Thursday Happenings

I’ve still got “The Touch”!

(in case you wondered, he has those fake tatoos on his arm)

It’s Thursday and another beautiful Summer day. Thursday also finds me babysitting my now 5 yr old grandson. I had recently set up a box with lots of various stickers, stamps and paper to keep him busy. He decides that the paper looks like it could be his ‘grocery list’ so he starts deciding what he wants to put on it. “How do you spell Orange Juice?” (me) “O . . R  . . A” (him): “Never mind – I’ll just put OJ, it means the same thing!” (told ya this kid is smart!) Next thing on his list is chocolate chip cookies (same ‘how do you spell that?’) (me: C..H..O etc.) (him) “Never mind-I put a W in it – I’ll remember what it means!” Oh, that kid!  A little later we got into a discussion of what’s for dinner tonight. “We’re having Tacos!” (him) “I don’t think I LIKE tacos.” I then proceed to explain what they are and what’s inside them. “You can make mine without tomatoes – I don’t like tomatoes.” (I remembered that so I tell him he can put whatever he wants in them) “I think I’ll just put lettuce, cheese and hanga-bur” Yep, that’s my kid! Good old ‘hangabur’, can’t make tacos without it! I remember when my kids were little I made a list of various things they said or words that were uniquely their own, then put them in their baby book. I probably should start doing that for him, too. It’s always fun to look back on those memories and chuckle.   A little earlier in the day it was looking like this might be a really short babysitting day, as his Dad was coming over around 2:30 to help his friend pick up our old van and, hopefully, get it started. Since we purchased the new one, his friend was very interested in our oldest (93) van and we need the parking space, so this was a good deal. Today was also youngest son’s work day as dishwasher for oldest son’s restaurant. Youngest just got a text that he doesn’t work today: “The restaurant’s flooded!” What a mess! Not sure just ‘when’ oldest will come to pick up grandson; it’s OK – we’re very flexible ‘free’ babysitters!  I can’t imagine the mess and clean-up involved but, as Executive Chef, that’s all part of his job. He said the mess was mostly cleaned up but the carpets are still soaked – so glad that’s not my worry (or expense!).

I’ve been driving the new van now for almost a week and am slowly getting used to it. The other evening I got in the car and needed to turn on the headlights, as it was dark out. Well, friends, I humbly admit it took me a good 5 minutes to figure that one out! I kept playing with the lever attached to the steering wheel (where my OLD van’s light thing was) and it took me awhile to realize that my BACK WINDOW WAS VERY CLEAN, as I kept turning on the back windshield washer & wiper! Oh well – it’s all a learning experience, eh? Today was the first time I got to utilize the back area to stow groceries – it SURE IS BIG! (actually, it’s not so big as it is deep – the groceries are sitting lower than in the old van which makes for more room and they aren’t so apt to tip over this way. My special needs ‘kids’ rode in it Wednesday and all evening they kept saying: “I sure do like your new car, Pam!” (We aim to please!)

Right now I’m working on printing 55 copies of my special needs group newsletter; almost half done, then I’ll only have to staple them, fold and stuff the envelopes – then a trip to the Post Office and I’m done for another 2 months – YAY!

Ah, yes – the holiday quickly approaches! That brings to mind RECIPES! (and I won’t disappoint you – I’ve got LOTS!)


Vanilla Poached Peaches

1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 (3 1/2-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and quartered
2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
4 teaspoons chopped pistachios

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium non-aluminum saucepan;
bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add peaches, and simmer 7 minutes or
until tender. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon; place in a shallow
dish. Bring cooking liquid to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2
cup (about 7 minutes). Discard vanilla bean; pour syrup over peaches.
Cool to room temperature.Combine preserves and 4 teaspoons peach
syrup; stir with awhisk. Place 3 peach quarters and 1 1/2 tablespoons
peach syrup in each of 4 dishes; top each serving with 2 teaspoons
strawberry mixture and 1 teaspoon pistachios. Makes 4 servings.
Note:  If vanilla extract is used instead of vanilla bean, use 1
teaspoon and stir in after mixture is reduced.
(recipe: Desserts du Jour 6/27/11)
Squash Casserole
2 1/2 pounds yellow squash, sliced*
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 large eggs 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
10 round buttery crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cook squash, covered, in a small amount of boiling water 8
to 10 minutes or until tender; drain well, pressing between
paper towels. Combine squash and butter in a bowl; mash until
butter melts. Stir in eggs and next 7 ingredients; spoon into a
lightly greased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with
crushed crackers. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with
cheese; bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.
Makes 8 servings. *2 1/2 pounds zucchini, sliced, may be substituted.
(recipe: Recipes du Jour 6/25/11)
Good Ol' Alabama Sweet Tea

 2 cups sugar
 1/2 gallon water
 1 tray ice cubes
 3 family sized teabags of orange pekoe tea
 3 cups cold water, or as needed
Pour the sugar into a large pitcher. Bring water to a boil in a
large pan. When the water begins to boil, remove from the heat, and
place the teabags in. Let steep for 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove tea bags, and return tea to the heat. Bring just to a boil,
then pour into the pitcher, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Fill the pitcher half way with ice, and stir until most of it melts.
Then fill the pitcher the rest of the way with cold water, and stir
until blended.
(recipe: Sandy-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
Tangy Dill Potato Salad
3 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1/2 cup Italian-style salad dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook for
about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the salad dressing,
mayonnaise, green onions, dill, mustard, lemon juice, and pepper.
When the potatoes are cooled, stir into the bowl until coated.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours to blend flavors before serving
(recipe: Sandy-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
Sweet Spicy Cucumbers over Tomatoes

2 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumber (about 2 cucumbers)
1 cup thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 whole dried red chiles
16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Arrange half of cucumber in a 9-inch pie plate. Top with half of onion.
Repeat procedure with remaining cucumber and onion.

Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients (vinegar through chiles) in a
small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves,
stirring occasionally. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture.
Cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 to 4 days.

Arrange tomato slices on a platter; sprinkle evenly with 1/8 teaspoon
salt and black pepper. Remove cucumber mixture from marinade with a
slotted spoon; arrange over tomato slices. Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: Recipes du Jour 6/22/11)
Byerly's Wild Rice Chicken Salad

 2/3 cup mayonnaise
 1/3 cup milk
 2 tablespoons lemon juice
 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
 3 cups cooked cubed chicken
 3 cups cooked wild rice
 1/3 cup finely sliced green onions
 1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts (drained)
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/8 teaspoon pepper
 1/2 pound seedless green grapes (1 cup halved)
 1 cup salted cashews

Blend mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice and tarragon; set aside.
In large bowl combine chicken, wild rice, green onion, water
chestnuts, salt and pepper. Stir in mayonnaise mixture until
blended. Refrigerate covered 2 to 3 hours. Just before serving
fold in grapes and cashews.
(recipe: Joan - 1_Comfort_Foods digest)
Aud-Mar Supper Club Chocolate Peanut Pie

 1 pakg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
 1 C. creamy peanut butter
 1 C. powdered sugar
 3/4 of 8 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
 1/2 C. granulated sugar
 1 C. butter, room temperature
 1 tsp. vanilla extract
 1 1/2 C. chocolate chips, melted
 1 baked 9-inch pie crust
 1 C. chopped peanuts

To make filling, beat cream cheese and peanut butter until
creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix well. Fold in
whipped topping and set aside in cool place.

To make chocolate topping, beat granulated sugar and butter in
bowl until creamy. Add vanilla and melted chocolate chips. Beat
until smooth. Spread thin layer of chocolate topping in bottom of
prepared crust. Sprinkle with a few chopped peanuts. Fill rest of
crust with filling. Spread remaining chocolate mixture over filling
and sprinkle with rest of peanuts. Chill about 3 hours. When ready
to serve, cut with hot knife. Makes about 12 servings.
(recipe: Joan - Cream-cheese or sour cream)
Chicken Can-Can
1 (12 oz. ) can evaporated milk
1 can (10 3/4 0z) cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cond. cream of-chicken soup, undiluted
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cond. chicken-noodle soup, undiluted
1/4 C. flour
1 can (10 oz.) chunk white chicken-drained
1 can (5 oz.) chow mein noodlesIn a large skillet, combine the first
five ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until
thickened. Add chicken; heat through. Serve over chow mein noodles.
Yield: 5 servings.
(recipe: Carolsrecipes – Marys Recipe Exchange

Lemon Sour Cream Pie

Flaky Pie Crust Dough

2 cups flour
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup and 2 Tbs. butter
1 large egg
2 Tbs. ice water

Pie Crust Directions:
Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into
small pieces and begin working it into the flour with a pastry cutter. Work with
the dough until each piece of butter is the size of a raisin. Make sure to do
this quickly. Mix together the egg and water in a small bowl, then add that to the
flour/butter mixture. Smear this mixture and knead through it with the heal of
your hand until it barely holds together. Don’t over-work the dough. Flatten the
dough into a disc shape, wrap it in plastic, and chill in refrigerator for at
least 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough for the pie shell and place in a 9-inch pie pan shaping the
dough to the pan. Line the shell with parchment paper and place baking beans or
weights. Chill for 30 minutes, then bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove
parchment and weights and continue to bake for an additional 12 minutes or until
crust is light golden brown. Let cool.

Lemon Filling:
1 cup sugar
3-1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
1 baked pie shell, 9-inch

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped and sweetened with 1/8 cup sugar
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg
yolks, milk and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat until thick. Stir in butter
and cool mixture to room temperature.
Stir in sour cream and pour filling into pie shell. Cover with whipped cream.
Store in refrigerator.
(recipe: Joan – 1_Comfort_Foods)
Bean, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Dip

1/4 C. chopped onion
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (15- oz) can navy beans, drained
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled blue cheese
3 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained)

Place first 7 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Combine
bean mixture and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Makes 1 1/2
(recipe: Recipe du Jour 6/28/11)
Red, White and Bleu Slaw 

6 cups angel hair coleslaw mix
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup coleslaw salad dressing
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
1/2 cup real bacon bits

In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, tomatoes, salad
dressing and 1/2  cup blue cheese. Cover and refrigerate
until serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with bacon bits
and remaining cheese. Yield:6 servings.
(recipe: Sandy - Mary's Recipe Exchange)
Fourth of July Bean Casserole   

1/2 lb. sliced bacon, diced
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1 can (28 oz) pork and beans
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-1/4 oz) lima beans
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. prepared mustard
2 T. molasses
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder

In a large skillet, cook bacon, beef and onion until meat is
no longer pink and onion is tender; drain. Transfer to a
greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish; add all of the beans and mix
well. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients;
stir into beef and bean mixture. Cover and bake at 350° for
45 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer.
Yield: 12 servings.
(recipe: Sandy-Mary's Recipe Exchange)

Right now I'm wrapping up this post while our grandson naps on the
couch. It's been a rather busy day for him and I could tell he really
needed a nap. Due to a situation which required this grandma to have
him serve a 5 minute 'time-out' punishment, he was really displaying
all the earmarks of being overly tired. I just thought I'd see if he'd
be willing to relax a little in my rocker-the above photo is the end
result, proving that even at 5 years old, you can still need a nap
while grandma rocks and hums "The Muffin Man" to you! Yep, I've still
got 'The Touch'!

Hope you're having a great day; our weather here is a sunny, bright
82 degrees - not even enough to need the air conditioning (yay!)

Enjoy your day;


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. A beautiful photo of two loving people. That should be framed and hung my dear!

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