Getting Stuff Done!

It’s a lovely summer day today – sunny & 80 degrees out. A little earlier I had to go visit our bank to have a paper notarized; managed to talk husband into going along and even stopping for Thai food for lunch! After a filling lunch of Spring Rolls and Pad Thai (I had chicken/he had pork) plus numerous glasses of Jasmine tea, we made our way home (with a doggie bag for later). I like our local Thai place – it’s less than 5 minutes away, it’s clean, prices are reasonable AND they give you SO MUCH food (enough to eat half and take the rest home for dinner!) It’s a Win/Win – we had lunch ‘out’ and still have dinner just waiting to be heated up!

Also today was the completing of the last of four baby blankets for the Detroit Veterans Hospital Baby Shower. I’ve notified the ladies in my knit group that next meeting (Sept. 3rd) is the drop-off date; the very nice lady from the hospital is driving out to meet us and see what we’ve created for them. She said last year there was almost a fight over the blankets – they were quite ‘the hit’! I’ll be anxious to see who made what – and how many. I never know until the last minute. Last year we made and donated 39 blankets – I was amazed and thrilled. This year, to my knowledge, we don’t have as many ladies participating, so we’ll see. I made four:


The apricot & white one up top is crocheted, the other three are knitted. The two: middle & left, are the same pattern, just different variations on the yarn used. The one on the right is knit – it’s a variation on “Granny’s Favorite” dishcloth pattern.

Now I’m kinda wondering what to do/where to go on my next crafting projects. I still have chemo caps to knit, baby hats to knit for the local hospital AND, perhaps, more adventures into tatting – we’ll see. I’m beginning to see that there are not as many ‘outlets’ for learning Needle Tatting. There are some books, some YouTube videos – but for the beginner, there’s not a lot out there. I found a really cute (and what looked like EASY) pattern – actually it was just a photo. I gave it two valiant tries, only to find that it didn’t work. Found another similar idea and am going to try that one. I STILL want to be able to make bookmarks – even simple ones, so that when I send a Thinking of You/Get Well, etc. card I can insert a bookmark to go with it.


The below recipes all made me think of Summer!

(DISCLAIMER: Remember these are NOT my recipes – I have made note after each recipe the source from which I gleaned them)

Zucchini Brownies

1/2 cup applesauce
2 small or medium bananas mashed
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour an 9×13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce,
mashed bananas and sugar. Add vanilla and
cocoa and mix together. Then add baking soda,
salt, and zucchini and mix together. Add flour &
walnuts and mix together. Spread evenly into prepared
pan. Bake for 25 minutes until brownies spring
back when gently touched.

(recipe: Facebook)

Lazy Ratatouille

2 small eggplant
2 small yellow squash, diced 1/2- 3/4 inch
1 small zucchini, diced 1/2- 3/4 inch
2 yellow or red bell peppers (or one of each)
1 small onion, chopped
4 tomatoes
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. pure maple syrup
1 sprig fresh rosemary (or
1/4 tsp. dried)
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to Broil
Place peppers on cookie sheet lined in
aluminum foil; place under broiler to
char skins, turning every 3-5 minutes to
get a good char on all sides. After charring,
place them in a bowl & cover with plastic
wrap; let set 5 minutes. Remove skins, seeds
& stems, reserving any juice in bowl. Dice
peppers 1/2 inch dice; place in a large bowl
with reserved juices.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In separate bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar &
maple syrup; whisk to mix thoroughly – this
is the vegetable marinade.
Cut eggplant*, squash & zucchini in 1/2 – 3/4
inch dice; toss well in marinade; add onions.
Let rest at least 5 minutes.
Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or
a silicon baking sheet (to roast vegetables)
Slice tomatoes in half horizontally, remove most
seeds. Place tomatoes, cut side up at one end of
baking sheet. Sprinkle a little salt & pepper over;
push garlic cloves into seed cavities of tomatoes
to keep them from burning, tuck rosemary between
tomatoes. Spread eggplant/zucchini/squash/onion
mixture over rest of sheet pan. Place pan in oven &
roast 30 minutes, turning vegetables (not tomatoes)
with a spatula at 15 minutes; drizzle with remaining
marinade if they look dry. After roasting, place
eggplant mixture in bowl with peppers. Place tomatoes, etc.
in a saucepan over medium heat. Break up tomatoes with
a spoon & remove skins (they should slide right off). Mash
garlic into juice. When tomato juices have reduced, mix
thoroughly with other vegetables. Add salt & pepper, to
Serve over whole wheat pasta, couscous, or quinoa. Can
be served on toasted slices of French bread or other breads
of choice. Serves 4 as an entree or 8 as an appetizer.

*To remove bitterness in eggplant, slice into 3/4 inch slices,
place on a wire rack over a sheet pan. Sprinkle tops with
a generous amount of salt & let rest 30 minutes. Rinse with
water, towel dry & dice for recipe.

NOTE: poster mentioned adding basil (at end of recipe, along
with salt & pepper) but didn’t specify amount.

(recipe: Barb –

Champagne* Scallops & Asparagus
*or white wine

10 large garlic cloves
2 T. butter
20 large sea scallops, rinsed & dried
1/4 C. apple juice
1/4 C. chopped shallots (or onions)
1/4 C. champagne (or white wine)
1 T. maple syrup (or pancake syrup)
4 T. fresh chives
hot, cooked rice
1 lb. asparagus, cooked
1 T. lemon juice

Cover garlic with water in 1 quart saucepan;
bring to boil over high heat. Boil 5 minutes;
remove garlic & set aside. Melt butter in 12
inch skillet over medium heat. Add scallops;
cook 4 minutes, until lightly golden, stirring
occasionally. Remove & set aside. Stir juice,
shallots, champagne (wine), maple syrup, garlic
& 2 T. chives into same skillet. Bring to boil
over high heat; continue boiling, scraping up
brown bits from bottom of skillet until slightly
thickened, about 2 minutes. Arrange scallops
over hot rice on serving platter. Top with sauce
& remaining 2 T. chives. Serve with asparagus
tossed with lemon juice and, if desired, salt &
ground black pepper, to taste. Serves 4

(recipe: Unilever)

Baked Eggplant Boats

2 medium (15 oz, ea) white eggplant, stems
trimmed off & halved lengthwise
3 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/3 C. crushed tomatoes
5 basil leaves, chopped (more for garnish)
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Bring large pot of water to boil.
Hollow out flesh of eggplant to create a
boat using a melon baller or small knife,
leaving a 1/2 inch skin all around to create
a shell. Roughly chop the scooped out
flesh. Drop eggplant into boiling water; cook
3 minutes (poking it with a spoon so they stay
submerged). Remove with slotted spoon &
set on paper towels. Brown sausage in large
skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions &
garlic; cook on medium-low heat 2-3 minutes,
until onions are translucent. Add 1 C. chopped
eggplant; cook 2-3 minutes. Add 1 C. crushed
tomatoes, season with salt & pepper; cook
2-3 minutes. Remove from heat & stir in fresh
basil. Pour 1/3 C. crushed tomatoes on bottom
of a 9 X 13 baking dish; place eggplant boats
on top. Season eggplant with salt & divide
sausage & sauce evenly among the 4 boats.
Top each with 2 T. shredded mozzarella & 1
tsp. Pecorino Romana cheese. Cover with foil
& bake 30 minutes until cheeses are melted
& eggplant is thoroughly cooked. Serves 4


Pecan Pie Cobbler

1 Box refrigerated pie crusts, softened
as directed on box
2 1/2 cups light corn syrup
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Butter-flavor cooking spray
2 cups pecan halves
Vanilla ice cream, if desired

Heat oven to 425 °F.
Grease 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with
shortening or cooking spray. Remove 1 pie crust
from pouch; unroll on work surface. Roll into
13×9-inch rectangle. Place crust in dish; trim edges
to fit. In large bowl, stir corn syrup, brown sugar,
butter, vanilla and eggs with wire whisk. Stir in
chopped pecans. Spoon half of filling into crust-lined
dish. Remove second pie crust from pouch; unroll
on work surface. Roll into 13×9-inch rectangle.
Place crust over filling; trim edges to fit. Spray
crust with butter-flavor cooking spray. Bake
14 -16 minutes or until browned. Reduce oven
temperature to 350°F. Carefully spoon remaining
filling over baked pastry; arrange pecan halves on
top in decorative fashion. Bake 30 minutes longer
or until set. Cool 20 minutes on cooling rack. Serve
warm with vanilla ice cream.

(recipe: Facebook)

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

2 lbs chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Crush crackers. If using chicken breasts, not tenders,
cut each chicken breast into 3 large pieces. Pour
milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate
small pans. Toss salt and pepper into the cracker
crumbs and stir mixture to combine. Dip each
piece of chicken into milk and then cheese.
Press cheese into chicken with your fingers.
Then press cheesy coated chicken into
cracker crumbs and press it in. Spray a 9X13
pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken
in pan. Sprinkle  dried parsley over chicken.
Cover pan with tin foil and 35 minutes.
Remove foil, bake for an additional 10-15
minutes, or until edges of chicken are golden
brown and crispy.
In a medium sized sauce pan combine
cream of chicken soup, sour cream and
butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium
high heat until the sauce is nice and hot.
Serve over the chicken.

(recipe: Facebook)

Dreamsicle Salad

1 (.3 oz.) pkg.  orange jello
1 (3 oz.) pkg.  instant vanilla pudding
1 (10 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Dissolve jello in 1 c. boiling water. Add 1/2
C. cold water; let set in fridge for 20 minutes.
With mixer or whisk, add dry vanilla pudding
mix and beat until smooth. Fold in oranges
and whipped topping (by hand). Refrigerate.

Try strawberry jello with strawberries, peach jello
with (no sugar added) peaches, etc.

(recipe: Facebook)

Sloppy Joe Squares

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 can (15.5 oz) sloppy Joe sauce
2 cans (12 oz ea) Pillsbury refrigerated
Big & Buttery crescent dinner rolls
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1 tablespoon sesame seed

Heat oven to 350°F.
In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat
8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in sauce. Heat
to boiling, stirring occasionally. Unroll 1 can of
dough; place in ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart)
glass baking dish. Press in bottom and 1/2 inch
up sides of dish. Spread beef mixture over dough;
sprinkle with cheese. Unroll second can of dough;
place over cheese. Sprinkle with sesame seed.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until mixture is bubbly
and dough is golden brown. Cut into squares to serve.
Makes 8 servings

(recipe: Facebook)


(Apologies for the varying ‘font’ sizes in the recipes – for some reason my server (WordPress) seems to get a little weird when I copy & paste recipes – not sure why.)

How are your gas prices lately? Ours are OK – not great but not really bad, either. They seem to have been fluctuating from $3.59/9, to $3.52/9, and in between.

Well, that’s about ‘it’ from here today. Hope you’re having a good day.




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I hope you have good results on your blanket drive–I know how important it is to you. Your blakets are lovely.

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