Cookin’ Up a Storm!

It’s Memorial Day – Happy Memorial Day to you all. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance – of those gone before us, those who gave their lives in service to their country and those who served in the military. May we NEVER forget the PRICE of FREEDOM – God help our younger generations to REMEMBER and respect what & who has gone before them to give them their rights and freedom this day.

Our weather is FINALLY not wet! It’s a gorgeous, sunny 74 degree day and I’m lovin’ it That said, and with a lovely hot cup of Tim Horton’s coffee to keep me going (courtesy of my lovely husband!), I began the holiday cooking. Now it might sound a bit strange when I tell you that it will probably be only my husband and I partaking, but that’s OK, too. Our oldest is having a cook out at his house (yes, we’re invited but chose to not ‘invade’ the younger ones party); middle son had to work today 7 – 3 p.m. and will then be going to his brother’s party. Youngest is performing in the local parade along with his high school band (they are the featured first band today). After the parade he and the entire band & color guard will be going to a local lake to have a swim party and then he’s planning on going to his brother’s party, also. Now do you understand why it’s just my husband & I for dinner tonight? I’m making potato salad and spare ribs. The ribs are in the crockpot right now – I like doing them that way because the end result is very tender, almost fall-off-the-bones ribs. I put them in on high for a good 3 hours, then turn it down to low and cook for about another 2-3 hours. When turning them down, I usually lather barbecue sauce on the ribs. If you put it on at the beginning it only gets watery. Might make a pot of baked beans, too – that’s sort of ‘simmering’ in the back of  my mind right now and I still have the time to do it.

The house is nice and quiet right now – husband on his computer and me on mine. Yes, it’s my NEW computer, no I’m not totally happy with it – YET. It’s a Gateway with a big, flat screen – it’s very fast turning on & off (my old one would take a good 2-3 minutes to start up and more than that to shut down with many screens deciding over & over whether they wanted to shut down or not…sigh). Yesterday I managed to, somehow, mess up my email- lost the entire thing  waaaay off to the far right of the screen – actually OFF the screen. I only found the problem when I clicked (for the upteenth time) the email button and saw a tiny white light dash off the screen and then followed it. Took my husband quite a while to figure out what I did to make it do that. He ended up shrinking the viewing screen and told me not to mess with it again . . . ah, technology – ain’t it fun? He DID order my external floppy disc reader from Tiger Direct – it seems with all this new technology, people are just not using floppy discs anymore – go figure! All of my clip art and files for the special needs group newsletters are stored on floppys, so it’s a definite that I really need to access them – glad my husband knows what I need to keep me happy (coffee and floppy readers! . . . for a start!). Am also sitting here sipping a forbidden delight – regular Coke (that’s POP, for those of you who might have said: “WHAT? She’s into drugs now???) Relax – I don’t drink pop often, being diabetic it’s not the best thing for my blood sugar levels, but occasionally it’s a great pick-me-up (especially like it with pizza – YUM!).

Well, that’s about all from the old homestead today – have to go check to see if the cooked potatoes are cooled enough to assemble the salad – they should be. I’m also organizing another Knit/Crochet MOVIE Night for tomorrow evening. The menu is Tacos – trying to get the ladies to sign up for what they’re bringing. Movie choices, that I know of are two that I rented from the library: “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Big Night” – wonder if anyone else is bringing any? Don’t know at this time. For some reason, Movie night is not as popular as our regular knit/crochet nights – we usually only get around 8-10 people, but that’s OK, too – it’s small and you can chat, eat,  knit/crochet and watch the movie. One of the ladies is also making Lemon Bars – YUMMMM! Love them!

Hope you have a great holiday, however you chose to spend it. Stay healthy and remember to do something nice for yourself.

Hugs;

Pammie

YAY! I finally figured out how to put a photo/clip art on my blog!!! YAYAY, me!

 

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Really Short, Quick Post

It’s been busy around here the past few days – I have a NEW computer! (only problem is, it took my husband almost 2 days to get around to setting it up, leaving me with no computer).  The new computer (a Gateway) is much faster, which I really needed BUT it seems that lots of files will have to be manually loaded which I find very frustrating (thought if we paid the Geek Squad, it would all be where I wanted it WHEN I wanted it).

Anyway, this post was to touch base and announce that when I finish another 9 afghans, will finally hit the 300 mark! YAY!

Knit group at the new (old) Panera location went very well; members seemed to be happy we had returned. Also had another new member and one lady stopped by to see how she could join, so we’re growing.

Have to get off here and go make 2 homemade pizzas for dinner – my grandson is here and rather bored. It’s been raining here for almost two weeks straight, so no going outside to play.

Anyway, have a great day (rain or shine);

Hugs;

Pammie

(sorry no pictures or graphics on this post – haven’t quite figured out how to do it on the new one yet).

Insert Random Post Here . . .

Last night and again today we’ve had rather large thunderstorms descend on us. The amazing thing (to me) is that they are here and gone in a very short amount of time! Usually we have ones that last about a half hour or so – the past two have been maybe 10-15 minutes! I was a little worried the other day that I hadn’t remembered to water the two hanging baskets outside – my husband reminded me that we’ve had enough rain lately to not have to worry about that for quite some  time. I made a quick trip to the drug store today (remembered to take the unbrella) and just before I was to come outside the pharmacist started ‘freaking out’ – “Oh no! Look at those trees! They’re REALLY swaying!” (you’d have thought we were going to have a tornado, for crying out loud!) I looked outside and, yes the rain WAS coming down sideways and in huge drops but I waited about 5-10 minutes and it was ‘good to go, using my trusty umbrella! The whole storm lasted not more than 15 minutes, total. Went to the library to pick up three movies I’d checked out for our Knit/Movie night next week. Two I’ve already seen, one I hadn’t but had heard it was supposed to be really good: “Mostly Martha”. My advice to you? Don’t bother! It’s a slow, rather boring plot and, to add insult to injury, the copy I got from the library was in GERMAN with English subtitles! Now I have to remember to check what language it’s in before renting! (this was my first time getting movies from the library). On food-type movies I like to look at all the ‘scenery’- the people chopping, stirring, mixing, ‘creating’ and with this movie that was almost out of the question since my total attention was focused on trying to read the subtitles before they changed. (Mostly Martha is about a woman chef, named Martha – of course, and her life and problems). Oh well, the knit group ladies needn’t worry about my bringing that one! The other two rentals were: “Under the Tuscan Sun” (chick flick but really good) and “Big Night” with Stanley Tucci, Isabella Rossellini, Ian Holm and Minnie Driver. Big Night  is located in/at a restaurant; kind of reminds me of the movie “Chocolate” (another ‘chick flick’). There’s one more ‘foodie’ movie I’d like to rent: “Babette’s Feast” – heard it’s supposed to be good.

Not much else going on around here – we’re sort of in an almost ‘vacation’ mode – now that the weather’s finally warmed up we’re all just sort of ‘hanging out’ at home. I’m half-way through my next good novel, another 50 cent buy at a garage sale: Clive Custler’s White Death. I’d forgotten just how much I enjoy his writings; he’s another author who writes as and about how he lives: he founded NUMA: National Underwater and Marine Agency and it is featured heavily in his books. His books have lots of adventure,cliff-hangers, etc – a good read all around.

Recipes, you say? Yep, have a few of those hanging around for you, also!

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

Crock Pot Pork Chops with Rice

4 pork chops
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups water

Pour rice into crockpot.
Sprinkle with 1/3 onion soup mix.
Place pork chops over rice.
Pour mushroom soup over all.
Sprinkle remaining onion soup mix over all.
Add water. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Serves 4.
(recipe:  Artemis – Slowcooker Digest site)
—————————————–
Pork Chops and Gravy (crockpot)

6 thick pork chops
flour for dredging
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 can mushroom soup, undiluted
garlic salt

Dredge pork chops in flour, salt and pepper, and place in slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients and cook on low all day, 5-6 hours or until
pork chops are tender. Serve over buttered noodles or mashed potatoes.
(recipe – Artemis – Slowcooker Digest Site)

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TROPICAL SLAW

1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits
1 T. lemon juice
1 medium firm banana, sliced
3 C. shredded cabbage
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1 C. flaked coconut
1 C. chopped walnuts
1 C. raisins
1/2 tsp. salt
1(8 oz)carton pineapple yogurt

Drain pineapple, reserving two tablespoons juice;
set pineapple aside. Stir lemon juice and banana
into reserved juice. In a large salad bowl, combine
cabbage, oranges, marshmallows, coconut,walnuts,
raisins, salt, pineapple and banana mixture. Add
yogurt; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until
serving. Yield: 10 servings.
(recipe: Sandy - Mary's Recipe Exchange)
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15 Minute Marinated Chicken

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 halves chicken breast — boneless skinlessCombine the first five ingredients, mixing well; spread on both
sides of chicken. Place chicken on a plate. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes or for several hours in the refrigerator. Grill, uncovered, over medium coals, turning once, for 10 to
15 minutes or until juices run clear.
(recipe: Sandy – Marys Recipe Exchange)
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Praline Almonds
1 1/2 C. chopped, sliced, blanched almonds
1/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 T.whipping cream
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients; spread into a lightly buttered
9-inch round cake pan.Bake 20 minutes, stirring once,
or until coating is slightly crystallized. Remove from
oven; stir and cool. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
(recipe: Desserts du Jour 3/21/11)
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Bronx Firehouse Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 large boneless chicken breast halves
1 small bag fresh spinach
1 C. loosely crumbled feta cheese
2 T. olive oil combined with 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. butter
toothpicks
Gravy for chicken breasts: 

1 C. fresh mushrooms
2 T. butter
1 T. flour
3/4 C. chicken broth 

Preheat oven 350ºF.
Pound chicken breasts flat. Saute spinach in olive oil
and garlic for 4 minutes. Spread spinach equally over
chicken breasts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup feta cheese over
spinach. Roll chicken breasts closed and seal firmly
with toothpicks. Slightly brown chicken breasts on
all sides in butter. Place breasts in ungreased baking
dish with tight lid and bake covered for 1 hour (Do
not add liquid; will make own). 

For gravy: Saute mushrooms in butter. Add flour,
stirring until well coated. Add chicken broth
and simmer until thickens. Pour over chicken
breasts to serve. Serves 4.
(recipe: Sandy - Mary's Recipe Exchange)
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QUICK HOT FUDGE SAUCE

1/2 c. Unsweetened Cocoa
1/2 c. Sugar
1/3 c. Light Corn Syrup
1/2 c. Evaporated Milk (NOT Sweetened Condensed Milk)
1 T. Sour Cream
4 T. Sweet (Unsalted) Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract 

Combine the cocoa, corn syrup, milk, and sour
cream in a heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat,
stirring constantly, until the mixture begins
to boil. Remove from the  heat immediately and
stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Serve
warm over  ice cream sundae.
Makes enough for 4 large Hot Fudge Sundaes.
====================================
That's what's going on around here today - hope
you're having a great day!

Hugs;
Pammie

Gorgeous Spring Day!

Today, at almost 3 p.m. it’s 81 beautiful, gorgeous, bright-shining degrees out! Slight breeze – just a great Sunday afternoon! (can you tell I’m loving the warm weather?). Had a really good church service and now I’m ready to face the day; I should say I don’t have anything in particular to do right now, but that’s neither here nor there (to use a colloquial expression).

This coming Tuesday will find my knit group people at their requested haunt: Panera Bread once again. The group seems to be growing and that’s a good thing. Right now I’m ‘without a major project’, so I’ll just be sewing squares together, but that’s OK, too. Panera has some new Spring food offerings that sound really tasty (I get their emails), so I might partake of one – for ‘research’, ya know (wink)!

Just finished a good book by a favorite author: Jeffrey Archer – I’ve read most of his writings and this one starts out slow but keeps the tension throughout the story. The book is: “A Prisoner of Birth”. Mr. Archer writes with great experience, having been an English lawyer and politician (and he’s also a Baron!). I appreciate his writing style and just discovered that he’s written nine more books since last I followed his writings!

Concerning recipes, have some more tasty-sounding ones for you –

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

Easy Deviled Chicken

1/8 cup butter
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) package herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Melt butter/margarine and mix in a small bowl with mayonnaise and mustard. Pour mixture into a shallow bowl or plate.
Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Roll seasoned chicken breasts in mayonnaise mixture, then dip in mixed herbs and place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.
(recipe: Sandy ‘ – Marys Recipe Exchange)

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EASY HONEY BISCUITS

 2 1/4 cups Bisquick
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup honey or agave syrup

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or brush with oil or line with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine Bisquick, milk and honey. Drop by the tablespoon onto baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden. Serve warm with melted butter.
(recipe: Rhonda – Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

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(this one sounds good for graduation parties, showers, summer parties, etc)

Gingerade

2 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles ginger ale
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups prepared lemonade
2 cups ice

In a large punch bowl, combine the ginger ale,
sugar, lemonade and ice. Stir to blend well and serve
(recipe: Sandy- Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

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Zucchini Raspberry Cupcakes

2 1/2 C.  flour
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. butter, softened
1 C. white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. buttermilk
2 C. shredded zucchini
1 1/4 C. fresh raspberries
1 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
Whisk together  flour, cocoa, and baking soda; set aside.
Beat  butter and sugar with electric mixer in a large bowl
until light-colored and fluffy.Add eggs, one at a time,
allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture
before adding the next. Beat in vanilla with the last egg.
Pour in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk,
mixing until just incorporated. Fold in zucchini, raspberries,
and chocolate chips, mixing just enough to evenly combine.
Spoon  batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.
Bake about 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean..
Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool
completely on a wire rack.
(recipe: Sandy – Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

———————————————

Farmhouse Chicken Dinner

1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 small bone-in chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), skin removed
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian dressing
2 cups baby carrots
1  onion, cut into wedges
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Neufchatel (or cream) cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Mix flour and pepper in shallow dish. Add chicken; turn to coat
both sides of each piece. Gently shake off excess flour. Heat
dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken,
meat-sides down; cook 5 to 6 min. or until golden brown. Turn chicken.
Add carrots, onions and 1 cup broth; cover. Simmer on medium-low
heat 20 min. or until chicken is done (165 °F). Meanwhile, cook rice
as directed on package.SPOON rice onto platter. Use slotted spoon
to remove chicken and vegetables from skillet; place over rice.
Cover to keep warm.ADD Neufchatel and remaining broth to liquid
remaining in skillet; cook on medium-high heat 5 min. or until
Neufchatel is melted and sauce is well blended, stirring constantly.
Simmer on medium-low heat 3 to 5 min. or until slightly thickened,
stirring occasionally. Spoon over chicken and vegetables; top with
parsley.Serves 4.
(recipe: Kraft Foods)

——————————————–

Kraut and Sausage in a Crockpot

2 lbs beef/pork sausages 
2 tart apples (coarse chopped) 
1 large onion (coarse chopped) 
2 bay leaves 
1 carrot (sliced) 
2 tablespoons butter 
16 ounces sauerkraut (Ba Tampte brand undrained)

Chop sausage into bite sized (2" or so) pieces. 
Saute onions, carrot, and apples in butter. 
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on
low for 5-7 hours depending on model.
 Makes 4 servings.
(recipe: Rhonda G, Marys Recipe Exchange)
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Crock Pot Pork Chops with Tomatoes
 
 1 8 ounce can stewed tomatoes
 1/4 cup instant minced onions
 1 teaspoon each garlic salt, oregano and sugar
 1/2 teaspoon pepper
 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
 1 teaspoon hickory smoked flavored barbeque sauce
 4 loin pork chop steaks, 3/4 inch thick
 
 Throw everything into crockpot. Cook at least 8 hours on low. 
 (recipe-Artemis - Slowcooker Digest site)
=======================================
Thought for the Day:
“That bump in the road you hit used to be a mountain but God got to it first and knocked it down for you.”

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

Hope you have a great – sunny- warm- bright-wonderful day!

Enjoy this SPRING weather! (and ignore the rain – it just helps the flowers bloom!)

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

It’s Michigan -Bundle up! Brrrrrrrrrrr!

Guess I need to refresh myself on what state I live in – It’s MICHIGAN! Ah, yes – the phrase for our state is: “If you don’t like the weather, stick around an hour and it will change!” It’s been a wet, chilly weekend filled with intermittent rain (right now it’s 50 degrees but feels about 30!). I dragged out the sweatshirts again and we’ve had to turn the heat back on in the house; rain – good for flowers and ducks but not so good for people!

Not much new around here, been taking the better part of the day trying to straighten out some paperwork on stocks I own. VERY long story but it seems because I didn’t respond to several companies when they told me to mail in the original stock certificates and they’d mail me their NEW ones, the funds reverted to the STATE! Lots of checking and after several long phone calls, it seems there is great progress in the near future on getting them back! We’re not talking huge amounts here – dividends from one company were around $1.27 every three months, but it’s ‘something’! Very complicated mess, but I got a wonderful young lady who was extremely helpful in locating the said stocks (we’re talking from 2004 and before!) and then telling me she will be sending me the needed information and paperwork to get it all straightened out again! YAY! I thanked her profusely and told her she deserved a pat on the back and ice cream for lunch – she laughed. Whew! Feel like I did some major business deal after going through the phone calls.

While reading my incoming emails I discovered a good thing to remember: NEVER read recipes when you’re hungry! Just finished a nice little lunch of slices of Extra sharp Cheddar cheese on Town House crackers with a little spicy mustard for zip – that did the trick. Here are some tasty, interesting recipes to peruse (if you’re not hungry!):

————————–

Brazilian Limenade

2 limes
1/2 cup sugar
3 T. sweetened condensed milk
3 cups water
ice

Wash limes thoroughly. Cut off the ends and slice into eight wedges. Place limes in a blender with the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, water, and ice.Blend in an electric blender, pulsing 5 times. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove rinds. Serve over ice.
(recipe: Sandy- Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

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BLT Salad

1 pound bacon
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 head romaine lettuce – rinsed, dried and shredded
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 cups seasoned croutons

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat, turning frequently, until evenly browned. Drain, crumble and set aside. In a blender or food processor, combine mayonnaise, milk, garlic powder and black pepper. Blend until smooth. Season the dressing with salt. Combine lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and croutons in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing, and serve immediately.
(recipe: Sandy – Marys Recipe Exchange)

————————————————–

Easy Shake and Bake Chicken

3 pounds chicken, cut into pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Mix flour, salt, paprika, sage and pepper together in a bag. Add
chicken parts in a bag and shake until well coated. Melt butter in a 9×13 inch baking dish in the preheated oven. Place chicken in the baking dish skin side down and bake for 20 minutes. Turn pieces and bake another 20 minutes until tender and juices run clear.
(recipe: Mary Free – Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

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Crockpot Cowboy Casserole

1 onion, chopped
1-1/2 lbs. ground chuck, browned &drained
6 medium potatoes, sliced
1 can red beans
1 can tomatoes mixed with 2 tbsp. flour
   or 1 can tomato soup
salt, pepper and garlic to taste

Put chopped onion in  bottom of crockpot; layer 
with browned ground beef, sliced potatoes, and 
beans. Spread tomatoes or soup over all. Sprinkle
with seasonings as desired. Cover and cook on
low for 7 to 9 hours. Serves 4 to 6 people
(recipe: Peg - Marys Recipe Exchange)
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Easiest Ever Brownies

1 box pudding mix
2 C. milk
1 cake mix
1 C. chopped nuts
1 C. chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare pudding mix.Mix in dry cake mix, nuts,
and chips.Spread into a greased jellyroll pan; 
bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick poked in 
center comes out clean. Sprinkle powdered sugar
on top.You can be creative with this recipe--
use any kind of cake mix, pudding mix, and 
chips that you want.

Some suggestions:
*Chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding mix, 
    and chips
*Butter pecan cake mix, butterscotch pudding mix,
    butterscotch chips
*Chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding mix, 
    peanut butter chips
(recipe: Sandy - Mary's Recipe Exchange)
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Bow-Ties with Bacon and Tomatoes

4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces 
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and 
   onion, undrained
1 3/4 C. chicken broth 
3 C. uncooked bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (6 oz)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat
8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until bacon is 
brown. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion; cook 2 to 3
minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is tender.
Stir in tomatoes, broth, uncooked pasta and pepper. 
Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium;
cook uncovered 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until pasta is tender and mixture is as thick as 
you like. Serves 4.
(recipe: Peg - Marys Recipe Exchange)
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Golden Lasagna

2 onions (1 lb. total), peeled and chopped
3 T. butter or olive oil
2 T. minced fresh ginger
1 T. curry powder
2 pkg. (12 oz. each) thawed frozen golden squash
1 carton (15 oz.; 1 3/4 cups) ricotta cheese
Salt
1 large egg
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 C. fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 C. half-and-half (light cream) or milk
About 1/2 teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
1/2 pound dried lasagna
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat,
frequently stir onions with 2 T. butter until 
limp, about 5 minutes. Scoop out 1/2 cup of
the onion mixture and set aside. To frying pan, 
add ginger, curry powder, and squash; mix, then
scrape into a bowl. Stir ricotta cheese into 
squash mixture and add salt to taste. Add egg
and mix well.Wash frying pan; return to high
heat. Add remaining butter, reserved onion
mixture, and flour. Stir until flour is golden,
about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add broth
and half-and-half. Mix until smooth. Stir over
high heat until mixture boils; reduce heat and
simmer, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and salt to taste.
Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat,
bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Add lasagna
and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender to 
bite, 12 to 16 minutes. Drain, immerse in cold
water, then drain again.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the onion sauce evenly over
bottom of a 9X13 inch casserole. Arrange 1/2 lasagna
neatly over sauce to cover. Spoon all squash mixture
onto pasta and spread level. Cover neatly with
remaining pasta and coat completely with remaining 
onion sauce Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and dust
with more nutmeg.

Bake until bubbling at edges and lightly browned 
on top, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes;
cut and serve with a wide spatula. Serves 8.
(recipe: Recipes du Jour 4/30/11)
===============================
Hope you're have a nice, warm day - remember to stop
and take a break - relax a little - breathe in deeply
through your nose, hold it for a few seconds
then out slowly through your mouth. Do this about 5-10
times Try it! It's a quick relaxation that helps you
focus, calm down a bit and make you feel better! 
(and, no - I'm not going all ZEN on you!).

Big Hugs;
Pammie
Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Someone Hit the Restart, PLEASE!

Ever have one of those days where you should have just stayed in bed the WHOLE, ENTIRE day? Well, today seems to be shaping up as ‘one of those’ days. Got up, poured a bowl of cereal and milk (a little more milk than I usually use) – proceeded to (attempt) to pick it up and totally dumped it, upside down. Milk and cereal all over the place – nice, wet sticky mess! Today was the day I was going to return the key to the church that let our knitting group meet there; since we’re going to Panera, that needs to be taken care of. Drove to the church (without calling first) only to find the parking lot empty, doors locked. Tried calling the church secretary’s cell phone but it went to voice mail – should have called for an appointment, first . . . sigh.

Moving along, decided to go to the library and return three books which I ‘thought’ I’d already read – turns out I only read one and decided to keep the other two. Getting out of the car I glance down at my hands – yep – two ‘unread’ books in my hand, the one I’d read (to be returned) is in the house! UGH! Next on my list of travels is a garage sale at the Parks & Rec. building – not a problem, just down the street from the library. Pull into the parking lot and notice it seems empty – no cars. Odd, for a rather large garage sale, I think. Open the doors, noticing there’s no signs ‘This way to the sale” – nothing. Loud voices in my head screaming: “No, not AGAIN!” I’ll backtrack a little here and tell you that this very thing happened EXACTLY the same way LAST Thursday! It seems I’d gotten the date wrong – AGAIN!!! It’s NEXT Thursday, May 19th! DOUBLE UGH! Feeling almost totally defeated, I went home and told my husband I need to be wrapped in cotton batten (anyone remember that? Rolls of cotton, like cotton balls, only in large ROLL form) and placed in a bed, to be wakened the NEXT day! Just went to throw a used paper plate into the garbage – looked down – how did it land? Perfectly centered over the can, like I’d placed it there to see if it would balance – it was not IN the can but resting perfectly over the top, like a lid (small can)! Go figure! I probably couldn’t make it do that like that if I TRIED!  To quote a very old TV commercial phrase: “Calgon, take me away!”  Later it’s my day to babysit my grandson – can’t wait to see what mayhem I’ll create then! Sigh.

Oh well, tomorrow’s another day (to quote Scarlet from “Gone with the Wind”).

Hugs;

Pammie

ADDENDUM: For those of you who wondered – the rest of the day turned out OK. Grandson’s mother showed up with a Mother’s Day card and a huge hanging fern plant – that was a surprise! The day finally calmed down – YAY!

Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Warmer Wednesday!

Wow! It’s 77 degrees F. here, balmy – breezy and sunny – what more could a girl ask for? Great night at Knit night last night, four new ladies! I announced the results of our vote to move or stay at the church and it was well received. As of next Knit Night, we’re back at our old haunt: Panera Bread.

Since I haven’t posted any recipes lately, here are some that are either unusual, or just sounded good to me when I read them – enjoy!

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Guacamole Deviled Eggs

halved hard boiled eggs
stiff guacamole
black olive slice or a slice of red pepper

Fill halved hard boiled eggs with a stiff guacamole instead
of the usual egg yolk  mixture. Garnish with black olive
slice, or a slice of red pepper.
(recipe: “Plan Four” – 1_Comfort_Foods Digest)

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Indoor S’mores

8 C. Golden Grahams® cereal
5 C. miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 C. milk chocolate chips
1/4 C. light corn syrup
5 T. butter or margarine
1 T. vanilla
1 C. miniature marshmallows, if desired

Measure cereal into large bowl. Butter  13×9 pan.
Heat 5 cups marshmallows,  chocolate chips, corn
syrup and butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until melted; remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla; pour over cereal and quickly toss until
completely coated. Stir in 1 cup marshmallows. Press
mixture evenly in pan, using buttered back of spoon.
Let stand, uncovered, at least 1 hour, or refrigerate
if you prefer a firmer bar. Cut into 2-inch squares.
Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2
days.
(recipe: Sandy – Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

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Asparagus Quiche

1 lb. fresh asparagus,trimmed & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
10 slices bacon
2 (8 inch) unbaked pie shells
1 egg white, lightly beaten
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. half-and-half cream
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven  400 degrees F.
Place asparagus in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water,
and cover.Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 -6 minutes.
Drain and cool. When cool, chop into bite-sized pieces.
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium
high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
Brush pie shells with beaten egg white. Sprinkle crumbled
bacon and chopped asparagus into pie shells. In a bowl,
beat together eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle Swiss cheese over bacon & asparagus. Pour
egg mixture on top of cheese. Bake, uncovered,
until firm, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature before serving.
(recipe: Mary Free – Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

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Crunchy Cheesy Potatoes

1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 C. sour cream
1 (32 oz) pkg frozen Southern-style hash browns, thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
20 crackers, crushed
2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350°.
Mix soup and sour cream in large bowl. Add potatoes &
cheese; stir until well blended. Spoon mixture into 13×9
baking dish. Combine cracker crumbs and butter;
sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake 50 minutes or until
heated through. Yield: 12 servings.
(recipe: Joan – Cream_Cheese_or_Sour_Cream site)
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Soft Peanut Brittle

2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/4 water plus 2 teaspoons (divided use)
2 T. butter
2 C.peanuts, raw or roasted, salted or unsalted
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a double boiler over hot water, place peanut butter to heat
while preparing syrup. In a large saucepan combine, sugar,
corn syrup and 1/4 cup water. Cook over high heat until syrup
reaches 275 degrees on the candy thermometer. Lower heat
to medium, add butter, stirring until melted. Add peanuts, cook,
stirring for about 5 minutes until candy starts turning brown and
reaches 300 degrees on the thermometer. Remove from heat,
stir in baking soda that has been dissolved in 2 teaspoons of
water. Add vanilla. Working quickly, fold in warm peanut butter,
stirring gently. At once, pour candy mixture onto well greased
marble slab or cookie sheet. Quickly spread as thin as possible.
The secret to this candy is quick cooling. When cold, break into
serving portions. Makes: About 3 pounds
(recipe: Trish – 1_Comfort_Foods Digest)
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Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

1 bunch fresh broccoli
1 head cauliflower
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
(or cream of celery soup, or cream of chicken)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pkg.  mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 C. white Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
1 stick butter, melted
1 small pkg. herb stuffing mix,
Pepperidge Farm is recommended)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F .
Cook broccoli & cauliflower until just tender according
to pkg. directions, drain and add to large bowl. Add
lemon juice, season to taste and break broccoli &
cauliflower into smaller pieces. Add  soup, mayonnaise,
sour cream, eggs, onion, mushrooms, and white Cheddar,
salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in heavy cream. Mix
butter and stuffing mix, add 1/3 to broccoli mixture to help
tighten. Reserve remaining stuffing for topping. Spread
broccoli mixture in 9 x 13 or larger casserole, top with
Cheddar cheese. Top casserole with remaining stuffing mix.
Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.
(recipe: Trish – 1_Comfort_Foods Digest)
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Breakfast Monte Cristos
Makes 2 sandwiches

2 eggs
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4 slices of bread
(thick, whole-wheat bread works great)
cream cheese
2-3 slices deli black forest ham
2 eggs, fried (middles poked and spread out
so the eggs lay flat)
2 slices Swiss cheese
powdered sugar
Raspberry Jam (or any jam you like)

Mix eggs, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla together
with a fork and pour in a shallow dish. Spread a good
amount of cream cheese on each slice of ham (if you
have a large slice of ham you may want to fold it over).
Add the cream cheese-covered ham, a fried egg, and
a slice of Swiss cheese to one slice of bread and top
with another slice of bread making a sandwich. Dip
each sandwich in the egg mixture and turn over so the
entire outside of the sandwich is coated in  egg mixture.
Cook on a griddle or in a frying pan (as if you were
making French toast). Carefully flip the sandwich when
the first side becomes nice and brown (again, like
French toast). When both sides of the sandwich are
brown and slightly crispy, remove from heat and sprinkle
each sandwich with powdered sugar. Cut into halves
or fourths and serve with raspberry jam.
(recipe: Sandy – Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
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After looking over the above recipes, they certainly are a
varied and unusual gathering! Right now I’m getting together
a homemade chicken pot pie for dinner (think I’ve featured
my throw-together recipe for that in another post).
Hope you’re having a great day – my server seems to want to
put all my typing into double-spaced lines – it’s driving me
nuts! (ended up having to copy the recipes to a separate page,
they copy & paste after adjusting the line spacing!) Think I’ll
do that to this part, too (otherwise it makes the post itself
way too long!)

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on May 11, 2011 at 3:14 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

Wednesday Wanderings

Good Morning!

It’s a bright and sunny Wednesday; I’m chipper because my wonderful husband went out to get us Tim Horton’s coffee and breakfast sausage, egg & cheese biscuit sandwiches for breakfast! They are our little ‘treat’; about a year ago I turned him onto this and now every once in awhile he decides it’s ‘time for our breakfast treat’ and picks them up. They’re just the right size and, together with their coffee, make a great start to my day. Movin’ a little slow today as (for who knows WHAT reason) I decided to stay up late (2:30 a.m.) last night, watching tv. Don’t even remember what I was watching but fully remember (again) my dear husband waking me up to escourt me to bed (I’d fallen asleep on the couch . . . again. Man, did I have the weird dreams! (Husband said he wants to find a voice-activated recorder for all the strange sounds and bits of conversation I go through during my dreams). Dreams about a car being repossessed for a $400 dental bill (???) it seems I drove into a commercial garage and a big circular magnet dropped onto the hood then a guy said something about it being repo’d for the dental bill – go figure!; someone else’s rose bush which I wanted to dig up and keep (?); riding on a motorcycle/wheelchair-like thing that was self-propelled (you just sat on it and it drove you…you didn’t even stear it! ? ? ? ) Yep, I have goofy dreams and didn’t even eat anything unusual before bed!

Looking over the week’s events, it seems there are TWO really big garage sales tomorrow! YAY! One is our local Parks & Rec. sale at a school – lots of ‘stuff’ in various classrooms; the other is the ‘twice a year’ really big church garage sale down the street. I look forward to that one, marking it on the calendar. I think I’ve posted about it before – I honestly don’t know HOW they amass the amounts of items they carry, especially if they only get their donated items from their church family!

Managed to almost finish three more Ghana Project afghans; have one that just needs the crocheted border. That brings the current total of completed afghans to 287. It’s been slow-going lately as I have to remind myself to ‘get going, it’s for a good cause’.

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CHICKEN SPINACH BAKE

2 cups chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
10 ounces frozen spinach, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine chicken and spinach. Mix other ingredients, add 1/3 to chicken and spinach, mix well. Top with remaining cheese mixture.
Spray 8-by-8-inch dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
(recipe: Trish – Cream Cheese or Sour Cream site)

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Deluxe Deviled Eggs

6 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup flaked canned salmon
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper
Paprika

Shell eggs, then cut in halves lengthways and remove yolks.Mash yolks and mix with sour cream, salmon, curry powder, mustard, lemon juice, and Worcestershire and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pile mixture into whites and garnish with Paprika. Makes 12 halves.
(recipe: Rhonda- Mary’s Recipe Exchange)

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Banana Fritters

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
4 firm bananas
5 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

In a large bowl combine 1 cup of flour, baking powder,
soda and salt. Gradually blend in the water and beat 
with whisk until smooth.Cut each banana crosswise into 
3 pieces. You should have 12 pieces altogether.
Coat bananas with remaining 1/2 cup of flour.Heat 
oil in a large skillet over high heat. Dip banana 
pieces in flour water mixture, coating well. 
Cook 4-6 pieces at a time until golden brown, about
3-5 minutes.Drain on paper towels. Serves 4
(recipe: Sue - Desserts du Jour site 4/29/11)
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Spanish Rice/Pork Chops
 
4 pork chops
salt/pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
3/4 cups rice
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
can tomatoes (14.5oz)
shredded cheese

Slowly brown chops in oil about 15-20 minutes;
drain off fat. Combine salt, pepper & chili 
powder; sprinkle over chops. Add rice, onion
and green pepper then pour tomatoes over all.
Cover and cook over low heat about 35 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese.
(recipe: Jodie- Recipes du Jour 4/29/11)
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Chocolate Bread (bread machine)

1 packet instant yeast
3 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 egg
1/4 cup soft butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. frozen semi-sweet chocolate chips

Using the directions for your particular machine, place 
all ingredients except the frozen chocolate chips into
the pan of bread machine. If possible, program machine
for raisin bread.Add frozen chocolate chips at the signal; 
or, if you have no raisin bread cycle, add them about 
3 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle. 
Yield: one 6 to 7-inch loaf.
(recipe: King Arthur Flour Co, via Blaize Clement, author)
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Ham Stuffed French Rolls (crockpot)

2 cups cooked ham, finely chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped olives, optional
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, in small cubes 
1/3 cup mayonnaise
6 large or 8 small French rolls 
 
In a large bowl, combine ham, eggs, onions, olives,
mustard, relish, cheese, and mayonnaise. Slice
rolls lengthwise and scoop out most of the soft centers. 
Fill rolls with ham mixture, replace tops, and
wrap each roll in foil.Place rolls in slow cooker, 
cover, and cook on Low for 2 to 3hours. They may be 
kept hot and served from the slow cooker.
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Irish Inside Outside Cake 

1 pkg. white cake mix
1 small pkg. pistachio Instant pudding
3 eggs 
1 cup club soda
1 cup oil

Frosting:

1 1/2 cup cold milk
1 envelope Dream whip whipped topping mix
1 small pkg pistachio instant pudding
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
For cake: Blend all ingredients in large mixer bowl,
then beat two minutes at medium speed. Bake in greased,
floured 10-inch Bundt pan 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 15
minutes; remove from pan and cool on rack. Split into 3 layers. 
Chill.

For frosting: Blend all ingredients except nuts. Whip until
thickened (about 5 minutes). Spread frosting between layers 
and complete cake. Garnish with chopped nuts. 
(recipe: Sandy - Marys Recipe Exchange)
==================================
Well, that's about it for recipes this time; hope you're 
having a great day - remember to stop and take a second
to enjoy your time - smell some flowers (or at least
look for something blooming), take a few deep breaths
and SMILE!!!

Hugs;
Pammie

"THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE, WE WILL REJOICE
AND BE GLAD IN IT!"  Psalm 118:24