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Even before we have the big meal, there is a mad rush to plan what to do with Thanksgiving Turkey leftovers. Of course you can always slap a little mayo and turkey on some bread. Or you could get just a teensy bit fancier with this super easy and dare I say adorable leftover recipe. Who doesn’t love a muffin, after all?
You might want to add a box of frozen puff pastry to your shopping list this week.
- 2 cups finely chopped turkey leftovers (can also use chicken)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup (do not add water)
- 2 cups (or ½ bag) frozen California mix
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 box (2 sheets) of Frozen Puff Pastry sheets
- *Optional zucchini, sliced into medallions
- Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- Thaw the puff pastry sheets per package directions, then cut each sheet into 6 sections.
- Finely chop or grind the turkey or chicken meat.
- Mix the meat leftovers with remaining ingredients except puff pastry and zucchini and cheese.
- Position each puff pastry sheet into a regular-sized muffin cup in a 12-cup muffin pan, lightly pressing down to the bottom of the cup.
- Spoon approximately ¼ C meat/veggie mix into each muffin cup.
- Loosely turn the pastry flaps over onto the topsof the cups. They will only be partially covered.
- Top with roughly a tablespoon of grated cheese.
- Bake in a 425 degree oven for aproximately 25 minutes or until the tops are browned.
- If puff pastry isn't your thing, an alternative version of this recipe is to alternate layers of sliced zucchini and a tablespoon of meat/veggie mix in each muffin cup, topped with cheese.
Layered zucchini alternative:
Need even more ideas? Checkout these great leftover ideas over at Brandi’s site, Mama Teaches. Makes me wish I’d gotten a bigger bird!
If you are lucky enough to have a mudroom, then you know what a challenge it is to keep it organized. It’s a natural drop zone for everyone and everything. It can often look like this.
Mudroom before organizing:
This little mudroom is right off the garage (right) and also has the laundry off to the left, a pantry and a storage closet. Talk about spaces to collect clutter!
Keeping this organized is a family affair, but usually one person will lead the charge.
Usually it’s mom.
But getting it organized when it gets crazy doesn’t have to be a big deal. A few simple tips is all it takes. Use the SPACE organizing formula I told you about to get through this project quickly.
- Label cubbies so people know where to find important things stored here, like batteries and light bulbs.
- Clear out seasonal items each season.
- Assign a place for shoes.
- Create collection spots (like these pretty bins below) for items for specific family members, so they can go through them.
- Keep bags to a minimum. Like hangers, they reproduce when we’re not looking, and become a big part of the clutter problem.
In a very short amount of time (about an hour), we went through all the cabinets and drawers and counter top in this area and came up with this.
Doesn’t that make you smile when coming in (or going out of) the house?
By the way, if you aren’t lucky enough to have a mudroom, maybe you’ll like this rolling boot tray to organize the front hall closet.
What do you love about this organized mudroom?
I am bumping a previously scheduled post to bring you this chai-riffic recipe on this cold and blustery day. If you haven’t had chai, which is what we Americans call spiced tea, you are in for a treat. This beverage has none of the bitterness of coffee, and more flavor than bagged teas. You can find powdered and prepared chai on some grocery shelves, and you can pay $5 per cup at your favorite coffee shop, but after trying this, you won’t want either of those.
Making one batch of this can save you time and money compared to stopping at your coffee shop.
I’ve spent the last several weeks adjusting this recipe to make a whole batch at a time. There’s just no getting around the fact that it has to be cooked, but by making a good sized batch, I have a cup ready to go each morning for a week.
- 4 cups water
- 12 oz can of evaporated milk
- ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ tsp anise seed
- 2 whole anise stars
- 1 Tbsp fresh diced ginger*
- ¼ tsp whole black peppercorns*
- ¼ tsp whole cloves
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp real vanilla extract
- 2 tea bags
- In a medium saucepan, combine water, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and all spices.
- Bring to boil on medium heat.
- Reduce heat to simmer, add tea bags, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Before straining, squeeze tea bags a couple of times in the liquid.
- Strain the liquid through a fine wire strainer into a jug or jars with lids.
- Store for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Garnish with whipped cream if desired.
This recipe replaces sweet with spicy. I don't add any sugar or sweetener, and I prefer it to coffee and tea that I tend to load up with cream and sugar. You just don't need it here.
Just a few helpful hints as you are preparing this. I’ve already noted in the recipe that you should absolutely use fresh ginger and whole peppercorns, neither of which are part of my normal shopping list. Fresh ginger is in the produce aisle of most regular grocery stores, and you don’t need to peel it since it gets strained out; just finely dice it. Whole peppercorns are in a jar in the spice aisle. I’ve only used black pepper so far, so I’d love to hear if you have a specialty peppercorn that would make this even better.
Giving a shout out to Whole Foods, I recently learned that they have bulk spices that you can buy in very small quantities, as small as just a teaspoon at a time. Some of the spices that I don’t normally have on hand, including anise and anise stars, cost next to nothing in small doses. This is a HUGE cost savings over buying whole jars, which would take me forever to use and would normally be very pricey, if you can even find them.
I’ll be the first to admit that the process of straining the cooked chai is a little bit of a pain, but it’s a worthwhile trade for me. Prep this recipe one day a week and have this yummy treat on hand to warm up in the microwave on cold mornings. (That’s the organizing tip for today.)
Did you know that you can use cinnamon sticks more than once? Fish out the cinnamon stick you just used, rinse it and dry it. Then store it to use for next week’s batch, and save even more money.
You can use milk instead of evaporated milk, but I don’t often have milk in the fridge. It’s great to know everything I need for this drink is in the pantry and ready to make a batch anytime.
This drink is also refreshing cooled and blended with ice. Yum!
I’ve made this recipe using as much as 6 cups of water to start (keeping all other ingredients at the same amounts) and it still tastes spiced and full-bodied. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your personal taste.
Chai Latte Recipe Flourish
One last nugget. True story, if I were ordering this at the coffee house, I wouldn’t pass up the whipped cream garnish, but I never add it at home. What would you do?