The “Best Laid Plans . . . “

 (the YIPPEE above doesn’t exactly ‘fit’, but the

topsy-turvy part does!

Sometimes we plan things and then something comes up to change them – that was me . . . today. Went to my library knit group and had planned on making about 3 stops to various stores before coming home. Just got on the road after knitting when my husband called to ask me to come home. He has a tooth that’s been bothering him and, apparently, it got worse. He made an emergency appointment for our dentist and that’s what we did. He’s scheduled to have oral surgery this Monday (same day as our family Easter dinner). All things considered – it’s not a big deal – we can ‘adjust’ through it all. He’s resting and started antibiotics to get him through until Monday – I feel bad for him because this came up rather suddenly but I’m very grateful we have the dental coverage for him to get it fixed. I got a call that I’m also babysitting tomorrow (unplanned) so will present the situation to my son at that time. To quote the old saying: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”; (not the Scottish version, but you get the idea). We’re flexible – we’ll survive. (Actually I haven’t really felt ‘into’ the Easter preparations mood, so we’ll see where this goes. Still have to do grocery shopping – that will come tomorrow before babysitting!)

===========

Carrot Cake Bars

Cake:

Step one:
1 1/4 C. unsweetened applesauce
(or oil)
2 C. sugar
3 eggs

Step two:
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Step three:
2 C. grated carrots
1 C. shredded sweetened coconut
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. crushed pineapple in
juice, not syrup
(not drained)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar
==
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray with nonstick
cooking spray  (or line with parchment
paper) a 10 X 15″ jelly roll pan.

In large bowl combine Step one
ingredients. Add Step 2 ingredients
& stir in Step 3 ingredients.
Pour batter into prepared pan &
bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into cake comes out clean.
Cool completely.

Frosting:
In large bowl using elec. mixer,
beat butter & cream cheese until
fluffy. Add vanilla & powdered
sugar ( a little at a time) – beat
until smooth. Spread on top of
cooled bars. Makes 36 bars

NOTE: store any leftovers in
an airtight container, refrigerated,
up to 3 days

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
————————–

Ranch Avocado Egg Salad

2 ripe avocados
1 T. fresh lemon juice
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 small shallot, finely diced
1/2 tsp. ranch seasoning
1/4 C. mayonnaise or plain
Greek yogurt
salt/pepper, to taste

Dice avocados & place in medium
bowl; squeeze lemon juice on them
& gently stir (keeps them from
turning brown). Add chopped eggs,
diced shallot, ranch seasoning &
mayo – stir well. Taste for seasoning
& add salt/pepper to taste.
Serves 6

NOTE: for added crunch you can
add a few slices of cooked/crumbled
bacon.

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

Creamy Pea Salad

2 lb. frozen green peas,
thawed
1/2 C. plain greek yogurt
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. diced red onion
8 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. cubed Colby-Jack cheese

In large bowl combine all ingredients
& stir to combine, making sure to
coat all ingredients well. Serves 10

NOTE: Store any leftovers in fridge
for up to 3 days

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)
———————-

Cheesy Bacon/Egg Crescent Ring

4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
4 eggs
1/3 C. milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (8 oz., ea) tube crescent rolls

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In bowl combine eggs, milk, pepper &
salt – whisk until combined. Pour eggs
into a skillet & scramble over medium
heat. Unroll crescent dough & separate
into triangles. Arrange triangles on a
14 inch ungreased pizza pan with points
towards outside of pan & wide ends
overlapping at center, leaving a 4-inch
wide opening in the center. Press
overlapping dough to seal. Spoon eggs
over wide ends of rolls & sprinkle cheese
over eggs – top with crumbled bacon.
Fold pointed ends of triangles over filling,
tucking points under to form a ring (filling
will be visible). Bake 12-15 minutes until
crescents are golden brown.
Serves 8

(recipe: julieseatsandtreats.com)
——————————

Reuben Brunch Bake
(overnight recipe)

8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 (14.5 oz) can sauerkraut, rinsed/
well drained
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1/2 C. whole milk
1 (2 oz) pkg. thinly sliced deli
corned beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 slices rye bread, toasted &
coarsely chopped
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray a 11 X 7″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine first 9 ingredients &
pour into prepared dish. Refrigerate,
covered, overnight.
=
Remove casserole from fridge 30
minutes before baking.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Toss rye bread crumbs & butter &
sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake,
uncovered, 40-45 minutes until a
knife inserted into center comes
out clean. Let stand 10 minutes
before serving. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————–

Crockpot Mac & Cheese

1 lb. cavatappi pasta (or other
corkscrew shaped pasta)
1/4 C. butter, cut into cubes
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 C. Half & Half
4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. block of American (Velveeta)
cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
Optional garnish: 2 tsp. chopped
parsley
=
Cook pasta in boiling water 2 minutes
less than pkg. directions call for- drain.
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick cooking
spray. Place cooked pasta in crockpot & add
butter – stir until noodles are coated with butter.
Add evap. milk, Half & Half, Cheddar & Velveeta
cheeses, salt/pepper, onion powder & paprika –
stir until combined. Cover & cook on Low
1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
At end of cooking time stir until a smooth
sauce coats the noodles. Serve topped with
parsley, if desired. Serves 8

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

Grape Salad

4 C. seedless grapes, halved
1 T. brown sugar
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. maple or vanilla extract
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. chopped pecans

Combine cream cheese, brown sugar &
extract in a bowl until smooth & creamy.
Fold in Cool Whip & gently fold in grapes
& nuts – stir to combine. Refrigerate 1
hour (or serve room temp.) Serves 8

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

Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake

1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme
chocolate cake mix
2 (20 oz, ea) cans cherry pie filling
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 C.) melted
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Dump
both cans of pie filling into dish &
level with a spoon. Dump dry cake
mix on top of pie filling & smooth
out. Drizzle melted butter over top
of cake & top with chocolate chips.
Bake 1 hour. Serves 9

Serve with vanilla ice cream or your
favorite whipping cream.

(recipe: centslessdeals.com)
=================

So that’s what’s going on around here lately;
while at the dentist I was able to finally finish
the multi-colored baby blanket – YAY! Not
sure what I’ll knit next – might start a crocheted
granny square baby blanket – we’ll see.

Hope things are going well for you;

Hugs;

Pammie

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Friday

Ah, yes – Michigan in the Spring; it’s been another rollercoaster ride with our weather. It ‘was’ kinda warm a few days ago and then there was yesterday – waking up to a covering of snow – lovely . . . not. It eventually melted & today we have gloomy & rainy 53 degrees. Looking at our upcoming weather it’s ‘maybe’ going up to 63 today (I doubt it) then Sun/Mon. it’s rain and SNOW again. . . lovely. Oh well – EVENTUALLY we’ll have Spring!

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

Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake:
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 C. sliced almonds

Glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 T. milk
dash salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line two 8″ round cake pans with
parchment paper & spray with
nonstick cooking spray, generously.
In stand mixer or large bowl add
softened butter & brown sugar:
cream together until light & fluffy,
about 2 minutes. Add egg & beat
1 minute, scraping sides of bowl &
adding almond extract – mix until
just combined. In another bowl
mix flour, baking soda, baking
powder & salt. Pour half of dry
ingredients into creamed mixture &
mix just until combined. Add half of
sour cream & mix just until combined-
repeat with remaining dry ingred. &
sour cream – make sure to not over
mix. Gently fold in blueberries.
Spread batter into pans evenly &
sprinkle tops with almonds. Bake
20 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Allow
pans to rest on counter 5 minutes then
invert onto a wire rack.

Whisk glaze ingredients together in
small bowl & drizzle over tops of warm
cakes. Serves 12

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

Make-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

14 eggs
2 T. milk
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
salt/black pepper
12 small croissant rolls, sliced in half
1 (6 oz) pkg. sharp Cheddar cheese slices
1 (9 oz) pkg. deli ham
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl crack eggs; add  milk,
seasoned salt & some salt/pepper –
whisk vigorously with a fork (you want
it kind of frothy). Pour eggs into prepared
pan & bake 15 minutes until eggs puff up
& are cooked through. Cool 5 minutes then
cut into 12 rectangles (same size as
croissants). Place one egg slice on each bottom
half & top with some ham & cheese.
=
Spray another 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray & arrange croissant
sandwiches in pan. Cover pan tightly with foil
& refrigerate until ready to serve.
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place covered pan in oven & bake 15 minutes
until sandwiches have heated through & cheese
is melted. Makes 12 sandwiches

NOTE: Poster split each cheese slice in half,
placing one half under ham & one over so
the cheese melted & secure the ham in place.
She said it helps speed up the process if you
cut the croissants, add all the egg, then all
the ham & cheese – instead of doing each one
individually.

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

15-Minute Honey Garlic Chicken

3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb)
salt/pepper
1/4 C. flour
6 T. butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. honey

Filet each chicken breast into 2 equal halves –
sprinkle with salt/pepper. Pour flour into a
shallow dish (or pie plate) & dredge each
piece in flour, making sure both sides are
covered. Heat a large deep skillet over medium
high heat. Add 4 T. butter & melt. Place chicken
in skillet & brown on both sides (about 3
minutes per side). Move chicken to sides of pan &
add 2 T. butter in center – melt. Place garlic in
center of pan & stir to combine – cook 1-2 minutes.
Add apple cider vinegar, soy sauce & honey to
center of pan. Shake pan a bit, allowing sauce &
garlic to spread & combine. Cook until sauce
thickens & chicken is no longer pink in middle,
2-3 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6

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

Strawberry Spinach Salad

5 oz. pkg. Spring Mix salad
1 pint strawberries, washed/
hulled, sliced
1 C. walnut halves
3 oz. creamy Gorgonzola cheese*
1/2 C. mint – chopped tiny

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:

3/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Place spring mix in large bowl &
top with strawberries & nuts. Sprinkle
Gorg. cheese & chopped mint on top

Dressing:
Combine all dressing ingredients in large
jar with lid; cover & shake vigorously
until dressing has emulsified (it should
look uniform in appearance). Serve
salad with dressing on the side or
drizzle over top of salad just before
serving.  Serves 4

*Look for Gorgonzola that doesn’t
crumble – you want the really creamy
kind

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

Crockpot Creamy Chicken/Fajita
Bowls

2 lb. boneless chicken
1 red bell pepper, seeded/sliced
1 green bell pepper seeded/sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded/sliced
1/2 to 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 (14-16 oz) can crushed tomatoes,
undrained
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 packets dry Fajita seasoning

Optional: shredded Cheddar Cheese
slices lemon or lime
Cooked rice or mashed potatoes to serve
6
=
Add chicken, peppers & onions to
crockpot. In a bowl combine tomatoes
& fajita seasonings – pour over ingredients
in crockpot. Top with cream cheese cubes.
Cover & cook on Low around 6 hours,
stirring at about 5 hours. Serve over cooked
rice or mashed potatoes & sprinkle some
cheese on top. Squeeze some lemon or lime
on top.

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

Garlicy Shrimp Stir Fry

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
kosher salt/black pepper
1 T. sesame oil
1 small head broccoli, cut into
small florets
8 oz. sugar snap peas
1 red bell pepper, seeded/sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1/2 C. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
juice of 1 lime
2 T. brown sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes

In large skillet over medium heat,
heat oil. Add shrimp & season with
salt/pepper. Cook until pink, 5 minutes,
then remove from skillet. Return
skillet to heat & heat sesame oil. Add
broccoli, peas & bell pepper – cook
until soft, 7 minutes. Add garlic &
ginger; cook 1 minute more. In small
bowl, whisk soy sauce, cornstarch, lime
juice, brown sugar & pinch red pepper
flakes; add to skillet & toss to coat. Add
shrimp & cook until heated through,
2 minutes. Serves 5

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————

Classic Deviled Eggs

6 large eggs
2 1/2 T. mayonnaise
1 1/2 T. sweet pickle relish
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/8 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
optional garnish: paprika

Place eggs in bottom of a saucepan &
add enough cold water to cover eggs.
Bring to a boil; cover & remove from heat.
Let stand 15 minutes. After 15 minutes
drain water then fill sauce pan with cold
water & ice – allow to stand 5 minutes.
Tap each egg firmly on counter until
cracks form all over shell – peel eggs
under cold running water. Slice eggs
in half lengthwise & carefully remove
yolks. Place yolks in a bowl & mash
using a fork. Add mayonnaise, relish,
mustard, salt/pepper & stir well.
Spoon mixture into egg white halves.
Sprinkle tops with a bit of paprika.
Makes 12

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

Fluffy Orange Jell-o Salad

1 C. hot water
2 (3 oz) pkgs. orange Jell-o
1 C. crushed ice
8 C. miniature marshmallows
2 (15 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
drained
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In a glass 2 cup
measuring cup- pour in 1 C.
water & microwave 2-3 minutes until
boiling. Add both pkgs. orange Jell-o to
hot water & stir until completely dissolved.
Add 1 C. crushed ice & stir until all ice
has melted. Refrigerate 20-30  minutes
until it’s the consistency of thick pudding.

To a large bowl add marshmallows. Add
mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple to
bowl then sprinkle dry vanilla pudding mix
in bowl. Add Cool Whip & stir all in bowl
until combined. Remove orange Jell-o
from fridge & add to bowl – stir to combine.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour – or up to 12
hours. Serves 12

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
===================

This week it’s babysitting Thurs & Friday
but only for about 4 hours each, so that’s
not too bad. My 2 yr old grandson amazes
me in his mental growth – yesterday he ran
up to me & ‘threw’ at me a continuous
sentence consisting of “Green/Yellow/
Green/Yellow/Green/Yellow” in rapid
order then said “Bye! waved at me & ran
away . . . strange child! He keeps me laughing
for sure!  While babysitting I do manage to
get in a good amount of knitting. I have 5
more pairs of baby booties and we’ll be
able to donate another 50 pairs, making
our total donations 200 pairs since we
started about 2 1/2 months ago. Still
working on the 2 baby blankets – one
(a multi-colored) is almost finished; the
other (all yellow) still is only about 1/4th
finished. I now have 5 baby blankets done-
most of those will probably go to Crisis
Pregnancy Center Mobile Unit – I donate
blankets to them twice a year. The lady
that runs the mobile unit meets me in
the parking lot of a church that’s about
half-way between the two of us. As I’ve
mentioned before, they give baby blankets
to women who agree to not abort their
babies.

Not much else new around here – trying
to get together an Easter ‘sides’ menu –
haven’t really thought about it much
although it’s coming up pretty soon – how
are you doing with your Easter dinner plans?
I will attempt to post more Easter recipes
for you soon.

Hope you have a nice, relaxing day today!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS:
Gas Prices

Don’t know about your area, but
our gas prices keep jumping. They
were something like $2.69/9 and
now we’re up to $2.79/9
really hope they go down soon
for the holidays for all the people
who will be driving to relatives &
family.

Beginning to WARM UP! (Kinda)

Yesterday found me babysitting from 10:15 a.m – after 7 p.m. When I left my house it was -14 degrees F.! My poor car really struggled to get going in those temps. (Quick sidenote: Our new Governor of Michigan sent out texts to all cell phones asking that people drop their house heat to 68 degrees F. until Friday – I guess there was a fire at one of the gas plants which caused a loss of gas and, if people didn’t comply, there might be BROWN OUTS – scary stuff!). My son & his girlfriend complied – so that meant GRANDMA & GRANDSONS FROZE!!! I had on lots of layers but my ears, nose, fingers & toes were cold ALL DAY! We later learned that the gas drop was lifted – let me tell you BOY was I glad to get home last night! (My husband decided that the ‘text thing’ was all a bunch of malarkey so OUR house was warm.) Oh well – we survived!

Today was the first day this week I was actually able to GET OUT and do errands – YAY! Wednesday the news was telling people to stay inside because the temperatures were so cold AND the wind chills were really bad. (I wasn’t happy – didn’t go to Library Knit group OR special needs group). Tried to go to the library today but they were closed (probably due to temperatures – I didn’t get out of my car to read sign on the door – parking lot was totally empty).

Was happy to get ‘needed stuff’ at 2 drug stores, mailed 25 pairs of baby booties to the project I mentioned and grocery shopped. Dinner will be left over pork roast, carrots & potatoes which I threw in the crockpot yesterday before leaving to babysit. SO HAPPY I have a crockpot – it really helps sometimes!

LOTS of great soup & appetizer recipes coming in (for Super Bowl, I’m guessing). Some of the soup recipes I’m featuring today are for smaller amounts of people – found them on a nice site & thought NOT ALL of you feed 6-8 people, so maybe this was a good idea! ENJOY!

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

 Turtle Cheesecake Dip

30 (unwrapped) caramels
2 1/4 C. Cool Whip, thawed,
divided
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted

Suggested dippers:
graham crackers
vanilla cookies
shortbread cookies
pretzels
=
In medium microwaveable bowl:
microwave caramels & 1/2 C. Cool Whip
on High 1 min 40 seconds, stirring after
1 minute. Stir until caramels are completely
melted & sauce is well blended. Cool
10 minutes. In small microwaveable bowl
microwave chocolate & 3/4 C. Cool Whip
1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir
until chocolate is completely y melted &
sauce is well blended. In another medium
bowl beat cream cheese using elec. mixer
until creamy. Add 2/3 C. caramel sauce –
beat until blended. Gently stir in remaining
1 C. Cool Whip. Spread cream cheese mixture
onto a serving plate. Drizzle top with chocolate
sauce & remaining caramel sauce. Sprinkle
top with nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Makes 24 (2 T. each) servings.

(recipe: Kraftrecipes.com)
—————————————

Classic 30-Minute Chili

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 C. chopped yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 T. chili powder
4 T. diced green chilies (from a can)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
30 oz. beans, drained (poster uses 1 can ea:
kidney & pinto, drained/rinsed)
=
Toppings:

corn chips
sour cream
shredded cheese
chopped green onions
cilantro
chopped jalapenos

In large pot over medium heat add 1 T.
olive oil & beef; saute, breaking up meat
into small pieces until it’s browned &
almost cooked through; drain. Add onions
& garlic – cook 5 minutes until onions have
softened. Add chili powder, green chilies,
tomato sauce, diced tomatoes & beans –
stir & bring to a simmer. Add 1-2 C. water
(depending on how thin you want it).
Simmer 10-15 minutes, partially covered.
Taste & add salt/pepper or more chili
powder, according to your taste preferences.
Serve hot with desired toppings.
Serves 4

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
—————————————
Chicken & Corn Soup

2 C. (one 16 oz. can) chicken stock
1 C. finely chopped celery
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 cans cream-style corn
1 (12 oz) can evaporated skim milk
1 1/2 T. flour
1 C. cooked chicken (or 1 can cooked
chicken, drained)
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
salt/pepper, to taste

In large stock pot combine stock, onion &
celery – bring to boil. Lower heat, cover &
simmer 15 minutes until vegetables are
tender. Stir in remaining ingredients &
season with salt/pepper; mix well. Simmer
10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serves 6 (1 C. each)

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)
——————————–
Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 T. butter
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
2 1/2 T. flour
2 C. whole milk
1 C. chicken/vegetable stock
1 large head broccoli, roughly
chopped
1 1/2 C. grated cheese
(additional milk & cheese may
be needed)
=
In large pot over medium heat melt
butter. Add onions & cook about
4 minutes. Stir in flour & cook 1-2
minutes. Pour in milk & broth; add
broccoli & season with a dash of salt/
pepper. Cover & reduce heat to Low.
Simmer on Low until broccoli is tender,
20-30 minutes. Puree soup in a blender,
in batches (or) use an immersion blender,
(or) use a potato masher. Stir in cheese &
allow to melt. Taste & adjust seasonings
if needed. Thin with additional milk to
desired consistency.  Makes 4-5 bowls.

NOTE: To make it a little heartier:
stir in some cooked, diced ham or
cooked, chopped chicken or turkey.
Serve with extra cheese & crackers

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)
————————————
15 Minute White Chicken Chili

3 C. pre-cooked/shredded chicken
1 (32 oz) can chicken stock
2 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained
2 tsp. cumin
1 (16 oz) jar salsa (your choice of
how hot)
8 oz. shredded Pepper-Jack cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
black pepper, to taste
1/2 C. tortilla chips (pieces)

Optional Toppings:
sour cream
grated/shredded cheese
chopped green onions
corn
sliced avocado
lime

Place first 8 ingredients in a large pot;
bring to boil over High heat. Reduce heat
to medium & simmer 10 minutes. Add
chips & let thicken to desired consistency.
Serve with optional toppings.

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)
———————————

Baked Nachos (using crockpot)

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 jar of your favorite salsa (16 oz)

tortilla chips
=
Toppings:
shredded Cheddar cheese
sliced olives
peeled/diced avocado
salsa
sour cream
cilantro
guacamole
=
Brown meat, black beans & onion in
a skillet. Combine meat mixture & rest
of ingredients in a crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 2-3 hours.

Turn oven broiler on
=
If you’re making this for a group:
use a baking sheet covered in parchment
paper – spray paper with a little nonstick
cooking spray. Place tortilla chips on sheet.
Using a slotted spoon, spoon meat mixture
over chips & add your choice of toppings.
Broil in oven until cheese is melted & bubbly.
Remove from oven & let stand 1 minute then
drizzle sour cream on top & guacamole, if
using.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
————————————–
Jalapeno Popper Egg Cups

12 strips bacon
8 large eggs
4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 oz. cream cheese
4 medium jalapeno peppers: 3 chopped,
/seeded & 1 seeded/ sliced into rings)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In skillet par-cook bacon until semi crisp.
(save bacon grease in pan) In a bowl using
elec mixer, mix eggs, cream cheese, chopped
jalapeno, leftover bacon grease, garlic & onion
powders, salt/pepper. Spray wells of 12 muffin
cups with nonstick cooking spray then wrap bacon
slices inside each muffin tin (1 slice per cup)
Pour egg mixture into cups making sure you only
fill half-way to 2/3rds full (they will rise up a lot).
Sprinkle Cheddar cheese on top of each cup then
top with a jalapeno slice. Bake 20-25 minutes.
Once baked, remove from oven & let cool.
Makes 12

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————–

Banana Pudding Fluff

1 (3.4 oz) box INSTANT vanilla or
banana pudding mix
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
3 C. mini marshmallows
3 C. Vanilla Wafers, broken into
pieces
3 medium bananas, sliced
1 mashed banana

In large bowl whisk dry pudding
mix & milk – let stand 3 minutes
to set. Stir in Cool Whip, then
marshmallows, cookies, sliced &
mashed bananas.

(recipe: facebook)

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

Since I mentioned in my last post that I’d
finished several knitting projects, thought
I’d add the photos: first one is a LOOM-
KNIT
hat for my son’s friend. (It’s done
in black & a dark maroon – but the color
looks more magenta in the photo).
Second photo is the ‘shades of pinks’
baby blanket I knit to use up some
smaller bits of pink variegated yarns.

I think it’s funny how strange our weather
has been this past week (due to the Polar
Vortex, I’m told) from below zero with
SUPER COLD wind chills to a High of
49 degrees F. this coming Monday AND
rain! WEIRD!  Guess I can’t complain
too much – at least it isn’t TONS of SNOW!
The roads & our driveway are completely
clear-YAY!  (right now the National
Weather Service says my area is 12 degrees F.
with no wind chill so that’s OK – it didn’t seem
to stop many people from driving/shopping
when I was out earlier.

Stay warm, try to relax a little, maybe eat/drink
something you like (like a treat for you!) –
Have a GREAT DAY!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

and now it’s SUPER COLD!

(saw this on Facebook – thought it was pretty creative!)

  Today is the day everyone is freaking out about – temperatures BELOW zero and wind chills that are dangerous. Roads are clear, it’s almost sunny out – I’M GOING TO THE LIBRARY TO KNIT! Spent all day babysitting my baby grandson yesterday; finished the ‘pinks’ baby blanket & knit 2 1/2 pairs of baby booties (finished the other bootie this morning). Found another ‘new to me’ knit pattern so will be starting another blanket, probably today.

On our snow plowing conundrum – it turned out to be a very long story: Our ‘regular’ guy retired & didn’t tell us; next guy who was recommended very abruptly said: “I’m SWAMPED!”. I ended up calling back our old guy for another recommendation so now we have someone for the ‘next’ big snow. My oldest son who drove 12+hours home after being away for the weekend suddenly showed up in our driveway with a snowblower & did our drive! I was super surprised (didn’t expect him home for at least another 3-4 hours!). He said they decided to leave early knowing the driving conditions would be bad; he borrowed the snowblower from the other grandparents: did his driveway, their driveway then ours – what a guy! My special needs group is officially canceled for tonight & all my people are called (got that done last night!). I’m thinking pork roast, carrots & potatoes in the crockpot for dinner – easy-peasy!

===========

Orange Coffee Rolls

1/4 C. warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast

1 3/4 C. sugar, divided
2 eggs
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. butter melted/divided
1 tsp. salt
2 3/4 to 3 C. flour
1 C. flaked coconut, toasted/
divided
2 T. orange zest
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter
2 tsp. orange juice

Grease a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with butter, or spray
with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine dry yeast into
warm water in a large bowl;
let stand 5 minutes. Add 1/4 C.
sugar, eggs, sour cream, 6 T.
melted butter & salt; beat
using elec. mixer on medium
speed until blended. Gradually
stir in enough flour to make a
soft dough. Turn dough out onto
a well-floured surface. Knead
dough until smooth & elastic,
about 5 minutes. Grease a
large bowl with butter; place
dough ball in bowl. Cover with
a towel & place in a warm place
(85 degrees), free from drafts,
1 1/2 hours or until dough doubles
in bulk. Punch dough down & divide
in half. Roll one portion dough into a
12-inch circle; brush with 1 T. melted
butter. In a small bowl combine 3/4 C.
sugar, 3/4 C. coconut & orange zest;
sprinkle half of mixture over dough.
Cut into 12 wedges; roll each wedge,
beginning at wide end & place in
prepared pan, point sides down –
repeat with remaining dough/butter/
coconut mixture. Cover & let rise in
a warm place, free from drafts, 45
minutes or until double in bulk.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake rolls 25-30 *minutes until golden.
*Cover with foil after 15 minutes to
prevent excess browning. While rolls
are baking: in a small saucepan combine
3/4 C. sugar, sour cream, butter & orange
juice. Over medium heat bring to boil.
Boil, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Let
cool slightly then spoon warm glaze over
warm rolls & sprinkle with remaining
1/4 C. coconut. Makes 2 dozen.

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

Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. ground beef (or sausage)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
4 C. water
1-2 lb. pkg. frozen pepper & onion
blend
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic
2 tsp. basil

4 C. riced, cooked – for serving
=
In large pot or Dutch oven, brown
beef over medium-high heat until
no longer pink. Drain. Add onion/
pepper blend & cook until peppers
are tender & onions are slightly
translucent. Stir in all other
ingredients (except rice) – bring to
boil over medium heat. Reduce
heat & simmer about 30 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Stir in rice to
each bowl (or in the whole pot, if
desired) just before serving.

NOTE: Poster said “If you’re not going
to eat all of the soup at that serving,
she suggests stirring rice into each
individual bowl of soup rather than
the entire pot.

(recipe: southernplate.com)
——————————

Crockpot Cube Steak

2 lb. cube steak
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup

Cooked rice or egg noodles to serve 6
=
Place cube steak in freezer for about
20 minutes to facilitate easier slicing.
Cut meat into 1-inch strips & place in
bottom of 5 qt or larger crockpot; pour
soup on top. Cover & cook on Low 4-6
hours. Serve over cooked white or brown
rice or cooked egg noodles.

NOTE: If you would like a thinner gravy,
add a little water to meat & soup (about
1/4 C.). Without adding water the meat
will release it’s own juices which will thin
out the gravy, also.

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

Amish Breakfast Casserole

1 lb. sliced bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 C. frozen, shredded hash
brown potatoes, thawed
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C. cottage cheese
1 1/4 C. shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook bacon & onion
over medium heat until bacon is
crisp; drain. In large bowl combine
remaining ingredients; stir in bacon
mixture & transfer to prepared pan.
Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes until
a knife inserted into center comes out
clean. Let stand 10 minutes before
cutting. Serves 12

NOTE: can be assembled a day ahead &
baked just before serving.

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

Honey/Lemon/Ginger Chicken

4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
salt/pepper, to taste
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. honey
zest of 1 lemon
4 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
=
Cooked rice to serve 6
=
Heat a large skillet over medium-
high heat; add 1 T. olive oil & heat.
Add chicken chunks & sprinkle with
salt/pepper. Cook until browned on
all sides & no longer pink on the
inside – about 10 minutes. In a
medium saucepan, heat over medium-
high heat & add 1 T. olive oil – heat oil.
Add ginger & garlic, cook 2-3 minutes
being careful not to burn, until fragrant &
slightly golden brown. In large glass
measuring cup whisk lemon zest, lemon
juice, vinegar, honey, soy sauce & cornstarch;
make sure all is well combined. Pour sauce
over garlic & ginger -stir to combine & allow
to come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once
at a boil, cook 2 minutes – sauce will thicken
& turn a bit darker. Pour sauce over cooked
chicken & stir, making sure all chicken is
coated in sauce. Serve immediately over
cooked rice. Serves 6

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

Tuscan Sausage & White Bean Soup

1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic,finely chopped
1/4 C. flour
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1/2 lb. ground pork sausage, cooked/
drained
1 (15.5 oz) can undrained cannellini
beans
salt/pepper, to taste

In medium saucepan melt butter; add
onion & garlic, cook 1-2 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir
in flour – slowly add evap. milk & broth
while stirring constantly. Once mixture
comes to a complete boil, add sausage
& beans. Heat through, season with
salt/pepper. Serves 4

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

Reese’s Chocolate Butter Cake

1 (15.25 oz) box Devil’s Food cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 egg
12 peanut butter cups (full sized circle)
cut into sixths
4 snack-sized Butterfinger candy bars,
coarsely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. creamy peanut butter
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. butter, melted
4 C. powdered sugar

Glaze:
1 C. milk chocolate chips
2 tsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Generously spray 9 X 13″ baking
pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine dry cake
mix, melted butter & egg – mix
until combined. Cover bottom of
greased pan evenly with cake
mixture. Spread peanut butter cups &
butterfinger pieces over cake mixture.
Mix cream cheese, peanut butter, eggs
& vanilla until well blended then add
butter. Mix in powdered sugar until well
blended & spread over candy bar layer.
Bake 55 minutes – it will puff up in the
center & will drop a little after you remove
it from oven. Let cool
Mix Glaze ingredients in a microwave-safe
bowl & microwave until chips are melted.
Spread over cooled cake. Serves 30

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)

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

Ok – right now (8:50 a.m.) the temp. is showing
-8 degrees F. with a wind chill of -31 degrees F.!
Now THAT’S cold! The really FUNNY thing is:
they’re predicting a high of near 45 degrees F.
for Sunday! WEIRD! (then rain & high near 48
for next Monday) Hey-I can take the cold – you
can walk & drive in it & not worry about falling
or getting your car stuck in it! Wonder how
many brave ladies will venture out today to
library Knit group!

Stay warm – our local newspaper’s headline
today is: “Stay warm – stay inside!”

Hugs;

Pammie



 

Here comes the S-N-O-W!

Here in Michigan we are awaiting a BIG snowstorm coming sometime today/night – 5 to 7 inches (YUCK). Yesterday found me attempting to contact our snowplow man to make sure we are still on his list of clients – to no avail; calls went to his answering machine which promptly told clients that the ‘box is full and not able to take any more messages.” UGH! Finally, out of frustration, I tried ONE MORE TIME this morning and got him right away. My ‘hunch’ was right – he’s retired! We are now going to try another man who was referred to us by a friend – sure hope this works out, don’t want to be snowed in. We live on a MAJOR highway (45 mph. in front of our house) and our driveway is sloped just enough to make it nigh onto impossible to get UP if there’s any snow on it! The county road crews come through plowing the road constantly which piles up HUGH amounts of snow/ice at the bottom of the drive – you would need a SHERMAN TANK to get over that once it freezes up, hence WHY we need the drive plowed! Husband & I (and the boys, at times) have shoveled that for many years but both husband & I are now of an age that we shouldn’t be doing that kind of work, so we called a plow guy. SURE HOPE this new guy comes through – I’m thinking I will probably be the one to babysit tomorrow morning. Son & his girlfriend went with other couples for a weekend together and are due back tonight (other grandparents babysat for 4 days so I’m pretty sure they won’t be babysitting tomorrow when our son & girlfriend have to go back to work). OH JOY – I get to ‘venture out’ – sure hope the drive gets cleared & the roads are good – we’ll see.

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

Sour Cream Banana Bars

Bars:
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. mashed bananas
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 C. butter
3 3/4 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4-5 T. Half & Half

Optional: add 1/2 C. chopped nuts
to batter of bars, if desired

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 10 X 15″ jelly roll pan.
In large bowl using elec. mixer, combine
sugar, sour cream, butter & eggs – mix on
Low speed, scraping bowl occasionally,
until combined. Add bananas & vanilla –
mix on Low about 30 seconds. Add flour,
salt & baking soda – mix on medium speed
about 1 minute, just until combined – pour
into prepared pan. Bake 18-22 minutes until
golden brown & a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool until just
slightly warm & frost with Brown Butter
Frosting. Serves 12

Frosting:
In small saucepan brown butter over medium
heat until golden brown in color & golden-
brown flecks appear, swirling pan frequently.
(butter will become a little foamy). Remove
from heat & pour into a large bowl, cool
slightly. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and
Half & Half – mix using elec. mixer until
smooth & spreadable

(recipe: 5boysbaker.com)
———————————

Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup

2 C. cooked/chopped roast beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 (12 oz) bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (42 oz) can tomato juice
1 1/2 C. coarse-chopped cabbage
1 large potato, peeled/chopped
salt/pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in crockpot;
cover & cook on Low 8 hours or
until potatoes are tender.
Serves 10

(recipe: farmwifecooks.com)
————————————-
Tex-Mex Bean Bake w/Cornbread
Topping

1 T. olive oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled/
finely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 small green pepper, coarsely
chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, coarsely
chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained/
rinsed
1 C. frozen corn
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 C. vegetable broth
3 oz. cream cheese, softened

Topping:
1 (8.5 oz) box corn bread/muffin mix
(Jiffy)
1 large egg
1/3 C. milk
1/3 C. solid-pack pumpkin

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet heat oil over
medium-high heat. Add sweet
potato, onion & peppers- cook &
stir 5-7 minutes until potato is
cooked halfway through. Stir in
beans, corn, chilies, salt & cumin;
heat through. Stir in broth & cream
cheese until blended – pour mixture
into prepared pan.
In large bowl combine corn bread mix,
egg, milk & pumpkin – spoon over
bean mixture in pan. Bake, uncovered,
25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into topping portion comes out clean.
Serves 8

NOTE: this recipe can be made ahead a
day in advance. Prepare as directed,
omitting topping. Cover & refrigerate
overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes
before baking. Prepare topping & bake
as directed

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-

Stir-fry Garlic/Beef & Broccoli

1 lb. round steak, very thinly sliced*
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. medium sherry (optional)
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. olive oil (or other oil)
3/4 lb. broccoli, cut into small
florettes
1/4 C. chicken stock
4 green onions, cut into 1″ lengths
1 1/2 C. small mushrooms, sliced
2 T. soy sauce (or more, if desired)
salt/pepper
=
Cooked rice or noodles to serve 6
=
Place sliced steak in a bowl with sherry
(if using), soy sauce, cornstarch & a little
salt – stir & let rest 20 minutes.
Place 2 T. oil in a skillet over medium-high
heat. Add garlic & stir-fry 1-2 minutes. Add
mushrooms & stir-fry 2 minutes; remove &
keep warm. Place 2 T. oil in skillet & stir-fry
beef until nicely browned; remove & keep
warm. Add 1 T. oil to skillet & stir-fry green
onions 1 minute-remove & keep warm. Pour
chicken stock in skillet & heat to bubbling;
add broccoli. Cover & steam 3-4 minutes.
Remove lid & place all ingredients in
skillet; heat through but do not over cook.
Serves 6

*Steak is sliced easily if it is half-frozen
when you slice it

(recipe: geniuskitchen.com)
———————————

Scrambled Egg Muffins

12 eggs
1/2 C. milk
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 green onion, chopped
3-4 slices deli ham
4 fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking
spray. Crack eggs into large bowl; add
milk, salt/pepper/seasoned salt – whisk
vigorously with a fork. Sprinkle onion,
ham, mushrooms & cheese into muffin
tin bottoms & pour some of egg mixture
into each cup (just a little less than full=
helps if you use a large measuring cup)
Bake 30 minutes until they puffed up &
are a bit golden brown along the edges.
Allow to sit in pan about 5 minutes, then
serve. Makes 12

NOTE: They can be made ahead – cool
completely & store in ziplock bags in fridge.
Microwave to reheat.

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

Country Chicken ‘n Rice

1 (3 to 3 1/2 lb) chicken, cut into 8
pieces
6 C. water
2 (15 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1T. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 C. long or whole-grain rice,
rinsed

In large pot bring all ingredients
except rice to a boil over medium-
high heat. Cover & allow to boil
35 minutes. Add rice & cook 25-30
minutes until rice is tender, no pink
remains in chicken & chicken juices
run clear. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————-

Cake Mix Snickerdoodles

1 box white cake mix
1 egg
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment
paper. In mixing bowl beat dry cake
mix, egg & melted butter until fully
combined. In small bowl mix cinnamon
& sugar. Scoop batter & shape into
1 inch balls & roll balls in cinnamon/sugar
mixture – place on cookie sheet – repeat
with remaining dough. Bake 10-12 minutes
until edges are light brown. Let cookies
set on cookie sheet 5 minutes before
removing – cool completely on wire rack.
Makes 36-40 cookies

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
====================

Am currently working on finishing the ‘various
pinks’ blanket (almost done), the continuing
baby booties project and then – the other night
I got a text from oldest son asking if I would
mind making a (Loom-knit) hat for his friend.
I told son I haven’t made those in years (the
process makes my hands hurt so I kind of stopped
doing that) BUT – this is my son’s close friend so
I caved. Told him I hoped his friend didn’t mind
the colors I chose (only large skeins of ‘regular’
yarn I had at the moment): maroon & black.
Friend sent me a text with a photo of him holding
a post-it note saying “I love you, Pam!” so – being
the ‘softy’ that I am, of course I’m making him a
hat! (I’ve known him since they were teens – he
works for my son as an under chef, he’s a great
guy!). To take my mind off the ‘process’ of making
the hat I’ve been watching the cooking channel &
looming – it helps. I also told my son ‘no more
volunteering my hat making skills, please’.

Hope you are having a GREAT day! It’s the
beginning of a new week – let’s hope it turns
out to be a good one!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Mid-week!

Super cold here and supposed to get to below zero by Sunday – oh, joy . . . we’re supposed to be getting snow in the next few days but it doesn’t say ‘accumulation’ so I’m REALLY hoping it doesn’t stick! Went to Library Knit group this morning and there was a film of ice on the windshield – enough that it had to be scraped before I could drive. Oh well – it’s Michigan – what can I expect at this time of year, right?

Working on 2 baby blankets – one is a combination of pinks (like the ‘blues’ one I did & posted the photo) and the other is a new pattern (to me). I had purchased some very nice, soft dusty pink yarn and had done a good foot or more of another (new) pattern when I discovered I’d made a mistake about 2 inches down. Normally it wouldn’t be a big problem, but this time I did a Yarn-Over – which creates a HOLE (where one was NOT supposed to be!). I decided, instead of taking each stitch off of the needles, one-by-one, I would just remove the needles, unravel the yarn down to that row and resume – HA! WHAT FOLLY! This particular yarn being nice & soft AND SLIPPERY decided it had a mind of it’s own and unraveled ALL OVER THE PLACE – WAY PAST THE MISTAKE, etc! I tried, several times, to get all the stitches back on the needles before finally (in utter desperation) unraveling the entire thing and putting yarn & needles away (for several days). Finally found a different pattern and am (so far) happily creating – we’ll see where this goes! (I remember, many years ago, a knitter friend gifted me an entire bag of this same type of yarn, in at least 6 colors – she said she found it very frustrating because it was so slippery . . . guess I should have learned, right?)

LOTS of great soup/cold weather recipes coming in!

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

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Cookie Layer:
1 C. butter
2 eggs
2 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 C. quick-cooking oats

Topping:
1 (12 oz) pkg. milk chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. chopped nuts (poster uses pecans)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl cream 1 C.
butter, brown sugar, eggs & vanilla. Add
flour, salt, soda & oats – mix well then
press into prepared pan. In another bowl
melt 2 T. butter & chocolate chips together.
Add sweeten’d/Cond’ milk, vanilla, salt &
nuts – mix until smooth. Pour mixture
over cookie layer & spread evenly over
top. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool then cut
into bars. Makes 20 bars

(recipe: sugar-n-spicegals.com)
————————————–

Crockpot Northern Beans & Ham

1 (16 oz) pkg. dried Northern beans
3-4 meaty ham hocks/shank or meaty
ham bone (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 small onion, diced
(1 pkg. Goya ham-flavored concentrate –
optional)
1 bay leaf
salt/pepper, to taste
1/4 to 1/3 C. light brown sugar

Sort dry beans for any pebbles – rinse under
cold water. In a large bowl soak beans in water
for 3 hours*; drain & rinse beans.

Add rinsed beans, onion, salt/pepper, bay leaf
& ham shanks/hocks/ham – chopped into large
chunks, to crockpot. Add enough water (or water
& broth) to cover beans by 2 inches (about 6-8
cups) & add Goya ham concentrate, if using. Cover
& cook on High first hour; turn heat to Low & cook
an additional 4 hours (OR) until beans are tender
& a bit creamy. Remove ham shanks or hocks,
pull off all meat. Remove bay leaf & discard;
return meat to crockpot & add brown sugar – stir.
If there is a lot of juice in the beans you can remove
1 C. before adding brown sugar – all depends on how
thick or thin you want the beans to be.

*NOTE: Poster does not soak beans overnight
because she says they cook tender after 5
hours of cooking.

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)
——————————

Sauteed Chicken w/Veggies

2-3 boneless skinless chicken
breasts cut into bite-sizes cubes
2 T. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 C. chicken broth
8 oz. spaghetti, broken into
small pieces (1 1/2 – 2 inches)
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
plus extra for garnish
2 C. broccoli florets
1 C. squash: zucchini, yellow, etc.,
peeled/cubed

Heat oil in large skillet over medium
heat. Add chicken, onion, carrots &
garlic – season with salt/pepper & cook
5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
chicken broth & broken spaghetti – stir
to combine & submerge noodles in
broth. Cover with tight-fitting lid,
reduce heat to Low & simmer 5 minutes.
Uncover; stir in Parm. cheese – add broccoli
& squash. If liquid has been absorbed add
a small amount of water or broth. Cover &
simmer 5 minutes until veggies have
reached desired tenderness. Uncover;
sprinkle with additional Parm. cheese &
serve immediately. Serves 6-8

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

Best Taco Mini Meatloaves

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. lean ground pork
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 (12 oz) bag Doritos, crushed
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. shredded Mexican-blend
cheese
1 (16 oz) jar salsa

Meatloaf Topping:

8 oz. salsa
1 C. shredded cheese (your choice)
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place
all meatloaf ingredients in large bowl
& mix well then shape into mini loaves,
the desired size you want, using your
hands. Place loaves on prepared sheet.
Top with meat loaf toppings.
Bake about 30 minutes. (until internal
temperature is 160 degrees F.) (NOTE:
Poster make 7 mini loaves and they
took 30 minutes to bake.)

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

Quick ‘n Easy Ground Beef Stew

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 T. flour
1 1/2 C. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 C. beef broth
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 C. heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 medium unpeeled Yukon Gold/
Russet or red potatoes cut into
1/2 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into small
pieces (about 1 C.)
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Optional serving method:
Can serve ‘as is’ or over
cooked brown rice
=

In large skillet cook beef over
medium-high heat 5-7 minutes
stirring occasionally until thoroughly
cooked; drain. Stir in salt/pepper & flour.
Add mushrooms, cook 3 minutes,
stirring occasionally. In small bowl mix
broth, Worc. sauce, whipping cream &
mustard with a wire whisk – add to
beef mixture. Stir in potatoes, carrots &
zucchini. Reduce heat to Medium-low –
cover & cook 15 minutes until veggies
are tender & sauce is slightly thickened.
If sauce is too thin at end of cooking
time, increase heat to medium-high &
cook, uncovered, a few minutes until
liquid reduces & is slightly thickened.
Sprinkle top with parsley & serve.
Serves 4-5 (see optional serving method
above)

(recipe: mommyskitchen.net)
————————–

Crockpot Clam Chowder

1 yellow onion, diced
1 C. water
3 medium russet or yellow potatoes,
peeled/cut into cubes
2 (6.5 oz, ea) cans minced clams with
juice
1 C. frozen corn
1 C. cooked/crumbled bacon (poster
used a pkg. of real bacon bits)
3 ribs celery, cut into quarter-inch
pieces
2 C. milk
1 C. Half & Half
2 T. melted butter
1/2 C. flour
salt/pepper, to taste

Add onion, water, potatoes,
clams with juice, corn, bacon &
celery to crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 4-6 hours. Place butter,
Half & Half, milk & flour in a
saucepan. Cook on Low & whisk
until it is thick & bubbly. Take
about 1/2 C. of liquid from crockpot
& mix into saucepan then add that
mixture to crockpot & stir. Salt/
pepper, to taste. Cover & cook on
Low an additional 30 minutes.
Makes 8 Cups of soup

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)
———————————-

3-Ingredient Peach Cobbler

1 large can peaches (or 2 smaller cans)
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a 9 X 13″ baking dish pour peaches
including juices. Sprinkle dry cake mix
over top & smooth. Evenly distribute
melted butter on top of cake mix.
Bake 30 minutes

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

1 Banana Peanut Butter Cookies
(small batch: makes 12)

1 C. rolled oats (or quick-cooking oats)
1 ripe banana
1/3 C. smooth peanut butter
1 T. honey
1/3 C. chocolate chips
1 egg
1/2 C. chopped nuts of your choice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.
In bowl combine all ingredients
with a spoon. Roll mixture into
walnut-sized balls & place on
prepared sheet; mash each
cookie out flat with your hand
or a spoon. Bake 12-15 minutes.
Makes 1 dozen cookies

(recipe: thesoutherladycooks.com)

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

I’m planning on making a batch of
Bean Soup tomorrow – it’s a good
‘stick to your ribs’ meal for cold
weather.

Babysat my almost-2 yr old grandson
yesterday and he makes me laugh. My
throat was dry so I coughed – he said:
“Bless you!” so I said: “Thank you!”
then he said: “You’re welcome!” –
almost made me want to cough again
just to see if he’d repeat it! His Dad
said he can’t believe how much
personality is in such a little body –
he’s a riot – makes me laugh and
laughter keeps me young.

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s SUNDAY! YAY!

It’s cold here in Michigan – in the 20-30’s most days & chilly but clear – NO SNOW! (I probably shouldn’t say that too loud). For this time of year in my state, that’s VERY unusual! We’ve had a few ‘light dustings’, nothing big AND I’M THRILLED! My cousin who lives in Iowa said he just shoveled 5 INCHES of what they were expecting as a ‘trace’ – YUCK! Yes, I know – we get snow every year but I really don’t like to have to wear boots, dress super heavy, slog through it/drive through it/worry about falling – getting car stuck, etc. For now – I’m just thrilled!

It’s been a quiet weekend; our church choir is back in action and this afternoon we’re back to practicing 4:45 – 6 p.m. then evening church. It’s kind of nice to get back to my ‘old’ routine of both knit groups, my special needs group, babysitting, church/choir – it’s been a nice ‘time off’, too. Hope you had some relaxation between the holidays.

Lots of great-sounding recipes coming in –

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

Chocolate Cobbler

Batter:

1 C. self-rising flour
3/4 C. sugar
2 T. cocoa
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. vegetable oil

Topping:

3/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. cocoa
1 3/4 C. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium
bowl mix flour, sugar & cocoa. Add
milk, vanilla & oil – mix well until it
becomes a thick, brownie-like batter-
pour into prepared dish.
In a separate bowl stir together (topping
ingredients): brown sugar & cocoa – sprinkle
over batter. Very slowly pour hot water over
dry mixture & batter (do not stir).
Bake 40-45 minutes.

(recipe: southernplate.com)
——————————

Chicken Tortilla Soup

6 (6 inch) corn tortillas, divided
1 1/2 tsp. oil, divided
1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 (14.5 oz., ea) cans chicken broth
1 C. thick/chunky salsa
1 C. frozen corn
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut tortillas into strips; toss with
1/2 tsp. oil & spread onto a rimmed
baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until
crisp, stirring occasionally.
=
Finely chop remaining tortillas. Heat
remaining oil in large saucepan over
medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook &
stir 5 minutes. Add chopped tortillas,
broth, salsa & corn – bring to boil &
simmer on Medium-low heat 15
minutes. Serve topped with cheese &
tortilla strips. Serves 6

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

Salmon Foil Packets
(grill or oven)

4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz, ea)
1/2 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed
4 ears fresh corn (kernels sliced off)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
4 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. lemon zest
salt/pepper, to taste

lemon wedges/chopped parsley,
for serving
=
Preheat grill to medium heat (OR)
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Tear off 4 large squares foil & spray
with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange
salmon, asparagus, corn & bell
peppers in center of each foil square.
In small bowl mix butter, garlic, thyme,
parsley, lemon zest, salt/pepper. Season
salmon fillets with salt/pepper, to taste.
Drop spoonfuls of butter mixture over
each salmon packet. Fold over foil to
seal the packets. Bake (or grill) 15-20
minutes until salmon is cooked through
& veggies are tender. Sprinkle with
parsley & serve with lemon wedges
Serves 4

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)
——————————

Onion Baked Potatoes in Foil
(oven and grill methods)

6 medium potatoes
1 (1 oz) pkt. onion soup mix (28 g.,
approx)
2/3 C. margarine or butter

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix marg (or butter) & onion
soup mix together. Using a sharp
knife, make crosswise cuts into each
potato about 1/2 inch apart ( you
want to make 4-5 cuts in each potato,
stopping about 1/4 inch from bottom
of potato – DO NOT cut through to
bottom. Using a butter knife, add a
dab of marg. (or butter/soup mixture
between each slice, dividing evenly
between all slices in all potatoes. Wrap
each potato in foil & place on a cookie
sheet. Bake 40-45 minutes until a fork
easily goes through the potato. Makes 6

Grill Method:
Follow same directions for preparing
potatoes but bake on Medium-High
grill heat with lid down 30-40 minutes
until a fork easily goes through the
potatoes.

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

Crustless Quiche

1 T. butter
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly
sliced
1 shallot, minced
2 C. loosely packed fresh spinach
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
8 large eggs
1/4 C. whole milk
1/4 C. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes,
finely chopped
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 8 or 9″ pie plate with
nonstick cooking spray.
In medium skillet over medium heat,
melt butter. Add mushrooms & cook,
undisturbed, 2 minutes. Stir & continue
to cook until mushrooms are tender &
golden, 5-6 minutes. Add shallot & cook
1 minute. Add spinach & cook until wilted,
1 minute more. Season with salt/pepper &
remove from heat. In large bowl whisk eggs,
milk, tomatoes, & Parmesan. Fold in
mushroom mixture & season again with salt/
pepper. Pour into prepared pan & bake 18-20
minutes, until eggs are just set. Let cool 3
minutes before slicing & serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
—————————

Crockpot Amish Cabbage Patch Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
rinsed
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans beef broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
=
Optional toppings:
shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream
=
In skillet, cook ground beef; drain &
place in crockpot.  Add onion, celery,
green pepper, kidney beans & cabbage
to crockpot. In a bowl whisk beef broth,
tomatoes, salt/pepper, chili powder,
cumin & garlic powder – pour over crock
pot ingredients. Cover & cook on Low
6-7 hours (or high about 4).  Top with
optional toppings, if desired.
Serves 8-10

NOTE: Can be made on the stove in a
large stew pot.

(recipe: thesoutherladycooks.com)
——————————
Greek Yogurt Waffles

2 C. flour
2 eggs
1 3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
1 T. sugar
=
Preheat waffle maker & spray with
nonstick cooking spray. In a large
bowl beat eggs until fluffy then add
remaining ingredients & mix until
just combined. Pour desired amount
of batter on hot waffle maker & cook
according to manufacturers directions.
Serving size will depend on size of
your waffle iron. Makes approx. 6

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
——————————

Blueberry Pudding Cake
(NOTE: this recipe bakes as it rises
to the top of a 8 X 8″ baking pan but,
once out of oven, deflates to about
half – that’s fine!)

1 pint fresh, ripe blueberries
(frozen will work, also)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. lemon zest
juice from half a lemon
1 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. whole milk
3 T. melted butter
1 tsp. almond extract
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1 T. corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. boiling water

Preheat oven 350 degrees f.
Liberally butter a 8 X 8″ baking dish.
In a bowl toss blueberries with
cinnamon, lemon zest & juice – pour
into prepared pan. In medium bowl
whisk flour, 3/4 C. sugar & baking
powder. Whisk in milk, melted
butter & almond extract – pour evenly
over blueberries. In small bowl  mix
1/3 C. sugar with cornstarch & salt –
sprinkle over batter. Pour 1 C. boiling
water into pan OVER batter & place
in oven. Bake 30-40  minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean – but there is still blueberry
sauce at the bottom. Serves 4-6

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)

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

I started a second dusty rose colored baby blanket
and, after having knit a good 1 1/2 feet (approx)
noticed I had made a mistake a good 10 rows
down – decided I’d rip it down to that and fix it.
Well . . . that was not a good idea, ended up just
ripping entire project up and am now looking
for a better pattern for that yarn. (I really liked
the look of the pattern – it was only 2 rows, BUT
it was almost ‘too easy’ – too easy to make
mistakes and too hard to fix them! I know there’s
other patterns out there just waiting for me to
find them!

Words from GRAMMIEPAMMIE: Keep your
chin up, stay warm, remember to get some
rest, remember to drink water regularly, and
do something that makes YOU happy!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Gas prices dropped 10 cents – to $1.99/9 – yay!

Entering into January

“Love is looking out for your friends”

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8

Here we are into the first full week of January – it’s gloomy & raining out but (YAY!) no snow! It seems almost strange to not have a bunch of ‘things that have to be done’ hanging over my head (not that I’m complaining, mind you!). Tonight is my Knit/Crochet group’s first ‘official’ meeting – I changed our day because I really didn’t think many would like to come out New Years Day (not that I was worried about the drinking factor – just didn’t think they’d want to ‘go out’). It probably threw a couple people off (we meet bi-weekly) -TURNS OUT WE HAD 20! but we’ll get ‘back in the swing of things’ very soon. I love meeting with ‘my ladies’ – no matter if there’s only a few or an entire ‘bunch’, it’s always a fun time of lots of laughter, tips/sharing with each other (almost the same with the Weds. morning Library group). It’s nice to be able to do something you love (knitting/creating with yarns) and share that with others who feel the same way. Just noticed today that I’m almost done with the ‘use up blue yarns’ blanket; didn’t really think I was that far along! (This is almost a copy of one I did in the Summer for a friend – same colors of yarns. It’s nice to be able to create a baby blanket using up smaller bits of yarn and still come out with something nice.)

(Going nuts here – computer is ‘doing it’s old thing again’- I copy & paste, it transfers to blog page in SUPER TINY print! UGH!

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

(Today: January 10th, Thursday – 2 days after above – it works again!) Spoke too soon; one recipe goes in fine, next one the title is good, recipe is in tiny print – UGH!)

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

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

2 T. butter
4 T. minced garlic
1 lb. boneless chicken tenders
6 T. brown sugar
salt/pepper, to taste

In skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter.
Add garlic & cook 2 minutes to brown it.
Season chicken with salt/pepper & add to pan.
Cook chicken 3 minutes on each side or until
no longer pink in middle. Sprinkle brown sugar
on top & heat until melted completely.
Serves 4

NOTE: cooking time may vary depending on
size of chicken tenders

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

Chunky Chocolate Jam Bars

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. flake coconut
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped
1 (12 oz) jar raspberry jam

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl mix flour, sugar &
baking powder until blended. Cut
in butter using pastry blender or
2 knives, until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Add oats, coconut &
nuts – mix well. Press half mixture
onto bottom of prepared pan & sprinkle
with chopped chocolate. Top with jam
& remaining crumb mixture. Bake
25-30 minutes until ligthly browned.
Cool completely before cutting into
bars. Makes 32 servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
———————————–

Northwoods Pie (savory dish)

2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 lb. maple bacon
2 (28 oz, ea) cans Bush’s Maple Cured Bacon
Baked beans
4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet brown ground beef & onion;
season with salt/pepper – drain excess
grease. In same pan, fry bacon until half-
way done (about 5 minutes on each side).
Season with salt/pepper & place cooked
bacon on paper towels to absorb excess
grease. In bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking pan
layer half the ground beef. Layer one can
baked beans on top. Next, layer 2 C. cheese &
half the partially cooked bacon. Continue
with same layers: ground beef, beans, cheese &
bacon. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes until
cheese is melted & dish is bubbly. Serves 12

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

Crockpot Turkey Sausage
Soup w/veggies

1 (19.5 oz) pkg Italian turkey
sausage links, casings removed
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans
(or chick peas) drained/rinsed
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C. cut fresh green beans,
cut into 1″ pieces
1 medium zucchini, quartered
lengthwise & sliced
1 large sweet red or green pepper,
chopped
8 green onions, chopped
4 C. chicken stock
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/3 C. minced fresh bacil

In large skillet over medium heat
cook sausage 8-10 minutes until no
longer pink, breaking up into crumbles.
Drain & transfer to crockpot. Add
tomatoes, beans, carrots, green beans,
zucchini, pepper & green onions, In
large bowl whisk stock, tomato paste &
seasoned salt – pour over veggies. Cover
& cook on Low 6-8 hours until veggies
are tender. Just before serving, stir in
basil. Serves 10 (3 1/2 quarts)

Freezer option:
Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers.
To use, partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Heat through in a saucepan, stirring
occasionally & adding a little stock if
needed.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Baked Chicken & Spinach Spaghetti

1 lb. uncooked spaghetti
4-5 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
2 (15 oz, ea) jars Alfredo pasta sauce
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1/4 C. sour cream
2 C. mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Cook
spaghetti until just tender, 6-8
minutes; drain & return to pot.
Stir spinach into warm spaghetti
followed by chicken & Alfredo
sauce – mix well. Spread half of
mixture into prepared pan. In
medium bowl stir ricotta, sour cream,
1 C. mozz cheese, egg, garlic, basil,
oregano, salt/pepper. Spread mixture
on top of mixture in pan & top with
remaining spaghetti – sprinkle top
with remaining mozz. cheese. Bake
20-25 minutes until golden & bubbly.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

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

Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes

1 T. canola oil
4 small zucchini, sliced, about 4 C.
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,
undrained
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add zucchini & cook 7
minutes until tender, stirring
occasionally. Add undrained
tomatoes, salt/pepper to skillet;
break up tomatoes with a spoon &
cook 2 minutes until hot. Serves 4

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
—————————–

Snickerdoodle Poppers

1 1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. milk, room temp.
1/4 C. plain yogurt, room temp.
1/4 C. granulated sugar
3 T. butter, melted
vegetable oil, for frying

Coating:
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 – 2 tsp. cinnamon

Filling:
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 oz white chocolate

Combine 2/3 C. sugar & cinnamon –
set aside. In small bowl whisk flour,
baking powder & salt. In medium
bowl whisk milk, plain yogurt, sugar &
melted butter. Stir in dry ingredients &
mix just until combined.

In medium pot heat about 2 inches oil
to 350 degrees F.

Roll out about 1/2 T. dough into a ball
using your hands (roll gently) & place
ball into oil – fry until golden brown,
flipping when golden to cook evenly
on both sides. Work in small batches
because you have to work fast. Transfer
baked balls onto a paper towel-lined
plate to drain, then roll in cinnamon-
sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining
dough.
Prepare instant pudding mix & mix into
melted white chocolate. Transfer it
to a pastry bag with filling tip (or use
a zip lock bag with one corner trimmed).
Using a filling tip – poke poppers going
about halfway in, then squeeze in filling.
(If using ziplock bag, use a sharp/pointed
item like a chopstick to poke the holes,
then fill).
Makes 30

(recipe: omgchocolatedesserts.com)

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

It’s Thursday, my ‘day off’ – yesterday was
super busy/crazy – so glad I have today to
rest/relax/recoup! The weather is finally
Michigan/January: in the low 20’s, really
chilly/windy with light snow (nothing – yet-
to worry about, just a light dusting).

Gas prices JUMPED yesterday: I went to the
Library knit group & stopped to get gas just
before; price I paid was $1.94/9 – 2 hours
later that same place was registering: $2.09/9
that’s a FIFTEEN cents a gallon jump! (I had read
on Facebook that the prices would probably go
back up to the $3.00 range soon – guess they
were right!

Need to go for a small grocery shopping today –
low on the ‘staples’: bread & milk. Not sure yet
what’s for dinner – thinking Salmon patties &
homemade garlic mashed potatoes. We’ve gotten
in to a kind of ‘new thing’ around my house – at
Christmas I made a huge spinach/mixed greens
Greek-type salad (sliced tomatoes, sliced green
peppers, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, Feta
cheese & slivered almonds) – it was a HUGE hit
and so we’ve kind of carried that on since then.
I’m able to get these really big rectangular boxes
of mixed greens so I take half out & put them in
a zip lock bag for later then construct the salad
in that box. When it gets low, I just add more
greens & ingredients – works really well and ALL
of my family here have been hitting it, even
youngest son who NEVER eats veggies! Amazing!
I like it because it’s a quick fix if I’m hungry! (By
the way, still working on ‘the diet’ – lost 16 lbs.
and am down to 169 lbs – don’t remember WHEN
I was that low before! Diabetic numbers are good,
too.)

Anyway, now that the blog IS working I’d better
send this one out. Finished the “Use up the blue
yarns” blanket:

The colors didn’t photograph well – at the bottom there’s blue/green/white variegated yarn then a medium blue, then more variegated, etc. Oh well –

I just started another blanket in pinks (same idea/different pattern but with white lines dividing the colors)

Have a GREAT day – remember to REST & stay WARM!

Hugs;

Pammie

Decorations DOWN – YAY!

My husband helped me take the tree off the baby grand piano; my job was to de-construct it & put it all back in the box. This year I came up with a GREAT solution to the base coming off right during our lifting the tree – happens EVERY year! This year I used Gorilla tape & taped the base to the stand – YES-it worked! I was a bit surprised that the taking-down of all the decorations yesterday went much smoother and faster than putting them all up. All that remains is waiting for youngest son to wake up so I can put the tree & lights away (storage is in his room).

Other things that happened:  Middle son turned 30 yesterday.

(for some reason I did a horrible job of writing this time, but it’s his favorite: double chocolate brownies, so he didn’t care.

Finished the PEACH colored baby afghan for Crisis Pregnancy centers – in the photo it looks kind of pink; couldn’t seem to get the colors adjusted but you get the idea.

I found a circa-1940’s scarf pattern on line and decided it would make a great baby afghan pattern; funny thing is: it seems VERY familiar! It’s VERY close to a scarf/afghan pattern I learned many MANY years ago while working All Nights at the phone company! The pattern I found on line calls for 10 rows – I started on row 10 and really didn’t like how it broke up the flow of the pattern so I did my own ‘adjusting’ – now it ‘flows’ like the pattern above, no breaking up after so many rows! I found a really nice, soft ‘dusty rose’ colored yarn at Meijers so that will be my next ‘new’ project (still working on the ‘use up extra yarns’ afghan – about 3/4ths done with that one).

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

Crackerbarrel Fried Apples

2 C. apple juice, plus 1/2 C. apple juice
4 large Golden Delicious apples,
with peel on, cut into 1/2″ wedges
3 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. apple pie spice
4 T. sugar

In medium skillet combine 2 C.
apple juice & sliced apples – simmer
gently until apples are fork-tender
but not mushy, turning apples
frequently. Remove apples from juice
using a slotted spoon & place in an
oven-safe dish. In a blender combine
remaining 1/2 C. apple juice, cornstarch,
apple pie spice & sugar – blend a few
seconds until smooth. Whisk mixture
into hot apple juice in skillet & cook,
stirring constantly on medium-high
heat until it bubbles & becomes
thickened & smooth. Pour thickened
mixture over apples & serve.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)
——————————
Crockpot French Onion Soup

3 large yellow onions, sliced thin
3 T. butter
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. garlic, minced
64.5 oz. beef broth (Six 10.75 oz, ea)
cans
1 whole bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
=
6 slices French bread, sliced
1 C. Swiss cheese, shredded
1 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
=
In medium skillet add butter, sliced
onions & brown sugar – saute until onions
become translucent & caramelized. To
a 4 qt. crockpot (or larger) add onions,
beef broth, garlic, bay leaf & thyme.
Cover & cook 4-5 hours on Low.

To serve:

Turn on oven broiler
Add soup to ovenproof bowls & top with
1-2 slices French bread; top with both
cheeses. Place bowls on a cookie sheet &
place under broiler 1-2 minutes until
cheeses are melted & bubbly. Serves 6

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

Cheesy Ham Bubble Bakes

1 (6 oz) pkg. (Oscar Mayer) smoked
ham, chopped
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz) can refrigerated buttermilk
biscuits (10 biscuits)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large bowl combine ham & cheese.
Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces & add to
ham mixture – mix lightly then spoon
into muffin tins. Bake 20 minutes until
puffed up & golden brown. Cool 10
minutes before removing from pan.
Serve warm. Makes 8

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

Make-Ahead Eggs Benedict Toast Cups

6 English muffins, split
1 envelope hollandaise sauce mix
12 slices Canadian bacon, quartered
1 tsp. black pepper
1 T. olive oil
6 large eggs
1 T. butter

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin tin cups with
nonstick cooking spray.
Using a rolling pin, flatten muffin halves
& press into muffin cups. Bake until
lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Prepare hollandaise sauce accordg. to
pkg. directions; cool slightly. Sprinkle
bacon with black pepper. In large skillet
cook bacon in oil over medium heat until
partially cooked but not crisp. Remove
to paper towels to drain. Divide bacon
among muffin cups. Wipe skillet clean.

Whisk eggs & 1/2 C. cooled hollandaise
sauce until blended. In same skillet, heat
butter over medium heat. Pour egg mixture
into skillet; cook & stir until eggs are
thickened & no liquid egg remains. Divide
egg mixture among muffin cups & top
with remaining hollandaise sauce. Bake
8-10 minutes until heated through. Serve
warm. Makes 12

Overnight Option:
Refrigerate unbaked cups, covered,
overnight. Bake until golden brown,
10-12 minutes.

Freezer Option:
Cover & freeze unbaked cups in muffin
tin until firm. Transfer to an air-tight
container & return to freezer. To use,
bake cups in tin as directed, increasing
time to bake to 25-30 minutes. Cover
loosely with foil, if needed, to prevent
overbrowning.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————-
Ground Beef Barley Soup

2 qts. water
2 meaty beef soup bones
2 beef bouillon cubes (or 2 tsp.
beef bouillon granules)
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 to 1/2 C. medium pearl barley
1 large carrot, diced
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled/
diced
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

In large Dutch oven bring water &
soup bones to a rapid boil; add
bouillon. Stir in ground beef in
small amounts – reduce heat.
Cover & simmer 1 1/2 hours until
meat comes off bones easily. Remove
bones. Strain broth; cool &
chill – skim off fat. Remove meat from
bones; dice & return to broth along
with remaining ingredients – bring to
a boil Reduce heat; cover & simmer
about 1 hour or until vegetables are
tender. Serves 10-12 (about 2 qts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Asian Chicken Thighs

5 tsp. olive oil
5 bone-in chicken thighs,
skins removed
1/3 C. water
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. orange juice
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup
1 T. white vinegar
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 T. cold water
sliced green onions (garnish)

Cooked rice to serve 5

In large skillet heat oil over medium
heat; add chicken & cook 8-10
minutes per side until golden brown.
In small bowl whisk water, brown sugar,
orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar,
garlic, pepper flakes & 5-spice powder –
pour over chicken. Bring to boil, reduce
heat & simmer, uncovered, 30-35 minutes
until chicken is tender, turning chicken
occasionally. In small bowl mix cornstarch
& cold water until smooth – stir into pan &
bring to boil. Cook & stir 1 minute until
sauce is thickened. Sprinkle top with green
onions, if desired. Serve with cooked rice.
Serves 5

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————–

Toasted Almond/Coconut Cream
Poke Cake

1 (2 layer size) white cake mix (plus
all ingredients needed on box to make
cake
1 tsp. almond extract
1 box coconut cream instant pudding mix
(use directions for ‘pie filling’)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 C. toasted coconut
1/4 C. tasted sliced almonds

Prepare cake as per box directions but
add the 1 tsp. almond extract with
wet ingredients. Bake in a sprayed
9 X 13″ baking pan & bake as per
pkg. directions for that size pan.
When baked, remove from oven &
cool 15 minutes. Using the handle of
a wooden spoon, poke holes on top
of cake (about 6 holes across/10 holes
down) with holes about 1 inch apart.
Beat pudding mix & milk in small bowl
1 minute; pour over top of cake & press
mixture into holes. Cover & refrigerate
4 hours (the longer, the better). Frost
top of cake with Cool Whip before
serving & cover top with toasted
coconut & toasted almonds.
Serves 12

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

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

Woke up to a light dusting of frost – it’s all gone
and the sun is shining brightly! LOVE the sunshine!
It always seems to charge my energy and give me
more ‘get up and go’, if you know what I mean!
Tomorrow starts a new week – finally back to my
‘old’ schedule of knit groups, special needs group,
babysitting, church/choir – it’s been a nice, peaceful
time of rest but I’m ready to learn new choir songs,
meet with my knit ladies and get back to ‘my’ normal!

Hope things are going well with you, also!

Hugs;

Pammie

Cookin’ up a big ole pot of Chili!

Even though our weather is not exactly ‘right’ for this time of year in Michigan (it’s in the 40’s today & sunny – no snow!) I felt like it was time to make a ‘stick-to-your-ribs’ pot of chili. I make a really big batch and it goes quickly with three guys in the house. (I like it because I make it one day then only have to reheat portions for the following days – easy!)

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

Ultimate Sugar Cookies
overnight recipe
(soft cookies – like Lofthouse)

1/2 C. unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Frosting:
4 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 C. shortening
1/4 C. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. salt
Optional additions:
food coloring
candy sprinkles
=
In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
powder, baking soda & salt. In another
bowl (of stand mixer) using elec. mixer
beat butter on medium speed 1 minute
until fluffy; add sugar & continue beating
until creamy & smooth – 3 minutes. Add
egg, egg white & vanilla; mix until smooth.
Mix in sour cream & salt – beat at Low speed
until combined. Slowly stir in dry ingredients;
beat at Low speed until just combined, scraping
down bowl as needed. Cover bowl & chill
at least 2 hours or overnight.
=
Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment
paper (or a silicone mat). Using a 1 ounce
cookie scoop (or-roll dough into balls a little
smaller than a golf ball). Fill a cup with water
& moisten your fingertips as you press each
ball onto parchment paper. Form balls into
a circle that is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
Leave about 1/2 inch between cookies on
sheets. Bake 14-16 minutes until dough has
puffed up & is firm (do not let them brown)
Transfer to a wire rack & cool completely
before frosting.
===
Frosting:
In large bowl combine powdered sugar, butter,
shortening, milk, vanilla, salt & food coloring-
mix until well combined. Once cookies have
cooled completely, frost & add sprinkles (if
using). Allow frosting to set then store in air-
tight container.  Makes 28 cookies

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

Easy Jalapeno Popper Bites
(appetizers)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened*
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno peppers/seeded/diced-
use less or more depending on preference)
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
8 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
48 tortilla Scoops chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with
parchment paper. In medium bowl
stir cream cheese, green onions, jalapenos,
bacon, Pepper Jack & Chedd. cheese.
Place Scoops chips on baking sheets &
spoon a rounded teaspoon of filling into
each chip. Top with additional bacon &
cheese if desired. Bake 8-10 minutes until
filling is bubbly & cheese is melted.
Serve immediately.

*can use light cream cheese also

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

Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

24 oz. unsalted dry roasted cashews
4 oz. unsweetened dark baking
chocolate
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 lb. vanilla almond bark
1 tsp. vanilla

Lay out paper (or foil) cupcake liners
(about 50) on a flat surface.
Spray 5 qt or larger crockpot insides
with nonstick cooking spray. Add
cashews, dark choc., choc. chips &
van/almond bark to bottom of crockpot.
Cover & cook 1 hour on LOW, stirring
every 15 minutes using a rubber spatula.
Continue cooking 1-2 hours more, stirring
every 30 minutes until all chocolate is
melted. Stir in vanilla extract. Using a
large kitchen spoon, scoop mixture into
cupcake liners & allow to cool completely
before eating or packaging. Makes about 50

NOTE: You can also add pretzel bits, dry
cereal, different nuts (or mini marshmallows
at very end as you’re spooning mixture into
cupcake liners).

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
——————————

Apple Cider Ham

9-10 lb. fully cooked, smoked,
bone-in half ham
whole cloves (optional)
1 3/4 C. apple cider (or apple juice)
divided*
2/3 C. light brown sugar
1/3 C. pepper jelly
1/4 C. honey
3 T. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. Creole/Cajun seasoning
(or to taste) optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a roasting pan (that is just large
enough for the ham) with foil. Add
another section of foil for wrapping
loosely around ham. Trim ham of
excess fat & score on top of ham,
about 1-inch apart, creating a diamond
pattern. Stud pattern with whole cloves
if desired. Place ham, cut side down in
pan. Pour 1 C. apple cider on bottom of
pan, cover ham loosely with another
sheet of foil. Bake 30 minutes.
(Meanwhile):
In medium bowl combine brown sugar,
pepper jelly, honey, mustard & Creole/
Cajun seasoning to form a thick paste.
Remove ham from oven & uncover.
Pour brown sugar mixture over ham
using a spatula to spread all over. Add
remaining cider to bottom of pan; cover
ham loosely & cook 1 1/2 – 2 hours
longer, depending on size of ham,
basting with pan juices about every
20 minutes.
Remove foil for last 20
minutes of cooking time. Let rest 15
minutes before carving; dredge cut
slices in drippings before plating.
Serves about 12

*can also substitute ginger ale, Sprite
or 7UP.

NOTE: You can also garnish ham with
pineapple rings & cherries last 20
minutes of cooking time.

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

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole
(overnight recipe)

1 (14.5 oz) can diced potatoes (or
1 3/4 C. cooked/diced potatoes)
2 links cooked Chorizo sausage,
diced (3 1/2 oz)
2 (4.5 oz, ea) cans chopped green
chilies,undrained
2 C. shredded Colby-Monterey Jack
cheese
12 large eggs
1/2 C. chopped scallions
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt (like Adobo)
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced thin (seeded,
if desired)
4 oz. (1 small) Haas avocado, sliced
1 C. chunky mild salsa

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Place potatoes
in dish & top with chorizo, green chilies
& 1 C. cheese. In medium bowl beat
eggs, scallions & seasoning salt using a
whisk until well blended – pour over
potato mixture. Cover & refrigerate
overnight.
=
Remove from fridge
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Bake, uncovered, 55-60 minutes until a
knife inserted near center comes out
clean. Top with remaining 1 C. cheese &
jalapeno slices. Bake 2 more minutes until
cheese melts. Cut into 10 squares & serve
with salsa & avocado. Serves 10

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
————————————

Company Rice

1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 T. butter
5 C. chicken broth
1 C. uncooked wild rice
1 C. uncooked long grain rice
2/3 C. dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted

In large sauce pan saute celery, carrot &
onion in butter until tender. Stir in broth
& wild rice – bring to boil. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 25 minutes. Add long-
grain rice, cover & simmer 20 minutes
longer. Stir in cherries; cook 5 minutes
longer until liquid is absorbed. Just before
serving stir in pecans.
Serves 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Crockpot Roasted Garlic Mashed
Potatoes

5 lb. red potatoes, washed, mostly
peeled (or you can completely peel)
& cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic
salt/pepper
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 C. warm water
8 T. butter, divided
1/3 C sour cream
1/2 C. milk

Place potatoes in crockpot & sprinkle
generously with salt/pepper. Place
garlic in center of a small square of
foil & wrap up foil like a Hershey’s
kiss; place bundle in corner of crockpot.
Pour chicken bullion into water & stir
then pour over top of potatoes. Cut 4
T. butter into small pieces & place in
random spots over top of potatoes.
Cover & cook on High 4 hours (or Low
7-8 hours depending on how fast your
crockpot works). When potatoes are
fork-tender, remove tin foil packet,
open it & smash garlic using a fork –
add half of garlic into crockpot (If
you want more garlic flavor, you can
add a bit more after everything is all
mixed together – better to start with
a little bit at first). Pour milk, 4 T.
butter & 1/3 C. sour cream into
crockpot; using elec. mixer, blend
everything together until potatoes
are fluffy & smooth. You can add
more milk if they are too thick.
Taste & adjust seasonings/garlic.
Serves 10-12

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

Chewy Gingerbread Bars

3/4 C. butter, melted
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
In bowl of stand mixer or large
mixing bowl pour melted
butter, sugar & molasses -beat
until well combined. Add egg &
beat until smooth. In separate
bowl mix all dry ingredients –
pour mixed dry ingredients into
mixer bowl & beat just until
combined. Press dough into
prepared pan. Bake 15-20
minutes (DO NOT over bake).
It is done when a wooden
toothpick is inserted into center
& comes out clean. Remove pan
from oven & allow to cool completely.
(bars will continue to cook at bit as
they cool.)

Mix all frosting ingredients together
using elec. mixer & beat until smooth.
Frost cooled bars & refrigerate 1 hour
then cut & serve. Store leftover bars
in fridge or freezer.

NOTE: This recipe can be doubled:
Use a large jelly roll pan (11 1/2 X
16″). Bake 20-25 minutes. Follow rest
of recipe directions.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

It’s going to be another crazy/busy week coming up –
just finished the Senior Choir’s Christmas program
this morning so that’s 1 check off – this Wednesday
is my special needs group’s Christmas dinner/program –
after that I’m pretty well FREE of big commitments
(at least until after Christmas!).

Started another baby blanket yesterday that’s a copy
of one I did a few months ago (a Feather & Fan pattern)-
I liked it so well I decided to do another one! Have a
little more knitting to do on the peach colored baby
blanket and a bigger amount of knitting on a red &
white striped scarf for charity (I’m not planning on
getting that done before the holiday).

Hope you are all in good health and enjoying the
Christmas season. I have a tiny bit of baking left
to do (I like to give loaves of bread for some of
my friends & cookies for our mail lady – those are
on my list for this week).

Hugs;

Pammie

 

PS: Gas Prices are now down to: $2.19/9  WOW!!!