Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Recipes: Stuffing

The following recipes can be used for to stuff any poultry you may be serving for the holidays, or you can bake them for 30-45 minutes in a casserole dish. I would be sure to add a little extra moisture to each one if you do this since it won't have the moisture of the poultry. Be sure to cover the casserole dish too.

~Herbed Bread Stuffing~

1/2 cup chopped celery with leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup margarine or butter
3 cups soft bread cubes (about 5 slices)
1 tsp. fresh sage leaves (1/2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh thyme (1/4 tsp. dried)
1/8 tsp. pepper

Cook Celery and onion in margerine or butter in skillet, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir in about 1 cup of the bread cubes. Turn into deep bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss. Stuff before roasting your choice of fowl, or cook 30-45 minutes in casserole dish.

Oyster Dressing

1 1/2 cups each chopped onions and celery
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup butter
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
16 cups day old bread cubes, light toasted in skillet
1 quart shucked oysters, drained (reserve liquid)

In large heavy skillet saute onion, celery and parsley in butter until tender but not brown. Add seasonings. Stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Place bread cubes in large bowl; stir in sauteed vegetables. Chop oysters coarsely. Toss gently with bread mixture. Add some reserved oyster liquid if dressing seems dry. Makes 16 cups, enough for a 14 to 16 pound turkey.

Almond Apple Stuffing

2 cups chopped Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
6 cups whole wheat bread, cubed
1 cup raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 to 1/2 cup apple cider or juice

Saute apples, almonds, onion and celery in butter for 5 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in seasonings. Toss together with bread cubes and raisines; add apple mixture. Stir egg in 1/3 cup apple cider; toss into bread mixture. Add more cider if moister stuffing is desired. Will stuff a 15 to 20 pound turkey, or two large roasting chickens. Makes 10 cups. Recipe can be halved, but still use 1 egg.

A Tropical Stuffing

1 16 ounce loaf bread
1 15 ounce can pineapple chunks in own juice, drained
1 cup chopped celery
1 small onion, diced
1 8 ounce can water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 14 1/2 ounce chicken broth

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes. Place in a large bowl. Add pineapple, celery, onion, water chestnuts, almonds and raisins. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir seasonings with broth. Pour broth evenly over dry ingredients. Toss. Stuff a 10 pound bird just before baking. Makes 2 quarts.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Herb Tips: Storing and Using Fresh Sage

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin

I received this question in our email at OFL and thought I would answer Linda, and also give you all some tips and a recipe using fresh sage. If you don't grow it, look in the produce section of your grocery store. Usually they sell smaller amounts of fresh herbs like sage and thyme.

I have already picked off the leaves of my sage. At this point, is there a way to dry the leaves? ~Linda

Yes, you can dry the leaves in the lowest setting on your oven. Watch it carefully, remove when dry and allow them to cool. When they are cool you can store them in a container or resealable plastic bag. Crumble them as you need them, rather than beforehand. You can also freeze sage leaves whole, then mince them right from the freezer when you need them. It's an easy herb to work with.

You can add fresh or frozen sage to potatoes sauteed with onions. Boil them lightly until just tender, cool slightly, then slice and saute in olive oil with the 5 or 6 leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

You can also add minced fresh, frozen or dried to corn muffins, cheese biscuits, scones or corn bread.

Butter Sauce With Sage

Use this sauce on lamb, poultry or vegetables.

5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely minced
1½ cups chicken stock
¼ cup white wine

Saute the butter until it JUST begins to brown. Add the chicken stock, wine and the sage except for 1 tsp. to set aside. Continue to cook this until it reduces to about a 1/2 cup. Drizzle over vegetables or meat, then sprinkle each serving with a tiny bit of the remaining sage.

You can also find more recipes on OFL for sage:

Tuesday Tips: House Cleaning Tips for Dog Owners

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, more than 40 million American households share their lives with more than 68 million dogs. Obviously, dogs are a very popular pet.

Unfortunately, as much as we love them, they can leave us with more mess to clean up. Your dog can "accidentally" leave stains and odors. It would be fantastic if you can find easier ways to keep your home looking clean and non-smelling.

If you have to constantly fight with pet hair, paw prints, chewed-up bits of knick-knacks as well as things dragged in, thrown up or otherwise deposited on previously clean surfaces, here are some of the ways to dog-proof your home and keep pet mess and smell to a minimum:

* Choosing flooring surfaces that are easy to keep clean and stand up better to canine nails.

* Do not delay cleanups. Messes are easier to clean when they are fresh, and are less likely to leave a permanent stain.

* Do not use ammonia-based cleaners on dog messes as they smell like urine.

* Use an enzyme-based dog odor neutralizer to kill the urine scent.

* Focus on areas where odors lurk. Spots where dogs sleep eat and play can harbor stinking smells. Thoroughly clean up these areas at least twice a week.

* Saturate the area with a product for removing stains and odors. Wait a few minutes then vacuum it with a wet-and-dry shop vacuum.

* Pick appropriate carpet and upholstery to ensure easy clean up.

* Avoid wool or cotton fibers for carpets and instead opt for synthetic carpets that have a stain shield.

* Choose tightly woven fabrics and avoid loose or open weaves, when selecting upholstery fabrics. Tight fabrics would resist tears and rips from claws.

* There is no guarantee that every dog is flea-free. Boric acid (100%) powder is odorless and non-staining and is an excellent flea-killer.

Shedding Tips

* Shedding is a normal process that occurs seasonally in dogs. Dogs typically shed their coats in spring and fall. Keep pets well groomed. Brush and comb your pets regularly, and do not delay regular bathing. Your pets will smell better, and the hair you catch in the grooming process will not end up floating around your home.

Shedding of hair can cause an allergic reaction in dog owners. Tolerance levels to allergens vary from person to person. It is well known that people who own dogs and have allergies are not about to give them up. Dog owners can lower their risk of reaction and reduce allergens in their homes. The following are some tips to help you.

* Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds after handling your dog and before touching your eyes or face. Alternatively, use a hand sanitizer or antibacterial hand wipes.

* Use allergen-resistant covers on mattresses and pillows.

* If possible, reduce the amount of carpet in your home, especially in bedrooms and sitting rooms.

* Restrict your dog to certain rooms of your home to create allergy-free areas. Bedrooms, especially, should be a no-no area.

* Use vacuums with high-efficiency air filters to help clean the air.

* Use air purification devices to reduce allergens and eliminate household odors.

* Get a non-allergic family member to bathe your dog weekly and groom him regularly - outside the house.

* Keep your home well ventilated.

To maintain a clean environment for you and your dog all that is required is vacuuming twice to remove pet hair and frequent washing of bedding and draperies. If you have any sort of a dog that sheds – say a shaggy dog – it would be a good idea to hand-vacuum him frequently.

Keeping a clean home when dogs are around is not that difficult. Of course, a constant effort, right products and good planning is required. It all comes down to knowing how to clean and doing it right.

About the Author:

Fayola Peters is the webmaster of and

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Readers Questions: Rose Water and More

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

It's sunny and warm here in Michigan. I need to get out and do some last minute landscape chores, but first I wanted to post these questions and answers I'd been working on. Thanks for sending them in!

Can you give me ideas for using Rose Water? A friend sent me a 4 oz. bottle, product of Lebanon, but I don't know what to do with it. Thank you, and love your e-letter- Sharon S.

Rose water can be used as a flavoring, much like vanilla. BUT, since I don't know if yours is safe for consumption I'm going to share the non-edible tidbits. If your friends knows, or if it states on the bottle that it's safe for ingesting you can use it in drinks and recipes.

Rose water is excellent for your skin too. It's a natural make-up remover, used with a cotton ball to gently wipe away make-up. It's also a natural refresher for your skin or a cleanser. To use it as a cleanser, place 1/2 cup in a bottle, then add 1 tsp. of glycerin, which can usually be found at a pharmacy or health food store. Use this mixture as a cleanser. You can also add a little witch hazel to the rose water and use it as a toner. Apply with a cotton ball, then rinse gently. Lastly, you can use it with your lotion. Place a little lotion in your hand, then add a tiny bit of rose water. Apply this to your skin as you normally would. Your friend gave you a lovely, old fashioned gift.

I have a bowl/vase made of semi-vertious porcelain. Made in the late 1800's. The number on the bottom is 34. Can you tell me anything about the porcelain from that time and the value. ~Donna

I've gotten many emails in the past asking about the value of a collectible or antique. Unfortunately, this is something that requires an expertise that I don't have. I love owning and admiring collectibles to be sure (especially tea sets!), but I don't have the foggiest notion of value. I did some looking and I think the section on collectibles is a really good place for you start your research. They have articles and links that are very helpful. You can visit it here:

I have bought several different colored bath towels and they always seem to loose color immediately, why? It's splotchy where they loose color, the last set the kids grabbed before they were laundered and they lost color too, I don't know what I am doing wrong. Thanks! ~Maryann

This could be several things. First, be sure no one in the family is using something that would cause the dye to wash out, such as an acne cleanser or a strong facial wash. If they are, try using white hand towels when they are drying their face. Sometimes if you are using a powder detergent it can clump and cause blotches on towels. Make sure you dissolve the powder as the washer starts to fill, then add the towels. Lastly, if the towels you buy aren't made in the US, they might have a lesser quality of dyes used in the fabric. Other countries don't always have the quality standards that we do. In the future you could try buying towels made in the US.

If you try all of these things and they still blotch, the only thing left is to buy light colored towels. At least it wouldn't be as noticeable.

A few years ago we tackled towel care on Old Fashioned Living. It was amazing the tips that came in from readers! I ended up putting them on a page so everyone could view them. You can read the tips here: