Monday Mumblings . . .


Hello and Happy Monday! It’s a brisk and chilly -1 degree F. here – clear, but no sun (yet). We got about another 2 1/2 inches of snow Saturday night – Sunday morning, making going outside in ‘church shoes’ a  bit ‘dicey’. Our church was a bit ‘thin’ yesterday, due to the weather, but that was OK – great message, good fellowship with other friends – I enjoyed it.

Not much going on around here (yet) – I’ve ‘given up’ the Art Project to son, it’s his to finish (it’s due 9 a.m. tomorrow) and he still has 1 square and 1 ‘board’ to paint, then print out all the labels and glue it together. Not sure yet whether I’ll venture out later to the dollar store for Kleenex and Pop – we’ll see (depends on how ‘warm’ I feel!). Right now I’m sitting here typing to you in my ‘really warm/deep winter’ jammies: a sweat shirt & sweat pants! I keep these in reserve for when it’s either (a) really REALLY cold out or (b) if I’m sick and need to feel cozy/warm.

Today is one of those ‘catch up on a few little housekeeping items’ day: load the dishwasher & run it, fold some clean laundry, maybe check on a few bills that need paying – nothing ‘pressing’. Still have the cold but am really glad that (so far) it’s just staying in my head and hasn’t traveled to my chest. I’m stuffed up, but not really sick feeling, if that makes sense. Choir practice was a bit of a challenge, but I was able to still hit the high notes and not totally crack my voice or hurt my vocal chords, so that was good (of course, afterwards, for the evening service, I had no voice to sing with, but that’s OK).


Moist Caramel Apple Cake

1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix*
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla or French Vanilla
flavor instant pudding mix
1 C. water
4 eggs
1/3 C. oil
3 Granny Smith apples (1 lb) peeled
& coarsely chopped
20 caramel candies
3 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 5 ingredients in large bowl with
elec. mixer until well blended. Stir in apples.
Pour into greased & floured 12-Cup fluted
tube pan or 10 inch Bundt pan. Bake 50
minutes-1 hour, until toothpick inserted into
thickest part of cake comes out clean. Cool
cake in pan 15 minutes. Loosen cake from
sides of pan; invert onto wire rack. Gently
remove pan. Cool cake completely then
transfer to plate.
Microwave caramels & milk in microwaveable
bowl on High 1 1/2 minutes or until caramels
are completely melted & sauce is smooth, stirring
every 30 seconds. Cool 10 minutes or until
slightly thickened, then drizzle over cake.
To avoid soggy cake, drizzle sauce over cake just
before serving.

do not use
cake mix with pudding
in the mix.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Parmesan-Dijon Chicken

1/4 C. butter or margarine, melted
2 T. Dijon mustard
3/4 C. dry bread crumbs
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix butter & mustard in shallow dish; mix
bread crumbs & cheese in large plastic bag.
Dip one piece chicken into butter mixture,
coating all sides, then place in bag of crumbs.
Seal bag & shake to coat. Place chicken in
single layer in ungreased 9 X 13 baking pan.
Bake, uncovered, 20-30 minutes, turning
once, until juice of chicken no longer is
pink when thickest part of chicken is cut.
Season as desired, serves 6.

(recipe: Betty Crocker site)

Wild Berry Cheesecake Muffins

1 C. old fashioned oats
1 C. buttermilk*
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. granulated sugar
3 T. orange zest
1 C. flour
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 C. fresh or frozen mixed berries
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine oats & buttermilk in small bowl; 
let stand 10 minutes. Beat cream cheese, 
granulated sugar & zest with mixer until
well blended; set aside. Mix flour, brown
sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt
in large bowl. Add egg & butter to oat
mixture; stir until well blended. Add to dry
ingredients; stir just until moistened; gently
stir in berries. Spoon half of batter evenly
into 12 muffin cups lined with **extra-large or
giant paper liners, filling each liner half full;
top each with 2 T. cream cheese filling.
Cover with remaining batter. Bake 25-
27 minutes or until toothpick inserted into
centers comes out clean.

*If you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute
with sour milk. Pour 1 T. lemon juice or white
vinegar into a 1-Cup measuring cup then fill
to 1 C. mark using milk. Stir & let stand 5 
minutes before using.

**Extra-large liners are needed to hold
all the batter in the cups. If you don't have
extra-large liners, spoon batter into 16 
paper-lined muffin cups instead. Bake 
23-25 minutes.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

8 C. cauliflower florets
1 red onion, cut into 1/4″ thick slices
juice from 1 large lemon (about 1/4 C.)
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. (Kraft) finely shredded Triple Cheddar

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients; spread onto foil-
covered rimmed baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes
stirring after 20 minutes. Stir in sour cream;
top with cheese & bake 5 minutes more or until
cheese is melted. Makes 6 (1 C.) servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Quick Meatball Stroganoff

1 lb. ground turkey
1 egg
3/4 C. soft bread crumbs
1/4 C. water
dash pepper
1 tsp. shortening
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 C. water
2 T. ketchup
1 T. minced onion
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. sour cream

hot, cooked noodles or rice

Combine turkey, egg, crumbs, 1/4 C. water,
salt & pepper; form into 1 1/2 inch balls (golf
ball size). Add shortening to hot skillet; brown
meatballs on all sides. Drain off any excess
liquid; push browned meatballs to side of pan.
Add soup, 1/2 C. water, ketchup, onions, Wor.
sauce & garlic powder; mix well. Simmer 5
minutes; blend in sour cream & heat thoroughly.
Serve over hot cooked noodles or rice
Serves 4-5

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spring Pea Soup

1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
2 C. cubed, peeled potatoes (1″ cube)
2 (9 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen peas & pearl onions
2 (14 oz.,ea) cans chicken broth
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. chopped fresh mint

Mix all ingredients (except sour cream) in large
saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes
or until vegetables are tender. Transfer veggies
to blender in small batches. Cover & blend until
smooth; pour into medium bowl. Repeat until all
of mixture is pureed; stir in sour cream. Serve
warm sprigged with mint. Serves 7, 1 C. each

Note: this can be made ahead of time & served
chilled. Store in tightly covered container in
refrigerator until ready to serve.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Warm Winter Lemon Cake

1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix
2 (3.4 oz ea) pkgs. lemon instant pudding
1/3 C. granulated sugar
2 C. cold milk
1 1/4 C. water
2 T. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake batter accordg. to pkg.
directions; pour into 9 X 13 baking pan
sprayed with nonstick spray. Beat dry
pudding mixes, gran. sugar, milk & water
with whisk 2 minutes; pour over batter in
pan. Place pan on baking sheet. (this will
catch any sauce that might bubble over).
Bake 55 minutes – 1 hour or until toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean. Cool
20 minutes; sauce will thicken slightly as it
cools. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.
Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.
Serves 16
NOTE: For stronger lemon flavor, add
zest & juice from 1 lemon to pudding
mixture before pouring over batter in pan.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Crockpot Pork Cacciatore

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 large green peppers,chopped
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
1 (1 lb) pork tenderoin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 C. penne pasta, uncooked
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. water
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Mix tomatoes & tomato paste in crockpot
until blended; stir in vegetables. Cut meat
into 8 pieces; pound to 1/2″ thickness. Sprinkle
with oregano; place in crockpot & press into
sauce with back of spoon. Cover & cook on Low
4 to 4 1/2 hours (or High 2 1/2 to 3 hours). Cook
pasta as directed on pkg, omitting salt. Transfer
meat to plate & cover to keep warm. Mix cornstarch
& water until blended; add to sauce in crockpot. Cook,
covered, on High 6-8 minutes or until thickened. Drain
pasta, spoon onto serving plates; top with meat, sauce
& cheeses. Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Savory Parmesan Bites

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped
2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Stir together cream cheese, 3/4 C. cheese,
bell pepper & parsley. Unroll crescent rolls;
separate each can into 4 rectangles, pressing
perforations to seal. Spread 3 T. cream cheese
mixture on each rectangle. Roll up, starting at
1 short side, jelly-roll fashion. Cut each roll into
4 equal pieces, using a serrated knife. Place on
ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with remaining
1/4 C. cheese. Bake 13-15 minutes or until
golden brown.

NOTE: Can be made ahead: Place unbaked bites on
ungreased baking sheets & freeze 1 hour or until
frozen. Place bites into zip-top plastic freezer bags &
store in freezer up to 1 month.  When ready to use,
place bites on ungreased baking sheets & bake at
350 degrees F. 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

French Toast Muffins

1 1/2 C. flour
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
2 eggs, divided
1 1/4 C. milk, divided
3/4 C. plus 2 T. packed brown sugar, divided
3 slices white bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted
2 T. maple or pancake syrup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix flour, dry pudding mix, baking powder, salt
& 1 tsp. cinnamon in large bowl. Beat 1 egg,
1/4 C. milk, 2 T. sugar & remaining cinnamon in
medium bowl with whisk until blended. Add bread;
stir until evenly moistened. Whisk remaining egg
in medium bowl. Add butter, remaining milk &
sugar; mix well. Add to dry ingredients; stir just
until moistened. (batter will be lumpy). Spoon
batter into 12 muffin pan cups sprayed with nonstick
spray. Top with bread mixture; press lightly into
batter with back of spoon. Bake 28 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Brush
tops with syrup; cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove to
wire racks to cool. Makes 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)
How are your GAS PRICES lately? I nearly choked on the way to church when I spotted our favorite gas station posting $3.69/9
for regular gas! To me, that’s TOO HIGH! (I still have a half tank; sure hope it goes down before I need more gas!)

That’s about the gist of what’s going on around here for the moment. We’ve pretty much eaten up all the leftovers (there ‘might’ be a small bowl of beef stew in there, not sure, haven’t looked this morning). I’m tossed between making Potatoes O’Brian, Pierogies & Sausage or spaghetti (I’m not a big fan of spaghetti, but the guys are AND it goes for several days). I got out hamburger to defrost – we’ll see where my ‘fancy’ leads me (tomorrow is Knit/Crochet night and leftovers would work really well . . . ).

Enjoy your day, try to stay warm (if you’re in a cold area). Do something NICE for either yourself or someone else – maybe even do something as a ‘secret’ surprise and not let them know who did it! Just sayin’ . . .



Published in: on March 3, 2014 at 10:03 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Gasoline –no my friend it must be liquid gold!!! I have stalled gassing up for four days now but today I have a trip to Dr. Ross’ office near Grand Blanc so I have to pull out the old wallet and bear the pain.

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