Super Happy!

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Last night was Knit/Crochet night and one of our ‘long time’ regulars attended after having been absent for a few weeks. She joined our group about 5-6 years ago just before her marriage; they’ve wanted children for years. She’s been through a lot of procedures/surgeries/infusions, etc. but last night she announced she is FINALLY PREGNANT! SO excited for her! (Of course, the group immediately said: “We’ll have to have a shower!” (she’s not due until my birthday, June 18th, so we have lots of time to prepare.) Immediately I began thinking of what I can knit for her (I’m pretty sure she’ll get several blankets – one lady is already planning on making two ‘blue jean’ quilts for her: one for a girl/one for a boy). I’m (for starters) going to knit her a bunny toy (see below) and some baby blocks:

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I’m sure, as time goes on, I’ll think of other things – this baby is truly going to be SPOILED, as it should be. She told me last night that her doctor gave her a baby site that gives you updates, week-by-week, as to the size/development of the baby – right now it’s the size of a raspberry! How neat! She said the site gives an ‘idea’ of each stage: first it was the size of a poppy seed, then sesame seed, then blueberry and now a raspberry. (and, of course, I added “Eventually a WATERMELON!) Just super happy for them!!!

Re-reading my post (before publishing) brought back the Bible verse I wrote on our birth announcements for each of our sons; remember, I too, was unable to get pregnant (we tried 8 years, then adopted each son). Here is the verse that’s close to my heart:

“For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him.”  I Samuel 1:27

Well, weather-wise we’re still ‘in the clear’ as far as the ‘white stuff’ – last night it rained lightly and was pretty windy, but no snow – yet. Today: 32 degrees F (perfect ‘snow’ temp), and chance of flurries, low 25 degrees F. tonight. My husband reminded me: “FLURRIES aren’t ‘STICKING SNOW” – I tend to forget – so NOT ready for the ‘real deal’, even IF I live in Michigan!

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

Crockpot Pumpkin Butter

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/2 C. apple juice
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Spray insides of crockpot. In a
bowl combine all ingredients;
pour into crockpot.Cover &
cook on High 4-5 hours, stirring
occasionally until butter is thick
enough to stick to a spoon turned
upside down; or Low 8 hours.
Spoon butter into a jar and allow
to cool completely in refrigerator
before using. It will keep in fridge
up to one week or in freezer up to
6 months.

(recipe: myfridgefood.com)
————————————–
Bacon Chili Corn Chowder

3 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 large yellow onions, diced
1/2 C. scallions, chopped
2-3 T. butter
6 ears corn, shucked/shaved off cob
(5 C.)
1-3 whole Chipotle peppers in Adobo
sauce, diced
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1 (32 oz) can chicken broth
2 C. heavy cream
3 T. cornmeal
salt & pepper, to taste

In large pot cook bacon over medium
heat; once cooked add onion – stir &
cook 3-4 minutes. (optional: remove
some of bacon & use for garnish)
After onions start to soften, add butter,
melt, then add corn. Stir & cook 2 minutes.
Add both chilies; stir & cook 1-2 minutes.
Pour in chicken broth; bring to simmer,
then add cream. In a small bowl add
cornmeal with a little water; mix then
pour into soup. Allow to cook & thicken
for 15 minutes. If you want it thicker,
add a little more cornmeal mixed with
water, then let simmer another 10-15
minutes. Serves 8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————————-

Ricotta Spinach Lasagna

1 box lasagna noodles
2 T. olive oil
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1/2 C. onion, diced
2 (10 oz, ea) pkg. frozen spinach,
thawed
2 lb. Ricotta cheese
3 C. milk, gently warmed
1 c. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,
grated & divided
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large skillet cook onion in olive oil
4-5 minutes. Add spinach & season
with salt & pepper, saute 5 minutes;
remove from heat to cool.  Combine
ricotta & 3/4 C. Parm. cheese; season
with salt & pepper. In a saucepan, melt butter
& add flour; cook 2-3 minutes. Add warm
milk & bring to a simmer, whisk sell
so there are no lumps, season with salt &
pepper. When sauce comes to a simmer,
cook an additional 5 minutes. Spray a
9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray. Spread
1/2 C. milk/flour mixture in bottom of pan.
Top with 4 lasagna noodles, 1 C. ricotta
mixture & a sprinkling of Parm. cheese.
Repeat same patter for 3 more layers.
Top layer: Spread remaining sauce &
ricotta mixture, sprinkle with Parm.
cheese & bake 35-40 minutes or
until golden brown & bubbly on top.
Before cutting, let it rest 5 minutes.

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

Oven-baked BBQ Chicken


3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 T. lemon juice
salt & pepper
1 1/2 C. your favorite BBQ sauce

Cut each chicken breast in half. Place garlic,

olive oil, paprika & lemon juice in a gallon-
sized zip lock bag; add chicken, close bag
securely & turn over several times allowing
chicken to coat. Refrigerate bag 1 hour
(up to 24 hours).

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Spray 9 X 13″
pan with nonstick spray & place chicken
evenly in pan. Sprinkle chicken with salt &
pepper; discard marinade. Cover pan with
foil & bake 40 minutes. Remove foil. There
will be some liquid in bottom of pan;
carefully remove that from pan. Drizzle
BBQ sauce over top of each chicken piece.
Brush sauce around sides so that each
breast is covered. Return to oven, uncovered,
5 minutes longer. Remove from oven, drizzle
more BBQ sauce (if desired) & bake another
10 minutes. (Applying the sauce 2-3 times
will help sauce get sticky.) Serves 6-8

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
————————————–

Bacon-Pear Salad

1/3 C. vegetable oil
3 T. lemon juice
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Parmesan
cheese, divided
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large head romaine lettuce,
torn
6 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
3 pears, unpeeled & thinly sliced
1/4 C. minced fresh chives
pepper (optional)

Blend oil, lemon juice, 1/2 C. cheese,
Wors. sauce, garlic & salt in food
processor or blender for 10 seconds.
Toss lettuce, bacon & dressing in
large bowl & arrange on salad plates.
Top with pear slices, chives & remaining
cheese. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired.
Serves 6

(recipe: facebook)
————————————
 Apple Dumplings


3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into
cubes & chilled well
1/4 to 1/2 C. ice water
2 large Granny Smith apples,
peeled/cored & cut into eight wedges
each
4 T. unsalted butter
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

vanilla ice cream, for serving

Combine flour & salt in large bowl or
food processor. Using pastry blender
or food processor, cut butter into flour/
salt mixture until it resembles coarse
crumbs with several pea-sized pieces
remaining. Mix in water, one tablespoon
at a time, until dough holds together. Turn
out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap; wrap
tightly into a disk & refrigerate at least 15
minutes.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Roll dough into a large circle on a floured
surface; cut into 16 wedges. Roll each apple
wedge up in a wedge of dough & arrange in
a 8″ X 8″ baking pan. Melt butter in small
saucepan over medium heat; stir in brown
sugar & cinnamon – drizzle over dumplings.
Bake until dough is lightly browned & apples
are softened, about 25 minutes. Serve warm
with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Makes 16
dumplings.

(recipe: chattavore.com)
————————————-

Pasta with Butternut Squash

1 box (Barilla) campanelle pasta
1/3 C. bacon, cut into small pieces
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled/
cubed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
salt & pepper, to taste

Saute bacon in large skillet over
medium-high heat until crispy; drain
& place bacon on a plate. Heat olive oil
in same skillet; add onions & rosemary-
saute until onions are golden. Add
squash & chicken broth; simmer 10-15
minutes until squash gets soft. Discard
the rosemary. Season with salt & pepper.
Place half of the squash mixture in a
blender & process until smooth. (you can
thin the sauce more by adding more
chicken broth). Return sauce to pan.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg directions then
toss with sauce. Top cooked mixture
with cooked bacon when serving.
Serves 8

(recipe: barilla.com)
————————————–

Hungarian Goulash
(crockpot)

3 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 medium onions halved & sliced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 lb. lean beef chuck, cut into
1 1/2″ pieces
1/4 C. sweet paprika
3 T. flour
2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 C. beef broth
4 tsp. tomato paste

egg noodles, cooked

Heat oil in heavy pan over medium
heat; add beef & brown. Stir in
paprika, flour & caraway seeds;
cook 1 minute. Add 1 C. beef broth
then transfer to crockpot. Place
remaining ingredients in crockpot;
cook on Low 8-10 hours or until
beef is tender. Serve over cooked
egg noodles.
If you want it thicker, add 1 tsp.
cold water & 1 tsp. cornstarch
to mixture & bring to a boil.

(recipe: midgetmomma.com)
———————————–

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs, hard boiled/peeled
1 C. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
3/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 jalapenos, seeded/chopped
6 pieces bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
paprika

Slice hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise.
Remove yolks; place yolks in a bowl. Mash
the yolks with a fork; add mayo, vinegar,
mustard & sugar; stir to combine. Mix in
jalapenos & bacon. Place mixture in a ziplock
bag & cut a small hole in bottom corner of
bag. Using bag as a pastry bag, fill each egg
yolk hole with mixture; sprinkle tops with
paprika. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 24

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
—————————————-

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 C. vegetable oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 C. buttermilk (1/8 to
1/4 C. more if needed to keep
batter thinner)
1/3 C pureed pumpkin (or canned)
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla

syrup

In medium bowl add flour, baking
powder, sugar, salt & baking soda;
whisk with a fork to blend. Add
vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk; stir
until mixture is well blended. Add
pumpkin, vanilla & pumpkin pie
spice; stir. Heat frying pan to medium
heat. Oil cooking area slightly & pour
batter on surface in small circles.
(Poster noted she uses 1/2 C. batter
for each pancake). Flip pancake when
you see edges become dry and small
bubbles form & pop on surface. After
flipping, cook another 1-2 minutes.

NOTE: Turning pancakes is much
easier if you spray the spatula with
nonstick spray.

Makes about 9 (4″ – 5″) pancakes.
Serve warm with syrup

(recipe: allfood.recipes)
=====================

Got adventurous last night right before
going to Knit Night and decided I’d tackle
the knit ‘Keyhole Scarf’. I had printed up
about 4-5 different ‘easy’ patterns – still
none of the ‘keyhole’ directions made
much sense to me, but I selected the one
that had the words “EASY/BEGINNER” on
it. So far it’s really ‘easy’ – you just keep
knitting a regular scarf until it’s about
27″ long, then you do the keyhole. I’ve
got about 18″ done so far – am planning
on going on YouTube to watch various
videos on how to do the “Loop Cast On”
(in middle of row) – something I’ve never
done before. Am hoping it works out
really easy – we’ll see. (this would be for
the Historical Society’s winter sale early
in December) – we’ll see how ‘easy’ these
are to knit! (Am still plugging away at the
Broomstick Lace scarf – should have that
finished by end of week. They’re “OK” –
not saying I’m planning on doing another
one any time soon, but I just had to prove
to myself I could remember how to do
it again!

Hope your day is going well and you’re
inside, warm & toasty (that is – IF you’re
in a colder climate!) Tonight is my special
needs group’s Music/Birthday night – those
always go by really fast: I play piano/they sing,
we switch to prayer requests (which means
I & others go around the room with paper
& pen recording their individual request),
we do a general prayer for the requests, then
a quick prayer for the snacks, serve said snacks
and it’s time to go home! Don’t have a lot
planned for the day – just knitting, constructing
a homemade chicken pot pie, then off to my
group!

Hugs;

Pammie

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lovely story!

  2. I would love to see a picture of both scarves when you have them finished. I haven’t set up my lap robe yet but it is still on the to do list.


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