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Share Our Holiday Table: A Season of Sharing With Others

Posted on 09 November 2011 by noelskitchen

At our most recent PTC meeting at the school, one of the topics on the adgenda was Holiday Meals for Families in need. This time of year has always been inspiring to me to start thinking about ways our family could continue to help other family’s, our community and write more about my passion for sharing family meals with others!

One of the ways I’m excited to participate again this year is join in Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry to help raise awareness childhood hunger in the U.S. during this critical holiday season. I couldn’t think of a better cause to donate my time to.

I have to admit, I’m not quite sure about the details and how exactly it will all happen, but throughout the holiday season,  I’ll be committing to writing about sharing a family meal “hopefully” almost everyday. At first I was a little worried about working full-time outside the home, and not having that extra time to sit and write about one specific topic everyday much less come up with individual posts. But family meal sharing is my passion, so I’m going to give it a try.

Share A Family Meal With A Family This Season

During my Share Our Holiday Table Series, I will share with you new recipes, re-visit some old traditional family favorites,  and I will share ways our family is helping others this holiday season.  All the recipes will be “family friendly”. I will also show you how you and your family can get involved this holiday season in family meal sharing.

 Nearly 17 million children- that’s almost one in four – face hunger in the U.S., not knowing where their next meal will come from. That is a stunning statistic! During this holiday season, when we are all scurrying around buying gifts and enjoying celebratory meals with our families, I would urge you to take a few minutes to reflect on those less fortunate, including the 17 million hungry children. Please spread the word about ending child hunger, and if you find it in your heart, consider making a donation to Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry, no matter how large or small. Just $1 can connect a child to 10 healthy meals, and $25 provides 3 meals a day for a child for 3 months.  Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry helped provide 4.5 million more meals to needy children in 2009.

I hope you enjoy my Share Our Holiday Table Series, but even more importantly, I hope you will help spread the word on childhood hunger so we can help solve this crisis together. If you want to tweet about this campaign, please use this hashtag #NoKidHungry.

I am so pleased to be able to provide community service, recipes and sharing family meals with you, knowing that it is in support of such a worthy cause.

Coming Up Next: No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake…Yum!

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A Moment For Family…Please Say A Little Prayer

Posted on 11 October 2011 by noelskitchen

I am not quite back into the groove this week as I had anticipated. It was a very exhausting past week with some devastating family issues going on. We found out mid week that my sister-in-law was in a tragic car accident caused by a washing machine falling off the back of a truck. Details on the accident are a little sketchy still but we know she was hit head on by another vehicle. The accident totaled the car and caused some serious injuries to her. She was in surgery for six hours Thursday morning where they tried to put her legs back together. She has broken ribs, cracked vertebrae, her leg (compound fractured) and foot (bone severed at the ankle). She had another surgery late yesterday on one of her knees and all went well. We found out this morning, she goes in for more surgery on Friday for her ankle. It will be a long journey to recovery. She’s in our thoughts and prayers every day. She has lots of family and friends supporting her. Just thought I’d ask  all of you to say a little prayer for her.

Family at Last Year's Thanksgiving

Our 10-year old son, had tubes placed in his ears on Friday. As a baby and until recently, he is prone to ear infections.  This caused some damage to his hearing and he is on the borderline of having hearing aids. He was having difficulty hearing people speak to him and failed his hearing tests. It was an easy procedure that lasted literally 10 minutes and he is recovering well.  The results of whether or not the tubes work will be determined at his post op appointment later this month.

Dante (middle) and friends having fun at the school walk-a-thon

On a much lighter note, I’m so happy it’s Fall. Every year, I wait for Fall to come around. Not just for the cooler temperatures or the beautiful foliage, they are just the icing on the cake. I wait for those satisfying flavors of fall: creamy pumpkin soups, easy savory stews, Apple Butter, pumpkin bread, yummy desserts like apple pie or pumpkin cheesecake are all top recipes to celebrate fall flavors.

Yummy Apple Pie!

Cooler autumn weekends definitely bring on bigger appetites so I’m sure I’ll be happily cooking in the kitchen.

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Pumpkin Biscotti

Posted on 01 October 2011 by noelskitchen

You all know how I love to be involved in the community. My involvement with Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale raising money to help end childhood hunger in America has been a huge success in previous years. A good foodie friend of mine, The Spiffy Cookie is hosting another type of wonderful Bake Sale for her friend’s brother Dave, who was in a tragic motorcycle accident this past August.  He sustained multiple injuries including a fractured left ankle and a right below the knee amputation. Currently, he is in rehabilitation and once his legs heal, David will need a prosthetic leg to walk again.

I couldn’t help but say yes to this wonderful cause. You can read more about the bake sale and Run for Dave  on her website. I believe she is still looking for more bake sale donations.



Pumpkin Biscotti
Recipe Type: Desserts, Cookies
Author: Noel’s Kitchen Tips
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: Yield: 4 dozen
This delicious Italian cookie is the perfect compliment to a nice warm cup of coffee, tea or hot cider on a beautiful Fall day.
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, molasses and pumpkin puree. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice; mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough.
  3. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie. Place rolls on cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
  5. When cool enough to touch, cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet, and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy.
  6. Once the biscotti have fully cooled, they can be consumed as is, or white chocolate dipped.

The biscotti tastes best during the first few days, but will keep for up to a month in a sealed air-tight container.

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DooF-a-Palooza:Unique Family Food Fest

Posted on 21 May 2011 by noelskitchen

Doof-A-Palooza sounded like a storybook character to me when I first heard about it. It’s actually a kid-friendly family event that’s fun for the entire family. It’s a totally free celebration of healthy and sustainable food. My good friend Michelle Stern from What’s Cooking With Kids will be there cooking on stage. The event this year is tomorrow (Sunday, May 22, 2011) from 10 AM – 5 PM at Jack London Square in Oakland.  Here are some details on the event:

The 3rd annual DooF-a-Palooza, is a free admission food and family festival for children of all ages and adults. Like the wildly successful prior two festivals at Google Headquarters, DooF-a-Palooza, a food-backwards, table-to-source, food educational experience, includes contests, games, entertainment and fun hands-on activities with growers, chefs, purveyors, businesses, and cookbook authors all filmed and streamed live online.

Check out DooF-A-Palooza’s  website HERE for more detailed information.

Stay tuned for our family’s adventures there and photos. It’s our first year going and I can’t wait!

A Quick Note From Noel: Just a quick announcement to let you all know that I am having my site designer Christa Jensen from Affordable Web Designs  make some improvements to my site to allow my readers a more pleasurable experience when visiting the kitchen. If you happen to stop by and can’t find something on the site– not to worry it will be back to normal soon!

Stay tuned..

In the meantime, you can still follow me:

  • Subscribe to my RSS feed
  • Follow me on twitter: @noelskitchen
  • Like my fan page on Facebook: Family Meals Matter Cooking Club
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Tags: , School Nutrition

Jamie Oliver’s Food Resolution Wakes Up Los Angeles Schools

Posted on 13 April 2011 by noelskitchen

Last April, I shared with you a post called Nutrition In The Schools:Is It A Reality Check Or Just Drama? I discussed an interesting article I read after Food Network Chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution  aired where Jamie tackled Huntington, West Virginia in his first attempt to bring awareness to the US on nutrition in the schools and childhood obesity. Jamie Oliver is back and he’s bringing his game on to tackle Los Angeles Schools In case you missed the episode last night, you can watch it HERE. Grab everyone in your family and watch it together.  Then talk about it. This is a great family topic of discussion to have with your kids. There is great value in educating yourself and your children to have a healthier lifestyle.

This is one show I think everyone in your household should watch. You may say it’s just another reality show, and you’re right! It is just that! Childhood obesity and poor nutrition is a reality all across the US. Whether you choose to act upon it or not is your choice but the fact is, our children are our future. Don’t you want to see them healthy and live a long fullfilling life? It’s disturbing to me that the concern is more on the fact that the Board Members in this show don’t even want to give Jamie Oliver the chance to teach the schools a better way to provide nutrition to our kids.

I’m personally excited Jamie’s back!! This time he brought his wife and four beautiful children with him. Jamie Oliver has this absolutely great visual way of questioning parents and viewers do you know where your food comes from? When he was in the kitchen showing those parents how beef gets processed, I had absolutely no idea about the pink slime.  Totally grossed me out!  I had no idea this is where they take the inedible parts of beef that are typically sold for dog food, process it so the meat and fat separate, wash it in ammonia and then grind it.  It is then used as filler in ground beef. 

How often do we visit a meat processing  wherehouse? It’s not something we think about. But now I certainly will!  Up to 15% can be added, oh and did I mention it doesn’t  even have to be mentioned or labeled.  The USDA says it’s safe and that the ammonia is part of a process, not an ingredient so you don’t need to know about that either.  That’s very disturbing! I am questioning the fact if I wanted to continue feeding my children hamburgers for dinner. Do you know what’s in your ground beef?  I hope you ask the next time you buy or eat ground beef.

Jamie also attempted to gather a bunch of parents together to show them how much sugar is in all that flavored milk. To give the parents a simple understanding of how much sugar is found in our flavored milk, Jamie gives parents gathering a visual in the amount of sugar found every week in schools was a simple number of 57 tons. The bus overfills with sugar as you can see from the picture below.

If you watch the show, Jamie also attempts to get a local fast food owner to change just a few things on his menu and the owner just doesn’t want to budge.  He believes his customers wouldn’t purchase a healthier choice of food from his menu. This just goes to show you, the value of eating a meal with your family at home versus going to a fast food place. Only as parents, can we make a difference in the lives of our children. Our voices need to be heard. We are responsible for educating our children to make the right decisions and guiding them along the way. If Board Members who are paid to have the responsibility in our school systems won’t do it, then it’s up to us as parents!

It’s amazing what a difference one person can make by making changes.  Jamie is trying to do just that. He has inspired me to share and educate those in my community and bring awareness on childhood obesity and better nutrition.  Have you signed the petition to get good food in our country’s schools?  If no go do it now. Click here.

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