The sun is shining & it’s 58 degrees F. in Michigan in FEBRUARY!
We’ve had several days like this and it really lifts one’s spirits to see the sunshine – you would almost expect flowers to start blooming! We do have some birds that have returned from down South – here in Michigan we look forward to robins coming back every year – kind of like a sign of Spring.
Youngest son moved out Friday and I’ve spend partial days working on straightening/sorting/re-packing, etc. things that were kind of shoved to the walls when he first moved up there. (I know that sounds weird, but the ‘room’ I’m talking about is the total upstairs of a 1 1/2 story Cape Cod house with peaked ceiling.) When middle & youngest son’s decided that they really didn’t get along & needed to have separate rooms (about 5-7 years ago) middle son chose to stay in the same room, youngest picked the upstairs. Going through boxes of ‘stuff’ I was pleasantly surprised to find some things I thought had long-since been given or thrown away – like baby toys! Found a bunch of jigsaw puzzles I’d forgotten, 10 partially-filled Word Search books (won’t be needing to buy any more any time soon!) – books, old VCR movies, etc. The ‘fun’, now is finding places to PUT all that stuff! I know what to do with the baby toys (the baby is due any day now – actual due date is March 1st). I have be best of intentions but find that (since the radiation 5 1/2 years ago) I just don’t have the energy/stamina I used to have. I find myself having to set ‘times’ and then say: “that’s enough for now” because otherwise I get too fatigued to do anything else that day. Frustrating but that’s just how it is now. I’m happy with what I’ve already accomplished – still have a lot to go; the REAL test is, like I said, finding places to put this ‘stuff’ once it’s all sorted & re-packed! UGH!
Quick & Easy Banana Pudding
(quite honestly, I didn’t think this was so
‘Quick & Easy” as stated!)
1 box vanilla wafer cookies
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
mix (plus milk for preparing)
2-3 ripe bananas, sliced
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
Prepare pudding mix according to
pkg. directions – refrigerate. Place
vanilla wafers in single layer on
bottom of a small baking dish*.
Spread half of pudding (about 1 C)
over cookies & top with a single
layer of sliced bananas. Repeat
layers, starting with cookies. Top
final layer of banana slices with
Cool Whip. Refrigerate at least
1 hour. Garnish top with extra
vanilla wafers, if desired.
*Poster used a glass 8 X 6 X 2″
dish and about 20 cookies for each
Crockpot Cream Cheese Taco Dip
16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened/
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 oz. pkg. dry taco seasoning mix
1 lb. ground beef, browned/drained
corn or tortilla chips for dipping
Place all DIP ingredients in crockpot
(2-3 qt if you have one). Cover &
cook on Low 1 to 1 1/2 hours,
stirring frequently. Serve with dippers
Crockpot Dijon Pork Chops & Potatoes
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom
1/4 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. whole grain Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 medium red potatoes, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 boneless pork loin chops (about
1 T. oil
Thickening (if desired):
3 T. flour
1/4 C. water
Spray insides of crockpot with
In large bowl mix soup, broth, mustard,
garlic, thyme, salt/pepper. Stir in sliced
potatoes & onions & place in crockpot.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high
heat; brown chops well on both sides.
Place chops on top of potato mixture.
Cover & cook on Low 4-6 hours or High
3-5 hours. If you want a thick sauce,
mix together thickening ingredients
listed above & stir until there are no
lumps. Turn crockpot to High, remove
chops & stir flour mixture into potatoes.
Place chops back in crockpot & cook on
High 15-20 minutes longer until sauce
is thick & fully cooked. Serves 6
Easy Spanish Rice
1 C. chicken stock
1 C. white rice
1 C. tomato sauce
1 (4 oz) can green chiles
1 1/2 T. taco seasoning mix
1-2 T. olive oil
Heat oil in medium or large saucepan
over medium-high heat; pour in rice.
Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently
until rice is lightly toasted but not
burned. Pour in chicken stock, tomato
sauce, green chiles & taco seasoning;
stir well & bring to boil. Once boiling,
cover & reduce heat to Low. Cook
20-25 minutes until rice has absorbed
all liquid & is al dente. Uncover &
fluff with a fork, returning mixture to
heat if there is any liquid left in bottom
of pan. Serves 2-4
Chicken Wild Rice Soup
2 qt. chicken broth
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 C. finely chopped celery
1 C. shredded carrots
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/4 C. flour
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 C. dry white wine (or
additional chicken broth)
3 C. cooked wild rice
2 C. cubed, cooked chicken
In large saucepan combine first
9 ingredients (broth – thyme); bring
to boil, reduce heat. Cover & simer
30 minutes. In Dutch oven melt butter
& stir in flour until smooth. Gradually
whisk in broth mixture; bring to boil,
cook & stir 2 minutes until thickened.
Whisk in soup & wine (or broth). Add
rice & chicken; heat through.
Makes 14 servings.
Jiffy Cinnamon Rolls &
Cream Cheese Frosting
4-5 C. flour
1 box JIFFY yellow cake mix
2 pkg. fast rising yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 C. warm water
2 T. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Grease a cookie sheet or
spray with nonstick spray.
In large bowl combine 3 C. flour,
cake mix, yeast, salt & warm
water; mix until smooth. Add
enough remaining flour to form
a soft dough. Turn dough out onto
a lightly floured surface & knead
until smooth (6-8 minutes). Roll
dough to 9 X 18″ rectangle. Spread
dough with butter & sprinkle with
sugar & cinnamon. Roll dough up,
jelly-roll fashion, starting with long
end. Slice roll into 1-inch circles using
a piece of clean dental floss or heavy
thread placed under roll. Bring ends
of floss up & criss-cross at top of roll
& pull strings in opposite directions.
Place rolls on prepared sheet; cover
& let rise in a warm place until
doubled in size, about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake rolls 15-18 minutes.
While rolls are baking, beat
together cream cheese, butter,
powdered sugar, vanilla & salt.
When baking is done, spread
frosting on warm rolls before
serving. Makes 12 rolls.
Found out today that our Youth Pastor’s
wife is expecting a girl; I’m 3/4ths done
with a pink/tan & white blanket – YAY!
Will probably knit a hat & booties to
match (if I’m not mistaken, the baby
is not due until July).
Hope your day is going well and you
are in good health. FINALLY my husband
(after almost 3 weeks) is back to his old
self – the bronchitis seems to be gone –