It’s been a quiet week . . .

Our weather has been GREAT (for me, at least) – it’s been in the 40’s, clear (a little rain) and NO SNOW! YAY! Managed to get a tiny bit of Christmas shopping done yesterday – like years past, I’m just ‘not feelin’ it. The older I get the more I would be content with just one small tree & no extra decorations (guess that’s because I’m the one doing all the dragging down, setting up, etc. of all the ‘stuff’). Anyway, am TRYING to ‘get in the mood’. I had originally planned on knitting some cotton spa cloths for several people but that kind of went by the wayside. Working on the 2 baby blankets & started another crocheted granny square one.

Like many people in our ‘older’ years, we once again needed to go over our Medicaid details with our provider. I’m sure you’ve all heard the commercials about making sure you sign up BEFORE Dec. 7th! (trying to make this a short story). We got our call Weds. evening – both my husband & I wanted to adjust our plans a bit. We got a very helpful, nice young lady; both of us were on house phones so she could speak to us. Almost done with husband’s plan and her computer screen froze. She promised to call us back quickly. No call – that evening, entire next day – finally we get a call at about 11:15 pm – yes, it was her. It seems that not only HER screen but the entire program locked up! To sum it up, we spent the next 45 minutes frantically rushing through all of both plans – my husband & I both on a house phone and on our own computers – CRAZY! She was very patient and kept asking if the final details reached our computers – NO. At the last minutes she had to do a phone/verbal confirmation for my plan but we got it done – YAY! Today I just now turned on my computer (about 6:30 p.m.) and 12 confirmation emails arrived! TOO funny! Well, at least NOW both my husband & I are covered with plans that work better for us AND save us a little $$$.

===========

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

Cake:
1 box vanilla or white cake mix plus
ingredients to make cake (eggs, oil, water)

Filling:
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 T. melted, salted butter
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. cinnamon

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened/room temp.
1/3 C. butter, softened/room temp
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. heavy cream or milk
=
Cake:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare
cake mix accordg. to pkg. directions &
pour into prepared dish. Bake accordg.
to directions. After baking, allow to cool.
Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke
holes (in about 1-inch intervals) into top
of cooled cake.

Filling:
In small bowl whisk sweetnd cond. milk,
melted butter, brown sugar & cinnamon.
Pour filling into holes in cake & spread it
out using a butter knife or back of a spoon.

Frosting:
In medium bowl, mix cream cheese & butter
using an elec. mixer. Slowly mix in powdered
sugar, vanilla & milk (or heavy cream); mix
until smooth – spread onto cake. Sprinkle some
cinnamon sugar on top of frosting then
refrigerate cake 1 hour to allow cakes filling
to set. Serves 9

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)
———————————-

Warm, Layered Black Bean Dip

2 (15 oz., ea.) cans black beans, drained/
rinsed
1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder (or just regular
chili powder)
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
3 poblano peppers roasted – (see note below)
1/3 C. cilantro leaves, packed
1 T. olive oil
1/3 C. corn, drained
1/3 C. diced tomato
4 oz. queso cheese, shredded/divided
=
Suggested dippers:
Corn chips, bruschetta, tortillas
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat
beans. Add chili powder, cumin, salt/pepper –
combine well. When beans have warmed, mash
them. Add 1/4 C. (or more) of the shredded
cheese – mix well. If needed, add some of the
bean juice for a smooth consistency. Using a
food processor, place cilantro, peppers & 1 T.
olive oil – process until smooth; spread
mixture in bottom of an oven-safe dish.
Spread cilantro/pepper mixture over bean
mixture. Add tomato & corn then remaining
cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese
melts & begins to brown. Serve with dippers.
Serves 4

NOTE:  peppers – if not roasting peppers, make
sure you seed them before using – unless you
want it spicy.

(recipe: yummly.com)
——————————

Crispy Cheese & Bacon Potatoes

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled,
reserve 2-3 T. bacon grease
3 Russet potatoes (extra large, peeled/
chopped into 1/2 – 3/4″ pieces – about
6 C. worth)
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or
Mexican blend)
3 green onions, sliced thin

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place reserved bacon grease on a sheet
pan. Place potatoes on pan & toss with
tongs to thoroughly coat. Sprinkle with
salt/pepper & spread potatoes out in
single layer. Bake 20  minutes; stir well &
bake an additional 20 minutes. Stir again,
making sure none of potatoes are sticking
to the tray. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove
from oven, stir again & sprinkle generously
with shredded cheese & crumbled bacon.
Return tray to oven & bake 2-3 minutes until
cheese has melted. Top with sliced green
onions just before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: barefeetinthekitchen.com)
———————————

Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 C. onion, diced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
basil, oregano, garlic
2 C. green peppers (and/or red peppers)
chopped
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 C. beef broth
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 C. cooked rice*

Brown beef & onions in skillet over
medium heat; drain & place in crockpot.
Add tomatoes (& juice) and rest of
ingredients. Cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours. Serves 8

*poster adds the rice before cooking;
some people like to add it at the end of
cooking.

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

Crockpot Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. water
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz) pkg. no-cook lasagna noodles
4 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C. 4% cottage cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

In skillet cook beef & onion over
medium heat until meat is no longer
pink. Add garlic, cook 1 minute; drain.
Stir in tomato sauce, water, tomato
paste, salt & oregano. Spread 1/4th
of this mixture into ungreased crockpot.
Arrange 1/3 of noodles over sauce, breaking
to fit if necessary. Combine cheeses; spoon
1/3 of mixture over noodles – repeat layers
twice & top with remaining meat sauce.
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours until noodles
are tender. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————

Chili Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
rinsed
1 C. tomato juice
1/2 C. water
4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. uncooked long grain rice
1 C. canned or frozen corn
1/2 C sliced ripe olives
1 C. shredded Cheddar or Monterey
Jack cheese
thinly sliced green onions (optional)

In large skillet over medium heat cook
beef, onion, pepper & garlic until meat
is no longer pink; drain. Add next 7
ingredients; simmer, covered, until
rice is tender, about 25 minutes.
Stir in corn & olives; cover & cook 5
minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cook,
covered, until cheese is melted, about
5 minutes. If desired, top with green
onions. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————–

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

2 (8 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated crescent
roll dough, divided
2 lemons, zested/juiced/divided
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 T. butter, melted
3 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line the
bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish with foil*
& spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press
1 tube dough into bottom of prepared
pan, stretching to the edges. In a bowl mix
the zest of 1 1/2 lemons & juice from 2 lemons.
Using an elec. mixer, beat cream cheese &
1/2 C. sugar into lemon zest mixture until
smooth & creamy – spread over crescent
roll dough layer. Unroll 2nd can of dough &
layer over cream cheese mixture, gently
stretching dough to edges. Brush melted
butter over dough layer. In a bowl mix
remaining lemon zest & 3 T. sugar – sprinkle
over butter. Bake about 30 minutes until
top is golden brown. Allow to cool about
20 minutes. Lift dessert from baking dish
using foil & transfer to a cutting board.
Cut into squares, leaving on foil. Return
dessert to baking dish & refrigerate until
chilled, at least 1 hour. Makes 24

*Allow foil to drap over edges of pan,
making foil ‘handles’

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
——————————

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
dash salt
1 to 1 1/2 C. shelled raw peanuts
(can use regular or pecans)
1 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a baking sheet generously
with nonstick cooking spray. In a
3-qt. microwaveable bowl combine
sugar, corn syrup & salt; stir in nuts.
Microwave on High 9-10 minutes
until light brown (be sure to watch-
microwaves vary).
Stir twice while cooking (very hot –
be very careful not to get burned)
Stir in remaining ingredients – mixture
should be light & foamy. Quickly spread
as thin as possible onto prepared baking
sheet. Let cool & break into pieces.
Makes about 1 lb. brittle

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)

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

Our ‘midwest’ weather is about to change &
get MUCH colder by Weds it’s supposed to be
a HIGH of 22! (good thing is – we might get a
little rain but it says 30% chance of snow
Weds – here in Michigan, that’s nothing!).

Hope you are all staying healthy & warm;

Enjoy your day!

Pammie

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