Left-over Turkey: Recipes

Sorry for the late post, but Thanksgiving isn't over for us yet!  We eat at my parents' house tomorrow, so this is 'technically' early.  :)  

My Mom purposely prepares an abundance of turkey so that we can bring some home with us, which my hubby loves.  He usually makes turkey sandwiches, but I like to mix it up a bit since turkey is not a meat of choice for me.  Thought I'd share with you a few recipes I've collected over the years to make good use of that leftover turkey.  Enjoy!

Turkey Jambalaya


  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

To Prepare:

1. In a large pot over medium heat, add all ingredients except the rice.  Cook for 30-45 minutes, until the celery has had time to cook.  
2. Prepare the rice as usual in a separate pot.
3. To serve, pour a serving of the jambalaya mixture over a serving of the rice.  

We like just a little spice, so this recipe does the trick.  If you, like my hubby, like to sweat when you eat Cajun, you will want to add an additional spice of your choice.

Turkey Pot Pie


  • 2 unbaked pie shells 
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped turkey meat
  • 1 can mixed vegetables, drained
  • 1 can (left after emptying the cream of mushroom soup) of milk

To Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the mushroom soup and milk. Stir in the remaining ingredients and pour into one pie crust. Top with the other pie crust, and seal the crust edges by crimping with a wet fork.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown

I usually make 2 of these, and freeze one for later.  If you choose to do this, allow one full day for the frozen pie to thaw before following the same directions above.

White Turkey Chili

  • 3 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 3 cans white beans
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

To Prepare:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook and stir until tender. 
  2. Add the garlic, jalapeno, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne.  Continue to cook/stir 3 minutes, or until tender. 
  3. Add the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm.

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving!  


Thanksgiving 2009: What Are You Thankful For?

Over at MooreThanWords, Cathleen listed the 20 things she is thankful for this year. She inspired me to record some of my 'thankfuls' so that I can look back and remember what my life was like way back in 2009. As we gather together with our loved ones, may we remember who made all this possible. Who are you thankful to?

(If you are reading this, consider yourself 'tagged' and write your own! Link back here so we can share them with each other!)

I am thankful...

...that the Lord saved me. It's that simple. I am so undeserving of such a wonderful gift, and yet He chose me. Long before I was even born, He wrote my name and that was that. Thank you, LORD, for your Son, for your Word, and for your faithfulness.

...for my husband, best friend, and father of our children. For some reason, God allowed us to find each other, even when neither of us were looking. :) Seth is so good to me and the kids, and works so hard to provide for us a life full of walks, smiles, laughter, and games. As a sweet friend said of her husband...he's not perfect, I'm not perfect, but we're perfect for each other. He really is perfect for me, and for some reason, he loves me back.

...for the opportunity to be a Mommy. I never knew how wonderful life could be until the first time I held Maya Jo. To feel her body move as she breathed, to look into her eyes and see part of myself, and to know that this little miracle would never cease to be. Since then, I've held two other babies with much the same thoughts. I'm thankful to know this amazing kind of love...so different from any other love I've known...and thankful I've had seven years to enjoy it.

...for Maya Jo. My sweet pea, my fairy, my Jo Bird...whose strong will and stubbornness brought her through one of the most difficult beginnings one could imagine. That same strong will challenges me often, and shows me that my work as a Mommy is never-ceasing and always changing. I'm thankful for her imagination, her sweet smiles, and her laughter that always makes me yearn to be a child again. I've seen a miracle, and I thank the Lord for her.

...for Maxwell James. He keeps our family going...laughing, running, never stopping! He is always so honest and keeps me smiling with the things he says to me. He makes me feel needed, and I love him for it! I'm thankful I have a little Seth to watch grow up and become a man, and I hope one day he loves me the same way my husband loves his Mom.

...for Nina Grace who has shown me just how wonderful a baby can be! For her cuddles, her belly laughs, her kisses, her outstretched hands reaching out for me...it's so wonderful. I'm so thankful to know Nina Grace and be loved by her!

...for my church and church family. The Lord led me to the place I was mean to be, and to the church where I needed to be. I'm thankful for our pastor, assistant pastor, future pastor...our teachers, deacons, and many other great men and women who are servants to our Lord.  I'm thankful for the truths we uphold and continue to stand for, and that the Lord revealed these truths to us. For learning about the depravity of man, the Lord's atonement for sin, for the precious blood of our Savior...I can never thank the Lord enough for leading me here. My brothers and sisters there are such great examples for me, and I hope to one day grow to be as great of a witness as some of them are. I'm thankful for their caring spirits, their prayers, and most of all, for the blessed hope of sharing eternity with them.

...for my parents, grandparents, brother, sister, and cousins. I rarely get the chance to see most of my family, but when I do it's as if we had always been together. I'm thankful for their unconditional love, support, and just knowing that they are always there for me, no matter what. I'm thankful for the salvation of many of my family members, and pray that the Lord will give me the words to open the hearts of those who are not. I'm thankful they are only a car ride away, and that I get the opportunity to visit at least once a month. I love each and every one of them, and hope we remain close as we continue to grow.

...for my husband's family, who loves me just as my own. I'm thankful for each and every member...the Andersons, Bryants, Gormleys, Moores, Roses, and Sechrists (in alphabetical order)...they each have a special place in my heart, and I'm so thankful to have a family in Lexington that is as comfortable as being back 'home.' I love you guys!

...for the struggles that have brought me to where I am today. Life has never been easy, and looking back on the struggles I've lived through, I see just how far the Lord has brought me. Things that seemed so hard when I was younger are nothing compare to the things I face today. I'm thankful for each lesson learned, and believe that Seth and I are as close as we are today because of how much we leaned on the Lord and each other. Thank you, Lord, for your chastening, and help me to continue to gain wisdom from my mistakes.

...for my house, car, and all the things I daily take for granted. I'm thankful that we're able to keep our cabinets full, our children fed, and our house warm. I'm thankful for a computer at home where Seth can work, a table where we can eat our meals, and many forms of entertainment for the children so that we can be together often.

...for the electronic age in which we live. I agree that sometimes we take communication a little too far, but it so nice to stay in constant contact with friends and family who would otherwise not share in our daily lives. I'm thankful my Mom and Dad can talk to our children on a webcam, that they can watch videos online, of what is going on in our lives, and can always find an updated picture of us. I'm thankful I can talk to our future pastor and his family in the Philippines by phone, email, or chat. I'm thankful that there is a need for computer programmers, and that my husband, brother, and many family members and friends are employed by this profession.

...for the men and women who serve for our country.  For their families who support them and wait for them back home.  I'm thankful for those who served in the past, as well as those serving today, so that we can enjoy the freedoms in our country.  Thank you for your choice to serve. I pray for your safety.

...for Blue Grass Baptist School, whose teachers are paid a minimal salary, go above and beyond what is expected of them, and teach Christ and the Bible together with math, spelling, and science. I'm thankful the school is still educating our little ones, and pray that the Lord continues to bless them with the ability to do so. I'm thankful for all the work that goes into keeping the school open and functioning, and thankful that after all these years, it is still a BAPTIST school. Thank you!

...lastly, for a voice. Whether it's an electronic voice or an audible one, I'm thankful to have the ability to tell you what I'm thankful for in my life. I can tell you that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died so that I wouldn't have to suffer for my sins. He shed His blood so that I could have the hope of spending eternity with Him. And He rose again, to show that once I was saved, my life could begin again. Yes, I continue to sin, but He is faithful in his forgiveness and patient as I continue to make mistakes. I pray that I can use my voice to tell others about Him, and that He might let them hear and understand.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Cutting the Cable: 10 Reasons Why To Do It

As I mentioned before, we cancelled our television several months ago.  Surprisingly, we've hardly noticed a difference, due to some of the reasons I list below.  As we enter the winter months and our family begins to spend more time indoors, I hope this continues to prove true.  I'm already looking for other sources of entertainment...let me know if you have any suggestions!

Here are some reasons to cancel your cable or satellite, and still be connected:

1. Cut monthly costs.  The most obvious reason, in this time of struggle in our economy, is the amount saved in your monthly budget. For our family, cancelling our subscription to DirecTV saved us $45-50/month.  This number could be more or less, depending on your package.  For some of you, it's not enough to make a difference.  However, to those of us SAHMs living on one income, it definitely adds up.

2. Get connected.  As we move forward to a more electronically-connected life, many people find that they can stay connected to the world via the internet.  This is true with newspapers, magazines, and television.  With websites such as hulu, avid television watchers can continue to watch regular broadcasts of their favorite programs for free.  In addition, you can choose when you watch the program, as well as pause and resume when needed.

3. On-Demand.  As with hulu gives you access to your favorite shows, Netflix gives you access to your favorite movies.  For as little as $8.99/month, you have thousands of choices both online and in DVD format.  Utilizing both of these capabilities gives you control of what you watch, and when you watch it.

4. Over the Air.  Another way to stay up-to-date with your television programs is to use the channels available over the air.  Most areas offer local ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and CW channels, providing that your television is capable to access them.  To find out which channels are available in your area, visit here.  Simply type in your zip code, and choose Broadcast (Antenna).

5. Focus on what is important.  By cancelling your cabel/satellite, you decrease the amount of distractions in your life.  Often, the family television is on even when no one is actively watching it.  By cancelling it, you will learn to focus on what is happening in your life without the distraction of your television on in the background.

6. Reconnect with your children.  I know from experience that television can be used as a baby-sitter.  I used it to distract my children so I could cook, clean, or perform some other task without "help" from my little ones.  I also used it at night to calm them down before bedtime.  Instead of turning to television, find a game or craft that your child is old enough to handle and let that keep them busy while you work.  And at bedtime, bring back the bedtime stories.  It's been proven that this helps them learn the importance of books, which will help them through the many years of school in front of them.  Even NBC agrees!

7. Discover a hobby.  All those hours and nights set aside for catching up with your television programs are now free, so why not do something you enjoy?  Start quilting again.  Or work puzzles with your kids.  Or find a new hobby.  With all this extra time, you and your family members can dedicate 30 minutes or more a few times a week and learn a musical instrument.  Lessons are available online for free, or you can find someone in your area to teach you.

8. Get involved. When you don't have your evenings set aside for television watching, you suddenly have free nights to fill.  Find out what is going on in your community, and start enjoying what is offered.  Many events are free or of little cost, and can add an appreciation for your community to your family's life.  Check your libraries, parks, and other public organizations for fun activities.  Also check the communities of cities surrounding you for ways to get to know your area a little better.

9. Boost your health. With your nights and evenings, you can find a fitness program to help you get back into shape.  Whether it's aerobics, Jazzercize, yoga, walking, or free-weight training, we all need exercise to stay healthy.  ALSO: Use your time to find healthy ways to prepare your meals, and decide to stop eating fast-food on week nights.  You will be surprised how quickly this leads to a more healthy you.

10. Rest. Although it may not seem very important, sleep (or the lack thereof) plays a significant role in your day-to-day performance.  The Mayo Clinic has found that adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  So, instead of catching up on your dose of reality tv, go to bed!  Start fresh tomorrow, and enjoy your own reality.

Keep your camera handy.  With all this extra time, you will be creating lasting memories that you will want to document.


Children: When They Leave the Nest

As most of you know, on Maya's latest report card, she made it on the high honor roll with all As.  She loves to read, and can learn many new things very quickly.  However, also on that report card was a "not so great" Conduct grade.  From what I gather, she talks during class, ignores some of her teacher's commands, and basically tries to be the center of attention.  (On a daily basis, her teacher gives the students one or two warnings, then gives strikes 1, 2, or 3 depending on the situation.)

I'm still a little shocked that I'm faced with this situation, but I must also find a way to deal with the problem.  So, we've adopted a new rule in our house: Get a strike during the school day, go to bed an hour early while everyone else is still awake.  Also, no electronics of any kind.  Get a strike 2 or 3, and the punishment escalates.  Think that will work?  We instituted it starting this week, so I guess we'll see soon enough.

I have also tried to think of ways to reward good behavior, so that she wants to follow the classroom rules.  I told Maya that once a week, she and I get an hour of "Maya and Mommy" time...no brother or sister to interrupt.  I figure this will give her some of the attention she is craving, as well as give me a chance to connect with her on a regular basis.

Any thoughts?  Any suggestions?  I'm definitely out of my element here, so any help would be greatly appreciated!


Love's Most Wondrous Story

So, my baby girl is 14 months old, and she's not a baby anymore.  It's amazing how fast she has learned to do things on her own, as well as sad how quickly the cuddly days are gone.  

On Sunday, during mandatory Anderson naptime, she threw every stuffed animal out of her crib in protest to being in bed when she wanted to be up playing.  And, at some point over the weekend, she learned to say "Uh-Uh" for all those times when I try to figure out what she wants, and she wants me to know that I have NOT figured it out.  She carries a little purse with her Bible in it on Sundays.  She follows the kids around all the time, and actually plays with them.  (They have this game where Maya and Max pretend she is the bad guy.  The kids zoom by into the other end of the house, and about 5 seconds later you can hear Nina toddling after them.  It's so very cute.)

She's still not able to do everything Bubba and Sissy do, but she wants to.  She does not know how to share.  :)  And she's having a hard time learning that Mommy and Daddy like to hold Maya and Maxwell sometimes, and that she can't make them stop just because she wants them to.  She likes to be the center of our attention, and is having a hard time learning that we love three children, not just one.  :)
But, what makes this time even more special, is that Nina has learned to show her love.  She gives hugs, she gives kisses, and she gives big, beautiful smiles.  I don't think there's anything better in the world that to see her leaning over to give me a kiss.  I'm so thankful the Lord has shown me what a special love exists between parents and their children.

He tells us in 1John 4:7, "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."  It's hard to imagine that I wouldn't love my children as deeply as I do if I didn't know Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  I'm thankful He revealed to me what a sinful creature I was, and continue to be, and suffered for my sins so that I wouldn't have to.  Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  He showed such great love for me...even when I lived in sin and enjoyed that sin, He died for me.  He saved me from that life, and showed me how to live with Him as my guide.

I'm so very thankful for His love, as well as the love I now possess, and I pray I can show others how to receive it.