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Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

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I buy my oats in bulk, at 50 cents a pound. I split a big bag with my friend Tabatha, which still left me with 25 pounds of oats.  I make homemade instant oatmeal, using fruit I dehydrated myself, and use oats in cookies, as a binder in meatloaf, and in bread, as I grind my own oat flour. Oats are also used in granola bars and protein bites.

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I love vegetarian cooking, because it’s so adventurous. The exploration in mimicking meat-based favorites in vegetarian form can lead to some fun food combinations. Bean burgers are an obvious, but they can be tricky as some can be dry, or crumble easily. Throughout the years, I’ve tried many versions, and have struggled to find a bean burger which stays together while cooking. I recently made a delicious chickpea sweet potato burger, but it does have a significant amount of breadcrumbs, which does make for the firmest bean burger. I’ll be making that one again. I did create a black bean burger without bread crumbs, which also holds together nicely while cooking. I had no issues with crumbling, and these were moist and full of flavor.

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I’ve decided peaches are now my favorite fruit. I don’t like anything overly sweet, and peaches have just amount of tang to offset the sweetness. Nectarines are pretty similar, and are preferred by my older daughter, because she is adverse to the fuzz. Apparently, she isn’t the only one. Unable to develop a fuzzless peach, the peach industry created a machine to mechanically brush off most of the fuzz. After this, the sale of peaches rose 50 percent. And although Georgia is known as “the peach state,” they don’t have anything on Washington State peaches.

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Turkey Noodle Soup Casserole

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I recently cooked up a turkey I bought around Thanksgiving. I always get an extra turkey or two, and use it to can soup, meat, turkey stock, and to use in recipes. At 39 cents a pound, I get a lot of food for a great price. Thinking ahead like this, is a perfect example of thrifty homemaking.

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When I was a little girl, every Valentine’s Day my dad would buy me a box of chocolate covered cherries. One bite, and a soft cherry encased in sweet white filling would come pouring out. You had to plop it in your mouth quickly before making a mess on your shirt. As an adult, I’m enjoying a new version, employing my dehydrator and fresh cherries.

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