Monday, November 30, 2015

Turkey/Chicken Enchilada Casserole

2 lbs pre-cooked shredded turkey/chicken
1 (10oz) can enchilada sauce 
10 to 12 small taco size corn tortillas
1 bag Mexican cheese 

In a greased 4x4 baking pan, pour just enough enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the pan.

Start layering first tortillas, turkey, sauce then cheese.
Repeat this till you are at the top of the pan, then just top with cheese. 
At this time, pan may be refrigerated for several hours or overnight, just cover with lid or wrap with foil. Or you can freeze it and cook it later.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes (60 minutes if refrigerated).
Top with sour cream, and enjoy!

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Espresso Fudge

3 cups sugar
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
3⁄4 c butter or margarine
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 squares baking chocolate chopped
2 tablespoons instant espresso
Candy thermometer
Butter one 9x9-inch pan.

Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter, espresso, and marshmallow creme in a 6-quart saucepan.

Cook over medium heat. Boil slowly for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, till temp reaches 234° F with candy thermometer.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract, and chocolate.
Pour into buttered pan.
Let stand for 4 hours till room temp, then cut into one inch squares.
Store in air tight container, give as gifts or snack on during those present wrapping sessions!

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Leftover Turkey and Dumplings


3 cups leftover gravy
1tablespoons butter
1 scallion minced or a small onion what ever you have on hand
1 cup leftover peas and carrots or frozen
2 cloves of garlic roasted and minced
1 2 cups leftover turkey diced
1 cup turkey broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Original Bisquick™ mix
2/3 cup milk


  1. In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. 
  2. Add the veggies and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic.
  3. Then add the turkey, the turkey gravy and broth. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Go a little heavier than normal the dumplings will even it out.
  5. Mix the Bisquick and milk together to make the dumplings balls.
  6. Drop by the spoon full into boiling stew; reduce heat to simmer.
  7. Cook uncovered for 10 min then cover for 10 min.
  8. After 20 minutes, take off the heat.
These came out with the fluffiest dumplings I have ever made!

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Pumpkin Craze

I think of pumpkin pie but I am not obsessed with it. I am a take it or leave it kind of gal. But did you know there were poems about pumpkin pie, people most of my house included, love pumpkin pie that much. A couple of my favorite poems are "The Pumpkin" and "Farewwell O Fragrant Pumpkin Pie."
"The Pumpkin" by John Greenleaf Whittier in 1850
Ah! on Thanksday, when from East and from West 
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

"Farewell O Fragrant Pumpkin Pie" by Oscar Ferdinand Telgmann and George Frederick Careron in 1889 

Farewell, O fragrant pumpkin pie!
Dyspeptic pork, adieu!Though to the college halls I hie.On field of battle though I die, my latest sob, my latest sighshall wafted be to you!And thou, O doughnut rare and rich and fried divinely brown!Thy form shall fill a noble niche in memory's chamber whilst I pitchmy tent beside the river which rolls on through Kingston town.And my Love—my little Nell,the apple of my eye to thee how can I say farewell?I love thee more than I can tell;I love thee more than anything—but—pie!

You might even be surprised to find pumpkin pie references in some of your favorite childhood songs like "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" makes a reference to homemade pumpkin pie being looked forward to by a man returning to his family's home in Pennsylvania.  "Sleigh Ride", also mentions sitting around a fire after being out in the snow and eating pumpkin pie. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" encompasses the lyric, "Later we'll have some pumpkin pie / And we'll do some caroling". So there is some truth to the pumpkin craze! 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sneaky Sides

I'm sneaky when the holidays come around. Take last weekend for instance. I made chili and corn bread and my kids asked. "Why did you make so much corn bread?" I said I was going to use it later in a recipe. They didn't understand because it's already cooked, how can you cook it again. I also bought 5 lbs of fresh green beans and I was asked, why we will never eat that much. This is why:

Cornbread Stuffing
3 cups precooked cornbread (remember from chili night)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 a cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 small sweet onion chopped
2 beat eggs
1 1/2 cups turkey stock
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
Salt and pepper to taste

Crumble the cornbread.
Preheat oven to 350° F and grease 9x13 casserole dish.
In a large skillet melt butter and saute the onions, carrots and celery until soft.
In a large bowl combine the sauteed veggies, cornbread, eggs, turkey stock, sage and salt and pepper.
Place in prepped casserole dish and bake for 30 min.

Green Bean Casserole
4 cups of fresh or frozen green beans ($.21 lb Costco, at the store it's $.99 lb then you can dived them up, bag them and place them in the freezer)
2 tablespoons butter
1 can Healthy Request® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 dash black pepper
1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions 

In a pan melt butter and add green beans saute till almost soft, then remove from heat.
In a medium bowl stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions.
Pour into a 1 1/2-quart greased casserole dish.
Bake at 350°F. for 20 minutes or until the bean mixture is bubbling.
Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

These two things can be cooked together in the oven. After the turkey is out and resting, before being carved. By doing these two things we save time, stress and money, now who doesn't love that!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pesto Omelette

4 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp milk
2 tablespoons spinach basil pesto 
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Mix eggs and milk in small bowl; set aside.

Heat a greased, large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
Pour in egg mixture. Mixture should set immediately at edges.
Carefully push cooked portions at edges toward center so uncooked portions can reach hot pan surface, tilting pan and moving cooked portions as necessary.
While top is still moist and creamy, flip the eggs.
Then lay a thin layer of pesto and cheese. 
Turn heat to low; fold omelet in half. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. 
Serve immediately.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

N.Y. Guacamole Recipe

4 Hass avocados
1 packet of McCormick Guacamole Mild Seasoning Mix
1 (8oz) block of cream cheese
1 tsp lemon juice

In a large bowl peel and pit avocados.
Toss avocados with lemon juice.
Open seasoning packet and sprinkle on top.
Open block of cream cheese and scoop on top. I like mine a little chunky, that's why I use block, but if you like smooth guacamole then use the whipped kind.
Using a potato masher, mash avocados along with seasoning, and cream cheese. 
Again if you like yours smooth then use an electric mixer and beat till you get the consistency you like.
Refrigerate for one hour.

Serve with chips or crackers, or on burritos and tacos. It's very addictive!

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

DIY - Peppermint Sugar Scrub

1 Cup Sugar In The Raw
1 Cup Coconut Oil
 Tablespoon peppermint extract
2 Spice Jar containers


Melt coconut oil and allow it to cool but not solidify. 
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight spice jar containers. 
Give them as gifts or use 1-2 times a week. 
The sugar will exfoliate your skin and the coconut oil will leave your skin soft and moisturized. Peppermint extract, is useful in clearing the sinuses.
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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner

Just think what Thanksgiving would be like without all the food we have come to love!

Why do we serve turkey on Thanksgiving? Well, in 1621 the first colonist did hunt fowl- we don't know exactly what type they hunted, but we do know they hunted it. It could have been turkey, ducks, or even geese. Since a famous colonist named Bradford wrote in his journals documenting in autumn that they were hunting fowl. And since turkeys are uniquely an American bird, it gave way to what we now have as a Thanksgiving meal of choice. And what a mouth watering meal it is!

Cranberry Sauce, no they didn't have cranberry sauce back then. That would have required sugar. Sugar, which was a luxury item at that time, and therefore not brought on the pilgrimage. It wasn't till years later that people were commenting on the boiled cranberries that accompanied meat that we started to call it cranberry sauce.

Pumpkin Pie, well pumpkins yes, but in a stew, soup or as a vegetable: not a pie. That's right, NO PUMPKIN PIE! Again, sugar was a luxury, and butter would have never sustained the voyage over. Pumpkin pies weren't on tables until the 17th century, and were still considered a luxury item, so not all were feasting on this cap to a great meal!

What did they eat? We know they ate a fowl of some kind, corn, bread, pumpkins, squash, beans, sea food and venison. We might never know exactly what they ate the very first Thanksgiving, but looking into recipes from that area gave us these clues. It was not, however, the banquet we are going to be gorging ourselves on on Thursday.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Inside Brussel Sprouts

Did you know, brussel sprouts contain excellent levels of vitamin C and vitamin K.They have moderate amounts of B & B6 vitamins, folic acid, and are high in antioxidants. They are even being researched for their potential anticancer properties. They are ready to harvest in about 90 to 180 days after planting, so you aren't waiting log to eat these delicious little green gems. I think since they grow on a stalks and have a head like a cabbage, it makes identifying whats growing and picking them quit easy. Brussel sprouts are a favorite of mine and my kids, we could eat them daily. They may look funny but they taste great here's a go to recipe for my house:

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Grilled Brussel Sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (16 ounce) package Brussels sprouts, halved
3 teaspoons garlic powder
2 crushed cloves of garlic
Pam cooking spray

Lightly spray the grate of the grill with Pam.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
In a plastic bag or bowl place brussle sprouts, olive oil, garlic and garlic salt.
Shake bag vigorously coating all brussle sprouts. This is my kid’s favorite part to help with.
Place sprouts on the preheated grill and cook until tender and grill marks appear, about 10 to 12 minutes.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Did you know...

Did you know broccoli and cauliflower can grow in the spring and fall depending upon the variety, the region, and the time planted? These two crops do best when temperatures remain between 40 degrees and 70 degrees F. They need to mature during cool periods, so they do well in most areas if planted in late summer to mature in fall. In spring, broccoli/cauliflower are planted early enough to mature during cool weather. Temperatures below 25 degrees F can damage or kill these two crops. 

There are so many ways to eat this vegetable. One  recipe that my family loves to have that features broccoli and cauliflower rice is on . 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
15 teaspoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cold butter
1 & 1/4 cups dried cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
GLAZE (optional):
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoon orange juice
In a bowl combine the flour, 10 teaspoons sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, cream and egg.
Add to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
On a floured surface, gently knead 6-8 times.
Pat dough into an two 8-in. circle.
Cut each circle into 4 wedges.
Separate wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove to a wire rack.
Combine glaze ingredients if desired; drizzle over scones.
Best Served Warm!
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Monday, November 16, 2015

Inside Zucchini

Did you know that one zucchini plant is enough for a family of four? One zucchini plant will yield, on average, three to nine pounds of zucchini. It produces over and over again. So much so, you might even find yourself with a surplus. Don't fret; zucchini is great in everything, from soups to breads, to stir fry and even desserts. They can be steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed and baked, used as pasta, barbecued, or fried. The flowers, which are considered a delicacy, can be eaten in soups, stuffed, or fried with tempura. Being rich in potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, and only about 17 calories per zucchini, they can be a guiltless pleasure. 


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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Crock-Pot Broccoli Beef

1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef consomme
½ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons pepper flakes (optional)
1 ½ to 2 lbs broccoli
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cooled sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
4 cups hot cooked rice, brown rice, or riced cauliflower
1. Place beef in a greased crock pot.
2. In a small bowl, combine consomme, soy sauce, sugar, oil, and garlic. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. About 30 min before its done, take 2 tbs of the liquid from the Crock Pot place it in a bowl stir cornstarch until smooth. Add back to Crock Pot. Stir well to combine.
4. Add broccoli (& pepper flakes optional) to the Crock Pot. Stir to combine.
5. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes on high (the sauce has to boil for it to thicken).
6. Serve over hot cooked rice.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

All Carrots Aren't Orange

Did you know that carrots come in different colors? All these colors provide different things!
Yellow carrots are high in Xanthophylls, they are linked to eye health and may reduce the incidence of lung and other cancers.
Red carrots are high in Lycopene, they are believed to help prevent heart disease and may reduce the risk of certain cancers, including prostate cancer.
Purple carrots are high in AnthocyaninsIn, they have antioxidants, and help reduce the risk of heart disease by slowing blood clotting.
White carrots lack pigment, but still provide fiber and other beneficial phytochemicals.
Orange carrots are high in Lutein, they may decrease the risk for developing macular degeneration and other age-related diseases.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Lemon-Garlic Sauteed Green Beans

2 teaspoon olive oil
2 lb fresh green beans
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons water
3 teaspoons garlic salt

Cut off steams of the green beans, rinse and then pat dry.
Over medium heat, heat the oil.
Add green beans and cook 3 min, stir frequently. 
Stir in lemon juice, water and garlic salt. 
Reduce heat, cover and cook 2-3 min. 
Uncover and cook 2-3 more min stirring frequently.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

DIY- Rust Off Scissors

Here's what you need:
Cleaning gloves
Apple cider vinegar
Plumbers hand cleaner
Coconut oil
Scudding pad
3 Paper towels

1. Put on cleaning gloves and be careful.
2. Apply apple cider vinegar to a paper towel & rub scissors with it to sanitize them.
3. Using the scrubbing pad and a some plumbers hand cleaner, scrub the scissors till no rust is visible.
4. With a small amount of coconut oil on a paper towel rub the scissors till shiny.
5. With a dry paper towel, wipe off excess coconut oil.
Done and this was my end result!

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