Early this afternoon my husband and I spent an enjoyable hour and a half discussing our finances with our new financial advisor. We both really like his personality and ability to ‘put into simple terms’ what we need to know. Finally our funds are transferred from AT&T and now we have to wait another 7 weeks (seems like a very long time) to be able to start investing some of it into varied areas like stocks, church bonds, etc. No, we’re not going out on a limb, in fact, he put ‘conservative’ on our folder to classify how we want to go about this. It’s nice to know that we can begin to think about the ins & outs of our next car purchase, as well as considering a new computer for me (mine is loyal but VERY slow and very frustrating if you’re in a hurry to get something done). After our little financial adventure, we went out to lunch at Elias Big Boy (I was really in the mood for a “Slim Jim” (to those of you who are non-Michiganders – that translates into a really good ham & swiss cheese sandwich on a nice light bun). My husband had a patty melt and we both shared some really good fries and onion rings – makes these money adventures much sweeter when you know you’re going out to eat afterwards! I think we’ve finally decided to sell my husband’s old van (1993 Plymoth Voyager) to my oldest son’s friend – cash, rather than spend more $$$ fixing it up. That will leave us with my 1997 Ply. Grand Voyager which has a new motor and transmission; yes, it needs some work (new struts and fix the heater) but it will still make a good ‘beater’ car for the time being until we don’t need two cars. Right now we’re still in the midst of needing two for transporting children/sons/grandchild and that’s OK. I’m sure our next vehicle will be another minivan – both of us are ‘died in the wool’ advocates of them – great mileage, take the wear and tear we dish out and last a good long time.
Middle son has his car in the shop to get it fixed after his accident last week. He’s doing fine, but that requires that one of us transport him back & forth to his multiple jobs. He’s been good about asking some of his friends to take part in this, too, so it’s not so bad. The only conflict happens when I have to (in some sort of order) (a) pick up youngest son after school when he’s stayed for extra help (b) transport grandson either to or from his nursery school (c) pick up or drop off middle son for work/or one of his clients (d) transport youngest to his practices. It’s working, so far . . . gets a little ‘hairy’ at times, but it’s working. Supposedly his car will be ready by the 24th – to me that’s a long time, but I’m not a car repair person.
Not much else new – both husband and I are over the ‘sickies’ we had last week; we both still have some sinus problems but are not really ‘under the weather’ like we were. Dinner tonight was beef stroganoff and peas (peas being the side vegetable). It’s easy, quick and economical plus the family likes it. Last night I experimented a little on the Chicken Parmesan recipe of last month. This time I used defrosted boneless chicken breasts and partially cooked them first on the George Foremann grill, then put them in a 9 x 13 pan in which I had poured some spaghetti sauce as a base, topped that with the chicken, then covered the breasts with more spaghetti sauce and sprinkled on a liberal amount of grated Parmesan cheese and cooked it 350 degrees for 30 minutes. It was good – last time I tried using the breaded veal patties -I like the (real) chicken breasts instead of the processed patties – more flavor.
I’m half way done on the pink baby afghan. Finished putting two rows of crochet border on the Knit group afghan and it’s ready to be given. I’m still waiting on another member who really wanted to participate and I talked her into crocheting two 10 x 10 squares; we’ll make her squares into a pillow to go with the afghan. I love her dearly but am not exactly sure she will be able to get them done in the time allotted (3 weeks-she has lots of varied groups/people she helps) so that’s why I thought if she doesn’t get the pillow squares done in time, we can still give the afghan. I’ve scheduled the delivery for March 29th, our next Knit Night. My friend who’s husband is the one who’s had the heart trouble came to Knit night this past Tuesday. She’s lost a good 30 lbs.; there are times when you really wish there was something you could do to alleviate the suffering for your friends. I just keep praying for both of them. I still don’t know if her husband is even ON the heart transplant list yet; I know they were waiting to see how his body reacts to this LVAD machine he’s hooked up to 24/7. It’s so hard, knowing he’s only 36 years old.
Well, guess it’s time to give you some more recipes, eh?
Chicken Tetraziini Deluxe
1/2 (32 oz. pkg.) spaghetti, uncooked
1/2 C. margarine, melted
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 (10 1/2 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
1 C. water
4 C. cubed, cooked chicken
1 C. shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas
1/2 C. sherry (optional)
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Break uncooked spaghetti into halves or thirds, prepare according to pkg. directions; drain. In large pan, saute mushrooms in melted margarine until tender; stir in soup and water. Cook and stir until blended. Stir in spaghetti and all other ingredients except Parmesan cheese and paprika. Turn into a 9 x 13 baking pan. Top with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Makes 8-10 servings.
Italian Spaghetti Casserole
1/4 (32 oz.) pkg. spaghetti, uncooked
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
1 (11 oz.) can Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 C. milk
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 C. minced onion
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Prepare spaghetti according to pkg. directions; drain. Brown sausage, remove from skillet and cut into 1/4 slices. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a buttered 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake 50-60 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Makes 4-6 servings.
Wilted Spinach with Bacon and 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 a large nonstick skillet, fry bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon bits and set aside, reserving fat in the pan. Add onions and salt and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened completely and turned brown, about 20-30 minutes. Increase heat to high, add spinach and bacon bits and cook, stirring frequently, just until the spinach has wilted, about 5 more minutes. Add additional salt to taste and serve immediately. Serves 6.
(recipe: Kroger flyer)
Broccoli Cheddar Spinach Soup
2 pkgs Broccoli Cuts
1 can Chicken Broth 99% Fat Free
1 pkg Chopped Spinach
1 Tbsp Sweet Cream Butter – Quarters
1 pkg diced Pasteurized Cheese Spread
1 cup 2% Milk
pinch Iodized Salt
pinch Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Chives(chopped)
Put butter in a large pot till melted. Add finely diced onions over medium heat. When onions are golden add diced potatoes, broth and chopped up broccoli. Don’t worry if broth doesn’t cover everything. Put a lid on the pot and let boil on medium high heat for a half-hour. Now add the frozen spinach and put the lid back on for another ten minutes. Now get a blender and blend well the whole batch. When it reaches your desired texture add cheddar cheese and slowly add the milk. Add chopped chives and stir until everything melts together. If you need to thin it add ½ cup more milk. Serves a family of four or more!
(recipe: Save a Lot flyer)
Comment from flyer: This is really great! Made it for a Super bowl party and everyone loved it. It has a little zip to it that everyone appreciated. It’s easy for company since I transferred it all to a crockpot set on warm and put out a loaf of homemade bread and a big bowl of crackers. Everyone could help themselves. Sometimes I make my own broth and to make fat-free broth. I chill my chicken broth. The fat will rise to the top and I can remove it before using the broth.
Peanut Butter 'n' Jelly Pie
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. confectioners' sugar
1/3 C. peanut butter
1 chocolate crumb crust (9 inches)
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
2 cups whipped topping
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese,
sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Spoon
into crust. Top with preserves and whipped
topping. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours
or overnight. Yield: 8 servings.
(recipe: Sue - Desserts du Jour)
Sour Cream Round Steak
2 lb. bottom round steak, cut into 6-8 serving pieces
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 Tablespoons butter
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup beef broth
For Gravy Mixture:
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray
baking pan with oil. Pound steaks to tenderize.
Combine flour, salt, pepper, and dry mustard.
Coat steak pieces with flour mixture. Brown steak
in butter in a heavy skillet. If your skillet is
too small, do this in batches so as not to crowd
the meat. Place browned steaks in prepared baking pan.
Saute onion and garlic in drippings until softened.
Add beef broth to skillet, stirring to scrape up any
browned bits. Pour onions and liquid on top of
steak pieces. Combine water, sour cream, cornstarch,
brown sugar, paprika, and salt in a small bowl until
smooth. Pour gravy mixture over steak. Cover and
bake 45 minutes. Remove cover and return to the oven.
Continue to bake another 25 to 45 minutes, depending
on thickness of the steak, until tender. Taste gravy
and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Serve with buttered noodles, rice, or potatoes, along
with a side salad for a complete meal.
Notes: If you have a large, deep, oven-proof skillet or
Dutch oven, you can save yourself the cleaning of a
skillet by using it to both brown the meat and bake it.
Simply remove the meat to a platter after browning, and
return to the skillet after the onion/garlic step.
(recipe: I'm just gr8et - Cream Cheese or Sour Cream website)
COOKIES & CREAM DESSERT
24 Oreos, chopped (2 cups)
1/3 cup butter, melted
Two 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
12 Oreos, chopped (1 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
You need a 9-inch spring form pan or make in
a 9x9-inch square pan.
For crust: Mix butter and Oreos. Press into bottom
of pan. Chill.
Beat cream cheese until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar and vanilla.
Fold in whipped cream and Oreos.
Put on top of crust and then sprinkle with a few
more Oreo cookie crumbs. Chill overnight.
(recipe: Trish - 1_Comfort_Foods digest)
As my Mom used to say: "That oughta hold ya"! Hope you've
been able to enjoy the lovely SPRING-LIKE weather. It's
been in the 50's the past few days, sunny and really
enjoyable. The kind of weather that makes you want to
open the house windows, drive in your car with the
windows down, no jacket and really FEEL like Spring is
on the way! (Like I've said before, I'm not totally
fooled - I've seen snow in April before, so am not
putting away the snow equipment or heavy winter wear -
at least not just yet.