I’m guessing here, but I’d say between 4 & 5 inches of the white stuff descended upon us yesterday. Last night around 11-something p.m. husband & I were out there attempting to help middle son get his car unstuck from our ‘hill’. The roads were horrible and our ‘hill’ is just steep enough to require a really running start to get up it – son has a Honda Civic – read that: NO WEIGHT for a running start! First he was stuck on the hill, then we got him free; he drove around the block and tried again. This time he got stuck parallel to the road – half ON the sidewalk, half on the road – facing oncoming traffic! Thankfully there were only a few cars out – and even then some ‘lovely’ person honked their horn (more like laid on their horn for quite awhile) as if to say “Get out of my way!) As if it didn’t already LOOK like that’s what we were attempting to do! Crazy! Got him out of that, another trip around the block and THIS TIME he made a huge attempt and made it safely up the driveway! YAY!Count that as THREE ‘stucks’ and one success; what a night! To add insult to injury – we got an automated phone call from the school district informing us all schools were closed – at 4:58 A.M.!
Today finds me on the telephone AND using Facebook & emails to contact all 64 special needs students to inform them there will be NO Friends Group tonight. Every time, I repeat: EVERY TIME I do this there’s a problem . . . and it’s almost always MINE! This time there were a good 5-6 errors on my sheet. At first I thought it was MY typing, but as the calling progressed I discovered it was actually the problem of my new program: EXCEL! Somehow, when adding or subtracting information from a line, it managed to copy the line TWICE! I called a group home, got into my spiel: “Hi, this is Pam from Friends Group at (blank, blank) church” and then I hear “Yes, Pam – you just called me!” WHAT? Look over my sheet – sure enough, same phone # in two spaces for two different people! Great! Apologize and move on. Fun . . . not. Still not exactly sure how it all happened but on one I dialed the # and, while it was ringing I’m thinking: “This number is VERY familiar!” It hits me: it’s the phone # of the guy I used to drive to Friends a year ago (he’s since moved). How did HIS number end up 2 lines BEFORE his information? Glad I caught it – would have felt really goofy when saying the name of who I THOUGHT I was calling, only to find out differently! Sigh . . . Well, I’m down to ONE number now. Every time I call both cell phone #’s for the parents I get: “The number you’re calling has a voice message that hasn’t been set up yet.” No RING, no answering machine – just that. I’ll keep calling, hoping that eventually they’ll answer, otherwise I’ve done all I can do. The church has been called then they’re putting a sign on the door saying no Friends Group. Best we can do. We’ve had it happen where some of our students were dropped off and LEFT AFTER we thought all was well and everyone was contacted. Sigh . . . I guess it’s to be expected when you’re dealing with over 64 people. Not exactly the day I thought I’d be having.
It’s now almost 4 o’clock – I’ve been at this since before noon. Don’t exactly know what I’ll be doing for the rest of the day – haven’t thought that far ahead! Got part of the baby afghan sewn together (1 1/2 rows), maybe I’ll work on that for awhile. Want to go back to reading the LesCroart book “The Hearing” – it’s the kind of book that requires you to continually read, otherwise you lose track of exactly WHO each person is, and their connection to the main character. (Especially since this is a lawyer/court story, there’s LOTS of extra people and sub-plots).
Death by Chocolate Cake
(takes a bit of time for setting)
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 oz milk chocolate, chopped
6 T. cream
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter an 8 inch spring form pan. Wrap
pan bottom in heavy-duty foil. Melt butter &
bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl set over a
pan of simmering water. Remove bowl, stir to combine
& let cool to lukewarm. Whisk eggs into chocolate
mixture until well-combined. Scrape batter into
prepared pan. Place spring form pan in a roasting pan;
pour hot water to 1 inch deep into roasting pan. Bake
until cake is set around edges but wobbly in center, 30-35
minutes. Remove foil & let cool on a rack. Cover with plastic
and chill for at least 6 hours or up to 3 days.
Put milk chocolate in a bowl. Bring cream just to a boil;
pour into bowl. Let stand 5 minutes; whisk until smooth. Cool
to room temperature. Remove cake to a platter; spoon on glaze.
Refrigerate up to 5 hours.
(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Cheesy Bacon Mini Meatloaves
3/4 C. milk
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken
3/4 C. Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese (Kraft)
1/4 C. barbecue sauce
3 green onions, sliced
6 slices bacon
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Whisk eggs & milk in large bowl until blended.
Add all remaining ingredients (except bacon);
mix lightly. Shape into 6 (1 inch thick) patties;
wrap bacon slice around edge of each patty.
Place meatloaves on rimmed baking sheet
sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake 35
minutes or until done (160 degrees F.)
Makes 6 servings
NOTE: These can be made ahead of time &
frozen. After making patties, wrap each
individual patty with plastic wrap & place
in a freezer-weight resealable plastic bag.
Seal bag & freeze up to 3 months.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Saucy Swiss Steak
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1 boneless beef chuck steak
(1 lb) cut into 4 pieces
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C. beef broth
1 green pepper, chopped
2 C. hot mashed potatoes
1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
Heat dressing in large nonstick skillet
on medium-high heat. Coat meat with
flour; add to skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes
on each side or until evenly browned on
both side; remove from heat.
Combine tomato paste, tomatoes & broth
to crockpot. Add meat & peppers, cover
with lid. Cook on Low 8-10 hours or High
3-4 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes
topped with shredded cheese.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Easy Grape Salad
1 lb. seedless green grapes
1 lb. seedless red grapes
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme (Kraft)
1 (6 oz) pkg slivered almonds
Wash grapes in colander under running
water, remove stems & place in large
bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together
cream cheese & marshmallow creme until
smooth & creamy. Pour mixture over grapes.
Using a rubber spatula or large serving
spoon, fold mixture into grapes until well
coated; fold in almonds. May be served
at room temperature or chilled 1 hour.
(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced
2 C. penne pasta, uncooked
1 C. water
1 (9 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 C. shredded Italian 3-cheese
blend cheese (Kraft)
Bring tomatoes, pasta & water to boil in
large saucepan; stir. Cover & simmer on
medium-low 10 minutes or just until
pasta is tender. Add half of spinach; simmer,
covered, 2 minutes or just until wilted. Repeat
with remaining spinach. Serve topped with cheese.
Serves 6, 1 C. each.
TIP: For a spicier dish, add 1/4 tsp. crushed red
pepper or hot pepper sauce to uncooked pasta
mixture in saucepan before cooking as directed.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Bacon & Baked Potato Soup
1 T. butter or margarine
1/4 C. chopped onions
1/4 c. chopped celery
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 1/4 C. milk
2 baking potatoes, baked & cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled,
3/4 C. Cheddar cheese, cubed & divided
1 green onion, sliced & divided
1/4 C. sour cream
Melt butter in large saucepan or Dutch oven over
medium heat. Add onions & celery; cook & stir
5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add next 4 ingredients
& bring to a goil, stirring constantly. Slightly crush
potatoes with back of spoon. Simmer on medium-low
heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reserve 2 T. bacon,
2 T. cheese, and 1 T. green onions; set aside. Add
remaining bacon, cheese, green onions to soup;
cook until cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Serve
topped with reserved bacon, cheese, onions & sour cream.
Makes 6 servings, 1 C. each.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Nutty Saltine Toffee
35 saltine crackers
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1/2 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
8 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate,
chopped (or 8 oz chocolate chips)
1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a 15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pan with
aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place
saltines in even rows on lined pan. Melt
butter & sugar in saucepan over medium
heat. Continue cooking until butter is
completely melted & mixture is well blended,
stirring frequently. Bring to boil; boil 3 minutes,
without stirring. Spread mixture evenly over
crackers. (SEE NOTE BELOW)
Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven & sprinkle
with chopped chocolate or chips. Allow to stand
5 minutes so chocolate can melt. Spread melted
chocolate evenly over ingredients in pan; sprinkle
top with nuts. Cool & break into pieces. Store
leftovers in refrigerator.
NOTE: Poster said spreading melted butter & sugar
over crackers is difficult. Her friend advised using a
cup of butter to make spreading easier, but poster
said she sticks to 1/2 C.
Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops
4 (1/2 inch) thick bone-in pork chops
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
1/2 C. apricot preserves
1 T. Dijon-style mustard or spicy mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Season pork with salt & pepper. In a 12 inch
skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat
; add pork & onion & cook 3 minutes; turn
pork & onions. Cook 3 more minutes.
In small microwave-safe bowl, combine
preserves, mustard, 1/4 C. water, paprika,
& nutmeg. Heat in microwave 1-2 minutes
or until melted. Pour over pork chops in
skillet. Reduce heat to medium; cook,
covered, 10 minutes or until pork is
cooked through (slightly pink in center).
(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Chipotle-Apricot Cream Cheese spread
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. apricot preserves
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely
2 T. water
1 green onion, finely chopped
crackers (for serving)
Spread cream cheese onto bottom of pie
plate. Cook preserves, peppers & water in
saucepan on medium-low heat 5 minutes or
until preserves are melted, stirring occasionally.
Stir in onions, spread over cream cheese. Serve
with crackers. Makes 12 servings, 2 T. spread ea.
NOTE: Preserve mixture can be cooked in the
microwave; microwave preserves, peppers &
water in microwaveable bowl on High 1 minute
or until heated through, stirring every 30 seconds.
Stir in onions, then continue with recipe.
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Well, right now the weather is sitting at 34 degrees F. and the snow outside is wet and heavy and MELTING some! YAY! However, there’s a 80% chance of more snow tonight, 60% chance tomorrow (great – I have a 10:30 a.m. doctor’s appmt. – just a check up). Oh well, it IS what it IS, eh? I’m just grateful that we have a nice, warm house; everyone is (for the most part) in good health (I’m feeling stronger every day – just a little stuffed up now); we have food in the house and we’re able to get out of the driveway (Husband shoveled it to his heart’s content today). Life is good!
Hope you are warm, comfortable, in good health and able to say, with me: LIFE IS GOOD!