Home Cooking

Simple family fare

Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream

If you associate pumpkins only with Halloween and Thanksgiving, think again. Fresh pumpkins are available throughout the winter and its use extends beyond the jack-o-lantern, seeds and pie filling. In spirit of its cold weather harvesting, whip up pumpkin ice cream. What makes pumpkin pie so irresistible is what makes pumpkin ice cream so sweet and delicious-the soft orange flesh (which is packed with Vitamin A). Depending on your patience and time, there are two ways to get the main ingredient: roast it or buy it canned.

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Herbal Vinegars


If you are like me and your children are like most other children, it will be December 20 before you can blink an eye and then there will be a mad rush for Christmas gifts. Herb-infused vinegars are something you can make right now. There is even an imperative if you live above the Mason Dixon line--beat the first frost. You'll have a stock of homemade gifts ready for the December holidays or as a take-along gift if you're invited to someone else's house for Thanksgiving.

Beth S. wrote, "It was a quick and easy activity and we enjoyed the creative aspects of choosing and labeling the bottles best." She added that her daughter Elissa (11) "thought she could give these to her teachers or to family members who like to cook and experiment with foods. I've got a couple of friends in mind, too."

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Fruit Soups for Breakfast!

If your heirs apparent are a bit indifferent to regular breakfast fare, why not entice them with something totally different? A bowl or cup of chilled fruit soup. A Southern gentleman I know said, "Soup--at breakfast or any other meal -- is NOT soup unless it is HOT." But Real Families usually enjoy trying something different.

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Cooking Up Thanksgiving Traditions

The year is filled with events that grab children's attention--birthdays with decorated cakes, parties and presents, and Valentines Day with its cards and sweets. Independence Day has fireworks, and Halloween and Purim mean dressing up in costumes. In contrast, with no presents, costumes or fireworks, Thanksgiving doesn't seem to hold as much interest for kids. They know they'll have a few days away from school and perhaps a turkey dinner with family and friends, but what else is there to fire their engines? They are often sent off to entertain themselves while the adults prepare the meal and the table.

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Banana Bread

If you're not much of a chef, baking is the ideal way to introduce kids to the kitchen. Baked goods need more child-friendly mixing than adult-necessary chopping, and the kids are sure like the results. For a healthy alternative to baking cookies or a cake, try this simple banana bread. If you don't have any ripe bananas, place two fresh bananas in a paper bag in a dark drawer for several hours and they will ripen. Hint: Instead of tossing browning bananas, throw them in the freezer and defrost in a bowl on the counter for several hours before using for banana bread.

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Mealtime Mechanics

It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So why do I still think my open refrigerator door is going to suddenly inspire me with gourmet thoughts and tasty dreams for this Tuesday night dinner? Isn't it evident that it's almost time to panic? The chicken is as frozen as an igloo in Antarctica and there is no way that the ground round will thaw anytime before Spring. What's a woman to do?

The natives are restless and are beginning to circle the cat. I better do something quick. Hungry?! What do you mean you're hungry? It's only 5:45 -- get a grip! No one decent eats before 6:00. Maybe if I go and open the refrigerator door again, inspiration will strike.

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Gotta Love Garlic!

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Garlic is wonderful, and part of the wonderfulness is, it's pretty easy to grow. The main difference from many other crops is, this is one to plant now, in the fall, and to winter over.
Fall planted garlic builds a strong root system, and when spring rolls around and the ground warms again, it kicks into a growth spurt, well ahead of spring planted cloves. (Still, if time got away from you, or your cloves arrived late, spring planted cloves will grow. You'll get a more modest crop, but even a modest crop of garlic is something good to have.)

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30 Quick Tips For a Spotless Kitchen

Time it took you to connect to the Internet: 2.8 minutes.

Time it will take you to read this article: 16.5 minutes.

Time it takes you to deep clean your kitchen: 48.6 minutes.

Whoa! What else could you be doing with the time it takes you to thoroughly scrub and sanitize your kitchen?

As homemakers, we spend enormous amounts of time in the kitchen. Both pleasurable tasks such as baking and unpleasant duties such as cleaning, consume time and energy, valuable resources for any woman. Expedient solutions and clean-up tips can help minimize the time used for chores and maximize the time spent in more enjoyable pursuits.

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