It’s been a busy few days here and stress levels have been high. Middle son took his car in to be repaired Monday (a friend has a repair shop). He rented a car from Hertz for 5 days, returning it yesterday. To sum up the ‘mess’ – driving that son to work, youngest back & forth to school & work, Friday night special needs group Gym Night – all busy & stressful BUT . . . this morning topped the charts. Pick up for finished car: 9 a.m. – driving almost an hour to get it (thank heavens, husband did the driving!). Middle son had a bank envelope with $400 cash to finish paying car repairs. I get a call from husband – did he leave the envelope on the diningroom table? I searched – looking on porch, driveway, etc. – no envelope. Called the bank (they stopped there to use walk-up ATM) – no one reported finding an envelope but they’d keep our information just in case – it was worth a shot, I thought. Time passes, son arrives back home with repair-guy friend. Son moves lots of papers on diningroom table and BEHOLD – he finds the envelope! THANK YOU. LORD!I had looked, but didn’t move any paperwork (silly me). Stress levels for middle son/husband and myself have been at their peaks today – SOooooooo glad it’s leveled off. What a start to a day, eh? Have to drive youngest to work around 3:45, but that’s less than 5 minutes away, so that’s a no-brainer. Other than that, I’m good for a relaxing day (I hope). Got the small order of 4 small skeins of the new yarn I mentioned a few blogs ago – it knits up looking like the old cotton chenille bathrobes – really soft & cosy. Now have 17 baby hats done – had to take a break yesterday – overstressed the right wrist muscles. So glad to finally have talked to the lady at the hospital who heads up the program. Her voice was very calm, her demeanor very easy-going: “No rush! Whenever you’re ready to bring them, give me a call & I’ll meet you.” Interesting! It’s funny – I love to knit (but you KNOW that) – and baby hats are fun because they don’t use a lot of yarn AND you can vary the colors countless ways. I have a large garbage bag full of various bits of baby-weight/sport weight yarns, none of them big enough to knit or crochet a larger object, but just right for baby hats. If I have about a half-skein, that’s enough for a regular-sized baby hat. If it’s less yarn, it becomes a premie hat. If it’s just a little bit, it becomes the brim for either regular or premie hats! All the way around it’s a Win/Win situation! Don’t remember if I mentioned before that a friend of mine who works at a nursing home called to tell me she has a very LARGE amount of yarn, am I interested? SURE! Anything I can’t use I can pass on to the knit group ladies and I know THEY ALWAYS are happy to get free yarn! (original pick up was supposed to be Thursday, but she called to say that her manager decided to let the nursing home residents have the ‘first shot’ at the yarn, before me. No problem – they SHOULD get first shot!) Next scheduled yarn ‘viewing’ and pick up is Tuesday – I’m excited! Her original description to me was: a dishwasher BOX and several large garbage bagfuls of lots of rather expensive yarns -(WOO HOO!) It reminds me of when I first started “The Ghana Project“; another friend who also works at a nursing home (not the same one) called with that very same offer – I ended up bringing home about 3 very big garbage bags of yarn – that was the beginning. When I finally closed “The Ghana Project” I gave most of my yarn to the Cancer Center along with all the remaining squares I had, for them to make lap robes for the chemo patients. I kept three big plastic tubs of yarn for myself (I still have those). Don’t know about you (and how ‘yarny’ you are) but . . . even though I have more than enough yarn right now for myself and the baby hats/chemo hats projects – the prospect of new yarns excites me! I’m going to try to be very selective this time through – but can’t guarantee not picking up a few skeins of ‘nice/expensive yarns’ for some scarf projects for gifts in the future. (She DIDN’T ask if I was only picking it up for charity work! – she just said: “Can you use it?”) Excited for Tuesday!
So glad for the weekend to relax a bit – next week is shaping up to be somewhat like this last one was. Monday night is our first (of the Fall) Ladies Fellowship at church. It’s a 2 hour get together; light supper, short devotion and a little time to just chat – just what women love doing! This time it’s bring an appetizer; I’m good at coming up with entrees or desserts, but appetizers? I’ve decided to cruise Gordon Food Services (where my son used to work) and see what they’ve got to offer in their frozen appetizer section. (Son assures me they carry quite an assortment). Yes, I could go through my recipes (some I’ve posted here) for appetizers, but I just don’t feel like going to a lot of work making them. I have my really tasty Bean Dip, but it’s rather spicy and most ladies don’t go for that. Oh well – we’ll see how that goes on Monday night.
Because I was giving my wrists a rest from knitting, grabbed one of the 50 cent used paperbacks I bought a few weeks ago – stumbled onto: “The Winner”by David Baldacci. This one grabs you right from the first page – premise: What if someone could guarantee you would be the next big lottery winner? Keeps you on the edge of your seat; main character is a very poor young unwed mother, raising her less-than-a-year old baby by waitressing. Lots of intrigue, murder, action, suspense and I’m only 1/4 of the way through the book! Just checked with the library – he’s written LOTS of suspense/murder/mystery books – looks like I’m going to be reading for quite awhile! I LOVE finding a new (to me) author I like!
Having looked through about 8 recipe site postings, there’s lots of football-weather/fall soups, stews, hug-your-ribs foods. (Still have a few summer salads to give you – hope you don’t mind).
Peanut Butter Meltaway Cake
3 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. water
PEANUT BUTTER MIDDLE:
3/4 tsp vegetable oil
1 C. peanut butter
(can use more if you want)
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. cocoa
1 lb. powdered sugar
6 T. sour milk *
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine cake ingredients; bake
in 9 X 13 pan 40 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool completely.
Mix together peanut butter & 3/4
tsp. cooking oil. Spread this
mixture on top of cooled cake;
refrigerate 20 minutes.
Heat in a saucepan: 1/4 C. cocoa,
powdered sugar, sour milk, butter &
vanilla. Mix this until smooth &
bring to a boil. Let cool a few
minutes; pour & spread over peanut
butter layer. Cool & keep refrigerated.
Add 1/2 tsp. vinegar to the milk.
NOTE: this should thicken the milk
mixture when you’re boiling it – you
might need a dab more vinegar.
Tex-Mex Spaghetti Squash Boat
1 spaghetti squash (2 3/4 lb.)
1 C. Kraft Mexican-style shredded
Four-Cheese with a touch of Philadelphia
1/3 C. finely chopped red pepper
2 green onions thinly sliced
1/4 C. bacon bits, crumbled
Preheat oven 4oo degrees F.
Pierce squash in several places with tip
of sharp knife or fork; place in shallow
microwaveable dish. Microwave on High 10-15
minutes or until squash is softened, turning
every 5 minutes. Cut squash lengthwise in
half;remove & discard seeds. Scoop squash
strands into large bowl. Add cheese, peppers
& onions; mix lightly. Spoon into 1 squash
shell; place in shallow baking dish, discard
remaining squash shell. Bake 28-30 minutes
or until heated through, topping with bacon
for last 3 minutes. Serves 6, 1/2 C. each
NOTE: To keep filled squash shell upright:
Form a sheet of foil into a ring, then
place around bottom of squash to stabilize.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
1 medium head green cabbage, quartered
1 stick butter, quartered, each quarter
cut into thirds
1 tsp. salt, divided into quarters
2 tsp. grated ginger, divided into
2 tsp. rosemary, divided into quarters
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut aluminum foil into 4 large squares,
large enough to hold 1 cabbage quarter
each, with room to fold.
Lay each cabbage quarter on foil, on
cookie sheet. Place 3 pats butter on
each quarter. Sprinkle spices over
butter on each quarter. Seal foil
into pouches. Bake 1 hour.
(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Italian Shrimp & Scallop Salad
5 cloves garlic – minced
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
3 T. fresh celery leaves, chopped
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 C. corn oil
2 C. frozen ‘petite’ peas
2 lb. bay scallops
2 lb. small shrimp, peeled &
In small bowl, stir together
garlic, parsley, celery leaves,
salt & corn oil; set aside. Bring
large pot of lightly salted water
to a boil over high heat. Pour in
peas; return to boil. Stir in
scallops; boil 3 minutes then add
shrimp. Continue cooking 1 1/2
minutes more. Drain well, then cool
in refrigerator 30 minutes. Once
cooled, toss with garlic dressing
until coated. Refrigerate at least
3 hours or overnight before serving.
Toss again just before serving.
Zesty Chicken Barbecue
6 frozen, boneless,skinless chicken breast
1 (12 oz) bottle BBQ sauce
1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
Place chicken in crockpot. In a
bowl, mix BBQ sauce, Italian salad
dressing, brown sugar & Worcestershire
sauce; pour over chicken. Cover &
cook 3-4 hours on High, or 6-8
hours on low.
(recipe: Mary Free- Marys Recipe
Yam & Potato Salad
4 white potatoes, peeled & halved
4 sweet potatoes (yams) peeled &
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. chopped parsley
salt & pepper, to taste
Boil potatoes & yams until fork
tender; drain & rinse in cold
water, then dice. Put both in
a large bowl. Add remaining
ingredients; mix well. Add
more mayonnaise & sour
cream, if desired. Chill 1-2
hours before serving.
(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys
Apple Slaw w/ Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
3 T. honey
2 T. cider vinegar
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. vegetable oil
4 C. tri-color coleslaw mix
1 C. chopped Gala or other red-
2 T. sliced green onions
Stir together honey, vinegar, mustard,
& salt in large bowl until combined.
Whisk in oil until blended. Add all
remaining ingredients; toss gently
to mix. Serves 6
Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes
1 T. vegetable oil
4 small zucchini, sliced (about 4 C.)
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add zucchini, cook 7
minutes or until tender, stirring
occasionally. Add undrained tomatoes,
salt & pepper. Break up tomatoes with
spoon; cook 2 minutes more or until
hot. Serves 4 (3/4 C. each)
Bacon-Swiss Spinach Salad
4 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked crisp,
drained, crumbled; reserve drippings
1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled & sliced
3 green onions, sliced into 1 inch pcs,
using both white & green parts
1/4 red onion, sliced thin & separated
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, sliced thin
3 oz. Swiss cheese, cubed
2 large handfuls baby spinach, about
2 large handfuls romaine hearts salad
mix, about half bag
2 T. bacon drippings
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/3 C. water
3-4 T. olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
Combine lettuce, spinach, all
vegetables & Swiss cheese in a
large bowl. In medium bowl, whisk
together bacon drippings, vinegar,
water, oil, salt & pepper to taste.
Drizzle dressing over greens
mixture. Scatter crumbled bacon &
sliced egg over top. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings as an entree or
4 as a side salad.
(recipe: kaitsmimi-RDJ 07/06/12)
Cheesy Zucchini Rice
2 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 C. long-grain white rice
2 T. butter
1 medium zucchini, grated on
large holes of grater
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
salt & pepper, to taste
Bring broth to boil in medium
saucepan. Stir in rice; cover & reduce
heat to low. Cook about 20 minutes
or until most of liquid has been
absorbed. Remove from heat, add
butter & zucchini, cover. Allow to
stand 5 minutes, then stir. Stir in
cheese, season with salt & pepper.
(recipe-Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Italian Sausage Green Beans
(oven or crockpot)
1/3-1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes, chopped
4 (8 oz) cans sliced mushrooms (don’t drain)
1/4 -1/2 tsp. onion or garlic powder
1/2 tsp. basil or oregano
3 (1 lb ea) cans Italian-style green beans,
2 of the cans drained
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Brown sausage in large skillet & drain.
Add all ingredients except green beans;
mix thoroughly; simmer 15 minutes.
Add green beans & mix. Bake in a
covered casserole dish 30 minutes
to 2 hours; or in crockpot on Low
up to 3 hours.
(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe
Tropical Dump Cake
2 (15 oz, ea) cans tropical fruit salad
in fruit juice,
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. butter or margarine
Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Reserve 1/2 C. fruit juice
from can; pour remaining juice & fruit
into crockpot. In small bowl, stir
cornstarch into reserved fruit juice
until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
Pour cornstarch mixture into crockpot;
stir to combine. Sprinkle brown sugar
over fruit. Sprinkle cake mix over fruit;
cut butter into small pieces; place evenly
over cake mix. Cover & cook on Low
3 hours or until cake is set when
lightly touched in center. Spoon warm
cake into dessert bowls, spoon fruit
mixture over cake. Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Horsey-Crab Deviled Eggs
1 dozen large or Ex. Large eggs
1/2 C. crab meat
1/2 – 1 tsp. horseradish
3 T. cream cheese, room temp.
3 T. mayonnaise, or to taste
3 T. chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
chopped scallions, for garnish
Boil eggs approx. 10 minutes, Drain
hot water, adding cold water to pot
until eggs are cool enough to peel.
Peel eggs; slice eggs in half lengthwise,
removing yolk. Add yolk & all other
ingredients to mixing bowl; mix well.
Add filling to cooked egg white halves.
Garnish with chopped scallions.
Makes 24 deviled eggs.
(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
All-Day Apple Butter
5 1/2 lb. apples, peeled, cored & finely
4 C. white sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
Place apples in crockpot. In medium
bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves & salt. Pour mixture over apples; mix well.
Cover & cook on High 1 hour. Reduce
heat to Low, cook 9-11 hours, stirring
occasionally, until mixture is thickened
& dark brown. Uncover & continue
cooking on Low 1 hour. Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness.
Spoon mixture into sterile containers,
cover & refrigerate or freeze.
(recipe: Terry-Slowcooker Digest)
Weather-wise we’re still in the beginning stages of Fall – cooler weather but not too cold (sweater weather) – today at 11:50 a.m. it’s 59 degrees & sunny. We’ve had some lovely afternoons – blue skies, big fluffy clouds, gentle breezes with some of the leaves beginning to fall from the trees. (I know that we’re headed for cold gray days with rain, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve got). Stopped at the local fruit/veggie stand the other day for another batch of big tomatoes (for BLT’s) and some nice zucchini (hate to buy it, knowing that years ago friends were almost bribing their friends to take some of the excess zucchini). I have a rather simple recipe for what I call Zucchini Casserole – husband, middle son & I like it (youngest doesn’t); that’s on the menu soon. Also have some really nice pork country spareribs that will have to be cooked pronto – got them on a mark down.
Hope you’re enjoying a nice day – remember to relax a little, smile a little (even laugh!) – we only have one ‘go’ through this life – we might as well ENJOY it! (right???)