Christmas Week is Upon Us – Squeal!

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here?

I do really like Christmas.  The lights, the food, the cooking,  the eating.

“Candi, the holidays are just horrible.  All I do is cook and eat and I get so fat.”  – Mamaw

Yes, I am embracing Mamaw’s version of this season.  I made the mistake of getting on my scale a few days ago.  I decided it needed new batteries & I’d leave him alone until a week after Christmas.  By the way, I will stop eating, consume juice and oatmeal for 2 days straight before I have the guts to get back on a scale.

There are 3 Things I Wanted to Tell You

ONE:

You may say that the Homesteaders Food Challenge is about to make a comeback in a big way.  The problem is everything (outdoors) is frozen right now, which could will make it even more challenging than the first time I starved myself grew everything I ate.

If you found it amusing or informational or entertaining watching me try to raise everything I ate last summer you’re gonna want to stay tuned…. I’m about to go on a “Winter” version of my challenge.  I’m still thinking about it at this point & trying to decide if I’ll run out of food after 2 weeks.

I’m not starting until after Christmas, of course, because, duh.

TWO:

I have a new section of my blog that is dedicated to generating swanky recipes that include pictures, helpful hints and printables at the end.  It’s great & I am really excited about it.  The problem is that my “blog” does not think these “recipes” are “posts” so whenever I slam some awesome, delicious, meal on my site none of my followers know about it.  Arrrrg.

I love you and am so thankful for everyone who has followed along to hear all my shenanigans in raising food, adventures in farming and delightful, tasty recipes.  If you aren’t following yet, you should!  I send out a post or 2 a week.  It’s totally fun, usually helpful and always free.  Topics I generally rant about fall into 3 categories:

  1. Growing Food (vegetarian style):  Garden, Roots, Herbs, Berries, veggies, fruits & everything else
  2. Growing Food (carnivore style):   Farming, raising livestock, small animals, feeding, fencing, housing, keeping, processing, etc.
  3. Enjoying all Your Food: Cooking, Preserving, Freezing and Canning all your hard-earned groceries.

You can expect all things homesteading & lots of fun from this blog.  Go here to send me your email address & I’ll put you on the list.

Unfortunately, if you are following, you are only getting 2 of the 3 categories right now because my blog has decided that recipes are not posts and won’t send them to you.

I’m trying to figure out how to continue to use the new recipe feature (I love) and get them into your inboxes (you love) so we can all live in harmony.  Have I mentioned that I don’t like the “techy” part of this blog business?  I don’t.

Since you aren’t getting the recipes – I wanted to send them to you!  And spread a little happiness and joy this Christmas.  🙂

Here are the latest recipes that have hit the blog that no one knows about:

How to Brine Your Turkey and Why You Should

Brine Recipe & Why I Brine My Turkey

If you have never brined a hunk of meat, or do not know what brining is, or think brining is a waste of time – this is for you.  The why’s and how’s of brining.  Once you understand the goal and process of brining meat before cooking it you can get wild.  Make it your own.  Add your favorite herbs and be blown away by your turkey.  Brining is amazing. You won’t be sorry.

How To Roast a Turkey the Old Fashioned Way

If you’re gonna brine a turkey – you should probably go ahead and cook it too.  Here’s the only way I cook turkeys.  Mamaw taught me how to do it and it’s a can’t lose.  Moist, flavorful, crispy skin annnnnnnnnd you’ll have a pan filled with the most glorious broth you’ve ever seen.

Chili

Make Your Own Chili Seasoning

This is a fun twist on on old favorite.  I make my “seasoning mix” for chili and store it in mason jars.  Whenever I want a pot of chili, I brown the meat & onions, dump in the tomatoes & add the (pre-made) seasoning.  So quick and easy.  Dinner is done in no time.

Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese

Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese. Amen.

If you want a change from the standard mashed potatoes this may be the answer.  This dish is so good.  The best part is that it all happens in one giant cast iron skillet.  From stove top to oven to table in one pan.  Delish.

THREE:  

The third thing I wanted to share with you was all the hustle and bustle going on in my kitchen this week…..

I am baking and roasting and decorating like an elf.  My Christmas Menu is coming to fruition and it’s so exciting. I have wonderful things planned to make for this weekend.  I am thinking of mixing things up a bit, yet staying true to the traditions we have around here.

As I was going through all the fantastic flavors I indulge in every year at Christmas I was thinking of you.  I thought I’d share what we’re eating.

Here are some of the tasty snacks laying around my house right now or soon to be……. (these are the exact reasons I am about to go on my second round of starvation and weight loss Homesteaders Food Challenger, by the way).

Click on the picture & it should take you to a fully informative, somewhat entertaining, step-by-step recipe.

Meringue Shell Cookies

If you’ve ever wanted to eat an angel – here’s your chance.  I can eat 20 of these in 1 sitting – which causes me to have a problem with my pants.  Light, crisp, and they melt when they hit your tongue.  There is practically nothing in these but egg whites and sugar.  My youngest daughter ate 6 yesterday & said, “Mommy, this is how I like my eggs.”

Scramble

Homemade chex mix courtesy of my grandmother.  Crunchy, salty, Yum.  Feel free to cut this recipe in half because you will have enough to feed the neighborhood (or county depending on your whereabouts).

Roll Cookies

The bomb.  I usually like to admire these decorated, covered in icing, sparkly cookies.  At all bakerys and cookie exchanges I applaud the artwork – but don’t eat them.  It’s always a let down.  They look so festive and wonderful – but taste like cardboard covered in cement.

Not these.  Oh Baby.  These are rockin.  Buttery, crisp, sweet.  Yum.

German Roasted Nuts

Not only are these the best snack in the world, they are super easy to make & are a great gift.

Cranberry Sauce

This is a festive side dish that will get along with a turkey, a chicken, a leg of venison or a standing rib roast.

Pumpkin Pie

I don’t know if it’s because of Bing Crosby or the songs or what, but I want a pumpkin pie to pass around on Christmas.

Fudge

This one can be knocked out in 5 minutes & saved in the refrigerator for days.  My youngest daughter always makes this one for special occasions.

Coffee Cake

Christmas morning would not be complete around here without this incredible cake.  It’s a sour cream cake so you know it’s gonna be moist, soft and creamy.

Sausage & Rice Casserole

It sounds so weird, but you must make this before you judge.  It’s not like anything else I cook.  It is so full of vegetables, you’ll get your vitamins & not even know it because it’s so dang delicious.

Apple Tart

If you want a fresh ending to a heavy meal – this is the right dessert.  It’s light, refreshing, filled with cinnamon and spice and just sweet enough to be a dessert.  Oh, I also eat this for breakfast – you could have this Christmas Eve for dessert and Christmas morning for breakfast.

Wilted Salad

I haven’t decided yet on the salad, but this one is in the running.  It’s a classic & everyone loves it.  Cold greens, warm dressing, bacon – so satisfying!

Guacamole

This is the easiest appetizer to pull off.  I usually eat it in warmer months – but love it anytime.  If you want to set out something for your guests to munch on while you finish roasting the turkey this is incredible.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

The best.  This side dish will be happy on any table.

Pumpkin Bread

Yes, I think pumpkin goes just as well with Christmas as it does with Thanksgiving.

I have lots of cooking and baking on my agenda this week.

In addition to living in my kitchen, I will be spending my afternoons selling assorted firearms at our pawn shop.  because……

“Nothin’ says LOVE like a new gun.”

Merry Christmas Y’all!

Have a great week!

XO,

Candi

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