and how are YOU doing?

It’s been a busy week so far – my husband & I attended a retired Telephone Operators luncheon yesterday and I saw someone I haven’t seen in over 35 years! We had a nice chat with old friends then stopped at Crossroads Pregnancy Center to deliver the three baby blankets I featured in the last post – it’s always nice to have someone really appreciate my efforts – they were thrilled. I told them I would be back in about 3 months with more.

I stopped at Kroger after my library knit group today and they are in FULL SWING with all the Thanksgiving food stuffs. Honestly, I’m not at all ready for this holiday – just don’t seem to be in ‘the mood’ but that doesn’t count, right? The day WILL go on and I WILL cook food & bring it to my oldest son’s house for that day. I’m getting LOTS of holiday recipes coming in so I knew I had to post soon.

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

Butter Pecan Layer Cake

2 2/3 C. chopped pecans
1 1/4 C. butter, softened/divided
2 C. sugar
4 large eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. whole milk

Frosting:
1 C. butter, softened
8 to 8 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour three 9″ round baking
pans.
Place pecans & 1/4 C. butter in a separate
baking pan & bake 10-15 minutes until toasted,
stirring frequently.
In large bowl cream sugar & remaining until
light & fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well
after each addition; stir in vanilla. Combine
flour, baking powder & salt; add to creamed
mixture alternately with milk, beating well
after each addition. Stir in 1 1/3 C. toasted
pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pans & bake
25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before
removing from pans to wire racks to cool
completely.
=
Frosting:
In a large bowl cream butter & powdered sugar;
add milk & vanilla – beat until smooth. Stir in
remaining toasted pecans. Spread frosting
between layers & on top & sides of cake.
Serves 16

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

Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad

6 C. cubed day-old French bread
(bite-sized cubes)
3 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Salad:
4 C. peeled/cubed butternut
squash (1 1/2″ cubes)
1 1/2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 C. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
6 C. fresh argula or fresh baby
spinach
6 T. sherry vinegar
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 C. salted, roasted almonds
6 T. crumbed goat cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Toss bread cubes with oil, chili
powder & salt – spread evenly on
ungreased 15 X 10 X 1″ baking sheet.
Bake about 5 minutes until golden
brown. Transfer to a large bowl & cool.

Spray another 15 X 10 X 1″ baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
In another large bowl combine squash &
mushrooms. Add 2 T. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt &
1/4 tsp. pepper – toss to coat. Transfer
to sprayed sheet & toast until tender,
20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add arugula & squash mixture to toasted
bread. In small bowl whisk vinegar, shallots
& remaining oil, salt/pepper – drizzle over
salad; toss gently to combine. Top with
almonds & goat cheese. Serve immediately.
Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

Roasted Honey Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 C. honey
1/4 C. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Spray a 15 X 10 X 1″ rimmed baking
sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Place
potatoes in large bowl. In another
bowl whisk honey, oil, salt, cinnamon
& pepper – add to potatoes; toss to coat.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet & roast
45-50 minutes until tender, stirring once.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————
Fresh Ginger Carrot Salad

2 (8 oz, ea) cans unsweetened crushed
pineapple, undrained
3 1/2 C. shredded carrots
1 C. raisins
3/4 C. sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped walnut
1 1/2 C. plain yogurt
2 tsp. minced fresh gingerroot.

Drain crushed pineapple, reserving
3 T. juice. In bowl combine pineapple,
carrots, raisins, coconut & walnuts. In
another bowl combine yogurt, ginger &
reserved pineapple juice – pour over
carrot mixture & toss gently to coat.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before
serving. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

Crockpot Holiday Ham

7 lb. cooked, bone-in ham (or spiral
cooked ham)
1 C. brown sugar
2 C. pineapple juice
1/2 C. maple syrup

Place ham in large crockpot, flat
side down. Rub brown sugar all
over sides of ham then drizzle
with juice & syrup. Cover & cook
on Low 4-6 hours. Serves 12

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
————————

Crockpot Sausage Dressing/Stuffing

7 C. seasoned stuffing cubes or croutons
1 medium tart apple, chopped
1/3 C. chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. reduced-fat bulk pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
2 T. butter, melted

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook & crumble sausage
with onion & celery over medium-high
heat until sausage is no longer pink.,
4-5 minutes; drain. In large bowl combine
first 5 ingedients then mix with stuffing.
Stir in broth & butter – place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours until
apple is tender, stirring once.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————

Bacon Cheese Ring
(appetizer dip)

3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. bacon bits
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 (16 oz) jar strawberry preserves
1/4 C. pecan pieces

Butter crackers, for dipping
=
In large bowl mix shredded cheeses.
Add gr. onions & bacon bits – mix in
softened cream cheese & mayo. Be
sure not to make mixture too creamy or
it may not hold it’s form.

Spray a serving plate with nonstick cooking
spray. Sprinkle edges with pecan pieces –
place cheese mixture in center into a
ball-shape. Top with strawberry preserves.
Serve with butter crackers. Serves 12

NOTE: another tester used Pepper Jack
instead of mozzarella

(recipe: cdkitchen.com)
—————————

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Sauce:
3/4 C. fresh cranberries
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. fresh orange zest

Crust:
3 oz. gingersnap crumbs (from 12
gingersnap cookies)
1 oz. pecans, crushed
1 1/2 T. light butter, melted

Cheesecake:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 (6 oz) tub plain Greek yogurt
2 egg whites
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack in middle of oven
Line a 8 X 8″ baking pan with waxed
paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on
all sides.

Sauce:
In small saucepan combine cranberries,
sugar, water & orange zest. Cook until
cranberries begin to burst & mixture
turns soupy, 6-7 minutes. Remove from
heat; allow to cool.

Crust:
In small bowl combine gingersnap
crumbs, crushed pecans & light butter.
Stir to  moisten crumbs then pour into
prepared baking pan. Spread in an even
layer, using bottom of a drinking glass
to help ensure the crust is even.

Cheesecake:
In medium bowl using elec. mixer,
beat cream cheese, sugar & vanilla
until smooth. Add yogurt, egg whites,
lemon juice & flour, mixing until just
combined. Pour mixture into pan over
crust & smooth with a spatula. Add
cooled cranberry mixture to a food
processor – puree until smooth (if
mixture is too thick, add 1/2 T. water).
Use a spoon to drop sauce over cheesecake
then swirl sauce with a butter knife.
Bake 25 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temp. & refrigerate
several hours to get well chilled. Once
chilled, cut into squares. Serves 9

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

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

Because I had fun crocheting the last baby blanket AND
because I have so many small balls/skeins of baby yarn
I decided to try a (new to me) FLOWER granny square
& make a blanket out of leftover yarn. It’s going well
but because the squares are only 4 inches I will need
48 to complete the blanket (and then crochet an edge
around it). With that project, now I’m up to 3 baby
blankets and the baby booties – keeps me busy & out
of trouble!

Hope you are well and into the Fall/Thanksgiving
preparations. Weather-wise we have been blessed
with slightly warmer temperatures which have VERY
NICELY melted a LOT of the 8 1/2 inches of snow we
got last week. Roads & sidewalks are clear, driving is
great – walking is great and I’m happy! I don’t mind
a bit chilly – it’s the icy/mounded snow I worry about.

Stay warm & healthy;

Hugs;

Pammie

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