How to Dye Easter Eggs

April 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Holidays, How To

Dying Easter eggs is a great activity to share with the kids, just prepare ahead to prevent messes. You don’t have to buy the special egg dye kits in the supermarket, instead use the food colorings that you already have in your kitchen cupboard or try some of these natural methods to dye eggs.

How to Dye Eggs

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs (Photo credit: GraceFamily)

Protect All Surfaces

Cover your table with plastic, then add another layer of newspaper. Wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting dyed and think about wearing gloves if you don’t want multi-colored hands.

 You Need:

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Plastic Table Cloth
  • Newspaper
  • Bowls or Cups
  • Food Coloring or natural coloring materials
  • Vinegar
  • Spoons
  • Paper Towels
  • Colander or Egg Tray


How to Dye With Food Dye

  1.  Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to 1 cup of boiling water. Add food coloring by the drop until the water is a deep shade of the desired color. You want the colors strong, they will be lighter on the egg
  2. Dip the hard-boiled eggs into the coloring with a spoon and let them soak. The color darkens as the egg soaks. Remove the egg when the color is your desired shade. Place them on paper towels to dry.
  3. Create patterns on the eggs before dying by wrapping them with rubber bands or string, or drawing on them with wax crayons. You can create multi-colored eggs by dipping eggs in several colors, soaking only part of the egg at each time.

Dying Eggs with Natural Foods

  1.  You can also use the natural colors found in foods to color eggs. Simmer the colored plant or vegetable in water until the water is colored.
  2.  Strain the water and add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of colored juice.
  3.  Soak the eggs as before. Some colors may require long soaking times, so keep them in the refrigerator while soaking.

Try these colors:

  • Red or Pink: Beet juice, cranberry juice, cherry juice, raspberry juice and pomegranate juice.
  •  Yellow or Gold: Tumeric
  •  Orange: Carrots or paprika
  •  Green: Spinach
  • You can also use herbal teas and flowers. Experiment and have fun.


Creating Natural Patterns

Interesting patterns can also be created by applying leaves or flowers directly to the egg before boiling. Start with raw eggs and place the leaves directly against the egg. Hold them in position with a layer of cheese cloth tied tightly around the egg. Boil them for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and allow them to cool. Remove the cheesecloth and leaves to reveal your natural patterned eggs.


Tie-Dyed Eggs


  1. Fill a small bowl or cup half full with white vinegar. Dip hard-boiled eggs into the vinegar, turning it to coat the egg.
  2. Place the colander or egg carton on several layers of newspaper to absorb spills.
  3. Drop food coloring onto the egg, letting the colors run together as desired. For best results, start with lighter colors.
  4. Use a toothpick or small brush to move the color around on the egg as desired. Kids might enjoy blowing the drops of color around with a well-aimed straw. You don’t have to cover the entire egg, leave a little white space.
  5. Let each color set for a minute before adding the next color, then let the eggs dry before handling them.  You can rinse off extra color or blot it off with a paper towel.
  6. Gently rinse the excess dye off of the eggs and place them on a paper towel to air dry.
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An Easy Superbowl Party Idea — Grilled Quesadillas

January 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Holidays

I first posted this in 2007, when I had a house full of young men. Things have changed and it is quiet around here now. We still love these Quesadillas. Buy some flour tortillas and cheese and clean out your refrigerator for leftovers to use as fillings — meat, vegetables, whatever you have.  I cook these on my electric grill.

My Original Post:

I’m not really a football fan, so to me the Superbowl not a note-worthy event.  I never planned a party, never intended to have a party.  However, it seems that if you have give birth to four boys, then you are automatically drafted to host the party on short notice 18-25 years later.

Our house is always full of teenage boys, so I should have planned ahead I guess.  Anyway, I am now hosting a Super Bowl Party.

I am choosing to serve Quesadillas, mainly because they are so cheap, easy, and versatile.  If you have tortillas and cheese, you can make Quesadillas with whatever is in your fridge and pantry.  I’ll also serve some Nacho’s.  Maybe even throw in some Hot Wings if they are  nice to me.  (They always are.)  I probably should buy some munchies and sodas as well.

Here is a recipe and some further ideas for Quesadillas.  You can toast these in a skillet, in the oven, or I usually just throw them on the George Foreman, two at a time.  No need for a quesadilla maker.  (The grill does put ridges on them, but who cares?)  Don’t stuff these too heavily, a little filling makes a nice easily manageable finger food.  Just make (and eat) more of them.

Grilled Quesadillas

4 flour tortillas

1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

1 cup stemmed, coarsely chopped watercress or arugula

1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion

1 tablespoon tomato, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic (optional)

1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Lightly oil the grill rack and place it about 4 inches above the coals.

Over medium heat, grill the tortillas for about 1 minute. Turn over and sprinkle with the remaining ingredients. Cover loosely with heavy-duty foil (or the grill hood) and cook until cheese melts (about 1 minute), checking to ensure that tortillas do not burn.

To serve, remove from grill and cut into wedges. Serve with salsa, guacamole or sour cream.

Other Filling Ideas

Use a mixture of Morzarella and Feta Cheese, greek olives, and diced onions.  Flavor with fresh or dried oregano, basil, and rosemary.

Use Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese mix with diced roasted chicken.  Add fresh or grilled onions and bell peppers.

Stuff with grilled or lightly stir-fried vegetables such as zucchini, onion, mushrooms, peppers… any that you like.  Add a slice of provolone cheese or freshly grated parmesan.

Enjoy!  Dee

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Easy Weekly Menu Planning

January 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Tips, Uncategorized, z1

Getting a healthy meal on the table every night does not need to be a struggle. The key is to have a healthy meal plan that is flexible enough to accommodate the stresses of working families. The USDA recommends that Americans increase the consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, while eating less fat and sugar. Traditional Southern meals often contain far more fat and sugar than they should, but healthier options are available. Aim to eat healthy versions of your favorites on an everyday basis and save the high fat and high sugar versions for special occasions.

The Healthy Eating Pyramid, from the Harvard S...

The Healthy Eating Pyramid, from the Harvard School of Public Health (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eat Seafood Twice a Week

Not only is fish a healthy menu option, but it is quick to prepare. Save the fried fish for special occasions and opt for grilled salmon or salmon patties, Cajun blackened fish , seafood gumbo, shrimp and grits or shrimp etouffee. Serve with brown rice or wild rice, okra or green beans and tomatoes. Finish with a serving of fresh fruit.

 Beef or Pork Once a Week

Throw a small pot roast in the crock pot in the morning for an easy week night meal. Add a little beef broth and an assortment of vegetables. It will be ready to serve when you arrive home after a long day. Thicken the juices to make gravy or serve it au jus. Use 1-inch pieces of beef to make a hearty crock pot stew in the winter.

Serve grilled or broiled pork chops with mashed sweet potatoes and a green salad. Stewed apples or ginger spiced pineapple are a nice sweet finish for this meal.

Poultry Once a Week

When you think of Southern chicken you probably think of fried chicken, but there are a lot of healthy options available. If you prefer your chicken fried, try a healthier oven-fried chicken recipe. Serve with homemade biscuits, corn-on-the-cob and a salad or green vegetable.

Prepare weeknight barbecue chicken: broil chicken breasts or chicken tenders in the oven or cook them on the grill pan, topping them with barbecue sauce during the last few minutes of cooking.

Stew chicken pieces with whole wheat noodles to make a healthy version of chicken and dumplings or cook them with rice for the Southern chicken and rice favorite. Offer green beans and tomatoes on the side.

Meatless Meals

Current nutritional recommendations include eating meatless meals two or three times a week. Traditional Southern foods offer many options for healthy meatless meals. Try a low-fat version of macaroni and cheese or center your meal around Southern peas and beans. Offer a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits and a square of cornbread with these meals. Sweet potatoes, baked potatoes or corn make good starches for these meals.

For More Information:

Harvard School of Public Health: What Should You Eat?

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 



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No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

December 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Desserts


These cookies are also called Top of the Stove Cookies. They can be a little tricky to make, but they are excellent when done correctly.
These cookies make a great Christmas Cookie. If you like making cookie baskets for presents,
I highly recommend that you add this cookie to your bundle.


2 quart Saucepan
Mixing bowl
wooden spoon
1 Cup Measure
1/2 Cup Measure
Tablespoon Measure
Teaspoon Measure
Wax Paper
2 regular silverware spoons
a timer. (Digital is preferred)

Oatmeal cookies with a touch of unsweetened co...

No bake oatmeal cookie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4 Tablespoons Bakers Cocoa
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter or Margarine
3 cups Oatmeal (1 Minute Oatmeal is fine, Quaker Rolled Oats is Preferred)
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Flavoring

***Before you do anything. Place 2 sheets of wax paper down on a table.***

1. Take the mixing bowl and combine Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Vanilla Flavoring. Set Aside.

2. Take the Large Saucepan and mix the sugar, Cocoa, Butter, Milk, and a dash of salt into it.

3. Place the saucepan with the ingredients on the stove and heat the mixture on high heat. Stir until the butter has completely melted.

4. Allow mixture to come to a boil that cannot be stirred down. (This Is Important!).  Time the mixture at a rolling boil for 1 minute! No Longer!

5. Remove from heat and stir in the oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla from the bowl.

6. Once mixed in, the mixture will feel a bit stiff. QUICKLY spoon out into 1 teaspoon size dollops onto the wax paper.

7. Let cool until firm

This recipe takes precise timing and speed. If it comes out gooey, you started timing the 1 minute too soon. If it comes out really crumbly, you started the 1 minute too late, or you weren’t quick enough on spooning it out onto the wax paper. When done properly, the cookies will be firm and chocolaty.

Add 1 cap full of almond flavoring for an Almond Joy experience.
Replace Regular cocoa for Dark Chocolate Cocoa for deeper dark chocolate flavor.
Use crunchy peanut butter in place of creamy for different texture
For a more gooey cookie, reduce boiling time by 10 seconds.

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How to Make Incredible Pan Sauces

December 9, 2013 by  
Filed under How To, Meats, Tips

How to Make Incredible Pan Sauces

By: The Reluctant Gourmet

If you want to elevate your cooking skills to a new level and add a whole lot more to your gastronomy repertoire, learn how to make a simple pan sauce. With this technique in your cooking bag of tricks, you can turn a simple pan-fried steak into a mouth-watering meal, a plain boneless chicken breast into a delicious feast, or a modest pork chop into a scrumptious banquet. Ok, maybe I’m stretching a bit but check this out.

Deglazing the pan with apple cider

Deglazing the pan with apple cider (Photo credit: ilovebutter)

Restaurants chefs use this technique all the time. Basically, they cook something in a sauté pan over pretty high heat until it’s done and leaves a bunch of brown caramelize bits of “stuff”in the pan. You look at this “stuff” in the pan and say to yourself, “Now how am I going to clean this ‘stuff’ off the pan? What a mess! I wish I had used a non stick pan.”

The “stuff” has a name, it’s called “fond” and you want that “fond” stuck to your pan because it is packed with incredible flavors. It’s also easy to remove by adding a little liquid to the pan and using a wooden spoon to dissolve it. This is called deglazing and can be done with wine, brandy, fortified wines, stock, cider, fruit juices or most typically a combination of two. Just be careful if you use wine to remove the pan from the heat so the alcohol doesn’t ignite and blow up in your face. I’ve spoken with chefs who have seen this happen.

The next steps are to continue to cook the liquid in the pan until it is reduced by half and finish by adding several pats of butter to thicken and enhance the flavor of the sauce. If you ever knew how much butter professional chefs use in restaurants to “enhance” flavor, you would be amazed. I sometimes think they make their dishes too rich because I get that uncomfortable “too full” feeling later on, but then again, it’s so good while you’re dining. Now those are just the basics.

To create more complexity to the sauce you’ll want to add some aromatics like garlic or shallots for a subtle but additional layer of flavor. Then you might want to add some additional ingredients such as mushrooms, mustards, chutneys, herbs and/or spices to give even more complexity and flavor.

For more information on making classic and quick pan sauces at home including what kind of pan to use, how much deglazingliquid to use and two example recipes for the same sauce, one classic and the other quick, go to

About the author: G. Stephen Jones, The Reluctant Gourmet, created a web site back in 1997 as a hobby to assist other novice cooks who may find the art of cooking a little daunting. As an ex-Wall Street broker and Stay-at-Home Dad, I try to explore cooking from a different perspective. Visit for more tips, techniques and recipes.

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How to Make an Omelet

December 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Eggs

By Diane Watkins

Eggs are wonderfully nutritious foods.  Now that doctors have decided its ok to eat them again, its time to revive the omelet.

The Hardware:

You will need a heavy skillet with curved sides.  A thin pan will not properly hold the heat and will tend to burn the omelet.  An 6 inch skillet is a good size for a 2 egg omelet, an 8 inch skillet for 3 or 4 eggs.  You will find that it will work best if you use your omelet skillet only for omelets.

If possible, clean the skillet by wiping it with a cloth.  This will allow a thin layer of grease to remain on the skillet and season it to prevent sticking next time the skillet is used.  Whenever possible avoid using detergents, they should not be necessary.

If the filling from your omelet should melt onto the skillet and stick, clean this with a sprinkle of salt and wipe with a paper towel.

Heat the skillet slowly so that the heat is evenly distributed.  A heavy skillet will aid in heat distribution as well and retain the heat.  Place the skillet onto a medium –medium low heat and allow to heat for 5 – 10 minutes until the skillet is hot enough to sizzle butter without browning it.

Omelet med ristede jordskokker og rosmarin

Omelet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Making a Basic Omelet

Choose good quality, fresh eggs.  The omelet will only be as good as your eggs.  Break the eggs into a bowl, being careful to avoid getting any shell into the eggs.  Beat the eggs with a fork just enough to combine the whites and yolks.  Do not use a beater.

2 or 3 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon butter
desired filling ingredients

  1. Heat the pan slowly over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.  Test the pan by dropping ½ teaspoon butter into the pan.  If the butter sizzles immediately without browning, then the pan is ready.  If the butter blackens, the pan is too hot.  Remove the pan from the heat for a minute and wipe the burned butter out of the pan with a paper towel.
  2. When the pan is hot, stir the water, eggs, and salt together just enough to break the eggs and mix the whites and yolks.
  3. Place a teaspoon of butter into the pan.  Hold the with your left hand and pour the eggs into the pan.  (Reverse if you are left handed.)  Continue to stir the eggs in the pan with your right hand, while tilting the pan with your left.  This allows all of the moisture to run to the sides.  You want to gently lift and push the eggs on the sides and allow the eggs to run under the set eggs, but don’t break up the eggs.  Within a few seconds the eggs will be set and shiny.  Stop stirring!
  4. Place your desired filling into the center of the omlet.  Cook for  minute.  Flip half  the omlet over onto the other half and slide the omelet onto a warm plate.  If you cannot achieve flipping half the omlet, you can fold the omelet into thirds.
  5. The eggs should be eaten immediately while still moist and soft.  If you need to hold the omelet while the rest of the family’s are cooked, place them onto a large heated ovenproof platter and put into a heated 250 degree oven.  If you like your omelets dryer, place under the broiler for 30 seconds.


For a Fluffy Omelet

Separate 3 or 4 eggs.  Beat the yolks with a tablespoon of milk and add ½ teaspoon of salt.  Beat the whites until stiff, but not dry.  Fold the whites into the yolks.  Start the omelet in a hot buttered skillet, but finish it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes.  Serve immediately

Variations and Filling Ingredients

Herb Omelet

Chop 1 tablespoon each of fresh chives, parsley and chervil finely.  Stir herbs into the eggs before cooking.  Or use ½ teaspoon each of the dried variety, but add spark to the flavor by adding 2 tablespoons chopped fresh spinach leaves.


Cheese:  Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons desired cheese into the center in step 4.

Ham:  Add ¼ cup finely chopped ham with or without the cheese.

Country Omelet:  Fill with finely chopped onion, green pepper, celery, and tomato with 2 tablespoons of meat (ham, salami, or sausage)

Just about anything you can imagine can be put into an omelet.  Don’t add too much filling, put some on top if you want more.  Enjoy!

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Candied Orange Peel Recipe, A Traditional Southern Favorite

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Desserts

By Diane Watkins

Candied Orange Peel is a traditional Southern favorite.  Generations of cooks have created many recipes to use all of the available food- including the peelings.  Luckily for us, as the peel is one of the most flavorful parts of the orange.

Boiling the peel three times removes the bitter flavor from the peel.  If you have scraped ALL of the white away in step 1, you can skip the repeated boilings, as the bitterness comes from the white pith.  I choose to boil the peels once, then scrape the pith away with a spoon and boil again.  The boiling softens the pith and makes it easy to remove, but the peel is more fragile at this stage, so be careful not to tear it.

Candied orange peel, shot in Syracuse, Sicily....

Candied orange peel, shot in Syracuse, Sicily. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, October 17, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This candy is delicious served alone.  But try it used as a garnish on chocolate puddings or mousse, or chopped fine and used as a flavoring accent.  I like to add a little chopped orange peel to my tea ball before brewing for a nice orange flavored tea.

This recipe can be used with other citrus peel as well.  Consider using grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime, tangelos, or any mixture of these.


Candied Orange Peel

Peel of 5 oranges
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
3 cusp sugar
1  cup water

  1. Quarter and peel the oranges.  Scrape all of the white pith from the peel and discard.  Cut the remaining peel into thin strips.
  2. Place the orange peel into a saucepan and cover well with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain and repeat two more times.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, bring 2 ½ cups sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup water to a boil over low heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved, then cook for 20 minutes.  Periodically wash down any sugar crystals that may form on the side of the saucepan with a wet brush or a fork covered with a wet towel.
  4. Add peel to syrup and simmer for 15 minutes more.  Stir to prevent sticking.  Syrup should be mostly absorbed by the peel.  Be careful to avoid burning.
  5. Line a large tray or cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.
  6. Remove peel from syrup and drain, roll in remaining sugar and place onto lined cookie sheet.  Leave peel to dry overnight, then store in an airtight container.
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Gingerbread Houses – Step-by-Step

December 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Desserts, Holidays, How To

by Alison Anton

There’s no better way to spark up the holiday cheer than to create a gingerbread house with the whole family. My mom, brother and I made these every year that I can remember as a child. My mom would make the dough from her old authentic German recipe handed down from her mom’s mom, and we’d cut out the patterns, assemble the house, frost it and adorn it from top to bottom.

Things have changed a little bit since then… I adapted the dough so that it is easier to work with, and I always make sure to use all-natural ingredients and candies that have no high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils or food colorings. I also incorporate dried fruits, nuts and seeds (a phenomenon that would not have occurred in the home-designs of the 70’s). Goji berries and banana chips were definitely the favorites this year!

Since the icing has to hold all the candies in place throughout the weeks before Christmas, it uses about one ton of powdered sugar that allows the icing to get rock-hard within about 30-45 minutes of being exposed to the air. I generally do not recommend powdered sugar since it is goes through such a vigorous refinement process, but for such a specific purpose, I just don’t see any way around it.

Plan to set aside at least 3 hours for making your gingerbread houses, from start to finish. The dough and frosting can be made several days in advance (see storage techniques below). The dough or baked cookies can be frozen for several months until ready to use.


Enjoy and have a very merry Christmas!

RECIPE: Gingerbread Houses – Baking, Assembling and Decorating
Yield: 1 large house (House A) OR 2 medium houses (House B) and 1 small house (House C)

This recipe makes a crisp cookie that can withstand the test of being frosted, adorned with candies and oogled over for weeks during the holiday season. The extra dough can be rolled and cut out into ginger people, but know that the cookies will be a touch harder than a typical gingerbread cookie.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups organic soft brown sugar
1 cup light organic sugar
1/4 cup molasses or sorghum syrup
4 eggs
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon allspice
1/2 cup light organic sugar

Gingerbread house ready to be assembled. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MAKING THE DOUGH: Blend the butter with the sugars and molasses in an electric mixer on medium speed until light and creamy (put the molasses into the mixer before turning it on or you will have molasses everywhere but in the dough). Add in the eggs and blend another 1-2 minutes.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and gradually add them into the mixer, scraping down the sides until incorporated. The dough will be slightly crumbly.

Remove the dough to a large bowl or a flat work surface. Bring the dough together with your hands, working it until the dough forms a smooth mass that holds together easily. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 30-60 minutes before rolling.

ROLLING: Divide the dough into five pieces. Roll each piece out on a flat, floured work surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out the patterns for the house using the templates. Work quickly, as the dough is easier to cut and shape while it is still cool. Using a pastry or pizza spatula, carefully lift the pieces onto sheet pans lined with a baking liner or parchment paper (or double up two sheet pans) to keep the cookies from burning.

BAKING: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake 10 minutes, until golden, rotating the cookies halfway through baking. Cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely before assembling.

SUGAR GLUE: Heat the 1/2 cup sugar in a medium sauté pan over medium heat until it bubbles and turns a very dark brown, 8-12 minutes.

ASSEMBLING: Have ready a sturdy surface on which to place your house (inverted sheet pan, wooden or plastic cutting board, sturdy cake board, etc.)

Prepare the sugar glue, keeping it on low heat while working so that it doesn’t harden up.

Have ready a house side panel and a front or back panel. Place them together to get an idea of how they will fit. Dip the edges that will come together into the sugar glue and very quickly hold them together, assembling them at the proper angle. It should hold within 10-20 seconds. Adhere the back panel and the other side panel in the same fashion.

To assemble the roof, very quickly drizzle the sugar glue onto the top edges of one side of the house. Place one of the roof cutouts on top of the house, letting it adhere to the glue. Repeat for the other roof cutout. Drizzle glue along the top of the roof where the two panels come together.

Assemble the chimney by dipping the edges of the pieces into the glue and holding them to the roof. Assemble the door, leaving it slightly ajar. You can do the same for window panels, if desired.

Royal Icing
Yield: for 1 large house (House A) OR 2 medium houses (House B) and 1 small house (House C)
This icing gets rock-hard in order to keep the candies on top of the house and to hold throughout the weeks before Christmas. If you plan to decorate a snow-drifted yard with your house, make a double batch of the icing. This recipe uses raw egg whites, but if you are hesitant, they can be substituted with meringue powder for the same affect (use recipe from any packaged meringue powder).
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pound organic powdered sugar, sifted or whirled in a food processor

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar until the frosting stands in firm peaks and is stiff enough to hold a sharp line when cut through with a knife.

STORAGE: Place a piece of plastic wrap over the frosting so that the plastic is in direct contact with the frosting. Wrap the bowl in plastic and store refrigerated for up to 2 days.
While working, keep the bowl of frosting covered with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Once spread onto the house and exposed to the air, it will harden up within 15-25 minutes. Decorate one panel at a time and work quickly!

Decorating Ideas:
Nuts and seeds
Dried fruits
Chocolate dipped dried fruits
Candied ginger slices
Banana chips
Pretzel fences
Panda brand red licorice
Shredded coconut for icicles and frosty trees
Ice cream cone trees

About the Author:

I am a Certified Nutritional Chef, food writer and culinary instructor through Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Northern California. I teach cooking and nutrition classes through the Whole Foods Market Salud Cooking School and write a monthly eLetter, also entitled Whole Gourmet Natural Cooking, to a wide audience.

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Leftovers: Thanksgiving Sandwiches

November 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Holidays, Quick and Easy

By: Amanda Jade

My family takes Thanksgiving seriously.  Growing up, we regularly had a half dozen or more guests at our place throughout the day, plus even more for the leftover days.  I’m fairly certain it had to do with Mom’s Thanksgiving Sandwiches.  There are only so many days one can eat the same meal on a plate and we always made enough to feed an army,  So one year Mom got creative.  She took a good sized spoonful of stuffing, tossed it into a sauté pan with a bit of oil and bits and pieces of the collection of leftovers and pan-fried the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever had (second only to her fried meatloaf sandwiches, it’s a trend).

This recipe is rather fast and loose with the ingredients, as everyone makes a different variation on Thanksgiving Dinner.  Feel free to be as creative as you would like! Try it as a wrap!

Use leftovers to make a Thanksgiving sandwich, ...

Use leftovers to make a Thanksgiving sandwich. photo taken in Preston, UK — Ein Club-Sandwich, Foto aufgenommen in Preston, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  • Stuffing
  • Turkey, shredded
  • Green Beans
  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Bread
  • Mayo or other Condiments
  • Honey Baked Ham, sliced and shredded, optional
  • Butter or Oil


  1.   Heat a little butter or oil in a pan and add the turkey, ham and green beans.  Cook until just heated through.
  2.   Add the stuffing and mashed potatoes, creating a kind of pancake and incorporating everything into a patty-like shape.
  3.   Apply mayo to your bread and add your Thanksgiving patty.
  4.   Drizzle gravy and cranberry sauce over your Thanksgiving patty.
  5.   Consume carefully to avoid wasting even a tiny drop.

I have made this recipe using other Holiday leftovers.  I’ve even added a scrambled egg to keep it all held together.  Macaroni and cheese makes a great mashed potato substitute, as does cheesy mashed cauliflower.  Sometimes I even pull this one out on leftovers day, just for a change.  The possibilities are limited only to what you have in your fridge.

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Blessings for Your Thanksgiving Feast

November 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all that we have and have achieved in the past year.  I include here some traditional blessings you can use, or allow your thanks to flow straight from your heart.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving (Photo credit: CaptPiper)


I know these things must always be
To keep our nation strong and free.
One is good health from food nourishing and dear,
Eating elegantly with loved ones far and near.
One is ready heart and hand
To love, and serve, and keep a peaceful land.
One is the Word and following His Way
Where people, daily, eat, work, witness and pray.
So long as these are kept alive,
Nation and people will happily survive.


We thank you, Lord, for all you give;
The food we eat, the lives we live;
And to our loved ones far away,
Please send your blessings, Lord, we pray.
And help us all to live our days
With thankful hearts and loving ways.

Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you, God, for everything!
~Edith Rutter Leatham~


God, we thank you for this food,
For rest and home and all things good;
For wind and rain and sun above,
But most of all for those we love.
~Maryleona Frost~


God is great, God is good.
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hand we are fed,
Give us Lord our daily bread.  Amen.


Lord, bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies,
And our bodies to your service.  Amen.

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