As you’ve heard me state before, Michigan has some pretty strange weather at times and today’s no different. I was out running some errands and noticed the sky getting darker. When I went to my car it was thundering, lightening AND HAILING! In MARCH! Strange – but not unusual for Michigan. A little later, while in my kitchen unpacking the groceries my husband noticed that the hail was flying off the garage roof – it was hailing so hard it didn’t even have time to stick! Strange . . . just sayin’. (I posted on Facebook about the weather and a friend posted back: at least you’re not up North – it’s SNOWING! Be glad for the rain! – yep, just strange).
Last night, while channel-surfing, I found a movie which intrigued me (it was already about 1/2 over, but I stayed to the end.) Nick Nolte, Barbara Streisand, Blythe Danner, George Carlin – quite a caste! “The Prince of Tides”; came out in 1991 (in fact Barbara’s actual son – by Elliott Gould: Jason Gould, is also in it as her son!). It’s a rather tragic tale (here, I’ll just copy the trailer info:) “A troubled man (Nolte) talks to his suicidal sister’s psychiatrist (Streisand) about their family history and falls in love with her in the process. ” A little ‘dicey’ in parts, but all-in-all a well acted movie.
While at the store I finally decided on ‘what’ to bring to the Knit/Movie night next Tuesday (which has to been in the ‘food theme’ of “Salads” (decided on by the ladies) – went to Gordon Food Service and bought a big ole kit of their Broccoli Salad kit ($13.99). I’ve ranted & raved over this stuff last year at this time (it’s a ‘seasonal’ item); when ‘made up’ it’s enough to easily feed 10. This way, there will be enough for the ladies and, I’m sure, enough left over for my family, too! It has cut up broccoli florets, chopped onions, yellow raisins, sunflower seed and their special sweet/sour dressing – really good stuff! The neat thing about it is: it’s all in sealed bags – you put it together when YOU want it! (Since my middle son used to work there, I asked him: if I bought it today (Friday) will it be OK, if refrigerated – unassembled- next Monday when I’ll mix it? He said Yes, it has a 2 week shelf life (the pkg said sell by 4/4/12, so we’re ‘good to go’. This is one of those salads that are at their most flavorful if made a day ahead.
Still workin’ on the knit cotton dishcloths for the historical society; have 6 made now (they’re really easy-each one takes me an hour).
Lots of recipes for you – hard to decide which ones to post! Here ya go!
Linguine w/Spinach, Beans & Ham
1 (12 oz) pkg. dry linguine pasta,
2 (6 oz, ea) pkgs baby spinach leaves
1 (15 oz) can cannellini or Great
Northern beans, drained & rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, garlic & oregano, undrained
(suggested: Hunt’s brand)
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
4 oz. cooked ham, cut into thin
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
(optional: Parmesan cheese for
Cook linguine accordg to pkg directions,
omitting salt. Heat large skillet over
medium-high heat; spray with nonstick
spray. Add spinach, cook 2-3 minutes
or until wilted, stirring frequently.
Add beans, undrained tomatoes, broth,
ham, tomato paste & pepper; bring
to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer
10 minutes, uncovered. Drain pasta,
add to skillet & toss together.
Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese,
Pineapple Dump Cake Cake: 2 C. sugar 2 C. flour 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanlla 2 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, do not drain Icing: 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 3/4 stick butter, softened 2 tsp. lemon juice 2 C. confectioners sugar 1/2 tsp. vanilla Preheat oven 325 degrees F. Place all cake ingredients in large bowl and mix. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 40-50 minutes. Mix together icing ingredients and ice cake while hot. (recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange) ------------------------ White Bean & Ham Soup 2 T. margarine 1 C. sliced carrots 1/2 C. diced celery 1 C. chopped cooked ham 2 (15 oz,ea) cans Great Northern beans, drained & rinsed 1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt's diced tomatoes w/basil, garlic & oregano, undrained 1 (14 oz) can chicken broth 1 1/2 C. water Melt margarine in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots & celery; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining ingredients; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes. Serves 6 (recipe: readyseteat.com) ---------------- Blueberry Dream Bars 1 C. sugar 8 oz. dried blueberries or dried cherries, finely chopped 1 C. flour 1 C. quick-cooking oats 1/2 tsp. salt 3/4 C. butter, cut into chunks 1 large egg yolk --- In 1-2 qt. pan, stir 1/4 C. sugar, blueberries & 1 1/4 C. water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cover & cook, stirring occasionally, until blueberries are soft & most of liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Chill until cooled, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile - In a bowl (or bowl of food processor) mix flour, oats, salt & remaining 3/4 C. sugar until combined. Cut in butter into a crumbly dough. Divide dough in half; press half evenly over bottom of a buttered 8 inch square baking pan. Chill pan and reserved dough while filling cools. --- Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Spread blueberry mixture evenly over crust in pan; sprinkle & pat remaining half of dough evenly over blueberry layer. Bake 35-40 minutes until top is browned & filling is bubbling around edges. Let cool about 15 minutes, then cut into squares. Serve warm or cold. Makes 9 bars. (recipe: DDJ-02/27/12) ------------------------- Mini Spinach-Artichoke Frittatas (appetizers) 6 eggs 3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 C. Miracle Whip 1 T. flour 1 T. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained 3 green onions, thinly sliced 1/3 C. finely chopped red peppers Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon 1 1/2 T. spinach mixture into each of 32 mini- muffin cups sprayed with non- stick spray. Bake 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Makes 32 appetizers. (recipe: Kraft foods) ------------------- Layered Greek Salad for a Crowd (serves 18) 6 c. chopped romaine lettuce 2 C. tightly packed baby spinach leaves 2 C. whole sheet medium pasta shells, cooked & cooled 1 large tomato, chopped 1 cucumber, quartered length- wise, sliced 1 small red onion, quartered & sliced 1/2 C. mayonnaise 1/2 C. Caesar salad dressing 1 (3.5 oz) pkg. crumbled Feta cheese 1/4 C. pitted kalamata olives Combine lettuce & spinach; place half of mixture into a 6 quart serving bowl. Cover with layers of pasta, tomatoes, remaining lettuce, cucumbers & onions. Mix mayonnaise & dressing; spread over top of salad. Top with cheese & olives. Refrigerate 1 hour; toss just before serving. Serves 18. (recipe: Kraft foods) ------------------- Praline Cookies 1/2 C. butter 1 1/2 C. brown sugar 1 egg 1 1/2 C. flour 1 tsp. vanilla 1 C. chopped pecans Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Cream butter, sugar & egg; stir in flour, vanilla & pecans. Mix well by hand. Shape 1 T. of dough into a ball. Place on cookie sheets, then flatten to about 1/8". Bake 10-12 minutes, until brown. Cool completely to harden. (recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange) --------------------- Easy Chicken Alfredo Pot Pies 1/2 of 1 (15 oz) pkg. (1 crust) rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust 3 C. frozen vegetable blend, any combination 3 C. cubed cooked chicken or turkey 1 (10 oz.) container refrigerated Alfredo pasta sauce 1 tsp. dried thyme, marjoram, or sage, crushed Preheat oven 450 degrees F. Let pie crust stand accordg to pkg directions. In large skillet, cook frozen vegetables in a small amount of boiling water 5 minutes; drain & return to skillet. Stir in chicken, Alfredo sauce & dried thyme. Cook & stir until bubbly. Divide mixture among 4 ungreased 10-oz. individual casseroles or custard cups. On a lightly floured surface, roll pie crust into a 13 inch circle. Cut four 5-inch circles and place on top of casserole; cut slits in tops for steam to escape, OR use a small cookie cutter to cut shapes from pastry. Brush pastry with a little milk or water & top with pastry cutouts. Place casseroles in a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, 12-15 minutes or until mixture is heated through and pastry is golden. Makes 4 servings. (recipe: BH & G.com) ============================ That's all that's happening here at "Hail Central" - it's stopped now, just a light rain - no big deal (it will help make all the flowers & bushes grow - hey, they're already up & sprouting!) Enjoy your day! Hugs; Pammie