By Saturday of last week our temperatures were ‘decent’, the high winds had blown away almost all of our accumulated snows and the ground was almost totally cleaned of any ‘white stuff’. NOT TODAY! Yesterday we were under a “Winter Storm Warning” which produced a total of about 9 1 /2 inches by late evening. Evening church and choir practice were canceled (I put my warm jammies on and knitted – to celebrate not having to drive in the snow!). We ‘were’ supposed to also get rain/sleet and freezing rain – which didn’t happen! YAY! The weather people were talking about expecting frozen and snapped power lines – so glad that didn’t happen. My husband and youngest son (no school – snow day) went out and shoveled the entire driveway; our great neighbor was out there with his snow blower and cleared our walkway and part of the end of the driveway – an extra blessing! It’s now 23 degrees, sunny and clear – a typical Michigan winter day. Oh well – what else would I expect living in this state at this time of year?
Along with all the predictions for the Winter Storm Warning, I got to thinking about a friend’s daughter who is expecting their first baby. I asked him during Sunday School when she’s due (mid-July) and is there going to be a baby shower in MI (she lives in Fla., now)? Yes, but the baby shower is the Saturday before Easter! Checking my trusty calendar, that gives me almost 2 months to knit something. We stopped at JoAnn’s after church and purchased two huge skeins of pink baby yarn (she’s having a girl) and I set out attempting a new pattern I had seen a friend knit. It’s a 16-row pattern (that means it takes 16 rows to make the design, then you just repeat those 16 rows). Not difficult, just lots of concentrating: “Wait! Did I already DO the Purl 2 togethers twice, or just once? Is that Purl 2 the one that comes before or after the other Purl 2 togethers?” (My mind tends to wander when I knit…) Got the whole 16 rows done (YAY!) and began repeating the patterns again. About 4 rows into the repeats, got to the last stitches (was supposed to have 5 stitches left . . . there were only 4). Checked and re-checked all 176 stitches; finally gave up and added one stitch about 3 stitches from the end, then continued on. Had knit about 4-6 more rows when I looked down – the pattern was all shifted over ONE STITCH and it was VERY noticable! UGH! Put it down (more like THREW it down), stomped off and was trying to decide if I even WANTED to continue this pattern, or just rip it all out and find something less stressful. Watched TV, then went to bed. Got up today fully determined to give it another try – ripped out about 6 rows, re-did to the point that I realized I was in the SAME mess, again! UGH! DOUBLE UGH! Walked away, ripped and tried again only to discover that somehow I’d dropped a stitch about 4 rows before! UGH! Went and washed pots & pans, loaded the dishwasher, made cocoa (son) and tea (husband) then tried ONE LAST TIME! SUCCESS!! I’m now into the third row of the repeats, so have FINALLY gotten past that problem! (Not saying it won’t happen again – but I’m definitely going to give myself LOTS of breaks between rows on this pattern – can’t tolerate many more of those episodes or I’ll rip the whole sucker out and do something else! (Oooooooops, did I say that out loud? . . . hehehe, blush).
Snow Day and thinking of what’s for dinner – last night I tried something for the first time – Veal Parmigiana. Youngest son had it at a friend’s house and raved, so I decided to give it a try. His was a quick version, and so was mine: bought 6 already breaded veal patties, a jar of spaghetti sauce and a package of already shredded Parmesan cheese. Put the patties in a 9 x 13 inch greased pan, spread sauce over all, then covered with shredded cheese and baked 350 degrees for about 35 minutes when cheese was melted and brown. The guys LOVED it! (I was so-so, next time I think I’ll try the chicken patties). It was quick, easy AND it only cost something like $6.00 for four servings, 2 patties each! Yes, I watch Iron Chef, and lots of other cooking shows and know that there’s a longer version involving buying and pounding out your own veal cutlets – but that’s not for me.
Found a few interesting recipes for ya:
Saucy Almond Chicken Stir-Fry
3/4 C. instant whole-grain brown rice (uncooked)
1 1/3 C. water
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
1 T. sugar
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 C. soy sauce, reduced-sodium
1 T. sesame oil
1 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)
1/4 C. slivered almonds
4 (4 oz., ea) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 (1o oz, ea) boxes frozen pea pods or whole green beans
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Combine uncooked rice and water in microwavable dish, covered, for 9-10 min. or until tender. In medium bowl, stir chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and soy sauce together then set aside. Heat garlic & sesame oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, then add chicken & almonds; cook until golden brown (about 5 min.) Add pepper, pea pods (or green beans) and chestnuts to skillet after chicken is cooked through. Cook 3-4 minutes, stir in broth mixture and cook until thickened. Serve over rice. Serves 6
(recipe: Lickety-Split meals for Health-Conscious People on the Go!” by Zonya Foco, RD)
Enchilada-Zagna (love this name!)
2-3 cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
cut into small pieces (about 3 C.), divided
1 (28 oz.) can or 2 (15 oz. ea.) cans mild red enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz. ) container sour cream
1 (12 fl. oz.) can evaporated milk
2 Cups (8 oz pkg.) shredded cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, undrained
1 (12 tortilla) pkg. 7-inch corn tortillas
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 x 13 inch. baking dish. Combine enchilada sauce & sour cream in medium bowl. Combine evaporated milk, cheese and chilies in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until cheese has melted and mixture is smooth; remove from heat. Spread 1 Cup enchilada sauce mixture on bottom of prepared baking dish. Layer with 4 tortillas, 1 Cup enchilada sauce mixture, 1 1/2 Cups chicken, 1 C. cheese sauce; repeat layers one more time, starting with tortillas. Top with remaining tortillas, enchilada sauce mixture and cheese sauce. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Uncover for at least 10 minutes before serving.
(recipe: newspaper flyer)
“The Wallie Salad”
2 C. romaine lettuce, chopped
1 C. green cabbage, shredded
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1/2 C. dried cherries
1 apple, diced
1/2 C. walnuts, chopped
1 C. white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 C. balsamic viniagrette
Toss together all ingredients in large bowl. Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 4.
(recipe – Kroger flyer)
Wilted Spinach w/ Bacon & Caramelized Onions
2 strips thick-cut bacon; diced
1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
1/4 tsp. salt
2 9-oz. bags baby spinach
In large nonstick skillet, fry bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove and set aside, reserving bacon fat in the pan.
Add onions and salt, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened completely and turned brown (about 20-30 minutes). Increase heat to high, add spinach and bacon; cook, stirring frequently, just until spinach has wilted, about 5 more minutes. Add additional salt to taste and serve immediately. Serves 6.
(recipe – Kroger flyer)
1 pkg Oreo cookies
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 pkg almond bark or candy coating
Crush Oreos in a Ziploc bag. Set aside. Beat cream
cheese and add crushed Oreos a little at a time.
You should have a thick smooth paste. Refrigerate
for 10 minutes until firm. Roll into small balls and dip
into melted almond bark. Place on waxed paper until firm.
(recipe: Dot - Desserts du Jour recipe site 2/11/11)
Garlic Roasted Cod with Mashed Potato Crust
2 lb. baking potatoes (about 4), peeled, cut into chunks
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
4 T. butter, at room temperature
1/2 C. heavy cream, light cream, or milk
2 lb. cod fillets, cut to make 4 pieces
2 tsp.cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven 450F.
Place potatoes in medium saucepan of salted water.
Bring to boil, continue boiling until tender, about 15
minutes.Drain potatoes, place back into saucepan along
with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Mash potatoes
over very low heat, gradually incorporating butter
and cream. Rub cod with oil and sprinkle with remaining
1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place cod in
large roasting pan, sprinkle fillets with the garlic,
and then spread with mashed potatoes. Roast until
fish is nearly done, 8 to 10 minutes for 3/4-inch-thick
fillets. Heat broiler; broil fish until mashed potatoes
have a golden brown crust, about 2 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
(recipe: Recipe du Jour 1/20/11)
Not much on the 'sweets' recipes this time; I read
lots of recipes to get you the above listed, just didn't
see many that stirred me to use them here. Hope you
all have a wonderful day with some time out for just
YOU - a little relaxing, maybe a cuppa tea/coffee/cocoa,
perhaps a tiny sweet thrown in for 'good measure' (you
know, like Hershey's kisses?).
PS Starting on afghan #275 now