Just got home from having lunch with two lady friends at Big Boy; we’ve all three been friends since High School. On the way home I stopped at “Ollies” (a discount store which deals in over-buys/close-outs, etc.) because I had heard that they had some Vanna White yarn on sale for $2.?? a skein (usually $5.00). I should preface this with ‘the last time I went to Ollies their yarn was JUNK!’ Tons of really POOPY colors, or RUG yarn/yarns you would NEVER buy, etc. It was just about the same today – if I’d have wanted to make something with really REALLY thick day-glow orange or yellow, I’d be good, or some really ugly orange & blue striped thick yarn – YUCK. Quick trip – quick trip out the door.
Our weather has been really nice – right now it’s about 66 degrees F., sun shining brightly, slight breeze – LOVELY! I saw FOUR rabbits in our yard today (usually the most you will see is two, so four was quite a surprise!) They were chasing each other all over – couldn’t tell if they were bucks defending their territory or male/female “Hey, Lady – Come HERE!” I’ll just be glad if we have more baby bunnies – love seeing them.
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into bite-sized pieces (can also use
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. Buffalo wing sauce (can also use
2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
16 oz. penne pasta, cooked
Line a 6 qt. crockpot with a crockpot
liner or spray with nonstick spray. In
small bowl mix soup & buffalo wing
sauce. Place cut up chicken in crockpot
& pour sauce over chicken, tossing to
coat. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours,
stirring once in middle of cooking time.
When chicken is done cooking, cook pasta
accordg. to pkg. directions & drain. Add
ranch dressing, sour cream & mozzarella
cheese to chicken & stir well. Add drained
pasta to crockpot & mix well. Serves 8
2 1/3 C. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. granulated sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl
whisk flour, baking powder & salt.
In large bowl beat butter & sugars
until light & fluffy, about 2-3
minutes. Add eggs, one at a time,
beating on Low speed until mixed.
Beat in vanilla & dry ingredients on
Low speed until just combined. Pour
half of batter into prepared pan. (The
batter will be sticky but spread it as
evenly as you can). Sprinkle half of
cinnamon/sugar mixture over batter.
Using a teaspoon, drop dollops of
remaining batter over top. (Cinn/sugar
mixture will still be visible in many areas)
Sprinkle with remaining cinn/sugar &
bake 25 minutes on center rack of oven.
Cool on wire rack 1 hour then cut into
squares. Makes 15 squares
1 Pan Mongolian Beef/Veggies & Rice
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced ginger
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/2 C. water
3/4 C. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 C. vegetable oil (for cooking)
1 1/2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced
against the grain
1/4 C. cornstarch
1 C. chopped broccoli
1 C. snow pea pods
1 1/2 C. long grain white rice (not
salt/pepper, to taste
chopped green onions & sesame
seeds, for garnish
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large, deep skillet heat 1 T. oil over
medium heat; add garlic & ginger –
stir to combine. When simmering, add
in water, soy sauce, red pepper flakes
& brown sugar – stir to combine & bring
to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer &
let cook 15 minutes.* While sauce is
simmering, place sliced steak in medium
bowl; toss in cornstarch, salt/pepper, to
taste – allow to sit while sauce simmers.
Once sauce is thickened to your liking,
pour into heat-safe bowl. Return skillet
to medium/high heat & pour in 1 C. oil.
Cook steak in batches, about 3-4 minutes
per batch. Allow it to be just a little
undercooked (it will continue cooking in
oven). Be sure to flip steak to cook both
sides. When each batch is finished, place
on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
During last batch add in veggies & cook
until brighter in color & a bit soft – they will
also continue to cook in oven. When all
meat/veggies are cooked, place in large
bowl & marinate in sauce. Drain oil from
skillet, add rice & water – allow to simmer
about 5 minutes. Remove steak from sauce,
reserving sauce for serving. Add steak into
rice/water (some will be submerged, that’s
OK) Add veggies around steak. Cover & cook
about 25 minutes. Remove cover & cook
another 5-10 minutes. Garnish with green
onions & sesame seeds, if using. Serve with
sauce. Serves 4-6
*You can make sauce ahead of time & store in
an airtight container up to 1 week.
French Onion Mushroom Casserole
1 3/4 lb. pearl onions, peeled
8 oz. washed/dried Crimini mushrooms,
1 1/2 T. finely chopped fresh thyme
2 C. beef broth
1/2 C. dry white wine
5 T. unsalted, softened butter, divided
2 T. flour
1 (approx. 2 ft) thin French baguette
1 1/2 T. minced garlic, divided
1 1/2 C. grated Swiss cheese, divided
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place oven rack on top third.
Coat bottom of large saute pan with
olive oil; place over medium heat. Add
peeled onions; saute, stirring occasionally,
until nicely caramelized, 15-20 minutes.
Add a bit more oil & add mushrooms.
Stir occasionally, saute until nicely
caramelized, about 10 minutes; mix in
thyme & cook about 30 seconds. Turn
heat to Low & pour in beef broth & wine
to deglaze pan (Use a wooden spoon to
gently scrape any bits of stuck onion or
mushrooms from pan. Turn heat to High
& bring to boil; reduce heat to Low &
simmer. Add 2 T. butter to small saute
pan & melt; whisk in flour. Using a whisk
add mix to onions. Turn heat to high &
bring to boil. Immediately reduce heat
to lowest setting & let simmer, uncovered,
about 15 minutes – season with salt/pepper.
While sauce is simmering, cut about 3/4
of baguette into thin slices, diagonally –
about 1/2 inch thick; place slices on a
baking sheet. In small bowl mix 2 T. butter
with 1 T. garlic – spread each slice of
bread with it; sprinkle with salt/pepper &
place baking sheet in oven until edges
are golden, 10-15 minutes. Remove from
oven & add toasted slices to bottom of
a 9 X 13″ baking dish. (leave oven on)
Cut remaining 1/4 of baguette into small
cubes & add to same baking sheet as
slices. Mix remaining 1 T. butter with
remaining 1/2 T. garlic; melt in microwave
or tiny saute pan – drizzle this over cubed
bread on sheet & sprinkle with salt/pepper.
Toss gently with your hands – make sure
it’s well mixed. Heat in oven 10-15 minutes;
remove from oven & leave oven on
Sprinkle 1/2 C. cheese evenly over toasted
slices of bread. Pour onion sauce evenly
on top & evenly distribute cubed bread
on top of that; sprinkle evenly with remaining
1 C. cheese. Bake until bubbly, 20 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes then serve.
Blueberry Cream Crumb Cake
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 C. frozen blueberries
1 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 C. melted butter
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until
large crumbs form.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine eggs, vanilla, sugar, sour cream
& butter in large bowl; mix well. In separate
bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda,
& salt. Add mixed dry ingredients to egg
mixture, stirring until just combined. Gently
stir in blueberries. Spray a 9 X 13″ pan with
nonstick spray* – or for a thicker cake, use
a 9 X 9″ pan. Top with crumb mixture &
bake 15-20 minutes until a wooden toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool
*can also be poured into paper-lined
Poster also drizzles a powdered sugar
icing over top, if desired:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
& enough milk (1 tsp. at a time) to make
a smooth mixture lose enough to drizzle
It seems our Keurig coffee maker has decided to
quit making coffee. I got it all set to make a 10 oz.
cup for my husband – that went well (he has a HUGE
cup, so I set it for another 6 oz….it dispensed about
1/3 C….not enough!). We’ve gone through everything
the booklet says to do, cleaning all parts, running
straight vinegar through it, etc. – all it will produce
is about 1/3 C. AT THE MOST! Frustrating – we might
have to send it back to the manufacturer – sigh. (We
only use it about once a week, at most, so it’s not
from over-use. Who knows?
Hope you are finally able to enjoy some of this
nice weather. Stay healthy!