Problem Solved – YAY!

Have you ever had one of those situations where, for a brief period of time your heart sort of either went faster or skipped a beat over something you did? Yesterday was one of ‘those’ – since our mailbox is not by our house (it’s on a side street, can either walk or drive there), we don’t get the mail every day. Picked up several days-worth of mail yesterday after church; in the mail was a notice from our car insurance company stating that, due to non-payment, our car insurance was CANCELLED! YIKES! Reading over the paperwork it said that we could still pay the payment IF the payment was received before this Wednesday – WHEW! Went on-line, clicked on the ‘pay my bill’ and electronically paid it. Done – great! Right after that a little thought kept tickling the back of my mind . . . “Wait! You’d better check to make sure that’s one of those ‘instant’ payments!” (explanation: the bank told me that some of the companies ‘use’ electronic payment BUT they don’t exactly do it the quick way – they have the BANK issue a check and physically MAIL the company your payment; no extra charge to me). Wouldn’t you know it – AAA is one of ‘those’ companies! YIKES! Payment ABSOLUTELY HAS to be to AAA BY WEDNESDAY! In very tiny print next to the AAA bill payment part on my bank account is a tiny envelope picture with a 5 on it – meaning your ‘electronic’ payment will take FIVE days to get there – GREAT! I have THREE DAYS not FIVE!! Read that as: major freak! (or heart skips a beat as mentioned above). OK – at 9 a.m. bright & early this morning I called AAA and explained my predicament. Very nice young gentleman said: “I’ll check with my supervisor about allowing the payment.” Came back and said (very nicely, mind you) “Sorry, but you’ll have to take up with your bank the cancelling of the electronic payment and you would need to pay the bill some other way, by Wednesday.” OK – I can handle that – we went through the steps and did an ‘instant/electronic’ bill payment on the phone – now we have car insurance again – GREAT. A little later I went in to our local bank, chatted with my lovely bank lady – turns out I was a ‘bit’ wrong in my assessment of the situation. When I read that little tiny “5” on the envelope screen display – that doesn’t take into account WEEKENDS! Turns out my ‘electronic’ payment wouldn’t have taken five days – but, since it was made on a Sunday, AAA wouldn’t have gotten the actual payment until a WEEK from today! WHEW! Thank heavens for getting it straightened around, right? All I can say is – sure am glad that’s fixed. OH! Forgot to mention the “WHY” of all this mess – I keep our bills in a big ring-binder notebook. When I got that ‘cancellation’ notice all I could think was: “But I never got a bill!” Turns out, after much searching, I DID get the bill – it somehow got shoved to the very back, under a bunch of other papers along with the renewal notice from AAA for our yearly membership! (took care of both of them with the phone call). Guess I’ll be MUCH more careful in the future in putting the bills IN the notebook, not just quickly shoving them in the side without actually opening the notebook. It’s the LITTLE THINGS in life that keep us young/active/stressed – yes?  I felt so relieved when I came home from the bank that I cooked up a brunch for the three of us: husband, middle son & myself. Had a bunch of great omelet ingredients, some leftovers from the tacos the other night: chopped onion, black olives, green peppers, plus chopped ham, 2 1/2 baked potatoes, chopped mushrooms and finished it off with melted Cheddar cheese – YUM! I love when you can make something tasty with ‘extras’ hanging out in your fridge!

Lots more recipes for you (the actual reason for this post – want to get the holiday recipes to you before the holiday!)


Holiday Mashed Potatoes

8-10 medium sized potatoes, peeled &
cut into cubes
1 C. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 T. butter
1/3 C. chives, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
additional butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil  potatoes until tender. Beat sour cream
& cream cheese together. Add hot potatoes &

beat until smooth. Add butter, chives, salt &
pepper. Place in a greased 2 quart casserole
dish. Dot with butter; sprinkle top with
paprika. Bake 25 minutes. Serves 8-10

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Festive Cranberry Salad

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 (16 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) carton Cool Whip, thawed
– In a bowl, combine milk & lemon juice; mix
well. Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, marsh-
mallows & pecans. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon
into 9 X 13 baking dish & freeze until firm,
4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.
Makes 12-16 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Thanksgiving Punch

2 quarts cranberry juice, chilled
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 quart ginger ale

In large punch bowl, pour cranberry
juice. Stir in frozen lemonade, stirring

until dissolved. Just before serving, add
the ginger ale. Makes 12 cups.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

1 (12 oz) pkg fresh cranberries
1/4 C. green onion, chopped
1/4 C. cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper*
1 1/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 T. lemon juice
dash salt
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese

Place cranberries in food processor
(or you can just chop them). Chop
green onion, cilantro & jalapeno
pepper into small pieces. (*If you
don’t like heat, omit jalapeno
pepper). Add all ingredients
except cream cheese,  in a bowl.
Mix all together, cover & store in
fridge at least 4 hours. When ready
to serve, place cream cheese on a plate,
spread out evenly on plate. Pour
cranberry mixture over cream cheese,
spread around. Serve with crackers.
Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: Jamiecookesitup)


Holiday Broccoli Saute

3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 T. white vinegar
1/4 C. raisins
3 T. water
1 T. sugar
6 C. fresh broccoli florets,*
cooked until crisp-tender
1/4 C. chopped toasted walnuts

Melt margarine & pumpkin pie
spice in 1/2 inch nonstick skillet
over medium heat. Cook onion,
stirring frequently, until tender,
about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar,
cook 1 minute. Stir in raisins, water
& sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until
slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Stir in broccoli, then sprinkle with
walnuts. Serves 6

*Use cooked, frozen broccoli florets
instead of fresh

(recipe: Unilever)

Cranberry-Orange Spiced Green Beans

3 T. margarine
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 large shallot or 1 small onion, chopped
1/4 C. orange juice
1/4 C. dried cranberries
1 lb. green beans*, trimmed &
cooked crisp-tender

Melt margarine & spice in 12-inch
nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Cook shallot, stirring frequently,
until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in
orange juice & cranberries; simmer
1 minute. Stir in green beans. Garnish,
if desired, with orange slices.
Serves 6.

*Can use frozen cooked green beans
instead of fresh.

(recipe: Unilever)

Baked Spiced Squash

2 T. margarine
2 T. maple syrup or pancake syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 medium butternut squash,
halved & seeded

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease baking sheet, set
aside. Combine all ingredients
except squash, in small bowl.
Arrange squash cut side up, on
baking sheet, brush with 1/2 of
margarine mixture. Bake 45 minutes

or until squash is tender,
brushing with remaining margarine
mixture halfway through cooking.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Unilever)

Autumn Spice Glaze  (for poultry)

3/4 C. butter, unsalted
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, dried
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, coarse-ground

Combine all ingredients in small
saucepan; heat over low heat 3-4

minutes. To glaze, brush mixture on
turkey every 30 minutes after the
first hour of cooking.

(recipe: Honeysuckle White)

Cranberry-Pear Crisp

1 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar 1/4 C. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter, cut into chunks
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
3 lb. firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored & cut
into 1 inch chunks
1 C. fresh cranberries, rinsed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix flour, 1/4 C. granulated sugar,
brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt. With
mixer fitted with a paddle, on low speed (or
using your fingers) mix or rub in butter until
mixture forms coarse crumbs & begins to
come together; stir in walnuts. In large bowl,
mix pears, cranberries & remaining 1/4 C.
granulated sugar. Pour into a 9 inch square
or round baking dish; spread level. Top
evenly with flour mixture. Bake until juices
are bubbly, pears are tender when pierced
and topping is golden brown: 40-50 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cranberry Salad

1 lb. cranberries

1 lg. strawberry jell-o

1 C. hot water

1 lg. red apple (chopped)

1 orange (juice and rind)

1-1/2 C. sugar

1 C. walnuts

1 C. crushed pineapple (drained)

Put cranberries and orange through

food grinder. Mix jell-o with 1 cup

water until dissolved. Add remaining

ingredients and refrigerate.

Makes about 3 quarts.Freezes wonderfully.

Sandy-marys recipe exchange


Cranberry Oatmeal Squares

1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 C. crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. rolled oats
1 1/2 C. self-rising flour (see below)
1 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. butter
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine cranberry, pineapple & vanilla;
set aside. In another bowl combine
remaining ingredients; spoon 1/2 of mixture
into well greased 9 X 13 pan. Press firm,
spread with cranberry filling, cover with
remaining crumbs. Bake 40 minutes.

Self-Rising Flour:
For every cup of regular flour, add 1 tsp.
baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt

Pumpkin Pie Bars

1 1/3 C. flour
3/4 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
3/4 C. cold butter or margarine, cut up
1 C. old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats,
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 T. pumpkin pie spice*

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13 pan with foil, leaving ends of foil
extending over sides; spray with nonstick
spray. Mix flour, 1/4 c. granulated sugar & brown
sugar in medium bowl until blended; cut in butter
with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats & nuts.
Reserve 1 C. oat mixture; press remaining onto
bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat
cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin &
spice with elec. mixer until blended. Pour over crust.
Sprinkle to with reserved oat mixture & bake
25 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Use foil to transfer
dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
Makes 24 bars.
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spice:
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice
Mix together & use as directed

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Apple-Cranberry Salad Toss

1 (10 oz) pkg. torn  mixed salad greens
2 apples, sliced
3/4 C. dried cranberries
3/4 C. walnut halves, toasted
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 C. raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Toss greens with fruit, nuts & onions. Add
dressing just before serving; mix lightly.
Serves 8, 1 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream
Cheese frosting

1 (2 layer) pkg. spice cake mix
1 C. sour cream
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 C. oil
3 eggs
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) pkg. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 5 ingredients with elec. mixer
until blended; spoon into 24 paper-
lined muffin cups. Bake 20-22 minutes
or until toothpick inserted into centers
comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes;
remove from pans; cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, butter & vanilla in large
bowl with elec. mixer until blended. Gradually
beat in sugar. Blend in cinnamon; spread over
cupcakes. Makes 24.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Pumpkin Soup

1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 lb. fresh pumpkin, peeled &
cubed (about 8 C.)*
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 C. boiling water
1 C. light cream or Half & Half
4 oz. cream cheese
salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in 3 qt. saucepan over medium-
high heat; cook onion, garlic & pumpkin
stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until
onion is tender. Stir in bouillon cubes
blended with water. Bring to boil over
high heat. Reduce heat to Low & simmer
stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or
until pumpkin is tender. Stir in cream & cream

cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally,
5 minutes or until heated through. Remove
from heat & cool slightly. Process soup
in blender or food processor in batches at
low speed, until smooth. Return soup to
saucepan & season with salt & pepper;
heat through. Serves 4

*Substitute: Use 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
instead of fresh pumpkin. Stir in canned
pumpkin with the water.
(recipe: Unilever)


Sweet Potato Pancakes w/Brown Sugar Cream

2 large sweet potatoes or yams, cooked & mashed
(about 1 1/2 lb)
1 1/2 C. plain dry bread crumbs, divided
2 T. firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
6 T. margarine
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. coarsely chopped pecans

Combine potatoes, 1/2 C. bread crumbs,
1 T. brown sugar, salt & pepper. Drop by
tablespoons into remaining 1 C. bread
crumbs; roll to coat lightly. Melt 3 T. margarine
in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat; cook 1/2 of the pancakes, turning once
& flattening slightly, 6 minutes or until
golden brown, keep warm. Repeat with
remaining margarine & potato mixture.
Blend remaining 1 T. brown sugar with sour
cream. To serve, dollop each pancake
with sour cream mixture then garnish
with nuts. Makes about 30 cakes.

(recipe: Unilever)

Lots of recipes – if I come across any more before Thursday I’ll post them. Sometimes the same recipes work well for Christmas, too.  It’s another beautiful “Fall-Like” day here, 45 degrees, clear and sunny (just my kind of day!). Hope you’re having a great day and remember to do all of your holiday preparations in stages – thereby assuring they get done and you’re not too tired to enjoy the actual holiday!

Big Hugs;



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. It is good to hear that I am not the only person that does that kind of thing!

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