Poppies & Pigging Out

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It’s been a relatively quiet weekend here; the poppies (as you can see) are going crazy nodding their bright faces in the breezes and smiling at the sun. Husband mowed the lawns a little earlier this evening and I just saw a big red-headed woodpecker really enjoying the bugs that were stirred up by the mower; he was really pecking and pecking at the ground in search of tasty morsels.

Speaking of tasty morsels, last night middle son brought home some leftovers from his work: most of the fixin’s for fajitas. We pigged out on fajitas for lunch, then tonight’s dinner was “Clean the Fridge” (ever have that at your house?) so it was a virtual plethora of delights.  Husband chose beef stir fry over rice (we had a large batch of that), middle son had last night’s dinner: fish, corn and hash browns. Youngest son chose leftover homemade pizza and I, once again, pigged out on more fajitas! We are all pleasantly stuffed, the fridge is much lighter in leftovers and now we’ve all settled down to our favorite ‘light enjoyment’: Husband is playing “World of Warcraft” on his computer, middle & youngest sons are playing/watching a boxing video game and I’m doing a little ‘catch-up’ with you.  All in all, it’s been a nice, quiet weekend. I finished another afghan (#178) and got several more squares knit so I feel like I’ve accomplished something (that is, besides the laundry and dishes which are a given…sigh).

It’s been a rather cool/chilly/cold weekend, dipping to the 50’s and warming up to not much higher than around 65 during the day (might even have been colder at night; I didn’t check outside thermometer). Knowing that, it will just make the coming hot weather in June that much more welcome, right?

Enjoy your days & nights; stay warm and hopefully pleasantly filled with good foods.

Hugs;

Pammie

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Ultra YUM!

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Today was one of those ‘you deserve a treat’ days for me; just got back from having a teeth cleaning and then faced grocery shopping…not very exciting BUT… Kroger’s is having a sale on raspberries! 6 oz. container for $1.00! I like lots of various fruits but I’ve got to say that raspberries are my all-time favorites.  Lunch for me, today, consisted of 6 oz. of fresh raspberries, a large cup of (my favorite, too) Tim Horton’s  coffee with double cream and a small bowl of homemade potato salad (the last of it…I figure: I made it, I deserve the last little bit! Good thinkin, eh?) I guess that would rank right up there with ‘Best Lunches Ever’ for me-a little sweet, a little coffee and a few carbs…works for me! (Yes, the raspberries might be a bit expensive at 6 oz. = $1.00 but I’m sure it’s much cheaper than their usual price, which I don’t even look at because it’s out of my range. This was a ‘bonus score’, in my book  (kind of like buying a donut that you like and finding out it’s also on sale!). Anyway, made MY day for sure!

Just in case you might want to make a small batch of potato salad for yourself, I have just the recipe. Many, MANY years ago when I was first learning to cook (that would put it in the 70’s), I remember going to the library and checking out about 10-12 cookbooks, trying to find the perfect potato salad recipe. There were many good ones, but I wanted one that I, personally, would like. This one makes a rather small batch (in my estimation…I usually double or triple it as my family likes LOTS of potato salad and then more for the next few days leftovers). The recipe is written as I got it after combining the best qualities of many different recipes. I’d never heard of “French Dressing” as it is described here; I suppose you could substitute Italian Salad Dressing and get almost the same thing? Just a thought.

“Pammie’s Potato Salad”

3 large, or 5 small potatoes

4 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 small onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

2 small sweet pickles, diced

1 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing

“French Dressing” (recipe to follow)

salt, pepper, garlic powder to your taste

paprika for garnish

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Peel and cut up potatoes into small pieces; cook until potato pieces are almost done-rinse and let set in cold water. (I usually change the water 2-3 times and add ice cubes to the last batch, just to make sure they are cold before continuing.) When potatoes are cold, mix up “French Dressing”:

“French Dressing”

1/4 C. vegetable oil

2 T. vinegar

Mix oil and vinegar, whisking greatly, and pour over potatoes immediately, stirring potatoes to coat entirely.

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Cut up remaining vegetables and mix into potato/dressing until well mixed. Mix in spices and  Miracle Whip to coat the entire batch. Smooth off top of salad and top with a light sprinkling of paprika (for color). Regrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Serves 6.

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Remember that this recipe is a compilation of a large batch of cookbooks, some French (hence the French dressing idea). I had a good time way back then, trying to find several recipes that would look like I was an accomplished cook when I was just ‘starting out’. I remember at that same time making fried chicken; actually, it was the BEST fried chicken I’ve ever made! Did I keep the recipe for that one? Nope…and I don’t know why, either! I think it was a lot of work and I didn’t like to have to fuss over frying things in oil at that time. I was in my early 20’s and working; I wanted to try to impress the older married women who would come to pot lucks with these wonderful recipes and act like it was ‘no big deal’ that they concocted something that tasted so good! Go figure! (Now I’m the ‘old married lady’…how funny!)

Hope you enjoy your day, whether it’s grey and rainy (like here) or sunny and warm. Each day is a blessing; remember to enjoy them!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on May 28, 2009 at 1:07 pm  Comments (2)  
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Memorial Day, 2009

MEMORIAL DAY CLIP

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 11:48 am  Comments (1)  

Delivery Day

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33 Afghans to Ghana!

Today found my youngest son & I driving to the hospital to deliver the latest ‘batch’ of 33 afghans bound for Ghana. The head nurse will be picking them up in the next week; since she transports them in a large suitcase, I had to kind of restrict the number of afghans given.  I take them to the hospital and they keep them in one of the doctors offices until she stops by to pick them up. I ended up keeping 12 here to start the next batch of finished afghans, as she wouldn’t be able to transport that many in a suitcase.  The total number of all afghans now stands at 175, so that means the one I began working on this morning is #176!

Since it’s ‘delivery’ day, I also delivered middle son to his work, as his current car ‘died’ a few days ago. Turns out it needs a new fuel pump, to the tune of somewhere around $600! (He’s currently waiting to see if he can get a better offer from another mechanic before starting the work). That means that ‘good old Mom’ (that’s me) is driving him around; I don’t mind doing that, as his work is just down the road 3 minutes-not bad at all.

Also ‘delivered’ youngest son to the high school pool for 3 hours of swimming, as today marks Day 1 of his 4 day holiday. THAT means that I have the house to myself for around 3 hours! (well…the cat and I, but he doesn’t bug me, ask me to buy/go/do something for him, or whine when I say No!).  Just entered the photo of the afghans and the new total count on the Ghana site, then came here to write to you. After that? I’m probably going to go work a little more on the current afghan, maybe read a bit in my new mystery (Daniel Silva’s “The Marching Season”) or maybe even take a wee nap!

Yesterday found me visiting my friendly physician for a yearly physical/checkup.  I was pleasantly pleased to find that so far, all’s well-you know, you sort of have a feeling when you’re doing good or you’re feeling ill. It appears I’m doing very well, health-wise…and that’s a GOOD thing! Weight’s OK, diabetic blood count is excellent, diabetes control is excellent (still over the norm on the cholesterol stuff, but they’ve ruled that one ‘hereditary’, so I’m not freaking out). Coming home from the doctors found me contemplating a wee bit of ‘cheating’ on the diet; ended up bargaining with myself and got one of the ‘over-advertised’ McDonald’s Mochas: I opted for the hot version…it was, in my opinion: OK…didn’t really taste like coffee, sort of had a coffee-like flavor, but not much of that, either. For $3. something for a medium, it’s not something I’m going to buy again-I’ll stick with Tim Horton’s regular coffee…much more flavorful and worth the cost. Drove home and made a small turkey & cheese sandwich on one slice of dark rye bread with lettuce, spicy mustard and a little Miracle whip…YUM! Tasted great and I didn’t really cheat much, either. (guess you’d count the sugar in the Mocha thingie…oh well…..never said I was perfect!)

Nice day out today, but cloudy and a wee-bit chilly (68 degrees F.) but it’s not raining, snowing, hailing, sleeting, etc. so I’m good with cloudy and a little chilly-probably would be a little less chilly if I’d just get up and go put on long pants instead of trying to fool myself that it’s already summer in my shorts! Forever the optimist!

Hope you’re enjoying this Friday and are looking forward to a great weekend!

Hugs;

Pammie

Almost the weekend!

Remember our Heroes!

Remember our Heroes!

Yes, I know it’s only Wednesday but with the lovely, warm weather I’m thinking “Four-Day Holiday Weekend Coming Up Soon!”  Do I have anything planned for this fun-fest? Nope…just like having the extra days off (I hear you: “Off from WHAT? You’re a Stay-at-Home Mom & Grandma!”)  True, but even those of us who share the above title enjoy ‘pretending’ we’re having it ‘off’…whatever that means (wink).

Spent the earlier part of the day much like last week: playing in the sandbox and swinging my grandson, and a rousing game of  what I call: “Baby Baseball” (read that: he hits the ball on the floor to me, I kick it back to him and he hits it back…this can go on for a very long time, tiring both players out perfectly just before naptime!  I’m no dummy!)

In the same area as the coming up weekend, my thoughts turned to great Summer recipes and this one is a really good one (No, I didn’t make it up but love to eat it!).

Tuna Macaroni Salad

2 boxes medium-sized shell macaroni cooked & drained

2 bunches green onions, cleaned & chopped

5-6 celery stalks, cleaned & chopped

4 (12 oz.) cans tuna in water, drained

5-6 hardboiled eggs, chopped

8 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

48 oz. Miracle Whip

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Mix all above ingredients together well and refrigerate overnight before serving. Serves 12 (at least!)

(Note: you can see that this recipe makes a large amount-just perfect for a summer picnic or party, but it can also be halved for a smaller number of people

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I found myself thinking of this recipe yesterday and wishing I already had some made in the fridge so I could go ‘snack on it’  (read that: kinda pig out). I’m definitely NOT a fan of tuna, but this recipe is really tasty!

Hope you have a great day today and do something you ENJOY! (Even if it’s only 5 minutes of resting your eyes, or staring at the clouds drifting in the sky…take a little time to pamper YOU! You’re WORTH IT!

Hugs;

Pammie

Grabbing a Few Free Minutes

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A rather quiet week here so far; Grandson is taking a nap after a rather rousing game of ‘race the car into Grandma’s feet and see if she can catch it’, and then a short stint in the sandbox…ahhhhhh, naptime: that total solitude much appreciated by parents and grandparents alike!

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Last night was my knit group night and we were 14 strong. It appears the ‘alternate’ Tuesday place that some of us visited (between my regular every-other-Tues. meetings) will now have to be re-located as our old place closed up! The new plan: next Tues. (Alternate week) we’re going to try out Tim Horton’s about 20 min. away. Last night our ‘regular’ meeting location (Panera Bread) treated our group to free samples of brownie bites AND slices of their Danishes…talk about getting spoiled! (I tried the brownie and declined the Danish-nothing against Danishes but I’d had enough carbs for that day!). We were sort of joking “Wonder what goodies Tim Horton’s might offer us? Should we sort-of tell them how nicely we’re treated at Panera?” (grin). A little later I’m going to write a Thank You note to the manager at Panera, thanking them for their patience and kind treatment of my group…and they ARE patient! Each 2 week meeting I come in and totally re-arrange a large part of their tables & chairs in order to accomodate our rather large group. (Also make a point of putting everything back as it was before we leave and cleaning up our area…it’s always nice to leave things as they were found originally.)

Since it’s a rather slow day and I don’t have any really interesting things to post about, thought I’d toss in another recipe. This is another of the ones I put together for the homeschool cooking class. It’s a kind of ‘snack’, rather than a meal but it’s healthy, filling and quick to prepare.

Turkey Tortilla Wrap-Ups

1 lb. ground turkey, cooked and grease drained

1 pkg flour tortillas

1 (25.6 oz. ) jar spaghetti sauce

1 (8 oz.) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese

—-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place tortilla on a cookie sheet and spread approximately 2 T. spaghetti sauce in center of tortilla, spread around. Sprinkle about 2 T. cooked turkey on top of sauce and top with a sprinkling of Cheddar cheese. Fold tortilla in half and proceed with assembling rest of tortillas. When all tortillas are assembled, place cookie sheet in oven and bake approximately 20-25 minutes in order to heat ingredients and melt cheese. Remove from oven, let cool then enjoy!

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Speaking of enjoying…I’m going to go enjoy a few ‘quiet minutes’ before my grandson wakes up and wants lunch!

Have a great day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on May 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags:

Mother’s Day-2009

happy mother's day sign

This year Mother’s Day found us celebrating in rather unusual, but quite inventive ways. After church my husband (driving my van) stopped and filled up the tank and checked the front tire for air. Now that might not seem like much to most people, but for me-it showed me he loves me. While driving home he asked if we’d like to have Burger King for lunch-“Hey, it saves you fixing lunch!”…another plus! Later in the day oldest son called to inform me he was coming over later to deliver a pie he’d made for me/us: “Which would you like: lemon merangue, chocolate mousse, or strawberry?” I told him I was having trouble deciding between chocolate and strawberry (I really don’t care for merangue of any sort/flavor).  I finally came up with chocolate, since that would be the flavor most of us would like best.  “You know what? I’ll bring both!” Later that day the rest of the bunch decided that they should take me out for Chinese buffet dinner, so that’s what we did.  Yes, against my better judgement, I over-ate…but it was glorious! Fresh steamed shrimp, crab rangoon, green beans, sushi, stuffed mushrooms, butter shrimp…I had it all!  (Dare I admit I had a slice of chocolate mousse for breakfast today? It was yummy!)

Also, one of my special needs guys gifted me with a lovely salmon-colored geranium on Wednesday, so I really feel surrounded by the love of others, and isn’t that what Mother’s Day is all about?

I had a wonderful day; hoping yours was just as nice.

Hugs;

Pammie

(ps: Started afghan #171 Saturday!)

Always Learning

"Butterfly Quilting Pattern"

"Butterfly Quilting Pattern"

Like my friend, “Momma”, I’m always trying to learn something new-it’s essential to keeping good mental health.  About a week ago I received a shipment of knit squares and among them was one that really intrigued me. It was made in a pattern I’ve never seen before which promptly sent me to all my knit stitch books to try to find it. After much searching I found what I thought looked very much like this little square, so I set about trying to see if I could copy it.  YES! Success! As you can see in the photo above, this is the finished product of a new (to me) stitch; it’s called “Butterfly Quilting Stitch” and I found it in Donna Kooler’s “Encyclopedia of Knitting” (pg. 223).  It is actually a rather easy stitch, once you get the ‘hang’ of it; much like the last stitch I conquered (Ballband Pattern), it is another variation on knit/purl and slip stitches, with a total number of 12 rows to complete one ‘pattern’ (the square takes about 2 1/2 ‘patterns’ to make one 7 inch square.) Oh! Forgot to mention that Ms. Kooler’s pattern comes out with much bigger ‘open spaces’ between the quiltings. When I first completed my square I showed it to my husband (with great glee on my part). His comment? The other square’s spaces are much closer together…which sent me back to the pattern to see if I could actually de-construct the pattern and actually figure out how to make smaller ‘spaces’ between quilting. Took me a while, but I did it! THAT made me even happier than finding and conquering the pattern in the first place!  In my knit group we have a lady who is a whiz at knitting. She’s known (in our group) as one who just sort of looks at anything then “Poof!” It’s made…no pattern! When she brings in things she’s knit and people ask her about them, she usually replys something like: “Well the pattern said to do this, but I just figured that I’d take it apart and change it a little”…ya gotta admire talent when you see it!  (that’s NOT me…I’m just giggly-happy that I can copy something that other people have knit…as long as it’s relatively simple to begin with!).

Anyway, that’s my tales of knitting for the day. As you probably know me by now…I’ve made at least 5 more of the ‘new square pattern’ squares since I first learned this yesterday. (Oh, and managed to read another of my favorite author’s books  Daniel Silva “The English Assassin”…one of his first books.) *and finished another afghan, to boot). It was a pleasant, quiet day yesterday spent with knitting and reading.

Enjoy your day today! It’s 70+ degrees out and very sunny…a perfect day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Announcing the Winner(s)!

As many of you know, last month I ran a Giveaway Contest for all who had contributed in any way to my ministry: “The Ghana Project/Key of Hope”. After carefully recording each and every person’s name who contributed in any way to the project, the names were entered into a list on a random number generator and we have a winner! (winners, actually!)

PEG STARKOSKI & HER GROUP: Seacrest Presbyterian Church, Boynton Beach, Florida!

I had fun picking up various items for the giveaway. Let’s see…the prize contained:

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A ‘dancing swans’ coffee mug, a sampler box of herbal fruit teas from Celestial Seasonings, a box of butter cookies topped with melted chocolate, a bag of Dove chocolate eggs, a 16″x15″ linen carrying bag, a notepad & pen, snips, a small clip-on travel light, a small dry erase board & pen, a skein of Red Heart “Heathers” teal blue yarn, a skein of Bernat Sox yarn (1 skein=1 pr. of socks), 1 skein Debbie Mumm  “Radiations” (her newest yarn) in varigated greens, 1 skein of Sugar & Cream cotton yarn in “Strawberry” (sort of varigated pinks & white), 1 skein of Lion Brand Trellis ribbon & directions for crocheting a necklace, several crochet directions booklets, several booklets for afghans, some handmade stitch markers (made by me) and a mint green (small projects) tote. (I loved the tote~almost ended up buying one for me…still might do that! It’s perfect for something like knitting socks…there are several zippered pockets, a larger net pocket and it all folds together like a purse!)

I’m very happy to mail this out to the winners-A VERY BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped with the project-as I wrote to  my friend the newspaper reporter: Without all the help from all of the people who knit/crocheted squares, donated yarn, or helped crochet borders on afghans the total number of afghans would NEVER have reached this proportion. If I had to do it all myself, ‘maybe’ I might be able to make one afghan a month…with all your help, it’s one a day (if I’m swift!). (beginning afghan #167 today).

This was a lot of fun-maybe we’ll do it again next year!

Hugs;

Pammie