A Little Bit of Everything

Saturday

Here it is Saturday already – boy, did the past week FLY by! First thing this morning was get up & out to see the last Flag Football game for our grandson. Not exactly sure of the final score, but I think his team won by 1 point. It was just really fun watching them all – they remind me of little baby goats or horse colts; at this age (4-6 yrs) they tend to ‘frolic’ when left to themselves for a few minutes. I love just sitting and watching them as they’re waiting for the next play: they’re dancing back & forth or jumping up & down (Oh, to have their energy, eh?) – they’re little kids doing what they do best – enjoying life! (I took a really cute photo of our grandson holding his trophy – but I did it with my cell phone and the phone is not compatible with my computer cord, so I can’t share it.) Each year the kids get a trophy; grandson’s comment to me – “This is my third trophy!”

Last blog entry I mentioned the small ‘surgery’ on the bump on my neck – got it done, in office, on Wednesday. I’m fine (bruised up a bit, but then I do that) – it was a sebaceous cyst, nothing to worry about. Next on the ‘list’ is getting the dopplars on my neck and the ultrasounds of my abdomen – that comes Thursday. Not a big deal, just more ‘tests’. Am really hoping that my carotid arteries are fairly clear – really don’t want to think about having a stent (or more) put in, but then at my age (almost 65) it happens to a lot of our friends around this time in life – we’ll see how it all comes out. Sigh . . .

Working on trying to lose some weight – not doing a really great job of it. Lost 3 lbs, then went out to dinner last week and gained it back. Right now I’m where I started – sigh. Time to get more aggressive at it – but I DON’T WANT TO! (the only real reason I HAVE to is: it will prevent the doctor from starting me on diabetic meds – I’ve been good for around 7 years now so now it’s time to ‘get back on the wagon’ and eat more healthy . . . sigh.

Speaking of food (and I do that a LOT!), here’s more recipes for ya!

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

Best Fruit Salad Ever!

1 (29 oz) can peach slices (& juice)
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks (& juice)
1 (3 1/8 oz) box dry vanilla instant pudding
1 lb. strawberries, quartered
1 banana, sliced
1/2 pint blueberries
1 bunch grapes
1-2 T. sugar (optional)

In large bowl, combine peaches, pineapple &
vanilla pudding mix; mix well until pudding
is dissolved. Stir in strawberries, banana,
blueberries, grapes & sugar (if using). Chill
1 hour, before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)

———————————-

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 C. Dannon Oikos plain Greek yogurt
1 pkt. Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
1/2 c. milk

Whisk ingredients together; chill 1
hour before use. Makes 1 quart.

(recipe: facebook)

——————————–

Microwave Popcorn without a Bag!

Glass bowl (microwave safe)

Ceramic plate (microwave safe)

1/2 C. dry Popcorn kernels

Place popcorn kernels in bottom of

bowl; place plate on top of bowl.

(Plate should be wide enough to

go beyond the rim of the bowl).

Microwave 2 minutes 45 seconds.

That’s all! No bag-no butter/oil, nothing

to throw away afterwards and no un-

popped kernels!

 

(recipe: facebook)

———————————–

(Here’s an unusual and healthy cookie recipe)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

1  1/4 C. canned chickpeas, well-rinsed & patted dry
with a paper towel
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C + 2 T.  peanut butter
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn’t have salt in it
1/2 C.  chocolate chips

Preheat oven  350°F
Combine all  ingredients, except  chocolate chips, in a food
processor or blender; process until very smooth. Make sure
to scrape  sides and top to get the little chunks of chickpeas
and process again until they’re combined.
 Add chocolate chips & stir it if you can, or pulse once or twice.
Mixture will be very thick and sticky.
With wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a piece of
parchment paper.  If you want them to look more like normal
cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t rise much.
Bake for about 10 minutes.
Yields about fourteen 1 1/2″ cookie dough balls.

(recipe: Facebook)
——————————————————–

Chicken Tamale Pie

 

3 C. diced, cooked chicken (about 12 oz)

1 1/2 C. prepared salsa

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 1/2 C. chicken broth

1 T. chili powder

2 scallions (white & green parts), sliced

3/4 C. cornmeal

1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 T. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

sour cream, for serving

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Heat chicken, salsa, beans, 1/2 C. broth &

chili powder in a 10 inch cast-iron skillet

over medium heat, stirring until simmering.

Stir in scallions & remove from heat. Combine

cornmeal with 1 C. broth & 1 C. water in medium

pan. Bring to simmer over medium heat,

stirring until very thick, 5-7 minutes. Remove from

heat & stir in cheese & butter. Season with salt &

pepper. Spread cornmeal mixture over filling &

bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let

stand 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Makes 6 servings.

 

(recipe: Food Network)

—————————————————-

Warm Spinach & Bacon Salad

 

1/3 C. red wine vinaigrette salad dressing

6 C. tightly packed torn fresh spinach

1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms

1/4 c. thin red onion rings

2 T. cooked bacon crumbles

Microwave dressing in microwaveable bowl on

High 30-50 seconds or until hot. Pour over

combined spinach, mushrooms & onions in

large bowl; toss to coat. Top with bacon.

Serves 4 (1 1/4 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

————————————————

Vegetable Tian

(thinly sliced veggies topped with cheese then

roasted!)

1 T. olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced

1 medium potato, thinly sliced

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

1 tsp. dried thyme

salt & pepper, to taste

1 C. shredded Italian cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Saute onion & garlic in skillet with olive oil until

softened (about 5 min.) Spray insides of a

8 X 8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Spread

onion & garlic in bottom of dish. Place sliced

veggies on top. Sprinkle generously with salt,

pepper & thyme. Cover dish with foil & bake

30 minutes. Remove foil, top with cheese;

bake another 15-20 minutes until cheese is

golden brown.

 

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

—————————————–

Pork Chops in Mushroom Cream Sauce

 

4 boneless pork loin chops (1/2 in. thick)

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

4 tsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges

1 (2 C.) pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 C. chicken broth

4 tsp. cornstarch

1 (6 oz) container Greek plain yogurt

4 C. hot, cooked rice or pasta

Sprinkle both sides of chops with seasoned

salt & pepper. Heat 2 tsp. oil in 10-inch non-

stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.

Add chops; cook 4 minutes on each side or

until golden brown. Remove chops; set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining 2 tsp oil over

medium heat. Add onion & mushrooms;

cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix

chicken broth & cornstarch well; add to skillet

& heat to boiling. Return chops to skillet. Spoon

some of the sauce over chops. Reduce heat; cover

& simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until

pork is no longer pink in center. Stir in yogurt until

well blended; cook over Low heat until heated

through. Serve with rice or pasta.

 

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

———————————————

 Blue Ribbon Apple Bundt Cake

 

Streusel:

3/4 C. sugar

3 tsp. orange flavored instant drink mix (like Tang)

2 tsp. cinnamon

 

Cake:

3 C. flour

2 C. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. orange flavored drink mix

1/2 tsp. salt

1 C. vegetable oil

1/2 C. water

2 tsp. vanilla

4 large eggs

4 C. apples, peeled & thinly sliced

 

Spice Glaze:

2 C. powdered sugar

1 T. butter, softened

1/2 tsp. apple pie spice*

2-4 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Grease & flour a 12 C. Bundt pan

Combine streusel ingredients in small bowl;

set aside. In large bowl, combine all cake

ingredients except apples. Pour 1/3 batter

(about 1 2/3 C.) into pan. Layer 2 C. apples

over batter; sprinkle with half the streusel. Repeat

layers with another 1/3 C. batter, remaining

apples & remaining streusel; end with

remaining 1/3 C. cake batter. Bake

65-75 minutes, until toothpick inserted into

center comes out clean. Cool in pan 3 minutes,

then invert onto a serving plate to cool

completely. When cake is cool, prepare glaze:

In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter &

spice. Add milk one T. at a time until smooth &

of drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over

cooled cake.

 

Substitute: combine a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg

& cloves

 

(recipe: Crystal-justapinch.com)

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

Our weather (typical Michigan) is hovering between chilly and warm. It’s ‘supposed’ to get up into the 70’s today, but right now it’s really overcast & cloudy and 62 degrees. (Wore my sweatshirt & jacket while watching the flag football game earlier and was really GLAD I wore them – windy & chilly!)

Oh! Gas Prices – what do you think about them, lately? Crazy, eh? Here in Michigan we’ve been hit with really HIGH prices this past week. I’m hearing it has something to do with a refinery in Detroit area that had a fire? Not sure BUT – – – earlier this week the prices were $4.29/9 – that, to me, is highway robbery! I went on my trusty computer and looked up ‘gas prices Michigan’ and found a great site: http://www.detroitgasprices.com.  They post the current prices in your area (you type in your zip code and it gives you the current prices). I found a low price ($4.19/9) at a station about 7 minutes away, so I drove there. Outside, on their nice digital sign was posted the price I saw on line. I pulled up to the pumps and saw: $4.41/9, $4.51/9, and $4.61/9 – I thought maybe I missed something (I don’t go to that station), so I drove around to another pump – same thing. Thinking I’d missed something, somewhere I got out of my car and went inside to ask about the difference. She told me: “Oh, that’s if you have your XXX grocery card bonus AND your XXX gas station bonus points, THEN you get that price!” To me, that’s FALSE ADVERTISING! I was really shocked. I ended up getting $20 CASH, at $4.29 a gallon. NOT RIGHT! I came home, fuming, to my husband and he agreed. I even wrote a question on our local area community site asking what others thought of this – most agreed it’s not right and I should write to our congressman or report them to some gas prices commission. I decided I really didn’t want to do either, since I’d already vented on that site and my name and email were right there for all to see (no privacy here, I’m sorry). I don’t want to get on the wrong side of some commission. One person even suggested I write or call the local TV news station, saying they’d done that years ago about high gas prices and the station AND local newspapers wrote about it. Sorry, but I’m a chicken when it comes to being the vigilante – I just waited a few days. Prices are now down ‘some’: $4.17/9 – still outrageous, but sometimes WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Well, friends – there’s my SOAPBOX rantings for today. Hope you found a recipe that intrigued you some. Oh! Books/Reading: bought several paperbacks at a sale lately and found this one in particular: “The Sign” by Raymond Khoury. Very interesting premise: a blazing sphere of light appears out of nowhere in the skies above Antarctica, then vanishes. What is it, where did it come from? and WHY? I’m about 1/3 through the book; definitely keeping my interest so far.

Knitting wise: started the shawl for my friend who’s getting married in Sept.; it’s done in very fine (#2) yarn in varied shades from dark purple to very light lavender with a bit of greens thrown in (didn’t know about the greens when I saw it on line – guess it will just ‘have to do’, as I’ve already started working on it!). Found a rather simple pattern on line and have about 6 inches or so knit. It’s a repeating pattern – Lace pattern and Garter stitch:

101_4417_square

Anyway, that’s what’s happening around here – hope you’re having a nice, relaxing weekend. Maybe grilling outside? Or going to a picnic/graduation party? Whatever you’re doing – remember to HAVE FUN and RELAX a little! Life’s short – eat dessert first!

Hugs;

Pammie

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’m trying to be home bound for a few days in hopes of the gas prices going down a bit more but I do have to take hubby to Southfield on Tuesday for an appointment. The shawl sounds delightful. take care


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