Busy Couple of Days


The snow is finally melting!

Not a lot to write about – been working on helping middle son with the LAST Art Design project – (I think!). This one is all about Logos – companies use them as ‘instant identification’ for their customers and products. What sounds like an easy assignment can prove to be VERY difficult when it comes to coming up with logo designs for such companies as (a) a ceiling fan company in the tropics (b) a coffee company that is now going to be selling both hot AND cold coffee (c) a sports company that is expanding to cover almost every known sport and (the last and most difficult) (d) MAKE UP your OWN company and then design logos for it! I’d say, of all the companies listed above, the two most difficult were the fan company and the sports company. The teacher did NOT want the students to include any lettering in the design, just a picture/image – not as easy as it sounds. She even told them to ‘think out of the box – the more random, the better” – that’s what happened with the sports company (as you will see when I show you the final photos). In this project, I attempted to stay as much OUT of it as I could, but then it hit the wall, so to speak. It’s very difficult to come up with ideas (SO glad I don’t work for an advertising firm!).

Been cooking a bit lately – Chicken Parmesan, Beef roast with potatoes & carrots; have all the fixin’s for lasagna, but today I just don’t feel quite ‘right’ – ever have one of those days? It was ‘supposed’ to be: get up and go grocery shopping AFTER husband took my car into dealership for a routine check up; no boys home (at work). What actually happened? Got up, husband stayed home not feeling well (headache) – BOTH boys home – surprise! I didn’t feel well, either – achy, out of sorts, yucky (not flu, just not quite ‘right’). Got some laundry done, went through the cupboards & fridge to see what was needed grocery-wise (I knew we were getting pretty empty in the larder, so to speak). Made up the lists for where to go/what to buy but just couldn’t seem to muster enough energy to accomplish it – not ANY of it! Middle son got up and said: “Today’s the day to finish the project!” (me thinking: Oh, great – I didn’t even THINK about that one!). After a brief conference about the last two logo ideas, we settled on them and got to work and I’m happy with what we produced. I’m a perfectionist – it REALLY bothers me if things I make/work on, etc. don’t come out (in my mind’s eye) PERFECT! I have to remember that THIS project is supposed to be my SON’S work, hence I have to do things a bit differently that I would if it were solely mine – what does that mean, exactly? My son is a GUY – they don’t color ‘inside the lines’ exactly – half of this project required using colored pencils in very small spaces, or black ink pen in a 2″ X 2″ space – you tend to get some ‘spill-over’, if you understand what I’m saying. Right now all of the (4)  8 X 8″ squares are painted (2 painted/2 using construction paper-cut out), (4) 2″ X 2″ black pen renderings (12) 3 X 3″ squares colored with colored pencils. What’s left: gluing all of them on four large foam boards plus the headings AND writing a small paper on WHY you chose each of the ideas for each of the four companies. I’M DONE! My part in this is finished – son still has to do the write-ups and the gluing  – all before 9 a.m. tomorrow morning BUT I’M NOT GOING TO STRESS OVER IT!  That’s hard for me, as I want to see the completed project. I love my family but I live with a house full of procrastinators! Oh well – such is life, eh?

Today is St. Patrick’s Day – a day, for me, just like every other day. I’m not one to celebrate this day BUT I WILL post some recipes for you, for this day.


Irish Potluck Potatoes

4 medium-large potatoes, peeled &
sliced 1/8″ thick
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 soup-can milk*
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 quarter loaf Velveeta, cut into
1″ cubes (standard size large loaf)
3 slices deli roast beef, cut into
1/2″ squares (medium thin slice),
approx. 1/4 lb.
3 slices deli corned beef, cut into
squares (medium thin slice) approx
1/4 lb.

4-5 slices bacon, fried & crumbled
(save grease)
1/2 pkg. shredded cabbage, approx.
2-3 C.
3/4 C. coarsely shredded colby cheese
3-4 green onion stems (or whole onion),
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced & cut
into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 stick butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Place
sliced potatoes in pan. Mix soup & soup-can
milk in small bowl; pour over potatoes.
Sprinkle 1 tsp. pepper & salt on potatoes.
Add first layer of roast beef pieces, then
corned beef pieces, then cubed Velveeta.
Bake 40 minutes until potatoes are tender
(check with fork). Reheat skillet with bacon
grease; add onion & cabbage. Sprinkle with
salt & pepper, fry until cabbage is done &
beginning to brown. Remove from heat; stir
in 1/4 stick butter. When potatoes are cooked,
remove from oven. Using fork, transfer cabbage &
onion mixture to casserole dish; uniformly cover
potatoes & cheese; sprinkle with colby cheese
then top with bacon & chopped green onion.
Return to oven 10 minutes to melt cheese &
crisp dish slightly. Remove from oven; let stand
10-15 minutes before serving. Serves 8-10

*1 soup-can: means 1 empty soup can filled
with milk

(recipe: Eric-justapinch.com)

Easy Triple-Layer Pistachio Pie

2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/4 C. sweetened condensed milk
1 (6 oz) Oreo pie crust
3/4. C. chopped pistachios, toasted &
2 (3.4 oz ea) pkgs. Pistachio instant
pudding mix (Jello)
1 3/4 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/

Mix melted chocolate & condensed milk
until blended; spread onto bottom of crust.
Sprinkle with half the nuts & refrigerate
until ready to use. Beat pudding mixes &
milk with whisk 2 minutes (pudding will be
thick). Spread 1 1/2 C. over chocolate layer
in crust. Stir half the Cool Whip into remaining
pudding; spread over pudding layer in crust.
Top with remaining Cool Whip & nuts.
Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

(recipe; Kraft foods)

 Irish Colcannon

1 1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 5),
peeled & quartered
3 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 C. water
3/4 lb. cabbage, shredded (about 4 C.)
2 T. butter
1/2 C. milk, warmed

Cook potatoes in boiling water in large
saucepan 20 minutes or until tender.
Cook & stir bacon in large skillet on
medium heat, until crisp. Remove bacon
from skillet with slotted spoon; drain on
paper towels. Add onion to skillet; cook
& stir 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add
water; stir to release browned bits from
bottom of skillet. Add cabbage; mix well.
Cover & cook 7 minutes or until cabbage is
tender & water is cooked off, stirring
occasionally. Drain potatoes; return to pan.
Add butter; mash potatoes until creamy,
gradually adding milk. Add cabbage mixture
& bacon; mix well. Serves 10 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

“Shamrock” Bell Pepper/Potato Frittata


4 thin slies green bell pepper, sliced into
1/4″ thin slices, crosswise
4 large eggs
4 large egg whites
kosher salt & pepper, to taste
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 C. minced shallots
1 (7 oz) medium peeled Yukon Gold
potato, diced into 1/2 ” pieces
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Crack eggs & egg whites into large bowl.
Add salt & pepper; beat until blended. Heat
10″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add
oil & shallots to pan; cook until golden, 2-3
minutes. Add potatoes, season with salt,
garlic powder, paprika & black pepper. Cover
& cook over medium-low heat, stirring
occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 12-15
minutes. Pour egg mixture into skillet. Carefully
arrange bell pepper slices on top to create a
shamrock pattern, if desired. Reduce heat to
Low; cook until edges are set, 6-8 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven & bake until frittata is
completely set & cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven; transfer frittata to large
place. Cut into 4 wedges; serve.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Mint Chocolate Brownies

1 C. butter, melted
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)

Mint Filling:
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. mint extract
2-3 drops green food coloring
3 T. whipping cream
dash salt

Chocolate Topping:
1/3 . whipping cream
1 1/3 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 C. butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 C. melted butter, 2 C. sugar,
1/2 C. cocoa powder & 2 tsp. vanilla in
bowl of stand mixer or large mixing bowl.
Mix on Low speed until combined & smooth,
about 1 minute. Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time, mixing
well after each one. (the batter will be runny
at this point) In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 C.
flour & 1/2 tsp. salt; toss together with fork to
combine. Add this to brownie batter; mix on
medium speed about 2 minutes until smooth.
Stir in 3/4 C. chocolate chips. Spray a 9 X 13
pan with nonstick spray; spread batter into pan.
Bake 25-35 minutes, being sure not to overbake.
Remove pan from oven; let stand to cool
Prepare Chocolate topping:
Place 1/3 C. whipping cream, 1 1/3 C. semi-sweet
chocolate chips & 1/3 C. butter in medium sauce
pan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly
until all is melted & well combined (a few minutes)
Set pan aside to cool (mixture should be lukewarm
when you pour it over mint filling).
Prepare Mint Filling:
In medium mixing bowl add 2 1/2 C. powdered sugar,
2 T. softened butter, 4 oz. softened cream cheese,
1/2 tsp. mint extract, 2-3 drops green food coloring &
3 T. whipping cream. Beat ingredients 2-3 minutes until
well combined. When brownies are completely cooled,
spread mint filling over brownies. Place pan in fridge &
allow to set about 20 minutes. When filling is set, pour
chocolate topping over top and spread evenly. Place pan
back in fridge 1 hour, or until chocolate layer is set. When
ready to serve, slice with sharp knife and store leftovers
in fridge or freezer. Makes one 9 X 13 pan.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Pop-in-the-Oven Beef Stew

2 lb. lean, boneless beef stew meat, cut into
1 1/2 inch cubes
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 lb. baby carrots
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, cut in quarters or
eighths, depending on size
2 large onions, peeled and cut into chunks
(varying sizes is fine)
1 cup water
1 packet instant beef bouillon (OR use 1 cup
beef broth, and eliminate 1 cup water)
1/3 cup instant tapioca
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon dried basil
6-8 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, including juices

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a very large Dutch oven, stir water, beef bouillon
and tapioca until combined. Stir in salt, pepper,
basil and garlic. (You’re essentially making the
base for the “sauce”) Open can of tomatoes.
Using a kitchen sheers, coarsely cut tomatoes
while in the can. Pour tomatoes, including juices,
into Dutch oven and stir. Alternately add beef,
celery, carrots, onions and potatoes to Dutch
oven, folding and stirring to make sure everything
is coated. Cover and pop in the oven 2 1/2-3 hours,
or until meat and vegetables are tender.
Makes  8 servings.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Blarney Stones

4 eggs
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1/4 C. butter, melted

2 lb. confectioners sugar
2/3 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
6 C. finely chopped peanuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar &
vanilla until thick & lemon-colored,
about 4 minutes. Combine flour,
baking powder & salt; add to egg
mixture. Beat on slow speed just
until combined; beat in milk & butter.
Grease 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray &
pour batter into pan. Bake 30-35 minutes
or until a toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack then
cut into squares. Cover & free overnight.

In a small bowl, beat confect. sugar, milk,
vanilla & salt until smooth. Frost the top &
sides of frozen cake squares then roll in
peanuts. Place on wire racks to set.
Makes 2 dozen

(recipe: Ronda-justapinch.com)

Weather-wise it’s been kind of crazy – when it LOOKS like it’s going to be a rather warm day (in the 40’s, here, would be warm) – it turns into a 9 degree day (like Saturday!) Yesterday was OK but towards evening the wind was really chilly and the temps driving home from church at around 7:45 sat at 14 degrees F. Crazy stuff.

How are YOUR gas prices? Ours have JUMPED – they are now sitting at $3.69/9 – that’s outrageous, in my opinion! (What happened to $3.39/9? I was sort of happy with that, of course LOWER would be good, too!).

Well, the grocery shopping has now been moved to tomorrow AFTER I get done at the dentist’s (quick trip there to pick up a teeth-whitening kit). This is one of two weeks of pretty full days. The good thing? There are TWO church rummage sales coming up this week, on two different days! YAY! You KNOW it’s coming on Spring when we finally get garage/rummage sales! (Mind you – I don’t REALLY NEED anything, I just love the excitement of the search!).

My friend who knit the extra baby hats for me has now given me another bag with 17 MORE hats – and I haven’t delivered the last ones yet! I thought I knit fast – she’s WAAAY past me! Tomorrow is Knit/Crochet night with the added fun of the Yarn/Accessories Swap thrown in. We’ll see how that goes – the ladies seem quite interested (me, not so much: I really don’t have anything to swap AND I already have Way TOO much yarn & accessories!).  I started another baby blanket (think I mentioned that last post): this one is a pattern I’ve done last year, also for the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital baby shower (did 2 last year in this pattern). This time I bought a MUCH brighter yarn for the contrast to the main white color; not exactly sure I like the brightness, but I’m sure the knit group ladies will convince me it’s really “colorful” and babies would love it. We’ll see . . .

Gonna close here for now; hope you have a GREAT day – enjoy and don’t imbibe too much of the Irish Stout!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. As you know by my blog the imbibing was with food and that we did quite a bit of but yum it was good.

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