Monday Mutterings


It’s another gorgeous day out there – sunny, slight breeze & 75 degrees! YAY, SUMMER! Had a nice weekend; went to the baby shower (they liked the knit baby layette stuff) and had fun just relaxing and chatting! Yesterday was church, a little chilly out (in the low 60’s) but still nice (no rain!).

This morning found my husband & I taking a trip to Southfield for our yearly meeting with our financial advisors; I’m not fond of it because I always feel like I don’t know enough, but we make it through just fine. The reward? Going out to lunch afterwards! Husband suggested us bringing home my all-time favorite pizza (from Shield’s Pizza) but this time I suggested we go to IHOP instead – and we did. Boy, was it ever crowded AND NOISY! Lots of big groups – 8-10 people per table which made for lots of ambient NOISE! We had a good waitress and the food was tasty, so no complaining. Nothing special planned for the rest of the day, except maybe Pierogies & Polish Sausage for dinner.

Knowing that Father’s Day is NEXT Sunday, I have some man-pleasing recipes to offer:


Amish Macaroni Salad
(recipe best if refrigerated
overnight before serving)

1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
1 C. mayonnaise
2 T. white vinegar
2 T. sugar
2 T. yellow mustard
1/2 – 1 tsp. paprika
1/4 C. green pepper, chopped
(about 1/2 small pepper)
1/2 C. carrot, peeled & grated
(about 1 carrot)
1/4 C. onion, chopped (about
1/2 small onion)
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Cook macaroni as directed on box;
drain & cool. In medium bowl, whisk
together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar,
mustard & paprika (to taste). In large
bowl,mix together macaroni, green
pepper, carrot, onion & egg. Add
dressing & mix well. Sprinkle top with
paprika, if desired. Cover & chill at least
2 hours. Serves 8


Butter Cream Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers, ground
into crumbs
olive oil
1 C. chicken broth
4 T. butter
1 C. plus 2 T. Half & Half,
1/2 tsp. thyme, dried
2 T. cornstarch
salt & pepper

Cut chicken into chunks (into
thirds or fourths depending on
size of breast.) Place chicken in
gallon-sized ziplock bag; seal.
Pound chicken flat with a meat
mallet. Place ground cracker
crumbs in shallow pan; press
each chicken breast into crumbs,
being sure to coat both sides
generously. Place each coated
breast on a plate. Heat a large
skillet over medium-high heat.
Once hot, pour about 5 T. olive
oil into pan & heat about 30
seconds. Carefully place chicken
in pan, do not crowd it; cook
chicken in two batches. Let
chicken cook until golden brown
on bottom, 3-4 minutes. Turn
each piece with a fork & allow to
cook on other side. Remove to
a separate plate; cook second
batch, add another few T. oil to
pan before adding chicken. Once
all chicken is cooked, add 4 T.
butter & 1 C. chicken broth to
hot pan, allowing butter to melt.
Whisk mixture around, scraping
bottom of pan to break the crispy
pieces loose. Add 1 C. Half & Half
and 1/2 tsp. dried thyme; whisk
to incorporate & allow to come to
a boil. In a small bowl pour 2 T.
Half & Half & 2 T. cornstarch; stir
until smooth then pour mixture
into pan & stir with a whisk. Allow
to return to a boil; as it heats it
will thicken. Remove from heat,
check for salt & pepper (add if
needed). Serve gravy over
cooked chicken. Serves 6

(suggested serving: with
mashed potatoes, rice pilaf
cooked noodles or angel hair


Italian Bakeless Wonder Cake
(chills in fridge 8 hours before

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple,
32-40 vanilla wafers
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. sweetened, flaked coconut
12-16 maraschino cherries

Whisk together sweetened cond.
milk & lemon juice in small bowl
until thoroughly combined; mix
in pineapple with juice & set
aside. Line bottom of a 8 X 8 or
7 X 10 baking dish with vanilla
wafers. Pour all of pineapple
mixture over wafers, then add
another layer of wafers. Spread
Cool Whip evenly on top then
sprinkle with coconut. Top with
cherries, cover & refrigerate at
least 8 hours before serving.


Grilled Salad

2 red (Spanish) onions, unpeeled
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 T. coarsely chopped fresh oregano
or marjoram
1 large clove garlic, minced
2/3 C. olive oil
1 medium or 2 small japanese
1 zucchini
1 yellow crookneck squash
1 bulb fennel
1 large red bell pepper, seeded/deribbed
& quartered lengthwise
lettuce leaves

Preheat broiler or prepare charcoal grill.
Place unpeeled onions in small baking pan
cover with aluminum foil. Place pan in broiler
or place onions directly on grill rack 5 inches
from hat. Broil or grill, turning every 5-10 minutes
until charred on outside & soft throughout,
about 1 hour if using a broiler, or 20-30 minutes
if using a grill. Remove from broiler or grill
rack; set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt,
pepper, oregano or marjoram & garlic; slowly
add olive oil, whisking constantly. Trim ends
from eggplants & squashes and any stalks from
fennel bulb; cut lengthwise into quarters. Place in
a bowl with bell pepper & half of vinaigrette; toss
to mix. Arrange vegetables on broiler pan or
directly on grill rack about 5 inches from heat. Broil
or grill slowly, turning to cook evenly, until lightly
golden & cooked through, 5-10 minutes for squashes,
peppers & eggplants and 15  minutes for fennel.
Remove from broiler or grill rack & let cool slightly.
Peel onions & cut into 2 inch pieces; place in a bowl,
cut all remaining vegetables into 2″ pieces & add to
bowl. Pour remaining vinaigrette over & toss well
to coat. Line individual plates with lettuce leaves &
spoon vegetables on top. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Smoky Barbecue Ribs
(oven recipe)

1 lb. ribs
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. 7-Up soda
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. honey
2 T. lemon juice
2 C. barbecue sauce
2 T. liquid smoke

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Cut ribs & place on rack in
large, shallow pan. Spread minced
garlic over ribs. Cover & bake 45
minutes. (meanwhile) Combine
remaining ingredients in saucepan
& bring to boil. Remove meat from
oven & place in a clean pan; pour
sauce over meat. Reduce oven heat
to 350 degrees; bake, uncovered,
1 1/2 hours, brushing occasionally
with sauce. Serves 4


Spicy Shredded Beef

2 1/2 lb. boned beef chuck
1 (14.5 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (7 oz) can chipotle sauce (or
7 oz. spicy salsa)
1 (4 oz) can jalapeno chiles, drained &
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. honey
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 C. beef broth

Rinse beef & trim off excess fat. Place in
crockpot (at least 5 qt). Add tomatoes with
juice, salsa, jalapenos, onion, garlic, chili
powder, honey, salt & cumin;  pour broth
over top. Cover & cook on Low until beef
is very tender when pierced, about 8-10
hours. If desired, remove lid for last 30
minutes to allow sauce to reduce & thicken.
With a heavy fork, transfer meat to rimmed
board or plate; shred meat with two forks.
Ladle out half of sauce-reserve. Return
shredded beef to remaining sauce in crockpot.
Cover & let warm. Serves 6
Serve meat in sandwiches.
NOTE: Save extra sauce to top Mexican rice
or cooked pinto beans.

(recipe: slowcooker digest)

Easy Chicken & Potatoes

2 lb. bone-in chicken breasts or thighs
1 lb. potatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken breasts & potatoes in
9 X 13 baking pan; pour Italian dressing
over top. Sprinkle evenly with Italian
seasoning & Parm. cheese. Bake for 1
hour or until chicken is cooked through.
Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Double Chocolate Coca Cola Cake

1 C. Coca Cola (real thing, not diet)
1/2 C. oil 
1 stick butter
3 T. cocoa
2 C. sugar
2 C.  flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla


1 stick butter
3 Tablespoon cocoa
6 Tablesppon of cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a saucepan, mix Coca Cola, oil, butter 
and cocoa and bring to a boil. In another bowl, 
combine sugar, flour & salt. Pour boiling Cola 
mixture over flour mixture; beat well. Add eggs, 
buttermilk, soda & vanilla; &beat well. Pour mixture
into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove pan & cool about 10 
minutes before frosting.

In a saucepan, combine  butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat
until butter melts. Beat in the remaining ingredients &
spread on cake while it's still warm. 

(recipe: Facebook)

Nothing special today; probably work on the new
baby afghan some more. (I’m a glutton for punishment,
I like having a bigger project on hand to work on. I’ll
probably drag both baby blankets with me to Log
Cabin Days at the end of the month, since I’ll be
there all day 10 a.m. – 5 p.m doing mostly knitting
& chatting.) Still have a few more dishcloths to knit;
I’ve already alerted the group that the turn-in date
for those is next meeting, June 24th.

Hope you’re having a nice COOL afternoon. Remember
to relax a little, smile and/or laugh a little – life’s short –
have some FUN while you can still enjoy it!



PS: Gas prices around here are now $3.89/9  – still not a bargain!


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Had to gas up the truck but I’m not buying gas for the tractor at these prices. I will wade grass up to my you know what before then. If you get a chance send me the pattern from a couple of posts back?

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