Happy Tuesday!


Here we are at Tuesday – (I almost typed in Monday – wow, am I out of it?). Was supposed to go to Ladies Bible Study this morning but was feeling VERY rebellious – don’t know why, exactly, except I just felt like being “froward” (that’s a word used in the Bible – means “Obstinately Willfull” and I fit that description to a T! Got up in a really cranky mood (didn’t want to ‘rub off’ on my fellow Bible study ladies – not because I thought they’d be shocked, but just because  . . . After reading my friend Mary’s (Momma) blog about the idea of changing things up a bit after Christmas and how drab my house felt minus all the bright shiny objects and red decorations, I wanted to go out and BUY something! Ended up at JoAnn fabrics and bought some royal blue fabric to make a new table cloth. (I was hoping to find a Federal Blue – cornflower blue but the darker, more vibrant blue was all they had in the fabric I’d chosen. Now, I will admit here – I’M NO SEAMSTRESS! The best I can do is hem up said fabric to approximately the size that’s on my table now, but it makes me happy. Also had fun buying more yarn (I hear you: MORE yarn???) – Yep! Finally found the really pretty sock yarn I’d been looking for – it’s a Debra Norville variegated purples – I’ve used it before to knit a chemo cap but then couldn’t find any more of it! (bought 2 skeins – sock yarn comes in really tiny skeins). Bought more Bernat’s Baby Jacquards yarn – this time in a variegated yellow and one in lavenders; I LOVE this yarn because it’s SELF DESIGNING! My VERY favorite is their rose-colored blend – when you knit with it it makes it’s own design which comes out looking like you were very clever and knit a band of red flowers & green leaves! I LOVE IT (but, of course, they didn’t have that blend – haven’t seen it in quite some time – might have to go on-line and order it.) When I was at the Radiologist yesterday the nurse told me that the patients really LOVE one particular yarn color I knit hats with – it’s a chocolate brown and variegated pinks, so I told her I’ll find it and knit more in that color range. I just happened to have enough in my stash to make the border ‘cuff’ using that yarn (for 2 hats) and then knitting the cap itself in a medium pink. Found more of the chocolate brown/pink at JoAnns and bought a skein. Went on line last night & ordered 2 more skeins, so I’ll be ‘set’ for awhile (and so will the chemo hats).

Managed to set up the delivery of 50 more baby hats for this coming Monday. This time it’s 20 newborn, 20 Premie & 10 really tiny hats. I love doing them – they knit up quickly and I can make so many variations using different yarns (plus, being small, I can use up small bits of yarn in my stash).

Our weather lately has been, I guess you’d say, sort of typical of this time of year in Michigan (and sort of like last year): it’s been chilly (in the 20’s) but clear & sunny – go figure! We ‘were’ supposed to get some snow by Thursday but the revised forecast just says mostly 30’s for the week (slight chance of snow tomorrow – but I’m being optimistic and hoping it won’t!).

Food-wise, not much new; made the White Bean/Chicken soup for dinner last night – it’s a good one for cold nights (recipe is in another blog entry from last year???). Looking through many recipes from various sites, there are some really good-sounding ones. It’s sometimes hard for me to choose what to post here – they ALL sound great!

(apologizes here – my server is ‘acting up’ when I try to type in recipe titles – bear with me – sometimes it’s coming up BILLBOARD sized letters, other times it’s almost too tiny to read! Go figure!)

Deep Dish Banana Pudding

46 vanilla wafers, divided
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 (3.4 oz ea) pkgs vanilla INSTANT
pudding mix*
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed &
4 bananas (1 lb), sliced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Crush 30 wafers; mix with next 4
ingredients. Spread onto bottom of
15 X 10 X 1 inch pan sprayed with
nonstick cooking spray. Bake 5 minutes;
stir. Bake 3-5 minutes or until golden
brown; cool.
Beat pudding mixes with milk 2 minutes;
pudding will be thick. Stir in 1 C. Cool Whip.
Layer 1/3 of crumb mixture and half of
bananas & pudding in 2 quart serving bowl.
Repeat layers. Beat cream cheese & granulated
sugar in medium bowl using elec. mixer, until
well blended. Gently stir in 1 C. remaining
Cool Whip; spread over top of dessert, sealing
to edge of bowl. Sprinkle top with remaining
crumb mixture. Refrigerate 3 hours. Top
each serving with remaining Cool Whip, chopped
nuts & whole wafers just before serving.
Makes 16 servings.

* substitute Jell-O cheesecake flavored instant pudding

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Bruschetta & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil,
garlic & oregano, undrained
1 1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
8 small boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (2 lb)
1/3 C. Italian roasted red pepper salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine tomatoes, 1/2 C. cheese & basil in
medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, stir just until
moistened. Place 2 chicken breasts in freezer-
weight resealable plastic bag. Pound chicken
to 1/4 inch thickness. Repeat with remaining
chicken. Place chicken, top sides down, on
cutting board; cover with stuffing. Roll
chicken breasts up, starting at one short end.
Place, seam sides down, in 9 X 13 baking
dish, drizzle with salad dressing. Bake 40
minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F)
Top with remaining cheese; bake 5 minutes
or until cheese is melted. Serves 8

Variation: use diced tomatoes with
bell or jalapeno peppers, chopped fresh
cilantro instead of basil & Mexican-style
shredded cheese instead of mozzarella.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Beefy One-Pot Dinner

1 lb. ground beef
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 Yukon gold potato (6 oz)
finely chopped
1 C. water
1 (14 oz) can baked beans
1/2 C. barbecue sauce
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Brown meat in large nonstick
skillet; drain. Add next 3
ingredients; cook 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Stir in
water; cover & simmer on medium-
low heat 10 minutes or until
vegetables are tender, stirring
occasionally. Add beans & barbecue
sauce; mix well. Cook 5 minutes or
until heated through, stirring
occasionally. Top with cheese before
serving. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Easy Chicken Taco Casserole

1 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
9 (5 inch) corn tortillas
1 C. chopped cilantro
2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (8 oz)
1 small tomato, sliced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Season chicken with salt & pepper; place in
medium skillet & add cold water to cover. Bring
to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce
heat to medium-low; cook, turning once or twice,
until opaque & firm, about 10 minutes. Remove,
let cool & cut into small pieces or shred. (should
have about 3 C. cut up chicken)
Spread 1/3 of sauce over bottom of a 7 X 11 baking
dish. Arrange 3 tortillas, slightly overlapping, on
top. Sprinkle 1/3 chicken & cilantro over tortillas.
Top with 1/3 cheese; make 2 more layers sauce/
tortillas/chicken/cilantro & cheese. Arrange
tomato on final layer of cheese; cover with foil &
bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove
foil & cook until top is lightly browned, about
10 minutes more. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: RDJ 09/17/12)


Almond Coconut Bars

-1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. butter, melted
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
7 oz. coconut, flaked
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. peanut butter
24 whole blanched almonds
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. 
In small bowl, combine graham cracker
crumbs & butter; press into ungreased
9 X 13 pan. In another small bowl, combine
milk & coconut. Carefully spread this evenly
over the crust. Bake 18-20 minutes or until
lightly browned. In a microwave-safe bowl,
combine chocolate chips & peanut butter. 
Microwave on High 1 minute, stir. Microwave
30-60 seconds longer or until chips are
melted. Stir until smooth; spread over
warm bars. Garnish with almonds in evenly
spaced rows. Refrigerate 1 hour before
cutting into 24 bars.

(recipe: DDJ - 10/05/12)

Spaghetti Fritatta

 6 eggs
 1 1/2 C. cut-up, cooked spaghetti
 1 C. finely chopped fresh spinach*
 1/2 C. finely chopped baked, cooked ham
 1 C. shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack
 cheeses, divided
 1/4 tsp. salt
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Beat eggs in large bowl with wire
 whisk until well blended. Stir in 
 spaghetti, spinach, ham, 1/2 C.
 cheese & salt. Spread into
 greased 9 inch pie plate; sprinkle
 top with remaining 1/2 C. cheese.
 Bake 30 minutes or until center
 is set. Makes 4 servings.

 *can substitute broccoli for spinach

 NOTE: to check for doneness, insert
 a kitchen knit into center; when it comes
 out clean, it's done cooking.

 (recipe: Kraft foods)

Bacon-Mushroom-Swiss Meatloaf

 12 oz. chopped raw bacon
 1 small white onion, chopped
 5 button mushrooms, chopped
 1 1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef
 1 egg
 1/4 C. evaporated milk
 6 oz. shredded Swiss cheese, divided
 1/2 C. corn flake crumbs
 Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
 Place bacon in skillet & cook over
 medium heat until pieces are browned.
 Remove with slotted spoon to paper 
 towels. Discard all but 1 T. bacon grease.
 Stir in onions & mushrooms, cook until
 soft; remove from heat. In large bowl, stir
 together beef, egg & milk. Stir in onion &
 mushrooms. Mix in about 4 oz. Swiss
 cheese and all but 1 T. bacon. Stir in
 cornflake crumbs & mix until well blended.
 Shape into a loaf; place in a meatloaf pan.
 Bake 1 hour. Drain fat & sprinkle with
 remaining cheese & bacon. Return to oven
 & bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

 (recipe: Sandy- Marys Recipe Exchange)
Stir-Fried Sweet Peppers with Tomatoes

 4 green peppers, coarsely chopped
 1/3 C. olive oil
 4 cloves garlic, sliced
 3 large tomatoes, peeled & coarsely
 1/2 tsp. each salt & pepper
 Cook green peppers in olive oil in
 large skillet over medium heat. Stir
 often 10 minutes or until lightly
 browned. Add garlic, cook 1 minute.
 Stir in tomatoes, salt & pepper. Stir
 often, 15 minutes or until slightly
 thickened. Makes 4 servings.

 (recipe: RDJ 10/26/12)
Peanut Butter/Chocolate Molten Cake


 4 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
 1/2 C. butter
 1 C. powdered sugar
 2 eggs
 2 egg yolks
 6 T. flour
 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
 3 T. creamy peanut butter
 2 T. brown sugar
 1/4 tsp. vanilla
 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
 Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
 Microwave chocolate & butter in large
 microwaveable bowl on High 1-1 1/2 
 minutes or until chocolate is almost
 melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is
 completely melted. Stir in powdered sugar.
 Blend in eggs & egg yolks. Stir in flour; set
 aside. Mix cream cheese, peanut butter,
 brown sugar & vanilla until well blended.
 Pour half chocolate batter into 1 quart
 souffle dish sprayed with nonstick spray; cover
 with layers of cream cheese mixture & remaining
 chocolate batter. Bake 20 minutes or until edge
 is set but center is slightly soft. Cool slightly.
 Serve topped with Cool Whip. Makes 10 servings.

 (recipe: Kraft foods)

3-Bean Turkey Chili

 1/2 lb. ground turkey
 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, 
 1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
 1 (15 oz) can black beans,
 rinsed & drained
 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans,
 rinsed & drained
 1 (15 oz) can great Northern
 beans, rinsed & drained
 1 tsp. chili powder
 1 tsp ground cumin
 1 (7 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar
 Cook turkey in large saucepan on medium-
 high heat 10 minutes or until no longer pink,
 stirring occasionally. Add to crockpot with all
 remaining ingredients (except cheese); stir.
 Cover & cook, on High 3-4 hours or Low 5-6
 hours. Spoon into bowls, top with cheese.
 Makes 8 servings, 1 1/4 C. each.

 Can be made on stove top. Cook turkey in 
 large saucepan on medium-high heat 10
 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring
 occasionally. Add tomatoes, salsa, beans
 & seasonings; mix well. Bring to boil; simmer
 on low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 (recipe: Kraft Foods)
Apple Cider Chicken

 2 T. olive oil
 2 T. butter
 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
 salt & ground black pepper
 1/2 onion, chopped
 1 Granny Smith apple, cored & sliced into 1/4 in.
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 2 tsp. dried thyme
 2 bay leaves
 2 T. flour
 1 1/2 C. apple cider
 Heat oil & 1 T. butter in skillet over medium-high heat.
 Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper; add to pan
 & sear until golden brown, about 4 minutes each side.
 Remove chicken from pan; set aside. Add remaining
 butter & onion, apple, garlic, thyme & bay leaves. Saute
 until apple begins to get color & onions soften, about 
 6 minutes. Add flour; stir 2-3 minutes. Place chicken
 back in pan, add cider & bring to a boil. Reduce heat
 to simmer & cover. Cook until chicken is cooked
 through, about 12 minutes. Serves 4.

 (recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Quick Hash

 1 lb. ground beef
 1 large onion, chopped
 1 tsp. salt
 1/4 tsp. pepper
 1 C. stewed tomatoes
 2 1/2 C. whole kernel corn
 1/4 lb. Cheddar cheese, cubed
 Place ground beef, onion, salt & pepper in
 a skillet. Cook & stir over heat until meat is
 lightly browned & onion is soft. Drain off
 grease before adding other ingredients.
 Add tomatoes & corn; cover & simmer over
 low heat 30 minutes. Stir in cheese cubes; cover
 & let stand 2-3 minutes until cheese melts. Serve
 with nacho chips

 (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Enjoy your day and remember to take a little time 
out for YOURSELF! (I splurged a little today while
at WalMart - bought a $3.27 Peach & Mango candle - 
it has a very refreshing, clean scent - I like 
smelling candles while I knit!)




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