Finally – Warmer Weather!

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My Christmas Amarylis finally bloomed!

Today is grey & gloomy out, BUT we are sitting at 42 lovely, WARM degrees right now! Snow & slush is melting, all the opaque, very long icicles are melting & falling off the new roof – YAY! (By the way, we’re supposed to be getting the new gutters in the next few weeks, so that finally the roofing project will be complete – that’s something to look forward to! It was VERY nice last night to know that both sons wouldn’t be getting their vehicles stuck in the driveway – still VERY happy we paid to have the drive plowed – it SO needed it!

Nothing much going on today – IF I get my gumption up, I’ll take the rest of the Christmas decorations upstairs (but that’s only IF I feel like it; thank heavens I have a family that really doesn’t care if they’re up late or not). Was going to make something like a baked chicken for dinner, but the guys really aren’t eating much; there’s still meatloaf, mac & cheese, and left over soup – guess I’ll wait until tomorrow. Guess that’s a good thing; we finally finished off all the Christmas cookies (no, they weren’t stale – I kept them in a tin). We’ve still got middle son’s birthday brownies, part of a loaf of banana bread and a tiny yellow birthday cake from middle son – guess we MUST be losing weight, ’cause they sure AREN’T eatin! like they used to!

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

Twix Bar Cookies

Shortbread cookie:
1 C. butter, room temp
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk

Carmel filling:
3 (5.5 oz, ea) pkgs. soft caramels
(total 15.5 ounces)
2 T. milk
dash salt

Chocolate topping:
12 oz. milk chocolate, cut into pieces
(used large Hershey bars)
1 T. Crisco, if needed to make chocolate
softer

Cookie:
Cream together butter & sugar until light
& fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together
flour, baking powder & salt. Slowly add to
butter mixture. At low speed of elec. mixer
add in milk & vanilla. Separate dough into
halves & wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until
dough is firm as a stick of butter.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once dough is firm enough to work with,
either roll it out on the sheet pan, or press
with fingers to about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thickness.
Bake 20-30 minutes, turning baking sheet
front-to-back halfway through baking time.

Caramel layer:
Unwrap caramels; place in microwaveable
bowl with milk & salt. Cook 1 minute at a
time (in microwave) stirring, until melted,
about 3-4 minutes. Pour caramel over baked
shortbread cookie. Place in refrigerator to
harden & set
Cut shortbread/caramel into Twix-sized pieces,
or whatever shape you desire. Chill in freezer
to firm up before dipping.

Place a large sheet of waxed paper on counter
to put dipped cookies on

Chocolate coating:
Microwave chocolate at 1 minute intervals
while stirring until melted or use a double boiler
method to melt chocolate. Dip bars into
chocolate & place on waxed paper to set. Chill
in refrigerator or freezer to speed up setting. Once
they are set, they are ready to eat.
Store cookies in refrigerator to avoid melting.

(recipe: Jill – justapinch.com)
————————————–

Slow-baked Chicken Wings

5 lb. chicken wing drummettes or
wing pieces, thawed

Sauce:
1 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. sweet French dressing
5 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. dried pepper flakes or
chipotle pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Pour thawed chicken wings into
large greased baking pan. Bake
1 hour, turning once (to render
out fat).

Reduce oven temp. to 250 degrees F.
Transfer wings to another
pan lined with greased foil. Blend
all sauce ingredients together in
blender; pour over wings in pan.
Bake 1 1/2 hours, basting every 30
minutes.
NOTE: these can be placed in a crockpot
to keep warm.

(recipe: Mary Ann-justapinch.com)
—————————–

Crockpot Honey Almond Chicken

4 chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
1/4 C. slivered almonds (plus more
for garnish)
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/3 C. honey
1 T. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 C. snap peas
1 T. cornstarch

cooked brown or white rice

Place chicken & almonds in
crockpot. In a bowl, whisk soy
sauce, honey, garlic, ginger & oil;
pour over chicken & stir. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours or Low 8 hours.
Fifteen minutes before finished, remove
chicken to a plate. Whisk cornstarch into
remaining cooking liquid in crockpot.
Return chicken along with snap peas to
crockpot & cook 15 minutes more or
until sauce has thickened. Serve over
rice; garnish with almonds. Serves 4-6

(recipe: spoonful.com)
—————————————-

No-Bake Choc. Chip/Peanut Butter Balls

1/2 C. rolled oats (or oat bran or quick oats)
1/2 C. peanut butter
2 T. + 2 tsp. maple syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
2 T. flour
chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients in a cereal bowl; mix until
well-incorporated. Roll into balls.

(recipe: Chocolate-covered Katie, the healthy
dessert blog)
———————————————

Pizza Bombs

1 (10 biscuit) tube refrigerated biscuits
10 T. pizza sauce
15 T. shredded mozzarella cheese (or
10 cubes mozz. cheese)
10-15 T. pizza toppings (see below)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Roll each biscuit out very thin; place
1 t. pizza sauce, 1 1/2 T. cheese (or 1
cube) & 1-1 1/2 T. toppings on each.
Fold biscuit like a taco, pinch edges
shut then bring corners under to make
it round. Place biscuits on parchment-
paper lined cookie sheet, seam-side
down. Place in oven, lower heat to
350 degrees & bake 13-16 minutes or
until lightly browned; serve warm.

Toppings: If using mushrooms, better
to cook & cool them before using (to
prevent too much liquid). If using
pineapple, it should be dabbed dry
first using paper towels.

(recipe: spendwithpennies.com)
——————————–

Overnight Bacon Casserole

1 lb. bacon, sliced
8 slices whole wheat bread
6 eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
1 C. (4 oz) Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Cut strips of bacon crosswise into 1/2 inch
pieces; cook in skillet over medium heat
until crisp. Blot with paper towels, discard
accumulated bacon fat. Remove crusts
from bread (reserve for another use). Cut
bread slices into cubes; set aside. In large
bowl beat eggs; stir in milk, cheese & mustard.
Gently stir in bacon & bread crumbs then
spoon into a buttered 8 inch square baking
dish. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate
overnight.

When ready to cook:
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand
at room temp. 15 minutes. Bake, uncovered,
45 minutes or until knife inserted midway
between center & outside edges comes out
clean. Serves 6

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

Mexican Chicken Soup

1 large onion, chopped
1 T. oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 C. chicken broth
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans,*
rinsed (or 19 oz. can )
1 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 C. shredded rotisserie chicken
(or chopped, cooked chicken)
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 C. (Kraft) Mexican-style finely
shredded Four cheese

Cook yellow onions in hot oil in
large saucepan on medium heat
6-7 minutes or until tender. Add
garlic & cumin; cook & stir 1 minute.
Add broth, beans & salsa; stir & bring
to boil. Stir in chicken & corn; return
to boil, simmer 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Stir in green onions &
cilantro. Serve topped with cheese.
Serves 8, 1 C. each.

NOTE: can also serve topped with
sour cream and/or chopped avocados
and garnish with lime wedges.

*can substitute kidney beans (rinsed &
drained)

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————————

Zesty Herbed Carrots

1 lb. carrots, sliced
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette dressing
2 T. chopped fresh parsley*
2 T. chopped walnuts, toasted

Cook carrots & dressing in nonstick
skillet over medium heat 10 minutes
or until carrots are tender, stirring
after 5 minutes; remove from heat.
Stir in parsley & nuts. Serves 6,
about 1/2 C. each.

*substitute 2 tsp. parsley flakes
for chopped fresh

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————————

Fast & Easy Tiramisu

1 C. boiling water
2 T. instant coffee
1/2 C. plus 1 T. sugar, divided
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. soft ladyfingers,
split & divided
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
softened
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Add boiling water to coffee & 1 T. sugar
in small bowl; stir until dissolved. Arrange
1 pkg. ladyfingers on bottom of 9 X 13
pan; brush tops with 1/2 C. coffee mixture.
Beat cream cheese in large bowl with elec.
mixer until creamy; add remaining sugar;
mix well. Whisk in Cool Whip. Spread half
cream cheese mixture over ladyfingers in dish;
top with remaining ladyfingers. Brush with
remaining coffee mixture; cover with
remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle
top with cocoa powder & refrigerate 4 hours.
Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)
=======================

I’ve been working on more knit baby hats; I find it very soothing and relaxing. I decided that I needed to ‘step it up a notch’ and find a few more challenging patterns other than the regular just knit ones. Dragged out several of my old afghan patterns and tried a few on the hats. Some work very well, some I just plain got bored doing them – either way, more hats were created. It’s funny, I’ve got a huge bunch of varied baby yarns at my disposal, but when I go to pick out a different yarn – they all seem the same! (I know – I’m spoiled!). Sometimes I get an ‘inkling’ to take a trip to JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels to check out some of their new baby yarns (with a 40% off coupon, of course!) – but both stores are about 20 minutes away and I really don’t like driving over there (it’s very close to our BIG MEGA mall and I’m not one for traffic), so I guess I’ll just be content with what I have – for now. Let’s see – I know there’s a Bible verse that covers that one exactly: “Be content with such things as ye have.” Hebrews 14:5

Here’s hoping you have a GREAT day and do something nice for yourself (or someone else!) – those ‘random acts of kindness’ are always nice!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Just in case any of you might need some knit square patterns, here’s my other blog addy:

http://theghanaproject.wordpress.com

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Your Amarylis is georgous. I love the color! I moved my catus out of the window in hopes it would come around but nothing yet. It sounds like you are really creating the hats lady ( read you other blog entry) but didn’t comment. Keep comfortable and safe we are!


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