a little late but I’m still around!

Thanksgiving went well – husband just informed me we are now down to “just turkey” – his ‘afternoon snack’ just wiped out the mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and wild rice stuffing! Looks like there will be turkey pot pie in the very near future at our house!

Hope you all had a great holiday; I’m still not quite into the ‘holiday’ spirit – I’m not a big fan of decorating so have to kind of push myself into the ‘getting ready for Christmas’ theme. I’ve managed to order 2 Christmas presents – pretty pathetic, eh? I also ordered (through Groupon) a 4-person pass for my oldest son & his family to visit one of our local ‘treasures’: the Christmas Walk at Meadowbrook Hall/Estate in Rochester, Michigan. This is a gorgeous estate which originally belonged to the Dodge (as in motor car) family and the local florists decorate most of the house and estate with beautiful scenes, Christmas trees, wreaths, etc. When my sons were younger we did the tour of the estate and it is well worth it. (also found a DVD of some Gilbert & Sullivan operas my husband loves and doesn’t have) – that’s it . . . I’m just not overflowing with gift ideas this year! How about you?

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

Cranberry Apple Crisp

3 C. chopped, peeled tart apples
2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 C. sugar
3 T. flour

Topping:
1 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 11 X 7″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine apples,
cranberries, sugar & flour & pour
into prepared dish. In another bowl
mix topping ingredients until crumbly;
sprinkle over top of apple mixture. Bake
50-55 minutes until fruit is tender.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-
Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge EVER!

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. peanut butter

Spray or grease a sided baking
pan. (recipe did not give size but
photos look like a loaf pan or a
8 X 8″)
In a saucepan bring sugar & milk to
a boil stirring constantly (do not turn
heat on High) Once it comes to a
full rolling boil, boil 2 1/2 minutes then remove
from heat. Stir in peanut butter & vanilla
& pour into prepared pan. Let chill.

(recipe: facebook)
——————————-

Crockpot English Pub Split
Pea Soup

1 meaty ham bone
1 1/3 C. dried green split peas,
rinsed
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 C. water
1 (12 oz) bottle light beer
1 T. prepared English mustard
1/2 C. 2% milk
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

minced fresh parsley, optional garnish

Place ham bone in 4 qt. crockpot. Add
peas, celery, carrot & onion. Combine
water, beer & mustard; pour over veggies.
Cover & cook on High 5-6 hours or until
peas are tender. Remove ham bone from
soup. Cool soup slightly, trim any fat &
remove meat from bone (discard fat & bone).
Cut meat into bite-sized pieces & return to
crockpot. Stir in remaining ingredients. If
desired, top with minced parsley.
Serves 8 (makes 2 qts)

NOTE: For a less chunky soup, puree in batches
in a blender or food processor.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

1 (3 lb) sugar pumpkin, halved/seeded &
quartered
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1 T. butter
2 large shallots, chopped
3 C. vegetable or chicken broth,
plus more, if needed
1 T. fresh grated ginger
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp. fresh nutmeg, plus more
for garnish
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt

Garnishes:
chopped chives
pepitas (pumpkin seeds) optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Place pumpkin
& thyme on sheet & drizzle with olive
oil; season with 1/4 tsp. salt & pepper-
gently toss to combine & arrange in a
single layer. Roast 60-65 minutes, stirring
halfway through until pumpkin is fork-
tender. Cool then remove peel. In a large
stockpot or Dutch oven heat butter over
medium heat. Add shallots & cook, stirring
occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin,
ginger, broth & sage. Season with 3/4 tsp.
salt & black pepper to taste. Bring to boil
then remove from heat. Puree using an
immersion blender (or regular blender,
in batches being very careful) until
smooth. Add yogurt & blend again.
Pour into 4 bowls & serve immediately
with chives plus more yogurt, pepitas,
chives & ground nutmeg, if desired.
Serves 4

NOTE: Soup can be frozen: Omit yogurt &
garnishes until ready to serve. Portion
cooled soup into ziplock freezer bags &
lay bags flat in single layer in freezer. Transfer
soup bags to refrigerator the night before
reheating then reheat over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Add yogurt & garnishes & serve.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
——————–

Sky-high Brunch Bake
(note: using 9-inch springform
pan & substitute)

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. frozen puff
pastry (2 sheets) thawed
6 eggs, beaten/divided (note:
reserve 1 T. eggs for later)
1 C. ricotta cheese
dash hot pepper sauce
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen,
chopped spinach, thawed/
well drained
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped red bell peppers

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray springform pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Unfold pastry sheets &
roll out 1 sheet to an 11 inch square.
Roll out remaining sheet to a 12 inch
square & use to line the bottom & sides
of pan. In large bowl mix all eggs (minus
reserved 1 T. egg) with ricotta, hot sauce
& spinach. Layer half each: bacon, Cheddar,
ricotta mixture & peppers in crust – repeat
layers. Cover with remaining pastry sheet;
fold under edges then tuck inside pan. Brush
pastry with reserved egg & cut steam hole
slits in top crust. Bake 45-55 minutes until
golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife
around the edges of the pan to loosen crust
before removing rim. Serves 12

NOTE: can be baked ahead & refrigerated for
several hours or overnight. When ready to serve,
bake, uncovered in 350 degrees F. oven 30-40
minutes until heated through.

If you don’t have a springform pan:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Can be baked in a greased 9 X 13″ pan
instead. Roll out bottom & top pastry
sheets to fit dish. Line dish with foil withthen
ends of foil extending over sides of dish.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake
35-40 minutes until golden brown. Let
stand 10 minutes then use foil ‘handles’
to life from dish before cutting to serve

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

Sausage Dip

1 1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
2 1/2 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded/chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. sour cream

Tortilla chips, for dipping
=
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add
next 8 ingredients & cook until veggies
are tender. Reduce heat to Low; add
cream cheese & sour cream – cook &
stir until cheese is melted & well
blended (do not boil). Serve warm with
tortilla chips. Makes 48 servings (6 C.)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-
Twice-baked Potato Casserole

6 medium russet potatoes
4 T. butter, softened (more for pan)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. whole milk
2 3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
10 slices cooked/crumbled bacon
5 green onions, sliced
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes then place directly on oven
rack – bake until soft & easily pierced,
1 hour to 1 hr, 15 minutes depending on size.
Remove from oven & let cool slightly. Slice
warm potatoes in half & remove flesh using
a spoon – place flesh in large bowl (discard
skin). Mash flesh & butter, cream cheese, sour
cream & milk – stir to combine until butter &
cream cheese is melted. Fold in 2 C. Cheddar,
3/4 ths of bacon, 3/4ths of green onion &
garlic powder – season with salt/pepper. Brush
a medium baking dish with butter & scoop
potato mixture into dish. Smooth top & sprinkle
remaining 3/4 C. Cheddar on top. Bake about
20 minutes until cheese is melty. Turn oven to
BROIL. Broil about 2 minutes until golden.
Let cool 10 minutes then top with remaining
bacon & green onions. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————-

(You could probably substitute turkey!)

Orange Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

4 chicken breasts, cut into 2″ cubes
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
5 large carrots, cut up small
1 onion, chopped small
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
6 stalks celery, cut up small
salt/pepper, to taste

Sauce:
3/4 C. fresh orange juice
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes
2 T. corn starch
1 C. chicken broth

Suggested serving:
Cooked rice to serve 6
====
Heat a large skillet & add 1 T. oil.
In small bowl combine flour & 1/4
tsp. salt – dredge chicken pieces in
mixture until well covered. When oil
is hot, gently place chicken pieces in
skillet & cook until golden all over (about
10 minutes). Remove from pan & place
on a plate. Add 1 more T. oil to hot skillet
& cook veggies over medium-high heat
until crisp-tender – about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan add all sauce
ingredients – whisk until well combined &
bring to boil-it should thicken up. When
veggies are cooked add thickened sauce &
chicken to pan – stir well & serve.
Serve over cooked rice – serves 6

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
———————-

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Muffin Batter:
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. milk
1 egg

Cinnamon mixture:
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
dash salt

Frosting Glaze:
1 T. butter, melted
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
dash salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line muffin cups with paper liners
(recipe makes 15 muffins) & spray
liners with nonstick cooking spray.
In medium bowl mix (from muffin batter):
flour, baking powder, salt & sugar – stir
with a fork. In large glass measuring cup
melt 3 T. butter; add 1 C. milk & stir to
combine. Add 1 egg & whisk into mixture-
pour into dry ingredients & stir but not
completely. Do not over mix.

Cinnamon mixture:
Melt butter in small bowl; add brown
sugar, cinnamon & dash salt – stir to combine.
Fold half of cinn. mixture into batter & stir
just until no streaks of flour. Fill muffin
cups a little more than half full. Sprinkle
remaining cinnamon mixture over top of
each muffin. Bake 12-15 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center of muffin
comes out clean. Allow muffins to rest
in tin 5 minutes then transfer to a wire
rack to cool. (glaze will go on warm muffins)

Glaze:
In small bowl combine melted butter,
maple syrup, vanilla, milk, powdered
sugar & salt – whisk until smooth & glossy.
Drizzle over warm muffins.
Makes 15 muffins

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

About 2 weeks ago I was getting a bit bored with
just working on the two baby blankets and came
up with the idea of crocheting some of my various
baby yarns into a granny-square baby afghan. I
found a crochet pattern which made a slightly
different granny square than I was used to, so I
went with that. It went very quickly so that I’m
considering making another one! It was fun
and the supplies didn’t take up a lot of room in
my knit bag. Here’s the blanket:

We’ve been lucky recently with our weather – after our 8 1/2 inches of snow about 2 weeks ago, it’s all melted and now it’s just cold and wet (raining – but it’s not turning into the white stuff – YAY!) Our forecast calls for highs in the 30’s all week and some rain so I really don’t mind that at all. You can walk & drive in rain!

Hope you are all in good health;

Hugs;

Pammie

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