And There’s More to Come!

Yes, friends – lots more recipes! Thank heavens for wonderful recipe sites that provide the recipes I’ve been featuring here. Last night was my special needs group’s Christmas Gathering and we had a wonderful time. As in years past, we never know exactly how many people will show up; we had set up for 96 (12 tables, 8 chairs each) and I’d say we, easily, had 125 people. Praise the Lord we had enough food (with a little extra): chips & veggie dip, cherry tomatoes & sliced cucumbers, (really tasty) pinwheel sandwiches and croissant sandwiches from Costco (if you ever need some REALLY GOOD/TASTY sandwiches, check them out! They come in a big tray, already made up – not exactly sure of the price, but they are well-worth it!), and lots & lots of homemade cookies. The young teenage girls of the church spent their time last Wednesday night baking cookies for our group – what a blessing! While I was walking by the food table to see if we needed any more items ‘filled’ (like potato chips or dip) I happened to notice the cookie trays – there was ONE half of a gingerbread cookie left! I’m SURE those cookies were a HUGE hit! The evening progressed with food and fellowship followed by our program: our ‘students’ recited a verse they just learned: Psalm 138:5” They will sing of what the Lord has done because the Lord’s GLORY is GREAT!” sang 6 Christmas carols followed by our group’s all-time favorite hymn: Amazing Grace. You have not experienced the singing of this hymn until you have heard it sung by almost 50 special needs adults – I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place! It is a truly humbling experience (and I’m blessed to play the piano while they’re singing so I get to see their faces AND hear them sing.) Every year I come home totally exhausted but also totally BLESSED by the whole experience. While I was working in the kitchen beforehand I heard someone call my name and looked up. There, in the doorway, was a young man in a wheelchair – I haven’t seen or heard from him in AT LEAST 8 years. He was sitting there beaming from ear-to-ear with his arms out, waiting for a hug – that truly blessed my night! I don’t know where he’s been all these missing years but it was SO great to get to see him, give him a hug and let him know just how much we’ve all missed him. Those are the true blessings of the season!

Today is the ‘first day of my new life’ – my first ‘day after radiation and treatment’! My husband mentioned earlier in the week that I’ll be able to sleep in, now that I don’t have to be to the cancer center every day Monday-Friday and sleep in I DID! (I really didn’t think I would, but finally woke up at 10 a.m.!) There’s still lots ‘to do’ – trips to the drug store, grocery store, library, etc. but I’m taking my time – NOW I can relax a little! YAY! Next up is a check up visit in 4 weeks, so I now have FOUR WEEKS to relax! VERY COOL!!! Still have a little Christmas shopping to do, but it’s mostly for stocking stuffers and maybe a little present for my boys (I’ve decided to ‘go easy on myself’ this year and give them each money – then they can buy the clothing THEY like). Yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out, but considering the way the past August-December has been in my life, I’m fully taking advantage of what my kids keep telling me: “MOM! Go EASY on YOURSELF! You’re your worst enemy! You keep thinking you need to DO EVERYTHING – RELAX, for a change – you had CANCER!” (as a well-known actress, Fran Dresher of “The Nanny” program said when she had cancer: “Cancer, Schmanser!”) LIFE GOES ON!!!

Speaking of that very thing – it appears that RECIPES GO ON, too! They just keep pouring into  my emails and I keep wanting to share them with you so, without further distractions – here they are!

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

Cranberry-Orange Trifle

Cranberry Sauce:
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
1 1/4 C. fresh orange juice(about 6 oranges)
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. water

Custard:
1 3/4 C. milk, divided
1 large egg
1/3 C. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

(remaining ingredients):
4 large navel oranges (about 2 lb.)
36 ladyfingers 3 (3 oz) pkgs
1/2 C. Cool Whip (optional)
8 tsp. toasted sliced almonds
(optional)

Cranberry Sauce:
Combine cranberry sauce ingred-
ients in medium saucepan; bring to
boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered,
30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Press cranberry mixture through a
sieve over a bowl, reserving
1 2/3 C. cranberry puree; discard
solids. Cover sauce & chill.

Custard:
Combine 1/4 C. milk & egg in small
bowl, stir well with whisk. Place 1/3
C. sugar, cornstarch & salt in medium
saucepan; gradually add 1 1/2 C. milk,
stirring with a whisk until well-blended.
Bring to boil over medium heat; cook 1
minute, stirring mixture constantly.
Gradually stir about one-fourth hot
milk mixture into egg mixture; add to
remaining milk mixture, stirring
constantly. Cook over medium heat 3
minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour
into a bowl, cover surface of custard
with plastic wrap and chill.

Peel oranges, removing white pithy
part. Cut each orange in half lengthwise.
Cut each half crosswise into thin slices;
set aside.

Split ladyfingers; tear each half into thirds.
Line bottom of a 3 quart straight-sided
glass bowl or trifle bowl with half of
the ladyfingers. Spoon 1 C. custard over
ladyfingers. Spoon half of the cranberry
sauce over the custard. Arrange half of
the orange slices over the cranberry
sauce and around the inside edge of
the bowl. Repeat the procedure,
ending with orange slices. Cover and
chill 8 hours. Top each serving with
1 T. Cool Whip and 1 tsp. almonds.
Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: DDJ 12/14/11)
—————————————–
Pork Tenderloin w/ Dijon Cranberry Sauce

Pork:
1/2 C. Dijon mustard
3 T. chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp. fresh ground  black pepper
2 (1 lb) pork tenderloins, trimmed
1 T. olive oil

Sauce:
1 1/2 C. whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Combine first 3 ingredients in pork
list in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add
pork; seal & marinate in refrigerator
8 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove pork from bag, discard marinade.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over
medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 4
minutes, browning on all sides. Place
pan in oven; cook 15 minutes or until
thermometer registers 155º F. Remove
from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Cut
pork into 1/4 inch slices; keep warm.

To prepare sauce:
Combine cranberry sauce & remaining
ingredients in a small saucepan; cook over
medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly
heated, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce
with pork. Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: RDJ 12/14/11)
—————————————
Savory 3-Cheese Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 slices smoked ham, finely chopped
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. chopped red bell peppers
1 T. sliced green onions
1/4 tsp cayenne

Spread cream cheese onto bottom of
2 1/2 C. microwaveable dish. Sprinkle
with next 3 ingredients. Microwave on
High 1 minute or until heated through.
Top with remaining ingredients; serve
with crackers. Makes 1 1/4 C.
(10 servings, 2 T. each)
(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
———————————
Zesty Hot Broccoli Dip

1 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli,
thawed, well drained
1 (2 oz) jar pimentos, drained
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese,
divided
crackers-your choice

Heat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine first 4 ingredients and
1/2 C. mozzarella. Spread into
1 quart baking dish or 9 inch
pie plate. Bake 20-25 minutes
or until heated through. Sprinkle
with remaining mozzarella; bake
5 minutes more or until
melted. Serve with crackers.
Makes 25 servings,
2 T. dip & 16 crackers each.
(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
———————————

Meditteranean Sausage & Spinach Appetizers

1 pkg. (1 lb) Italian turkey sausage
1/2 C. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
& squeezed dry
1 C. crumbled feta cheese
2 green onions, minced
1 1/2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
2 (2.1 oz) pkgs. mini fillo dough shells
15 pitted Kalamata olives, halved

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove sausage from casing & place in
large, non-stick skillet over high heat.
Saute until cooked through, breaking
up sausage with wooden spoon. Stir in
spinach until hot; turn off heat & stir in
feta, green onion, oregano, salt &
pepper to taste. Set fillo cups on a
sheetpan; bake until crisp, about 4
minutes. Fill each cup with sausage
mixture and top with olive half.
Serve immediately.
(recipe: Perdue company)
——————————————–
Mustard Apricot Chicken

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
1 C. flour
1/2 T. cracked black pepper
1 1/2 C. apricot preserves
2 T. Sherry wine
1/4 C. water
2 T. dijon mustard
1 T. soy sauce

Salt & pepper both sides of each
chicken breast. Dredge in flour and
shake off excess flour. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat; add
olive oil. Once oil is hot, add chicken
breasts. Spread out breasts as
much as possible; sear on both sides
until a golden crust has formed.
Remove from pan; place on bed
of paper towels. Add sherry to pan
to deglaze; reduce heat to medium-
low. Add apricot preserves, mustard,
soy sauce to pan; stir mixture until
smooth. Season to taste with salt &
pepper. Add chicken breasts to sauce
and simmer 5 minutes until chicken
reaches internal temperature of
170 degrees F.
(recipe: Perdue Co.)
————————————————

Apple Crisp French Toast

1 cup low-fat or nonfat milk
4 large eggs
2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 Granny Smith apple (about 1/2 lb.)
About 1 T. lemon juice
About 2 T. butter or margarine
12 slices egg or white bread
   (about 1 lb. total)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vanilla-flavor nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granola

In 8- or 9-inch shallow pie pan,
whisk to blend milk, eggs, brown
sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.Rinse
apple, core, and cut into 1/8-inch-
thick slices. In a small bowl,
mix apple slices with lemon juice.
In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan
over medium-high heat, melt 1
tablespoon butter. Dip 1 bread slice
at a time in milk mixture, turn over,
and transfer to frying pan without
crowding. Cook each batch, turning to
brown both sides, about 6 minutes total.
As done, set in a single layer on a 14-
by 17-inch baking sheet and keep warm
in a 200F oven. Add remaining butter
to frying pan as needed to cook
successive batches.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup
maple syrup with yogurt.Also, in a 1-cup
glass measure, mix remaining 1/3 cup maple
syrup and peanut butter. Heat in a microwave
oven at full power (100%) until warm,
about 30 seconds, stirring once or twice.
Place 2 slices of French toast on each plate.
Drain apple slices and lay fruit equally onto
toast; sprinkle with granola. Spoon maple-
yogurt and peanut butter sauces equally onto
portions. Makes 6 servings.
(recipe: RDJ 10/08/11)
-----------------------------------
Christmas Cheesecake Cookies 

1/3 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar, divided
1  C. flour
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/3 C butter
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 egg
1 T lemon juice
3 T milk, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 T green candied cherries, divided
1 1/2 T red candied cherries, divided
2/3 C sifted confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.Mix brown sugar
with 1/4 cup granulated sugar, flour and
walnuts. Stir in butter, using a fork
or pastry blender, until crumbly. Remove
and set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Place
remainder in baking pan & press down evenly.
Bake 12-15 minutes, until just starting to
 brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool
slightly.Using elec mixer, beat cream cheese
& 1/4 cup sugar. Add egg, lemon juice, 2 T.
 milk and vanilla. Combine well. Add half red &
 green cherries;stir until well distributed.
 Pour mixture into baked crust. Top with reserved
 crumbs. Bake 25 minutes until set & beginning to
 brown. Remove from oven; allow to cool completely.
 Meanwhile, stir together confectioners' sugar &
 1 T. milk. Spread over top of cooled
 cheesecake, and then sprinkle with remaining
red and green cherries.Refrigerate for at least
30 minutes and cut into pieces.
 (recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
 ---------------------------------------
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie 

1 9 inch unbaked pie crust
1 C. light corn syrup
2/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. butter, melted
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. pecan halves
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can whipped cream

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place crust into 9 inch pie plate.
Crimp or flute edge, set aside.
Combine corn syrup, sugar, butter,
eggs and salt in medium bowl.
Beat at medium speed, scraping
bowl often until well blended.
Stir in pecans & 1/2 C. chocolate
chips. Pour mix into crust, cover
pie loosely with foil. Bake 30
minutes, remove foil and
continue baking for 10-15 minutes
more or until filling is set. Cool
and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Top with whipped cream and serve.
(recipe: Kara-justapinch.com)
 ----------------------------------
Pumpkin Corn Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups corn
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded,chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cans vegetable broth
1 can solid pack pumpkin
2 tablespoons lime juice

Sauté onion and pepper until tender.
Add corn, jalapeno, garlic, and
chili powder, sauté 2-3 minutes
longer. Stir in broth, pumpkin,
salt and pepper to taste. Bring
to a boil, reduce heat, cover and
simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in
lime juice and serve.
(recipe: Dot - RDJ 12/09/11)
 -----------------------------------

Hope you are getting all your Christmas shopping, baking, decorating, etc. done in a timely manner that’s pleasing to you. Enjoy the day! Hugs; Pammie

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. i second the comment –take it easy on your self my friend! the pictures of the special needs group were great. We are progressing here!


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