Category Archives: Thanksgiving

What to do with Turkey leftovers?

I’m one of those lucky women who has a husband who actually enjoys cooking, and Thanksgiving dinner is no different. He’ll be cooking the bird this week, and I’ll do my fair share of assisting, but since he’s head chef, rest assured there will be enough food for a third world country, despite the fact that we’re only entertaining a few guests. cranberrypearsauce2 (2013_02_16 17_02_21 UTC)So what’s a girl to do with all those leftovers? My sister was kind enough to gift me the perfect answer.

I found my new favorite recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers in the TURKEY LOVERS’ COOKBOOK, aptly published by BUTTERBALL.

A new twist on the turkey sandwich.

Turkey, Brie and Cranberry Apple Panini

2 slices of multigrain bread (Ezekiel Bread is my fav!)

4 tsp butter, softened (brushing the bread with olive oil works too)

2 tblsp cranberry chutney or cranberry relish

1 tablsp Dijon-style mayonnaise (I use Vegganaise and mix a little Dijon mustard)

3 ounces thinly sliced leftover cooked turkey (Does Butterball offer organic turkeys?)

2 ounces sliced Brie cheese

3 thin slices unpeeled crisp apple, cored

4 spinach leaves, stems removed

1)      Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter (or brush with olive oil)

2)      Spread other side of one slice with cranberry; spread the other side of second slice with mayonnaise mix.

3)      Place turkey on cranberry chutney (relish). Top with cheese slices, apple slices and spinach. Cover with second slice of bread, mayo side down.

4)      Grill in heated Panini grill 4-6 minutes or until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted. Cut sandwich in half and serve.

Turkey for breakfast?

Turkey, cheddar and vegetable Frittata

12 large eggs (egg substitute works just as well and is a fraction of the calories)

1 ½ cups diced leftover cooked turkey

1 cup diced leftover vegetables

1 cup (4ozs.) shredded Cheddar cheese

3 tblsp olive oil

¼ cup shredded or grated Pamesan cheese

1)      Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat eggs in large bowl (if using egg substitute, be sure to shake it well)

2)      Stir in turkey, vegetables and cheese.

3)      Heat oil in 12-in ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in egg mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes or until eggs start to set arund edges of skillet.

4)      Place in oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until top is firm and sides begin to pull away from edges.

5)      Remove skillet from oven. If you want to get fancy, Invert frittata onto serving platter. Before serving, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

It’s good with salsa, too!

A stick to your ribs favorite

Turkey and Mushroom Stroganoff

5 tblsp butter, divided. (Use 2 tblsp butter and supplement with 2 tblsp olive oil)

2 tsp minced garlic

2 cups diced onions

3 cups sliced mushrooms

½ tsp black pepper

¾ cup dry white wine

3 cups prepared brown gravy (packaged or jarred works fine)

2 pounds shredded leftover cooked turkey

2 cups sour cream (you can substitute plain Greek yogurt to eliminate fat and boost the protein)

1/3 cup fresh dill

8 ounces (4 cups) uncooked egg noodles (whole grain if you like).

1)      Melt 3 tblsp butter (2 tblsp butter and 1tblsp of olive oil) in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds. Add onions; cook and stir 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and pepper; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms are light brown. Add white wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until reduced by half.

2)      Stir in gravy (brown sauce) bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 3 minutes. Stir in turkey; heat through. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream (yogurt) and dill.

3)      Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Toss with remaining butter (and olive oil). Place on serving plate. Top with stroganoff mixture.

 If you’re really lazy after all the turkey and pie, you can resort to my very own Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie

Preheat oven to 350°

Layer in a casserole dish, leftover:

Gravy

Turkey

Mashed potatoes

Corn, peas, butternut squash or whatever leftover veggies you have (brussel sprouts and turnip EXCLUDED)

Layer of stuffing on top (add a thin layer of gravy on top to keep moist)

Cover and bake 45-50 minutes or until heated through.

Top with cranberry sauce, and serve

Not the least bit calorie conscious, but totally yummy!image-food-pyramid (2013_02_16 17_02_21 UTC)

 Okay, it’s your turn. What do you do with all your leftovers? 

Audiobooks

Good day, PJ Sharon here, coming to you from the snow-carpeted Berkshires. The first snow fall is always so pretty.  First snow picI have a couple of questions for all of you. Do you listen to audiobooks? How do you listen to them? And where do you find them? Best seller’s lists? Specific authors/narrators you love to read/hear? Let’s chat.

I’ll confess that I’ve only listened to a few audiobooks–and always in the car with a tangible CD (or 29 CD’s as is the case for OUTLANDER  which I’ve listened to five times). I’m afraid I haven’t made the leap to the next technological step in the evolution of how we read books and hear stories–digital audiobooks. As in–downloaded them onto my i-pod touch or my android phone, or listened to them directly from my computer. As hard as I try, I’m still resistant to learning/using new technology.

I often feel as if I’m being dragged forcibly into the future. I’m trying not to scream too loudly about it since I know that many people are having great success with audiobook sales. According to the world of publishing, audiobooks are in. Bob Mayer admits to having spent over $35,000 having all of his books turned into audiobooks, and I know Bella Andre thinks they are as untapped a market as the foreign marketplace. I’m pretty sure their audiobooks are selling…I’d love to ask them.

Personally, I’m not seeing it. Maybe because I’m not on any best sellers lists or because I’m not out “finding my audience” as diligently as is needed, but I don’t see my readers buying audiobooks. Whenever I mention that my book is available on audio, I’m asked where they can buy the CD so they can listen to it in their car. Um…sorry…no CD. These are friends and family I’m talking to, however–the folks like me who are always one step behind the latest tech trend. No problem, you say. You write books for teens, and teens in general are glued to the latest and greatest electronic devices. Surley, they must be listening to audiobooks. But once again, they don’t have the buying power of adults. And let’s face it, none of them is likely to spend $17.95 on a digital download of a book unless it’s someone they really want to read/hear.

When I decided to dabble in the realm of audiobooks, I figured I would start with a book that had universal appeal. Many adult readers loved HEAVEN IS FOR  HEROES for it’s sweet military romance, family drama and Thanksgiving theme. It seemed like the right story for an audiobook audience.HeavenisforHeroes_audiobookcover (2013_06_07 00_53_00 UTC)

You can hear a sample of Erin Mallon’s awesome narration of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES here. Just click on the little “listen” arrow beneath the cover picture on the sales page.

With companies like ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange), it’s much easier for authors to have professionally produced and fabulously narrated audiobooks. ACX offers two plans. You can either pay up front, which will likely cost you between $1,500-2,000, depending on the length of your book (mine was 78,000 words and would have cost me $1,000). Or you can do a 50/50 royalty share, where you pay an upfront cost (usually half) and then split the royalties until the complete cost of production is paid and I’ve sold a certain number of copies, at which time, my royalty rate increases.. Basically, I paid $500 for an awesome narrator who I found on the ACX site, and I split the royalties. It comes out to a nice little chunk of the $17.95 per copy price through Amazon, Audible, or i-tunes. If you want to read more about ACX and how it all works, the WG2E has several excellent posts here.

On the consumer’s side, If you’re an avid audiobook fan and decide to become an Audible Member, which is around $14.95/month, you’d get the $17.95 price point OR you can use the 1 Credit you get each month and download the book for FREE–or even gift it to someone else. You can also purchase the file from Amazon and get it FREE with a 30-day Audible Trial Membership.

Now, the other difficulty I find with audiobooks is getting people to review them. I don’t know if people who have bought the book have downloaded it and simply haven’t listened to it yet, or if they aren’t inclined to leave reviews on audiobooks. Either way, I can’t even give a copy away to get an honest review. ACX provides five free download codes to give out to reviewers or as giveaways, but finding reviewers for audiobooks seems to be a bit of a challenge. It’s a market that is getting increasingly flooded and some reviewers are backlogged for months. If anyone is willing to listen and review the book, I’d be happy to gift you a copy along with instructions on how to download from Audible, Amazon, or i-tunes. All I ask in return is that you give it an honest review.

If anyone has any suggestions on where’s a good place to market audiobooks or how I can get some reviews, I’m wide open! I’ve even tried to join a Goodreads group of romance audiobook reviewers, but those groups are pretty persnickety about authors promoting themselves. If you aren’t part of the discussion every day, it’s not really cool to just jump in and ask for reviews. And since I hang around mostly with the characters in my head and not the characters on Goodreads, I haven’t found an “in”.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on audiobooks. Questions are cool too–if you’re wondering about the process or have questions about working with ACX. I’d be happy to answer them. Have a lovely day!

Sweet Gratitude is My Favorite Attitude! by Author Jan Nash

Thanks for the blog invite to The Seven Scribes, Katy! It’s great to be here. My debut novel, POWERLESS CONSENT, is available at: (Amazon, B&N, and SMP) Pop over to my website www.janetnash.com for details on my book. Here’s a little hint: You’ll never talk on your cell phone the same!

Sweet Gratitude is My Favorite Attitude!

I decided to skip the standard author Q and A and chat about Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.

So…Thanksgiving night, just before I slipped into my jammies and bellied up to my laptop, a flash of indigestion reminded me of how much I’d eaten. Turkey smothered in gravy, sweet potato casserole, crescent rolls slathered in butter, pecan pie…oh what a feast. Did I mention the second piece of pecan pie? Though decadent and yummy, my dancing taste buds weren’t the highlight of my Thanksgiving. What I savored most was spending dedicated time in gratitude. Ah, sweet gratitude is my favorite attitude.

Hubby and I make an extra effort to spotlight all our blessings during the Thanksgiving season. It’s become a treasured tradition. We focus on the simple, yet joyous things we normally take for granted and try to come up with creative ways to bless others. Here’s one…I’m so blessed to own an oven. I can bless a neighbor or friend by baking cookies. An added bonus is that a few cookies manage to fill my cookie jar. For me, focusing on how blessed I am always ignites a sense of fulfillment and serenity. And that night was no exception.

It didn’t take long for my happy thoughts to be interrupted by another Black Friday commercial. The chatter actually started around November 1st.  Surely, you’ve heard all the buzz. Super sales, blowout prices, save up to 80%; stores open at noon Thanksgiving Day. All I could think about was what happened to celebrating and giving thanks with family and friends?  Don’t get me wrong, Christmas shopping rocks and who doesn’t like a great bargain? But couldn’t it wait until early Friday morning? I still wanted to savor the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

I didn’t want to end my favorite holiday as a Debbie Downer, so I started thinking of what would add to the Thanksgiving spirit. I know. A smile splashed across my face. What if instead of calling it Black Friday, we tagged it Blessed Friday, and spent the day blessing others instead of spending money? Oh, I liked that idea. Personally, I’m not a super shopper, so the Blessed Friday concept sang to my soul.

Either way, shop till you drop or pay it forward, I’m staying in the zone of my attitude of sweet gratitude.

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to blog!

Readers: What are you grateful for?

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of my book, Powerless Consent.

 
 
 
Katy Lee here: Jan, you sure have blessed me with your post today! You put in words how I have felt all week.  I used to work in retail and the term “Black Friday” was thrown around by the back-office managers trying to make sure they didn’t end in the red for the year. It has since become a publicly used term and now an annual event, usurping the day President Lincoln deemed a special day to remember all of our blessings. It seems only right to spend the next day paying those blessings forward.

Jan, I am so excited to have you part of the Soul Mate Publishing family! Welcome!

And READERS: Don’t miss Jan’s latest book, Powerless Consent. Don’t you just LOVE the cover? Check it out here.

Powerless Consent

Kate Ballard thinks attending a gala on a luxury yacht honoring her old college friend will be the time of her life, but secret cell phone video threats to her family’s safety, and a hidden sniper force her into a world of deception and lies. Can her faith erase such horror? Though powerless, she relentlessly tries to outsmart her captor and return to the love of her life.

Her husband, Tom, refuses to accept his wife’s decision to leave and discovers that he must revisit his past. With the help of an unlikely ally, he finds evidence of theft and murder tucked away in an old storage locker. When his investigation starts to uncover the truth, he struggles with whom to believe. Will he trust his heart, or the deception before his eyes? One thing’s for sure, nothing can stop him from reuniting his family, not even a force as great as Invisible Surveillance.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, darlings! Suze here, writing to you from the deck of my cabin in the woods. I woke in time to see the sunrise over the lake. A flock of ducks just came in for a landing on the water below me. A bald eagle just flew past (I never, ever fail to be thrilled, no matter how many times I see them!). And if I’d remembered to set up the coffeepot last night, I’d be enjoying a cup right now, making it pretty much a perfect morning. We make our own electricity here and must be frugal with what we have, so it’s an old-fashioned top-of-the-woodstove percolator for us–no Keurig machine!

I have so much to be grateful for, more this year than most, perhaps. So I’m making a Thanksgiving resolution: to live more mindfully and to practice gratitude in some form every day.

That being said, I’m thankful for all of you, my friends!

Now that the mushy stuff is over, how about a no-longer-secret recipe? I make my Black Friday stew every … Black Friday! I’ve never shopped on Black Friday, and don’t intend to (except maybe once as a bucket list kind of thing). It takes a while, but it’s easy, and it’s a great way to use up leftovers.

SUZE’S BLACK FRIDAY STEW

Pick as much meat as you can off the turkey frame and refrigerate the meat. Get a big stock pot and put the frame in the pot, breaking it up if you need to. Toss in the wing tips, and any other bones that people didn’t gnaw on (legs, thigh, wings), as well as a quartered onion, a couple of bay leaves, a few carrots, a few stalks of celery, and a parsnip if you have one. Fill the pot about 2/3 full with water, cover, and put the pot on the stove. (I make mine on a woodstove here at the cabin). Bring the water almost to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for several hours. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Strain out all the solids, discard, and return broth to the pot. (I find it works well to use two strainers—one with larger holes nested inside one with finer mesh).

Now comes the fun part. Add in:

-2 cans of cream of celery/mushroom/chicken soup, undiluted, or a combination of soups

-3 cans of creamed corn

-Leftover mashed potatoes

-Leftover gravy

-Leftover corn (or a can of corn, drained)

Stir to combine, and heat through (10 or 15 minutes is plenty). A few minutes before serving, add leftover turkey and heat for a couple more minutes.

Ladle into big bowls, and serve with a green salad and a loaf of French bread (I’m a fan of the Pillsbury French bread, the kind that comes in a tube in the refrigerator section).  Don’t forget leftover pie for dessert.

This feeds a crowd! If you don’t have a crowd, freeze the rest. It’s nice to pull out a tub of homemade soup for a quick supper or lunch on a cold winter day.

Have a wonderful day!

I Want Candy. . . Candy Dot Scarf Giveaway

Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here.

The Winner of the candy dot scarf is – Alli-cat Sharron!! Congratulations Alli-cat! I will contact you through e-mail.

Don’t forget to visit me at my website before 2/13/12. I’m participating in a blog hop – Romancing the Valentine Giveaway hop. I’ll be giving away an e-book of Mystic Ink.

But don’t leave yet. Or you’ll miss the fun giveaway here.

I have two favorite holidays.

My first favorite is Thanksgiving. The other is Valentine’s Day. Or as I like to think of it – Chocolate Day!

Seriously, even if you don’t love chocolate, I bet you like candy of some kind.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, I have crocheted a candy dot scarf. And I am giving it away to one lucky commentor (open to US residents only).

In case you’re wondering what the heck is a candy dot scarf and why would I want one, remember those little tiny dot candies? The ones on the white paper? Pink, yellow and blue?

I think candy dots are the closest I’ve ever come to intentionally eating paper. You know, in all fairness, it’s kinda hard not to eat the paper.

Anyway, back to the scarf. I crochet and knit things when I want a break from writing. Or when I’m avoiding an unpleasant chore like creating a synopsis or query letter.

But I don’t just craft to avoid writing. Sometimes I pick up knitting needles or a crochet hook to let my mind wander and think about something other than writing.

I made a candy dot scarf for myself last January and ever since I’ve had several offers to buy it.

I did not invent this pattern (nor have I ever sold my scarf). Twinkie Chan deserves all the credit. If you like this scarf, you can find the pattern and many other yummy food themed scarves in her book – Twinkie Chan’s Crochet Goodie for Fashion Foodies.

As you can tell from the book cover, many delights await you inside. Don’t send me hate mail, if you find yourself in a crochet frenzy. I’ve made several of the scarves and they’re a lot of fun.

Yes, this could be yours…

So who wants a candy dot scarf? What is your favorite sweet confection? And what fun thing do you like to do when procrastinating or taking a break?

Reminder the drawing is open to US residents only and you must comment to be entered. And don’t forget to visit me at my website before 2/13/12 to enter for a chance to win an e-book of Mystic Ink –  Romancing the Valentine Giveaway hop.

A Tale of Two Turkeys

Happy Thursday again, and Happy First Day of December, you wonderful Scribe fans!  Suze here.  It’s great to see you all again after the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Before we get to the “meat” of this post, some business.  If you’re a writer and you haven’t entered CTRWA’s Write Stuff contest, what are you waiting for?  There are still a few days left.  First prize in each category is a hundred bucks, which you know you want.  Go for it!  Click here for details.

Now, I know you’re all dying to find out what happened last Thursday at my mom’s house.  Remember?  The turducken?  Click here for a link to last week’s post so you can get yourselves up to speed if you missed it.

The Famous World War I Flying Ace - Suze's favorite balloon!
Mr. Suze and our son and I spent the morning at our remote woodland cabin, alternately watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and an awe-inspiring trio of bald eagles circling not too far overhead — two golden brown juveniles and an adult with a snowy white head and tail.  Once the parade and the aerobatics show were over, we headed over to Mom’s.

She wasn’t home.   We knew she wouldn’t be there yet, because she was doing volunteer work at her church.  So we brought in the box of turducken, and I set about preparing it for cooking.  Hmmm. A frown creased my forehead.  A distinctive aroma permeated the kitchen, and it wasn’t coming from my still-raw Turducken.  A tiny orangey light caught my eye.  Not a Faulknerian Light in August, but a very suspicious Light in the Oven.

I investigated further.  I strode to the oven.  I threw open the door.  A blast of hot air hit me in the face as I discovered — you guessed it — a 20 pound turkey, skin brown and crispy, hissing poultry steam from the vent holes in the old blue enamelware roaster pan.

Nearly four hundred years of family Thanksgiving tradition simply could not be denied.  Mr. Suze just shook his head.

I pulled out the cooked bird and replaced it with the turducken, prepared according to the package directions (leave it in the cooking bag and place on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven).  Mom came in the door shortly afterward.

“Oh, good,” she said.  “My turkey’s done.”  She had the grace to look a little sheepish (pardon my mixing of farm animals here).  “I had to cook the turkey.  Ooh, is that the turducken?”

She never did say why she “had” to cook the turkey.  Was it because the turkey was about to spoil and “had” to be cooked?  (unappetizing, but entirely possible)  Or was she simply compelled by a force greater than herself to cook that bird on the fourth Thursday of November?  The world may never know.

As for the turducken, reviews were mixed.  Like most prepared foods, this bizarre hybrid concoction was overly salty, or at least the rice stuffing was.  Maybe a “homemade” turducken would be better, but I can tell you that personally I will not be deboning and stuffing three birds anytime soon.  The turkey layer was judged to be fine.  The duck layer was generally not hated, but not really liked.  As for the chicken core, it tasted pretty much like the turkey layer, which is probably why chicken and turkey are never mixed together in recipes.

The other turkey ended up being sliced up for sandwiches the next day, and I made my famous Black Friday Stew with the carcass.  (I’ll give you that recipe soon).

What about you?  Do you have habits that you just can’t break, no matter how hard you try?  Inquiring Scribes want to know!

Bursting at the Seams

The following is a true story that happened to me this week. Enjoy…

Friday morning I walked into my parents’ kitchen to see my seventeen year old brother eating a cake. Not a piece of cake, not a sliver, or a slice, but the enormous hunk of homemade chocolate cake that my mother had made for Thanksgiving. The kid didn’t even have a plate. I watched him for a moment before I asked, “What are you doing?”

He looked at me as if my question was stupid. “I’m eating cake.”

Duh! “All of it?” I asked in a sort of horrified wonder as he shoved a giant forkful in his mouth.

“Planning on it.”

“But I didn’t get any!”

“So?”

As I stared at him I knew he would eat all of it because that’s what little brothers did. So I got a fork and sat next to him and starting eating cake too.

“Stick to your side.” He told me with his mouth full. I did and we ending up eating cake for breakfast.

Wanna know what I had for lunch? Apple pie and ice cream. I swear it wasn’t my idea. Upon arriving home from Black Friday shopping I see two of my brothers,( the one from that morning was one of them) sitting at the table with the biggest tub of vanilla ice cream in the world and a whole homemade apple pie.

“You want some?” The older one asked. I was about to say no, my conscience kicking me in the butt.

“Just give her some,” the younger one said. “I don’t want to hear her b*&ching later that she didn’t get any.”

“You two are going to eat the entire pie?”

They both looked at me like I was stupid. In hindsight  I guess it was stupid question. The older one plopped the pie on a glass pie and put it in the microwave, while the younger one got out three clear glass mugs. We waited in silence for the microwave to ding and when it did I watch as they placed steaming pie at the bottom of the mugs and the a layer of ice cream and finished it off with more pie.

“Let the ice cream melt some,” the little one said. “And then mix it up. It’s damn good.”

I did as he said and then tasted it. He was right it was good and the three of us proceeded to eat a whole pie and a half a gallon of ice cream.

Wanna know what I had for dinner? Stuffing. That was it. A big bowl of stuffing.

I gained 1.4 pounds between Wednesday and Saturday. Which brought my total weight gain from the summer up to five pounds and after spending a year losing forty-five pounds it served as a sharp blow to my sluggish system.

I decided to leave my parents house that day and return to my own. I blame mybrothers for my weight gain, especially the youngest one.(He MADE me eat that pie!) The boy is jacked. He’s got pecs and biceps and a stupidly flat belly and he hasn’t eaten a vegetable in years. He eats cheese fries for breakfast and waffles for dinner and he looks great. Did I mention that I hate him?

Like a lot of you I’m constantly fighting to lose and keep off weight. Every pound lost is a mini battle. Every day is a struggle to make the right choices, to say no to that brownie and yes to that banana. The truth is that there is no secret diet. Eat less. Move more and make the right choices. If you aren’t hungry enough to eat an apple then you really aren’t  that hungry at all.

So, this morning I trekked to the grocery store, avoiding the frozen pizza that has become a staple in my diet and spent a fortune on fresh fruit, vegetables and things I actually have to cook. Mentally, I feel better already. Physically I’m suffering from the shakes because of pie withdrawal and wondering how I can keep up my word count and still exercise at the same time.

Your turn! What’s the worst thing you ever ate? Have a brother you’d like to smack? What’s your diet been like lately? Love pie? How was your Thanksgiving? Any and all comments are welcome.