Been a BUSY Week!

Sometimes it’s better when you look BACK on something rather than while you’re in the midst of it – this was one of those weeks. It seemed like every day had a miriad of ‘things that HAD to get done’, like driving youngest son various places, meetings to go to (Ladies Fellowship Monday, Ladies Bible Study Tuesday morning, Knit Night Tuesday evening, Special Needs group Weds. evening), etc. Sometimes I was ‘lucky’ in that small details changed, like Tuesday evening when it looked like I would have to leave Knit Night early to pick up youngest from his job at 8:30 (Knit Night is over at 9 p.m.) – husband called to tell me that they’d asked youngest to work until 11 p.m. – whew! Saved by the details! Wednesday I thought I had to babysit grandson, which requires I pick him up from the bus stop exactly at 4 p.m. (wouldn’t have been a bad thing except youngest son needed me to take him somewhere – the return trip would have been a real ‘squeeker’ – just barely making the pick up time) – fortunately my oldest son called to say that the  great grandma was going to take grandson for the day – YAY! Crazy week. My husband’s Aunt died Weds. and they scheduled a cematary service for this morning; luckily we had the time to be able to attend. It was in Sterling Heights, about 25 minutes from our house. Time-wise, it also ‘worked out’ – it almost happened that our youngest would have to walk home from school, as we weren’t sure if we’d get back home by his time: 12:30 p.m., but it all worked out fine – he had a make-up test to take and I picked him up at school at 1:30! YAY, Again! Right now I’m happily ‘coming down’ from all the constant go-go-go; knit another baby hat, took an ‘unscheduled’ 20 or so minute nap and now I’m here with you! Tomorrow, other than driving youngest to & from work, I’m free – – – as far as I know, that is! One of the ‘good’ things about today is we were able to experience a ‘new to us’ restaurant: Andiamo’s in Sterling Heights, MI. (for the funeral dinner). The food was EXCELLENT! It was served in a casual, course-by-course Italian style (the deceased Aunt was Italian): excellent tossed salad and wonderful, warm Artisan breads with herbed olive oil for dipping, a pasta side dish, main course: lightly breaded white fish, green beans & carrots (with some sort of side tomato/herb sauce for the fish), then a small ‘palate cleanser’ of vanilla ice cream lightly drizzled with chocolate sauce – wonderful meal! My husband looked them up on-line and found out they are a chain, of sorts. It’s always nice to know of a great place to go for really good food!

Meals here have been sort of scrambled; with all the various goings-on (for me), we had the White Bean/Chicken ‘soup’ (mentioned in the last blog entry) for several nights PLUS the Navy Bean soup (also mentioned). By Thursday we were all pretty ‘souped out’ – so I went to the grocery store to shop. While there, they had a ‘special’ featured item: Freschetta pizza – Southwestern style (about a ‘medium’ size) for $2.99 each! I thought: “Haven’t had anything like this before – why not try it? For that price, can’t be beat!” The pizza (I bought 2) had a thin crust, sauce (of course) sliced red peppers & onions, corn, and huge chunks of chicken! (I also noticed that this was very similar to the fajita-style chicken I buy at Gordon Foods – the kind I use in the White Bean/Chicken soup). Bought a 4-cheese pizza also, just in case others in the family weren’t too happy with the Southwestern-style pizza (I LIKED IT! So did middle son-said it was definately different but he’d like it if I continued buying that kind! Interesting!) Husband was a ‘not so hot’ vote (he sticks to what he knows: my homemade pizzas –  hamburger, pepperoni, onions, sliced black olives, sliced mushrooms, green peppers (if I have any) and 2 kinds of cheeses; sometimes ‘old faithful’ just plain works!)

Recipes! Still have lots of great-sounding recipes for you:

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

Ham with Pineapple
(crockpot)

6-7 lb. picnic ham
1 (15.25 oz) can pineapple rings
1 (16 oz) can Pepsi (or other cola-
flavored carbonated beverage)

Place ham in crockpot, fatter side
facing down. Use toothpicks to attach
pineapple rings to ham. Pour juice from
pineapple over ham; pour cola into
crockpot. Cook on Low 7-10 hours.

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

Broccoli-Cheddar Chicken Bundles


8 boneless skinless chicken thighs,
pounded to 1/2 in. thickness
1 C. frozen broccoli florets, thawed &
chopped
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 packet Shake ‘n Bake Extra Crispy
seasoned coating mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken, smooth-sides down,
on work surface; top with broccoli,
cheese & bacon. Roll up each chicken
thigh tightly, starting at one short
end; secure with wooden toothpicks.
Roll in Shake ‘n Bake until evenly
coated. Place, seam-sides down, in
single layer in shallow foil-lined
pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until
chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Remove & discard toothpicks
before serving. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————-

Mississippi Mud Cookies


1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. milk chocolate morsels
1 C. PLUS 2 T. miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Microwave semisweet chocolate chips

in small microwave-safe bowl on High 1

minute or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.

Beat butter &
sugar a medium speed with elec. mixer until creamy;
add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each
addition. Bea in vanilla & melted chocolate. Combine
flour, baking powder & salt; gradually add to chocolate
mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chopped
pecans & 1/2 C. milk chocolate morsels. Drop dough
by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined
baking sheets. Press 3 marshmallows into each portion
of dough. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to
wire racks. Makes about 3 dozen.

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

“Pizza” Pork Chops
(grill)


5 boneless pork chops
1 pinch salt & ground black pepper,
to taste
5 slices tomato (1/2 in. thick)
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
5 slices mozzarella cheese

Preheat grill to medium heat.
Season chops with salt & pepper;
arrange in bottom of disposable
aluminum pan. Top each chop with
tomato slice. Divide basil, oregano &
garlic between chops; drizzle each
with olive oil. Cover pan with foil
Cook until pork is no longer pink in
center, about 25 minutes. Remove
pan from grill; top each chop with a
slice of mozzarella cheese, re-cover
pan with foil & wait until cheese melts,
3-5 minutes, before serving.

(recipe: Cookincrazyme-RDJ 09/14/12)
————————————-

Baked Potato Soup
(crockpot)


5 lb. russet potatoes, washed but not peeled,
diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, minced (5 tsp. if using jarred)
8 C. (64 oz) chicken stock or broth
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. seasoned salt
(Optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded
cheese, green onions, dollop sour cream)

Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning & chicken
stock to crockpot. Cook on High 6 hours or Low
10 hours. Add softened cream cheese; puree half of
soup with an immersion blender (or use blender, in
small batches) until cheese is incorporated. Stir well,
top with choice of garnishes.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
————————–

Party Nachos


1 lb. ground turkey
2 T. vegetable oil
1 envelope Taco seasoning mix (1.25 oz)
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. bottled salsa
1 (16 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 pkg. Scoop-style tortilla chips (about 60)
1 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (4 oz)
(Optional garnishes: guacamole, sour cream,
sliced canned jalapenos)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large nonstick skillet on medium-
high heat, heat oil. Add ground turkey; cook
8-10 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink;
drain. Stir in taco seasoning, water, salsa &
black beans. Reduce heat to medium, cook,
uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spoon turkey mixture evenly into each
scooped tortilla chip; place on large baking
tray. Top with shredded cheese & bake 4
minutes.*
Serve with optional garnishes.

*Alternative heating: Microwave:
Microwave filled chips in small batches
on High setting 20 seconds.

(recipe: Perdue chicken)
————————————-

Sweet Chex Mix w/ Berries

4 C. bite-sized Corn Chex
4 C. bite-sized Rice Chex
2 C. pretzel knots
1 C. sliced almonds
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
6 T. butter
3 T. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 C. dried cranberries or
1 C. dried blueberries or
1 C. dried cherries

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Combine corn & rice Chex, pretzels &
almonds in large roasting pan or baking
dish; set aside. In medium saucepan, bring
to Boil while stirring: brown sugar, butter &
corn syrup. When mixture comes to boiling

point stop stirring; let boil for an additional
5 minutes over medium heat. Remove from
heat, stir in baking soda. Pour immediately
over cereal mixture. Stir gently to evenly
coat cereal mixture. Bake 15 minutes. Stir
& bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove
from oven, stir in dried fruit(s). Spread
mixture on buttered foil to cool. Break
into bite-sized pieces & store in air-tight
container.

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

Hissy Fit Dip*


2 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed small
1 C. white American cheese, shredded
1/2-1 lb. pork sausage, crumbled, cooked
& drained
1/4 C. green onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. curry
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash garlic salt or powder

Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat 350 degrees F.
In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring
until well blended. Place in baking dish sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 1 hour.
Serve with crackers, chips or veggie sticks
(carrots, celery, sliced cauliflower, broccoli, etc.)

*Rumor has it the first time this was served at a
SEC tailgating party, it was so popular that it was
gone in no time. One uppity young lady who missed
tasting the new recipe was so distraught she pitched
a big HISSY FIT, hence the name.

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

Stuffed Green Peppers
(crockpot)

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained &
rinsed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 1/2 C. cooked rice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 C. shredded, Cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 C.)
4 small green peppers, tops removed & seeded

Combine all ingredients except reserved cheese

& green peppers. Stuff peppers to top. Place in
crockpot (3 peppers in bottom & 1 on top).
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-4 hours. Sprinkle with 1/4 C. reserved
cheese last 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Rival Crockpot Stoneware Slow
Cooker cookbook-slowcooker digest)
——————————————-

S’Mores Apples


6-8 Granny Smith apples
6-8 wooden skewers/sticks
2 T. unsalted butter
1 (28 oz) bag large marshmallows
10 oz. milk chocolate chips
2 C. crushed graham crackers

Twist off stems on apples. If skewer
ends are blunt, sharpen them using
a utility knife to slice off one end at
a diagonal angle. Firmly grip apple &
push skewer two-thirds into stem-end
of apple. If any juice leaks out, blot
fruit with paper towel before dipping.
Lay out a layer of waxed paper on a baking
sheet (can use parchment paper, also).
In a saucepan over low heat, melt
butter. Add marshmallows & stir
until melted. Dip apples, one at a
time, then transfer to waxed paper.
Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
In a double boiler over low heat, melt
chocolate chips, stirring continually.
Pour graham cracker crumbs into
a large bowl (leaving enough room
for dipping apples in bowl).
Dip an apple into chocolate, stopping
two-thirds of way up. Immediately
dip lower third of apple into graham
cracker crumbs, rotating to coat
evenly. Transfer apples to waxed
paper & repeat for all apples.
Refrigerate until set, about 15
minutes.
(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe
Exchange)
==========================

On a new note, I finally got to see a movie I’ve been waiting for: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Dame Judith Dench, Maggie Smith and several other excellent English actors). It just happened to be on our local cable ‘pay per view’ and I was able to see it for $5! That’s cheaper than going to the movies! It’s another of those: ‘senior-aged people looking for something to add spice to their lives take a trip to India after reading an advertizement about the forementioned hotel’. It was a fun movie, a little slow to start but a good ending – I’d recommend it.

Not much else going on (thank heavens!) – it looks like this coming week is fairly ‘standard’, not a lot of extra goings-on. Was looking (on line) at yarns with the thought of, perhaps, knitting a few scarves (Christmas presents for the helpers in the special needs group) but now that I think on that a little more, think I’ll forego that idea and go with ‘easier’ gifts.  There’s a new yarn out this year (actually several kinds) that make knitting a scarf almost fool-proof. They come in big skeins and look almost like mesh or net (in various colors); you basically knit the top of the skein strand and it automatically makes big mesh-like ruffles. It looks really nice when knit up (was trying to find a photo of it, knit up, but wasn’t able to at this time).

Anyway, that’s what’s going on around here – OH! Just noticed today that gas prices, here, jumped up TEN CENTS per gallon! I filled up yesterday for $3.36/9 and now it’s $3.46/9 – that’s not good.

How’s your weather lately, by the way? It’s been typical around here for this time of year: slight chill in the air (enough to wear a jacket, not cold enough to bring out the really heavy WINTER jackets yet) – today it was in the mid-50’s and sunny; in the evening it’s dipping down to the 30’s (now THAT’S cold weather! The other day there was FROST on my windshield, in the mid 30’s – YUCK!). Oh well – time to ‘buck up’ and get used to the fact that WINTER IS COMING! (double yuck!)

Hope you’re having a great day/evening!

Hugs;

Pammie

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We love Andiamo’s, it’s one of our favorite places!! Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Just a quick message to let you know I nominated you for a Liebster Award!
    Link here for info:
    http://littlebitsandpiecesoflife.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/oh-my-goodness-i-have-been-nominated-thank-you/
    Congrats !


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