Hot/Cold . . . Hot/Cold . . . Afghans

For most of us, the weather lately has been an inferno – roasting hot temperatures in the 90-100 range and that’s no different here in Michigan. Now – in my house, however, things are a bit different. There are, currently, four people living here, all males except me. Let me put it this way: they LOVE the cold! Yes, we have air conditioning and it feels great in this heat – however – FREEZING is not my idea of a great idea! I go around, in my house, in long jeans and sometimes a sweater, just to ‘not rock the boat’. My computer desk is right in front of a cold air duct, so working here requires nice winter slippers, long pants, 2 (yes, TWO) heavy towels over the opening to the desk (to block the cold air) and sometimes even a heavy bathrobe draped over my knees – just to keep me from turning into an icicle! (Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not one to try to complain, if I can avoid it). Today, I think I’ve found a way to bring an even keel to this perspective! I’ve been dragging out boxes & bags of knit/crocheted afghan squares to begin the assembly process. (so far have arranged – not sewn, just arranged, six afghans which equal 180 squares – YAY!). After said ‘process’, I began to notice I was slowly shedding garments in favor of lighter ones – working under our dining room light (which holds six 60 Watt bulbs) gets a bit WARM! By the last afghan assembly I found myself seeking the cooler air of my computer desk – a very new/different solution, for sure! I’m sitting here merrily typing to you while cooling my tootsies (and other parts). When I’m sufficiently cooled, I plan on dragging out the other 4-5 bags of squares and going through them, color by color. You see, I arrange each grouping of squares by color grouping: Reds/Oranges; Blues/Purples; Pinks; Greens/ White/Cream/Yellow and tans/browns.  Those other bags contain more solid square colors and since I’ve already cleared out 180 squares, MAYBE I can move some of those to the other boxes, thereby eliminating more crowding in the bedroom they’re stored in! (Maybe . . . sure hoping!).

Enough of the afghan-thing, you’re probably wondering WHERE’S THE RECIPES!? I sent out a big batch of crockpot recipes today to friends who like them so I thought I’d include some here. These are almost all gleaned from a great site on Yahoo – Slowcooker Digest (just in case you might want to sign up for their emails – it’s free!). Here ya go:


Slow Cooker Simple Pepper Steak

1 pound beef round
14 1/2 ounces canned Italian stewed tomatoes — (1 can)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
16 oz frozen stir-fry peppers, thawed, to add at
    the end of cooking time
To serve: — cooked brown rice or quinoaUse a 4-qt slow cooker.

Put meat into the bottom of slow cooker. Add  tomatoes,

tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.Cover and cook on
low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Add  thawed
peppers and stir well. Cover and cook on high for
20 to 30 minutes, or until the peppers are heated through.
Serve over a big plate of brown rice or quinoa.
Serves 4
Crockpot Potatoes, Peppers, and Tomatoes
This is a wonderful combination and a good
accompaniment to grilled chicken,fish, or beef
It also makes a good meatless main dish when topped with
crumbled feta cheese.

3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into

1/4-inch-thick slices or 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
3 tablespoons dried basil 1 onion, sliced
3 large tomatoes (about 11/4 pounds), thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
    or 1 (5 3/4-ounce) can pitted ripe olives, drained,coarsely chopped

Arrange 1/3  potatoes in  bottom of a 4-6 qt crockpot.
Season with 1/3 garlic pepper and 1/2 tablespoon
basil. Repeat in 2 more layers. Top with onion, tomatoes

and bell pepper strips. Mix together vinegar, olive oil,
and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons basil. Pour evenly
over all. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 1/2 to 5 hours,
or until potatoes are fork-tender but still hold their
shape. Mix gently once or twice during cooking,
if possible. Before serving, drain off the excess
liquid, if desired. Stir in the olives. Serve hot or
refrigerate and serve cold.


Barbecued Turkey Chili (crockpot)

1 can kidney beans — (16 ounces) rinsed and drained
1 can hot chili beans — (15-1/2 ounces)
1 can turkey chili with beans — (15 ounces)
1 can diced tomatoes — (14-1/2 ounces) undrained
1/3 cup barbecue sauce

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients. Cover and
cook on high for 4 hours or until heated through and flavors are
blended. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Peach Dessert (crockpot) 

2 cups frozen sliced peaches
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 (9-oz.) box white cake mix
4 Tbsp. margarine, melted

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer all ingredients
in the slow cooker in the order given. Cover.
Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

Vegetable Medley Vava Voom(crockpot)
4 cups diced peeled potatoes

1 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
OR 1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp pepper

In a crockpot, combine all ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until

vegetables are tender. Serves 8
Crockpot Hot Dog Casserole


2 cups red apples — peeled & sliced
1 can sweet potatoes — sliced 16 oz can
1 pkg wieners — sliced
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 lemon rind — grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Mix half of apples, potatoes & wieners in a

greased slow cooker. Combine brown sugar,
lemon rind, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Spread
half of sugar mixture over apple mixture. Repeat
layers. Slow-cook 5-9 hours.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Chocolate Covered Peanuts(crockpot) 

2 pounds almond bark
12 ounces chocolate chips
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
24 ounces dry roasted peanuts

Melt first three ingredients in crock pot on

low. Stir in peanuts. Drop by teaspoon onto
waxed paper. Store in tightly covered container.
 Lean Mean & Green Tortilla Soup-(crockpot) 

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
6 C. chicken broth
16 oz frozen corn — (1 bag)
14 oz salsa verde — (1 jar) [go for mild, you

     can always add more heat at the table]
1 T. ground cumin
6 T. sour cream — to add before servingTo garnish: — crushed tortilla chips, avocado

slices, and cilantro

Use a 6-quart slow cooker.
Place the chicken into the bottom of your slow

cooker insert. Stir in chicken broth, corn, salsa
verde, and cumin. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8
hours, or on high for about 4 hours.Shred the
chicken using two large forks before serving.
Ladle into bowls with a dollop of sour cream in
each bowl, and top with crushed tortilla chips,
avocado, and cilantro, if you’d like. Serves 6 to 8
Well, that’s ‘it’ for today, so far . . . I’m sufficiently
cooled off so it’s back to hauling bags/boxes of
afghan squares. Hope you have found a good
method to keep cool AND enjoy yourself in this
ps: Sorry for the kind of goofy arrangement on the recipes – it seems my server wants to put spaces where there shouldn’t be spaces, or cram ingredient lists into the recipe title! I tried, multiple times, to change it, but no go . . . sorry.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well it sounds like you have the best of both worlds –temperature -wise! The bonus is that you are accomplishing things at the same time!

  2. Went looking thru my closet to find a bit of fabric with Red in it. Hot activity! back there in the corner, up n down off the stepstool
    Needed the piece to use as a liner for a purse being put together.
    I used yarn to crochet some, knitted some, sewed a couple holey spots,
    then decided to make it more sturdy to use, therefore the need of fabric and sewing machine. While I had that out, I mended a shirt

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