Since this Hurricane Sandy has wrecked so much havoc in our country, I thought I’d check-in and see how you were doing. It was really windy here last night (in good old Michigan); lots of rain. During the night we got some hail (I had to be up at 7 a.m. and heard it hitting the windows), but other than wind and really light rain/mist, we’re good. I (mistakenly) thought my Ladies Bible Study was EVERY week, so I bundled up and drove – got about half way there when, up ahead, there was a firetruck (the big one with all the hoses) blocking the entire road, so I had to go back & retrace my steps. (found out later there was a tree across the road) All the while I was thinking – OK – NOW, how do I get to church? Remembered there was another way, drove it and got there just a few minutes late only to find only a few cars in the parking lot. Went in the church office and asked our pastor: “Let me guess, Bible Study cancelled because of weather?” He very kindly said, “No, it’s every OTHER Tuesday.” (Oh, brother – insert big blush here). On my way home I thought: “Don’t want to waste this trip out since the weather is really nasty”, so I stopped at the local area Salvation Army store! Found some really nice, heavy bath towels for middle son (when he moves out) – these were the ones they used to call the ‘body towels’ because they’re almost as long as a person – very heavy and big! Got them for $4.99 each! Picked up 2 skeins of yarn (of course), marked down to $.99 each – great for baby hats, then came home. It’s a nice feeling to know that I don’t have to go out again today/tonight for anything! Youngest is home from school sick (hence my 7 a.m. getting up to call him out) with mild fever, aches, etc. He’s doing a little better, throat is still sore but he’s not feverish or vomiting or diarrhea (like he had yesterday). He was fortunate to be off work today, so he’s just been home ‘chilling’ at the computer playing games. Most of our leftovers have been consumed (still about 1 serving of mac & cheese, but I’m sure that will vanish soon). Not exactly sure what to make for dinner – have all the makings for Chicken Pot Pie, but husband was sort of hinting at Pierogies & Sausage, so we’ll see. The good thing about the pot pie is: it’s a ‘more than one meal’ dinner; the pierogies, not so much.
Been perusing some really tasty sounding recipes today – some really yummy desserts. Makes me want to make them, but if I did . . . I’d eat them and that’s a No-No. Haven’t been the ‘best’ about watching my carbs & sugar levels lately and I’m way over-due for a check-up visit to our family doctor (since back in July . . . oooops-this is not for the cancer, just a regular check up), so trying to be ‘better’ about sugar & desserts. Anyway, I digress . . . .
Herbed Chicken & Potatoes
8 small red potatoes
1 (5 lb) whole chicken
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Place potatoes in 6 qt. crockpot.
Remove giblets from chicken, if
necessary. In small bowl, mix together
salt, onion powder, rosemary, sage &
pepper. Rub chicken with herb mixture;
place on top of potatoes. Cover &
cook on Low 7-8 hours or High
3-4 hours until a meat thermometer
inserted in thickest part of thigh
registers 175 degrees. Let stand
15 minutes before serving; serve
TIP: You can freeze the pan drippings
in ice cube trays to use in other
recipes, if you like.
(recipe: Connie W-Slowcooker digest)
Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Breasts
1/2 C. baked tortilla chips, crushed
3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
halves (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
4 lime wedges
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine tortilla crumbs, margarine
& cumin in small bowl; set aside.
Arrange chicken on aluminum-foil
lined baking sheet; top with crumb
mixture. Bake until chicken is cooked-
about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro
& serve with lime wedges. Serves 4
(recipe: Country Crock site)
Pumpkin Pillow Treats
1 tsp. water
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. flour
1/4 tsp. orange zest
20 won ton wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 C. oil
1 T. powdered sugar
Microwave caramels & water in medium
microwaveable bowl on High 30 seconds;
stir until caramels are completely melted.
Cool 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream & 1/2 tsp.
cinnamon. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Whisk cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar,
flour, zest & remaining cinnamon until well
blended. Spoon about 2 tsp. onto center of
each won ton wrapper. Moisten edges
withegg white; fold diagonally in half. Pinch edges
together tightly to seal.
Heat oil in large saucepan on medium-high heat
to 350 degrees F. Add won tons, in batches; cook
2 -3 minutes or until evenly browned; drain on
paper towels. Cool slightly or to room temp.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar & serve with
Makes 20 servings.
NOTE: Won ton wrappers dry out quickly; keep
them covered with a damp clean kitchen towel
until you are ready to use them.
These can be made ahead and frozen. Cook won
tons as directed. Freeze up to 2 months. When
ready to reheat, place frozen won tons on baking
sheet. (No need to thaw first). Bake at 350 degrees F.
15 minutes or until heated through.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Green Beans, Tomatoes & Bacon
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. green beans, trimmed, cut into
1 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. pepper 4 plum tomatoes (about 1/2 lb) chopped
Cook & stir bacon in large skillet on medium heat
until crisp. Remove from skillet, reserving drippings.
Drain bacon. Add onions to skillet; cook & stir until
crisp-tender. Add beans, broth & pepper; stir. Bring
to boil, cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 40
minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cook on medium-high heat
3 minutes or until heated through. Top with bacon.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Pumpkin Chipotle Chili
2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, diced 2 cloves garlic minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed &
1 (46 oz) can tomato juice
1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes in
1 C. canned pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 T. finely minced Chipotle peppers in
Adobo sauce (from small can)
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
In Dutch oven over medium heat, brown meat & drain.
Stir in onion & garlic; cook 5 minutes longer. Stir in
remaining ingredients; simmer 1 hour.
(NOTE: poster says this chili has lots of flavor, but
heat level is quite moderate – kick up the heat by
adding more chipotle)
(recipe: Rhonda G- Marys Recipe Exchange)
“It’s All Greek to Me” Tomato Salad
2 T. olive oil
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb. tomatoes – cut into 1 in. pieces:
(quartered cherry or halved grape tomatoes)
1/2 medium cucumber; peeled & cut into
1/4 in. pieces
1/2 small bell pepper, seeded & sliced into
3/4 C. Greek olives, pitted & chopped
1 1/2 C. feta cheese, crumbled
Whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano &
salt/pepper in a small bowl. Place tomatoes,
cucumber, pepper & olives in large bowl. Add
vinaigrette & toss until evenly coated. Gently
toss in cheese & adjust seasonings.
NOTE: Poster says she tosses all but cheese
together & lets it sit at room temp. for 30
minutes for all flavors to meld, then tosses
in Feta when ready to serve.
Cheese-Potato Slab Pie
3 1/2 C. flour (more for dusting)
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
(keep cold in refrigerator)
1 T white or apple cider vinegar
4 T. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 large red-skinned potatoes
(1 1/2 lb. – unpeeled)
2 Gala apples, unpeeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
freshly ground black pepper
3 T. breadcrumbs 5 oz. Mortadella or ham, thinly sliced
10 oz. white Cheddar cheese, shredded
heavy cream, for brushing
Mix flour, sugar & salt in a food processor.
Add 1 stick butter; pulse until combined. Add
remaining 2 sticks butter; pulse 3 times or
until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add
vinegar, then gradually add 1/3 C. ice water
through feed tube, pulsing 4 times, until
evenly combined. Squeeze dough between
your fingers – if it doesn’t hold it’s shape, add
up to 2 T. ice water & pule 2 more times (dough
should still be crumbly). Turn onto a clean surface
& press into a ball, divide in half, wrap in plastic
wrap & flatten into two 1-inch thick rectangles.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Heat 2 T. olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add
onion & cook until slightly brown, 5-7 minutes,
season with salt & pepper – let cool. Slice potatoes
& apples very thinly; toss in a bowl with the thyme,
remaining 2 T. olive oil, salt & pepper, to taste. Line
a 8 inch square baking dish with foil, leaving a 1-inch
overhang on all sides. On a floured surface, roll out
one piece of dough into a 12-inch square, about 1/8
inch thick. Transfer to prepared dish, tucking dough into
edges & corners – do not trim overhang. Sprinkle
breadcrumbs over dough & add onion. Lay mortadella
(or ham) on top, sprinkle with about 1/3 of cheese.
Layer half potatoes & apples on top in a single layer.
Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with
another 1/3 of cheese. Top with remaining potatoes &
apples, seasoning again – finish with cheese. Roll
remaining dough into a 12-inch square; place on top
of filling. Press overhang of the two crusts together,
rolling dough under itself & pinching to make a 3/4
inch high edge. Make slits in top crust with knife to
allow steam to escape. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bake pie until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temp to 400 degrees F. Brush crust with
cream & continue baking until crisp, about 35 more
minutes. Cool 25 minutes, then lift out of pan & slice
Makes 8 servings.
(recipe: Food Network)
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
1 T. ketchup
2 tsp. dry mustard
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
salt & pepper
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 whole onion, halved & thinly sliced
2 C. beef broth
1 T. ketchup 1 tsp. seasoning sauce (like Kitchen
Bouquet – optional)
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch, (optional)
salt & pepper
Combine ground beef, bread crumbs,
ketchup, dry mustard, Worcest. sauce,
bouillon & some salt & pepper. Knead
until all combined. Form into 4-6 oval
patties (can make ‘lines’ across surface
to resemble steak). Fry patties in skillet
with butter & oil over medium-high
heat on both sides until no longer pink
in middle. Remove from skillet & pour
off any excess grease.
Reduce heat to medium; add sliced onions.
Stir & cook until golden brown & somewhat
soft, for several minutes. Add beef stock, ketchup,
seasoning sauce (if using), & Worc.
sauce. Combine cornstarch with a little beef
broth & add to sauce (if using). Stir & cook to
reduce. Add a sprinkle of salt & pepper & more
broth if needed, for thinning. Return patties
to gravy; spoon some gravy over top & let
simmer a few minutes. Serves 6
(recipe: Food Network)
Corn Bread Taco Bake
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. dry taco seasoning mix
1/2 C. water
1 (12 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (8.5 oz) pkg corn muffin mix
1 can French fried onions
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown meat; drain. Stir in taco
seasoning, water, corn, green pepper
& tomato sauce; mix well. Pour into
2 qt. casserole dish. In a separate
bowl, prepare corn muffin mix
accordg to pkg. directions, except
mix in 1/2 can French fried onions.
Spoon muffin mix around outer edge
of casserole. Bake, uncovered, 20
minutes. Top with cornbread,
cheese & remaining onions; bake
2-3 minutes longer.
(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Four Layer Pumpkin Cake
1 (2 layer size) box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin, divided
1/2 C. milk
1/3 C. oil
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice,
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. caramel ice cream topping*
1/4 C. chopped pecans
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cake mix, 1 C. pumpkin, milk, oil,
eggs & 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with
mixer until well blended. Pour into 2
greased & floured 9 inch round cake pans.
Bake 28-30 minutes or until toothpick
inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool cakes
in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire
racks; cool completely.
Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer
until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin
and spice; mix well. Gently stir in Cool Whip.
Cut each cake layer horizontally in half with
serrated knife; stack on serving plate, spreading
cream cheese filling between layers. (DO not
frost top layer.) Drizzle with caramel topping
just before serving; top with nuts.
Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 16 servings.
Omit caramel sauce; microwave 10 caramels &
1 T. milk in microwaveable bowl on High 2 minutes
or just until caramels begin to melt. Stir until
caramels are completely melted. Drizzle over
cake just before serving; top with nuts.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Tomorrow is Halloween – what are you doing? I’ve explained, here, that we don’t get any trick-or-treaters here due to us living on a major highway. We also have my special needs group tomorrow night – that wouldn’t be a bad thing except that I’ll be driving to that during the time when kids will be out gathering candy – time to drive expecially carefully.
Not much else new around here; haven’t been knitting the past few days (fingers/wrist a little sore). Spending lots of time on the computer (special needs group newsletter) AND playing various video games on my computer have sort of ‘over-worked’ the muscles, so I’m giving them a bit of a rest.
Hope you’re warm, dry and happily enjoying a nice day/evening at home.