Lotsa little checks!


Today is the day to get those last little things done! Called Panera Bread to order 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies for my knit group tomorrow night(check) every year I get choc. chip cookies, put them on a platter along with mini candy bars – my Christmas present to the group. Called Purple Heart to find out why they DIDN’T pick up our stuff Friday (they’re coming tomorrow – now check); took the 21 lb turkey out of the freezer, into downstairs fridge (check); went to Arizona Saddlery to order mooseskin moccasins for husband’s birthday (Jan 23) – check; visited library for the next three books by my new favorite (joint)  authors David Preston & Lincoln Child – ended up buying one of their books at a used book sale; they are certainly ‘different’ – their usual theme involves a police captain, an FBI agent and some bad happenings/murders at unusual locations (libraries/museums, etc.) – after about 4 books they’re kinda predictable, but still enjoyable so I plan on reading through their entire collection written thus far (think I’ve read about 4-5 now). Got gas at Clark $1.76/9 – had some trouble with the pump so I had to go inside to pre-pay – told them $22.00, ended up I could only fit around $21.39 in the tank – the remainder (if they use it) is a gift to the next one at that pump – just didn’t feel like trudging back into the building again. OH! Got myself a Christmas present! I’m not usually one to do that BUT – while at Kroger (picking up the few remaining items – especially the stuff to make that Cranberry-raspberry Salad I posted yesterday) I spotted a Christmas Cactus! If you’re a frequent reader of my blog you know that I have a BLACK thumb when it comes to growing things – am really hoping I can keep this alive! My dear friend Mary/Momma on her blog posts photos of HER cactus each time it blooms – I kinda wanted one but had no idea where to even look to find one . . . and there were 2 at Kroger’s: one really bald and the one I bought RESPLENDENT WITH BLOOMS! Score!


isn’t the clearest, but you get the idea


Pralines & Cream Fudge

3 C. white chocolate chips
1 (14.5 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla, divided
1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. salted butter (1/2 stick)
1 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. chopped pecans

Line an 8 X 8″ square pan with
parchment paper. Get 2 medium
saucepans – in one add white
choc. chips, sweetened. cond.
milk & 1 tsp. vanilla. Heat,
stirring constantly until completely
melted – Pour half of mixture into
prepared pan.
Using second saucepan, pour brown
sugar, whipping cream, butter &
1 tsp. vanilla – bring to boil over
medium heat, stirring constantly.
Boil about 1 minute, remove from
heat. Immediately whisk in powdered
sugar & gently stir in pecans. Allow
mixture to thicken & cool slightly
them pour most of it over first layer
in pan. It will slightly set up – you
don’t have to wait for it to completely
set up before pouring on remaining
fudge then remaining nut mixture.

*If your fudge has hardened – you can
put it back on the stove for a minute &
stir gently to reheat & soften (be
careful not to scorch it). You can swirl
the nut layer into the other layers, if
desired. Allow fudge to set up at least
4-6 hours at room temp. or at least
2 hours in refrigerator before cutting.
You can use a knife to slide around
edges of pan then lift out parchment
& fudge – cut into squares.
Makes 36 squares.

(recipe: rosebakes.com)

Cheesy Black Bean Spinach Dip

2 T. canola oil, divided
1 (12 oz.) pkg. frozen spinach,
thawed/drained well
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
2 (15.5 oz, ea) cans black beans,
3 chipotle peppers in adobo
sauce (can) minced plus 2 T.
adobo sauce*
1/4 C. salsa
8 oz. light cream cheese
6 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
6 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
salt/pepper, to taste

cherry tomatoes, chopped (garnish)
cilantro, chopped (garnish)
tortilla chips, for dipping

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Briefly saute spinach until cooked
through. Add remaining oil to skillet; once
hot reduce heat to medium – add onion. Saute
until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic &
ground cumin. Saute, stirring, 1 minute. Add
half of black beans, chipotles & adobo sauce,
3/4 C. water – bring to boil. Cook mixture,
stirring occasionally, until liquid has almost
entirely absorbed & evaporated, 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat & let cool 2-3 minutes. In
bowl of food processor, combine bean mixture,
salsa & cream cheese – process until only a few
small chunks of bean remain. Add cooked
spinach, half of remaining black beans & half
of cheeses. Pulse until evenly combined but
not smooth. Fold in remaining black beans &
season with salt/pepper. Pour dip into prepared
baking dish, top with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese bubbles & begins
to brown. Garnish with chopped cherry tomatoes
& cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Serves 6-10

*if you are sensative to spice, reduce the amount
of chipotle peppers – you can always add more,
to taste

(recipe: hostthetoast.com)

Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Chip Cake

Cake base layer:
1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Filling layer:
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

1 C. chocolate chips
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease 9 X 13″ pan. In bowl
of elec. mixer combine cake mix,
egg & butter; mix well & pat into
bottom of pan, set aside. Still using
elec. mixer, beat cream cheese until
smooth; add egg & vanilla. Add
powdered sugar & beat well. Reduce
speed of mixer & slowly pour in
butter; mix well. Pour filling onto
cake mixture & spread evenly. Sprinkle
chocolate chips & nuts on top of
filling. Bake 40-50 minutes. (check
with toothpick inserted into center
as to ‘doneness’ – you want the center
to be a little gooey).

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Crockpot Sausage Dinner

2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans green beans
4 (14.5 oz, ea) cans whole new
potatoes, drained
salt/pepper, to taste
1 -2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
2 (10.75 oz, ea) cans cream of
mushroom soup
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Pour green beans into crockpot;
pour potatoes over beans & sprinkle
with salt/pepper. Place sausage
slices on top & pour soup over
that. Top with cheese; cover &
cook on Low 4-6 hours. Stir before
serving. Serves 8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

 Confetti Pasta

1 (16 oz) pkg. linguine
1 C. chopped sweet red pepper
1 C. chopped green pepper
1/3 C. chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, peeled/thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. olive oil
2 lb. cooked small shrimp, peeled/
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine accordg to pkg. directions.
In Dutch oven, saute peppers, onion,
garlic & seasonings in oil until vegetables
are tender. Add shrimp; cook & stir
2-3 minutes longer until heated through.
Drain linguine; toss with shrimp mixture.
Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Bread

1/2 C. apple juice
4-5 apples, peeled & chopped
1 egg
1 T. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 T. cinnamon
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. oil
1 tsp. salt

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Mix all ingredients together &
pour into crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 5 hours until firm. NOTE: the
middle was slow to cook in this recipe
so make sure that the middle is
completely firm before serving.
Serves 5-6

(recipe: wannabite.com)

Baked Jalapeno Popper Chicken Sliders

12 potato rolls (poster used Hawaiian rolls)
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese,
5 strips bacon, cooked crispy & chopped
2 chicken breasts, cooked/shredded
1 large jalapeno, seeded/diced
1 1/2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove rolls from pkg. – do not separate.
Use a serrated knife to cut in half horizontally
so all bottoms & tops are separated. Place
bottoms in a 9 X 13″ baking dish. In large
bowl combine cream cheese & 1 C. Jack
cheese. Add bacon, chicken & jalapeno –
mix until ingredients are evenly combined.
Spread chicken mixture over roll bottoms in
an even layer. Sprinkle remaining 1 C. Jack
cheese evenly over chicken mixture. Place
tops on rolls & brush tops with melted
butter. Sprinkle tops evenly with garlic
powder. Bake 20 minutes until butter
bakes into rolls & cheese is melted.
Carefully remove from pan. Use a
spatula to cut between all the rolls,
separating them from each other.
Serve warm. Makes 12 sliders.

NOTE: You can double this recipe-

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

Cranberry Caramel Bars

1 C. fresh cranberries
2 T. sugar
2 1/3 C. flour, divided
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. uncooked regular oats
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 C. firmly packed light brown
1 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 (10 oz) pkg. chopped dates
3/4 C. chopped pecans
1 (12 oz) jar caramel sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking pan with
heavy duty foil – leave a little
overhang so that you can lift bars
out to cut with no problem. Combine
2 T. sugar in small bowl with cran-
berries. Combine 2 C. flour, baking
soda, oats & rest of sugars; stir in
melted butter until crumbly. Reserve
1 C. mixture. Press remaining
mixture into bottom of prepared
pan by placing a piece of waxed
paper over top of mixture in pan &
pressing down to flatten mixture.
Remove waxed paper & bake
15 minutes.
Remove from oven & sprinkle top
with dates, pecans & cranberry
mixture. Stir caramel sauce &
remaining 1/3 C. flour together
until smooth & spoon over top.
Sprinkle top with reserved 1 C.
flour mixture & bake an additional
20 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool on wire rack. Lift out of pan
using foil overhang then cut into
24 small or 18 large bars.

(recipe: ebay.com)

Later today I get to pick up grandson from
the bus stop – we’ll have him for a few
hours. They will be coming over Christmas
day for dinner, but this was an extra
visit (Yay!).

Only a few ‘things to do’ left on the list:
dust/vacuum dining & living rooms, dust/
wash glass on china cabinet, bake the 72
sugar cookies & box ‘o gingerbread men
then frost them (Yes, I ‘could’ do that with
grandson, but if you remember I’m a
“Type A” personality with loads of
OCD (obsessive/compulsive behavior) –
read that as “I HATE MESSES!” Baking with
a child is NOT something that rings FUN
to me! Even IF he’s my grandson! Sorry-
no can do! Not much else to do – maybe
a half hour left on the white baby blanket
knitting – I’ve been reading more than I’ve
been knitting these past few days. Oh –
still have to wrap the presents and (on
Christmas Eve) stuff the stockings on the
mantle/fireplace – but we’re pretty much
ON SCHEDULE for the events – YAY!

Hope your plans & dreams are coming
together just as you dreamed/wanted
them to! Remember to get some rest –
everyone needs a little extra ‘zip’ this
time of year!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I wish I enjoyed baking as much as you do but I just ain’t got it. Have a good day tomorrow.

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