Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What to do with all of that TURKEY? Turkey & Dumplings

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We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast at my house complete with lots of family, delicious food, and the best thing we had? - Lots of baby holding!  We have several new baby blessings in my husband's family and thankfully we all got many turns at loving and snuggling the newest additions to our family.

But now... Thanksgiving is over.  I still have too many freshly washed, empty casserole dishes and pie plates to return and no energy left to deliver them after I get home. The tables and chairs have been folded and put away.  I have washed and stored the table cloths and fall decor.  What else do I have left?  Lots of leftover TURKEY!!

I vowed this year to use up that precious turkey so last night was meal #1 of turkey leftovers.  So far, I made broth with the bones and was able to freeze several servings of turkey for later, saving some turkey for the dumplings and enough to make turkey salad (like chicken salad) for a few lunches this week.

My husband carved and deboned our smoked turkey on Thanksgiving and placed the carcass directly in a bag in the the freezer for "later".  Later was yesterday!  

I dumped the carcass in my crockpot and covered it with water before leaving for work yesterday morning, replaced with the lid and turned turned the knob to LOW - knowing it would make a deep and rich broth from which I could make many wonderful meals.  That took a total of about one minute.

Last night when I got home from work, I made a hearty pot of turkey and dumplings.  It was delicious!  Here's how I made Turkey & Dumplings - Remaking Leftovers Into Something Wonderful - AT HOME MY WAY:

Turkey & Dumplings 

  • 4-6 cups - Turkey Broth 
  • Leftover turkey chunks
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lard, margarine, butter
  • 2/3 cups + 2 Tablespoons milk
Instructions for Dumplings:

Mix all dry ingredients, cut in the margarine/butter/lard, using a fork until all crumbly and well mixed.  Add milk and stir with a large spoon.  Using hands, knead a little and form into a disk.

Cut in half and roll each half on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin - to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into 3" x 3" squares.  Use as many as you wish. Unused, uncooked dumplings can be frozen on a cookie sheet and bagged for the freezer for another meal.

Turkey & Dumpling Instructions:

Bring broth to boil in a pot on the stove.  Drop in the dumplings and simmer. Stir only  once or twice.  Try not to stir much.  After about 15 minutes, drop in the chunks of turkey.  Stir to incorporate. Slow simmer for about 15 minutes.  

To thicken, mix:
  • 1/2 cup COLD water
  • 4 Tablespoon flour
Mix until completely smooth in a small cup and then pour into the boiling pot of meat/dumplings.  Stir.  Simmer 10 minutes or so , stirring occasionally, until thick.

*Also pictured, Seasoned Green Beans.


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip - Oat Muffins

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Breakfast-breakfast; what to have for breakfast?  This morning as I lay in bed, my tummy was already growling - hungry before I even stepped a foot out of bed.  Not a good sign LOL.

My best plan of action is always muffins.  They mix up fast and I like them well enough that I don't miss the super size chocolate frosted and vanilla cream filled long john donut that I'm really craving (shhh...)!

Back to the muffins... I LOVE pumpkin everything.  I especially love pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and bread.  I tweaked my normal pumpkin chocolate chip muffin this morning and liked it so much that I wanted to share it with you.  I subbed out 1/2 cup of the flour in the recipe for oats  so that I would get a heartier muffin.  I prefer muffins that taste like a muffin and not like a cupcake, ya know??  These muffins have the perfect texture now.  Perfect!

Anyway, these muffins are DEEEEE...LICIOUS!  They are lightly spicy and have all the delicious tastes of fall that we are all craving right now.  

Here's how I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins AT HOME MY WAY:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
Oat Muffins

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (I omitted because I didn't have any)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (or regular oats)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs (well blended)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (1/2 of 15 oz can of pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350 °.

Mix all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients, including pumpkin.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Add chocolate chips and stir to fully incorporate.

Spoon batter into paper lined or sprayed muffin cups/tin.  I fill mine almost completely full.  

Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until lightly browning.

Note:  These freeze well for later!  Great for packing in lunches.  Or take some out of the freezer the night before if you need a few for breakfast!

They would also be great for potlucks!


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crochet Pattern - Pumpkin Hat for Baby

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Remember the Strong Man Quilt I made for my niece?  Well, I was right.  Her baby is a strong little man!  

This strong little baby decided to make his grand entrance into the world six weeks early!  And my niece's labor was only like 2 and a half hours long or something like that!  WOW!  I couldn't believe it.  

The baby arrived at a wopping 3lb 8 ounces and 17 inches long.  Tiny but healthy! The little booger is strong as an ox!  He only needed oxygen and a feeding tube for a few days.  He also got sent home from the hospital when he was only 4lb 1 ounce.  The hospital said they usually keep babies until they are 5 pounds, but this little baby needed nothing from them so they sent him home.  

The only thing this little guy really needed  at home was that he had to wear hats to keep his body warm.  My niece commented one day that she only had one hat and that she needed to wash it.  I told her "You needed only to tell me that!  Aunt Gigi and her crochet hook to the rescue!"  

Overnight I was able to crochet for him four little hats of various patterns. 

 I made one like a football (Just a simple double crochet beanie changing colors for the white stripes at the top and bottom of the beanie like the, similar to the one I made for my other great nephew when he was a baby.  It's here:

I also made the new baby a simple, soft mint green one and a solid gray one.  I think the BEST one I made was the pumpkin hat!  And they all fit his tiny head perfectly.

I didn't have a pattern on hand for a pumpkin hat, but Pinterest to the rescue as usual!  I made this hat over my lunch hour and on the ride home from work, with yarn that I already had on hand.  It was so easy and quick to make.  So easy, in fact, that I made another one for another great nephew a few days later (just increasing my stitches to make a bigger hat).  

Anyway,  here is the pattern for the pumpkin hat.  It's on Ravelry.  And the author of the pattern encourages you to make these and donate them - like to a hospital charity.  I'm sure she does not authorize sale of these hats using her pattern as she stresses donation in her message.  I love crocheting baby hats so much that I'm definitely going to check out donating them to the NICU units of our local hospitals!  

Here's the link to the pattern!  So easy even though I only have a limited knowledge of crochet - I regularly use google and You Tube for help with my work.  If I can do it, you can do it!

(You have to register with Ravelry but registering is free and you will find so many wonderful patterns there.)



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