Cindy’s Thanksgiving Tale

Posted by Cindy Humble on November 23, 2015

Here’s a quick story about my experience cooking my first Thanksgiving turkey. It was November 27, 1980 and I’d been married only 4 months. I eagerly volunteered to have Thanksgiving at ‘our place’ and couldn’t wait to put my cooking skills to the test. My husband’s parents, sister and grandparents would be there as well as my mom and sister. We lived in a 1 bedroom apartment, so to say the least we were a tight squeeze around the dinner table.


We had a big turkey, can’t remember how many pounds but it was big enough to feed us all. All the traditional fixin’s were part of the big feast, with the turkey of course being the star of the show. It was my day to shine, and I was ready! I had never cooked for that many people, and they were going to be my guinea pigs for my first shot at a turkey dinner.


Everything was really going quite nicely. I made the stuffing, stuffed the bird and put it in the oven and let nature take its course. The side dishes were situated, everything was cooking . . . I was feeling great about my first Thanksgiving meal. Fast forward to ‘time to take the turkey out of the oven,’ which I do. I haul the roasting pan out and set it on the counter so the turkey can ‘rest’ on a cutting board for a bit. I call for my husband to give me a hand getting it out of the roaster. He walks into the kitchen and starts to laugh, which causes others to wonder what’s so funny. I had no idea what at this point most everyone was laughing about when they looked at the turkey and was feeling a little worried about the situation. He tells me that I’ve cooked the bird upside down (breast side down). Ha! No kidding I say, and join in laughing.


I have to tell you, his grandmother spoke fondly for years about this particular Thanksgiving turkey. She said she’d never had a more delicious, tender and juicy turkey in her life! And you know what? I see now that some famous chefs (Alton Brown for one) say upside down is the only way to do it!


So no matter which way you put your turkey in the oven, I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Big Mike’s Tuna Salad and Joe Whiting’s Spread

November 12, 2015

Do you like tuna salad? I do, especially with crusty bread. Here’s my favorite recipe:
-14-16 oz Albacore Tuna in water (three 5ounce cans are OK)
-¼ cup Mayo (Helmann’s, of course)
-1 tbs whole grain Dijon Mustard
-¼ cup of chopped fine Red Onion, Celery and Carrot (each 1/4 cup)
-2 tbs Bread Crumbs
-1 Apple (Granny Smith or tart) cut into small julienne pieces
-1 tbs chopped fresh Mint
-1 tbs Olive Oil
-½ Lemon squeezed juice
-¼ cup Craisins
-¼ cup Walnuts (chopped)
-Salt & Pepper to taste

Here’s a great mayo substitute from my pal Joe Whiting:
-Plain Yogurt
-Grated Cheese
-Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS: Mash the tuna and add the mayo, mustard, onion, celery, carrots, bread crumbs and mix it all up. Add the other ingredients and slightly toss to mix. Joe’s Spread can be used instead of the mayo, or as a little spread on a wrap. I like it on crusty bread or stuffed in a tomato.

DIY: Tin Fruit Basket

August 26, 2015

We all get dozens of those tin cans around the holiday time, and once the cookies are gone WHAT do you do with them?

I wandered into the Goodwill in Cicero and found that most people donate them haha! So, I did some quick research and found out a craft that you could do with those old tin cans… make them into a fruit basket!


Here’s how I made it in literally less than 10 minutes…

You’ll need:

  • 2 tin cans
  • Spray paint color of choice
  • Optional acrylic paint & paint brushes
  • Craft glue (I used E6000)
  • A candle holder, or some sort of neat thing to put between the tins


1. Pick out your cans / candle holder

Ignore the gaudy pictures on the outside. When I walk through a place like Goodwill, I imagine everything with a coat of white paint. That way you look at the shapes rather the images.




















2. Spraypaint the tins

You’ll have to do a couple different spray/drying sessions to make sure you get all of it. You’ll want to make sure the bottom, sides and insides are all painted. The tops of the tins you wont need for this project.


















3. Design (optional)

I decided that this was going to be a pretty boring fruit basket if there wasn’t any kind of design, so I used painters tape to make some stripes on the tins with gold paint. Maybe you want to make swirls, dots or bows – what ever is your fancy, have some fun with it!


















4. Glue the candle holder

Use the E6000 glue or other craft glue to hold the candle holder to the tins. Let it dry for at least an hour














Here’s the final project!


DIY: Tea Cup Candle

August 24, 2015












There’s a new dog in town, and it’s called Goodwill – located right on Route 11 in Cicero by Caughdenoy Rd.

If you’ve never been to a Goodwill, I’d recommend checking it out because it is so pristine clean. I went in with an idea of making candles out of old dinnerware, so that’s right where I headed.












There were several rows of teacups, mugs, plates, bowls, vases and more. I had a specific item in mind – a tea cup. I ended up getting a teacup and a beautiful bowl (much like you’d see in a Pottery Barn or Pier 1).





















This is how I made candles in literally less than 10 minutes….

You’ll need:

  • Dinner ware or anything you think would be cool to make a candle out of (my tea cup and bowl from Goodwill were each $1.99)
  • Hot glue gun or something sticky for bottom of wick
  • Wick
  • Wax for the candle – I used this
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Microwave

1. Clean your tea cup/candle holder

2. Get the wick prepared

Ok so I admit, I didn’t even look up instructions on how to do this, I just went with my instinct. I hot glued the wick to the bottom of the tea cup and bowl… maybeeee not the “correct” way to do it – but it does the job and sounded a lot easier than tying the wick to a pencil and trying to hang it at the correct length. I did put a knife (or some long object) across the top so the wick didn’t end up back in the wax. It looks like after doing some research you can use a clothes pin and balance that across the tea cup. Coulda shoulda woulda.















3. Heat the wax

BEAUTIFUL thing about it being 2015… you can now microwave wax. No more of that get two pots and boil thing, now you can simply put wax in a microwaveable dish and heat away. So I found out through a little trial and error 1 minute heated up this wax perfectly. Fill up, heat and repeat until the container you’re making into a candle is full. Most DIY candle instructions you’ll read say to measure it out – it sounded like too much work, so I just kept filling my bowl til it was full.















4. Let them dry

It’s as simple as that, seriously. Now all you do is let them get firm and cool off, and they’re ready to burn!


What you should learn from my mistakes….

Put down newspaper underneath your craft area.

Use an appropriate bowl/measuring cup to heat the wax in the microwave

Why you ask? I ended up dropped a bowl of hot wax all over my kitchen counter/floor because I didn’t necessarily make the best bowl decision. Learn from me, that’s what I’m here for.


All in all, I’d call it a first time success. One more note, I did glue the tea cup to the plate with E-6000 glue from Michaels, that way it doesn’t slip and slide. Overall the project cost me about $10 to make 2 candles (don’t forget you craft store coupon) – and now I have the supplies to make more candles!


Here’s the end result…





















DIY: Rake Wine Rack

August 20, 2015

In what is one of the easiest things you’ll ever make, and people will think you spent hours making it… I present to you the Rake Wine Rack.

I picked up an old rake from the Heckled Hen (you can find these everywhere, in multitudes).



















Here’s how I made the Rake Wine Rack in less than 10 minutes…


You’ll need:

  • An old rake
  • Spraypaint
  • Wine glasses
  • 2 screws

1. Clean the rake

Just clean off old rust and any old dirt


2. Spray paint

You’ll have to do 2 spraypainting sessions to get both sides


3. Hang

Measure out and use two screws to hang the rake. You’ll want to put them so the rake can rest right on the screws


4. Insert the glasses

Of course, use some caution – make sure it is stable before putting on your glasses


And there you have it, the completed Rake Wine Rack!

**note, you’ll see pictures on Pinterest of the rake facing down… I tried this, it didn’t work, the glasses slipped right off. In order to do that you’d have to bend the spokes. So instead, I just flipped it the other way!