All things Thanksgiving:

Note:  We originally published this last November, and decided to bring it back, because it is such a good clearing-house of all kinds of helpful things as you prepare for Thanksgiving.  Keep checking back, because we’ll be adding new recipes and posts as we get closer.  And as always, if there is some wonderful thing in YOUR kitchen that you’d like to share with us, please email us–one of the major values of our blog is the idea of sharing family traditions and new inventions, so please invite yourself into our family and share your own great ideas.

If you are like me, you still have about 3 weeks before you decide to start planning your Thanksgiving dinner. (That was meant to be an ironic statement.:-) ) But in case you are thinking about it now, we have just about everything you could want in the way of Thanksgiving recipes. To make things simpler, here’s a list of what we have. You may also want to click on the “Holiday” category in the sidebar–that will bring up some things from our Christmas selection, as well, in case you want some fancier desserts or other things. Continue reading


Filed under Appetizers, Family Heirloom Recipes, Food for guests, Holiday recipes, methods, Pumpkin Recipes, recipes, salads, Uncategorized, Vegetable dishes

It’s Winnie the Pooh Day

Quotes for the Journey has some delightful quotes from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. My favorite fits for us here in the Kitchen:

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”


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Filed under musings

Saturday’s Slick Trick

We all have them…little tricks that we do to make life easier. Usually, we don’t think much about them until someone notices and it occurs to us that not everyone does whatever we just did. For example, a couple of years, I posted about using grocery store savings cards to get stubborn crusty food off dishes as I wash them. A few weeks ago we discussed how to get rid of fruit flies. I LOVE learning new tricks like that, so I thought we’d start sharing a few of our favorite kitchen short-cuts once a week.

Today’s slick trick has to do with making chicken stock. Every once in a while, I run out of time and buy a rotisserie chicken from the deli section in our grocery store. Lately, I’ve been saving every bit of bone, skin, and gristle after I’ve pulled the meat off the bones. I stick the all this in a ziplock bag which I put in the freezer. Usually I collect up a couple of chicken’s worth of bones in one bag. Then when it’s convenient or when I need homemade chicken stock, I just grab that ziplock bag and dump its contents into my deep stockpot. If the urge to make homemade chicken stock overtakes me, I already have everything I need! It’s no more trouble to quick boil up those chicken carcasses than it is to run to the store to BUY a can of sodium-laden chicken stock.

I’d love to hear from all of our readers if you have some favorite tricks.



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Filed under kitchen tips, methods, musings

The face in the carrot

Can you see the face? Tonight we had 6 or 7 students from the Sustainable Development Student Alliance at Appalachian State University here in our kitchen, preparing food for their Fall Farm Day this weekend. While they were chopping and grating what seemed like a mountain of carrots, they came across this beauty, face and all. I grabbed a photo of this amazing carrot right before it got processed.

Click on one of the photos to see the face up close.


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Filed under photos

Food for Thought Friday: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are a Wonder Food. No kidding.

Sweet Potatoes are an everyday wonder food, worth going out of your way to use. They are versatile, delicious, and go way beyond holiday meals in our house.  In the fall we watch for the local harvest and usually buy a couple of bushels. We have found that if we keep them in a dark place at room temperature (60-80 degrees is ideal; don’t let them freeze!), they can last through the spring. We learned the hard way that we can’t store sweet potatoes in our garage. They need more warmth than that.

From a health perspective sweet potatoes are amazing. They can provide half of  your daily allowance of potassium and vitamin C and have as much beta-carotene as carrots! Considered by some to have the highest nutritional value of all vegetables, they are loaded with other vitamins and nutrients including calcium, iron and fiber.  They can help to stabilize blood sugar, help with metabolism, and have anti inflammatory properties.

Try them baked or as home fries (like these Rosemary Garlic Sweet Potato Fries from Nicole at Pinch My Salt) or try one of these great recipes from our kitchen:

Lime Cilantro Sweet Potatoes are great for a salad or for a picnic.

Traditional Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is popular and my  favorite holiday sweet potato dish is Sweet Potato  Praline Casserole.

Sweet potatoes are great in soups such as Curry Sweet Potato Soup, Sausage Sweet Potato Soup,  or  Creamy Sweet Potato Tomato Bisque.

I’ve experimented with sweet potatoes in bread and have enjoyed spectacular  Sweet Potato Bread and Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Bread.  We have more sweet potato recipes here in the kitchen but these will get you started.

Kate in the Kitchen has some great Sweet Potato recipes including Sweet Potato Oatmeal Muffins and Curried Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Chard.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t finish my sweet potato rambles with a mention of Sweet Potato Pie that Laura shared awhile back.

We also occasionally treat our dogs to some sweet potatoes mixed in with their food. For some reason, sweet potatoes take care of many digestive issues that a dog might have.

If you are looking to make every dish count nutritionally, you can’t go wrong sweet potatoes. Do you have a favorite sweet potato recipe to share?


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Filed under Eating seasonally/CSA, Vegetable dishes, Vegetarian/vegetarian-friendly

Warm Potato Salad

Yes, I’m still finding ways to use the scrumptious oven-roasted tomatoes I made a few weeks ago. Tonight they dressed up a warm potato salad. This turned out to be a super simple, super tasty side for our dinner.

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Filed under recipes, salads

Pasta with kielbasa, peppers, and onions

It all started with a busy day. And a package of kielbasa and just a few ingredients. Something magical happened on the way to the table. This meal was a happy accident that will definitely happen again!

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Filed under methods, Resourceful cooking, Vegetarian/vegetarian-friendly