Feed Your Soul

What Food Pantries Really Need for Thanksgiving

Pujols Kitchen - Sunday, November 20, 2016

What’s not to love about Thanksgiving? Great food, a long holiday weekend with family and friends to give thanks for the blessings in our lives.

 

Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with enough to eat and that’s why November is a great time to donate to your local food pantry.

 

 

 

Here is a list of the items most needed.


·         100% Juice Drinks
·         Holiday Foods like cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes
·         Low-Sodium Vegetables, especially mixed vegetables for more colorful and well-rounded meals
·         Canned Chicken, Canned Salmon and Canned Tuna for a much-needed protein boost
·         Unsalted Nuts for a source of proteins and vitamins
·         No Sugar Added Fruits
·         Shelf-Stable Milk that will last a long time
·         Whole Grain Pasta to promote fiber intake
·         Canned Beef Stew, a non-perishable meal that’s full of meats, veggies and complex carbohydrates
·         Brown Rice as well as quinoa which are great meal options because they are super high in protein
·         Oatmeal for healthy and filling breakfasts
·         Canola and Olive Oil because they are important for cooking and healthy thanks to mono-unsaturated fats
·         Peanut Butter
·         Low-Sodium Soups, especially soups with a lot a vegetables because they are higher in fiber and will keep a person feeling fuller longer
·         Beans are nutrition powerhouses full of fiber, protein and Vitamin B
·         Low-Sugar Cereals
·         Granola Bars and Popcorn are healthy snacks kids also love

Thanksgiving Checklist for Success - 1 Week Out

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, November 18, 2016

 Only one week left until the big day.




Here is this week’s to do list.


One Week Ahead:


[  ]  Determine seating arrangements


[  ]  Schedule your recipes and cooking schedule by day for the days ahead and by hour for Thanksgiving Day


[  ]  Verify thawing time for frozen turkey


[  ]  Ready guest rooms with fresh linens and other amenities


[  ]  Rake leaves and clean windows and glass on your front door


[  ]  Get out games or movies for the kids or ask parents to bring activities for kids to do


Giving the Gift of Time on Thanksgiving - Part One

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, November 17, 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 our first 5 questions to make the time you spend together on Thanksgiving quality time.


1. Name one thing about someone in the room that you really appreciate.

2. What made you feel patriotic this year?

3. What do you value most about your life?

4. What do you appreciate about your friendship with the people in the room?

5. Name one person here who can make you laugh, even months later. Why?

Get Your Attitude of Gratitude On - Tip #4

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, November 17, 2016

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

 

Happy Thanksgiving! The big day will be here sooner than you think. 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 #4


Look at the positives in situations. Challenging situations can be upsetting but they may not be as bad as we make them out to be. Perception is everything. The next time you find yourself complaining about your life’s hassles, see if you can change your mindset and look at things differently. Instead of getting down about a missed opportunity, consider the fact that you’ll have more time to devote to other priorities.


Read Tip #3


Make a Difference this Holiday Season - Tip #3

Pujols Kitchen - Tuesday, November 15, 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 #3


When you’re in line at a coffee shop, tell the cashier you’re paying for your order and the one behind you. It’s a simple gesture that will have you and the person in line behind you both smiling.


Read Giving Tip #2


Let's Talk Turkey - Part Two

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, November 14, 2016

Whether it’s your first time to host Thanksgiving dinner or you’re an old pro, you have questions that need answering. This collection of tips will help you choose the best bird and offer some unorthodox cooking methods.






What’s the best oven temperature?


Some cooks heat their ovens to 425°F for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 325°F. While a higher heat will reduce cooking time by 90 minutes, consider that changing your oven temperature is one more thing to remember on a busy day. 

 


What’s the trick to getting moist turkey meat?


Start cooking your turkey upside-down in your roasting rack. This will allow the turkey’s natural juices to collect in the breast which tends to dry out otherwise. After roasting for 1 hour, flip the turkey over, breast-side up, for 1 more hour. 



How long should I cook my turkey?


For an unstuffed turkey, use the following table for cooking times. Add 20-40 minutes if you are stuffing your turkey.


Turkey Cooking Times

Pounds Hours

8 to 12 2-1/2 to 3-1/2

12 to 16 3-1/2 to 4

16 to 20 4 to 4-1/2

20 to 26 4-1/2 to 5-1/2

 


How will I know when my turkey is done?


Use an instant-read probe thermometer (digital or analog) to make sure your turkey is fully cooked but not overcooked. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the thigh and wait a few seconds for the thermometer to settle on a temperature. Look for 170°F and be sure to check both thighs in case one side is undercooked. If you’ve stuffed your turkey, you’ll want the thermometer to read 165°F. 



Is there anything special I need do with the turkey when it’s done cooking?


Let your turkey rest for 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. You’ll get moister slices when you do.


Get Your Attitude of Gratitude On - Tip #3

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, November 14, 2016

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

 

Happy Thanksgiving! The big day will be here sooner than you think. 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 #3


Record your gratitude in a journal. A great way to give thanks on a daily basis is to record what you’re grateful for in a journal. Of the people Emmons surveyed, those who listed five things they felt grateful for in their daily gratitude journals, also reported greater optimism and fewer health problems.


Read Tip #2

Make a Difference this Holiday Season - Tip #2

Pujols Kitchen - Sunday, November 13, 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 #2


Head to your local McDonald’s and order as many extra cheeseburgers as you can afford. Then bring them down to a local homeless shelter and hand them out. Smiles on their faces are a wonderful gift.


Read Giving Tip #1


Thanksgiving Checklist for Success - 2 Weeks Out

Pujols Kitchen - Friday, November 11, 2016

Just two weeks to go until the big day. Here’s what to focus on this week.

 




Here are some tips for success. 


Two Weeks Ahead:


[  ]  Take inventory of tables and chairs to make sure you have enough for guests


[  ]  Gather all serving dishes, glassware and flatware


[  ]  Polish any silver pieces  and store in tarnish-resistant silver cloth


[  ]  Clean out the fridge to make room for your Thanksgiving food


[  ]  Shop for nonperishable food on your list


[  ]  Place 3x5 index cards in each serving dish or platter to help yourself remember which recipe goes where


10 Ways to Celebrate Veteran's Day

Pujols Kitchen - Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Veteran’s Day is a great opportunity to teach your children about the sacrifice service members and their families make year-round. 




Here are some ways to celebrate Veteran’s Day at home, school and work.


1.    Show your support for veteran and active duty service members by wearing a red poppy or yellow ribbon. 


2.    Have a care-package packing  party. Active duty service members appreciate food, especially since most of them get tired of eating MREs. Consider sending non-perishable food. Beef Jerky is a favorite and so are sauces, spices, taco mix, and snacks like Pop Tarts, granola bars and crackers.


3.    Brighten the day of elderly or injured veterans by visiting a veterans’ hospital. You’ll get to hear some intriguing stories about their time in service too.


4.    Put your creativity to work and make cards for veterans. Keep them in your car or in your purse to give to any veteran you encounter throughout the year.


5.    If you’re a teacher, consider inviting a veteran to speak to your class about what it’s like to be in the military. Contact your local VA if you don’t know any veterans to invite.


6.    At the office, take time out of the day to recognize veterans in your workplace. An office-wide coffee break with poppy cookies or a yellow ribbon cake is a great way to express your gratitude.


7.    If possible, attend Veteran’s Day parades.


8.    Honor veterans year-round with a home-cooked meal and thank-you note for volunteering.


9.    Support veteran-owned businesses. Visit www.buyveteran.com to locate veteran owned businesses in your area.


10.  Whenever you see a veteran in uniform or wearing a veteran ball cap, tell them thank you. This small act of kindness goes a long way.



 

© 2013 Pujols Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.