Easy-goin’ Saturday

12339809858uiR0bWell – it’s ‘officially’ Spring – even if it doesn’t FEEL like it!

Happy Saturday! This week has been a bit ‘busy’ and I didn’t even REALIZE it was already Saturday! (THAT’S how scrambled it’s been!) Last night was my special needs Gym Night – it went over well, although we only had about 15 students; my theory is: because of the goofy weather and all the cancellations we’ve had to make, they’re almost ‘gun-shy’ when it comes to coming back to the group! Wednesday we had 17 kids – that’s really LOW! Sure hope it picks up some soon, now that (hopefully) our weather will be better. HOWEVER-living in Michigan is much like the cartoon below:

5847_10151395471925376_1953748497_n

Right now it’s a VERY NICE 36 degrees F.! Yesterday I was being ‘optimistic’ and wore my Fall/Spring light jacket – then went to pump gas and wished I still had the heavy winter jacket – it was very breezy and CHILLY! (gas was $3.56/9 . . . sigh). It rained overnight but NO SNOW – YAY!

Went to my first (of the season) Rummage Sale yesterday at a church. I’ve attended (and worked at) MANY rummage/garage sales in my day – this was the most dis-organized I’ve ever seen! After walking around a bit, I finally asked one of the people just WHY they had all these little areas of clothes, then dishes, toys, then more clothes, some books, more clothes, etc. instead of an area of all clothes, all books, all kitchen/dishes items, etc. She said they were trying to raise monies for their church repairs and each attending/participating family had their own ‘bucket’ in which to put their funds. Essentially: all the strange ‘groupings’ were each family’s items! I wondered why there were people (almost ‘stationed’) about every 7 feet along the tables – waaay too many people – made the buyers feel like we were under some extreme surveillance! STRANGE! As I was walking in I heard a couple going out talking about the HIGH prices there. I even attempted to suggest to one of the selling people that they just pool all their donated items, (since all the proceeds were going to the church), arrange them by category, then all monies go to the church – she kept going back to the ‘Oh, NO! EACH family has their OWN bucket!” What a weird concept! She also said this was their first rummage sale – sure hope they learn something from it! I saw very few buyers but (as said before) WAAAY TOO MANY people selling! (They were also clustered in groups – not paying any attention to their items, just chatting – not a good business procedure, I would think. Sure didn’t make me WANT to buy anything!) I ended up buying a 6 qt. crockpot (circa, I’m guessing, 1990’s) for $5.00 – had a sticker: “It WORKS!” Brought it home, all happy – went to wash it, turned it over and there appeared to be a small crack in the plastic base. Husband looked it over, sort of took it apart – lots of old grease around inside rim. I cleaned that all off – guess what! The grease is what held the base to the main part! Now that it’s clean, the base keeps falling off the main part! Oh well – it is the same size as my old crockpot AND is also one of those that the ceramic insert is removable, so I’m going to keep the ceramic insert & lid – my old crockpot is also circa 1980/1990’s – I think mine’s a bit older – it belonged to husband’s Mom. Ya win some – ya lose some, right? (Here I was, all happy that now I have TWO crockpots! sigh . . . )

Just spent a bit of time searching out clipart ‘ideas’ for middle son’s NEXT art project. Yep, it’s another DOOZIE! This one requires using ‘reverse imaging’ – sort of like an old black & white photo negative – the main image has to be REVERSED, and we can only use TWO colors for the entire work – ALSO they have to be CUT OUT OF CONSTRUCTION PAPER!  (plus she said she wants DETAILED work – ugh!). They were given 8 ideas/themes and we are to chose 5 (or you can come up with 2 of your own out of the 5). Son & I haven’t had time to actually collaborate yet, so I went ‘brain-storming’ – my choice of the 5 (these are fake book titles you need to design the covers for):

“Sunset Yoga”

“Riding the Wave”

“Identify Jungle Vegetation”

“Greek Architecture”

“Light Houses of North Carolina”

Sounds like fun, right? I found some really amazing clipart at a site I’ve never seen before; gave me some really GREAT ideas to work on! (YAY!) I think the hardest will be the Greek Architecture, simply because it needs to be (in my opinion) simple/stark yet effective. Also the jungle vegetation one will require LOTS of cutting – thank heavens for my embroidery scissors with tiny tips/very sharp edges! Yes, folks, I can see us immersed in this one for hours & hours. There is still ONE MORE project after this one – it better be an easier one (although I’m guessing, it won’t be).

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

Maple-Baked Apple Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. sliced onions
2 red cooking apples, sliced
1/2 C. maple-flavored pancake syrup*
1/3 C. zesty Italian salad dressing

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook chicken in large ovenproof skillet
sprayed with nonstick spray, on medium-
high heat 3 minutes on each side, or until
evenly browned; remove from heat. Top
chicken with onions; surround with apples.
Mix syrup & dressing; pour over chicken.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done
(165 degrees F.). Drizzle with syrup mixture
from bottom of skillet. Serves 4

*can substitute honey for syrup

NOTE: If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet,
cover handle of your regular skillet with several
layers of foil before using in oven.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

————————————————–

Crockpot Chicken & Gravy

2 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 envelope chicken gravy mix
hot, steamed rice

Combine all ingredients (except rice) in
crockpot & cook, on Low 4-6 hours. Before
serving, break chicken breasts into bite-sized
pieces and serve over hot steamed rice.

(recipe: ziplist.com)
—————————————

Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes (about 2 1/2 – 3 lb, total),
peeled, cut into 1″ chunks
1 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. (8 oz pkg) shredded Cheddar cheese,
divided
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled/divided
sliced green onions (garnish-optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with
water, bring to boil. Cook over medium-high
heat 15-20 minutes or until tender; drain.
Add evap. milk, sour cream, salt & pepper to
potatoes in saucepan; beat with elec. mixer
until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 C. cheese & half
of the bacon; mix. Spoon mixture into a
greased casserole dish. Bake 20-25 minutes
or until heated through. Top with remaining
1/2 C. cheese, remaining bacon & green
onions, if using. Bake an additional 3 minutes
or until cheese is melted.

(recipe: Sunday newspaper flier)
———————————————

Easy Homemade Apple Fritters

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped apple

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking
powder, cinnamon. Stir in milk and
egg until just combined. Fold in apple.
Pour oil into skillet so that it is
approximately 1 1/2 deep. Heat oil on
high. Oil is ready when a little dough thrown
in floats to top. Carefully add dough to
oil in heaping teaspoons. Cook until brown,
about 2 minutes, then flip. Cook another
1-2 minutes, until both sides are browned.
Transfer briefly to paper towels to absorb
excess oil, then transfer to cooling rack.
Make glaze by stirring milk and powdered
sugar together in a small bowl. Drizzle over
apple fritters. Wait approximately 3 minutes
for glaze to harden, then flip fritters and
drizzle glaze over the other side. Best served
warm.

(recipe: Facebook)
——————————

Devil’s Food Cake & Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. milk
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cocoa
1 C. boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream together shortening & sugar;
add egg & milk alternately with flour,
baking soda, salt & cocoa. Add water &
vanilla; mix well. Grease & flour 2 9″ cake
pans; pour in batter & bake 30 minutes; test
if toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. *

Frosting:
1/2 C. milk
2 T. flour
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar

Add milk & flour to saucepan;
cook until thick, stirring constantly.
Let mixture cool, then whip together
butter, & sugar in a bowl; add to milk/
flour mixture & whip together.

*You can also make this in:
Loaf pan: bake 40 minutes
layer pans: 2 round pans 30 minutes
cupcakes: 17 minutes

NOTE: If you make a layer cake, double
frosting recipe.
———————————–

Quick & Easy Breadsticks

1 1/2 C. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 T. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 – 4 C. flour
1/4 C. butter (not margarine)melted
garlic seasoning

Preheat oven 170 degrees F.
Mix water, sugar & yeast together in glass
measuring cup; let set 5 minutes. Add salt &
flour, one cup at a time, until well incorporated.
Mix on High 5 minutes; let dough rest 5 minutes.
Pour half of melted butter into a jelly roll pan
(large cookie sheet). Place dough in center of
sheet; let set 2-3 minutes. (letting the dough rest
makes it much easier to shape.) Spread dough
out flat onto pan until it reaches all of the edges.
Pour rest of melted butter onto dough; spread it
around with your hands. Sprinkle top with garlic
seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Using a pizza
cutter, cut the dough into three rows lengthwise
and about 12 rows wide.
Place pan in oven 7-10 minutes; breadsticks
should rise about 1 inch.
Turn up oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Bake breadsticks about 12 minutes or until
golden brown. When finished baking, remove
from oven and let rest about 5 minutes, then
recut lines using the pizza cutter. (poster uses
kitchen shears to cut edges where pizza cutter
can’t reach, against pan rim).

Makes approximately 36 small breadsticks

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
————————————–

Apple Praline Bread

1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Granny Smith apples,
peeled & finely chopped
1 cup nuts (walnut or pecan or a combo),
divided

For the Praline sauce:
1/4 cup brown sugar and1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the sour
cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed for
a couple of minutes until well blended. Stop mixer
and then add in the flour, leavening agents and salt.
Continue to beat on low until well combined.
Fold in apples and half of nuts into batter.
Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan*.
Sprinkle the rest of the nuts on top and then
press them lightly into the batter. Bake for about
60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the
center comes out clean. Cool in the loaf pan for
about 20-30 minutes and then transfer to a wire
rack to cool completely.

*So it doesn’t get too dark, I suggest using a light
colored loaf pan.

For the praline sauce:

In a small sauce pan, place the butter and brown
sugar. Using medium heat, bring to a boil. Lower
heat and simmer lightly for about one minute,
stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove
from heat and drizzle over bread. Cool completely.

(recipe: Facebook)
—————————————————–


Light & Delicious Spaghetti Squash

2 T. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato
4 C. fresh baby spinach
2 C. spaghetti squash (see below)
2 dashes salt & pepper

To cook spaghetti squash: make several holes
in squash using a fork then place in microwave
10-12 minutes (about 4-5 minutes per lb). Allow
to cool several minutes. Remove from microwave
cut open lengthwise. Using a fork, scrape out
contents (it will be stringy) into a bowl; set aside.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add
garlic & cook until just turning brown. Add tomato,
sprinkle with a little salt. Top with spinach leaves &
cover; cook 2 minutes. Spinach will cook & reduce
down. Uncover; break up spinach with a wooden
spoon; it will start to clump together once cooked.
Add spaghetti squash a little at a time & stir in. Sprinkle
with salt & pepper. Serves 1-2

(recipe: Julia-justapinch.com)
————————————

Chunky Potato-Swiss Chowder

2 C. thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 C. cubed/peeled Yukon gold potatoes
(about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 C. cubed carrot (about 1/2 lb)
1 C. cubed yellow squash
2 (15.75 oz, ea) ans chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 C. hot, cooked white rice
1 C. Half & Half
1/2 C. (2 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Heat large Dutch oven coated with non-
stick cooking spray over medium-high
heat. Add leek & garlic; saute 3 minutes or
until tender. Stir in potato & next 4
ingredients (potato – bay leaves); bring to
a boil. Cover, reduce heat & simmer 20
minutes or until tender. Discard bay
leaves. Place half of potato mixture in a
blender & process until smooth. Return
pureed potato mixture to pan; stir in rice
& remaining ingredients except parsley.
Cook over medium heat until cheese melts.
Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serves 5

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

Pickle Slice Appetizers
(several day recipe)

7 (3 ” ) Kosher dill pickles
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 pkgs. sliced ham, beef, pepperoni or
turkey (very thin slices)

Drain pickles several hours, up to 12;
wipe dry. Whip cream cheese. Thrust
pickle onto a fork tine. Coat pickle with
cream cheese then wrap with 3 slices
of meat. Wrap pickle in plastic wrap &
refrigerate several days. When ready to
serve, use a sharp knife & slice into
pieces 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.

 

NOTE: You can also add a few shakes of
Tabasco sauce to cream cheese when
whipping, for flavor

 

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

Princess Pie (Coconut Cream)

Crust:
1 C. flour
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 T. sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix & pat into 8 X 8 pan. Bake 15-20
minutes, until just beginning to turn
golden; do not over bake.

Layer #2:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Beat together sugar & cream cheese; fold
in Cool Whip. Spread on cooled crust.

Layer #3:
1 small pkg. coconut cream instant pudding mix
1 1/2 C. cold milk

Mix together pudding & milk until thickened.
Spread over cream cheese mixture.

Top with remaining tub of Cool Whip.
Toast 1 C. coconut, sprinkle evenly on top
of dessert & refrigerate.

(recipe: Facebook)

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

Hope you’re having a great SPRING day! Hope the sun is shining where you are and it’s lifting your spirits greatly!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. It is now Sunday and we had maybe 2 hours of sunshine ( not a happy camper)!


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