funny turkey shaped food

take a break and check out: Thekitchn.com  Turkey-Shaped Food to Add Some Humor to Your Holiday  it’s great!!


sit down and shop

Even if this is the year that you are anti-shopping there’s probably still a little essential shopping that you have to do. Here are some painless, good websites to help you:

Customized and Personalized gifts: Zazzle.com and https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnneGreenDesign

This website lists over 1,500 stores that will make a donation when you buy from them online- good idea because you’re giving twice: IGive.com

It’s good to buy things made in America, check out: MadeinTheUSA.com and MadeinUSAForever.com

A couple life-saver websites: stain removal guide-Web.Extension.Illinois.edu/stain/index.cfm

Bargain finder: DealNews.com

 

 


take a break

It’s a good thing to give yourself a break from the craziness going on.

Try to stop and listen to Ted.com. There are stories that you’ll learn something from, inspire you and some will amaze you…it is time well spent.


messy, juicy and delicious

Pomegranates cheered me up today…I’m cold and still trying to get over that summer has ended, so I wasn’t real happy until I found pomegranates at the store! I always forget about them because they’re a fall fruit like apples, but as soon as I saw them I got happy. They’re a beautiful color, they’re really good for you, you can do lots of things with them and the entertainment value is great because you can really make a mess with them…it cheered me right up! Check this out from thekitchn.com

Pomegranates, the Jewels of Winter

INGREDIENT INTELLIGENCE

After the bounty of summer berries and stone fruits, it may seem that fall and winter are relegated to only apples, pears, and citrus, but don’t forget pomegranates! The hidden little sweet-tart jewels inside pomegranates can brighten up any rainy or wintry day.

The History of Pomegranates
Pomegranates are one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits. Native to Iran and India, archaeological findings show that they were grown and harvested by the Persians as far back as 2,000 BC. Today pomegranates continue to feature heavily in Middle Eastern cuisine and are grown in Asia, Mediterranean countries, and California.

Long used as a symbol of fertility, many scholars have often argued that Eve picked a pomegranate, not an apple, in the Garden of Eden.

Buying and Storing Pomegranates
The three most common pomegranate varieties in the US are the Wonderful, Red Wonderful, and Early Foothill. Their season runs from late September to January.

When buying pomegranates, select fruits that are heavy for their size and have slightly browned skins. Pomegranates are one of the few fresh fruits you want to buy that don’t look good on the outside. If the leathery rind is clean, smooth, and bright red, chances are the arils (that’s what the ruby-red pulp around the seeds are called) aren’t sweet enough. The uglier the fruit looks on the outside, the better the chance that the inside is bursting with sweet arils.

Pomegranates can be kept at cool room temperature out of direct sunlight for up to two weeks. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Preparing Pomegranates
It’s no surprise that pomegranates are sometimes called nature’s most labor-intensive fruit, as the thick leathery skin and membrane protects its contents very well. Some would say almost too well!

Here’s our favorite method to remove pomegranate seeds: To remove the arils, slice off the top to expose the arils, then cut the fruit in sections. Place the sections in a bowl of water and nudge out the arils — the bitter white membranes surrounding them will then float to the top. Discard the membranes, strain out the water, and voila! You now have a bowlful of juicy arils to eat or to blend and strain into juice. One pomegranate yields about 3/4 cup seeds or 1/2 cup of juice.

Using Pomegranate Seeds and Juice
Most people think they’re supposed to suck on the arils and spit out the seeds, but the seeds are actually edible and make a refreshing snack. Pomegranate seeds are also used as garnishes to soups or salads to add sweet-tart fresh flavor. Pomegranates pair well with meats like duck because they provide a deep, sweet contrast with rich meat.

Pomegranate juice is highly valued since it contains a a lot of potassium and vitamin C. Pomegranate molasses, a popular condiment, is made by boiling pomegranate juice down into a thick, sticky syrup. And did you know that real grenadine, a popular cocktail syrup, is made from pomegranate juice?


foodies

You might want to follow these food bloggers for some good ideas:

  • Just a Taste

  • Happy Strong Home

  • Big Girls Small Kitchen

  • Sodium Girl

  • Peanut Butter Fingers


perk up your place

It’s getting colder and you might be spending more time inside than outside…so this could also be a good time to perk up your place!

Check out www.apartmenttherapy.com  for lots of good, easy and affordable DIY ideas to update things you already have, you’ll be inspired…


seriously, waxed paper

If you have a problem it’s possible that waxed paper is your answer! Who knew?

  • Rub a sheet on the teeth of a zipper to discourage snags.
  • Roll it up and insert in the neck of a bottle, and use as an impromptu funnel. The wax keeps the paper stiff.
  • Rub it on bathroom and kitchen faucets to both buff the metal, and make them more resistant to future water spots.
  • Layer the tops of kitchen cabinets and the top of the fridge with waxed paper, and replace it every so often instead of dusting that hard-to-dust spot.
  • If you have a door that stubbornly sticks, rub the edges to keep it from jamming as much.
  • Keep wooden salad bowls and cutting boards in good shape by giving them an extra layer of wax protection.
  • Protect the fridge from spills by covering the shelves. It makes it much easier to clean.
  • Lost your wine cork after opening a bottle? Make an plug out of a wad of paper, and stick it right in there.
  • Cover bowls and plates when you use the microwave to prevent splatter, better than plastic wrap.
  • If your shower curtain has trouble moving over its rods without squeaking or catching, a light rub with wax paper will help it move smoother.
  • Use it as drawer liner in your dresser.
  • Before you close up paint cans, add a sheet over the top of the paint to keep skin from forming.
  • Swipe non-stick appliances , to give it a little more non-stickiness.
  • Wrap up paint brushes to keep them from drying out in between coats.
  • If you have drafty windows in winter, use it to plug up holes. The wax wards off precipitation, it’s pretty waterproof.
  • Wrap up any delicate fabrics when you store them. The wax keeps out light and keeps colors from fading or turning yellow.
  • If you are out of kindling, wax paper makes a good fire starter.

good hostess gifts

If you’re invited to a Fall celebrations or pop up party and want to bring a small gift here are some really good small gifts almost anyone would like and things people never buy for themselves…

  •  Bottle Stoppers- buy sets or individual fun and pretty bottle stoppers in all shapes, sizes, colors and design
  • Cheese Board- you can find cheese boards from really simple to really amazing and if you want to make it a special gift take a chunk or two of cheese along with the board
  • The MoMA store offers an All-in-One Kitchen Tool Set– a great, reasonable gift for anyone with a small kitchen, this colorful set includes everything from an egg masher to a citrus juicer, and it takes up barely any cabinet space
  • Cake Stand- Like the cheese  board you can find simple cake stands and amazing cake stands. You can even flip over some cake stands and you have a crackers and dip serving plate, or it can stand as a holder for olive oils and seasonings by the stove or as a place to display specialty liqueurs and bitters on a bar
  • Short Stack Editions- single-ingredient cookbooks from Short Stack Editions are a very good gift, you can choose your favorite ones a la carte. If you want a fabulous gift the whole set is a generous gift
  • Cloth Napkins- Pretty or colorful cloth napkins are always a good gift for friends who love to entertain
  • Artisan Chocolate Bars- It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate or any special and beautifully presented candy
  • Origami Wine Tote- another great find from MoMA Store. Of course you’ll score bonus points if you bring along a bottle of your favorite vintage to go with this wine tote
  • A Pitcher– And for the person who has everything? A simple and elegant pitcher or a colorful or whimsical pitcher. The housewarming brunch mimosas will taste better when being poured from one of these, or use it as a planter, vase or candle holder!

try some dehydrating

 You’ve probably never thought about dehydrating…try it, look up the details on TheKitchn.com

• How To Dry Fruit Without a Dehydrator: When she found herself with a surplus of sour cherries, Emma dried them slowly in her oven and made a big batch of chewy fruit to snack on and bake with for several months.

• How To Make Oven-Dried Apple Chips: Thinly-sliced apple slices take two hours or less to transform into crisp, sweet chips free of the additives you often find in store-bought chips.

• Dried Citrus Slices: An Easy Way to Flavor Water and Tea: Thinly-sliced rounds of oranges, lemons or other citrus can be dried in a low oven and used to flavor water, tea or other beverages. And they’re pretty too!

• Preserving the Season: Make Oven-Roasted Tomatoes: Slow roasting tomatoes in a low-temperature oven for a few hours gives you flavorful tomatoes you can freeze and use throughout the year.

• Snack Recipe: Persimmon Fruit Leather: Dana makes this special autumn snack in her toaster oven, but you could make it in a full-size oven as well.

 


worth the $$

You should always spend money on these 8 items…without feeling guilty

1. Fresh Produce
During the summer, filling my kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables is effortless it gets more expensive now, but it’s money well spent. Fresh fruit and vegetables will help you stay healthy and getting sick can be pretty expensive. One method to maintain diversity without spending too much at once is to buy two different fruits and two different veggies, and eat them until they’re gone.

2. Hormone- and Antibiotic-Free Meats
Spend a little more and don’t buy meat fed antibiotics and hormone. While local and grass-fed are always best, if that’s not an option, try to make a priority to buy organic meats.

3. Hearty Breads
Most “wheat” breads are barely better than white breads in terms of nutritional value. Scan the label and look for at minimum 3 grams of dietary fiber per slice. Even better buy heartier, grain-rich artisan breads from the bakery section of the grocery store. For just a little bit more your sandwiches, sides, and snacks feel just a little fancier and are so much better for you.

4. Quality Dressings
If you’re not going to make your own salad dressings, it’s worth it to invest in higher quality salad dressings. Cheap salad dressings are filled with ingredients that you’re better off avoiding, including partially hydrogenated oils, older oils that may be rancid, high fructose corn syrup, too much sugar, too much salt, and MSG, to name a few. Again, check the nutrition label: buy the options that have the fewest unrecognizable ingredients. Try making your own it’s so easy.

5. Yogurt
Good yogurt is worth investing it, particularly if you like Greek yogurt. More expensive yogurts are usually made with fewer and better ingredients and feature less sugar than cheaper brands.

6. Chocolate
Cheap chocolate is sad and often full of additives. Splurging on quality dark chocolates is a treat and replaces cheaper desserts, such as packaged baked goods and other empty carbs.

7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a little expensive, but it’s one of the healthier fats. You can use it for sautéing anything, spreading it on your toast instead of butter, dropping a spoonful into your breakfast smoothie to keep you full for longer, and more.

8. Raw Honey
Honey is an antimicrobial and antibacterial food, use it as one of your best sweetener options. Be careful, most honey in stores has been pasteurized, which eliminates most of honey’s virtues and renders it little more than syrupy sugar. Raw honey, while a bit pricier, comes with good benefits and is a great natural sweetener in recipes and drinks.