Typical March Day

It’s Monday – a dreary, dark WET Monday – typical March day. Did you remember to set your clocks forward? How did you fare, time-wise? We did the clock changes, showed up at church on time, etc. I took a 1 1/2 hour nap after church – really needed it. Last night got to bed really late (for me) around 2 a.m. then husband decided it was a good time to ‘chat’! Don’t think I fell asleep until somewhere around 2:45 a.m. – woke up at 8 a.m. , visited ‘the loo’, then went back to bed. Was completely shocked when I finally woke up at 10:30 a.m.! Must have REALLY needed that extra sleep! Right now I’m still a bit groggy – gonna be a l00000000ng day!

Am planning lasagna for dinner tonight – serves as dinner for more than one night. Not much else new around here (so far) and that’s a GOOD thing. Tomorrow is oldest son’s 29th birthday – hard to believe! He stopped by here this morning to chat for a few; said his birthday is already booked up with work and business. When I mentioned a birthday cake? he sort of just chuckled – didn’t seem to really want a ‘celebration’ – as he put it: “Congratulations, I’m a year older! The State says it’s your birthday, now pay the $150 license plate tab fees – Happy Birthday!” I haven’t actually done any birthday shopping for him yet – he’s rather difficult to buy for BUT he needed to borrow my computer for a few minutes so I took that opportunity to do a little ‘sleuthing’. He was wearing a brand new red polo shirt (looked really nice on him) so I complemented it, then (while he was sitting) looked inside the back collar area to check the size! (typical Mom-type move, right?) I really didn’t remember if he’s a Medium or Small (medium). I know he occasionally wears casual short-sleeved dress shirts so thought I’d go that route. As a chef, I mainly see him in his baggy old black & white chef pants and old t-shirts; the dress shirts come out for holidays. We’ll see – am contemplating whether I want to go out in the rain or wait until tomorrow (and hope for better weather). Oh! Even though it’s raining, it’s WARM outside! We’re actually supposed to be getting weather for the rest of the week in the 60’s! (It’s 55 right now!). Love when Spring is right around the corner!!!


Layered Black Bean Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. rinsed canned black beans
1 (10 oz) can Rotel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1 C. Kraft Mexican-style finely
shredded Four Cheese
(tortilla chips for dipping)

Spread cream cheese onto bottom of
a shallow dish. Top with layers of
remaining ingredients. Serve with
tortilla chips. Makes 4 cups.
(recipe: Kraftrecipes.com)

Brownie Batter Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter
2-3 C. powdered sugar
5 T. flour
5 T. cocoa powder
2 T. brown sugar
3 + T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

With mixer, cream together
butter & cream cheese. Add 2 C.
powdered sugar, 1 C. at a time,
and 1 T. milk until combined.
Add flour, cocoa, brown sugar,
vanilla & 1 more T. milk, if
needed; beat until smooth.
Add remaining powdered sugar
& milk alternately until dip

reaches your desired consistency.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Crockpot Sausage & Peppers

2 lb. sweet or hot Italian sausage
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 each: green/red/yellow bell
peppers, cut into 2″ pieces
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 C. dry red cooking wine, or
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
cooked rice or pasta
Cook sausage in heavy skillet over medium
heat until browned. Layer half of onions
on bottom of 3-4 Qt. crockpot, then add
half of peppers. Add sausage, then rest
of onions & peppers. Add bay leaves &
garlic. Combine diced tomatoes, tomato
paste & red wine (or water) in a small
bowl; mix well. Pour over mixture in
crockpot; cover & cook on low 6 hours.

One hour before mixture is done:

Mix together parsley, basil, oregano, salt
& pepper; add to crockpot & stir well.
Cover & cook 1 more hour until
sausage is thoroughly cooked &
vegetables are tender. Serve over
rice or pasta. Serves 8.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Chocolate Chip Banana Bundt Cake

1/2 C. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
3 large, ripe bananas,
1 C. chocolate chips
1 C. chopped nuts
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl, cream
butter & sugar together. Add
eggs; beat until lighter in color;
set aside. Sift together flour,
baking soda, baking powder;
add nuts, mix & set aside.
Cream together milk, bananas &
vanilla. Add chocolate chips; mix
well. Add creamed banana
mixture alternately with flour
mixture to first mixture of
butter/sugar/eggs. Scrape into
greased, floured Bundt pan.
Bake 50-60 minutes; cool
10 minutes then remove
from pan. Sift a few table-
spoons powdered sugar over
top of cake before serving.
Marys Recipe Exchange)
Herbed Corn

12 C. frozen corn
1 C. water
1/2 C. butter or margarine, cubed
2 T. minced fresh parsley
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dillweed
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. dried thyme

In large saucepan, combine corn &
water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 4-6 minutes or until
corn is tender. Drain, stir in remaining
ingredients. Makes 10-12 servings.

“I found this recipe in an old “Taste
of Home” magazine-I cut this recipe
in half when I fix it.”
(recipe: ramblinjodie-RDJ/GNR-
Bubbly Reuben Sandwich Bake

6 slices rye bread, cubed
1 (16 oz) can sauerkraut, well drained
1 lb. deli sliced corned beef, cut into
3/4 C. Thousand Island salad dressing
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spread bread cubes in bottom of
9 x 13 baking dish. Spread
sauerkraut evenly over bread,
then layer beef strips over sauer-
kraut. Pour dressing over all.
Spray aluminum foil with
cooking spray – use to cover
baking dish, sprayed side
down. Bake 20 minutes, remove
cover, sprinkle top with cheese
and bake, uncovered, 10  more
minutes or until cheese is
melted & bubbly. Serves 6
(recipe: cookincrazyme-
RDJ-GNR 03/09/12
Shepherd’s Pie

2 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 can cream mushroom soup,

1 can French Onion soup,

1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 C. frozen corn
1 C frozen carrots
1 C. frozen peas
mashed potatoes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook ground beef with salt,
pepper & chopped onion; drain.
Add soups, simmer 20 minutes.
Add veggies, simmer 5 minutes.
Place in greased casserole dish; top
with mashed potatoes either in
a ring around the edge or completely
cover beef mixture. Bake 30 minutes
or until bubbly.
(recipe-joann32789-RDJ-GNR 03/09/12)
Hearty Italian Sausage Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage, skinned & crumbled
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1 soup can water
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans (white
beans), rinsed
1 can chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 C. rotini or shell pasta, uncooked
1/2 C. spinach leaves
(mozzarella cheese, shredded, for
topping, optional)

Cook crumbled sausage until
browned; add onion & cook until
transparent. Add garlic, cook about
1 minute. Add broth, water, beans,
tomatoes – bring to a boil. Stir in
pasta, cook until pasta is done,
about 10 minutes. Remove from
heat, stir in spinach, cover. Let
stand 5 minutes. If desired,
top with shredded Mozzarella
(recipe: sueellen – RDJ/GNR
Lemon Asparagus

3 quarts water
3 bunches asparagus, about
36-40 spears, trimmed
2 T. lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
4 T. fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

In large, heavy-bottomed pot,
bring water to boil over high
heat. Add asparagus; cook 3-4
minutes. Remove asparagus &
submerge in ice water. Allow
asparagus to rest in ice water
4-5 minutes to stop cooking
process; drain well & set aside.
In medium bowl, combine lemon
zest & juice. Add olive oil slowly,
whisking to combine; whisk in
salt & pepper. Drizzle lemon
mixture over asparagus. Serve
immediately. Makes about
6 servings.
(recipe: Sandra Lee-Semi
Homemade magazine)
Asiago Cheese & Spinach Pasta Toss

3 C. fusilli (spirals) pasta, uncooked*
1/4 C. sun-dried tomatoes in oil,
drained, oil reserved
1 (10 oz) bag fresh spinach, torn**
1 C. shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 C. Kraft Sun-dried tomato
viniagrette dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced

Cook pasta according to pkg. directions,
add tomatoes & spinach during last minute
of pasta cooking time; drain. Place pasta
in large bowl; add reserved  oil from tomatoes,
then remaining ingredients; toss to coat.
* can substitute rotini pasta for fussili
** can substitute 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen
chopped spinach, thawed, for fresh.
(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)


Started reading another Clive Cussler book: “Treasure!” – love his writing style – action, adventure, intrigue – what’s not to like!? (started it yesterday, half-way through it – he writes stories you just can’t put down – hence my getting to bed really late last night – sigh).

Hope your week shapes up nicely!



Published in: on March 12, 2012 at 10:58 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Please give the birthday boy a hug for us! as Jay said it is hard to believe he is going to be 29!

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