Monday Morning Musings


Yesterday found us watching our grandson’s first flag football game of this season – I know the photo’s not a close-up, but he’s the third player in on the left, in the white shirt – oldest son (his Dad) is the coach. They won the game, grandson got named “Player of the Game”! Both he & his Dad love football and it shows. It was a bit chilly (54 degrees F.), overcast & windy, but we had a good time. The games take place Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m. which makes it difficult for me, as I have choir practice at 4:45 about 30 minutes away. This particular Sunday our church was holding what they call Small Groups instead of evening church, so no choir practice (this only happens the last Sunday of the month so it kind of looks like I won’t be able to see many of his games, but we’ll see.) Choir only goes through part of June and his games end sometime in June – we’ll see the closer it gets to June as to whether I’ll get to attend more games or not.


Quick Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

12 ice cream sandwiches
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Crushed Oreos
chocolate syrup/chocolate shell sauce
chopped nuts

Unwrap all sandwiches & stack up
3 on bottom, next layer in opposite
direction, next layer back to first
layer direction, etc. You can use a
little syrup or caramel in between
layers to help hold them together.
When stacking is done, ‘frost’ with
Cool Whip and top with your choice
of toppings. Freeze for about 20
minutes before serving.

Avocado Salsa
(overnight recipe)

1 2/3 C. frozen corn, thawed
2 (2 1/4 oz, ea) cans sliced ripe olives,
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 C. olive oil
1/4 C. lemon juice
3 T. cider vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 medium ripe avocados, peeled

tortilla chips, for dipping

In large bowl combine corn, olives, red
pepper & onion. In small bowl combine
garlic, oil, lemon juice, vinegar, oregano,
salt/pepper;  pour over corn mixture &
toss to coat. Cover & refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, chop avocados & stir
into salsa. Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes about 7 cups.


Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes & Potatoes

10 large tomatoes
3/4 C. uncooked short grain rice
2 zucchini, peeled/grated
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 T. dry mint
4 T. fresh parsley, chopped,
(or 4 tsp. dried)
1 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 C. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 lb. potatoes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice tops off tomatoes (keep tops);
using a spoon, empty out middle of
tomato (reserve juice in one bowl
and insides in another.) Make small
slits in bottom of tomatoes, making
sure not to cut all the way through
the tomatoes. Lightly grease 9 X 13″
baking dish; place tomatoes inside
pan. Place onion, garlic, 1 tsp. olive
oil & pinch salt in food processor;
mix just a little (or mix in a bowl
using a spoon – chop onions &
garlic a little finer). Chop tomato
insides into small pieces & add to a
large bowl with grated zucchini. Add
1 T. salt, dry mint, parsley & tomato
paste; combine. Add uncooked rice,
1 tsp. lemon juice & 3/4 C. olive oil;
mix & let sit.
Peel potatoes & cut into chunks; toss
with 1 T. oregano, 3/4 C. olive oil & salt/
pepper. Mix well & add reserved tomato
juice. Fill tomatoes to top with rice
mixture & top with their caps. Place
potatoes/tomato juice in empty space
around tomatoes in baking dish. Add any
leftover rice mixture into gaps, too.
Add 1 C. water to corner of pan & tilt it
so that water is evenly distributed. Bake
14-20 minutes; reduce heat to 325 & bake
an additional 60-90 minutes. If it seems dry
during cooking, add a little more water to pan.
Serves 10


Layered Ravioli Bake

2 (26 oz, ea) jars spaghetti sauce
1 (9 oz) box frozen chopped spinach,
thawed/squeezed dry
2 (22 oz, ea) bags frozen square
cheese (or meat) ravioli
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spread 1 C. spaghetti sauce on bottom of
9 X 13″ baking pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of spinach
over sauce, layer 1/3 of ravioli next, then
sprinkle with 1 T. Parm. cheese. Pour 1 C.
spaghetti sauce on top then evenly
distribute 1 C. mozzarella cheese on top.
Repeat layers two more times, ending with
sauce. Cover with foil& bake 50-60 minutes
until hot in center. Remove foil & sprinkle
with remaining 1 C. mozzarella cheese. Heat
5 more minutes until cheese is melted. Let
stand 5 minutes before slicing & serving.
Serves 8

NOTE: you might want to place a baking
sheet under the baking dish to catch any

Smoky BBQ Pork (Large recipe)

2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (4-5 lb) boneless pork butt roast,
cut in half
2 T. butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) bottle mesquite marinade
1 (19 oz) bottle barbecue sauce

Combine first 3 ingredients; rub evenly
over pork. Melt butter in large nonstick
skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork;
cook 10 minutes until browned on all
sides. Place onion & pork in crockpot; add
marinade & barbecue sauce. Cover & cook
on High 7 hours until pork is tender & shreds
easily. Remove pork to a large bowl, reserving
sauce. Shred pork using 2 forks; pour sauce over
shredded meat; stir well. Serves 19

Chicken Noodle Skillet

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breast halves, cut into 1/2″
1/2 C. sliced mushrooms
1 C. frozen broccoli cuts
1 C. frozen corn or carrots
1 C. uncooked egg noodles
2 C. chicken broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In large skillet over medium-high
heat, heat oil. Cook chicken 5-7
minutes until browned, stirring
occasionally. Stir in remaining
ingredients. Bring to a boil, then
reduce heat to Low. Cover & simmer
8 minutes. Uncover & simmer 5
additional minutes, until noodles
are tender. Serves 4

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
1 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 C. white sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. water
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 C. oatmeal (quick cooking or
4 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream together butter, shortening,
brown & white sugars – cream well,
about 4 minutes.
Add eggs & beat 2 minutes more.
Add vanilla,water; mix just until
combined. In separate bowl, combine
dry ingredients & stir to incorporate.
Add chocolate chips; mix well.
Spray baking sheets with nonstick
spray.Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls
& place on prepared sheets. Bake 8
minutes. Do not over bake – when cookies
have cracks on top, take them out & let
them finish baking on sheets about 3-5
minutes. Makes about 70 cookies.

NOTE: For convection ovens, bake at
325 degrees
for 6 1/2 minutes.


Chicken/Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry

1 1/2 lb. skinless chicken breast,
cut into 1″ cubes
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 C. chicken broth
2 T. soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
2 T. water
1 T. cooking oil, divided
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed,
cut into 2″ pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. fresh ginger
3 T. fresh lemon juice
fresh black pepper, to taste

Lightly season chicken with salt. In
small bowl combine chicken broth &
soy sauce. In second small bowl combine
cornstarch & water; mix well to combine.
Heat a large non-stick wok  over medium-
high heat. When hot add 1 tsp. oil then add
asparagus; cook until crisp-tender, about
3-4 minutes. Add garlic & ginger, cook until
golden, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Increase heat to High, add 1 tsp. oil & half
of chicken; cook until browned & cooked
through, about 4 minutes on each side.
Remove & set aside; repeat with remaining
oil & chicken; set aside.
Add soy sauce mixture to wok; bring to boil
& cook 1 1/2 minutes. Add lemon juice &
conrstarch mixture; stir well – when it simmers
return chicken & asparagus to wok & mix well.
Remove from heat & serve. Serves 4


Choco-Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

3 C. miniature pretzels, coarsely
10 T. butter, divided
1 (10.5 oz) pkg. miniature marshmallows
3 C. Rice Krispies cereal
1/2 C. light corn syrup, divided
3/4 C. peanut butter chips
1 C. (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Reserve 1/3 C. chopped pretzels. In large
microwave-safe bowl microwave 6 T. butter
on High 45-60 seconds until melted. Stir in
marshmallows, cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until
marshmallows are melted, stirring every 30
seconds. Stir in Rice Krispies & remaining
chopped pretzels. Immediately press into a
greased 9 X 13″ baking dish. In another
microwave-safe bowl combine 2 T. butter &
1/4 C. corn syrup. Microwave, uncovered,
on High 45-60 seconds until butter is melted,
stirring once. Add peanut butter chips; cook
30-40 seconds until chips are melted,
stirring once. Spread over cereal layer. In
microwave-safe bowl combine remaining
corn syrup & remaining butter. Cook on High
45-60 seconds until butter is melted, stirring
once. Add chocolate chips, cook 30-40
seconds longer until chips are melted, stirring
once. Spread over top.
Sprinkle with peanuts & reserved pretzels; press
down gently. Cover & refrigerate 30 minuets until
set. Cut into bars. Store in airtight containers.
Makes 3 dozen bars.


Things are going well here – I’m still
in a sort of a ‘quandary’ about the
knit group/dues situation: oldest son
& I had a chat about it – we came to
the decision that I will write a letter
to the group letting them know the
charges charges per
month then letting them know I will
be putting out a collection box (of
sorts) – those who can/wish to donate
to the ’cause’ can  and we’ll see where
it goes from there. I had thought of
mentioning 50 cents per meeting but
son said keep it open – as he said: “Most
people will drop in a bill of some sort”-
we’ll see. I really hate dealing with
monies and asking people for said item.
Oh well – such is life, yes?

The next edition of my special needs
group’s newsletter is looming up quickly
which means I’d better get it wrapped up
and printed! “Technically” I have about
1 1/2 weeks, but knowing my ‘kids’ – they’ll
expect one in their mail as of the FIRST
DAY OF THE MONTH! We’ll see how that

Not much else to report, gas prices are
staying about the same ($2.39/9), weather
is a bit overcast & 40 degrees, 30% chance
of showers with a High of 54 (about the
same as the last few days). Even with the
really cold temps of the past few days,
our ‘bulb’ plants (daffodils, narcissus,
‘Star of Bethlehem’) are all coming along
nicely (wasn’t so sure the other day – with
the cold they all looked very limp like they
were going to die – but they’ve perked up!)
My ‘potted’ chives plants are coming up
now – a bit. Don’t know if I’ve mentioned
but I have a bit of a “BLACK THUMB” when
it comes to trying to grow ANYTHING! It’s
really pathetic, actually – husband loves
chives mixed in his cottage cheese-to purchase
dried chives in the store is really expensive
(at least in MY mind – they’re $6-something
a bottle for a tiny bottle!) so I thought it
would be a good idea to just GROW some!
Husband bought me some Miracle Grow
plant ‘dirt’ & chive seeds – did the planting
thing – ONE tiny sprout came up about 1/4
inch, leaned over & died! Tried again, more
seeds – now I have about 8 sprouts that
are about an inch tall – still pretty pathetic.
I’m thinking of taking a trip to the Farmers
Market soon & just BUYING a pot ‘o chives
and be done with it! The real ‘kicker’? My
Mom was a gardener and my Grandmother
started the “Dirt Gardeners Club of Pontiac”
back in the ‘day’ (ie: before my time) so I’m
pretty sure (if they were still alive) they’d be
pretty ASHAMED of my lack ‘l skills in that
area. . . oh well, at least I can knit & crochet,

That about sums up my Epic NOVEL for this
day –

Enjoy your day!



Published in: on April 27, 2015 at 8:55 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hey what you do you do beautifully so don’t feel back about the thumb. I’m still plugging away on my afghan.

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