Had grandson all day yesterday and was ‘supposed’ to get him again today – all day. We’ve been kind of ‘waiting’ for him to arrive (it’s now almost 1 p.m.) finally texted his dad – turns out he’s staying home with his Dad’s girlfriend (sort of like step-Mom to grandson) so I HAVE THE DAY OFF! YAY – THANKS, I needed that! Have a few things to pick up at the grocery store and wasn’t exactly sure just how I was going to swing that, with grandson here all day (Yes, I ‘could’ take him with me, but it’s so much easier without him dragging along).
Tomorrow is the Historical Society’s Ice Cream Social and I think I’m ready – spent time yesterday attempting to find a new baby afghan pattern … I know that sounds strange but I must have ‘tried out’ a good 5-6 different patterns yesterday and got REALLY frustrated. Some I didn’t like the looks when worked up, one was OK until I hit Row 4 – then it all hit the wall. I knit differently than most people (have explained this in previous posts); that being said, there are certain combinations of knitting stitches that just don’t work in certain patterns due to the way I knit. (for example – for all you knitters out there:) If I have to do a ‘wrap yarn twice around needle PURLWISE and then PURL, I can’t do it – just won’t work. Yes, I suppose I ‘could’ go on YouTube and teach myself how to knit/purl the ENGLISH way and then apply that to that particular spot (just using English for the Wrap 2 purlwise then Purl) but that would be SO MUCH TROUBLE! Anyway, pulled up my Big Girl Panties and made one more stab at finding a good pattern; pulled out my VERY old Mon Tricot Knitting & Crochet stitches guide and found a 4-row simple pattern – YAY! (Have about 2 inches done now so think it’s a ‘keeper’). This one is going to be a blue/green/white variegated yarn with white yarn ‘puffy’ portions about every 6 inches (I’m sort of making it up as I go – don’t have a lot of the variegated so trying to use the white to stretch length of afghan a bit – it should work.
Blueberry Cream Cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 1/2 C. butter
3 C. sugar
3 C. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 C. frozen blueberries
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream together cream cheese, butter
& sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating
well after each egg. Add flour, one cup at
a time, beating well after each cup. Add
vanilla & lemon extracts; beat well, fold
in blueberries. Spray and flour a Bundt
pan & pour in batter. Bake 30 minutes,
turn oven temp. down to 325 degrees F.
& bake another 55 minutes. Test cake
& bake longer if needed.
Baked Zucchini Sticks & Sweet
1 T. butter
1 medium sweet onion (about 1/2 lb),
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. honey
1 T. prepared mustard
1 C. mayonnaise
salt/pepper, to taste
3 medium zucchini, unpeeled,
cut into 3″ long sticks
1 T. salt
1 C. coarse, dry bread crumbs,
scant 1/2 C. freshly grated
1 T. Italian seasonings
2 large eggs (or 3 egg whites),
Melt butter in medium pan over
medium heat; add sliced onions &
cook, stirring occasionally, until they
soften then caramelize (10-15 minutes).
The lower the heat, the less likely you
are to burn the onions. Remove from
heat & add vinegar then place in
food processor. Add honey & mustard;
process (or blend) until smooth. Add
mayonnaise, salt/pepper, stirring to
combine. Refrigerate, covered, until
ready to serve.
Place sticks in a colander over a bowl &
sprinkle with 1 T. salt – let stand & drain
1 hour or longer then rinse & pat dry.
Combine panko, Parm. cheese & Ital.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment then
spray with nonstick spray. Dredge sticks,
a few at a time, in egg then roll in crumb
mixture & place on prepared sheet. Bake
12 minutes, turn over & bake an additional
8 minutes until golden brown & crisp. Serve
immediately with dip.
Makes about 3 dozen sticks & 1 1/2 C. dip
(and Crockpot version)
2 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. flour
3 C. beef broth
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes,
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 large beef-flavored bouillon cubes
(or 1 heaping T. granules)
6 C. (about 3 large) russet potatoes,
peeled/cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 C. extra sharp Cheddar cheese*,
2 C. half & Half
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
green onions or chives, thinly sliced
extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Brown meat in Dutch oven over medium
heat; cook until meat is no longer pink;
remove meat to paper towel-lined plate
and reserve 2 T. grease from pan. Add
onion & garlic, saute on medium heat until
soft, 5-6 minutes. Add meat back to Dutch
oven & sprinkle meat with flour; stir to
evenly distribute. Add beef broth, tomatoes
& juices, Worc. sauce, pepper, bouillon &
potatoes – bring to boil then lower heat,
simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are
tender when pierced with a fork, about
20-25 minutes. Reduce heat to Low & add
Half & Half & 2 C. cheese; cook, stirring
often, until cheese melts.
*If you don’t want sharp cheese, you
can use 8 oz. Velveeta cut into small cubes
Cook meat, onion, garlic on stove then add
to crockpot. Add broth, tomatoes w/juices,
Worc. sauce, pepper, bouillon & potatoes.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours (or High
4-6 hours) until potatoes are tender when
pierced with a fork. Add Half & Half and
2 C. cheese; cover & cook on High 30
minutes until heated through.
Chicken Salad & Grapes
3/4 C. mayonnaise
pinch dried ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
3 C. cooked chicken (or 3 cans)
1 1/2 C. red seedless grapes, halved
1 C. chopped celery
1/3 C. sliced green onion
Combine mayo, ginger & salt; stir in
chicken, grapes, celery & green onion.
Makes 5 1/2 C.
Serve on a lettuce leaf or on sandwich
Fresh Tomatoes & Basil Salad
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
2 T. fresh basil, chopped (OR)
2 tsp. dried basil, crumbled
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. Parmesan cheese
Arrange sliced tomatoes on large
plate or platter – sprinkle with
basil. In small bowl whisk dressing
ingredients & pour over tomatoes.
Sprinkle top with both cheeses, cover
& refrigerate until ready to serve.
Grilled Zucchini Roll with Goat
Cheese & Kalamata Olives
1 very large (or 3 small) zucchini
fresh ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz. pkg. herbed goat cheese
1 1/2 oz. (about 7-8) kalamata olives,
Preheat grill to high heat
Slice a strip, lengthwise, from zucchini
to expose inside of vegetable -discard
slice. Cut 2 ends from zucchini to make
straight edges. Cut zucchini lengthwise
into 1/2 inch strips*. Brush both sides
of strips liberally with olive oil. Season
well with salt/pepper & lay pieces
on the grill at 45 degree angle (for more
attractive grill marks). Cook until zucchini
is very tender, but not mushy, about
3 minutes per side, moving pieces during
cooking to ensure even browning. Remove
strips from grill & set a wire cooling rack
on top of a bowl to give rack extra clearance
from counter. Drape zucchini pieces on rack
to cool. Place goat cheese in medium bowl;
stir olives into cheese. Spread a layer of
mixture onto one side of each zucchini
piece & gently roll up – secure with tooth-
picks, if desired. Serve. Makes 8-10 rolls.
*If using a large zucchini, cut each of these
strips in half, crosswise – it’s not necessary
if using small zucchini
Best Strawberry Cake Ever
1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (3 oz) box strawberry Jell-o
1 (15 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries in
4 large eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/4 C. water
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries in
7 C. powdered sugar
fresh sliced strawberries, garnish
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease two 9 inch round cake
pans. In large bowl combine cake
mix & Jell-0; add pureed strawberries,
eggs, oil & water. Beat a medium speed
using elec. mixer until smooth – pour
into prepared pans. Bake 20 minutes
until a wooden toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Let cool
in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans
& cool completely on wire racks.
In large bowl beat butter & cream cheese
on medium speed using elec. mixer
until creamy. Beat in 1/4 C. strawberry
puree (you will have puree leftover; can
use in smoothies or on ice cream).
Gradually beat in powdered sugar until
smooth. Spread frosting between layers &
on top & sides of cake. Garnish top with
sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.
(recipe: Mary’s Recipe Exchange)
I don’t remember if I mentioned that gas prices
around here are down to $2.21/9 – pretty good,
Our weather is still in the 80’s every day – no
rain in sight. National Weather Service is saying
that we have a 40% chance of thunderstorms
tomorrow with a high of 80 degrees F. REALLY
hoping the storms hold off for the day (they
can storm all they want AFTER 5 p.m., when
the Ice Cream Social is over!)
Well, friends that’s all that’s going on around
here lately. Hope you have a lovely day!