I Earned My “Keep” Today!

Today was the beginning of the ‘grocery shopping rush’ and I certainly got off to a good start! First thing was the ‘daily radiation’, then stopped at our local Gordon Foods (store my son used to work at) for (our usual) 5 lb. container of sour cream, large bag of corn chips, loaf of wheat bread and ‘the goodies’: a large pumpkin pie and the big assortment of various cheese cake slices (YUM!). Oh! Almost forgot my one ‘impulse buy’: they had something I’ve never seen before: Cinnabon Cinnamon Bun-flavored candy canes! (couldn’t resist: something like $2.99 a box). My husband is our family’s cinnamon freak – forget those peppermint candy canes or any other flavor – it’s got to be cinnamon (and, believe me, that flavor is getting harder & harder to find each year!). Even though I don’t care for all the SWEET flavor of a candy cane, I just might be tempted to break off a piece and try them (after Thanksgiving, of course!). Next was a quick stop at our little local grocer (they have great produce!) – right now I really don’t remember what I got there! Vaguely remember Stove Top stuffing on sale, Campbell’s turkey gravy (I know I bought other ‘stuff’, just don’t remember!). Came home and took about a 45 minute ‘rest’, then it was off to my general physician for my 3 month check up. (this cancer thing is a pain – makes me have to go to my regular doctor every 3 months AS WELL AS the Oncologist/Radiologist, etc.) It was OK, though, because I ran into my other ‘second year resident’ doctor whom I hadn’t seen in 3 months – he even gave me a big hug! (He’s the one who gave me the initial diagnosis of breast cancer – really REALLY nice guy, married and expecting their second daughter!). Check up was really good, awaiting blood tests to see if all my vitamin/mineral levels are OK (that’s the thing with radiation – it can make you anemic and have brittle bones); I asked today about exactly what vitamins & minerals I should be on – he said what I’m doing now is fine but we’ll see exactly when they get the blood tests back.

Left the doctor’s office and headed to Michael’s (craft store); just learned yesterday that my pastor’s wife has uterine cancer and I want to make her a bracelet like the one my knit buddy made for me. The bracelet is lovely (I wear it all the time): tiny Swarovski pink crystals interspersed with tiny pearls – hanging on this are two silver charms: a tiny silver cross and a tiny pink enameled breast cancer ribbon. Couldn’t find the ribbon charms anywhere and asked; turns out they only featured them in October (breast cancer awareness month) then put them on Clearance! Next stop: JoAnn’s – yes, they had them (not exactly the same but they’ll do) so now I have the ingredients to make the bracelet (depending on my energy levels, I’d like to give it to her next Sunday). Came home from that ‘treck’ and took an hour nap (I’ve learned – if I don’t REST frequently, I just can’t function – I get too fatigued!) Having chatted with my husband earlier, I talked him into going with me to Kroger’s (partially to take advantage of his strength in hefting a 21 lb. turkey, partly to avoid the crowds in the next two days at that store!). Amazingly, we accomplished our task in about an hour! (Of course, not withstanding the occasional ‘grousing’ by BOTH of us at not quite understanding what the other said/wanted, etc. If you’re married AND go grocery shopping with your spouse, you understand!) Now we have a lovely turkey that used to be priced at $23.00 which we got for $6.71!!! YAY! (Oh, I also took advantage of a lovely sliced & spiced ham at the little local grocer; it promptly went in the freezer for our Christmas dinner.)  Last but not least, tomorrow will be the pinnacle of my shopping: going to a new grocery store near the cancer center and finishing up the shopping. (You’d think with all my running today, I’d be done – right? Not quite!).  Yes, they have turkey’s on sale (with additional spending of $25) for 49 cents a lb. and YES, I’m going to buy one more. You just can’t beat those prices! (The checkout lady at Krogers was telling us that they are open Thanksgiving Day and close at 5 p.m.-she said there will be lines jam-packed with shoppers. I said: Buying what they forgot? “No” she says – buying more turkey’s at sale prices! Crazy! I’d rather just do it once and get it over with!)

Tomorrow night is also my Knit Night so I know I’ll have to conserve some energy for that. I’m finishing up another chemo cap (4 more to donate – NO PHOTOS, they all look the same, just different colors). Am also working on a regular worsted-weight yarn hat to donate to our special needs group’s “Giving Tree”. It’s a candy-striped red & white hat, for either a man or woman. The group puts up an artificial tree in the church foyer and people donate hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and socks; all proceeds are donated to the church’s outreach to the poor people of the local area.

Now, you say: “Where’s the Recipes, Pam???” Here ya go:


Chicken & Pepper Pasta Bake

3 C. rigatoni, uncooked
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-sized pcs.
1 large red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 large green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees
Cook pasta according to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Cook & stir chicken
in nonstick skillet on medium-high
heat 2 minutes. Add peppers; cook &
stir 3 minutes. Stir in spaghetti
sauce; simmer 6-8 minutes or until
chicken is done and peppers are
crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
Add cream cheese; cook & stir 1-2
min. or until melted. Serves 4
(recipe: Kraftrecipes.com)
Easy Tomato Baked Chicken

1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 small boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves (1 lb)
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette dressing*
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spread onions on bottom of 9 X
13 baking dish, sprayed with
nonstick cooking spray; top with
chicken. Combine tomatoes, dressing
and garlic powder; pour over chicken.
Sprinkle top with cheese. Bake 30
minutes or until chicken is done.

Note: another posted substituted
Light Zesty Italian dressing
Serves 4.
(recipe: Kraftrecipes.com)
Orange-Spinach Salad with Chicken

1/3 C. LaChoy Orange Ginger stir fry
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained,
reserve juice
1 T. honey
1 T. oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into strips
1 (6 oz.) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1/4 C. slivered almonds

Stir together stir fry sauce, reserved
orange juice and honey in small bowl;
set aside. Heat oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook
until no longer pink, stirring occasion-
ally. Add stir fry sauce mixture and bring
to boil. Cook 2-3 minutes or until
mixture thickens slightly. Remove
from heat; cool slightly. Divide
spinach between 4 serving plates.
Top evenly with chicken mixture and
mandarin oranges; sprinkle with
almonds. Serves 4.
(recipe: ReadySetEat site)
Honey Spice Cake

1 3/4 C.flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 T. instant espresso granules
or 2 tablespoons instant coffee
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. finely grated orange rind
2 tsp. confectioners’ sugar
4 tsp. honey
1/2 C. plain whole-milk yogurt
or thick Greek yogurt

Preheat oven350F.
Butter 9-inch round cake pan, and
lightly dust with flour.Whisk together
1 3/4 C,flour and next 5 ingredients
(through allspice) in a bowl. Dissolve
espresso granules in 1/4 C. water
in a large bowl. Add sugar, honey, oil,
eggs, and rind. Gradually whisk flour
mixture into honey mixture. Pour batter
into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes, or
until a wooden pick inserted in the center
comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes
on a wire rack; remove from pan.
Cool completely on rack. Dust cake lightly
with confectioners’ sugar.

Cut cake into 8 wedges; drizzle each wedge
with 1/2 teaspoon honey, and dollop with 1
tablespoon yogurt. Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: DDJ 10/18/11)
Squash Casserole (crockpot)

2 lb. yellow squash, sliced
2 lb. zucchini, sliced
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 0z)
2 C. soft, fresh breadcrumbs
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 C. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
(3 oz)

Cook first 3 ingredients in boiling water
to cover in a Dutch oven 10-12 minutes or
just until tender; drain well in colander
gently pressing squash mixture against
sides with a wooden spoon. Stir together
squash mixture, Cheddar cheese and next
5 ingredients. Spoon into lightly
greased 6 Qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle
Parmesan cheese over top. Cover and
cook on LOW 2 1/2 -3 hours or until
center is set and edges are golden
brown; uncover and cook 30 min. more.
Let stand 10  minutes.
(recipe: Slowcooker digest 4146)
Zucchini Dressing

3 eggs
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. black pepper, coarsely ground
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 C. Bisquick (all-purpose baking
1 1/4 C. grated American cheese
4 C. zucchini, grated
(extra grated cheese for topping)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients and pour into
a 8″ x 10″ glass dish. Top with
extra grated cheese for topping.
Bake 50-60 minutes.
Serves 6-8
(recipe: Karen;JustaPinch site)
Sausage Raisin Dressing

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
3/4 C. chopped celery
3/4 C. chopped green pepper
3/4 C. chopped onion
6 C. cubed day-old bread (1/2 in. cubes)
crusts removed
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
& chopped
1/2 C. raisins*
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1/2 C. chicken broth

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet, cook sausage, celery, green
pepper & onion over medium heat until
meat is not longer pink; drain grease. In a
large bowl, combine bread cubes, water
chestnuts, raisins, salt & pepper. Add sausage
mixture; toss to coat. Whisk eggs and broth;
pour over bread mixture & toss to coat.
Transfer to greased shallow 2 1/2 qt. baking
dish. Cover and bake 35 minutes. Uncover;
bake 15-20 minutes longer or until golden
brown. Makes 10 servings
*Pam’s suggestion: when using raisins in
stuffing, I usually soak them in warm water
for about 20 minutes before adding to the
recipe – it makes them softer.
(recipe: Sandy-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
Ice Cream Pumpkin Pie

1 (9 oz) pkg prepared graham cracker
pie crust
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
1 C. whipped cream
3/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt

Fill pie crust with ice cream; freeze
until solid. In medium bowl, combine
pumpkin, whipped cream, sugar,
pumpkin pie spice & salt. Spoon
mixture over frozen layer of ice
cream in crust. Freeze until solid.
To serve: remove pie from freezer
and place in refrigerator one hour
before serving. Slice & serve with
additional whipped cream, if
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Cranberry Cream Pie

2 C. boiling water
1 C. dried cranberries
1 C. white sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 1/4 C. milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter, diced
1 (9 in.) pie crust, baked
1 C. heavy whipping cream
3 T. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour boiling water over cranberries, to cover;
let stand 5 minutes & drain. In medium heavy-
bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, flour & salt.
Gradually stir in milk & eggs; cook over medium
heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens
and boils. Boil & stir 2 minutes, remove from
heat. Stir in sour cream, butter & cranberries;
pour mixture into baked pastry shell & cover
with plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours or
overnight. Whip cream until soft peaks form,
fold in confectioner’s sugar & vanilla.
Swirl mixture over top of cooled & set pie.
(recipe: Sandy-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
Cheese Puffs w/Chives (Gougeres)

1/2 C. water
1/2 C. milk
1 pinch Kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 C. flour
1 C. Gruyere cheese, shredded-
(plus extra to sprinkle on top)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 T. chopped chives
4 large eggs

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line one large, or 2 small baking
sheets with parchment paper. In
medium saucepan combine water, milk,
butter & salt; bring to boil. Once fully
melted dump in all flour at once; stir
with wooden spoon until dough is
smooth. Continue to stir over low
heat until it dries out and pulls
away from pan in one mass-about
2-3 minutes. Scrape dough into a
bowl, allow to cool slightly before
beating eggs into dough, one at a
time. Add cheese, chives, salt &
pepper. Using two tablespoons
(dipping in warm water as you go),
place tablespoon-sized mounds onto
baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle
tops with cheese and bake 20-25
minutes, or until puffed and golden
brown. Serve warm. Makes about
2 dozen.
(recipe: Terese-justapinch.com

There you have the most recent additions to your holiday meal

making! Hope you are having a good time getting ready for

Thanksgiving; remember to take some time out to remember

what you are thankful for. Me? Right now I’m VERY grateful

to have a healthy family to gather around our table and the

means to provide a wonderful meal for all. Truly the Lord

has blessed our family this year.




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You did earn your keep with bargains like that. Enjoy your family and your dinner together. Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

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