Up Early, Getting Stuff Done!


Like my good friend Mary (Momma), I too went to bed early (for me: 12 something) and promptly woke up around 7:40 a.m. – that’s EARLY for me! Entire household still sleeping soundly and I didn’t want to wake them so I took my knitting to the back room and made a premie baby hat in about an hour. (love knitting the baby hats – it’s mindless knitting – just knit/purl every row!). I was supposed to meet with a friend for some one-on-one/lending a shoulder time for her at around 10:30 but then she changed the time to 12:30 and a different (farther away) location – that’s OK – there’s a Michael’s craft store in that strip mall – SCORE!

Attempting to get all my special needs group’s printing done today. We will be having our annual “Friends and Family Christmas Gathering” in 2 weeks: read that: light supper followed by our students singing two songs they’ve been working on since July, group joins in to sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Silent Night”, then we close with our favorite song: “Amazing Grace”. A fun evening for all – this year we’ve changed it up a bit by inviting the entire church to join us – it’s good for us because it gives out students a bigger audience and it’s good for the church to see just what our group is all about. We’re doing an RSVP for this event; sure hope we have ‘some’ idea of how many are coming – if just to purchase/prepare the food! This particular year I’m sort of ‘on the sidelines’ – not in a bad way, but another lady in the church who is an expert at organizing large events is taking over the dinner; she even has all kinds of helpers in the kitchen, so basically I’m there for ‘support’ for our kids and to greet the people. It feels funny to me, as I’m used to getting there super early to set up, put cookies on platters, organize the veggie trays, etc., serve the dinner, then play piano for the kids singing. We’ve also changed that part up a bit: we have a lady who volunteers with our group (she’s a little developmentally delayed) and she’s learning to play the piano. Our leader has asked her to accompany the group in singing the two Christmas songs – it gives her experience playing with a group and a sense of accomplishment. Our students will also be singing the two Christmas songs, using a video/music feed in the background so I’m only needed to play the last hymn. That’s Ok – I take it as a mini-vacation! It’s nice to have HELP with our group; we’ve grown so large (to me, anyway) – we’re up to about 78 students on our list (we average about 32-33 per week on Wednesdays). Who knows how big the group will grow? We just follow what the Lord would have us to do – teach & preach the Gospel and help others learn more about the Lord and His Word.

RECIPES! I’m overflowing with them! Here ya go, for today:


Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls

2/3 C. (1 1/3 sticks) butter, room temp
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1 C. mini semisweet chocolate chips

Dipping Chocolate:
12 oz. dark chocolate or semi-
sweet wafers/chips
6 blocks chocolate-almond bark,
(like Candy Quik)*

Cookie Dough Balls

Using elec. mixer, beat butter, gran.
sugar, brown sugar, applesauce &
vanilla together until smooth. Sift
flour, baking soda & salt together;
with mixer running slowly, add to
butter mixture. Mix in chocolate chips.
Scoop out batter using a mini ice
cream scoop & roll into balls. Place
balls about 1 inch apart on a baking
sheet lined with waxed paper; transfer
to freezer 30 minutes to let dough

Chocolate Dipping Chocolate:

(While dough is chilling) Melt
chocolate wafers & chocolate-almond
bark together in heavy-bottomed
saucepan over low heat, stirring
constantly. Remove chilled dough
balls from freezer and, using two
spoons, dip balls (one-at-a-time)
into melted chocolate, rolling them
to coat fully. Return dough balls
to waxed paper-lined baking sheet &
refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Makes 3-4 dozen

*You can usually find both the
dark chocolate wafers and chocolate-
almond bark in grocery stores in the
baking section

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)


Mediterranean Sausage & Spinach

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1/2 C. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed/squeezed dry
1 C. crumbled feta cheese
2 green onions, minced
1 1/2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
2 (2.1 oz, ea) pkgs. mini phyllo dough
15 pitted kalamata olives, halved

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove sausage from casing & place in
large, nonstick skillet over high heat. Saute
until cooked through, breaking up sausage
with wooden spoon as it cooks. Stir in
spinach until hot. Turn off heat, stir in feta,
green onion, oregano, salt & pepper to taste.
Place phyllo cups on a sheet pan & bake until
crisp & hot, about 4 minutes. Fill each cup with
sausage mixture & top with an olive half. Serve
immediately. Makes 30 servings

(recipe: perdue.com)

Spinach/Artichoke Chicken Swirls

2 C. fresh boneless,skinless chicken breasts;
cooked & shredded
1 C. artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 C. red peppers, finely chopped
1 C. spinach dip
2 sheets puff pastry dough, about
12 X 10 inch*

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Toss cooked & shredded chicken with
artichoke hearts & red peppers; stir in
spinach dip. Divide chicken mixture
between the two sheets of dough;
spread to the edges in an even layer.
Roll into a log, lengthwise. Cut each
log into 15 rounds. Arrange rounds on
a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until pastry
is golden. Cool 5 minutes before
serving. Makes 30

*You can substitute pie pastry for
puff pastry, if needed

(recipe: perdue.com)

Sweet Potato Biscuits
(with cinnamon honey-butter)

2 C. flour
2 T. brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. unsalted butter, chilled
1 (15 oz) can sweet potato in
light syrup, drained/mashed
(OR 1 C. mashed, cooked sweet potato)
1/2 C. buttermilk*

Cinnamon-Honey Butter:
8 T. butter, room temp.
3 T. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place oven rack in middle of oven. In
large bowl whisk flour, brown sugar,
baking powder, salt & baking soda.
Cut butter into small pieces; add to
dry mixture. Mix until largest pieces
of butter are about one-half inch.
Stir in buttermilk & sweet potatoes,
just to combine. Using a 1/4 C.
measuring cup, drop mounds of
dough two inches apart onto cookie
sheet. Bake until bottoms are golden
brown, about 14-16 minutes.
Makes 12 biscuits

Cinnamon-Honey Butter:
In small bowl, mix ingredients to

If you do not have buttermilk, pour
1 T. lemon juice or vinegar into a
1 Cup measure. Pour milk into
cup until liquid reaches desired
amount. Stir & let set 5 minutes –
now you have ‘soured/buttermilk’!

(recipe: food.com)

Cream Cheese/Olive Snacks

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 small jar stuffed green olives
(stuffed with pimiento)

Place cream cheese in a bowl;
add a little olive juice & mix
until you get a smooth, creamy
texture. Chop olives (not entire
jar – just enough to your liking)
& mix with cream cheese. Serve
on warm toast or on crackers
Serves 4

(recipe: food.com)

Easy Pepperoni Rolls

3 cans buttermilk biscuits
(10 biscuits per can)
56 pepperoni slices
block of cheese (poster used
Colby & Monterey Jack)
Parmesan cheese
1 jar pizza sauce

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cut block of cheese into at least
28 squares. Flatten a biscuit; place
one slice pepperoni, 1 cube cheese
and another slice pepperoni in
middle of flattened biscuit. Gather
up the edges of the biscuit & pinch
together. Place in greased 9 X 13
pan. Sprinkle tops with oregano &
Parmesan. Bake 18-20 minutes.
Serve rolls with warm pizza sauce
for dipping. Makes 30 rolls.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)

Warm Lemon Pudding Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (9 X 13
size) plus ingredients needed
to make cake (on back of
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant
lemon pudding mix
1/3 C. sugar
2 C. cold milk
1 1/4 C. water
2 T. powdered sugar
(for dusting)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake as directed on
box; pour into greased 9 X 13″
pan. Beat dry pudding mixes,
granulated sugar, milk & water
with whisk 2 minutes. Pour
over batter in dish. (DO NOT
spread). Place baking dish on
baking sheet (this will catch
any drips of sauce that might
bubble over). Bake 55 minutes –
1 hour; until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool
20 minutes. (sauce will thicken
as it cools.) Sprinkle top with
powdered sugar & serve warm.
Refrigerate leftovers.

(recipe: mandysrecipebox

Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad

1 bag miniature marshmallows
16 oz. vanilla yogurt
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 pkg. no-bake cheesecake filling

1-2 containers sliced strawberries
3-4 sliced bananas

Stir together first 4 ingredients, then
fold in fruits. Chill at least 1 hour
before serving. Serve same day,
as bananas discolor.

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken & Roasted Red Potatoes

1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
6 large bone-in chicken thighs,
skin & fat removed
4 slices bacon
1 1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 5)
cut into 1″ chunks
1 onion, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 t. chopped fresh parsley

Pour dressing over chicken in shallow
pan; refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium
heat until crisp; remove bacon, reserving
1 t. drippings in skillet. Drain bacon on
paper towels. Add potatoes & onions to
skillet; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; crumble bacon & add
to potato mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into
a 9 X 13 dish. Remove chicken from
marinade (discard marinade) & place
chicken over potato mixture.
Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour until potatoes
are tender & chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Top with cheese & parsley. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheddar/Pepper Jack
Pasta Bake

1 1/2 C. cavatappi, uncooked (or
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
3 T. butter or margarine, divided
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo
sauce, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. flour
2 C. milk
1/4 C. panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg to pkg directions,
omitting salt. Combine cheeses; set
aside. Melt 2 T. butter in large sauce-
pan on Low heat. Add peppers & garlic;
cook 30 seconds. Add flour; cook &
stir 2 minutes or until hot & bubbly.
Gradually stir in milk; bring to boil on
medium heat, stirring constantly.
Simmer on Low 3-5 minutes or until
thickened, stirring constantly. Remove
from heat; add 1 1/2 C. cheese mixture
& stir until melted. Drain cooked pasta
& add to cheese sauce; mix well. Spoon
into a 1 1/2 Qt. casserole dish that has
been sprayed with nonstick spray. Top
with remaining cheese mixture. Melt
remaining butter in small skillet on
medium heat; add bread crumbs. Cook &
stir 1-2 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Sprinkle over cheese mixture. Bake 20
minutes or until heated through.
Serves 6 – 1 C. each.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

2 lb. frozen hash browns, thawed
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted&
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 pint (2 C.) sour cream
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 C. crushed corn flakes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl, combine thawed
hash browns with 1/2 C. melted butter
& all remaining ingredients except
corn flakes; spread in baking dish. Mix
1/4 C. melted butter & corn flakes together
& sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake,
uncovered, 1 hour. Serve hot.

(recipe: jamhands.net)

3-Ingredient Nacho Dip

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese
2 (15 oz, ea)
cans chili (with or
without beans, your choice)
1 (8 oz) bag shredded cheese;
4 C. – Nacho-cheese works best

corn chips, crackers for dipping

Layer both pkgs. cream cheese on
bottom of a glass 8″ X 8″ baking
dish. Cover evenly with the 2 cans
chili. Cover chili with shredded
cheese. Microwave (or oven) until
cheese in center is bubbly.
Serves 10

(recipe: food.com)

3-Ingredient Dip
(also crockpot version)

1 (16 oz) tube hot pork sausage
(in roll, like Jimmy Dean’s)
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can Ro*Tel tomatoes,undrained

Brown sausage in nonstick skillet,
breaking it up into crumbles until
no longer pink; drain. In medium
saucepan heat tomatoes & cream
cheese over medium heat, stirring
occasionally – heat until cream
cheese is completely melted. Add
browned sausage to mixture; stir
to combine. (If you’d like it a little
thinner, add a splash or two of
milk & mix to combine.)

Serve with tortilla or potato chips
Crockpot Version:
After browning sausage, combine all
ingredients in small crockpot over
Low heat until cream cheese melts,
stirring occasionally. Turn heat to
Warm & serve.

(recipe: thetwobiteclub.com)
Crockpot Chili

2 lb. hamburger
1-2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans Ro*Tel tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
half of 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 T. cayenne pepper
1 T. cumin
2 cans of beans (your choice,
drained-poster uses chili beans)

sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese

In large skillet brown meat & onions;
drain grease & place in crockpot.
Place rest of ingredients in crockpot
& cook on Low 7 hours.

(recipe: crockmoms.com)
Easy Orange Cake

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter
1 T. grated orange rind
2 1/2 C. cake flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold water
4 eggs, separated
1/2 C. sugar

Optional: whipping cream &
orange zest

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9 X 13″ pan.
Beat sugar, butter & orange rind
at medium speed. In medium
bowl, sift cake flour, baking soda,
baking powder. Add orange juice &
salt; mix well. Add cold water, mix
then add to sugar/butter mixture.
Beat egg whites until frothy &
gradually add 1/2 C. sugar. Fold
egg whites into batter & pour
into prepared pan. Bake 25-30
minutes until a fork inserted
into cake comes out clean. Let
cool slightly. Serve with
whipping cream & orange zest,
if desired.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)


Have a GREAT day – enjoy whatever
you have to do today. Sometimes life
is not in the big things, but in enjoying
the LITTLE things. Kind of reminds me
of a saying: “Don’t sweat the small
stuff because, in the end, it’s ALL
small stuff!”



Published in: on December 5, 2014 at 11:05 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Well you may be on the side lines but It sounds like you will be busy anyway. Hope all goes well with your program.

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