Monday Musings


Here it is, almost the end of October! It’s noon and 50 ‘balmy’ degrees – sun shining, lots of leaves blowing around and a clear Fall day. Early this morning found me racing to the Secretary of State’s office to get the title transferred on youngest son’s (new to him) pickup truck. I have learned, from many past experiences at said place, you MUST get there BEFORE they open at 9 a.m. on either a Monday or Friday – otherwise you can stand to wait AT LEAST an hour or more – sigh. We were the first in line and accomplished our task in 5 minutes – $29 lighter (son’s wallet, not mine) we were on our way to pick up said truck. (If you’re familiar with ‘street language’ – it’s a hoopdie) that means it’s a ‘beater’ – let’s just say my first view of it was a bit of a surprise: ignoring some rust, apparently it was originally a electric blue BUT someone decided to spray paint it a dull black – lovely (especially with bits of electric blue peeking through where the black wore off . . . sigh). The person he bought the car from was not there (he was at work) – it took son & I about 20 minutes to get the truck started AND when we did, huge plumes of white came bursting out of the exhaust pipes – REEKING of burnt plastic! Let’s just say – I’ll be surprised if this vehicle lasts a week, it’s THAT bad. Youngest son INSISTED he wanted to do this deal – so it’s all on him. Even middle son said: “Why didn’t he learn from MY past car mistakes! WHY would he buy a piece of junk like that?” Oh well . . . I followed him the 40 minutes home, really praying that it wouldn’t conk out at a light because we hadn’t had time to even sign it up for AAA – so any road service assistance would have been non-existent. We made it home OK; my husband is grumbling under his breath about this piece of  . . . ., it’s all I can do to keep my mouth shut – it’s ALL on youngest son; it was HIS decision. I’m just hoping he doesn’t lose his $500 he saved up for this truck.

I was just thinking: “Hey! I don’t have to structure my day today on HIS work schedule – I can do anything I want!”  (within reason, that is). A little later I’m going to throw together a stew. I had taken a frozen package of meat out of the basement freezer (with some freezer ‘ice’ on it) – package said something like Beef Round Steak Strips. Funny-never seen BEEF look like CHICKEN strips before! (I wonder, now, what I was thinking when I bought this!???) Anyway, guess we’re going to have CHICKEN stew instead of Beef – ought to be interesting! (I’d love to make chicken dumplings with it, but husband doesn’t like the texture of them . . .sigh). A little later on I need to start comping up the next special needs group’s newletter for Nov/Dec. – that will be due to mail out before Oct 30th. (yes, I’m overdue – I know . . . )


Beef & Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

1 large Russet potato (about 3/4 lb), peeled
& cut into chunks
1 (15 oz) can 100% pure pumpkin, divided
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
1 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
3/4 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 T. flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. beef broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Place potato chunks in medium saucepan;
cover with water & bring to boil. Cook, over
medium-high heat 10-15 minutes or until
tender; drain. Return potatoes to saucepan;
add 1 C. pumpkin, 1/4 C. cheese, 1/4 tsp. salt
& 1/4 tsp. pepper; beat with hand-held mixer
until smooth; cover.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion & carrots; cook, stirring occasionally,
5 minutes or until carrots begin to soften. Stir in
ground beef , flour, garlic powder & remaining 1/4
tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes
or until beef is  no longer pink. Stir in broth, remaining
pumpkin & Worcestershire sauce; bring to boil. Cook
stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes or until mixture has
thickened slightly.
Preheat broiler
Spoon beef mixture into ungreased 9 in. deep-dish pie pan
or other broiler-proof casserole dishhh (1 1/2 – 2 Qt).
Spoon pumpkin-potato mixture evenly over beef filling
spreading gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 C. cheese.
Broil 5 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.
Makes 8 servings

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Impossible Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 C. sugar
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 2/3 C. hot water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 8 inch square pan.
Mix Bisquick,1/2 C. sugar & 3 T. cocoa powder.
Stir in milk & vanilla until blended. Pour into
prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with remaining
sugar & cocoa powder; pour water over top –
DO NOT STIR. Bake 40 minutes or until top is
firm. Dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar, if
desired. Spoon into dessert bowls while hot.

Note: tastes great with vanilla ice cream or
whipping cream

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Anti-Vampire Garlic Dip

1/2 C. milk
1 C. cottage cheese
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 T. chopped parsley
2 T. chopped chives
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. onion salt

Blend all ingredients together in
blender until smooth.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)


1 (18oz) can pumpkin (or fresh equivalent)
1 box yellow cake mix (2 layer size)
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. melted margarine or butter
1 (13oz) can evaporated milk
(not sweetened condensed)
3/4 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
3 eggs
3 tsp. cinnamon

Thawed Cool Whip or
Whipped Cream for topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat eggs and milk together; add pumpkin,
sugar and cinnamon. Mix until well blended.
Pour into a 9×13 greased pan. Sprinkle dry cake
mix over mixture. Drizzle with melted margarine.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake 50-60 min or
until done. Serve (warm or cold) with Cool Whip or
whipped cream.

(recipe: Facebook)

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thigh
tenders or chicken breast tenders
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. cooking oil
1/4 C. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 t. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 C. cashews

Combine flour & pepper in large Ziplock bag.
Add chicken; shake to coat. Heat oil in large
skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken
about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken
in crockpot. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup,
sugar, garlic, ginger & pepper flakes in small bowl;
stir up then pour over chicken. Cook on Low 3-4 hours.
Add cashews & stir. Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.

NOTE: If you like the sauce & want to have some to pour over the chicken & rice, double sauce ingredients.

(recipe: Facebook)

Ham and Cheese Biscuit Cups

1 tube refrigerator biscuits
1/2 cup cheddar or Swiss cheese
1/2 cup ham cut in small pieces
2-3 eggs
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray/butter/oil

Preheat oven 375 degrees.
Grease muffin tin and press biscuits flat
with your hands then press them into the
muffin tin cups. Fill biscuit cups with ham
and cheese. Whip eggs in a separate bowl
and fill cups evenly with egg mixture.
Season with salt and pepper. Bake
20-25 minutes, until eggs have set and
biscuits are golden brown.

(recipe: Facebook)

Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 C. grated Cheddar cheese (or Jalapeno Jack)
1 C. mayonnaise
1 small red onion (or green onions) chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place all ingredients in shallow baking dish
(9″ square or round quiche). Microwave on
High 2 minutes or until ingredients are melted
enough to stir together; stir until combined.
Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Serve with wheat thins or Frito Scoops

(recipe: Facebook)

Healthy Spinach Dip

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & juices squeezed out
1-2 (5 oz) cans sliced water chestnuts, diced
1 (8 oz) container 1% cottage cheese (blend
with blender until smooth & creamy)
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix

Mix all ingredients together & enjoy.

(recipe: Facebook)

Shortcut Chicken Manicotti

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 C. water
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
2 C. frozen broccoli florets*
12 manicotti shells, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into thin strips
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In medium microwaveable bowl, heat
soup, water & Velveeta on high 3 minutes
or until Velveeta is completely melted &
mixture is well blended, stirring after
2 minutes. Spread 1/3 mixture on bottom
of a 9 X 13 pan; add broccoli to remaining
soup mixture; mix well. Stuff pasta shells
with chicken; place in baking dish. Top with
remaining soup mixture & Parmesan; cover.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until pasta is tender &
chicken is done. Serves 4

*You can substitute your favorite frozen
vegetables for the broccoli

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Sesame Noodle Salad

3 T. crunchy peanut butter
3 T. warm water
1 T. sesame oil
1 tsp. ground fresh ginger
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. honey or sugar
3 tsp. soy sauce
1 lb. pasta
chopped scallions

While pasta is cooking, mix all
other ingredients in large bowl. When
pasta is done, drain & mix with sauce.
Chill a few hours before serving. Garnish
with scallions just before serving.

(NOTE: salad best when served cold)

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Well, friends – that’s about ‘it’ for today.

Enjoy your day – relax a bit, rest a bit and don’t forget to SMILE a bit, too!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I hope for your sake that the truck holds up for a while. You need some “your time” too. I talked with Maria in CA. yesterday and found she and Bob had the flu but they are better now. Do have a good week !

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