Sunday, September 13, 2009

What Do I Do With All This Harvest?

Gathering the last of the harvest in the fall months leaves windowsills, tables and baskets full of tomatoes, squash, pumpkin, peppers, beets, apples and sweet potatoes. These yummy foods sit waiting to be used up. You're left with so much fresh, precious food and so little time. The neighbors get to share in the excess and you send it home with anyone who darkens your door. All your labor of the spring and long hot summer has finally paid off, in rich dividends. Now, what do you do with everything you have left?

Now is the time to save some money. So many dishes can be made from these wonderful veggies and fruits. Here are some ideas for your next meal or two, or three or more.

Fresh Salsa

Fresh salsa is a big hit for fall. You can use the yellow, red or green peppers finely sliced along with some fresh onion and garlic to create your own salsa. Depending on the peppers you have planted you can make a Mexican salsa as well as a simple tomato salsa. If you have harvested peaches or apple, you can even make a salsa with these items. If you choose to can salsa make sure you follow a recipe that is tried and sure to keep the acid out of your salsa.

Sweet Potato Dishes Galore

Sweet potatoes have huge nutritional benefits. A sweet potato pie is just one of the many yummy things you can make. This root makes wonderful custards, casseroles and stews. It keeps fairly well if kept in dark places. Once is has become woody, it is no longer good for use.

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini makes the best bread and is a treat in the fall. You can freeze this vegetable and use it all winter long in breads and potato pancakes (try adding zucchini to this.)

Decorate Your Home with Squash & Gourds

Squash and gourds can be used as decoration in your home or yard. If you've harvested them you will know that they are everywhere in the fall. Take some fall flowers (mums are particularly hardy), squash and gourds and make table decorations from them. Of course you can prepare and freeze squash for winter use.

Nothing says Autumn like the scent
of harvest time!
Try burning this soot free, enviroment
pet friendly candle by Mia bella today!

Apples, Apples, Apples!!!
Apples not only taste good but they make the house smell delicious as well. Applesauce is a great way to use up the apple leftovers and you can also freeze this for later use. Apple pies, apple cobblers (and peach too), apple crisp and apple butter are just a few of the ways you can use up your harvest.
With winter fast approaching, you will want to get as many of your goodies up in cans tucked away or frozen. There’s nothing like going to the pantry or freezer and seeing your hard labor waiting for you. Happy Harvest!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Alternatives to Halloween Candy

If you’re a parent you may be worrying about how much
candy your child will be bringing home this Halloween. Candy not only has very little nutritional value, it is bad for your teeth band can cause nasty tummy aches when eaten in excess. If you’re looking for something different to hand out to trick-or-treaters this year, here are some alternative ideas.

Nabisco has 100 calorie pack individual packages that trick-or-treaters will find enjoyable to their palates. Teddy Grahams and chocolate covered pretzels are my two favorites, but they have a whole line to choose from.
Individual packages of nuts or trail mixes are nutritionally beneficial to your ghosts and goblins. They not only taste good are good for you.
Microwave popcorn packages are a great option. You can buy them in many different flavors, but if you’re looking for healthier alternatives skip the extra or movie butter kind.
Nabisco Handi-Snack offers a variety of healthy choices. A few examples that I particularly like are:
Breadsticks and cheese
Cheese dunk ‘ems
Ritz cheese and crackers

These individual packages are a tasty choice. Fairly inexpensive, they are a great fit for children.
While not quite as healthy as some of the other options above, many restaurants, such as McDonald’s & Wendy’s, sell coupon certificates or books you can substitute with. You can purchase gift certificates for your trick-or-treaters and by using your Arch card and following some simple guidelines at the McDonald’s website you can not only give a non candy gift, you can also earn college rewards.

Non-Edible Gifts
If you visit a dollar store or a store that sells children’s books inexpensively, you can find non-edible gifts too. Items such as coloring books, crayons or audio books and more are great alternatives to sugar laden candy. Not only is this a healthier choice, it is educational as well. Some people even shop throughout the year to help spread the cost out.
A visit to your local dentist may be just what the doctor orders this Halloween. He may be able and willing to give you toothbrushes and toothpaste samples at a reduced rate to hand out to children. If you wanted you could even hand out sugarless gum.
Slide into some scary fun with these plastic Halloween puzzles. Ghost, witch, candy corn, vampire, monster and jack-o'-lantern designs tempt everyone to see if they can solve their puzzle first! Trick-or-treaters also love finding these puzzles in their sacks! (4 dozen per unit) 1 1/2"

Mini Halloween Slide Puzzles per Piece(s)

Try placing a sticky lable on the back of these slide puzzles
to introduce your businesses. ;)

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