Finally! It’s Here!

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FIRST DAY OF SPRING! YAY!!!

I don’t know about you, but Spring is my very FAVORITE time of year! I love looking forward to warmer weather, seeing & hearing the returning birds, looking for those green shoots & buds popping up – it’s SO exciting! Today, here in good old COLD Michigan, it’s a brisk 25 degrees, but it’s clear and there’s an occasional burst of sunshine to cheer us. I’ve had fun wishing those I came in contact with at the library and grocery store a “Happy first day of Spring! and listening to the (mostly) grumbles. I guess you’d say I’m one of those “glass half full” people – I’m always trying to find SOME good in any situation.

Nothing much going on ‘special’ for the next few days (at least, that I know of). Went to KMart to see if they had any marked-down ladies winter hats, as the one I have is looking a bit well-for-wear. Found a nice cream colored, VERY soft set, hat, gloves & scarf for $5.99 – bought it only to find the hat is a bit too small – oh well, it will make a nice gift for someone else! Also ‘treated’ my husband to two Easter gifts: “The Hobbit” on DVD and a toaster oven. He’s been commenting lately that he used to love using a toaster oven (when he lived with his parents – that’s a good 40 years ago . . .sigh). Well, it just so happens that KMart had this lovely unit that’s both a toaster AND a broiler/oven. The top has an opening for toasting (big enough for 2 bagels!) and the front is a broiler. Husband was surprised (but grumbled he didn’t know where we’d put it) – I found a place, just moved other ‘stuff’ over on the counter (read: George Forman grill & elec. can opener). ‘Gifted’ the old toaster to middle son for when (if ever) he decides to move out, again. It’s a win/win situation, as I see it. Oh! AND the new oven is also in a bright, sassy shade of red! My kitchen is nothing to look at (read: not a particular color theme here, unless you count the appliances are a lovely shade of 1970’s ALMOND! Can’t tell that’s DATED, eh?!!!) We’ll see how this all works out.

——–

Now for the promised Cannoli Cake recipe from my friend! I would actually call it more of a ‘dessert’ (it’s not exactly a cake – not cake consistency)

Cannoli Dessert


Crust:
1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix together crust ingredients & press
on bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Bake 20
minutes & let cool.

First Layer:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 C. Cool Whip (thawed)

Mix first layer ingredients & spread on
baked, cooled crust.

Second Layer:
1 large box vanilla instant pudding
2 C. milk
1/4 C. mini chocolate chips

Mix second layer ingredients &
spread over first layer.
Cover with remaining Cool Whip.
Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts &
extra mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate
2 hours or more before serving.

(recipe: Annette)
———————————

Saucy Stir Fry Pork


1 1/2 C. instant brown rice, uncooked
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
3 green onions, diagonally sliced

Cook rice accordg to pkg. directions. Mix
soy sauce with cornstarch & ginger until
well-blended. Heat salad dressing in a large
skillet on  medium-high heat; add meat.
Cook & stir 2 minutes; stir in peppers &
peas. Cook another 3 minutes, stirring
frequently. Add onions, cook & stir 1 minute.
Stir soy sauce mixture into skillet & cook
1 minute or until sauce is thickened, stirring
frequently. Serve over hot, cooked rice.
Serves 4.

Tip:
For a spicier flavor, add 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
to soy sauce mixture before cooking.

(recipe: Peg – Marys Recipe Exchange)
———————————————
Glazed Corned Beef & Cabbage


1 corned beef brisket with spice packet (2 1/2 lb)
1 medium head cabbage, cut into wedges
1 lb. small red potatoes, halved

Glaze:
2 T. honey
1 T. thawed orange juice concentrate
2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Horseradish sauce:
1/4 C. butter, cubed
2-3 T. prepared horseradish
2 T. chopped green onion
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Place brisket & contents of spice packt in a
Dutch oven; cover with water & bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover & simmer 2 1/2 hours or
until meat is tender. Place cabbage & potatoes
in a steamer basket; place in a large saucepan
over 1 inch of water. Bring to boil; cover &
steam 25-30 minutes or until tender, adding
more water to pan if necessary. Transfer
brisket to a broiler pan. Combine glaze
ingredients; brush over beef. Broil 4-6 inches from
heat source 3-4 minutes or until beef is glazed.
Thinly slice across the grain. In a small microwave-
safe bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Cover &
microwave on High 30-45 seconds or until
butter is melted. Drizzle over cabbage & potatoes.
Makes 6-8 servings.

NOTE: Poster said: “I didn’t steam the vegetables,
I just cooked them with the corned beef. I also
added carrots & onions.”

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

Creamy Skillet Cabbage with Bacon


1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 C.)
8 C. shredded green cabbage (about
1 small head)
2 C. shredded red cabbage
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Heat dressing in large skillet over medium-high
heat. Add bacon & onion, stir. Cook 5-7 minuts
or until bacon is cooked & onions are tender,
stirring occasionally. Add cabbage & broth; stir.
Cook 10 minutes or until cabbage is wilted,
stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in
sour cream & top with peanuts. Serves 8,
(1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)
——————————————–

Sunshine Broccoli-Bacon Salad


6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 C. mayonnaise
3 T. orange marmalade
2 T. white vinegar
6 C. fresh broccoli florets
1/2 C. chopped red onions

Cook bacon in skillet on medium heat
8 minutes or until browned, stirring
frequently. Mix mayonnaise, marmalade
& vinegar in large bowl. Add bacon &
all remaining ingredients; mix lightly.
Refrigerate 1 hour. Makes 12 (1/2 C. each)
servings.

Optional:  add 1/4 C. dried cranberries and/
or sunflower seeds to salad before refrigerating.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————————

Favorite Topped Deviled Eggs


12 hard-cooked eggs
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 T. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. paprika

Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks; place
in medium bowl. Add all remaining ingredients
except paprika; mix well. Spoon into resealable
plastic bag. Cut small corner from bottom of
bag; use to pipe filling into egg white halves.
Sprinkle tops with paprika. Add your choice
of toppings (see below). Makes 24 egg halves.

Toppings:
-crumbled bacon: 10 slices cooked,crumbled bacon
-2 finely chopped green onions
-1/2 C. thinly sliced drained jarred sun-dried tomatoes
packed in oil
-1/4 C. thinly sliced fresh basil
-6 T. finely chopped red peppers
-1 T. chopped cilantro
-1/2 C. drained canned baby shrimp
-2 T. chopped fresh dill

(recipe: Kraft foods)
————————————–

Bacon-laced Sweet Potatoes


1 sweet potato (about 1/2 lb), peeled*
4 slices bacon, cut in half
freshly ground black pepper

Cut ends of potato; (discard ends). Cut potato
into 8 slices. Wrap bacon piece around each
potato slice, overlapping ends under potato.
Place, seam-side down, in large skillet. Cook
on medium heat 12-14 minutes or until bacon
is done & potatoes are tender, turning after
7 minutes. Drain on paper towels & season
with pepper. Makes 4 servings.

* Substitute using sliced unpeeled Yukon gold
potatoes

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

One Bowl Cheddar Biscuits


2 1/4 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped fresh herbs
1/4 C. sour cream
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/3 C. milk
1 egg, beaten
12 fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine Bisquick, cheese & herbs in
large bowl. Mix sour cream & mustard
in small bowl. Gradually stir in milk.
Add to Bisquick mixture; stir just
until moistened. Place dough on
surface lightly dusted with additional
Bisquick; knead 10 times. Pat into
1/2 inch thick circle. Cut with 2 inch
biscuit cutter dusted with Bisquick.
Place biscuits 2 inches apart on
baking sheet. Brush lightly with beaten
egg; top with parsley leaves. Brush
with remaining eggs. Bake 12-15
minutes or until lightly browned.
Serve warm. Serves 12.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————-

Easy Cream Cheese Danish


2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray bottom & sides of a 9 X 13 baking
pan with nonstick spray. Spread out 1 pkg. of
crescent rolls in bottom of pan, smooth edges.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla & egg until
smooth, then spread over rolls in pan. Roll
out other crescent rolls, smoothing edges
and lay on top of filling. Dust top with a
little sugar. Bake 25 minutes.

——————————————-

Sunday Special Pot Roast
(crockpot)


2 T. cooking oil
3-5 lb. chuck roast or beef chuck 7-bone
(center cut) pot roast, cut 2 inches thick
2 medium onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves

Brown roast in large skillet using oil.
Add onions & garlic to crockpot; then
browned roast. Combine remaining
ingredients & pour over roast. Cook,
on High, 1 hour, then turn to Low
for 6-8 hours or until tender.

(recipe: Leslie-moms2moms.com)
=========================

This past two days have given me ‘food for thought’ – more specifically, reasons to realize I’m very blessed. Yesterday, while just sitting at a red light minding my own business, someone behind me hit my car VERY hard! Fortunately, neither I nor my car were injured at all – THANK YOU, LORD! Shook me up a bit and scared me, but I’m fine. Today while driving youngest to work we saw up ahead LOTS of fire trucks, police cars & red flashing lights. Not exactly sure how it ‘went’ but there was a medium-sized car with it’s front end REALLY smashed in (ie: engine might have been in drivers seat, that’s how far it got moved) – medium pick up truck on it’s side with it’s top cab really smashed in (ie: probably rolled). I can’t imagine just how that accident occurred, judging by the extent of damage both vehicles occurred. The speed limit on that section of road is 45 MPH. (This is about 2 blocks from my house – remember I live on a MAJOR road).This accident made me realize just how much I am watched over and protected – that accident could have been me. (Yes, I’ll give you that perhaps I’m exaggerating some here, but life is SHORT! I thank the Lord my car encounter was very minor. I’m not sure if either of the drivers in the above mentioned accident came out alive. Very scary stuff. Be careful when you’re out on the roads, please. I wondered to myself how that affected youngest son who’s going through Drivers Ed. classes. He told me this morning that next week he will be driving on the roads Mon-Thurs. with his teacher. Thursday is their last day – boy, that time went by fast!

Take care of yourselves, remember to smile/relax a little/and be CAREFUL when you’re out driving. You are valuable to others!

Big Hugs;

Pammie

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I too am thankful that it is not me that is in an accident. I worry when it is slippery and I slow down making people around me angry but I do it anyway. Old age brings on a more careful way of living i guess.


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