Gloomy, Rainy Day – sigh


Well, Fall weather has descended upon us – woke up at 6:30 a.m. to pouring rain – it’s now 2 p.m. and gloomy, gray and chilly: 61 degrees F. I’m still in my jammies (yep, with a sweatshirt hoodie, just to keep warm). Total of things done today: some knitting, some reading, boiled some eggs, cooked breakfast & put together a salad (on the fly) for son going to work – that’s it. Last night was the Fund Raiser for special needs group followed by our meeting – by the time I got home I was ‘on my knees’ exhausted. Didn’t get the amount of people we thought we would for the fund raiser – we estimated 100 – 150 people; had TONS of hot dogs left and total monies raised: $88.50, total spent: over $100. Oh well – at least we can take back about 7 pkgs. buns and one pkg. uncooked hot dogs – that’s ‘some’ monies recovered, right? We’re planning on freezing the cooked dogs & using them for the Fall Harvest Party end of Oct., then we’ll buy new buns. Hey – ya win some/ya lose some, right?


Pumpkin Spice Cookies w/Cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 C. butter (sweet/salted)
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. canned pumpkin
2 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans


1/2 C. butter (sweet/salted)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 tsp. vanilla
4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cream butter & sugar until light &
fluffy. Add eggs & pumpkin – mix well.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt & spices
together & fold into cookie batter. Mix
until well blended (add nuts now, if using).
Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet & bake
15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, butter & vanilla
using an elec. mixer until blended. Add
powdred sugar, 1 cup at a time, until all
is incorporated then add cinnamon. Frost
baked cookies with frosting using a knife.
You can sprinkle a little ground nutmeg on
top, if desired.  Makes 3 dozen cookies


Crockpot Pork Chops w/Caramelized
Apples & Onions

4 pork chops
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled &
2 yellow onions, sliced into rings
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Layer onions on bottom, then
apples. Sprinkle brown sugar on top.
Season chops with salt/pepper
generously on both sides & place
on top of apples. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Serves 4


Zucchini Ricotta/Basil Pasta

1 lb. ziti or other dry pasta
3 T. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 lb. zucchini, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 oz. basil (about 2 C. loose
8 oz. ricotta (1 C.)
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
zest of 1 lemon
2 oz. grated Parmesan, Pecorino or
a mixture of both (about 1 C. plus
more for serving)

Place large pot of water to boil. In
large skillet over medium-high, cook
onions in 3 T. olive oil until softened,
5-8 minutes Reduce heat, add zucchini,
season generously with salt/pepper &
continue cooking, stirring occasionally
until rather soft about 10 minutes.
Turn off heat. Using a mortar & pestle
(OR a food processor), grind garlic,
basil & a little salt into a rough paste;
stir in 3 T. olive oil. Salt pasta water
well & cook pasta, stirring. Boil
accordg. to pkg. directions keeping
pasta al dente. Drain, reserving 1 C.
cooking water. Add cooked pasta to
zucchini in skillet & turn heat to
medium-high. Add 1/2 C. reserved
cooking water, then ricotta, crushed
red pepper & lemon zest, stir to
distribute. Check seasoning & adjust;
cook 1 minute. Mixture should look
creamy. Add a little more pasta water
if necessary. Add basil paste & half
grated cheese – quickly stir to
incorporate. Spoon pasta into warm
soup plates & sprinkle with additional
cheese. Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6


Family Recipe Goulash

1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 lb. beef round steak,
cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large onions, quartered
2 potatoes, peeled/quartered
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 C. water
1/ 3/4 C. beef broth
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tomatoes, chopped

Cooked medium egg noodles
for 4

In large pot melt butter over high
heat. Add steak & onion; cook 6-8
minutes until meat is browned,
stirring frequently. Add remaining
ingredients (except tomatoes).
Cover & reduce heat to Low – simmer
45 minutes. Add tomatoes & simmer,
uncovered, 25-30 minutes longer until
beef is tender & sauce is thickened.
Serve over cooked egg noodles
Serves 4


Grandma’s Potato Pancakes

4 baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.)
3/4 C. finely chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. vegetable oil

Coarsely grate the potatoes & put
them & onion in a strainer – press
down with back of a large spoon to
extract excess moisture. (If they’re
still watery, wrap them in a clean
dish towel & squeeze to extract
moisture.) In large bowl combine
potatoes, onion & egg; mix well.
Gradually add flour, baking powder,
salt/pepper & mix well. In large
skillet over medium heat heat 1/4
inch oil. Using about 1/3 C. batter
per pancake, add batter to hot oil,
being careful not to crowd pan.
Fry 3-4 minutes until golden; flip
& fry an additional 3-4 minutes
until cooked through. Add more
oil as needed until all batter is
used. Remove pancakes to a
paper towel-lined plate – serve
hot. Makes 7-8 pancakes.

NOTE: serve with applesauce,
sour cream, minced dill or any of
your favorite toppings


Crockpot Beef & Enchilada Rice Dip
(4 qt or larger crockpot)

1 lb. ground beef
1 C. diced white onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 C. sour cream
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained/
2 1/2 C. cooked white rice
1 (8 oz) can sliced black olives, drained
1-2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Tortilla chips, for dipping

Brown gr. beef & onion in skillet; drain &
add to crockpot; sprinkle with salt/pepper.
Add half of cheese, sour cream, pinto beans
& rice to meat – stir then flatten out; sprinkle
with remaining cheese. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours WITHOUT OPENING LID  during
cooking time. Remove lid, sprinkle with olives
& tomatoes & serve with chips. Serves 6


Marbled Orange Fudge

1 1/2 tsp. plus 3/4 C. butter,
3 C. sugar
3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (10-12 oz) pkg. white baking chips
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
3 tsp. orange extract
12 drops yellow food coloring
5 drops red food coloring

Grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
1 1/2 tsp. butter. In large heavy
saucepan, combine sugar, cream &
remaining butter. Cook & stir over Low
heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to
a boil; cook & stir 4 minutes – remove
from heat. Stir in chips & marshmallow
creme until smooth. Remove 1 C. and
set aside. Add orange extract & food
coloring to remaining mixture; stir until
blended then pour into prepared pan.
Drop reserved marshmallow mixture
by tablespoonfuls over top. Cut through
top with a knife to swirl. Cover &
refrigerate until set then cut into
squares. Makes about 2 1/2 lb.



I’ve noticed that our gas prices have
shot up again to $2.29/9 (from $2.11/9) –
just when I needed gas – figures . . .

Not much else new here – going to the
new movie “Mrs. Perrigrin’s Home for
Peculiar Children”
tomorrow with  middle
son. He thought it was odd that I would
want to go see it – I told him: “Hey! YOU
introduced me to Tim Burton movies –
why WOULDN’T I want to see it?”

Have a good rest of the week;




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. so yummy, going under faves!

  2. So how was the movie? I haven’t gotten in the books yet but I did get four boxes sorted through last night. I now have one plastic box, some shredding to do, and a small trash can to empty. Next comes the clothes to go through.

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