Hope you’re safe & warm!

Our weather has been unseasonably WARM lately – with some rain. We’ve been ‘enjoying’ 40’s (today it’s 30’s) but it’s raining with a chance of a WHOLE LOT of nasty coming. Ice Storm Warning/Flood Warning, rain/freezing rain; high today of 35 degrees F. but tomorrow it will be 26 degrees F. with a possible chance of snow – Yep, it’s MICHIGAN! (we might not be going to church tomorrow – we’ll just have to wait & see).

I’m done babysitting after 2 days of it; ‘almost’ 3 yr old grandson totally amazes me – it’s like a toddler with a 40+ yr old mind. I was sewing up a baby bootie while he played with his trucks. He said: “Grandma, Look!” I raised my head & said: “OK!” He instantly replied with: “NO, PUT YOUR GLASSES ON & LOOK!” (How does an almost 3 yr old kid know that I can’t see squat without my glasses!???) Yesterday he asked me what my favorite number and food was – I replied: “Three and pizza”. “GREAT IDEA! he said – DAD, that was a GREAT IDEA!” (who knows what he’s thinking!???)

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

Easy Banana Cake
(for all those leftover bananas!)

3 bananas
8 T. butter, softened
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, room temp.
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. chopped walnuts, (optional)

Maple Butter Frosting

8 T. butter
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 tsp. maple extract
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray (or)
line with parchment paper. In large
bowl beat bananas & butter until
thoroughly combined. Add sugars &
mix with butter/banana mixture. Mix
in vanilla & eggs, one-at-a-time,  mixing
until completely combined. In a small
bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking
powder & salt – gradually add to wet
mixture, stirring just until combined.
(fold in chopped nuts, if using). Pour
batter into prepared pan & bake 23-27
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
cake comes out clean. Allow cake to
cool completely.

Brown Butter Maple Frosting

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium
heat, stirring occasionally. (butter will start
to foam & then start browning – you should
be able to smell a nutty aroma when it’s
ready). Remove from heat & allow to cool
at least 30 minutes. Beat cooled/browned
butter & cream cheese together until
completely blended, light & fluffy. Beat in
maple extract & powdered sugar – a half
cup at-a-time. Spread frosting onto cooled
cake & sprinkle top with chopped nuts if
desired.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
—————————

Dump & Go Beef Noodle Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian stewed
tomatoes
2 (10.5 oz, ea) cans beef broth
2 C. frozen mixed vegetables (OR)
1 (15 oz) can mixed vegetables
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/ C. uncooked medium egg noodles

In a Dutch oven cook beef & onion over
medium heat until meat is no longer pink;
drain. Add tomatoes, broth, veggies &
seasonings – bring to a boil. Add noodles;
reduce heat to Medium-Low. Cover & cook
10-15 minutes until noodles are tender.
Serves 8 (2 quarts)

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

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

8 medium potatoes, scrubbed/dried
2 T. olive oil
1 T. kosher or sea salt
3/4 lb. sliced bacon, cooked/crumbled
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. sour cream
5-6 green onions, sliced
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Rub potatoes with olive oil & salt –
place on a baking sheet. Bake
45-60 minutes until tender when
pierced with a fork, flipping potatoes
halfway through baking time.
Let cool 15 minutes.

REDUCE oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ (or 9 X 13″) baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces &
place in a bowl. (pieces might fall
apart – that’s OK). Stir in may & sour
cream.

Set aside 1/3 C. cheese, 3 T.
bacon, 2 T. sliced green onions for
topping the casserole

Stir in remaining ingredients & spoon
into prepared dish. Top with reserved
cheese/bacon/onions.
Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes,
removing foil last 10 minutes.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
—————————

Crockpot Pork Chops w/ Caramelized Apples & Onions

4 pork chops
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled/
cut into pieces
2 yellow onions, sliced into rounds
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
=
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray & layer onions
then apples on bottom. Sprinkle brown
sugar over top. Season chops with salt/
pepper generously on both sides & place
on top of apples. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Serves 4

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
——————————

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup*
1/2 C. milk
2 T. chopped pimiento (optional)
1 C. frozen green peas
2 (5 oz, ea) cans tuna in water, drained
4 oz. (about 2 C.) medium egg noodles,
cooked/drained
2 T. plain dry bread crumbs
1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Stir soup, milk, pimientos (if using), peas,
tuna & noodles into a 1 1/2 qt. casserole
dish. Stir bread crumbs & butter into a
small dish. Bake casserole 20 minutes until
hot & bubbling. Stir tuna mixture & sprinkle
top with bread crumb mixture. Bake 5 more
minutes until top is golden brown.
Serves 4

*a reader of the site recommended using
Campbell’s Garlic Mushroom soup for
added flavor

(recipe: campbells.com)
———————————

Crockpot Cheesy Bean Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2 T. taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese,
divided
=
Tortilla chips, for dipping
=
In large bowl blend all ingredients
except shredded cheese. Spoon half
of mixture into crockpot & layer with
half the shredded cheese. Add remaining
cream cheese mixture & top with remaining
cheese. Cover & cook on Low 4 hours –
serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 12

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

Chocolate Brownie Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box fudge brownie mix
4 large eggs
1 1/4 C. water
1 C. oil

Ganache: (chocolate glaze)

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (12 oz) bag semi sweet chocolate
morsels
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Spray a
Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray
or use the butter/flour method. Combine
first 5 ingredients in large bowl & whisk
2 minutes until most lumps are gone.
Pour batter into prepared pan & bake
50-55 minutes. Remove cake from oven
& allow to cool in pan up to 5 minutes.
Carefully turn cake out onto a cooling
rack & cool 30 minutes.

Ganache:

Place heavy whipping cream in a large
microwavesafe bowl. Heat about 2
minutes – you want the cream to be
just boiling. Carefully pour choc. morsels
into cream (it may rise up & bubble –
that’s OK). Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk
chocolate & cream until shiny & smooth,
about 1 minute then pour over cooled
cake & serve.

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)

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

Depending on the weather, I might be home
doing more knitting. Still working on the Zig Zag
mint green afghan – I like the looks of it but it’s
‘fussy’ – that means I can usually only knit about
8 rows before I’m more than DONE wanting to
knit on it again for awhile. The other Two-Color
Star Stitch afghan is about 3/4ths done – I keep
plugging away on both of them as well as try to
add to the knit baby booties; think I have something
like 15 prs. now. It takes me about an hour to knit
a pair of premie booties & about a 1 1/2 hrs. to
knit a larger set.

Hope you are all in good health & adjusting to
our New Year. Last week was a rather rough
week – just goofy things happening, almost
every day. Finally, by Thursday evening, after
babysitting, I decided I needed something –
so I ordered Jet’s PIZZA! YAY! We really like
their deep dish Veggie pizza with garlic/
Parmesan crust – that just hit the spot!

Hugs;

Pammie

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