Feed Your Soul

How to Simplify the Holidays - Tip 1

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, December 01, 2016



Simplify the holidays? Is it even possible? The short answer is yes. Here is Tip #1 to help you relax this holiday season.


1.    Focus on the present. Instead of stressing about the holidays, worrying about the future and fretting about the past, find peace and joy by focusing on the present.


The Dos and Don'ts of Re-Gifting...

Pujols Kitchen - Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas is just around the corner and while it may be tempting to save some money and re-gift yet another Elf DVD (your third copy) you received from Aunt Edna last year, consider some of the following dos and don’ts when it comes to regifting.

Do consider the original giver’s feelings. If this person is likely to notice you not using, wearing, or serving food on it in the future, opt to hold onto the gift rather than re-gifting.

Don’t regift family heirlooms or objects with sentimental value. Despite how cheap and ugly you think the item is, others in your family may want the object to stay in the family. Be respectful and keep it someplace safe, bringing it out for conversation from time to time.

Do gift with honesty. If you are re-gifting and the item doesn’t work for them, you’ll want to let them know it’s not an original gift but that you wanted them to have it because you thought they would benefit from it. If they don’t want it, don’t force it.

Don’t re-gift gift cards, especially since it might expire in a few months, and may not be fully loaded. Double check by calling the number on the back of the card.

Do re-gift to charity. This is an excellent alternative and someone in need will appreciate your holiday gesture. If the kitchen appliance, sweater, or scarf didn’t work for you, consider Goodwill.


Make a Difference this Holiday Season - Tip #5

Pujols Kitchen - Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rather than adding a few coins to that ever clanging change cup this holiday season, consider some of these ideas for making a difference in the lives of others.




Giving Tip #5


Consider going through the toys your kids received over the past year. If there is anything that they haven’t played with or are too old for, donate it to a local church or mission. This way, your kids will have room for anything new they get and another child can use the toy as happily as they did.


Read Giving Tip #4


Storing Thanksgiving Leftovers

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, November 25, 2016

Once the second and third helpings have been eaten and the table is cleared it’s time to store your Thanksgiving leftovers (if there are any!).

 

 

 

Here are some tips.

 

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.

 

You’ll want to reheat only what you'll be serving at one time rather than reheating the entire portion. While it is safe to heat it all and then re-store what you don't use, food continues to lose flavor and moisture the more it's reheated.

 

It’s tempting to keep the leftover sweet potatoes or green beans in the half-empty serving dish and simply covering it with plastic wrap, but it’s better to store leftovers in a clean, smaller container or Ziploc bag. You’ll also have more room in your refrigerator.

 

You’ll want your leftovers to be cooled as quickly as possible. Carve any remaining meat on the turkey and store in shallow containers or plastic bags. Place leftover food in several shallow containers instead of a large one and avoid stacking containers as this will trap heat in your refrigerator. The more surface area exposed to cold air, the faster your food will cool.

 

If you intend to freeze your leftovers, you’ll want to pack stuffing and mashed potatoes and any other sides into airtight freezer containers or plastic freezer bags. Wrap turkey in freezer paper or foil, press out all the air, then seal in plastic freezer bags. Soups and gravy expand slightly as they freeze, so you’ll want to leave some space at the top of the container. It's fine to keep leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days before deciding to freeze them, but the sooner they go in the freezer the better. Once your leftovers have cooled off, place them into the freezer, and avoid stacking the containers until they're frozen solid.

Give the Gift of Time this Thanksgiving - Part Three

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks, a day to spend with family and cherished friends. With full stomachs after the big meal, it’s easy to find a spot on the couch and mindlessly watch football the rest of the day. But consider that the best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you. One of the best gifts we can give to our family and friends is the gift of time.

 

 

 

 

Here are 10 more questions to make the time you spend together on Thanksgiving quality time.


11. What random act of kindness did you preform or that was done to you this year that makes you feel grateful?

12. What do you appreciate about the change of seasons?

13. Name five things that make you happy about today.

14. What does it mean to you to give thanks?

15. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were little?

16. What is one compliment that you have never paid to someone in the room?

17. What is one thing that you would like to accomplish in the next year?

18. If you could share Thanksgiving dinner today with one person in history who would it be? Why? (Note: it can be a relative)

19. What is one wish you have for the next generation as they begin to establish their own Thanksgiving traditions?

20. What are you really thankful for this year? (Now that we made you think through 19 other questions, we stuck this back in.)

 

 

Read Part Two.

Get Your Attitude of Gratitude On - Tip #5

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, November 24, 2016

“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings.” –William Arthur Ward

 

Happy Thanksgiving! The big day is here. Whether you’re traveling out of town or hosting the main event, all the planning and to do lists can get some of the most positive people in life feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. Wouldn’t it be nice if the solution to our stress was as simple as feeling thankful for the good things in our lives? Actually, it really is that simple and the key lies in our gratitude.


In his recent research, Robert Emmons, Professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis, found that those who adopted an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind experienced many health benefits. The study showed that grateful people were more likely to get regular exercise and eat a healthier diet; have improved mental alertness, cope better with stress and daily challenges, feel more optimistic and happy, have stronger immune systems and maintain a brighter view of the future.


With benefits like these, who wouldn’t want to adopt an attitude of gratitude right away? 




Integrating a few easy steps into your daily life can help.


Tip #5


When you adopt an attitude of gratitude you also become a better giver. More of us are open to giving during the holiday season and spreading joy. That’s what we’re all here for—giving, sharing and lifting each other up. 


Join Pujols Kitchen in our mission to love and serve others. Together we can spread joy all year through.


Read Tip #4


Thanksgiving Checklist for Success - The Day Of

Pujols Kitchen - Wednesday, November 23, 2016

 Tomorrow is the big day. Here is what’s left to do.




Thanksgiving Day:


[  ]  Set out all serving pieces on a counter or buffet table


[  ]  Fill condiment dishes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, lay serving spoons on top


[  ]  Delegate tasks such as pouring drinks, answering the door, hanging up coats, and tending the fire to family members


[  ]  Remove turkey from refrigerator for 1-2 hours and add stuffing to bird or place in a casserole dish and bake separately


[  ]  Preheat oven, then place turkey inside and baste every half hour or per recipe instructions


[  ]  Remove stuffing from bird and let stand for 20 minutes before slicing


[  ]  Brew coffee


[  ]  Reheat food in microwave if all burners are occupied


[  ]  Make gravy and last-minute vegetables


[  ]  Heat rolls or bread


[  ]  Set out condiments


[  ]  Carve turkey and pour drinks


[  ]  Enjoy dinner and then indulge in dessert


Give the Gift of Time this Thanksgiving - Part Two

Pujols Kitchen - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks, a day to spend with family and cherished friends. With full stomachs after the big meal, it’s easy to find a spot on the couch and mindlessly watch football the rest of the day. But consider that the best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you. One of the best gifts we can give to our family and friends is the gift of time.

 

 

 

 

Here are 5 more questions to make the time you spend together on Thanksgiving quality time.


6. What is the funniest thing you remember about a Thanksgiving past?

7. What unusual traditions, rituals or habits do you have around Thanksgiving?

8. Name one ancestor that you think about on Thanksgiving and tell us why.

9. Is there a family heirloom at the Thanksgiving table? What its story?

10. What is your favorite part about Thanksgiving Day?

 

 

Read Part One.

Make a Difference this Holiday Season - Tip #4

Pujols Kitchen - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rather than adding a few coins to that ever clanging change cup this holiday season, consider some of these ideas for making a difference in the lives of others.




Giving Tip #4


Give back to your grandmother or hosting relative during the holidays by doing the cleanup after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Cleaning up after meals gives your hosting relatives more time with other out-of-town family members is a great way to give back to the ones who have given us so much all year long.


Read Giving Tip #3

Thanksgiving Checklist for Success - 4 Days Away

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, November 21, 2016

Only four days left until the big day.




Here is a to do list for the next couple of days.

 

4 Days Ahead:


[  ]  Defrost turkey in your refrigerator


[  ]  Make your own ice  cubes and store in freezer bags


[  ]  Time to organize and clean the house


[  ]  Put up wreaths, candles and other decorations


[  ]  Touch base with guests to find out what space they need for the dishes they are bringing and if they need any serving pieces or utensils


[  ]  Organize plastic containers, bags, wraps, etc. for leftovers



2 Days Ahead:


[  ]  Refrigerate beverages

[  ]  Buy flowers/have centerpiece delivered


[  ]  Shop for perishable food items


[  ]  Clean vegetables and refrigerate


[  ]  Set out bread if you are making homemade stuffing


[  ]  Fill butter dishes and salt and pepper shakers


[  ]  Make the cranberry sauce


[  ]  Finish light housecleaning


[  ]  Lay a fire in your fireplace for you to light later


[  ]  Put up your decorations


1 Day Ahead:


[  ]  Peel potatoes and store in a pot of cold water in the refrigerator

[  ]  Do all the meal prep you can—chopping, peeling or toasting, baking pies, etc.


[  ]  Supply bathrooms with extra paper goods and hand towels


[  ]  Make stuffing


[  ]  Spot clean rooms you’ll use


[  ]  In the evening set the table together as a family


[  ]  Make side dishes that can be baked ahead


[  ]  Set up a staging area for coffee, desserts and drinks



 

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