Sunday, November 11, 2012

HEARTH AND HOME - November 11, 2012

Greetings, Dear Sisters!

Welcome to the November 2012 edition of HEARTH AND HOME! I pray that this newsletter finds you and your family healthy, happy, and ready to celebrate another marvelous holiday season! What are you thankful for this year? How are you going to celebrate all that the Lord has done for you and yours in the past year? Whatever you do...I'd like to take a moment to wish you and yours a very lovely and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

As you know...it's been a long time since I've even tried to put together an issue of HEARTH AND HOME and I miss it! This year has fairly flown by and it seems that I've not got to do nearly the things that I ought to have done, let alone the things that I would like to have done. BUT...I am determined to carry on regardless and do what I can when I can and not stress about what I can't do. Is anyone else with me? (smile)

Now...grab a cup of something hot (I prefer tea with Pumpkin Spice Coffee-Mate...yum!) and let's get started on another issue of HEARTH AND HOME! Here we go...

HOUSEHOLD TIPS

* Soften butter quickly without melting by grating the stick. Spray the grater with nonstick spray for quick cleanup.

* When baking cookies, substitute coarsely crushed salt-free pretzels for any chopped nuts called for in the recipe. You get the texture of nuts with almost none of the fat.

* When kneading bread or making cookies on your kitchen table, place masking tape over the seams of the table. This will prevent ingredients from getting lost between the table’s leaves and make cleanup a breeze.


* Most pie recipes instruct you to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil when it begins to brown. Before you begin baking form a foil ring around the cold pie edge, then when the edges begin to brown simply set the already formed ring in place.

* To make bookends, fill empty mason jars with shells, stones, or colored sand.


DOLLARS AND SENSE

I've shared these before, but cold weather is upon us again. Get ready for it by following these cold-weather tips from the folks at the $1 Energy Fund...

KEEP THE HOT AIR IN BY PREVENTING DRAFTS.

Seal all cracks, holes and crevices where cold air blows in and hot air leaks out. Remember to keep your blinds and drapes closed at night to block drafty window areas. You could save up to ten percent on your annual bills.

MONITOR YOUR THERMOSTAT. Keep the temperature at sixty-eight degrees or lower. Each degree higher uses three percent more energy. Lower your thermostat setting at night, and turn your heat down before you leave the house. It costs less to reheat your home than to keep it warm while you're out.

KEEP HEAT CREATIVELY. Open your drapes during sunny days to let natural heat in your house. Dust or vacuum your vents often to maintain airflow. Shut off the heat to unused rooms and keep their doors closed. Wear warm clothes and sweaters, and use blankets while resting.

Here are some more money saving ideas that can keep $$$ in your pocket...

*Attic insulation should be at least six inches deep; it will save 10 percent of your overall heating bill.

*Lower the heating and cooling systems when your home is vacant for more than eight hours.

*Use crock-pots and pressure cookers instead of the oven.

*Fix leaky toilets and faucets...especially hot water faucets. One leaky faucet wastes over 1,300 gallons a year!!!

*Take a shower instead of a bath. This can save as much as 50 percent of the total hot water used in your home.

*Save medical costs by practicing preventative medicine. Eat right, drink plenty of fresh water, exercise, get plenty of rest, reduce stress, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, pray, and fast as God leads.

* To get thousands of money saving ideas, a jump on holiday jar mixes, budgeting ideas, and more, check out Budget 101! Just click here: BUDGET 101

HEARTH AND HOME QUESTION

"With the skyrocketing prices of food and gasoline what, if anything, are you doing differently to make ends meet in your household? What money saving measures do you and your family practice on a regular basis in order to combat high utility bills?"

(If you don't mind me sharing your response in an upcoming issue of HEARTH AND HOME please send it to me at proverbs31heart@yahoo.com. In an effort to keep me from overlooking it in my e-mail please put SKYROCKETING PRICES on the subject line. Thank you!)

FALL CRAFT PROJECTS 

Easy Fall Wreath
Thanksgiving Subway Art
Free Thanksgiving Fall Kit


COUNTDOWN TO THANKSGIVING


EARLY NOVEMBER-

*Plan your menu.
*Invite your guests.
*Keep track of who is bringing what on your menu.
*Make shopping list of perishables and nonperishable. Don't forget to include film, batteries, and
beverages.
*If you're ordering a fresh turkey, do it now.
*Make a Thanksgiving to-do list, listing all the little things that must get done prior to Thanksgiving. Be sure to schedule time for each chore and indicate who you want to take care of that chore.
*Order your floral centerpieces now or create your own.

TWO WEEKS AHEAD OF TIME-

*Check all serving dishes, flatware, and glassware.
*Shop for any paper goods you need for the event.
*Make sure you have enough tables and chairs for your guests.
*Take an inventory of your tablecloths and napkins. Teach yourself a new way to fold napkins.
*If any of your items need to be cleaned, this is the time to do it.
*Clean your refrigerator to make room for your Thanksgiving items.
*Shop for nonperishable groceries on your shopping list.
*Plan and make decorations.

ONE WEEK AHEAD-

*Plan seating arrangements.
*Review your recipes.
*Prepare cooking schedule.
*Check thawing time for frozen turkey.

4 DAYS AHEAD-

*Start defrosting the frozen turkey in your refrigerator.
*Save money on ice -- start making your own ice cubes now. When they're frozen, dump them in a freezer bag.

2 DAYS AHEAD-

*Chill beverages.
*Shop for perishable items.
*Set out bread for homemade stuffing.
*Make cranberry sauce.
*Fill butter dishes and salt and pepper shakers.
*Be sure your home is clean.

1 DAY AHEAD-

*Peel potatoes; place them in a pot of cold water. Keep in refrigerator.
*Clean vegetables and refrigerate.
*Make all dishes that can be prepared ahead. Don't forget the pies!
*Double check your bathrooms. Be sure you have extra toilet paper and hand towels ready.
*Put up decorations.
*Prepare stuffing.
*Do spot cleaning of the rooms that will be used.
*Buy flowers for the table.
*Let your family set the table in the evening.
*Make the side dishes that can be baked ahead of time.

THANKSGIVING DAY-

*Remove turkey from the refrigerator for one to two hours. Add stuffing.
*Preheat oven.
*Put turkey in oven and baste every half hour.
*Prepare coffee and brew 20 minutes before serving.
*Let the turkey rest, covered with a foil tent, for about 20 minutes before slicing.
*Quickly reheat some side dishes in the microwave if all the burners on the stove are occupied.
*Make gravy and last-minute vegetables.
*Set out refrigerated dishes.
*Heat bread or rolls as needed.
*Remove stuffing from turkey.
*Carve turkey.


RECIPES


PUMPKIN WAFFLES

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Stir together pumpkin, eggs, milk, and butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cook according to the directions for your waffle maker. Serve immediately with berry or maple syrup, fresh berries, or ginger whipped cream.

 

PUMPKIN ROLL
(An old family favorite. Makes 10 servings)
CAKE:
Powdered sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
FILLING:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar
FOR CAKE: PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel (NOT THE FUZZY KIND) with powdered sugar.
COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
BAKE for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool completely.
FOR FILLING: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired


MAPLE LEAF COOKIES

1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites, divided
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp raw sugar

Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until soft but not firm, about 20 minutes.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Beat browned butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add maple syrup, vanilla, and 1 egg white; beat on low speed until well blended. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until blended. Divide dough in half; shape each portion into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until very firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Place walnuts and raw sugar in a food processor; pulse until mixture is coarsely ground. Whisk remaining egg white in a small bowl.

Roll first portion of dough (keep remaining dough chilled until ready to use) out to 1/8″ thick on a floured board and use a 2 1/2″ decorative cutter to punch out 24 cookies. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets; brush tops with egg white and sprinkle evenly with half of walnut mixture. Bake for 12 minutes or until pale brown. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and topping. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Yield – 48 cookies (serving size: 2 cookies)

SWEET POTATO, BUTTERNUT SQUASH OR PUMPKIN PIE

To make the best sweet potato pie, I use Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe, substituting 2 cups of baked, skinned, and mashed sweet potatoes for the canned pumpkin. I also make fresh pumpkin and butternut squash pies the same way. In fact, of the three, butternut squash pie is my favorite. Anyway, here's that recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                        LIBBY'S FAMOUS PUMPKIN PIE
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    2 large eggs
    1 can (15 oz.) LIbby's 100% pure pumpkin
    1 can evaporated milk
    1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool. Serve.
(NOTE: In order to avoid the extra calories, yet enjoy all the goodness of all those Vitamin A-packed, "good-for-your-eyes" fruits and vegetables, I make my pies crustless. After making the filling, I just pour it straight into a pie plate that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. It is absolutely delicious either way!)

(I've had a request to re-run my sour dough recipes, so, here they are...)
 
SOUR DOUGH STARTER

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (potato water is good)
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Using a quart size fruit jar or crock, dissolve yeast with 1/4 cup water. Allow to stand several minutes then stir in water, flour, and sugar. Cover with a cloth. Leave overnight at room temperature. Stir down several times as mixture rises to top. The longer the mixture stands at room temperature, the stronger the sour taste. Replace cover and refrigerate until ready to use. To maintain an ample supply of starter, each time you use it, replenish it with equal amounts of warm water and flour. Makes about 2 cups.
SOURDOUGH PANCAKES

Mix the night before using:
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 cup starter
Let stand overnight at room temperature.
Whey ready to bake, add:
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Stir batter until well mixed. Grease griddle if necessary. Pour or spoon pancake batter onto hot griddle. When bubbly and puffed, turn and brown other side. Serve with your favorite syrup. Makes 16 pancakes.

For future use, add to starter:
1 cup water to original jar
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Keep refrigerated.
SOUR DOUGH BISCUITS
Mix the night before using:
1 cup sourdough starter, at room temperature
 1/2 cup warm water
1 cup flour
Let stand overnight at room temperature.
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 Tablespoon sugar
Bacon drippings or butter or olive oil
About 1 hour before serving, turn dough out on 1 cup of the flour on a bread board. Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Knead flour lightly into batter. Make a well in the dough and mix dry ingredients into the batter, kneading lightly to get correct consistency for rolling dough without sticking. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a cutter or into 2" x 3" rectangles. Brush tops with warm bacon drippings or warm butter or olive oil. Place biscuits 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet, or close together in a 9-inch square pan, and set in a warm place to rise about 1/2 hour. Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes. Makes 14 biscuits.
(The reason my husband likes this recipe particularly is that it contains no hydrogenated anything in it. It's just plain, ol' good ingredients.)
Well, Ladies, that's it for this time. I hope to see you again real soon! Take care and God bless! And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

2 comments:

  1. I just found out my company for Thanksgiving is going to start arriving on Tuesday or Wednesday THIS week!

    I've got to get double busy double quick tomorrow morning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds super busy, but super wonderful, Laura! Enjoy your company and have a wonderful, doubly blessed Thanksgiving! Thoughts and prayers to you, my friend! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! :)

      Delete

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