I debated which recipe to write about today as I have two wonderful recipes for using up leftover turkey or chicken. Since we weren’t home for Thanksgiving we had turkey for our Christmas meal just so we could have leftovers! One of the recipes I love is Turkey Curry, which indeed we had last night. However I didn’t take a single picture so I’ll have to share that recipe another time. I made a delicious turkey stock with the last bits of the turkey and the recipe I am going to share was one given to me several years ago. Hopefully they won’t mind my sharing with you! It’s the best Turkey/Chicken Soup recipe I’ve ever had!
3 Tbsp butter
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced (baby bella if possible)- optional
2 cups turkey broth
1 ½ cups diced cooked turkey/chicken meat
3 Tbsp flour
¼ cups cold water
1 Tbsp tarragon leaves
1 tsp basil
½ tsp rosemary
½ tsp thyme
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp celery salt
1 ½ cups light cream
In a soup pot, melt butter; sauté the next four ingredients.
Add broth and turkey/chicken; simmer for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix flour and water; add to soup and stir until thickened. Season with the spices. Continue to simmer over low heat, adding 1 ½ cups light cream.
Last week I talked about using vinegar in the household for cleaning and laundry. Did you know that you can also use vinegar in your gardening and for your health? Here are some more tips for ways to use vinegar:
1. Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them. This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.
2. Give acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and gardenias a little help by watering them with a white distilled vinegar solution now and again. A cup of white distilled vinegar to a gallon of tap water is a good mixture.
3. Stop ants from congregating by pouring white distilled vinegar on the area.
4. Discourage cats from getting into the kids’ sandbox with white distilled vinegar.
5. Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar to a quart of water in a vase.
6. Get rid of the water line in a flower vase by filling it with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar, or by soaking a paper towel in white distilled vinegar and stuffing it into the vase so that it is in contact with the water line.
7. Clean out stains and white mineral crusts in clay, glazed and plastic pots by soaking them for an hour or longer in a sink filled with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar.
8. Remove crusty rim deposits on house planters or attached saucers by soaking them for several hours in an inch of full-strength white distilled vinegar.
9. Clean a birdbath by scrubbing it often with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse well.
10. Get rid of rust on spigots, tools, screws or bolts by soaking the items overnight or for several days in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
11. Avoid skin problems after working in the garden by rinsing your hands in white distilled vinegar.
12. Increase the acidity of soil by adding white distilled vinegar to your watering can.
13. Eliminate anthills by pouring in white distilled vinegar.
14. Sanitize outdoor furniture and picnic tables with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar.
15. Kill slugs by spraying them with a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part white distilled vinegar.
16. Remove berry stains on your hands by rubbing them with white distilled vinegar.
17. Clean plastic patio furniture with a solution of 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar to 1 gallon of water.
18. Wash fresh vegetables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 1 ½ quarts of water.
19. When cleaning an outdoor fountain, soak the pump in white distilled vinegar to remove any mineral deposits.
20. Clean a hummingbird feeder with white distilled vinegar—soap or detergent can leave behind harmful residue.
White distilled vinegar is something good for you on the inside and the outside. The next time you’re not feeling well, consider taking a break from expensive over-the-counter products and try a home remedy that is made with vinegar.
Stave off high blood sugar and other Alzheimer’s risk factors with a daily dose of vinegar. According to researchers, there is evidence that vinegar sinks risk factors that may lead to memory decline and dementia — namely, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, diabetes and pre-diabetes, and weight gain. While vinegar does not confront Alzheimer’s directly, studies at Arizona State University have found that vinegar can curb appetite and food intake, helping prevent weight gain and obesity. Swedish investigators agree. In one study, downing two or three tablespoons of vinegar with white bread cut expected rises in insulin and blood sugar by about 25 percent. Pour on the vinegar — add it to salad dressings, eat it by the spoonful, even mix it into a glass of drinking water. Any type of vinegar works because it’s the acidity that counts.
–Source: AOL Health and “100 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S AND AGE-RELATED MEMORY LOSS” by Jean Carper. Copyright © 2010
1. Stop insect stings and bites from itching by dabbing them with a cotton ball saturated with undiluted white distilled vinegar.
2. Soothe sunburn with a spray of white distilled vinegar, repeating as often as you like. Ice-cold white distilled vinegar will feel even better, and may prevent blistering and peeling.
3. For cuts and scrapes, use white distilled vinegar as an antiseptic.
4. Get rid of foot odor by washing feet well with antiseptic soap daily, then soaking them in undiluted cider vinegar for 10 minutes or so. Remember that cotton socks aid odor control more effectively than wool ones.
5. Clean a hairbrush by soaking in a white distilled vinegar solution.
6. Tone facial skin with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water.
7. If commercial aftershaves cause rashes and itching, try using undiluted white distilled vinegar as an aftershave lotion.
8. Lighten body freckles (not facial freckles) by rubbing on full-strength white distilled vinegar.
9. Eliminate bad breath and whiten your teeth by brushing them once or twice a week with white distilled vinegar.
10. Make nail polish last longer. Wipe fingernails with cotton balls dipped in white distilled vinegar before putting on nail polish.
Hopefully all these tips will help you to understand why vinegar is such an important item to have in your pantry.
Late December is not a time to be working in the garden in Vermont but it is a time to be planning next years garden. One of my favorite occupations in the winter is to sit by the woodstove and read through the new garden catalogs! Some of them have the best copywriters and can convince me to try many new varieties of vegetables.
I usually order the majority of my seeds through the Fedco catalog. Not only do they have excellent prices but also since I order through our local coop I get an additional discount. You really can’t beat it! Fedco is not a fancy catalog, it is printed on what feels like newsprint, and is back and white, so no beautiful glossy photos to look at. They do have very good descriptions of their seeds and clearly explain whether or not a seed packet is heirloom or organic.
Usually I have another catalog that does have the beautiful pictures to look up products if I’m not sure I want to order them or not. My other favorite catalog is Johnny’s Seeds, which is based in Maine.
I start most of my vegetable plants from seed and by the end of February I usually have quite a little garden going in our kitchen. In addition to a couple of grow lights I have lots of windows in the kitchen so I can give my plants a good start.
For now I just have to decide what I want to plant this year in addition to the regular vegetables! Starting your own seeds is a worthwhile investment. You have a much better selection of plants to choose from and you can also grown some wonderful heirloom plants that are hard to find in the local nurseries!
Do you plan to have a vegetable garden this year? If so, will you be starting your own seeds or picking up plants at the local garden center?
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend. I feel like I’m still on vacation, after all our boys are home from college and they are enjoying time off. It also feels like a Monday when it really is Tuesday. It’s a lazy morning here, the boys are still asleep as I write and the dogs are crashed in front of the wood stove.
However for me it’s back to work. With our boys home we go through food much quicker, the bread and milk seem to disappear overnight! I make my own bread and no one prefers store bought so when we’re out of bread it’s time to make more! A friend of mine shared a fabulous no fail bread recipe with me years ago.
I’ve made a few changes but basically haven’t changed it much. I grind my own hard white wheat berries and usually add a little King Arthur bread flour.
I also use my Kitchen Aid to mix the dough.
This morning we were out of bread so before the boys get up I’ve got a batch of bread dough made and rising. Should be ready in time for lunch.
Here is the recipe that was shared with me; I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!
Nancy’s No Knead Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour*
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
¾ cup water
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter
In a large bowl blend 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In saucepan, heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees F). Butter does not need to melt. Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture. Beat 4 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size. It usually takes 45-60 minutes.
Stir down dough. On a floured surface, form dough into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brow. Can brush with melted butter. Serve warm or cool. Makes one large loaf or two smaller loaves. Freezes well.
*I usually double this recipe to make three large loaves. I use 4 cups of freshly ground flour and 4 cups of King Arthur Bread Flour.
I found this recipe on the back of a package of York Peppermint Patties. It is a wonderful recipe! Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!
1 ½ cup butter, melted
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup Hershey’s cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
24 small (1 ½”) peppermint patties, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9x2” baking pan. Whisk together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Reserve 2 cups of the batter. Spread remaining batter in prepared pan.
Arrange peppermint patties in a single layer over the batter, about ½” apart.
Spread reserved 2 cups of batter over the patties.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely and cut into squares. Absolutely delicious!
Vinegar has been around for years and it has thousands of uses! You can use it for anything from cooking to cleaning, to gardening and home remedies; white distilled vinegar is one of the most versatile and economical products you can have on hand. Definitely something you want to stick in your prudent pantry! I am going to give you twenty-five ways to use vinegar in cleaning and laundry.
1. Did you know that you could use vinegar in place of a (much more expensive) rinse aid? Simply pour it in the dispenser just as you would the rinse aid.
2. To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar.
3. Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.
4. Clean counter tops and make them smell sweet again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
5. Clean and deodorize a drain by pouring in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so, then run hot water down the drain.
6. Deodorize the garbage disposal by pouring in 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes then run hot water down the disposal.
7. Deodorize and clean the garbage disposal with white distilled vinegar ice cubes. Make them by freezing full-strength white distilled vinegar in an ice cube tray. Run several cubes down the disposal while flushing with cold water.
8. Clean the microwave by mixing 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened, and odors will disappear. Wipe clean.
9. Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.
10. Cut the grime on the top of the refrigerator with a paper towel or cloth and full-strength white distilled vinegar.
11. Avoid the bad smell when you heat up a newly cleaned oven by using a sponge soaked in diluted white distilled vinegar for the final rinse.
12. Polish brass and copper with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar. Rub it on with a clean cloth until dry and shiny.
13. To clean grease splattered oven door window, saturate it with full-strength white distilled vinegar. Keep the door open for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping with a sponge.
14. Remove soap buildup and odors from the dishwasher by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar inside the empty machine and running it through a whole cycle. Do monthly.
15. Prevent lint from clinging to clothes by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the wash cycle.
16. To remove soap residue that makes black clothes look dull use white distilled vinegar in your final rinse.
17. Get stained white socks and dingy dishcloths white again. Add 1 cup white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil and drop in the articles. Let soak overnight.
18. Some stains on clothing and linens can be soaked out using equal parts milk and white distilled vinegar.
19. Before washing a mustard stain, dab with white distilled vinegar.
20. Attack spaghetti, barbecue, or ketchup stains with a white distilled vinegar and water solution.
21. Remove perspiration odor and stains on clothing, as well as those left by deodorants, by spraying full-strength white distilled vinegar on underarm and collar areas before tossing them into the washing machine.
22. Forgot that you left wet laundry in the machine and it now smells moldy? Pour a few cups of white distilled vinegar in the machine and wash the clothes in hot water. Then run a normal cycle with detergent.
23. Keep the steam iron clean and in good working order by getting rid of mineral deposits in steam vents and spray nozzles. Fill the water chamber with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and distilled water. Set it in an upright position and let it steam for about 5 minutes. When the iron is cool, rinse the tank with water, refill and shake water through the vents onto an old cloth. Test before using.
24. Remove scorch marks from an iron by rubbing it with a warmed-up solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. If that doesn’t work, use a cloth dampened with full-strength white distilled vinegar.
25. Remove musky smells from cotton clothes by sprinkling them lightly with white distilled vinegar and then pressing them.
Stay tuned; next week I will give you some ways to use vinegar in your garden and for your health!