Showing posts sorted by relevance for query make ahead thanksgiving. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query make ahead thanksgiving. Sort by date Show all posts

Nov 7, 2011

7 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Food Ideas

This year, I'll be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever. So not only am I planning already, but I'm trying to come up with ways I can spend the least amount of time in the kitchen on the actual holiday; I'd much rather spend it with my family. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prep for Thanksgiving now:

1. Pies. I've made up some apple pie filling and popped it into the freezer (see recipe, below). I may also make up some fruit or pecan pies and freeze them before baking. Just wrap well in plastic wrap, then in two layers of heavy duty foil. Bake without thawing for 15 to 20 min. in a 425 degree F. oven, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. for the remainder of the baking. Unfortunately, pumpkin pies don't freeze well (commercial pumpkin pies are flash frozen), but you can bake the crust ahead of time; bake until just beginning to brown, then wrap up and freeze (in the pie plate).

2. Bread. For best results, whip up the dough and freeze it after the first rising. Later, thaw, let rise in a warm location, and bake. You can also bake cornbread and freeze it. An easy way to reheat it is to thaw it in the fridge, then pop it into a brown lunch bag and nuke it for about a minute.

3. Cranberry sauce. If you want it homemade, make it up to four days ahead and store it in the fridge.

4. Stuffing. Assemble it the day before, minus any liquids.

5. Mashed potatoes. You can make them the day before and refrigerate them. Reheat in a covered pot, adding milk, if necessary, to make them the correct consistency. Or, cover the potatoes with foil and reheat for 20 minutes in a 350 degree F. oven. I've heard (but haven't tried this trick myself) that you can freeze mashed potatoes. Defrost in the fridge for 24 hours before reheating.

6. Soup. Soups not containing dairy can be made ahead and frozen for months. You can also make soup up to three days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. In many cases, this improves the soup's flavor.

7. Gravy. If you use home made or store bought stock, you can make the gravy up to two days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.

* * *

Apple Pie Filling

6 lbs. apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)*
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Pour the apples into a large bowl, stirring in the sugar, flour, and spices. Let this mixture sit about 30 minutes, or until you can see apple juices in the bowl. Pour into a large pot and cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Pour into freezer containers, if desired.

* To prevent the apple slices from browning, you may place them in a bowl of lemon water during the process of peeling, coring, and slicing the apples. Then dump them in a colander, rinse, and drain before proceeding.

Sep 30, 2017

Weekend Links

We have grapes!
In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site! 

"He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
 but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son."

 Proverbs 10:5

* I'm a pretty tired lady, lately. I'm homeschooling two kids, writing as a job, homekeeping (including cooking healthy meals from scratch), and preserving the harvest. It. Is. A. Lot. Of. Work. I have ZERO time to relax. Still, I'm thankful we can homeschool. I'm thankful I can help bring in some money to make ends meet. I'm thankful we are eating healthy. And I'm thankful we have a harvest to put by for the winter. Perspective is everything!

* Recall of Death Wish Coffee Company’s Cold Brew Coffee, due to botulism.
THIS is a knock-your-socks-off pie!

* Recall on papayas, due to salmonella.

* THIS is an amazing pie that will knock everyone's socks off! And it's in my book "Easy As Pie" - so you can be the star of Thanksgiving dinner :)

* 25 powerful ways for a wife to tell her husband "I love you."

* Tackling mom worry with God's word. 

* Growing a family on a next-to-nothing budget.
* 5 Reasons Your Children Aren't Obeying. 

* Did you know there are Halloween books for kids that speak biblical truth? There are! Check them out here.

* I think every family needs to have a copy of Squanto for Thanksgiving. Hint: It's got details you've probably never heard before about God's hand in American history.

We're still harvesting apples.
* A MUST READ. 2 million children are being trafficked worldwide. 250,000 of those children live here in the United States. Here are 3 of ways these children are pulled into trafficking.

* Conventional marshmallows contain horribly unhealthy ingredients. But that doesn't mean you have to do without. Try these healthy, homemade marshmallows.

* If you're about to have a hard frost and you still have green pumpkins, learn how to ripen them indoors. (Or just make mock apple pie with them!)

* Growing up, chili meant lots of beans. Now that I follow a keto diet to control my diabetes, I don't eat beans. Happily, this was the first no-bean chili I tried. Everyone loved it and nobody missed the beans! 

Oldies But Goodies:
Apple crisp.

* Herbal remedies for winter illnesses
* 7 make-ahead Thanksgiving food ideas 
* Apple Skillet Cake Recipe
* Cauliflower Chowder Recipe (with an Instant Pot option)
* Freezing apple pie filling
* Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

Nov 19, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

My daughter's pet rabbit, relaxing on her bed.
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

 In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9
* Today, I have to call my Dad and tell him I'm sorry his birthday card won't arrive on time. Do you think he'll believe me when I tell him the puppy ate his card? Because it's true! He also ate or chewed up my cell phone charger cord, my old laptop's charger cord (my children were using it for some school projects), the television cable cord the previous owners left attached to the dining room wall, my new-to-me dining room chair rails, his bed (he now sleeps on old towels), a myriad of papers (including my notes for a new recipe I'm working on), and our living room wall. Yes, the wall. So you can see I spend a lot of time "parenting" the naughty dog. 

I'm also spending an inordinate amount of time dealing with our mortgage company, which seems bent on making it difficult for us to re-build our pole barn. (The insurance company was legally bound to put our mortgage's company's name on our check...and now the mortgage co. gets to control the money.)
Just another thing the puppy tried to destroy - a new recipe I'm working on.
Otherwise, I am busy homeschooling, preserving figs, and just keeping up with everyday homestead chores like laundry and caring for animals. Did someone say Thanksgiving is coming soon? Ah well; I'll be ready...somehow.

* Glyphosate (Round Up) found in many common foods. This is really not a surprise, once you learn how much Round Up is used in commercial farming. I would caution, though, that the group that did the testing is pretty radical; I look forward to other organizations doing their own testing. In the meantime, do your best to cut all processed foods from your diet. Buy from local farmers who you trust to be honest about their growing practices. Better yet: Grow as much of your own food as possible!

* A good introduction to use the use of herbal medicine.

* Simple ways to focus on thanks this Thanksgiving. 

* Need some new and different - or classic! - pie recipes for Thanksgiving? Please consider my ebook or paperback Easy As Pie! I'm definitely making chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake pie! Sooooo yummy!

Oldies But Goodies:

* Getting Children to Listen During Devotions
* Teach Little Ones an Easy Way to Put on Their Own Jackets
* Thanksgiving Cookie Ideas
* Thanksgiving Games for Kids 
* Make Ahead Thanksgiving Food Ideas


Nov 7, 2015

Weekend Links

Courtesy  Mgmoscatello and Wikipedia Commons.
In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

* A gratitude garland...Such a great idea for everyone in the family! (And it's a free printable, too.)

* Looking for excellent Thanksgiving books for kids? Check out my other blog for reviews written by moms.

* 7 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Ideas make Thanksgiving day easier.

* New study shows ginger kills cancer more effectively than chemo.

* "Who Is WHO kidding? An Analysis Of The Silliness In The Press Over The Recent Warnings About Eating Meat." An excellent read.

* Is your favorite chocolate available to you only because of child slaves?

* Recall on beef.

* Have a squash that's too tough to cut with a knife? Try this super simple solution. (You will have to bake really large squash for longer, though)

* Use a heat lamp for your hens? Be sure to check out these important tips!

Nov 12, 2016

Weekend Links & Updates

A regular visitor to the homestead.
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

 In which I share my favorite posts from this blog's Facebook page.

"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Ephesians 6:12

* Bear Update: Our neighbors have reported bear sightings, too. Hard to say if it's the same bear, but it's certainly a bold one. One neighbor reports loosing a goat to it (there were bear prints all over the area where the goat was), and another says that when she was walking her dog, she made a lot of noise at a nearby bear, and instead of running, the bear kept walking toward her. Also, we discovered a bear bed right next to our burned down pole barn. So I'm being careful to get the kids inside before dusk (when black bear are more often seen about), and I'm the one who braves dusk for locking up the chicken coop.

* Chicken Update: The chicks are now pullets - basically, teenage chickens. They are very curious about the puppy - and the puppy would love to play with them. But I keep the pup on a tight leash when the hens are nearby. Two funny things: These hens don't roost at night! Instead, they cram themselves into a single nesting box, which results in a lot of squawking until they settle in. I've never seen hens do that! Also, I had no idea chickens liked to eat bamboo, but there's a clump of it in their run, and the leaves are their favorite food.

* Recall of frozen strawberries due to Hepatitis A outbreak.

* GMO potatoes have been here for a bit, but the FDA just approved two new GMO varieties. To avoid GMO potatoes, buy only certified organic. Avoiding russets in favor of other types of potatoes will also keep GMOs out of your body, at least for now.

* "On Daughters and Dating: How to Intimidate Suitors."

* My son is a right brained learner, and I'm busy learning ways to better teach him. One thing I've learned is that while he struggles mightily with phonics, he does much better with sight words. So while he can't read, say, the Bob books, he reads Dick and Jane pretty well. The only trouble is that it's very difficult to find sight word early readers these days. Fortunately, Google Books has a trove of them available for free. Here's an excellent post from Contentedly Humble, which offers previews of what the books look like inside, plus links to the various editions available.
Order my print or ebook in time for holiday baking!

* An interesting article about the dangers of drinking too much water.

* I've done a post of two about whether Pinterest tricks actually work (like this and this). Here's Rodale's Organic Life's take on which of those amazing tips work - and which don't.

Oldies But Goodies:

* 7 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Food Ideas
* Freezing Apple Pie Filling makes holiday pies a breeze
* How to Freeze or Dehydrate Eggs

Dec 2, 2013

20 Ways to Save Money This Christmas

This year, a great many families are worried about having enough money for Christmas. Times aren't so easy, and nobody wants to go into debt buying gifts and decorations. Happily, there's no need to go into debt. Christmas can be really wonderful without spending a bunch of dough. Not sure how to make that happen? Check out the tips below.

* Buy wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbons, and bows at the Dollar Tree. Or, if it's cheaper, buy large rolls of brown parcel paper at an office supply store; tied with string or bows, they have a lovely, old fashioned look.

* Make your own gift tags. The easiest way to do this is use scraps of wrapping paper, folded in half. Other ideas include cutting out shapes from last year's Christmas cards, or using inexpensive Dollar Tree card stock.

* Buy fewer gifts. Jesus only received three.

* Buy less expensive gifts. (More expensive does not equal better!)

* If you choose to buy more expensive gifts, divide the cost among two or more people. For example, one year I paid a portion for my husband's new grill. His parents and grandma pitched in the rest.

* Don't buy new decorations. Do you really need another Christmas tree ornament? If you usually purchase fresh wreaths and garlands, make them yourself or consider buying re-usable (faux) greens.

* If you really want new decorations, buy them at a thrift store. At this time of year, thrift stores are overloaded with Christmas stuff - much of which is either new in the box, or looks new. (Thrift stores are also an excellent source for faux Christmas trees.)

* When buying a real tree, choose a variety that costs less. For example, in our area, noble firs cost at least $15 more than pine trees. Whatever type of tree grows most easily in your area is likely less expensive than something that has to be trucked in.

* Make gifts. This isn't always less expensive, but it can be. Besides, knowing that someone put time, effort, and creativity into a gift means a great deal. (Get ideas for homemade gifts here.)

* Give redeemable coupons. The gift of service is an excellent one, indeed. Ideas: lawn mowing, house cleaning, babysitting...

* Think practical when it comes to gifts. This is the way many Americans gave gifts until fairly recent times. Instead of overloading kids with toys, for example, children were given new shoes, clothes, books, other practical items - and perhaps one or two toys.

* Don't send Christmas cards. I know many people think this is a heretical idea, but sending cards is expensive - and, dare I say it, wasteful. Instead, send digital cards...or better yet, digital Christmas letters.

* Buy gifts throughout the year. It's too late to start that now, but once the new year begins, pay attention to sales and go ahead and buy gifts you know your loved ones will love.

* Instead of focusing on stuff, focus on Christ, the "reason for the season." For ideas on how to do this, see the bottom of this post.

* Don't give everybody gifts. It's a nice thought, but often you're just buying stuff they don't need, anyway. For non-family members or extended family, don't give gifts - or give things like food or simple homemade gifts, like gifts in a jar.

* When it comes to food, watch for sales and buy what you need when the price is lowest. For example, many foods associated with Christmas are also eaten around Thanksgiving - and are deeply discounted to get you into the store.

* Do stockings only for the kids and fill them with practical items like new toothbrushes and fun pencils and erasers.

* Don't go shopping without a plan. Know what you want to buy in advance, and always check prices online, too. Don't forget to check eBay, where often you can purchase brand new items for less.

* For young kids, don't worry about spending the same amount on each. Since young children don't really have a sense of what things are worth, you don't have to worry about making their gifts equal, price-wise. (Do be sure to give each of your children the same number of gifts, however. There's no need to tempt them to be jealous.)

* If there will be lots of adults wherever you spend Christmas, do a Secret Santa type gift giving: Each adult draws the name of one person. Each adult gives only one gift.

For a few ideas on focusing on the real meaning of Christmas, check out these posts:

* Advent: Focusing on Him
* Activities to Go with Popular Christmas Books
* Advent Projects for Kids
* A Birthday Cake for Jesus
* Advent Begins!