Not by the weather – but by my upcoming calendar, things are speeding up A LOT! Earlier yesterday I ‘thought’ I had the next 2 weeks ‘grandson-sitting’ free…oh, I was WRONG! Oldest son is going out of town and all of a sudden guess who gets a lot more sitting time! Last week I thought his Mother & her family were going to take over for the time being…guess I was mistaken. Last night oldest son called to arrange the next 2 weeks and our ‘schedule’. I don’t mind picking him up at his bus stop after school – done that before. I should preface all this by saying his Mother lives about 25 minutes from me; his school is also in that area. New schedule (while Dad’s gone) includes getting him at his bus stop by his Mom’s, filling in a little time by maybe going out to eat, then driving him to his football practice (in same area), then bringing him either home to our house or to his house & me spending the night/getting him up the next day & driving him to school! UGH! There are a multitude of possible problems there – our house is VERY small with no extra beds so sleeping arrangements here would be pretty crazy. Spending the night at his Dad’s house might work – crazy, either way. I do NOT like driving to places I’m not familiar (ie: his school – never been there), don’t like driving ’round-a-bouts’ (there is one by his football practice) OR extended time trying to figure out how to keep him amused. Sorry if I sound like a disgruntled grandparent – it’s all overwhelming to me right now. Add to that son said: “You’re watching him Weds/Thurs. THIS week, right?” No – I didn’t know ANYTHING about that (either!) LOVE being in the dark when people make arrangements that include me – ugh! I know it will all work out, am actually thinking of enlisting husband to do the driving to his football/school thing – we’ll see.
Tonight is the final Pick Up date for all the baby stuff for Detroit Veteran’s Hospital Baby shower – excited to see what the ladies created and, at the same time, knowing that it’s going to be a VERY hectic evening! Am taking my camera and hoping to get some photos of all the ‘fun’. Right now I’m working on a new baby blanket for Crisis Pregnancy Centers – this one is a really buttery yellow, using a dishcloth pattern (I know, sounds weird, right?). It’s a really pretty lace pattern and I’m really happy the way it’s coming out. It’s 6 rows, every other row is just purling, so that takes off part of the stress of following every row. I have about a foot done now – made it a little wider than I originally wanted, but it will be very nice when done. Crisis Pregnancy Mobile van deliveries also got a little more complicated – they are no longer parking where they used to (which was about 10 minutes from me) – now they’re about 25 minutes away AND only on Wednesdays. Might not be a problem but they’re at the same church where my special needs group meets ON THE SAME DAY (in the evening) so that means I would be driving there TWICE in one day (round trip about 45 minutes, each time). Oh well – at least it’s only about every 3-4 months, so that’s not so bad – right?
No-Bake Cinnamon Tiramisu
1 (3 oz) pkg. ladyfingers, split
1/4 C. strongly brewed coffee +
1 T. sugar mixed in (hot)
1 cinnamon stick
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
1 C. cold milk
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon plus
more for dusting
Mix sugar into coffee while still
hot; drop in cinnamon stick & allow
to steep 1 hour. Remove stick & allow
coffee to cool completely. In large
bowl eat vanilla pudding mix & cold
milk; beat in mascarpone cheese until
smooth & creamy. Fold in Cool Whip &
ground cinnamon. Arrange half of
ladyfingers in bottom of a 9 X 9″ baking
dish. Brush ladyfingers with about half
of cooled coffee. Spread half of pudding/
cheese mixture over ladyfingers in dish.
Cover with remaining ladyfingers then
brush second layer with remaining coffee
mixture & top with remaining pudding/
cheese mixture. Cover & refrigerate at least
4 hours up to overnight. Top with a little
Cool Whip & a sprinkling of cinnamon
before serving. Serves 9
NOTE: You can serve dessert without
refrigerating. Cover & refrigerate any
leftovers up to 3 days.
Parmesan Harvest Veggie Bake
2 medium small zucchini
2 medium small yellow squash
1 T. olive oil
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut zucchini, squash & tomatoes into
thin slices. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray & lay veggies in
dish – in order, in rows. Drizzle oil over
veggies & sprinkle Parm. cheese, garlic
salt & pepper on top. Bake 30 minutes
until zucchini become flimsy & soft.
Cajun Chicken Pasta Salad
1/2 box penne pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
1 T. Cajun seasoning
3 T. butter
1 pint Half & Half
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 C. + 3 T. grated Parmesan
1 tsp. sliced flat-leaf parsley
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain. Pat chicken dry
using paper towel & dust both
sides with Cajun seasoning until
thoroughly coated. Melt 1 T. butter
in large skillet over medium heat; add
chicken & cook through completely,
about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove
from skillet. Add remaining butter to
skillet along with Half & Half, garlic
powder, salt/pepper & 1/3 C. Parmesan.
Stir to combine, remove from heat.
Toss pasta in sauce & divide onto 2
plates (there will be some leftover).
Slice chicken & place on top of pasta.
Sprinkle each with remaining Parm,
diced tomato & parsley. Serves 2
Southern Cornbread Salad
(6 hour or overnight recipe)
1 box Martha White Yellow Cornbread
3 C. romaine lettuce, chopped
1 (16 oz) can light red kidney beans,
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn,
drained (OR) 1 (11 oz) can Mexican
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 C. cucumber, chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped (+ extra
3 large tomatoes, chopped (OR) 1 1/2
C. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (1.0 oz) pkt. Ranch or buttermilk
salad dressing mix, prepared
Prepare & bake cornbread accordg. to pkg.
directions – cool on wire rack. When cooled,
cut into 1-inch cubes; spread out on large
baking sheet & let dry out at least 6 hours
before using. In bottom of large trifle dish or
glass bowl, place 3/4 of cubes. Layer remaining
ingredients in following order:
Add remaining cornbread cubes &
shredded cheese over top. Add ranch
dressing & spread evenly on top of cheese.
Garnish with chopped green onions. Cover
& refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Perfectly Roasted Whole Chicken
1 (3.4 lb) whole chicken
3 T. canola oil
2 T. chopped sage/thyme and
1 T. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
(for inside of chicken: onion, 1 whole
lemon & garlic cloves)
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine chopped herbs with salt/
pepper in small bowl. Remove neck
& organs from inside chicken – rinse
& pat dry. Drizzle chicken with oil
then rub herb mixture all over bird,
inside & out. Stuff bird with large
chunks of lemon, onion & lightly
smashed garlic cloves – make sure
to stuff entire insides then place
in shallow baking dish or roasting
pan, breast side up.
Place chicken in oven & lower heat
to 400 degrees F. Cook 1 hour to
1 hour 15 minutes. Insert a
thermometer into thickest, densest
part of chicken (between breast,
leg & thigh being careful not to
let thermometer touch a bone.) The
juices should run clear if chicken is
done. Remove from oven & allow to
rest 10-20 minutes before carving.
Antipasto Tortilla Appetizers
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
4 oz. sliced pepperoni
4 (Kraft Big Slice) Pepper Jack
1 C. tightly packed arugula
Mix mayo & garlic; spread onto
tortillas. Top with remaining
ingredients & roll up tightly.
Wrap each in plastic wrap &
refrigerate until ready to serve.
Before serving, cut each roll
into 6 slices. Makes 12 servings,
2 slices each.
(recipe: Kraft recipes)
Frozen Fruit Salad Pie
2 (8 in, ea) graham cracker pie crusts
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. lemon juice
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 (11 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
2 (8 oz, ea) cans crushed pineapple,
1 C. chopped pecans
chopped nuts, candy sprinkles, cut up
maraschino cherries, chocolate drizzle
In large bowl stir condensed milk, lemon
juice, Cool Whip, oranges, pineapple &
nuts; pour into pie shells & freeze. Thaw
15 minutes before serving. (can be frozen
up to 6 months).
Gas prices around here are still a little high,
($2.49/9) probably because of the upcoming
Weather-wise, it’s been nice – in the mid 70’s to
80’s, sunny & clear. THIS is the kind of weather
we wished was here all summer, but can’t complain-
it’s been a good (NOT SWELTERING) summer. AND,
if we complain we only need to remember what
WINTER in MICHIGAN is like (and I’ve heard this
winter is supposed to be really brutal – sure hope
Hope you’re enjoying your day – remember to
take a little time out for yourself, maybe do a
little something you like (a nap, cup of something
warm or icy, a few minutes ‘out’ to read a book,
work on a craft project, take a walk, etc. – you get
the idea.) We all need a little ‘down’ time just to
re-charge our energy – right?