Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Still Have Leftover Turkey?

I Dare You to Eat ItI used a recipe I adapted from Liesa Card's book, to finish off the rest of the edible turkey bits.  Her recipe is Hot Chicken and Wheat Casserole.  I subbed turkey for the chicken.
Hot Chicken & Wheat Casserole
Fresh Ingredients:
1/2 c butter
1 c. celery, diced
1 c. onion, diced
1 c. green pepper, diced
2 Tbl. butter
Storage Ingredients:
6  c. cooked wheat berries
2 cans (12.5 oz.) chicken chunks
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1 can sliced water chestnuts (6 oz)
1 c. bread crumbs

Saute the diced veggies in 1/2 cup butter until partially cooked and bright.  Add wheat berries, chicken chunks, soup, mayo and drained H20 chestnuts.  Stir to combine.  Pour mixture into an oiled 9 x 13 pan and sprinkle the top with browned bread crumbs.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes.

She says it is better prepared a day ahead of time.  I skipped the water chestnuts. I browned the bread crumbs in a pan with butter after I did the veggies. 

Verdict: DH said, "Yeah it wasn't bad. I'd eat it again." 
I liked it, personally.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 33

It's Granola Monday!  I opened a #10 can of 6-grain mix and doubled the granola recipe.  I've decided I like the all maple syrup flavor best, so I buy the Kirkland bottled pure maple syrup @ Costco. I also added puffed millet and puffed wheat at the end of the cooking.  I've found that the puffed cereals get hard if you mix them in at the beginning and let them bake.  I mix the puffed cereals and dried fruits (raisins, cranberries and pineapple) in during the last ten minutes of cooking.  I add in flax seed and coconut with the six-grain mix.  It makes quite a tasty cereal and for a fraction of the cost of store bought granola. Plus I know exactly what has gone in it!

I also pulled a can of long spaghetti from the the shelves.  It's as old as my daughter! I think I will try to make spaghetti pie.  It's a comfort food and I'll be able to see if the pasta is eatable.

And I am also making whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread.  Just the usual recipe, but I added cinnamon sugar and raisins to it when I shaped the loaf.  Another experiment...while listening to Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, on my MP3 player.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chicken Sumi Salad with a Twist

I have turkey leftovers so that's the twist.  Here's a simple, tasty recipe with probably most of the ingredients already in your fridge or pantry.
Chicken Sumi Salad 
1 (3 oz.) package of chicken flavored Top Ramen    
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 cups chicken, cooked, chilled & shredded
1/2 cup oil
1 flavor packet from the ramen
2 TBl vinegar
2 TBl sugar
Remove flavor packet from ramen and reserve for the dressing.  Crush ramen noodles into 1/2 inch pieces.  Set aside.  Toss together cabbage, onions, almonds, sesame seeds and chicken.  Add noodles and toss again. Just before serving, add dressing and toss again.
Dressing:Blend flavor packet, oil, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Before using, beat with a whisk to blend well.
Cook's Notes:I also add dried cranberries to the salad. I buy bulk cranberries and almonds when they go on sale.  I store them in the freezer until I use them in my granola recipe or any other recipe I like.  I used dried white onions, instead of green.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Stock for Soup

I think I will be following this recipe and then canning turkey soup.

Making Stock

1 Remove all the usable turkey meat from the turkey carcass to save for making sandwiches later or for adding to the soup.

2 Break up the leftover bones of the carcass a bit, so they don't take up as much room in the pot. Put the leftover bones and skin into a large stock pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add any drippings that weren't used to make gravy, and any giblets (except liver) that haven't been used already. Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, celery tops, and some peppercorns.

3 Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to a bare simmer or just below a simmer. ( If you would like to have a clear stock, do not bring the stock to a boil, but keep the stock below a simmer, as the more you simmer, the more cloudy the stock will be.) Skim off any foamy crud that may float to the surface of the stock.

4 Add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper. It sort of depends on how big your turkey is. You can always add salt to the soup later.

5 Cook for at least 4 hours, uncovered or partially uncovered (so the stock reduces), occassionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. To help maintain a steady, even heat, you can cook the stock in a 180-200°F oven.

6 Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock, ideally through a very fine mesh strainer.

7 If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by cooking it longer, uncovered, at a bare simmer or just below a simmer, to make it more concentrated and easier to store.

Making the Turkey Soup

Prepare the turkey soup much as you would a chicken soup. With your stock already made, add chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts. Add some parsley, a couple cloves of garlic. Add seasoning - poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram and/or a bouillion cube. Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. (Or you can sauté the vegetables in a little fat rendered from the soup first, and add back to the soup right before serving.) You can add rice, noodles*, or even leftover mashed potatoes (or not if you want the low carb version). Take some of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier, shred it into bite sized pieces and add to the soup. You may also want to add some chopped tomatoes, either fresh or canned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes a dash or two of Tabasco gives the soup a nice little kick.

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm grateful for this fabulous country that we live in.  I'm so thankful for wonderful family and friends and the ability to worship freely as I see fit.  I am in awe of the bounteous blessings I have each day in my life.  I have a roof over my head, food on my table and a comfortable bed to sleep in each night.  Thanks for letting me  share my journey with you and hope you are learning a little bit along with me.  Thanks for the support and encouragement you give me along the way.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I finished reading this book while on our recent vacation.  It made me think I don't have enough toilet paper and bullets.  Mind you. DH and I have been preparing for years because we have been asked to and because it makes sense.  In this story, the premise is about an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) bomb that is detonated over the U.S.  It wipes out any electronics from a can opener to cars to ATM's.  If it happened a hour from now, how would you and your family fare?  Would you be able to cook? Heat your home? Do you have cash on hand?  Could you shot someone breaking into your home because they know you have food and they want all you have?

I feel we are better prepared than probably 95% of people around us.  We have food and water stored. Most of our house runs on solar panels.  We have a garden and fruit trees. We've taken CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team) classes and have an understanding of what we face when 'the big one' hits So Cal.  Those classes were taught by a fire captain who told us we would be on our own for at least a week.  The fire trucks will be out making sure neighborhoods aren't burning, but they will NOT be stopping to help citizens.  The same with police and any other emergency responders.  It will be up to our families to take care of ourselves.

In an earlier post, I showed some items in my emergency car kit.  One thing to have in your cars ladies, are a pair a broken-in shoes and socks.  If you have to hoof it home from work, church, etc. your Jimmy Choo's ain't going to make it.

This book is worth the read.  Even though it is a fictionalized account, the technology is real and viable.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Week 32

Yes, I know it's more than week 32, but I couldn't do much from Peru!  I'm back.  What a trip.  Here's a couple of pics.  More later...

The Amazon River

A view through the Machu Picchu Ruins

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hola from Cusco, Peru

We spent a couple of days in the Amazon. Everything was incredible including the humidity.  More on that later.  We´re in Cusco and are taking the train to Machu Picchu in the morning. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Green Sauce Canning Recipe

This recipe is taken directly from Cyn @ http://creativecanning.blogspot.com/2010/11/green-sauce.html

Green Sauce
5 lbs tomatillos washed and cut into small hunks
2 lbs anaheim chili's roasted and prepared or 1 lg can roasted green chili
6 jalapenos chopped
3 large onions chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice or to taste
2 cups water
8 cloves garlic chopped
1 TBS Lawry's seasoned salt, or to taste
2 TBS Cumin or to taste

Bring all to a boil and boil covered on low for about 20 minutes. I then took my stick mixer (immersion blender) and blended all.

Pour into jars, wipe rims and I pressured this at 11 lbs for 25 minutes.

This sauce may have to have some thickening before using. I will be using it as a sauce for enchiladas and as a soup base. I really like the color and the flavor. You can add tomatoes if you want as well. If you like spicier add more jalapenos or a pinch of cayenne powder. I have made this using lime juice insted of lemon and really liked it as well. The tomatillos keep this sauce mild.

Week 31

 This is going to be a short week.  We are leaving for Peru on Thursday.  I don't know if I'll have time for any updates on the road, but maybe.  I am reading a couple of books at the moment that you might find interesting. Both books are small paperbacks that include fs strategies and recipes. 

Liesa's site:

Crystal's site:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thanks, Whitney

Here's a shout out to my friend Whitney for taking pity upon me and my bread making plight.  For those that don't know or remember, I made one loaf that was edible and that was it.  Whitney invited me over for a lesson in making a decent loaf of bread (and being able to repeat the process).  The recipe we used is actually from Crystal Godfrey's site. Crystal has a terrific site with all kinds of food storage recipes and how to videos.  We baked one loaf and I brought the second loaf home to raise overnight in the fridge.  They both
turned out wonderfully.  Let's see if I can repeat the results on my own.  I also wanted to mention that my DH dragged out some sugar that had been sitting in our garage and asked me to use it.  What's the big deal you say?  It was packed in a bucket in 1975.  I will admit I was skeptical about using it. I mean it's older than my kid!  It was in a sealed bag in a plastic bucket that had also been sealed with some sort of tape.  I had imagined it would be rock hard, but it wasn't terribly solid. I tasted it and funny, it tasted just like sugar.  Imagine that.  I did use it today in some of the pomegranate jelly I'm making for DH's work.  Will I never see the end of the poms?  I didn't tell you did I about all the pints I made yesterday that did not set up?  Yep, 4 dozen pints are going to have to be redone as it is pom syrup not jelly.  The ones I did today, I added extra pectin to, so hopefully they will set up firmly.  I'm trying to get all this done before we leave on our trip next week.  I feel like I have no time left...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Yesterday was a loooong day.  We were at the polling place at 5:40 am.  We met with all the other poll workers and finished the set up process that DH and I did the night before. We had everything ready to open the polls @ 7 am.  It was a busy day and since I served as the inspector, I was in charge of the provisional ballots.  Normally you would have to cast 3 or so, but for some reason a lot of voters did not receive their vote-by-mail ballots.  I had to process over 30 voters with provisional ballots.  It kept me busy.  Since I was the last word on helping voters I  was on my feet most of the day.  We closed the polls at 8 pm and finished the repacking and tallying about 9 ish.  From there it was off to drop the ballots and materials back to the drop off location at our local police station.  We finally made it home about 9:45 last night. Maybe that is why I am dragging today!  That and the fact that Cali is full of idiots that voted for Moonbeam Jerry, again.  It wasn't bad enough the first time... Maybe if we vote to have Orange County secede from the rest of the state....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Week 30

Can you believe I'm still juicing the pomegranates?  I am soooo over pomegranates.  I'm not even going to juice them all!  Anybody want the rest?  This is going to be another busy week.  DH and I are going to set up a polling place tonight.  I am working as a polling place inspector tomorrow.  We have to be there at 6 am and work all day until polls close at 8 pm.  I have to break everything down, tally equip., etc. and drop off the ballots @ 9-9:30pm.  That will be a long day.  We are anticipating a heavy turn out.  If you don't vote, you have no right to complain, so GO VOTE!!!  (I'm stepping down from the soapbox now...)