Monday, November 24, 2008

After the Feast

Tired of turkey but feeling guilty about throwing it out? A little planning will help you resist the urge to toss when you've just had enough. Store the following recipes in a handy location so that you can try some delicious variations of turkey. The University of Minnesota offers several interesting solutions to the dilemma of using leftovers from the Thanksgiving feast.

Makes 8 servings
Turkey and Black Bean Wraps

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped, leftover turkey
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch diced (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 10-ounce can tomatoes with green chiles
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
12 flour tortillas

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell peppers, garlic, oregano and cumin; cook, stirring, until pepper softens, about 5 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, beans and vinegar; cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet; add turkey and sprinkle with chili powder. Heat and stir for about 5 minutes. Cover and set aside.

4. With back of spoon, coarsely mash some of the beans. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

5. Heat tortillas in a dry skillet or microwave. Spoon bean filing onto tortillas and layer with seasoned turkey. Wrap and serve.

Makes 6 servings.
(Mashed) Herb Potato Soup

1/2 teaspoon crumbled, dried rosemary
1 teaspoon crumbled, dried thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 small rib of celery including the leaves, minced
1 carrot, grated coarsely
2 cups unsalted chicken broth or stock (fresh or canned)
2 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced

1. In a small dry skillet toast the rosemary and thyme until fragrant, do not burn. Shake the skillet and heat for about 3 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan sauté the onion, celery and carrots in olive oil over moderately low heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in the broth or stock and bring to a boil.

4. Break potatoes up with a fork. Using a wire whisk, add potatoes a half cup at a time.

5. Continue whisking until smooth, reduce to a simmer and add toasted herbs, lemon juice and fresh parsley.

6. Taste soup and add salt and black pepper if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Next-day Potato Giblet Soup

Fellow the Mashed Herb Potato Soup recipe above adding leftover giblet gravy after step 4. Whisk gravy into soup immediately following the addition of the potatoes. The amount of gravy added will depend on how much is left. Whisk, taste and use up to one cup gravy. Make the soup the next day while the giblet gravy is still fresh.
Garlicky Cheese Toast (Croutons)

Using the leftover dinner rolls can be a challenge. They are excellent cut into cubes and toasted into croutons for the potato soup or make the Garlicky Cheese Toast, cool slightly and cut into croutons for the soup. The Garlicky Cheese Toast can also be used to make petite turkey sandwiches.

6 to 8 leftover dinner rolls (any kind)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped finely
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

1. Using a serrated knife cut the dinner rolls in half lengthwise. Set aside.
2. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. While the skillet is heating.
3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine garlic and olive oil. Microwave on high for one minute or until garlic begins to sizzle in the oil. This step can also be done in a skillet.
4. Brush cut side of each dinner roll with oil and place oil-side-down on the hot skillet.
5. Using a spatula or pancake turner, press each piece flat as it cooks. When golden brown, turn and continue pressing. Remove from heat and sprinkle each with a little Parmesan cheese. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm with soup.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Are You Thinking About Renting or Buying a New Place to Live?
Does Your Present Home Need a Little Attention?

North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Cherokee County, will be hosting informational programming related to relevant housing concerns beginning in mid April through the summer months.
Tentative Topics:
Finding and Securing Affordable Housing
Mortgages, Housing Budgets
Rent vs. Own
Home Improvement Projects
Disaster Preparedness
Cooling Your Home
Energy Tips for Home Energy Conservation
Alternative Sources for Heating the Home
Plugging the Leaks
Passive vs. Active Solar Energy

Call the Cherokee Cooperative Extension Office and put your name on our list of interested participants! Times and Location will be announced shortly!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Variety Matters!

If we’re not careful,
We’ll find ourselves stuck,
Waist high, knee deep,
And in a big Rut!

“I don’t wanna hafta change,
Just let me be!
Things are fine the way they are,
Can’t you see?”

I like my coffee black,
Don’t drink hot tea,
I still cook with lard,
Can’t you see?

Green shag carpet is on my floor,
I still like macramé,
I want some more!
My chair hasn’t moved since 1984
And Mama’s picture hangs by the living room door!

This fine suit here
Thirty years old,
Just getting broken in,
“Vintage,” I’m told.

Leisure Suit,
Seizure Suit,
It’s all the same to me.
Hip Hop, Hop Scotch,
I just don’t see,

Why’s everybody caterwauling,
Change, change, change,
Give it up, toss it out,
It’s all so strange!

I just want things
The way they’ve always been!
No surprises, nothing new,
Here or there and back again!

And so there you are,
In a rut but OK,
Doing things the same old way,
Forever and a day!

All I’m saying is,
Give it a shot!
Open your mind
To new stuff and what not!

You might just find,
That there is a better way.
You might even like it
And then I’ll hear you say,

“Come into the house,
Would you like some green tea?
Just rest yourself there
On my new settee!”

It’s made of micro fiber,
And so comfortable for shore!
And that’s Mama’s picture
By the living room door!”