Great Day!


Lunch with my friends on my birthday!

Yesterday turned out to be a GREAT day all around; first went to lunch with the two ladies above – we’ve all been friends since high school. (Lunch: Culver’s – all of us chose Grilled Chicken/bacon blue cheese/cranberry salads – really tasty stuff! There were also ‘interesting’ presents: $3 off any purchase at CVS, free car wash at my dealership, free ice cream sundae at Culvers (I decided I really didn’t need it – AND they didn’t have my favorite ice cream: I’d gone on line to see their menu before going to the restaurant and the SITE said that the ‘flavor of the day’ was Butter Pecan! Got there and it was something like Cookie Dough – YUCK!). Tried to talk my two friends into getting the free sundae and eating it FOR ME, but they both declined.  Last night was my Special Needs group and they somehow found out it was my birthday, also. Last night was our monthly Music/Birthday night, so I got included in the photos & Happy Birthday song. Also received some nice gifts – some are still ‘coming’ . . . keeps me curious!

Today was coffee with two ‘other’ friends – nice conversation – we went to Panera and ended up chatting for almost TWO HOURS! Next I stopped at Michael’s Crafts to see if I could find another project for grandson to do; he likes craft stuff AND it helps keep him occupied. I ended up getting a small loom for making, of all things, potholders! You remember THOSE: you get all these cloth loops and you string them back & forth to make a potholder! The kit came with enough to make three: one for his Mom, one for his other Grandmother and one for his Great Grandmother! I see it as a Win/Win situation! His eighth birthday is coming up soon; also found a nylon BIG frisbee-type thingie; it’s a good 3 feet in circumference; ought to keep him busy at his house! His actual party at his Dad’s house is the second day of Log Cabin Days, so we’ll be coming at the tail end of his party but that’s OK. He’ll have his ‘buddies’ to play with, so having Grandma & Grandpa come is not a really big deal.

Tomorrow night is our last Gym Night for the Special Needs group until Fall; this time we’re going to have an Ice Cream Sundae party (along with a short devotion). I know they’ll LOVE the treat – complete with all kinds of toppings.


Grilled Pork & Pineapple

4 3/4 inch thick boneless top loin
pork chops
ground black pepper
1 peeled & cored fresh pineapple
3 T. orange marmalade
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. roasted lightly salted
cashew halves, coarsely chopped

Sprinkle pork lightly with salt & pepper.
Cut pineapple into 1/2 inch thick slices;
set aside.
Charcoal grill:
Place chops on rack of uncovered grill
over medium coals for 4 minutes. Turn;
add pineapple. Brush chops & pineapple
with 2 T. marmalade; grill 3-5 minutes
more or until instant-read thermometer
reads 160 degrees F. when inserted into
chops. Turn pineapple halfway through
grilling. Combine yogurt & remaining
marmalade; arrange pineapple & chops
on plates & top with yogurt mixture;
sprinkle with nuts. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Cranberry Salsa Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
halves (4 oz ea)
1 T. olive oil
1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa
1 C. dried cranberries
1/4 C. water
1 T. honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 C. hot, cooked couscous (or rice)
1/4 C. slivered toasted almonds

In large skillet saute chicken in oil
until browned on both sides. In small
bowl, combine salsa, cranberries, water,
honey, garlic, cinnamon & cumin; mix
well & pour over chicken. Cover & cook
over medium-low heat 10-15 minutes or
until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees
F. Serve with couscous or rice; sprinkle with
almonds before serving. Serves 4

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

S’Mores Cups

7 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
4 bars milk chocolate candy
12 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350.
Place graham crackers into a large
resealable plastic bag. Finely crush
into crumbs. Combine graham cracker
crumbs, powdered sugar and butter
in small bowl. Mix well with fork.
Place small scoop of crumb mixture
in each cup of a mini-muffin pan.
Press crumbs to form shallow cups.
Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling
While crust is in oven, break two candy bars
into rectangles. Remove pan from oven;
place one rectangle into each cup.
Cut marshmallows in half crosswise
using shears dipped in cold water. Place
one marshmallow half, cut-side down,
into each cup. Return to oven 1-2
minutes or until marshmallows are just
slightly softened. Remove from oven;
cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove cups
from pan. Cool completely. Break
remaining candy bars and place in (1-cup)
prep bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute-1 1/2
minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring
every 20 seconds. Dip the top of each
marshmallow in melted chocolate. Turn
top-side up and let stand 40 minutes-1 hour
or until set. Yield: 24 cups
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

(recipe: Facebook)

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

    1-1/2 cups butter, softened


    2 cups light brown sugar, packed


    1 cup granulated sugar


    5 large eggs


    3 cups all-purpose flour


    1 teaspoon baking powder


    1/2 teaspoon salt


    1 cup whole milk


    1 (8 oz) bag of toffee bits


    1 cup pecans, chopped


    1 recipe CARAMEL DRIZZLE (see below)


    Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
    Spray a 12 C. Bundt pan with nonstick spray;
    set aside. Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars,
    beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time,
    beating well after each addition. In medium
    bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt.
    Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture
    in thirds, alternately with milk,beginning &
    ending with flour mixture; beat until just
    combined. Stir in toffee bits & pecans. Spoon
    batter into pan. Bake until a wooden toothpick
    inserted near center comes out clean, 75 – 85
    minutes. Let cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove
    from pan, let cool completely on wire rack.
    Spoon caramel drizzle over cooled cake.

    NOTE: Do not freak if some of the cake sticks
    to the pan, you can cover up any mistakes with
    the caramel drizzle.

    Easy Caramel Drizzle Sauce

    1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
    1 C. brown sugar, packed
    2 T. butter
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

    In medium saucepan, combine condensed milk & brown
    sugar; bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking
    constantly. Reduce heat & simmer 5 minutes, whisking
    constantly. Remove from heat; whisk in butter & vanilla.

    NOTE: Make sure you drizzle caramel while it’s still HOT.
    When cooled, the caramel does somewhat harden

    (recipe: Taste of the South’s Southern Cakes Mag/
    via Pinterest)

    Easy Chalupas

    12 flat, crispy corn tortillas*
    1 (15 oz) can refried beans
    1 (12 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
    1 C. chopped lettuce
    2 tomatoes, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped

    Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
    Separate tortillas, spread refried beans
    evenly over each tortilla; sprinkle cheese
    on top & place on baking sheets. Heat
    just until cheese melts. Remove from oven
    & top with lettuce, tomato, onion & salsa.
    Serve immediately. Serves 8

    *If you cannot find crispy corn tortillas, buy
    soft ones & fry in hot oil until crispy. Drain
    thoroughly, and continue with recipe above.

    (recipe: Rhonda-Marys Recipe Exchange)

    Avocado/Tomato Salad with
    Confetti Vinaigrette

    1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1/2 C. finly chopped fresh cilantro or
    1/2 C. virgin olive oil
    1/4 C. fresh lime juice
    2 small jalapenos, finely chopped
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    1 T. granulated chicken bouillon
    4 medium tomatoes sliced or cut
    into wedges
    2 medium ripe avocados

    Combine pepper, onion, cilantro, olive
    oil, lime juice, jalapenos, garlic & bouillon
    in medium bowl; stir well. Refrigerate
    30 minutes.
    Peel & slice avocado; arrange avocado &
    tomato slices on a platter, alternating on
    top of each other. Drizzle with prepared
    dressing. Serves 4

    NOTE: Poster said dressing is also good on
    sauteed, roasted or grilled meat or seafood.
    Also good as a dipping sauce for bread

    (recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
    Baked Corn Dogs

    1 C. flour
    1 C. yellow cornmeal
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    6 T. butter, melted
    1/2 C. milk
    1/4 C. honey
    8 hot dogs
    8 wooden sticks (skewers)
    mustard & ketchup

    Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment
    paper; set aside. In a bowl, mix flour,
    cornmeal, baking powder & salt until
    combined. In separate bowl, mix melted
    butter, milk & honey until combined.
    Slow add wet mixture to dry mixture;
    mix with a wooden spoon. Knead dough
    2 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll
    dough to 1/4″ thickness. Insert sticks into
    hot dogs & place one on dough & cut a
    rectangle around it. Wrap corn dog with
    dough & pinch together at top & bottom.
    Place on cookie sheet about 2″ apart.
    Finish wrapping remaining hot dogs.
    Bake 15-20 minutes or until they start
    to brown. Serve immediately with
    ketchup & mustard. Serves 8


    Chilled Red Pepper Soup

    1 jar sweet roasted red peppers
    1 C. chicken or vegetable stock
    1 1/2 C. water
    1 T. olive oil
    2 tsp. garlic powder
    2 tsp. onion powder
    2 tsp. honey
    2 T. lemon juice
    1 t. dried parsley
    1 T. dried basil

    Pour all ingredients into a blender;
    puree on medium speed 1 minute.
    Transfer to a medium pot & heat over
    medium-high heat until it lightly
    simmers, 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally
    to keep from sticking to bottom of pan.
    Remove pot from heat; place a strainer
    on top a medium bowl & pour soup
    through strainer to remove all large
    particles. Chill soup 30 minutes. Serve
    in chilled glass bowls or small glass



    Our weather has been a bit different these
    past few days; woke up in the middle of the
    night to a HUGE thunder/lightening storm-
    lots of booms & flashing – went right back
    to sleep. In the morning I said to my husband
    something about how big the storm was; he
    replied: “Yes, I know! I kept talking to you
    about it and you just kept sleeping!” Apparently
    it lasted, on & off, all night! It’s been muggy;
    today is overcast and 76 degrees. We’re supposed
    to have our air conditioning guy come out either
    tonight or tomorrow to look at our unit. Last
    winter we had a huge (about 150 lb) slab of ice
    come off the roof and take out our back gutters
    as well as dent the air conditioner. We didn’t think
    it did any real damage to the AC until we tried to
    use it: the motor would come on, but the fan blade
    wouldn’t turn. Husband took a real close look and
    discovered the outside cover had been dented just
    enough to touch the fan blade, causing it not to
    rotate – great . . . The one GOOD thing is: the AC
    guy is husband’s cousin!

    How’s your GAS PRICES lately? I was sort of forced to
    get gas today (told you in an earlier post I would be
    driving a LOT this week!). Plain old REGULAR gas is
    now $3.96/9 a gallon! Outrageous! (doesn’t mean
    I can get by without it, but it sure frosts my pumpkin
    to pay those prices!) And I (mistakenly) thought that
    prices would lower a bit once summer started – silly

    Went grocery shopping today and got a great buy
    on some steaks, so dinner will be steak & eggs!
    LOVE those kind of dinners!

    Am going to close for now and go knit a bit; dragged
    out the baby hat yarns again and have been trying to
    ‘catch up’ my Newborn knit hats so that they’re the
    same number as the Premies: 45 (I have quite a few
    to go). NO, I don’t HAVE to do this, but I’m a TYPE A
    personality with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder):
    that just means that I need to have things come out
    even (or with pictures on the walls – they MUST be
    straight or it drives me NUTS!) so when it comes to
    my donating the baby hats to the hospital, I try to
    give them an even number of both Premie & Newborn
    hats (since they go to two separate departments in
    the hospital) Make any sense, NOW?
    On that note, I’ll close!




    Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm  Comments (1)  

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    One CommentLeave a comment

    1. What a wonderful birthday with plenty of company. Happy Birthday ‘old girl’!

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