View from my window…


As you can see, the sun has been ‘doing it’s job’ – melting the snow & ice! Husband called my attention to the ground around our bird feeder – it ‘looks’ like there’s a ton of seed there, but actually it’s only the multitudes of seed shells! When we fill the feeder, certain birds like to go through it and toss out LOTS of seed, which falls to the ground, making the squirrels happy. As the snow covers up the seed/shells, it builds up. You just don’t SEE the build up until days like today when the sun melts the mounded snows! If you look a little further back in the photo you’ll see our picnic table and it’s ‘ever decreasing’ pillow of snow & ice. (remember me mentioning, a few weeks ago that it looked like a couch cushion when some sun melted the edges?) Now it’s shrunk down to a little blob – that’s fine with me! It’s been pseudo-warm here a few times last week, once actually getting up to 50 degrees on Friday! Right now it’s 41, so that’s a pretty good start to the day! I LOVE seeing the sunshine – really brightens up my spirits.

Not much new going on around here lately (that can be a GOOD thing!). Am currently arranging two events for the Knit/Crochet group: (1) a Yarn/Accessories Swap (as requested by some of the ladies). That will take place next meeting (next Tuesday). One lady wrote and said something like: “You must really thrive on chaos!” – I know that not all of the group will be participating, so I’m not particularly worried (that could change on that night, but we’ll see . . .). (2) Our next Knit/Crochet MOVIE NIGHT! Some of the group participate in this, not all – but it’s a fun night of food/movie/and knit/crochet plus lots of chat. This time I asked the ladies for suggestions on food: we’re having spaghetti, garlic bread, salad & dessert! We usually get around 11 people attending, so I broke it down to 2 people per ‘item’: ie: 2 spaghetti, 2 garlic bread, etc.  FOR A CHANGE, other people volunteered for the main course (not me!) – YAY! I’m usually the one bringing the big stuff; for a change I get a break! Not sure yet what I’ll be bringing, will wait for more sign-in’s to see what’s needed. I’m also totally ‘out’ of any chick flicks (I only had a very small batch I loved) so I’m asking them to bring their favorites and we’ll vote on which one we watch that night. (We used to do that years ago but somehow just stopped.)


5-Ingredient Brownie Bites

1 C. Nutella
2 eggs
1/2 C. Bisquick
2 T. cocoa
1 C. chopped almonds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 2 mini muffin tins with paper
liners. In medium bowl whisk
Nutella & eggs together until well
combined. In smaller bowl, mix
cocoa & Bisquick together. Add dry
ingredients to wet ingredients; stir
with a spatula until batter is thoroughly
combined. Divide batter evenly among
24 lines; top each brownie with chopped
almonds. Bake 13 minutes; remove from
muffin tins & allow to cool a few minutes
before serving. Makes 24


Apple Oven Pancake
(Using Cast Iron Skillet)

2 T. unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. whole milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. (2 medium) apples, sliced
(suggested: Gala)

1/4 C. brown sugar
1 C. (good quality) apple cider
1 stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves

NOTE: Prepare syrup FIRST
so it will be ready when you
serve the pancake.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place cast iron skillet or other
baking dish, in oven to preheat.
When heated, place butter in
skillet; return to oven. Whisk
together in large bowl: eggs, flour,
milk & salt. Once butter is melted,
remove skillet from oven &
(working quickly) sprinkle sugar &
cinnamon over butter. Arrange apple
slices in skillet & pour batter over top.
Return skillet to oven; bake until
puffed & golden, about 25-30 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Prepare syrup:
Combine brown sugar & apple cider in
small saucepan. Add cinnamon stick &
whole cloves; bring to boil, stirring to
dissolve sugar. Simmer until reduced &
thickened, about 30 minutes


Enchilada Chicken Spaghetti Skillet

8 oz. thin spaghetti, uncooked
1 T. cooking oil
3/4 C. chopped yellow onion
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1 (10 oz) can mild red enchilada sauce
1 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese

Cook spaghetti accordg. to pkg. directions.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high
heat. Add onion, cook 5 minutes or until
tender. Add chicken, drained tomatoes,
enchilada & tomato sauces to skillet; stir
to combine & bring to boil. Reduce heat &
simmer 10 minutes or until sauce has
thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. Drain
spaghetti, add to skillet – toss to combine. Top
with cheese & let stand until cheese melts.
Serves 6


Baked Sausage & Ziti Casserole

1 (16 oz) pkg. ziti pasta
1 (15 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 lb. pork sausage
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. bay leaves (crushed)
1 tsp. oregano
1 C. ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Saute sausage in pan; drain. Mix half
jar spaghetti sauce, garlic salt, bay
leaves, oregano & ricotta cheese in
bowl; mix in sausage. Cook pasta
accordg. to pkg directions; drain &
pour into bowl with sausage mixture;
blend well. Grease 9 X 13 baking pan;
pour mixture into pan; sprinkle top
with mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green
chilies, undrained
2 carrots, cut diagonally into slices
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 (14.5 oz, ea) chicken broth
4 C. tortilla chips
3/4 C. Mexican-style (Kraft)
4 cheese with a touch of Philadelphia
shredded cheese

Place chicken in crockpot. Add tomatoes,
carrots, onion, chili powder, cumin & broth;
cover with lid. Cook on Low 4-5 hours, or
High 2-3 hours. Use a slotted spoon to
remove chicken from crockpot; cool slightly.
Coarsely chop chicken; return to pot; stir.
Crush chips coarsely; place in 8 soup bowls.
Ladle soup into bowls, top with cheese.
Makes 8 servings, 1 C. each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Almond-Laced Banana Cake

3/4 C. unsalted butter, melted &
1/3 C. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 C. sliced almonds, divided
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. mashed ripe bananas (about
2 medium)
2 large eggs
1/4 C. milk
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 T. almond paste
2 T. sweetened condensed milk,
slightly warmed
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread 1 T. melted butter on bottom
& up sides of a 9-inch square cake pan.
In medium bowl, stir together brown
sugar & 1/2 C. almonds; sprinkle half
of mixture in pan. Add 3 T. remaining
butter to remaining brown sugar/almonds;
stir to evenly mix. Place remaining 1/2 C.
butter in a large mixing bowl. Add gran.
sugar & mashed banana; beat on medium
speed with elec. mixer until smooth; beat
in eggs one-at-a-time. In a small bowl, stir
together milk & vinegar; set aside. In a
medium bowl, stir together flour, baking
powder, baking soda & salt. With mixer
on low speed, gradually beat in milk
mixture alternately with dry ingredients,
beating well after each addition. Beat in
extract. Pour half of batter over brown
sugar mixture in pan. Sprinkle with
remaining brown sugar mixture. Spoon
remaining batter evenly over top. Use a
knife to gently swirl top. Bake 25-35
minutes or until a toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean. Remove from
oven and cool 10 minutes in pan. Invert
onto a cake plate. Crumble almond paste
in a small mixing bowl. Add warmed
condensed milk; beat on medium speed
until well combined. Gradually beat in
powdered sugar and drizzle over cooled
cake. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4
C. almonds. Serve warm or at room
temperature. Cut into 3 inch squares to
serve. Serves 9


Bacon/Egg/Cheese Breakfast Cups

1 (8 oz) container crescent rolls
6 strips bacon
5 eggs
1/4 C. milk
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded,

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray. Divide
rolls into triangles (easier if you lay them
on waxed paper). Place widest part of
triangle on bottom of muffin cup (a ‘tail’ of
dough should be hanging out the side). Take
a sharp knife & cut off ‘tail’, then use it to
line the part of the muffin cup that isn’t
already covered in dough. Repeat process
for remaining muffin cups. Place muffin
tin in refrigerator to chill while preparing
filling. Place bacon on microwave-safe plate;
microwave 3 minutes; turn plate 2 more times.
(For 6 breakfast cups you only need 3
pieces bacon). Add eggs & milk, scramble
using a fork or wire whisk; add salt & pepper.
Pour eggs into pan, cook over medium-low
heat approx. 5-8 minutes, salt & pepper,
to taste. (You want the eggs firm but slightly
runny – eggs will finish cooking later, in oven.)
Remove muffin tin from fridge; scoop scrambled
eggs into each cup. Remove cooked bacon from
microwave, crumble & put on eggs. Top eggs/
bacon with shredded cheese. Place cups in
pre-heated oven & cook 15 minutes or until
edges of crescent rolls are golden brown & cheese
is melted. Remove from oven & run a sharp
knife around edges of each muffin cup.


Sour Cream Fruit Salad

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 1/2 C. red grapes
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. shredded coconut
1 C. miniature marshmallows
dash salt
(reserve some grapes, pineapple,
mandarin oranges & coconut for garnish)

Mix all ingredients together; refrigerate overnight.
When ready to serve, spoon into serving dish &
garnish with reserved grapes, pineapple, mandarin
oranges & coconut.



Hope you’re having a GREAT day! Remember to do something for yourself (like a quick nap/great cup of coffee/tea, read a book, take a walk, etc.)



Published in: on March 10, 2014 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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