2014 Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

We all need some 11th hour inspiration from time to time. If you’re still working out the kinks in your menu, here are some  favorite fun ideas.

What sweet little Thanksgiving Turkeys.

 

For starters, if you have a lot of kids in attendance, here are a few fun ideas to keep them occupied AND make some great contributions to the feasting table. As per the picture above, try making some adorable candy turkeys. Check out the video below: …

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Easy Restaurant Style Enchilada Sauce (Gluten free, Vegan)

 Restaurant style enchiladas – on your home menu!

enchilada sauce

Easy enchilada sauce packed with restaurant worthy flavor.

This falls into the “Why Didn’t I Think of This Before?” category. Every year, our garden is overflowing with tomatoes this time of year. And every year I try to think of ways to preserve the bounty.

I have made my own tomato paste, and my own roasted tomato sauce for the freezer. But until now I have never made enchilada sauce for preserving. This is coming from a person who has as one of my go-to easy meals – huevos rancheros – which was one of my first posts on this blog (apologies for the very bad photo!) -So, you see, I use enchilada sauce all the time in my kitchen.

Enchilada sauce is a cinch to make – and I like to make the kind you eat and love in restaurants – thick and flavorful. And in my version, the chiles peppers thicken the sauce and so you don’t use flour. More flavor, no gluten.

You will have to use dried chile peppers for this recipe, which can be found at some grocery stores, but if you can find a Mexican market near you, they are very abundant and much cheaper there. I got a huge bag for just a few dollars.

You won’t regret the effort to make this flavorful sauce with just a small kick of heat – especially in February, when you can remember warm days in the garden in every bite!

— posted by Donna

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Check out our end-of-summer giveaway: a 5-Tray Aroma Dehydrator!

Enter to win this fabulous 5-tray dehydrator!

Summer’s drawing to a close, and food enthusiasts everywhere are getting down to business with their late-summer preservation efforts. Canning gets tons of attention of course, as well it should. But dehydrating your fruits, veggies and herbs is another wonderful way to extend the life of your produce.  I used to do any dehydrating in my oven on a low temperature, which is manageable, but having this awesome piece of equipment has been a huge blessing.

Check it out!

The Aroma Dehydrator!

It’s lightweight, it’s easy to use, and gets fantastic results.I use it all the time for ludicrously healthful snack recipes like our Cheesy Kale Chips and Crunchy Broccoli Puffs.

From the manufacturer: “Perfect for everyone from outdoor hobbyists to the health-conscious, this dehydrator is designed for efficient, even drying. It handles everything from fruit slices to beef jerky on five spacious, height adjustable trays. It’s equipped with an electric fan and automatically rotating trays that spin in both directions, and was designed to prevent the overheating that eliminates food’s vital nutrients. The clear vented lid controls moisture and lets you monitor the process without disruption. Includes 5 stackable rotating trays, fruit leather sheet, drying screen and instructional cookbook.”

(I should also mention here that this is in absolutely no way a sponsored post. I’m genuinely, authentically enthused about the product, scout’s honor.)

So! You have six ways – one of which can be done once a day! Like so:

1. Leave a comment here, once per day, with something you’d like to try dehydrating. That’s IT! Every comment you leave counts as one entry (the other ways to enter you can only do once apiece).

2.  Like our page on Facebook (and then leave a comment here telling us that you did, so as to give you your point).

3. Follow us on Twitter, and then comment accordingly.

4.  Share the link for this giveaway and then leave us a comment here about that – Twitter, Stumble Upon, Facebook, or any other way!

5. Pin this giveaway on Pinterest, and then tell us so here.

6. Mention our giveaway on your own blog and leave us the link in a comment.

Winner will be selected via Random.org. We’ll announce the lucky reader after Labor Day weekend, and announce the winner on Thursday  September (yes, we’re already talking about September) fifth. Entries accepted through Wednesday at midnight. Best of luck to you all!

Mmm, bounty. Photos all via Aroma Housewares.

– posted by Anne

 

Dishwasher Blanched Vegetables – No steam. No hassle. Veggies ready for the freezer.

Dishwasher Blanced Vegetables

Yes, these are vegetables. In the dishwasher.

Your dishwasher is the best tool to use to blanch vegetables before freezing them.

Ok, I know that some of you are laughing hysterically right now. But. You must trust me on this one. Please read on!

Blanching is a technique of dipping vegetables in boiling water to set their color and texture. It’s perfect for preparing veggies for the freezer, but It is also a great technique if you want to use barely cooked veggies in a dish.

I have been using this technique for 30 years, since my days in Oregon where endless produce abounds in every yard in the neighborhood. Dishwasher blanching is the easiest, best way to get your produce from the garden to the freezer and then to your tables in the dead of winter – tasting fresh and flavorful. I use this method for asparagus, corn, green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower – any sturdy vegetable, really. I have blanched cabbage this way, but haven’t tried leafy greens. Yet. (Note to self: try spinach next.) You will need to experiment with your dishwasher to see which cycle is best for blanching. I use the short cycle that is 80 minutes long and includes the heated dry cycle. You MUST use the heated dry cycle in order to blanch your veggies. Oh, also: don’t use soap :)

Just load your veggies and turn on the dishwasher and wait. Polish your nails or read a book. Take a much needed nap in a hammock. Remember, you just saved hours of boiling water and dipping and then cooling vegetables in an ice bath. Cut your blanched veggies and throw into zip top bags and then into the freezer. That’s it. Really.

Happy Harvest to you All ~

 –posted by Donna

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