Yes, we’re finally into the hot days of Summer. It’s in the 90’s here with no rain, thank heavens we have air conditioning. Went outside yesterday to pick some of our black raspberries and discovered that with no rain – they’d all dried up into tiny hard balls. (So much for the three tubs of Cool Whip I’d purchased to eat them with!) While sitting at our picnic table I was able to observe a momma robin and her two fledglings – one hopped out of the weeds making squawking noises which brought momma to him with some tasty worms(?), then the second bird made his presence known doing the same thing (it was up on a branch). After this went on for a while I spotted a chipmunk dashing across the lawn. I thought it had gone on it’s way when it appeared about 3 feet from me, hopped up on the chair next to me with a hickory nut in it’s jaws, jumped down and dashed into a hole next to me! Interesting just sitting and watching nature.
It’s been rather slow around here (and that’s just fine!); youngest son is applying for a job at a local Burger King later this afternoon. Wednesday was my special needs group; my friend and our teacher/leader is in the hospital with pneumonia, so that left me teaching. I relied on my ‘old standard’: Bible Tic Tac Toe. The kids love it and it refreshes their memories of various lessons we’ve taught in the past. Our group is growing almost weekly; we’re now averagine between 32-35 people per week, not counting the various care givers who come with them – our room is packed! I’d give an estimate at around 50 people per week in the room.
Nothing much new – still working on the peach baby afghan (will have to buy another “Pound of Love” (think that’s what it’s called) skein to finish. Working on crocheting the white squares for the pink & white afghan. Discovered last night that one of the white skeins (from some donated yarn in my stash) will only make 8 squares, so will have to adjust the completed afghan to make it around 32 squares, but we’ll see – maybe I have some ‘stash’ yarn that will allow me to make more white squares (have 20 pink ones knitted now).
Because it’s been hot AND because my guys are in & out so frequently lately, dinners have been sporatic (or, to put it another way: my fridge has lots of various leftover dinners!) There’s spaghetti & meatballs, chicken Parmigiana, turkey & rice ‘stroganoff’ and, last night’s entry: Pork roast cooked with cranberry sauce. Think I’m going to turn the pork roast into BBQ’d pulled pork for tonight’s dinner. (oh, and there’s 3 big baked potatoes ready from the chicken Parmigiana dinner). My husband was saying last night that it won’t be too long and it will be me cooking for just 2 people (no, the boys aren’t moving out any time soon – think he was just doing some ‘wishful thinking’).
Double Chocolate Cheesecake
24 Oreo cookies finely
crushed (about 2 C.)
1/4 C. butter or margarine,
4 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream
1 C. sugar
2 T. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (8 squares) semi-sweet
chocolate, melted & cooled
1/2 C. blueberries (or your
choice of berries for garnish)
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with
foil, with ends of foil extending
over sides. Mix cookie crumbs &
butter; press into bottom of pan;
bake 10 minutes.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour &
vanilla with mixer until blended.
Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs,
1 at a time, mixing on low speed
after each just until blended.
Pour over crust. Bake 45 minutes
or until center is almost set.
Cool completely; refrigerate 4
hours. Use foil handles to lift
cheesecake from pan before cutting.
Serve topped with blueberries.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Imperial Chicken 4 C. soft breadcrumbs 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese 2 T. paprika 1/2 C. dried parsley flakes 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 12 skinned, boned chicken breast halves 1 C. butter or margarine, melted -- Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Combine first 7 ingredients in shallow dish. Dip chicken in butter; dredge in crumb mixture. Place in 2 lightly greased 15 x 10 jellyroll pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until done. Makes 12 servings. (recipe: RDJ 4/17/12) --------------------- Sizzling Italian Vegetables 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped 1 tomato, chopped 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped 2 T. balsamic vinaigrette dressing 1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese -- Cook zucchini, tomatoes & bacon in dressing in skillet on medium-high heat 6-8 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender and bacon is done; stirring occasionally. Sprinkle top with cheese. Serves 2, 3/4 C. each (recipe: Kraft foods) --------- Crispy-topped Creamy Spinach 2 (10 oz,ea) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & well drained 1 (8 oz) Kraft Philadelpia Chive & Onion cream cheese spread 1/2 C. ranch dressing 2 eggs, beaten 1 1/2 C. Kraft shredded Triple Cheddar cheese with a touch of Philadelphia, divided 24 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1 C.), divided -- Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Stir in 3/4 C. Cheddar & 1/2 C. cracker crumbs. Spoon into 2 quart casserole dish sprayed with nonstick spray; top with remaining crumbs & Cheddar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through & cheese is melted. Serves 12 (recipe: Kraft foods) ------------------- Chicken & Asian Pear Salad 2 C. cooked, cubed chicken 8 oz baby spinach 1/3 C. bleu cheese crumbles 1/4 C. shredded carrot 2 T. chopped walnuts 2 T. herb salad dressing 2 Asian pears, thinly sliced -- In a bowl, mix together spinach, bleu cheese crumbles, carrots, walnuts & dressing; toss to coat ingredients. To serve: place salad on a plate & top with sliced pears & chicken cubes. Serves 4. ------------------------- Dilled Cucumber Salad 1/2 C. plain yogurt 1/4 C. Italian dressing 2 tsp. dried dill weed 2 large cucumbers, halved lengthwise, sliced (2 large= 3 Cups) 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained 1/4 C. thinly sliced red onion 1/8 tsp. salt -- Stir together yogurt, dressing & dill in large bowl. Add all ingredients; stir gently to combine. Serves 6 (3/4 C. each) (recipe: readyseteat) ------------------------- Cheesy Beef Nachos 1/2 lb. lean ground beef 1/2 C. thick 'N chunky salsa 4 C. tortilla chips (4 oz) 1 C. Mexican-style finely shredded Four Cheese (Kraft) 1/4 C. chopped onions 1/4 C. chopped tomatoes 1/4 C. sliced jalapeno peppers 1/4 C. sliced black olives 1/4 C. guacamole -- Brown meat in skillet; drain. Stir in salsa; simmer 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Arrange chips on large microwavable plate; top with meat mixture & cheese. Microwave on High 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted, rotating plate after each minute. Top with remaining ingredients. Serves 4. (recipe: Kraft foods) ------------------------- Warm Brownie Pudding 1 (19.5 oz) pkg fudge brownie mix 1/2 C. vegetable oil 3 large eggs 1/4 C. water 1 1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar 3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/3 C. boiling water ice cream or whipped cream (optional) -- Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 inch square baking pans. Combine brownie mix, oil, eggs & 1/4 C. water in medium bowl. Mix well, about 1 minute; divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Combine brown sugar & cocoa in a small bowl; mix well. Sprinkle half of brown sugar mixture evenly over batter in each pan. Pour half of boiling water on top of brown sugar mixture in each pan. Bake until set, about 23 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. (recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange) ========================== That's about all going on around here these past few days; taking youngest son to the doctor's at 2 for a bad cough. I'm guessing upper respiratory infection but we'll see what transpires. Enjoy your day and stay cool & hydrated! Hugs; Pammie