A Quiet Day


Today is another quiet, beautiful Spring day – temperatures in the high 70’s! YES! I love this weather! Due to the holiday weekend, gas prices rose a bit – we’re up to $3.89/9 (sure hoping it drops on Tuesday, as I will be needing gas around that time!).

Last night I decided to watch TV (I don’t watch very often, only a few shows); ran into a “Pledge Drive” program but this one featured Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell. I knew Steve Martin was an excellent banjo player; he really shines in the songs he plays and has written. I’m usually not fond of Blue Grass music, but this entire program blew me away! I’d never heard of Edie Brickell (later found out she’s married to Paul Simon of Simon & Garfunkle!). She has a very gentle, easy-going voice and style – I was totally captivated! If you’re interested, here’s a clip:


Found myself tapping my toes, swaying to the music and ending up fully uplifted by the end of the program! Just the kind of music I needed!

Lots more recipes – here ya go!


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.
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)

Layered Dinner: Steak/Potato/Corn
on the Cob – Crockpot!
(using a 6 Qt. crockpot)

1 1/2 lb. rib eye steak
1 T. (your favorite seasoning rub)
1 T. dried onion flakes (or fresh
onion, chopped fine)
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 C. beef broth or apple juice
2-4 potatoes
2-4 ears fresh corn
aluminum foil

Rub meat with seasoning rub & place
in bottom of crockpot (rub both sides).
Add apple juice & Worc. sauce. Wash
potatoes & cover with alum. foil. Shuck
corn & wrap each ear in foil; add potatoes
& corn to crockpot. Cover & cook on High
5-7 hours or Low about 8 hours.
Serves 2-4

(recipe: crockpot365.blogspot.com)

Crockpot Country Apple Crisp

6 C. apples (peeled/cored &thinly
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4 C. flour
1 C. oats
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1 stick butter, sliced

Grease or line crockpot. Using a
zip-lock bag, toss apple slices,
sugar & spices until coated. Pour
apples & any remaining mixture
into crockpot; spread out evenly.
In medium bowl, combine flour,
oats, brown sugar & nuts; pour
over apples, smoothing into an
even layer. Place sliced butter pats
over top of mixture & lightly press
down with back of a spoon. Cook
on High 3-4 hours until apples are
tender. Remove lid for final 15-20
minutes to allow top to crisp up.
Serve warm (or with vanilla ice

(recipe: theshadyporch.com)

Crunchy Poppy Seed Coleslaw

1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw
2 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. ramen noodles
3 apples, chopped into small chunks
8-10 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 C. cashews, roasted & salted
1 (12 oz) bottle Poppy Seed Dressing
or make this one*, see below
salt & pepper

Pour coleslaw into large bowl. Remove
ramen noodles from pkgs – discard
seasoning packets. Place noodles in
ziplock bag; close bag & crush noodles
into small pieces (use a rolling pin);
add pieces to salad bowl. Add apples,
green onions & cashews to bowl. Pour
entire bottle of Poppy seed dressing
over salad; sprinkle with salt & pepper
& mix until well combined. Cover with
plastic wrap & refrigerate at least 1
hour, up to 2 hours. Serves 10

* Homemade Creamy Poppy Seed

2/3 C. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. chopped onion (chopped fine)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. fresh orange juice
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 T. poppy seeds

Place all ingredients (except oil &
poppy seeds) in blender; blend all
together. Remove lid & carefully
add oil slowly. After oil is added,
blend on High 2 minutes. Turn
off blender & gently stir in poppy
seeds with a spoon. (do NOT blend
them). Serve or cover & refrigerate
until using. Makes 3 C.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

Baked Pimiento Cheese Dip

1 (8 oza) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. mayonnaise
1 (8 oz) pkg. sharp Cheddar cheese,
1 (8 oz) pkg. Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained
2 (4 oz, ea) jars diced pimientos, drained
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl, combine
cream cheese, mayonnaise & both
cheeses. Using a wooden spoon, mix
mixture together well. Place red
peppers & pimientos on paper towels;
pat out excess moisture. Roughly chop
peppers & add, with pimientos, to bowl.
Add hot sauce, Worc. sauce, salt, sugar &
cayenne pepper; stir together well. Spoon
into prepared dish. Bake 20-25 minutes
until bubbly & lightly browned.
Serves 12

(recipe: spicysouthernkitchen.com)

Calico Beans (Crockpot)

(They are sort of like BBQ beans or baked beans
but not quite as sweet and more savory)

1 lb. bacon
1 lb. ground beef
1 (53 oz) can pork & beans
2 (16 oz, ea) cans butter beans
2 (16 oz.ea) cans red kidney beans,
rinsed & drained
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 C. ketchup
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1 T. ground mustard
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

In large skillet, cook bacon until crisp;
cool on paper towels then crumble &
place in bottom of 6 qt crockpot. Drain
off bacon grease from skillet & add
ground beef; brown & crumble meat.
Drain fat & add meat to crockpot. Add
rest of ingredients to crockpot & stir
to combine. Cover & cook on Low 8
hours or High 4 hours*
Serves 20+

*Note from poster: While you CAN
cook these beans on High for 4 hours,
I feel the flavor is better brought out
when cooked on Low for longer cooking
time. They can be cooked a day ahead &
refrigerated then warmed up when ready
to serve.

(recipe: Crockpot Ladies)

Bacon Caesar Pasta Salad

1 hard boiled egg yolk, smashed
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. mayonnaise
1 T. spicy mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 tsp. black pepper
1/3 C. olive oil

1 (12 oz) box pasta, cooked accordg
to pkg directions, drained & rinsed to cool
1/2 C. red onion, sliced very thin
5 oz. (1 heaping cup) cherry or grape
tomatoes, halved
6-8 slices bacon, cooked, drained & crumbled
(more, if you want to put some on top of salad)
7-8 C. torn romaine lettuce (about 2″ pieces)
shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Stir together egg yolk, vinegar, lemon juice,
mayo, mustard, Worc. sauce, garlic & black
pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking
as you pour, until everything is evenly combined.
Pour 2/3 of dressing over cooked pasta; add
onions & toss to coat.* Add tomatoes & bacon;
toss to coat. Add romaine lettuce & remaining
1/3 C. dressing; toss until lettuce is coated.
Sprinkle with Parm. cheese & bacon crumbles.
Serves 6-8

*If making ahead, stop at this point, cover &
refrigerate until ready to serve, then go on
with rest of recipe.

(recipe: julieseatsandtreats.com)

Sweet & Savory BBQ Meatballs

1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tubes/sleeves saltine crackers,
2 lb. ground beef
3 eggs
salt & pepper
3 T. honey mustard
1/2 C. ketchup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C. ketchup
3/4 C. BBQ sauce
1 C. brown sugar

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
(*place crackers in ziplock bag,
seal & crush with rolling pin)
Place cracker crumbs, ground beef,
eggs, salt & pepper, mustard, ketchup
& Worces. sauce in large bowl. Using
your hands, mix all ingredients well.
Line 2 cookie sheets with foil; spray
with nonstick spray. Form meat
into 2 inch balls; lay evenly on trays.
Bake 20 minutes. Mix Sauce: ketchup,
BBQ sauce & brown sugar together
in bowl. When meatballs are cooked
and have a crisp, dark brown exterior
remove from oven & drizzle about
2 tsp. sauce over each one. Return
to oven 15 minutes longer.
Makes about 48 meatballs.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

“Watermelon” Fudge

(when cut, looks like mini
slices of watermelon, complete
with chocolate chip ‘seeds’!)

1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips
1 (16 oz) can vanilla frosting
1/2 – 1 tsp. watermelon flavoring
pink & green food coloring
1 T. mini chocolate chips

spray a 6 X 8″ or 7 X 7″ pan lightly
with nonstick cooking spray. Over
a double boiler, melt white chips.
When just melted, remove from
double boiler & stir in canned
frosting & flavoring until smooth.
Measure out 3/4 C. frosting mixture
and, using food coloring, tint it
green. Return remaining mixture
back to double boiler, OFF of the
heat, to keep it from setting up.
Spread green mixture evenly in pan &
place in freezer 2-3 minutes. Measure
out 1/2 C. white frosting mixture &
spread that on top of green layer –
freeze again 2-3 minutes. Tint
remaining frosting mixture pink &
spread on top of white layer. Sprinkle
mini chips on top, pressing lightly
into fudge. Chill at least 30 minutes
before cutting into triangles.

(recipe: cookiesandcups.com)

Sugar Snap Pea Saute

2 tsp. olive oil
3/4 lb. fresh sugar snap peas,
stems removed
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 C. sliced shallots
1/4 C. (Kraft) Asian toasted sesame
salad dressing
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat.
Add vegetables; stir-fry 6-7 minutes or
until crisp-tender. Stir in dressing;
cook 1 minute or until heated through.
Sprinkle top with nuts before serving.
Serves 6 (1/2 C. each)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. chopped scallions
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed & squeezed out dry
1/4 C. chopped parsley
1 T. fresh dill
1/2 C. (2.5 oz) crumbled Feta cheese
1/3 C. ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp. kosher salt & pepper,
more to taste
8 thin skinless chicken breast cutlets
(1.5 lb. total)
1 large egg
1 T. water
1/2 C. seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking sheet with nonstick
spray. Heat oil in medium saute pan; add
onions, garlic & scallions – saute about
1 minute. Add spinach, parsley, dill, kosher
salt & pepper; cook 1 minute or until heated
through. Remove from heat & mix in feta &
ricotta cheeses. Season chicken lightly with more
kosher salt & pepper, to taste. Place about 1/4 C.
spinach mixture into center of chicken; roll up
then lay chicken seam-side-down onto a platter
or piece of waxed paper; repeat with remaining
chicken. Whisk egg & water together in small bowl
with a pinch of salt. Place breadcrumbs in another
bowl. Dip chicken rolls into the egg wash, then into
breadcrumbs; place seam-side-down onto baking
sheet. Repeat with remainder then lightly spray
tops of rolls with nonstick cooking spray. Bake about
25 minutes or until cooked through. Serves 8

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

Fish Tacos

1/2 C. sour cream
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel Mexican diced
tomatoes w/lime juice & cilantro,
drained, liquid reserved
3 C. coleslaw mix
1 1/2 lb. Tilapia filets, thawed, if
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. vegetable oil
12 (6 “) yellow corn tortillas

Stir together sour cream & 1/4 C.
liquid from tomatoes in small
bowl to make sauce; set aside. Stir
together tomatoes w/remaining
liquid & coleslaw mix in medium
bowl to make slaw; set aside. Sprinkle
fish with cumin & salt. Heat oil in large
nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Place fish in skillet, cook 3-4 minutes on
each side or until fish flakes easily with
fork (145 degrees F.) Separate fish into
12 pieces. Place 1 piece on each tortilla,
top with 1/4 C. slaw & 1 T. tomato/sour
cream sauce. Fold tortillas in half, serve
immediately. Serves 6 (2 tortillas each)

(recipe: readyseteat.com)

Hope you’re having a Great day!
Enjoy the weather and remember to
take a little time for yourself: take a nap,
read a book, take a walk, or even just eat
or drink something that relaxes you (no-I’m
not advocating drinking – I’m more thinking
iced coffee or a milkshake/ice cream sundae!)



Published in: on May 25, 2014 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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