Magnificent Monday!

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Today is the first of the WARM WEATHER! It’s now 69 warm, lovely degrees out and I’m thrilled! It’s a bit gray and looks like it might rain – but, hey – we can’t be picky when it’s THAT warm out, can we!?  Hope your weather is cooperating and you’re able to enjoy some nice Spring weather, too.

It’s been a nice, relaxing day – warmed up some pizza rolls for lunch (I know – not very healthy, but for a ‘rare’ snack, they’re OK). Went through my yarn stash and decided that today I’d finish off the apricot & white baby afghan that I started earlier in the year (the one that ‘was’ supposed to be for my friends baby – until she announced it was going to be a BOY, instead of her earlier announcement of a girl!) That will be the first of several baby afghans for the September Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby Shower; I will stir up more interest with my Knit/Crochet group ladies in this project as it gets closer to June (June – September is a good amount of time to be able to create at least one blanket for the project). I’ve copied three more ‘new to me’ patterns for afghans – 2 knit, 1 crocheted. Whether I actually ‘make’ them is yet to be determined – depends on whether I actually can figure out the patterns.

Food-wise, more yummy-sounding recipes for you:

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

Key Lime Poke Cake

CAKE:
1 white cake mix
1 1/4 C. water
4 T. cooking oil
4 eggs

Filling:

3/4 C. whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. lime juice (bottled is fine)
1 tsp. lime zest
3 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops green food coloring

Topping:
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed

—-
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add cake mix, 1 1/4 C. water, oil & eggs
to large bowl. Mix on Low speed 1
minute; scrape bowl & mix on medium
speed 2 minutes using elec. mixer.
Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray. Pour batter into pan and bake
25-35 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
While cake is baking, pour 3/4 C.
whipping cream in mixing bowl or
medium-sized mixing bowl. Add lime
zest & food colorings. Whip all ingredients
until mixture is thick. Cover bowl & let
refrigerate until cake is baked & cooled
completely. When cake is done, remove
from oven & let cool on wire rack 5 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon HANDLE, poke holes
all over top of cake using the handle. When
cake has cooled completely, spread filling all
over top of cake and down into holes. Place
big spoonfuls of Cool Whip over top of
filling and spread with a knife. Sprinkle a
bit of lime zest over top of Cool Whip.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and
refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serves 12

(recipe: jamiecookesitup!)
——————————————-

Family-Style Roasted Chicken Bake


4 large carrots with tops, peeled
1 lb. new potatoes, halved
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette, divided
4 small bone-in chicken breast halves
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut tops off carrots leaving 1/2 in stem on
top of each. Cut carrots, diagonally, in half,
then cut thicker half of each carrot lengthwise
in half; place in large bowl. Add potatoes &
2 T. salad dressing; toss to coat. Spread vegetables
on half of parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Toss chicken with remaining dressing; place, skin
sides up on baking sheet with vegetables. Bake
45-50 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F)
turning vegetables after 30 minutes. Transfer chicken
& vegetables to platter, top vegetables with cheese.
Serves 5

(recipe: Kraft foods)
——————————————-

Shrimp & Broccoli Pasta


1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
4 C. small broccoli florets
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1 lb. uncooked, deveined peeled large shrimp*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed
on pkg, omitting salt & add broccoli to cooking
water for last 2 minutes. Heat salad dressing in
large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp &
garlic; cook & stir 3-4 minutes or until shrimp
turn pink. Drain spaghetti mixture; return to
pan. Add shrimp mixture & cheese; mix lightly.
Makes 6 (1 1/4 C. ea) servings.

*can prepare using thawed frozen cooked cleaned
large shrimp. Reduce cooking time for shrimp &
garlic to 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are heated
through

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

Spinach Cheese Bars


1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach (small
box) thawed & squeezed of excess water
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
2 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all above ingredients together;
spread in 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake
40-45 minutes. Cut into small squares.
Serves 10

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

Monterey Jack Cheese Soup


2 C. chicken broth
1 C. tomatoes, peeled & diced
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, chopped
1 C. onion, finely chopped
3 C. Monterey Jack Cheese, coarsely
chopped, (3/4 lb.)
6 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. butter, melted
5 C. hot milk
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced

Mix broth, onion, tomato, chiles &
garlic in saucepan; bring to boil on
high heat. Cover & reduce heat to medium-
simmer 10 minutes. Add flour to melted butter;
mix then return mixture to heat – cook 3
minutes. Stir in 3 1/2 C. hot milk; adding 1/2
cup at a time. Cook 7 minutes until thickened.
Remove broth mixture from heat; stir into
milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Return to heat;
add remaining 1 1/2 C. hot milk, salt, pepper &
cheese. Stir until cheese is melted & soup is
well heated. Serves 10

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

Crockpot Beef Burritos


2 lb. boneless beef chuck or other pot roast
1 jalapeno chile, seeded & finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp. beef bouillon granules or 1 beef bouillon cube
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (16 oz) can refried beans, heated
6-8 (12 inch) flour tortillas, warmed

Trim fat from beef; discard. Combine meat, chile,
garlic, bouillon granules (or cube), onion chili
powder, cumin, cilantro & salt in crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 8 hours or until meat is very tender.
Remove meat from crockpot; using 2 forks, shred
meat. Combine with 3/4 C. cooking juices. Spread
warm tortillas with refried beans; add shredded
beef. Fold over tortilla slices then roll up. Serve
warm. Makes 6-8 servings.

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

Italian Cream Cheese Bars

Crust:
1 1/2 C. Graham cracker crumbs (24 squares)
3 T. packed brown sugar
6 T. butter, melted

Filling:
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. flaked coconut
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted
additional chopped nuts, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line bottom & sides of a 9 X 13 baking pan
with foil, leaving foil overhanging at 2
opposite sides of pan. Spray foil with non-
stick spray. In small bowl, mix crust
ingredients & press into bottom of pan.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar &
eggs with elec mixer on medium speed
30 seconds. Beat on high speed 1 minute or
until smooth. Stir in coconut & 1/2 C. nuts.
Carefully spread filling over crust. Bake
25 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on cooling
rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 3 hours
or overnight. Use foil to lift out of pan. Cut
into 6 rows by 4 rows. Sprinkle top with
additional chopped nuts, if desired.

(recipe: Pillsbury)
=====================================

Being such a relaxing day here, I’ve decided we’re having Pierogies & Sausages for dinner. The guys are all home today doing various things like watching tv or playing video games so a nice dinner would be in order. Like I’ve said before, lately they guys are usually ‘out’ either at work or hanging out with their friends, so it’s kind of nice to revert to our ‘old style’ of living, with everyone here at home!

Yesterday, on the way home from church we were able to see an unusual sight: there is a large lake we drive by and on the lake were about 40 or more Mute Swans! All those beautiful majestic white swans floating in groups – nice to see!

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Hope that you are having a lovely day – remember to smile, and do ‘something’ for you (even if it’s something little – like a cookie!).

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

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