Hello to all my fellow night owls. Since I’m new here, I guess it would be best to introduce myself. Don’t worry. I’m not particularly fond of talking about myself. *wink*
My name is Charlene Wilson and I call a small community in Arkansas, USA, my home. When I say small, I mean there’s one junction, two gas stations (run by the same people—talk monopoly here), 325 people, five times that many dogs (it seems), 4 churches, and lots and lots of trees. I’d add the cow count in there too, but haven’t made note of it. I do know the ones across the way like to sing (yeah, it’s called lowing, but I call it singing). All-in-all, it’s beautiful being surrounded by nature. I miss having Starbucks around the corner but hey, compromises must be made at times.
I’m a mother to two beautiful daughters that are my biggest supporters and greatest joy. Nothing compares to overhearing them tell their friends, “Well, my mom’s an author. She is so awesome!” Then come to me later and pester me to finish that Young Adult novel I’m writing so it can be in their school library. *sigh* I’m working on it, Sweetheart! Teens.
When Sandra approached me to join Night Writers, I rolled the possible topics around in my head. I admit up to this point, I’ve been involved with blogs and communities that concentrated on writing: Romance, Sci-fi, Fantasy, techniques, promo… To choose a topic here set me out of the authorship box into a whole world of new shapes and possibilities. I stepped back and rolled my thoughts through the maze to find what I enjoy most in life…other than writing. It settled right into the round hole at the center: Imagination and Family.
How lucky am I that I am able to join you at the most imaginative time of the year. The Holidays! When families strive to get together and add their own spice to traditions, decorate, create, tell stories… the list goes on and on.
For my American friends out there, I hope your Thanksgiving Day was filled with love, family, and well…thanks giving. How ever you choose to worship, I hope your heart overflowed with the spirit of thanks.
With all this celebration, a big meal is always prepared at our house. But, as it is every year, now we have the leftovers to deal with. Lol. Turkey is always a must. But I have to say, not the most favorite meat we eat. So, what to do with that extra food?
Well, Google is one of my best friends. I keep it near. And as I surfed for ideas on how to make this meat more enjoyable for my family, I came up with a few ideas to share. I’m honestly a terrible cook. The easier the better in my opinion. But for those of you who enjoy taking on a good recipe, I’ve added the more complicated procedure beneath the quick fixes. *wink*
Grab the kids...and that spouse of yours...and get them involved in making these dishes. They may just enjoy them even more!
Check them out:
Sandwiches: add barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese, put the mixture between two slices of rye bread and you have a nice dinner.
Okay…no tough recipe to add here. Lol.
Enchiladas or tacos: warm up the meat spice it up with a little taco seasoning, fill tortillas with it, and you can add taco or sauce, or enchilada sauce and bake it. Use a bunch of cheese, avocado, sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes, and there you go, a Hispanic entrée.
2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
1 onion, chopped
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives
24 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 (19 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
4 cups cooked turkey, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the cheese, onion, and black olives.
In a small skillet, heat enough oil to lightly coat one tortilla, and cook until soft. Remove and dip in enchilada sauce to coat.
Add turkey and cheese mixture to center of tortilla, roll and place in the prepared dish. Repeat until bottom layer of pan is covered with enchiladas. Spread enough sauce over bottom layer to cover.
Repeat process with a second layer; spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted.
Potpie: Fill a frosted pie pastry with the turkey, add the half content of sweet peas, carrots and cooked potatoes cans, mix with a jar of turkey gravy and bake it for twenty minutes. Kids love this.
1 recipe pastry for a (10 inch) double crust pie
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cups water
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll out bottom pie crust, press into a 10 inch pie pan, and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bouillon and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm.
In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the turkey and flour. Add the milk, and heat through. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust, and place on top of filling. Flute edges, and make 4 slits in the top crust to let out steam.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
Chili cornbread: prepare a package of cornbread, and pour the mixture over the turkey meat, mixed with a can of chili. Bake it until the cornbread is ready.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons chile powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon coarse salt
3 cups homemade turkey or chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups prepared turkey gravy
2 pounds shredded cooked turkey
2 (15.8-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Heat olive oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions, celery, leek, and carrots; cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, chile powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt until combined. Add stock, crushed tomatoes, gravy, and shredded turkey; increase heat to medium high and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Stir in black beans and top with spoonfuls of cornbread batter, leaving small spaces between each spoonful. Top each spoonful of batter with cheese.
Transfer Dutch oven to oven and bake until cornbread is cooked through and cheese is slightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve.
Turkey Alfredo pasta: very simple recipe, cook the pasta, (whichever you like), warm up the turkey with a jar of Alfredo sauce, and mix it up. (Yum!)
1 lb Dry fettuccini pasta
1 tbsp Margarine
2 Cans MAPLELEAF®Seasoned White Turkey Chunks, drained
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Jar prepared Alfredo sauce
3 Plum tomatoes, diced
Grated Parmesan cheese
Boil a large pot of lightly salted water. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile, heat margarine in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
ADD turkey and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.
ADD Alfredo sauce and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
DRAIN pasta and toss with turkey mixture and diced tomatoes.
SERVE sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
Have lots of fun with your family. Have your kids help out! Let me know how these work for you. And if you have other great ideas, do share!
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Posted by Paranormal Romance author, Charlene A. Wilson.
Cornerstone Deep Echoes (to be released Feb 2012).