Happy Independence Day!

Today is a day for reflection – on our heritage living in this nation. Thank you to all the VETS who have served, are serving or have died so that we may have FREEDOM.

What have you got planned for this holiday? Right now I’m comfortably writing to you in my jammies! (blush!) It’s a balmy 90+ day out there with lots of humidity. Yesterday was filled with thunderstorms, on & off – lots of lightening and rain (we needed the rain!). We have the air conditioning on right now just to dry out the house (from the humidity). I really haven’t planned anything special for this day, no special holiday menu, no special events – just lots of relaxing with nothing special to do; my family is quite happy with this idea. Youngest son got to sleep in, middle son spent the night at a friends house and doesn’t have to work today, husband & I are just content ‘doing nothing special’.  I’m kind of tossed on ‘what’s for dinner’ – either homemade pizza, lasagna or (my husband’s favorite): meat & potato pie (have all the fixin’s for all three of those in the fridge). We’ll see, later, what I feel like cooking.  Lots of great summer-time recipes coming in; it’s getting so that I have trouble sorting out 8 or so to post each time as they ALL sound so yummy!

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

Cake Mix Apple Crisp

5 large Granny Smith apples
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. butter
1 T. sugar
2 T. cinnamon
1/2 C. walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly butter 9 x 13 baking pan.
Peel & slice apples; place in pan. In
a large microwavable bowl, melt
butter. Add cake mix, sugar,
cinnamon & walnuts; stir until
mixture is crumbly (may have
to use your fingers). Spoon
topping over apples. Bake 35-
40 minutes or until topping is golden
brown.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
—————————————

Golden Fruit Salad


1 1/2 C. vanilla yogurt
2-3 T. orange juice
dash nutmeg
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored &
sliced
1 Red Delicious apple, cored &
sliced
1 banana, sliced
1/2 C. red seedless grapes, cut
in half

—–
Combine yogurt, orange juice & nutmeg
in bowl; mix. In another bowl, combine &
mix fruit. Serve with dressing on salad
plates lined with lettuce. Serves 3.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
————————————

Honey Orange Chicken Legs


4 large chicken legs (whole: thigh &
drumstick) skinned
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 T. orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dry mustard


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in single layer in a
baking pan. Sprinkle salt & pepper
over chicken. Bake 25 minutes. In
a small bowl, mix together orange

juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce &
mustard. Spoon sauce over chicken;
bake – basting frequently, for 30
minutes more or until chicken is
brown & fork tender.

(recipe: Sue – RDJ – 06/22/12)
——————————

Sweet Potato Potato Salad


 2 potatoes
1 sweet potato
4 eggs
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 T. prepared mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Bring large pot of salted water to boil.

Add potatoes & cook until tender, but still firm,
about 30 minutes. Drain, cool, peel & chop.

Place eggs in saucepan, cover with cold water.
Bring to boil, cover & remove from heat. Let eggs
stand in hot water 10-12 minutes. Remove from
hot water; cool, peel & chop. Combine potatoes, eggs,
celery & onion. Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard,
salt & pepper, add to potato mixture. Toss well to
coat. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, serve chilled.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
———————————–

Mexican Crustless Quiche

5 large eggs
1/4 C. flour
2 T. butter, melted
3/4 of a 16 oz. container cottage cheese
2 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 (4 oz) can green chili peppers (with juice)


Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 inch pie pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add flour
& melted butter (cooled to room temp); mix
well. Add cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese
& green chili peppers; mix until well combined.
(mixture will be lumpy). Pour into prepared
pie pan. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to
350 degrees F., bake an additional 20 minutes.
Quiche is done with toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes
before slicing into wedges & serving.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

————————————

Grilled Summer Corn & Tomato Salad


non-stick cooking spray
4 ears corn-on-the-cob, husked
2 C. cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 C. chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C. loosely packed fresh basil leaves,
thinly sliced
1 T. red wine vinegar


Spray corn and grill with non-stick spray.

Turning occasionally, grill corn 15 minutes
or until golden on all sides. Cut kernels
from cob. Combine corn with remaining
ingredients in medium bowl. Season, if

desired, with salt & black pepper. Serves 4.
—————————————-

Unfried Chicken Skewers


6 T. margarine, divided
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into strips
1/2 C. flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. seasoned panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment
paper, then evenly brush with 2 T.
melted margarine. Thread chicken
on 18 skewers*; dip into flour to coat. Dip
into beaten egg, then bread crumbs to
coat. Arrange on prepared sheets. Brush
chicken skewers with remaining 1/4 C.
melted margarine. Bake 8-10 minutes
until chicken is thoroughly cooked,
about 8-10 minutes.

*If using wooden skewers, soak them
in water at least 30 minutes before
using.
——————————-

Dreamsicle Salad


1 (3 oz) pkg. orange Jell-O
1 (3 oz) pkg. tapioca
1 (3 oz) pkg cook & serve vanilla
pudding (not instant)
1 (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
2 (11 oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained

—-
Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add first 3

ingredients, stirring constantly until
it boils again, then boil for 1 minute more.
Remove from heat & cool. When cool
enough, refrigerate for at least several
hours, or overnight until firm. Put
Jell-O mixture in a bowl and stir to break
up a little. Add Cool Whip, stir to mix
completely then stir in oranges. Refrigerate
one hour (or more) to fully set.

(recipe: DDJ-6-29-12)
—————————————

Easy Layered Tomato Dip


1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
crackers

—-
Mix cream cheese & garlic until
well blended. Spread onto bottom
of shallow serving bowl or 9-inch
pie plate; top with tomatoes, onions &

cheese. Refrigerate several
hours or until chilled. Serve with

crackers. Makes 24 servings (2 T. ea)

(recipe: Kraft foods)
————————————

Strawberry-Pretzel Ice Box Pie


2 C. finely crushed pretzel sticks
3/4 C. melted butter
1/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 C. sliced fresh strawberries
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 0z. pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 T. plus 1 tsp. strawberry DRY Jell-O
1/2 of a 3 oz pkg)
2 C. whipping cream, divided
1/3 C. granulated sugar

—-
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Stir together first 3 ingredients; firmly
press on bottom & up sides of a lightly
greased 10 inch pie plate. Bake 10-12
minutes or until lightly browned. Remove
from oven to wire rack; cool completely
(about 30 minutes). Process strawberries
in food processor until finely chopped,
stopping to scrape down sides when
needed. Beat condensed milk & next
2 ingredients at medium speed with
elec. mixer until smooth. Add strawberries;
beat at low speed just until blended. Transfer
to large bowl. Beat 3/4 C. whipping cream at
High speed until soft peaks form; gently
fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture.
Spoon into prepared crust. Cover & freeze
8-12 hours or until firm. Beat remaining
1 1/4 C. whipping cream at high speed
until foamy; gradually add granulated
sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Spread over pie. Freeze 1 hour or until
whipped cream is firm.

(recipe: Tamara- 1_Comfort_Foods_digest)
===================

Yesterday, inbetween the storms I visited our local library and picked up a few used books on sale. Another Robert LudlumThe Scorpio Illusion, and unknown to me author: Christopher Reich “Rules of Deception. Also checked out two more of my favorite author: Faye Kellerman: “Straight into Darkness” and Stone Kiss”. It’s highly possible I’ve already read the last two, but it’s been awhile since I’ve read any of her early books, so I’m going to ‘give it another try’. She writes rather graphic murder/mystery novels with unusual twists – sometimes they’re a bit more than I can handle (graphic-wise), but I just skip over those parts (I know – I’m a chicken!). I like novels/authors that give you just enough information to sort-of figure out the plot but not enough to get the actual ending until the very end (does that make sense?). Also checked out another crochet book: “250 Crocheted Granny Squares”; that ought to keep me busy just experimenting with various patterns. I’m not really fond of crocheting but sometimes I just like the challenge of seeing if I can figure out what they’re doing. (I don’t read crochet patterns very well, so I kind of have to make up something that ends up looking like the pattern!).

Last night was Knit/Crochet night and 9 very brave ladies showed up! Very brave because, at various times in the evening, we had more of the very heavy thunderstorms – pouring down buckets of rain and yet they came! There were patterns flying around (read that: sharing pattern ideas), some free stuff: one of our members brought in a TON of free stuff she wanted to give away – lots of knitting magazines – those were very popular, some beginning knit kits, a learn-to-crochet video (no I didn’t take it) and several other things. All but about 7 of the knitting magazines were taken so I brought the rest home to bring back next Knit night for those who might not have seen them. I got a chance to look through all of them and I still don’t see the main attraction; perhaps it’s because I’m not an expert knitter (most of their patterns are very complicated – lots of cables or other advanced stitches) and lots of advertisements selling all sorts of fancy (expensive) yarns. It was nice to peruse them and remind me, once again, why I don’t subscribe or buy them. (we’re talking each magazine runs $6.99 and up, depending on the publisher). Oh well, to each their own, right?  OH! I finally found the company that makes the peach colored yarn (for the baby blanket). The ladies last night were telling me: “You probably won’t be able to find that exact color, since you don’t have the ball band (that’s the paper wrapper that surrounds the yarn  – mine was a freebie years ago and doesn’t have the band – hence, why I don’t/didn’t know who makes it). I went on line and just typed in ONE POUND YARN. I knew that Lion Brand makes them, but they didn’t have peach color. Upon checking out my search, I found that Caron brand makes that exact color!!! YAY! Ordered one skein (1 lb.) which will be enough to finish this blanket. I’m happy.  Several of my ladies have already started knitting or crocheting baby blankets for our next charity project for the Detroit Vets hospital; I’m going to send out an email in about a week officially announcing this project. Hopefully this will give them enough time to make one blanket (for those who want to participate) before our (yet to be announced) September ‘something’ deadline. I’m hoping the lady in charge of the Vets Babyshower will email me soon with the actual details & date.

Hope you are enjoying your day; remember to fly the flag and reflect on our freedoms. We truly do live in a blessed nation.

Hugs;

Pammie

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