Middle of the week musings –

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Nothing really special to share – last night was the Knit/Crochet group’s Yarn Swap – I’m happy to report I only had a very small bit of yarn to bring home! (I, personally, kept one small ball of baby yarn which will be enough to knit one newborn and one premie baby hat). Since I also heard several ladies bemoaning the fact that they forgot it was the Yarn Swap, I wrote to the group informing them we can do it again NEXT meeting (thereby, hopefully – I’ll be able to give away the last box & bag of gifted-to-me yarns!) I was totally amazed at the amount of knitting needles donated – and they all went home with new owners! YAY!

=============

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint
Cookies

1/2 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. sugar
1 egg, separated
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1/3 C. baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. finely chopped pecans

Filling:

12 – 14 caramels (unwrapped)
3 T. heavy whipping cream
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. shortening

In large bowl cream butter & sugar
until light & fluffy. Beat in egg yolk,
milk & vanilla. In another bowl whisk
flour, cocoa & salt; gradually beat into
creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered,
1 hour until easy to handle.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chopped nuts in a shallow pan
or bowl. Spray baking sheets with
nonstick spray. Beat egg white in a
shallow bowl. Shape dough into
1 inch balls then dip balls in egg
white, then into chopped nuts,
patting to help nuts adhere to ball –
place balls on prepared sheets
2 inches apart. Press a deep indentation
in center of each ball with end of
a wooden spoon handle. Bake
10-12 minutes until set. Remove
from pans to wire racks to cool

In large heavy saucepan melt
caramels with cream over Low heat,
stirring until smooth. Fill each
cookie with about 1/2 tsp. caramel
mixture. Using a microwave, melt
chocolate chips & shortening & stir
until smooth. Drizzle mixture over
top of cookies; let stand until set.
Store in airtight container.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————-

Crockpot Mexican Party Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. Mexican-style shredded Four
cheese (Kraft), divided
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (16 oz) jar thick & chunky salsa
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream & 3/4
C. shredded cheese until blended;
spread onto bottom of crockpot.
Top with black beans & salsa.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours.
Top with onions, cilantro & remaining
cheese.
Serves: 40 servings, 2 T. each

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
—————————————-

Bacon & Tomato Balsamic Pasta

1/4 C. butter, cubed
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. grape tomatoes, halved
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1/4 C. olive oil, divided
1 (16 oz) pkg. uncooked angel hair
pasta
9 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
2/3 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 T. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In large skillet over medium-high heat,
melt butter; add onions, pepper flakes
& salt. Saute until onions are tender,
stir in garlic – reduce heat to medium-
low & cook, stirring occasionally,
30-40 minutes until onions are deep
golden brown. Add tomatoes, vinegar
& 2 T. oil to skillet. Drain pasta & toss
with onion mixture. Drizzle with
remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with bacon,
cheese, basil & pepper – heat through.
Serves 6

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
——————————————

Crockpot Turkey Chili

2 lb. ground turkey
1 diced onion
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 can black beans in
chili sauce
3 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder

Hot sauce – to taste

Brown turkey, peppers, onion &
garlic in a pan; drain any grease &
add to crockpot along with rest of
ingredients. Cover & cook on High
4 hours (or Low 6+ hours).

(recipe: tobinstastes.com)
————————————–

Oven-roasted Chicken & Veggies

2 large chicken breasts (boneless,skinless)
cut into large cubes
1 red bell pepper, seeded/chopped into
large pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeded/chopped into
large pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded/chopped into
large pieces
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, chopped into large
pieces
1 C. broccoli florets
1/2 C. grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Spray large baking sheet with nonstick
spray. Place chicken & veggies on
prepared sheet; sprinkle with olive oil,
salt/pepper & Italian seasoning – toss
to combine. Bake 15-20 minutes until
veggies are charred & chicken is cooked
through. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.com)
—————————————–

Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 3/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips (poster
used semi-sweet)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix pudding mix & milk together;
stir in chocolate cake mix (dry) –
batter will be very thick. Spread
mixture on bottom of 9 X 13″
baking dish & sprinkle choc. chips
on top. Bake 25 minutes until
edges start pulling away from pan.

(recipe: makinitmobetta.com)
—————————————-

Crab Mac & Cheese

1 lb. elbow macaroni
1/4 C. butter
1 shallot, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. flour
2 C. milk
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 C. shredded white Cheddar
cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb. lump crab meat
(chopped fresh parsley-garnish)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large pot boiling water cook
pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
for al dente; drain & return to pot.
In large skillet over medium heat
melt butter; add shallots & garlic;
cook 3 minutes. Add flour; whisk
until combined 1 minute. Add
milk & season with salt/pepper.
Simmer 2 minutes until thickened
& smooth. Stir in half of white
Cheddar and all mozzarella until
melted; remove from heat. Add sauce
& crab meat to pot with cooked
pasta – stir until completely
combined. Sprinkle with remaining
1/2 C. Cheddar. Bake 20 minutes
until bubbly. Top with chopped
parsley, if desired. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
————————————-

Cheesy Ham Chowder

10 strips bacon, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 C. diced carrots
3 T. flour
3 C. milk
1 1/2 C. water
2 1/2 C. cubed potatoes
1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel
corn, drained
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
pepper/to taste
3 C. (12 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese
2 C. cubed, cooked ham

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon
over medium heat until crisp;
remove to paper towels to drain.
Saute onion & carrots in drippings
until tender; stir in flour until
blended. Gradually add milk &
water – bring to boil & cook,
stirring 2 minutes until thickened.
Add potatoes, corn, bouillon & pepper;
reduce heat & simmer, uncovered,
20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Add cheese & ham; heat until cheese
melts then stir in bacon. Serves 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————

Gorilla Bread

1/2 C. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 C. butter
2 (12 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated
biscuits
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, cut
into 20 cubes
1 1/2 C. walnuts, coarsely chopped/
divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix sugar & cinnamon. Melt brown
sugar & butter in a saucepan over Low
heat, stirring well. Flatten biscuits & sprinkle
each with 1/2 tsp. sugar mixture. Place a
cheese cube in center of each biscuit,
wrapping & sealing dough around cheese.
Spray a 12-Cup Bundt pan with nonstick
spray. Sprinkle 1/2 C. nuts in bottom of pan.
Arrange half of biscuits in pan & sprinkle
with half of sugar mixture. Pour half butter
mixture over top & sprinkle with 1/2 C. nuts –
repeat layers. Bake 30 minutes. Let cool
5 minutes; place a dinner plate on top of
Bundt pan & invert cake onto plate.
Serves 20

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

=====================

Our weather has FINALLY settled down – it’s supposed
to be in the 40’s all week (which is VERY unusual for
Michigan at this time of year). Most of the snow has
melted, no more thin layers of ice on the ground
(that was 2 days ago – very scary). It’s nice to have
these small pockets of PLAIN weather (no snow/ice/
rain/sleet) where you can actually plan to go some-
where and not have to worry about either walking
or driving conditions.

While out yesterday I noticed that our gas prices
have dropped another 10 cents a gallon – YAY!
We’re now at $2.29/9 a gallon for regular (and,
wouldn’t you know – I had just filled up a few
days ago at $2.39/9 . . . sigh).

Hope your day & week are going as you’d
expected (right now I really don’t have any
‘expectations’ – whatever comes my way is
the way it ‘is’ for now!). We’re all healthy &
relatively happy – so that’s a GOOD thing!

Enjoy your day/evening!

Hugs;

Pammie

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