This is one of those BUSY weeks – I’m supposed to be working on the next issue of my special needs group’s newsletter but have been sorely procrastinating – ooops. A close senior lady friend of mine from church called me yesterday saying her dog just fell down 2 flights of stairs & couldn’t walk (very old, age 12) dog. Later someone took her (with dog) to vets (I would have, but can’t lift heavy things/pets) – she let me know later that the vet put the dog down – very sad. Been keeping that friend company. The leader of our special needs group returned to Michigan yesterday – she had been with her dying mother in Tennessee for the past 2 weeks – I’m awaiting information on that funeral (not sure how long it takes to bring a body here – don’t know if it’s being driven or flown). Tonight is my Knit/Crochet group (still working on baby blanket for friend’s daughter who is due beginning of January – have about 1 1/2 feet more to knit on that, then a hat & booties to finish that & mail). Another friend from church gave my husband a garbage bag for me with yarn and a few partially finished projects – Yay…one of the items was a partially knit EYELASH yarn scarf – pretty but a BUGGER to knit (am slowly working on that – will probably finish & donate). In the bag was a really cute (I’m guessing about size of a 3-4 yr old boy) sweater. She had knit the front & back and one sleeve. Included was more yarn but no directions. I KNOW that none of my knit group ladies would even TOUCH that kind of thing so I set about seeing what I could do about it. I picked at the sleeve and disconnected it from the body (I don’t knit sweaters OR sleeves) – my thoughts were: “This would make a really cute VEST!” She had knit a train & cars that wrap all around the body – VERY colorful & cute. After a few hours of fiddling with it, I sewed the parts together & crocheted around the sleeve holes – VOILA! A really cute boys vest! Am thinking of giving it to our (new/unborn) grandbaby – his Mom can put it away for later. My friend who gave us this bag said: “You can rip it all out & re-use the yarn it you want.” ARE YOU KIDDING? NO WAY! So glad to salvage her work into something usable!
Now you can see why I couldn’t just unravel all that cuteness!!!
Pumpkin Bars w/browned butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. canned pumpkin
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. canola oil
2 tsp. grated orange peel
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 C. butter, cubed
4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4-6 T. milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease a 15 X 10 X 1″ baking pan.
In large bowl beat first 6
ingredients until well blended. In
another bowl whisk flour, baking
powder, pie spice, baking soda &
salt – gradually beat into pumpkin
mixture then transfer to prepared pan.
Bake 18-22 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
In small heavy saucepan melt butter
over medium heat – heat 5-7 minutes
or until golden brown, stirring
constantly. Transfer to a large bowl.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar, vanilla
& enough milk to reach desired
consistency – spread over bars. Let
stand until set. Makes 2 dozen.
2 (11 oz, ea) refrigerated breadsticks
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning,
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar
5 oz. Canadian bacon, chopped
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll breadsticks into a greased
15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pan. Press
onto bottom & up sides of pan,
pinch seams to seal. Bake 6-8
minutes until set.
In large skillet saute mushrooms,
peppers, onion & 1 tsp. Ital.
seasoning in 2 tsp. oil until crisp-
tender; drain. Brush crust with
remaining oil; sprinkle with 3/4 C.
Cheddar cheese & top with vegetable
mixture & Canadian bacon. Combine
mozzarella cheese & remaining Cheddar;
sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with
remaining Italian seasoning. Bake
20-25 minutes until cheese melts &
crust is golden brown. Serve with
warmed marinara sauce.
Bake crust as directed; add toppings &
cool. Securely wrap & freeze unbaked
pizza. To use: unwrap pizza; bake
as directed, increasing time as
sheet of plastic wrap (to
wrap ball in)
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 T. salsa
1 tsp. cumin
2 C. nacho-flavored chips (like
Doritos) finely crushed
1 bell pepper STEM (for garnish)
Dippers: chips, fresh cut vegetables,
corn chips, pretzels
In large bowl combine cream cheese,
Cheddar cheese, onion, salsa & cumin
using electric mixer until smooth &
creamy. Scoop mixture onto plastic
wrap & form into a ball. Refrigerate
at least 2 hours. When ready to serve,
remove ball from plastic wrap & roll
ball in crushed chips until evenly
coated. Place ball on a plate or platter
& place green pepper stem on top of
ball to resemble a pumpkin. Serve
Emily’s Bean Soup
1/2 C. EACH:
dried great Northern beans
split green or yellow peas
1 meaty ham bone
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 (28 oz) can tomatoes with
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
4 medium carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. minced chives
3 bay leaves
2 T. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Wash all dried beans thoroughly;
drain & place in large saucepan.
Add 5 C. water; bring to rapid boil
& boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat;
cover & let stand 1 hour.
Place ham bone & 3 qts. water in a
stockpot; simmer 1 hour. Drain beans
& add to ham bone in pot along with
all other remaining ingredients. Simmer
2-3 hours until beans are tender. Cut
meat from bone (discard bone). Add
additional water to soup, if desired.
Makes about 5 1/2 quarts
Chicken, Corn & Zucchini Casserole
8 oz. penne pasta, cooked/drained
1 T. butter
2/3 C. flour
3 C. chicken broth
1 C. milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
9 oz. (about 1 1/2 C.) cooked, diced
1 zucchini, diced into very small pieces
1 1/2 C. frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Melt butter in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add flour & stir to
cook 1 minute; whisk in broth, milk,
salt, thyme & bring to simmer, stirring
constantly. Allow to cook until it thickens,
whisking regularly so sauce is smooth,
about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat,
stir in cooked pasta, 1/2 C. mozz. cheese,
chicken, zucchini & corn. Transfer mixture
to prepared dish & top with remaining
cheeses. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly
& heated through, about 20-25 minutes.
1 1/2 lb. head broccoli, cut into
1-inch florets (about 6 overflowing
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with
foil. In large bowl combine florets &
garlic then drizzle with oil – toss to
coat. Sprinkle with salt/pepper & red
pepper flakes (if using) – toss to combine.
Spread florets evenly onto prepared pan.
Bake 10 minutes, stir then bake an
additional 5-10 minutes until edges are
browned & broccoli is crispy.
Makes 6 servings.
Caramel Chocolate Poke Cake
1 3/4 C. flour
1 3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 C. brewed coffee, cooled
1 T. lemon juice
1 C. milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 C. caramel ice cream topping
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
(or 2-3 C. whipped cream)
chopped or shaved chocolate,
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray & flour a 9 X 13″ baking pan.
Combine milk & lemon juice – stir &
set aside (mixture will thicken slightly)
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda,
baking powder in large bowl. Add eggs,
coffee, soured milk (from above), oil &
vanilla – beat at medium speed 2 minutes;
pour into pan. Bake 30-40 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center comes out
clean. Check cake at 30 minutes so it doesn’t
over cook. Remove from oven & cool 15
minutes. Poke holes all over top of cake
using the handle end of a wooden spoon.
Pour sweetened condensed milk all over
top & 3/4 of caramel sauce, allowing them
to seep into the holes. Cover & refrigerate
cake overnight or a minimum of 4 hours –
longer is better. Spread Cool Whip all over
top, drizzle remaining caramel sauce,
chocolate sauce & sprinkle top with shaved
The rest of this week is shaping up to be more of the
same: BUSY! Oh! After visiting with my church lady I
stopped at the Salvation Army store near her/church –
ended up buying a ladies watch (I wanted one with
a dark face so I could see the hands easier). The one
I picked out has a black band and black face – turns
out the counter lady says: “Oh! This is GUCCI!” (me –
gulp…what’s the price?) She looks at it and says $14
but wait – that tag is purple and we haven’t had
purple tags in a LONG time; let me get a manager &
see if we can get the price dropped some! (WOW!)
Ended up paying $10 for a ladies Gucci with a all
leather strap – almost brand new – no scratches, etc.
I told her I’m used to wearing Timex – kind of like going
from KMart To Sacks Fifth Avenue tastes! I like it – it has
a very small band (the lady said something about it
being for someone with a very small wrist . . . MY
wrist fits it perfectly – in fact, when I put it on, the
notches on the band were in the same place as when
the original owner wore it – funny. YAY, thrift stores!
Also found 3 nice mens ties for middle son to wear
in his Hilton Hotel front desk clerk job – each tie was
$2.99 – WOW! Have you looked at mens tie prices
lately? They start around $15/25 and go up. The
checkout lady said: “Oh, this tag is tan – that’s 50%
off today” (two ties were $2.99 each and one was
$4.99 – it was the $4.99 tie that was half off! SCORE!)
Our weather is into the colder part of Fall – lots of
beautiful fall colors from the leaves; the sky is a
gorgeous blue with big fluffy white clouds – lovely
to look at. Temps high 40’s/50’s
Hope you are enjoying the weather where you are;
God made some beautiful creations – I love to thank
Him for letting me get to experience them every day.