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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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Clever and Quick Ideas For Family Fun Nights

Posted on 21 October 2011 by noelskitchen

Family life in today’s lifestyle is just crazy. We all seem to be running around, over-stressed, over-scheduled, over-worked, and under-paid! We all want and need to make our family and home life as sane and peaceful as possible. Learning how to organize your life will provide you with an immeasurable amount of sanity and peace. And of course more time for Family Fun Nights!

photo courtesy of imom

Recently, I discovered the fun of Pinterest. I just signed up at the beginning of the month-and it’s been fun to see all the fun and creative ideas. It can be quite addictive, as you can see from mine, it’s a slow work in process. I try and take a day or two a week to browse. I’ve found some fun ideas and have been able to start creating some fun boards for reference in the future.

If you’ve had the chance to sign up and explore Pinterest, you can follow me here. But if you haven’t, I thought I would share some of my Family Fun Night Discoveries.

:: 20 Ideas For A Family Fun Night for lots of different ideas for Family Fun Nights from IMOM.

:: Family Fun Cupcakes for lots of different fun ways to make cupcakes for all occassions from All Things Cupcakes.

These are just a couple Family Fun Night ideas I’ve come across.

Have you found some clever and quick ideas for Family Fun Nights?

Tell us in the comments!

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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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Fall Season Brings Family Fun To Our Home

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Fall Season Brings Family Fun To Our Home

Posted on 22 September 2011 by noelskitchen

Fall officially begins tomorrow. Here in the sierra foothills just at the lower snow level, we are still sweating and having hot flashes as summer weather continues during the mid to late day. In the mornings, it’s starting to feel a bit cooler as the sun decides to take a bit longer to rise.

Fall Season brings a lot of fun family activities to our home. It truly is my favorite time of year. We start planning our yearly trip to the pumpkin farm and the kid’s get excited about planning out their costume for Halloween and the school’s carnival.

This year, I’m hoping to take a family drive to beautiful Apple Hill to visit the local ranches, have a picnic and taste some great local foods made at the different ranches. This is a great time of year because it gives us many opportunities as a family to have the chance to bond and enjoy the time together.

Those are my two girls peeking through the bus windows, up there, last year on our family trip to Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm.It seems as though it was just yesterday when we went. I can’t believe how quickly time passes.

Get ready for some wonderful family memories this Fall

Here are some good reads from the archives that will help you get in the mood for Fall:


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