Thoughts on a Thursday

Today is one of those ‘Present’ days – a day you don’t really have anything specific planned and you GIVE yourself permission to do whatever you want (ergo-it’s a present to YOU!). I got to sleep in late (8:45 a.m.), had a leisurely morning looking over emails, Facebook posts from friends, knitting a bit on another chemo cap and photographing the latest three Vet’s baby afghans. With the 3 below, we’re up to 21!

As I was knitting, I started to thinking about what to knit, as a project, next and came up with “Oh, wait! I have those free skeins of yarn – what if I make a scarf for one of the ladies in my special needs group? (who’s a helper). Dragged out the yarn and started playing with it. Yes, it probably was very expensive and, yes, I’ve never knit with this particular kind before (in fact, I discovered, it’s been discontinued). It’s called “Divine” by Patens – it’s a very FLUFFY yarn – goes from sort of thin to really thick with giant FLUFF and then back to thin – NOT EASY to work with! Had to take a guess on what size needles to work with so that you could see the pattern – slowly discovered that’s NOT going to happen! Used my biggest needles (size 13) – still just looked like jumbled up fuzzy – or, as I began calling it: “A HOT MESS!” It’s like knitting with those goofy little dogs with the fuzzy tufts of hair sticking up from their heads. After much effort attempting to come up with something that looked better than a fuzzy glob, I remembered I could go on my favorite knitting site: Ravelry.com  type in the particular yarn and be able to view all sorts of projects other people have made using that particular yarn. Found several neat scarf patterns; I ‘might’ attempt it one more time – we’ll see. (If not, I’ll ‘gift’ it to the ladies in the knit group – they LOVE free yarn!)   On the Christmas gift ideas list – I gave up on the idea of knitting 30 little white knitting basket ornaments for the knit group ladies – too fussy, too much time, just not a ‘good idea’ – might do what I did last year: have Panera bake their mini chocolate chip cookies and put them on platters on the tables – have at it! MUCH easier for me!!!

Our weather has been nice lately – in the mid 70’s and sunny; heard it’s supposed to rain soon – that’s OK, our grass & flowers could use the water.

Have you seen the GAS PRICES lately??? Holy Moley! Went to Knit Night Tuesday and the ladies were talking about it – I rarely watch TV or the news, usually just read the local paper. Earlier that day I saw the prices – same as before: $3.59. After knit night, on the way home I began to pay attention – $4.09!!! WOW!  Been watching it daily, as I’m now at a little under a quarter tank, so will have to buy some very soon – not happy about that! I understand it’s because of the hurricane weather down South – they aren’t pumping, hence the prices go up. I guess, in the long haul, higher gas prices are MUCH better than suffering through a hurricane and it’s aftermath, right?

Youngest son experienced his first day at his new job yesterday. I asked him how it went (he was NOT happy); apparently he spent six hours in front of a computer reading all about their company policies, the history of the company, etc. (He was hoping to be able to DO something physical . . . I’m SURE that time will come!) His next day is Friday, so we’ll see how it goes. Basically, his job is in General Merchandise – he goes to the Service Desk, picks up any items for his department and then puts them back on the shelves, plus helps customers – it’s a start! I told him not to complain about sitting – at least he got PAID for it, right?

I misspoke myself a blog or two ago – am now getting LOTS of summer-type recipes coming in – lots of GRILL or veggie recipes, plus salads.

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

Stroganoof-Style Peas& Mushrooms


3 T. margarine
1 (10 oz) pkg cremini mushrooms, thinly
sliced
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 C. frozen green peas, partially thawed
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. sour cream
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
(optional)

Melt margarine in 1/2 inch nonstick
skillet over medium-high heat; cook
mushrooms & onion, stirring
occasionally, until mushrooms start
to release liquid & brown, about 8

minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds.
Stir in peas & black pepper; cook, stirring
occasionally, until heated through,
about 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream,
sprinkle with parsley (if desired).
Serves 4

(recipe: Country Crock site)
———————

Easiest-ever Spoonable Corn Bread


1/3 C. margarine, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped

1 (10 oz) box frozen whole kernel
corn, thawed
1 (8.5 oz) pkg. corn muffin mix
4 egg whites
2/3 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Spray 1 1/2 qt. shallow casserole
dish with nonstick spray; set aside.
Melt 2 T. margarine in 10 in. nonstick
skillet over medium-high heat; cook
onion & red pepper, stirring occasionally,
until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir
in corn; cook, stirring occasionally,
until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove
from heat, stir in remaining margarine
until melted, let cool. Combine muffin
mix, egg whites & milk in large mixing
bowl. Stir in cooled corn mixture. Turn
into prepared casserole dish. Bake 25
minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
Serves 8.

(recipe: Country Crock site)
——————————–

Bacon Spinach Salad


5 c. torn spinach leaves
1 C. thin sliced red onion
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 C. Catalina salad dressing

Combine all ingredients except
dressing in large bowl. Add dressing &
mix lightly. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 (1 1/4 C. each) servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
————————–

Chicken Artichoke Salad


4 chicken breasts, cooked & cut
into bite sized pieces
1 pkg. chicken-flavored Rice-A-Roni

2 jars marinated artichokes, drained
& cut up
2 green onions, chopped
8 stuffed olives, sliced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. curry powder

Cook rice accordg to pkg directions, but
omit butter. Mix remaining ingredients;
toss. If not moist enough, add liquid
from drained artichokes. Salt & pepper
to taste. Refrigerate at least 4 hours
before serving; keeps several days.

(recipe: coastlady-RDJ 08/24/12)
—————————————-

French Onion Pork Chop Skillet


6 boneless pork chops (1/2 in thick)
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 (6 oz) pkg. Stuffing Mix for chicken
1 1/2 C. hot water
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with
nonstick spray on medium-high heat.
Add chops & onions; cook 10 minutes
or until chops are done (160 degrees F.)
turning chops & stirring onions after 5
minutes. Remove chops from skillet;
set aside. Cook & stir onions 5 minutes

or until golden brown; stir in Worcester-
shire sauce. Return chops to skillet;
spoon onions over chops. Mix stuffing
& water; spoon around edge of skillet.
Top with cheese; cover. Cook 5 minutes
or until cheese is melted. Serves 6.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————-

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

– 1 (2 layer) pkg. chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) Jell-O chocolate instant pudding mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. milk
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped &
divided
1 C. dry roasted peanuts, divided
1 C. creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil; spray with
nonstick cooking spray. Beat first 4
ingredients with elec. mixer until well
blended. (dough will be thick)
Press half onto bottom of prepared
pan. Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle half
each of chopped chocolate & nuts
over crust. Microwave peanut butter
in small microwaveable bowl on
High 1 minute; stirring after 30
seconds; spread over nuts.
Roll remaining dough into 9 x 13
rectangle between 2 sheets of
waxed paper. Peel back top layer of
waxed paper; flip dough onto top
of dessert. Remove remaining waxed
paper. Sprinkle with remaining
chocolate & nuts; press gently
into dough with spatula.
Bake 15 minutes; cool 1 hour.
Refrigerate 4 hours before
cutting into bars. Makes 32 bars,

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————-

7-Layer Salad Make-Over


1 (9 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 red pepper, chopped
4 green onions, sliced

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
3/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

Layer first 4 ingredients in clear
glass bowl. Spread mayonnaise
evenly over salad to edge of bowl;
sprinkle top with cheese. Top with
bacon & refrigerate 1 hour. Toss
just before serving. Makes 12
servings – 1 Cup each.

*Salad can be stored in refrigerator
up to 6 hours before serving. Top
with bacon just before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————-

Layered Caesar, Shrimp & Pasta Salad


1/4 C. creamy Caesar salad dressing
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (6 oz) pkg. torn mixed salad greens,
divided
2 C. medium pasta shells, cooked &
cooled
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
3/4 c. seasoned croutons
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 lb. frozen, cooked & cleaned
medium shrimp, thawed
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
cracked black pepper (optional)

Mix salad dressing, mayonnaise & garlic.
Layer half salad greens, pasta & tomatoes in
3 qt. bowl. Cover with layer so remaining
greens, croutons, eggs, shrimp & cheese.
Refrigerate dressing mixture & salad 1
hour. Add dressing mixture to salad just
before serving; mix lightly. (add pepper,
if desired) Makes 6
servings – 2 C. each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
————————————–

Chocolate Sorbet


2 1/2 C. water
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely
chopped
2 tsp. vanilla

Bring water to boil in medium saucepan.
Stir in sugar & cocoa; reduce heat; simmer

5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from
heat; add chocolate & vanilla, stirring
until chocolate melts. Cover & chill completely.
Pour chocolate mixture into freezer can of an
ice-cream freezer; freeze according to mfgr’s
directions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe
container; cover & freeze 1 hour or until firm.
Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: DDJ 8/21/12)
————————————-

Sun-Dried Tomato & Garlic Dip


1 (8 oz.) tub cream cheese SPREAD

1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/2 C. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes,
drained & chopped
2 T. finely chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix ingredients until well blended.
Serve with crackers and/or cut up
fresh vegetables.

*Can be made ahead – refrigerate
up to 24 hours before serving. The
longer you leave this dip in the
refrigerator, the more intense
the flavor.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
——————————-

Zucchini Cookies


1 C. butter, room temp
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. grated zucchini
2 3/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped walnuts
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. raisins
1 c. sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, cream together
butter & sugar until light & fluffy.
Beat in eggs & vanilla; stir in
zucchini. In a medium bowl, whisk
together flour, baking powder, cinnamon,
& salt; add to zucchini mixture. Stir in nuts,

chocolate chips, raisins & coconut.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto buttered cookie

sheets. Bake until lightly browned,
about 15-20 minutes. Transfer to rack to
cool. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

(recipe: RDJ 08/16/12)
=======================

The weekend is swiftly approaching AND our last Summer holiday: Labor Day. Do you have any special plans for the day? Beach/picnic/cook-out/barbecue?  We have been invited to a UN-Birthday party for a friend who will be turning 70 in January. His wife said she’s been STRONGLY informed NO PARTY – so, (of course) when women are told NO, what do they do? Instantly think: OK!  She’s decided that we, the invited friends, are to casually meet at a local cider mill by their house, mill around drinking cider & eating their fresh-made donuts. She comes in with her husband and he’s surprised to see us there! (Sure hope he’s not really upset!); then we proceed to their house for a barbecue. I have NO idea how she’s going to get him away from the house long enough to prepare for a barbecue, but I’ll just have to wait & see!  Their grown children will be there from out-state, perhaps the sons-in-law will be doing the food cooking/prep work – we’ll see. I haven’t seen their kids for about three years. (My friend who’s Un-birthday we’ll be celebrating has been married now about that along. His first wife (who was one of my very closest friends) died of cancer about 8 years ago). I’ll be VERY happy to see the kids & their children – they’re sort of ‘family’ to me (and my husband). We first met when attending a church we all went to for over 16 years – their daughters babysat our oldest son (he was 2 then – he’s 29 now!) – we became good friends and now we’re becoming good friends with his new wife as well.  You can never have enough great friends!

Well, that’s my plans for the weekend, so far – hope you are remembering to SMILE, RELAX a bit, and ENJOY (at least a little part of) YOUR DAY!

Hugs;

Pammie

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Pammie, I replied to your email the other dayand yesterday it was returned saying it couldn’t be delivered. I will try again. Hugs, C xx

  2. No Labor Day plans for us but we might get the peach or apricot jam done this weekend.


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