Yesterday I had lunch with a very good friend – my dear friend Mary (sometimes called “Momma”) – I took her to a neat place: Royal Diner which is close to us. They serve a little of EVERYTHING – you’d be hard pressed to find something they DON’T serve! She & I had Greek salads; let’s just say the Royal Diner is known for it’s large portions so we both had salad to take home for later! (The photo, above, is from last fall). It was nice to spend time catching up – she recently moved much nearer to me and I’ve been wanting to take her out to lunch for awhile now.
Our weather is getting a little more ‘Fall -like” – colder with rain; still summer temps (in spots) right now the weather report says it’s 83 degrees F. out, but there are also thunderstorms in the near future. Yes, we DO need the rain, but that also cools off the days (and there aren’t that many warm days ahead before Fall sets in).
Playing with knitting patterns for the next baby blanket – another one for Crisis Pregnancy Centers (still don’t know whether we’ll have a boy or girl for next grandbaby, so I’m holding off on that for now.) Found a couple really NEAT baby toys – one of my friends who lives out state posted a photo of her baby daughter on Facebook and I messaged her: “What is the name of that toy on her left?” It’s a really neat block sorter, picture match, kind of thing (hard to explain but I was really enthralled with it – so I ordered that via Amazon AND a really cute book called “The Little Chef” – it has pages with various things the Little Chef can cook – there are cut out vegetables, meats, etc. and pictures of pans, etc. – the veggies, meats, etc. have velcro so the child can put whatever they choose on the page to ‘cook’ . . . but you KNOW the REAL reason I bought it was my oldest son, the baby’s Dad, is a chef! On the way home from our lunch yesterday I also stopped at a thrift store – found a really cute little green, fuzzy frog (she’s going to be doing the nursery in Woodland themes, so I figured a frog fits!) and a very nice cabled cream button-up/hooded 3 month size baby sweater. Grand total of my purchases? $1.93! Score!
2 1/2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 T. vegetable oil
1 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. fresh sliced strawberries
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl;
fold in strawberries & pour into pan.
Bake 55-65 minutes until top is golden
brown & completely set. Cool slightly
in pan then loosen sides of loaf from pan
& remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 loaf
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 T. canola oil
3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,
1 (8.8 oz) pkg. ready-to-serve long
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. (4 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar
In large skillet cook sausage over medium
heat, 5-7 minutes until not longer pink,
breaking into crumbles. Drain/remove from
pan. In same pan heat oil over medium heat.
Add zucchini & onion, cook, stirring, 5-7
minutes until tender. Stir in sausage, tomatoes,
rice, mustard, garlic salt & pepper. Bring to
boil; reduce heat & simmer, covered, 5
minutes to allow flavors to blend. Remove
from heat; sprinkle with cheese & let stand,
covered, 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Chicken Parmesan Roll-ups
1/4 C. olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced
1/2 C. chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
6 thin-cut, boneless/skinless chicken
cutlets (about 1 1/4 lb) – or slice
regular chicken breasts in half
lengthwise to make your own cutlets)
1/2 C. Italian seasoned Panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Place oven rack to upper-middle position.
Heat 2 T. oil in medium saucepan over
medium heat. Add onion & cook until
softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic,
cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add
tomatoes & simmer until slightly thickened,
about 5 minutes. Remove from heat & stir
in half of basil – transfer half of sauce to a
8 X 8″ baking dish. Combine mozzarella &
Parmesan cheese in medium bowl, reserving
1/2 cup of mixture. Add remaining basil to
remaining cheese. Pat cutlets dry with paper
towels & season with salt/pepper. Top
cutlets with basil/cheese mixture, leaving
1-inch border around edges of cutlets. Roll
up tightly & arrange, seam sides down, in
prepared dish. Toss bread crumbs with
remaining oil in small bowl. Top chicken with
reserved cheese, remaining sauce & bread
crumb mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes until
chicken is cooked through & crumbs are
golden. (depending on thickness of your
chicken you may have to cook a little longer)
If breadcrumbs are getting too brown, after
about 15 minutes of cooking time cover with
foil for remaining baking time. Serves 6
Lasagna Stuffed Eggplant
2 medium eggplants
1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1 container ricotta cheese
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. marinara sauce
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking pan with nonstick
spray. Remove sausage from casings;
brown over medium-high heat, drain.
In small bowl combine ricotta cheese,
Parm. cheese, eggs, parsley & garlic
powder. Cut eggplants in half length-
wise, scoop out centers, leaving about
half inch flesh on skins. Spread 1 C.
marinara sauce in bottom of sprayed
pan then place eggplant halves on sauce.
Spoon ricotta mixture evenly into
eggplants then top with cooked sausage,
remaining marinara & shredded mozz.
cheese. Cover with foil & bake 45 minutes.
Remove foil & bake an additional 15
minutes. Serves 4
Marinated Sugar Snap Peas
1 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 C. olive oil
Place peas in large stockpot &
add water to cover. Bring to boil &
cook 1 minute or until crisp-tender.
Drain/rinse. Place peas in a large bowl.
Add onion, garlic & olive oil; toss
gently. Cover & refrigerate at least
20 minutes. Remove from fridge &
let stand. Serve at room temperature.
Layered Salad for a Crowd
1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. milk
2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. seasoning blend*
1 bunch romaine, torn
2 medium carrots, grated
1 C. chopped red onion
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas,
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar
8 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
In small bowl whisk mayo, milk,
dill & seasoning blend. In 4 qt
clear serving bowl, layer romaine,
carrots, onion & cucumber (DO
not toss). Pour dressing over top &
sprinkle with peas, cheese & bacon.
Cover & refrigerate until serving.
*Poster used Morton Natures’ Seasons
seasoning blend: (a blend of salt/pepper/
onion/garlic/celery & parsley)
Chocolate Frosted Zucchini Cookies
1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 C. shredded zucchini*
4 T. cocoa powder
1/2 C. quick cooking oats
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 C. milk chocolate chips
1/2 C. butter
4 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. cocoa powder
4 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using elec. mixer, mix 1/2 C.
butter & 3/4 C. brown sugar on
medium speed 1 minute. Add
egg – beat an additional 1-2
minutes until mixture is light &
fluffy. Add vanilla, mix just until
combined. Add 1 C. shredded
zucchini to mixture & mix until
combined. In separate bowl mix
2 C. flour, 4 T. cocoa, 1/2 C. oats,
1 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 tsp. salt
& 1 C. milk choc. chips. Add dry
ingredients to creamed mixture &
mix until combined. Spray a large
cookie sheet with nonstick spray &
scoop dough out evenly over sheet.
Bake 8-9 minutes until top of cookies
spring back when pressed. Remove
from oven & cool 5 minutes then
remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl;
melt butter in microwave. Add powdered
sugar (a little at a time), cocoa powder, milk,
vanilla & dash salt – beat with hand beaters
until frosting is smooth & silky. Frost cookies.
Makes 36 cookies
*Zucchini: Peel zucchini, remove seeds from
center then shred. Pat dry before using
Our gas prices are staying ‘up’ a bit: $2.29/9 – not ‘bad’,
but of course, I’d prefer them lower . . . just sayin’
So far, middle son is doing well at his new job as Front
Desk Clerk & Night Auditor for Hilton Hotels. Youngest
is also doing well at his new job making pizzas – in fact,
they asked him to train a new person a few days ago –
he’s only been with this establishment a little over a
week (but he’s had LOTS of experience in the pizza
business). Makes a Mom proud that their sons are
Just finished printing up 65 copies of my special needs
group’s newsletter (double sided/2 sheets) – next I have
to fold them all & stuff them into envelopes. Think I’ll
wait until tomorrow to take them to the Post Office,
it’s 4:15 p.m. right now and I don’t want to battle
“Five O’Clock Traffic” ( you might remember I live on
a MAJOR Michigan highway, speed in front of my house
is 45 MPH. At this time of day it starts backing up –
it’s that way from about 4 p.m. until around 6:30 p.m.;
the only way you can get out of my driveway is if a
nice person lets you in! (and then you have to drive to
the first side street and go around in order to be
facing in the direction you originally wanted – just to
GO someplace! Ah, the fun . . .)
Well, that’s the news from here, today.
ENJOY your day!