More New Directions

Gorgeous weather here lately – in the mid 70’s & sunny!

Hello, Everyone!

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for awhile, you know that I’ve always been a ‘sucker for a good cause’. Today while finishing up knitting the gold scarf which will be my friend’s Christmas present I got to thinking of what I told my other friend who’s going through this cancer battle with me: “We’re Sisters in the faith fighting cancer together!” Well, that got me to thinking about new directions; I have written to the lady who is in charge of delivering the afghans I made to Ghana, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone and told her that I won’t be doing that for awhile, due to the cancer treatments. Now that I’ve reached the goal I’d set (for myself) of 300 afghans, what am I going to be doing in the future and what am I going to do with the rest of the already knit/crocheted squares?  Don’t get me wrong-I love doing this but my once ‘love’ has almost become a drudge (for want of a better word) – pushing myself to get a large number done to take to the hospital for delivery to those countries. What if – what if there might be a need for those kinds of afghans here – locally-for (perhaps) women struggling in their battle with cancer?  What if I could shift that direction and start over (so to speak) with a new direction? And maybe call it: “Sisters in the Faith Fighting Cancer Together?”  Well, dear friends, that’s what’s rolling around in my brain now; we’ll see where it all goes. Tomorrow I meet with the surgeon for the first time (I’m guessing there will be more than one meeting before surgery – I could be wrong, we’ll see). I’m going to ask her if she knows of any groups out there that might be able to use afghans for people with cancer in the area.

On the crafting end of it – yesterday I stopped in JoAnn Fabrics and picked up more yarn (I hear you – MORE yarn? Girlfriend- you’ve got more yarn than you could ever use!!!). You see, my new ‘cancer buddy’ (guess I should give her name, as she’s in this with me) Louann and I share more than just our diagnosis’s – she also loves yellow as her favorite color – but when we got to discussing colors, it seems her FAVORITE color is Magenta – also MY favorite color! (She said she doesn’t tell people about magenta because most people either don’t know what it is, or think it’s actually purple-it’s not, it’s more of a purply-pink, almost raspberry). She said that when she was a little girl, first day of school when you get a new box of crayons (we’re talking the 64 box or larger), she’d pull out the Magenta crayon and hide it, so it was always new – she loved that color that much! Well, my ‘go-to’ yarn store had just that color in a very soft yarn – YAY!  Because it’s a rather thin yarn, I’m going to pair it with a very fine, very soft yarn I have (white) and make her a Magenta hat (loomed).  Also, while strolling the yarn isles at JoAnn’s they have a short little half-aisle of marked down ‘goodies’ and I spotted a wicker basket full of these goofy little skeins of rust-colored fun fur!  My immediate thought was: what can I do with this?  I bought 4 ‘balls’ and am going to pair that with some of the gold soft yarn leftover from my friend’s Christmas scarf for another hat for Louann!  (One thing I’ve learned from being friends with other women who have had chemo is: they need something to cover their heads at home, to keep them warm and so that if someone knocks at the door they don’t have to run and grab their wig or answer the door bald, hence my idea of lots of ‘at home’ chemo caps for my friend.  Now I’ll be anxious to see her reaction to this newly invented-in-my-head gold/rust fun-fur creation! The fun fur is a very thin/fine yarn with these almost feathery bits randomly placed coming out of it. When knit up, it produces a sort of fluffy look – I think it will be FUN! (I’m anxious to get started creating it!).

Well, dear friends, it’s on to RECIPES!!! YAY!


Bean, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Dip

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, drained
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup (2 ounces) 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 cups.
(recipe: Recipes du Jour 6/28/11)

1 graham cracker crust
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1- 6 oz. can frozen orange juice
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
10 oz. Cool Whip

Mix cream cheese, milk and orange juice with mixer. Fold
in cool whip. Pour into crust & refrigerate at least 4 hours.
(recipe: Peg - Marys Recipe Exchange)
Slow Cooker Beef Taco Bake

 1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato soup — (10 3/4-oz.)
1 C. thick and chunky salsa
1/2 C. milk
6 flour tortillas or 8 corn tortillas
cut into 1-inch pieces
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheeseBrown ground beef in skillet over medium-
high heat.Place in slow cooker. Add soup and
salsa and pour over ground beef.
Cook over Low heat for 6-8 hours.
During last hour of cooking time, add
tortillas. In last 30 minutes of cooking
time, add milk and stir.Sprinkle cheese
over all just before serving.
Serves 4-6.
(recipe: Deidre-Slowcooker Digest)

Twice-Baked Ranch Potatoes4 large baking potatoes
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 T.milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
1 1/2 C. mashed potatoes
1/4 C.shredded Cheddar cheese
Scrub and pierce potatoes; place on a microwave-
safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for18-20
minutes or until tender, turning several times. Let
stand for 10 minutes.Meanwhile, in small mixing
bowl, combine cream cheese and milk; beat in salad
dressing mix. Add mashed potatoes; mix well. Cut a
thin slice from the top of each potato; scoop out pulp,
leaving a thin shell. Add pulp to the cream cheese
mixture and mash. Spoon into potato shells. Top with
cheese. Place two potatoes on a microwave-safe plate.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2
minutes or until heated through. Place remaining
potatoes on a baking sheet. Freeze overnight or until
thoroughly frozen; transfer to a freezer bag. May be
frozen for up to 3 months. To use frozen potatoes:
Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave,
uncovered, at 50% powder for 8-9 minutes or
until heated through.

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken
6 Chicken Thighs skinless – or pieces, cut up
1/2 Cup flour — mixed with
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
3 T. catsup
3 T. brown sugar
6 oz. lemonade, frozen concentrate
2 T. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 C waterDredge chicken in flour mixed with salt. Shake
off excess and brown in a hot skillet. Remove
chicken and put in crockpot. Mix
lemonade, brown sugar, vinegar (use regular
vinegar if you prefer) and catsup and pour over
chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. When ready
to serve, remove chicken to a warm platter and
thicken sauce with cornstarch/water solution,
and serve along with the chicken.
(recipe: Deirdre – Slowcooker Digest)

Cream Cheese Bacon Crescents

1 Can Crescent Rolls
1 Tub Philadelphia Cream Cheese-Chive & Onion flavor
3-4 Strips Bacon Cooked & Crumbled

Mix Cream Cheese & Bacon. Half all crescent
triangles to make 8. Place 1 heavy teaspoon of
mixture on top and roll up. Bake at 375 for 10-12

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Simple Yogurt Cake with Fresh Berries

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup cane sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 C. canola oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh berries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Oil a 9-inch cake pan, then line bottom
with circle of parchment paper. Oil the paper,
too; set pan aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking
powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl,
whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil,
almond extract and vanilla extract. Gently whisk
flour mixture into yogurt mixture just until
blended and smooth.Pour batter into prepared pan
and bake for 45 minutes, or until cake is golden
brown and top has formed a thin crust. The cake should
be just firm in the center when done. Cool cake on a
wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan and
peel off parchment paper. Continue cooling on a rack.
Slice and serve with berries. Serves 8
NOTE:  For a cake with a hint of lemon,
 substitute freshly grated lemon zest for the almond extract.
 (recipe: Tamara-1_Comfort_Foods)
Grilled Peach Sundaes 
6 ripe peaches 
3 teaspoons sugar 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1 lime 
1/2 cup honey 
Vanilla ice cream 

Cut the peaches in half and remove the 
pits. Dust the cut side of each half with 
some of the sugar and ginger. Light a 
charcoal grill and allow the coals to 
burn until well covered with gray ash or 
heat a gas grill to low. Place the peaches 
sugar side down on the center of the cooking 
grate. Grill 6 to 7 minutes or until golden
brown. Remove from grill. Grate the zest from 
the lime, then squeeze the juice. In a small bowl, 
combine the juice, zest, and honey. Serve the 
peaches with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, 
drizzled with some of the sauce. Makes 6 servings.
(recipe: DDj-8/25/11)
East-West Vegetables

2 pounds potatoes
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 pound zucchini -- small
1 1/2 pounds sweet red peppers
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

 1/3 cup olive oil
 1/4 cup soy sauce
 2 teaspoons sesame oil
 Glaze: Stir together olive oil, soy 
sauce and sesame oil. Set aside.
 Cut potatoes and sweet potatoes lengthwise 
into 1/2-inch slices. Cut zucchini in half 
lengthwise. Cut peppers in half; seed and 
trim ends, then cut in half again. Lightly 
brush vegetables on one side with glaze; place 
glaze side down on oiled grill.
Grill, covered, over medium coals or 
on medium setting until tender and lightly
charred: 25 to 30 minutes for potatoes; 
20 to 25 minutes for sweet potatoes; 8-12 minutes 
for zucchini; and 6 to 8 minutes for peppers.During 
cooking, turn once, brushing the top side with glaze
before turning. Brush cooked vegetables with remaining 
glaze and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
 * To toast sesame seeds: Heat in small skillet 
over low heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
(recipe: Carole-Canadian Living, July 1989)
Farmer's Casserole
6 cups shredded hash brown potatoes, frozen
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
2 cups diced ham
1/2 cup sliced green onions
8 eggs -- beaten
3 cups evaporated skim milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 3 quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange potatoes evenly in
the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham, and green onion.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour
egg mixture over potato mixture in dish.

Bake, uncovered, 45-55 minutes or until center
appears set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Better Homes & Gardens, 2003)

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cool Whip
2 c. fresh strawberries, chopped
1 graham cracker pie crust
Whipped topping
Whole strawberries

Combine softened cream cheese, Cool Whip and strawberries in
large mix bowl until well blended. Pour into pie crust.
Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Top with whipped
topping and fresh whole strawberries.

(recipe: lovet0cook-Marys’ Recipe Exchange)
Forester Potato Salad

1 (24 oz) bag hash brown potatoes
4 hard boiled eggs, rough chopped
2 tsp yellow mustard
2 T dill relish
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 sour cream
3/4 cup onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

In a dutch oven, bring water to boil, add potatoes
and cook til fork tender (about 1 minute). Drain & let cool is a
separate bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Season to taste.
Can be made the day before and allow the flavor to marinate
together overnight.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
There’s lots more great-sounding recipes coming – (I just looked at my email box and I’ve been very delinquent at sorting them out – gotta get at that!
Thought for the day:
         “Remember- no one is guaranteed tomorrow, so make the BEST of your day TODAY!!!
BIG Hugs to all of YOU – I’m doing fine!

“I will bless the Lord at ALL times; His praise will continually be in my mouth!”
  Psalm 34:1


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. The cap ideas sound exciting. Don’t forget the pictures! Also the local afghan Idea is very good “Alice”. If it is a go ahead could I do some Diagonal Box ones for you? I have yarn all over my dresser that needs to be gone!!!!!!

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