporting the need for cod liver oil for DHA that the baby should start taking at 4months. Breastmilk is full of DHA, that is why formula companies are trying to incorporate it into their formulas. But the research shows that after 18 months old, there is no difference between the babies who had DHA formula and those who had regular formula, but there is a big difference between them and the breastfed babies. The idea being that it needs to be naturally occuring DHA. If one is wanting to increase DHA in a breastfed baby's diet, it would be better to fortify the Mom's diet with DHA.
     
    I don't mean to say the article is completely antiquated, but with my lactation background, all the old news on breastfeeding presented in this article hit a nerve with me. If we want to concentrate on feeding babies nurioushingly, we need to be providing the most current breastfeeding information available. Good breastfeeding research data can be found in professional journals such the Journal of Human Lactation, but for an article written for the lay population, I would suggest researching information on the www.LaLecheLeague.org website.
     
    This got longer than I meant for it to. Thank you for considering my thoughts.
    Angela Plunkett RN, IBCLC, LLLL
     
    Ed Note:  Angela, thanks for giving us an encouraging look at breast feeding and its importance.

    Family Favorites from Marilyn

    Tried and True- Reliable Recipes the whole family loves

    BROWN RICE PILAF

    The secret to brown rice is to never uncover the pan until the at least 40 minutes of cooking time has elapsed.

    1. Bring to boil in a saucepan over moderately high heat:

    3 Cups water or chicken broth
    1/4 cup whole wheat kernels or wild rice
    or additional 1/4 cup brown rice
    1/4 cup slivered, sliced or chopped almonds
    1 1/4 Cups long grain brown rice, wash if needed
    4 tsp. Sue's Kitchen magic OR 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. worcestershire sauce or Liquid Aminos

    2. Turn to very low heat, cover with tight fitting lid and simmer for 40-60 minutes. Do not uncover first 40 minutes of cooking.

    3. Test for doneness: Insert spoon straight down through the rice to the b ottom of the pot and presss a bit to one side. If no water remains, taste rice for tenderness. Do not stir. If not done, cover and cook 10 minutes longer, or as needed ukntil done.

    4. Fold in lightly sauteed chopped green onion or garnish with chopped parsley.

    Timesaver:

    Cooking time for brown rice can be cut to 20-30 mminutes by soaking the rice in advance. Place rice, salt and water in the morning to soak well in advance of cooking.

    This recipe is from MAIN DISHES < by Sue Gregg, p. 208.

    For more information, contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-80-552-7323 or visit www.urbanhomemaker.com.

    CURRIED LENTILS OVER RICE

    This recipe is quite simple, economical and very tasty.
    If your lentils are pre-cooked you can eliminate the water  and allow them to simmer slowly with the onions and spices.

    1 TB oil
    1-1/2 C. chopped onions,
    2 cloves minced garlic or 1 tsp. powder
    1-1/2 C. rinsed lentils
    5 C. water
     1 - 14 oz. can tomatoes
    1/2 tsp. cumin
    1/2 tsp. ginger
    1/2 tsp. turmeric
    1/2 tsp. curry powder
    OR 1-2 tsp curry powder - to taste
    dash cayenne pepper to taste
    1-2 Tbsp lemon juice,
    optional

    Saute onions in oil in a large pot for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute
    briefly. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until the
    mixture is a gravy consistency (approx. 2-3 hours). If cooked in the
    Duromatic, pressure on first ring for 15 minutes, cut the water by 1-1/2
    cups. Add salt, pepper, and, lemon juice to taste.
    Serve over cooked brown rice, millet, or other  cooked whole grain.

    Serving Suggestions:  Serve with Green Salad, baby carrots, pineapple slices

    Harvest Pear Crisp

    HARVEST PEAR CRISP

    Cinnamon-spiced pears bake under a crunchy streusel topping in this easy dessert. Assemble the dish ahead of time, or bake it earlier in the day and serve it at room temperature. Your house will smell wonderfully. Duane, who doesn't like pears, just loves this recipe!

    6 cups Bartlett pears, cored and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 3 pounds)
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
    1/3 cup whole grain flour
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar or SUCANAT
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
    1/3 cup regular oats
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 375.

    Combine pears and lemon juice in a 2-quart baking dish; toss gently to coat. Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; stir with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pear mixture; toss well to coat.

    Measure flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in a small bowl or food processor, mix until combined. Add chilled butter; pulse the food processor or mix with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add oats and walnuts; Mix again.. Sprinkle flour/nut mixture evenly over pear mixture.

    Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until pears are tender and topping is golden brown. Cool 20 minutes on a wire rack; serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 8 servings

    HONEY GLAZED CURRIED CHICKEN

    HONEY GLAZED CURRIED CHICKEN
    A very simple and elegant main dish for Sunday or company dinners. Serve with Brown Rice Pilaf, green salad, and steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower mix.

    In a plastic bag, mix together:

    1/2 C whole wheat flour
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne papper (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350. Oil a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with 2 TB of olive oil. Dip 3 pounds of cut up chicken in a little skim milk to moisen. Drop each piece into the mixture in the plastic bag and shake to coat well.

    Arrange pieces evenly in the baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.

    Meanwhile, combine:

    1/2 Cup honey
    1/3 Cup lemon juice
    1 TB tamari or soy sauce
    2 tsp. curry powder

    Pour this mixture over the chicken and bake an additional 45 minutes or until done. Baste occasionally. Serves six. Double or triple as needed.

    For more information, contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-80-552-7323 or visit www.urbanhomemaker.com.

    Kung Pau Chicken

    KUNG PAO CHICKEN*
    Don't be intimidated by the ingredients list, this goes together easily and quickly. This recipe was inspired by my daughter's trip to China.

    Ingredients:
    12 oz. 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    4 TB peanut or corn oil
    2 dried red chilies, seeded and cut into pieces *
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and diagonally sliced
    4-6 slices fresh ginger root
    1 TB dry cooking sherry
    3 green onions, cut into small rounds
    2 oz roasted peanuts

    Marinade:
    1/3 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. soy sauce ( I use Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
    2 tsp. sherry
    1 tsp. cornstarch
    1 TB egg white, slightly beaten

    Sauce:
    1 TB soy sauce
    1 or 2 TB chili sauce with garlic (Chinese section of the grocery store.)
    2 tsp. sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
    6 TB chicken stock or water

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Cut the chicken into thin strips. Best to cut the chicken when it is slightly frozen, if possible. Cut the strips into cubes about 1/2 inch square. Put into a medium bowl.

    2. Prepare the marinade. Add to the chicken, mix well, and let marinate for 15-30 minutes or longer if refrigerated.

    3. Prepare the sauce in a small bowl.

    4. Heat a wok over high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the dried chili, stir, then add the garlic and ginger and stir to release the aroma, just for 10-15 seconds at most. Add the chicken, stir fry it. Sliding the wok scoop to the bottom of the wok, turn and toss for a minute of two. Splash in the sherry around the side of the wok, stirring and tossing continuously until cooked, just a minute or two. Add the scallions and continue to stir for another 30 seconds.

    5. Add the well-stirred sauce to the wok. Continue to stir while it thickens.

    6. Add the peanuts, stir to mix for a few times, then transfer to a warm serving plate. Serve with steamed, sticky rice and chopsticks in small bowls.


    *This recipe will be quite hot as written, reduce the red chili to cut the heat. We liked it this way.

    Lacto-Fermented Salsa

    LACTO-FERMENTED SALSA

    A Perfect way to use the bounty of the Fall Harvest of Tomatoes!  Makes one quart, double, or quadruple if you have lots of tomatoes and peppers.
    Does not require canning! Let your nose be your guide.

    4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
    2 small onions, finely chopped
    3/4 cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild
    6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (optional)
    1 bunch cilantro, chopped
    1 tsp dried oregano
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 TB sea salt
    4 TB whey, if not available, use an additional 1 TB salt
    1/4 cup filtered water.

    Peel tomatoes, cut along the "equator" of the tomato, sqeeze out the seeds. Dice up tomatoes, and combine with all the other ingredients, and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or large spoon, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the salsa mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage. Make several jars if you have plenty of tomatoes, as this salsa is wonderful. The same Salsa can be made using canned tomatoes in the winter time.

    Microwave Peanut Brittle - Fun Recipe for Doing with Children

    My children have made this recipe, with supervision, for holiday gifts for years, and the recipients always ask for more.

    1 cup raw peanuts
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup white corn syrup
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. butter
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 tsp. baking soda

    Stir together peanuts, sugar, syrup, and salt in a 1-1/2 quart casserole or batter bowl. Place in microwave oven and cook 7-9 minutes, stirring well, after 4 minutes. Color should turn a pale yellow-brown.Add butter and vanilla to syrup, blending well. Return to oven and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Peanuts will be lightly browned and syrup very hot. Add baking soda and stir as quickly as possible until light and foamy. Pour mixture onto lightly greased cookie sheet, let cool 1/2 to 1 hour. When cool, break into small pieces and store in airtight container.

    NOTE: If roasted salted peanuts are used, omit salt and add peanuts after first 4 minutes of cooking.

    Peppy Pizza Pasta

    PEPPY PIZZA PASTA
    This is a real family favorite at our house!

    1 # Turkey Italian Sausage or equivalent (turkey sausage lowers the fat grams significantly)
    1 Cup onion, chopped
    2-3 C. elbow macaroni (whole grain is best), cooked
    3 oz. turkey pepperoni, diced or sliced or equivalent
    28 oz. pasta sauce
    4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, opt
    2 oz can ripe olives, sliced, opt.
    8 oz double pizza cheese or mozzarella

    Brown sausage and onions, drain. In a bowl, combine all ingredients
    except cheese. Pour into 13 X 9" baking dish. Sprinkle cheese
    on top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover,
    bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Serves 6. Double
    or triple and freeze extra batches for future meals.

    For questions about this and other recipes please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323.


    Food Preserving

    A treasury of information on canning, freezing, and dehydrating foods.

    ALL AMERICAN APPLE PIE

    This is the best Apple Pie Recipe I have ever found. Use tart apples such as Jonathan, Granny Smith, Gala, Macintosh or a combination of apples for fabulous flavor. The spices used in this apple pie version are the best. Serve with real whipped cream or French Vanilla ice cream.

     

    1 Double Crust Pie Recipe (use your favorite pie crust recipe)
    8-9 Large tart cooking apples, pared, cored and sliced thin. (An Apple Peeler saves LOTS of time)
    1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
    6 TB flour, whole wheat pastry flour is good
    3/4 Cup sugar or Sucanat, more if desired
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. nutmeg (key ingredient)
    2 TB butter (not margarine)

    Place prepared bottom crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Put sliced, cored, peeled apples into a large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice. Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle 1/4 Cup of the sugar mixture on the bottom pie crust and add the rest of the sugar mixture to the apples and stir to coat the apples. Fill the pie crust heaping full with the apple mixture. Dot with the butter.

    Place the top crust over the filling. Press edges together and flute. Bake about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden browned. Serve with favorite topping. Makes one pie.

    Basic Food Preserving Equipment - Checklist

    Most of the following items needed for freezing and canning will already be found in your kitchen.

    Basic Equipment Checklist:
    Most of the needed equipment will already be on hand

    __ *scrub brush
    __ fine sieves, colanders, strainers
    __ paring and chopping knives
    __
    *food-processing equipment - grinder, slicer,
    blender, food processor
    __ measuring cups and spoons
    __
    *wide mouth funnel
    __ timer
    __ hot pads, mitts, heavy potholders
    __ heavy bath towels
    __ large bowls
    __ *large roaster or kettle
    __ tea kettle soup ladle
    __ non-metallic spatula or wooden spoons

    Freezing Equipment
    __ freezer
    __ *cookie sheets and,or jelly roll pans for tray-freezing
    __ freezer containers and bags

    Dehydrating Equipment
    __ *dehydrator or oven w/low temperature capability

    Canning Checklist
    __ *Water Bath canner or Pressure Canner
    __ *jar lifter, funnel, or tongs
    __ canning jars, lids, rings

    * Equipment available through The Urban Homemaker
    Most non-starred items can be obtained through us on a special order basis.

    Remember, if you have any questions about cooking, baking, or other products we are here to help. Call us at 1-800-552-7323 Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00 MT.

    Email me with any question at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com
    The Urban Homemaker

    For recipes, inspiration, baking tips, and information in the Spirit of
    Titus Two join our bi-monthly newsletter at this link.

    Be Prepared to Preserve

    Be Prepared to Preserve
    by Lisa Vitello
    www.newharvesthomestead.com

         It's mid-summer!  God's good earth is bursting with fresh, wholesome fruits, grains and vegetables.  Whether you grow a garden of your own or not, you can take advantage of all the fresh, seasonal produce available right now.  Be prepared to preserve!

         Now is the time to get your kitchen organized and equipped to handle all the abundant bounty that will be ready in just a couple of months. You don't want to be scrambling for supplies with fruits and vegetables dead ripe on the vine outside.  If you have never preserved food, this will be a very general overview of the equipment needed to "put by" fruits and vegetables.  For complete instructions on how to preserve all kinds of food, I would highly recommend Stocking Up III by Carol Hupping, et al, or Putting Food By by Janet C. Greene et al.  Both are classics in the area of food preservation and I learned most of what I know from books like these.

         The three most common forms of preserving foods are canning, freezing and drying.  Some foods, like spinach, should only be frozen, since the canning process would all but destroy it.  Foods that can be dried include most fruits, herbs and some veggies like zucchini and onion.  Canning is obviously the choice for putting up jams and jellies, plus I like it best for tomato sauce and apple pie filling.  It has taken me 20 years to figure a lot of this out, so please don't be overwhelmed.  Start by trying a couple of simple items you know your family will eat and build from there.

         There is some basic equipment involved in each of these processes.  For canning, you will need a water bath canner. I frequently see these at my local grocery and hardware stores.  They are not hard to find and are fairly inexpensive.  This is just a large pot, usually enamel over steel, with a lid and a rack inside for keeping the jars up off the bottom of the kettle while heating.  There are other accessories like a funnel for getting the food in the jar without spilling and tongs for taking the hot jars out of the canner, which I prefer over trying to lift up the rack.  Most of these items will be sold alongside the canning kettle.

         If you plan on trying your hand at canning vegetables, you will need a pressure canner.  Water bath canning works fine for high acid food like fruit, but won't destroy all the harmful bacteria in low acid foods like vegetables and meats.  I would not take any chances here - a pressure canner is essential to preserve vegetables and meats.

         These are not cheap.  A high quality 15 quart pressure canner will cost around $200.00 new.  Sometimes, if you keep an eye on the local classifieds you might find one for sale.  Just be careful to examine anything used very carefully, making sure it is in very good condition.  Also, I wouldn't use a pressure canner that is very old, as the technology has come a long way since our grandmothers' days.  The pressure can fluctuate and be hard to gauge with the old models.

         Pressure canners also require some extra attention and care before being put to use each season.  Some have rubber gaskets around the rim; others have overpressure plugs which must be inspected each year.  Simply following the instructions that come with your pressure canner will insure that your equipment stays in top condition.  This is a good reason to go ahead and buy new - good instructions and probably some customer support to go with it.  It is a one-time investment that will pay off for decades if you maintain it well.

         Of course, for canning you need canning jars.  The sizes most frequently used are half-pint, pint and quart jars.  The jars also come with either a regular or wide-mouth.  Regular works well for sauces and jams and wide-mouth is best for chunky things like whole tomatoes or peaches.  Jars are fine to buy used, as long as you run a finger around the rim of each one to check for tiny nicks, which will prevent a good seal.  I recommend you use jars specifically made for canning, since they are stronger and the lids and rims are made to fit perfectly on them.

         Speaking of lids and rims, it is a good idea to stock up on these as well.  The lids are the round disc with a sealant around the edge that will cover the top of the jar.  The rim is the part that screws down the lids.  Rims can be used over and over, but lids can only be used once, so have plenty on hand - in both regular and wide-mouth size.

         Another favorite method of preserving is freezing.  Freezing is nice because it is less labor intensive and time consuming than canning.  Many types of berries can be picked and thrown right into a Ziploc freezer bag for future use.  Most vegetables, when prepared correctly, will last 8 to 10 months in the freezer, fruits a full year.  It is always such a blessing to pull out a bag of frozen blackberries in the dead of winter and whip up some delicious jam.  That wonderful aroma makes the whole house smell like summer.

         If you have a stand alone freezer unit, you will be able to make good use of it throughout the growing season.  I like to freeze spinach, strawberries, blackberries, grated zucchini, peas, carrots and green beans, among other things.  Most vegetables will need to be blanched (steamed or boiled for a certain amount of time and then plunged into cold water) before freezing.  Again, refer to the books I have recommended for full instructions.

         Even if you only have the freezer unit on top of your refrigerator, you can still select a few items for freezing, preferably foods that will freeze flat rather than chunky, like tomato sauce or pureed pumpkin.  That way, they won't take up too much room.

         Finally, there is drying or dehydrating.  While it is really nice to have a dehydrator, it is not absolutely necessary.  Most produce that is suitable for drying can be dried in the oven.  However, this means that your oven will be unavailable for other uses throughout the drying period.  For some items, like fruit, this can be quite a while.

         One of the things I have done is to use my oven for drying herbs, like basil.  First, make sure the herb is clean; it may need a quick rinse.  Then, spread the herbs out on a cookie sheet.  Have the oven warming on a very low temperature, around 200∞ or so.  Turn the oven off and then put in the herbs.  I usually do this right before bedtime and let them stay in the oven overnight.  By morning, they ought to be fairly dried out.

         If you live in an area with very hot, dry summers, drying outside would be perfect for you.  My grandmother used to tell me how her family would head out to the nearby u-pick farms in June to pick cherries.  When they brought all those cherries home, her mother would set up screens outdoors held up by sawhorses.  She would wash and pit the cherries and then lay them out on a screen.  She would then place another screen on top to keep the bugs off.  Since they lived in Missouri, the hot weather would dry out those cherries in a matter of days.

         A dehydrator is a nice thing to have, though.  You can put your food in and let it go all day and night if need be.  I have the American Harvest dehydrator, which works by blowing hot air through the unit.  Other units work by using a heating element.  These are actually quite common to see at garage sales or in classifieds, and there isn't too much worry in buying a used one as long as it is in good working condition.  A new one will cost anywhere from $50.00 - 200.00, depending on how fancy you want to get.

         Try preserving at least one thing a week throughout the summer months - whether it is a little bunch of herbs or 20 pints of peaches.  You will have the satisfaction of knowing you are providing the very freshest food to your family with no added preservatives or chemicals.  You will save money over store bought goods and you will be blessed as you revel in the work of your own hands.

    Lisa Vitello is the editor/publisher of New Harvest Homestead, a bi-monthly newsletter devoted to sharing inspiration and instruction for Christian women who desire a simpler, home-centered life.  Kitchen gardening, canning and preserving food, homekeeping, cooking & baking from scratch, crafting and more is shared, along with lots of Titus 2 encouragement! 

    Visit her website at www.newharvesthomestead.com to request a free introductory issue.  She has been married 25 years to her great love, Guy, has six children and lives on two acres in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she keeps a large garden, tends her 20 chickens and enjoys all the blessings of God's creation.

    The July/August 2007 issue of
    New Harvest Homestead,is now available, and it is full of great information on preserving!  Learn about readers' favorite dehydrators, how to use them and their favorite recipes for drying.  Lisa shares the hows and whys of pressure canning along with lots of readers' recipes for everything from home canned salsa to pickles to peach pie filling.  You will also learn to process and freeze corn straight from a Kansas corn grower!  All of this, along with inspiration to help you keep a quiet soul, tips for saving money at the grocery store, crafting with nature, favorite sandwiches & salads, homestead dogs and so much more!
     



    CLEAR JEL FREEZER JAM and other uses

    Clear Jel is a specially processed starch and will swell or thicken instantly without cooking, makes clearer sauces and offers the advantages of:
    * It reduces the amount of sugar needed in certain recipes.
    *It reduces the amount of time spent in food preparation.
    *It saves you money.
    *It thickens foods instantly, yet it can be used in cooking as well.

    Clear Jel can be used inJelly, Jam,Preserve, Conserve, Marmalade and Fruit butter. Instead of using pectin use Clear Gel, it requires less and it sets faster and has a clearer consistency

    Use 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons Clear Gel to 4 cups of fruit. You do not need to add as much sugar when using Clear Gel. Prepare as usual.

    Freezer Jam: heat your fruit to dissolve your sugar then add Clear Gel, let it set 5 minutes, then pour into your jars. Freeze. It is that easy!!!!

    General Directions:
    Replace cornstarch, flour, and tapioca as thickener with Clear Jel by:
    Adding Clear Gel slowly to hot or cold liquid using a wire whisk. Stir until smooth. Allow 10 minutes for cold liquids to reach maximum thickness. Refrigerate or freeze finished produces for future use if desired.

    Conversion ratio:

    1 tbsp. cornstarch=1 1/2 tbsp. Instant Clear Jel
    2 tbsp. flour or tapioca= 1 tbsp. Instant Clear Jel


    Food Preparation For Dehydrating

    Food Preparation For Dehydrating:

    1. The smaller a piece of food the faster it will dry. Ideally, slices or pieces should be about 1/4" thick.
    2. Remove all pits from fruits before drying.
    3. Before drying whole prunes, figs, and grapes, they should be placed in boiling water or steam blanched for 1-2 minutes, or pricked with a fork. These processes allow moisture to escape during drying.
    4. Vegetables should be blanched or steamed before being dried. This hastens the drying process, enhances the flavor, and preserves vitamin content.
    5. Some fruits darken during the drying process. If you find this color change objectionable, food pieces may be dipped in solutions of lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, ascorbic acid, or sodium bisulfite prior to drying.
    6. Food should be dried at its peak of freshness and ripeness. If foods cannot be dried immediately, they should be temporarily stored in a dark, cool location.

    Pizza Sauce and Basic Tomato Sauce

    From SIMPLY IN SEASON. Copyright 2005 by Herald Press, Scottdale, PA 15683. Used by permission.

    PIZZA SAUCE
    Very good on spaghetti, too.

    Yields 12-14 pints

    12 pounds tomatoes, peeled and chopped
    2 medium onion, halved
    2-4 chili peppers
    1/4 cup fresh basil
    2 TB fresh oregano
    1 TB fresh marjoram
    2 tsp. fresh thyme
    2 tsp. fennel seeds
    6 cloves garlic (or 2 tsp. garlic powder)

    Puree in blender or food processor with tomatoes. If fresh herbs aren't available, use half or less of dried.) Put puree in large stainless steel soup pot.

    1/3 cup sugar
    3 TB salt
    30 oundes tomato paste
    1/3 cup olive oil

    Add to puree. Cook for 1 1/2-2 hours until very thick, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Ladle into hot sterilized pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top, seal with sterilized lids, and process full jars in boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

    BASIC TOMATO SAUCE

    "I use this for spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, or any time I need a marinara-type sauce," says contributor Mary beth Lind. "I really like the added nutrition of the carrot."

    Yields 3 pints

    1 onion, chopped
    2 cloves, garlic,
    minced

    Saute until soft in 2 TB olive oil

    2 carrots, shredded
    1/2 green pepper, chopped
    2 bay leaves
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    2 tb fresh basil
    (chopped; or 2 tsp dried)
    1 TB fresh oregano (chopped; or 1 tsp dried)

    Add. Stir well.

    6 cups plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
    6 ounces tomato paste
    1 TB honey (
    optional)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Add and season to taste. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve or freeze. To can, ladle into hot sterilized pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top, add 1 TB lemon juice or vinegar per pint to assure acidity, seal with sterilized lids, and process full jars in boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

    Quick Tomato Sauce

    QUICK TOMATO SAUCE
    This simple sauce has all the concentrated flavor of a long, slow simmered sauce in a fraction of the time.

    2 TB olive oil
    2 large cloves garlic, minced
    1 large onion, coarsely chopped
    1 TB omato paste
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
    2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
    3 lbs. plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded and coarsely chopped enough to equal 2 quarts
    1 Cup lightly packed fresh basil
    3 TB freshly choppped parsely

    Heat oil in a 5-liter or larger DUROMATIC pressure cooker. Add garlic and onion and saute until softeneed about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomate paste, pepper, salt, vinegar and basil. Stir until mixture begins to come to a boil.

    Close the lid and bring pressure to the econf red ring (15 lbs) over medium high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to stabilize pressure at the second red ring and cook for 7 minutes.

    Remove from heat and let cool until the pressure comes down naturally. Remove the lid. Sauce may have some excess liquid depending on your tomatoes. Place the cooker over medium-high heat stirring frequently to prevent burning until the sauce begins to thicken. Add parsely in the last few minutes of cooking. Serves 6-10

    Our free e-book, FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families includes my best and most requested bread recipes. My earnest desire is that you will find the my tips, information, and recipes to be a reliable resource of healthy, family-favorite recipes, as well as streamlined preparation methods which fit in with busy lifestyles.

    For recipes, inspiration, baking tips, and information in the Spirit of Titus Two join our bi-monthly newsletter at this link.

    SALSA (Naturally Fermented- no Canning Needed)

    LACTO-FERMENTED SALSA
    Makes one quart, double, or quadruple if you have lots of tomatoes and peppers

    4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
    2 small onions, finely chopped
    3/4 cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild
    6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (optional)
    1 bunch cilantro, chopped
    1 tsp dried oregano
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 TB sea salt
    4 TB whey, if not available, use an additional 1 TB salt
    1/4 cup filtered water.

    Peel tomatoes, cut along the "equator" of the tomato, sqeeze out the seeds. Dice up tomatoes, and combine with all the other ingredients, and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or large spoon, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the salsa mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage. Make several jars if you have plenty of tomatoes, as this salsa is wonderful. The same Salsa can be made using canned tomatoes in the winter time.

    Adapted from Nourishing Traditions

    TIMESAVING TIPS FOR HOME PRESERVERS

    ALWAYS MAKE SURE ALL EQUIPMENT IS ON HAND BEFORE STARTING. There is nothing worse than coming up short on lids or sugar, spices or some other needed ingredient once you get started in canning.

    STORE HARVESTED VEGETABLES in plastic bags and chill quickly if you are not going to get to them right away.

    P>Download our free ebook called FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families.

    USING FRUIT PULP FOR BUTTER, SYRUPS, LEATHER BABY FOODS ETC

    Don't discard the pulp! The NUTRI-STEAMER lets you use all parts of the fruit. Enjoy using leftover pulp for baby food, applesauce, fruit leather, apricot butter, fruit syrups and sauces. Be sure the pulp is free of stems, seeds, pits, and cores before preparing any of the following foods. The VILLA WARE FOOD STRAINER is a fast and easy way to effectively strain out skins, seeds, and pits.

    BABY FOOD:
    Blend leftover pulp into a smooth puree. Make sure stems and sees are removed. Freeze the pulp in ice cube trays. Pop frozen "cubes" of fruit out of trays and pack in freezer bags. Vegetables can be steamed, pureed in the blender and frozen as well.

    APPLESAUCE
    Place the hot apple pulp into a food strainer to separate the cores and skins from the pulp and create the sauce. Sweeten the sauce with honey if desired and add some cinnamon. Spoon into canning jars and freeze or water bath can. One large batch of steamed apples makes several quarts of thick applesauce.

    APPLE BUTTER
    16 cups of thick apple pulp (the juice collected in the Nutri-Steamer results in thick pulp)
    1 Cup vinegar
    8 Cups sugar
    4 tsp. cinnamon

    Mix well to be sure the cinnamon is well distributed. Pack in jars and water bath process for 15-20 minutes.

    FRUIT LEATHER
    Fruit leathers make terrific treats for children of all ages. Puree the pulp in the blender, sweeten with honey if needed. Spread the mixture on cookie sheets or fruit leather trays and dry in dehydrator, the sun, or low oven overnight with the door ajar to allow moisture to escape.

    APRICOT BUTTER
    8 Cups of Apricot pulp, skins included, pureed in a blender with some sugar or honey (2-5 CUPS) to taste, cinnamon and orange pulp or juice, if desired, makes delicious apricot butter perfect for toast, and pancake toppings.

    HOMEMADE PANCAKE, WAFFLE SYRUPS
    Puree fruit pulp in a blender, and then add sweetener such as honey, stevia, or sugar to taste. Pour into jars and water bath can. Fruit juice can be combined with sweetener and Pomona's Pectin to slightly thicken to make delicious syrup as well.

    FREEZER STRAWBERRY JELLY
    1 3/4 cups strawberry juice
    4 Cups sugar
    2 TB strained lemon juice
    1/2 bottle Certo Fruit Pectin
    Add the sugar to the juice and mix well. Combine lemon juice and pectin in a small bowl. Stir into the juice and continue stirring about three minutes. Pour quickly into jars, seal. When cooled, store in freezer.

    FREEZER PEACH JELLY
    3 Cups peach juice
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 bottle liquid fruit pectin.

    All jams and jellies can be prepared using POMONA'S PECTIN with much less sugar. It requires about 3/4 teaspoon of POMONA'S PECTIN per cup of fruit and no more than 1/2 the amount of mashed fruit or juice IN ADDED sweetener of choice. Sweeteners that are compatible with POMONA'S are sugar, honey, fruit juice concentrate, stevia and artificial sweetener's.

    BEVERAGE RECIPES USING POPULAR STEAM EXTRACTED JUICE

    Be creative and combine juices such as apricot, rhubarb, plum, peach, tomato, blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry Juice. Cherry and Apple is a yummy combination.

    Combine fruit juices to make your own fruit punches. Canned pineapple juice is delicious in combination with almost any juice along with carbonated beverages if desired. Mixing bland and tart fruit juices mellows tart juice and enhances bland juices. Sweeten to taste with your sweetener of choice.

    SUMMER PUNCH
    4 Cups apple juice
    4 cups grape juice
    1 cup sugar
    Juice of 3 oranges and 2 lemons.

    Mix all juices together. Add a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves to enhance the flavors.

    CRABAPPLE SPARKLER
    8 cups chilled crabapple juice
    1 qt. cold, pure water
    1 cup sugar or substitute
    2 cups ginger ale
    1-2 TB lemon juice

    Mix and enjoy!

    STRAWBERRY-PHUBARB JUICE
    3 Quarts strawberries
    3-4 lbs shubarb
    2 cups sugar

    Cut rhubarb into one-inch pieces. Layer strawberries, rhubarb and sugar into the food basket/colander of the Nutri-Steamer. Steam for 60 minutes. Yum!

    FRUIT SLUSH
    2 Cups apricot nectar or juice
    2 Cups peach nectar or juice
    3 cups pineapple juice
    1/2 package unsweetened raspberry drink mix or
    1/2 package of pre-sweetened raspberry punch powder (6 1/2 oz)
    Sweetener of Choice to Taste

    Combine the juice and punch powder. Add sweetener of choice if needed. Stir well. Freeze. One hour before serving, remove from the freezer and thaw at room temperature. Combine the slush with ginger ale or lemon-lime beverage.

    Why Dehydrate?

    Why Dehydrate?

    We're hooked on dehydrating! Most foods can easily and successfully be dried with very little preparation time. What's more, they are even easier to use!

    Advantages of Dried Foods:

  • Easily Stored - Dried foods take one-tenth or less the storage space of canned foods.
  • Naturally Good and Nutritious - Flavor and nutrition are kept in dried foods without adding preservatives, sugar, or salt. Dried fruits and some vegetables (such as seasoned zucchini chips) are great natural snacks.
  • Economical - Bottles, jars, lids, sugar, etc. are just some of the items you won't have to buy when you dry food. Processing energy will also be lowered considerably. Overripe fruit needn't be thrown away but can be converted into tasty fruit leathers.
  • Completely Safe - Dried foods (even vegetables and meats) are completely safe when dried according to directions. There is no danger of botulism because the moisture that is a breeding ground for organisms has been removed.
  • Versatile - Dried foods are easily reconstituted for use in many recipes; from main dishes to breads and desserts. Leftovers and peelings can be dried for flavoring soup stock.
  • Easily Prepared - For people in a hurry, drying is the ideal way to preserve food. Very little preparation is needed - no hot jars, canners, or boiling water to tend.

  • Summer Recipes

    Enjoy fresh, tantalizing, colorful, tasty, and delicious fruits and veggiesin season. Plan your menus to include tomatoes, zucchini, corn, and more...

    10 Sensational Salad Making Suggestions

    10 SENSATIONAL

    SALAD MAKING SUGGESTIONS

    is excerpted from Sensational Summer Salads ebook

    by Marilyn Moll
    SENSATIONAL SUMMER SALADS
    Ebook by Marilyn Moll
    Buy Now for $9.97


    10 SENSATIONAL SALAD MAKING SUGGESTIONS
       
    1. Salads are naturally attractive and simple by definition and should taste as good as they look.


    2. Cut ingredients so they are uniform in size - not too small, not too large.


    3. Toss salad ingredients lightly, rather than stirring, to protect the ingredients from being mashed.


    4. Make sure lettuce is washed, then pat lettuce dry with a soft dish towel or use a salad spinner, and then chill to make crisp.


    5. Use a variety of lettuce greens such as leaf lettuce, watercress, endive, arugula, and spinach, keeping an eye for color and texture contrasts.


    6. Lettuce can be used as a "bowl" or "cup" for holding salad ingredients. Leaf lettuce, if cut halfway thru stem end, can be lapped one side over the other to form a "cup".


    7. Thoroughly drain fruits and vegetables before using or serving.


    8. Garnish salads, especially main dish salads with radishes, celery slices, tomato wedges, pickles, and/or stuffed eggs around the outside edge of the salad serving platter or bowl.


    9. Score an unpeeled cucumber by drawing a fork down lengthwise; slice thinly.


    10. Garnish fruit salads with cherries, nut-coated cream cheese balls, soaked sunflower seeds or green grapes.

    SENSATIONAL SUMMER SALADS

    Ebook by Marilyn Moll
    Buy Now for $9.97

    Arranged Salads

    Here is a picture of the Carrot Combo Salad I arranged on garden Romaine and Red Leaf Lettuce. 

    My motto is to use what you have, so get creative with your salad making!












     

    The following Arranged Salad recipes are used by permission from Main Dishes by Sue Gregg

    Arranged Tomato-Cucumber Salad

    1. Arrange over 4-6 leafy lettuce leaves:

        12 tomato slices (2 tomatoes) 
        12 cucumber slices (about 1/3 cucumber)
        onion slices or red onion slices, optional


    2.  Garnish tomato slices with sweet basil, or chopped green chives
        or minced parsley (fresh or dried), or chopped green onion
     

    Sue's House Dressing 1 1/2 Cups

    Blend thoroughly with wire whisk:
    1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
    or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
    1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

    Arranged Tomato-Avocado Salad Serves 6

    1. Arrange over 6 leafy lettuce leaves:

    12 tomato slices or wedges (2 tomatoes)
    12 avocado wedges (1 medium avocado)
    6 - 12 whole ripe olives, optional

    2. Sprinkle over avocado wedges:

    lemon juice
    Paprika or Spike Seasoning

    Arranged Orange-Onion Salad

    Arrange on 4 - 6 lettuce leaves:

    12 orange slices ( 2 oranges)
    4 - 6 red onion rings ( 1/3 - 1/2 onion)
    cucumber slices, optional
    avocado wedges, optional
    (sprinkled with lemon juice and paprika)

    Arranged Orange-Pineapple Salad

    Arrange on 6 leafy lettuce leaves:

    12 orange slices ( 2 oranges)
    6 fresh pineapple wedges (or canned slices)
    grape clusters or cucumber slices, optional
    parsley sprigs for garnish

    Relish Tray

    Arrange any combination of 2 - 3 or more ingredients:

    carrot sticks, curls, diagonal cut
    celery sticks (with or without leafy tops)
    broccoli florets ( steamed, chilled)
    green, yellow, red pepper strips
    caulifowerets
    whole green onions
    jicama, sticks or cubes
    cucumber sticks or slices
    zucchini sticks or diagonal cut slices
    pineapple spears or wedges
    yellow summer squash, slices
    kohlrabi slices
    daikon radish slices
    cherry tomatoes
    radish roses
    whole ripe olives
    avocado wedges

    Used by permission from Main Dishes by Sue Gregg

    Barbecued Beef Kabobs

    Marinated Beef Kabobs

    3/4 Cup dry cooking sherry
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    (Naturally Fermented is best)
    4 TB olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    1-2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger or 1 tb. ground ginger
    3 lbs. round or chuck steak cubed into 1" pieces
    15-18 bamboo skewers, soaked in water

    Combine the cooking sherry, soy sauce, oil, garlic, onion, and ginger in a bowl; mix well.
    Place the cubed beef into a gallon sized zipper top freezer bag with the marinade and make sure all the meat is covered or coated. Seal the bag and refrigerate the beef mixture overnight, if possible, or for at least several hours. The meat can be frozen in the marinade for future use as well.

    Pre-heat a grill on high heat for 15 minutes. When ready to cook, drain the marinade and discard it. Thread the beef onto soaked bamboo skewers with the sides of the meat touching.

    Grill the skewered meat over MEDIUM heat. Turning several times for about 8-12 minutes.

    Serve the meat with brown rice pilaf, sauteed summer squashes with onion and red pepper and/or a Spinach Salad.

    Cheesy Tortellini Bake


    Tortellini Salad with Pesto

    The pesto packs sensational taste when mixed
    with pasta. 
    This salad goes together in minutes,
    if tortellini is prepared ahead of time
    Add  diced cheese or chopped leftover chicken or turkey for a complete meal.


    3-4 Cups Tortellini, cooked and chilled
    1/2 Cup chopped red onion
    1/2 Cup Pesto, or to taste
    1 cup chopped red or green pepper, opt
    2-4 TB Marilyn’s French Dressing, opt
    4-6 Cups torn salad greens such as romaine, red leaf lettuce
    salt and pepper  to taste


    Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Stir to blend all ingredients.
    Taste, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

    This recipe has been reprinted from Sensational Summer Salads by Marilyn Moll.
    Leftover Tortellini or other pasta makes a great main dish Pasta Salad.



    Cheesy Tortellini Bake

    Everyone loves an easy pasta casserole

    2-3 Cups Tortellini, cooked, or other leftover pasta
    1 onion, chopped
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    2 cloves garlic minced
    2 tsp basil
    1 tsp oregano
    1 lb hamburger or Italian sausage, optional
    2-3 Cups Spaghetti Sauce
    1-4 oz can sliced mushrooms,drained
    2 Cups Mozzerella, shredded

    Saute chopped onions in olive oil until wilted, brown hamburger or sausage with sauteed onions, add minced garlic, basil, and oregano when hamburger is browned. In a medium mixing bowl, combine spaghetti sauce, Tortellini, and mushrooms, and onion/meat mixture. Pour into a 7 X 11 casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes, uncover, and bake until bubbly about 10-15 more minutes at 350°F. Serve with steamed kale or spinach.

    Chicken Salad with Variations by Marilyn Moll

    The below recipes and variations is excerpted from

    SENSATIONAL SUMMER SALADS
    Ebook by Marilyn Moll
    Buy Now for $9.97

    BASIC CHICKEN SALAD w/VARIATIONS
    4-6 servings

    3 cups cooked or canned chicken, cubed
    OR cook boneless breasts in pressure cooker, cool, and cube
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
    1/2 cup celery, sliced
    1/2 cup onion, chopped
    3 tbsp. parsley, chopped
    salt and pepper to taste

    Toss chicken with mayonnaise, yogurt, celery, onion, parsley, and salt and pepper until all ingredients are blended well. Serve over torn lettuce or cut up tomatoes.

    Company Chicken Salad

    To the basic chicken salad recipe add:
    1-2 tsp. curry powder
    1/2 cup ripe olives, chopped or sliced
    toasted pecan halves or pine nuts.

    California Chicken Salad

    To the basic Chicken Salad recipe add:
    1 tsp. fresh chopped tarragon (1/4 tsp. dried)
    1/4 cup slivered almonds
    Garnish with:
    1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced or diced
    alfalfa sprouts

    Southwestern Chicken Salad

    To the Basic Chicken Salad add:
    1/2 cup diced green pepper
    1/2 - 1 tsp. chili powder to taste

    Hawaiian Chicken Salad

    To the Basic Chicken Salad add:
    1/4 to 1/2 cup diced pineapple or crushed pineapple, drained

    Oriental Chicken Salad

    To the Basic Chicken Salad add:
    1 small can of mandarin oranges, drained
    1/2 cup bean sprouts

    1-3 tsp. soy sauce
    3-4 water chestnuts, sliced

    Garnish with Chow Mein noodles

    SENSATIONAL SUMMER SALADS
    Ebook by Marilyn Moll
    Buy Now for $9.97

    Satisfaction Guaranteed of Your Money Back!

    Summer is simply an unsurpassed opportunity to eat seasonally and enjoy the bounty of locally produced fruits and vegetables. Sensational Summer Salads includes a wide assortment of recipes including vegetable salads, fruit salads, pasta salads, grain salads, and main dish salads so you can easily prepare a complete meal with little or no cooking during the long, hot, dog days of summer.


    Here is what others are saying:
    "Marilyn Moll has done it again with Sensational Summer Salads. Not only does she include dozens of salad recipes, she equips and inspires the reader to get creative in the kitchen! You have produced a very useful and yummy book!"

    Dear Marilyn
    "I love this compilation! Such variety all in one place! Many of these recipes are perfect for year round either as accompaniments or as a meal, themselves, with the added bonus of quick bread recipes."

    Dear Marilyn:
    "Wonderful bunch of recipes! We have really enjoyed trying them out. I like the fact that you included homemade dressing recipes - so much healthier! I also appreciated the advice to use what you have." Audrey

    SENSATIONAL SUMMER SALADS
    Ebook by Marilyn Moll
    Buy Now for $9.97
    Get Breakfasts for Busy Moms for Free!

    Eat Locally and Seasonally Now!

    If you would enjoy learning to eat locally, and seasonally, here are some suggested steps

    If you would enjoy learning to eat locally, and seasonally, here are some suggested steps which have been adapted from Simply in Season(click on the link for the book description):

    *Visit a farmer's market to see what is in season where you live. Be sure the produce being offerred is locally produced and if so, purchase the food from the farmer/producer directly. This will support a famer's family to continue to be able to offer you quality alternative food choices.

    *Grow something edible even if it is in a container garden or convert some lawn areas into a raised bed(s) for a salad garden.

    *Try to purchase milk, meat and eggs directly from the producer/farmer. Check to see if the meats are grass fed and the chicken/eggs are free range.

    *Encourage your local grocer/produce manager to offer a wider selection of locally grown foods in season.

    * Less expensive foods are not always better. If eating locally and seasonally is new to you, start with a goal of eating two to three meals a week which include seasonal foods.

    For more information about recipes that celebate fresh, local foods in the Spirit of More With Less I would encourage you to invest in Simply in Seasonand shop with the book in hand when going to the grocery store or Farmer's Market.

    Farmhouse Recipes to Tantalize your Tastebuds by Chef Dava Parr

    Fresh and Wyld Farmhouse Inn and Gardens AKA The Farmhouse, Paonia, Colorado

    Great recipes for using seasonal veggies like Chard, Kale, Corn, and Zucchini follow:


    The following recipes are courtesy of renowned Aspen Chef Dava Parr (Paonia, resident).  Chef Dava was pleased to share her delicious recipes with us and  The Rocket (also known as Arugula) Salad was totally awesome!  I learned that I can roast zucchini in the oven instead of saute it, and I must  say I love it this way!  Learn something new everyday!

    Rocket and Roasted Summer Squash Salad
    This is also a great way to use up leftover corn on the cob.  Although I don't have any arugula growing in my garden today, I think it isn't too late to plant for a Fall harvest.

     Roasted Summer Squash

    Preheat oven to 425

    1 yellow summer squash

    1 Zucchini

    ¼ onion, chopped

    ½ clove garlic, crushed

    3 T olive oil

    Salt & Pepper

    1/2 tsp Paprika

    Combine all the ingredients above and roast for 25-30  minutes.

    Arugula Salad

    5 oz baby Rocket (arugula), chopped a couple times

    3 ears of corn, shucked off the cob

    2 oz Goat cheese

    Salt & Black pepper

    Dressing

    1 tsp Lemon juice

    2 tsp Nama Shoyu or other good soy sauce

    1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

    2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Whisk everything together in a little bowl or shake up in a pint jar.  Lay arugula on platter, sprinkle corn and goat cheese over the top.  Spoon roasted squash over Rocket, (arugula) and pour dressing over the top. Serve.

    Chorizo & Chard Omelet

    ¼ # chorizo, crumbled

    ¼ cup thinly sliced onion

    ½ clove garlic, crushed

    2 cups chard, chopped in small pieces

    1 cup grated zucchini

    3 eggs beaten w/ 1 T Cream

    ½ cup grated Jarlsberg

    Sauté Chorizo with onion, garlic, chard and Zucchini over med-high heat. Spoon into a bowl and set to the side.


    Raw Kale Salad

    1 bunch of Kale cut in chiffonade (Strips as thin as your knife can cut, think shredded paper)

    1 tsp garlic, crushed

    ½ cup raw pine nuts

    ½ cup raisins

    ½ cup grated Parmesan

    Sea Salt & Black Pepper

    3 T olive oil

    Juice of 1 lemon squeezed

    Blend everything together with your fingers until it is well mixed. Let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.

    Stewed Tomatoes and Green Beans

    1 pound green beans, steamed until almost done

    1 T olive oil

    1 clove of garlic, crushed

    1 cup of chopped tomatoes

    1 tsp fresh oregano or ½ tsp dried oregano

    ½ cup nicoise olives, optional

    1 tsp capers, optional

    Pinch of crushed red pepper

    Juice of half a lemon

    Sauté garlic and steamed grean beans in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Let stew for a few minutes over low heat.

    Serve with a little Parmesan over the top if you like.

    Fresh and Wyld Farmhouse Inn and Gardens
    Tucked into a serene corner of Colorado's North Fork Valley, near charming little Paonia—and 10 million miles from city life—our lovingly restored 1908 farmhouse inn and gardens is a great way to caress, de-stress, and decompress yourself while enjoying a rural lifestyle in total comfort. Innkeeper Dava Parr (a renowned Aspen chef) prepares cutting edge comfort food for breakfast and weekend dinners from fresh, local, organic meats and produce grown right on our own four acres or from one of the many farms in Colorado's most active natural farming region.

    Call us for reservations (we limit the number of guests so everyone gets a lot of attention) and keep us in mind for weddings, reunions, and other events. Fresh and Wyld Farmhouse Inn & Gardens is Colorado's top destination for good food, deep rest, and country lifestyle—we're sure looking forward to taking care of you! Call today for reservations - room types vary in price and range from $90 to $135 per night. 970-527-4389 We look forward to hosting you!

    Fruit Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing

    FRUIT SALAD with CREAMY YOGURT DRESSING
    This easy recipe is perfect when pears and apples come into season. Don't worry if you have all the fruits, just use what you have available.

    3 bananas
    2 fresh apples peeled/chuncked
    2 fresh pears, cored and chunked
    1/2 cup seedless golden raisins
    1/2 cup broken pecan pieces

    Dressing, Mix together:

    1/2 cup yogurt
    2 TB honey
    1/2 tsp cinnamon,

    dash salt.

    Add fruit, raisins, and pecans to dressing mixture. Chill thoroughly before serving. For more color - leave skins on apples and pears.

    Download our free ebook called FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families.

    For recipes, inspiration, baking tips, and information in the Spirit of Titus Two join our bi-monthly newsletter at this link.

    GREEK CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

    Zesty and quick grilled chicken and zucchini atop flavorful Greek-style pasta salad - perfect with garden tomatoes!

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    4 Chicken Breast halves, boneless
    12 oz dry pasta such as penne pasta
    2 medium zucchini (1 large)
    2 Cups Chopped red ripe tomatoes
    1 small red onion , sliced
    1 Cup chopped olives (optional)
    1/2 Cup olive oil, divided
    1/4 Cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
    1/2 Cup mayonnaise
    2 tsp. honey
    1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
    1 Cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
    3 TB Greek Seasoning see Greek seasoning recipe below - very easy)

    Greek Seasoning Mix (Approximately 3 TB)
    1 TB Oregano
    1 1/2 tsp. cumin
    3/4 tsp. paprika
    3/4 tsp. pepper
    1 TB garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. salt

    Wash Chicken breasts, pat dry. Season heavily with 1 TB Greek Seasoning mix. Peel and slice the zucchini in thin rounds, discarding the end pieces. Brush both sides of the zucchini with olive oil.

    Dressing: In a large Bowl - mix 2 TB Greek Seasoning and 2 TB water. Let stand a few minutes. Mix in the olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, Dijon mustard. Dressing: In a large bowl, mix 2 TB Greek Seasoning and 2 TB water. Let stand a few minutes. Mix in the remaining olive oil, along with the vinegar, mayo, honey, and mustard. Add the tomatoes, onions, and olives, toss to coat.

    When the pasta is done (just a touch underdone is better than overdone as the dressing tenderizes the pasta some), drain the pasta, rinse briefly to stop cooking, shake off all the excess water, then add the pasta to the dressing-tomato mixture and toss again. Set aside.

    Grill the chicken which takes about 10 minutes; 5 minutes per side.

    The zucchini needs about one minute per side to soften and have nice grill marks and can be cooked after the chicken is pulled off because it is good to let the chicken rest a few minutes before slicing anyway.

    Using a large serving platter, place the pasta mixture on top of the platter. Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces or slices and fan it out on top of the pasta. Arrange the grilled zucchini around the pasta and chicken to make a very attractive presentation. Crumble the feta cheese over the salad and serve right away.

    Cooking time: 20 minutess
    Copyright 2003 www.urbanhomemaker.com - All Rights Reserved - Please ask permission to reprint any of this information.

    Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

    Old Fashioned Ice Cream Recipes:

    Each of the following recipes makes about 1 quart; double, triple, quadruple recipes as needed.

    Tips: Prepare the ice cream mixture ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator several hours or more before freezing for best results. Blend ice cream mixture thoroughly before freezing, which helps incorporate more air into the ice cream mixture and results in a more smooth taste. Heavy cream makes yummier ice cream than milk, but use what you have.

    Fresh Peach Ice Cream

    Fresh summer peaches make a wonderful ice cream. Sprinkle with some fresh raspberries for color and flavor contrast.

    2 cups half and half or heavy cream
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
    3 Cups peeled, pitted, sliced peaches, or 1 pkg (16 oz sliced peaches, thawed)
    3 TB lemon juice
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    dash salt

    Combine half and half, sugar and dry milk in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add peaches with remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to freeze. Blend mixture for a few seconds before pouring into the ice cream maker. Follow the instructions for freezing.

    Strawberry Ice Cream
    Here is an old-fashioned , full-flavored strawberry ice cream. Serve with a few sweet sliced strawberries for garnish.

    1 1/2 Cups fresh strawberries, stemmed, or 12 oz frozen unsweetened strawberries
    1/2 cup milk
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    2/3 cups sugar
    1 TB vanilla extract
    2 TB orange flavored liqueur or 1 tsp. orange extract
    dash salt

    Place strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to freeze. Blend for a few seconds before pouring into the ice cream maker. Follow instructions for freezing.

    Old-Fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream
    Yum! A real family favorite.

    1 cup milk
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 egg yolks, beaten
    2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
    1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    dash salt

    Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and heat over low heat until bubbles form around the edge an mixture is hot. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Beat egg yolks in a small bowl and carefully add a few spoonfuls of hot cream mixture to eggs to gradually warm them. Stir eggs back into saucepan and continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and reaches 160� on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and strain custard into a bowl. Add chocolates, vanilla, and salt. Place bowl in a pan of cold or ice water and cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to freeze. Pour into the ice cream maker and follow instructions for freezing.

    Marilyn's French Dressing Recipe

    MARILYN'S FRENCH SALAD DRESSING
    This recipe, courtesy of a chef, has been my family's favorite salad dressing recipe for nearly 25 years. I use this versatile dressing to marinate veggies, and potato salad as well. Double or triple the recipe as it goes fast!

    1/4 Cup vinegar, Balsamic, Red wine, or Apple-Cider Vinegar
    1 TB Dijon mustard, prepared
    2 or more cloves garlic, minced
    1 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. pepper, fresh ground if possible
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    2/3 Cup quality oil such as olive oil,
    coconut oil, sesame oil, or combination of oils. Be sure to use pure pressed or expeller pressed oils which contain the anti-oxidants and vitamin E.

    Combine these ingredients in a carafe, glass jar, or whisk together with a fork in a small mixing bowl.

    The ecookbook, FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families, is downloadable at this link and ncludes many of my easiest family favorite, kid friendly recipes such as Peppy Pizza Pasta and Honey Glazed Chicken. This ebook is downloadable at this link

    For more information, contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323. Sign up for our complimentary bimonthly newsletter here.

    Marinated Beef Kabobs

    Marinated Beef Kabobs

    3/4 Cup dry cooking sherry
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    (Naturally Fermented is best)
    4 TB olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    1-2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger or 1 tb. ground ginger
    3 lbs. round or chuck steak cubed into 1" pieces
    15-18 bamboo skewers, soaked in water

    Combine the cooking sherry, soy sauce, oil, garlic, onion, and ginger in a bowl, mix well.
    Place the cubed beef into a gallon sized zipper top freezer bag with the marinade and make sure all the meat is covered or coated. Seal the bag and refrigerate the beef mixture overnight, if possible or for at least several hours. The meat can be frozen in the marinade for future use as well.

    Pre-heat a grill on high heat for 15 minutes. When ready to cook, drain the marinade and discard it. Thread the beef onto soaked bamboo skewers with the sides of the meat touching.

    Grill the skewered meat over MEDIUM heat. Turning several times for about 8-12 minutes.

    Serve the meat with brown rice pilaf, sauteed summer squashes with onion and red pepper and/or a Spinach Salad.

    PACK THE PERFECT PICNIC FEAST

    HAMBURGERS AUX FINES HERBS
    I have been using this recipe for over 30 years. After you try these tasty seasoned hamburgers, you will never go back to plain old hamburgers. I make lots and freeze the patties individually on cookies sheets and then place into zip lock baggies. If you don't have all the herbs, use whatever you have.

    Double, triple, or quadruple amounts for extra hamburgers for the freezer!

    2 lbs. hamburger
    1 TB chopped chives
    1/2 tsp. crumbled tarragon
    2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/4 c. chopped parsley
    1/4 c. chopped green onion
    1 egg

    Mix all ingredients. Shape into 6-8 large patties. Broil.

    DREAM BARS
    Very easy and healthy recipe adapted from PICNIC ( Storey Pub) Omit whipped cream for lower fat version.

    3 egg yolks, beaten
    7 graham crackers, rolled into crumbs
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
    1/2 cup Sucanat or sugar
    1 tsp. baking powder
    3 egg whites, beaten until stiff peaks form
    1 cup heavy cream, whipped, optional

    Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9 X 13" baking pan. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl., Add the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, dates, sugar, and baking powder and mix well. Gently fold the egg whites into the crumbs mixture until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minute before cutting. Put the pieces on a plate and cover with plastic wrap if traveling to a picnic and bring whipped cream in a separate container and chilled. Add a dollop to each piece before serving, if desired.

    TORTELLINI SALAD with Pine Nuts
    Pine nuts make this salad authentic Mediterranean cuisine, but the pine nuts are an optional ingredient.

    2 lbs fresh tortellini pasta or 1 9 oz pkg dry torellini cooked el dente
    1 Cup chopped green pepper
    1 cup chopped red pepper
    1 cup chopped green onion
    1/2 cup chopped pine nuts (optional)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or 1 TB dried
    1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or 1 TB dried
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    DRESSING
    Homemade dressings are much healthier and economical than commercial equivalents and made in minutes.

    1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar (or whatever you have)
    1 clove of garlic, minced or to taste
    1/4 tsp. salt
    3/4 cup good quality oil such as Safflower or Peanut oil

    BROCCO-VEGGI MANIA - - Reprinted from LUNCHES AND SNACKS

    A plate or tray of raw vegetables can be as simple as carrot and celery sticks or a whole rainbow array of interesting shapes, textures, and bright colors, including cooked broccoli, for a beautiful vegetable tray, perfect for snacks or a picnic. Serve with a tasty dip!

    Picnics and company occasions are a great time to get the children involved with cooking.

    Cook and chill broccoli flowers 2 hours or more before preparing the vegetable tray. See below. Prepare Easy Dip ahead to blend flavors.

    COOKING BROCCOLI

    1. In a saucepan bring enough water that will cover the broccoli to a boil.
    2. Meanwhile, thoroughly was broccoli and trim away tough outer part of stalks. Cut off the flowers with 1" of the stalk.
    3. Drop broccoli into boiling water. Raise heat to bring quickly back to a boil. Cover and boil for only 1 minutes.
    4. Drain in colander, place in covered container and refrigerate to chill.

    Assemble Choice of desired vegetables from the following list:

    carrots
    celery
    cucumber
    radishes
    cauliflower
    kohlrabi
    cherry tomatoes
    dark leaf greens

    1. Wash vegetables in cool water. Scrub as needed with a vegetable brush.

    2. Cut vegetables in desired shapes; place in a bowl or on a try (don't arrange yet).

    A few ideas:

    Ruffled cucumber wheels: Leave peeling on unless heavily waxed. Score cucumber lengthwise all around with the tines of a dinner fork. Cut in slices crosswise.

    Radish roses: Slice a little piece off top of radish to make a flat white top. Cut down through radish from the flat top, but not all the way through, with a paring knife. Cut where lines are drain in first illustration at the right. Soaking in ice water will help the radish "petals" to fan out. Another way to make radish flowers is to cut them in half sawtooth-shaped .
    Carrot curls: Fat carrots work best. Lay carrot on cutting board and slice it in half lengthwise with chef's knife. Peel down flat side with a vegetable peeler. Roll strip in a curl and secure with a toothpick. Soak in ice water. Toothpicks can be removed after soaking.
    Stuffed celery: Fill the celery sticks with peanut butter or some other filling (so p. 81).

    3. For a special picnic or company dinner, line the bottom of tray or plate with dark leafy greens.

    4. Place bowl for dip in center of the platter, and arrange vegetables attractively around it. There are no rules, so have fun with this!

    EASY DIP (OTHER DIP RECIPES ON PP 134-136)

    1. Blend ingredients thoroughly with a wire whisk; chill:

    1/2 CUP light sour cream or regular
    3/8 CUP (6 TB) low fat yogurt
    1 tsp. dried onion flakes or 1 TB fresh chopped
    1 tsp dried parsley flakes or 1 TB fresh minced
    1-2 tsp. dried dill weed.

    2. For a special occasion, use a hollowed out head of red cabbage for a dip bowl. You;ll need a large platter for such a larg dip container.

    NUTRITION QUIZ:

    Can you name 3 nutrient groups that vegetables are especially high in? Loook up Broccoli in MAIN DISHES p. 211. It has good amounts of serveral important nutrients. What are they? Are vegetables a good source of fiber? What do the many different nutrients, shapes, textures, tastes, and colors of vegetables tell you about God's creative genius?

    Reprinted from LUNCHES AND SNACKS by Sue Gregg used with permission.

    Download our free ebook called FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families.

    PESTO LASAGNA

    PESTO LASAGNA
    "Fresh garden flavors mingle with cheeses. Delicious year round - but especially when seasonal veggies are available."

    12 dried regular or whole grain lasagna noodles
    1 Cup purchased or homemade pesto
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1 -15 oz container ricotta cheese
    1- 8 oz pkg shredded Italian Blend or Mozzarella cheese (2 Cups)
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
    2 Cups chopped fresh spinach, or 2 Cups chopped, steamed kale
    1/2 of an 8 oz pkg fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced OR
    1 - 4 oz can sliced mushrooms
    3-medium, quartered and sliced fresh tomatoes OR 1-28 oz can whole Italian -style tomatoes
    Fresh or dried Parsley, Italian style, optional

    1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large stock pot cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles; rinse with cold water thoroughly, drain well; set aside.

    2. In a medium bowl, stir together egg, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded Italian or Mozzerella cheese, salt, and pepper; set aside.

    3. To assemble lasagna: Lightly grease a 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking pan. Arrange 4 of the cooked noodles in the bottom of the pan, trimming and overlapping as necessary to cover the bottom with 1 layer of noodles. Top with spinach or kale. Spoon half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the spinach or kale layer, spreading evenly.

    4. Spoon one-third of the pesto over the ricotta layer, spreading evenly. Top with another layer of noodles, trimming to fit. Top with mushrooms. Spread remaining ricotta cheese mxture over the mushrooms. Spread half of the remaining pesto over the ricotta layer. Top with another layer of noodles and the remaining pesto.

    5. Drain canned tomatoes, and slice, quarter, or halve tomatoes and place on top of the layers. Cover the pan with foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle with remaining Italian blend cheese. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and the lasagna is bubbly. Garnish with chopped, fresh parsley. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

    This recipe can be prepared ahead for the freezer but DO NOT add the tomatoes and do not bake ahead. Cover with plastic wrap, and then aluminum foil. Package the remaining 1 cup cheese in a resealable plastic bag. This casserole may be refrigerated up to 24 hours or frozen for about 3-6 months.

    Reheating Instructions: Thaw lasagne, if frozen, in the refrigerator for 48 hours before baking. Place thawed or refrigerated lasagna on a oil lined baking sheet. Remove plastic wrap; top lasanga with tomatoes. Bake lasagna in a preheated 375° oven, covered with foil for 40 minutes; uncover and sprinkle with remiaing cheese. Bake uncovered 10 minutes more or until heated through,bubbly and cheese is melted. Re-cover and let the lasagna stand for 1-20 minutes before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

    Pesto Recipe

    1 Cup lightly packed basil leaves and soft stems
    1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
    1/3 Cup Pine Nuts (optional)
    1/8 tsp salt or to taste
    1-3 cloves of garlic
    3-5 tbsp olive oil

    Chop basil, garlic and pine nuts in food processor bowl until finely chopped. Add cheese, salt, and gradually drizzle in olive oil until you have a smooth paste. Use right away, or freeze for future use.

    For many more Seasonal Recipes in the spirit of More with Less, check out
    Simply in Season. Copyright 2005 by Herald Press

    PICNIC PLANNING CHECKLIST

    PICNIC ESSENTIALS

    Use this list for checking off what basics you will need. You may want to keep these items packed in a picnic basket so you are ready to go with a minimum of fuss.

    __ Plates

    __ Utensils (plastic or real)

    __Cups

    __Ground cloth - old blankets, quilts, sleeping bag

    __Napkins

    __Tablecloth - vinyl or fabric

    __Bottle opener/can opener

    __Paper Towels or wipes

    __Matches, and garbage bags

    __Insect repellant

    __Sunscreen

    __Candles, umbrella, hats,

    PICNIC PLANNING
    Planning ahead always makes special occasions extra special and memorable. Since the food must travel, consider how you will pack the food ahead of time. Here are some suggestions for planning ahead

    Select a special basket that will hold essentials such as plates, napkins, and tablecloth. You can purchase well-equipped picnic baskets or pack a favorite basket with whatever you will need.

    KEEP FOOD SAFE

    Be sure to keep cold food cold, hot foods hot for both safety and appetite appeal. Practice sanitation by keeping clean hands and work surfaces. Cold foods can be kept cold in thermos bottles, coolers with ice or freezer packs, or wrapped well in heavy quilts and layers of newspaper with a chunk of ice.

    CREATE AMBIENCE AND MEMORIES

    If you are like me, you are lucky to get the food, utensils, tablecloths, coolers, drinks, etc together. But with a little planning ahead, don't forget the camera, and a few extra special touches if they appeal to you such as fresh flowers, candles, and wine.

    The book, "FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families", includes my best and most requested bread recipes. My earnest desire is that you will find the my tips, information, and recipes to be a reliable resource of healthy, family-favorite recipes, as well as streamlined preparation methods which fit in with busy lifestyles.

    Remember, if you have any questions about cooking, baking, or products we are here to help. Call us at 1-800-552-7323 Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00 MT.

    WARMLY,

    Marilyn and Duane Moll
    The Urban Homemaker

    For recipes, inspiration, baking tips, and information in the Spirit of
    Titus Two join our bi-monthly newsletter at this link.

    Popsicle Paradise

     

    Popsicle Paradise!
    By Tawra Kellam
    www.LivingOnADime.com

     

    To help moms keep their cool by helping their kids chill out, here are some recipes from www.LivingOnADime.com.

    Remember when you used to sit on your front steps on a hot summer day eating a popsicle? It was usually red or purple and on special occasions you got a fudgesicle. Remember how you tried to lick the drips faster than the sun could melt them? Sometimes the drips would roll down your fingers, forcing you to make the mind numbing decision whether to lick your fingers or the new drips forming on your popsicle.

    Every once in a while a few drips would get out of control and fall on your bare toes. Remember how your dog's tongue felt like sandpaper when he licked the sweet gooeyness off of them? It's funny how we try to make drama and expensive memories for our children when it's the simple everyday things we remember the most. Use some of these ideas from www.LivingOnADime.com to keep the kids entertained this summer.

    To find popsicle molds, look at discount and mail order stores or garage sales. If you don't have any molds, use small paper or plastic cups. Put a wooden stick or plastic spoon in the center.
    For mini popsicles, pour orange, apple or grape juice or flavored drink mix into ice cube trays. Partially freeze and then place toothpicks in the center of each cube (or place plastic wrap over the top, secure and insert toothpicks through plastic wrap).

    For non-traditional popsicles:
    ~Freeze applesauce in popsicle molds.

    ~Mix fruit or jam into yogurt. Freeze in small, snack sized Ziploc bags for frozen yogurt on the go. Cut a hole in the end of the bag for easy access/eating.

    ~Mix gelatin and freeze. Add gummie fish or worms before freezing for added fun.

    ~Freeze syrup from canned fruit.

    ~ Add food coloring or sprinkles to yogurt or softened ice cream for added pizzazz. Then freeze in popsicle molds.

    ~Make a batch of pudding. Add coconut, nuts, marshmallows, crushed cookies or sprinkles if desired. Pour into molds. Freeze several hours until firm.

    ~Stick a toothpick in the center of blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or sliced bananas. Dip in chocolate if desired. Freeze on a tray. Once frozen, store in freezer bags.

    ~For easy snow cones, freeze orange juice (or any other flavored juice) in ice cube trays. Store frozen juice cubes in a plastic bag. Blend 5 cubes in the blender until they have a shaved ice consistency. The shaved ice will keep its consistency if kept frozen in a container.

    ~For watermelon popsicles, blend one cup each watermelon chunks (seeds removed), orange juice and water. Blend well. Then pour and freeze into molds.

    ~For strawberry popsicles, blend 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup vanilla ice cream or yogurt, 4 cups orange juice and 2 tablespoons sugar. Blend smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.

    ~For banana popsicles, dissolve one 3 oz. package strawberry gelatin with one cup boiling water. In a blender, mix gelatin, 1 banana and 1 cup yogurt or ice cream. Blend well and pour into molds.

    Pudding Pops

    1 pkg. pudding (not instant*)
    3 cups milk

    Combine 1 large package of pudding with 3 cups of milk. Mix only enough to blend well. Quickly pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Chocolate and vanilla pudding may be layered for a fun treat. Makes 8-10 popsicles.

    *Regular homemade pudding may be used instead of store-bought pudding mix.

    For more refreshing summer ideas visit www.LivingOnADime.com Tawra Kellam is the author Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Tawra and her husband paid of $20,000 debt and medical bills in 5 years on $22,000 averaged income.

    Produce of the Season - Eating Simply in Season

    Produce of the Season - Eating Simply in Season
    by Monica Wiitanen

    A real pleasure that comes with eating local foods is indulging in the produce of the season. Spinach, Asian greens, mustard greens, chard, kale, garlic, onions, lettuce, asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, beets, carrots, snow peas, sugar snaps, and the first of the new potatoes---all these and more can be teamed with buffalo, beef, elk, lamb, poultry, or eggs (or pie crust or scones, in the case of strawberries and rhubarb), and some real fine meals will be on your table.

    How about buffalo and snow peas; sag pannir (spinach with freshly made cheese) to go with a roasted chicken rubbed with a paste of garlic, ginger, chides, salt, cumin, coriander and black pepper;lamb chops on a bed of garlic scapes (both grilled); salads; cheese omelet with sweet red onion and new potatoes, with a dusting of Chile powder?

    While our household is accustomed to foods from many parts of the world, and so my list will include Chinese, Indian, and North African, as well as the American foods I grew up with, there's no need to look for new recipes when you want to eat more local food.

    Start with whatever you and your family are used to, and see what is produced locally. If there's a food you really like and you haven't found it yet, check out the Valley Organic Grower's Associate Directory or talk with a grower.

    If new recipes are something you enjoy, try Simply in Season.

    With such a huge variety of foods raised in the Valley, eating local food is fun. Sure, it takes a little time to rethink menus, and it may become desirable to "put some by" for enjoyment during the winter. I'm not suggesting slaving in the kitchen all summer, but over the years I've found a few foods that are well worth the trouble to freeze, dry, juice, pickle, or can.

    Ripe fruit frozen as is (pitted, hulled, maybe sliced) is just great, especially when only partially hawed. A couple of cups of strawberries, a few pints of pitted cherries, and several bags of sliced peaches in he freezer are enough to get me happily through the winter. I eat my fill when the fruits are in season and put a little by for a treat later. Easy foods to freeze include all the fruits as well as peppers, chides, and tomatoes, none of which require pre-treatment, unless you peer your sweet peppers and Anaheims roasted.

    The main thing is to decide which foods will be really enjoyed and therefore will be worth the effort.

    Every time we spend a food dollar we make choices. Will this purchase strengthen our community? Will this purchase help maintain my health? Will this purchase make the world a better place for future generations? In other words do we know how this food was raised, and did the agricultural practices support a healthy future? How many miles did this food travel to get here? I'm in no way suggesting that we become strict "localvores", but I do think that becoming aware of some of these issues now will lead to greater food security in the future. It might even get us to know our neighbors better, and it might just get fresh strawberries delivered to your door in time for breakfast.

    The above article is excerpted from one that originally appeared in the North Fork Merchant Herald - June 20-July 17, 2006 issue and is reprinted by permission. Monica Wiitanen is my friend from Neighborly Neighbors on Lamborn Mesa here in my hometown of Paonia, Colorado. She is owner/grower of Small Potatoes Farm.

    Roasted Herbed Chicken with Lemon

    ROASTED HERBED CHICKEN WITH LEMON
    This easy recipe will make your whole house smell delightful! Substitute some fresh or dried thyme for Rosemary.
    This is an easy, delcious crock pot recipe.

    1 whole chicken (3 #)
    1 lemon, cut in wedges
    2 TB fresh Rosemary or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
    10 cloves garlic
    1/4 cup cooking sherry, or chicken broth
    1 small pat butter, melted
    small red potatoes (as many as desired) cubed
    Fresh green beans (or whole frozen green beans) (Qty as desired)
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Clean the chicken and pat dry. Add chciken to the stoneware. drizzle the chicken with butter and then rub with garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired. Add to the stoneware the garlic, wine, and small red potatoes. Add the green beans on top of the potatoes and sprinkle the rosemary on top of the chicken and green beans. Garnish the top of the chicken with lemon wedges as desired. Cook on high 4 hours, or on low 7-8 hours,.

    For more reliable, fast and healthy recipes download my e-cookbook, FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families, which includes many of my easiest family favorite, kid friendly recipes such as Peppy Pizza Pasta and Honey Glazed Chicken. My earnest desire is that you will find my tips, information, and recipes to be a reliable resource of healthy, family-favorite recipes.

    SALSA (Naturally Fermented)

    LACTO-FERMENTED SALSA
    Makes one quart, double, or quadruple if you have lots of tomatoes and peppers

    4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
    2 small onions, finely chopped
    3/4 cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild
    6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (optional)
    1 bunch cilantro, chopped
    1 tsp dried oregano
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 TB sea salt
    4 TB whey, if not available, use an additional 1 TB salt
    1/4 cup filtered water.

    Peel tomatoes, cut along the "equator" of the tomato, sqeeze out the seeds. Dice up tomatoes, and combine with all the other ingredients, and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or large spoon, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the salsa mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage. Make several jars if you have plenty of tomatoes, as this salsa is wonderful. The same Salsa can be made using canned tomatoes in the winter time.

    Adapted from Nourishing Traditions

    SIMPLY IN SEASON

    From SIMPLY IN SEASON. Copyright 2005 by Herald Press, Scottdale, PA 15683. Used by permission.

    FOUR FRUIT CRISP
    Don't have four kinds of berrie or fruits? Use more of the same kind. This recipe works well with fresh, frozen or canned fruits. Adjust the amount of sugar to the sweetness of the fruit.

    SERVES 8

    1 1/2 Cups each of four fruits: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, marionberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, saskatoons, mulberries, strawberies, sour cherries, peaches, apples

    Mix together and pour into a 10-inch deep dish pie pan. Alternatively, the fruits can be cooked with 1/4 cup water, 1/4-/2 cup sugar (depending on the sweetnesss of the fruit) and 2 TB cornstarch to thicken before baking.

    3/4 cup flour
    3/4 cup rolled oats
    3 TB butter
    2 TB oil
    34/ cup brown sugar
    1/3 cup nuts , chopped; optional

    Mix until crumbly. Evenly sprinkle topping over fruit. Bake in preheated oven at 375F until fruit bubbles and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes; may take longer if using frozen fruit.

    GREEN BEAN SIDES

    SERVES 4

    1 pound green beans (cut in 1-inch pieces)
    Cook in small amount of water until crisp-tender, about 5-10 minutes. Drain (save liquid for soup_ and add one of the options below.

    Parsley-lemon options:
    I
    n 1 TB butter or oil lightly saute 2 cloves minced garlic and 2 TB finely chopped fresh parsley. Add the cooked beans, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir gently and heat through. Sprinkle with the juice of 1 lemon and serve.

    Mint option:
    I
    n 1 TB butter or oil saute 1/4 cup minced onion. Add 2 TB minced fresh mint. Add cooked beans and season to taste with salt and peper. Serve.

    Basil-tomato option:
    In 1 Tablespoon oil saute 1/4 mined onion and 1 clove minced garlic. Add 2 TB minced fresh basil, 1 cup chopped tomatoes and cooked green beans. Cover and cook about 5 mintuest. Season to taste and serve.

    Ham or bacon option:
    In a Tablespoon butter or oil saute 1/4 cup minced onion and 1 clove minced garlic (optional). Add 1/4 cup ham or bacon. Add cooked beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

    Almond-Parmesan option:
    In 2 tablesppons olive oil saute 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional). Add cooked beans and seaon to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 tablesppons grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

    CURRIED BEANS AND POTATOES
    Tester says, "The more I ate the more I like it!"

    SERVES 4-6

    3 Tablespoons mustard oil or vegetable oil
    1 tsp. mustard seeds (black if available)
    4 cloves garlic (finely sliced)

    Heat oil in medium frypan over medium-high heat. When hot, add mustard seeds. As soon as mustard seeds begin to pop, add garlic. Stir for a minute until garlic turns golden.

    1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 medium potato
    (quartered and thinly sliced)
    Add and stir 1 minute.

    4 Cups green beans (whole or cut)

    Add and stir until mixed. Salt to taste. Add small amounts of water to keep from sticking and to allow it to steam. Cook until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. When done, increase heat to evaporate remaining liquid.

    PIZZA SAUCE
    Very good on spaghetti, too.

    Yields 12-14 pints

    12 pounds tomatoes, peeled and chopped
    2 medium onion, halved
    2-4 chili peppers
    1/4 cup fresh basil
    2 TB fresh oregano
    1 TB fresh marjoram
    2 tsp. fresh thyme
    2 tsp. fennel seeds
    6 cloves garlic (or 2 tsp. garlic powder)

    Puree in blender or food processor with tomatoes. If fresh herbs aren't available, use half or less of dried.) Put puree in large stainless steel soup pot.

    1/3 cup sugar
    3 TB salt
    30 oundes tomato paste
    1/3 cup olive oil

    Add to puree. Cook for 1 1/2-2 hours until very thick, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Ladle into hot sterilized pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top, seal with sterilized lids, and process full jars in boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

    BASIC TOMATO SAUCE

    "I use this for spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, or any time I need a marinara-type sauce," says contributor Mary beth Lind. "I really like the added nutrition of the carrot."

    Yields 3 pints

    1 onion, chopped
    2 cloves, garlic,
    minced

    Saute until soft in 2 TB olive oil

    2 carrots, shredded
    1/2 green pepper, chopped
    2 bay leaves
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    2 tb fresh basil
    (chopped; or 2 tsp dried)
    1 TB fresh oregano (chopped; or 1 tsp dried)

    Add. Stir well.

    6 cups plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
    6 ounces tomato paste
    1 TB honey (
    optional)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Add and season to taste. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve or freeze. To can, ladle into hot sterilized pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top, add 1 TB lemon juice or vinegar per pint to assure acidity, seal with sterilized lids, and process full jars in boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

    From Simply in Season. Copyright 2005
    by Herald Press, Scottdale, PA 15683. Used by permission.

    SUMMER SALADS - Picnic Perfect

    The recipes below are excerpted from

    Ebook by Marilyn Moll

    Buy Now for $9.97

    CONFETTI CORN SALAD
    This colorful salad can use canned, frozen, or leftover corn-on-the-cob. Use whatever veggies you have, don't worry if you don't have everything on hand.

    2 Cups corn (thawed/cooked)
    1/3 Cup diced green pepper
    1/3 Cup diced red pepper
    1/3 Cup diced celery
    1/3 Cup diced red onion
    1/2 Cup cilantro, chopped (I measure the cilantro before chopping)
    1/2 tsp. cumin
    1/2 Cup Ranch Type Salad Dressing

    Mix together, and chill. Perfect for picnics and potlucks

    BROCCOLI SALAD
    This is really a family favorite. Broccoli is very high in calcium, and anticancer agents.

    1 Large bunch broccoli, cut into small florets and slice peeled stalks into 1/4" slices and blanch*
    1/2 Cup chopped red pepper
    3 slices crisp bacon, chopped (bacon substitutes ok)
    1/2 Cup diagonally sliced celery
    1/2 Red onion sliced thinly and separated into individual rounds
    1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
    Ranch Dressing

    *Blanching the broccoli softens it a bit and brightens the color. This is optional. To blanch broccoli, bring the cut pieces to a boil, covered with 1/2 Cup water for one minute, drain, and cool in a colander. Dry the broccoli with paper towel or kitchen towel.

    Combine prepared vegetables, cheese and dressing. Chill. Delicious!

    CHICKEN SALAD
    (Serve this Chicken salad over chilled garden greens such as spinach, leaf lettuce or Romaine.)

    2 Cups diced chicken pieces
    1/2 Cup red grapes, halved
    1/2 Cup almonds, soak in water for a few hours for a softer, more chewable and digestible nut
    1/2 Cup diagonally sliced celery
    1/3 Cup raw sunflower seeds
    1/2 Cup chopped red onion
    1 tsp. dill weed, optional
    1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
    1/3 Cup light sour cream or plain yogurt

    Combine salad ingredients; double amounts for a larger crowd. Add mayonnaise to taste.

    This salad is VERY easy to put together. Be creative and use what you have!!!

    SENSATIONAL SUMMER SALADS
    Ebook by Marilyn Moll
    Buy Now for $9.97

    Thrill to Grill

    Thrill to the Grill by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

    One of my very favorite parts of hotter weather is the incessant use of
    the barbecue or grill as we call it in the South. Being able to cook
    everything over an open flame would be wonderful for all seasons, but for
    most of us, itís confined to summer months. The key is using the grill in
    an understanding way so your food is always ëcued to perfection. So to do
    that, here are Five Easy Ways To Improve Your Grilling--

    1óSome Like It Hot. When using a barbecue, whether it is gas or charcoal,
    it is imperative to preheat the grill. You cannot put the food on a cold
    grill and start that way for the same reasons you donít stick food in an
    oven that hasnít been preheatedóit messes up the cooking time and the way
    it should cook. Donít do it!

    2óCool Tools. You just might want to check out your favorite hardware
    store so you can try some new fun barbecue implements. There are some
    wonderful grilling accessories that you just cannot live without. One is a
    hole-y wok. Thatís rightÖbig holes in a flat bottomed wok. I grilled the
    most incredible stir fried squash in one of those things. It was
    easyósliced zucchini, summer squash and a little oil and garlic tossed
    together in the bowl got thrown into that wok and those vegetables were
    amazing. Think of the possibilities! I also purchased a flat hole-y cookie
    sheet looking thing. That is how I cook my fish without losing it through
    the grill slats.

    3óMore Cool Tools. Donít forget when you fire up the barby, you will be
    needing some good grilling tools. I use to use my kitchen spatula till the
    one day I burned the hair off my arm when I was turning chicken and that
    was enough to convince me. Use real grilling tools and spend a few dollars
    on some nice ones. Lousy tools give you lousy results.

    4óThe Brush Off. Donít forget to get a good wire brush to clean the grill,
    too. Keeping the grill immaculate will improve what youíre eating
    immensely. ìBurning offî the old food only works to a degreeóyou need the
    brush!

    5óUse Marinades. Marinades infuse themselves into foods and makes for a
    delicious choice for healthy cooking. Marinades also tenderize and turn
    even the most mundane piece of meat or poultry into something exotic and
    full of flavor.

    To make your own marinades, remember you need these elements:

    Oil: Any type will do, but I prefer a higher burning oil like sunflower or
    peanut oil.

    Acid: You can use wine, citrus fruit or vinegar.

    Seasonings: The world is wide open on this oneófrom your own special blend
    of herbs and spices to soy sauce, and everything in between.

    Reprinted by permission from www.savingdinner.com

    Tossed Salad Basics by Marilyn Moll

    The below recipes and variations is excerpted from Sensational Summer Salads

    By Marilyn Moll                                   

    TOSSED SALAD BASICS

     

    Basic tossed salad can become a main dish when combined with some protein sources. Below, I have listed a wide variety of basic ingredients to use when making a huge main dish salad. Mix and match ingredients and use or substitute ingredients with what you have on hand, or out of the garden and you will have a completely nutritious meal.

    Pick 2 or more ingredients from each category for variety in color, texture, size, and taste. Mixing salty with bland flavors helps balance the overall salad.

      Greens:
    Romaine lettuce leaves, torn
    Red or Green leaf lettuce, torn
     Iceberg lettuce, torn

    Spinach, torn
    arugula, torn
    cabbage, grated

    Vegetables:
    avocado, diced
    artichoke hearts, whole or sliced
    red cabbage, shredded
    kidney, red, black, or garbanzo beans, cooked
    carrot, shredded or sliced
    celery, sliced diagonally, or diced
    summer squash, diced or grated
    cauliflower florets, chopped, raw
    broccoli florets, chopped, raw
    beets, cooked or raw, grated or diced
    fresh or frozen petite peas
    leftover or frozen corn
    sprouts
    scallions or green onions, sliced
    tomato wedges or cherry tomatoes, halved
    radishes, sliced
    cucumber, peeled and sliced
    sweet pepper strips: red, green, orange, and/or yellow
    mushrooms, sliced or whole


    Garnishes:
    mozzarella or cheddar cheese, cubed or grated
    Parmesan Cheese
    sunflower seeds (soak in water ahead for best nutrition)
    alfalfa or Alfa-Plus sprouts
    hard cooked eggs, sliced
    croutons
    raisins
    pumpkin seeds
    nuts (walnuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, etc.)
    raisins, craisins, or other dried fruit


    The amounts needed of each ingredient will be based on how many you are serving and what you have on hand. Serve with your favorite salad dressing in a huge salad bowl suitable for serving or dish into individual salad bowls, and pass dressings of choice.

    Vegetable Salads



    CORN “CONFETTI” SALAD

    This corn salad is very colorful and uses canned, frozen, or leftover corn-on-the-cob.
    Use whatever veggies you have, don't worry if you don't have everything on hand.


    2 cups corn (thawed/cooked)
    1/3 cup diced green pepper
    1/3 cup diced red pepper
    1/3 cup diced celery
    1/3 cup diced red onion
    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (I measure the cilantro before chopping)
    1/2 tsp. cumin
    1/2 cup Ranch Dressing (pg. 10)


    Mix together and chill. Perfect for picnics and potlucks.







    TOMATO/CUCUMBER CHOP SALAD
    Combine at least three of the veggie ingredients
    with the dressing for a great  summer side dish. 
    This recipe works well when tomatoes and cucumbers
     are prolific in late summer.


    1-2 stalks celery, chopped
    2 or more tomatoes, chopped
    1 cup cucumber, chopped
    1/2 cup green pepper, chopped             (optional)
    1/2 cup onion, chopped (optional)
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
                                                                                       salt and pepper to taste

                                                                                       
    Mix the vegetables with 1/4-1/2 cup Marilyn’s French Dressing and salt to taste.


                                                                                                                GREEN BEAN SALAD

    Awesome way to use an abundance of green beans

    4 cups cut up green beans, cooked, drained and chilled
    1/2 large red onion, sliced
    10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
    1/2 - 1 cup Feta cheese (optional)


    Mix these ingredients together with Marilyn’s Basic French Dressing below. 
    Add 1/2 tsp. oregano, and extra black pepper, and Feta Cheese
    for a Greek Flair.

    Winter Soup and Bread Recipes

    When it\'s icy cold outside, serve hot, steaming, and savory homemade soups and breads

    Black Eyed Pea Traditional Dishes for New Year's

    Plan on cooking a black-eyed pea dish on New Year's Day for a
    little added luck and healthy fiber!

    BLACK EYED PEAS WITH HAM AND SAUSAGE

    Ingredients:
    1/4 pound bacon, diced
    1 lb. Italian or other sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
    1/2 lb. cooked ham, diced
    1 cup sweet onion, chopped
    1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
    1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
    1-15 oz. can black-eyed peas
    salt and pepper to taste

    In a heavy saucepan, cook the bacon till it's starting to crisp.
    Add the sausage and ham and saute until browned. Add the
    onion, bell pepper and jalapeno, cook until the pepper begins
    to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and
    add the can of black-eyed peas and simmer over low heat for
    about 30 minutes. Serve over rice or eat with cornbread.

    BLACK EYED PEA SALSA

    Ingredients:
    1 (16-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
    6 green onions, thinly sliced -white and green
    One 14 to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
    3/4 cup chopped green pepper
    3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1 to 2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh cilantro leaves
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    Salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to taste

    Rinse black-eyed peas under cod water and drain. Set aside. In a
    medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir in drained
    black-eyed peas. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve
    with tortilla chips.

    BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP

    Ingredients:
    1 pound dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
    8 cups water
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    6 thick slices bacon
    2 large sweet onions, chopped
    2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 whole bay leaves
    1 dried thyme, crumbled
    5 cups chicken broth
    3 teaspoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

    Place peas in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pan, add cold water so
    it covers, and bring to a boil over high heat; cook for 2 minutes.
    Remove peas from the heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.
    Drain peas and rinse; return to pan, add water and salt. Bring to
    a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
    Drain peas into a bowl, reserving 1 cup liquid. Pure 1 cup peas,
    adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, if necessary. Cut
    the bacon into 1/2-inch strips, add to the pan the peas were cooked
    in, and cook till crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper
    toweling to drain. In bacon drippings, saut onions, carrots, garlic,
    bay leaves, and thyme over medium heat, until vegetables soften,
    about 8 to 10 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid, broth, peas,
    and pea pure and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately
    low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Mix in lemon juice, red
    pepper sauce, and reserved bacon. Heat til warmed through. Discard
    bay leaves and serve. Makes 8 servings.

    The above recipes are courtesy of Old Fashioned Living.com and Brenda Hyde, used by permission. For more information, please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323

    Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup with Herbs

    This simple, hearty and flavorful soup will remind you of the bounty of your summer garden. Its assortment of herbs and vegetables will warm you down to your toes. It has become a family favorite with or without the chicken added.

    6 chicken thighs, skinned
    2/3 cup barley
    8 Cups chicken stock or water
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    3 small carrots, sliced
    1 Cup chopped broccoli florets (optional)
    1 large tomato, peeled and chopped or 2 Tablespoons tomato
    powder (optional)
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 Tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
    1 teaspoon basil
    1/8 teaspoon oregano
    1/8 teaspoon thyme
    Dash of cayenne pepper
    2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley



    Put all of the ingredients except the parsley into an 8 qt. stock pot or 5 liter or larger pressure cooker such as a Duromatic. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. In the Duromatic, bring ingredients to second red ring and pressure for 15 minutes; allow pressure to drop naturally. (Or simmer the soup conventionally for 1-1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.)

    Remove the chicken thighs from the soup. When cooled slightly, remove the meat and cut into bite sized pieces. Return the meat to the soup. Simmer the soup an additional 10-15 minutes if desired. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add the parsley and serve.

     

    Chicken Chili Corn Chowder

    CHICKEN CHILI CORN CHOWDER
    6-8 servings

    This soup is a great variation to chili, very elegant, and delicious! Serve with hot "good earth" rolls.

    3-4 Cups cooked, diced chicken (1 1/2 lbs. boneless)*
    1/2 C. finely chopped onion
    3 TB flour, whole grain preferred
    2 TB olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 C. chicken broth ( I use Frontier chicken broth powder and water to equal 2 C)
    2 C. hot water
    1 tsp. cumin, ground
    2 C. half and half
    2 C. Monterey Jack
    1- 16 oz can creamstyle corn
    1 - 4 oz can green chili, chopped
    1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce - (optional)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Saute onion, and garlic in olive oil until transluscent in a stock pot. Stir in flour over low heat and slowly stir in chicken broth, and water. Heat until thickened slightly. Add cumin, half and half, creamstyle corn, green chilis, and hot pepper sauce (opt) to the soup base and simmer together for 15-60 minutes. Add chopped chicken, stir in shredded cheese until melted, adjust seasonings to taste. (Don't boil the soup once the cheese is added or it will become stringy.) To serve: garnish with chopped medium tomato and 1/2 C. fresh minced cilantro.

    *A quick way to cook up 1 1/2 lbs. of boneless chicken breasts is to pressure cook them in a Duromatic Pressure Cooker for 8 minutes at the 2nd red ring and allow the pressure to come down naturally. While soup base is simmering, For more information about recipes and products contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call at 1-800-552-7323. cook and dice the chicken.

    Chili for a Crowd

    This recipe is adapted from one by the authors of the famous Silver Palate Cookbook.  It is perfect for a big crowd like Super Bowl Sunday or after a big sledding or skiing day.  When choosing chopped meat for chili, you’ll find that beef chuck adds great flavor. And you never can have too many spices.  Lemon juice brightens all the tastes!

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 pound yellow onions, coarsely chopped
    1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
    4 pounds beef chuck, ground

    1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
    1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1/3 cup ground cumin
    1/2 cup chili powder
    1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    2 tablespoons dried basil
    2 tablespoons dried oregano
    1 1/2 tablespoons salt,
    or to taste
    1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
    3 cans (28 ounces each) Italian plum tomatoes, drained
    1/4 cup dry red wine
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or 1 heaping Tbsp dried
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    2 cans (16 ounces each) dark-red kidney beans, drained
    2 cans (5 1/2 ounces each) pitted black olives, drained, optional

    1. Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage meat and ground chuck; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meats are well browned. Spoon off any excess fat and discard.
    2. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley and kidney beans. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.
    3. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add olives; simmer for 5 minutes more to heat through. Serve immediately.

    Cracked Grain Rolls

    CRACKED GRAIN ROLLS
    These whole grain rolls are outstanding served for company meals and/or with hearty winter soups and stews.

    2 cups hot water
    2 cups Seed Mix (see below mixture)
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    6 to 7 cups whole wheat flour OR 5 cups whole wheat flour and 1 to 2 cups bread flour
    2 tablespoons SAF yeast
    1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
    2 cups water
    1/3 cup honey
    3 eggs
    1tablespoon salt

    Seed Mix - Makes 2 cups
    3/4 cup whole wheat, coarsly cracked
    3/4 cup rye, coarsly cracked
    2tablespoons flax seed
    2tablespoons sesame seed
    1/4 cup sunflower seeds, slightly cracked

    Coarsely crack wheat and rye separately in hand mill or blender. Use high speed for about 45 to 60 seconds in blender. Be certain no whole kernels remain. Bring 2 cups hot water to a boil. Add Seed Mix, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter, and set aside. Mix 3 cups flour, yeast, and dry milk in mixer bowl using kneading arm. (A large mixing bowl and heavy duty wooden spoon can be substituted for an electric mixer.) Mix well. Add 2 cups water and honey to seed mixture. (Mixture should now be comfortably warm, approximately 110-120 degrees F .) Add this mixture to dry ingredients in mixer and mix about 1 minute. Turn off mixer, cover bowl, and let dough sponge 10 -15 minutes. Add eggs and salt. Turn on mixer. Add remainder of flour, 1 cup at a time, just until dough begins to make a ball and clean the sides of the bowl. Knead 5 to 6 minutes. Dough should be pliable, smooth and elastic, but not sticky. Lightly oil hands. Shape dough into balls using about 1/4 cup dough for each. Place quite close together, but not touching, on baking sheets. Let rise until double. Bake at 350 for 18 to 22 minutes at 400�F. Yields 4 to 5 dozen large rolls. Put extra rolls in freezer. Recipe may be halved.

    For more information on recipes and products contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or cll 1-800-552-7323.

    Cream Of Vegetable Soup

    This is a fantastic way to use a variety of dried vegetables and dry milk powder from your storage! Also a great way to increase fiber.

    1 1/2 Cups Vegetable Puree*
    3 TB butter
    1 TB onion flakes
    2 TB flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/4 tsp. bsil
    3 Cups milk
    1 1/2 tsp parsley flakes

    * Prepare Vegetable Puree:
    Prepare vegetable flakes and powders in a completely dry blender until powdered. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over 6-8 TB vegetable powder or flakes such as green beans, carrot, celery, pea, potato, or cauliflower and allow to reconstitute for 10-15 minutes.

    In a 2 qt saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, add onion flakes, saute until golden. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and basil. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly over low heat to prevent lumping. Do not boil. Stir in Vegetable puree. Heat to serving temperature. Garnish with parsley flakes. Makes 4 servings. Yummy!

    Food Storage Cooking: Ham/Green Bean Soup

    Food Storage Cooking
    The best way to use food storage products is to substitute them into your regular recipes as best as you can. The following recipes have been long time favorites of our family that have been adapted to using food storage products. Although our motto is still fresh is best, our family enjoyed these dishes just as much using alternate products. If an emergency arises I want to be able to prepare simple foods that rely on the one-pot concept in order to simplify and conserve energy by utilizing basic foods such as grains and beans I have on hand, and reducing my dependence on refrigerator items such as meats.

    Ham/Green Bean Soup

    2 C. dehydrated beans (approx. 4 cups fresh)
    2 C. dried potato dices (3 C. fresh)
    1 C. dried minced onion
    1 tsp. dried summer savory
    1 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1-2 C. diced turkey ham or TVP Bacon
    8 C. water

    Bring all ingredients except TVP to a boil; reduce heat to simmer, covered for
    20 minutes or until veggies are tender and flavors are blended. (To save time
    and energy bring to pressure in Duromatic for 5 minutes and remove from heat.)
    Stir in: 1 C. milk (or cream) optional
    Adjust liquids and seasonings to make a pleasing combination.

    Good Earth Rolls

    GOOD EARTH ROLLS
    This recipe is used by permission from Sue Gregg of Eating Better Cookbooks
    Use this recipe for hand or bread machine kneaded dough.
    For machine kneaded dough, see recipe below.

    AMOUNT: 2 Dozen Rolls
    Bake: 400F - 15-20 minutes

    1. Optional for easier digestion and nicer crunch -- Cover with water and let stand a couple hours or overnight:

    1/3 cup sunflower seeds

    2. Dissolve yeast with honey in water in a glass measuring cup; let stand 5-10 minutes until bubbles up:

    1/2 Cup lukewarm water (100-115 - warm to wrist)
    1 tsp. honey
    2 1/2 TB active dry yeast

    3. Heat together in saucepan until butter melts:

    1 1/2 Cups water
    1/2 cup honey
    1/4 cup unsalted butter
    2 tsp. salt

    4. Pour warm liquids into mixing bowl, stir in, and vigorously beat about 3 minutes:

    1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour, freshly milled
    proofed yeast mixture
    (step #2)

    5. Mix and knead in remaining flour as needed to prevent sticking while kneading until smooth and elastic.

    2 Cups whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour, freshly milled
    2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or 3-3 1/2 cups spelt flour
    sunflower seeds, drained

    6. Place dough in oiled bowl, lightly oil top, cover, and let rise until double.

    7. Complete rolls as for delicious good earth rolls, steps #6-9 below:

    DELICIOUS GOOD EARTH ROLLS

    iUse this recipe for machine-kneaded dough.

    AMOUNT: 2 dozen rolls
    BAKE: 400F 14 TO 20 MINUTES

    1. Optional for easier digestion and nicer crunch-Cover with water and let stand a couple hours or overnight:

    1/3 sunflower seeds


    2.
    Place in mixer bowl:

    1 1/4 Cups whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour, freshly milled
    2 pkg (2 TB) active dry yeast

    3. Heat together in saucepan until butter melts, pour into flour-yeast mixture (step#2); mix on high speed for 3 minutes:

    2 Cups water
    1/2 cup honey
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    2 teaspoons salt

    4. Add remaining ingredients and knead:

    2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour
    2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    or 3-31/2 cups spelt flour
    sunflower seeds, drained

    5. Cover and let rise until double in volume.

    6. Gently punch down and knead lightly; divide in half. Shape each piece into 12 rolls, placing in greased pans with a little room between them.

    7. Cover and let rise in a warm place 15-20 minutes.

    8. Bake in preheated 400 oven 15-20 minutes.

    9. Brush rolls immediately after baking while still hot with:

    soft or melted butter

    For more information on products and recipes, contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323.

    Ham-Broccoli Cheese Soup

    >

    HAM-BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
    Serves 6

    This recipe is also from my friend Shauna. I made it once and had several requests for the recipe. It is quite simple, and always adaptable to what you have on hand. Use a crock pot to make ahead.

    1 Can Evaporated milk
    3 TB flour (whole grain, preferred)
    2 C. diced cooked ham
    2 C. chopped broccoli (stems and florets)
    1 TB. olive oil
    1/4 - 1/2 C. chopped onion
    4 C. water
    1 C. light cream
    1-2 C. shredded Swiss or Cheddar cheese
    1/2 tsp. thyme
    1/2 tsp. savory
    1/4 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
    salt, pepper, to taste

    Saute the onion in the olive oil until wilted in the bottom of 8 cup or larger stock pot. Stir in the flour. Using a wire whisk over low heat, mix the evaporated milk with the onion/flour mixture. Stir in the water and bring up the heat until the soup base is slightly thickened. Add the ham, broccoli, light cream, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Simmer for up to one hour, depending on how much time you have. When ready to serve, stir in the Cheese until melted, and adjust the seasonings to taste.

     

    For more information about this recipe and the products, please contact me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323\0

    Onion Rolls


    ONION ROLLS
    (This is a good recipe to prepare in your bread machine or triple for large mixers)

     

    1/2 Cup milk
    2 TB sugar or honey
    3 TB oil or butter
    1-1/2 C. warm water (105° - 115°F)
    1-1/2 TB Saf Yeast
    3 TB minced onion (use the dehydrated minced onion)
    5 to 6 C. freshly milled whole wheat flour
    Corn Meal

    Roll Glaze:
    1 Egg white, slightly beaten
    1 TB cold water

     

     

    Scald milk; stir in sugar or honey, salt, and butter. Cool to lukewarm. Measure warm water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture, onion and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

    Punch dough down, divide into 14 equal pieces. Shape pieces of dough into round balls. OPlace about 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets, sprinkled with corn meal. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Slit tops of rolls with sharp knife or razor in criss-cross fashion.

    Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Brush rolls with combined egg white and cold water. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until done. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks. Yield 14 rolls

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



    Onion Rolls
    (This is a good recipe to prepare in your bread machine or triple for large mixers)

     

     

    1/2 Cup milk
    2 TB sugar or honey
    3 TB oil or butter
    1-1/2 C. warm water (105° - 115°F)
    1-1/2 TB Saf Yeast
    3 TB minced onion (use the dehydrated minced onion)
    5 to 6 C. whole wheat flour
    Corn Meal

    Roll Glaze:
    1 Egg white, slightly beaten
    1 TB cold water

     

     

    Scald milk; stir in sugar or honey, salt, and butter. Cool to lukewarm. Measure warm water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture, onion and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

    Punch dough down, divide into 14 equal pieces. Shape pieces of dough into round balls. OPlace about 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets, sprinkled with corn meal. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Slit tops of rolls with sharp knife or razor in criss-cross fashion.

    Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Brush rolls with combined egg white and cold water. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until done. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks. Yield 14 rolls

    For more recipes, tips, and information, contact marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call 1-800-552-7323

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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