‘Taking a Break Day’!

Boynton smiling critter

Sometimes you just need to declare an ‘official’ Taking a Break Day” I know that tomorrow when I go volunteer to help sort ‘stuff’ for the White Elephant sale Saturday I’ll be pretty tired when I come home – that’s a given. I ‘was’ going to go grocery shopping today but . . . I just didn’t feel like it! Instead I knit the first of the ten plain white squares for the baby afghan then began printing the special needs group newsletter for July/August – 50 copies are now printed. Next will be folding them all, putting them in the envelopes, sealing & putting return address labels on them. I might need more copies printed but I really don’t ‘need’ to get them out until about Monday so I’m doing my ‘take a break’ thing – NOW! The envelopes are all addressed – I just haven’t spent the time to count them to see exactly how many  copies I need (plus about 10-12 more for handouts to staff & any new people that come). Haven’t decided what’s for dinner – might be salmon patties as they’re really quick & easy to fix. In the back of my mind runs this little ditty (most days): “You KNOW you need to get some food together so the guys have cooked food in the fridge!” (Now, if I really admit it, here,  they can ALL fend for themselves . . . guess it’s just the imprinted MOM thing of making dinner EVERY day. Do you have that ‘problem’???) Tomorrow is the White Elephant ‘thing’ then all day Saturday & Sunday I’ll be doing my ‘thing’ at Log Cabin Days and won’t feel like making dinner when I get home – who knows? I might just get creative & order Kentucky Fried Chicken! (Or, around here: Chicken King) – we’ll see.


Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

1 (3.4 oz) box cheesecake or white chocolate
pudding mix
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 (6 oz, ea) tubs strawberry yogurt
1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
3 bananas, sliced (add just before serving
or they’ll brown)
3 C. miniature marshmallows (optional)

In large bowl whisk together Cool Whip,
pudding mix & yogurt. Cover & refrigerate
until just before serving (at least 1 hour).
When ready to serve, slice strawberries &
bananas. Remove mixture from fridge &
gently fold in fruit & marshmallows (if
using). Stir gently to combine & serve
immediately. Serves 8-10

(recipe: cakescottage.com)

Vegetable Strata

3 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed/
cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, quartered &
1 C. fresh or frozen corn
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. each minced fresh-
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (1 lb) loaf Italian bread,
cut into 1-inch cubes
3 C. (12 oz) shredded Gruyere
or Swiss cheese
5 large eggs
1 3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. chopped pecans

In large skillet heat 1 tsp. oil
over medium-high heat. Add
asparagus; cook & stir until
crisp-tender; transfer to large
bowl. Repeat with an additional
1 tsp. oil & zucchini; add to
asparagus. In same pan cook
& stir corn, shallots & garlic in
remaining oil until shallots are
tender. Stir in herbs, salt & pepper-
add to asparagus mixture; stir in
bread cubes. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Pour
half of mixture into pan; sprinkle
with 1 1/2 C. cheese – repeat layers.
In another bowl whisk eggs & milk;
pour over casserole. Sprinkle top
with pecans. Refrigerate, covered,
at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Uncover dish, bake 40-50 minutes
until a knife inserted near center
comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 12

Freezer option:
After assembling, cover & freeze.
To use: partially thaw in fridge
overnight. Remove from fridge 30
minutes before baking. Preheat oven
350 degrees F. & bake strata, covered,
45 minutes. Uncover & bake 10-15
minutes longer until a knife inserted
near center comes out clean. Let stand
10 minutes before serving.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Ground Beef Crescent Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 C. tomato sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) tube crescent dinner rolls
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine beef & onion in large skillet
over medium-high heat. Cook until
beef is thoroughly cooked, about 8
minutes. Drain grease, stir in tomato
sauce & cook until just heated through.
combine mozz. cheese & sour cream in
a bowl. Pour beef mixture into bottom
of a 9 or 10 inch deep dish pie pan.
Dollop cheese mixture on top of meat &
spread evenly. Unroll crescent dough &
place on top of cheese mixture in pan.
Trim edges as needed, filling in any
spots with extra dough; tuck edges in
around edges of pie dish. Combine
melted butter, Parm. cheese & basil –
spread evenly on top of dough. Bake
18-20 minutes until dough is browned
& cooked. Let stand 10-15 minutes
before slicing. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteandtellblog.com)

Spinach Dip Bites

2 C. frozen spinach, thawed/chopped
1 (6 oz) jar artichoke hearts, drained/
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
pepper, to taste
1 tube seamless crescent dough

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In bowl combine spinach, artichoke
hearts, garlic & Parm. cheese. Blend
in cream cheese & half of mozz. cheese;
season with salt/pepper. Using a rolling
pin, lay out dough on cutting board &
lightly stretch to 8 X 12″ rectangle. Cut
dough into 2 inch squares (24 total).
Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with non-
stick spray & place one square in each
tin, gently pushing down to create an
indent (don’t need to mold to cup).
Scoop 1 tsp. mixture on top of each
square & gently push in. Spread
remaining mozz. cheese over tops of
each cup. Bake 15-17 minutes until golden
brown. Let cool 5-10 minutes before
removing from pan. Makes 24

(recipe: lilluna.com)

Carrot & Ginger Soup

3 T. butter
2 T. chopped garlic
2 C. diced onion
2 large ribs celery, chopped (1 C.)
3 lb. carrots, peeled/diced
3 T. chopped fresh ginger
2 qt. chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 C. honey
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Garnish: candied ginger (chopped)
& finely julienned carrots

In large Dutch oven melt butter over
medium-high heat; add garlic, onion,
celery, carrots & ginger. Cook, stirring
often, 10 minutes. Add stock & bring
to boil. Reduce to simmer & cook
20-25 minutes until vegetables are
tender. Remove from heat & add
coriander, ground ginger & honey.
Working in batches, place in blender
& puree – returning pureed soup to
pot. Add cream, salt/pepper & mix
to combine. Reheat slightly & serve.
Add garnish to bowls when serving,
if desired. Serves 4-6

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)

Dijon Coleslaw

4-5 C. shredded cabbage
1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 T. white wine or champagne
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
1 T. whole-grain Dijon mustard
(can use regular Dijon, but use
1/2 T. as flavor is more intense)

In large bowl place cabbage & salt;
toss to coat & let stand 10 minutes.
Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl
& mix with cabbage. Cover & chill at
least 4 hours – the longer the better.
Serves 4-6

*white vinegar may be substituted,
but wine/champagne vinegar will
taste a lot better

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

Spinach Pesto Penne w/Shrimp & Peas

12 oz. penne pasta
2 C. baby spinach
1 C. fresh basil
1/3 C. plus 1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese,
plus more for serving
1/4 C. pine nuts or almonds
1 clove garlic, minced
kosher salt/black pepper
1 lb. peeled/deveined medium
1 C. peas
crushed red chili flakes (optional)

In large pot salted boiling water, cook
pasta to al dente; drain, reserving 1 C.
pasta water – return pasta to pot.
In small food processor or blender,
pulse spinach, basil & 1/3 C. olive oil
until combined. Add Parmesan, pine
nuts (or almonds) & garlic – season with
salt/pepper. In large skillet over medium
heat, heat remaining T. oil; add shrimp &
cook until pink, 3-4 minutes. Add pasta,
pesto & peas to skillet & toss until
completely combined. Stir in 1/4 C. pasta
water & stir until creamy. Sprinkle top
with Parmesan cheese & chili flakes (if

(recipe: delish.com)

Banana Cake Balls

1/2 C. cold milk
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 small fully ripe banana, mashed
1 (10 3/4 oz) pkg. frozen pound cake,
thawed & crumbled into fine crumbs
3 (4.4 oz, ea) pkgs. milk chocolate bars,
2 T. multi-colored sprinkles

Stir milk & pudding mix together in
medium bowl using large spoon just
until pudding mix is moistened.
Immediately add bananas & cake
crumbs; mix well. Shape into 36
(1-inch) balls & place on waxed
paper-covered rimmed baking sheet.
Freeze 1 hour.
Melt chocolate in medium micro-
waveable bowl on High 1 1/2
minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Dip
balls in chocolate; return to baking
sheet – top immediately with sprinkles.
Let stand until coating is firm.
Makes 36 balls

(recipe: Mary’s Recipe Exchange)


While the newsletters were printing I was
looking over Facebook and bumped into a
knitting site I’ve never seen before! If you
enjoy knitting you might like to check it out;
they have TONS of stitches (lots for expert
knitters as well as the rest of us) – I love
looking at sites like that – they give me
great ideas for new scarf or baby blanket
patterns. The site is called:

Not much else new around here, weather’s
still in the high 80’s (supposed to get above
90 on Sunday – don’t think I’ll be wearing
my knit shawl with my costume THAT day!




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Have a good time at Log Cabins Days.

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