It’s going to be a GOOD Day!

crocus-9022287

The CROCUS are in bloom! YAY!

If you didn’t know by now, Spring is my all-time FAVORITE time of year – I love watching for the first shoots of the crocus and hyacinth to pop out of the ground, look for the first robins, hear bird songs again – love it all! It’s a little chilly right now (37 degrees F.) but a wee bit sunny, too, which lifts my spirits.

Had a good time at last night’s Knit/Crochet & Yarn Swap night – I took a  large bag filled with mostly worsted weight yarns and several knit bags (I have WAY too many of those!) and came home with new yarns; about 1/3 of the amount of yarns taken – the ones I brought home were baby or sport weight yarns and little bits & pieces, just perfect for baby hats! Most knitters don’t want little bits of yarn – they want the whole skeins to make projects like gloves, scarves, cowls, sweaters, etc. I love the little bits as they are just what I use when making the baby hats. I came away with some really bright yellow (YAY!), a really nice, rich warm cocoa brown and another really nice cream (those will make some really nice looking boy baby hats), some pretty medium pinks, some nice blues and a few skeins of sage green – I’m happy! This was our second Yarn Swap and I truly think we had a lot more yarn THIS time than the first! This idea is a ‘keeper’ – we’ll probably do it again in 3-4, or maybe 6 months (giving them enough time to accumulate more that they don’t need or want!).

With the fun of the evening we were also saddened to learn that one of our ladies (age 70) had passed away 2 days ago. One of the managers of Panera came over with a written message for me from her son; he had called to let the group know AND to say that he wanted to donate all of her knitting materials to us – how kind. When I saw the obituary in last night’s paper, it states that there will be a family time from 5-7 p.m. tonight (no service or funeral), so I’m going to go right at 5 to have enough time to also be able to pick up the one guy who rides with me to special needs group. She will be missed – she only came sporadically but I got to know her a little and really enjoyed her quirky sense of humor. She first came telling me she used to knit many, many years ago and was afraid she wouldn’t be able to remember how to do it. She brought an afghan she’s started long ago (very complicated pattern and it was HUGE!). I’m NOT a knitting teacher, but by looking over her pattern and finally grasping the ‘gist’ of it, I was able to get her back on track. (She kept losing her place in the pattern then having to rip out row after row – and these were really LONG rows!). I told her about ‘stitch counters’ (little circles of plastic that you put on your needle to mark spots in the row) – she had a ton of them in her bag, so we got started breaking her row patterns down to small groups of the same stitches. I was so proud of her (and I think she was proud of herself, too) that after that she was able to sail along knitting happily, having regained her sense of self worth as well as her sense of her ability to knit! Yes, she will be missed greatly.

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Mocha Muffins

2 C. flour
3/4 C. plus 1 T. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
2 T. plus 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules,
divided
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips,
divided
1/2 C. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder,
cinnamon & salt in large bowl. In small bowl,
stir milk & 2 T. coffee granules until coffee is
dissolved. Add butter, egg & vanilla; mix well.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fold in 3/4 C. chocolate chips. Fill greased or
paper-lined muffin cups 2/3rds full. Bake 17-20
minutes for regular muffins or 13-15 minutes for
mini muffins. Cool 5 minutes before removing
from pans to wire racks.
In food processor or blender, combine cream
cheese & remaining vanilla, coffee granules &
mini chocolate chips. Cover & process until well
blended. Refrigerate spread until serving time.
Serve spread on the side. Makes 16 regular or 36
mini muffins.

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

Crockpot Beef & Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 can Ro*Tel
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen Tater Tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small onion, diced
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown beef & onions in skillet; add
Ro*Tel.  Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Pour beef &
onion mixture on bottom of crockpot.
Mix in chicken soup. Pour tater tots
over top & cook 2-3 hours on Low.
One half hour before serving, add
shredded cheese, cover & let cheese
melt.

(recipe: tammileetips.com)
——————————————-

Balsamic Glazed Carrots

1 (2 lb.) pkg. baby carrots
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Lay out carrots evenly on a large
cookie sheet; drizzle olive oil over
carrots, then stir them around so
that they all get a bit of oil on them.
Sprinkle tops with salt & pepper. Roast
in oven 25 minutes, or until fork tender.
In a small bowl mix balsamic vinegar &
brown sugar; drizzle over carrots &
return to oven 5 minutes. Adjust
salt & pepper to your liking.
Serves 6-8

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

Skillet Lasagna

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 C. onion, chopped
1 lb Italian sausage
2 eggs
1 1/4 C. cottage cheese
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt & pepper
1 C. Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 jars (24 oz, ea) Prego spaghetti sauce
1 (9 oz) pkg. Oven Ready lasagna noodles
2 C. mozzarella cheese, grated

Heat large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
Add sausage, garlic & onion; cook until sausage is
browned & onion/garlic are tender; drain grease.
In medium bowl whisk 2 eggs; add cottage cheese,
Italian seasoning, grated Parmesan & salt/pepper;
stir to combine. Pour 1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce &
stewed tomatoes into skillet; stir. Pour 2/3 of sauce
into a separate container; set aside (leaving 1/3 of
sauce in skillet). Layer half of lasagna noodles over
sauce in skillet, break  a few pieces, if needed. Cover
noodles with half cottage cheese mixture; pour 1/3
of reserved sauce over cheese mixture then layer
rest of noodles over top. Add rest of cottage cheese
mixture and rest of sauce. Bring mixture to simmer
over medium-high heat then cover & let simmer about
15 minutes or until noodles are tender & cheese
mixture is melted. (Make sure to not cook at too high
a temperature – you don’t want the bottom to burn).
Turn on oven broiler, uncover skillet & sprinkle 2 C.
mozzarella cheese & 1/2 C. Parm. cheese on top. (Make
sure your skillet is “OVEN SAFE” – if it is not, cover it
with the lid & let cheese melt on stove top. (IF it is
oven safe, place under broiler until cheese broils –
3-4 minutes. remove from pan and let set a few
minutes. Serves 10

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

Watergate Salad

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple in
juice, undrained
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. (Jello) pistachio
instant pudding mix
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Combine first 4 ingredients in large
bowl; stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate
1 hour. Serves 8, about 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————–

Shrimp Scampi

1/3 C. margarine
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 (2 oz) jar diced pimientos,
drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 lb. medium (31/35 count)
shrimp, peeled & deveined

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place margarine in 8 x 8 baking
dish & melt in oven. Add onion,
pimientos, garlic, lemon juice &
dill; stir together. Add shrimp;
toss to coat. Bake, uncovered,
15 minutes or just until shrimp
turn pink. Serves 4, about 8
shrimp each)

Serving note: serve with cooked
linguine, if desired. Cook pasta
while shrimp bakes.

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
————————————

Apple Pork Tenderloin Recipe
(crockpot)

2 lb. pork tenderloin
8-10 medium to large potatoes,
peeled & cubed
1/2 lb. baby carrots
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
4 T. flour (for gravy – optional)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place potatoes & potatoes in bottom
of crockpot; place tenderloin on top. Add
pie filling on top. Cover & cook on High
5-6 hours. Place contents of crockpot into
large bowl. If you want gravy, add flour
to liquid juices at bottom of crockpot;
whisk flour well until blended & serve
with tenderloin & veggies.

(recipe: fromvalskitchen.com)
————————————

Warm Canadian Bacon Bites

1 (3.5 oz) pkg. (Hormel) Pizza-style Canadian
bacon, chopped
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried basil
2 (12 oz,ea) pkg. refrigerated buttermilk
flaky biscuits

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, combine Canadian bacon,
cheese, tomato, onion, mayonnaise & basil.
Cut each biscuit in half. Place biscuit halves
into greased muffin cups, pressing gently to
fit cups. Spoon 1 T. filling into each cup.
Bake 20-25 minutes; serve warm.
Makes 40 appetizers.

(recipe: Hormel foods)
—————————————–

No-Bake Peanut Butter Eclair Cake

Cake:
18 chocolate graham crackers

1 (3.5 oz) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 C. milk
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
16 Reese’s Peanut butter cups
Frosting:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 T. unsalted butter
1 T. corn syrup
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. milk

In large mixing bowl, beat pudding mix with
milk until there are no lumps. Beat in peanut
butter until smooth; fold in Cool Whip, set
aside.
In 9″ square baking pan, layer 6 grahams; top
with half of pudding mix. Top with 6 more crackers
& all peanut butter cups. Top with remaining
pudding mixture; finish by topping with remaining
6 graham crackers.
Frosting:
Heat unsweetened chocolate with butter & corn
syrup on medium heat in small saucepan; whisk
until smooth. Remove from heat & whisk in powdered
sugar & milk. Frost top of graham cracker layer &
refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Serves 8

(recipe: www.shugarysweets.com)

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

I was just going through my files and realized I have a TON of great recipes for you. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more frequently just to be able to share these – some would be perfect for Easter dinner. Right now I’m not in the “Easter Dinner” mode – I’m finding every year I almost dread the cooking simply because very early that morning I will be in our church kitchen helping with the 8:45 a.m. Easter Breakfast, quickly followed by me running to the choir room to briefly practice, then go out & sing for the Easter Service, with the choir. After the church service, I’m certainly NOT thinking about what to cook that evening! Yes, I know that some grocery stores offer all-cooked dinners to pick up, not sure if I’m ready for that yet. We’ll see, as time goes on, what transpires at my house. Have YOU started planning/shopping for that yet? I’m sure it will be a small dinner here, just my family & grandson, total: 6 people, so dinner shouldn’t be that difficult. I ‘might’ ask oldest son, the chef, if he’ll prepare his super-tasty cauliflower casserole – we’ll see. Just spotted the dessert I posted above: “Watergate Salad” – might make that one for a side dessert. To quote a family statement from my past: “All things in due time.”

Have a great day – hope you’re area is starting to look more Spring-like every day!

Big hugs;

Pammie

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello, I am a children’s librarian and a church goer. My husband is a preacher and church has been my whole life. But, I also love crochet, knitting, and cooking. So, today I am so blessed in finding your web site. I love your blog. Thank you for the recipes and the words of encouragement. I have enjoyed browsing your site.

    • Thank you SO much for such a lovely comment! It’s always good to hear from my readers (makes my day!). Hopefully you’ll find something useful here (recipes, book suggestions, etc). Nice to meet you! Stay in touch!!! (do YOU have a blog?)


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