Saturday Smatterings


Sorry-couldn’t resist – thought this was cute (although a bit CRAZY!)

It’s Saturday – the WEEKEND! YAY! Finally – been waiting for this day for 6 days now – finally a day to MYSELF; to catch up on stuff AND relax a bit. Woke up (for no good reason) at 6:30 a.m. (Waaaaay early for me) and decided to finish knitting the baby hat I started yesterday. Didn’t want to wake my husband, so ended up knitting another one, just because. Started the laundry and remembered I was going to defrost the BIG upright freezer in the basement, so I started that. Every other time I’ve done this I’ve emptied the freezer and put big steaming pots of hot water in (with freezer OFF), shut the door and let the steam do it’s work. This time (for no good reason other than I didn’t feel like carrying lots of steaming pots of water up & down the basement steps) I just shut it off, left the door open and went upstairs. About 2 hours later I went to check and was VERY amazed! Almost all the big chunks of ice had melted (we have a floor drain – don’t panic!). I’m going to give it about another 1 1/2 hours and go check again – this is, by far, a MUCH better plan than my old one! All I have to do then is just wash it down with some soapy water, rinse, dry and turn it back on. I’m going to wait about an hour before putting the food stuffs back in. Job done – the EASY way (this time!).

Next up on today’s agenda is getting out my summer clothes and moving the winter box into the summer clothes space. Been grabbing a few tops out of the box but it’s situated under a table and rather hard to get at; I’m guessing that our weather will soon heat up to where I’ll be needing my shorts and light-weight slacks.

Last night was my Special Needs group’s last gym night until Fall. We had a good time; I spent time helping 2 different people with jigsaw puzzles. Since our ‘kids’ are all different skill/mental levels, some like to play basketball, some floor hockey and some just like to do puzzles or color. Gym nights give us, as leaders, a chance to do more ‘one-on-one’ with them. Not all of our group comes on Gym Nights, so it’s a smaller group, also. I’m guessing we probably had 23? or so last night. All of us enjoyed ice cream sundaes with lots of extra toppings (I was doing most of the dishing out so I was lucky to get my ‘favorite’: melty ice cream – I waited until last!)

I’m sure I mentioned our rather unseasonal weather; last night it was chilly AND rainy! Got in the car to go to church and it was 60 degrees; on the drive home it dropped to 50 VERY cold degrees, with lots of rain (and I was not thinking and didn’t bring a sweater or jacket – Brrrrrrr!)


Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake

3/4 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. vegetable oil

2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. miniature semisweet chocolate
1/4 C. cocoa powder
1 1/4 C. hot water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In 2 qt. casserole dish, combine flour,
sugar, cocoa & baking powder. Add
milk, oil & vanilla; stir until well
mixed & pour into dish. In small bowl,
combine brown sugar, cocoa & chocolate
chips; sprinkle over cake batter – DO NOT
stir. Pour hot water over top and bake
30-35 minutes or until top looks cooked.
Serve warm (with ice cream, if desired)

Pizza Stuffed Shells

15-18 jumbo pasta shells
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tsp. oregano
4 oz. sliced pepperoni, chopped
& divided
1 green pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 C. pizza sauce
2 C. mozzarella cheese,
shredded & divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook shells al dente accordg to
pkg. directions; drain & set aside
to cool. In medium pan, brown
ground beef, onion & garlic until
no pink remains; drain any fats.
Add 3/4 of pepperoni & cook 3
minutes. Add green pepper,
oregano & tomato; cook 3 minutes
or until green pepper is slightly
softened. Remove from heat &
stir in 1/2 C. mozzarella. Fill each
shell with pepperoni mixture
(approx. 1 1/2 T. in each); place
in a greased baking dish. Top
stuffed shells with pizza sauce;
cover with foil & bake 20-25
minutes or until heated through.
Remove foil; add remaining cheese
& remaining pepperoni. Return
to oven until cheese is melted &


Pan-fried Tomatoes

1 1/2 lb. firm fresh tomatoes
1/2 C. unseasoned dry bread
1 T. green onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder*
1/4 C. milk
2 T. olive oil, divided

Core tomatoes & cut into
1/2″ thick slices. In a shallow dish
or pie plate combine bread crumbs,
green onion, salt & chili powder. In
shallow bowl place milk. Dip tomato
slices in milk then coat both sides with
bread crumb mixture, shaking off
excess. In large nonstick skillet heat
1 T. olive oil until hot. Add tomato
slices, a few at a time, cook over medium
heat until golden, 2-4 minutes on each
side. Add remaining 1 T. olive oil half-way
through cooking of all tomatoes.

*Variations: Omit chili powder, add 1 T.
grated Parmesan cheese & 1 tsp. Italian
seasoning OR 1/2 tsp. curry powder & 1
tsp. cumin OR 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve tomatoes as an accompaniment to
meat, fish, poultry or over arugula drizzled
with balsamic vinaigrette or on toasted
Italian bread slices

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Tortellini Tomato-Spinach Soup

1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. minced onion (about 1/2
small onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
4-6 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 (14 oz) pkg. fresh tortellini or 1
(9 oz) pkg. dried tortellini
kosher salt
cracked black pepper
10 oz. fresh spinach or 10 oz frozen
spinach, defrosted & chopped
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in soup pot over medium-
high heat. Saute onion & garlic, stirring
often until translucent, about 5-7
minutes. Add broth & tomatoes; turn
heat to High & bring to boil. Add
tortellini & cook accordg. to pkg.
directions. When tortellini is almost
done, add spinach & adjust seasonings
to taste (salt & pepper). Garnish each
serving with a sprinkling of Parmesan
cheese; serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe

Lemon Butter Rice

4 T. butter
1 1/4 C. long grain rice (or jasmine)
3 C. hot water
4 tsp. chicken bullion granules
2 T. lemon juice (bottled*)
3/4 tsp. salt

Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat. Add 4 T. butter & melt. Pour
rice into butter; saute 4-5 minutes until
rice is slightly golden brown. Dissolve
bullion granules into hot water & pour
into skillet. Add lemon juice & salt;
stir. Bring to simmer, cover & cook on
medium-low heat 20-25 minutes. Stir
& taste for flavor & to make sure rice
is thoroughly cooked. (if rice is still
crunchy, cook a bit longer). Fluff with
fork & serve. Makes 2 1/2 C. cooked.

*Note from poster: bottled lemon
juice works best; fresh lemon juice
has a tendency to turn bitter if left
to simmer too long


Grilled Shrimp Tacos

1 large avocado, pitted/peeled, diced
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1/2 C. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/4 C. chopped red onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. peeled/deveined large shrimp
(31/40) with tail, thawed if frozen
1 T. cooking oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
8 white corn tortillas (6″) warmed

Spray cold grate of gas grill with grilling
spray. Preheat grill for medium heat. Toss
together avocado, drained tomatoes,
corn, onion & salt in medium bowl; set
aside. Remove tails from shrimp; toss with
oil & chili powder in large bowl. Thread shrimp
evenly onto metal skewers; grill 2-3 minutes
on each side or just until shrimp turn pink.
Divide shrimp evenly between tortillas &
top each with about 1/4 C. avocado mixture.
Serve immediately. Serves 4, 2 tacos each

Note: wooden skewers may be used; soak
them in water for at least 30 minutes before


All-Day Pineapple Chicken

1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cubed
2 large cans chunked pineapple
2 sweet red peppers, chopped
2 C. fresh or frozen sugar snap peas
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
salt, soy sauce & sesame seeds,
to taste

Cooked white rice, for serving

Combine all ingredients (except peas)
in crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 8-10
hours. Add sugar snap peas during last
1 hour of cooking. Serve over cooked
rice. Serves 8


Individual Chicken Pot Pies

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 C.)
1/2 chicken broth
1 C. frozen peas & carrots
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In bowl, mix Bisquick, milk & eggs.
Grease muffin cups or use muffin
liners. Mix together chicken, onion,
chicken broth, vegetables & seasonings.
Add 1 C. cheese; mix well. Place a little
less than 1 T. batter into each muffin tin.
Place about 1/4 C. filling in each tin, then
top with 1 T. batter. Bake 25-30 minutes
then remove to wire rack to cool. 

(recipe: Sandy-Mary's Recipe Exchange)
Cornbread-Topped Beef Casserole

6 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
2 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/3 C. chopped stuffed green olives
1/4 C. raisins
1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook & stir bacon in large skillet until
crisp; drain. Brown ground beef with
onions & peppers in same skillet. Remove
from heat; stir in bacon, tomato sauce,
olives & raisins. Spoon into greased 9 X 13
baking dish. Prepare muffin batter as
directed on pkg; stir in cheese and spread
over meat mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until
toothpick inserted into center of cornbread
comes out clean. Serve topped with sour
cream. Makes 10 (1 C.) servings
(recipe: Kraft foods)
Glazed Beets

1 (16 oz) can sliced or diced beets
2 T. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3-4 T. white vinegar
2 T. butter

Drain beets, reserving 1/3 C. juice. In
saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch &
salt; stir in beet juice & vinegar. Cook &
stir over medium-high heat until
thickened & bubbly. Cook & stir 2
minutes longer. Add beets & butter;
heat through. Serves 4

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Grandma’s Lemon/Raspberry
Sherbet Dessert

1 1/2 C. crushed Ritz crackers
4 T. sugar
7 T. butter, melted
2 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened
1 qt. raspberry sherbet, softened
9 T. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
6 T. lemon juice
3 eggs, beaten

In medium bowl, mix together cracker
crumbs, sugar & butter; press into
bottom of 9 X 13 pan. Freeze in
freezer until frozen.
In large bowl, mix ice cream & sherbet
until well combined; spread over frozen
crust & freeze 2 hours.
Melt butter in saucepan, add sugar &
lemon juice; mix until combined. Beat
eggs in medium bowl; add a small
amount of lemon mixture to eggs &
stir until combined. Gradually add egg
mixture to hot filling. Heat this mixture
over low heat, stirring continually &
cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
(DO NOT cook at higher temperature,
as this may cause the eggs to curdle).
Cool completely, then spread over
ice cream mixture; return to freezer
until ready to serve. Makes 15



The good thing about defrosting the freezer is:
you can SEE the stuff you have in it! For example, didn’t really have a ‘plan’ for dinner tonight until I spotted the Shrimp Scampi I’d purchased & froze. Bingo! Dinner!!! YAY! (It comes in frozen pouches
with shrimp, veggies and corkscrew pasta, plus a
sauce – yummy stuff!)Well, friends – time for me to get off here and start moving clothing boxes!

Enjoy your day!



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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ha! The snail- so cute!

  2. Id it amazing what you find in the back of a freezer I try to date a label everything but sometimes I forget. Later I look at it and say chicken or turkey and how do I use it!!!

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