Keeping the house, the kids and the hubby without breaking the bank, the earth, the people I love, or myself.

Turkey Leftovers?

Turkey leftovers are good for about 4 days in the refrigerator.  After that, they need to go.  Anytime I have more than I think can be used in that time-frame, I dice it and freeze in 2 cup portions for using in recipes like the ones in this blog post.

There are so many things you can do with turkey leftovers.  Aside from the standard cold turkey sandwiches, which I love, you might like to try a casserole. 

Take a look at my Chicken Vegetable Cobbler. Use leftover turkey instead.  There are a few variations on this, and they're all quite easy.  You need meat, thickened sauce, frozen mixed vegetables, and a topper.  Cook 30 or so minutes at 350F.  (Some might take longer than 30 minutes.  Choose from any of the following:

I use a 2 quart casserole and the quantities listed:

1 cup to 2 cups cut up, just depends on what I have


Thickened sauce:
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups

leftover gravy
canned soup (cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken)
canned gravy (turns out to be lighter and lower in sodium than canned cream soups!)
thickened broth (broth + cornstarch mixed thoroughly.)

1 recipe/1 can/1 mix or about 1 1/2 cups

refrigerated canned biscuit dough or croissant dough (these are the highest-in-fat choices)
Boxed mix of stuffing (here's a lazy resourceful tip:  mix the stuffing + water (omit margarine) in the package that the stuffing comes in.  Fork it on top of the casserole right out of the bag, toss the bag.  No washing up.)
Leftover or instant mashed potatoes
Leftover mashed sweet potatoes
Homemade drop or rolled biscuits (recipe for this is in my Chicken Vegetable Cobbler post)
boxed corn muffin mix (follow instructions on mix and drop by spoonful on top of casserole)

Frozen mixed vegetables:
1 1/2 cups

Standard or,
peas and carrots
broccoli blends are too strong for this casserole
You can use canned, but I find them too soft, salty, and sweet.

This casserole comes together in just a few minutes, bakes in 30-45 and really hits the spot on a cold day.  Leftovers are great for lunch! 



I've finally gotten around to rearranging this blog.  It's something I've wanted to do for over a year and well, there, I've done it.  I can cross it off my list. 

The photo in the header is from Dufferin Islands in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  We spent a few afternoons hiking and picnicking there with the kids this summer. Dufferin Islands are just down the road from the Falls.  It's a nice escape from the busyness of the tourists in Niagara Falls. Also, it's free to park there, so if you don't mind the mile walk to the falls from there, you can save your $20-some and park at the islands. 

I have a few more changes to make, but in the meantime, please let me know if anything's not working. 


Good, Bad, and Wickedly Ugly Christmas Trees 2009

More samplings from the Worldwide Christmas Tree Contest 2009.

If you're naughty en espana, glow-eyed cat will leave lumps of something-that-looks-like-coal-but-isn't under your tree:

The tree is not bad. All of the rest of it adds up to years and years of therapy
for some unfortunate child/children...

Is this even done yet? Nonetheless, a little too artsy-fartsy for me.

This tree is pretty unremarkable, but the picture kind of freaks me out. You're busted, Santa!
I knew you existed!

"Mommy, why is Santa's head coming out of the tree?"
Kind of looks like the tree shat a village, too...

I've got Eric Clapton in my head. It's all white, it's all white, it's all white. . .
Damn! That's bright! Sun hats and pom poms? Only yellow lights? Like piddle on snow...
Random feathers and a teeny sunflower on top. What the hell?
I'm sure someone likes this.
I don't.
Frig! More feathers. Again: what the hell??? Oh and look, it's a half-and-half tree:

I'm not sure what you had to go through to create this, but yep, I like it. PS: nice pile of rocks, there. I see you're also raising boy children. One day I'll share all the rock piles I find in my house, too.
O. My. Gawd.

Imagine how pretty this would be with multi-coloured blinking lights at night:

Let's stop for a minute and think about the implications of placing baby Jesus, the three wise men, Mary, and Joseph in the middle of Santa Land. And do you really need to hang Santa all over the place? I'm not sure if you're trying to say "Die Santa, Die!" or "Jesus Clause is the reason for the season." I'm so confused!

oooooooooh, aaaaaaaaaaah:

How obsessive-compulsive do you have to be to have a giant spill-mat under
a pristine non-shedding tree like this one:
I could like this one. I really could. If only those two green balloons at the bottom didn't look like terribly asymmetrical boobies:

Where to start with this one? We've got the frou-frou explosive topping, the fungus-coloured decorations and is that skinny little tree in the background actually bowing to this eyesore? And that too-small tree skirt makes your tree's ass look fat:

How can you not like this? Though, this might be cheating...

Yellow tree. Pez dispensers. Metalic green bows. I think I'm gonna hurl...

I like recycling. I particularly like that this family took all those useless AOL discs and made lovely family photo ornaments out of them:

I suspect this is a festivus pole disguised as a Christmas tree:

The most frilly, frou-frou, overdecorated, glitzy trees are from central American entrants. This Argentinian walks to the beat of his own drummer:


Just when we were firm in our belief that only American rednecks crafted beer can/bottle Christmas trees, this Brit comes along to prove us wrong.
It seems to be suspended mid air. How'd he do that?

Leave it to a German to design a thoroughly unique, completely practical not-a-tree. After Christmas, burn the tree! I bet it smells fabulous! Love it!

Hannakuh not-a-tree in the Christmas Tree contest. You rebel, you:

Someone got a pom-pom maker for Christmas last year. And, is the valance tied to the top of the tree? Hey, nice plastic on the couch! I have kids. I understand.

I would not have thought this was a Christmas tree, but it's entrant #445 in the World Wide Christmas tree contest. What are these?

Same comment as above, but entrant #427:

Kitty: "Go ahead. Get a picture of it now before I sink my claws into it. Mwhaahahahaha"


Mixing up your bible stories, folks:

I could be fair and show you a picture of our Christmas tree. But I won't. You see, I foster cats and kittens. We currently have 5 in residence. A week ago, it was six. The bottom 2 feet of my tree no longer have ornaments. The lights are restrung daily. We did not hang garland this year. Some day, I'll have a Christmas tree without kittens, and then I'll share the tree with you. The first night the tree was up, the next morning we woke to find the youngest kitten in the upper most branches sound asleep. She still thinks it's her tree.

Want to have a laugh about cats and trees? Go read this: A Cat's Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Now that you've finished your Christmas baking

I'm going to show you something that will send you out to the store for the supplies to make just one more batch of cookies.

These are fun, lovely and, most importantly, yummerrific!

I'm talking about stained glass window cookies.

(The "windows" are less opaque than they appear in my pictures. Holding them up to light is cool, too!)

I've read the instructions in my cookbook year after year, but have never taken that extra step to make them because I always forget to purchase the hard candies that make the stained glass centers in these cookies.

I love the flavour of these. The dough is just your basic sugar cookie cut-out dough, which I've always thought was bland. The candies give the flavour a nice little kick.

I used Lifesavers and I crushed them and mixed the colours in each "window." Next year, I'll do solid colours and skip crushing them. I hear Jolly Rancher candies work just as well as Lifesavers.

I purchased a mini star cutter and used my son's duckie playdough cutter or cut out shapes from each cookie with a knife. A small cutter is the easiest method.

Basic Sugar Cookie Cutouts recipe

1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375F.

First beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer (I use my dough hooks and my cheap little hand mixer on medium, using turbo when the mixer starts to struggle and I can do the whole batch with it.) Stir in any remaining flour. (Use your hands. Seriously. Just make sure they and your nails are clean.) Divide the dough in half, cover and chill it for 30 minutes or until it's easy to handle.

Next, on a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/8" thick. Cut out dough into desired shapes. Then cut smaller shapes out of the cookie centers. Finely crush 3 ounces hard candy if mixing colours. If you're not going to mix colours, don't bother crushing them. Fill each center with some of the candy right to the top edges of the cookies. You can top cookies with coloured sugars if you would like. Bake on a foil lined cookie sheet 7-8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.* Allow to cool on the foil completely before removing with a spatula. You don't need to spray the foil, but you may. Store tightly covered.

*For non stained glass sugar cookies, place cutouts on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for the same time/temp. Remove from oven and move cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Decorate as you like.


Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry cookies

I suppose I could call them PORC cookies. Would you like a porc cookie? I didn't think so.

I've been on a quest for the perfect pumpkin cookie for years. My mother made a spiced pumpkin cookie that I just loved. She'd slather penuche frosting on top and my mouth would be transported to pumpkin heaven. Oh my. Mom lost her recipe ages ago, thus my search.

This recipe is the closest thing to my idea of the perfect pumpkin cookie I've found so far. And it's full of nutritious goodness, too! They're also low in fat and this recipe is vegan! I originally found this recipe here. I've modified it some.

The kids love these cookies. They'll do extra chores to get some more!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Cookies

In a medium sized bowl, mix together:

2 c flour
1 1/3 c rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

In a large bowl, mix together:

1 2/3 c sugar (I use a blend of splenda and sugar)
2/3 c canola oil
2 T molasses
1 c canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla

Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl in 3 batches, folding to combine. (I use the dough hooks on a mixer. Works a treat!)

Add 1 1/2 cups raisins and dried cranberries. Mix.

Drop by tablespoon onto cookie sheet.

Bake 10 minutes at 350. Cool on wire rack.

The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Since my kids attend nut-free schools (luckily the restriction doesn't apply to the kids) I do not use any nuts. Next time I make them, I'm going to add ground flaxseed in place of the nuts.


Not-a-Christmas-Tree Trees

I've come across so many of these I had to create a post just for them. Some are good, some are ugly, some are fabulous.

I think when my fake tree eventually dies and goes to a donation center in the sky I'll go the not-a-tree route. Lots of ideas out there:

recycling: good. This not-a-tree: not so much
p.s. You'd be a lot fatter than that chick if you ate all that cereal.

The folks at BLDG 15 made this crochet Christmas tree a couple years ago:

Lego: I heart you

Not enough kitchen storage? Here ya go:
long as you don't mind the fruit flies once these bananas ripen and rot...

I kind of like it, but it doesn't feel Christmassy:
What would be ultra cool is if this were a photo-tree and you could insert photos from your own Christmases over time. That would be awesome!

The ladder (I love this!):

This won an award. Apparently there were no other entrants:



If you have about 300 old SCSI drives laying around, you can make this one:
though it does look kind of scuzzy to me.

I don't know...if you were going to buy a tree, anyway, you don't get green points for this:

This I don't mind so much, except that there is clearly a decorating skills deficiency at play here:

I love this and I think I'll make one! Baby food jar tree:
(Clicking on the picture will take you to the source where there are instructions to make your own.)

Another one to make:

I like this cardboard tree:

by far, my favourite:
pssst: I can see your pencil outline.


About This Blog

Saving money. Saving graces. Raising children, husbands and, sometimes, cats. Laughing. Living. Thinking. Doing. Life in the Niagara Region of Ontario.

About Me

I am a happily married woman with four children and various cats and kittens (fosters). I love to read and my favourite authors are George RR Martin, Thomas Hardy, Raymond Carver, PD James, Kurt Vonnegut, J. K. Rowling, and Margaret Atwood. I know there are only three women in that list (and none of them American), so if you'd like to suggest some I'm willing to give them a shot! And yes, I am an American living in Canada. (Hence the nick -- CannedAm.) I like it here. There are things about the states that I miss, but my love is here and this country has things to offer that my own does not. Things that make my quality of life much better than it ever was in Ohio. Guess I'm stuck here. Though there's a nice spot in the Appalachian hills where I'd love to spend my retirement.

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