Good News!

Went back to the eye doctor’s today – they ended up doing another eye exam and it turns out the prescription was wrong – mostly in left eye, but also a bit in right eye as well. The ‘halos’ around everything is because I didn’t get THIS lens treated with non-glare like my old ones; end result – I’m getting NEW lenses (at their expense!) and these will be non-glare coated (at my expense – but that’s ok). I was SO glad to hear that it wasn’t ME! I told the lady doing the eye test that I almost felt like I might be making the wrong choices when they ask you to read the letters in each line. YAY – it’s not me!!!

After that experience husband & I tried a ‘new to us’ restaurant/diner near the eye doctors – can’t say as I’d recommend it (it was recommended to us by someone who lives near there). Husband got a HUGE breakfast, I got a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich – we both agreed: it was so-so, nothing to write home about and probably not returning in the future. Service was great – gotta commend them for that but the food was just ‘average’. Oh well – at least now we know (we’ll be going back to our ‘new’ favorite: Village Place by our house). Our old favorite was Bob Evans but that place closed about 2 months ago – no idea why – went on the website and it just said they were closing a lot of their places – darn.

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

Black Midnight Cake

Cake:
2/3 C. dark cocoa powder (poster
used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa)
1 C. hot, strong brewed coffee
1 pinch cayenne
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 C. buttermilk*
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Frosting:
1 C. dark cocoa (see above/cake)
4 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 C. buttermilk*
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut 2 parchment circles the size of
the bottom of your cake pan.
In a small bowl dissolve cocoa powder
& cayenne in hot brewed coffee. In
another bowl, using elec. mixer with
paddle attachment, cream oil & sugar
until well combined. Add eggs & beat
until light & creamy, 1-2 minutes. Scrape
paddle & beat once. Slowly add in coffee/
cocoa mixture, buttermilk & vanilla – beat
until batter is smooth. Scrape paddle & beat
once. In another bowl sift flour, salt, baking
soda & powder; add dry ingredients to wet
& beat on Low speed to incorporate. Scrape
down bowl & mix just until all ingredients
are combined – do not over mix once flour is
in. Butter the bottom & sides of two 9 inch
cake pans & place one parchment circle in
each. Butter the top of the parchment & dust
with cocoa powder, shaking out excess. Pour
batter evenly between pans & place in
center rack of oven. Bake 30-35 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes
out clean. (NOTE: depending on your oven, you
may need to rotate cake pans halfway through
baking time). Do not over bake. Cool pans on
wire racks 10 minutes then carefully invert
onto a rack to cool further.

Frosting:
Sift cocoa powder with powdered sugar in large
bowl. In bowl of a stand elec. mixer or hand
mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar/cocoa
powder mixture along with buttermilk & vanilla &
beat until smooth & creamy. Add additional butter-
milk or whole milk if frosting is too thick. Place a
small dollop of frosting on a cake dish to hold the
bottom layer from sliding – place cake on frosting.
Frost top of that layer; place second cake layer &
frost entire cake, top & sides.

*If you do not have buttermilk:
(this is for both cake & frosting:)
Place 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar in
a 2 or 3 cup measuring cup. Fill cup to
1 1/2 C. mark with milk – stir & let
stand 5 minutes; now you have
buttermilk (cake requires 1 C./
frosting requires 1/2 C. – be sure
to measure out buttermilk for
each use.)

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
—————————————

Ham, Cheese & Pasta Casserole

2 1/2 C. bow tie pasta, cooked al dente,
accordg. to pkg. directions/drained
1/2 C. chopped green onion
1 C. frozen peas
2 C. chopped, cooked ham
2 C. shredded cheese*
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. milk
dash hot sauce
20 butter-type (like Ritz) crackers,
crushed
3 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray casserole dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl whisk
together sour cream, mayonnaise,
mustard, bl. pepper/salt, garlic powder,
milk & hot sauce. In another large bowl
combine pasta, onion, peas, ham & 1 C.
cheese. Pour mayonnaise mixture over
ham mixture & toss – pour mixture into
prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/2 C.
cheese on top. In small bowl toss
crushed crackers & melted butter –
spread over cheese layer on top.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Serves 8

*poster used a mix of cheeses-
you choose your variety

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
——————————

Split Pea Soup with Ham

1 (16 oz) pkg. dried green split peas
8 C. water
2 large onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 C. cubed, cooked ham (about 10 oz)
1 celery rib, chopped
5 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. dried majoram
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 to 1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil

Place all ingredients in Dutch oven;
bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer,
covered, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until
peas & vegetables are tender,
stirring occasionally. Makes 12 qts/
12 servings.

NOTE: adding only 2 C. cooked ham
adds a ton of savory flavor but keeps
sodium levels under 400 mg. per serving.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Crockpot Apple Cider Pulled Pork

7-8 lb. pork butt roast
3 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 T. salt
1 tsp. thyme (ground)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried mustard
2 C. apple cider
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1 (20 oz) bottle BBQ sauce

12 crusty rolls

Place roast in bottom of crockpot. In
small bowl mix seasonings – rub all
over roast, turning to get all sides.
Pour apple cider & apple cider vinegar
over roast. Cover & cook on High 4-5
hours (or Low 8-10 hours). Remove
roast from crockpot & shred meat
using 2 forks. Pour juices out of
crockpot, reserving 1-2 cups in a
small bowl. Return shredded meat to
crockpot along with 1/2 of bottle
BBQ sauce & enough reserved
liquid to keep pork moist. Keep on
Low setting while serving meat on
rolls with additional BBQ sauce
drizzled on top.

NOTE: Make sure leftovers are cooled
completely before covering tightly
& refrigerating or freezing for another
meal.

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

Broccoli/Cheese-stuffed Chicken

3 large chicken breasts
salt/pepper
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 C. finely chopped broccoli florets
1/2 C. finely diced red bell pepper
1 C. Cheddar cheese
1 T. mayonnaise
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Season both sides of chicken with
salt/pepper, paprika & 1/2 tsp.
garlic powder. Using a sharp knife,
cut a slice through middle of chicken
breasts sideways, creating a pocket
for filling.
Filling:
Place broccoli in a large microwave-safe
bowl & add 2 T. water. Cover with
plastic wrap & microwave 1 minute;
drain any excess water. Add bell
pepper, cheese, mayo, remaining
garlic powder & salt/pepper to dish.
Mix until combined then divide
mixture between chicken breasts,
using a wooden toothpick to secure
if necessary. Heat a large oven-safe
skillet over medium heat & add olive
oil. Sear chicken 3-4 minutes per
side. Cover skillet with foil & bake
in oven 15-17 minutes until a
cooking thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
Let rest, covered, 5 minutes before
serving Serves 4-6

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)
—————————————

Spicy Black Bean Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely
chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. minced jalapenos
1 T. tomato paste
kosher salt/black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans,
rinsed/drained
3 ‘bean cans’ water
1 quart chicken or vegetable
stock
1 bay leaf

Optional garnishes:
sour cream
sliced avocado
chopped fresh cilantro

In large pot over medium heat,
heat oil. Add onion & cook until
soft, about 5 minutes. Add jalapenos
& garlic – cook about 2 minutes.  Add
tomato paste, stir to coat vegetables-
cook about 1 minute more. Season
with salt/pepper, chili powder &
cumin- stir to coat. Add beans &
3 ‘bean cans’ water* & chicken broth.
Stir soup, add bay leaf & bring to a
boil. Immediately reduce heat to
a simmer & simmer about 15 minutes
until liquid is slightly reduced. Remove
bay leaf & discard. At this point you
can either serve soup ‘as is’ or pour,
in batches, into a blender & blend
to your desired consistency. Serve
with optional garnishes. Serves 4

*I recommend rinsing black beans
before using & then replacing the
original ‘liquid’ that was in the can
with 3 cans of water.

(recipe: delish.com)
————————————-
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp. peppermint extract (or
more, to taste)
about 10 drops green food coloring
3 1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
12 oz. dark chocolate chips,
divided

Line one or more baking sheets
with parchment paper. In large
bowl or stand mixer, beat butter
& sugar (scraping sides of bowl)
then beat on Medium 2 minutes,
until light & fluffy. Add eggs &
yolk, pepp. extract & food coloring;
mix well. In separate bowl, combine
flour, baking powder, baking soda,
cream of tartar & salt – mix & add
to wet ingredients – combine until
flour is not quite incorporated. Add
half choc. chips to dough*. Chop
other half coarsely using a knife or
food processor. Add chopped
chocolate to dough & mix until
just combined. Cover dough &
refrigerate 1 hour.**

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using a 1/4 C. measuring cup,
form balls & shape into ovals
(think more egg shaped than
ball), place on cookie sheets.

NOTE: poster said these are
very LARGE cookies, she only
put 8 cookies per sheet

Bake 8-10 minutes until barely
starting to brown on edges.
Centers should be not-shiny
when you take them out. Let
cool 5 minutes on pan then
remove to cooling rack.
Makes about 20 large cookies.

*Poster reserved about 1/3 C.
whole chips & pushed them into
baked cookies immediately after
removing from oven.

**Chilling is not mandatory. You can
bake them right after mixing. Poster
prefers the texture & flavor after
chilling

(recipe: thefoodcharlatan.com)
=====================

A little later on we have to attend a funeral
visitation for a lovely lady from our church –
she & her husband were married just short
of 60 years – she will be greatly missed.

Hope you are staying warm (it was a ‘balmy’
15 degrees F. when we left for eye appointment).
These are the days when I’m VERY grateful for
a warm house, warm clothes, food in the pantry
and the blessings I’m given every day. The Lord
has greatly taken care of me and my family for
a long time and I am grateful.

Hugs;

Pammie

 

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. That is a great thing to be grateful for.


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