Man, Oh Man!!!


When my last blog said it’s getting colder, I had NO idea it would get REALLY cold REALLY quick! Today was my first meeting with the other Knit group; got dressed, drove to the bank drive-through only to discover I couldn’t find my checks & deposit slip! Had to pull through, stop – get out of the car- go to passenger side and look for them (they had slipped between my seat and the center console). In that brief few seconds out of the car I discovered it wasn’t JUST raining, it was HAILING! When I got into the car it was 41 degrees (promptly drove back home, changed from sandals & a light sweater to socks/winter shoes and my winter jacket!) The drive to Biggby coffee took about 12  minutes – during that time the temps dropped to 39! My husband said we ‘might’ get snow tonight – NO!! SAY IT ISN”T SO!!! It’s still raining lightly – we’ll see what this day brings.

Had an enjoyable time with the ‘new to me’ group – there were only two people, but we had a fun 2 hours together working on scarves to donate to the homeless shelter. I found out that they donate to FOUR shelters in the area and not everyone who belongs to their group comes to the meetings (some chose to knit & drop off) – they also have about 40+ lady inmates at a prison who knit for them! Interesting! I’m just happy doing the knitting & donating parts – gave them the cream colored mens scarf; am still finishing up the (curling) raspberry ladies scarf and am about 1/4 done with the next men’s scarf I started yesterday. This one is in 3 colors: the ends are the leftover cream yarn from the mens scarf, followed by (about) 4″ wide strips of medium beige and cocoa brown yarns (leftovers from my group’s last free yarn donations). This group only meets once a month for 2 hours, so I’ve got an entire month to finish these two scarves. (I must say – coffee-wise, Biggby was the worst coffee I’ve EVER drank, took 2 sips and left it on the table – guess I’m really partial to Tim Hortons!)


Pumpkin – Maple Dip

4 oz. room temp. cream cheese

1/2 C. canned pumpkin puree

1/4 C. Greek yogurt (plain)

3 T. maple syrup

2 T. peanut butter

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

pinch salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor &

process until smooth. Makes 2 Cups

Serve with: sliced fruits (apple, pear),

graham crackers or vanilla wafers.

(recipe: newspaper flyer)


Yummy Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, cut into small
1 red onion, cut into large pieces &
separated into single pieces
1 whole garlic, peeled & minced
olive oil

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Toss together & roast in a single
layer 1 hour.

(recipe: Facebook)

Jalapeno & Cheese Monkey Bread

1 (16.3 oz) can refrigerated biscuits,
2 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese,
3/4 C. drained pickled jalapeno nacho
3/4 C. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
spray. Dip 1/3 of biscuit pieces into
melted butter & place in pan. Top
with 1/2 C. cheese, 1/4 C. peppers &
1/4 tsp. each garlic powder & oregano;
repeat layers. Cover with remaining
dipped biscuit pieces, peppers &
seasonings. Bake 35 minutes. Top
with remaining cheese; bake 5-10
minutes or until cheese is melted. Cool
in pan 10 minutes; remove bread
from pan & serve warm. Serves 8

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Alfredo Ravioli Bake

2 T. butter
1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves, cut into 1″ pieces
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (25-27.5 oz) pkg. frozen cheese-
filled ravioli
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
(1 C.)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
(2 C.)
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in 12″ skillet until
sizzling; add chicken pieces; cook
over medium-high heat until lightly
borwned, 4-6 minutes. Add mushrooms;
continue cooking until chicken is no longer
pink & mushrooms are tender, 4-6
minutes; do not drain. Spread 1/2 C.
alfredo sauce into greased 9 X 13 baking
dish. Arrange single layer of frozen
ravioli over sauce; drizzle 3/4 C. sauce
evenly over ravioli. Spread 1 1/2 C.
chicken & mushroom mixture, 1/2 C.
red pepper & 1 C. mozzarella; repeat
with remaining ingredients, except
remaining 1 C. mozzarella & Parm. cheeses.
Cover tightly with foil & bake 45 minutes.
Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining
cheeses & bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes
or until cheeses are melted. Let stand
15 minutes before serving. Serves 8

Can be made ahead: Prepare as directed;
cover & refrigerate up to 24 hours. When
ready to bake, continue as directed above.
Increase first baking time to 1 hour.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

 Lasagna-stuffed Spaghetti Squash

5 lb. spaghetti squash (2 medium-sized)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 C. ricotta cheese
1/4 C. roughly chopped parsley
1 C. shredded mozzarella
chopped parsley, or basil, (garnish)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut squash in half & scoop out seeds.
Lay them, cut sides down, in a roasting
pan or other baking dish. Add about an
inch of water to the pan. Roast 45-60 minutes
until soft when poked with a for,. Transfer to
a cooling rack until cool enough to handle.

While squash is roasting, warm olive oil in
a high-sided skillet or saucepan over medium-
high heat. Stir in onions & cook until
translucent, 5-8 minutes. Stir in garlic & cook
until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add ground beef &
1 tsp. salt; cook until well-browned, 5-8
minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes & bring to
a simmer; continue simmering until squashes
are ready, 5-20 minutes. Taste sauce & add
more salt if necessary. Use a fork to shred the
insides of the squash, leaving about a half-inch
of squash meat in the shell. Mix shredded
squash into tomato sauce. In a separate bowl,
mix ricotta cheese, parsley & 1/2 tsp. salt.
Wipe out the roasting pan & arrange squash
shells inside, like bowls. Divide half of ricotta
mixture between the shells, using a spoon to
spread evenly over bottom of shells. Divide
half the tomato sauce between the shells,
spooning over top of ricotta. Top with
another layer of ricotta & sauce.* Bake 15
minutes; sprinkle mozzarella over top of
squashes & bake another 15-20 minutes until
cheese is bubbly & browned in spots. (for a
more golden top, place under the broiler
for 1-2 minutes) sprinkle parsley or basil over
tops & serve immediately. Leftovers will keep
for up to a week.

*At this point shells can be covered &
refrigerated up to 24 hours. Add an extra
10 minutes to cooking time.
Casserole Version (same recipe)

Instead of stuffing the squash shells, this
can be baked casserole-style in a 2 qt.
(8″ X 8″” baking dish). Layer 1/3 of
tomato sauce in dish, 1/2 the ricotta
mixture & 1/3 of sauce. Top with
remaining ricotta & sauce. Bake 15
minutes, sprinkle with mozzarella, bake
another 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

(recipe: the

Shrimp/Asparagus Stir Fry

1 lb. shrimp, peeled/de-veined
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. water
1 T. sugar
1 T. oyster sauce
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces
1 green onion, chopped

Hot, cooked rice

In large bowl place shrimp, seasoning
with salt & pepper; set aside. In smaller
bowl, mix water with sugar, oyster sauce &
cornstarch; set aside. Heat wok or skillet
over high heat; stir fry oil, garlic, onion &
shrimp. Once shrimp become opaque &
pink, add asparagus. Stir in cornstarch
mixture & stir until sauce thickens. Remove
from heat & stir in green onions. Serve with
hot cooked rice. Serves 4


Simple Swiss Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. milk
1 pkg. Herb Stuffing mix
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken breasts on bottom;
cover with slices of Swiss cheese. In small
bowl combine soup & milk; pour over
chicken & cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix
on top & drizzle melted butter over top.
Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours or High
2-3 hours. Serves 6


Cornbread Taco Casserole

2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 C. chopped bell pepper
1 (15 oz) can crushed or diced
1 can kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 C. water
1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy cornbread mix

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook ground beef in skillet; add onions
& peppers & cook until onions are
translucent (drain grease). Add tomatoes
& kidney beans; mix well & pour into a
greased 9 X 13 dish. Mix cornbread according
to pkg. directions & pour cornbread batter
over meat mixture in prepared dish. Bake
20-25 minutes or until cornbread is golden

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Lemon Bars

2 C. flour
1 C. butter, softened (no substitutes)
1/2 C. powdered sugar

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C. sugar
4 T. flour
6 T. lemon juice

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. milk
2 T. cold water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix crust ingredients with fork;
pat into a 9 X 13 pan which has been
greased & floured. Bake 15 minutes.
Mix filling together; after crust has baked
15 minutes, pour filling over crust &
continue baking 25 minutes. Cool bars
Make Frosting: Beat butter, powdered
sugar & milk for 6-8 minutes on High
speed with an elec. mixer, then add
2 T. cold water, one at a time. Beat
until smooth, then spread over
cooled bars.


Well, here’s to staying warm in your home
today – hope you have something nice &
warm to drink (like cocoa/coffee/tea) and
somewhere to snuggle up (maybe under a
nice toasty afghan) and enjoy reading a
book/knitting – crocheting or doing some
craft you enjoy. Baby, it’s COLD out there-



PS: Forgot to add: GAS PRICES in our area have dropped! Today the lowest priced gas at Clark was $3.26/9 a gallon – WOW! Right now, also, it’s almost 3 p.m. – rain stopped, it’s still windy but the temps have risen to 51 degrees F. – hey, it’s better than 40!


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: