Good Times!

fireworks-19607274

Yesterday I jumped out of my ‘normal’ and went with my husband to visit friends in a near by ‘village’: Lake Orion, MI; they live on an island and it is ‘THE’ place to be to view fireworks. I haven’t been there in a good 8-10 years (why? Simply because I really don’t like big crowds) but I made the exception and went – it was WELL worth it! It was good to see friends, re-connect and just ‘chill’. Because their firewords display is so well known in the area, it is highly suggested you get ON the island early (we got there around 3 and almost couldn’t find a parking space! To emphasize this more: they put up signs (there’s only one 2 lane road in & out) that says: “Island closed 4 -11 p.m.” – they aren’t kidding! Later on we saw 2 policemen riding their bicycles around, just making sure the peace was kept. They know our friend well and don’t bother him – even though you could plainly see a big flat board on the driveway with lots of already blown up fireworks! (our friend LOVES setting off firecrackers & medium explosives!). It was a long day spent sitting on deck chairs or just walking around – finally at 10 p.m. they began – EXCELLENT! I’d forgotten what a spectacular job they do – easily 45 minutes of beautiful displays followed by one of the biggest finales I’ve ever seen! We left to go home around 11:25 and it was bumper-to-bumper off the island and for quite a while after that – you KNOW people like it when it’s that crowded! Our friend also loves a party – he had bought and planted 54 big flowers & hanging baskets earlier in the week, just to beautify his house! There was food galore: lots of various salads, meatballs in the crockpot, TONS of various dips & chips, and a good 6-8 desserts (I made 16 filled cupcakes – they didn’t last a 1/2 hour!). Even thought, the day before, I kept grumbling to myself that I didn’t want to go, I’m glad I did! It had been so long that one friend came up to hug me, saying it was so good to see me, and later I asked someone: “Who IS that short, bald guy?” I was shocked to find out who it was – I knew him but hadn’t seen him in a good 8-10 years! (I guess that’s what I get when I don’t go see friends more frequently, eh?)

It’s now Saturday and I’m very glad I have this day between yesterday’s events and tomorrow’s church – I NEED a ‘down’ day! Still searching for the ‘right’ yarn to knit the shawl – can’t decide on color! The skirt is a dark forest green, blouse is white/apron is white – kind of torn between black and camel color (but I can’t seem to find the right camel for my liking in a #2 Lace-weight yarn! Still searching the ‘net). I did knit the snood in a sort of bright forest green – not really happy with how it came out (it’s too bunchy at the top). I managed to find a site that sells already knit ones for $10! Thinking about it – I’ve got a year to decide! There is a sort of mint green one, several black, and one CAMEL color – the RIGHT camel color – decisions/decisions!

Today is our ‘Fourth of July’ Dinner, since we didn’t have it yesterday. BBQ’d ribs in the crockpot and red skin potato salad – YUM! I love cooking ribs in the crockpot – I cook them, usually, all day – they come out so TENDER! I just cook them on High for a good 4 hours – no sauce, nothing but the ribs. Using my turkey baster, I get all the liquids out them cover them in Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and cook them another 2-3 hours – works every time. Sometimes I put them on a flat sheet tray and put them under the broiler for a few, just to brown up the sauce (and, of course, add a little more sauce before broiling).

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

Creamy Vanilla-Berry Salad

1 (32 oz) container vanilla yogurt
1 (6 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2-3 C. fresh or frozen berries (blueberries,
strawberries or raspberries)

Place vanilla yogurt in large bowl; sprinkle
box of dry pudding mix over yogurt & mix
well. Mix in tub of thawed Cool Whip &
gently stir in 2 C. berries (reserving 1 C. for
topping), mix until just combined. Smooth
top of mixture then top with remaining
berries. Cover & chill until ready to serve.
Serves 10
Can be made up to 24 hours in advance

(recipe:jamiecooksitup.net)

———————————-

A-1 BBQ Ribs
(grill)

3 lb pkg. baby back ribs
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. water
2/3 C. orange marmalade
1/2 C. A1 original sauce
1/4 C. dijon mustard


Heat grill on medium heat. Place
half ribs in single layer on large
sheet of heavy-duty aluminum
foil. Mix sugar & seasonings; rub
half evenly on both sides of ribs.
Bring up foil sides; double fold top
& one end to seal packet. Add 1/4 C.
water to packet through open end.
Double fold remaining end, leaving
room for heat circulation inside;
repeat to make second packet. Grill
45 minutes – 1 hour or until ribs are
done. Remove ribs from foil. Mix
remaining ingredients until blended.
Return ribs to grill; brush with half
marmalade mixture; grill 15 minutes,
turning & brushing occasionally with
remaining marmalade mixture.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————–

Cranberry-Glazed Braised Short Ribs

2 C. cranberry juice
juice from 2 oranges
1/2 C. A1 original sauce
1/3 C. sugar
3 T. minced ginger
3 lb. beef short ribs (about 6)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1/4″
thick slices
1 T. cornstarch

Mix first 5 ingredients; set aside.
Cook ribs in Dutch oven or large
deep skillet on medium-high heat
4 minutes on each side or until
browned on both sides. Remove
ribs from pan; add onions &
cranberries, cook 5 minutes
stirring frequently. Return ribs to
pan; add 2 C. cranberry juice
mixture; bring to boil & cover.
Simmer on Low heat 1 hour 15
minutes. Add fennel; cook 45
minutes or until ribs are tender.
After about 15 minutes, bring
remaining cranberry juice mixture
to boil in medium saucepan; simmer
on medium-low heat 15 minutes or
until thickened, stirring frequently.
Use fork or slotted spoon to transfer
ribs & vegetables to platter; cover to
keep warm. Skim & discard fat from
sauce remaining in pan. Pour half into
medium bowl; whisk in cornstarch until
well blended; add to cranberry juice
mixture in saucepan; mix well & bring
to boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute.
Serve vegetables & ribs topped with
cranberry glaze. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

——————————–

BBQ Shrimp Skewers

1 lb. jumbo raw shrimp, shelled/
deveined (weight after peeling)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
kosher salt & pepper
3 T. (*Kansas city style BBQ sauce)
8 long wooden skewers

Soak skewers in water at least 20
minutes before using to prevent
burning. Combine shrimp with
crushed garlic & season with salt
& pepper. * Lightly oil grill to medium
heat. When grill is hot, add shrimp
& grill on both sides 6-8 minutes
total cooking time until shrimp is
opaque & cooked through. Brush
on sauce during last minute of cooking.
Eat immediately. Serves 4

*Kansas City-Style BBQ sauce:
1 1/3 C. tomato sauce
1/3 C. tomato paste
1/3 C. honey
1/2 C. + 3 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 C. molasses (unsulfered)
2 tsp. hickory liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. chili powder

In large saucepan combine all
ingredients & simmer over Low
heat 25 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Let cool & store in
refrigerator until ready to use.
Makes 2 C. + 2 T.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

———————————-

Tangy Key Lime Pie
(crockpot)

Crust:
1 C. graham cracker crumbs
3 T. butter, melted (salted)
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. lime zest

Filling:
2 large egg yolks
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1/2 C. fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
2 T. fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2
lemons)

PLACE IN CROCKPOT (not batter):
1 C. warm water

Garnish: whipped cream
for topping, if desired

YOU WILL BE USING:
a 6 qt crockpot
and a 1.5 qt. casserole dish
(like Pyrex or Corningware)

Spray casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Mix cracker crumbs with butter,
brown sugar & lime zest.  press
crust mixture into bottom of
dish. In large mixing bowl whip
egg yolks, cond. milk, lime juice &
lemon juice with elec. mixer
until frothy; pour evenly on top
of cracker crumbs in dish.
Gently lower casserole dish
into crockpot (on top of warm
water), being careful to not
slosh water into dish. Cover
crockpot & cook on High 2-3
hours or until no longer shiny
on edges & center is set*
Remove casserole dish &
refrigerate at least 4 hours
or overnight before serving.
Serve with whipped cream,
if desired. Serves 6

*you can poke it with your finger;
if set, you shouldn’t get any
filling on your finger

(recipe: crockpot365.blogspot.com)

———————————-

Cucumber/Tomato/Mint Salad

couple cucumbers, peeled/diced
couple tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
Feta cheese (optional)
crushed garlic (optional)
sea salt
black pepper (to taste)
olive oil, to taste
fresh lemon juice, to taste*
dried mint, few generous pinches;
more, if fresh

Toss all ingredients together in
a salad bowl. Best eaten when fresh,
but keeps for a day or so in fridge.

*or raw apple cider, coconut vinegar,
or Kombucha)

recipe: gnowfglins.com

————————————–

Baked Onion Rings

1 yellow onion – ends trimmed,
peeled & cut into 1/2 inch slices
(rings)
2 eggs
2 T. milk
3 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. flour
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Separate onion slices into individual
rings
Whisk eggs & milk in a bowl until
thoroughly combined. Place panko
crumbs in a separate bowl. Place
onion rings in large ziplock bag. Add
flour, salt & pepper; seal bag & shake
until rings are well coated. Drop
flour-coated rings into egg/milk
mixture a few at a time, & toss
lightly with tongs until coated. Place
rings into panko crumbs & gently
shake bowl to toss crumbs with
onion rings until rings are coated.
Transfer coated rings to a large
baking sheet. Spray rings lightly
with nonstick spray. Bake until
rings are tender & crumbs are
lightly golden, 12-15 minutes.

(recipe: Kris-justapinch.com)

——————-

Spinach-stuffed Tomatoes

1 (12 oz) pkg. Stouffer’s Spinach
souffle, defrosted*
accordg to pkg. directions
8 medium tomatoes
1/2 C. (2 oz) shredded Parmesan,
Cheddar or Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut 1/2″ slice from top of each tomato;
scoop out pulp, leaving shell intact. Fill
each tomato with spinach souffle;
sprinkle cheese over top. Place in shallow
baking dish. Bake 25 minutes. Makes 4

*Defrost souffle in microwave on
medium power 6-7 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
——————————-

No Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake
(overnight recipe)

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 C. heavy cream, divided
2 T. lemon juice
1/3 C. sugar
4 C. diced fresh strawberries
(15 oz) box ‘Nilla Wafer cookies
1/3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 drop red food coloring (optional)

Cream together cream cheese, sugar &
lemon juice until soft & fluffy. Add 3 C.
heavy cream & beat on medium speed
with elec. mixer until thickened & fluffy;
gently fold in strawberries. Place a single
layer of ‘nilla wafers in a 9 X 13 pan; top
with 1/3 cream mixture – repeat layers
two more times. Combine remaining
cup of heavy cream, powdered sugar,
vanilla & food coloring (if using). Beat
on medium-high until thickened; spread
over cake. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
Top with additional strawberries & serve.

(recipe:spendwithpennies.com)
===========================

Ribs are in the crockpot, just had a tasty meatloaf/Cheddar cheesesandwich for my brunch (LOVE leftover meatloaf for sandwiches!)
It’s almost 80 degrees out now -sun brightly shining; maybe I’ll take my knitting outside today, just to
enjoy the lovely weather! On our drive yesterday I was observing the gas prices: on average, $3.81/9 – not
bad! I’m really glad they DIDN’T
raise the prices for the holiday weekend!

Enjoy your day and remember to
RELAX, SMILE, and DO SOMETHING FOR
YOURSELF (and someone else, if you can!);

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: In my perusings today I found a
very interesting KNITTING site:


http://www.to-knit-knitting-stitches.com


They go from teaching beginning knitting
using videos, to more advanced stitches/
techniques! I found a very nice pattern
for the border of my (soon to be knit)
shawl, AND a new-to-me technique for
loosely binding off stitches (to the non-
knitter, it means how to finish your
project and take off the stitches at the
end. Her technique helps you to NOT
have tight stitches at the end; I have
tried many times to loosely knit/bind
off only to have the stitches be a little
tight – her method gives me HOPE!)

 


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lake Orion always had some impressive displays. I enjoyed visiting them there. I’m going to visit the site you suggested.

  2. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of
    your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people
    could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
    one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • I’ve read your comments through now, twice. I’m not exactly sure what it is you want me to do.


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