Even though our weather has been cold (in the 20’s with tiny ‘dandruff-like’ flakes of snow) it’s still bright & sunny out and that makes me happy!
Last night was my special needs group’s Gym Night – we played Bingo (which the kids love) – only problem? We only had a total of 15 people (and that includes caregivers!). Small group – lots of fun; great snacks: salsa & “Scoops” chips or Chex mix and pop – the kids had fun and so did we.
We just finished the last of the Taco Salad – middle son stopped over the other day and said: “Taco Salad? I knew I smelled something good! Why Taco Salad?” My answer: because your Dad & I WANTED some! That’s one of those foods that we ALL pig-out on, can’t seem to just eat a little. Love it – glad it’s gone so I can go back to eating ‘normal’ sized portions!
Layered Ranch Dip
2 C. (16 oz) sour cream
1 envelope Ranch salad dressing
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped green
1 (4 oz) can sliced ripe olives,
1/4 C. finely chopped red onion
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Monterey
corn or tortilla chips, for serving
In small bowl mix sour cream & dry
dressing mix; spread into a large
shallow dish. Layer with chopped
tomato, green chilies, olives, onion
& cheese. Refrigerate until serving.
Serve with chips; makes 8 servings
Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
1 lb. fresh asparagus
10 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat oil & garlic in small saucepan over
Low heat until garlic becomes golden,
several minutes (do not burn) – allow
oil to cool. Bend asparagus gently at
bottom end, when it snaps discard
end pieces. Place asparagus on lipped
roasting pan & toss with oil/garlic,
coating all pieces. LIne up asparagus &
push together, season with salt/pepper,
then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Roast
12 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
Serve at once.
Italian Chicken Alfredo
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 C. water
1 (.7 oz) pkg. dry Italian -style salad
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (4.5 oz) can sliced, canned mushrooms
1 (8 oz) pkg. spaghetti
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of crock;
combine dry Italian dressing mix & water
in small bowl then pour over chicken.
Sprinkle with garlic. Cover & cook on Low
After 4 hours, whisk softened cream cheese
& chicken soup together in a bowl; pour
over chicken & stir in mushrooms. Cover &
cook on Low 1 additional hour. Cook
spaghetti accordg. to pkg. directions.
To serve, spoon chicken & sauce over hot,
cooked spaghetti then sprinkle tops with
(recipe: Ron & Jean-Slowcooker Digest)
Mint Oreo Cookies
Peppermint or mint flavoring
green food coloring
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
3 bags Hershey White chocolate chips*
Pour half of white chips in glass measuring
cup (2 Cup). Heat in microwave 30 seconds
at a time, stirring after each heating; when
chocolate is almost melted let it set 1 minute.
Add 1 capful of mint flavoring and about
7 drops food coloring; stir to incorporate.
Chocolate will start to set up a bit after adding
these. Add 1 T. shortening & stir. Dip 1 Oreo
in chocolate; using two spoons, gently roll
Oreo around in chocolate; lift cookie up
between the 2 spoons & gently shake it back
& forth to allow some chocolate to drip off.
Place dipped cookie on a cookie sheet lined
with waxed paper. Once you have used up
all of your melted chocolate, melt the other
half as directed above (reserve about 1/3 C.
to drizzle over the cookies later); finish
dipping the rest of the Oreos. Drizzle
remainder of white chocolate over tops of
cookies & let them set up. You can refrigerate
them to quicken the process. Makes about
*Poster notes Nestle’s chips does NOT work
for this recipe (once food coloring & mint gets
added, chocolate gets quite chalky). She
recommends Kroger or Walmart generic brands
Family Swiss Steak
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1 1/2 lb. boneless beef round steak,
cut into 1″ thick pieces
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 large clove garlic, peeled & thinly
2 medium stalks celery, thinly
2 medium onions, peeled & thinly
4 medium plum tomatoes, thinly
1/2 C. beef broth
In small bowl combine flour,
thyme & paprika.Using pastry
brush, brush Wors. over steak
pieces then dredge in flour mixture.
Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet
with nonstick spray. Place skillet
on medium-high heat, add steak
pieces & brown on both sides,
about 5 minutes per side.
Transfer meat to crockpot; top
with garlic slices, celery, onions
& tomatoes. Pour beef broth
over top – do not stir. Cover &
cook on Low 8-10 hours
or High 4-5 hours.
(recipe: Cheryl B-slowcooker digest)
Crust: (or use store-bought)
1 1/2 C. flour
4 T vegetable shortening, cold
3 T. ice water
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,
dry beans*for weighing down crust while
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C milk (or 1 C milk, 1/2 C heavy cream)
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 white onion, chopped
2-3 small zucchinis, rinsed/chopped
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,
mixed herbs, garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 450º F.
Spray quiche pan with nonstick spray.
In a food processor fitted with a steel blade,
pulse flour with (very cold) cubed butter,
shortening and salt until mixture is pebble-
like in texture. While pulsing, slowly drizzle
in ice cold water until dough ball begins to
form. Turn out onto counter and roll into a ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap &refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove from fridge and roll out onto a lightly
floured surface. Fold dough in half and carefully
transfer to 10-inch pie pan. Spread dough
out gently in pan and trim off excess overhang.
[Dough should be rolled out 1-2-inches larger
than intended pie pan.] Cover crust with sheet
of parchment paper or aluminum foil and
weigh down with beans*. Place in oven and
bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans and bake,
uncovered for another 5. Remove
from oven and reduce oven temperature
to 350º F. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a
large pan over medium-high heat. Cook
zucchini until softened, 8-9 minutes.
Add onion (and if necessary, more olive oil),
and cook until translucent and fragrant,
stirring occasionally. 5-7 minutes. Drain
off excess oil and season with salt & pepper.
Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix milk
(and heavy cream) with beaten eggs, and
add nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Spread veggies out evenly in the crust & slowly
pour in egg mixture. Cover the top with mixed
cheeses and herbs, if using. Place in oven &
bake for 35-40 minutes, or until
crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
Let cool 10 minutes and serve warm.
Yields 6-8 servings
Lemon Poppyseed Waffles/Lemon
Butter Cream Syrup
3 C. flour
2 T. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. poppy seeds
3 eggs, beaten until frothy
2 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. canola or vegetable oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. butter, melted
Heat waffle iron.
In large mixing bowl place flour,
baking soda, salt, sugar & poppy seeds;
mix to combine. In separate bowl whisk
eggs, milk, oil & lemon juice; pour wet
ingredients into dry & whisk with fork.
When almost all batter is incorporated,
add 3 T. melted butter; whisk. Batter
should be slightly lumpy. Spray waffle
iron with nonstick spray; carefully scoop
(or pour) batter into iron & cook waffles.
Lemon Butter Cream Syrup
1/2 C. butter
1/2 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 C. sugar
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1-2 T. lemon zest
3 drops yellow food coloring
Using medium saucepan, melt butter
over medium-high heat. Add sugar &
evap. milk; stir & bring to boil. Cook 4-5
minutes, continuously stirring. Remove
pan from heat & add lemon zest (start
with 1 tsp. & taste, if you want more,
add another tsp.) Add lemon juice &
food coloring – taste syrup & adjust
(if you want more zip, add more zest
& lemon juice). Allow pan to sit for
a few minutes on counter to thicken.
Makes 1 1/2 C. syrup
Ranch Cheddar Chicken
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (1 oz) pkg. Ranch salad dressing mix, dry
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper
1/3 C. Panko bread crumbs*
2 T. chopped fresh parsley, garnish
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease 9 X 13 pan or spray
with nonstick spray. In small bowl
whisk mayo, cheese, Ranch mix & garlic.
Season chicken with salt/pepper, to taste.
Place chicken in single layer in prepared
dish; top with mayo mixture & sprinkle
top with Panko crumbs. Cook 25-30
minutes until thoroughly cooked & top
is golden brown. Serve immediately,
garnished with parsley, if desired.
*Panko can be found in the Asian aisle
Cheesy Bacon/Ranch Potatoes
6 slices bacon
3 lb. red potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese,
1 T. Ranch salad dressing mix (dry)
2 T. chopped chives
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum
foil. Spread bacon in single layer on
baking sheet; bake 12-14 minutes
until brown & crispy. Let cool before
crumbling; set aside.
Line crockpot with aluminum foil,
leaving enough to overhang – to
wrap potateos on top; spray foil
with nonstick spray. Place layer of
potatoes evenly in crockpot; top with
cheese, dry Ranch & bacon. Repeat
2 more times, reserving 1/2 C. cheese.
Cover potatoes with overlapping foil.
Cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 3-4
hours. Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese, cover & cook until melted,
about 1-2 minutes. Serve garnished
with chopped chives. Serves 8
Still working on nephew’s scarf, now almost half
done – it’s an easy 2-row pattern, so I should
get it done within the week. Speaking of weeks –
this coming one is filled! Take car into shop to
see what’s leaking, help middle son with paper-
work on his car lease, Good Friday service (choir
singing and an hour choir practice after, prep
for Easter Sunday breakfast (Sat) and then
Easter Sunday – WOOF! (I’m good as long as
I don’t think about how busy it’s going to be!)
Oh, and throw in Knit Night Tuesday and my
special needs group Weds.
Still have a little grocery shopping to do for
Easter dinner – it’s going to be a rather ‘plain’
dinner this time: Ham, cheesy potatoes,
green bean casserole, rolls, veg tray and
carrot cake; I already talked to oldest son
who’s bringing his cheesy potatoes (YUM!) –
that’s one less thing I have to make. Still
have to do a little ‘Easter basket’ shopping
as well – not sure if I actually bought anything
for grandson’s basket! (How CAN I forget?!).
Many years ago when grandson was little
(probably 4) he looked at his Dad’s Easter
basket (which had a bag of black jellybeans
in it) and said: “Wow, Dad! I didn’t know
the Easter Bunny shops at Krogers!” (I’d
forgotten to take the sticker off the bag!)
My son said grandson was really amazed,
thinking that they ‘might’ have actually
SEEN the Easter Bunny at Krogers!) Funny!
Have a great day!
Got the opportunity to watch an
older movie “I Dreamed of Africa” – (2000);
starring Kim Basinger, Eva Marie Saint, Vincent
Perez – GREAT movie! Borrowed the disc from
a friend and watched it on my computer – it’s full
of action and about three KLEENEX scenes; the
best part? It’s a true story of a woman who moved
to Africa with her newly married husband and her
young son (from a previous marriage) and how
they lived. Reminded me of “Out of Africa”
(1985 another good movie-Meryl Streep/Robert
Redford) as both movies are true stories of women
fending for themselves in a country filled with wild
animals, snakes, etc. I would highly recommend both