Choices

breast-cancer-pink-ribbon-woman-eps-24976369

In everyone’s life there are choices – some easy, some difficult, but we ALL have to make them. This week was my first visit to my cancer doctor since he took me off of the cancer-suppressing drug six months ago. I am now feeling back to my ‘old’ self; I have energy, my mind is clear and I don’t ache constantly – I’m really happy about that. During our brief check up he asked me if he mentioned starting another drug the last time we met; I said no. He then ran down the drug, what it does and why I should be taking it for the REST OF MY LIFE. Basically, it’s another of the SAME drug I stopped six months ago – same side effects, etc. I asked him to give me the ‘numbers’ (basically, your ‘odds’ of cancer coming back again). My number is 16%, so I asked him IF I took this drug, what would be the number – 14% he said. I told him that, for 2% difference, I will take my chances and stay off any suppressing drugs. It’s a kind of scary thing, wondering IF the cancer will return (he did say that most breast cancers DO return), but I’m am going on 66 in June and I truly want to LIVE my life, not just barely struggle by every day – in pain, with a muddled brain, constantly struggling and feeling like I’m 90! Choices – we all have to make them. I decided to put it in the Lord’s hands because HE is in control of  my life and only HE knows when, exactly, I will depart this life. Yesterday I attended a visitation for a friend I knew from Michigan Bell, who recently died. I was a bit shocked to learn that she had died of a re-occurrence of breast cancer which spread to her lungs and thyroid. Did THIS bring my recent visit to the doctor into perspective? No – because I learned from her sister, that breast cancer runs in their family (to my knowledge, I’m the only one EVER to have contracted the disease). Lots of prayer and consideration – but my CHOICE is to LIVE, the best I can, until the Lord takes me home.

On a better note, our weather has been totally late-Spring-like: it’s been into the 70’s!!! Right now (at 1:40 p.m.) it’s 66 & clear/sunny – just my kind of weather! We have the windows open, the house heat ‘off’ and are just enjoying the long-awaited nice weather!

If you remember, I mentioned a few posts ago, that a close friend’s grandson (girlfriend) is going to have a baby in August. (they’re the ones that like the really bright/almost neon green). I knit a baby hat with the bright green border & a blue/green & white variegated main part. Am almost finished with a sweater (6 mo). which I started 2 days ago. This will be my second sweater, ever, and it’s a different pattern than the first one I knit. It is also in the bright green, with a hood – just have to finish the hood then attach the arms, sew up seams, sew on 2 small buttons and we’re ‘good to go’. I also want to knit booties to go with it – those are ‘in the offing’. As well as those, I wanted to knit a baby blanket. Yes, I’ve knit tons of baby blankets, but this time I wanted to vary the pattern a bit using white and also the blue/green/white, and bordering it in the bright green. Spent a bit of time on various knit sites trying to find a pattern that would work for this color scheme and finally found this one:

Blanket-Feather_FanPic__2__medium2

I’m leaving the thick white border ‘white’ and making the scalloped ‘fan’ decoration in the blue/green/white yarn; it will then be bordered with the bright green yarn, when finished. This is my first “Feather & Fan” pattern – it looks easy but it’s lots of counting (and, let me tell you – I tend to let my mind WANDER when doing that and end up with either too many or not enough stitches at the end of the 154 stitches per row – UGH!). We’ll see how this goes; I already told my friend when she said the shower is in JUNE, that I might not get all the knitting done by then. She said that’s OK  . . . whew! (I was counting on July, maybe – but certainly not the first weekend in JUNE!) Sigh . . . lots of knitting in MY future, for sure!

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

Breakfast Bake

1 can Flaky Grands biscuits
1 (8 oz) bag shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C. milk
1 C. cooked, cubed ham (or ground sausage)
5 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients and mix saving biscuits for last.

Cut biscuits into fours and carefully mix in.
Transfer to roomy casserole dish that has been oiled.
Bake 25 minutes

(recipe: Facebook)
———————————–

Chocolate-Pecan Pie Bars

1 C. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. flour
2 C. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. light corn syrup
2 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. semi-sweet
chocolate, divided
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat butter, flour, 1/2 C. sugar &
salt with elec. mixer until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs.
(SEE NOTE BELOW)
Press crumbs on bottom of
15 X 10 X 1″ pan sprayed with
nonstick spray.
Bake 20 minutes or until lightly
browned. Microwave corn syrup &
6 oz. chocolate in large microwave-
able bowl on High 2 1/2 minutes or
until chocolate is almost melted,
stirring after 1 1/2 minutes; stir until
completely melted. Add remaining
sugar, eggs & vanilla; mix well. Stir
in nuts.Pour chocolate mixture over
warm crust; spread to evenly cover
crust. Bake 35 minutes or until filling is
firm around edges but still slightly
soft in center; cool completely. Melt
remaining chocolate as directed
on pkg; drizzle over dessert. Let stand
until chocolate is firm. Cut into bars.
Makes 48 servings.

NOTE: Line pan with aluminum foil with
ends extending over sides; spray foil
with nonstick spray. Lift cooked dessert
from pan with foil ‘handles’ before
cutting into bars.

(recipe: kraft recipes)
———————————


Cheddar Baked Chicken

-
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 egg
1 T. milk
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 C. crispy rice cereal (Rice Chex type)
3 chicken breast halves, cut in half
2 T. butter, melted
-
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Coat a medium baking pan with 1/4 C.
melted butter. In a bowl, mix flour, salt, 
pepper, & garlic powder. In a separate bowl, 
beat together egg & milk. In a third bowl, 
mix cheese, bread crumbs & cereal. 
Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, 
dip in egg mixture then press into
bread crumb mixture to coat. Arrange 
in prepared baking dish. Drizzle 2 T. 
butter evenly over chicken.
Bake 35 minutes or until coating is 
golden brown & chicken juices run clear.

(recipe: Mary Free-Mary's Recipe Exchange)
-------------------------------------------

Taco Cornbread Pizza

1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix
1 lb. ground beef
1 (1 1/4 oz) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare corn muffin mix accordg.
to pkg; spread into greased 12 inch
pizza pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until
lightly browned. Cook meat with seasoning
mix as directed on pkg. Sprinkle 1 C. cheese
over crust; top with meat mixture & remaining
cheese. Bake 4-5 minutes or until cheese is
melted. Serves 8

Can be served with taco toppings: shredded
lettuce, chopped tomatoes, thick & chunky
salsa

Variation:
Prepare as directed, using these variations:
omit taco seasoning & add 3/4 C. barbecue
sauce to drained, cooked meat. Substitute
1 finely chopped red or green pepper, 1 C.
frozen corn & 1 (15 oz) can black or kidney
beans (rinsed & drained) for drained, cooked
ground beef.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

—————————————-

Southwestern Quinoa & Black Bean Casserole

3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
2 jalapenos, seeds & ribs removed, minced
1 T. oil
4 1/2 C. cooked black beans*, rinsed
1 1/4 C. vegetable broth
2 C. cooked quinoa**
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
4 bell peppers, diced
1 1/4 C. shredded Mexican cheese
diced green onions

Can be served with: sour cream, tortilla chips,
on tacos, on a salad or eat just as is!

*Black beans: Heat oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion &
jalapeno, saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in broth & black beans; bring to boil & cook
5 minutes. Mash beans to desired consistency;
mixture should be thick, not watery. If there is
still a lot of moisture, let it cook out by keeping it
on heat another few minutes;. taste & season with
salt.
**Quinoa: In dry nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat, toss & toast cooked quinoa with cayenne, chili
powder, cumin & salt 1-2 minutes. Taste & season with
salt; set aside.
Peppers: In same dry nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat, place diced peppers – DO NOT STIR. This allows the
peppers to get a brown roasted look on the outside. Wait
2-3 minutes before stirring, then let them ‘roast’ for another
few minutes before removing from heat.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spoon black bean mixture into a glass 9 X 13baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with quinoa, bell peppers
& cheese. Cover with foil & bake 20 minutes. Remove foil &
bake another 10 minutes or until top layer of cheese is golden
& bubbly. Sprinkle with green onions;
let cool at least 10 minutes.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

——————————

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & well drained/squeezed
1 1/4 C. mozzarella cheese, divided
6 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts,
1 1/2 lb., pounded to 1/4 inch thick
1 egg
10 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 C.)
1 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce, heated

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 C. mozzarella &
3 T. Parmesan until blended; spread onto
chicken. Starting at one short end of each
breast, roll up chicken tightly & secure with
a wooden toothpick. Beat egg in shallow dish.
Mix remaining Parmesan & cracker crumbs in
separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then
roll in crumb mixture to evenly coat. Place,
seam side down, in 9 X 13 pan sprayed with
nonstick spray. Bake 30 minutes or until
chicken is done (165 degrees F.). Remove &
discard toothpicks. Serve chicken topped with
heated spaghetti sauce & remaining cheese.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

———————————————–

Creamy Vegetable Bake

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. milk
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
4 large carrots (1/2 lb) diagonally
sliced
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1″ lengths
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix for chicken

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Microwave cream cheese & milk in large
microwaveable bowl on High 1 min. or
until cream cheese is melted & mixture is
blended when stirred. Add Parm. cheese
& basil; stir to blend. Add vegetables; toss
to coat. Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray; pour vegetables into pan. Prepare
stuffing mix accordg. to box; spoon over
vegetable mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until
golden brown. Serves 10 (3/4 C. ea)

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————

Tortellini Tuna Salad

1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
tortellini, cooked
1 (5 oz) can tuna, drained & flaked
1/2 C. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 C. chopped red peppers
1/4 C. finely chopped red onions
1/4 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/4 C. Italian salad dressing

Combine all ingredients; refrigerate
several hours. Serves 4, 1 C. each

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

———————————

Apple Orchard Chicken Salad

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 c. chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 C. chopped walnuts, toasted
2 green onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 apple, chopped

Mix first 3 ingredients in large bowl;
add remaining ingredients & mix
lightly. Serves 10, 1/2 C. each

(recipe: Kraft foods)

——————————

“Potachos”
(snack)

4 C. kettle potato chips (4 oz)
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 small tomato, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 C. sour cream

Spread chips on large microwaveable
plate; top with cheese. Microwave
on High 1-2 minutes or until cheese
is melted. Top with remaining ingredients;
serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

————————————

Chocolate Cream Cheese

 Crust:
1/2 C. pecans, finely chopped
1 C. flour
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
dash salt

Cream Cheese Layer:
12 oz. cream cheese ( 1 1/2 pkgs)
softened
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip (thawed)

Pudding Layer:
1 (6 oz) box chocolate pudding mix
3 C. milk

Cream Layer:
3-4 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place 1 C. flour, 3/4 C. brown sugar,
1/2 C. softened butter & chopped
pecans in medium mixing bowl.
Using pastry blender (or fork), mix
ingredients together. (do not over-
mix – there should still be many
clumps of butter throughout the mix).
Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray;
sprinkle mixture into pan. Press gently
down with fingers. Bake 10 minutes or
until crust is golden brown. Remove
from oven & cool 5 minutes. While it
is still warm, using a sturdy spatula,
break up crust into pieces. Press
crumbs back down with spatula &
let cool completely. Place in medium-
sized mixing bowl: 1 box choc. pudding
mix & 3 C. cold milk; beat with elec.
mixer until thick. In another medium
sized bowl place 12 oz cream cheese,
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla &
dash salt; beat until well combined &
smooth. Add 1 1/2 C. thawed Cool Whip
& beat until well combined. Carefully
spoon cream cheese layer onto cooled
crust. Using a knife, gently spread it over
the crust. (crust might stick to filling – be
gentle & spread carefully). Cover this
layer with pudding – spread out evenly.
Place about 4 C. Cool Whip on top of
pudding layer & spread out. Cover with
plastic wrap & chill at least 1 hour.
Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup.net)

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

That’s about ‘it’ for now – gas prices are still staying around $3.79/9 – not exactly where I’d like them, but what can you do?

Hope you have a GREAT weekend, and for those of you who are Mothers/Grandmothers/etc.:

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. The same wish back to you friend. I have spent quite a bit of time outside the last two days so I did a bit of Sunday chores this morning be fore company came. i hope the knitting gets done on time.


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