Thursday

Two Week Old Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients
2 pounds of potatoes
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup cheese dip
1/4 cup butter
1 cup red peppers, roasted and sliced
3 green onions, sliced
smidgen of salt
Cut potatoes into small chuncks and add to a large pot of water. Add your garlic and boil for twenty minutes or so. You will want the potatoes to be tender. Drain and then set aside.
2. Add the next four ingredients and then mash everything together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
3. Stir in last three ingredients.
4. Transfer the potato mixture to a casserole dish and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, followed by a sheet of foil. The dish can then be frozen for about two weeks. For best results, I wouldn't leave it any longer.
5. When the dish is needed, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for about 12 hours.
6. Remove the foil and the plastic wrap and then replace the foil. Bake in a moderate oven (350 f) for about 45 minutes. You won't want any cold spots ;) so don't forget to check the center. My last piece of advice is to stir well before serving so that they look amazing when presented!

A little bit more... :)

Tired of Over-Eating... Lets Start With Breakfast
Coffee... Should You Be Drinking It... actually, yes you should.
10 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Coffee
A Few Things I Didn't Know About Coffee
Morning Muffins With Coffee
Caramel Chocolate Shortbread
Stage Your Bathroom and Sell Your House
Staging Your Kitchen to Sell
No Good At Small Talk
How to Make Small Talk... or Not
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Wednesday

Pilgrim Loving Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans

Lets Get Started :)

Set the oven to 350 degrees and then grease cookie sheets with a little margarine.

Combine the first five ingredients until well blended.

In second bowl mix the dry ingredients until well mixed.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, spooning a little of the dry ingredients into the wet. Keep stirring.

Now, add the cranberries and nuts and fold them into the dough.

Scoop out a spoonful at a time, leaving room on the cookie sheet for the cookie dough to spread. Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

*Oatmeal cookies are good on their own, but add cranberries and nuts to the mix and the cookie goes to a whole new level!

Tuesday

You Can Do More than Just Eat Pumpkin Seeds

Roasting up a pumpkin full of seeds has to be one of the best things you can do with them... but that's not all!


Before you scoop out all of the seeds... because we will be using them, you might want to ask everyone to guess how many seeds they think will be in the pumpkin. You could have a small prize picked out before hand, but I think that the kids will love to make a guess for the sheer fun of it.

Lets get down to business...

*How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds: Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a cookie sheet with vegetable spray. Scoop out 1 cup of seeds and mix it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread the seeds on to the cookie sheet and roast 15 to 20 minutes. By that time, your seeds should be nicely browned. Be sure to stir about half way through to prevent burning. Now munch away and yes, you can eat the outer hull.

*Sprinkle on oatmeal for a little extra crunch... gives an amazing nutty flavor to the oatmeal.

*If you would like a sweeter version of this nut, sprinkle with a little pumpkin pie spice!

*How about Butternut squash... did you realize that you can roast those seeds too??

*If no one in that family likes pumpkin seeds (and I can't imagine why!!) bake them without the oil and then let the kids use them for crafts. A pot of glue and a handful of seeds can really stir up the imagination!!

*You could crack open the husks and then use the kernel to make "peanut brittle". Mouth is starting to water just thinking about it.

When I was a kid, we used to pretend that the seeds were coins and had a great time playing storekeeper and shopper!

Save a handful or so that hasn't been roasted and then store them away for next year. I have not idea if you can grow a huge pumpkin from a seed from a huge pumpkin, but I was watching a movie last night where one character was willing to pay $300 dollars for a single pumpkin seed! Can you imagine how much money you would have if you could sell every single seed??

Fill a hurricane lamp with seeds that have been toasted a nice shade of brown and then add a little (unscented) potpourri in layer. When you are done you have an impressive centerpiece for your table. And where do you get unscented potpourri?? Head out to your back yard to see what you can find and then dry!


I hope that everyone had an amazing October and November offers even more fun!!

Monday

Making Bread from Scratch!! Yes, You Can Do It!

Okay, I just burned out my breadmaker and I need a loaf of bread for dinner. Just finished asking my best friend all the things I should know and in particular, what I shouldn't do. Here's what she said! And what my best friend didn't know... my mom did!

1. Make sure that your yeast is fresh. If it's not, your bread won't rise. Been there and done that. I also keep my yeast in the fridge. I think my mom told me that!

2. Seasoned bread bakers can test water on their wrist. If you are doing it for the first time, it might be a good idea to test it out using a thermometer. And follow the temps recommended on the yeast package or in the recipe.

3. Add the flour slowly. Adding it all at once could result in dry dough. I'm going to say it again, so you don't forget! Add it slowly.

*Surprisingly enough, the season, dryness of your house and even the age of the flour can determine how much you will need.

4. The kneading is the hardest part. If you can get help, take it. Your husband is handy when it comes to this part of the process.

5. Don't skip the salt... even if you are trying to cut down. It is important to the fermentation process and might account for why my bread maker dough sometimes takes on a life of its own!


6. Be sure to let the bread cool down before slicing. It can ruin a really good loaf!

And one more thing... make it fun for your kids. I still have memories from my childhood about an aunt who would make huge batches of bread and then make small animal shaped loaves for all of us kids! And that had to be over 40 years ago!

How To Cut An Onion...

I don't know who taught me to chop onions, but whoever it was, didn't know any more than I did. Apparently you aren't supposed ...