Thoughts on a Thursday


For a change, it’s been quiet here – except for more snow (sigh). We got hit with another 3-4 inches Tuesday – Wednesday, causing us to cancel my special needs group for the THIRD week in a row (I’m sure, by now, my kids are going crazy! They really LOVE meeting together.) Fortunately for us, it’s light, fluffy snow so not much possibility of getting stuck getting in or out of our driveway (finally – something GOOD!).

Tuesday night was Knit/Crochet night and we had another two new ladies! It’s interesting, because the last three ‘new’ people have been young: in their 20’s – which is great! Makes me feel like the group is not only growing, but also the yarn ARTS are growing, too! Even though the outside temperatures were in the very low (close to zero) range, we still had 19 people – not bad! I’m still working on the Diagonal Box stitch baby blanket (haven’t gotten to the decrease part yet); quite a few people were very interested in the pattern (Thanks, again, Mary/Momma!!!). One of our regular members had mentioned before Christmas that she had some yarn she wanted to give me for baby hats & blankets; she brought two garbage bags Tuesday night! Let’s just say, most of it was NOT baby yarn, but I can use most of it for blankets. She said ‘Donate whatever you don’t want/use” so I’m going to do just that. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me, right?



1 (20-oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 cup pepperoni, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
2/3 cup Caesar salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook tortellini accordg to pkg. directions; drain
& rinse with cold water – drain again. Transfer
cooked tortellini to large bowl; add remaining
ingredients; toss well. Refrigerate at least 1
hour before serving.

(recipe: Facebook)

Cheeseburger Pie

2 pounds ground beef browned and drained with
2T onion powder and
1tsp salt.
Add 6 oz cheese.

Put in 9 X 13 casserole dish. Top with whatever burger
toppings you like. I used pickles, tomatoes and onions.
Mix 2 eggs, 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup heavy cream, s & p,
pour over hamburger. Add another 6 oz cheese.
Bake 350 for 35 minutes.

Crockpot Sausage Bread

1 loaf frozen bread dough
1 lb. sausage, cooked & drained
2 eggs
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 small onion, chopped fine
garlic salt

Place frozen bread dough in a pan to
thaw. Allow dough to thaw & then
rise (takes about 9 hours).
With a little flour, roll out dough flat
(you want it more round than long, to
fit in crockpot.) In a bowl, combine &
mix sausage, onion, eggs, & Parmesan
cheese. Add mixture to center of rolled-
out dough. Fold in sides of dough & pinch
ends together. Lightly sprinkle garlic salt
on top of dough. Place a piece of foil large
enough to fit the bottom of crockpot & slightly
up sides in crockpot-form foil to crockpot, then
remove. Spray foil with nonstick spray; place
bread dough ball in center of foil & place foil &
dough into crockpot. Cook, on High, 2 hours to
2 hours 15 minutes. Remove foil carefully.
Allow to cool about 10 minutes, then slice &


Balsamic Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops, (5 oz ea), pounded to
1/2 inch thickness
1/4 C. flour
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 small red sweet pepper, seeded & chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (6.5 oz) can mushroom pieces, drained
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt

Coat pork chops in flour; reserve unused flour.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-
high heat. Add chops & cook 2 minutes per side;
remove to a plate. Add onion to skillet, cook 1
minute, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add pepper &
garlic, cook 1 minute. Stir 1 T. reserved flour into
broth & add to skillet. Stir in mushrooms, vinegar,
parsley, basil, black pepper & salt – bring to simmer.
Add pork; cover & simmer on medium-low 10 minutes,
turning after 5 minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Deviled Egg & Spinach casserole

12 large eggs, hard boiled
6 T. mayonnaise
3 T. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 (10 oz,ea) pkgs. frozen spinach,
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
1/4 C. flour
4 C. milk
2 C. Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. tabasco sauce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cut eggs in half lengthwise; remove yolks.
Mash yolks with mayonnaise, mustard &
pepper; fill egg whites with mixture, set
aside. Cook spinach, drain & squeeze out
excess water. Melt butter in saucepan; blend
in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly,
while cooking over medium heat until sauce
thickens. Reserving about 1/4 C. grated cheese,
stir remaining cheese into sauce until melted.
Add Worcestershire sauce, salt & Tabasco, mix.
Place spinach in lightly greased 3 qt. baking
dish with half of cheese sauce; mix together.
Place deviled egg halves on top of spinach; cover
with remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese
over all. Bake 25 minutes or until bubbly & lightly
browned. Serves 8-10


Meat Lover’s Pizza Pasta Bake

8 oz. elbow pasta
20 slices pepperoni
2 cooked sausage links
5 slices uncooked bacon
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 T. + 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (divided)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. Italian blend shredded cheese
5 oz. fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bring covered 8 qt. pot of salted water to
a boil over high heat. Add pasta; cook
accordg. to pkg. directions (approx 7-10
minutes). Remove from heat when pasta
is al dente; drain. Head medium skillet over
medium-high heat. Brown ground beef, adding
a sprinkle of salt & a tsp. of Italian seasoning.
Cook bacon on microwave-safe plate between
4 paper towels 4-5 minutes or until cooked. Dice
bacon; set aside. Heat precooked sausage in
microwave 1 minute; slice & set aside. In blender
combine diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 T.
Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. Kosher salt, pepper, garlic
& onion powders; blend until smooth. Once pasta
is drained, immediately add sauce, 3/4 of both
cheeses, 1/2 of pepperoni, 1/2 sausage, ground
beef & bacon to hot saucepan; stir with pasta
until combined. Pour pasta mixture into 9″
deep dish pie pan; cover top of pasta with remaining
sausage & pepperoni. Sprinkle remaining cheese
over top & bake 10 minutes until cheese is melted &

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Cheese Dip

1 whole roasted red pepper (from a jar)
1 C. crumbled feta cheese
1 small clove garlic
2 T. olive oil

Combine all ingredients in food processor until
Serve with: cut raw vegetables, pita triangles or
tortilla chips

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Triple Chocolate Brownies

1 1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 C. sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. walnut halves, coarsely chopped
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)

Lightly spray insides of crockpot with non-
stick cooking spray. Line bottom with
parchment paper & lightly coat paper with
spray. In small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa,
baking powder & salt. Place butter &
chocolate in medium microwaveable bowl;
microwave 30 seconds; stir, continue until
chocolate is melted. Add sugar; stir to
combine. Stir in eggs. Add flour mixture,
walnuts & chocolate chips; stir just until
moistened (do not overmix). Transfer to
crockpot & smooth top. Cover & cook on
Low 3 1/2 hours. Uncover & cook 30 minutes.
remove insert from crockpot; run a knife around
edge to loosen brownies. Let cool completely
in insert on wire rack, about 2 hours. Turn out
onto work surface & cut into 14 brownies.

NOTE: The center may look undercooked when
time is up, but it will be perfect once cooled.

(recipe: Everyday Food)

Spent part of yesterday and about an hour today reading another murder/mystery novel by Lisa Jackson: “Without Mercy”; I’ve got to say – that lady can REALLY WRITE a great story with an unexpected twist at the end (just MY kind of novel!!!). I’m very happy to learn she’s written a LOT of books – looks like I’m going to be checking them all out, one at a time!

Not much else on the scene right now – it’s clear, cold (18 degrees) and, reading the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather report for our area, looks like not much snow coming in (snow flurries) but lots of low temps with -19 wind chills for  most of the next 3-4 days = oh, goodie. I can deal with COLD, it’s the tons of SNOW that get me crazy. I’ve been reading in the newspapers and on Facebook – people are having problems not having enough places to PUT the shoveled/plowed snow! I know we have some pretty big mounds on either side of our driveway – it’s just nuts.

How are YOU doing through this winter, so far? Keeping warm and safe (& healthy?). We’re doing well – not much ‘going out’ except my picking up grandson at his bus stop tomorrow and the weather looks clear for doing that (yay!).

The good thing is: SPRING is coming! (Not sure exactly WHEN, but it’s coming!!!)




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Things are much easier here with the tractor being available to snow blow so I’m feeling a bit better about the whole mess. Take care and stay warm and rested.

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