Finally – a day to decompress (a little)


Last week was super-crazy busy, so far this one is not so bad (YAY!) Got my early-morning running done (Post office – mailed the baby blanket to friend’s daughter who’s shower I’m NOT going to), Drugstore & Grocery store). For some goofy reason my brain is on HYPER mode – I see & think of a good 10 things at once that ALL need doing – IMMEDIATELY! Drives me nuts! Got the clean laundry folded, organized dates/lists for Spec. Needs group, texts to various people, etc. Still have to print the newsletter before Wednesday – awaiting approval of some dates/times. SOOOooo glad I’m down to JUST ONE baby blanket to work on (the light blue one for my next grandson). Saturday I went with the other grandma to two Mom2Mom sales – one was rather small but the other one was HUGE! She was super happy – found a wooden high-backed high chair for $20!!! She/we have been searching for one for awhile now (they run $700 new!!!). She bought some other big thing (too tired to remember just what) – I bought (total both sales/places): 1 small kids book, one small baby’s puzzle – that’s it. I think I’m pretty much BABY STUFF done! Yes, I’m sure there are still lots more cute CUTE things out there, but I’m super-over seeing tons of baby clothes/toys & babies/Moms/strollers with babies/Moms/Dads – if you get my drift. It’s kind of like going to too many garage sales – you just get burned out on it. (I’m sure if I asked the other grandma she would NOT agree – she LOVES buying/shopping – in fact her daughter gave her strict orders: NO MORE CLOTHES – we don’t have the ROOM! I might even just go to Amazon (my favorite store/place) and get a new baby walker ($26) and go to KMart for the fold-up high chair I wanted ($39) and call it DONE!  Our ‘new soon to be’ Mommy told me she just felt the baby kick for the first time; as she put it, I know exactly when he wakes up – he lets me know! Cool . . . I’ve heard (from her) that it might be a little earlier than the first of March – we’ll see.


Pumpkin Bread

5 large eggs
1 1/4 C. canola oil
1 (15 oz) can solid-pack
2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 (3 oz, ea) pkgs. cook & serve
vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray five (5 3/4 X 3 X 2″) loaf
pans with nonstick spray.
In large bowl beat eggs; add oil
& pumpkin, beat until smooth.
Combine remaining ingredients;
gradually beat into pumpkin
mixture. Pour batter into
prepared loaf pans. Bake 50-55
minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool
10 minutes before removing from
pans to wire racks to cool completely.

NOTE: Freezer Option:
Securely wrap & freeze cooled loaves
in plastic wrap & foil. To use, thaw
at room temperature.

NOTE: Bread may also be baked in 2
greased 8 X 4 X 2″ loaf pans for
75-80 minutes.


Creamy Pumpkin Soup

3 T. margarine, softened
1 T. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 slices whole wheat bread
1 C. chopped onion
2 T. butter, melted
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 C. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine butter, brown sugar &
cinnamon; spread evenly on one
side of each bread slice. Place,
buttered sides up, on baking sheet
& bake 8-10 minutes until bread is
crispy & topping is bubbly. Cut each
slice into 8 small triangles or squares.
Saute onion in butter in medium
saucepan until tender. Add 1 can
chicken broth; stir well. Bring to boil,
cover, reduce heat & simmer 15 minutes.
Transfer broth mixture to blender or
food processor & process until smooth.
Return mixture to saucepan; add
remaining can broth, pumpkin, salt,
cinnamon, ginger & pepper – stir well.
Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat &
simmer 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Stir in whipping cream &
heat through – do not boil. Ladle into
bowls & top each serving with the
cinnamon croutons. Serves 6


Pizza-stuffed Chicken Roll-ups

2 (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken
1/4 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
12 slices turkey pepperoni
12 slices white button mushrooms
1/4 C. seasoned bread crumbs (or
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/3 C. marinara sauce
8 thin slices red onion
2 T. finely chopped green bell pepper

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with
foil or parchment paper & spray
with nonstick spray. Halve each
breast horizontally to create 2
cutlets; cover with a piece of
waxed paper & lightly pound to
1/4 inch thickness – season with
salt/pepper. Lay cutlets on a work
surface & top each piece, IN CENTER,
with 1 T. mozz. cheese, 3 slices
pepperoni, 3 slices mushroom. Loosely
roll up each & set, seam sides down,
on work surface. In small bowl combine
bread crumbs & Parm. cheese. In second
small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice
& pepper, to taste. Dip each roll-up in oil
mixture, then in crumb mixture. Place,
seam sides down on prepared baking sheet;
repeat with rest of chicken. Lightly spray
roll-ups with nonstick spray & bake until
chicken is nearly cone, about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, top each roll-up with
marinara sauce, mozz. cheese, onion &
bell pepper. Bake until cheese is melted &
sauce is hot, about 4-5 minutes more.
Serve immediately. Serves 4


Crockpot Squash Soup

3 lb. butternut squash, peeled/
cut into 1″ chunks
1 apple, peeled/cored/diced
1 C. chopped sweet onion
2 C. chicken broth
1 C. milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In 4 qt or larger crockpot combine
squash, apple, onion & broth. Cover
& cook on High 3 hours until squash
is soft. Place mixture in a blender &
puree until smooth. Pour mixture
back into crockpot & add remaining
ingredients; mix well & cook 15
minutes until heated through.
Makes 8 cups (serving size 1 C)


Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Dry Ingredients;
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Wet ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 C. sugar
1/2 of a (15 oz) can – about
1 C. pumpkin puree
1/2 C. plus 2 T. vegetable oil

Oat Crumbles:
1/4 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
5 T. flour
1/4 C. quick or old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all CRUMB ingredients (you
may need to use slightly less flour
to get proper crumb consistency)
Mix dry ingredients; beat wet
ingredients until well blended.
Add dry ingredients & mix until
just moistened – do not overmix.
Line or grease muffin tins. Fill each
cup 3/4 ths full. Sprinkle top of
each muffin with crumb mixture.
Bake 20-25 minutes for regular-
sized muffins. Bake 35-40 for Texas
sized muffins (check for doneness
at minumum time).
Remove from oven & cool on racks.
Serves 6


Backwoods Chops with River Gravy

1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 (4 oz) boneless center-cut pork
1/2 C. flour, divided
1/4 C. buttermilk
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 T. vegetable oil
3/4 C. milk

In small bowl combine garlic & onion
powders, 1/2 tsp. salt & pepper – rub
mixture evenly on both sides of chops.
Reserve 1 T. flour. Place remaining
flour in shallow dish. In another shallow
dish combine buttermilk & cayenne
pepper. Dip chops in buttermilk, then
coat both sides in flour. In large skillet
over medium heat, heat oil. Add chops
& cook 5 minutes on each side, until
golden; drain on paper towels. Reduce
heat to medium-low; whisk reserved
flour into milk. Add remaining salt &
cook in skillet until thickened & bubbly,
stirring constantly. Serve immediately
with chops. Serves 4


Autumn Pumpkin Chili

1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small sweet yellow pepper,
1 T. canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
1 (15 oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
4 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

Optional Toppings:
shredded Cheddar cheese, sour
cream, sliced green onions

Saute onion & peppers (green &
yellow) in oil in large skillet until
tender. Add garlic, cook 1 minute.
Crumble turkey into skillet & cook
over medium heat until meat is no
longer pink. Drain any grease & transfer
to a 3 qt. crockpot. Stir in pumpkin,
tomatoes, chili powder, pepper/salt.
Cover & cook on Low 7-9 hours.
Serve with toppings of your choice.
Serves 4

(recipe: tasteof

Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 C. pumpkin puree
4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 T. milk (if needed)

In a bowl, using elec. mixer, place
butter & pumpkin puree – mix until
combined then add powdered sugar,
mixing on Low speed until all are
combined. Continue to beat on
medium speed until frosting is
creamy. Add vanilla & mix until
combined then add cinnamon &
nutmeg. Add milk, 1 T. at a time,
if needed, until frosting reaches
desired consistency.

This recipe should make enough
frosting to cover a 9 X 13″ pan
or two 8″ layer cakes. If making
cupcakes, should be able to
frost 24 cupcakes if using a knife
to apply (if using a pastry bag &
swirling frosting, should be able
to cover 15-18 cupcakes, depending
on size of swirl.)


Catch up:
The Special Needs group Harvest Party went
over very well –
we only had 25 people come and had TONS of food leftover,
but it was nice.

Gas prices:
Recently our gas prices have really dropped. I had a 20 cents
off per gallon coupon for Speedway so I went Saturday. Their
cheapest gas was $1.98/9 per gallon, so I filled up with $1.78.9
per gallon and was really happy!

It’s been kind of crazy – some days gray/cold/wet & windy but
Saturday it got up to 78 degrees F.! That was a BIG shock! I
hear it’s supposed to be 72 tomorrow, but then back down to
the mid 50’s – guess I can’t complain, right?

Hope you are having a good day and able to take a little break
when you can. Remember to take a little time for YOURSELF;
even if it’s only 5 minutes to close your eyes & breathe deeply.
Take care of yourself – you are IMPORTANT to other people!




The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: