Full Calendar Coming UP!

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Just looked at this coming week’s ‘activities’ and I almost want to say: “Give it to someone else!” Tomorrow (Sunday) is grandson’s 7th birthday and, of course, we have to attend the party. Monday (so far) is clear – YAY! Tuesday is grandson 10:30 – around 6:30/7 and also Knit Night 6:30-9 (husband will watch grandson after I have to leave); Weds. is special needs group, Thurs Grandson, same times, Friday is a wedding, Sat & Sunday are Log Cabin Days; that gives me ONE non-activity day in the entire week – UGH! Oh well, just like Dory in “Finding Nemo” I have to keep repeating: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”

Last night was our last Gym Night until Sept/Oct. for my special needs group and we had a good turn out. Thursday was the funeral of one of my  ‘kids’ Dads; sad but a very nice visitation, service and luncheon. I was able to re-connect with three special needs families that I haven’t seen in at least 10 years. One Mom said she’s going to start bringing her daughter again and another asked about our meeting day & time; SO NICE to see people you haven’t seen in such a long time! I haven’t been to a Catholic mass in many, many years but I must say: this one was definitely a celebration of the man’s life – it was a joyous celebration! I was very glad I stayed.

This past week has been almost one long running Birthday celebration for me; between best wishes on Facebook, phone calls and cards (plus presents), I truly feel WISHED! It’s good, going into 65! I even got ‘frisky’ and bought myself a present: a new camera with zoom lens! Now maybe I can take a little clearer photos of distance shots!

Knit-wise, I have approximately 4 weeks to get the bridal shawl done. I got a phone call from the lady who heads up the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby shower and she informed me they currently have 26 expectant moms that will be attending. That tells me I need to crank out at least one more baby blanket before the beginning weeks of September (I have 3 done now). I’m hoping some of my knit/crochet group will do what they did last year: make some of those ‘really quick’ tied flannel blankets; those are quick to make and then we (hopefully) will have enough to cover all 26 people! We’ll see!

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Apple Pie Muffins

 

Topping:

1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 C. flour

1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp. cinnamon

 

Muffins:

1 1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar

2/3 C. vegetable oil

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C. buttermilk

2 C. diced, peeled firm tart apples (such as Spy,

Granny Smith)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Muffins:

In large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil,

egg & vanilla until smooth. In separate bowl, sift

together flour, soda & salt. Stir oil mixture into

flour mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in

apples, mixing just until combined. Spread into

greased muffin cups, filling 3/4 th full.

 

Mix together topping ingredients until crumblly,

then sprinkle topping over muffins evenly. Bake

25-30 minutes until golden brown & tops spring

back. Makes 18 muffins

 

NOTE: You could also add cinnamon to the muffin

batter, if desired. (about 1 tsp. or less)

 

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

————————————

Cheese Manicotti Florentine

 

16 manicotti noodles

1 lb. ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)

1/2 lb. shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 C. grated Parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1 T. chopped parsley

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

2 C. spaghetti sauce

1 small onion, diced

1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced

1/2 lb. fresh spinach, chopped

(or you can use frozen – thawed &

drained/squeezed dry)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Sautee onion & mushrooms until tender.

Steam fresh chopped spinach until wilted.

Combine Ricotta, Mozzarella, 3/4 C.

Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley & spices.

Add spinach & 3/4 of sauté mixture; mix

to combine. Fill uncooked manicotti shells; place

filled shells in a single layer in greased 9 X 13

baking pan. Add remaining sauté to spaghetti

sauce, mix together then pour over manicotti.

Sprinkle remaining Parmesan over noodles.

Bake 35 minutes.

 

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

———————————-

Spinach Enchilada Verde

 

1 C. sour cream

1 (7 oz) can green salsa

1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed & thinly sliced

2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 (10 oz) pkg. corn tortillas

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In small bowl, stir together half of sour cream &

green salsa. Spread enough to coat bottom of

a 9 X 13 baking dish. On each tortilla, spread

a small amount of salsa & sour cream mixture,

in the center. Lay a small handful of spinach over

that & sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Roll

up, securing with wooden toothpick & place in

baking dish. When all tortillas are in pan, pour

remaining salsa over top & sprinkle with remaining

cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes until browned &

heated through.

 

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

—————————————-

Colorful Shrimp Fried Rice

1 lb. raw, shelled & deveined shrimp

4 C. water

1/2 tsp. salt

2 C. uncooked rice

3 T. vegetable oil

4 celery ribs, trimmed & sliced diagonally

1 1/2 C. thinly sliced onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. grated gingerroot

1 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced

1/4 C. beef broth

1/2 C. diced cooked ham

1/4 lb. snow peas, blanced 1 minute

2 large eggs

1 T. soy sauce

1/2 C. chopped, trimmed green onion

In small skillet over medium heat add a little

water to skillet & cook shrimp until pink. Remove &

cool then peel & devein shrimp. Slice them in half

 lengthwise; set aside. Bring water & salt to boil

in 2 quart saucepan; stir in rice. Reduce heat, cover

& simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff rice

gently with a fork; set aside. Heat oil in large heavy

skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles

when dropped in the oil. Add celery, onions, garlic &

gingerroot; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add bell pepper

& cook 3 minutes. Stir in cooked rice, beef broth &

ham; cook 2 minutes. Add lightly blanched snow pea

pods & shrimp; cook 1 minute. Whisk together eggs

& soy sauce in small bowl. Push rice mixture to the

sides of skillet then scramble the whisked eggs in

the center of the skillet. When eggs are set, fold into

the rice. Stir in finely chopped green onions & serve

hot. Makes 8 servings.

 

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

———————————————-

Barbecued Scalloped Potatoes on Grill

(oven method included)

 

3/4 lb. red potatoes (about 2) peeled, thinly sliced

2 carrots, cut diagonally into thin slices

1/2 C. water

1/3 C. plus 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/3 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Heat grill to medium heat. Microwave potatoes, carrots

& water in microwaveable bowl covered with waxed

paper on High 5-7 minutes or just until potatoes are

crisp-tender; drain well. Mix 1/3 C. cheese & dressing;

add to potato mixture, mix lightly. Spoon onto center of

large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil* sprayed with

nonstick cooking spray; fold to make packet. Place on

upper shelf of grill. Grill 15-20 minutes or until vegetalbes

are tender. Cut slits in foil to release steam before

carefully opening packet. Sprinkle potato mixture with parsley

& remaining cheese. Serves 6 (1/2 C. each)

 

Oven-method: Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Assemble

potato packets as directed. Bake 20 minutes or until

potatoes are tender.

 

*If you don’t have heavy-duty aluminum foil, use a double

layer of regular foil instead.

 

(recipe: Kraft foods)

—————————————–

Mexican Beef & Corn Casserole

 

1 lb. ground beef

1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained

1 (11 oz) can Mexicorn, drained

2 T. margarine, melted

1/2 C. salsa

2/3 C. sour cream

1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Cook ground beef in nonstick skillet over

medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until

beef is done, about 5 minutes. Remove

from heat, stir in cilantro. Combine black

beans, corn & melted margarine in 8 inch

baking dish. Top with beef mixture; spread

with salsa & sour cream; sprinkle top with

cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until heated

through & cheese is melted. Serves 6

 

(recipe: Unilever)

——————————————–

Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

 

12 large fresh mushrooms (1 lb)

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 clove garlic, minced

4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 T. chopped fresh parsley

(paprika)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Remove stems from mushrooms; discard or save

for another use. Mix remaining ingredients except

paprika; spooninto mushroom caps. Place, filled-

sides up, in shallow baking dish. Sprinkle tops with

paprika. Bake 18-20 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 12 servings.

 

(recipe: Kraft foods)

—————————————

Sweet ‘n Spicy Smoked Ribs

(directions for a smoker or gas

or charcoal grill)

 

2 slabs pork loin back ribs, each cut in half

(about 5 lb. total)

 

Rub:

1/4 C. dark brown sugar

1 T. garlic salt

1 T. onion powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. black pepper

1 C. mild prepared or homemade BBQ sauce

Soak 2 C. wood chips in hot tap water.

Rinse & pat dry ribs.

 

Prepare Rub:

 

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, garlic salt,

onion powder, cinnamon, oregano & pepper. Rub

mixture generously over meaty side of ribs. Sprinkle

a small amount over bony side of ribs.

 

Prepare Smoker:

 

Fire up 10 lb. charcoal in bottom of grill. Charcoal

is ready when gray & ashy. Reassemble grill, water

pan & bottom grill grate. Pour at least 8 C. water into

water pan. Place 2 of the half rib racks, meaty side up,

on bottom grate. Replace top grill grate & top with

remaining two half rib racks. Cover grill; shake excess

water off chips, then add to charcoal through side door.

Smoke ribs at 200 degrees F. – 226 degrees F. for 3

hours, then carefully turn over. Continue to smoke ribs

for an additional hour. Turn ribs again, brush with 1/2 C.

BBQ sauce. Continue to smoke for another 30 minutes to

1 hour, until rib meat registers 160 degrees F.  on an

instant-read thermometer. Remove from grill & brush

again with sauce. Serve with additional sauce on the

side. Serves 8.

 

NOTE: To smoke on a gar or charcoal grill:: the secret to

smoking food is, KEEP IT LOW AND SLOW.

 

To Convert a Charcoal Grill:

Follow manufacturer’s directions for amount of charcoal

needed. Do not use charcoal infused with starter fluid

because it could make food taste ‘off’. Briquettes are ready

when gray & ashy; push to perimeter & place a foil pan with

2 C. water in center. Place soaked wood chips directly on

briquettes; put food on grill rack above pan of water. Add

5-7 briquettes to each side every hour if grill temp varies.

 

To Convert a Gas Grill:

Heat grill 15 minutes; turn one burner to medium or medium-

high, the other ‘off’. Place presoaked wood chips in a foil pan

directly on hot burner; place a foil pan of water on other side.

Add food to grill rack above pan of water.

 

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

———————————————–

Banana Split Cake

 

9 honey graham crackers*, crushed

(about 1 1/2 C.)

1 C. sugar, divided

1/3 C. butter, melted

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice,

drained

6 bananas, divided

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant pudding mix

2 C. cold milk

2 C. Cool Whip, thawed, divided

1 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Mix graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 C. sugar &

butter; press onto bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Freeze

10 minutes. Beat cream cheese & remaining

sugar with mixer until blended. Spread carefully

over crust; top with pineapple. Slice 4 bananas;

arrange slices over pineapple. Beat pudding

mixes with milk using whisk 2 minutes. Stir in

1 C. Cool Whip; spread over banana layer in

pan. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerte

5 hours. Slice remaining bananas just before

serving; arrange over dessert & top with nuts,

if desired. Makes 24 servings.

 

*or regular graham crackers

 

Option: Omit nuts & make chocolate curls from

a 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar. Use to garnish

dessert.

 

(recipe: Kraft foods)

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

Youngest son is ‘happy as a clam’ with his ‘new’ car – haven’t seen him much since he got it – basically: Baby bird has (almost) flown the nest!  Middle son is now actively talking about his moving out end of June – this place will (almost) be a ghost town! If I thought I had trouble figuring out when to cook dinner and for how many, this is an entirely NEW territory for me – cooking for TWO; haven’t done that in THIRTY years!

Also on my agenda for this coming week is comping & printing the special needs newsletter (due out in the mails before end of month). Think I’m going to spend most of my day getting that set up – then I won’t feel the pressure of that looming over me, too!

Dinner is a beef roast, baked potatoes, asparagus and what’s left of my birthday cake. Hope you’re able to find a recipe or two above that might sound intriguing to you!

Enjoy your weekend – our weather has been slowly climbing – yesterday was mid 80’s (and I was ‘glowing’ – remember: Men sweat/women ‘glow’!). Right now the thermometer is reading 76 at 11:30 a.m. so it looks like it might be another HOT one! (I’m planning on staying inside!).  Gas prices are coming down; I happily paid $3.86/9 the other day – still seeing some prices higher, depending on the station but I’m really glad we’re UNDER $4.00 a gallon, finally!

Big Hugs!

Pammie

 

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You sound like me right now! Full weeks, pressure to get things done, and the moments of ‘what next’! But we are fighters and this to will be overcome!


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