Quiet Day – Saturday Summary

lady in chair

It’s a kind of quiet day around here – not much going on. Started working on my special needs group’s next newsletter (due end of this month). That takes some time just setting up the format – ya know, if I were MORE computer savvy, I’d figure out a way to keep the blank format and be able to just start out working with that but – alas, I’m not. ‘My’ way requires I call up the format on Publisher, then go into each space and erase the format ‘test’ words or objects there, making room for my stuff. Bit of a bother, but it works for me.

Outside it’s a bit grey – BUT WARM!  Almost 56 degrees! WOW! For here, that’s REALLY warm! Husband & I took a quick trip today to WalMart (does that make us Walmartians?) – he was looking to purchase a new mouse for his computer (his is periodically ‘stopping’ when being used – very frustrating if you’re into a real shoot-em-up Army/World War II battle game like he likes). They didn’t have any but I was able to purchase two more medium-sized candles $3.50 each – Peach/Mango scent, comes in a glass jar. LOVE that smell! VERY relaxing! I bought one before Christmas and now it’s almost all gone – they last well, too. Grabbed a 17 oz. container of hummus (they are the only store around here that sells a container that large of hummus!); also had Town House crackers on sale for $1.98 a box – usually I can get them at another local store (and thought I was getting a bargain there for $2.99). WalMart is about 25 minutes from our house, so I don’t go there very often – but they do have good sales on most things.

Made a big batch of Potato Soup using some of the leftover Easter ham – pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself. Youngest came home from work about 3 hours early today saying he didn’t feel well AND asked for potato soup – amazing! This is the kid that rarely, if EVER, eats SOUP! He MUST be sick! Said he was out pushing carts most of the day (that’s NOT his job).  Our fridge is finally almost void of any leftovers (there are 2 pancakes left – that’s ‘it’ for extra foods!) The guys just haven’t been eating at their usual pace, so I haven’t been cooking. Am thinking Pierogies & sausages for tomorrow’s dinner – maybe – if they’re interested (we’ll see).


Roasted Potatoes & Garlic

2 lb. small new or red potatoes, quartered
8-12 cloves garlic (or more, to taste, peeled
3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or)
2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Too
gently to thoroughly coat potatoes & garlic
with oil & seasonings. Place on a baking sheet
& roast 30-45 minutes, until potatoes are
lightly browned & tender. Shake sheet
occasionally to turn potatoes & assure
uniform browning. Serves 4-6.

(recipe: moms2moms.com)

Ratatouille  (vegetable stew)

1/2 lb. eggplant (2 medium)
1/2 lb. zucchini (4 medium)
1 tsp. salt
4 T. olive oil (more if needed)
1/2 lb. thinly sliced yellow onions
(about 1 1/2 C.)
2 sliced green bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 lb. firm, ripe red tomatoes, peeled,
seeded & juiced (about 1 1/2 C. pulp)
3 T. minced parsley

Peel eggplant & cut into lengthwise slices
3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long & 1
inch wide. Scrub zucchini, slice off ends
cut into slices about same size as eggplant.
Place vegetables in a bowl & toss with salt.
Let stand 30 minutes; drain. Dry each slice
with a towel. One layer at a time, saute egg-
plant, then zucchini in hot olive oil about
1 minute on a side to brown very lightly.
Remove to side dish. In same skillet, cook
onions & peppers slowly in olive oil about
10 minutes or until tender, but not browned.
Stir in garlic & season to taste with salt &
pepper. Lay tomato pulp over onions & peppers.
Cover skillet & cook 5 minutes. Uncover,
baste with juices & raise heat; boil several
minutes until juices have almost entirely
evaporated. Place 1/3 of mixture in 2 1/2 qt.
casserole; sprinkle 1 T. parsley on top. Arrange
half eggplant & zucchini on top, then half
remaining tomato mixture & 1 T. parsley., Put
remaining eggplant & zucchini over this then
end with tomato mixture & 1 T. parsley. Cover
& simmer 10 minutes. Uncover, raise heat
slightly & cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes,
until juices have almost evaporated. Serve
hot or cold.

(recipe: moms2moms.com)

Homemade Cornbread

3 C. cornmeal
1 C. flour
6 T. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. melted butter or margarine
1/4 C. oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C. creamed corn

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Combine
cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder &
salt in mixing bowl. Combine milk, yogurt,
butter, oil & eggs in another bowl; add to
cornmeal mixture – stir until just combined.
Stir in creamed corn. Pour batter into
prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack.

NOTE: Can be made a day ahead & stored,

(recipe: moms2moms.com)

Chili-Chicken Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can water
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1 T. instant minced onions (or 1/4 C.
fresh chopped)
6 oz. tortilla chips
1-2 C. diced, cooked chicken or turkey
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine soup, water, chilies & onion in a
small bowl; stir to blend. In 2 qt. casserole
dish, layer 3 oz chips, chicken & tomatoes;
top with 1/2 soup mixture & a layer of
cheese. Repeat layers using remainder
of ingredients. Bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

3-Bean Turkey Chili

1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (16 oz) jar thick salsa
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can great Northern beans,
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (7 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese

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 with lid, cook on High 3-4 hours or Low
5-6 hours. Serves 8

NOTE: can also be cooked on stovetop; 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

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Impossible Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C. peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
sugar, for rolling (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix peanut butter, sugar & egg together
until smooth. Drop by teaspoon onto
cookie sheet 2 inches apart. If desired,
roll in extra sugar before placing on
sheet. Press with fork, press again in
opposite direction. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Do not brown or overbake.
Makes 18 cookies.

(recipe: Rhonda G – Marys Recipe

Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 lb. cubed round steak, cut into
thin strips
House seasoning – recipe below
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 3/4 oz) can beef broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
salt & black pepper
1 C. sour cream
cooked egg noodles
House Seasoning:
1 c. salt
1/4 C. black pepper
1/4 C. garlic powder

Mix ingredients together, store in an
airtight container up to 6 months.
Makes 1 1/2 C.
Sprinkle steak strips with House
Seasoning to lightly cover them,
then dust with flour. In a large
skillet, quickly brown strips on both sides
in olive oil & butter. Remove from pan;
add onion slices & mushrooms; saute a
few minutes, until onion is tender . Sprinkle
with 1 tsp. flour. Place steak back in pan, add
mushroom soup & beef broth. Cook over
low heat about 30 minutes, covered.
Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt &
pepper, as needed. Stir in sour cream the
last few minutes, just before serving.
Serve over cooked noodles. Serves 4.

(recipe: Paula Dean – Food Network)

Banana Caramel Bread Pudding

12 slices cinnamon-raisin bread, toasted &
2 medium bananas, sliced
3 eggs
1 C. milk
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 pkg. caramels (16 oz, 26 caramels),

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Layer half of bread cubes in greased 9 inch
square baking dish. Top with bananas,
remaining bread cubes & caramels. In
medium bowl, using wire whisk, beat eggs
until thick & lemon-colored (1-2 minutes).
Add milk, sugar, butter & cinnamon; mix well.
Pour evenly over bread cubes & bake 35
minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F.
Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until center
is set. Serve warm or chilled.

(recipe: Moms2Moms.com)

Ran into a rather ‘strange’ thing the other day – that would be April 4th. I was filling out a rather extensive questionnaire for a new oncologist (cancer doctor – all’s fine, just switching doctors) when I ran into a question I don’t recall being asked before: Birth & Death dates of parents and cause of death(s).  This might sound strange to say, but that information took quite a bit of searching to find. Death dates – well, I have the year (My father died when I was 10 – that’s all I remember). My mother died the year I graduated college – 1969, that I remember. When digging further into all this, my HUSBAND was the one to finally locate the information; he loves to do family trees and had worked on ours many, many years ago. I have no living relatives, therefore have no one to actually help me answer these questions. When I was growing up we did not celebrate birthdays – well, not my parents, anyway which brings me to the rather ‘strange’ discovery: I found out that BOTH of my parents were born April 4th (3 years apart) – the DATE of my DISCOVERY WAS ALSO April 4th! Isn’t that weird? Odd little discovery, but interesting. I have outlived both of my parents (Father died at 50, Mother died at 57) – I’m assuming the birth/death dates has something to do with whether either of them had cancer. (answer: no)

Craft-wise, discovered the lady I deliver the baby hats to is on vacation until next week – that means I’ll be knitting more hats than I originally planned on delivering. Usually I deliver 50 at a time: 25 newborn & 25 premie. Went through my baby/sport yarn stash yesterday and did some sorting out. It’s funny – when I get those JoAnn Fabrics 20 or 40/50% discount coupons they tend to make me think perhaps I need more baby yarn – good thing I checked my stash first, eh? I’m good for a LONG time, using just what I have already!

Hope you’re having a nice, relaxing Saturday – I’m STILL having trouble sorting out the days of this past week; perhaps it’s because we did Easter dinner on Monday!???  I’ve seen FOUR Robins in the past two days – SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m not the best at computers either. Here’s my trick – Type your blank form and save as “blank template” Then, open it, type away… BUT then save it with a different name like “Winter Newsletter” The original “blank template” File should still be in your folder – blank just like you created it. Hope this helps 🙂 (and that I’ve explained it correctly) ~Maria

    • Thanks for the suggestion – I will give it a try. I use Publisher for my format, so I’m not sure it will ‘save’ like that, but it’s worth an attempt.

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