It’s been a DAY!


Today was the ‘return broken chair’ day – and we did . . . took about 1 1/2 HOURS, but we did it! Turns out the store was short staffed, they were getting in a truck delivery AND the young man at the counter had no idea what I was asking, even AFTER I explained it. Much checking, comparing prices/chairs and then they didn’t carry our broken chair but “Feel free to look around”. Ended up getting a refund of $211.00 towards a $300 chair with another 3 year warrantee (No, they don’t just extend the other one, sorry). Sigh. Then it was off to WalMart – to introduce my husband to the many ‘delights’ of that store. No particular purchases in mind, just an afternoon ‘out’. First thing my eyes light on is a big display of a toy doll – what caught my eye was the way they had made her mouth. I remember the Tiny Tears and Betsy Wetsy dolls of the 50’s – this one had a baby bottle and diapers with a BIG sign on the front of the box (which made me go into gales of VERY LOUD laughter): “Poops REAL, TINY CHARMS!” Really? TINY CHARMS? If I did that you’d be rushing me to the hospital! Turns out it comes with a little ‘charm’ bracelet but – couldn’t the designers come up with a different idea of where the charms CAME FROM??? WEIRD!!!

We meandered around the store, looking at various departments and picking up odds & ends like light bulbs, a candle that smells like Caramel Pecan Rolls (mmmmm!), some cellophane tape – the usual ‘stuff’. Ran into a lady that used to go to our church – that was nice. Quick stop at Little Caesar’s for their $5.00 pizza specials, and it was home to assemble the new chair and eat pizza. Not a bad way to spend a day!

Last night I thought I’d go for another try at loom weaving another men’s hat for the homeless shelter (tan & cream yarns – bad thing with the loom-you have to use 2 skeins together to get a nice, thick hat); I have about two more rows to finishing that one then decided to go on the other knit group site just to make sure of the time/date of their meeting in December. Good thing I did – they aren’t meeting in December! Well, guess that gives me a reason to slow down just a bit in creating for them – just a bit.

How are your Thanksgiving preparations coming? So far the only things I have on hand are 2 boxes of stuffing mix – that’s it! Found a different recipe for Cranberry Orange relish which I’m going to attempt (not real fond of my old recipe – it’s OK, but could be better). We’re still plowing our way through the various leftover cupcakes from Sunday School snacks, so not in the mood for sweets at them moment.


(new recipe for me to try)

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

1 (12 oz.) pkg fresh cranberries
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. fresh orange juice ( 2 fresh oranges)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pour cranberries into a deep skillet; pour
sugar, orange juice and salt; heat over
medium-high heat. Stir, they will foam-
berries will start to pop; keep stirring
until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat; add cinnamon, butter
& nutmeg; stir to incorporate. Cool to
room temp, then store in airtight
container in refrigerator; will keep for up
to a week. Makes 1 1/2 C.



Maple-Mustard Roast Chicken

1/4 C. maple syrup (or pancake syrup)
1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 T. Dijon coarse ground mustard
6 chicken leg quarters (2 lb)

(if desired: fresh rosemary or thyme,
for garnish)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Whisk syrup, vinaigrette & mustard
until blended; save half for later use.
Place chicken in single layer on half
of parchment-covered baking sheet.
Brush chicken with half of syrup
mixture. Bake 50 minutes or until
chicken is done (165 degrees F)
brushing chicken occasionally with
reserved syrup mixture.
Garnish with fresh rosemary or
thyme, if desired, when serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Lentil Soup w/Beef & Red Peppers

1 lb. ground beef sirloin steak
4 C. beef broth
1 C. French lentils, rinsed & drained
1 C. water
3/4 C. coarsely chopped red pepper
(1 medium)
1/2 C. chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 C. sliced carrot
1/2 C. sliced celery (1 stalk)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3 C. snipped fresh parsley

Trim fat from meat; cut meat into
3/4″ pieces. In nonstick skillet cook
meat over medium-high heat until
browned on all sides. Place in 3 1/2-
4 qt crockpot. Stir in broth, lentils,
water, pepper, onion, carrot, celery,
garlic, cumin & cayenne pepper. Cover
& cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 3 1/2-
4 hours. Stir in parsley. Serves 6


Chocolate Macaroon Layered Bars

Macaroon Layer:

3/4 C. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks),
cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Chocolate Layer:

10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips


4 egg whites
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. flour
1 (7 oz) bag sweetened flaked

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In food processor, pulse butter,
flour, sugar & salt until mixture
begins to form small lumps. Transfer
mixture to 9 X 13 pan; press evenly
onto bottom to make crust. Bake
15-17 minutes or until just golden.
Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly
over hot crust; allow to melt &
spread evenly with spatula.

In large bowl whisk together egg whites
& sugar until combined well. Stir in flour
& coconut. Drop small spoonfuls of
mixture onto chocolate layer; spread
gently. Bake 25-30 minutes until top is
golden. Cool completely in pan then
cut into bars. Makes about 2 dozen bars

Can be stored up to 5 days, covered, at
room temperature.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookie Bars

2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2/3 C. brown sugar, unpacked
1/4 C. melted unsalted butter
2 large egg whites
1/4 C. pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. butterscotch chips

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 oz. melted semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl, combine flour,
baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice &
cinnamon; stir to blend. In another
bowl, whisk sugars with butter, egg
whites, pumpkin & vanilla until light &
fluffy. Whisk dry ingredients into wet
ingredients in two additions until
batter is very well blended. If batter
looks more crumbly than smooth, add
a drop of water (one at a time) ONLY
if needed until it smooths out. Fold
in butterscotch chips; spread batter
onto baking pan using back of a
measuring cup to smooth evenly.
Bake 14-16 minutes until edges are
lightly brown & a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Do not
over bake or bars will be dry. Let cool
completely on wire rack.
In large bowl using an elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese, powdered sugar & vanilla
until well-blended. Frost bars & drizzle
with melted chocolate*.

*To melt chocolate: Place chocolate in
a microwave-safe cup & heat 15 seconds;
stir & heat another 15 seconds; stir until
chocolate is melted.

Crockpot Pork Roast
w/Veggies & Gravy

1 (3 lb.) pork roast
3 T. olive oil
salt & pepper
5 russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 large onion, chopped
3 C. mini carrots
1 T. garlic, chopped
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. balsamic salad dressing
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. brown sugar

juices from the roast
2 (.87 oz, ea) pkgs pork gravy mix
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. milk
1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

Heat large skillet on medium-high heat.
Pour olive oil in pan; sprinkle roast
generously with salt & pepper on top &
bottom. Carefully place roast in pan;
allow it to get golden brown sear on
both sides. Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray. Place seared roast
in crock; pour mini carrots around roast;
layer potatoes & onions on top. Place
chopped garlic in small bowl; add soy
sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, water &
brown sugar. Whisk ingredients, making
sure brown sugar gets dissolved; pour
all over top of potatoes & roast. Sprinkle
potatoes with salt & pepper. Cover &
cook on High 4-5 hours. (see note)
When roast has cooked through,
carefully pour juices from crockpot into
a medium-sized sauce pan. Turn crockpot
off; let meat rest, with lid on, 5-10 minutes
before serving. Add 2 pkgs pork gravy mix
to saucepan, along with milk, water & soup.
Whisk together to combine. Heat mixture
on stove to boiling, over medium-high
heat, stirring occasionally. Serves roast &
veggies with gravy drizzled over top.

NOTE: If you know your crockpot cooks
quickly, poster suggests cooking just the
meat & sauce together on Low 4 hours,
then adding veggies & cooking on High
for the additional 2 hours.


Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip

2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
1/8 C. chopped green onion
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 T. lemon juice


Spread cream cheese on bottom of a
serving plate. In small bowl mix together
cranberry sauce, cilantro, green onion,
cumin & lemon juice; spread on top of
cream cheese. Serve with crackers.


Cinnamon Frosted Pumpkin Cookies


1/2 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1 C. pumpkin
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Cinnamon Frosting:
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. shortening
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl, cream together
shortening & sugar; add rest of
ingredients-mix until combined.
Drop by teaspoon onto greased
cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes
until edges are golden brown. Let
cool on pan 3-5 minutes; remove
to wire rack to completely cool.
Makes 36 cookies

Cream together butter & shortening
in a bowl; slowly mix in rest of
ingredients & spread over cooled


Spiced Pecans

1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. dried ground orange
1 lb. pecan halves
4 T. unsalted butter
1/4 C. packed light brown sugar
2 T. packed dark brown sugar
2 T. water

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper;
set aside. Mix salt, cumin, cayenne,
cinnamon & orange peel together in
small bowl; set aside. Place nuts in a
10″ cast iron skillet on medium heat.
Cook, stirring frequently, 4-5 minutes
until they just start to brown & smell
toasted. Add butter & stir until melted.
Add spice mixture; stir to combine. Once
combined, add both sugars & water,
simmering until mixture thickens &
coats the nuts, 2-3 minutes. Transfer
nuts to prepared sheet pan & separate
them with a fork or spatula. Allow to
cool completely before transferring
to an airtight container for storage.
Can be stored for up to 3 weeks.
Makes 1 lb.

I must say – our weather has really
turned cold/nippy/biting today;
while we were getting out of the car
at WalMart it felt like it was about
10 degrees F – I said that to my husband
and a lady getting out of her car next to
us said her car said it was 12 degrees F. –
that’s COLD! No more ‘snow’ but that
kind of chilly sure makes you MOVE
when getting from car to building!

Stay warm, friends!





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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. The thermometer on my porch read 8 degrees yesterday morning and I stayed inside most of the day. Today it is 22 at 9:30 am No snow last night. I have the sequins spread all over the kitchen table.

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