Feed Your Soul

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.

Habits to Cultivate Your Happiness - Tip #4

Pujols Kitchen - Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Colder temperatures and shorter days with less sunshine have lots of us feeling down in the dumps but with these five simple habits you’ll have a higher chance of giving yourself a happiness boost.




Happiness Habit #4


Another way to cultivate your happiness is to remember that everyone experiences joys and sorrows. Avoid comparing how you feel on the inside with how someone else looks on the outside. Everyone handles situations differently.


Read Happiness Habit #3


Habits to Cultivate Your Happiness - Tip #3

Pujols Kitchen - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Colder temperatures and shorter days with less sunshine have lots of us feeling down in the dumps but with these five simple habits you’ll have a higher chance of giving yourself a happiness boost.




Happiness Habit #3


Part of cultivating happiness can be achieved by practicing non-judgmental awareness of yourself and others.  We’re all doing the best we can with the resources we have in a particular moment. No one wakes up and says, “I think I’ll mess up big time today.” So give yourself and others a break.


Read Happiness Habit #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.


Habits to Cultivate Your Happiness - Tip #2

Pujols Kitchen - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Colder temperatures and shorter days with less sunshine have lots of us feeling down in the dumps but with these five simple habits you’ll have a higher chance of giving yourself a happiness boost.



Happiness Habit #2


American families often feel as if they have too many activities, choices and things to do throughout the work week. This causes stress and a decrease in happiness. One way to combat an overbooked schedule is to simplify. Dropping an activity or two in exchange for some down time is not the end of the world. More time for family and friends is a great way to cultivate your happiness.


Read Happiness Habit #1

Let's Talk Turkey - Part One

Pujols Kitchen - Monday, November 07, 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.






How much turkey should I buy?


            Depends on how many people you’re hosting and how much turkey you want for leftovers. But, as a general rule, it’s a good idea to estimate 1 1/2 pounds per person, especially if you have hearty eaters or want ample leftover. If you don’t want leftovers, 3/4 pound of whole turkey per person is sufficient. If you plan to have a boneless turkey roast, plan on at least 1/3 pound per person. If you plan to have a bone-in turkey breast, plan on 3/4 pound per person.



What’s the best way to host Thanksgiving for a crowd?


            Consider roasting two smaller turkeys instead of one large one. Smaller turkeys will cook more quickly and evenly and fit better in your fridge or roasting pan. Additionally, cooking smaller turkeys affords you the opportunity to experiment with two different types of preparations.



To brine or not to brine?


            Brining is a great option for extra flavor and moist meat. Simply combine 5-1/2 ounces kosher salt, ¼ cup sugar and 2 quarts cool water into a pot over high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then remove from the heat, add 2 more quarts of water and chill in your refrigerator.


Remove turkey innards and reserve for gravy if preferred. Next rinse turkey well and double up two turkey-sized oven bags. Roll down the edges of the bag to allow the bag to stay open. Place bags in your roasting pan and then put the turkey in, breast side down inside the inner bag. Pour brine over the turkey. And then gather the inner bag around the bird so the brine covers most of the turkey. Secure the bag with a twist tie and do the same with the outer bag. Refrigerate turkey (in the roasting pan) for 12 to 18 hours.



To stuff or not to stuff?


            If you choose to stuff your turkey, you should know it will take longer to roast and there’s a greater risk the bird won’t cook evenly. This is why many cooks bake their stuffing in a separate baking dish. Baking your stuffing in a separate baking dish allows you to get that nice crispy top. If you decide to stuff your turkey, do this loosely to allow the stuffing room to expand.


Habits to Cultivate Your Happiness - Tip #1

Pujols Kitchen - Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Colder temperatures and shorter days with less sunshine have lots of us feeling down in the dumps but with some simple habits you’ll have a higher chance of giving yourself a happiness boost.




Happiness Habit #1


While it takes self-discipline, taking care of ourselves through regular exercise and a healthy diet (most of the time) are good habits that lead to long-term happiness. As the holidays approach and schedules become increasingly busy. Be sure to get enough sleep and be kind to yourself. Developing good boundaries and balance is key to cultivating happiness.

We Love Blueberry Cheesecake

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, May 26, 2016


Blueberry Cheesecake Day celebrates the happy encounter between cheesecake and blueberries, inspiring us to explore even more culinary enjoyment! Here’s how we make our favorite blueberry cheesecake.

Ingredients:

For graham cracker crust:

•18 full sheets (2 sleeves) graham crackers, finely ground (makes approx. 3 cups)

•1/2 cup melted butter

•1/3 cup sugar

 

For cheesecake:

•2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

•1 cup confectioner’s sugar

•1 (8 oz) Cool Whip

•2 tsp. vanilla

•1 (21 oz.) can blueberry pie filling

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust:

1.       In a food processor or mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar and blend or mix until well combined. Transfer mixture to 13" x 9" baking dish and press down firmly to form crust. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

For the cheesecake:

1.       Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer, then fold in whipped topping and mix until well combined. Spread cheesecake mixture over prepared crust.

2.       Spoon blueberry topping on top of filling and spread out evenly. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Slice into squares and serve.

*This recipe should be made several hours ahead of serving time or a day in advance.

**If you prefer to make your own whipped cream, 3 cups may be substituted for the whipped topping.

5 Fun Ways to Soak Up the Sun

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, May 19, 2016


                As long as it doesn’t rain, May Ray Day is the perfect day to get outside and enjoy the spring’s ambient temperatures. Here are 5 fun ways to soak up the sun.

1.       A great way to enjoy spring’s mild temperatures and sunshine is with a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Whether your hunt includes collecting leaves or finding clues in a nearby park, a scavenger hunt gets your family outside to visit their favorite local spots.

2.       Another way to keep the kids active outside for hours is by using your driveway as a giant palette for sidewalk chalk creations. Look to Pinterest for inspiration.

3.       There’s nothing like a picnic when the weather is nice, especially when you can ride your bike to the perfect spot. Pack your favorite snacks and a blanket and head to the park or the beach.

4.       Fire up the grill, only this time instead of the burgers and franks go for homemade grilled pizza, grilled pineapple/pepper/turkey kabobs, grilled quesadillas or grilled watermelon with feta and mint.

5.       You don’t have to drive for hours to find the perfect place to pitch a tent. How about camping in your own backyard? The best part of camping in your backyard is you don’t have to pack up everything and the kitchen sink. So gather up your favorite healthy snacks and celebrate spring.

How to Make Nutty Fudge

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, May 12, 2016


                This simple nutty fudge takes only 25 minutes to prep and cook. Makes 117 servings!

Nutty Fudge

Ingredients

·         3 TBSP butter, divided

·         12 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped

·         2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

·         1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

·         4-1/2 cups sugar

·         1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

·         2 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped

Directions

1.       Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil; use 1 TBSP butter to grease the foil and set aside.

2.       In a bowl break German chocolate into 1-in. pieces, then add the chocolate chips and marshmallow creme; set aside. 

3.       In your Pujols Kitchen medium caldero, bring the sugar, milk and remaining butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat; and let liquid simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly pour over chocolate mixture; then stir until mixture is smooth and blended. Stir in nuts. 

4.       Pour fudge mixture into prepared pan then allow it to stand at room temperature until cool. Cut into 1-in. squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 2-1/4 pounds.  


 

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