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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Legend of St. Nicholas

We have all heard of St. Nicholas but do we really know who he was?? Saint Nicholas was a Christian Saint who lived in the country of Greece. He worked among the needy people and cared for the children. He had left behind his worldly values and followed Christ into ministry became a priest and later a bishop of the early Catholic church.

St. Nicholas inspired the hanging of the stockings. He was known to travel and throw gold coins into the windows of the needy. When one bag of gold coins landed into the stocking of a child news quickly traveled and all children started hanging their stockings by the chimney. It was their "hopes that St. Nicholas sound would be there".

In the 1800s the life story of St. Nicholas inspired the creation of Santa Claus. It was in America that the story evolved into the legend of Santa Claus and how generous he was to children. Santa Claus however, is largely a non-religious character

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Motivational Monday

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

My good friend has her Christmas tree up. It looks beautiful with the sparkles of blue. My tree, well that's another story I hope to have it up by the second week of December. Now I have a question for all of you When do you put up your Christmas tree??

Friday, November 27, 2015

Capture Those Holiday Pictures with Mixbook and Save (coupon code)

With Thanksgiving over and the Merry occasion of Christmas approaching swiftly you will want to capture as much of the emotions during the holidays that you can. There is one company Mixbook that is here to help you do that. Capture your moments of celebration, sympathy, love and life this season and display them in a variety of ways that you can find at mixbook. Christmas photos can be featured on backgrounds with snowflakes, candy canes and colorful ornaments Likewise, you can choose how your photos are laid out in collages, portraits across the gutter, along the top or featured inside holiday artwork. You can add your own personal quotes and tags to highlight eye catching typography as well.

Merry Christmas is part of the seasonal photo books collection and is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Mixbooks creates photo books, cards and calendars that are also 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Only the highest quality, heavy weight papers from sustainable forests and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance.

Christmas Mixbook are available in 3 sizes. They are digitally pressed and takes about 1-2 business days to complete. Mixbook can be customized with your own photos, text, layout, stickers, backgrounds. Personalize and make it your own.

Annies Home readers will love the offer that I can pass along. Mixbook is wishes to offer a 50% discount on 10x10 photo books and cards or take a 40% off any product they offer. Simply visit and use code MIXDEALS15

Butterfinger cake

My daughter in law made this beautiful cake for Thanksgiving. We were so happy that she was able to do that. It was her aunt's recipe that had been handed down after her death. So as a tribute to aunt Kat this delicious cake was re-created. It almost was not though as the only copy of the recipe seemed to disappear. She looked for it low and high in the grocery store where she shopped, in the kitchen where she cooks and everywhere. Lots of hopes and prayers went into the finding of this recipe and eventually it showed up. It seems that there 3 year old had hidden the recipe in one of his safe places and when my DIL was cleaning she located it. Funny how he thought it was valuable as well. I am happy that she found it and can tell you that this was delicious.

Yellow, white or french vanilla cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel topping
4 whole Butterfinger candy bars
Small cool whip

Bake the cake mix according to the package direction.  While hot, poke holes all over the cake.  Pour can of sweetened condensed milk and caramel over hot cake.  Crush up 3 Butterfingers and spread on top of gooey layer.  Allow to cool and refrigerate.  Once cooled completely, top with cool whip and last Butterfinger, crushed.  Serve cold. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Keep Those Turkey Bones

We all know there should will be leftovers after Thanksgiving dinner. But I am here to remind you that there are things that will be left over that you may not thinking about keeping for later use. One of those things are the turkey bones. If you have never made soup from using the turkey bones then you may not know about this tasty dish. Here is a great recipe I have shared here on Annies Home before Hope you enjoy

1 meaty turkey frame
 4 cups water
 4 cups turkey or chicken broth
 1 large onion, quartered
 1 clove garlic, crushed
 1/2 tsp. salt
 Chopped cooked turkey
 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
 1-1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
 3 cups sliced or cubed vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, or turnips
 1-1/2 cups high-fiber or whole wheat pasta, such as rotini or penne
 1 15-oz. can Great Northern beans or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
 Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Break turkey frame or cut in half with kitchen shears. Place in large pot. Add water, broth, onion, garlic, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Remove turkey frame. Cool; cut meat off bones; coarsely chop meat. Add enough turkey to equal 2 cups. Set aside. Discard bones. Strain broth; skim off fat. Return broth to pot. Stir in tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Stir in vegetables. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; simmer for 5 minutes. Add pasta. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is tender and still firm and vegetables are tender. Stir in turkey and beans; heat through. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese

The First Thanksgiving

What the Pilgrims Really Ate

The Pilgrims probably did not sit down to a feast like we will eat tommorow. They probaly had food more along the lines of venison (deer meat), duck, clams, lobsters, pumpkin dishes, possibly a salad topped with nuts, parsnips and carrots, fruits that were in season While these dishes of sort may be incorporated into our family Thanksgiving dinner those at the first Thanksgiving wanted to keep it simple and offer foods that they could find close by.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cranberry Relish

This holiday dish is one that might just be considered my favorite. I love the way it goes deliciously well with ham or turkey or as far as that goes pretty much whatever entrée meat you will be serving. It is also a dish that my mother often brought to the holiday table and was quite proud of it. While her sisters were bakers and caterers her cranberry relish was one that was topped by none other. I hope that you enjoy!!

1 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more to taste
1 strip orange or lemon zest
1 orange, quartered (unpeeled), seeds removed
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, quartered (unpeeled), seeds removed
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Empty cranberries into a saucepan, reserving 1/2 cup in a small bowl. To the saucepan, add 1 cup of the sugar, the lemon or orange zest, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes.
 Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the reserved cranberries. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
Roughly chop the apple and orange in a food processor with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Fold into the cranberry sauce along with pecans. Let cool to room temperature before serving

this recipe originally found in the food network magazine.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Time To Thaw The Turkey

If you have not done so yet and you plan on having Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner then you had better get to doing this very important task. The amount of time that you will need to defrost your turkey will depend on how the job is done and how big your turkey is. For the old thaw in the fridge it will take at least 24 hours to defrost per every 5 lbs of turkey.

Defrost Turkey in Fridge (considered the best method) takes 24 hours per 5 lbs of meat which means that a 10 lb turkey will take 2 days to safely thaw.
Keeping the turkey in the original packaging and on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator thaw the turkey. The reason the lowest shelf is important is to safeguard  that the turkey does not drip in any other food. As the turkey begins to thaw you should expect that the packaging should drip and leak. It is best to keep the turkey on a tray that will help catch any juice that leaks out.

Cold Water Method of thawing your turkey takes less time about 30 minutes per lb.
If you did not start thawing your bird in the fridge soon enough then this method would be your best.
Do not remove original packaging from the turkey and place turkey in a leak proof package to make sure water does not seep into turkey. Fill sink with cold water and place bag with turkey water. It is important that the water is changed every 30 minutes and that it stays cold. After thawing immediately cook turkey

Microwave Thawing is not recommended as it tends to dry out the turkey.
To thaw in the microwave remove turkey from packaging both inside and out. The turkey packaging as well as your microwave may be able to tell you how long to defrost turkey.

Few things to check to be sure turkey is completely defrosted:
check the inside of the turkey to remove giblets and check for any ice crystals that may be present.

Poke the thicker portion of turkey with a fork if it gives then the turkey is thawed but if it is hard then it needs to thaw further.

Thanksgiving Countdown

Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving: purchase all the non - perishable items you will need

time to defrost the turkey

time to set the table and the centerpiece. This allows you to enjoy it for more time than just the big day.

prepare recipes and serving dishes. One great way to do this is to write the recipe on an index card and place in the dish it will be created in

time to clean the glassware. If you have a special set of wine glasses or you are like me and have a special set of glasses set aside for company use.

Day before Thanksgiving:
prepare veggies that will be needed for the dinner. Place these in plastic baggies and chill

prepare the pies

prepare the potatoes, store in a covered bowl of cold water

prepare appetizers that you will be serving

today is the day to pick up that fresh turkey

shop for all those last minute items such as bread, rolls, salad, etc...

prepare the side dishes that can be made ahead of time.

Thanksgiving Day:
Big day of cooking but also remember to make room in the kitchen and also to enjoy yourself when its time for the dinner

Sunday, November 22, 2015 Holiday discount

I am happy to share here with all of my Annies Home readers about a great deal from Label Daddy. Right now you can save 20% on Label Daddy labels.

Company Information:
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Label Daddy every day labels are great for clothing, sports equipment, electronics, toys and other places that need labels. Holiday gift labels are perfect for labeling all the holiday items and gifts. Label Daddy labels are awesome for those who are traveling to help things from getting lost or mixed up with others. Labels are for every member of the family. Adults can label their personal items like sunglass or eyeglass cases, phones, cameras, sports equipment, tablet, e-reader, hats, clothing and more

Label Daddy labels are super durable peel and stick washable labels. They are also washer and dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant. Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. Label Daddy labels are fun and attractive and you can even design your own labels. Pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos. You can even choose from Disney and marvel characters, MLB, NBA and NHL team logos. The exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must for camp.

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