Last night was my special needs group; one of our young men who is in a wheelchair & disabled had some recent medical procedures done so we wanted to send him a get well card. I went into my card ‘stash’ and got a generic get well card & brought it for the entire group to sign – not paying attention to the fact that this particular card was shiny INSIDE, making it extremely difficult to use an ink pen on! I had kids coming to me constantly: “This pen doesn’t work, have you got another one?” (it wasn’t the pen – it was the goofy card!). At the end of the evening one of our leaders threw out the idea that perhaps we should attempt to design our OWN get well card! If you know me, you know I LOVE a challenge so last night & today saw me searching various sites for a FREE design your own greeting card. It was suggested that we use a black & white front design that the kids might color (good idea) – I found this one which is also our group Bible verse:
The inside reads:
Hope you feel better soon;
we’re all praying for you.
Love and prayers from
all your friends in the
This has been an ‘interesting’ adventure – found a great site but I couldn’t reduce the size of the front picture to fit THEIR format (sigh), several more that were very confusing. So far, the site I chose seems reasonable: $42.30 for 50 cards (the cost needs approval by the other board members) – found a site that has the right sized envelopes (press & seal) $14.95 for 50 so now it’s wait & see what the board thinks.
Yesterday was a day that felt like I needed to make some changes – ever have one of those? It started when I realized I needed to get all the various baby gifts in ONE place to wrap for Saturday’s baby shower (they were in closets, drawers, etc.) Upon doing that I decided to get the house bills done & in order – finished that. Sitting down to do a light bit of knitting got me started thinking of another ‘project’ I came up with: knitting a bookmark for the big Bible at the front of our church; it rests on a oak ‘altar’ (for want of a better name-a big flat table) and is placed on an oak book holder – all rather ‘blah’ – no color. The sanctuary of our church was entirely remodeled last year and now is in various shades of browns & creams – not much ‘pop of color’ so to speak. That got me to thinking: What color would go with the browns & creams and yet not distract from the message? I just placed an order for some burgundy sport-weight yarn – am going to knit a bookmark with that. One of my friends asked: “Did you ask permission for doing that?” NOPE – am going to attempt it – if I think it looks good I’m just going to put it on the Bible and see what happens (aren’t I a rebel?!) I’m guessing, if they don’t like it, it will just vanish – I don’t care…we’ll just ‘wait & see’!
Kathy’s Chocolate Chip Cake
1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) box instant chocolate
4 large eggs
1 C. water
3/4 C. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chocolate chips
Ganache (chocolate frosting)
1 C. Half & Half or heavy cream
2 C. chocolate chips
1 T. melted butter
1 T. dark rum
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix all cake
ingredients except choc. chips.
Spray & flour a 10″ Bundt cake
with nonstick spray & flour
(tap out any loose flour);
pour batter into pan, spreading
evenly. Bake 45-50 minutes in
center of oven until a wooden
toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool 10
minutes then invert onto wire
rack & cool to room. temp.
Transfer cake to a serving plate.
Heat cream to hot & remove from
heat just as it begins to start to
boil; do not let it boil.
Add chocolate & let stand 5 minutes
then stir using a whisk to melt all
chocolate. Add butter & rum, whisk.
Cool slightly (5-10 minutes) then
drizzle over cake top covering as
much of surface as possible, letting
it drip down sides of cake.
Crockpot Broccoli Beef
2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced &
cut into 2″ strips
5 C. fresh broccoli cut into florets
1 1/2 C. beef broth
2/3 C. soy sauce
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. cold water
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. peanut oil
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes,
kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper,
(I would recommend serving this
over cooked rice)
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Add steak strips, beef broth, soy
sauce, brown sugar, garlic, peanut oil &
red pepper flakes (if using). Cover & cook
on High 2 hours until steak is cooked
through but still tender (or Low 4-5 hours).
After 2 hours cooking, whisk cornstarch &
water in small bowl then stir into beef
mixture. Stir in broccoli & cover. Continue
cooking 20-25 minutes until broccoli is
fork-tender. Spoon beef & broccoli into
bowls – serve hot. Serves 6
Cheesy Zucchini Quiche
Pastry for single-crust (9 inch)
3 T. butter
4 C. thinly sliced zucchini (about
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
2 tsp. prepared mustard
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Roll dough on lightly floured
surface to 1/8 inch thick circle;
transfer to 9 inch pie plate. Trim
pastry to 1/2 inch beyond rim
of pan & flute edges. Refrigerate
dough while preparing filling.
In large skillet heat butter over
medium heat; add zucchini & onion-
cook & stir until tender; drain &
cool slightly. In large bowl whisk
eggs & seasonings until blended;
stir in cheese & zucchini misture.
Spread mustard over pastry shell &
add filling – spread out evenly.
Bake on lower oven rack until a
knife inserted into center comes
out clean & crust is golden brown,
35-40 minutes. If needed, cover edges
loosely with foil during last 15 minutes
of baking to prevent overbrowning.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Pastry Crust for Single 9″ pie crust
1 1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter
3-5 T. ice water
Combine flour & salt; cut in cold
butter until crumbly. Gradually add
ice water, tossing with a fork until
dough holds together when pressed.
Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate
1 hour before using.
Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup
2 C. diced/peeled butternut squash
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C. vegetable broth, divided
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes,
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 C. minced fresh basil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
1 (11 oz) can Mexicorn, drained
2 C. fresh baby spinach
fresh sage – optional
In large saucepan saute squash,
carrot, onion & cumin in oil 10
minutes. Add garlic; cook 1
minute longer. Add 1 1/2 C.
broth & bring to boil. Reduce
heat; cover & simmer 10-12 minutes
until vegetables are tender; cool
slightly. Transfer mixture to blender;
add tomatoes, cream cheese, basil,
chipotle pepper & remaining broth.
Cover & process 1-2 minutes until
smooth. Return mixture to saucepan;
stir in beans, corn & spinach. Cook & stir
until spinach is wilted & soup is
heated through. If desired, sprinkle
with fresh sage. Serves 5
Spinach-Ricotta Lasagna Rolls
12 lasagna noodles
3 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. mozzarella cheese
2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. cottage cheese
1 C. Parmesan cheese
1 C. mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. lemon juice
5 C. finely chopped spinach
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil lasagna noodles accordg.
to pkg. directions to al dente (do
not cook all the way through). Place
them in a strainer & run cold water
over them. Mix all filling ingredients
in large bowl – make sure to combine
fully. Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Pour about 1 C. spaghetti sauce
in pan & spread around to cover bottom.
Lay one lasagna noodle on a plate; using
a spoon, spread filling over top of noodle
& roll up. Place rolled up noodle, seam-
side down, in pan & repeat. Pour remaining
spaghetti sauce over top of rolls &
sprinkle with 1 C. mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil & bake 45 minutes until
cooked through. (you might want to remove
foil & place under broiler to brown tops –
make sure you watch it so they don’t burn)
Makes 12 rolls
Cranberry Almond Energy Bites
1 C. oatmeal
1/3 C. almonds, chopped
1/3 C. sweetened shredded coconut
1 T. ground flax seed (optional)
1/2 C. nut butter (peanut or almond)
1/4 C. honey
1 T. chia seeds
1/3 C. dried cranberries, roughly
Bake oatmeal, almonds & coconut
8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F. ,
stirring after 5 minutes. Allow mixture
to cool. In medium bowl microwave
the nut butter 20-30 seconds until
runny. Add baked mix along with
flax seed, honey, chia seeds & cranberries
to bowl. Mix & form into 1 1/2 inch
balls. Place on a cookie sheet &
refrigerate. Store in airtight container,
refrigerated, up to one week or freezer
for 3 months. Makes 16
Crockpot Easy Shredded Pork
5 lb. pork shoulder (can use
pork loin but you may need
to reduce cooking time)
steak seasoning – to taste
serve on buns with your
favorite BBQ sauce
Sprinkle steak seasoning liberally
over shoulder – rub into meat then
place in crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 8-10 hours until it is ‘fork-
tender’. Shred meat using 2 forks.
“I Could Eat the Whole Pan” Casserole
1 (fully cooked) roaster chicken/chicken
pieces removed & bones discarded
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
Ritz crackers (about 1 sleeve), crushed
1/2 stick butter, melted
salt/fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & place chicken pieces on bottom.
In small bowl mix sour cream & soups –
spread mixture over chicken & season
with salt/pepper. Top with crushed
crackers & sprinkle poppy seeds over top.
Pour melted butter over top & bake
20-30 minutes until it starts bubbling.
2 C. heavy cream
1/3 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. whole ricotta cheese
1 C. mini chocolate chips
2 tsp. cinnamon
10 broken cannoli shells (or
you could use sugar ice cream
Beat cream cheese & sugar together;
fold in other ingredients. Serve with
cannoli shells (or cones) Serves 8
Double Butterscotch Cookies
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. shortening
4 C. packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 T. vanilla
6 C. flour
3 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. English toffee bits (10 oz)
OR almond brickle chips (7.5 oz)
1 C. finely chopped pecans
In large bowl beat butter, shortening
& brown sugar 2 minutes until mixture
resembles wet sand. Add eggs, one at
a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking
soda, cream of tartar & salt; gradually
add to brown sugar mixture & mix well.
Stir in toffee bits & pecans. Shape into
three 1/4 inch rolls (mixture will be slightly
crumbly). Wrap each roll in plastic wrap &
refrigerate 4 hours until firm.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Unwrap rolls & cut into 1/2 inch slices.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray &
place slices 2 inches apart on sheets. Bake
9-11 minutes until lightly browned. Cool
1-2 minute before removing from pans to
wire racks to cool. Makes about 7 dozen
Our weather is still goofy – it’s been rather
gray & blah with temperatures in the 40’s
(but really feels like it’s about 32 degrees F.)
It’s currently 36 degrees F. but with the wind
chill it feels like 26 degrees – BRRrrrrrrrr!
We’re supposed to get drizzle & some snow,
but reading through the reports, it doesn’t
sound like it’s really going to amount to
anything (YAY!) with reports of: “Chance
of precipitation 30%” Wind gusts as high
as 24 mph – oh, fun… Was ‘going’ to go
out shopping but think I’m going to just
stay inside until tomorrow – I’m warm &
happy right now – don’t want to rock the
Hope things are going well for you; hope
you are in good health, warm & happy.
(See? You didn’t know that I just became
your Mother or Grandmother! or at
least I ‘sound’ like one, right? Remember
to wear your warm scarf & bundle up
tight!”) Hehehe – gotta ‘play the part’
since my name IS Grammypammie!