Chilly Out There!

Baby, it’s CHILLY out there today! Yesterday was a nice, BALMY 84 degrees, sunny with a warm breeze. We had a light rain during the night and I woke up to a CHILLY 54 degrees F.! (and it hasn’t warmed up any yet!)  (Sorry, just gotta complain a little – I’m still living in the SUMMER and not ready for FALL!)

I decided, yesterday, to see if I can knit up some ‘regular-sized’ baby hats (not premies); had a chat with a friend and she mentioned a local charity (Women & Teens Crisis Pregnancy Center) while we were talking. I have several friends who work there and they tell me the center has a ‘store’ where Moms can spend points towards items for their babies (not sure how it all works, but they assure me that they would love any hand made items). I started another crocheted apricot baby afghan in the X-pattern granny squares and will mix them with white squares. I love working on charity projects and this one can be an on-going project (along with the chemo caps); as I finish items I can just take them to church & give them to my friend who works at the center – neat! This not only gives me something to ‘do’, but also uses up some of my stash yarns (which, in turn, gives me reason to go find more yarn, on sale!) LOVE a bargain!

Not much new around here, just put a pork roast in the crockpot – love that utensil; you can put a totally frozen roast in the crockpot in the morning and have a nice, fully-cooked roast by around 5-6 p.m. – YUM! Bought some nice, big baking potatoes the other day, so it looks like  pork roast and baked potatoes!


Taco Soup

2 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 oz) pkg taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 C. water
1 (1 oz) pkg. ranch dressing mix (dry)
1 (15 oz) can white hominy, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
& drained
shredded Cheddar cheese (topping)
corn chips

In large Dutch oven, brown beef &
onion over medium heat; drain off
fat. Add chiles, salt & pepper, beans,
water, seasoning mixes, hominy &
stewed tomatoes; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes.
Top with shredded cheese, serve
with corn chips.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix (no
pudding added)
1 box chocolate inst. pudding – 4
serving size
1 (12 oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
1 C. chocolate syrup, divided
3 C. miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 x 13 pan. Prepare
cake per box directions, add dry
pudding mix – mix well. Gently
stir in chocolate chips. Pour into
prepared pan; bake 50-55
minutes or until cake springs
back when lightly touched. Drizzle
1/2 C. chocolate syrup over warm
cake. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly
over syrup; bake 5 minutes longer or
until marshmallows are softened and
lightly browned. Drizzle remaining
syrup over marshmallows. Cool cake
in pan; cut into squares using a knife
dipped in warm water.

(recipe: DDJ 08/17/12)


Brats & Potatoes

6 bratwurst links
1 medium onion, chopped
6 medium Idaho potatoes
3 T. cooking oil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Remove Bratwurst filling from
casings; brown in a pan with
cooking oil. As meat is browning,
add chopped onion & season to
taste. Cut potatoes into bite-
sized pieces; add to meat
mixture. Cook on high until
the outside of potatoes are
lightly browned. Place potato/
meat mixture on a baking sheet;
bake 30 minutes. When potatoes
are tender, turn on broiler &
brown about 5-8 minutes.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: Michelle –

Sirloin Steak & Pasta Salad

2 C. uncooked penne or mustaccioli pasta
1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 (3/4 lb) boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
1 T. garlic-pepper blend
1 1/2 C. thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 C. thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
3 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. (1 oz) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat broiler.
Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large
Dutch oven. Add pasta; cook 5 1/2
minutes. Add beans, cook 3 minutes or
until pasta is done. Drain & rinse with
cold water; drain well. Sprinkle steak
with garlic-pepper blend. Place on broiler
pan; broil 3 inches from heat 10 minutes
or until desired degree of doneness, turning
after 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut
steak diagonally across grain into thin
slices. Combine onion & next 8 ingredients
(onion-black pepper) in a large bowl. Add
pasta mixture & beef slices; toss well to
coat; sprinkle with blue cheese. Serves 4
(about 1 1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Rhonda G, from Cooking Light
DEc., 2003 – Marys Recipe Exchange)

How to Make your own Croutons

(for salads)

1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. French bread cubes

Heat olive oil & minced garlic in medium
skillet on medium heat. Stir in bread cubes;
cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp & golden
brown, stirring frequently. Cool completely.
Makes 1 C. seasoned croutons.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Creamy Skillet Cabbage & Bacon

1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
6 slices bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 C.)
8 C. shredded green cabbage (about
1 small head)
2 C. shredded red cabbage
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. dry roasted peanuts,
coarsely chopped

Heat dressing in large skillet on medium-
high heat. Add bacon & onion; stir.
Cook 5-7 minutes or until bacon is
cooked & onions are tender, stirring
occasionally. Add cabbage & broth, stir.

Cook 10 minutes or until cabbage is wilted
stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir
in sour cream; top with peanuts. Serves 8.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Oven Brunch Bake

4 eggs
2 C. milk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 C. cubed French bread
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mild
Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped mushrooms
1 C. chopped red pepper
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1/4 C. bacon bits
1/4 C. cooked ham, chopped

Beat eggs, milk & mustard in large
bowl with wire whisk until well blended.

Add remaining ingredients;
stir gently to mix well. Pour into
lightly greased 12 x 8 baking dish;
cover. Refrigerate several hours or

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Uncover baking dish; bake 45-
50 minutes or until knife inserted
into center comes out clean.
Serves 8

TIP: can also add 1 (4 oz) can chopped
green chilies, drained, to egg mixture
before pouring into baking dish.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cider Pork Chops

2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 pork chops, bone in
1 T. cooking oil
1 C. sliced celery
1/2 C. sliced green onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 C. apple cider or unsweetened
apple juice

In large resealable plastic bag,
combine flour, salt & pepper. Add
pork chops; toss to coat. In large
skillet, brown chops over medium
heat 3-4 minutes; remove & keep warm.

In same skillet, saute celery,
onions, garlic & thyme 2-3 minutes
or until crisp-tender. Return pork
chops to pan; add cider & bring to
boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer
7-8 minutes or until meat juices
run clear.

(recipe: Sharonkay-RDJ 08/24/12)

Super Moist Chocolate Pecan

Zucchini Cake


1/2 C. butter, softened

1/2 C. cooking oil

1 3/4 C. sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 C. flour

4 T. cocoa

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. buttermilk

(or 1/2 C. milk + 1 tsp. vinegar-

stirred together & let sit 5 min.)

2 C. shredded zucchini, peeled


1/2 C. brown sugar

1/2 C. pecans, chopped

1 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large mixing bowl add 1/2 C.

softened butter, 1/2 C. oil, 1 3/4

C. sugar & 2 eggs; mix well – about

3 minutes. In medium bowl, add

2 1/2 C. flour, 4 T. cocoa, 1/2 tsp.

baking powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon,

1/2 tsp. cloves & 1 tsp. baking soda;

whisk together well. Add buttermilk &

1 tsp. vanilla to wet ingredients, then

add dry ingredients; mix well. Add

zucchini to mixture; mix to combine.

Spray 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray;

pour in batter, spread around. Mix

chopped nuts & chocolate chips;

sprinkle on top of batter. Bake

35040 minutes or until toothpick

inserted into center comes out


(recipe: JamieCookesItUP! blog)

That’s it for today – sure hope it warms up some a little later! Today is a sort of ‘free’ day for me, it only involves driving my youngest son to various places: pick up from school, hair cut, work, pick up from work later – so I’m not complaining. I don’t really have a ‘set’ schedule for this day – am going to work on the baby afghan more, maybe knit another baby hat or experiment some with one, anyway. (Made one yesterday – outcome was OK, but am thinking of using a lighter-weight yarn for the next one).

Stay warm and enjoy your day!



Published in: on September 14, 2012 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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