Hunkerin’ Down for the Long Haul!

Watching the weather channel last night pretty much convinced me that most of you (and us) will be in for some really NASTY weather in the next two days. Depending on your location you could either get really REALLY cold-frigid temperatures and/OR really heavy snowfall (that’s us). According to the reports (which you may or may NOT choose to believe) we are going to get something like a foot OR MORE snow coming in sometime tomorrow afternoon/evening. Let’s just say, that report certainly determined the activities I would be attempting TODAY! I’m now home, warm and snug, in my home with a cuppa coffee and a nice, thick slice of raisin toast to keep me company. Earlier my adventures included a trip to: the Post Office, drug store, dollar store, grocery store and finally to the saddlery to get my husband’s (birthday) moccasins! (Yes, they were late in arriving). We now have a nice store of foods in the ‘larder’, cleaning supplies, bathroom-drug store supplies and my husband has ‘happy feet’!  He’s home from his last day at work (only had to go in to sign the paperwork) after going out to breakfast with his work crew as a ‘good-bye breakfast’. He still has the company dinner coming; he & one of his friends decided that they’re going to combine their retirement parties and both have them on the same day, at the same location (our very FAVORITE pizza place): Shields Pizza, by his work (that’s tentatively scheduled for end of February – depending on the weather at the time). I took him with me to get his moccasins, just for him to absorb some of that store’s ambiance – it’s definitely a WESTERN store – lots of clothing, boots and barn/cowboy-type stuff (interesting store).  While at the grocery and drug stores I noticed that I’m not the only one trying to make sure my family is well-provided for in case of the BIG SNOW – lots of people were stocking up – the grocery store was unusually busy/full for mid-morning on a Monday. The checkout lady and I chatted about how busy we were predicting it’s going to get in the next 24 hours.

Hope you are in good condition for the upcoming weather. I’m thinking of posting a notice on the Knit Group site about us not meeting – Hey! They can’t get in the building without me (still haven’t got a key from that church, so even I can’t get in without the church secretary letting me in!). It sure doesn’t look like a good 2-3 days for almost the entire United States, weather-wise!  On a good note, in the mail today were two knitting books I’d ordered on sale from Amazon – I totally forgot about them! Full larder, books to read, more knitting than I could ever finish – looks like we’re ‘good to go’!

Stay warm and health!

Hugs;

Pammie

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Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm  Comments (1)  
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A Little Bit of Everything!

This is one of those posts that have, like the title says: A Little Bit of Everything! To start with TOMORROW IS MY HUSBAND’S LAST DAY AT WORK-HE’S OFFICIALLY RETIRING! Of course, that makes him happy (and me, too) – it’s ‘time’.

Next, working on square #2 for my friend & her husband (who’s awaiting a mechanical heart transplant). The Knit group is rallying nicely and we should have a good number of knit & crocheted squares to make an afghan. I’m sticking with ‘picture squares’ – those that have a knit picture in them. Square #1 is 9 small hearts; square #2 I’m just beginning and it’s a big heart surrounding a little heart. I enjoy the final product, but it’s lots of reading-every-single-line to get the pattern correct. Last night I had put about 1 1/2 hours into a nice wine-colored square, only to find that #1: the color didn’t make the design “POP” at all and #2: using the needle size I was, the pattern wasn’t showing, either. Ripped it out – switched to a light pink and smaller needles – we’ll see if that works.

One of my friends on Facebook posted about this interesting site (I’m not a tree-hugger at heart so please don’t get your hackles up); the woman who creates these ‘fashions’ IS making an environmental statement with her creations. I just think it’s interesting what she’s done using discarded materials like old cassette tapes, aluminum pop can tabs, left-over political door hangers and other things. Check it out – it’s very interesting – amusing –

http://recyclerunway.com/fashions/faux-fur-coat/

Got my van back from the transmission place – it’s a little stiff on the shifting, but it sure is nice to know that it’s MY car, not a rental. After getting the van back and chatting with the transmission guy he said he didn’t know I was using a rental then said: “I wish I’d known – you don’t want to know what I get rentals for” (so, of course, I asked him!) Turns out he also gets rentals from the same place. I paid $69.99 per day for a ‘regular sized’ car (the HHR) – HE gets small 4-passenger cars from them for $20 a day! Oh well…maybe next time I’ll ask, first?

The special needs Gym Night last Friday went well – I was a bit exhausted, as our two regular helper kids (high school kids who volunteer in our group) couldn’t make it and our one adult ‘helper’ also didn’t come – that left my partner (who does the devotions) and me. Let’s just say I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, between cooking/serving/cleaning up. We cooked and served 72 hot dogs and there were NONE left!  My feet were killing me when I got home!

Have a few good-sounding recipes for ya:

—————————————–

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

4 skinless, boneless
chicken breast halves2 tablespoons butter2 (10.75 ounce) cans
condensed cream of chicken soup1 onion, finely diced2 (10 ounce) packages
refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

Place the chicken,butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no
longer raw in the center.

(recipe: Mary Free – Marys Recipe Exchange)

========================

Chicken Casserole

2 large whole chicken breasts
1 1/2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery or chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1 1/2 tbsp. sherry, or dry white wine
1/4 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt or plain salt to taste
12 ounces egg noodles, cooked
4 ounces butter, melted
Paprika or parsley for garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook chicken with the onions, celery and salt and pepper in large pot covered with water for about 2 hours. Drain, chill, remove meat from bones and cut into chunks. (Save broth once drained for other recipes. Just put into ice cure trays and once frozen, transfer cures to a plastic freezer bag.) Mix remaining ingredients, except egg noodles and butter in a large mixing bowl. Melt 4 ounces butter and pour into a 9×12 inch pan. Pour the noodles on the bottom of prepared pan, and then layer the chicken over the noodles. Then pour the sauce over the entire dish. Bake 45 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika or parsley for garnish.

(recipe: MomsMenu.com)

================

Hot Italian Beef Sandwiches – (Crockpot)

1 small lean boneless beef roast – sirloin tip or top round, 1-1/2 to 2 lb.
1 large white sweet onion cut into thin slices
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 cup water
1 jar sweet peppers rings (14oz. to 16oz.)
6 sub rolls

Place roast in  crockpot; add onions. Mix  salad dressing mix and water together. Add to crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours or until beef is very tender. Remove beef from crockpot; shred; place shredded beef back in crockpot with onions. Add  sweet pepper rings and cook on low for about 45 more minutes. Serve on sub rolls.

(recipe: Joan – 1_Comfort_Foods Digest)

===============

Fantastic Lime Bars

Bottom Crust Layer:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
Top Layer:
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (approximately 1 large lime)
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest (optional)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 to 5 drops green food coloring

For the Bottom Crust:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix together flour and powdered sugar. Cut in the butter or margarine until crumbly and the mixture clings together. Spread the dough in and 8×8-inch pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. While
the crust is baking prepare the topping:

For the Topping:

In a mixing bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Add  lime juice, zest, sugar,
flour, and food coloring. Mix well and pour mixture over the hot baked
crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes . Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool and cut into small squares. Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Note: Recipe can be doubled and made in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes

(recipe: Joan – 1_Comfort_Foods Digest)

================

Cheesy Chili Soup

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) beef broth
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 t. chili powder
1 c. shredded Mexican style cheese

Bring all ingredients except cheese to a boil in a medium saucepan. Simmer on low for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in 1/3 cup cheese. Serve into bowls; top with remaining cheese. Serves: 4

(recipe: Sandy  – Marys Recipe Exchange)

=============================

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup (crockpot)

1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 soup can water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into strips
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Stir picante sauce, soup, chicken, corn, beans, water and cumin in a 4-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.

THEN:
Stir  tortillas, cheese and cilantro into cooker. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with additional cheese, if desired

(recipe:  Sandy – Marys Recipe Exchange)

===========================

There ya go – lots of hearty, filling and body-warming dishes along with a rather unusual dessert using lime (for a change!). Weather-wise it’s been OK – right now it’s about 25 degrees F., sunny and clear. We did get around 4 inches of light, fluffy snow yesterday but the roads are clear and you can brush off the snow easily, so it’s no big deal (Amazing how blase one gets in the winter when you live in a cold state!) Hope this day finds you happily ensconsed in a nice warm environment while enjoying whatever amuses you!

Hugs;

Pammie

Mid-Week Miscellaneous

Hello, All!

Here we are at Wednesday already and it’s been another rousing week so far. Picked up the rental car Monday – now driving a Chevy HHR – to me it’s like a mini PT Cruiser. It’s OK  – 4 door, seats 4, great handling and a huge back ‘trunk’ area. Not seeing me buying one any time soon, but it works well for a rental AND it’s got heat! Got the call today on my van – the trans is shot (I thought so); they’ll have it done by Friday. That’s Ok, my husband is still awaiting the news on the Buy Out – word Friday. He’s decided that it’s more fun ‘waiting’ if you’re home, so he’s taken vacation days and will do so until Friday when he goes in to pick up his check and see what the final answer is. We’ve been enjoying our time together – this morning he went out and got ‘our favorite breakfast’: Tim Horton’s coffee and their breakfast sausage/egg/cheese/biscuit sandwich (I’m getting SPOILED! AND I LIKE IT!) Yes, I know – it’s not good to eat too much of those little yummy delights – but it’s always nice to have them every once in awhile!

Last night was the Knit/Movie night for my ladies and we had a great time; dinner was huge baked potatoes and all the yummy toppings like Cheddar Cheese, chopped onions, sour cream, butter, real bacon crumbles, chili, etc.  The movie was “Hairspray!” with John Travolta. I saw it on TV and it’s a riot – just what I needed – good food, great friends and a funny movie. I laughed until I cried at one point. Today I came up with another group project idea. One of our long-time member’s husband is awaiting a mechanical heart – he’s only 36. He’s been in and out of the hospital quite a lot in the past month and is now home trying to gain strength. His wife also runs their on-line business and is learning how to cook for his very specific diet as well as caring for him 24 hrs. I remembered the afghan we, as a group, made last year for another of our members and just sent out an email to the group to see if I can ‘rally the troups’ one more time for this couple. The idea is the same as my Ghana Afghan project – knit or crochet one or more 7 x 7 inch squares, hand them in to me then I sew them together and crochet a border. We’ll see how this idea ‘flies’.

Tonight is my special needs group and this Friday we will be doing a Gym Night. Gym Nights are something we do once a month during the winter months to give the group an extra activity. We have a light supper, short devotion then they can do one or more of the many activities like: basketball, floor bowling, putting together jig saw puzzles, coloring on coloring pages or just sitting and chatting. It’s a fun 2 hour evening.

Made a huge batch of chili yesterday (took a bunch for the Potato Bar last night) still have lots left. The funny thing is: it usually works out that when I decide to make chili it’s in the same week as our Gym Night (we’re having chili Friday night, too!) so I get a looooooooong stretch of chili in my future. We also have it on hot dogs (chili dogs!).

Speaking of food, have some yummy-sounding recipes for ya:

=================

Spinach & Potato Casserole

2  (10 oz.)  pkgs  frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1  (10 3/4 oz.)  can  cream of potato soup
1/2 lb.  Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine spinach and soup in 1 quart baking dish and mix well. Sprinkle cheese over top. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. 4 to 6 servings

(recipe: Rhonda G.- Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

—————————–

Bow Tie Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

8 oz. whole grain or regular bow tie pasta or penne pasta(about 2-1/2 cups)
3 C.  broccoli florets
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 to 1-1/4 pounds total),cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. Adobo seasoning(*see tip below)
2 T. olive oil, margarine, or butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4  C. light mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/8  tsp. black pepper
2  T. finely shredded Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions, except add broccoli for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain well. Return to hot pan. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine chicken pieces and adobo seasoning; toss to coat. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add chicken; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly brown and cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add chicken to drained pasta and broccoli in Dutch oven. Stir in the mayonnaise and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. To serve, top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 (1 1/2-cup) servings.

*Test Kitchen Tip: Look for this seasoning blend at a market that specializes in Hispanic foods.

(recipe: Peg – Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

————————————

Skillet Stuffed Peppers

2 large green bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
Cooking spray
3/4 lb. ground round
1/2 C. water
1 (1.25 oz.) pkg. taco seasoning
1 (20 oz) pkg refrigerated mashed potatoes (such as Simply 
Potatoes)
1/4 C. (1 oz) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Place bell pepper halves, cut sides down, on a microwave-safe
dish; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 3 minutes
and 30 seconds or until pepper halves are crisp-tender. Let
stand, covered, 3 minutes (peppers will soften).While the
peppers cook, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high 
heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; cook 
3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add water and seasoning, 
and stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes
or until done.While beef cooks and peppers stand, cook 
the potatoes in microwave according to package directions,
omitting salt and fat. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture into
each pepper half; top each with 2/3 cup potatoes. Sprinkle 
each pepper half with 1 tablespoon cheese. Garnish with 
black pepper, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
(recipe: Recipe du Jour site)
=========================

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

1 (18.25-ounce) package Swiss chocolate cake mix
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Spoon 
batter into paper-lined muffin pans, filling two-thirds full.
Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an 
electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg, beating well; 
stir in chocolate morsels. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon
cream cheese mixture into center of batter.
Bake 25 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks. 
Store in refrigerator. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
(recipe: Recipe du Jour site)
=====================================

Bacon Tater Bake

2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 1/3 C. sour cream
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (32 oz) package tater tots

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine soup, sour cream and onion. 
Addbacon and Tater Tots; stir until combined. Transfer 
to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Cover and bake 50 minutes. 
Uncover and bake 8-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

============================

Yogurt or Sour Cream Onion Pork Chops

4 to 6 (1/2-inch thick) boneless pork chops
8 ounces plain yogurt or sour cream 
1/2 cup bread crumbs 
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix bread crumbs and soup mix together in a shallow plate.
Put yogurt or sour cream into a bowl, dip pork chops in 
it to coat well, then dip into the bread/soup mix. 
Place in a baking pan and bake 25 to 35 minutes, covered. 
Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.
================================
Hope you're having a good week so far; our weather is holding
in the 30's today, no snow and clear so I can't complain!

Big Hugs;
Pammie

Great Saying: (think I saw it on Facebook)
"There comes a time in life, when you walk away from
all the drama and people who create it. You surround
yourself with people who make you laugh, forget
the bad and focus on the good. So, love the 
people who treat you right. Forget about the
ones who don't. Life is too short to be 
anything but happy. Falling down is a part
of life - getting back up is living!"


Here We Go Again . . .

Sometimes in life the Lord gives you situations you’ve been through before – example: car troubles. (Yes, I can hear you – NOT AGAIN!). Today is no exception: got in my van ready for a quick trip to the grocery store. Drove to the end of the driveway, started to pull out into our road (which is a major thoroughfare, speed 45 MPH) when my car totally stops, blocking both lanes of traffic. After much shifting of gears (none of which worked, I remembered hearing/reading, whatever that sometimes when a transmission ‘goes’ you can still use REVERSE, so that’s what I did. Got it about 3 1/2 feet into my driveway before it totally stopped again. Car horns honking their anger at my having slowed their drive for a few minutes, I tried once more to see if going backwards up the drive would work – it didn’t. Right now my van is sitting at the end of the drive, with parking brake engaged, awaiting a tow to the transmission place. Now you KNOW that you’re a regular customer when you call them and say your last name and they respond with: ‘Oh HI, Pam!” With all the ‘bad’ going on in life, I always try to look for a blessing while going through the difficult times. There are several going on here: (1) Praise the Lord I’m HOME – safe- have heat/food/access to a bathroom, etc. (2) my car is NOT blocking 2 lanes of traffic on a major road (3) we have money in the bank to pay for the upcoming expense of getting a transmission (4) my car (and I) are NOT in a bad location whereby I might be in danger.  For example on that last comment: the other evening I drove home one of my special needs students. I knew that he lived in a ‘questionable’ neighborhood (hookers on the corner in the summer, some possible gangs in the area). I dropped him off in front of his house and immediately there were 2 big, high-up headlights in my rearview mirror. Went to turn around in the driveway across the street andone of my other students in the van said: “Oh-Oh-that’s the cops!” (Oh, great). I roll down the window to be blasted in the face with a very bright spotlight! (No flashing blue lights, no cop coming up to my door – just a spotlight!). I hear a very loud man’s voice say: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!” (me: Dropping off one of my students from church) “THAT GUY?” (me: yes – he’s in my special needs Bible study) Almost laughing:  “What church?” (I give the name then he says “It’s not a good neighborhood – there’s a drug house 2 doors down” (me: “I wouldn’t know, I live in xxx”  (5-6 miles away). Cop says: “Don’t go any farther forward; be careful driving out of here” – I leave. Whew! That was really freaky! I’ve never dealt with police without the flashing blue lights and them coming up to my door! I say to my passengers (which includes an older caregiver) “Wonder why they didn’t have the lights on? ” response: “Are you kidding? If they put the lights on they’d be in big danger, themselves! This neighborhood HATES cops!” If they got out of the car, they could get SHOT!” (oh, great!) Long story short: guess who’s NOT going to be driving that student any more – can’t afford to put my passengers (or myself) in that kind of danger. As one of my sons said: “Mom, he LIVES in the ‘hood . . . they know HIM, they don’t know some older (caucasian) lady” – you stick out like a sore thumb!” So NOW you see my extra thanks for my car breaking down in my OWN driveway! What a week!

Yesterday I ended up babysitting my grandson almost all day and driving him to and from his pre-school (about 8 miles away). That was a new experience but we used our time wisely – he chose to play board games! We played a total of 10 ’rounds’ of 4 different games – he won 8, I came in at a sorry “2” – he was thrilled at beating Gumma all those times!

I’ve set up a car rental for Monday morning, knowing that they aren’t going to get my transmission done soon – they usually take 2-3 days (this is not the first time we’ve had this done! BUT it’s the first time for THIS van!)  We were talking a few days ago about the upcoming possible retirement and one of the things discussed was a new (or gently used) van. We were hoping to limp the 2 current vans along until that time, but that’s OK, too – if we get my van fixed, we can get rid of my husband’s ‘beater’ and keep mine as a ‘spare’ (youngest son will be taking Drivers Ed probably this summer). Ah, the joys of being an adult, eh?

Well, that’s my ‘plight’ for today – I’m not flustered; just VERY glad it all happened HERE where we could arrange for a tow truck, car rental AND even got to go grocery shopping with my husband, using his car! Life is good – sometimes ya just gotta look for the ‘blessings’!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

Smiling on a Gray and Gloomy Day

After a night of strange dreams (involving clothing, food, emptied swimming pools and choir) I awoke to quiet whistling! Who is whistling THIS early in the morning? Turns out it was my husband who had returned from work, after taking the day off as a vacation day. He came in bearing breakfast: Tim Horton’s coffee and their egg/cheese/ sausage & biscuit sandwich – my favorite breakfast! He also was bearer of some (possibly) really great news – we’re still waiting on the retirement decision from the company. He was told he would hear, either way, by Weds. or Thurs of this week (today being Thurs). It appears that not many people jumped at this offer and the company has now added more monies to the ‘pot’ (buy out offer) AND those who get this would be done working (not by Feb 4th as the original offer stated) but by January 31st!  I find it a bit strange (but remember I’ve been retired now 27 years) that they would offer the buy-out, the employees put in their acceptance of this offer but then have to WAIT for the COMPANY to accept their acceptance of the offer . . . a little strange, but that’s Ok – now we wait.  When we first began discussing the idea of him retiring, he told me that his knees are just not holding up to the constant climbing telephone poles and going up & down in manholes – I understand. Now is the time and it would be wonderful IF we get this new buy-out offer (not saying how much $$$, but it would be very nice, even if they take taxes out of it). I’m happy for him. Yes, it will be an adjustment in our living, but though I hate to admit I’m/we’re getting older, it’s time for him to be able to enjoy life for awhile!  I know that I’m much busier now than I was when I was younger and I’m sure, in time, he will find something to pique his interests and keep him active. He’s mentioned joining a gym to use their treadmill (during the winter); we have a very nice gym not 5 minutes from our house and their fees are very low ($10 a month, no contracts!). As he said: “Maybe we’ll BOTH join it!” – who knows?! I DO know I’m not one for physical activity but I also know I’ve let my ‘walking around the block’ slip from once a day to once every 3-4 MONTHS! Not good…sigh. That’s what’s in our future . . . soon. Look out, World – there’s a new retiree comin’ your way!

As to recipes, haven’t seen very many that sounded yummy, but here’s a few to whet your whistle:

===================

Hearty Ham Casserole

1/2 (16 oz.) pkg. elbow macaroni
2 C. cooked ham, cubed
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/3 C. minced onion
1 (11 oz.) can Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. crushed potato chips

Preheat oven 350º F.
Prepare macaroni according to pkg. directions; drain. Place in bowl and mix with all other ingredients except potato chips. Pour mixture into buttered 2 quart casserole and top with crushed potato chips. Bake 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 4-6 servings.
(recipe: Kroger)

————————————-

MISS PATTI’S HOT CHEESE BISCUITS        

2 1/2 cups good quality biscuit mix
1 large egg,  beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated mild Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 to 2 Tbsp diced fine jalapenos, or to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.  Place biscuit mix in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg into the milk. When 
combined, whisk in butter and pour over the biscuit mix, 
stirring with a fork to make a soft batter. Add cheeses and 
jalapenos, stirring to evenly distribute. Drop mixture by 
tablespoonful onto a nonstick cookie sheet, allowing at least 
an inch between biscuits. Bake in preheated oven for 
14 minutes or until golden brown and baked through.
Remove from oven and serve hot. Makes approx 1 1/2 dozen.
(recipe: Lisa B.; Recipe du Jour site)
--------------------------------------

Mexican Meatball Soup (Albondigas) 

1 can (7-oz.) diced green chiles 
2 cans (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes 
2 cans (14-oz.) low-sodium beef broth 
2 cans (14-oz.) low-sodium chicken broth 
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen meatballs (cocktail size works best) 
1  medium white onion, chopped 
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
1/2 cup converted rice 
2 tsp dried oregano 
Salt & pepper,  to taste 

Combine all ingredients in crock-pot. 
Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
Makes 8 servings
(recipe: Margee Lee Recipe du Jour site)
----------------------------
White Bean and Chicken Chili

1  T. vegetable oil
2  whole bone-in chicken breasts (about 3 lb.)
Salt and pepper
2  onions, chopped
4  cloves garlic, chopped
2  4-oz. cans roasted green chilies, drained
1  T. ground cumin
2  (15-oz.) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
4  C. low-sodium chicken broth

Warm oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 
chicken with salt and pepper, and place skin side down
in skillet. Cook 6 minutes, turning once. Transfer to 
a plate; remove skin. Drain all but 2 Tbsp. fat from pan.
Sauté onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Stir onion mixture,
chilies, 1 cup water, cumin, chicken, beans and broth 
into slow cooker.Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, 
stirring twice. Remove 1 cup beans plus 1/2 cup liquid
from slow cooker. Puree in a blender; return to slow cooker. 
Shred chicken and return to slow cooker. Serve hot.
(recipe: Sandy - Mary's Recipe Exchange)
-----------------------------------
(Lowfat) Mocha Fudge Bread Pudding

1 1/3 C. ONE PERCENT low-fat milk
1 C. hot strong brewed coffee
1/4  C. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 C. egg substitute
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
Dash of salt
2  large egg whites
8  C.(1-inch) cubed white bread (about 10 ounces)
Cooking spray
1 1/4 C. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine low-fat milk, hot coffee, and dark brown sugar 
in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to
a simmer, stirring until brown sugar dissolves.  Remove 
from heat, and cool to room temperature. Add egg substitute,
vanilla extract, salt, and egg whites, stirring with a 
whisk. Combine egg mixture and bread in a large bowl, 
tossing gently to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.Spoon 
half of bread mixture into an 8-inch square baking 
dish coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle evenly 
with chocolate chips. Top chocolate chips with 
remaining bread mixture. Bake at 350° for 45 
minutes or until center is set. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving.
(recipe: Sandy - Marys Recipe Exchange)
------------------------------
Quick Lunch-Time Pizza

1 1/2  cups Original Bisquick® mix  
 1/3  cup very hot water  
 3  eggs  
 1  cup sour cream  
 1  cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)  
 4  medium green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)  
 1/2  teaspoon onion salt  
 1  cup finely chopped fully cooked ham

Heat oven to 425°F. 
Grease 12-inch pizza pan with shortening or cooking spray. 
In small bowl, mix Bisquick mix and hot water until soft
dough forms.Press dough on bottom and up side of pan with 
finger dipped in Bisquick mix. Bake 10 minutes.
In small bowl, beat eggs. Stir in sour cream, cheese, 
onions and onion salt; pour over crust. Sprinkle ham
over egg mixture. Bake about 25 minutes or until set.
Cool 5 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: Rhonda - Marys Recipe Exchange)
===============================
There you have it - a little sweet, a little savory and 
some nice, hearty dishes thrown in! How's YOUR weather
lately? Ours has been threatening to be really nasty
(and was, for awhile early yesterday with black ice, 
but it melted - Yay!). It's been mostly in the 30's,
clear and gray, a few snow flurries - nothing you can't
drive or walk through. It's now 21 degrees at 10:24 a.m.
and supposed to be getting close to the one-digit 
temperatures a little closer to the weekend. Just remember,
for those of you in the colder temperatures: Stay warm,
remember to do something you like - like sipping a nice,
warm mug of hot chocolate with little marshmallows thrown
in 'just for fun', RELAX a little and enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: After relating all my 'news' above I totally forgot
to tell you: the first Knit Group meeting at the new
location went amazingly well! We had 16 people show up
and I heard many comments of "Wow - look at all the 
space!"; "Look at the lighting - I can actually SEE
what I'm working on!"; "This is NICE!" I didn't go
around the room and ask, but I'm pretty sure almost
all of those who came were happy with the move!

 

The Scarf with a “Secret”

(You can’t see the ‘secret’ in the photo)

Thursday my grandson (age 4) was playing, then came up to me and said (with huge smile): “Gumma (his name for me) – would you make me a scarf? I LOVE scarfs!” (the look, alone, would melt anyone’s heart, let alone the tone of his voice). Next question: what color would you like your scarf? Answer: Red, Green and PURPLE! (Oh, my!) I went digging in my vast yarn stash and found some dark green and some bright red and began. (Somehow adding ANY purple just wouldn’t work, in my eyes). During the knitting process he kept asking, every fifteen minutes or so: “Is it done yet?” I would hold up what was completed and ask him: “Is your neck THIS big?” He’d giggle and answer: “No.” We watched a movie together (“Despicable Me” – kid’s cartoon movie, very funny); he watched the movie while I knit. Pretty soon it got to be him holding the color I wasn’t working on and then asking: “Are you ready for the red/green yet?” At one point my middle son got home from work and sat on the couch between us. He picked up a skein of yarn (much to my grandson’s dismay!) “Put that Down! Put down the Knitting Stuff!” (guess he got his point across, eh?) It took me some ‘doing’ to convince grandson, later, that I couldn’t possibly finish his scarf that evening but I would deliver it when it was done. I just finished it after some re-doing one part – decided that I didn’t like the crocheted border I’d put on it; changed it to red & green fringe on the ends. As I was folding it up a thought hit me and I ‘did it’ – took one strand of dark purple and made a fringe which is hidden in one end of the scarf – my grandson’s “Secret”! Knowing him (and his 4 yr old mind) he’ll delight in knowing that he has a secret hidden in his scarf – can’t wait to deliver it tomorrow after church!

Sometimes we all need a little ‘secret surprise’ to make our day!

Hope you’re enjoying your day/evening; it’s been cold and snowy here (in the mid 20’s). Had to go out very early this morning (7:15 a.m.) to take youngest to a competition – it had snowed overnight and was still continuing to snow while I was driving. Let’s just say a trip that would normally take about 15-20 min. driving 50 MPH took a LOT longer when only being able to drive 30-35 due to the conditions. When I finally got back home, it took quite awhile for me to warm up again. (by the way, “Momma” – your crocheted multi-colored afghan was what I got out to snuggle in! Worked perfectly at helping me get warm again!)

Big Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

More “Out with the Old, In with the New”

It’s hard to believe it’s already Thursday! This has been a bit of a whirl-wind week. To start with, husband came home from work Monday with the announcement that he’d been offered a ‘buy-out’ by his company BUT has to decide by Friday morning! IF he decides to take this offer he would be retired, probably, by the end of February! Yes, it’s earlier than we’d originally planned, but the offer is a really good one so we’ve been talking (and praying) over the final decision for most of the week.

Tuesday found us ‘sort of’ house-bound due to a large snowstorm. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to the ‘off night’ knit group, so stayed home and made a (in my opinion) stellar Turkey Pot Pie.

Wednesday found me out and about, getting some shopping done and driving to my special needs group. Last night was Music/Birthday night (5 birthdays this month in the group) so it was a Fast/Furious/Fun night for all. (Temperatures were at 15 degrees – Brrrrrrrr!)

Today being Thursday, I put together a spread sheet for my husband of all the monthly expenses. After that I decided to go out ‘shopping’ using my Christmas gift card to Meijers (from one of my kids in the special needs group). My intention was to try to locate winter boots, as mine are at least 12-15 years old. They originally were white with black trim but have slowly changed to a rather dirty white (definitely not attractive, for sure!). They’re still functional and, if you know me, I’m very frugal which made the final decision for me at Meijers concerning boots. Yes, they did have some; NO, they weren’t on sale – almost the same boots (white w/black trim) but these came almost to my knees (don’t like that) and were $35.00 – I decided I’d wait until I check out a few more stores before buying some (or, perhaps, waiting until NEXT winter). For part of my ‘gift card present’ I did purchase a cute ON SALE top for $7 (was $14); dark green w/ long sleeves and a tiny dark green plaid trim on the front.

Along with the ‘new changes’ comes the Knit/Crochet group moving to the new location next Tuesday. I’ve been mulling this decision all week; part of me says even I’M not really happy with the move, but that’s only because I’m fearful of losing some of our regular members who voted no. I even wrote an email to one (she had told me her vote) to ask her to re-consider (she said she just didn’t want to give up the amenities that Panera Bread offers – food and drinks). She did say that she and another regular member (whom I DIDN’T know voted No) are going to come to the new location and give it a try (YAY!). Among my purchases today was two packages of bagels: Plain and Cinnamon-Raisin along with 2 kinds of flavored cream cheese spreads (and 12 bottled waters). I know that I’m not responsible for bringing food & drinks, but I just wanted the first visit to be a little more ‘user friendly’ (am kind of tossing up whether to purchase a couple $5 Little Caesar’s Pizzas – haven’t decided yet.) We’ll see how it all goes (I’m holding off on bringing supplies for making coffee until I see just how many people will WANT coffee at 6:30 – 9 p.m. at night). Tomorrow morning is my visit to the new location to see it and obtain the key – I’m trying to stay positive with this decision and moving forward with confidence! (Hey – if it doesn’t work, we can always ‘retreat’ to Panera again…)

There’s been a good selection of yummy sounding recipes coming to my inbox lately, so thought I’d share with you:

==========

Red Onion Soup

2 teaspoons butter
Cooking spray
4 red onions, quartered & thinly sliced crosswise(about
  2 1/2 lb.)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 quart water
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
4 parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
6 (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread 
  baguette 
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven coated with cooking
spray over medium heat. Add onions, salt & pepper; 
cover and cook over low heat 30 minutes or until onions 
are browned, stirring occasionally.Increase heat to 
medium-high; stir in wine and tomato paste. Cook until
wine almost evaporates (about 5 mins).Add water, 
tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves;
bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 
minutes.Stir in soy sauce; discard parsley and bay 
leaves.Preheat broiler. Ladle 1 1/3 cups soup into 
6 ovenproof bowls.Place bowls on a baking sheet. 
Top each serving with 1 bread slice, and sprinkle
each bread slice with 2 tablespoons Gruyère and 
about 1 tablespoon Asiago. Broil 3 minutes or until 
cheese melts. Makes 6 servings.
(recipe: Recipe Du Jour site, 1/13/2011)
=======================
THREE CHEESE MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE

 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
 1 cup sour cream
 1 (3oz.) package cream cheese, softened
 1/4 cut real butter, softened
 2/3 cup milk
 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded Muenster cheese
 1 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. pepper
 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
 1 tsp. dried basil flakes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook potatoes in boiling water, to cover, 15 minutes or
until tender. Drain. Beat potatoes and next 3 ingredients
at medium speed with an electric mixer, until smooth.
Stir in milk and remaining ingredients.Spoon into a
lightly greased 2-quart baking dish.Bake, uncovered,
15 to 20 minutes or until throughly heated. Serves 4
---
NOTE:
*Can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance, but keep in
refrigerator. Remove and set at room temperature
for 30 minutes before baking.
 (recipe:Sandy - Marys Recipe Exchange)
=============================
Stuffed Meatballs

 2 lb.hamburger
 3/4 C. evaporated milk
 10-3/4 oz. can cram of mushroom soup
 2 T. ketchup
 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
 6-1/4 oz box beef-flavored stuffing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix hamburger and milk. Mix soup, ketchup and
Worcestershire sauce. Prepare stuffing according to
package directions. Roll hamburger in ball; flatten out.
Put stuffing in center of each patty. Wrap hamburger
around stuffing to make a meatball. Place meatballs in
baking dish. Pour soup mixture over top. Bake 40 minutes.
(makes 15 patties).
Recipe: Sandy - Marys Recipe Exchange)
==============================
BLT Soup
 
1/3 lb. bacon, diced
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 head lettuce, julienne (2" x 1 1/2")
3 Tbsp. flour
1 1/4 qts. hot water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 ham bouillon cube
1 (16-oz. can) tomatoes in puree, diced
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup half and half
*Garnish: bacon crumbles, cherry tomato slices,
 buttered croutons

In a large stockpot, saute bacon until lightly brown.
Do not drain fat;add butter and heat. Stir in lettuce
and saute for 2 minutes. Add flour, mixing well and saute
2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly stir in hot
water, chicken & ham bouillon cubes, tomatoes,
nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Heat to boiling.Reduce heat;
simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
half and half; heat to simmering. Garnish and serve.
Serves 8.
(recipe: Sandy - Marys Recipe Exchange)
============================
Italian Vegetable Soup 

 1 pound ground beef
 1 cup onion, chopped
 1 cup chopped celery
 1 cup chopped carrots
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 1 can (16 ounces) tomatoes, chopped, with juice
 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
 2 cans (19 ounces each) white or kidney beans
 2 cups water
 5 teaspoons beef broth
 1 tablespoon parsley
 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
 2 cups chopped cabbage
 1 can (15.25 ounces) corn
 1 can (14.5-15.25 ounces) green beans or peas
 1 cup macaroni or pasta 

Brown beef; drain, and rinse. Place in medium sauce/soup pan.
Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato
sauce,  beans, water, broth, parsley, oregano, & basil. Bring
to a boil. Lower  heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add cabbage,
corn, green beans or peas, and pasta. Bring to a boil, then
 simmer until vegetables are tender. Add more water if needed.
Serves 6.
 (recipe: Kitchen Update - MomsMenu.com)
=============================
Carrot-Ginger Soup

4 C. chopped carrots
1 large onion -- chopped
2 stalks celery -- chopped
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. ground ginger
2 cans chicken broth -- (14.5 oz.)
3 C. water
1/2 C. Minute white rice -- uncooked
1 C. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Cook and stir carrots, onion and celery in hot oil
in large saucepot on medium-high heat 5 minutes or
until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in ginger. Add broth and
water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low;
simmer 15-20 mins or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in rice; simmer an additional 10 minutes. Stir
in milk. Puree soup with a hand-held blender, or in
batches using a countertop blender or food processor.
Return soup puree to pot; cook on low heat until heated
through, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
 (recipe courtesy: Kraft Foods)
================================
Skinny Pizza Casserole

 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 (9.4-ounce) package precooked turkey sausage, 
   coarsely chopped
 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
 1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough
 1 (8-ounce) package low-fat mozzarella cheese (12 slices)
 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Preheat oven 425°F.
Spray 9" x 13" baking dish with cooking spray.In a large
skillet, heat oil over high heat; add sausage, and  mushrooms;
cook 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, oregano,
garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and cook 2 to 3 minutes,
or until  heated through.
Meanwhile, unroll pizza dough and press into bottom
and halfway up  sides of prepared baking dish. Line bottom
of crust with 6 slices  mozzarella cheese. Top with meat
mixture.Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes. Top with
remaining cheese slices,  and sprinkle with Parmesan
cheese. Bake 5 minutes, or until crust is  browned and
cheese is melted. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes then slice
and  serve. Serves 6.
(recipe: Lana Jackson: 1 Comfort Foods Digest site)
========================================
Now that I've stirred your taste buds, it's time to
wrap this post up; more 'stuff' to get done before
grandson comes over (and wears me out!).

Enjoy your day/evening - stay warm, try to 'treat'
yourself to something you like (like a nice, soothing, warm
cup of cocoa (with marshmallows, of course!), or a bowl
of soup or even just a few minutes relaxing with your
eyes closed and your feet up! Life is short - (eat dessert
first!) - take time to enjoy it!

Hugs;
Pammie

It’s a Small World!

Yesterday in Sunday School one of my friends asked me when I graduated high school and verified the school. Turns out that we knew each other way back then (1965). Actually, neither of us recognized the other until she looked at facebook and saw a photo another friend had submitted of me in the Girl’s Choir. How funny! Today I got out my yearbook for the year she graduated (a year before me) and there, on the page of her senior picture, I had placed a cut-out from the local newspaper of her wedding announcement, complete with full photo of her in her bridal attire! It’s definitely a small world!

It was a nice, quiet weekend here – no snow (just weather in the low 20’s). Today is a nice day, also – clear, nothing wet/slippery/icy on the roads, sun’s out – roads and drives are clear. I took a bit of a drive to a saddlery store and placed an order for my husband’s birthday present: Moose-leather moccasins! He ‘has’ a pair of all leather moccasins that he originally purchased in Canada on a fishing trip at least 20+ years ago – they are totally falling apart! He still loves them and wears them almost all of the time he’s home. Recently I happened to spot a small ad in our paper for this saddlery shop, the ad featuring Minnetonka Moccasins which got my brain going – “Hey! I wonder if they would carry size 13 wide?” Turns out they do – up to a 15!!! SO HAPPY – placed them on order; his birthday is a little less than 2 weeks away (23rd). I hope he likes them. Also plan on ordering (on line) some of his favorite tea: “San Francisco Cinnamon-orange instant loose tea”.  He doesn’t drink it often, but the last time he did he asked me where it originally came from (I told him I got it for him as a gift a few years ago). He ‘was’ going to see if he could find it locally (I know he can’t) hence my ordering more for him as another small present.

Also took myself to KMart today and purchased more clear glass drinking glasses (ours are slowly disappearing), 4 sets of twin sheets for the boys (the ones they have you could almost read a newspaper through, they’re so thin), and for me – suede gloves (on sale!). I have several pairs of gloves (or mittens) but really like warm, leather or leather palmed gloves for driving (they grip the steering wheel much better, I think.) Came home feeling like I’d done a good day’s shopping!

Haven’t done any ‘crafty’ things in the past few days – my index finger feels like I sprained it (not sure how) so I’m staying away from irritating it for a few days. Tomorrow night is my knit group’s ‘off’ knit night at Tim Hortons. It’s the night we don’t post on the website, we all just show up if we feel like it. Still haven’t heard any more about when I get a tour of the new location and the key – hopefully that will occur this week so I can post that we’ll be meeting there next Tuesday. If not, we’ll still be at Panera.

Nothin’ much else new at this time; hope you are all well and beginning to adjust to ‘winter’ without all the bright, sparkling Christmas lights. Stay warm!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on January 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

Endings, Beginnings and Something “Funky”!

Into every life a little change must occur; sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes not and sometimes it’s a little of both. Last night was the vote for my knit group on whether we relocate to a new site or not. I was a bit disappointed at the turnout; usually (or should I say, lately) we’ve been averaging around 24-27 people attending. Last night we had 19, a good number but – several of those were people who hardly EVER attend, which kind of skewed the count, to me. The vote was anonymous – no names on the ballots and the final count (also adding in 7 email votes from those who couldn’t attend):  Yes: 19, No: 7. I ‘could’ say I was happy that they agreed to move (considering how crammed/squashed/crowded we’ve been at our current location, up to last night) but instead found myself a little sad. One of our ‘regulars’ was talking to me at the beginning (before the vote) and said something to the effect that if we move and those who vote no don’t go, “I guess we’ll just split then.” That really hurt; I had no words to answer her. I guess I take things too personally – I value each of our members and thinking that we might lose some really bothered me. I KNOW that this move is for the betterment of the whole – it just feels like an ’empty’ win, sort of. We’ll see how this all comes out, in the future.  There’s a lot to think about.

I’m still procrastinating about getting all the Christmas ‘stuff’ put away. Don’t get me wrong – for the most part, it’s in piles; I just don’t feel the urge to drag out all the boxes and pack it away. Hoping that will change soon and I’ll get a sudden burst of energy to “git ‘er done”!

On to the “Funky”! If you’re a frequent reader of this blog you might remember (perhaps over a year ago) me posting about my ‘bag of ends’ – bits of yarn left over from sewing afghan squares together. The bag has been sitting around for ‘awhile’ and a thought occurred to me the other day – what if I just tied various colors together and knit them into a ‘variegated’ square, so I tried it. It definitely has a ‘funky’ look to it – bits of knot-ends sticking out randomly on both sides, but as a whole – I kind of like it! The old ‘mantra’: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle came to mind. Since I currently don’t have any particular knitting/crochet projects going (other than the one constant: The Ghana Project afghans), this gives me something to knit. A good friend gave me a plaque for Christmas which says it all: “I knit to keep from unraveling!”  Gotta keep my hands busy and fill ‘down-time’ – just that kind of person; don’t like to waste time doing ‘nothing’ (you know – when you’re waiting at the doctors office, or sitting in the car waiting to pick someone up – THOSE kinds of things are perfect for a small knit/crochet project.)

On to the recipes:

===============================

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey breast
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 T. dried
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salad oil
1 (29 oz.)can red enchilada sauce
Salt
12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
2 C. shredded jack cheese (8 oz.)
Chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir
turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin
in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer
pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada
sauce. Add salt to taste.
Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a
fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of
a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit.
Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the
tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey
mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada
sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two
more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture,
and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and
sauce, then cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and
casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serves 10.

(recipe: Recipe du Jour site)

===========================

Mushroom & Potato Bake

1 (1 lb. 4-oz.) pkg. refrigerated shredded hash-brown potatoes
1 (8-oz.) pkg. (3 cups) sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (2.8-oz.) can french fried onions
6 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend

Heat oven to 350°F.
Spray 12×8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place potatoes, mushrooms and half of
french fried onions in baking dish.In large bowl, combine
eggs, milk, green onions, salt, pepper and cheese; mix
well. Pour over potato mixture in baking dish. Spray sheet
of foil with nonstick spray; cover dish tightly with foil, sprayed
side down.
Bake  35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes
out clean. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining french fried onions.
Bake, uncovered, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Let stand 10
minutes before serving.

note:  you can also add cut up cooked bacon or cooked
sausage slices to recipe.
(recipe: Rhonda – Marys Recipe Exchange)

=============================

Appetizer English Muffins

6 English Muffins
1 cup of Mayonnaise
2 cups Cheddar cheese (Grated)
1/2 cup chopped Green Onions
1/2 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cans chopped black olives 

Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix; spread on muffins. Cook 20 minutes in hot
oven 350-400 degrees F. Cut each muffin in fourths and serve.
=================================
Spinach Beef Bake

1 pound ground beef
1 (4.5 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 cup sour cream
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a skillet, brown beef; drain. Add mushroom, onion,
garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add spinach, soup,
sour cream and rice; mix well. Transfer to a greased
2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Cover and bake 45-50 minutes or until the rice is tender.
=============================
Yogurt or Sour Cream Onion Pork Chops

4 to 6 (1/2-inch thick) boneless pork chops
8 ounces plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix bread crumbs and soup mix together in a shallow plate.
Put yogurt or sour cream into a bowl, dip pork chops in it
to coat well, then dip into the bread/soup mix. Place in a
baking pan and bake 25 to 35 minutes, covered. Uncover
and bake 10 minutes longer.
================================
Our weather is holding at around 32 degrees with light, tiny
snowflakes - I'm not worried. It's a typical grey, chilly
day in Michigan. The family is all in relatively good health,
which is a good thing. Hope you're enjoying your day!

Hugs;
Pammie

New Beginnings – a New Year

Finally got the photos ready to post of my ‘guys’ at Christmas.

Youngest: Eric (16 1/2) Middle Ben:(almost 22)  Oldest: Kris 27

“The Guys” plus one!  Kaden: 4 1/2

Kris’s family: Kris, Kristen & Kaden

===============

During the weekend managed to finish 3 more afghans, now I need to drag out the boxes & bags to assemble more.  Stopped at JoAnn Fabrics today to purchase a large plastic container for my delicate Christmas ornaments (they’ve been housed in a flimsy cardboard box for years). Using my (wonderful) 40% coupon I also purchased a booklet to make 8 different kinds of snowflakes (crochet) and another booklet with a lovely baby afghan pattern (among others). Those booklets should keep me busy for awhile (no baby currently in mind for afghan, just liked the pattern!).

Also stopped at Sears to look around for work shirts for middle son; he’s been working at Gordon Foods for 5 years now and never bought any new work shirts (the old ones are slowly falling apart!). They require either: black, navy, white or tan polo shirts. Since he’s in the ‘small’ category on size, took me quite awhile to locate the only ones they had that fit the color code but . . . he now will have 4 new shirts. Tomorrow is his 22nd birthday; not the greatest or most exciting present, but he needs them. (also got him another Japanese movie from his favorite director: Miyazaki – he collects them).

Just finished composing an email to all the Knit/Crochet group members concerning tomorrow night’s vote on whether we move the group to a new location or not. Our sound quality at Panera is really bad for me speaking to the entire group, hence I felt it would behoove me to write out all the benefits BEFORE I attempt to go over it tomorrow. Now it’s a ‘wait and see’ – I’ve already received two emails from members – one in favor, one opposed (the opposed has only been to 2 meetings!). It’s never a ‘fun thing’ for me to ‘rock the boat’; the email I just sent brought up both the possible move AND possible dues – never a good subject. We’ll see what the majority thinks.

That’s what’s going on around here today. Weather is still clear, but cold. No ‘white stuff’ coming down or accumulating (yet) – YAY! Christmas cookies are almost gone, have to bake a 9 x 12 pan of brownies and frost them for tomorrow’s birthday boy (his favorite thing is brownies).

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie