Still Here (Mayans Be CRAZY)!!!

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As the rest of you have no doubt realized by now, we’re doing JUST FINE without relying on the Mayan calendar thing – I wasn’t worried. I did, however, wake up to a yard full of ‘white’ – it was pouring rain all day yesterday and I kept thinking I hope it doesn’t turn into snow, as that would make the roads awful. When I got to my car, the windshield was thickly coated in ice, with an over coating of snow. There WAS one good thing, however – youngest son was with me and told me to: “Get in the car, Mother!” (then he proceeded to clean off all the windows – neat, huh!). I was kind of hoping I wouldn’t have to go anywhere today, but then I realized that there were still errands to run, so off we went. Since I’ve had a bit of ‘extra’ time, I had knit another of the ‘net’ scarves – this one for the very helpful bank teller (dropped that off today). Ran to the Post Office to mail a bunch of cards and Thank You’s for the gifts from the special needs group party; quick trip to the drug store and I’m back home (YAY!). Decided to treat my husband & I to Whopper Juniors & Tim Horton’s coffee, so we’re both happily filled and warmed.

Gas Prices – yesterday I filled up my car at $3.15/9; today I passed that same gas station and was surprised to see $3.25/9 – WOW! A 9 cent jump overnight – must be the Mayans again (hey, gotta blame something on them, right? They’re not here to defend themselves . . . )

Question: Have you ever re-gifted something? This year found me doing that more than ever. Not because I didn’t LIKE the gifts I was given, BUT because when I saw them I thought: “That would be just PERFECT for _ _ _”. For example, one of my special needs families gave me a $10 gift card to Kroger; I know of a 2 person family that could really USE (and NEED) that, so off it went in a card. I also was given TWO poinsettia plants – one is on my diningroom table, the other was given to another person, to cheer up their holiday. Another person gave me some really nice smelling Peach hand cream – that got included with the scarf for the Bank lady. Another family (that usually goes with Kohl’s for gift cards) gave me a card to Parisianne store (really up-scale ladies clothing). Now, not criticizing BUT I’m NOT UP-SCALE. . . this one went to my oldest son’s girlfriend, who will use it to it’s full value, I hope. It makes me happy that these gifts were well thought out by the givers AND that they will be given to people who will really like them. We (my family & I) have been really blessed this year – we have what we need (and then some!) and even ‘want’ – and we’re grateful.
Write or comment here on your views on this subject.

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies


1 C. butter, melted
2 C. sugar
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 T. red food coloring
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Layer:
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Brownie Layer:
Place 1 C. melted butter, 2 C. sugar &
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa in large
bowl;  mix until well combined, about
2 minutes. Crack 1 egg & add to batter;
mix until egg is incorporated. Repeat
using remaining eggs, mixing them into
batter one egg at a time. Add 2 tsp.
vanilla to batter, mix. Place 1 1/2 C.
flour & 1/2 tsp. salt into small bowl,

mix with fork to combine; add to batter,
mix until well combined. Add 1 T. red

food coloring to batter, mix until batter
is red. Add 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate
chips, mix until combined. Line a
9 X 13 pan with waxed paper, parchment
paper or tin foil; spray with nonstick spray.
Spread batter evenly into pan.

Cream Cheese Layer:
Place 1 (8 oz) pkg. softened cream cheese into
stand mixer or medium-sized mixing bowl;

beat until smooth. Add 1/2 C. sugar, 1 egg & 1 tsp.
vanilla; mix until well combined. Drop cream
cheese mixture onto red velvet layer in spoon-
fuls. Drag a knife through both layers to create
a marble effect. Bake 45-55 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Let cool on wire rack, lift out of pan, cut & serve.

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup)
———————————–

Brie with Balsamic Pears
(appetizer)


2 medium pears, cored & thinly sliced
1/2 C. balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing
1/2 C. toasted chopped walnuts
2 tsp. sugar
1 (8 oz) piece Brie cheese
(crackers or baguette slices)
– In 10-inch skillet, cook pears over

medium- high heat, stirring occasionally,

2 minutes.Stir in salad dressing, walnuts

& sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally,

4 minutes or until pears
are tender. On microwavesafe serving dish,
microwave cheese on High 30 seconds or until
cheese is slightly softened.
To serve, top cheese with pear mixture and eat
on crackers or baguette slices.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Wish Bone)

————————————

Buffalo Onion Ranch Dip


2 C. cooked, cut up chicken
1/4 C. cayenne pepper sauce
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/2 C. buttermilk 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
(optional: crumbled blue cheese)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Toss chicken with cayenne pepper

sauce in microwavesafe bowl. Stir
in remaining ingredients & turn
into a 1 1/2 quart shallow casserole
dish. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes
or until bubbling. Sprinkle crumbled
blue cheese over top before serving.
Serve, if desired,
with celery or fresh veggies.
Makes 3 Cups dip

(recipe: Unilever)
———————————-

Bacon-Spinach Mashed Potatoes


2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes (about 6),
peeled & cut into chunks
5 slices bacon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (9 oz) pkg baby spinach leaves
1 (8 oz) tub Kraft Philadelphia
Chive & Onion cream cheese spread

Cook potatoes in boiling water in large
saucepan 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat
until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet,
reserving 1 T. drippings. Place bacon on

paper towels. Add garlic to drippings, cook 2

minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach,
cook & stir 1-2 minutes or until spinach is
wilted; remove from heat. Crumble bacon
& stir into spinach mixture. Drain potatoes,
return to pan. Add cream cheese spread;
mash potato mixture, then stir in spinach
mixture. 12 servings, 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)
——————————–

Pistachio Fudge


1 lb. white baking chocolate*
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3 C. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/8 tsp. green food coloring
1/2 C. chopped pistachios
(additional pistachios for garnish,
if desired)
=
Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, allowing
foil to extend over sides of pan. Spray with
nonstick spray. Melt chocolate as directed
on pkg. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with
elec. mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in
sugar on low speed until well blended. Add
melted chocolate, extracts & food coloring;
mix well. Stir in chopped pistachios. Spread
evenly in prepared pan. Garnish with additional
pistachios, if desired. Refrigerate at least
1 hour or until firm. Use foil to lift off pan onto
a cutting board. Cut into 25 (1 1/2 inch) squares.
Store in refrigerator.
*One (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips can be
used as a substitute for white chocolate squares

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

Christmas Biscuits (overnight recipe)

1 lb butter
4 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 lb. sugar
1 C. sour cream
flour

Cream butter & sugar thoroughly; add eggs
one at a time, beating well after each. Dissolve
soda in sour cream, then add to mixture. Sift
in flour until dough is stiff enough to handle.
Chill overnight.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Roll out dough thing on floured board, cut
with cookie cutters. Bake 10 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

————————————————-

Ham & Beans


1 (16 oz) bag Great Northern beans (dry)
1/2 lb. diced, cooked ham
1 small onion, diced
1 large handful brown sugar
2 tsp. chicken bouillon
salt & pepper, to taste
dash cayenne pepper
1 T. dried parsley
water

Rinse & sort beans according to pkg. directions.
Place in large pot with 8 C. water; let stand
overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain & rinse
beans. Add ham, onion, brown sugar, bouillon,
salt & pepper, cayenne & parsley to pot; generously
cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat &

simmer 1 1/2 – 2 hours until beans are tender. Add more water
if necessary during cooking time (re-season with salt,
pepper & brown sugar, to taste).

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

Buttery Vegetable Gratin


5 T. margarine, divided
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled &
thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F. In shallow

2 quart casserole dish,
grease lightly with 1 T. margarine.
Sprinkle half of garlic in bottom of
dish. Arrange half of zucchini slices,
half tomato slices, half potato
slices, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle
with half of salt & pepper, dot with
4 T. margarine; repeat layers. Bake
50 minutes. Sprinkle top with
Parmesan cheese, bake an additional
5 minutes or until vegetables are
tender. Serves 6

(recipe: Unilever)
—————————————

Sweet Potato Soup


3 T. butter
1/4 C. shallots, chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
6 C. chicken stock
a pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled,
diced into 1 inch pieces
1 C. Half & Half
white pepper, to taste
1/2 C. walnuts, chopped finely
– Melt butter in large saucepan. Add shallots,

onion & celery; cook over
low heat about 6 minutes, stirring
frequently. Add chicken stock, nutmeg,
sweet potatoes; bring mixture to a boil.
Lower heat, simmer about 30 minutes.
When potatoes seem tender, pour
mixture into a food processor or blender
& mix until smooth. Season with pepper &
continue to heat but don’t bring to a full boil.

Place walnuts in a small dish & have
each diner sprinkle the chopped walnuts
into their soup bowls. Serves 6.

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

Pineapple Banana Hummingbird Loaves


1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding & pie filling
4 eggs
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained –
reserve 1 C. juice
2 medium ripe bananas, well mashed (1 C.)
1/2 C. chopped pecans (or walnuts)
cream cheese glaze (recipe below)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine cake mix, instant pudding, reserved
pineapple juice, eggs & oil in large bowl; mix
using elec. mixer 2 minutes or until blended.
Add crushed pineapple, bananas & nuts; mix
just until blended. Pour into 5 foil mini loaf
pans sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake 40
minutes or until toothpick inserted into center
of loaf comes out clean. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Glaze
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. milk
1/2 C. powdered sugar

Combine cream cheese, milk & powdered
sugar; drizzle over cooled loaves.
Makes 5 loaves
NOTE: VARIATION: substitute 1 C. maraschino
cherries, drained & halved for bananas &
omit the cinnamon.

(recipe: newspaper flyer)
————————————————–

Cheddar-Bacon Bread


3 1/2 C. flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T. butter, softened, for dough mixture
1 T. butter, softened, for top of loaf (more
if necessary)
4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 3/4 C. buttermilk
1/2 lb. bacon, thick sliced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease two 5 X 9 loaf pans.
In large frying pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain
excess grease on paper towels. Cut strips into
bite-sized pieces. In large mixing bowl sift salt,
baking soda & flour together. With your fingers,
combine 2 T. butter with salt mixture,
until thoroughly combined. It should look like sand.
Stir in cheese & bacon until well mixed. Add buttermilk
until dough just comes together. Divide dough evenly
between both loaf pans. Smooth tops. With a knife,
cut a thin slice down middle of each loaf. Thinly
slice remaining butter & put in the slices, using
more if needed. Bake until tops are golden brown
and a tester comes out clean, approx. 25-30 minutes.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Makes
2 loaves.

(recipe: Leslie-justapinch.com)
———————————————-

Peanut Butter Cups
(candy)

3 C. powdered sugar
2 C. graham cracker crumbs
2 sticks butter, melted
1 C. smooth peanut butter*
1 (12 oz) pkg chocolate chips

Mix sugar, crumbs, butter & peanut butter

well. Spread into a 9 X 13 pan or 12-count muffin tin
NOTE: Poster said she filled 15 muffin tins with
this mixture.
Melt chocolate chips & spread over peanut
butter mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour
before serving.

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

Chocolate Eclair Cake


2 small boxes French vanilla pudding
3 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip
1 box graham crackers
1 jar hot fudge ice cream topping
1 jar maraschino cherries
– Using electric blender or wire whisk,
in a large bowl blend pudding mix &
milk until smooth. Stir in Cool Whip
until well blended & creamy. Line bottom
of 9 X 13 pan with graham crackers.
Pour & spread half of pudding mixture
on top of graham crackers. Add another
layer of graham crackers on top of
pudding mixture; spread remaining
pudding mixture over graham crackers.
Add another layer of graham crackers.
Place hot fudge topping in a microwaveable
bowl; heat 1 minute. Stir & heat 1 minute
more. Stir again & pour over top layer
of graham crackers; spread until smooth.
Garnish top with maraschino cherries.

Refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight,
for best results.

NOTE: Poster also reports you can
switch out pudding, Cool Whip &
hot fudge for SUGAR FREE with great
results.
(recipe: Penny R-justapinch.com)
================================

Have a great day – remember to rest a bit in between all of your ‘adventures’!

Hugs;

Pammie

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Published in: on December 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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