Trying to Sort it Out!


Today is a nice, quiet day – a little gloomy outside and around 22 degrees, but I don’t plan on going out, so that’s fine. No new snow – roads/walkways clear so it’s good walking or driving – MY KIND OF WINTER!

Today is also the day I/we (middle son & I) decided to tackle OBAMACARE for him, as this Saturday is the last day he is covered on our insurance. He has a friend who said he’d lead him through filling it out – well, let’s just say he sort of led him to the site; as to filling it out – guess who struggled through that! UGH! We submitted it – now it’s ‘wait & see’. I will have to go back to re-schedule a radiology esophagus test for him that was scheduled for Feb 2; I re-scheduled for 2 weeks later NOT KNOWING that Obamacare can take 30 – 45 days to go through! Double UGH!

Today is also the day I went back to the baby afghan pattern I started yesterday and RIPPED OUT 5 rows of knitting because I hadn’t counted right for the beginning row. Yep, you guessed it – TRIPLE UGH! Took me a while to get the hang of the pattern, after discovering about 12+ rows into it that I needed to do the OTHER Yarn Over. I knit in a rather strange way – it’s technically called “Continental Combined” – there aren’t many of us who do this method, hence it becomes a lot of ‘guess-work’ on my part. If I do a yarn over with the yarn back-to-front, sometimes – I repeat SOMETIMES it will make a little ‘hole’ (which is the desired effect) – it depends on the pattern. If I do the ‘other’ way of Yarn Over: Yarn Front to back, it will achieve the same results – SOMETIMES! (again, depends on the pattern-if done WRONG you end up with NO HOLE). Of course, was I thinking about that while struggling to get the hang of this pattern? Why, NO – of course not! Like I said, I stopped to glance at my work a good 12+ rows into it only to discover that I didn’t HAVE any holes like I was supposed to! (yep – another Ugh), so from there on I did the Yarn Over the opposite way and it worked. I AM a perfectionist BUT in this case I just plain decided to just keep going and not worry about it. While playing with this pattern, since I decided to only go with two yarn colors instead of three, I had to adjust the pattern that way, too – more ‘playing with the pattern’. For those of you who might decide to actually KNIT this pattern – go with the pattern AS IT IS WRITTEN, USING 3 COLORS (anything else will only confuse you.) I posted the site for this pattern on the last blog entry, if you’re interested. It’s a really cute pattern and it does make the cute little swag bottom – oh, what the hey – I’ll post it again:

(well, looks like I can’t copy the photo right now – if you want to see it, go to my last post, Thankful Tuesday – sorry)


Crockpot Taco Cheese Dip

1 (32 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cubed
into small cubes
2 pkgs. dry taco seasoning mix
1 lb ground beef
1 (15 oz) can refried beans

Tortilla chips (or ‘Scoops’ dipping
chips) – for dipping

Brown ground beef; drain. Stir in
taco seasoning pkgs (without water)
& place in crockpot. Place Velveeta
cubes in crockpot; add refried beans
& stir. Cover & cook on Low, stirring
frequently. Once cheese is melted &
mixture is heated through, turn heat
to ‘Warm’ & serve.


Bacon Cheddar Potato Cakes

3 slices bacon
4 C. cold, leftover mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Place bacon in large, deep skillet;
cook over medium-high heat, turning
occasionally until evenly browned &
crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove
bacon, crumble; set aside. Leave
drippings in skillet; mix potatoes,
eggs, onion powder, salt/pepper in
a bowl. Stir in bacon & cheese; form
mixture into 8 patties. Heat bacon
drippings over medium heat; pan-fry
patties in drippings until crisp on each
side, about 4 minutes per side.

(recipe: facebook)

Southwest Egg Rolls

1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro,
1 1/4 C. chopped, cooked chicken
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style finely
shredded Four Cheese (Kraft)
1 C. canned black beans, rinsed
1 C. frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 C. chopped red pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
1 egg, beaten
2 T. oil

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix ranch dressing & 1/4 C. cilantro;
refrigerate until ready to use. Mix
remaining cilantro, chicken, cheese,
beans, corn, peppers & cumin. Spoon
chicken mixture down centers of
tortillas. Fold in opposite sides of each
tortilla, then roll up, starting at bottom
edge. Brush top edge of tortilla with
egg; press into egg roll to seal. Place,
seam-sides down, onto baking sheet;
brush tops with oil. Bake 20 minutes or
until golden brown. Cut each diagonally
into thirds. Serve with dressing mixture.
Makes 24 servings

Note; You can also add 1 T. fresh lime
juice to dressing mixture before
Rolls can be assembled ahead of time:
do not brush with oil. Wrap individually
in plastic wrap; refrigerate up to 24
hours. When ready to serve, brush
with oil, bake as directed.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesecake Brownies

1 (9 X 13 pan size) 19-21 oz
box. brownie mix
1/2 C. applesauce
3 egg whites, divided
1/4 C. water
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix brownie mix, applesauce,
2 egg whites & water until
blended; pour into 9 X 13 pan
sprayed with nonstick spray.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour
& remaining egg white using
elec. mixer until blended; spoon
over brownie batter in pan; swirl
top gently with knife. Bake
28-30 minutes until toothpick
inserted into center comes out
with fudgy crumbs (do not
over bake) Cool completely.
Makes 32 servings

Mocha Cheesecake Brownies:
Prepare as directed above, mixing
2 T. instant coffee with the water
before using to prepare brownie

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

2 C. diced cooked chicken
3 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies,
1 pkg. flour or corn tortillas
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (19 oz) can enchilada sauce
1/4 C. medium green onion, sliced
(optional garnish)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease 9 X 13 casserole dish. Mix chicken,
cheese & chilies in a bowl. Add a few
spoonfuls of enchilada sauce to bottom of
casserole dish; spread evenly over dish.
Layer 3 tortillas on top of sauce, making
sure entire bottom of dish and part of
sides are completely covered by tortillas.
(You can cut them to fit). Spread about
1/2 can refried beans on top of tortillas,
then half chicken mixture, then half
enchilada sauce. Add 3 more tortillas
on top, follow by rest of beans & chicken
mixture. Place 2 tortillas on top of this
layer, overlapping a bit, then add rest
of the enchilada sauce. Finish by
sprinkling rest of cheese (1 1/2 C.)
on top. Cover with foil & bake 45-55
minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with
green onions, if desired. Let dish
stand about 5 minutes before serving.


Warm PBJ Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
3/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip (DO
NOT thaw)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. strawberry jam

Serve with: vanilla wafers or
other plain cookies

Microwave cream cheese in large
microwaveable bowl on High 30
seconds; stir until creamy. Add
peanut butter & Cool Whip;
microwave 1 1/2 minutes &
stir until blended. Spoon mixture
into a serving bowl; top with
small spoonfuls of jam & swirl
gently with a knife.
22 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Warren’s Chicken Bites
(appetizers-chicken wrapped
with bacon/jalapenos & cream

8 chicken tenders or breast
cutlets, flattened & cut in half
2 (3 oz ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/finely
16 slices bacon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Top each piece of chicken with
1 tsp. cream cheese & 1/4 tsp.
chopped jalapeno; roll up each
filling-covered chicken piece &
wrap with 1 slice bacon, securing
with a toothpick. Transfer to baking
sheet & place in oven 20 minutes,
flipping halfway through baking
time. Makes 16 ‘bites’

NOTE: these can also be cooking on
a outdoor grill; grill 8-10 minutes,
turning once.


Big Game Pizza Ball

24 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb. cream cheese, softened
7 T. olive oil
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 oz. tomato sauce
4 oz. pepperoni, sliced thin

pita bread, cut into points,
lightly toasted (for dipping)

Place all ingredients (except
tomato sauce, pepperoni &
pita bread) in a food processor.
Process until smooth. Shape
mixture into a ball and, using
your hands, shape/carve out
a center ‘well’. Place tomato
sauce in the well. Place pepperoni
slices on outside of ‘bowl’, sort
of like shingles. Serve with pita
points for dipping. Makes 15
snack servings.


Ham & Bean Soup

1 C. dry Navy beans
8 C. water, divided
1/2 C. chopped celery
2/3 C. chopped carrots
1 C. chopped onion
6 oz. cooked ham, cubed
1 tsp. bouillon or soup base
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
pepper, to taste

Bring beans & 4 C. water to boil in
large pot; reduce heat & simmer,
uncovered, 2 minutes. Remove
from heat, cover & soak 1 hour.
Drain & rinse. Add remaining
water & rest of ingredients. Bring
to a boil then reduce heat to
simmer. Cook 1 1/4 hours, covered.
Remove bay leaves & discard. Stir
well; mashing some beans to thicken
soup. Serves 4


Hope your day is going well;
tonight’s dinner is

Chicken Parmesan –
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
I buy boneless, skinless
chicken breasts (try finding big, thick
ones) then cut them in half width-wise
and cook them on the George Foreman.
When they’re done cooking, I open a jar
of spaghetti sauce, pour a little on the
bottom of a 9″ X 13″ pan then lay the
chicken on top. Pour the rest of the
spag. sauce over top, sprinkle a 8 oz.
bag of shredded Parmesan cheese (or
Parm/Mozzarella cheeses) then bake
about 40-45 minutes to get it all hot
and the cheese melted. Serves 4+

Enjoy your day!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Haven’t picked out the yarn yet for the afghan but I did copy the pattern. i hope my first attempt goes a little better than yours or I’ll just rip and give up (I ain’t no perfectionist).

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