1. A Thanksgiving Recipe You’ll Want to Gobble Up

    What do you have to be thankful for this month? Perhaps your health, your family, a friendship, a good job, a new opportunity, your beautiful home, or even the opportunity to spend some quality time with the ones you love for the Thanksgiving holiday over delicious food.

    Most likely, you have Thanksgiving memories from when you were a younger child. From the decorations, to the cranberry dressing, to the pumpkin pie recipe passed down in your family, Thanksgiving is a day to carry on traditions, especially ones related to food.

    Where did those traditions begin? The First Thanksgiving took place in 1621 and contained turkey, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. Many of those foods have become staples in today’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Fried, baked, stuffed, or broiled, turkey, no matter how prepared, is the most common dish with more than 270 million turkeys raised for the holiday according to U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.

    Of course, you can always start your own traditions, too! Our Neal Communities’ “Holidays” Pinterest Board is full of great ideas to get you started. From table runners, to centerpieces, to front door decorating ideas and even fingernail painting inspirations, new ideas are waiting for you to be discovered!

    We would love to hear your traditional and untraditional recipe ideas!

    Enjoy this delicious Chicken Apple Sausage and Feta Salad  from one of our very own Neal Employees!

    Salad Ingredients

    • 1 pack of Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage
    • 2 zucchinis cut into ¼ inch thick slices
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
    • Garlic Powder
    • Mixed Green
    • 1 package Feta Cheese (crumbled)
    • 1 Large Red Apple cubed
    • Sunflower Seeds
    • Pumpkin Seeds
    • 1 Tbs. fresh basil

    Dressing Ingredients

    • ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
    • 1 Tbs. Honey
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 2/3 cup olice oil
    • 2 Tbs Water
    • 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil
    • 1 Tbs chopped green onions

    Directions

    Heat an indoor grill-pan to medium to high heat (or regular pan if no grill-pan on hand).   Slice Sausages lengthwise and grill until browned on each side, approximately 5 to 6 minutes on each side.  Remove from grill and cut into bite size pieces.  Return pieces to grill pan until somewhat crispy.  Remove and set aside to cool.

    Coat Zucchini slices with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic powder.  Grill zucchini on grill pan on both sides, approximately 3 to 4 minutes on each side over med heat.  Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

    In large salad bowl, layer as follows:  mixed greens, feta cheese, apples, and sausages and zucchini.  Toss lightly and sprinkle with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and fresh basil.

    Whisk together all salad dressing ingredients in a bowl or a small jar or serving container.

    Dressing can either be tossed in or left on side to add by individual preference, and then ENJOY!

    Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!


  2. FALL in love.

    It’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. Time to welcome cooler weather, sweaters and pumpkin flavored everything. Living in Florida, we often don’t get the atmospheric changes of fall such as the leaves changing colors or cool autumn breezes. Despite our constant greenery, Floridians can get in the fall spirit too!

    Decorating the home to match the season is a quick and easy way to celebrate.

    1. Add a touch of autumn to your home décor with Autumnal colors, wicker pieces and accent pieces from nature such as gourds, pumpkins, branches or dried leaves.

    2. Instead of carving pumpkins this fall, try a unique approach of painting your pumpkin. You can create endless designs using acrylic paint and painter’s tape. Try designs such as a two-tone, dipped look or popular chevron stripes. Take a look at these,“12 Painted Pumpkin Ideas” to gather inspiration.  Set a bewitching scene inside or out with jack-o’-lanterns in whimsical, easy-to-paint designs this fall.

    3. Spice up any door with an autumn themed wreath. This splash of fall color brings warmth and life to any front door.

    4. Fill your home the delicious smells of fall with pumpkin, spiced apple or cinnamon. These signature autumn scents are sure to bring the feeling of fall in your home.

    5. Another great way to bring the scents of fall into your home is to do a little fall baking. Not only will your house smell amazing but indulging yourself with a warm pumpkin treat will surely put you in the mood for the season.

    Check out this easy recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS

    Author: Erin Alderson

    Recipe type: Breakfast

    Prep time:  2 hours 30 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time:  3 hours

     

    Serves: 12

    • ¾ cup milk
    • 2½ teaspoon yeast
    • ⅓ cup natural sugar
    • 1 cup pumpkin
    • ⅓ cup melted butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 whole eggs
    • 4- 4½ cup Unbleached all purpose flour
    • divider filling
    • ¼ cup butter
    • ⅔ cup sucanat
    • ¼ cup natural sugar
    • 2 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • divider Pumpkin Glaze
    • 1 cup pumpkin
    • ¼ cup natural sugar
    • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
    • ¼-1/2 cup milk
    • Heat milk (either in a sauce pan or microwave) until milk begins to simmer- add butter. Let cool until a warm temperature (about 120˚)
    • In a stand mixer bowl, at milk mixture, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for five minutes. Add 3 cups of flour, salt, pumpkin, eggs and start mixer with dough hook. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time continuing until the dough pulls together. Continue kneading the dough until smooth and elastic- at least eight minutes.
    • Either in the mixer bowl or a separate bowl, lightly spray the dough with cooking oil and place in a warm, draft free spot until dough has doubled in size (around an hour and a half.)
    • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a 10 by 14 rectangle. Rub butter over entire surface and cover with sucanat mixture. Roll the dough into a log, squeeze slightly and adjust to form. Cut into 12 pieces (cut in half, the cut each half into half then each piece is cut into three pieces.) Place in a sprayed 9 X 13 pan.
    • Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. (Or if you want to continue on, cover and let rise for another hour and follow with remaining instructions.)
    • The next morning, preheat the oven to 350˚ and remove cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for a half hour.
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes until cinnamon rolls are a nice golden brown color. Let cool slightly.
    • While cinnamon rolls cool slightly, combine icing ingredients and while cinnamon rolls are still warm spoon icing over the rolls.

    Enjoy while warm (as if there is such a thing as cold cinnamon rolls-usually they are gone before they even have the chance to cool down!)

    For more tips, tricks and recipes for the fall season visit our Pinterest Page and follow our boards.

     

    http://www.pinterest.com/nealcommunities/holidays/


  3. Spark Appetites With This 4th of July Dessert!

    Are you looking for the perfect summer dessert? Look no farther! This delicious fruit pizza is delicious and offers the nutrients (and sweetness) you are looking for. Not to mention, it’s super easy to make!

    Ingredients

    -One tube sugar cookie dough

    -One jar of marshmallow fluff

    -One 8 oz. box of cream cheese – softened. (fat free if you want to cut some calories!)

    -Your choice of fruits

    Directions

    -Roll out the sugar cookie dough onto a cookie tray in one sheet. This will be used as the “crust” of the “pizza.” Bake in oven according to package. Set aside and let cool.

    -Meanwhile, mix marshmallow fluff and cream cheese until smooth.

    -Slice fruits into

    bite size pieces for the toppings.

    -When the crust has cooled, spread the marshmallow fluff/cream cheese mixture over it.

    -Place the fruits on top.

    Fruit can get pricey at the grocery, so consider visiting a local farmers market to buy it instead!

    The Sarasota Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 7am to 1pm.  You’ve been warned, with so many amazing vendors you will probably walk away with more than just fruit!

    In Venice, check out their local Farmers Market from 8am to noon on Tampa Avenue.

    Live further south? Don’t Miss the Fort Myers Market Thursdays between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. or the one in Naples called Third Street South on Saturday mornings from 7:30 until 11:30.

    To scope out the best prices, check out this list of fruit that is in season.

    Bon appetit!


  4. Throw a Memorable Memorial Day Party!

    Are you hosting a BBQ for Memorial Day?

    Try these recipes we have collected for you for a party that will surely be remembered!

    Main course-

    For an easy and delicious burger, try this recipe! Combine ground beef, a packet of dry ranch dressing, and shredded cheese. Mix ingredients and form into patties.  Cook on the grill, flipping until meat is cooked to the desired temperature.

    Side Dish-

    Corn on the cob- Nothing says “let’s kick off summer’ like corn on the cob. Peel off the husks on the corn. Slather with butter and season with sea salt and pepper. Wrap up in aluminum foil. Add a little water in with the aluminum foil when wrapping. Grill and turn until kernels are cooked.

    Dessert-

    This patriotic meal is sure to be a hit.  In a parfait cup, layer blueberries, cool whip, and cut up strawberries. Repeat order until the parfait cup is full and add a dollop of cool whip on the top.

    If you are looking for decorating ideas, try hanging American flags around, or red, white, and blue stars. Centerpieces on the table can be a bouquet or red, white, and blue flowers.  American themed table clothes can be found at many craft stores.

    Whatever is on the menu, let us not forget why we celebrate this holiday – Thanks to all of the military, past and present, who fight for our country. Happy Memorial Day!


  5. Looking for an Excuse to East Pecan Pie?

    “Good Moms Have Sticky Floors, Messy Kitchens, Laundry Piles, Dirty Ovens, and Happy Kids!

     

    Did you know that this month hosts National Pecan Pie Day? We couldn’t think of a better excuse to be in the kitchen, cooking, (and then of course, eating) pecan pie!

    Here is a recipe from FoodNetwork to make a Pecan pie.

     

     

    Ingredients

    • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • ½ cold butter (1 stick) diced
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • Flour, for rolling the dough

    Filling

    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • ¾ cu light corn syrup
    • ½ teaspoon fine salt
    • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

    Directions

    Make the dough by hand: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow cornmeal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

    Alternatively, make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow cornmeal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don’t let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.

    Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges, leaving about an extra inch hanging over the edge. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with the rim. Flute the edge as desired. Freeze the pie shell for 30 minutes.

    Set separate racks in the center and lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Put a piece of parchment paper or foil over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on a baking sheet on the center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans. Continue baking until the pie shell is lightly golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

    While the crust is baking make the filling: In medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts, bourbon, and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.) Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust.

    Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature

    Do you have a delicious recipe for Pecan Pie you want to share?


  6. What’s Cooking: Chili

    Do you have any childhood memories of being in the kitchen with your mom or dad? Whether you’re sneaking bites, rolling dough, or trying to make the

    smoke detector stop beeping, the kitchen is the heart of the home.

    This month is the home of National Chili Day. There is no better time to get in your kitchen and make some delicious chili and new memories with your family!

    We pulled this chili recipe from Taste of Home to help get you started.  Many of the ingredients are things you probably have in your pantry already!

     

    Classic Chili Recipe

    Ingredients:

    • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
    • 2 medium onion, chopped
    • ½ cup chopped celery
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
    • I cup water
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

    Directions

    In a Dutch oven or large soup kettle, sauté green pepper, onions and celery in oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned; drain. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add kidney beans. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer. Yield: 10-12 servings (3 quarts).

    Let us know what you think or share your best chili recipe with us.