Beautiful Fall Day!

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It’s almost 3 o’clock on a gorgeous Saturday; the weather is a balmy 78 degrees F., sunny & slightly breezy with a beautiful bright blue sky filled with big white fluffy clouds – what could be better? Our gas prices are sitting at a very nice place – $3.43/9 – that’s the lowest it’s been in a LOT of months. I managed to fill up my tank, knowing that the past few times I’ve said “Oh, look – gas is down!” then DIDN’T take advantage of it RIGHT THEN, it either went up later that day or the next. I’m sort of ‘wising up’ in my old age, ya know?

Not much going on lately; grandson’s second flag football game was today – I missed it (youngest son needed to be driven somewhere at the same time, so ‘Mom Taxi’ went into effect.) Husband was ‘going’ to go in my place but then noticed a low air pressure in his Jeep tire, so spent the rest of that time checking it out, filling it with air from our portable air pump. The pump started smoking . . . you can guess – that ended any shred of him going to the game. He ended up putting the canned “Fix a Flat” stuff in the tire to seal it; will go to the dealership next week to check it out. It appears that BOTH of our cars have the same problem – leaky valve stems (you know – the place where you unscrew the little cap & put in air). Fun stuff . . .

Tonight’s dinner is going to be the White Chicken Chili/Soup. I’ve posted the recipe here before – super easy. The strange thing about our house now is: the ‘leftovers’ just aren’t disappearing like they used to (middle son moved out/youngest doesn’t ‘like’ leftovers!  . . . read that last part in a sort of whine). Hence, that leaves husband and I and we, together, still don’t seem to consume as much food now that he’s retired. There’s still one helping of sloppy joes, 1-2 helpings of rice & turkey w/gravy (sort of like a turkey stroganoff) and one large helping of mac & cheese. I get a bit crazy just trying to figure out what to make as well as how much! My usual batch of the White Chicken Chili/Soup will feed, probably, 8-10, so I’m going to ‘adventure’ tonight and only make a half batch – we’ll see how that goes. If it looks like there’s lots, I’ll just send some home with middle son – he doesn’t mind leftovers! (I try to get him to take them home most of the time but he’s usually in between clients and doesn’t want the food to spoil in his car . . . go figure . . . sigh).

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Carrot Cake Cookies


1/2 c melted butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 generous c carrots, peeled and finely grated
1/3 c raisins or currants

FROSTING

2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 oz butter
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Cream together butter, sugars, and egg.
Combine flour, ginger and salt and
blend into creamed mixture.  mix in carrots
and raisins/currants. Drop by spoonfuls onto
greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly.  Bake
10 minutes.  Cool.  Cream together frosting ingredients
and frost. Makes 2 dozen cookies

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
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20-Minute Bruschetta Chicken Skillet

1 T. oil
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid
reserved
1/2 C. mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1/2 C. croutons, coarsely crusted

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add
chicken; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or
until done (165 degrees F.). Combine tomatoes,
mozzarella, 2 T. Parmesan & basil. Add reserved
tomato liquid to skillet; top chicken with tomato
mixture. Simmer on low heat 5 minutes or until
mozzarella is melted & tomato mixture is
heated through. Transfer chicken to serving plate.
Top with crushed croutons & remaining Parmesan.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
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Cheddar-Mashed Potato Casserole

2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6),
peeled, quartered
2 T. butter
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook potatoes in boiling water in large
saucepan 20 minutes or until tender, drain.
Return to pan. Add butter & sour cream to
potatoes; mash until smooth. Spoon half
of mixture into a greased 1 1/2 qt. casserole
dish. Cover with layers of cheese, remaining
potato mixture & bacon. Bake 30-35
minutes or until heated through. Makes
10 (1/2 C. servings)

NOTE: to make potatoes creamier, add 2
T. milk to drained, cooked potatoes along with
butter & sour cream.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
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Applesauce Bars

1/4 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1 C. applesauce
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. craisins
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Icing:

1 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
3 T. margarine, melted
1 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 pan. In medium bowl,
mix butter, brown sugar & egg until
smooth; stir in applesauce. Combine
flour,baking soda, salt & spices; stir
into applesauce mixture until well
blended; stir in craisins. Spread evenly
into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes
(check at 20 minutes with wooden
toothpick) or until edges are golden.
Cool in pan over wire rack.
In small bowl, mix together conf. sugar,
& margarine; stir in vanilla & milk until
smooth. Spread over cooled bars &
sprinkle tops with chopped nuts before
cutting into squares.

(recipe: Angie-justapinch.com)
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Baked Spaghetti Squash & Cheese

5 1/2 C. cooked spaghetti squash (from
about 2 small squash)
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. minced onion
1/4 C. flour
2 C. milk
1 C. chicken or vegetable broth
8 oz. mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
salt & pepper, to taste
4 C. (about 4 oz) baby spinach
1/8 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut squash in half, lengthwise, remove &
discard seeds. Place squash on a baking
sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour.
Separate the strands of squash with a
fork; place in medium bowl, discard shells.
Heat butter & oil in large saucepan over
medium heat. Add onions & cook 2 minutes.
Stir in flour; reduce heat to Low & cook,
stirring constantly 3-4 minutes. Add milk
& broth; continue whisking, raising heat to
medium-high until it comes to a boil & becomes
smooth & thick, about 2 minutes, stirring.
Season with salt & pepper. Once it becomes
thick, remove from heat; add Cheddar cheese &
mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt &
pepper to taste, adding cooked spaghetti
squash & baby spinach. Pour into a baking
dish & sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese. Bake
until bubbly & golden; 25-30 minutes. Makes
7 Cups.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
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Cucumber Salad

3 Med. Cucumbers Peeled and Sliced 1/4″
1 Med. Onion sliced and separate into rings
3 Med. tomatoes cut into wedges
1/2 C. Vinegar
1/4 C. Sugar
1 C. water
1/4 C. oil
2 tsp.salt
1 tsp. ground pepper

Combine all in a large bowl..toss well to mix
Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs before serving

(recipe: Facebook)
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Fried Cabbage With Sausage

1 stick butter or margarine
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb. polish sausage or smoked, sliced into rounds
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 of green pepper
few drops of hot sauce (optional)

Melt butter in large skillet. Add cabbage, onion,
  and green pepper and cook on medium high for
about 5 minutes stirring to keep from sticking to pan.
Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for
20 ¬25 minutes. Makes about 8 servings.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

2 C. quick-cooking oats
1 3/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. butter
1/2 C. chopped peanuts
1 C. (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg, beaten
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder
& baking soda in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry
blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Stir in peanuts. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture. Stir
egg into remaining crumb mixture. Press onto bottom
of 13 x 9-inch baking pan. BAKE 15 minutes.
Stir together sweetened condensed milk and peanut
butter in small bowl until well combined. Pour evenly
over partially baked crust. Stir together reserved crumb
mixture and chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly over peanut
butter layer. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars.

(recipe: Facebook)

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Still working on the crocheted baby blanket; the pattern is SO easy, I’m impressed it’s going quickly. The entire blanket is just either crochet 1, or chain 4 – that’s IT! (so simple even I can do it!) I’ll photo it when I’m done. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’ve found ‘another’ play-thing: playing Oregon Trail, American Settler on line. Yes, now I’ve joined the rest of my family at playing video games. I absolutely REFUSE to do the ‘share with friends’ thing – when I first signed onto Facebook someone ‘befriended’ me by giving me a cartoon cow – next thing I know, I’m being besieged with all sorts of requests for more food for the animals, extra energy, etc. – I ended up getting so fed up, I quit Facebook . . . the first time. Friends then told me I didn’t have to look at that ‘stuff’, I could ‘hide’ it, so I did. Now that I’m playing this game (not on Facebook) I will absolutely NOT do that to my friends! I’m happily ‘hooked’ on expanding my territory, keeping people from dying of diptheria, raising crops, etc. Goofy-yes, but a innocent pastime adventure for me.

Today’s stacking up to be a rather relaxing day – think I’ll go copy more recipes for you.

Enjoy your day!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

Happy Tuesday!

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It’s a lovely fall day here in Michigan; temperatures are at 65 degrees F, sky clear and blue. I’m not really a ‘fan’ of cold weather, but today really makes me a fan of Fall. Hope your weather is ‘decent’ – we won’t have many more days of this so I’m trying to enjoy it. Went out shopping earlier to the drug store – I love checking their fliers for things on sale with BETTER prices than the grocery stores – like bottled water, cereal, canned salmon, instant coffee, etc.

Not much interesting happening; working on baby hats & the latest baby afghan (crochet). Keeping up with house duties; even remembered to change out the outdoor wreath from a Summer flowers & flower pot idea to a scarecrow & leaves one. Been getting some really good-sounding colder weather recipes – here ya go:

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CHICKEN CABBAGE STIR FRY

3 chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 cup water
1 T. soy sauce
Optional: bell peppers, broccoli or carrots
(for color)

Cut chicken breasts into strips. Heat oil in a frying pan.
Add chicken strips and stir fry over medium-high heat,
turning constantly until done. Add cabbage and sauté
2 minutes until cabbage is crisp-tender. Mix cornstarch
and seasonings; add water and soy sauce, and mix until
smooth. Stir sauce into chicken/cabbage mixture.
Cook until sauce has thickened and chicken is coated, about
1 minute. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Cornbread Salad

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 pkg. Hidden Valley ranch salad dressing
mix
1 C. sour cream
1 C. mayonnaise
2 C. sliced cherry tomatoes
1 chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C. diced purple onion
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (15 1/4 oz) cans whole kernel corn,
drained
3 T. sweet pickle relish
1 pkg. real bacon bits (optional)

Prepare cornbread mix accordg to pkg.
directions; cook & cool. Stir together salad
dressing mix, sour cream & mayonnaise until
well blended; set aside. Combine tomatoes,
bell pepper & onion; gently toss. Crumble
half of cornbread in large serving bowl. Layer
half of tomato mixture. Layer half of cheese, bacon,
corn, relish & reserved salad dressing. Repeat layers
ending with crumbled corn bread,cheese & bacon
on top. Cover & chill 3 hours.  Salad gets better the
longer it sits. Feeds 6-8

(recipe: Melanie – justapinch.com)
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Peanut Butter “Buckeye” Pretzel Bites

1 C. creamy peanut butter
3/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. softened butter
1/2 C. powdered sugar
miniature pretzels
1 bag of chocolate chips

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
In mixing bowl, beat peanut butter and butter
until combined. Add sugars and mix well. You
should be able to roll mixture into small balls
without sticking to your hands. If needed, add
more powdered sugar until it is easy to roll.
Take each ball and sandwich between two pretzels.
Place on wax paper. When done, stick in the freezer
for a few minutes. Melt the chocolate. Dip each
pretzel bite halfway into the chocolate and place
on wax paper to set.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Skillet Mexican Zucchini

1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. zucchini, diced
1 large tomato, cored, seeded &
diced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 T. minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. minced pickles jalapeno
1/2 C. crumbled Queso Blanco or
Queso Fresco, Cotija or FETA cheese
fresh lime juice, to taste
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook garlic in oil in large skillet over
medium heat 1 minute, stirring until
sizzling. Add zucchini; cook, stirring
occasionally, 3 minutes or until slightly
softened. Add tomato & green onion,
cook 3 minutes. Remove skillet from
heat, add cilantro, jalapeno & lime
juice. Season with salt & pepper; top
with cheese. Serve hot. Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
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Beans ‘n Greens Saute

2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 lb. Beet greens (cleaned) & coarsely
chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 C. cooked or canned Navy beans, warmed
1 C. cooked or canned black beans (rinsed then
warmed)
1/2 C. chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste
malt vinegar, to taste

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add
garlic & saute, do not brown or scorch. Add beet
greens & toss briskly with a wooden spoon. As
the greens wilt & cook, add warmed beans & broth,
then toss until ingredients are well mixed & heated
through. Season with salt, pepper & vinegar to taste.
Serves 4.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
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Crockpot Potato Soup

1 (26-30 oz) bag frozen hash browns (plain)
2 (14 oz cans chicken broth
1 (10-3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 Cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp pepper
(8 oz) pkg  cream cheese
1 Cup milk

Add first 5 ingredients to crockpot and cook
on high for an hour. Stir and then turn to low
for another hour. Add cream cheese, and
cook another 1/2 hour or until cheese can
be stirred into mixture. Add milk and cook
10 – 15 minutes longer.
Makes 8-10 cup servings

Optional: Garnish with chopped green onion
and bacon bits. (Add 1 pt for garnish)
Variation: Use frozen Country potatoes or
Potatoes O’Brien in place of the hash browns.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Chicken Breast stuffed w/Pepper

Jack Cheese & Spinach

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
(you can use up to 6 oz)
1 c frozen spinach, thawed and drained
(you can also use fresh cooked spinach)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp breadcrumbs (I use Italian style)
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lots of toothpicks

Preheat oven to 180 degrees F
Flatten the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
In a medium bowl, combine the pepper jack
cheese, spinach, salt and pepper.
Combine Cajun seasoning and breadcrumbs
together in a small bowl. Spoon about 1/4 C.
of the spinach mixture onto each chicken breast.
Roll each chicken breast tightly and fasten
the seams with several toothpicks. This part
requires a tiny bit of skill and I typically use
about 8 toothpicks in each roll to ensure
none of the filling seeps out. Be sure to count
how many total toothpicks were used!
Brush each chicken breast with the olive oil.
Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning mixture evenly
over all. Sprinkle any remaining spinach and
cheese on top of chicken (optional).
Place chicken seam-side up onto a tin foil-lined
baking sheet (for easy cleanup). Bake for 35 to
40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove toothpicks before serving. Count to make
sure you have removed every last toothpick.
Serve whole or slice into medallion’s.

(recipe: Facebook)
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4 Layer Pizza Dip

8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 Cup sour cream
8 oz finely shredded Italian cheese blend (divided)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
12 slices pepperoni
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
(or 1/4 cup real bacon pieces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In blender combine tomatoes, garlic,
onion, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Blend until pureed. Set pizza sauce aside.
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese,
sour cream and 2 ounces of shredded cheese.
Mix well until well combined. Spread cream
cheese mixture in an even layer over baking
dish (pie plate or 8×8 works).
Pour blended pizza sauce (tomato mixture)
over cream cheese mixture and evenly distribute
with spatula. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese
over pizza sauce. Top pizza dip with bacon and
pepperoni. Bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is
browned and bubbly.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

  • 1/2  cups shredded raw zucchini
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup  canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350°F with a rack in the center
of the oven. Grease 9 X 5 X 3 inch loaf pan. Grate
zucchini, using a medium sized grater, and set aside.
You do not need to squeeze the zucchini dry. In a large
bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking
soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
Set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a
hand mixer), beat the oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla
extract until well blended (about 2 minutes). Fold in
the grated zucchini. Add the flour mixture, beating
just until combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake about
55 to 65 minutes until a toothpick/cake tester inserted
in the center comes out clean). Place on a wire rack
to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the bread
from the pan and cool completely.

(recipe: Facebook)
==================================

Our gas prices have come back down to $3.49/9 – YAY! While I was at the drug store I ended up deciding to get my flu shot. Last year when my regular doctor asked I said I’d pass – his response: “Pam, being a cancer patient, you can’t really afford NOT to get one!” That decided it for me, so I’m just going ‘with the flow’ this year and getting it done. Physically I’m feeling good again – no real signs of the kidney stone thing – I see that doctor in a few weeks.

Well, friends, I’ll close for now – hope you’re having a really nice, RELAXING day – I know I am!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

Busy Day – Busy Day!!!

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I MUST be feeling better because I have a TON of energy today! That’s a GOOD thing; got up, emptied the dishwasher, filled it up some, washed the remaining (non-dishwasher) items. Started a load of washing, put one in the dryer and began working on Friends Group (special needs) business/paperwork. Got the business meeting notes typed & ready to go, organized more group paperwork, sewed a button on husband’s shorts. (I know there were more things in between here, just don’t remember exactly ‘what’). Then, energy took me outside to photo the two (below) baby afghans. That got me noticing the weird, wild vines that keep growing all over our yard. They’re really tough, grow quickly and I tripped on one – that led me to get the outdoor gloves out and attack the vines, cutting & throwing. THAT led me to noticing the vines had grown into our grill – you guessed it: opened the grill (also noticed it need cleaning out – lots of leaves from some squirrel who thought he/she would make a nest there – can you tell we don’t use our grill much?). After all the vine-ripping, leaf throwing, ashes cleaning I came inside with 3 requests: something cold to drink, a back pill (for pain) and a SIT DOWN! Having attained all three, I’m now here with you. Whew! Don’t know what got into me – but I’m glad I got lots of things done! Oh, also brought inside my Wandering Jew plant; our evening temperatures are getting too cold for it to survive in it’s hanging basket. (Of course, THAT led to me re-arranging the other plants that also reside on that table, dusting – which led to dusting the living room & dining room . . . YOU GET THE IDEA. I think, for now, I’m pretty well done with ‘extra activities’!

Here are the two baby blankets I knit/crocheted for the Detroit Vet’s (if you remember, they are the ones I didn’t need to make in a hurry, so I’m saving them for next year’s Baby Shower).  000_0003

This is the first one I knit with yarn from my ‘stash’

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This one is crocheted (using the X pattern granny square); it’s also from my ‘stash’ yarns

The colors for #2 are a little brighter than are showing up in the photo.

Weather-wise, we have a gorgeous day out there! It’s 73 degrees F., sunny and clear! I’ve read that it’s supposed to rain later, but for now – I’M JUST ENJOYING IT!!!

Gas-prices: Our gas prices have DROPPED quite a bit in the past 2-3 days – not sure why, but who cares!? It went from $3.59/9 down to $3.49/9 – pretty cool, eh?

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

Lot’s of Fall recipes comin’ in – here ya go!

—————

Updated Shepherd’s Pie

1 1/4 lb. red potatoes (about 4) cut into
chunks
3 large cloves garlic
1 lb. ground beef
2 T. flour
4 C. frozen mixed vegetables (carrots,
corn, green beans, peas) thawed
3/4 C. beef broth
2 T. ketchup
3/4 C. sour cream
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook potatoes & garlic in boiling water in
large saucepan 20 minutes or until potatoes
are tender. Brown meat in large nonstick
skillet. Stir in flour; cook 1 min. Add mixed
vegetables, broth & ketchup; cook 5 minuts,
stirring frequently. Drain potatoes; return to
pan. Add sour cream; mash until potatoes are
smooth & mixture is well blended. Stir in
1/4 C. cheese. Spoon meat mixture into 8 in.
square baking dish; cover with potatoes. Bake
18 minutes; top with remaining cheese. Bake
2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serves 6,
1 1/2 C. each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————————

Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce
(crockpot)

2 lb. pork loin roast, boneless, trimmed &
cut into 4 pieces
1/2 C. Asian sweet chili sauce
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
2-3 C. brown rice or long grain white rice,
cooked

Garnishes:
1/2 C. green onions, chopped (with some
tops)
1/2 C. honey roasted peanuts, diced

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place pork, chili sauce, soy sauce,
rice vinegar & garlic in crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 8 hours or until pork is fork-
tender. Remove meat; coarsely dice. Add
peanut butter to sauce in crockpot; stir
well to dissolve. Return meat to sauce &
toss to coat evenly. Serve over rice with
garnishes. Serves 4

(recipe: National Pork Board)
———————————————

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
1 C. peanut butter
1 C. milk
1 (16 oz) pkg Cool Whip, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker
pie crusts

Beat together cream cheese & confectioners
sugar; mix in peanut butter & milk. Beat until
smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon into pie
crusts, cover & freeze until firm.

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

Baked Angel Hair Pasta

1 lb dry angel hair pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
2 (26 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
6-8 oz provolone cheese, sliced
2 C. sour cream
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water
to a boil. Add pasta, and cook according to
package directions. In a large skillet, brown
onion and ground beef over medium heat.
Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
Mix pasta and meat sauce together. Butter a
9×13 inch baking dish and another small baking
dish. Layer in the 2 dishes as follows: 1/2 of the
pasta mixture, Provolone cheese, sour cream,
remaining pasta mixture and mozzarella cheese.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake 30 minutes or until cheeses are melted.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 can (29 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can tomato soup (or tomato sauce)
1 (14 0z) can chicken broth (or beef broth)
2 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
shredded cheddar cheese, for topping

In a large pot, brown and crumble ground
beef along with diced green peppers and
onion over medium-high heat.When cooked,
drain excess grease from beef mixture.
Put beef back into pot; add in diced tomatoes.
Add in chicken broth (or beef broth, if using).
Then add in can of tomato soup or tomato sauce
(whichever you are using). Stir well, then add rice;
stir again. Add seasonings; sugar, garlic powder,
salt & pepper (to taste). Cover and let soup
simmer on low-medium heat for about 30
minutes to let all the flavors blend.

(recipe: Facebook)
————————————————

Apple Pan Dowdy

1 stick butter
1 C. sugar
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
2 apples, grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in 9 in. square baking pan.
In separate bowl, combine remaining
ingredients; stir in melted butter. Pour
mixture into baking pan & bake 25-30
minutes.

(good topped with whipping cream or
Cool Whip)

(recipe: way2go4health-Marys Recipe
Exchange)
=====================================

We’ll that’s it for now – have to go get another load of clean clothes out of the dryer, then get ready to drive youngest son to ‘the mall’ (about 15 minute drive, one way – oh, joy!) The one GOOD thing about that trip? JoAnn Fabrics is right around the corner – source of TONS of YARN!!! OH, BOY!!! (Not that I NEED any, you understand . . . hehehe)

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on September 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm  Comments (1)  

Time to put in an appearance – I think

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Seems like, lately, I just haven’t taken the time to write blog entries – sorry; Thursday – Tuesday I just wasn’t feeling well – not sure exactly why. Ended up going home mid-service Sunday – just didn’t have the energy to sing or even concentrate.  Visited doctor last week and found out I might have kidney stones – oh, joy. Have to wait until beginning of October before seeing a Urologist to confirm; I’m not in any pain, just not looking forward to another ‘new’ adventure in my life.

Had the enjoyment yesterday of going out to lunch with two friends I’ve known since high school. We’re all in the same Sunday School class and, even after all these years, we continue to learn new things; turns out two of us went to the same Methodist church during tenth grade and were in the same Youth group and sang in the church choir  (although neither of us were close friends at that time!) That same friend and I sang in the Girls Choir in high school, where we did become good friends.

Last night was Knit/Crochet night and we had a new member join us. It’s always nice to have a group you can join in with and feel ‘at home’. She said she was very happy to find our group; it appears she had searched out several groups and found that most of them were ‘anti-crochet’, for some reason, OR they charged big dues (we’re free). I was surprised to find that she had only been crocheting 2 weeks, because she was crocheting a rather complicated afghan AND doing a great job at it!. I’m happily back to knitting baby hats; don’t remember if I mentioned in my last blog that I delivered another batch of baby hats to the hospital – think this time it was something like 30.  I do have a nice crocheted baby afghan pattern which was given to me by one of the members (she wasn’t there last night); I’d like to ‘attempt’ to crochet this. SHE says it’s very easy – we’ll see (I’m not good at reading crochet patterns) and was hoping she would be there to just talk through the pattern with me.

The weekend is looking a bit ‘busy’- Friday night is my special needs group’s Gym Night; Saturday morning is grandson’s first Flag Football game, that afternoon (3 p.m.) is a wedding and 6 p.m. is the ‘adult’ reception – so glad I’m finally feeling better so I can enjoy the activities.

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Momma’s Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese

1 (16 oz) box elbow macaroni (about 3 C.)
3 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. milk, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb (16 oz) Velveeta cheese, cubed to 1/2 in size
8 oz. shredded mild Cheddar cheese (about 2 C.) divided
8 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook macaroni in large pot of salted boiling water until
tender but not mushy, about 8-10 minutes. Drain well &
pour into large mixing bowl. Melt, on Low, Velveeta &
3/4 C. milk until melted (stir often). Pour melted cheese
sauce over pasta & stir. Add butter, 3/4 C. milk, eggs,
1 C. shredded cheeses, salt & pepper. Mix well & transfer
to a 2 quart baking dish. Pour remaining cheese on top.
Bake until top crust is golden brown & casserole is
bubbling, about 25 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 8-10
servings.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Overnight Oatmeal

1 container (6 oz) Greek yogurt, any flavor
1/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup fruit (see ideas below)


In container with tight-fitting cover, mix yogurt
and uncooked oats. Stir in desired fruit.
Cover; refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer
than 3 days before eating.

Passionate Overnight Oatmeal
: Stir in 1/4 cup raspberries.
—-
Energized Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1/4 cup
mandarin orange segments.

Positive Overnight Oatmeal
: Stir in 1/4 cup pineapple pieces.

Harmonious Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1/4 cup diced kiwifruit.

Relaxed Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1/4 cup blueberries.

Romantic Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1/4 cup sliced grapes.

German Chocolate Cake Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in
1 tablespoon chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon
unsweetened coconut.

S’mores Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1 tablespoon
chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons miniature marshmallows.

Bananas Foster Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1/2 sliced
banana and 1 tablespoon chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1 tablespoon
each chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.

Pomegranate Power Oatmeal: Stir in 1/4 cup
pomegranate seeds.

Honey Power Oatmeal
: Stir in 1 tablespoon honey
or 2 tablespoons comb honey.

Banana Power Oatmeal:
Stir in 1/4 cup banana slices.

Almond Power Oatmeal: Stir in 1/4 cup toasted almonds.

Blueberry Power Oatmeal:
Stir in 1/4 cup blueberries.

Blackberry Power Oatmeal
: Stir in 1/4 cup blackberries.

To toast almonds: sprinkle in ungreased heavy skillet. Cook
over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until
almonds begin to brown, then stirring constantly until
almonds are light brown.

Via: Betty Crocker
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Apple Cinnamon Bars

1 C. flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shortening
4 medium apples, cored & sliced

Preheat oven350 degrees F. Put flour, salt,
baking soda, cinnamon, brown sugar, and
oats in the mixing bowl; stir together.
Add shortening to bowl; using two table knives,
mix together & cut into crumbs. Lightly grease
bottom & sides of baking dish. Spread half of
crumb mixture into baking dish. Place apple
slices on top of crumb mixture, then top apples
with rest of crumb mixture. Bake 40-45 minutes.
Cut into squares, it will fall apart easily.
Serves 24

(recipe: Facebook)
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Savory Peanut Bean Soup

3 (13 3/4 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
2 C. water
1 smoked ham hock
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. sliced carrot
1/4 C. chopped parsley
1 (40 oz) can white Northern beans
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Heat broth, water, ham hocks & onion
in 4 qt. saucepan. Cook, simmering
gently, until hock is tender (about 1 1/2 hours). Add carrot & parsley; remove hocks; cool slightly. Remove meat from bone, cut into small pieces & add to broth mixture. Drain beans; reserve liquid. Whisk peanut butter into
bean liquid. Add beans & peanut butter mixture. Cook until beans are heated through. Season with pepper. Makes 11  (1 C.) servings

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)
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Fried Pies

1 can refrigerated biscuits
1 can pie filling (peach/apple/cherry etc)

On a floured surface, roll out a biscuit. Add
some pie filling to center; fold over & crimp
edges with a fork. Fry on each side in a little
oil until golden brown. Top with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

(comment: Nobody ever believes it’s just
canned biscuits & pie filling when they
taste them!)

(recipe: Facebook)
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Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

2 (12 oz, ea) cans evaporated milk (not fat free)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
3 C. cubed, cooked chicken
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 (12 oz) pkg. lasagna noodles, cooked
1 1/2 to 2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 1/2  to 2 C. grated Mozzarella cheese

Cook chicken & noodles first; at the same time. Once noodles are done; rinse in cold water & set aside (keeps them from sticking together). Combine evaporated milk & Ranch dressing in a 3
qt. heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Stir in chicken & pepper; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently.


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Layer half of lasagna noodles, chicken sauce & cheese in well-buttered 9 X 13 baking dish. Repeat layers again. Bake 35-40 minutes or until hot & bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Zucchini Corn Gratin

1/2 C. finely chopped onions
5 C. fresh corn kernels
1 small jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
2 T. flour
1/3 C. milk
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook onions in large nonstick OVEN-
PROOF skillet on medium heat 3-4
minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in
corn & jala. pepper; cover. Cook 5-6
minutes or until corn is tender, stirring
frequently. Mix flour & milk until
blended. Add to corn mixture; mix well.
Cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened,
stirring frequently. Add zucchini, mix
well. Top with cheese. Heat broiler;
broil vegetables 3-4 minutes or until
cheese is melted. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
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Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

1 can seamless crescent rolls
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips

Using hand mixer, beat sugar, cream cheese & vanilla until smooth in medium bowl. Unroll crescent rolls; stretch sheet slightly. It should be in the shape of a rectangle. Spread cream cheese mixture over top of crescent sheet, leaving a gap at edge of about 1/2 inch. Sprinkle choc. chips on top, then roll up tightly & wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Slice roll into 1/4 ” slices. Bake 12-14 minutes until they appear golden brown; transfer to wire rack to cool. Eat warm or room temp.

(recipe: Facebook)
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I don’t know what your weather is like, but ours has taken a turn to the cold-now it’s time to start wearing shoes & socks, no more sandals – sigh. Time to drag out the sweaters & light jackets. It’s 10:10 a.m. right now and the weather is sunny & clear, but the temps are only sitting at 55 (cold) degrees – yuck. I guess it’s better than rainy and gloomy, right?

Time to close here and get started on my day. Hope you have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Sure is lookin’ like Fall around here!

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Boy, our weather here in good old Michigan is holding to the saying: If you don’t like the weather here, wait around a bit and it will change! It was in the 90’s Mon & Tues, then we had a HUGE rain/thunderstorm last night and now we’re 72 with rain and big winds. It’s supposed to be in the 60’s tomorrow – really weird.

Sorry I haven’t been as diligent with writing here, been feeling a bit ‘under the weather’. Been working through some health issues (not cancer) but will have to see a Urologist – oh, joy.

Knit/crochet-wise, finished the crocheted squares baby blanket (the second ‘extra’ one) but still want to crochet a white border around it. I found out at the Knit/Movie night Tuesday that they actually DO have another church group making the Detroit Veterans Hospital Baby shower blankets, so I don’t have to make myself crazy trying to make more; the two I have done can go for next year . . . YAY!  Had an opportunity to deliver more baby hats to the local hospital today (that hospital is sort of close to my Ob/Gyn) so I made one trip work for 2. It wasn’t the amount (baby hats) that I usually deliver, but they were happy.  After I crochet the border on the last baby blanket I can get back to knitting Newborn & Premie hats (and perhaps the occasional chemo cap).

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Snickerdoodle Apple Pie Bars

1 (16.5 oz) tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (20 oz) can apple pie filling
cinnamon sugar (recipe below)

Cinnamon-sugar mixture

1/4 C. granulated sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Press 2/3 rds of cookie dough onto bottom of
a 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 baking pan. Sprinkle with 2/3rds
of cinnamon sugar mixture. Spread pie filling
over cookie base. Take small amounts of remaining
dough, flatten it slightly & place over pie filling; it
will NOT cover entire pie filling. Sprinkle with remaining
cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake 35-40  minutes. Allow to
cool, then cut into squares.

(recipe: Facebook)
——————————————–

Pizza Casserole

1 bag  egg noodles
1 extra large jar Ragu sauce
 {or any tomato sauce you prefer}
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
{or more depending on how much you
like cheese!}
1 1/2 lbs. hamburger meat
1 package pepperoni

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Start with a thin layer of tomato sauce
on the bottom.
Layer:
half of the noodles
half of the meat
half of the sauce
rest of the noodles
half the cheese
rest of the meat
rest of the sauce
rest of the cheese
End with pepperoni
Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes

After 30 minutes, remove  foil & bake
another 15 minutes

(recipe: Facebook)
————————————–

Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-Ups
(NO cooking!)

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 C. shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 tsp. garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
cayenne pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
1 Rotisserie chicken, skinned & shredded
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 (10 oz) can Ro*tel tomatoes
1 pkg. jalapeno cheddar tortillas

Mix cheeses together until well blended.
Add all remaining ingredients; mix well.
Cover & refrigerate at least one hour. Place
one heaping spoonful onto tortilla; spread
to edges. Roll & cut into slices.

(recipe: Facebook)
—————————————–

Rice-Stuffed Peppers

2 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 3/4 C. water
1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt’s diced tomatoes,
undrained
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green
chilies, undrained
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 T. ground cumin
3 C. uncooked instant rice
4 medium green peppers

Cheese Sauce:
1 1/2 lb. Velveeta, cubed
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green
chilies, undrained

In Dutch oven, cook beef, onion, green pepper,
garlic, salt & pepper over medium heat until
beef is no longer pink; drain. Add water, tomatoes,
tomato sauce & cumin; bring to boil. Reduce heat,
simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir in rice; simmer,
uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cover &
let stand 5 minutes. Remove tops & seeds from
peppers; cut in half lengthwise. Place in a large
pan of boiling water; boil 4 minutes. Drain peppers & stuff with meat mixture. Place remaining meat
mixture in an ungreased 9 X 13 pan; top with stuffed peppers; pressing down gently. Cover & bake 1 hour. In a saucepan, heat sauce ingredients until cheese is melted; serve over peppers. Makes 8 servings.

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

Crockpot Picante Chicken &
Black Bean Soup

2 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans, rinsed & drained
3 1/2 C. chicken broth
2 (10 oz, ea) cans Ro*tel tomatoes with green chilies
1 red bell pepper, minced
4 oz can diced green chilies
1 T. ground cumin
1 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 (16 oz) skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. chopped cilantro, divided
2 medium scallions, diced
cut limes, for serving
1 medium avocado, sliced
sour cream – garnish

Place one can beans in blender with 2 C.
chicken broth; puree then add to crockpot.
Add remaining beans & chicken broth to
crockpot, with tomatoes, bell peppers,
green chilies, cumin, chili powder, garlic
powder, onion powder, oregano, chicken
breasts & 1/4 C. cilantro. Cook on High
4 hours or Low 6-8 hours. After cooking,
remove chicken; shred with 2 forks &
return to crockpot. Add scallions, cilantro
& adjust salt & cumin, to taste. Serve hot
with lime wedges, avocados & sour cream
on the side. Makes about 10 1/2 Cups or
7 servings

(recipe: Skinnytaste.com)
———————————————-

Skillet Mexican Zucchini

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. zucchini, diced
1 large tomato, cored/seeded & diced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 T. minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. minced pickled jalapeno
1/2 C. crumbled Queso Blanco (or
Queso Fresco, Cotija or feta cheese)
fresh lime juice, to taste
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Cook garlic in oil in large skillet over
medium heat 1 minute, stirring until
sizzling. Add zucchini & cook, stirring
occasionally, about 3 minutes or until
slightly softened. Add tomato & green
onion; cook 3 minutes. Remove from
skillet; add cilantro, jalapeno & lime juice.
season with salt & pepper, to taste. Top
with Queso Blanco. Serve hot. Serves 4

(recipe: Skinnytaste.com)
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Zucchini Muffins

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. margarine
3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 (6 oz) container vanilla yogurt (about
3/4 C.)
2 C. grated zucchini, drained on paper
towels (about 2 medium zucchini)
(confectioner’s sugar-garnish, optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line 18 cup muffin pan with paper
liners; set aside. In medium bowl,
combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon,
baking soda & salt; set aside. In large
bowl, using elec. mixer, beat margarine with
sugar until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after
each addition; beat in yogurt. Gradually
beat in flour mixture, then zucchini, just
until combined. Evenly pour into pan.
Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick
inserted into center of muffin comes out
clean. On wire rack, cool 5 minutes, remove
from pan & cool completely. Sprinkle, if
desired, with confectioners sugar.
Makes 18 muffins

(recipe: Unilever)
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Roasted Tomatoes

4 T. margarine, melted & divided
3 lb. plum tomatoes (about 12), halved
1 large shallot (or small onion) finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Add tomatoes,
then sprinkle with shallot, garlic, thyme &
1 T. margarine. Season, if desired, with salt &
pepper. Combine 2 T. margarine, bread
crumbs & cheese in medium bowl; sprinkle
over tomatoes. Broil until golden, about
2 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: Unilever)
———————————————

STARBUCKS LEMON LOAF

1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 C. sugar
2 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
1/3 C. lemon juice
1/2 C. oil

Lemon Icing

1 C. powdered sugar plus 1 T.
2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. lemon extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking
powder and salt in a bowl.Use a mixer
to blend together the eggs, sugar, butter,
vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice in
a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredient into
the dry ingredients and blend until smooth.
Add oil and mix well.Pour batter into a well
greased 9×5-inch loaf pan.Bake  45 minutes
or until a toothpick stuck into center of the
cake comes out clean.

Make the lemon icing by combining all the icing
ingredients in a small bowl with an electric mixer
on low speed. When the loaf is cool, remove it
from pan and frost the top with the icing.
Let the icing set up before slicing.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Hope you’re having a good day;

Hugs;

Pammie

ps: Sorry for the change in font size on some of the recipes – my server seems to like to ‘change things up a bit’ sometimes.

Been Away a While . . . No good excuse!

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I just looked back on when I last made a blog entry and it’s not ‘my norm’; I don’t have a really good excuse, either! Sometimes you feel the need to write and at other times, not so much. I guess it’s because there’s not much going on around here lately!

We attended another Sunday School Picnic Saturday – it rained a bit, forcing us to move either indoors or to the shelter of the garage. Nice event: good food & friendship, glad we could go.

Yesterday began the church choir resuming (we take the Summer off); practice started up, again, at 4:45 p.m. It felt good to get back into the ‘swing of things’ – we’re sort of slow starting up, with only about half of the usual people – guess some are still on vacation.  This week starts up a change in our ‘watching our Grandson’ – he’s now 7, so the word “Babysitting” doesn’t exactly fit. I will be experiencing my first trip to (almost) Walled Lake – actually, it’s a bit closer to Union Lake, but still – it’s FAR away from where I live! (Long story, short) grandson has two parents: His Dad (our son, who lives about 5 minutes away from us) and his Mom. They split up (having never married) a little over 6 years ago; she was living about 15 minutes away, but then met a man, he bought a house, and now they live about 25 minutes away, in Walled Lake. I have never been there, but will begin my ‘new’ driving experience this Friday, as I have to pick up grandson at his bus stop close to their house, after school. I guess I would explain my driving experiences thusly: I get lost in a paper bag! My husband, on the other hand, is an EXPERT at finding anywhere/anything and doesn’t understand how I could possible get so LOST! He thinks IN MAPS in his head and knows almost any area, having driven them while he worked for AT & T. Oh well – with some help, I should be able to traverse the ‘new’ route and find said bus stop before the bus gets there – HOPEFULLY!

This Tuesday (tomorrow night) will be another Knit/Crochet Movie Night for my group. We haven’t held a Movie Night in a good 3 months and the ladies are asking for one. The food theme is Soups & Salads; so far, we only have 6 people coming, which is kind of disappointing, but you take what you get, right? I’m not sure if it’s the movie (I chose it: “Out of Africa” – great ‘chick flick’) or the food theme, or just the time of year – we’ll see.

I’m going to be working on another baby afghan for the Detroit Vet’s hospital Baby shower coming up Sept 28th. I don’t even remember if I gave you the final outcome/results of our group’s efforts! (Getting old, mentally!) The ladies knit/crocheted 19 blankets, 10 baby hats (and donated a bib & hard cover baby book). Here’s the photo of the lady from the Vets who came to pick up our blankets:

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You know me . . . sometimes I get a bit “OCD” (Obsessive/Compulsive) – well, the end result of 19 blankets (AFTER I’d asked the lady how many people they have signed up to receive them at the baby shower and finding out there are 25) made me feel a bit of an ‘under-achiever’. The group did their best, but in the end, I sort of felt like we let the Vets down a bit (that’s just MY opinion, I didn’t tell the group that day that there were 25 people waiting, as I didn’t know until then, either). That got me to thinking: maybe . . . just maybe, I might be able to crank out one or two more blankets before the shower. The friend of mine who originally came up with this charity (the Vets hospital is a client of her company’s) said she wanted to attend the shower this year, just to see all the ladies receiving their gifts AND she wants to drag me along. (If you know me – I’m not one for self aggrandizement (praise) so I really don’t want to be there for that BUT I would like to see how they handle the shower, just to give me an idea of how to ‘pitch’ the event NEXT YEAR, to my knit/crochet group, so I agreed to go. Also, by my attending the shower in 2 weeks, I’ll be able to hand-deliver the extra blankets! I’ve finished the one I believe I mentioned in a post or two before this one (knit; done in large solid-colored stripes) and now I’m attempting to crochet large solid-colored squares for another blanket. The squares are easy – the difficult part is: My right index finger joint seems to not like this extra crochet work and keeps swelling up to the point where I can’t tolerate the pain! Not good! I gave it a day’s rest yesterday and am thinking I might just tape up the joint to make it rigid and see how that goes. (I’ve already tried using my middle finger, instead – it works but it’s not as productive.) I’m using ‘stash’ yarns – colors like baby pink, baby blue, the bright mint (from other blanket), butter yellow, medium lilac, darker blue – I have 6 squares done and probably another 6 or more to go. Not sure how big I’m going to make it – doing 2 squares in each color – we’ll see. WISH I’d have known exactly how many people we were making blankets FOR – THEN I might have been able to do an extra little ‘push’ on the group to make sure we met the objective number of blankets! (I’ll have to remember this for next year, for sure!) Oh well . . . you know me – a bit of an ‘over achiever’ . . . sigh.

Weather-wise it’s been a bit strange: cool in the mornings (in the low 60’s) warming up later on in the day to the 70’s – some rain. You can tell Fall is on it’s way – sigh.

Gas-prices? It’s been about the same around here – the ‘norm’ lately has been around $3.69/9 per gallon (for the cheap stuff) BUT when we went to the picnic Saturday (about 1/2 hour away) the prices were lower there! It’s almost sad to think that we’re OK with prices in the $3 range now, eh? But, on the other hand – we all HAVE to drive, so what alternatives do we have? Walk? Take a cab? (NO WAY – too expensive!), take a bus? (very few routes available) or just STAY HOME! (sometimes not an option, either). Oh well – we can always complain! That’s free!

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Dorito Chicken Bake

2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
2 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend (divided)
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 can Ro*tel tomatoes, drained
1/2 packed taco seasoning mix
1 large bag Doritos
shredded lettuce (optional)
diced tomatoes (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, mix together chicken,
1 C. cheese, soup, milk, sour cream,
Ro*tel tomatoes & taco seasoning;
mix well. Grease a 2 qt. casserole
dish; add a layer of crushed Doritos
across bottom. Top with a layer of
chicken mixture. Add another layer
of crushed Doritos; then another layer
of chicken mixture. Top with remaining
cheese. (You can add more crushed
Doritos on top if desired). Cover &
bake 30-35 minutes until bubbly. Remove
from oven & top with lettuce & tomatoes.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 large head cabbage
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
3/4 C. quick-cooking rice
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1/2 C. crushed saltine crackers (about 15)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (1 oz) pkg. onion soup mix
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 (46 oz) can V8 juice
salt, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook cabbage in boiling water just until
leaves fall of head; set aside 12 large leaves
for rolls; drain well. (refrigerate remaining
cabbage for another use). Cut out the thick
vein from bottom of each reserved leaf,
making a V-shaped cut; set aside. In a large
bowl, combine tomato sauce, rice, green
pepper, cracker crumbs, egg & soup mix.
Crumble beef over mixture; mix well. Place
about 1/3 C. meat mixture on each cabbage
leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides,
beginning from the cut end. Roll up completely
to enclose filling; secure with toothpicks, if
desired. Place cabbage rolls in 3 qt. crockpot.
Pour V8 over rolls; cover & cook on Low 6-7 hours
or until filling reaches 160 degrees F. Just before
serving, sprinkle with salt & Parmesan, if
desired. Serves 6

(recipe: Facebook)
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Greek Tomatoes

2 1/2 lb. tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 oz. ripe olives, pitted & sliced
1/2 lb. feta cheese
oregano, to taste
1/2 C. olive or vegetable oil
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 C. red wine vinegar

In a 9 X 13 glass dish, layer tomatoes,
onions & olives. Sprinkle with feta &
oregano. In a small bowl, combine vinegars
& oil; pour over tomato mixture. Cover &
refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
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Zucchini Lasagna

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 T. chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick
15 oz. ricotta cheese
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 C. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1 large egg

In medium saucepan, brown meat & season
with salt. When cooked, drain in colander to
remove any fat. Add olive oil to pan; saute
garlic & onions 2 minutes. Return meat to pan,
add tomatoes, basil, salt & pepper; simmer on
low 30-40 minutes, covered. Do not add extra
water, the sauce should be thick. Lightly sprinkle
salt on each zucchini slice; set aside 10 minutes.
(salting takes out some of the moisture in the
zucchini.) After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture
with a paper towel. On grill, grill zucchini on each
side, until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Place on paper towels to soak up any excess
moisture.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, mix ricotta, Parmesan & egg; stir
well. In a 9 X 13 baking dish, spread some sauce on
bottom & layer zucchini slices to cover sauce. Place
some of ricotta mixture on top, then layer with
mozzarella cheese – repeat process until all ingredients
are used up. Top with sauce & mozzarella; cover with
foil. Bake 45 minutes, covered, then uncover last
15 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

(recipe: Skinnytaste.com)
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Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

1 can Pillsbury cinnamon rolls
1 can Pillsbury seamless crescent dough
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 C. granulated sugar, divided
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
ground cinnamon (for sprinkling)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Combine
cream cheese, egg, 1 C. sugar & 1 tsp. vanilla; mix
until smooth. Open cinnamon roll dough & spread
onto bottom of pan, making sure seams are pinched
together. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of
dough, sprinkle with chopped nuts. Top with crescent
dough, pulling to cover cream cheese completely.
Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Place melted butter,
remaining 1 C. sugar & vanilla in microwaveable
bowl; microwave until smooth then pour over
dessert. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Cool before cutting.

(recipe: Donata-justapinch.com)
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Unfried Green Tomatoes & Squash

2 green tomatoes, sliced
2 yellow squash, sliced
1 1/2 C. flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle each slice of tomato &
squash with salt & pepper. Spray
a broiler pan with nonstick cooking
spray. Set up three bowls:

1: flour 2: beaten egg 3: bread crumbs.

Dip each slice first into flour, then egg
then bread crumbs. Place coated
vegetables on pan. Spray tops lightly
with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven; turn each vegetable
over; spray tops with cooking spray &
return to oven. Bake an additional
15 minutes.

(recipe: Cathy – justapinch.com)
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Pull Apart Pizza Bread

1/3 C. garlic dipping oil
32 oz. pizza dough
7-8 oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
pizza seasoning, if desired

Ranch, Blue Cheese dressing
or your favorite pizza/pasta/
marinara sauce  (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Separate pizza dough into small
bite-sized pieces. Place dipping
oil in small bowl, toss dough pieces
in & shake to lightly coat. Layer
dough pieces in bottom of Bundt
pan; layer sliced pepperoni, shredded
cheese & sprinkle with pizza seasoning.
Repeat layers again; end with layer of
dough pieces. Bake 30-40 minutes
until bread is browned & cooked
through in center. Remove from oven,
invert pan onto a cutting board. The
bread will fall out of the pan in one
piece. Serve by pulling the bread apart
into individual servings with (optional)
above listed options.

(recipe: Facebook)
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2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

1 box Classic Yellow Cake Mix
1 (15 oz) can Pure Pumpkin

No oil, no eggs, no water, nothing else
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine both ingredients, pour into
muffin tin; bake 20-25 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)
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Well, friends – that’s all the excitement from around here, lately. Hope you are: (a) staying WARM – if it’s cold where you are (b) taking a few minutes to do something YOU like, (c) remembering to smile some during your day – no matter WHAT comes your way! Remember, it takes less muscles to Smile than to frown!

Hugs;

Pammie