SO nice to finally see – SPRING!

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The sun is out, the sky is a beautiful blue (no clouds), birds are singing (I can hear a Red Winged Blackbird in the distance) – a simply GORGEOUS Spring day! Oh, and did I mention the temperature is at 73 degrees F.? We’ve opened all the house windows and are letting the fresh air in – makes me sleepy (in fact I caught myself snoring while ‘attempting’ to read a book!).  THIS is the weather I’ve been waiting for – not to ‘go outside and garden, etc’ but just to experience the bright sun & singing birds – I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!

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Strawberry Delight

1 (16 oz) container fresh strawberries
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed

Wash, hull & slice strawberries; place in
small bowl & add sugar & lemon juice;
mix well.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl combine
flour & brown sugar. Cut butter into
mixture using a pastry blender or two
knives until butter resembles small peas.
Pour flour mixture into bottom of
prepared pan, spread evenly & press
flat to form crust. Bake 10-12 minutes
until firm; allow to cool completely.
In large bowl combine cream cheese,
powdered sugar & 1 tub Cool Whip; stir
well to combine. Spread mixture evenly
over cooled crust. Drain strawberries;
layer drained berries evenly on top of
cream cheese layer. Top with remaining
Cool Whip. Refrigerate at least 2 hours
before serving. Serves 10-12

(recipe: southernbite.com)
—————————————–

Bacon Ranch Potatoes

4 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
1 (28 oz) bag frozen O’Brian potatoes
(with chopped green/red peppers &
onion)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 C. milk
1 envelope dry Ranch salad dressing mix
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve
Ritz crackers)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIghtly spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Place potatoes in prepared
dish; cover with plastic wrap & microwave
on High 5 minutes. Combine soup, milk
& dry dressing mix; stir well. Add about
half of the cheese & stir; pour mixture
over potatoes & stir. Sprinkle top of dish
with remaining cheese & bacon. Sprinkle
top with cracker crumbs & bake 30 minutes
until lightly browned & bubbly.
Serves 6

(recipe: allfreecasserolerecipes.com)
——————————————–

Stir-Fry Garlic Butter Shrimp

& Asparagus

1 C. quinoa
2 lb. asparagus, trimmed/cut
into 2″ pieces
2 lb. large shrimp/deveined
1/2 C. pinenuts (optional)
3 T. butter, divided
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt, divided

Cook quinoa as per pkg. directions.
In a wok, add pinenuts & toast until
golden (if using) stirring occasionally,
about 4 minutes – transfer to a bowl.
Return wok to medium heat; melt
1 T. butter; add half the garlic & stir
10 seconds. Add asparagus & sprinkle
with 1/2 tsp. salt; stir and cover. Cook
5 minutes & transfer to bowl with nuts.
Return wok to medium-high heat & melt
2 T. butter. Add shrimp, sprinkle with
1/2 tsp. salt & cook until pink & no grey
in sight, stirring occasionally. Turn off
heat, add half garlic & stir well; sprinkle
with black pepper, if desired. Add
asparagus, pine nuts & quinoa to wok;
stir gently & serve hot. Serves 4

(recipe: ifoodreal.com)
————————————–

Tex-Mex Dip

2 (9 oz, ea) cans bean dip
3 medium ripe avocados, peeled
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. sliced ripe olives
4 green onions with tops, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped/seeded
tortilla chips

Spread bean dip on a 12 inch serving
plate. In small bowl mash avocados
with lemon juice, salt/pepper & spread
over bean dip. Combine sour cream,
mayo & taco seasoning; spread over
avocado layer. Sprinkle top with cheese,
olives, onions & tomato. Serve with
tortilla chips, for dipping. Serves 8-10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————————-

Santa Fe Chicken Casserole

1 (8 oz) tub cream cheese spread
2 T. taco seasoning mix (about 1/2 pkg)
2 T. milk
3 C. shredded, cooked chicken breasts
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 green onions, sliced
3 (6 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 C. Mexican-style finely shredded Four
Cheese (Kraft)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese spread, taco seasoning
& milk until blended. Combine next 4 ingredients
in large bowl. Add half cream cheese mixture; mix
lightly. Spread 1/3 chicken mixture onto bottom of
9 inch pie plate; top with 1 tortilla, half remaining
chicken mixture & 1/4 C. shredded cheese. Cover
with second tortilla, remaining chicken mixture, 1/4
C. shredded cheese & remaining tortilla. Top with
remaining cream cheese mixture & shredded cheese.
Cover & bake 25 minutes or until heated through,
uncovering for last 5 minutes. Serves 6

(recipe: Kraft foods)
——————————–

Triple Cheddar Mac & Cheese
(crockpot)

2 C. dry elbow macaroni
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cheddar cheese soup
8 oz. sour cream
1/2/ C. (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. white pepper (or black)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 C. Triple Cheddar cheese,
shredded/ divided
(Kraft)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Parboil macaroni in salted water
6 minutes then drain well before adding
to crockpot. While macaroni is cooking, in
small bowl whisk melted butter, evap.
milk, Cheddar cheese soup, sour cream,
eggs & seasonings. Pour sauce on top of
cooked macaroni along with 3 C. Triple
Cheddar cheese; stir all ingredients until
macaroni is coated & sauce is evenly
distributed. Cover & cook on Low 2 hours,
remove lid & check middle for doneness.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover &
cook another 15 minutes to allow cheese
to melt. Serves 8-10

(recipe: melissassouthernstylekitchen.com)
—————————————–

Easy 4-Layer Chocolate Dessert

1 C. flour
1/2 C. cold butter
1 C. chopped walnuts, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed,
divided
2 1/2 C. milk
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. instant Chocolate
pudding mix
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In small bowl place flour & butter –
cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in
1/2 C. walnuts & press mixture
into bottom of ungreased 9 X 13″
baking dish. Bake 12-15  minutes
until light golden brown. Cool
completely on wire rack.

In small bowl beat cream cheese &
powdered sugar until smooth. Fold
in 1 tub Cool Whip & spread over
cooled crust. In large bowl whisk milk
& pudding mixes 2 minutes; gently
spread over cream cheese layer &
top with remaining Cool Whip.
Sprinkle top with chocolate chips
& remaining nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour
until cold then cut into bars. Just
before serving drizzle with chocolate
syrup. Makes 15 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

=========================

Still working on the mint green baby blanket
and have added another very simple crochet
baby blanket pattern – keeps me busy. I finally
got in touch with the lady that has the other
knit group that creates hats/mittens/scarves/
gloves for the homeless. I have been holding
on to a 39 gallon garbage bag full of yarn from
our last yarn swap (a good 2 months ago). Since
that time either she was too busy to connect
or I was too sick – FINALLY this Monday we’re
meeting in the Meijers parking lot so that I
can give her the yarn. Just for the comfort of
making sure I really didn’t ‘need’ any of it, I
went through it again today. Ended up saving
out about 4 skeins of various light green
yarns which will go into making 1-2 more
baby blankets for either Detroit Veteran’s
Baby Shower in September or more for
Crisis Pregnancy Center – works both ways.

Went back to the library the other day and
checked out 2 books by an author I had
written down on a list – I’m really not sure
IF I had read any of his books or not, but
started one last night at around 6 p.m. and
finished it this morning – YES, it’s a good read!
His name is Brad Meltzer and he’s written
about 10-12 books – I started on #2 earlier
today and am about half-done with it – I think
his will be the next list of books I read; he does
a nice job of unique twists – I like that. I just
finished: “The Book of Lies” (which, I felt,
started out very slow – almost didn’t continue)
and am now reading: “The Inner Circle”. I love
finding an author that has written a lot of
books BEFORE I discover them – that gives me
a big list to conquer! If you’re a reader, do you
feel that way?

We’ve finally finished all of the leftovers in
the fridge so tonight I’m making a big batch
of Enchiladas – the guys like them and there’s
usually enough for at least two meals (I’m
hoping!).

Hope you’re in good health and are able
to see some of this really nice SPRING weather!

Hugs;

Pammie

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. wow, that choc. cake is a winner! yummy.

  2. It is great to know that someone else is as thrilled with The weather as I am. Mother Nature has got to know she has at least two adoring fans right now!


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