Fun but CRAZY Night!


Last night was my Knit/Crochet night AND a Yarn Swap! I never know when scheduling a yarn swap whether we’ll get a little yarn, a bit more – or, like last night, be almost buried in it! The ladies LOVE the whole event – I’m pretty sure the people dining at Panera thought we were having some sort of party! Almost everyone went home with something, and  most with LOTS! There was enough left over to donate a big garbage bag to the local library (they donate to another charity) AND still another garbage bag PLUS for me to take to the Waterford Senior Center where they have a very large box in their foyer for donations of yarn/needles/hooks – they teach the teens at the local Children’s Village. Did I take any? Yes . . . sigh. Not a lot, but more plain white yarn which I can always use for the baby hats & blankets; plus a few more small skeins of baby yarn. The funny thing was several ladies came not KNOWING there would be a yarn swap and said: “Oh, I’ve got LOTS of yarn at home to donate – I’ll bring it next time!” so the fun continues! One lady, when leaving said to me: “Thank you for letting me get rid of some yarn I didn’t use and get more yarn I didn’t know I needed!” (That about summed up the thoughts of almost all of us last night!)

On sort of that same note I learned of another charity opportunity – this one is not for everyone. One of my ladies returned last night after being gone since October – she had a miscarriage; she also works at the hospital I donate the baby hats to. She told me that the hospital has another ministry to those who have lost babies. (this is a Catholic hospital, so it makes sense that they would do this). IF the parents want to see the baby, they bring the baby wrapped in a tiny hand knit or crocheted baby blanket (she said just the face, hands & feet are showing). When the parents leave they are given the blanket to keep – she said it really meant a lot to her that they did that. That (of course) got me to thinking – these are much smaller than the ones I’m currently knitting for Crisis Pregnancy center, which means I could make them quicker AND be able to deliver them when I take in the next batch of hats! She said she thought the blanket was about 3 ft X 3 ft, no special stitches – so you guessed it: I started one last night when I got home. This will be a special honor for me to be able to create something so very meaningful, so of course I had to make them with pretty stitches. Yes, I know – I already have ENOUGH projects, but this one will be an ‘every once in awhile’ project, not a constant.  She also told me that last month they had 35 premies at one time in the nursery (several sets of twins!) She said my baby hats are a big hit – that’s actually my current project: catching up on the baby hats. I usually deliver 25 newborn & 25 premie hats at a time. Not sure/haven’t counted but I’m probably around 12 hats on each.


Jalapeno Vegetable Soup

1 small head cabbage, chopped
2 cans Ro*tel (tomatoes &
green chiles)
5-6 potatoes, peeled/cut into
1 bag baby carrots
6-9 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1 large green pepper, cleaned/
cut into small pieces
1 large onion or 2 medium,
1-2 jalapeno peppers, cleaned &
cut up
2 T. fresh minced garlic
3 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
crushed red pepper, to taste
1 (32 oz) box chicken broth
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
cut into chunks

Pour broth into crockpot; add all
other ingredients (except cream
cheese). Turn to HIGH; let soup
get hot before adding cream cheese.
(Poster waited 2 hours) added cream
cheese, stirred & covered then cooked
another 6-8 hours until all ingredients
are thoroughly cooked.

(recipe: Courtney Luper-Facebook)

Oven-braised Swiss Steak

1 1/2 lb. beef round steak,
3/4 inch thick
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. sliced onion
1 C. sliced mushrooms
1 3/4 C. beef broth, divided
1 (10 oz) can golden mushroom soup

mashed potatoes, for serving

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place flour salt/pepper into a shallow
pie plate, stir then dredge steak on
both sides with mixture. Heat oil
in large skillet & brown meat on both
sides; remove meat to a casserole
dish. Add 1 T. olive oil to skillet &
saute onions & mushrooms until
tender & lightly browned. Place
1/2 C. broth into pan to deglaze
any bits off the bottom; stir.
In separate bowl, whisk soup &
remaining broth. Add broth &
soup mixture to skillet & bring
to a boil. Pour mixture over meat
in dish. Cover with foil & bake
2 hours. Serve with mashed


Crockpot Fajitas

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breast tenders
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cut into
thin strips
1 large green bell pepper cut into
thin strips
3/4 C. chunky salsa
2 (1.4 oz, ea) pkgs. dry fajita mix
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
16 (10 inch) flour tortillas

Suggested toppers
shredded cheese
chopped tomatoes
sour cream

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of crockpot;
layer onions & bell peppers on top. Mix
salsa, fajita mix & cayenne pepper in a
medium bowl; pour over mixture. Cover
& cook on Low 6-7 hours (or High 3-4)
until chicken is done. Remove lid; gently
stir chicken & sauce using a slotted spoon.
Spoon 1/2 C. of mixture into center of each
tortilla; add desired toppings & fold
tortillas over filling. Makes 16 fajitas.


Zesty Orange Cookie Cups

1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 C. flour
2 C. (12 oz pkg) white chocolate
2 large eggs
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed  milk
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. orange extract
1 T. grated orange zest (1 medium orange)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 48 mini-muffin tins with nonstick
spray. Beat butter & sugar, using elec.
mixer,  in medium bowl until creamy.
Add flour & beat until  mixture is evenly
moist, crumbly & can be formed into balls.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls & press each
ball onto bottom & sides of muffin cups to
form wells; place 5 white morsels in each
cup. Beat eggs in medium bowl using wire
whisk; stir in sweetened/cond. milk & orange
extract. Spoon almost a measuring table-
spoon of mixture into each muffin cup, filling
about 3/4th full. Bake 15-17 minutes until
centers are puffed & edges are just beginning
to brown. Remove from oven & gently run
a knife around each cup. While still warm,
top each with 8-10 white choc. morsels (they
will soften). Cool completely in pans on wire
racks. Use the tip of a knife to remove each
from pans. Top with grated orange zest just
before serving. Store in covered container in
fridge. Makes 48 mini cups.

(recipe: Rhonda-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Spinach & Artichoke Bubble Bake

1 tube (Pillsbury Grands!) flaky layer
biscuits (8 count)
3 c. frozen, defrosted chopped spinach
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
2 C. shredded mozzarella, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. sour cream
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix cream cheese, sour
cream, Parmesan, salt/pepper & cayenne.
(you can use a food processor for this)
Place spinach & artichokes in large bowl
& pour in sauce; fold in 1 C. mozzarella.
Cut biscuits into fourths; gently fold
them into mix, coating completely – pour
into 9 X 9″ baking dish sprayed with
nonstick spray. Top with 1 C. mozzarella.
cover with foil & bake 30 minutes.
Remove foil & continue to bake 30
minutes more. If you’d like a nice brown
top, broil a few minutes. Serves 6


Fiesta Nacho Chicken Bake

2 1/2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes & green
chilies, drained
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (10 3/4 oz) can CAMPBELLS
Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup*
1/2 C. milk
2 (7.5 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated
pepper, optional

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix chicken,
1 C. cheese & tomatoes. Whisk
soup in another bowl then stir
in chicken mixture. Spray a 8 X 8″
baking dish with nonstick spray;
pour mixture into dish & bake
20-25 minutes. Cut each biscuit
into quarters & place on top of
hot dish; sprinkle with remaining
cheese & bake 15-20 minutes
more. Season with pepper, if
desired & serve immediately.
Serves 5-6

*you can also use a plain cheese
soup & regular diced tomatoes to
make it without the fiesta flavor


Cheesy Spinach Bundles

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed/squeezed dry
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. (Kraft) Philadelphia ‘Chive &
Onion’ cream cheese spread
1 egg, separated
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix first 4 ingredients & egg yolk
until blended. Separate crescent dough
into 8 triangles; cut each one diagonally
in half. Spoon 1 T. spinach mixture onto
center of each triangle; bring corners
of dough to center over filling, overlapping
ends. Pinch ends together to seal & place
on baking sheets. Beat egg white lightly &
brush over bundles. Bake 12-15 minutes
until golden brown. Makes 16 servings

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Cajun-style Crab Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 oz. fake crab sticks
1/2 C. Thousand Island salad dressing
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce (or more, if
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 T. chopped (jarred) pimiento
peppers or roasted red bell peppers
(not raw)

crackers for serving

Place cream cheese & half of crab
sticks, 1,000 Island dressing, lemon
juice, horseradish, Tab. sauce, garlic
powder, onion powder, dry mustard &
paprika in food processor; pulse until
smooth. Scrape down sides & add other
half fake crab, pimiento & pulse until
mixture is chunky but not smooth.
Place in serving bowl & chill 1 hour
before serving. Serve with crackers.


PIneapple Pretzel Fluff Dessert

3/4 – 1 C. crushed pretzels
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can crushed pineapple in its own
juices (reserve juices)*
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Mix
melted butter, pretzels & sugar in
medium bowl; press into bottom of
11 X 7″ pan (or 9 X 9″). Bake 8
minutes, remove from oven & cool.
Mix cream cheese, sugar & vanilla
until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip &
spread over cooled crust. In small
saucepan stir cornstarch & 1/4 C.
sugar. Mix in reserved juices & bring
to boil over medium heat. Cook,
stirring constantly, until thickened,
about 5 minutes. Stir in pineapple &
spread over whipped layer. Cover &
refrigerate at least 1 1/2 – 2 hours until

*not the really large can

(recipe: livingoncloudandreanine.

When I get a little more time I will
attempt to get you more appetizer
recipes – now that I realize the big
game is this Sunday!

Our weather is simply gorgeous!
It’s been in the low 50’s & very
sunny for the past 2 days – YAY!
No heavy winter coats needed –
no gloves/hats/scarves – I love it!

Gas prices have dropped again –
noticed last night that it’s down
to $1.49/9 – that’s GREAT! (Of
course I still have 3/4th tank –
sigh; suppose I ‘could’ fill it up,
just sayin’ )

Hope your day goes just GREAT!
When it’s sunny like this I really
feel energized – makes me want
to DO THINGS! Hope you have
a really SUNNY DAY, too!



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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a thoughtful thing to have when you have a loss to contend with. You sure know how to find these projects.

  2. I would have LOVED to have been at that yarn swap! Do you live in a big city? I don’t know tbat many other knitters/crocheters in my area.

    • It’s not a big city (actually it’s a Township) but there are other cities/towns close by. I hold the Yarn Swap for just my group but it’s lots of fun & the ladies love it. Even though you TRY to not bring home any yarn (or other stuff) somehow there’s always SOMETHING you want/need and it’s all FREE, so it’s all good. Have you tried just doing a search (just type in the SEARCH box) KNIT GROUPS (or crochet) – has them listed, also – might be worth a try- OR you could type in a request in Facebook asking if there are any groups in your area – just a thought.

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