WE GOT AN A+ for this project! Amazing!

As I’ve explained before, the assignment was to come up with book covers, using the book titles provided by the teacher. They were to be entirely cut out of construction paper and using only TWO colors, they were to “Pop”! when you looked at them. She asked for details (hard to do when cutting out construction paper, believe me! I discovered I could do so much better using embroidery scissors than the suggested Exacto knife). We have ONE more project – cut out of foam board (oh, joy…); I don’t have all the details yet but they are to create a building, their choice, BUT it has to have a Los Vegas ‘twist’ to it. Son chose a Japanese bath house but after doing some on-line searching for designs/photos, etc. of the outsides, what I THINK he means is a Japanese TEA house (am going to try to sell him on that idea, instead). The bath house is rather plain and will be difficult to VEGAS-Up, whereby the tea house might have better exterior designs to work with. We’ll see where all this goes – right?

Tonight is Knit/Crochet night with another Yarn Swap – this time I was able to take the time to dig through some of my yarn ‘stash’ and (hopefully) get rid of some of it. I don’t work with chunky yarns but somehow have several skeins (probably given to me at one time), plus several variagated yarns (those I used to use when doing the Ghana Project afghans, but haven’t used since – we’re talking 2 1/2 years). Working on the next set of baby hats; finished the delivery yesterday of the 100 hats – the volunteer who took them seemed quite surprised and kept saying: “I know they’ll LOVE them!” I’m just happy they can use something I create to bring joy to others. One of my two friends who also knits hats for my project keeps saying: “We do it because we want every baby born there to know that they are loved.”

Our weather has been AMAZING these past two days: definitely SPRING-Like! It was in the 50’s yesterday but today it got to almost 60! (AND with typical Spring winds – nearly blew me away when I came out of the grocery store! WHEW!) Reading the reports for the rest of the week are actually DISMAL, IF they come to fruition: Thursday High of 39 with chance of SNOW! UGH! (I do remember a huge snowstorm when I was young ON EASTER, so it’s still possible now – sure hope it doesn’t come true!)


Apple Bundt Cake

2 C. white sugar
1/4 C. orange juice
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
3 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped nuts
confectioners sugar
2 C. diced, peeled apples
1 T. white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. vegetable oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
To Make Filling:
Combine diced apples, 1 T. white sugar &
cinnamon; set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder & salt. Beat
2 C. white sugar, oil, orange juice, vanilla & eggs
at high speed of elec. mixer. Stir in sifted
ingredients; fold in nuts. Pour 1/3 of batter into
greased Bundt or tube pan. Add alternate layers
of filling & batter, ending with batter. Bake
55-60 minutes or until top springs back when
lightly touched. Remove cake from pan while hot.
Cool cake on wire rack & sprinkle top with
confectioner’s sugar.


Bacon & Onion Foil Packet Potatoes

2 to 3 sheets of heavy-duty foil
1 packet onion soup powder
10-12 baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
12 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
1 small onion thinly sliced and diced
1 cup cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
Sour cream for serving (optional)

Spray each sheet of foil with cooking spray.
Top each piece with equal portions of potatoes,
bacon, 1 packet onion soup powder and mix.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon
of butter to each serving. Wrap securely.

Grill for 20 to 30 minutes.
Or you can bake it in the oven, at 350° for about
35 minutes or till done. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serve in foil, topped with sour
cream if desired

(recipe: Facebook)
Herb & Cheese Stuffed Roasted Chicken

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. fresh rosemary leaves*
4 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 whole roasting chicken (3 1/2 lb)
1 lemon, halved
1/4 C. olive oil, divided
2 large baking potatoes (1 1/2 lb),
peeled/cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lb) peeled/
cut into chunks

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, rosemary, half garlic &
pepper. At neck of chicken, using handle of
wooden spoon or fingers, carefully separate
skin from meat of breast, thighs & legs, being
careful not to tear the skin. Spoon cream cheese
mixture under skin; use fingers to spread mixture
out to thighs & legs. Place lemon halves into cavity
of chicken. Place chicken in shallow roasting pan;
brush with 2 T. oil. Toss potatoes with remaining
oil & garlic in separate pan. Bake chicken &
potatoes 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is
done (165 degrees F.), stirring potatoes every
30 minutes. Transfer chicken to large serving
dish, reserving juices in pan. Let chicken stand 10
minutes. Spoon potatoes around chicken. Skim
fat from reserved juices in pan; discard fat. Spoon
juices over chicken & potatoes. Serves 6

*can substitute thyme leaves for rosemary

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Balsamic-Glazed Carrots

10 carrots, peeled/quartered lengthwise
1/4 C. balsamic-vinaigrette salad dressing
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. butter
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley

Cook carrots in boiling water in large
saucepan over medium heat 4-6 minutes
or until crisp-tender. Cook dressing, sugar
& butter in small saucepan on Low heat
3-5 minutes or until thickened, stirring
occasionally. Drain carrots; return to pan &
add sauce. Stir & cook 2-3 minutes or until
carrots are heated through & evenly coated
with sauce. Sprinkle top with parsley.
Makes 8 (1/2 C. each) servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spiced Pepper Steak

1 1/2 lb. round steak, cut into strips,
about 1″ X 3″
2 T. cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 medium green bell peppers, seeded &
cut into strips
1/4 C. cold water blended with 1 T. cornstarch

Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat; brown
beef strips quickly. Drain & place in crockpot, then
top with onion. Combine soy sauce, garlic, sugar,
salt, pepper & ginger; pour over beef & onion. Cover
& cook on Low 6 hours. Add tomatoes & green bell
peppers; cook 1 hour longer. Stir cornstarch mixture
into liquid in pot; cook on High until thickened.
Serves 6

(recipe: Cheryl-Slowcooker digest)

Lemon Breakfast Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 box instant cheesecake pudding mix
(4 serving size)
1 C. ricotta cheese (whole milk)
1/2 C. vegetable oil
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, beat together cake mix,
pudding mix, ricotta cheese, oil, eggs &
lemon extract on medium sped 2 minutes;
pour into prepared pan. Mix together sugar &
cinnamon; sprinkle over cake batter. Swirl
mixture into batter slightly. Bake 35-45
minutes or until a toothpick inserted into
center of cake comes out clean. Allow
to cool slightly, then cut into squares.
Serves 16-20


Mexicana Chopped Salad

1/3 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed &
2 avocados, chopped
2 C. halved cherry tomatoes
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 c. chopped red onions
1/2 C. (Kraft) Mexican-style finely
shredded Four cheese

Mix dressing & cumin. Combine rest
of ingredients in large bowl; add
dressing mixture & mix lightly. Serve
immediately. Serves 6, 1 C. each

NOTE: You can also add 1 C. thawed
frozen corn and/or 2 T. chopped fresh
cilantro to salad before tossing with
dressing mixture. Top with 1/2 C.
broken corn tortilla chips.

Salad can be made ahead of time: Prepare
as directed, except do not add avocados &
cheese. Refrigerate up to 8 hours. Toss with
avocados & cheese just before serving.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Incredible Pimento Cheese Spread

1 lb. Velveeta cheese, grated
1 lb. medium Cheddar cheese, grated
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 pint Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 (8 oz) jar pimentos, drained & chopped
3 T. sugar
salt & pepper, to taste

Grate cheeses or cut into small pieces; allow
to soften to room temperature. Combine all
ingredients; blend using mixer/blender or
food processor. (It might be necessary to
divide ingredients into two batches unless
you have a very large mixing container). Store
leftovers in refrigerator; can be frozen.
Makes 2 quarts.


Mini Lasagnas

1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked & drained
1 C. marinara sauce (or your favorite
tomato-based sauce)
1 C. mozzarella cheese, grated + 1 C.
for topping
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C. cottage or ricotta cheese
24 wonton wrappers

(topping: 1 C. grated mozzarella cheese)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray.
Line muffin tins with 12 wonton wrappers.
In small bowl, combine three cheeses; mix
together. Combine meat & sauce. Using a
small cookie scoop, add 1 scoop cheese
mixture to bottom of each wrapper; add a
small spoonful of meat/sauce. Top with
another wonton wrapper, repeat cheese/
meat scoops – you will have 2 layers in each
cup. (You can top each cup with more
mozzarella cheese if you want). Bake 15-20
minutes until bubbly & wontons are brown.
Remove from oven & let set a few minutes;
run a knife around cup & remove to serving
plate. Makes 12 cups


Chocolate-Raspberry Individual 'Flans'

1 1/2 C. boiling water
1 (.3 oz) pkg. Raspberry Jell-)
1/2 oz. Baker's bittersweet chocolate
1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
3/4 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 C. fresh raspberries
In large bowl add boiling water to 
Jell-O; stir 2 minutes until completely
dissolved. Microwave chocolate, 
marshmallows & Cool Whip in
medium microwaveable bowl on 
High 1 minutes or until marsh-
mallows are completely melted &
mixture is well blended when stirred.
Gradually whisk in Jell-O until
blended. Pour into 4 dessert dishes;
refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
Top with berries before serving.
Serves 4

For Lower-Calorie Version:
use Sugar-free Jell-O
and sugar-free Cool Whip

NOTE: For 'extra' touches, you can
melt additional bittersweet chocolate
and drizzle over tops of desserts
before serving. Dust raspberries
with powdered sugar before garnishing.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Now the sun is out – YAY! Any little bit of sunshine really brightens up my spirits – how ’bout you?

Gas prices are about the same as last week, they went down about 2 cents ($3.56/9). I’ve also noticed at the grocery store how some things have gone up a bit in price: milk $3.59/9 (unless, of course, you look for a lower price in the local DRUG STORE fliers!). Hamburger has gone from a large package running about $5-6 to now $7 & 8.00 (that’s the lower grade hamburger, at my local store, not a chain). Went grocery shopping today and there’s Enchiladas and Black Bean/Chicken soup on the menu soon. Like I’ve mentioned before, with the guys working and crazy hours, at that – we don’t have ‘sit down’ dinners like we used to; makes planning foods a little difficult. I try to make things that can be warmed up in individual portions. We just finished up the lasagna & chili.

Anyway, I’m going to close here for now – hope you have a GREAT day! Remember to do something for yourself every once in awhile – makes YOU feel better and also lifts your spirits!




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

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