Bright, Sunny Day!


One of our helpers in my special needs group bought me a kit with miniature Paper White Narcissus; I planted them about 3 weeks ago and now they’re blooming! For some reason I thought they would be a little bigger – each flower is about the size of a dime or smaller! There were 4 bulbs in the kit, the other three stalks are growing, one looks like it’s almost ready to produce flowers – the other two are still ‘working on it’. It’s nice, in the middle  of winter, to be able to see some fresh flowers! It’s sunny out today, still some snow on the ground and only 21 degrees F (wind chill minus 7) but I’m just feeling uplifted with the bright sunshine coming in the windows!


Frosted Banana Bars

1/2 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas
(about 3)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
dash salt

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened
4 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 15 X 10″ X 1″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large bowl
cream butter & sugar until light
& fluffy. Beat in eggs, bananas &
vanilla. Combine flour, baking
soda & salt; stir into creamed
mixture until just blended &
pour into prepared pan. Bake
20-25 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

In small bowl beat cream cheese &
butter until fluffy; add conf. sugar
& vanilla – beat until smooth &
frost bars. Makes 3 dozen


5-ingredient Coconut Curry

1 can coconut milk*
2 T. red curry paste
2 small heads broccoli cut
into small bite-sized pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained/rinsed
1/2 T. cornstarch dissolved in
2 T. cold water
minced garlic or onion

Saute broccoli, onion/garlic in 1 T.
oil in skillet. After a few minutes add
coconut milk; let simmer 5-8 minutes.
Broccoli should soften but still be
tender-crisp. Add curry paste to pan
& whisk until combined with coconut
milk. Add chick peas & bring to slight
boil – add cornstarch mixture & boil
about 1 minute then reduce heat
& let cool slightly. Sauce will thicken
as mixture cools. Serves 3-4

*You can usually find coconut milk
in the section where alcoholic drink
mixes are sold in grocery stores


Zesty Mississippi Roast

3-5 lb. boneless beef rump or
chuck roast
3 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
cracked black pepper
1 T. vegetable or canola oil
1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, halved/sliced
1 envelope dry Ranch dressing mix
1 envelope dry brown gravy or
au jus mix
1/2 tsp. dried, crushed thyme
1/2 tsp. dried, crushed rosemary
1 C. Coca Cola (classic, not diet)
1 large bay leaf
1 whole jalapeno (can use pickled)
4 golden peperoncini peppers
1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. cornstarch

Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut
multiple small slits all over roast;
insert garlic slivers in slits. Season
roast on all sides with pepper. Heat
1 T. oil in large skillet & brown roast
on both sides. Add celery to bottom
of a 6 qt. crockpot; place roast on top.
Add onion to skillet & cook 3 minutes;
place in crockpot.
Whisk ranch dressing mix, gravy mix,
thyme & rosemary – stir in Coke,
whisk until well blended. Add bay
leaf, jalapeno, peperoncini to top of
roast & pour Coke mixture over top.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours, or
High 4-5 hours. (total time depends
on size of roast).
To thicken gravy:
Remove roast to a plate & loosely
tent with foil to keep warm. Skim any
excess fat off top of juices & carefully
transfer contents of crockpot to a
saucepan. Stir in 1 T. butter & cornstarch,
using just enough water to dissolve
cornstarch. Whisk into gravy; bring to
a boil, reduce heat & simmer until
thickened. Serve with roast. Serves 6-8


Skillet Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 T. coconut oil

Heat large skillet add oil & potatoes;
stir. Cook 15 minutes until tender. Stir
often, making sure not to burn them.
Add garlic, salt, cinnamon & parsley;
stir repeatedly & cook another 4
minutes. Stir often & try not to burn
the garlic.

NOTE: You can roast them in the oven:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Add all mixed ingredients to a roasting
pan & bake 25-35 minutes.


Eggplant Parmesan

3 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
3 medium eggplants, cut into
1/4 inch slices
2 (4 1/2 oz, ea) jars sliced
mushrooms, drained
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (28 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray baking sheets with nonstick
spray. Place eggs & bread crumbs in
separate, shallow bowls. Dip
eggplant slices into egg, then
coat in crumbs & place on
prepared sheets. Bake 15-20
minutes until tender & golden
brown, turning once. In small bowl,
combine mushrooms, basil & oregano.
In another small bowl combine
cheeses. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray & spread 1/2 C.
sauce in bottom, smoothing out.
Layer with 1/3 of mushroom mixture,
1/3 eggplant, 3/4 C. sauce & 1/3
cheese mixture – repeat layers twice.
Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes until
heated through & cheese is melted.
Serves 8


Pistachio Bar Dessert

36 Oreo cookies finely crushed
(about 3 C.)
6 T. butter or margarine, melted
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. Pistachio-flavored
instant pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/divided
1/2 C. chopped toffee bits

Mix cookie crumbs & butter until blended;
press onto bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Beat pudding mixes & milk in large bowl
using whisk 2 minutes; spread 1 1/2 C.
onto crust. Stir half of Cool Whip into
remaining pudding & spread over pudding
layer; cover with remaining Cool Whip &
refrigerate 4 hours until firm. Sprinkle top
with toffee bits before serving. Serves 32

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Pizza Waffles!
snack or appetizer

1 pkg crescent rolls (8 pieces)
1 1/3 C. mozzarella cheese
pepperoni or your favorite
pizza toppings
pizza sauce,warmed, for dipping

Preheat waffle iron & spray with
nonstick spray. Unroll crescent
rolls. Pinch seams to connect
2 triangles so you form 4
rectangles. Place 1/3 C.
cheese & pepperoni in each
rectangle; fold over & pinch
to seal all sides – repeat with
remaining sections. Place each
piece of dough on preheated
waffle iron, close & cook 5
minutes until browned. Serve
warm with pizza sauce for
dipping. Makes 4


Quick Homemade Tomato Soup

2 T. vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes
3 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. pepper

In saucepan over medium heat,
heat oil; cook onions & garlic
until softened. Add tomatoes,
broth, tomato paste & pepper;
bring to boil. Reduce heat &
simmer 15 minutes until slightly
thickened. In batches, add soup
to blender & puree. Serves 4


Greek Chicken Lemon Rice Soup

6 C. chicken broth
3/4 C. long-grain white rice
2 C. cooked chicken, diced
2 large eggs, room temp.
2/3 C. fresh lemon juice (do
not used bottled)

Add broth & rice to large saucepan;
bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
Cover & cook 15 minutes until rice
is cooked; add chicken to pot. Remove
soup from heat & cover. In separate
bowl whisk lemon juice into eggs until
frothy. Ladle about 1 C. hot broth from
soup & slowly whisk into eggs, whisking
constantly. Slowly stir warmed eggs into
pot of soup. Serve immediately.


Rustic Nut Bars

1 T. plus 3/4 C. cold butter,
2 1/3 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

2/3 C. honey
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
6 T. butter, cubed
2 T. heavy whipping cream
1 C. chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 C. salted cashews
1 C. pistachios
1 C. salted roasted almonds

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil, letting ends extend over
sides by 1 inch; spray foil
with nonstick spray. In large
bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt. Cut in remaining
butter until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Stir in egg until
blended (mixture will be dry);
press mixture firmly onto bottom
of prepared pan. Bake 18-20
minutes until edges are golden
brown. Cool on wire rack.
In large heavy saucepan combine
honey, brown sugar & salt; bring
to boil over medium heat, stirring
frequently to dissolve sugar. Boil
2 minutes, without stirring. Stir
in butter & cream; return to a
boil. Cook & stir 1 minute until
smooth. Remove from heat, stir
in nuts & spread over crust.
Bake 15-20 minutes until topping
is bubbly. Cool completely in pan
on wire rack. Lift foil edges to
remove from pan. Cut bars –
makes about 3 dozen bars.


Not much going on around here lately (YAY!);
tonight is my special needs group’s Gym Night-
it’s 2 hours: short devotion, snack time then
we have a lady who works at the local Senior
Center come in an play a few games with the
kids (they love it!) – then it’s time to go home!
Quick, fun night for all.

Stay warm, enjoy something you like doing
(even if it’s only taking a NAP!)




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Your plant is lovely. You said the magic word NAP yep I’ll do that.

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