Thoughts on a Tuesday

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Hello! Not much going on around here (at least, not much NEW). Last night was my church Ladie’s Fellowship gathering – nice evening – theme: appetizers and there was a large variety! I wasn’t sure exactly what to make (or buy) so I looked up a recipe from my own blog – made it and it seemed to be a hit!

Pepperoni Squares

2 eggs
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano (I used Italian seasonings)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 C. flour
6 oz. pepperoni, chopped
4 oz. grated Swiss cheese (I used Mozzarella)
1 1/2 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix together ingredients
eggs through flour, then stir in pepperoni
& cheeses. Pour into prepared pan and
bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Cut into
squares and serve warm. Makes about
16 squares

======

While they were baking my guys kept saying: “Are we having pizza for dinner?” Comment from me – I was surprised that they stuck to the pan after cooling. I like the idea that I can whip together a ‘sort of’ pizza snack without having to buy a pizza crust! I must say, last night’s appetizers certainly were unique: one lady brought tater tots (1 each) with a slice of jalapeno, then wrapped in a bacon strip – she said they normally deep fry them but her sister bakes them, so that’s what she did. They were ‘different’ – I think they needed to be fried, the bacon didn’t quite taste fully cooked. There were stuffed mushroom caps, salmon balls, red pepper hummus & blue corn chips, the layered mexican dip, a cranberry/cream cheese dip with jalapeno in it! (they were served with very thin sliced pretzels – I’m sure you buy them commercially made). One lady brought tiny ham & cheese sandwiches that reminded me of White Castle ‘sliders’ – she said she bought the buns (never seen then that small before!). All in all, it was a very nice ladies night out.

Have you noticed the GAS PRICES lately? Around here, about a week ago, we went from $3.49/9 to $3.69/9, then back down somewhere in the middle – now it’s staying at $3.69/9. There was an article in our local paper about that very thing – saying that the price rise is due to some refineries going out of business; sure hope this isn’t a TREND of the FUTURE! I was really hoping for the prices to drop some – SOON!

Food-wise, did you do any Super Bowl foods/appetizers? Around here, even with 3 guys in residency, they never watched the game; I was at church (choir & evening church). For evening service we had a young man from our church give his account of his stay in China. He & his new wife went there for jobs – they are American Language consultants! No, they don’t speak the language; he read about the job openings and applied, not thinking they would be accepted! (they are both college graduates). They live in a small apartment close to a city and commute by subway, bus or walking. He mentioned that the college students they tutor LOVE having American nick names – one of his students said: “My name is Glutamine” – too funny. In their culture, they chose names from nature – trees, flowers, etc. and I guess he thought that Glutamine was a ‘natural’ sounding name – who knows!? It was nice getting to see our friend (he used to be in the church choir – really sweet young man) and also seeing his new wife. They’re not here for long, so it was good hearing about their adventures in China!

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

Taco Pasta

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
8-12 oz. medium pasta shells or other small
dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 C.)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with mild
green chilies, drained
1 (4 T.) packet taco seasoning mix
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
salt & pepper

Bring large pot of water to boil; cook
pasta accordg to pkg. directions. Drain,
reserving 1/2 C. pasta water; set
aside. In large skillet cook ground
meat over medium-high heat until no
longer pink. Just before meat is
cooked through, add onion, mix in
garlic & cook until fragrant, about
30 seconds. Add in diced tomatoes &
taco seasoning; let simmer over
medium heat 3-5 minutes. Stir in
cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour
cream & reserved pasta water.
Continue stirring until cream cheese
is melted & sauce is well blended.
Season with salt & pepper; simmer
over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes
to reduce sauce a bit.

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

Gingersnaps

 

2 1/2 C. flour, divided

1 T. ground ginger

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 C. stick margarine or butter,

softened

3/4 C. granulated sugar, divided

1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar

1/4 C. molasses

1 large egg

1 large egg white

Combine 2 C. flour, ginger, baking

soda, cinnamon, pepper & salt in

bowl. In another bowl, beat margarine,

1/2 C. granulated sugar & brown sugar

at medium speed with elec. mixer until

light & fluffy. Add molasses; beat 2

minutes. Add egg & egg white, beat until

fluffy. Stir in flour mixture until

well-blended. Shape dough into a ball

with floured hands; add enough remaining

flour, 1 T. at a time, to prevent dough

from sticking. Wrap dough in plastic

wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Shape dough into 30 balls with floured

hands. Roll balls in 1/4 C. granulated

sugar; place 2 inches apart on baking

sheets sprayed with nonstick spray.

Bake 12 minutes. Immediately remove

cookies from pans to wire rack;

cool completely. Makes 1 1/2 dozen

cookies.

(recipe: DDJ – 10/10/12)

—————————-

Easy Cheesy Chicken Casserole


3-4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1 (16 oz) pkg. wide egg noodles, cooked
1 (24 oz) container sour cream
2 (10 3/4 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 sleeve buttery crackers, crushed (Ritz/Townhouse)
1/4 C. margarine, melted
2 T. poppy seeds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine chicken, noodles, sour cream, soup &
cheeses in large bowl. Pour into a lightly greased
9 x 13 baking dish. Mix together cracker crumbs &
margarine; sprinkle over top. Sprinkle poppy seeds
over cracker crumbs & bake 25-30 minutes or
until crackers are crispy & golden and cheese is
melted.

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

Oven BBQ Brisket


1 (4 lb) beef brisket
1 onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
1 C. barbecue sauce
2 lb. red potatoes (about 6), cut into 1 1/2
inch chunks
1 lb. carrots, cut into 1/2 in. thick slices

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place meat, fat-side up, in roasting pan; top with
onions & barbecue sauce; cover. Bake 2 hours.
Scatter cut potatoes & carrots around meat; bake,
covered, 1 hour or until meat is done (160 degrees F.)

Using slotted spoon, transfer potatoes & carrots to
serving bowl; cover to keep warm. Transfer meat to
carving board, reserving sauce & onions in pan. Cover
meat to keep warm. Skim fat from reserved sauce; discard.
Pour sauce & onions into saucepan; bring to boil on high
heat. Simmer on medium-low heat 5 minutes or until
slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Carve meat across
the grain into thin slices. Serve with vegetables & sauce.
Serves 16.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

————————————————-

Spicy Peach Bread


2 C. flour
2/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 T. soft butter
1 (16 oz) can sliced peaches
1/2 C. syrup from peaches
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Blend all ingredients together by hand
until moistened. Pour into greased &
floured loaf pan; bake 60-70 minutes.
———————————————–

Corn Chowder


1 T. unsalted butter
1 strip bacon or 1 tsp. bacon fat*
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 C.)
1/2 large carrot, chopped (1/3 C.)
1/2 stalk celery, chopped (1/3 C.)
3 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from cobs,
(about 2 C.) cobs reserved
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 C. milk
1 medium Yukon Gold potato or Russet, peeled &
diced
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1/4 C)
kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

In large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add
bacon strip (*skip this step for vegetarian option, just
add more butter). Fry until bacon renders fat but doesn’t
begin to brown, 3-4 minutes. Add onion – saute 4-5 minutes,
until soft. Add carrot & celery; cook 4-5 more minutes. Break
corn cobs in half, add to saucepan. Add milk & bay leaf. Bring
to a boil, reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover pot and cook
30 minutes. Make sure heat is as low as can be and still
maintain a gentle simmer (to prevent milk scalding). Discard
cobs, bacon strip & bay leaf. Raise heat, add potatoes, red
pepper, 1 tsp. salt & ground pepper; bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to maintain a simmer 15 minutes or until
potatoes are almost fork tender. Raise heat, add corn
kernels & thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 5
minutes.

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

Easy Short-cut Chicken Pot Pie


1 2/3 C. frozen mixed vegetables
1 C. cooked chicken, cubed
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 C. Bisquick mix
1/2 C. milk
1 egg

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix vegetables, chicken & soup in ungreased
glass pie plate. Stir together remaining
ingredients with fork until blended; pour over
vegetable mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until
golden brown.

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

White Bean/Kielbasa Stew
(crockpot)


1 lb. dried white beans (Great
Northern or navy)
14 oz. kielbasa, halved lengthwise &
sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 C. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. dried rosemary
5 oz. baby spinach, (6 C.)

In a 4-6 qt crockpot, combine beans,
kielbasa, broth, tomatoes & juice,
onion, garlic, rosemary & 1 C. water.
Cover & cook until beans are tender:
Low: 7-8 hours, or High 5-6 hours.
Just before serving stir in spinach.
Serves 6

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

Mandarin Snowflake Delight

1 (18.5 oz) white cake mix
3 egg whites
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 (11 oz) can mandarin orange slices & juice

Frosting:
1 (9 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 medium can crushed pineapple & juice
1 (3.5 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 C. flaked coconut, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine first 4 ingredients; mix for 2 minutes.
Pour into greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Bake
25-30 minutes; let cool.
Frosting:
Mix Cool Whip, pineapple, vanilla pudding
mix & 1/2 C. coconut; spread over cake.
Sprinkle remaining coconut on top.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys’ Recipe Exchange)
===========================

That’s about it for now – been ‘knee deep’ in paperwork these past few days, attempting to update pages & pages of data both from my special needs group (I’m the group Secretary/keeper of all information) and the knit group (addresses/phone #’s and email addresses). Just when I think I’ve finally caught up – someone usually tells me: “Oh, I have a new phone number!” Never fails! Oh well – it’s my ‘job’! For example, right now we have 63 students in the special needs group. There are 106 members in the knit group (although not all of them attend regularly). Lots of raw ‘data’.

Tonight’s knit group and I promised my guys I’d make pizza – or, as it’s termed in my house: HMP (I think it stands for Home Made Pizza – but they say it stands for Her Majesty’s Pizza – works either way! Reminds me of when I was going through radiation – the desk clerk used to always call me: “Princess Pammie” – too funny!

How’s your weather holding up? It’s been in the tiny digits for days now – with wind chills close to zero – makes for some really FAST moving from warm car to building! Right now it says it’s a ‘balmy’ 22 degrees and expecting some snow around 4 p.m. – oh goody. We’ve had snow ‘flurries’ every day now – light, fluffy stuff but it makes for driving a bit ‘dicey’ – slippery at times, patches of it at stoplights – makes for turning corners ‘no fun’. Oh well – it’s MICHIGAN – why am I surprised? I remember saying to the druggist this morning that at least it’s not the heavy WET snow – this stuff we can walk & drive through. I bought new winter boots last month and still haven’t worn them – not enough snow to bother with! YAY!

On that note, I think I’ll close – STAY WARM (if you’re in a cold climate, that is – ) and remember to do something nice for yourself!

Big Hugs;

Pammie

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