Do you know how the products you are buying were made? Are they environmentally friendly? Do you budget? If you answer yes to these questions then it means you are a conscious consumer.
Over the past decade consumption levels have increased across the globe. As the income level rises, so is the greater access to a wide variety of consumer products. Presently, unconscious and unethical consumerism has brought about several problems such as pollution and erosion of income savings. It is for this reason that the idea of a conscious consumer is being propagated.
Therefore, how do you become a conscious consumer?
Know the Product Background Ever wondered how your favorite snack or t-shirt is manufactured? Well, many people are not aware of how many of the products they consume are made.
Over the years, several companies have been accused of unethical and inhumane manufacturing practices regarding their products. So, to be a conscious consumer, it is prudent of you to dig a little and find out the background details. How are they made? Where are they manufactured? Who manufactures them? How are they shipped?
Knowing all this will ensure that you consume products that have been ethically produced. Besides, it will allow you to hold accountable the companies should they contravene the consumer protection laws and regulations.
Avoid Unbudgeted Spending Currently, consumption rates have increased tremendously as people’s spending powers also increase. However, it is prudent to undertake sound budgeting to ensure conscious consumption every day. It calls for sound financial and budgeting skills.
Start by determining your net monthly income and then use it to budget as per your needs. As a conscious consumer, you should be able to meet most of your monthly needs comfortably without feeling the need to overspend. Moreover, with a budget, you will minimize spending your money on unnecessary purchases.
Aim for Lower Cost Purchases Well, with lots of money comes the power to spend. Nonetheless, it is imperative to cut on cost where necessary. Shop well, shop less, and shop consciously.
If you can find a way to make purchases at a lower price, then take it. By doing so, you will be able to save extra cash on the side for other essential life investments such as education.
Aim to cultivate a more conscious consumer mindset by distinguishing between wants and needs. For instance, you could make purchases on second hand retail stores, where surprisingly, you will find quality stuff for low prices. But as you do that, also be mindful of the quality of your purchases. You do not want to buy a piece of furniture only for it to break within a few days.
Embrace Environmental Consciousness Much of the products people consume have their raw materials sourced from the environment. So, it makes sense to take care of Mother Nature in return.
One way would be to ensure that you minimize using plastic products and embracing disposable and biodegradable made products. For instance, instead of buying products from fast food stores that serve using plastic cups and plates, you could opt to visit a store that uses disposable take out boxes.
Proper management of trash is also an excellent way to cultivate ethical consumer consciousness. As a conscious consumer, you should prioritize on recycling and reusing where necessary.
Boneless turkey breast pounded skinny and filled with breadcrumbs, mushrooms, dried cranberries and sage, rolled and tied and cooked. My father jogged my memory the opposite day tfhat Thanksgiving turkey ought not to be a full bird. If your gathering is just few individuals, and you don’t wish to own many weeks of turkey leftovers, there’s no have to be compelled to roast a fifteen avoirdupois unit gobbler. You could roast simply some turkey legs if you wish meat or if you favor white, stuff and roll a turkey breast.
The following formula is for simply that, a turkey breast, pounded skinny, unfolds with a stuffing of breadcrumbs, bacon, porcini, shallots and dried cranberries, and rolled up into a roulade and cooked.
Now, the sole issue I see with preparation simply the turkey breast is that you just find yourself with scant drippings for gravy. If you wish gravy the maximum amount as I do, I like to recommend adding a fatty wing to the cooking pan, and victimization those drippings for your gravy.
Even if you end up not eating the skin, it’s important to wrap it around the turkey roll for roasting. It will bathe the turkey in flavor and will keep the breast from drying out.
1 boneless turkey breast (about 2 lbs)
Butter, olive oil, OR bacon fat
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 thick slice of bacon*
1/4 cup minced shallot
2 Tbsp chopped dried cranberries
1 teaspoon minced sage
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 Tbsp turkey or chicken stock (can sub water)
1 turkey wing (optional)
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup turkey or chicken stock
Salt and pepper
*If you don’t eat bacon, you can skip, just use a generous tablespoon of butter instead, to sauté the shallots.
1 Rehydrate and chop the dried porcini mushrooms: Place dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl. Cover with hot water and let sit for 15 minutes or so while the bacon in the next step is cooking. Once rehydrated, then chop.
2 Cook then chop the bacon: Slowly cook the bacon in a medium frying pan on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Once cool enough to touch, chop. You should have at least a tablespoon of fat in the pan. (If not, add butter or olive oil to make up the difference.)
3 Make the stuffing: Heat the same pan on medium (do not drain the fat rendered out of the bacon), add the minced shallots and cook until the shallots begin to brown. Add the chopped dried cranberries, minced sage and chopped mushrooms. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the breadcrumbs, the parsley, chopped bacon, and the turkey or chicken stock and stir well. You want a rough paste, something that will stick to itself. Remove from the heat and allow the stuffing to cool.
4 Remove the skin, then pound turkey breast to even thickness: To make the stuffed turkey breast, remove the skin from the turkey in one piece and reserve.
Put the turkey breast between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet until it is about 1/4 inch thick. (It may be easier to butterfly the breast first, depending on how big the breast is.)
5 Spread stuffing over turkey breast, then roll up: Trim the pounded breast until it is roughly a rectangle. Spread a thin layer of the stuffing over the breast, leaving about 3/4 inch border around all sides.
Starting with one of the shorter ends of the turkey rectangle, roll up the turkey breast.
Lay the skin over the top of the rolled breast and tuck any under the edges.
6 Tie up the turkey breast: Tie the rolled turkey breast tightly with kitchen string (cotton, not nylon!) and set it on a roasting pan. Paint it with olive oil, or smear butter or bacon fat over it and sprinkle with salt. If you want more drippings for gravy, place pieces of a turkey wing on the roasting pan as well.
7 Roast: Roast at 400°F for 20 minutes, then drop the heat to 325° and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the breast reads about 155° on a meat thermometer.
8 Rest: Once the turkey reaches that temperature remove it from the roasting pan and tent it loosely with foil. Let it rest at least 10 minutes, and up to 25 minutes.
9 Make gravy with pan drippings: While the turkey breast is resting, if you want, you may be able to make a little gravy with the drippings. If you are only cooking the breast, and not the optional turkey wing as well, you may not have much to work with. But even a little bit of drippings can flavor a gravy. (If you really don’t have much fat to work with, you can melt two tablespoons of butter into the roasting pan.)
Take the roasting pan with drippings and place over two burners on the stove-top on medium (if using turkey wing, remove first). Sprinkle with flour and stir until the flour is incorporated into the drippings.
Slowly add stock, whisking constantly, until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning or ground sage or thyme. Let simmer on the stove until thickened to your preference.
Stuffed Turkey Breast with Bacon, Cranberry, Breadcrumb Stuffing
This time of year I get hungry for a juicy turkey dinner! It’s no wonder, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s about the only time of year that I roast a whole turkey.
I still remember my first time roasting a turkey, I had no idea what to do. Over the years I’ve perfected it, and my family expects a Thanksgiving feast every year.
In recent years deep frying turkeys have been real popular. I’ve heard deep fried turkeys are delicious, but in our family you don’t experiment on a Thanksgiving turkey. So I’ve always roasted my turkey in the oven using the brown bag method. I’ve been roasting my turkeys this way for over 30 years.
It’s easy, no basting involved. You just place the turkey, roasting pan, and rack, in to a brown paper bag, slide it in to the oven and roast for the required time. You tear off the bag about 30 minutes before it’s done to get the nice golden brown color. When the timer rings take the turkey out of the oven and let rest for 15 – 30 minutes before carving.
Trust me you’ll end up with a delicious juicy turkey everytime. You’re family will love it!
Many years ago as a newlywed I was faced with making my very first Thanksgiving meal for myself and my new husband. This of course entailed roasting a turkey. I was clueless!
Seriously, in my single life Thanksgiving meals were prepared by mom, grandmas, and aunties; I think they took turns hosting the family for Thanksgiving each year. Whatever the case may be I just popped in to where ever it was served and stuffed myself with all the yummy stuff they made.
Alas that year it was not to be. Mom had moved back to New York where all the relatives were and I was alone in Hawaii, yup, just me and new hubby left to fend for ourselves on Thanksgiving. These days it probably wouldn’t have been a problem, one can just order a Thanksgiving meal for the entire family from one of the local restaurants or supermarket. But back then this wasn’t an option. So if I wanted a Thanksgiving meal I would have to figure out how to make it myself, starting with the turkey. (Yes that meant I had to stick my hand into the bird’s cavities and pull out its innards, seriously gross!)
Luckily I had a neighbor who showed me how to roast a turkey using a brown paper bag. I was hesitant at first thinking the bag would catch fire, burn the house down, and we would be homeless on Thanksgiving day. After all it was me roasting this bad bird and I could barely make toast unsupervised at that time!
Well my kitchen disaster never happened and I’ve been using this method to roast turkey ever since. The only issues I’ve run into in recent years is finding large brown bags!
Years ago groceries were packed in large brown bags, perfect size for this roasting method. The emergence of plastic grocery bags made it nearly impossible to find the paper ones. Never one to give up I used brown craft paper when I can not locate large brown paper bags. Recently our state outlawed the use of plastic grocery bags and most supermarkets have started selling us large paper bags when we don’t bring our own grocery bags. Umm that would be me, I always forget to bring the bags I have in my trunk into the stores so I end up purchasing even more bags.
I should mention however that I’ve only ever cooked using electric ovens, I’m told you can still use this method in a gas oven, just be sure to keep paper away from the flame. I haven’t had the opportunity to try this so I would advise caution if you are going to try it in a gas oven.
Here’s how I do this using 2 large brown paper grocery bags or a very large shopping bag:
1. Clean and wash turkey. Be sure to remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. Refrigerate giblets if you will be using them in your gravy.
2. Salt the turkey cavity with about 2 tbls of salt
3. Place a whole peeled onion in the back of the cavity.
4. Rub butter on top of the thighs, wing tips, and the breast; anywhere the turkey may come in contact with the paper bag.
5. If you will not be stuffing your turkey then place it on the rack inside the roasting pan.
If you will be stuffing your turkey then loosely place stuffing in both cavities. Do not pack in stuffing. Stuffing expands during cooking and you will have a big mess in the over and no stuffing.
Truss turkey using lacers and twine. Place it on the rack inside the roasting pan.
6. Insert one end of the roasting pan into the first brown bag.*
7. Work the second brown bag onto the roasting pan. Make sure the bag overlaps with the first bag.*
8. Place the whole package in the oven using the chart below from allrecipes.com.
9. 30 minutes before the turkey is done carefully tear off bags and remove. Don’t jiggle the pan too much, you don’t want the drippings to spill, you will need the drippings for gravy. Leave turkey uncovered to brown.
10. When turkey is done remove from the oven and let rest on the rack for 30 minutes. Do not transfer turkey on to serving tray immediately after cooking, it will fall apart. Using turkey lifters makes transferring the turkey easier.
11. If your stuffing is in the bird scoop it out onto a serving bowl before carving the turkey, it’s just neater than having everyone spoon stuffing directly out of the bird.
These times are based on placing the whole turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, and into a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C ) oven.
Weight of Bird
Roasting Time (Unstuffed)
Roasting Time (Stuffed)
10 to 18 pounds
3 to 3-1/2 hours
3-3/4 to 4-1/2 hours
18 to 22 pounds
3-1/2 to 4 hours
4-1/2 to 5 hours
22 to 24 pounds
4 to 4-1/2 hours
5 to 5-1/2 hours
24 to 29 pounds
4-1/2 to 5 hours
5-1/2 to 6-1/4 hours
The only true test for doneness is the temperature of the meat, not the color of the skin.
The turkey is done when the thigh meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. To get an accurate reading, be sure that your thermometer is not touching the bone.
If your turkey has been stuffed, it is important to check the temperature of the dressing; it should be 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).
When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and allow to stand for 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, and makes for easier carving.
* If you can not get large brown bags you can use brown craft paper. You can buy a roll at Walmart or any discount store. Wrap the paper around the whole roasting pan. Staple shut on both ends and on the top.
This is my turkey cooked using the brown bag method. This bird weighed 24 pounds.
My daughter in Colorado uses my method to make her Thanksgiving turkey. This is a small turkey weighing about 15 pounds.
Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks, that means the kids will be out of school for the very long weekend. Keep them busy making fun inexpensive Thanksgiving crafts while you’re busy in the the kitchen preparing that delicious Thanksgiving Day meal. You can also set a kids’ Thanksgiving table for your little guests and keep them entertained making their own craft projects to take home.
Many of these kid’s crafts are made using things you have at home or inexpensive supplies you can pick up at any discount or dollar store. Recycle toilet paper and paper towel rolls, paper plates, baby food jars, and bottle caps for these crafts.
Paper Roll Turkey from Arstsy-Farsty Mama is a great way to recycle toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
This Pilgrim Hat crayon holder by The Moody Fashionista would look great on the Kids’ Thanksgiving table. Make one for each place setting and add a blank rectangular piece of brown Kraft paper. Kids can make their own placemat!
Instructions here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
Take a tip from Martha Stewart. Kraft paper placemats on the children’s Thanksgiving table will keep your little guests entertained. Add the Pilgrim Hat crayon holder and you’ve got a cute and practical table setting. Kids can take home their crayons and palcemats as party favors!
I love this idea from Alittletipsy.com! Handprint trees! My grandson made me one for mother’s day using different colors. My daughter added a poem and had it framed. It proudly hangs in my family room!
The Thanksgiving table can get very crowded. What with the turkey, side dishes, gravy, and sauces, there’s no place for anyone to actually sit down and eat! I solved this problem long ago by setting up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table for all the food and having an adult table as well as a kids’ table.
Depending on the space you have and the number of guests you are expecting this could take some doing. You might consider setting up different stations or bars; appetizer, sides, desserts, and drinks; or any combination there of. If you’re limited on space your stations may have to do double duty after dinner; appetizer station can be converted to dessert bar.
You may have to think out of the box and re-purpose furniture pieces to hold food and tableware. You will more than likely have to rearrange furniture to accomplish your goal. However you decide to set up the meal it will require advance planning, so much easier to move furniture without a ton of guests milling around.
Here are a few tips to help you set up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table.
1. Plan your serveware. Know ahead of time what dishes you will be using. I usually do this as soon as I’ve planned my menu, making a note beside each dish what I will be serving it in. Be creative, make your buffet interesting by adding height, this also creates space.
I love tiered stands and racks, but you don’t have to spend a fortune buying them. Stands can easily be made from dollar store items with very little time and effort. Check out Savvy Nana’s DIY Hurricane Vases & Lamps to learn how to make your own tiered stands.
You can also stack platters on upside down stemware or bowls to create height. Or use books or boxes wrapped in pretty paper. If you don’t have time to wrap books or boxes, just place them where you want them on the table and cover everything with a large tablecloth. You can even set Plates on pumpkins to create varying heights
For some great ideas on how to set a buffet table watch Kid’s Smart Living‘s video tutorial
A table in the middle of the room allows several guest access to the table at the same time, in this case taller dishes should be placed in the middle of the table. If the table needs to be set up against the wall meaning it will be front serving then taller dishes should be in the back.
2. Once you know which serving pieces you will be using you need to decide what you’re going to put them on. Breakfast tables, sideboards, baking racks, kitchen islands and counters work well as long as at least 2 people can serve themselves at the same time without blocking the way for everyone else. You may have to move furniture to accommodate the this traffic and arrange your serving ware accordingly.
Consider setting out trays of appetizers on coffee tables and end tables in the living or family rooms. This frees up space on the buffet table for the main event.
If you don’t have enough room on the table for plates and eating utensils consider setting up another table, shelf or rack to place them on.
Dinner plates stacked neatly on a chair will work![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
Make use of all the flat surfaces in your house. Setting up a bar on the mantle works well![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
3. Keep eating utensils neat and within reach by placing them in mason or apothecary jars, or on trays.
4. Decorate your buffet or bar with centerpieces and even a backdrop. You don’t need table cards but they’re a nice touch as is a framed photo or sign. You can hand write your own on card stock or use one of these printable.