Wednesday Whispets

Here we are at mid-week already; I just returned home from another jaunt to the grocery store, video store & drug store. You’d think that after grocery shopping earlier, I wouldn’t need a ‘repeat’ of the same, but alas – we were ‘out’ of various small necessities (still forgot to buy toilet paper – looks like another trip soon – sigh). It’s a really gorgeous Spring day today – sun shining, slight breeze and around 56 degrees – I’m planning on taking a walk soon, just to enjoy the weather (plus I need the exercise!). Last night’s Knit/Movie night was ‘cosy’ – only 6 people, but we had a nice variety of salads and chocolate cake for dessert; I came home stuffed! The salad varieties were interesting: the pasta salad was a WARM salad (never had that before!) with wilted spinach, cherry tomatoes, bow tie pasta and Parmesan cheese shavings – really tasty! The shrimp salad was also unique: sort of like a large tossed salad using Frisee lettuce, tomatoes, smoked slivered almonds, green peppers and very large shrimp (choice of ranch or soy/ginger dressings). Of course, my all-time favorite was my friend Laura’s Quinoa salad (have featured the recipe in previous posts) – it’s light,healthy, refreshing and really fills you up! I thought it very interesting this time out – no one even brought out their knitting! We all just ate then became enthralled in the movie: “The Help”. All but one of us had read the book but, once again, watching the movie I was plunged into the South (specifically Jackson, Mississippi) during the mid-60’s during the Medgar Evers murder and following, the John Kennedy assasination. Watching those events brought back my own memories of that time period. I remember the Detroit riots – I was working in downtown Pontiac at the time, at a loan facility. One evening just before closing time my boss told all of us to totally clean out our desks of anything we might want to keep, placing each person’s belongings in a box which was then put in the company safe. We had never done this before – just the urgency of my boss’s actions and the worried look on his face caused great concern for all of us. I was rather naive about the whole event (I was 17) until the boss said to me: We are a loan facility – many of the poorer people in this town have outstanding loans to us and, because of that, hate us; it’s highly possible they might riot tonight, and our building would be one of the ones on the top of the list to burn. I was terrified! That night there were small uprisings further south of the city, but none ‘in’ the city/downtown, itself. Those were rough/awkward times. Watching “The Help” brought back what horrible times it was for people living in the South.  It’s a very well-made movie and also very realistic. All of the ladies went home commenting that it was a good movie.

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

Broccoli Francaise

3 T margarine
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. cornstarch
4 C hot, cooked broccoli florets

Melt margarine in 1 quart saucepan over
medium-low heat; cook garlic, stirring
occasionally, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice, lemon peel,
pepper & broth combined with cornstarch.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat,
stirring frequently, until sauce thickens,
about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over hot cooked
broccoli. Serves 4.
(recipe: countrycrock.com)
—————-

Layered Coconut Cream Cheesecake
Bars

84 Nilla wafers, divided
6 T. butter, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
2 T. sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip,
thawed, divided
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs vanilla
instant pudding mix
2 1/2 C. cold milk
1 1/2 C. flake coconut,
toasted & divided

Reserve 24 wafers. Crush
remaining wafers; mix with
butter. Press in bottom of
9 x 13 baking pan; refrigerate
while preparing filling.
Beat cream cheese & sugar
with mixer until blended.
Whisk in 1 Cup Cool Whip;
carefully spread over crust.
Stand reserved wafers around
edges of pan. Beat pudding
mixes & milk with whisk in
medium bowl 2 minutes. Stir
in 1 C. remaining Cool Whip
& 3/4 C. coconut; spread over
cream cheese layer. Top with
remaining Cool Whip & coconut.
Refrigerate 5 hours.
How to Toast Coconut:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread coconut evenly in
shallow baking pan. Bake
7-10 minutes or until
lightly browned, stirring
frequently. (OR) Spread
in microwavable pie plate.
Microwave on High 3 minutes
or until lightly browned,
stirring every minute.
Watch carefully as
coconut can burn easily.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
----
Bacon & Maple Scalloped Potatoes

1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 (4 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
1 1/4 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. milk
3 slices bacon, cooked & chopped
1/4 C. maple pancake syrup
2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes,
about 6, cut into 1/4 in slices
1 C. (Kraft) shredded Triple
Cheddar cheese with a touch of
Philadelphia*

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook onions in large skillet
sprayed with nonstick spray,
on medium-high heat 3-5 minutes
or until crisp-tender, stirring
frequently. Remove onions
from skillet; add cream cheese,
broth & milk, cook & stir on
medium-low heat 5 minutes or
until cream cheese is melted &
mixture is well blended. Remove
from heat; stir in bacon & syrup.
Place half of potatoes into greased
9 x 13 baking dish. Cover bottom
with layers of onions & shredded
cheese. Top with remaining
potatoes & cream cheese sauce;
cover. Bake 1 hour 5 minutes or
until potatoes are tender & top
is golden brown, uncovering
after 50 minutes.
Serves 8 (1 C. each)
SUBSTITUTE: * can substitute
shredded Cheddar cheese
(recipe: kraft foods)
------------------
Amazing Muffin Cups

3 C. frozen hash browns, thawed
3 T. melted butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
12 links breakfast sausage
6 eggs
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Mexican
blend cheese
1/4 C. chopped red bell pepper
chopped fresh chives or green
onions

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine hash browns,
butter, salt & pepper. Press
mixture onto the bottom & up
sides of greased muffin cups.
Bake 12 minutes or until
lightly browned. Cook sausage
accordg to pkg. directions;
cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
Divide sausage among muffin
cups. Combine eggs, cheese &
bell pepper; spoon over sausage.
Sprinkle tops with chives. Bake
13-15 minutes or until set.
Makes 12 servings.

(recipe: Sunday coupon flyer)
----------------------
Three Potato Gratin

4 T. butter
4 T. flour
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. sour cream
2 C. milk
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. Yukon Gold potatoes,
sliced thin
1 C. sweet potatoes, sliced
thin
1 C. Russet potatoes, sliced
thin
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Thoroughly greast a 2 qt. casserole
dish. In a saucepan, melt butter &
whisk in flour to make a roux*. Cook
for about 1 minute to get rid of flour
taste. Add salt, pepper, sour cream &
milk; continually stir over medium
heat to keep cream mixture from burning.
Stir until thick, about 2-3 minutes, then
add Parmesan cheese. Arrange half of the
potatoes in casserole dish, making sure
they overlap. Pour half of cheese mixture
over potatoes then repeat using rest of
potatoes & cheese mixture. Bake, covered,
35-45 minutes. Uncover, cook 15 minutes more.
Top with shredded Cheddar cheese and cook
until cheese is melted & bubbly, about 10-15
minutes more. Make sure potatoes are cooked
through (test by inserting a knife - if it
goes in and comes out easily and cleanly,
casserole is done.) Top casserole with a
dollop of sour cream. Serves 4-6.

*ROUX: "A cooking mixture consisting of flour
and a cooking fat, like vegetable oil that
is used to thicken sauces & gravies"
(recipe: Country Fresh products)
------------------------
Traditional Southern Deviled
Eggs

7 large eggs, hard boiled &
peeled
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 T. sweet pickle relish
1 tsp. prepared mustard
salt & pepper, to taste
paprika, for garnish
sweet gherkin pickles,
sliced, for garnish
pimentos, for garnish

Halve 7 eggs lengthwise. Remove
yolks & place in small bowl.
Mash yolks with a fork; stir in
mayonnaise, pickle relish &
mustard, add salt & pepper to
taste. Fill egg whites evenly
with yolk mixture. Garnish with
dash of paprika, pickles &
pimentos. Makes 14 eggs.
(recipe: Food Network)
------------------
Baked Asparagus with Goat Cheese &
Bread Crumbs

1 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed
2 1/2 T. butter, melted/divided
2 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
into bits (about 1/2 C.)
1/2 C. breadcrumbs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Coat asparagus spears with 1 1/2
T. melted butter, then salt
lightly. Arrange in oven-to-
table shallow baking dish large
enough to hold the asparagus in
one layer. Evenly distribute
cheese bits over asparagus;
sprinkle top with breadcrumbs.
Bake until asparagus is tender-
crisp and breadcrumbs are
lightly browned, about 10
minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
(recipe: Moms2Moms)
--------------------
Chow Mein Bird's Nests
(dessert)

1 C. buttermilk chips
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. peanuts
2 C. chow mein noodles
any 'egg shaped' Easter
candy (Robins eggs or
peanut M & M's, or jelly
beans)

Microwave butterscotch chips &
peanut butter on 50 % power for
3-5 minutes. Add remaining
ingredients; blend to coat
noodles thoroughly. Drop by
teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.
With buttered fingers, shape
mixture into individual nests.
Refrigerate until firm, then
fill with candy.
(recipe: Star-justapinch.com)
--------------------
Blueberry Salad

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 pint frozen blueberries
1 (6 oz) pkg. blueberry Jello
3 C. hot water
1 C. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Drain pineapple & blueberries,
reserving juice. Dissolve Jello
in hot water, then add reserved
juice, adding water to make
1 C. liquid. Cool mixture, then
fold in fruit. Blend sour cream,
cream cheese, sugar & vanilla
until smooth. Spread over cooled
Jello; chill & serve.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
===========================

Hopefully there are some Easter recipe
ideas there to help you along with your
food preparations for the holiday. I
also stopped at Gordon Foods today and
bought a box of 10 pre-made twice-
baked potatoes with cheese topping.
I've fully decided that Easter Sunday
will be a very exhausting day for me,
having done the same events for the
past four years with our church:
Saturday is food prep/fruit cutting
& putting on skewers as well as
decorating the gym for the breakfast,
Sunday get there at 6:30 a.m. to help
with the breakfast (cooking/serving/
etc) then leave for the choir room
at 9:30 to practice, then sing for
the program at 10 a.m. - home by
around 11:30 a.m. totally whipped.
The first year we did this I remember
thinking I'd do 'the usual' - make
a big Easter dinner with my oldest
son & his family coming to dinner -
I've learned my lesson - I'm just
TOO POOPED to do that! I bought a
medium sized ham, the twice-baked
potatoes and some dinner rolls;
that's "IT" - that way I can get
some rest in the afternoon while
the ham slow-bakes, then pop the
potatoes in for an hour, then whom-
ever wants to eat, can. NO FANCY
STUFF - just food. Oh well, at
least I remembered to buy the
'fixin's' for the Easter baskets!
At 29, 23 & 17 they still like a
little something sweet - including
the chocolate bunny!
Hope your day is 'sweet', too!
Hugs;
Pammie

-----------------
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Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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