Turkey Noodle Soup

Hmmmm….what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers?  For practically pennies you can whip up this delicious soup using what’s left of your turkey.  Turkey Noodle Soup 1Ingredients:

  • leftover turkey carcass (take most of the skin off, but leave any meat that remains on the bone)
  • 4 large carrots, washed and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, washed and sliced
  • 5-6 cups of water, divided
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. rotini (aka. corkscrew) noodles

Turkey Noodle Soup 2Begin by placing your carcass in a large pot and adding about 3 cups of water.  Simmer on low for 30 minutes.  Remove carcass from the pot and allow the liquid to remain.  Once the carcass is cool enough to handle, pick away any and ALL worthy scraps of meat.  Leave no meat left behind. Place all of the meat in the pot with the liquid. PS:  This entire step can be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days before continuing with the rest of the step.

Add the remaining water along with the broth, carrots, celery, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then reduce to a simmer.  While this is simmering, cook rotini according to the directions on the box.  Add cooked noodles to the soup.  Allow pot to simmer for 10-15 more minutes.  Serve with bread if desired.  Happy soup season!

 

Monster Munch

This tasty treat is yummy enough to share at a party, yet simple enough to make for an after-school treat for the kiddos.Monster Munch done

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 cups popped popcorn (I used the salted microwave variety)
  • 2 lbs white candy coating
  • 1 cup pretzel sticks, broken in halves or thirds
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms
  • festive sprinklesMonster Munch 1**You could also add/substitute Rice Chex, marshmallows, peanuts, chocolate chips, etc.

How-to:

Melt white chocolate candy coating in a large microwave-safe bowl.  Mix in popcorn and pretzels until coated.  Mix in the M&Ms.  I wait until the end to add these so the heat from the white chocolate doesn’t melt the color off of the candies.Monster Munch 2

Spread the mixture out on waxed paper and shake sprinkles on top.  Cool completely, then break into pieces.Monster Munch 3 Enjoy!

 

 

Frankenstein Pudding Cups

Another school-sponsored Fall Festival has passed and we were in charge of the bake sale again.  This adorable treat was NOT created by us, but by a 5th grade buddy and her mom.Frankenstein Cups 3They simply (and quite artistically) drew adorable monster faces on small, clear plastic cocktail cups with a Sharpie.Frankenstein Cups 1

Then, added green food coloring to a batch of vanilla pudding and spooned it into the cups.  What is Frankenstein’s coif made of? Why, Oreo cookie crumbles of course!

Thanks Lisa and Reagan, these little babies were monstrously delicious!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiked Apple Cider

Everyone loves a warm drink during the chilly days of fall, and this one is a delicious twist on traditional apple cider.  Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 cup apple brandy or Apple Jack
  • a few cinnamon sticks
  • a few cloves

Combine all ingredients in a large pot on the stove.  Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat and keep warm. This was a wonderful compliment to the brunch served at the Festive Fall Bridal Shower for Holly’s sister-in-law.  It is great in the slow-cooker, on the stove, or in a thermos for tailgating.  Just be sure the kiddos don’t sneak a drink!

Dusted Apples

Snacking doesn’t get much easier or healthier than this.  A high fiber, vitamin C packed apple has always been thought to “keep the doctor away”.  Add the benefits of cinnamon and you have yourself a wonderful snack.  BONUS?  The cinnamon adds tons of flavor without any added calories.  Dusted Apples 1 Dusted Apples 2Slice apple and sprinkle with 1 tsp of cinnamon – ENJOY!

Baseball Treats

I live in a household full of baseball players.  That means that between birthday parties and end of the season parties, I’ve made quite a few baseball themed treats.  Now, in the midst of baseball playoff season with the World Series quickly approaching I thought some of you might be interested in trying your hand at some of these treats.  Whether you want cupcakes, cookies, or cakes, feast your eyes.

2012 thru 2013 2250

2012 thru 2013 1803

2012 thru 2013 632

Baseball Party cupcakesDSC_0196DSC_0181DSC_0370GetAttachment[1] (2)

THE Pumpkin Crunch

At this time of year, I love to try out anything pumpkin.  This recipe is one of my all time favorites.  There are a lot of variations on this same theme, but whenever make this I am assured that this is the best pumpkin crunch out there.

GetAttachment[1] (4)Ingredients:

  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter

DSC_0390To Make:

Mix pumpkin, sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, salt, and cinnamon together.  Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. DSC_0393Sprinkle cake mix over filling and top with pecans.DSC_0394  Drizzle with melted butter. DSC_0396Bake at 350* for 40 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  It’s delicious by itself or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.DSC_0400

 

Delicious “Ghoul”ash for Dinner

This is nothing more than an 8 year old’s play on words for a standard family favorite.  This is actually “Bobby’s Goulash”, as in – Paula Dean’s son Bobby’s goulash.  While recently dining on this dish one night, Emily commented that is was a great dinner for October because perhaps Ghouls eat goulash.  And there you have it – a blog-ortunity!In addition to hotdogs and junk food, this “Ghoulash” was a hit at our Halloween Block Party this year!  Our thanks to Bobby Dean and his fabulous cooking Mama!

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs ground beef
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cup water
  • 2 – 14oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2- 14 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp season salt (the original recipe calls for Paula Dean’s seasoning, but I like this version just as well)
  • 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 3 bay leaves

Cook ground beef until brown.  Drain fat and then add onion and garlic.  Cook until onions are tender.  Add all of the remaining ingredients (except macaroni) and simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Stir in macaroni and cover, cooking for another 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

This can be kept warm in a slow cooker if serving over a long period of time.

 

E. Claire Dessert – Yum!

Lovingly named after Mary’s first child, you’ll love this dessert. It couldn’t be easier…or more delicious.  Bringing this will make you the hit of any picnic, but don’t count on there being any left to take home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg (5.1 oz) vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 box graham crackers
  • 1 container chocolate frosting

Mix vanilla pudding mix with 3 cups cold milk and let stand until soft-set.  Fold whipped topping into prepared pudding.  Line a 13×9 pan with graham crackers, breaking if needed to fit pan.

Pour ½ of the pudding mixture onto the graham crackers.  Top with another layer of graham crackers.

Pour remaining pudding mixture onto the graham crackers.  Top with a final layer of graham crackers.

 

 

Remove lid and foil liner from frosting container, and heat for 20-30 seconds in the microwave or until it pours easily.  Pour over final graham cracker layer and spread to the edges of the pan.

Refrigerate until set.  We have enjoyed it the same day we assembled it, but prefer to make it a day ahead.

 

Fill your freezer

With the school year budding and extracurricular activities filling our calendars, this is the time of year that we load up our freezers with ready-to-go main courses.  By prepping meat for dinner and bulking up on breakfast items we can ensure healthy, homemade meals in less time.  P.S. Don’t forget to take it out of the freezer the night before you want to eat it.

Turn dinner into “fast food” by using these tips for the freezer:

  • brown ground beef ahead of time for spaghetti or lasagna
  • brown ground beef and add taco seasoning to make taco night a snap
  • before freezing, toss pork chops in a zip-top bag along with any of a variety of marinades
  • marinate a london broil and wrap it up so that it is full of flavor 
  • put boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a zip-top bag with marinade or barbecue sauce before freezing
  • cut a large boneless pork loin into family-sized portions and freeze individually

Impress your kiddos with a “weekend breakfast” on a school day by using these tips:

  • make waffles in bulk and freeze
  • make pancakes in bulk and freeze
  • make muffins in bulk and freeze
  • make quick breads or coffee cakes in bulk and freeze Some families invest in vacuum-sealing systems for their freezer favorites, but we have not found it to be necessary.  With each of us feeding a family of six, it doesn’t take long to cycle through our prepped items, not giving them a chance to suffer any freezer burn.  We utilize zip-top freezer bags, freezer paper, and aluminum foil.

Here’s to getting organized!

Make your freezer even MORE organized with this idea.