What a change a day makes!

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Yesterday was a nice, sunny ‘in the 40’s’ day – almost typically Spring-like weather BUT upon waking today we’re now in mid 20’s with some snow on the ground and a rather biting wind blowing. Quite the change! (If you live in Michigan – it’s almost expected). We’ve had HUGE snowstorms on or around Easter here, so I’m just biding my time as to the weather coming (hope it will be mild).

Yes, for me, it’s a busy week with lots of ‘scheduled’ things to do. Last night was our Knit group’s Movie night and I was happily surprised that three of our ladies who didn’t think they could make it, came. Lots of really yummy foods and they chose: “Chocolate” for the  movie – always a good chick flick. I just got word that tonight I’ll be in charge of our special needs group: it’s Music/Birthday night and my partner/leader Lois is down with bronchitis (almost no voice). That will be an ‘interesting’ evening, but Music/Birthday night goes pretty fast: quick opening prayer, then lots of singing Christian songs, then quick prayer requests, then it’s cut the cake, serve it and it’s time to go home!

Youngest son started Drivers Ed. Monday and, so far (typical him) he’s rather ‘nonplussed’ about it (read that: not saying much of anything). Last night was his first ‘drive’ with the teacher and they went to a small neighborhood close to the mall (where the classes are). His next ‘drive’ will have him out on main roads – sure glad it’s the TEACHER and not ME doing that part. (Yes, I know – my times coming being ‘shotgun’ with him on main roads – not my idea of a ‘fun time’ – although this IS son #3 and I’ve already done this twice before . . . doesn’t calm the butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of said driving, though . . .)

Craft-wise, it’s back to knitting baby hats. A friend of mine from the Knit group sent me the directions for baby booties that are knit, then sewn up the back (MY kind of pattern! I don’t ‘do’ knitting with the 5 tiny needles – think of people you’ve seen knitting socks. Just ‘straight’ knitting then seaming is MY thing – works for me; I don’t mind sewing up seams. It’s funny how many of the ladies in my group really DO NOT like sewing seams of any kind, whether they be sewing up a sleeve seam for a sweater, or even sewing up hats; we’re all different.

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

Oatmeal Cake

 

Cake:

 

1 1/4 C. boiling water

1 C. oatmeal (old fashioned, uncooked)

1/2 C. butter

1 C. sugar

1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 C. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

 

Topping:

 

1/2 C. butter

2 C. shredded coconut

1 C. nuts, finely chopped

1 1/2 C. brown sugar, firmly packed

8-10 T. evaporated milk

 

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Cake:

Pour boiling water over oatmeal &

set aside 20 minutes. Cream butter &

sugars, add eggs & beat well. Add vanilla

& oatmeal mixture; add flour, baking

soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg; mix well.

Pour batter into greased 9 X 13 pan. Bake

30 minutes.

Topping:

 

Melt butter & add coconut, nuts, brown

sugar & milk; mix well. Frost cake when

you take it out of oven. Place cake under

broiler & broil until top is brown (watch

it carefully so it doesn’t burn).

 

(recipe: Jolayne-justapinch.com)

————————————–

Rustic Reuben Salad


9 C. torn salad greens
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1 C. croutons
1/2 lb. deli corned beef, sliced & cut into
strips
3/4 C. cubed Swiss cheese
1/4 C. sauerkraut, rinsed well & drained
1/4 C. Thousand Island salad dressing

Combine all ingredients except dressing in
large bowl. Add dressing; mix lightly. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
————————————————

Cheesy Beer Soup


1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. butter or margarine
1 T. flour
1 3/4 C. milk
1/2 lb. (8 oz) Velveeta, cut into chunks
1/2 C. beer
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
few drops hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)

Cook onion & garlic in butter in large
saucepan on medium-high heat until
tender, stirring frequently. Add flour; mix well.
Cook 2 minute or until hot & bubbly, stirring
frequently. Stir in milk until well blended. Cook
until mixture boils & thickens, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.
Cook 5 minutes or until Velveeta is completely
melted & soup is heated through, stirring constantly.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————————–

“Lucky Green” Pistachio Cake


1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 C. cooking oil
1 box instant pistachio pudding mix
1 C. milk
1 C.  pecans (chopped fine)

Frosting:
1 (9 oz) tub Cool Whip
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1/2 C. milk
1 box instant pistachio pudding mix

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Cake:
Mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, instant
pudding, milk & nuts. Pour into two
9 inch cake pans or one 9 X 13 pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely
before frosting.

Frosting:
Fold together (do not beat) all ingredients
for frosting. Frost cake & refrigerate 1
hour before serving.

TIP: Can add a few drops of green food
coloring to frosting to give an even more
vibrant green color.

(recipe: Jill-justapinch.com)
—————————————–

Sippable S’Mores Milk

1 C. milk
1/8 tsp. vanilla
2 T. chocolate syrup
1 graham square, crushed fine
10-15 miniature marshmallows

Combine all ingredients in a container with
a tight-fitting lid; shake or stir until well
combined. Serves 1.

(recipe: Dean Foods)
————————————-

Beef Barley Soup


1 lb. beef top round steak, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 T. canola oil
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans beef broth
2 C. water
1 C. medium pearl barley
1 tsp. salt
1 /8 tsp. pepper
1 C. chopped carrots
1/2 C. chopped celery
1/4 C. chopped onion
3 T. minced fresh parsley
1 C. frozen peas

In a Dutch oven, brown beef in oil; drain. Stir in
broth, water, barley, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover & simmer 1 hour. Add carrots,
celery, onion & parsley; cover & simmer 45 minutes
or until meat & vegetables are tender. Stir in peas;
heat through. Serves 9 (makes 2 1/4 qts)

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

Creamed Peas & Potatoes with Pearl Onions


9 – 11 new red potatoes
1/2 bag frozen baby peas
1 small bag pearl onions
2 T. butter
3-4 T. flour
salt & fresh black pepper
3/4 – 1 C. Half & Half , or milk
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Steam potatoes & peas until tender. Boil
pearl onions 5 minutes, remove skins. Add
butter to saucepan, melt on medium heat.
Whisk in flour until it is a paste. Add Half &
Half (or milk); keep whisking until it begins
to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Add nutmeg,
if desired. Pour cooked peas, potatoes &
onions in a large bowl. Pour sauce over veggies
and stir to coat well. Add salt & pepper, to
taste. Serves 4-6

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

Corned Beef & Cabbage with Horseradish Sauce


1 onion
3 whole cloves
4 lb. corned beef
4 parsley sprigs
8 whole black peppercorns
2 lb. cabbage
1 C. sour cream
1 T. prepared horseradish

Peel onion & stick with cloves. Put corned beef, onion,
parsley & peppercorns in large pot; cover with water.
Cover pot, bring to a simmer & cook, gently, until tender
(2 1/2 – 3 hours). Cut cabbage into wedges & core. Add
to the pot, cover & simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.
Combine sour cream & horseradish in a bowl. Serve meat &
cabbage with some of the broth ladled over all & serve
horseradish sauce on the side. Serves 8

(recipe: moms2moms.com)
————————————————-

Potato Bread

1/4 C. warm water
3 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 C. milk
3 T. butter
1 C. mashed potatoes, at room temp.
4 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
6 C. flour
1 egg, beaten  (for glaze)

Pour warm water into bowl of an elec.
mixer fitted with dough hook attachment.
Water should be 85-115 degrees F. (it should
feel very warm, but comfortable). Sprinkle
yeast over water & let stand 5 minutes. With
mixer speed at 2, slowly mix in milk, mashed
potatoes, sugar & salt. Gradually mix in flour.
Dough should turn into a ball. Continue to knead
on speed 2, 2-3 minutes until dough is smooth &
elastic. If dough does not ball up because it’s too
dry, add water – 1 T. at a time until it does. If your
mixture is more like a batter, add flour, one T. at
a time. Adding water or flour as needed to get the
right consistency will assure you will always get
a perfect dough. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl;
cover with a clean towel & let rise until doubled
(about 1 1/2 hours). Grease 2 loaf pans.

Punch down dough & divide into 2 pieces. Shape
each piece into loaf shape & place in greased pans.
Cover pans with clean towel & let rise until doubled
(about 1 hour).
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Using a pastry brush, brush beaten egg over tops
of loaves. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden
brown.

(recipe: moms2moms.com)
—————————————–

Luck ‘O the Irish Dessert Squares
(needs 6 hour refrigeration)

CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST (see below)
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 C. milk
5 C. Cool Whip, thawed (about 12 oz),
divided
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
green food coloring

———–
Chocolate Crumb Crust:
1 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. cocoa
5 T. melted butter or margarine

Combine ingredients in small bowl,
stir until well blended. Press onto
bottom of 9 inch square pan.
—————-
Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended.
Add cocoa alternately with milk, beating until
smooth. Gradually fold in 3 C. Cool Whip; spoon
mixture over crumb crust. Stir together remaining
2 C. Cool Whip, peppermint extract & food coloring
in small bowl; spread over crumb crust. Cover &
refrigerate about 6 hours or until set. Cut into
squares. Cover & refrigerate leftovers. Makes
6-9 servings.

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

Knowing this week will be busy, I thought I’d better post some Irish recipes before St. Patrick’s Day. Today is my oldest son’s 30th birthday – hard to believe!

How’s your GAS PRICES doing lately? I was mildly surprised on Monday to see that our local prices jumped from $3.69/9 to $3.79/9 overnight. Usually it’s a few cents up or down, very rarely 10 cents overnight! (And it ‘would’ be on a week where I’ve got lots of driving! Oh well . . . such is life, eh?)

Hope you’re feeling well and thinking about Easter preparations or reflecting on what Easter means.

Hugs;

Pammie

 

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