A Quiet Sunday Afternoon

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Although it’s the beginning of August, we’re still experiencing rather ‘un-Summer’ like weather. It’s sunny, yes – but it’s taken ALL DAY to get up to the current 71 degrees F. outside; for August, that’s unusual. The sky has been a gorgeous shade of blue with lovely white fluffy clouds for two days now BUT the outdoor temperatures are definitely NOT what we, here in Michigan, are used to for August. I’m not complaining, just a little perplexed that it’s CHILLY for this time of year. I’m still seeing a few lightening bugs – (I LOVE those little guys – they make me smile!); for some reason, I don’t ever remember seeing them as a child – strange, eh? A lady at our church who has a great knack for growing all sorts of flowers brought two huge bouquets of white, tinged with pink, day lilies for the front of the church. I love seeing the fruits of her labors – she brings such lovely bouquets! It’s all I can do to keep my Wandering Jew alive outside! It was a Mother’s Day gift from one of my special needs students 2 years ago and this is it’s second summer. I discovered, last summer, that it LOVES being outside! I pity the poor plant when it comes cold weather as it will be suffering inside with me as it’s caregiver! Oh well – at least I can (so far) limp it along until next Spring!

Today we had a lovely luncheon after church for a dear couple who will be moving to New Mexico in a few weeks. This is the same couple I helped with their estate sale a few weeks ago. We had a potluck and I decided to be ‘daring’ and make a ‘new’ (to me) recipe called: “Chinese Coleslaw”; it was a big hit! Even my very skeptical husband was pleasantly surprised! Below is the recipe (with my adjustments):

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

Chinese Coleslaw

2 (16 oz) bags coleslaw mix
1 1/2 C. raisins
1 C. sunflower kernels
1 C. slivered or sliced almonds
1 (5-6) bunch green onions, sliced*
2 (3 oz., ea) pkgs. Ramen Noodles, crushed
(set aside packets for dressing)

Dressing:

1 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. white vinegar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 seasoning packet

Place raisins in small saucepan, cover with
water and boil about 15 minutes. Drain water,
rinse with cold water & set aside. In large bowl,
mix coleslaw mix, sunflower kernels, almonds,
green onions (I used about 1/2 C. chopped red
onion, instead) and crushed noodles. In small
bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients &
pour over coleslaw mixture. Toss until salad is
evenly coated. Cover & refrigerate until ready
to use.

My notes: I decided to add the raisins to this
recipe – it gave a little sweetness. Since I had
prepared this salad the night before, I did not
add the crushed noodles until just before serving.
I also did not use both noodle packets, as I felt that
would be just too much ‘crunch’ per bite. In the
dressing I only used 1 packet seasoning, not the
original recipes requirement of 2 packets. The
seasoning packets (in my opinion) tend to be
VERY salty, so I only used one.

This recipe made a very large pan of salad; if I
were to make this for just my family, I would
halve the recipe. It was VERY tasty & crunchy
and made a very nice side salad choice for a
luncheon.

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

Creamy Shrimp Alfredo

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 (13.75 oz) can chicken broth
1 jar tomato & basil spaghetti sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 lb. fresh or frozen, uncooked medium shrimp
hot pepper sauce, to taste
1 (16 oz) box fettuccine, cooked & drained

Heat olive oil in deep, large skillet over medium-
high heat. Cook onion, celery, red pepper & garlic
5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in
broth & bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat
to low & simmer 5 minutes. Stir in sauces; simmer,
stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in shrimp &
cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until
shrimp turn pink. Stir in hot pepper sauce; serve
shrimp mixture over hot fettuccine. Serves 8

(recipe: Unilever)
———————————————————–

3-Ingredient Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut up
2 packets dry Italian seasoning mix
1/2 C. brown sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix seasoning packet & brown sugar; coat
chicken in mix on all sides. Line a baking
pan with aluminum foil. Place chicken on
foil & bake until golden brown & crispy.
(The sugar mixture will caramelize and be
sticky).

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)
—————————————-

Quick ‘N Easy Spanish Rice

1/4 C. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. cooking oil
3 C. uncooked Instant rice
2 1/4 C. chicken broth
1 C. vegetable juice (like V8)
1 1/2 T. taco seasoning

Cook & stir onion, garlic & cooking oil
in a skillet over medium heat until onions
are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir rice into
onion mixture & cook, stirring often, until
rice becomes slightly opaque, 1-2 minutes.
Stir chicken broth, vegetable juice & taco
seasoning into rice mixture; bring to boil.
Cover & simmer over low heat until rice
has absorbed most of the liquid, about 5
minutes.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
——————————————-

Crack Sticks

1 loaf (16 oz) thinly sliced white bread,
crusts removed
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. confectioners sugar
1 C. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Flatten bread with a rolling-pin. In a bowl,
combine cream cheese and confectioners
sugar. In another bowl, combine sugar and
cinnamon; set aside. Spread about 1 tablespoon
cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Roll up,
jelly roll style. Dip in melted butter, then in
cinnamon-sugar. Place on an ungreased
baking sheet. Bake  20 minutes or until golden
brown. Yield: 16 roll-ups. Good warm or cold.

(recipe: Facebook)
————————————————-

MOM’S OLD FASHIONED RICE PUDDING

2/3 C. Minute Rice
2  3/4 C. milk
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Cinnamon
1/2 C. raisins

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine Minute Rice, milk and raisins,
sugar, butter, salt, vanilla and nutmeg in
a buttered 1 quart baking dish. Bake 1 hour,
stirring after 15 minutes and again when
pudding is done. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Serve warm or chilled. Pudding thickens as it stands.

(recipe: Facebook)
———————————————-

BLT Pasta Salad

8 oz. penne pasta, uncooked
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes(no salt added),
drained
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 (6 oz) pkg. refrigerated, diced oven
roasted chicken breast
10 slices fully cooked bacon, heated &
chopped
2 C. baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions; drain &
rinse under cold water to cool. Stir together
tomatoes, mayonnaise & garlic salt in large
bowl. Add pasta, chicken & bacon; toss to
combine. Add spinach; gently toss. Serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat!)
————————————

Taco Pie

1/4 C. butter
2/3 C. milk
1 pkg. Taco Bell seasoning mix
2 1/2 C. mashed potato flakes (you could also use
left over mashed potatoes & omit butter and milk)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. salsa
1 C. shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In medium sauce pan, melt butter.
Add milk and 2 T. taco seasoning.
Remove from heat; add potato flakes until
incorporated. Press mixture into the bottom
of a 10-inch pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes until it
just BARELY turns golden brown. In medium skillet,
cook beef & onions until beef is browned and
cooked through; drain. Add Salsa and remaining taco
seasoning; cook until bubbly then pour into crust.
Bake 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
Let cool 5 minutes. Top with cheese, lettuce, and
tomatoes. Cut and serve with sour cream.

(recipe: Facebook)
——————————————

Crazy Good Casserole

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 strips of quality bacon cooked and crumbled
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 box (16 oz) dried spiral pasta
1 T. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook and crumble bacon. While bacon is cooking,
cut chicken into bite-sized chunks. Set cooked bacon
aside for later use. In the same pan, cook chicken in
bacon drippings. Add garlic powder and salt and
pepper to taste. While chicken is cooking, prepare
pasta according to directions. Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan
with non-stick cooking spray. Drain pasta, return to pot.
Add chicken, both cans of cream of chicken soup,
1 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese stir to mix well.
Pour into prepared baking dish; top with crumbled bacon,
top with remaining cup of Monterrey Jack cheese.
Bake 20 minutes, just until cheese is melted and
beginning to brown on top.

(recipe: Facebook)
—————————————-

Hot Fudge Pie

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour.

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar
with electric mixer until light and fluffy about
3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix in well.
Add cocoa powder, salt and flour and stir until
well combined. Grease a 8″ pie plate with butter
or Pam. Pour mixture in pie plate. Bake for 30 -35
minutes until center is set. If you like , you can dust
with powdered sugar and serve with a side of
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

(recipe; Facebook)
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This is the bracelet/bookmark I’m trying to make. IF I ever succeed, I would omit the buttons and make the ribbon a little shorter – hence, more bookmark-like

On the crafting front, once again (this makes about 4 times now) I’ve attempted to tat the ‘simple/beginner’ bracelet that I want to turn into a nice Bible bookmark. I was feeling a little more confident and got about 4 little bumps done when I noticed that, somehow, I’d attached one of the bumps to the wrong ‘picot’ (a little loop) – let me tell you, TAKING OUT tatting is a real pain in the behind! Unlike knitting or crochet, you don’t simply pull on the thread and it comes unworked, NO – tatting is a series of small knots, so to speak. I can see that this project is turning into one of MUCH PATIENCE for me (not sure how many more times I’ll be willing to ‘attempt’ to be patient and try it again, but right now it sets to the side, awaiting my next burst of positive creativeness.) I guess you could say that I really don’t like it when a project gets the best of me! I really want to be able to conquer this and be able to create nice bookmarks for friends – we’ll see where this eventually ends up . . . sigh.

This upcoming week is beginning to look like another event-filled one: Monday (free, so far)/Tuesday Grandson 10:30 a.m. – around 4-5 p.m., plus Knit Night at 6:30 – 9 p.m./ Wednesday Special Needs Group/ Thurs. Grandson, same hours/Friday free so far/Saturday a bridal shower 12:30 – ? immediately followed by a Sunday School class picnic which starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday is the big challenge because both events are radically far apart from one another; that might find me only staying for part of the shower in order to leave in time to make the picnic! (Ah, the life of a ‘Social Butterfly’ . . . ha!!!).

Not much else going on; right now I have barbecued spareribs in the oven; will be making mashed potatoes and a big tossed salad for dinner.

Hope your day and week will go well for you!

Hugs;

Pammie

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