Gettin’ Cooler


This is the second scarf I’m knitting for the homeless shelter. I love the pattern, but should have added more border stitches, as it tends to curl at the sides. Oh well – I tried.

Today is the beginning of the colder weather, as forecast earlier in the week. We’re bracing for lots of days of rain (sigh). Right now it’s 60 (possible high of 74 – I’ll believe that when I see it – it’s chilly & windy out.)

Last night was my special needs group and, just like the Knit/Crochet group – we’re growing again! We had 32 kids last night – that’s a LOT! One of our adult helpers is on vacation and we didn’t have 3 of our teenage helpers, so it was a bit hectic; thank heavens we had an ‘easy to serve’ snack: juice boxes & bags of cheese crackers, provided by one of our parents. I guess we just don’t realize how much our ‘helpers’ take the load off of Lois & I until they’re not there! God is good, and we made it through the evening; now we’re planning the upcoming Harvest Party coming in 3 weeks. Just got a phone call from a new group home asking about our activities; last night another group home staff said they also know another group home interested in joining Friends Group. Yes, we’re definitely growing! (The ‘thing’ with group homes: when they come we don’t just increase by 1-2 people but by much bigger numbers! The phone call earlier today mentioned bringing 6 students and 2 staff – see what I mean?) That’s where my faith in the Lord comes in strong: I KNOW He WILL provide us with more help when we need it most. Our group’s been together since 1990 and I’ve seen Him work over and over through the years – He IS faithful!


Caramel Apple Cake

1 1/2 C. cooking oil
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
3 eggs
3 C. flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 1/2 C. diced, peeled apples
1 C. chopped walnuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Caramel Icing:
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. Half & Half cream
1/4 C. butter, cubed
dash salt
1 C. confectioners sugar
chopped walnuts (topping)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine oil, sugars &
eggs until well blended. Combine
flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt &
nutmeg; gradually add to creamed
mixture until blended. Fold in apples,
walnuts & vanilla.
Pour into greased & floured 10 inch
tube pan (or Bundt pan). Bake 1 1/2
hours until a toothpick inserted near
center comes out clean. Cool in pan
10 minutes before removing to wire
rack to cool completely.
In small, heavy saucepan over medium-
low heat, cook & stir brown sugar,
Half & Half, butter & salt until sugar is
dissolved. Transfer to small bowl; cool
to room temperature. Beat in confect.
sugar until smooth; drizzle over cake.
Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts,
if desired. Makes 16 servings.


Honey-Sesame Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken
1 C. honey
12/ C. soy sauce
1/4 C. Hoisin sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, minced
6 T. cold water
2 T. corn starch
chopped green onions
sesame seeds

Cooked rice

Cut chicken into bite-sized
pieces; place in bottom of
crockpot. In small bowl mix
honey, soy sauce, hoisin sauce,
sesame oil & garlic; pour over
chicken. Cover & cook on Low
3-4 hours until chicken is cooked.
Pour liquid from chicken into a
medium saucepan; bring to a
simmer. Mix cold water & corn starch
in a small bowl or cup; pour into
simmering sauce. Cook 3-4 minutes
while stirring over medium heat
until sauce is thickened. Pour
sauce over chicken & serve
over rice, garnishing with
your choice of garnishes.
Serves 6

(recipe: Crockpot Ladies)

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled &
cut into 1″ cubes
3 C. water
1 bay leaf
3 peeled garlic cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 T. butter
1/4 C. milk

Place potatoes in crockpot; add water,
bay leaf, garlic & salt. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours (or 4 hours on Low) or
until sweet potatoes are very soft.
Drain off all water (use a colander).
Add butter & milk; using a potato
masher, mash to desired consistency.
(can also use a hand elec. mixer)
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Serves 6


Cheesy Mushroom Broccoli

3 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/2 lb. shiitake or baby bella mushrooms,
1/4 C. onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chicken stock
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped broccoli,
thawed & drained
2 C. shredded Cheddar-Monterey cheese blend
3 C. cooked rice
salt & pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray large casserole dish with nonstick spray. In large
pot, melt 3 T. butter & flour over medium heat until
golden brown in color (to make a roux). The roux should
resemble the color of peanut butter. Add mushrooms,
onion, garlic, garlic powder, cayenne, heavy cream &

chicken stock. Add broccoli, 1 C. cheese & rice. Season
with salt & pepper, to taste. Pour mixture into prepared
casserole dish & top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake
about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted & golden.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: Food Network)

Party Cheese Bread

1/2 C. butter, melted
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. Dijon mustard (or regular mustard)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 lb. round loaf sourdough bread
1 lb. Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese,
thinly sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl, combine first 6 ingredients;
set aside. Cut bread diagonally into 1 inch
slices to within 1/2 inch of bottom of loaf.
Repeat cuts in opposite direction. Arrange
cheese slices into cuts. Drizzle butter mixture
over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking
sheet & bake 15 minutes. Uncover & bake 10
minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Makes 8 servings.


Crab Meat & Brie Fondue

1/4 C. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 c. finely chopped shallots
2 C. heavy cream
2 C. cubed Brie cheese
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. lump crab meat, shells removed &
meat flaked
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat butter in large skillet over medium
heat. Add shallots & saute 1 minute or
until shallots are translucent. Add cream;
bring to simmer. Whisk Brie into cream
mixture. Season with salt & pepper. Stir in
crab meat; cook 3-5 minutes or until
mixture is slightly reduced. Pour into warm
fondue pot & keep warm over low heat.
Garnish with parsley. Serves 4-6

(recipe: Better Recipes)

Beef Noodle Casserole

2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (10 3/4 oz) can tomato soup, undiluted
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (2 oz) jar sliced pimientos, drained
2 T. chopped jalapeno pepper*
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1 (8 oz) pkg. medium egg noodles, cooked
& drained
1 (4.5 oz) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 1/2C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet, cook beef, onion & green
pepper over medium heat until meat is no
longer pink & vegetables are tender; drain.
Add next 9 ingredients; stir in noodles &
mushrooms. Transfer mixture to greased
9 X 13 baking dish; sprinkle top with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes or until heated
through. Makes 8-10 servings

*Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot
peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching
your face

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

1 lb. ground beef or sausage, browned/
6.4 oz. box Hamburger Helper Lasagna
Dinner – divided
6 C. water
1 C. frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil,
garlic & oregano
(optional: grated/shredded mozzarella
cheese or Ricotta cheese – topping)

Place cooked ground beef in crockpot.
Add lasagna mix (reserve noodles), water,
corn & undrained tomatoes. Cook on Low
6 hours. Stir in noodles & cook 20 minutes
longer. Serve with shredded cheese as
topping. Serves 6


Enjoy your Fall day!



Published in: on October 2, 2014 at 10:13 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Love the color of the scarf and the pattern is good. I’m sitting a bit chilly today too.

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