The Candy That Lasts Long After Christmas

December 20, 2010 · Posted in Improving Family Life · View Comments 

Candy Canes!

Candy Canes

Remember growing up reading the Big Golden Books? Here’s a fun little story about a candy that not only lasts long after Christmas but this candyputs a smile on a child’s face. Enjoy!

Candy canes have the nicest way
Of lasting long after Christmas Day.
For, after you’ve eaten two from down low,
And maybe one from up high-
You just can’t manage to eat some more
No matter how hard you try.

But after the Christmas tree is gone,
And the cookies and candy, too-
And it’s January, and dark and gray,
And there’s nothing much to do,
And you wish for something to nibble on
While it sleets and freezes and rains,
Why, up on the shelf in a big glass jar,
There are always some candy canes.

They’re mostly always
broken in bits,
And sticky, and
stuck with pine,
And hard to unstick,
and hard to get out-
But they taste
most specially fine,

All broken the size to fit your mouth,
All syrupy, peppermint sweet,
All Christmasy red and white, and then-
Why there’s nothing so good to eat
As candy canes, with their very nice way
Of lasting long after Christmas Day.

-Kathryn Jackson; from the Big Golden Book The Santa Claus Book, copyright 1952


Quick and Easy Roasting Pan Tips for your Holiday Season

November 19, 2009 · Posted in Kitchen Tips · View Comments 

There are many uses for the roasting pan. Here is a list of some of those uses along with some Quick and Easy Roasting Pan Tips for your Holiday Season.

 Putting Your Roasting Pan To Use:

  • Perfect for Carmel Corn (double the recipe for the holidays)
  • 10 pounds of B-B-Q Beef
  • Use it to cook for a crowd
  • Great for Rice Krispy Treats
  • Brown 8 pounds of hamburger on the stovetop
  • Italian Sausage and Peppers for a crowd
  • Sauerkraut and Ribs for a crowd
  • At a church breakfast, you can make a ton of Scrambled Eggs (omelets)
  • Use on the stovetop for Pancakes and Grilled Cheese
  • Great to do lots of Corn on the Cob
  • Bake Ziti
  • Great for Baked Potatoes for a crowd. Spray the pan with olive oil and roll in Kosher salt. Do not prick potatoes!
  • Triple a soup recipe and freeze it in containers to take to work!


Quick Tips for using your Roasting Pan

  • Whenever possible, elevate a roast so the heat and air can circulate underneath.
  • A bone in a roast won’t take as long to cook as a boneless. The bone acts as a heat conductor to the meat’s center. Remember, the bone delivers a wonderful flavor!
  • Roast your turkey with the breast side down for 1 1/2-2 hours and than flip it to keep the breast moist. It’s never dry.
  • A roast should be large(and placed in a large pan) so it remains tender and moist.

Try this recipe for Oven Caramel Corn!

Oven Caramel Corn


2 Cups brown sugar

2 sticks butter

1/2 cup white corn syrup

6 qts popped corn (exactly what the large stainless steel bowl holds. 24 cups)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla


Boil brown sugar, butter, syrup and salt for 5 minutes in large Roasting pan. Remove from heat and add vanilla and soda. Pour over the popped corn and stir well. (May add 1-2 cups of nuts at this time also!) Pour mixture back into Roasting Pan (if using another pan, make sure you butter it very well, but no need to butter with Roasting Pan!).

Place in a 200 degree oven for 1 hour. Stir about every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Once cool, you can add M&M’s…nuts…candy corn…drizzle with melted chocolate…whatever you like! Store in covered containers to keep crisp.


Family Meals Matter On Facebook: Discover Family Meal Time

October 28, 2009 · Posted in Cooking Workshops · View Comments 

Do you love cooking? Become a fan of Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.  

Discover delicious new recipes and ways of preparing favorite ingredients, share recipe ideas, notes and variations with new online friends interested in cooking and family meal times, impress offline friends and family with your cooking creations, and maybe even win some fun prizes from Noel’s Kitchen.

Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook

Cooking Tips For Busy Moms: Weeknight Meal Ideas

October 1, 2009 · Posted in Kitchen Tips · View Comments 

Cooking Tips For Busy Moms

In today’s lifestyle, more and more moms are looking for fast afforable meals for their family. The challenge for many busy moms  is finding meal solutions. The ideal meal for any mom would be cooked using the freshest ingredients. So how can a busy mom make their family a great nutritious meal while working full-time?

Weeknight Meal Ideas: Plan Ahead

One great way to make sure your family has a good nutritious meal every night is by freezing some of your meals. I choose one day out of my week to plan ahead and cook up a storm. Having a hard time coming up with recipes? Think of all the foods your family loves to eat and prepare enough for a week.

 Cooking at home together as a family is always much healthier than buying frozen or fast food dinners. It’s also a great way to ensure your family has a home cooked meal every night.

To help you cook those meals for your family, I highly recommend this Baker made from Stoneware which evenly conducts heat. It’s very versatile, you can use it in the oven or microwave.  I call it the 21st Century Crockpot. It will also make some wonderful desserts.

It’s very convenient to use and great for taking on picnics and keeping your foods warm.  The night before simply place some meat and veggies or chicken, add your seasonings, broth or water and pop into the microwave the next night. You’ll have a flavorful meal in a matter of 30 minutes or less made in the microwave.

You’ll find this fabulous Baker and more great high quality kitchen tools at Noel’s Kitchen.


The Adventures of Cooking:Everyday Cooking For A Busy Mom

August 24, 2009 · Posted in Improving Family Life, Kitchen Tips · View Comments 


Cooking For Busy Moms

Are you a busy Mom?  The summer has come to an end and it’s time to get the kids back in school. That means juggling carpools, PTA meetings, sports, after school activities, and homework help. Do you find yourself looking at the fridge after a busy day thinking “What’s the pizza guy’s number?”


Fast Recipe Ideas For Busy Moms On The Go

If you are on the go, these recipe ideas will fit into your busy life, so put on your aprons busy moms and bring out the spatulas. Wonder Mom is here!  Imagine if you were able to cook once and eat all week.  Imagine the time you’ll save- the meat is cooked, the recipes are planned and on busy nights, you just tie it all together. Everyday cooking for a busy mom can be challenge but with investment cooking you don’t have to worry about what’s on the dinner menu.

Here’s how it works. Prepare more meat than necessary for one meal, and than freeze the remaining meat for use in later recipes. It’s a life-saver on those extra busy days.

For example, brown 10 pounds of ground beef at one time fo a Hearty Meat Sauce as a base for Beef Tostadas, Taco Salad, Saturday Stroganoff, Chili Bread Bowls, Busy Day Casserole, Sloppy Joes and Pasta Roll Ups.

Choose a day, once a week, during the weekend, or a day that works best,  make triple the amount of one type of meat.

Review your weekly grocery store ads, most grocery stores put out their weekly specials on Wednesdays just in time to plan on a your shopping list.  Purchase items on sale.  Be sure to check your pantry and write down any necessary spices or rubs that your recipe calls for. This help avoid duplicating what you already have.

Shop on one day and do your cooking the next. Set out everything you need in regards to kitchen tools ahead of  time. This will save you time when preparing.  The day of, chop vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions or mushrooms. Than move on to meat preparation.

Cooking Tip: Try cooking three meats together in a Roating Pan and get a head start on your recipe preparation for the week. all meats should be close in weight to ensure cook times are the same.

Stay tuned for another episode of: The Adventures of Cooking:Dinner Tonight.

One site I also recommend for once a week cooking tips is Once A Week Cooking.
Visit Once A Week Cooking!


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