Thoughts on a Thursday

Yes, it’s been in the 90’s all week (a few promises of thunderstorms but they never came true). Bright, sunny day with a little breeze – SO GLAD I’m HOME! I was supposed to babysit for around 6 hours today but then grandson came up sick & his dad said he didn’t want me to catch whatever it was, so I’m home! YAY! I ‘did’ venture out awhile ago – sometimes when you’re in charge of a group of people things get a bit ‘dicey’ so I was scoping out locations for my knit group. Because of Covid 19 Panera Bread (where we’ve ‘been’ meeting for years now) is only 50% open and only if you sit with someone in your family (that doesn’t work for a group of 14+ unrelated women). That led to me trying to find a suitable substitute – I found a lovely shaded area, easy to find, good parking – only problem NO BATHROOMS. (There was a port-a-potty off a ways away) Our location is in the same place where our local Farmers Market Fruit & Veggie stand sets up end of July – end of September which makes me trying to find a quick ‘new’ place of utmost importance. I thought I had that covered – there’s a pavilion 2-3 minutes away from where we are now but . . . once again, NO BATHROOMS. The ladies began to grumble; several gave me suggestions for other places and I’ve now officially checked them both out. One is a water park which is closed for the summer due to the virus BUT they’re open to drive in/have a pavilion and port-a-potties. (The ladies were grumbling about that idea). Next place is where we’ve met every year in the past to do the historical Log Cabin Day – I just came home from there and THEY HAVE REAL BATHROOMS WHICH ARE OPEN! They are cleaned once a day – now I’m awaiting verification that they are NOT locked in the evenings (we would be there 4-6/7 p.m. every week). Ah, the fun of trying to please ladies! (I know – I CAN’T please everyone, but I sure want to try!)

Carrot Cake Muffins w/Maple
Cream Cheese Frosting

1/3 C. canola
1/2 C. walnut or pecan pieces
1 3/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon (plus more
for dusting)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 C. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 C. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. coarsely grated carrots

1/4 C. whipped cream cheese
1 T. maple syrup
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin tin cups with
nonstick cooking spray (or use
paper liners)
Spread nuts on a small rimmed
baking sheet & toast in oven
about 3 minutes – let cool slightly
then finely chop.

In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
powder, cinnamon, baking soda,
salt & nutmeg.
In a large bowl whisk brown sugar,
oil & eggs until well combined.
Whisk in applesauce & vanilla;
stir in carrots. Add dry ingredients
to wet in 2 or 3 batches, mixing
each addition until just combined.
Stir in nuts until just incorporated.
Scoop batter into prepared tins.
Bake about 20 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into centers
comes out clean. Transfer to
wire rack to cool completely,
the remove muffins from tin.

While muffins are cooling,
prepare frosting:

In small bowl combine cream cheese
& syrup, beating until smooth.
Transfer mixture to a small ziplock
bag, pushing frosting to one corner.
Snip off about 1/2 inch of bag
corner (to create a piping bag).
Squeeze a dollop of frosting onto
each muffin. Dust muffin tops
with cinnamon (if desired).
Makes 12 muffins

(recipe: The Oakland Press, July
Quinoa Greek Salad

2 C. chicken stock
1 C. quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 C. red pepper, diced
1/2 C. green pepper, diced
1/2 C. cucumber, diced
1/4 C. green onion, diced
1/4 C. black olives, sliced or whole
1/4 C. red onion, diced
3 oz. feta cheese

1/4 C. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. oregano, chopped
black pepper, to taste
Heat chicken stock in a
saucepan – bring to boil. Stir
in quinoa; reduce heat to
medium-low & cover. Cook
15 minutes until liquid is
absorbed. Transfer to a large
bowl & cool.
Stir veggies & feta into cooled
quinoa. Whisk dressing ingredients
together & pour over salad. Toss
to coat. Serves 6


Apple Coleslaw

3 C. chopped cabbage
1 carrot, scraped & shredded
2 unpeeled apples/chopped
(poster used 1 red/1 green
1/4 – 1/2 C. chopped onion
(poster used purple, can use
regular or green onion)
1 tsp. celery seeds (or 1/2 C.
chopped celery)
1/2 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2 T. honey
1 T. granulated sugar
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/8 tsp. black pepper
pinch salt

In large bowl combine cabbage,
shredded carrot, apples, onion &
celery – toss. In a bowl whisk mayo,
honey, sugar, vinegar, pepper & salt –
pour over slaw & mix well with a
spoon. Refrigerate 2-3 hours before
serving. Serves 8 (makes about 4 C.)

NOTE: You can use red or green
chopped peppers, raisins, or nuts.
You can use lite mayo, omit sugar or
use sugar substitute


Crockpot Chicken Tetrazzini

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts or tenders
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (.6 oz) pkt. Italian Salad Dressing
1 T. minced garlic
1/4 C. butter
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
Cooked noodles to serve 6
Place all ingredients in crockpot
except cream cheese. Cover &
cook on High 3 hours (or Low
7 hours). Add cream cheese; stir
& cook an additional 1/2 hour
until cream cheese melts (no
lumps). Stir using a wooden
spoon to break up the chicken.
Serve over cooked noodles.
Serves 6


Broccoli Beef

1 lb. flank steak, cut into thin strips
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 C. soy sauce
1 T. brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, minced
11-inch piece of fresh ginger,
1 T. cornstarch, optional
1 T. sesame oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets/

Cooked rice to serve 4

Optional garnishes:
1 T. toasted sesame seeds
3 scallions, sliced on the bias
Season beef with salt & pepper. In
small bowl whisk soy sauce, brown
sugar, garlic, ginger & cornstarch
(if using). In large nonstick skillet
over high heat, warm 1/2 T. sesame
oil until just smoking. Add beef &
cook, stirring occasionally, until meat
is just about cooked through. Transfer
to a plate. Add remaining 1/2 T. oil to
skillet; add onions & cook about 8
minutes until softened. Add blanched/
drained broccoli – cook 1 minute then
add reserved garlic sauce – stir to coat.
Return beef to skillet & cook about 3
minutes more until beef is cooked through
& sauce has reduced slightly. Transfer
to serving plates over rice. Sprinkle
tops with sesame seeds & scallions.
Serves 4

Grilled Basil & Tomato Chicken

8 Roma tomatoes, divided
3/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Cut tomatoes into quarters & put
in a food processor. Add vinegar,
basil, oil, garlic & salt – cover &
process until smooth. Pour 1/2 C.
mixture into a small bowl; cover &
refrigerate until serving time. Pour
remaining mixture into a large
ziplock bag – add chicken. Seal bag
& turn to coat chicken. Refrigerate
1 hour.
Heat grill over medium heat.
Remove chicken from bag, discard
marinade. Grill chicken, covered,
4-6 minutes per side until golden
& juices run clear. Cut remaining
tomatoes in half; grill 2-3 minutes
per side, until tender. Serve chicken
with grilled tomatoes & reserved
tomato mixture. Serves 4

(recipe: gooseberrypatch)

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

24 fresh jalapeno peppers
12 oz. bulk pork sausage
12 slices bacon, strips halved
24 toothpicks (soak in water if
Wash peppers & remove stems.
Cut a slit along one side of each
pepper – remove seeds; rinse &
dry peppers.
In a skillet cook sausage over medium
heat until no longer pink; drain.
Stuff peppers with sausage & wrap
with bacon – secure with a toothpick.
Grill peppers, uncovered, over medium
heat for about 15 minutes until tender &
bacon is crisp, turning frequently.
Makes 24


Fruit Pizza

2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. cold butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten

1 (3.9 oz) box instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 1/2 C. cold milk
1 tsp. almond extract
1 C. whipping cream

Fresh Fruit ideas:
sliced peaches
black berries
peeled/sliced kiwi
sliced bananas
In bowl of a food processor, place
flour & salt. Add cubed cream cheese
& butter – pulse until large crumbs
start to form, 10-15 pulses. (If you
grab some dough & it holds together
after you squeeze it, it’s ready). Pile
dough in a large circle & wrap in
plastic wrap – refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Roll out dough to fit in a rimmed
sheet pan (18 X 13 X 1″) Flatten
dough to fit pan. Prick dough all over
with a fork & brush on beaten egg.
Bake 15 minutes until golden brown.
(It will shrink slightly). * Let crust
cool completely.
In large bowl beat milk, dry pudding
mix & almost until smooth & thickened.
In another bowl beat whipping cream until
stiff peaks form – fold cream into pudding
mixture then spread evenly on crust. Top
with sliced fruit & serve.
(Poster noted that she thinks this tastes
best after being refrigerated an extra 1-2
hours before serving.) Serves 16

*If you don’t want the crust to shrink
slightly you can omit using the egg & place
parchment paper on top of dough. Add
dried beans or lentils (or pastry weights)
on top to weight down the dough, then



Hope you are able to stay cool, safe
and in good health during this ‘season of



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