Playin’ Around on Monday!


A few weeks ago I went to Salvation Army – just looking around. On my visit I found a crocheted baby blanket in great condition and bought it – with the idea that I wanted to learn that particular stitch used in the blanket. Took awhile to find what that was called but I finally found it. It’s called either: Block Stitch, Front Post Double Crochet, or Waffle stitch. I’m really a novice when it comes to crochet – work best with a visual. I ‘had’ found a step-by-step tutorial and tried that this morning but kept getting stuck in one particular area so then I went to YouTube – LOVE YouTube, you can find almost anything there! There IS a video which made this MUCH easier to understand:

It is demonstrated by a guy named Mikey from Red Heart Yarns & The Crochet Crowd – THIS I could follow! It’s a neat stitch (looks just like Waffles), I like the look but quickly discovered it uses a LOT of yarn; the finished stitches come out really thick (they suggest making pot holders out of it, or blankets.) After conquering this stitch I’m not exactly sure I want to USE it in a baby blanket (I know – I’m fickle!), but it was fun to tax my brain to try to learn something new!


Hope you had a nice weekend – we just stayed home, went to church yesterday and then lounged around some more (hard times, eh?). I did go pick more wild blackberries in our back yard. Years ago husband decided he wanted a raised-bed garden in our yard so he built a (guessing on size here) 20′ X 20′ raised box and we planted a garden. First year was good, second year he gave up and now we have a raised-bed wild blackberry patch! We have rabbits that live in there (remember Brer Rabbit?). Every year the berries go wild and, through the years, our sons and grandson LOVE to anticipate just ‘when’ they will ripen. Oldest son & grandson are on vacation right now so I promised I would pick berries for them and freeze them. So far, picking every other day (in order to give them more time to ripen) I’ve picked almost 2 quarts! Grandson loves them with a tiny bit of sugar sprinkled over them and topped with a big dollop of Cool Whip; he’ll have lots to devour this time! Needless to say, I don’t mind doing it – gives me some sun (except for the multiple mosquito bites and the occasional scratch from not paying attention to where I’m positioned and/or reaching too far into the mass of intertwining picker-encrusted branches.) Yesterday I attempted to send a photo of the latest batch of berries to my son via his email – ended up CALLING him, instead. His reception wasn’t very good as he said they were on a boat in the middle of the ocean trying to see dolphins! (Big difference in excitement factors here: bowl of berries v/s ocean/dolphins but we each have our things that please us, right?).


Simple Cucumber Salad

1 large English cucumber, sliced
2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh dill, finely chopped

Place sliced cucumber in medium
bowl. In small bowl whisk both
vinegars, salt/pepper, mustard &
sugar. While whisking, slowly
drizzle olive oil to form a vinaigrette.
Taste & adjust salt to your preference.
Add dressing to cucumbers along with
chopped dill & gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately. Serves 4-6

Zucchini Corn Bread with Bacon
(overnight recipe)

1 1/2 C. coarse corn meal
2 C. buttermilk
1/2 lb. apple or cherry wood smoked
bacon (not maple – see note)
2 C. flour
2 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. honey
1 T. butter
4 eggs
3 C. fresh shucked corn kernels
(3 ears)
3 C. shredded zucchini

Place corn meal & butter milk in
medium bowl; stir & cover with
plastic wrap. Let set overnight at
room temperature.

The day of baking:
Cook bacon until crisp; place on paper
towels to drain; crumble. Set aside &
reserve 5 T. bacon drippings.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Pour 5 T. reserved drippings in a
9 X 13″ baking pan; place pan in oven &
let pan heat while preparing the batter.
In large bowl mix flour, baking powder,
baking soda & salt. Blend both sugars
into flour mixture. In small bowl melt
butter & honey in microwave just long
enough to melt butter; stir then add
eggs. Beat with wire whisk until
combined. Add 2 T. bacon fat & beat
again. Pour egg mixture into corn meal
mixture that was setting overnight; stir.
Pour this wet batter into flour mixture &
stir to combine. Fold in corn & zucchini.
Remove hot pan from oven & carefully
swirl the bacon fat around to reach all
sides. Pour finished batter into the hot
pan & sprinkle the crumbled bacon on
top, pressing it down into top of batter
so it doesn’t burn. Bake on center rack
45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool 15
minutes before cutting.

NOTE: Maple cured bacon will overpower
the other flavors in this bread.


Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 1/4 C. marinara sauce
4 (31 oz, total) medium zucchini
1 tsp. oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 C. diced red bell pepper
14 oz. lean Italian chicken sausage,
casing removed
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella
8 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Bring large pot of water to a boil.
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Using
a spoon or melon baller, scoop out
flesh, leaving 1/4″ thick ‘shell’. Chop
the scooped flesh in small pieces;
set aside. Drop zucchini halves into
boiling water & cook 1 minute; remove
from water. Place 1/4 C. sauce in bottom
of 9 X 13″ baking dish; place zucchini
halves, cut side up, in dish. In large
saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up
into small pieces until browned; set
aside. Heat oil in pan & add onion, garlic
& bell pepper – cook on medium-low
heat 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add chopped zucchini, season with salt/
pepper & cook 2-3 minutes. Combine with
sausage & cook a few more minutes. Using
a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with
1/3 C. cooked sausage mixture, pressing
firmly. Top each with 2 T. sauce, 1 T. mozz.
cheese & 1 tsp. Parm. cheese. Cover with
foil & bake 35 minutes until cheese is
melted & zucchini is cooked through.
Serves 8

Texas Tornado Cake

1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 C. canned fruit, drained*
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. chopped nuts

Coconut Icing:
8 T. (1 stick) butter
1 C. sweetened flake coconut
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. canned evaporated milk

* Poster used 1 C. canned peaches &
1 C. canned pears cut into large dice.
Can also use fruit cocktail and/or
pineapple chunks

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Using stand elec. mixer, add granulated
sugar, eggs, flour, canned fruit & baking
soda. On Low speed, mix until just
combined, scraping bowl as needed. Pour
batter into prepared pan & spread evenly.
In small bowl combine brown sugar & nuts;
sprinkle mixture over batter. Bake 40-45
minutes until cake is firm in middle.

Prepare Icing:
Combine butter, coconut, brown sugar &
evap. milk in medium saucepan – bring to
boil over medium-high heat & allow to boil
2minutes. Turn heat to Low & keep icing
warm, stirring occasionally, until cake is
done baking. Once cake is done, remove
from oven & pour icing over top of hot
cake. Allow cake to cool before cutting
into squares. Serves 12


Cheddar Pimento Spread

2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped pimentos
2 green onions, chopped

serve with crackers for dipping
Mix all ingredients together.

Makes 8 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes)

Crockpot Italian Chicken

6 frozen chicken breasts
1 pkg. dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cut into

Place all ingredients in crockpot. Cover
& cook on Low 5-6 hours.

Serve over cooked pasta, rice or potatoes

(recipe: Crockpot Moms)

Creamy Blueberry Gelatin Salad

2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs grape Jell-O
2 C. boiling water
1 (21 oz) can blueberry pie
1 (20 oz) can unsweetened
crushed pineapple, undrained

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

In large bowl dissolve Jello in boiling
water; cool 10 minutes. Stir in pie
filling & pineapple until blended.
Transfer to 9 X 13″ dish. Cover &
refrigerate until partially set, about
1 hour.
In small bowl combine cream cheese,
sour cream, sugar & vanilla. Carefully
spread over Jello mixture; sprinkle
top with walnuts. Cover & refrigerate
until firm. Serves 12-15


Shortcut Potato Salad

1 (32 oz) pkg. frozen Southern-
style hash browns (little cubes)
3 eggs, hard boiled & chopped
5 strips bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. yellow mustard
1/3 C. sweet relish or diced sweet
salt/pepper, to taste

Place cubed hash browns in large pot;
cover with water. Bring to boil over
medium-high heat. Once boiling, boil
2-3 minutes; drain into colander. Place
in large mixing bowl & stir in cheese. Add
mayo, mustard & relish, stir again. Add in
bacon, eggs & salt/pepper – stir. Refrigerate
several hours or overnight before serving.


Pepper Steak

3 T. cooking oil
2 lb. round steak cut into 1/2″ strips
1/4 C. flour (coating)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 green peppers (or red & green) sliced
2 medium onions, sliced thin
1 minced garlic clove
1 C. tomato sauce
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 beef bouillon cube
1/4 C. water
1 (10 oz.) can mushrooms & juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat oil in large frying pan; cut meat
into strips. In a zip-lock bag (or bowl)
combine flour, salt/pepper. Add meat &
shake to coat. Brown meat in pan. Add
peppers, onions & garlic; saute. Combine
tomato & soy sauce, beef cube, water,
mushrooms & juice; stir to blend then
pour over meat.
Bake in covered roasting pan or casserole
dish for 1 hour, until tender. Serves 8

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

3-Ingredient Cookies

4 ripe bananas
2 C. old fashioned oats
3/4 to 1 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix bananas & oats together
until all oats are moistened;
stir in choc. chips. Spoon out
spoonfuls & roll into balls; place
on cookie sheet & bake 18-20

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)


Our weather is finally acting like Summer –
high expected today of 85, sunny & clear.
Tomorrow 70% chance of thunderstorm (oh,
goody – my Knit/Crochet night!). Rest of the
week looks like on & off rain/thunderstorms
just about every other day – sigh. Guess I shouldn’t
complain – the rain helps the flowers & gardens,

Hope you have a GREAT day today – take a little
time for yourself: rest/read/nap, maybe eat
a little something you really like (cookie/chocolate)
or have a nice “cuppa” – coffee/tea/cocoa or some
iced tea/lemonade – something to lift your spirits
a bit!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for the tip on the box stitch may think twice about using it.

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