Holiday Food Storage and Recipe Review

Good morning everyone! I hope you all are just as excited as I am 😀 This is our last day of school before Thanksgiving week break. I love this time of year, it’s a great time to reflect, relax and get in some much needed rest before jumping back into the daily schedule that is our lives. Another reason I love this time of year is because I get prep all kinds of goodness for an up and coming food-fest without killing myself in the kitchen!

Much planning goes into our food prepping, we have to decide what gets made and put into the freezer, what can wait to be made a couple of days ahead of the holiday and when to begin taking stuff out of the freezer to thaw it out almost completely before baking it. It all makes for an easy holiday when you can put semi-frosty casseroles in the oven to bake, no more getting in the kitchen at 9am to get veggies chopped, cornbread crumbled, casseroles combined and baked…trust me you’re going to have a more enjoyable time in the kitchen this year by going ahead now with your baking and feel more relaxed with more time to spend with your family (which is more important than slaving away in the kitchen)!

Roast chicken, the most commonly eaten white meat

Roast chicken, the most commonly eaten white meat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • First let’s start off with the bird. Goose, turkey, chicken, or duck whatever your choice of fowl is you’ll want to go ahead and get that bag boy cooked up and deboned. Unless you have a tradition of slicing it up at the table. In which case continue on McDuff! Our family isn’t big on slicing Mr. Turkey up on the table, Dad has always taken it to task to slice up the turkey himself and placing an assortment of dark and white meat into a disposable aluminum pan with a little of the turkey stock ladled over it. Cover it up with foil and keep it in the warming drawer until you’re ready to serve. Same works for ham too! You can cook it up several days in advance, freeze it, thaw it, add some ham stock to it, cover and keep warm in your lower oven. The meat is moist, tender, and no on will be able to tell that you cooked up ahead of time.
Green bean casserole

Green bean casserole (Photo credit: Mandajuice)

  • Casseroles are a must this time of year. Festive Squash Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, and the list goes on 🙂 Any casserole can be placed in the freezer, thawed and baked. We add our crunchy bread toppings and cheese on top before freezing and during cooking everything crisps back up and melts beautifully. The key is to thaw it all out, take everything out as soon as you get up and set it out unwrapped from its freezer paper cocoon. By about 2pm you’ll have mostly thawed casseroles ready to bake, and the key is to bake them gradually. You’ll probably have some cold spots that are going to need extra time baking, keep the casseroles covered with foil until everything is thoroughly hot. If you want your crispy toppings to crisp back up, remove the foil and cook until it’s nicely browned and bubbly around the edges. Might take 10–15 minutes, keep an eye on it. If you’re a marshmallow fan on your sweet potato casserole you’ll want to leave those off of you dish as it reheats in the oven. Once the casserole is heated through you can then add the marshmallows to the top and return it to the oven til it reaches a desired doneness.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie (Photo credit: Jim, the Photographer)

  • Pies: I have fond memories of my Mom making pumpkin, pecan, apple, and chocolate pie a couple of days ahead before Thanksgiving and Christmas. The house always smelled amazing and I can remember taking teeny tiny pinches off the flaky crust…I was a sneaky child 😉 How can you prep pies for the holidays? Start by making and freezing your dough. Yes, you can freeze pie dough. If you can buy it from the store frozen, honey you can freeze the homemade dough as well! Freeze in a square or circle wrapped in plastic wrap, then wrapped in foil, and finally wrapped in freezer paper. Sounds like a lot of fuss it’s better to be safe than sorry. Thaw it out overnight or from the time you get up and make your pies. You could skip this step entirely, go ahead bake your pies up, freeze them and take them out the morning of the feast. You can even stick them in the warming drawer for that warm right out of the oven feel 🙂
Turkey Dressing

Turkey Dressing (Photo credit: M. Manning)

  • Cornbread dressing or stuffing? We’re not into the whole stuff the turkey with seasoned bread. That might be a hold over from my Mom’s childhood. She learned to make cornbread dressing from her mother in law and has perfected it over the years. It can certainly be made ahead of time and reheated. I won’t delve too much into this because of the growing debate between stuffing and dressing…to stuff or not to stuff…just know that if you make the casserole version you can bake, freeze, thaw, reheat it and still have and amazing casserole for your harvest table! Just don’t forget the giblet gravy 😉
    gravy

    gravy (Photo credit: pluckytree)

     

  • Gravy is it’s own food group in our family. It is great on a slice of homemade bread, dipping yeast rolls in it, smothering cornbread dressing in, floating a slice of turkey, or just right off the spoon. Yes, we love our gravy, you can either freeze the turkey stock or go ahead and make the gravy to freeze. When warming it up check the seasoning to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
  • Mashed Potatoes!!!

    Mashed Potatoes!!! (Photo credit: Manuel Alarcón)

    About the only thing I’m not going to instruct you on in making ahead of time are the mashed potatoes. Freezing potatoes can offer iffy results, might not be as creamy or fluffy as you prefer them. It’s the one thing freeze leftover potatoes to use for potato cakes but on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day it’s important to serve the very best to your loved ones and friends. So whether they are mashed from freshly peeled or it comes from a box, make the mashed potatoes on the day of so it will be at its freshest!

  • Cranberry Sauce 009

    Cranberry Sauce 009 (Photo credit: MGF/Lady Disdain)

    Have I left anything out? CRANBERRY SAUCE! Yikes, almost forgot about that saucy perfection *oops* Ok make that two things I wouldn’t recommend making ahead. I prefer the homemade stuff though I grew up on the jellied version. I actually grew up hating that stuff because it didn’t look or taste right, but my Dad had to have it every year because it’s what he grew up with. Three years ago I decided to make it from scratch, the recipe is on the back of ever bag of fresh cranberries, I make a sugar free version that’s sweetened with xylosweet. Flavored with orange zest and instead of water I like using diet cranberry juice instead of orange juice.

So now you should be ready to get a jump start on your holiday, getting started this weekend will be a great way to get ahead even if you choose to only freeze a couple of things. You’ll be slicing your time in the kitchen by more than half!

And for your out of town guests, serve up this buttery sweet blueberry biscuit cake (which is my variation on The Simple Cook’s Bo Berry Biscuits). You could make them into individual biscuits or save yourself some time and spread the thick batter into an 8×8 inch baking pan. The recipe doubles easily and can be baked in advance minus the lemony glaze.

It’s a simple recipe:

https://nightowlkitchenblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/8fd7d-bo-berry-biscuits-recipe.jpg

Picture from The Simple Cook Blog

Bo Berry Biscuit Recipe

Biscuits: 
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup milk
1/3 Cup sugar
5 T of butter
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 oz of blueberries (fresh or dried)

Glaze: 
1 Cup of powdered sugar
1/8 Cup of water
1 tsp of vanilla
½ tsp of lemon juice 

Directions: 
Freeze butter. Preheat oven to 450F. Mix salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder in a bowl and sift. Add the cold milk into dry ingredients and mix. As dough begins to form, use a cheese grater to grate your frozen butter evenly over dough. Fold dough, and knead… repeat until all butter is spread evenly throughout dough. Fold in the blueberries. Gently pull of chunks of dough and pat to form biscuits. Place on ungreased cookie sheet or cake pan. Place in oven and bake for about 7-12 minutes (until golden). Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave, and paint finished biscuits with pastry brush. Mix glaze ingredients in a bowl, and drizzle over BoBerry Biscuits with a fork.


blueberry biscuit cake 002     blueberry biscuit cake 005

Now, the variation I did was using frozen blueberries. I didn’t thaw them out, and I loved the idea of shredding the butter with the cheese grater. I have never done that before and really it helped to get the butter incorporated into the batter. When I pulled it out I could see little pools of melted butter on top, heart flutters. 

I like an intense lemon flavor with blueberries and strawberries so I added extra lemon juice to the glaze. But other than those slight changes, I followed the recipe and this turned out perfectly! If you wanted to add some lemon zest to the batter you could, or do a medley of orange, lemon and lime zest for a citrus cake (minus the blueberries). I think that would be very yummy with a citrus glaze!! It’s a wonderful treat and pairs nicely with hot tea 🙂

You can definitely serve this up with your choice of breakfast meats, scrambled eggs, or enjoy it all by it’s lonesome self. I think it would also be great with cranberries for a more harvest feel, just adjust your sugar since cranberries are really tart, add some orange zest and some orange spiced glaze on top.

This is going to be my final post until December 2,2013. I hope you all have a blessed holiday, stay safe and warm.

From my family to yours Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Elfster Gift Exchange Present #1

This has been a year of trying new things for me, and something new I decided to participate in is a gift exchange on Elfster. Quite simply, Elfster is a social networking website where you can set up a wishlist and organize a gift exchange with other people. I have never done anything like this before and sadly the gifts I’m making are taking longer than I expected (oyvey). However, the day after I signed up everyone we were all paired off with a “secret Santa” and I was paired with a woman whom I got to know quickly 🙂 By the next day we were repaired with other people and decided that we would still make gifts for each other as well as our new giftsters. After figuring out how Elfster works, we got right on to asking each other questions such as favorite colors, favor drinks, what we don’t like, etc. It’s a fun way to meet new people!

So, last night my oldest nephew brought in the mail and handed me a package. Right away I knew who it was from 🙂 Opened it and found this….

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Amanda Gayle with green scarf!

She made me a green scarf! I’m in love, thank you so much A. Webb for making it for me. You’re so talented! The picture doesn’t do it justice by any means.

I can only hope that the gifts I’m still working on turn out just a lovely, will see. I’ll post pictures once they’re done before I ship them off!

Would anyone be interested in an Elfster Gift Exchange?

Chili Relleno Wraps (Low carb and High Fiber)

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Here’s a great low carb/high fiber recipe that’s both easy and quick! It’s based on a recipe I found on Linda Sue’s website. I never like making two beef dishes back to back (same for chicken or pork), I have to break it up to keep things interesting for the family lest we get ourselves back into a rut. So, last night I studied the recipe decided what I could change to suit our palates. Really doesn’t take any more time to make it this way either 🙂

Amanda’s Chili Relleno Meat Mix

1 pound ground white turkey

1 pound sausage

3 bell peppers, chopped

2 small onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tablespoons homemade chili powder*

In a large skillet or dutch oven brown turkey and sausage with onions and bell peppers. Drain off most of the grease. Add in minced garlic and seasonings. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For this meat mixture alone, if you make it just as I have above, the net carbs come out to 4 grams even. You can eat it just as is with a little sprinkling of mozzarella cheese, some guacamole and sour cream on top. But if you can handle a few more carbs you can add it to a low carb/high fiber wrap. Click HERE to see the wraps we use.

To assemble

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Put small spoonful of the chili relleno mixture on the wrap.

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Sprinkle on a little cheese. Here in the photo mozzarella cheese was used but you can use any that you prefer.

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Add a little lettuce and sliced tomato on top with a little dollop of sour cream.  Can ya dig it?!

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Fold it up like you would any wrap and enjoy! You get the flavor of a chili relleno without all the carbs. Our family really liked this, it was a little unconventional of me to use the turkey and sausage but both were a nice change. This can definitely be made spicier, just add some crushed red pepper flakes, jalapenos and for those who like to push the limits…add a few drops of habanero sauce to the meat!

Total net carbs for the meat and the wrap comes out to 9 grams. You really can’t be that! Of course if you’re not living a lower carb lifestyle you could add the meat mixture to tortilla chips covered in a white cheese sauce for some chili relleno nachos. Or you could layer it with corn tortillas in a casserole dish for a chili relleno casserole. The meat mix is versatile for everyone and you don’t have to sausage if you don’t want to. You could use all turkey, all beef, ground chicken, or a mixture thereof. Don’t be afraid to play with the flavors and spices. Happy eating!

Be Thankful

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

 

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

~Author Unknown

 

 

Tater Tot Casserole with a Twist…

Evening everyone, sorry I’ve been so quiet today. Just been busy making a couple of batches of cookie dough to freeze. I figure it’s one less thing I’ll have to do come December 🙂 Anyone else prepping for their holiday baking?

I wanted to remind everyone of the Facebook giveaway that’s going on. So far there’s been three people to share it, there is still plenty of time to comment, like and share the pinned post from the Night Owl Kitchen FB page. The cut off time is December 10, 2013 at 8pm. Click the image below to join in!

Holiday Challenge Giveaway 2013

Seeing how I spent the better part of my afternoon putting cookie doughs together I figured tonight’s dinner needed to be simple, yet flavorful! I went to a family fave, tater tot casserole but the twist comes from a leftover seasoning packet from a Rice a Roni box. Yes you read that correctly! Saturday my brother and his family stopped by our house for dinner. I served up Matador Mania and  a mexican rice…only the rice was the rice a roni from the box and seasoned with a homemade chili seasoning mix I made last week. It was yummy! But that left two unused seasoning packets…both came in hand tonight. It’s a good way to use up left over seasoning packets or to incorporate some new flavors.

photo(9)

Tater Tot Casserole

2 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1–2 packets of Rice A Roni beef seasoning packets

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 32–0unce bag of tater tots, and season the top with more salt and pepper

Very simply, brown your meat with your onions. Drain off any grease if needed. Add in your minced garlic and cook for a minute covered. Add in salt, pepper, seasoning packets, soup, and sour cream. Stir to combine. Let simmer for a couple of minutes before adding in shredded cheese. Pour into a large casserole dish or a disposable aluminum pan (I think ours are either the lasagna pans or the roasting pans). Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35–40 minutes. Let cool before serving and enjoy!

I like to serve this up with green beans and a tossed salad on the side.  It’s the perfect meal in a pinch and hits the spot for those picky eaters 😉

Hope you all enjoy and have a blessed evening!

P.S…be sure to check out some other variations below.

Holiday Challenge and Low Carb Beef Stew

I have such happy news!!! Last night on the Night Owl Kitchen Facebook page  there are now 61 followers! After that realization I decided it’s time for another challenge and now a holiday giveaway!! ***Please note, you will need to go to the Night Owl Kitchen Facebook Page to participate. Click the Share button under the pinned post, hit Like and comment below the post on that you shared it.***

Holiday Challenge Giveaway 2013

Looking forward to seeing the Night Owl Kitchen Facebook page grow 🙂

This has been a great week, Dad’s been home on vacation, we’ve had colder weather (which I’m absolutely lovin’), and the house is looking festive with all the Christmas decorations out! Plus I’ve been making all kinds of yummy cold weather food this week, soups galore 🙂 Tuesday we enjoyed an old favorite…beef stew…done low carb and in the crock pot!

The recipe was shared on a low carb site by a woman named Mary back on April 2, 2005. It has become a family favorite the last couple of years. It’s easy to put together and even better after it’s slow cooked all day.

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Ingredients

3 lb Beef for stew, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 cans (14 to 14 1/2 oz. each) ready-to-serve beef broth

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with garlic and onions, undrained

1 cup water
1 t salt

1 t dried Italian seasoning, crushed

1/2 t pepper

4 C Frozen vegetables of choice

1 C Uncooked low carb pasta Shredded Romano cheese

Directions

Combine beef, broth,  tomatoes, water, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper to 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 quart slow cooker; mix well.

Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours or on LOW 8 hours. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)

Stir in vegetables and low carb pasta. Continue cooking covered, 1 hour or until beef and pasta are tender.

Stir well before serving.

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I have never put pasta in this, and this last time I didn’t even have 4 cups worth of cauliflower to put in, I had 2 cups instead but it worked out anyway! I added two carrots, chopped, and left off the cheese addition at the end. I’m thinking this would be wonderful with turnips in place of potatoes. It’s a hearty dish, serve it up with some low carb biscuits or bread of your choice. To thicken it up you can use a  low carb thickener, Thick-It-Up Low Carb Food Thickener. It’s a great way to thicken up sauces, gravies, and soups.

As for the carb count, there wasn’t one provided, where it says calories it says 6, and I know that can’t be right lol I’m guessing that number could be the number of carbs per serving, but just to be on the safe side I’ve entered the recipe at Spark Recipe, minus my addition of two carrots (that’s an optional ingredient after all).

The net carbs for 1/8th serving is 4 grams, pretty good I’d say! You can add pasta if you like, I’d stick with Dreamfields pasta and don’t over cook it. If you aren’t a stew beef fan, like me, because it tends to be chewy cooking this in the crock pot really helps to tenderize it, making it easier to digest.  I have used chuck roasts instead of stew beef and the meat always comes out like butter!

Hope you all enjoy this recipe, stay warm and have a blessed weekend!

Throw Back Thursday: Fall Fruit Bake

Oooo what a chilly morning it is 😀 I’m loving it naturally! I keep seeing folks on Facebook posting the current temp in their area and boy oh boy have there been some frigid temps! The lowest I saw from someone this morning was nineteen degrees! Of course living here in the south we don’t get to see those icy temperatures too often…once in a blue moon perhaps. Right now it is 48 degrees here in Huntsville, AL and yes I’m loving it 🙂

So, on this chilly morning I woke up not wanting to get out of my very warm covers. I laid there thinking what would be a good throw back Thursday treat and I remembered I used to make G–Man a fruit bake during the cooler months when he was a toddler. You’d think that would have been inspiration enough to get me jumping out of bed at 8:30am but alas it wasn’t lol!! I stayed in bed till almost 9:20am…can we say lazy bum?! Yay I knew you could hehe!!

Fall Fruit Bake 004

Fall Fruit Bake (Amanda Gayle Style)

4 cans of 50 calorie snack fruit cups (I used peaches in light syrup)

1 cup quick cooking oats

4 Tblsp light brown sugar

1 pinch of salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 stick butter, melted

4 ramekins

Fall Fruit Bake 006

Into each ramekin add one can of fruit. I did not butter these I just added the fruit directly into them. If you want to make a larger version of this you can certainly use fresh fruit of your choice, apples and pears are nice this time of the year. Just be sure to chop the fruit into smaller bits and toss them with a little apple pie spice or sugar. You could also make these with a pumpkin puree for an alternative to pumpkin pie. Just add some pumpkin pie spice and you’re set!

Fall Fruit Bake 009     Fall Fruit Bake 012

Set aside the fruit filled ramekins. In a paper bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and melted butter. Gettin’ happy, happy, happy!

Fall Fruit Bake 013     Fall Fruit Bake 015

Stir to combine the butter into the oats mixture and dole out to the four dishes. Flatten out slightly. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15–20 minutes (I baked these in the toaster oven at 325 for 20 minutes since our little oven get really hot).

Fall Fruit Bake 025     Fall Fruit Bake 028

Fall Fruit Bake 030

Remove from the oven, let them cool for at least 5 minutes before diving in, or longer if you think you can stand it! I know some might argue that these are more dessert like than breakfast and you could certainly use it for that. Add a scoop of ice cream or some whipped cream on top and you’ll have a single serving dessert. These can be frozen, just be sure to completely thaw before reheating.

I’ve even stirred the buttery oat mixture with the fruit and baked it for a peachy oatmeal bake. It’s a versatile recipe. If you want a punch of color add some sweetened craisins to the fruit. They’ll plump up in the fruit syrup as it bakes. For a nuttier topping add 1/4 cup of ground walnuts, pecans or almonds to the oats mixture. Have fun experimenting 🙂 

Stay Warm!

Has Your Immune System Turned Against You? (Please pass on to anyone you know who suffers from PCOS)

Every woman with PCOS needs to watch her weight to better manage the symptoms of her condition, whether she’s lean or overweight.And in the case of the latter, researchers in Australia have found that excess fat around the abs can actually turn the body’s defense system against an overweight person, leading to heart disease. The latter condition is also linked to PCOS.The immune system is made up of many different kinds of cells that protect the body from germs, viruses and other invaders. These cells need to co-exist in a certain balance for good health to be maintained.Many factors, including a bad diet and excess body fat, can tip this balance, creating immune cells that can harm, rather than protect, our bodies.Fortunately, damage to the immune systems of PCOS women can be reversed. What is one step you can take today that will increase your overall immunity? Can you make a small, healthy food substitution or go on a 15 minute walk this afternoon? Whatever you decide to do, write it down and put it in your planner. Do it today and feel in control of your health!

 Warmly,

 Katie Humphrey

International Health Coach

Author of Freedom from PCOS

Spokesperson for PCOS Insulite Laboratories

I received this email in May of last year. Just found it while going through some old messages that I was getting ready to delete. So glad I chose to look through them first 🙂 For a while now I have been sharing the importance of health while living with PCOS. Healthy doesn’t mean you have work yourself down to a size zero, and I’m in no way bashing any women who are thin, but simply saying you can be healthy even at a size 20W. So long as you’re eating the right foods for your nutritional type, you workout at least three days a week and strive for at least 15–30 minutes each time, staying active is key to a long and healthy life! You’re going to be healthier inside and out, sick less often, and feel better over all than if you completely ignored your body. Take control of the things that you can change…instead of donut (and y’all know I love my donuts) grab an apple or a bowl of berries. Instead of potato chips and onion dip have some gluten free veggie chips with hummus (which is so good). You can make small changes in your every day diet and lifestyle that will help put you that much closer to being a healthier you!

If by chance you are a heavier cyster, like me, you need to check out Plus Size Birth blog. You don’t have to be a woman who’s trying to conceive, I’m certainly not, but any plus size woman who is lacking confidence can certainly follow Jen’s blog and Facebook group for encouragement. I’ve met a great group of ladies who have helped me to stop looking down on myself as a person and accept the way I am. After years of being bullied, picked on about my weight and abused by my ex I spent many years replaying those words over and over in my head. Every time I looked at myself in the mirror I was disgusted, not seeing any beauty or worth. Even after having my son and gaining an enormous amount of weight that I’ve spent 7 years losing and gaining back it’s been difficult to finally reach the conclusion that I’m just as beautiful as any other woman out there! I’m me, broken body and all 🙂 So be sure to check out her amazing blog and Facebook page, you’ll be amazed at how open and honest everyone is. Nothing is taboo, you don’t have to fear about asking any questions. Sometimes we need encouraging words to get us going down the path to better choices. Mental health and how you see yourself is just as important as the physical health, you must take care of the one in order to achieve the other! Stay beautiful ❤

Happy Veterans Day

veterans-day-2012

Thank you to all the Veteran’s who have served this country. Today is a day to honor those still living and remember those who have passed on. You are never forgotten!

How can you make this day special for a Veteran?

Take them out to eat

  • Golden Corral, today only, is offering a “thank you dinner” from 4pm-9pm
  • Applebee’s, today only, is offering a limited menu to say “thank you” to all veterans and active duty military
  • Chilis, today only, has posted a menu for veterans and active duty military to choose from
  • Max & Erma’s, today only, is offering a free cheeseburger, soup or salad, & a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie for veterans and active duty military
  • Bar Louie announces today they will continue their ongoing support for the U.S. military by inviting veterans and active military personnel to enjoy a free meal on the upcoming Veterans Day holiday.
  • TGI Fridays has announced, “On Veterans Day, your lunch is on us.”
  • Famous Dave’s, I wish we had one here in AL, has posted their locations and free meal deals.
  • Olive Garden is having an all month 10% off for all current military service members as well as a free entree for our Vets. Plus family dining with them will receive 10% off their meal.
  • Texas Roadhouse has shared their Veterans Day specials!
  • Tim Horton’s Cafe and Bake Shop are offering a free donut to vets.
  • Krispy Kreme is offering a free donut and coffee, no purchase necessary, to vets.
  • Champps Americana is offering a free handcrafted hamburger with fries to our Nations Veterans and Active Military Service Members as a thank you!
  • Spaghetti Warehouse has a BOGO offer, you must like their Facebook page first in order to get the coupon.
  • Outback Steakhouse has a great deal right now, a free bloomin’ onion and drink for all vets, plus military mates can enjoy 10% off their meals from November 12–December 31,2013 (love the Outback!!)
  • Little Caesars is doing their military salute and offering free crazy bread
  • Shoney’s is offering a free all American hamburger to vets and active duty military.
  • O’Charley’s has a deal for veterans and active duty military to receive a free meal from their $9.99er menu
  • Red Robin (YUM!) is offering a free Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries to all Veterans and Active Duty Military today. Money is also being raised for the Wounded Warrior Project to which Red Robin will donate $10,000.

A little FYI, banks are closed on this day so you might want to wait a day before driving out to make a deposit or withdrawal. There’s no mail delivery today either. All Federal offices, state offices, schools and libraries are also closed on this day. However, grocery stores will be open, as well as malls, liquor stores, and restaurants. 

Activities:

Links to Veterans Day activities…

Have a blessed Veterans Day, stay safe, stay warm, and all my love to all Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel.

P.s…please check out this wonderful poem from Jason B. Ladd’s blog called While He’s Away: A Poem About Being Gone. Thank you so much Jason! Semper Fi!

Low Carb Vienna Sausage Pimento Salad

Hold on now, I know that not everyone like Vienna sausages, but to a low carb person it can be a meal saver! Especially on days when nothing else sounds good or you don’t have time to make an elaborate salad with all it’s trimmings.

I decided to combine two of my faves: pimento cheese spread with Vienna sausages one day just to keep the low carb eating interesting. It can be eaten alone or on low carb bread, other seasonings can be added (ie garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper) as you like but I prefer to keep it simple. It’s easy to throw together and makes enough have for two meals!

Low Carb Lunch 008

Low Carb Vienne Sausage Pimento Salad

1 can armor Vienna Sausages, drained

1 Tblsp Pimentos, drained

3 Tblsp Mayo, homemade or your favorite

1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Low Carb Lunch 002     Low Carb Lunch 003

Drain and rinse sausages. Pat dry and chop with pastry cutter or fork until fine. Add in pimentos, drained is prefer unless you like your salad a little loose. It’s at this point you can add other seasonings, but I don’t recommend salt seeing how the little sausages are already salty enough. Perhaps some pepper to help balance out the flavors would do. 

Low Carb Lunch 006     Low Carb Lunch 007

Next, add in mayo (I used homemade) and cheddar cheese. Of course you can use any cheese you like, I use cheddar since we always keep it in the house. I have made this with Colby Jack and Pepper Jack cheese, very yummy with a little kick!

Low Carb Lunch 008

Give a stir and voila! In less than 5 minutes you have lunch that’s ready to eat alone or on low carb bread. It makes enough for two servings and per serving it has 1.6 net carbs. You could also eat this on lettuce leaves, on Wasa Crisps, or along side a large tossed salad.

Have a blessed day!