Learning to do things a little differently –


On the ‘continuing’ saga of our financial state: all is going OK for now. I’m working on printing up my special needs group’s Nov/Dec. newsletter and (due to lots of color clip art) I ran out of color ink. Last night was my Knit/Crochet Night (I’ll get into that later) I decided, on the way home, to stop at CVS and see if they had my size ink cartridges – they did! Got up to the counter, swiped my (extra) credit card (the clerk was acting all in a rush (I was the only customer in there) and making me SUPER nervous! I swiped the card then punched the wrong button (Credit instead of Debit – I hardly EVER use this card!). Up popped the ‘enter your pin code’ screen (clerk is saying – like I can’t read…”Enter your pin number!”). I freak a little bit and think “I don’t KNOW the pin # for THIS card” so I type in the pin on my (now deleted) card . . . you guessed it – it didn’t go through. He has me do it again – same thing. I say: “OK, instead I’ll just write you a check.” (Had this problem before at Meijers – checks work.) Write out the check while he’s lurking over me, he puts it through the machine – it rejects it! He put it in FOUR times and same results – do I ever feel embarrassed/frustrated/fill-in-the-blank. He says, very loudly to the other clerk: “Put these items back on the shelf.” I slunk out of there – I’ve NEVER had that type of experience before – made me feel like I was trying to pull a fast one on them (and I’m pretty sure that’s what HE thought, too.). Got home, talked to husband who said: What did you push – Debit? You DO know it’s a DEBIT card, don’t you?” Ah, well . . . at least we now know the ‘why’ of that part; as to the check – for now I’m leaving that one be and just awaiting my regular credit card in the mail. I DO have an ATM card the bank manager gave me last week so that I could access my funds; went back to CVS today, using cash, and finished getting the ink. That same manager was there, but he wasn’t at the register (Thank HEAVENS!) and was NOT making eye-contact with me – sigh. I will be SO GLAD when life returns to semi-normal – this is no fun right now.

Last night’s Knit Night was great – we had THREE new ladies! Two of them were from my eye exam place – I had given one of them my business card a few weeks ago and she took me up on it! They were very glad to join the group – we had 21 people last night (new record for us!). It was VERY LOUD, crowded but also joyous to see everyone eating/drinking/chatting & working on projects or asking others for help – THAT’S why I started this group! I had a good time, too – was able to take my mind off of the above financial mess for awhile.

I’ve got LOTS of great Fall recipes for you!


Crockpot Peanut Butter Brownies

1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C. chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 C. peanut butter chips

Peanut Butter Sauce

3/4 C. creamy peanut butter
3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Line a 6 qt. crockpot with non-stick
foil (if using regular foil, butter the
foil). Whisk melted butter & peanut
butter until combined; whisk in sugar,
cocoa powder, eggs & vanilla. Stir in
flour & salt, just until combined. Fold
in chocolate & peanut butter chips –
pour batter into crockpot & spread
evenly. Place a paper towel in between
the lid & crockpot when covering. (This
keeps the steam from dropping back
down onto the brownies). Cook on
Low heat 2 1/2 – 3 hours; brownies
are done when edges are set. Serve
hot or cool at room temperature.
Serves 8

Combine all ingredients except
vanilla, in medium saucepan. Cook,
over medium heat, stirring frequently,
until all sugar has dissolved. Remove
from heat, stir in vanilla & let cool
slightly before serving. Keep refrigerated
up to 2 weeks.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Carrots with Peanut Sauce

2 C. fresh baby carrots
1 C. water
1/3 C. “La Choy” Teriyaki
stir fry sauce/marinade
1 T. crunchy peanut butter
1/8 tsp. salt

Place carrots & water in medium
saucepan; cover & bring to boil
over medium heat. Cook 10
minutes until tender; drain. Add
stir fry sauce, peanut butter & salt
to carrots; stir to coat. Serves 4

(recipe: readyseteat.com)

Philly Cheesesteak Potato Skins

6 small to medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 T. butter
4 oz. roughly chopped mushrooms
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
4 oz. deli roast beef, cut into bite-
sized pieces
1 tsp. steak seasoning
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
6 slices provolone cheese, cut into
small pieces
2 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Wash & dry potatoes; pierce with
a fork 2-3 times. Place on a baking
dish & drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle
with salt. Rub potatoes, making
sure skins are covered in oil. Place in
oven & bake just until fork tender,
20-30  minutes. Remove & let cool.
When cool enough to handle, scoop
out the insides, leaving a small amount
of potato flesh along the edge.

Heat olive oil & butter in medium skillet
over medium heat. Add mushrooms &
salt; cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
Add roast beef, steak seasoning & Worc.
sauce; continue cooking 1-2 minutes.
Place hollowed out potatoes back on
baking sheet & fill bottoms with half of
the cheese. Evenly divide meat & mushroom
mixture among the 12 potato skins; top
with remaining cheese. Broil just until
cheese melts. Remove from oven, sprinkle
with green onions & serve immediately.
Serves 12

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 T. onion powder
2 cans kidney beans (rinsed/drained)
1 can whole kernel corn
1 (15 oz) can Ro*Tel tomatoes & chilies
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 T. taco seasoning mix (or 1 pkt)
3 T. ranch dressing mix (or 1 pkt)
1 1/2 C. water

Suggested toppings (optional):
shredded cheese, sour cream,
tortilla chips, salsa, sliced avocado

Place all ingredients in large pot; stir.
Bring just to a boil over medium-high
heat. Reduce heat to Low & simmer
5-10 minutes.

(recipe: southernplate.com)

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

8 oz. dry penne pasta, uncooked
1 C. canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 C. milk
3 T. chive & onion cream cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 egg
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese,

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
Combine pumpkin, milk, cream cheese
spread, garlic salt & pepper in medium
bowl. Cover with microwave-safe wrap,
microwave on High 1-2 minutes until
warm & cheese melts when stirred.
Slowly whisk in egg. Combine cooked
pasta, pumpkin  mixture & 2 T. Parmesan
cheese; stir to combine. Heat over Low
heat 1-2 minutes until hot. Sprinkle
remaining Parmesan cheese over top.
Serves 4

(recipe: readyseteat.com)

Sunday Casserole

2 C. cooked turkey or chicken, cubed
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 C. grated Swiss cheese
4 C. cooked rotini noodles
2 C. broccoli florets
2 T. lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray or line with foil. In large bowl
combine mayonnaise, sour cream &
soup. Add chicken/turkey, noodles,
2 C. cheese, broccoli & lemon juice;
mix well & pour into prepared dish. Cover
with foil & bake 45 minutes until bubbly
in center. Remove foil, top with remaining
1/2 C. Swiss cheese & bake until cheese
melts. Serves 6-8

(recipe: laughingspatula.com)

Crockpot Round Steak

2 – 2 1/2 lb. beef round steak
1 1/2 oz. pkg. onion soup mix
1/4 C. water
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Cut steak into 5 serving-sized
pieces & place in crockpot. Pour in
soup mix, water & soup – cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours. Serves 5

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)


Today our weather has decided to
go to the late November mode:
grey, rainy, chilly and a ‘balmy’
56 degrees F. Looking at the rest
of the week, it’s just going to get
colder (what do I expect? It’s

Hope you’re nice & warm, comfy
and having a great day!




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