The Ups and Downs in a Day

Today is another ‘wrapping things up’ day – I knit for Crisis Pregnancy Center’s mobile unit and had 6 blankets ready for pick-up/delivery – the lovely lady who meets me to pick them up has been under a lot of pressure/stress lately with selling their house, moving and, recently, the death of her mother. I have been blessed by her, many times – this time she agreed to allow me to donate ‘their’ blankets to the Detroit Vet’s Baby shower coming up next Tuesday. I knew she was really stressed and didn’t want to add to it – this way the blankets go to a good cause.

Along with that I’ve started knitting for homeless or needy people – mostly scarves. I have 4 done, 1 man’s ‘loomed’ hat and another one almost done. Working on these, I tend to forget that it’s not one of my favorite ‘knits’ – I’ve decided that, sometimes, you just have to go with what’s comfortable for YOU! I will finish these and donate them – maybe, later on in the Fall/Winter I’ll take it up again – maybe . . .

Two of the scarves for donation

The completed baby blankets for Detroit Vets

Getting things together for next week’s Vet’s baby shower – trying to remember all the ‘little things’ like extra ink pens, extra small crochet hooks (to help place the name tags on the items), enough name tags for all the donated items, etc.

Another ‘fun thing’ – this Wednesday morning our Library Knit Group will be having a pot luck! One of our ladies suggested it to the head librarian and she set it up! This is a ‘first’ for us; I’m bringing BBQ’d pork & buns for sandwiches. I know we will be eating well because of all the items listed on the sign up sheet. (In case you wondered, I ‘cheated’ & went to Gordon Food Services for their frozen pulled pork – I’ll cook it before time, mix with Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet Vidalia onion BBQ sauce & place it in my crockpot to keep warm – that should work!)

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

Peanut Butter Chocolate Eclair Cake

Cake:
1 box chocolate graham crackers
2 (3 1/4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 C. creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Frosting:
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. white corn syrup
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk
==
(optional garnish:
mini peanut butter cups)
=
Cake:

Spray bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Place one
layer of graham crackers on bottom,
breaking to completely cover bottom.
In a medium bowl mix pudding mix,
peanut butter & milk using an elec.
mixer – mix 2 minutes then fold in
Cool Whip. Spread half mixture on
top of first layer of crackers. Place a
second layer of crackers on top &
spoon remaining pudding mix on top.
Finish with third layer of crackers.

Prepare frosting ingredients & spread
on top of last layer of crackers, spreading
all the way to the edges. Refrigerate
overnight (so crackers become soft &
moist).
Optional garnish: mini peanut butter cups
Slice & serve

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
——————————-
Zucchini Corn Risotto

4 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
1 lb. zucchini, sliced into quarter-inch
slices (cut large slices in half)
3 ears fresh corn, (2-3 C) removed
from cobs
1 C. diced sweet onion (like Vidalia)
1 T. fresh minced garlic
1 C. arborio rice
1/3 C. white wine (poster used Chardonnay)
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 C. chicken stock, hot
1/2 C. heavy cream (heated past room temp.
but not scorching hot)
3/4 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (if needed)

In 4-5 qt. heavy-bottomed pan, over medium
to medium-high heat, melt 1 T. butter in 1 T.
olive oil. Once hot, add half the zucchini & cook
without touching – for 2 minutes. Flip pieces over
& cook 2 more minutes then remove to a bowl.
Add another T. each of butter & oil – once hot,
cook second half of zucchini & remove to bowl.
Add another T. butter; once melted, add corn &
saute 2 minutes – place in bowl. Add remaining
butter & oil (once butter melts), add onions &
cook 2 minutes. Add garlic & cook 1 more minute.
Add rice & cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add wine;
once evaporated, add 1 C. stock & half the cream.
Stir constantly; once the liquid has been absorbed,
ad 1/2 C. stock & remaining cream – stir until that
liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 C. stock
& stir/cook until absorbed. Add another 1/2 C.
stock; once that has been evaporated, remove from
heat & test the rice. If it is cooked – do not add final
quarter C. stock – IF if still has some ‘chew’, stir in
last of the stock.Cover & leave off heat 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, stir in Parm. cheese, basil & pepper.
Taste & decide if salt is needed. Stir in zucchini &
corn – serve. Serves 8

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

Cherry Tomato Salad

4 C. cherry or grape tomatoes,
halved
2 C. fresh mozzarella balls, halved
1/4 C. red onion, minced
1/4 C. chopped fresh herbs, such as:
parsley, basil, chives, green onions,
oregano
1/4 C. olive oil
1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste

Place tomatoes, mozz. balls, red onion
& herbs in a large bowl. In small bowl
whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar,
oregano, garlic powder & salt/pepper.
Pour dressing over tomato mixture &
gently toss to coat evenly. Serves 6

(recipe: dinenratthezoo.com)
———————–
Creamy Zucchini/Spinach Pasta Bake

3 C. cavatappi pasta, uncooked
1 onion, chopped
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half,
then sliced crosswise
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 (24 oz) jar (Classico) Marinara with
plum tomatoes & olive oil pasta sauce
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook pasta as directed on pkg,
omitting salt. In large skillet cook
& stir onions over medium heat
3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. Add
zucchini & mushrooms, cook 3-4
minutes until zucchini is crisp-
tender, stirring frequently. Add
half the spinach; cook 2-3 minutes
until just wilted – repeat with
remaining spinach; remove from
heat.
Drain pasta; add to veg. mixture in
skillet along with pasta sauce, ricotta,
Ital. seasoning & 1 C. mozzarella – mix
lightly. Spoon mixture into prepared
pan & top with remaining mozzarella.
Bake 20-25 minutes until casserole is
heated through & mozzarella is melted.
Serves 12

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)
————————

Southern Bacon-fried Cabbage

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head cabbage, cored/chopped
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook bacon in large skillet over meidum-
high heat until crisp. Remove bacon to
paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 T.
bacon grease & discard rest. In same skillet
with reserved 2 T. grease, cook onion until
soft (about 4 minutes) on medium-high heat.
Add garlic & cook 1 more minute. Stir in
cabbage & continue to cook & stir 4-5 minutes.
Add salt/pepper, onion & garlic powders –
mix well. Reduce heat to Low, cover & allow
to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30
minutes. Just before serving mix bacon into
cooked cabbage. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

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

Crockpot Meatball Parmesan (low carb)
(makes 24 meatballs)

2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 C. marinara sauce
2 T. dried minced onion (or freeze-
dried shallots)
2 tsp. minced garlic (or freeze dried)
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
salt/pepper, to taste

Additional marinara & shredded
mozzarella, to taste
=
Spray crockpot with nonstick cooking
spray. In large bowl mix marinara sauce
with meat, onion, garlic, Parm. cheese,
eggs & seasonings. Form mixture into
24 meatballs & place in crockpot, stacking
lightly, if necessary. Cover & cook on High
2-3 hours until meatballs are cooked through.
Remove meatballs from crockpot & set
aside any you would like to freeze.

To serve:
Toss meatballs in additional marinara &
place over your favorite cooked pasta –
top with cheese.

To freeze:
Place meatballs in a single layer on a
cookie sheet & freeze a few hours then
transfer to a freezer bag.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
———————————-
Lazy Day Lasagna

1 lb. dry lasagna noodles
1 lb. lean ground beef (or half
beef/half pork), browned/drained
1 (24 oz) jar marinara OR pasta
sauce
2/3 C. water
1 (15 oz.) tub ricotta or cottage
cheese
12 oz. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
=
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray
Spread 2/3 rds of sauce on
bottom of pan; top with dry
lasagna noodles (you can break
some to fit). Pour remaining sauce
into pan with browned meat (add
water to jar, cover with lid, shake
& pour into skillet) – stir in. Simmer
5 minutes. Scatter about 1/3 of
ricotta cheese on top of noodles in
pan; sprinkle about 3 oz. shredded
mozz. cheese on top & top with
about 1/3rd of meat sauce. Add
another layer noodles & press down
slightly. Repeat with ricotta/mozz.
cheese & meat sauce  – TWO more
times. Top with remaining mozz.
cheese & sprinkle top with Italian
seasoning. Cover tightly with foil &
bake 45 minutes until noodles are
fork-tender. (The additional water &
steam created by covering with foil
will cook the noodles). Remove foil
& bake another 7-8 minutes until
cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven
& let rest at least 15 minute before
serving. Serves 8

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

NO-Bake Cherry Cookies

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, cubed
6 T. 2% milk
3 T. baking cocoa
1 C. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 C. quick-cooking oats
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries,
well drained/finely chopped
=
Spread several sheets of waxed
paper on the counter (for later).
In large saucepan combine sugar, butter,
milk & cocoa – bring to boil, stirring
constantly – cook & stir 3 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in peanut
butter & extracts until blended. Stir
in oats & cherries. Drop by Tablespoonfuls
onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until set.
Makes about 5 1/2 dozen.
Store in air-tight containers.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

Our weather has been kind of hard to predict
lately – today it’s really chilly (to me, anyway) –
right now it’s 68 degrees F., cloudy and gray. The
strange thing is: this WEDS. it’s supposed to get
up to 84 degrees F! (then showers likely) – sigh.
Looks like Weds. night-Friday is showers &
thunderstorms – oh, great . . . sigh.

Hope you are having a GREAT start to your
week!

Hugs;

Pammie

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