Life – It’s What Makes You STRONGER!

old lady at desk

Ah, yes – another ‘weird stuff in the middle of the night’ post! Once again I was happily SLEEPING only to be awakened by ‘late going to bed husband – around 3 a.m.’ – hearing him yell ‘OH CRAP’! Of course I woke up only to hear him explain that somehow the plug for the sump pump had come unattached – about 4 inches of water all over the basement floor! (Glad it was him & not me that discovered it!). This has happened before – and it’s usually when it’s cold outside, making the water on the floor freezing (even in boots)! He fixed it, I went back to sleep – aren’t I a great helper? I guess you just learn in your ‘older years’ that sometimes it just ain’t worth it to try to help out – you’re just IN THE WAY!

I was happy I got 10 dozen cookies baked yesterday – 6 dozen (Gordon Foods already made up & cut out, just bake) sugar cookies which I frosted & put different sprinkles on and 4 dozen (dough already made up, in a tub) chocolate fudge cookies. I’d still like to make up at least 2 more batches of other recipes, just for the variety. This year I was blessed with a really pretty ceramic cookie platter from one of my special needs students – it’s adorable: has a really cute snowman on it. Over the years I tend to gather various Christmas decorations but I’ve never really been drawn to any one ‘theme’ before. My ‘partner in crime’ and our leader in my special needs group LOVES snowmen; when you go to her house for the holidays there are snowmen all over the place, on everything! I’m beginning to pick up her love for them – this platter was just perfect! I will probably attempt baking more cookies today; need to get moving to the drug store (only have 2 more days of DOUBLE Extra Bucks at CVS – can’t miss that discount!) I need to get 4 packages of those plastic disposable razors for the guys stockings – might as well get them on sale, eh?

Another blogger posted about them getting snow which reminded me to check the weather forecast for the next few days – oh, great! SNOW! Two-four inches tonight, then 3-5 more tomorrow! Tomorrow evening (6:30 – 8) is our last choir practice before Sunday’s contata! Great! (I wouldn’t mind so much but our church is about 25 minutes away, through lots of winding roads around lakes – tends to be slippery territory, for sure!). Oh well – I WILL NOT BE DAUNTED! (besides, husband already said he’d drive me if it gets bad – he has a Jeep and just LOVES to have opportunities to drive it!).

Recipes? Yesterday I got to thinking: if I’m going to be busy baking cookies, I’ll probably be too worn out to make dinner later SO: I put 6 medium-sized frozen beef cube steaks in the crockpot with a can of beef gravy and a packet of onion soup mix. Added a dash (or more) garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce and let ‘er cook. MUCH later, took the steaks out, added about 1 C. sour cream, some horseradish and several dashes of Kitchen Bouquet – whisked it up to make the gravy – HUSBAND LOVED IT! Served it with baked potatoes – in fact there was more than enough for dinner tonight, too! (I guess you could say it was sort of like Swiss Steak? Never had that as a child – wonder if my Mom didn’t like it? I ate mine with a bit of ketchup, husband said it was just perfect ‘as is’.)


Sauteed Spinach with Mushrooms

2 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lb. fresh spinach, torn*
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high
heat. Add mushrooms & garlic; cook &
stir 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms are
tender. Add spinach; cook & stir on
medium heat 4-5 minutes or just until
spinach is wilted. Stir in pepper; sprinkle
with cheese. Makes 8 (1/2 C.) servings.

*can substitute 4 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen
spinach leaves, thawed & drained. Follow
above directions, cook until heated through,
stirring frequently.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
1-Bowl Cranberry Bark

1 C. dried cranberries*
1/3 C. chopped pecans, toasted
3 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. Bakers white
chocolate, broken into pieces & melted

Stir cranberries & nuts into melted
chocolate; spread onto waxed paper-
covered baking sheet. Refrigerate 1
hour or until firm then break into pieces.
Makes 12 servings. Store in tightly
covered container at room temperature.

*can also be made using dried cherries

(recipe: Kraft Foods)

Chewy Ginger Cookies

2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 C.) margarine (or butter) 
1 C. granulated sugar 
1 large egg
1/4 C. molasses
1/3 C. granulated sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, ginger, baking soda,
cinnamon, cloves & salt in medium bowl;
set aside. Beat margarine with 1 C.
granulated sugar in large bowl using
elec. mixer until light & fluffy. Beat in 
egg until blended; stir in molasses.
Gradually stir in flour mixture just until
blended. Gently roll dough into 1 inch
balls with lightly floured hands. Place
1/3 C. granulated sugar in shallow dish;
roll dough balls in sugar & arrange on
ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake 8 minutes or until cookie edges are
firm. Cool on sheets 2 minutes, then remove
to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 60

(recipe: Unilever)

Amish Chicken Casserole8 oz. noodles (your choice)
1/2 C. margarine
1/3 C. flour
1 C. milk
2 C. chicken broth
1 small can mushrooms
2 C. cooked & cubed chicken
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook noodles accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. Melt margarine, then whisk in flour
until smooth. Gradually add milk & broth,
then stir in seasonings & mushrooms. Combine
chicken, cooked noodles & sauce; pour into
ungreased 9 X 13 baking dish; top with
Parmesan cheese. Bake 20 minutes. 

NOTE: you could also add whatever 
vegetables your family likes

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Fudgy Crinkle Cookies

2 3/4 C. flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick margarine
2 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/3 C. milk
1/2 C. confectioners sugar
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder &
salt in medium bowl; set aside. Beat
margarine, sugar & vanilla in large bowl
with elec. mixer until light & fluffy, about
3  minutes; beat in eggs. Alternately
beat in flour mixture & milk until combined.
Chill dough 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease baking sheets; set aside. Scoop
dough into balls using small ice cream
scoop or measuring spoon. Place 
confectioners sugar in shallow dish; roll
dough balls in conf. sugar to coat fully.
Arrange on prepared sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake 12 minutes or until edges are firm & tops
are cracked. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes.
Remove from sheets to wire racks to cool
completely. Makes 5 dozen.

(recipe: Unilever)

Mexican Stuffed Shells

4 C. cooked & chopped chicken breast
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
6 green onions, diced
1/2 each: red, yellow & green (or orange) diced
(o 2 whole bell peppers of your choice, diced)
3 (8 oz, ea) blocks cream cheese, softened (not melted)
2 cans diced tomatoes with chiles (do not drain)
1/4-1/2 C. chicken broth/stock
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. picante sauce
38 large pasta shells, cooked al dente
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook shells in well salted, boiling water until al dente.
(If you cook them too long they will be difficult to stuff)
Drain & set aside.  Mix chicken, black beans, green
onions, peppers & cumin un large mixing bowl; mix
well. In separate bowl, mix cream cheese, chicken stock
& undrained tomatoes with chiles; mix well. Pour over
chicken mixture & mix well. (NOTE: if you have difficulty
incorporating cream cheese & tomatoes, you can heat
it slightly in microwave).
Spread 3/4 C. picante sauce in bottom of TWO 9 X 13 pans;
Reserve final 1/4 C. picante sauce for later.
Using a spoon or your fingers, fill each shell , placing in 
prepared pan. Drizzle stuffed shells with remaining picante
sauce; sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese. Cover pan
& bake 30 minutes or until hot & bubbly.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary's Recipe Exchange)

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

1 (12 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 small pkg. cheesecake pudding mix
3 (6 oz ea) containers strawberry yogurt
1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
3 bananas
miniature marshmallows

In large salad bowl stir together Cool Whip,
yogurt & dry pudding mix. Refrigerate 1 hour
before serving. When ready to serve, slice
bananas. Add bananas, sliced strawberries
& marshmallows just before serving.
Keep any leftovers refrigerated. Serves 10

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spiced Cookie Strips

1 (16.5 oz) tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2 T. flour
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Remove cookie dough from pkg; coat dough with
flour. Shake excess flour onto work surface. Roll out dough on floured surface into a 12″ X 8 ” rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut rectangle in half lengthwise. Cut widthwise into 1 inch strips. Carefully transfer strips to two ungreased baking sheets. Combine butter & spices; brush over strips. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Serves 12

NOTE: Poster said the 1 inch strips will spread
to about 2 inches after baking. Her comment on the flavor was: Oh my gosh! These cookies are delicious and really crispy & crunchy – perfect to have with tea or coffee – great for dunking.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
———————————–English Pea Salad

1 (#2 can) English peas (early or tiny) drained well
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 boiled eggs, chopped
1 small jar pimento, drained
3 slices bacon, fried crisp & crumbled
2 T. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/4 C. mayonnaise

Drain can of peas well. Mix all ingredients together
except bacon. Refrigerate overnight or at least
3 hours. Crumble bacon on top, stir lightly.

NOTE: May add cooked pasta of choice – increase
amount of mayonnaise accordingly.


Orange Chicken

1 C. orange juice
1 T. soy sauce
1 (1 oz) envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
8 chicken thighs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl, stir orange juice, soy sauce,
onion soup mix & garlic powder; set aside.
Rinse chicken & pat dry. Place chicken thighs
in a 9 X 13 baking pan. Pour orange juice
mixture over chicken. Bake, uncovered,
1 1/2 hours, basting every half hour. If
using boneless chicken, reduce cooking time
to 1 hour Serves 4 (2 thighs each)

(recipe: Pilgrims Pride)

Cool Whip Cookies

1 box cake mix (any flavor)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 egg
(powdered sugar – to coat)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix ingredients together except
powdered sugar; drop by spoonfuls
into powdered sugar to coat. Place
on cookie sheet, bake 12 minutes.
Cool before removing from sheet.

(recipe: Facebook)

Cream Cheese Crescent Dessert Slices

2 cans Pillsbury butter crescent rolls
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. butter, melted
cinnamon & sugar (about 1/4 C. sugar,
1 T. cinnamon)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll rolls; spread 1 can rolls on bottom
of ungreased pan. Combine cream cheese,
sugar & vanilla; spread over crescent rolls in
pan. Unroll & spread remaining rolls over
mixture. Spread melted butter over top;
sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar. Bake 20-30
minutes. Cool & slice into wedges.

(recipe: Facebook)

Lots more yummy-sounding recipes coming soon – I’m almost trying NOT to copy all the ones I see in my emails every day! Some people collect buttons, statues of bears, bottle tops, baseball cards – Me? I collect recipes! I might not EVER get to make them all – or even SOME of them, but I love reading through them and sorting out the easy or great-sounding ones to pass on to you!

Enjoy your day – take a break every once in a while – and remember to SMILE a bit! ‘Tis the season to be jolly’!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hey I think I’ll hit GFS for some of those cookies for my family. Your supper sounded great! Keep plugging Lady Jamne –We are going to make it!!!!

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