And We’re Off – AGAIN!

Yep, I’m ‘back in the game’ – the ART DESIGN PROJECT game, of course! This particular project is (in my opinion) VERY touchy/difficult only in that it not only requires you cut things out of construction paper very finely BUT it requires you to think OPPOSITE of what your normal brain-thinking would be. I’ll attempt to explain: this project is supposed to be a book cover BUT it’s in REVERSE – think of an old-time film negative: that which is white is black/etc. The book covers are to be done on 6 X 6″ bristol (kind of thick cardboard) board using cut out construction paper for the designs. We are to chose 5 book titles (as given by the teacher) and come up with designs for them. On the back of the presention board they are to render a 2 X 2″ square in black & white that is the opposite of the front design (see what I mean about brain-thinking? His teacher did tell the class normal people don’t think this way, so it’s very difficult to wrap your brain around this idea – at least for ME it was!) Here is what we’ve done so far:


This is the cover, done in black & light blue, here is the back side 2 X 2″ black & white


(I had to show this in 2 photos, since this one is done) The rest have not been glued to the presentation boards yet, so I photographed them, not glued, on a white board)


The book title is:  Sunset Yoga


This book title is: Greek Architecture

(it kind of looks crooked, but it’s only resting on the white board, not glued)

We still have two more designs to finish; I sketched out my ideas for the last two, but middle son has to make up his mind how he wants to do them. At the last minute he suddenly decided to change-up one of the titles (oh, great . . . sigh). We’ll see what happens. (Ah, yes – son just got home and said (about the Greek Architecture one)
“Don’t you remember? The teacher said she wants the design moved over closer to the middle of the page?” Let’s just say I wasn’t happy (to put it mildly!) His comment: “Mom, you don’t take criticism well.” YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!  This is where I just back off and see how he does the rest of this, right?

Not much new around here – Knit/Movie night went very well: 11 people and a TON of food! The funny thing? Four people said they were bringing dessert, none (at the time) said exactly WHAT dessert. Come that night – we ended up with FOUR batches of CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! How funny! Watched the movie: “Dear John”; some really liked it, I thought it was OK.

Today was ‘supposed’ to be the finish of our roofing/gutters project (we let them delay finishing due to all the snow & ice). They came out and said: “The weather is supposed to get worse today – snow & rain, so we’ll call as soon as we get clearer weather.” That’s fine – we had nothing ELSE to do, anyway! Good old Winter/Spring – ya just never know whether it’s going to be clear or snowy! I saw two robins yesterday! (for us, here in Michigan, they are a harbinger of Spring!).


Ooey-Gooey Chicken

6 boneless, skinless hcicken thighs
1 (13.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 C. water
1 T. dry Italian salad dressing mix (see below)
1 T. quick cooking tapioca
3/4 C. Greek-style plain yogurt (or sour cream),
room temperature (to prevent curdling)
1 T. flour
salt & pepper
bacon bits (optional)

Cooked rice, noodles or potatoes

Place chicken in crockpot. Pour cream of
chicken soup, water, dressing mix &
tapioca over top. Cover & cook on Low
4-6 hours. Remove chicken & shred or
cut into pieces. In a bowl, stir together
Greek yogurt (or sour cream) & flour. Add
mixture to crockpot & stir. Add chicken
back to crockpot; stir into creamy mixture.
Salt & pepper, to taste. Serve over cooked
rice, noodles or potatoes (top with a
spoonful of bacon bits, if desired)
Serves 6

Dry Italian Dressing Mix:
(Makes large amount – if you
want to use it for salads, also or
just use the required amount above
for this recipe)

1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. sugar
2 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. ground basil
1 T. dried parsley
2 T. salt
Mix all ingredients & store in an
airtight container.
(IF you want to make it into
salad dressing:)

2/3 C. apple cider vinegar
2/3 C. olive oil
2 T. water
2 T. dry mix

In a jar, combine all 4 ingredients &
shake. Store in the jar with a lid, in
the refrigerator.

(recipe: 365 days of
Chicken Noodle Casserole

1 (8 oz) pkg. egg noodles
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10.5 oz) can onion soup
1 1/2 C. colby cheese, grated
1 C. chopped celery
1 (2 oz) jar sliced pimentos
1/4 C. slivered almonds
2 (10 oz, ea) cans chunk chicken or
1 1/2 C. cooked, chopped chicken
buttered bread crumbs

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cook noodles accordg to pkg directions.
Combine soups & cheese in small saucepan;
heat until cheese is melted. Combine cooked
noodles, soup & cheese mixture, celery, pimentos,
almonds & chicken. Pour into a 2 1/2 qt. greased
casserole dish. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs on
top. Bake 40-45 minutes.  Serves 4


Zucchini-Onion Frittata

3 T. butter
2 T. vegetable oil
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, cut in half & sliced
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
8 large eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
chopped, seeded plum tomatoes (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter with oil in 12″ ovenproof skillet
over medium-high heat. Add zucchini & onion,
saute 12-14 minutes or until onion is tender.
Remove from heat & stir in 1/4 C. Parmesan
cheese. Whisk together eggs & next 3 ingredients
on list at least 1 minute or until well blended;
pour over vegetable mixture. Bake 13-15 minutes or
until set; increase oven temp. to broil & broil
5 1/2 inches from heat 1-2 minutes or until edges
are lightly browned. Sprinkle evenly with remaining
1/4 C. Parmesan & basil. Garnish, if desired.
Makes 6-8 servings

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Bacon-Horseradish Dip

1 (16 oz) tub sour cream (or Greek-style
plain yogurt)
3 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients until well blended.
Refrigerate several hours or until
chilled. 18 servings, 2 T. each
Serve with crackers, chips or cut-up
fresh vegetables

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chocolate Bundles

1/2 pkg. (17 1/4 oz) Pepperidge Farm
Frozen Puff pastry sheets – 1 sheet
1 (6 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
confectioners sugar

Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature
30 minutes.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix chocolate pieces & walnuts; set aside.
Unfold pastry onto lightly floured surface.
Roll into 12 inch square. Cut into 9 (4 inch)
squares. Place about 2 T. chocolate mixture
in center of each square. Brush edges of squares
with water. Fold corners to center on top of
filling & twist tightly to seal. Fan out corners.
Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake
15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from
baking sheet & cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
Sprinkle tops with confectioners sugar. Makes 9.

For large puffs, cut pastry into 4 (6 inch) squares
and place about 1/3 C. chocolate mixture into
center of each. Continue as directed above.
Makes 4.



Chicken with Garlic, Basil & Parsley

1 T. dried parsley, divided
1 T. dried basil, divided
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Sprinkle 1 tsp. parsley & 1 tsp. basil over bottom
of dish. Arrange chicken breast halves in dish;
sprinkle evenly with garlic slices. In a small bowl,
mix remaining 2 tsp. parsley, basil, salt & red
pepper; sprinkle over chicken. Top with tomato
slices & bake, covered, 25 minutes. Remove
cover, continue baking 15 minutes or until
chicken juices run clear. Serves 4.

(recipe: Pilgrims .com)

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

5-6 potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/2 C. milk
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. tub sour cream
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place potatoes in large pot filled with
water to cover potatoes; bring to boil
over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer
20-25 minutes; drain well. Mash potatoes
until light & fluffy. In large bowl, beat all
other ingredients (except Cheddar cheese &
bacon) until smooth & creamy. Spoon into
lightly greased 9 X 13 pan. Sprinkle top with
cheese & bacon. Cover & bake 30 minutes or
until heated through. Serves 10-12

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

CheesyCauliflower Patties

1 head cauliflower
2 large eggs
1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
olive oil

Cut cauliflower into florets; cook in
boiling water until tender, about 10
minutes; drain. Mash florets while
still warm. Stir in cheese, eggs, panko,
cayenne & salt to taste. Coat bottom
of a griddle or skillet with olive oil
over medium-high heat. Form
cauliflower mixture into patties about
3 inches across. Cook until golden-
brown & set, about 3 minutes per
side. Keep each batch warm in oven
while cooking the rest.


Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

1 loaf Rhodes bread (in freezer section),
1/2 C. softened butter
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 C. finely chopped apple (Granny
Smith preferred)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 C. “Homemade Basic Caramel”
(recipe below)

Grease a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray (or two 8 X 8 pans)
In small bowl combine sugar & cinnamon
for filling. Toss diced apples with lemon
juice in small bowl. On floured surface,
roll out Rhodes dough to approx. 12 X 16
inches; spread with softened butter &
sprinkle top with cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Evenly sprinkle diced apples on top then
drizzle Basic caramel on top of apples.
Starting on long side, roll up dough into a
cylinder; pinch edge to close. Cut dough
into 12 equal circles. (NOTE: it’s easier if
you start with a center cut then work your
way out). Place circles cut-side-down, into
greased pan – try to leave a little bit of space
around each roll, for rising. Let rolls rise
45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake rolls 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-2 C. powdered sugar
dash vanilla flavoring
2 T. milk

Mix well with elec. mixer & frost cooled
rolls. Drizzle Homemade Caramel over each
roll before serving.

Homemade Caramel

2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
3/4 C. dark corn syrup
2 T. unsalted butter
2 tsp. kosher salt

Fill a bowl halfway with ice & water. Combine
ingredients in medium saucepan; bring to
boil over medium-high heat. Cook until
mixture registers 250 degrees F. on a candy
thermometer, about 10-20 minutes (could be
longer). Immediately dip bottom of saucepan
in ice water bath & let chill until bubbles have
subsided, about 1 minute. Stir until stiff caramel
from bottom is incorporated into warm caramel
on top. Remove from water bath,

Visited the library yesterday and checked out another five books; think that’s what I’m going to do today (plus finally make the much-awaited lasagna.) Still working on reading through the many Dee Henderson novels – I like her writing style: enough action/suspense to keep you wanting to read more. Also checked out two Debbie MacComber books; she writes lady-type novels AND books with knitting! (I’ve read several of them – good, kinda ‘fluffy’ stories).

It’s a rather cold/chilly/gloomy day here, temp. 33 degrees F. (perfect SNOW temperature – yippie). Today is one of those days where you just want to snuggle up under a nice, warm afghan and read a good book – or knit! Think I might just do BOTH!

Enjoy your day!



ps: Sorry about the font size on some of the recipes – I try my best to make them legible, but this blog site (I’m guessing) keeps adjusting the size and I don’t know how to change it! I either get super tiny print or HUGE – there’s not nice in-between medium there!



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You have reading and knitting –I have the hoop and reading and we both have crappy weather. It seems like you and son are getting those designs done in a timely manner. For me it would be a big pain in the butt but talented mommy like you can master challenges like that. Great job!

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