Posts tagged cooking

Something More than Pumpkin Pie

This is the time of year for Winter Squash and that old seasonal favorite, Pumpkins. We all have leftover Pumpkin, mostly from the Halloween carvings but also from tabletop decorations of fresh Squash and Gourds that are not eaten. My next post will be on crafts you can make with fresh Gourds. Today we are going to tackle the leftover Pumpkin. Although everyone is familiar with the use of leftover Pumpkin in pies and for the roasted seeds, there just aren’t a lot of tasty recipes for that leftover Pumpkin that everyone in the family will eat. So I thought I’d tackle some great ideas for recipes using that leftover Pumpkin and make sure to toss in something for everyone. I promise you these recipes will give you something more than the same old Pumpkin Pie..

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Making Cool Summer Drinks

Everyone always drinks a lot more in the summer. The heat, the humidity, the activity, all conspire to make us thirsty. Even swimming in the ocean, with all that salt, brings people out to grab a soda pop. So when everyone is around the pool, enjoying the sun and the beautiful blue sky, why not make some cool drinks they will enjoy? How about making some of them from herbs and natural ingredients? How about making some of them alcoholic so people can relax and get into a groove? And how about making some blender drinks or a punch that even the kids can slurp down? I have recipes for all of these so there is no excuse for sitting around the pool or on the beach with a cooler full of boring canned drinks. You can make these up and serve them out of the blender, pitchersor a thermos . If you put your drinks in Stainless steel reusable cooler cans then you are also helping the environment, protecting your children from dangerous plastics and keeping your drinks cool for the long haul! But if you do not have these stainless steel containers then there is nothing wrong with sterilizing some old drink bottles in boiling water and filling them up with one of these potions for the trip to the beach or the park.

For making the blender drinks you will need a blender. Any blender will do; although bartenders use special ones, you can use just about any blender you can find. The thift stores have used ones for really cheap. But if you do not have a blender and do not want to keep one, then you can use a cake mixer

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Fall Projects for Roses

You have been enjoying the Rose Garden all summer, watching the lovely flowers bloom and smelling their luscious fragrance. Now you are left with the coming of fall and the bloom is off the Rose. You have a house full of fallen petals from those lovely stalks you had in vases. You have a garden covered in pretty red, pink and yellow petals as your plants thin down, preparing for the colder, darker days ahead. You are thinking about raking them up but maybe just let them scatter. DON’T! Get busy and gather them all up. Don’t throw them out and let them fly off in a gust. There are many wonderful things you can make using these Rose petals, leaves and stems! They will make fodder for fascinating fall projects during the boring, indoor days you must now face. The beach and the sun may be fading, but the flowers are about to take over your life.

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Add Some Herbs to Thanksgiving

How about a more spicy, more herby Thanksgiving? Oh, I know, it’s about tradition and everyone is cooking Turkey with Cranberries and Stuffing. And I am not about to change that. I just want to throw in some recipes that include various herbs. Not only for the great taste and diversity herbs add to the meal but also for the healthy aspects of doing this, too. Herbs have healing powers and if you haven’t been able to start taking supplements or to get the ones you love to do that, either, than adding herbs to the biggest, most popular meal of the year may get them interested in doing more of it.

I promise you that these will not turn your meal into an Arab or Asian repast. I promise you it will not taste like Italian Turkey. I am not going to tell you to add Garlic to the Cranberries. I promise you. What I want to do is spruce up the traditions a little with some of the herbs they probably added to the original meal, back in the day when they didn’t have grocery stores but spent a lot of time in their own gardens. So there’s your selling point. I added some herbs to the meal because that’s the way the pilgrims did it. Maybe the kids will learn something! So here they are… a few simple recipes to include everyday herbs in a delicious rendition of the Thanksgiving pigout.

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Natural Halloween Treats

Halloween is all about costumes and candy. According to History.com, “Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.”

Hey, there is nothing funner than a costume party where someone reads everyone’s fortune.

So Halloween is actually one of those holidays that hasn’t strayed too far away from the original purpose, unlike Valentine’s Day and Christmas. But many of us would like to see our kids eating something other than tons of commercial candy with so much sugar and chemical additives. Although I do not suggest making candy and handing it out to the kids who come to the door (if you do this you risk serious scorn as well as suspicion). Kids are warned by authorities not to eat any candy that isn’t in a sealed commercial wrapper and this is due to the past poisonings of candy, including razor blades in apples. What a horrid way to ruin the possibilities of getting children to eat apples! So thanks to the creeps strike another victory for food factories. But such as it is, we can still make natural candies every day of the week and on Halloween and teach our own children to make and enjoy it. I threw together a few recipes that I thought my readers might like to try. You might be surprised.

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The Healing Powers of Common Kitchen Spices

You have a cabinet full of miracle medicine at home! I’m sure you realize that some of it is good for you, this sort of information has been all over the news. But the information is scattered and comes in small doses so that unless you keep a journal you will have trouble putting it all together. So I thought it might be handy to list every spice, explain how it works and give ideas for uses in your cooking. I will be posting in the future recipes that will help heal certain diseases. I am waiting until Winter because most of my recipes are too hearty for summer fare.

Although I have covered the subject in various ways and to a certain extent in previous posts, I am going to bring it all together now. Which spices can be used to heal what? And how do I use that spice in a meal? Here are the answers, in a simple list form:

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What’s In Your Food?

There is a big movement among Americans today to go more natural in their eating habits, such as switching to organic, buying local or eating more natural foods, foods that aren’t so processed. I thought it might be interesting to talk about processed foods and why they are so bad for you. Since my blog is about being natural, I thought I’d give you guys one more reason to do it.

I am sure that you are aware of the questions about the safety of many food additives, from food dyes to trans fats. A lot of information about additives has been in the news along with the many scares over food safety. A scare such as the ones we’ve had in recent years may linger in our minds long after researchers find that there’s actually no cause for alarm. It can take years, or even decades, to find out the truth, and sometimes the case is never really closed. So it’s always a good idea to do your research and play it safe when not really sure.

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