A Morning of Miscellaneous!

knitting sheep

Down to the last small ball of white yarn for Baby Blanket #1 – the one that ‘might’ become a baby shower gift for a friend in our church choir – IF she’s having a girl (it’s too fussy for a boy). Today was Purple Heart pick up – I woke up at 5:30 a.m. (potty break) and then couldn’t go back to sleep. I lay there thinking of all the things I needed to do, etc. – heard our chiming clock in the dining room chime 6 a.m. then 6:30 then I must have fallen back asleep. Was quietly awakened by husband reminding me Purple Heart would be by for pick up and did we have the ‘stuff’ all ready to go? (No – still had to organize it a bit). Do you ever have those moments where you and someone else totally don’t agree? I had stuck a small plastic bag of pot pourri in with the ‘things to go’ – it was part of a gift from one of my special needs kids. I’m pretty fussy when it comes to smells – many give me a migraine, so I have to really be careful. Let’s just say THIS smell was really obnoxious! Husband kind of made a fuss, saying he really LIKED it! (it was SO strong you could still smell it through TWO ziplock bags AND a paper bag! The smell lingered in the dining room long after the things were put on the porch for pick up!) Oh well . . .

Have you ever had really goofy dreams? Add one of those to the ‘right after can’t sleep’ this morning. I really didn’t remember it until I went to file my nails (two snapped off last night and I thought I’d just re-do my nails/polish in the morning) and thought to myself: “I thought I ALREADY filed them!” Had a dream that I went to file my nails and the end of the file came off in my hands, but was able to finish the filing – strange. Also segued into a dream about me driving a very old 1940’s dark green car (you know those old, very fat/rounded cars?). I ended up driving into a parade and couldn’t find a way to get out of the parade! It seems my brakes were failing on the car and even when I put it in Park it still slowly drifted into another car! Some lady in a white & red sweater (YES, I dream in color!) came to the window and yelled at me. CRAZY DREAM! There was more but it was even more disjointed! Glad husband woke me up! Let’s see – what did I eat last night just before bed? Ah – yes! Husband had brought home some Fritos (my favorite snack) and I had some while reading. Hmmmmm – guess I won’t be doing THAT again just before bed!


White Chocolate ‘Ting-a-lings’

3 1/2 C. chow mein noodles
2 1/2 C. salted cocktail peanuts
32 oz. white chocolate candy coating
candy sprinkles

Mix chow mein noodles & peanuts in
large bowl. Melt white choc. over Low
heat until smooth; pour over chow
mein noodles/nuts & mix well. Drop
by spoonfuls onto waxed paper & top
with candy sprinkles before mixture
cools. Cool completely & store at
room temp.

(recipe: lemontreedwelling.com)

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 C. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 C. seasoned bread crumbs
3 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
30 large fresh mushrooms, about
1 1/2 lb., stems removed
3 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large skillet cook sausage, onion
& garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes
until sausage is no longer pink/onion is
tender; drain. Add cream cheese &
Parm. cheese – cook, stirring, until melted.
Stir in bread crumbs, basil & parsley. Place
mushroom caps on greased 15 X 10 X 1″
baking pan, stem sides up. Brush tops with
butter & spoon sausage mixture into each
cap. Bake, uncovered, 12-15 minutes until
mushrooms are tender. Makes 2 1/2 dozen

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Salted Caramel Eggnog Cheesecake

NOTE: it is VERY important that
all ingredients be at room temperature

2 C. graham crackers, pulsed into crumbs
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt (can use table salt)
7 T. unsalted butter, melted

Eggnog Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, very
1 3/4 C. eggnog
1/4 C. sour cream
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks,
room temp.
2 T. flour

Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 C. granulated sugar
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into
small cubes
1/2 C. heavy cream
3/4 tsp. flaky sea salt, divided
(can use table salt)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In blender or food processor combine
graham crackers, sugar & salt; pulse
until crackers are fine crumbs. Add
melted butter; stir well to combine.
Press mixture into a lightly greased
9″ springform pan.

In body of high powder blender/food
processor/stand mixer fitted with whisk
OR large bowl using hand-held mixer,
beat softened cream cheese until smooth.
Add eggnog & sour cream; beat smooth,
scraping down sides of bowl. Add sugar &
vanilla; beat until combined. Add eggs &
yolks, beat until smooth. Stir in flour,
mixing just until combined. Pour filling
into prepared crust; spread to smooth.
Wrap bottom of pan in foil (recommended
using several layers – in case of leaks)
Place cheesecake pan into another large
pan (should be wide enough to comfortably
fit springform pan holding cheesecake &
deep enough to hold a few inches of water
without risk of a spill). Fill outside pan up
with very hot water; should rise half way
along cheesecake pan. Be sure to pour the
water in slowly, so it doesn’t splash onto
Place pan in preheated oven & bake
1 hour 20 minutes. Turn oven off & let
cheesecake set, undisturbed, 45 minutes
inside the oven with door shut. Cheesecake
should still be wiggly in center.
Remove cheesecake from oven, run a knife
very gently around edge of cake; let set
in pan another 15 minutes before
covering loosely with plastic wrap &
refrigerating at least 6 hours.
When ready to serve, top with salted
caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Sauce:
Add sugar to medium, heavy bottom
saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir
30 seconds, increase heat to medium –
stirring constantly with wooden spoon,
cook until sugar transforms from clumps
into a smooth amber-brown liquid. Pay
close attention: sugar burns FAST. Once
sugar has completely melted, add butter.
BE CAREFUL: butter will make caramel
ferociously spatter when you add it.
Stir butter into caramel sauce until
completely melted, then slowly drizzle in
heavy cream, constantly stirring the
entire time. Be careful, adding cream will
also cause sauce to spatter!
Boil caramel 1 minute, allowing it to
rise in pan as it cooks. Remove pan from
heat & stir smooth. Whisk in 1/2 tsp.
flaky sea salt, cinnamon & vanilla -cool
at least 20 minutes before drizzling over
cheesecake. DO NOT touch caramel before
this time – it is dangerously hot.
Sprinkle remaining sea salt on top of
cheesecake just before serving.
Cover tightly – can be stored in fridge
up to 2 weeks. Warm caramel sauce in
microwave up to10 seconds before pouring
over cheesecake.
Recommendation by poster:
If there are any leftovers: slice cheesecake
without caramel, then drizzle caramel over
each slice right before serving. This will help
the cheesecake stay firm & fresh

(recipe: bakerbynature.com)

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. chopped Granny Smith apples
2 T. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. dried cranberries, chopped

graham crackers/sugar cookies for dipping

Mix cream cheese, apples, honey &
cinnamon until blended; shape into
a ball & chill 1 hour. Roll ball evenly
in chopped nuts & cranberries. Serve.
Serves 16

(recipe: walmart.com)

Lazy Hawaiian Chicken

5-6 boneless chicken breasts (approx
2 1/2 lb.)
1 (16 oz) can pineapple slices, drained
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 C. corn starch
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground ginger
salt/pepper, to taste

cooked rice

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in crockpot. In bowl
whisk together corn starch, brown sugar,
soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger & salt/
pepper – pour over chicken. Pour in
drained pineapple slices & mandarin
oranges. Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours.
Serve over cooked rice
Serves 6-8

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

5-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
(not too sweet & melts in your

3 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, sifted
4 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. cornstarch

halved candied cherries or

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & powdered
sugar until light & fluffy. Gradually add
flour & cornstarch, beating until well
blended. With hands lightly dusted
using additional cornstarch, roll dough
into 1 inch balls. Place, 1 inch apart, on
ungreased baking sheets. Press lightly
with a floured fork then top with cherry
halves or nonpariels. Bake 20-22 minutes
until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool
5 minutes before removing from sheets
to wire racks. Makes 16-18 dozen.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Fried Stuffing
(4 hour or overnight recipe)

7 C. cooked stuffing
3/4 – 1 C. warm chicken broth
8 T. olive oil, divided
salt, for serving

Line a 9 X 9″ square baking pan with
2 long sheets of plastic wrap, letting
ends hang over sides of pan (you will
use these for handles). In large bowl
add stuffing & 3/4 C. warm chicken
broth; stir to combine. Stuffing should
be saturated & hold together when
squeezed but no be too soggy or
soupy. Add remaining 1/4 C. broth,
if needed. Transfer stuffing to
prepared pan & refrigerate at least
4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Turn stuffing onto cutting board
using plastic wrap handles to remove
from pan – peel off plastic wrap. Slice
stuffing square into 4 squares then
slice each square to make 8 triangles;
slice each triangle again ( on bias)
to make 16 triangles.
In large nonstick skillet over high heat,
add 3 T. olive oil & heat until oil
shimmers, about 2 minutes. Place
4-5 triangles in pan & cook without
moving, until browned & crisp, about
5 minutes. Use a spatula to turn over &
cook on other side until browned,
about 5 minutes longer. Transfer
triangles to wire rack placed over a
baking sheet then place in oven to
keep warm. Repeat with remaining
triangles; adding more oil as needed.
Serve drizzled with 1-2 T. remaining
oil & sprinkle with salt. Makes 16

(recipe: tastingtable.com)

Salmon Spread

1 (14-15 oz) can red salmon*
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
room temp.
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp. salt
1 small onion, finely diced
(about 3/4 C.)

Crackers or fresh cut veggies,
for dipping

Beat cream cheese, liquid smoke,
horseradish & salt using wooden
spoon (or paddle attachment of
stand mixer) until creamy &
smooth. Drain salmon & remove/
discard skin & bones. Stir salmon
& onions into cream cheese mixture
& mix until well combined. Add
more salt, liquid smoke and/or
horseradish to your taste. Spoon
into a serving bowl & refrigerate
until ready to serve.
You can also shape this into a
salmon BALL: Line a round bowl
with plastic wrap & add spread,
pressing mixture to sides of
bowl & leveling top. Refrigerate
until firm then shape into a ball.

*It is really necessary to ONLY USE
RED salmon. It’s more expensive,
but much tastier. You can use pink
salmon, if you choose or fresh cooked

(recipe: southyourmouth.com)

Chocolate Pecan Pie Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1 C. light brown sugar
1 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs, beaten
2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt

2 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. corn syrup
2 eggs, beaten
1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Add butter, pecans, brown sugar,
corn syrup, salt & beaten eggs to
medium non-stick pan. Cook over
medium-high heat until thickened.
Do not overcook – it should be
the same consistency as pudding;
remove from heat.
In stand mixer or large bowl using
elec. mixer, blend butter, brown
sugar, gran. sugar, vanilla & eggs.
In medium bowl stir together flour,
cocoa, baking soda & salt. Gradually
add flour mixture into butter
mixture; blend until combined. Drop
the dough by tablespoonful onto
prepared baking sheets, 12 cookies
per sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Remove
from oven & top cookies with
approximately 1 T. filling onto center
of each cookie. Place back in oven &
cook 4 minutes. Remove from oven &
allow to cool on sheets. Makes 3 dozen.

(recipe: adashofsanity.com)

Italian Sausage Pasta Bake

1 1/2 lb. Italian sausage (mild or hot),
cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet red pepper, coarsely
1 (28 oz) jar meatless spaghetti
sauce (chunky-style)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. fennel seed
5 C. penne pasta
1 pkg. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
3 C. shredded Provolone cheese (or
3 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded)
1 C. grated Asiago cheese (or 1 C.
Parmesan cheese)

Brown sausage over medium-high heat
in batches, in skillet (adding olive oil,
if needed to prevent sticking). Transfer
to a bowl (pour off any fat from pan).
Add onions, garlic & red pepper, cook
over medium heat, stirring occasionally,
5 minutes until softened. Stir in pasta
sauce, tomato sauce, basil, oregano &
fennel seeds; bring to boil. Return
sausage to pan; cover & simmer 15
minutes until sausage is firm throughout.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large pot of salted boiling water,
cook pasta 6 minutes; add spinach &
cook 1 minute. Drain well & return to
pot. Add sausage mixture & Provolone/
Asiago cheese; stir to combine well. Transfer
to a greased 8 inch square baking dish
(Or a 9 X 13″ pan). Sprinkle with Asiago/
Parmesan cheese. Cover with greased
foil. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: food.com)

Honey-Garlic Glazed Meatballs

2 large eggs
3/4 C. milk
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. salt
2 lb. ground beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. butter
3/4 C. ketchup
1/2 C. honey
3 T. soy sauce

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl combine eggs & milk.
Add bread crumbs, onion & salt.
Crumble beef over mixture; mix well.
Shape into 1″ balls, place on greased
racks in shallow baking pans. Bake,
uncovered, 12-15 minutes until
meat is no longer pink. In large
saucepan, saute garlic in butter
until tender; stir in ketchup, honey
& soy sauce. Bring to boil, reduce
heat & cover. Simmer 5 minutes.
Drain meatballs; add to sauce.
Carefully stir to evenly coat.
Cook 5-10 minutes. Makes 5 1/2

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Dark Chocolate Buttercrunch Candy

1 C (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
3 T. water
1 T. light corn syrup
2 C. diced pecans or slivered
almonds, toasted
1 lb. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate,
finely chopped (if using choc. chips-2 2/3 C.)

In large deep saucepan melt butter; stir in
sugar, water & corn syrup – bring to a boil.
Boil gently over medium heat,without
stirring, until mixture reaches hard-crack
stage (300 degrees F.) on a candy thermo-
meter. Syrup will bubble without seeming to
change much for awhile, but it will darken &
at that point you need to take the temp.*
Should take about 10-12 minutes. Pay
attention: too long on heat & syrup will
While sugar mixture is cooking, spread half
of nuts in an even layer (fairly closely packed)
on a lightly greased baking sheet (a half sheet
pan works well). Top with half of chocolate;
when syrup is ready pour it quickly & evenly
over nuts & chocolate. Immediately top with
remaining chocolate then remaining nuts. Wait
several minutes, then gently, using back of a
spatula, press down on choc./nut layer to
spread the chocolate around evenly. While
candy is still warm use a spatula to loosen it
from the baking sheet. When cool, break into
uneven chunks.
Makes about 24 big bite-sized pieces.

*If you don’t have a candy thermometer, test
a dollop in ice water; it should immediately
harden to a brittleness sufficient that you will
be able to snap it in two without bending or

(recipe: kingarthurflour.com)

Still have lots of holiday recipes for you –
the challenge, for me, is getting them all
typed up and passed on to you BEFORE
the day! (Some, I’ve saved, for after –
great ‘leftovers’ recipes!)

Well, we finally got the quandry of the
Christmas day dinner schedule ironed out –
YAY! Oldest son & I were texting back &
forth last night (he needed a suggestion
for what to get his Dad) and I brought up
the TIME for the dinner, again. He then
said: “What if we do dinner at 3?” GREAT!
THAT would work – at least it wouldn’t
feel so much like we were doing brunch!
(I’m a traditionalist – DINNER is in the
EVENING!) As a child I went to several
holiday dinners at other peoples
houses and they had theirs at noon –
UGH! Just not me! We agreed that
oldest would just bring a veggie
tray (he’s the chef and LOVES to kind
of ‘over-do’) – he was saying well, I’ll
bring that and I could also do – – –
I stifled it by telling him I also bought
a big shrimp tray (his Dad LOVES those
and was kind of hinting about getting
one – he doesn’t know I got one!)
so I’m MORE than sure that if we
have shrimp, then dinner PLUS
desserts we’ll be STUFFED! Especially
if we have to do it all within a 2 1/2
hour time frame. (Grandson has to
go to his mother’s by 6:30 p.m. for
dinner there). You know – in years
past I always kind of wondered why
grandson only had a few carrots
and maybe a little mashed potatoes
but really didn’t want to EAT dinner,
per se . . . now I know! He pigged
out at the other house! (boy, am
I dense, huh?). Last night while
going over the menu with my son
I suddenly realized I’d forgotten
a ‘tradition’ – the Happy Birthday,
Jesus cake! We’ve been doing that
since the boys were really little;
it’s just a chocolate layer cake on
which I pipe ‘Happy Birthday,
Jesus!’ and then put a little
plastic baby in a manger on top.
I remember watching TV when our
oldest was just a little baby and
seeing Dale Rogers (Roy Rogers wife –
remember them?) – they were
interviewing her and she was telling
about her family Christmas traditions.
She said that she baked a cake every
year and did what I mentioned above.
I thought that was a great idea and
have been doing it ever since. The
only difference was-she put jelly
beans in the cake! I tried that the
first time – didn’t like it at all – they’re
REALLY sticky & SUPER sweet! YUCK!
We just do a chocolate layer cake
with chocolate frosting. That’s on my
‘to do’ list for next week. Am still
doing great on the ‘things to do’ part-
haven’t wrapped the presents yet,
but then I usually wrap them Christmas
Eve. All gifts are purchased (YAY! Thank
you, Amazon Prime!) – am sort of re-
thinking adding a little more to oldest
son’s girlfriend’s present. She’s getting
the same things I gave to the lady
leaders in my spec’l. needs group: Big
Almond body wash, Yardley’s Almond
(soap) bar, a body scrubber (those net
things), 2 knit spa cloths and a pair
of fuzzy slip on slippers. Am thinking
of adding a big candy bar, too – we’ll
see. Do you do that? Keep adding more
‘stuff’ to a gift? I go a little overboard
on that most years. The boys are now
all grown and really don’t need candy
but their stockings still have it! It’s fun
and it’s only once a year, right?

Well, dears, I’ve really written an epic
tome today! Weather’s chilly but holding,
according to Weather.gov we’re sitting at
30 degrees F. with a 20 – 70% chance of
snow showers, then snow likely (great –
sigh). Tonight 50% chance of snow showers,
followed by ‘scattered flurries’ tomorrow.
Looks like Sunday night will be 50% chance
of showers & 41, so maybe the white stuff
won’t stay! Hopefully!

Keep your chin up – Christmas is
coming! (AND – if you keep your chin
up – you can catch snow flakes on your
tongue!) hehehe




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Wow a lot of things to think about there Lady. I’m glad youhave it almost control. Now take a deep breath!

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