Thursday Thinkin’ . . .

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It’s a rather ‘blah’, gray day out today (48 degrees) – not chilly, just kinda blah – ever have one of those days? This is my ‘off’ day – as in, nothing particular planned for the day. Went through the grocery store fliers last night to see who had the best turkey prices – was only planning on going to ONE store, but after quick comparisons, decided that all THREE local stores have good prices, each with their own ‘sales’ items. Compared things like celery, cherry tomatoes, turkeys, fresh cranberries – stuff like that. Just casually asked husband if he thought we might just skip the multi-flavored cheese cake this year, to which he replied: “WHY? I always EAT it!” (OK – got your point.). Still not looking forward to all the ‘cleaning house, picking out the serving dishes, remembering to get the gravy boat out of the china cabinet’ – that kind of ‘stuff’. Hey, being sick, I LOST a WEEK of preparation time! Not cool! Still have to go upstairs in the Christmas ‘stuff’ and bring down the red tablecloth – remember to throw it in the dryer to take out any wrinkles. Every year I end up buying some of those ‘cute’ Thanksgiving/Fall/holiday’ dinner napkins – you know the ones, and every year I end up asking myself: “WHY?” They LOOK nice but they don’t absorb ANYTHING! They’re SHINY/SLIPPERY! Oh well – at least I haven’t bought them this year  . . . YET. . .

Lots more recipes for ya – I’m ending up posting things I probably wouldn’t make but sound ‘interesting’ – something ‘different’ for the holiday meal – like the Brussels Sprout recipe. I just learned today (never too old to learn something new!) that those are spelled with an “S” at the end! All my life I’ve pronounced them BRUSSEL Sprouts – who knew? (mentioned it to my husband, who immediately chimed in: “Of course! They’re from Brussels, BELGIUM!” . . . figures, he’s the ‘brain’ in our family). Anyway . . . here’s some recipes for ya!

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

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

4 C. white bread, cut into cubes
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
3/4 C. canned pumpkin puree
1 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. rum or brandy (optional)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 T. butter, cold, cut into pieces

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Dry bread
cubes on cookie sheet in oven 10-15 minutes.
Place cubs in prepared pan. In large bowl,
whisk together all pudding ingredients,
except butter. Pour mixture over bread cubes.
Let set 10 minutes until bread is fully soaked.
Dab butter over top & bake 40-50 minutes.
Pudding should be set in center, but not dry.

(recipe: Domino Sugar Co.)
————————————————–

Dad’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1 T. butter
1 T. flour
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
4 C. chicken broth (or vegetable)
salt & pepper, to taste

In medium saucepan, make a roux by
melting butter on low heat. Add flour &
stir about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth,
onions & cauliflower. Set heat to medium;
bring to a boil, then cover & simmer over
medium-low heat, until vegetables are
tender, about 20 minutes. Puree, using
blender, until smooth. Season with salt &
pepper & serve. Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
———————-

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

10 medium potatoes, peeled & cooked
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 T. grated onion
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil & whip potatoes; add other ingredients;
mix well. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan; pour
potato mixture into pan; bake 30 minutes.
Serves 8

———————————————

Bacon Crispies
(appetizers)

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. flour
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
6 oz. bacon, finely chopped & divided

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Beat butter, flour, salt & pepper until
smooth; add grated cheese & 2/3 of
bacon; mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls
onto greased baking sheet; sprinkle with
remaining bacon. Bake 30 minutes or until
lightly browned. Cool & store in airtight tin.

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

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (18 1/4 oz)
1 box (3.4 oz) butterscotch pudding mix
(instant)
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/4 C. water
1 C. canned pumpkin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs
powdered sugar, for dusting OR
whipped cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl, combine first
7 ingredients; beat on Low speed
30 seconds, beat on medium 4 minutes.
Pour batter into greased & floured
10″ fluted tube pan (or Bundt pan). Bake
50-55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick
inserted near center comes out clean. Cool
in pan 15 minutes before removing to wire
rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered
sugar or whipped cream, if desired. Serves 8

(recipe: Candy-justapinch.com)
—————————–

Cider-GlazedBrussels Sprouts with Bacon

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 T. butter
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed/halved
3/4 C. apple cider*
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. sliced almonds, toasted

Cook & stir bacon in large skillet on
medium heat until crisp. Remove from
skillet; drain. Discard all but 1 T. drippings.
Add butter, onions & Brussels sprouts to pan;
cook & stir on medium-high heat 1-2 minutes
or until sprouts are lightly browned. Mix next
5 ingredients; our over sprouts. Cook 5 minutes
or until liquid is evaporated & sprouts are evenly
glazed, stirring occasionally; stir in bacon. Spoon
sprouts into bowl, top with nuts. Serves 8,
2/3 C. each

*can substitute apple juice for cider

To toast nuts: place up to 1 C. nuts into
microwaveable shallow dish. Microwave on
High until fragrant & crisp, stirring every
30 seconds.

(recipe:: Kraft foods)
———————————

Ooey-Gooey Mac & Cheese
(also for crockpot!)

1 (1 lb) box elbow macaroni
2 (10.75 oz, ea) cans Cheddar cheese soup
2 (12 oz, ea) cans evaporated milk
1 1/4 stick butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 C. extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 C. pepperjack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook macaroni accordg to pkg. directions just
until done. Combine soup, evap. milk, butter,
salt & pepper in large microwaveable bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap, leaving a small vent,
cook 6-7 minutes until butter is melted &
mixture is warm-to-how throughout. (If making
a half-batch, cook 4 minutes). Add soup mixture
to cooked macaroni. Add cheeses, one at a time,
stirring constantly until everything is melted &
incorporated. Bake 40-45 minutes.

Note: poster says she usually places under broiler
an extra 4 minutes to brown the top.

Crockpot: Follow directions, place in crockpot on
Low; cook 4 hours.

(recipe: Samantha-justapinch.com)
—————————————————-

Crockpot Sweet Garlic Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts
1 C. packed brown sugar
2/3 C. vinegar
1/4 C. lemon-lime soda (diet or regular)
2-3 T. minced garlic
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. corn starch
2 T. water
red pepper flakes (optional)

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. Place
chicken (frozen/thawed or fresh) inside. Mix
together brown sugar, vinegar, soda, garlic,
soy sauce & pepper; pour over chicken. Cook
on Low 6-8 hours or High 4 hours.
Take chicken pieces out of crockpot; pour
remaining sauce into saucepan. Place saucepan
over high heat. Mix together corn starch & water;
pour into saucepan; mix well. Let sauce come to
boil; boil 2-3 minutes or until it starts to thicken
& turns into a glaze. Remove from heat & let set
1-2 minutes (it will continue to thicken as it cools).
Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top, if desired. This
can be served over rice, noodles, baked potatoes
or mashed potatoes.

(recipe: Facebook)
————————————————-

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 lb. fresh sweet potatoes
1 small onion
3 eggs
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
salt & ground black pepper
1/4 C. peanut oil
1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Peel sweet potatoes & shred on box
shredder or in a food processor, using
medium shredding disk. You should
have about 3 C. Shred onion on shredder
or in food processor using medium shredding
disk. Place sweet potatoes & onions in a clean
kitchen towel & twist to squeeze out as much
liquid as possible. Place in a mixing bowl. Add
eggs, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice,
salt & pepper; mix well. Heat peanut oil in cast
iron skillet over medium heat. Working batches,
spoon about 1/4 C. mixture into skillet, forming
pancakes. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Makes
8 servings.

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

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease & flour 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Mix brown sugar
and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl
using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add
vanilla extract. Combine flour and baking powder
together in another bowl; stir into creamed butter
mixture. Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour
half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Next add
half the apples and half the brown sugar cinnamon
mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with
remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon
mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown
sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in
the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

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

Well, that’s certainly a ‘varied’ list of recipes if ever I posted one! Sweets, veggies, crockpot and a few thrown in for fun! I love looking through recipe sites, finding new blogs/sites with EASY, few-ingredient recipes. Now, grant you – I do post some that have a long list of ingredients, but for the most part I look for ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, easy to assemble, and sound tasty. Kraft Foods has a plethora of great recipes BUT quite a few of them require you using THEIR ‘specialty’ products, like fancy cream cheese with extra ingredients, or salad dressings you probably wouldn’t have on hand – I don’t post those. Why have to GO OUT to buy special ingredients, just to make a particular recipe? (maybe, for a special occasion, perhaps – but not for the every day!). I also try to remember that, even though a major holiday is approaching, you still have to cook for the week – every day, average cooking – so I try to include recipes to that end, as well – like crockpot recipes, for example. I always try to throw in at least ONE dessert – ya never know when you just might NEED dessert, right? (Life’s short – eat dessert FIRST!).

Hope you’re have a great day, even if it ISN’T planned! I have left-over beef stew in the fridge from yesterday, so dinner’s a ‘done-deal’. I ‘could’ go grocery shopping but I don’t think I will – just not  motivated . . . yet. Probably will hit the grocery stores come Monday. One good thing: each one of the 3 store’s fliers were good on prices until the week AFTER Thanksgiving!

Was hearing talk last night (at special needs group – among the helpers) of going shopping either ON Thanksgiving or on Black Friday – what do you think about that? For me, personally, there isn’t a item EVER MADE that would induce me to go out shopping on either of those days! To me – Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter – BIG HOLIDAYS should be spent with friends & family – NOT SHOPPING! (off my soapbox now . . .)

Youngest son just got confirmation of his request to be put on third shift: 10 p.m. – 6 a.m.; he’s happy – more $$$. He just left to go for a job interview at a mall at a kiosk that sells body piercings (sigh). (quick fill in: this is the son who likes piercings/tattoos . . . sigh). He was told he could get a part-time job there (he really LOOKS the part) so he’s decided that, since he’ll be working NIGHTS, he could part-time it at the kiosk some days. Ah, the fantasies of youth AND their enthusiasm. My good friend Momma/Mary knows all about working nights – she & I both spent lots of time doing that at the phone company. (I worked 10p-6a.m. or 11-7 a.m. for 5 years). We’ll see how this ‘new arrangement’ works out – in reality!

Hugs;

Pammie

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