Archive for November, 2008

71 Different Cranberry Sauce Recipes for Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 17:16 1 Comment

Tired of the same old cranberry sauce printed on the bag of fresh cranberries?  Or worse, you have only ever used the canned cranberry sauce but are looking to make it from scratch this year? 

Here are a ton of different types of cranberry sauce you can experiment this year.  Or pick two contrasting cranberry sauces and let your guests pick which one they want to try with their turkey.  Some are definitely ones that guests will either love or hate, such as the cranberry sauce with avocado or horseradish.  Is it just a single girls only Thanksgiving dinner?  Be sure to do the Cosmo Cranberry Sauce or the Sangria Cranberry Sauce!  Do you have a kid’s table at Thanksgiving?  Be sure to check out the Cranberry Ketchup recipe as well as the cranberry dipping sauces.

  1. Cranberry sauce with beer
    Might not be your first choice, but you know it will be a hit with the guys!
  2. Roasted cranberry sauce
    Definitely a keeper!  I will definitely be trying this one!
  3. Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
    Save stovetop space by making cranberry sauce in the slow cooker.
  4. Orange cranberry sauce with cinnamon and pecans
    I love orange cranberry sauce, the addition of pecans will make it one to remember.
  5. Cabernet cranberry sauce
    Complete with video!
  6. Cranberry salsa
    On my have-to-try list!
  7. Cranberry Avocado Salsa
    I am not a fan of avocado personally, but I know those who like it tend to be pretty zealous in their love for it, so I know someone will be making this one!
  8. Apple-cran-pear sauce
    The unexpected ingredient in this one is a can of apple pie filling!  This must be a regional thing because I have never heard of such a thing, or else I just don’t know where I would have ever seen it in the grocery store!  Baking aisle?  I am pretty sure not in the canned fruit aisle!
  9. Cranberry Rum Sauce
    Includes Captain Morgans rum and granny smith apples in this sauce.
  10. Spiced cranberry sauce with chardonnay and orange zest
    If you are a chardonnay fan, this would be a great way to either use up your left over wine or get a head start on the dinner wine!
  11. Cranberry relish
    A thicker version of traditional cranberry sauce.
  12. Cranberry Sauce with Maple & Orange Zest
    Includes great photos of this one being made.
  13. Cranberry-Caramel Sauce
    Sure to satisfy those sweet tooths in the family!
  14. Santa Fe Cranberry Sauce
    A spicier cranberry sauce from Good Housekeeping
  15. Baked Cranberry Sauce ala Orange
    You can bake this cranberry sauce alongside the turkey.
  16. Apricot Cranberry Chutney
    Uses dried apricots to save on money.
  17. Southwestern Cranberry Sauce
    Another spicier cranberry sauce from Good Housekeeping
  18. Cosmo Cranberry Sauce
    Good for that girlfriend’s only Thanksgiving dinner!
  19. Brandied Cranberry Sauce
    A great one if you have brandy lurking in your cabinet!
  20. Maple Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts
    This one is good enough for cheesecake topping too, if you plan for a non-traditional (ie. not pumpkin!) desert.
  21. Blackberry Cranberry Sauce
    If you have ripe blackberies on bushes on your property, you could even send the kids off to have fun picking blackberries before dinner!
  22. Organic Cranberry Sauce
    If you have organic cranberries, give this one a try.
  23. Sangria Cranberry Sauce
    Another sauce perfect for that single gals only dinner
  24. Cape Cod Cranberry Sauce
    Raisins are the star of this sauce.
  25. Three Cranberry Relish
    This recipe uses fresh cranberries, cranberry juice and dried cranberries.
  26. Cranberry Raspberry Sauce
    You can use fresh or frozen raspberries in this one.
  27. Cranberry Sauce with Caramelized Onions
    I love carmelized onions, this Good Housekeeping recipe is sure to be a winner.
  28. Fennel & Walnut Cranberry sauce
    This would be a great recipe if you have fennel growing in your garden, since it is in season.
  29. Pineapple-orange cranberry sauce
    I love pineapple, this is another one to try sometime!
  30. Port wine cranberry sauce
    Another cranberry sauce for red wine fans.
  31. Ginger Pear Cranberry Sauce
    A nice flavor of ginger enhances this cranberry sauce from Good Housekeeping.
  32. Cranberry Mandarin Sauce
    A recipe that uses homemade cranberry sauce or canned cranberry sauce as the base.
  33. Grappa Cranberry Sauce
    For those of you that don’t know what grappa is, it is an Italian brandy.
  34. Cranberry Burgundy Sauce
    Another cranberry sauce using Burgundy red wine.
  35. Pineapple-Rum Cranberry Sauce
    Another pineapple based cranberry sauce, this time with dark Jamaican rum!
  36. Cranberry chutney
    Another thicker cranberry sauce, but I can’t help but think how the apple cider vinegar must really enhance this one!
  37. Cranberry sauce with tangerine essential oil
    This is definitely one of the more unusual ones, but since so many of us have bottles of essential oils for crafts, I know at least a few of you will try this one!
  38. Blueberry cranberry sauce
    For the blueberry fans, a great healthy fruit!
  39. Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel, Star Anise and Black Pepper
    A mix of flavors in this one.
  40. Dried cherry cranberry sauce
    Here is a nice spin on the whole adding fruit to cranberry sauce.
  41. Grand marnier cranberry-orange relish
    Not for everyone, but would make a great second selection of cranberry sauce.  Read the reviews, as it can turn out to be a bit more bitter than expected.
  42. Chipolte Cranberry Sauce
    For those who want a bit more kick in their cranberry sauce
  43. Cranberry applesauce
    Use the leftovers for a snack for your kids, or freeze your leftovers for later.
  44. Cranberry Horseradish Sauce
    This one doesn’t strike me as yummy, but I know some horseradish lovers will probably love it!
  45. Spiced cranberry ketchup
    The perfect cranberry sauce for the kids, you can even put it in a bottle like ketchup!
  46. Cranberry Tangerine & Blueberry Sauce
    Another great fruited sauce, using frozen blueberries to save money
  47. Sugar and spice cranberry sauce
    Another one that is a bit sweeter than others, with a tangy spice to it.
  48. Red Wine Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts
    Another red wine cranberry sauce, this time with walnuts
  49. French Canadian cranberry sauce
    With maple and brown sugar.
  50. Microwave cranberry sauce
    If you need the stovetop and oven space, make cranberry sauce in the microwave
  51. Sugar-free cranberry sauce
    Perfect for diabetics and others trying to watch their sugar intake.
  52. Cranberry Sauce with Raspberry Vinegar
    Another cranberry sauce that isnt quite as tart.
  53. Maple cranberry sauce
    This is another one on my must try list.  The maple syrup counteracts some of the usual tartness of cranberry sauce and makes
  54. Light cranberry sauce with apple cider
    A lighter version of cranberry sauce for those watching their calories.
  55. Spirited Cranberry Apricot Sauce
    Another lighter cranberry sauce from Cooking Light.
  56. Cranberry Dipping Sauce
    A good recipe for the kid’s table this Thanksgiving!
  57. Cranberry-Ginger dipping sauce
    Another dipping sauce for the kid’s table
  58. Cranberry Lime Sauce
    A nice tart cranberry sauce using both lime juice and lime zest
  59. Cranberry butter
    Perfect for those Turkey leftover sandwiches you will all be eating!
  60. Curried Peach & Cranberry Chutney
    If you love curry, you will love this one from Good Housekeeping.
  61. Japapeno Cranberry Sauce
    Not for the faint of heart… and mouth!
  62. Clem-Cranberry Sauce
    A spin on the usual orange cranberry, this one is made with clementines
  63. Brown Sugar Cranberry Sauce
    Another darker cranberry sauce recipe
  64. Cranberry Barbecue Sauce
    This one would be perfect for those doing a non-traditional turkey burger dinner instead of a roasted turkey!
  65. Cranberry Chipotle Barbecue sauce
    Another BBQ sauce recipe, this one with a tex mex kick from Canadian Living.
  66. Cranberry Sauce with Apricots, Raisins & Oange
    A nice fruity version of cranberry sauce you can make the day before.
  67. Brandied Orange & Cranberry Sauce
    Brandy really brings out the flavors in this sauce
  68. Cranberry-Tangerine Sauce with Apples & Almonds
    Another nutty crunchy variation of cranberry sauce
  69. Nantucket Cranberry Sauce
    A dark cranberry sauce with maple syrup, molasses and brown sugar.
  70. Pear Honey Cranberry Sauce
    A refreshing mixture of flavors in this cranberry sauce.
  71. Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce
    A perfect one for pomegranate lovers, especially since the fruit is in season!

Hope you find the perfect cranberry sauce and we’d love to hear what recipes people are trying out.  And just incase you need it, here is how to remove cranberry sauce stains :)  And we have plenty more Thanksgiving articles here.

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This was posted under category: Cooking, Holidays

Make your own herbal and fancy salt mixes or gifts

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 16:47 Comments Off on Make your own herbal and fancy salt mixes or gifts

This is a super frugal craft to make – this set of 4 cost me about $3 to make, and the same mixes will retail for $10-15 at the store!

What you need is four clean spice jars, or you can buy them at the dollar store for about $0.50 – $1 each.  These ones have two top openings, one for sprinkling and one for inserting a measuring spoon.  The lids screw off, and yes, these are real glass!

There are four mixes that I made:

I made them now and sealed them so the salt and herbs will have a chance to mingle well.  I am going to put them in a gift bag to give as a set of 4 for Christmas presents.  I thought about maybe baking a loaf of French bread to go with each too, depending on how much time I have right before Christmas!

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This was posted under category: Frugal Gifts

Stock up on your holiday gift bags now to save money

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 1:03 1 Comment

Buying gift bags can really add to your holiday budget.  And when you wait until closer to Christmas, it will be harder to find those inexpensive gift bags and you will be stuck paying more for them.  And as a bonus, nearly all store-bought gift bags come with a tag attached to the handle, so you don;t have to spend extra money on gift tags or cards. 

Take a tally of the gifts you have already purchased and see what you need to either gift wrap or gift bag them.  Then hit your local dollar store or other place that is known for cheap gift bags, and buy what you need now…. you can even get ahead of the game and wrap them after you buy the bags too, saving you time when Christmas gets closer and there never seems to be enough time. 

Still have some gifts you need to buy?  You can also stock up on a few extra seasonal bags – or you can get some generic solid colored bags that would also work for birthdays, anniversaries and any other gift-giving ocassions you may have coming up.  Silver is always a safe bet as is most shades of green and red. 

Don’t forget the tissue paper if you top the gift bags with colored tissue paper.  The seasonal colors always seem to be sold out at the dollar store by the time December rolls around, and it can be very hard to make a Christmas gift look festive when hot pink tissue is peeking out of the gift bag!

Don’t forget white tissue paper works just as well.  So when you purchase any clothing items, even if they aren’t for a gift, ask for a bit of tissue paper.  Then you can save it for topping on Christmas gift bags too… or use two of your freebie white tissue papers and one colored one in the middle, so you can save a lot of money this way too.

 When should you start?  Now!  Black Friday is when you will start to see the least expensively priced gift bags start to sell out.  And let’s face it, it is far better to pay $1 a bag this week than $5 a bag a week before Christmas when the stock of bags has been picked over just about everywhere.

This was posted under category: Holidays, Shopping Tags: , , ,

Make cookie cutter gift tags

Monday, November 17, 2008 2:47 Comments Off on Make cookie cutter gift tags

These cookie cutter gift tags look great on presents, they add personality to your gifts, and they can completely dress up those plain inexpensive gift bags too.

To make them, buy a set of inexpensive Christmas cookie cutters… you usually see them sold in plastic tubs of 25 or 30 different cookie cutters for anywhere between $3 and $10.  Make sure they are the shaped cookie cutters, and not the ones that imprint the design on the top of the cookies when you cut them.  Or you can buy the single sale ones, which is nice because they have the top on them so you can attach them easily to the gift bag (like ours above).

Now, does your cookie cutter have a back on it, such as a handle?  Or is it completely cut out?  In other words, is there something on the backing you can use to secure the tag to or not?

If there is a backing: Place the cookie cutter on construction paper or thicker plain paper and lightly trace the outline on the INSIDE of the cookie cutter with a pencil.  Then using scissors, carefully cut just inside of your traced line.  Write the name and anything else on the tag.  If there is NOT a hanging tab, hole punch the tag near the top (you will put ribbon through this to secure it to the bag).  Then glue to the backing to secure.

If there is NOT a backing: Place the cookie cutter on construction paper or thicker plain paper and lightly trace the outline on the OUTSIDE of the cookie cutter with a pencil.  Then using scissors, carefully cut just inside of your traced line.  Write the name and anything else on the tag.  If there is NOT a hanging tab, hole punch the tag near the top (you will put ribbon through this to secure it to the bag) . Then put glue lightly along the edges of the cookie cutter and carefully secure the tag to the back of the cutter.

If you have hanging tab on the cookie cutter, you can string the ribbon through and secure it to the gift bag.  If you made a hole punch, string ribbon through the whole to secure it.

These gift tags are really unique, and both kids and adults will love them.  Try and chose the best cookie cutter to suit each person, such as a tree shape for someone who works in construction, the train for your little budding train engineer or an angel for your fairy-loving little girls.

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This was posted under category: Crafts, Holidays

Make your own Appletini Bath Salts

Monday, November 17, 2008 2:22 Comments Off on Make your own Appletini Bath Salts

Make your own Appletini Bath Salts for Frugal Gift Giving!

The first in our Frugal Gift Giving Series!  Bath salts are a great gift giving idea, especially since they are really inexpensive to make.  This bottle above cost about $1.15 to make, including the cost of the bottle!  We bought the screw-top bottle for $1 at a dollar store (it is much bigger than it appears, it actually holds well over 1 cup of bath salts).  We bought a huge bag of epsom salts for a few dollars, and this barely made a dent in it.  And since I had both the green coloring (it is actually quite  a bit more green than it appears, it was hard to get a good picture without the glare) and the green apple fragrance oil from soap making for gifts last Christmas, it makes a really nice gift for one I guess is about $1.15, including the price of the bottle.

Here is the recipe for Appletini Bath Salts, and if you want another scent, there are a ton more recipes and ideas.

We are doing a series on frugal gifts you can make at home, be sure to subscribe to our RSS!

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This was posted under category: Bath & Body recipes, Frugal Gifts

Save money by buying Christmas gifts after Christmas

Sunday, November 16, 2008 4:35 1 Comment

Everyone starts stressing out about Christmas shopping as Thanksgiving approaches, especially when everyone is on a tighter budget this holiday season.  Here is one way to bring down the cost of your holiday gift giving.

An easy tip, if you don’t mind braving bargain hunting crowds, is to save your holiday shopping for those friends and family members you will be seeing after the holidays until after Christmas Day.  You can often find great bargains as stores are trying to clear out of all kinds of gift baskets, gift sets and any kind of gift that is with holiday packaging.  So this means that gorgeous gift set you were eying up before Christmas could be as much as 75% or 80% off when you purchase it after Christmas. 

So next time you look at your Christmas shopping list, see who you could purchase gifts for after the Christmas season instead of before.  You can translate this into either saving more money, or being able to get more bang for the same amount of money you had budget for those people.

Want to take advantage of the after Christmas sales even more?  Suggest to some family members or friends that it might be better to do gift exchanging after Christmas…  you don’t have to come out and tell them that it is because you want to be able to get their gifts on sale.  Instead, just say the time is so busy right before Christmas that it makes more sense to exchange them afterwards when things aren’t so busy… and if you have kids, you can suggest that you should do it so they have something to look forward in the post-Christmas time period.

This was posted under category: Holidays, Shopping Tags:

How often should you baste a turkey?

Saturday, November 15, 2008 3:10 3 Comments

You have probably heard that basting frequently results in a better turkey that is much more moist and juicy than its non-basted counterpart.  But did you know that basting a turkey actually does little to make it less dry?

Basting your turkey has only one purpose – to give the skin that golden roasted turkey color to the skin that most people associate with a perfectly cooked turkey.  But frequent basting has a significant downfall.  Every time you open the oven, it loses heat.  This means it will take that much longer for your turkey to cook since everytime you open the oven for basting, it will take time to bring it back up to temperature.

So you should leave basting for the last hour of cooking, and not do it too frequently.  This way you get the benefits of basting by having that golden skin, while not prolonging cooking time significantly – something that can definitely put a crimp on your Thanksgiving dinner plans, especially if you have everything planned to when the turkey should be done before you started opening the oven all the time for basting!!!

If you want to have a juicier turkey, consider one of the self-basting turkeys instead, where there is a seasoned broth mixture injected into the turkey below the skin.

This was posted under category: Cooking, Holidays Tags: , , ,

Black Friday Survival Guide for Getting the Best Deals

Friday, November 14, 2008 21:18 3 Comments

Are you ready for the challenge of a crush of shoppers on the number one shopping day of the year, Black Friday?  The day after Thanksgiving is the best day to get those bargains and deals for those coveted Christmas presents, but for those who have never had to stand in line at midnight the night before, this Black Friday Survival Guide is for you.  We will teach you the tricks of the trade so that you can score the best deals while keeping your sanity (somewhat!) intact while doing it.

To help you in the Black Friday mall madness, we have three new exclusive MomsBudget Black Friday worksheets at the bottom of this page, so you can get yourself ready, and plan out your best plan of action for the big shopping day.  Please share this with friends and family so they can make the most of their shopping day too!

  • Arrive early.  Yes, this is a case of the early bird gets the worm, especially if the good deal you are after only has limited quantities available.
  • Check opening hours.  Just because you know the store usually opens at 9am, don’t assume that it will be the same time on Black Friday.  Double check because you don’t want to show up for that hot deal at 9am only to discover they opened their doors at 5am and have been sold out of your hot deal for hours already.
  • Are the deals time-sensitive?  Make sure you are there at the correct time for specials only available at certain times of the day.  If there is a door crasher at 11am for a specific microwave, don’t expect them to honor the price if you are there at 8am or 1pm.  That said, there is nothing wrong with stalking out the item early, so you can be sure to get one!  Just be prepared that some stores won’t put the items on the floor until the specific door crasher time, meaning you will need to be ready to pounce when it comes out of the stock room.
  • Watch for flyers.  Not all the stores will put out their flyers on the same day, so you might get one flyer in the Sunday paper but another might not arrive until Tuesday or Wednesday.  Use our Black Friday Price Tracker to keep track of prices for individual items as each flyer comes in, saving you time later when you would otherwise be hunting through a stack of flyers to remember who had the best price on that Nintendo DS.
  • Eat a good breakfast.  You will need your energy!  This is not the morning to let your dieting win!
  • Bring a bottle of water.  You don’t want to have to stop for a drink, and bringing a bottle of water means you can sip while in line while you wait, rather than standing there thinking about how hot and thirsty you are!
  • Park closer to the exits and not the entrances.  If the store you are going to has difference doors for exits and entrances, go to the exit.  First, most people will naturally park near the entrance, meaning you can get a better parking spot near the exit (and you can often enter through the exit too).  Secondly, you will be closer to your vehicle when you leave, meaning less time carrying your bags and an easier getaway so you can get to the next store on your list.
  • Be aware of pickpocketers.  Do you know that pick pockets will take advantage of the huge josteling crowds to rip off your wallet?  So if you carry a purse, put your wallet in the little zip pocket inside AND zip up the outside zipper as well.  Not bringing a purse but have a coat?  Zip it into the inside breast pocket.  And get rid of all those excess cards in your wallet, since a larger wallet is easier for a thief to find and grab when they reach into your purse.  And dump out your unneeded change… you don’t need the added weight!.
  • Can you shop online?  Some stores will allow their Black Friday deals to start at 12:01am that day, so you could get all your shopping done before the store opens their physical doors.
  • Dress comfortably.  Wear your most comfy shoes and skip the jacket for a sweatshirt that you can tie around your waist if needed.  The stores can get HOT with so many people.
  • Try the divide and conquer method.  Instead of you and your hubby going together to each store, why not split it up so you will each spend less time shopping.  Or one stands guard with the cart (preferably in one of the lesser crowded places, such as luggage or garden supplies) while the other grabs the items and brings them back… getting a cart through the crowd can be crazy!
  • Doing a lot of shopping at one store?  Visit the store the right before closing the day before Thanksgiving (or on Thanksgiving if it is one of the few open), so you know exactly where all the items are before you get there with all the crowds on Friday.  Just because you know where those iPod Nanos are usually doesn’t mean they will be there on Friday, they could have a huge display at the opposite end of the store.  If the store is large, they might have a store map available, which you can then make notes on about where specific things are located.
  • Is it worth the money being saved?  If the big ticket items you want are being sold in multiple places for nearly the same price (say, within $5 of anything $100 or $150 or more), you might want to go to the store you think will be much less busy, both because it will ultimately take you less time to buy the items, and there won’t be nearly as many people to get through.  So instead of going to BestBuy for that item, go to a smaller local store instead. 
  • Baby steps for the uninitiated!  If this is your first time shopping on Black Friday, you might consider starting off later in the day, or skipping the major big box retailers.  Crowds usually decline throughout the day (all those people standing in line need all night need to sleep!)  Or go along with a friend who is a veteran of Black Friday sales if you want to shop at the same stores. 
  • Know your prices and back-up places to shop.  If that gaming system is the cheapest or has the best bundle at one store but is sold out, know which place has the second best price so you can try there next.  Use our MomsBudget Black Friday Price Log so you know which stores have the next-best prices incase your first choice (or even your second choice!) is sold out.
  • Be nice.  The person who is nice to the salesperson is much more likely to get what they want than the customer who swears and curses.  When something is sold out, a salesperson is much more likely to give you a better deal on an alternative product if you are nice than to the customer who is cursing a blue streak at them.  Remember it is busy and if a salesperson doesn’t want to help you because you are being a jerk, he or she can easily keep occupied with the many other customers needing help until you go away!
  • Get a babysitter.  The last thing you want is whiny kids along for the shopping trip.  Not only is it too busy to keep an eye on them properly, chances are pretty good the crowds will make them upset or cranky.  So get a babysitter so you don’t have to add dealing with your kids into the whole Black Friday shopping mix.
  • Have a shopping list.  Make up your shopping list so you aren’t tempted to buy things you really don’t need, just because you think it’s a good deal.  Use this handy list so you know exactly what you need to buy, and your budgeted cost for each recipient, just incase you decide you want to buy something else on the spur of the moment.  Use the Moms Budget Shopping Plan Printable!  If some of the items aren’t in sales flyers, you can also use our Gift List Worksheet to remind you of what you planned to get each person, along with the budget for each as well.

Here are three worksheets from MomsBudget, and how you can use them to make sure you make the most of your shopping day.

Black Friday Price Tracker

Black Friday Price Tracker

As each Black Friday flyer comes out, go through them and record all the prices for each of the items you need to buy. Then the day before, you can sort through and see which stores have the best prices for each item you need.

Black Friday Price Log

Black Friday Price Log

Once you have completed your Price Tracker, use this worksheet to put the best price for each item, as well as the 2nd and 3rd best prices, so you have a backup plan incase something sells out.. this way you won’t overpay somewhere else because you couldn’t remember who had the 2nd best price.

Black Friday Shopping Plan

Black Friday Shopping Plan

Once you know what you need to buy where, use this worksheet for listing all the items you need to get at each store, including the price and section of the store it is in. Also checkboxes for if you got it, it’s sold out, or you need to ask where to find it. Use one for each store.

We will also be posting links to the most popular Black Friday flyers as they are released online, so you don’t have to wait for them to arrive in your mail or newspaper (please comment with additional flyers if you see them!).  Be sure to bookmark this page and sign up for our RSS feed so you are on top of everything for the most successful bargain hunting shopping day.

Following these tips should help you survive the mass hysteria that greets shoppers on Black Friday.  And this year could be worse, because so many people are trying to save as much money as possible, so bargain hunters will be out in full force.
Stumble It!

This was posted under category: Holidays, Shopping

Quick inexpensive way to wrap baked breads for gifts

Friday, November 14, 2008 14:43 1 Comment

One way to make a great present without spending much money is to bake a loaf of holiday bread, and then wrap it up using a wonderful plaid dishcloth (new, of course!). Try and pick festive colors, both reds and greens are easy to find, even when it isn’t the holidays. You can usually get them in large packs – the one this came from was a pack of 15 for $5 or so. Or if you are a knitter, you can knit your own, just make sure they are large enough to wrap the loaf.  Plus, you won’t get those pesky grease marks showing like what tends to happen when you wrap baked goods in paper.

Wrap the dish cloth around the bread (we had a baked pumpkin spice bread inside), and then do the ends as if you were wrapping a present.

Then tuck both ends over, then secure with butcher’s twine or ribbon. We had extra twine from doing a turkey, so it is an easy thing to use to tie it together. You can also use raffia if you have any leftover from other crafts. Loop it around the loaf and tie a bow, just as you would with ribbon.

Then add the gift card, and you are done! You can then place it in a gift bag if you wish, but it is good enough for gift giving as it is!

This also works great for a hostess gift when going to someone’s house for a holiday dinner or party, and it isn’t nearly as expensive as bringing a bottle of wine!  If you make fruitcake, this wrapping technique will also work well for that too.

Also, here are some various pumpkin spice bread recipes you can use!
Spice Bread
Gluten free pumpkin chai bread
Pumpkin cream cheese bread (this one is making me drool!)
Rosemary-Polenta Pumpkin Spice Cake (this one struck me as so unusual!  Recipe Girl has a great commentary about it, you can find her link to the actual recipe at the end of her blog post)
Ginger Pumpkin Bread (token healthy version from WebMD blog!!!)

This was posted under category: Crafts, Holidays Tags: , ,

Don’t just shop farmers markets in the summer

Friday, November 14, 2008 5:34 Comments Off on Don’t just shop farmers markets in the summer

Many people make the mistaken assumption that once summer is over that you can’t buy from farmer’s markets anymore.  But there is a pretty good chance you are mistaken… just because strawberries and corn aren’t in season, doesn’t mean there isn’t farm fresh vegetables that are in season.  In actuality, there are many in-season vegetables right now.

The most common seasonal vegetables in November are:

  • Greens such as kalem bok choy, collards, chard and spinach
  • Brussel Sprouts (if you have ever wondered why they seem to be a Thanksgiving vegetable staple, it is because they are in season!)
  • Many types of squashes including the common butternut squash
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes (again, a popular Thanksgiving veggie!)
  • Broccoli & broccolini
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery root
  • Pumpkin (of course!)
  • Turnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Parsnips

So next time you are in the neighborhood of your local farmer’s market, drive by and see if it is open or what hours it is open (some might only be open Saturdays and Sundays).  You never know if it is open, and you can save a bundle by buying those vegetables that re in season now, rather than paying a premium for out of season fruits and veggies.  And even if it is closed, you will find these seasonal vegetables should be priced quite reasonably in the grocery store now.

How many in season vegetables can you use in your cooking this month?

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This was posted under category: Cooking, Grocery shopping Tags: ,