Hail, Yes!

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,

if desired.

(recipe: readyseteat.com)


Pineapple Dump 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


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 &
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

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
2 C. whole sheet medium pasta
shells, cooked & cooled
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, quartered length-
wise, sliced
1 small red onion, quartered &
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. Caesar salad dressing
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. crumbled Feta
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
Easy Chicken Alfredo Pot Pies
1/2 of 1 (15 oz) pkg. (1 crust)
rolled refrigerated unbaked pie
3 C. frozen vegetable blend,
any combination
3 C. cubed cooked chicken or
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!


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