Finally – a day to relax!

It’s been a rather crazy week here – today I’m labeling: “Ping Pong Day!” Lots of emails/texts/phone calls – call a friend, have to email that friend, then text same person – crazy stuff! One person I know had an antique sewing machine & wanted to know if I wanted it (No, BUT . . . I have a friend who collects them so let me give her the information) – that resulted in lots of emails/texts/phone calls . . . sigh (and that was only ONE of the many various situations today! Crazy!

Babysat my youngest grandson yesterday and, once again, managed to screw up their TV (it was too loud, couldn’t find the remote so finally pushed the button on the side of the flat screen – that shut it off but then I couldn’t turn it back on!) Finally located the remote for the sound but that only operates the sound, so we were still without TV. I substituted (as any good Grandma would) by asking “Alexa – play classical music” – that worked out great, the baby loved ‘conducting’ the music with his little green plastic pot, using that as a conductor’s wand!

(blurry photo but you get the idea!)

It was a very long day, as his Mom had to work early hours and his Dad got stuck in a traffic jam – I was there from 8:10 a.m. – 5:50 p.m. – then had to rush home, change my top & drive to my special needs group – WHEW! I slept REALLY well last night! (Good thing today is a ‘do nothing special’ day – right?)

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

Browned Butter/Cinnamon Rice
Krispie Treats

5 T. butter
10 C. mini marshmallows, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 C. crispy rice cereal (ex: Rice Krispies
or brand equivalent)

Topping:
Line a 9 X 9″ baking pan with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray. In
large saucepan melt butter over medium
heat. Cook butter until it is toasty brown
color. Once butter has a nutty-aroma, lower
heat & add 8 C. mini marshmallows to pan.
Stir frequently until marshmallows have
completely melted and are smooth. Remove
from heat & stir in cinnamon & vanilla. Stir
in cereal – stir to coat. Stir in remaining
2 C. marshmallows – do not mix completely –
you don’t want them to melt into cereal mix.
Press cereal mixture evenly into prepared
pan. In a small bowl mix ground cinnamon &
sugar for a topping – spread on top of cereal
mixture & press down lightly. Refrigerate
at least an hour before cutting & serving.
Makes 12 large bars

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
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Bacon-Tomato Linguine

kosher salt
1 (12 oz) pkg. linguine
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 C. cherry or grape tomatoes
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/3 C. grated Parmesan or
Pecorino-Romano cheese (plus
more for topping)
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
fresh ground black pepper
1 C. fresh basil, torn

Add kosher salt to large pot of water –
bring to a boil; add pasta & cook as
directed on label. Reserve 1 1/4 C.
cooking water – drain pasta. Cook
bacon in large nonstick skillet over
medium-high until crisp, about 5
minutes. Add tomatoes & shallot –
cook about 5 minutes until tomatoes
start to burst. Pour off all but 2 T.
drippings from skillet. Whisk eggs,
cheese, lemon zest & 1 tsp. pepper
in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in
1 C. reserved cooking water. Reduce
heat to medium-low; add pasta &
toss well. Slowly pour in egg mixture,
tossing, to make a creamy sauce – about
1 minute. Season with salt then add
remaining 1/4 C. cooking water as
needed to loosen. Stir in basil & top
each serving with more cheese &
season with pepper. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
—————————-

Sheet Pan Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded/chopped
(about 1-2 inch chunks – as well as red
bell pepper)
1 red bell pepper, seeded/chopped
3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb)
cut into 1 inch chunks
3-4 T. olive oil
=
Cooked white rice to serve 6-8
=

Sauce:
1 C. pineapple juice
1/4 C. water
3/4 C. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 C. sugar
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Preheat oven 420 degrees F.
Pour as much of the juice from
pineapple into a large glass
measuring cup. Place chicken,
veggies & pineapple chunks in a
large bowl. Drizzle 3-4 T. olive oil
into bowl & toss to coat. Sprinkle
chicken & veggies with garlic salt &
lemon pepper – stir to combine. Line
2 large baking sheets with foil & spread
mixture evenly over sheets. Bake
20 minutes until chicken is cooked
through & veggies are crisp-tender.

(while pans are roasting, prepare sauce)

Sauce:
In a large bowl pour pineapple juice*,
water, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce,
chicken bull granules, sugar/brown sugar,
cornstarch, garlic powder, ginger & lemon
pepper – whisk to combine making sure
cornstarch is completely dissolved – pour
liquid into a saucepan & bring to boil over
medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Allow to boil 2 minutes.
When chicken has cooked through & veggies
are crisp-tender, pour 1/3 of sauce over top
of each pan (leaving about 1/3 of it in saucepan
to drizzle over each individual serving). Stir
sauce into chicken & veggies to coat completely.
Bake an additional 10 minutes until sauce
bubbles up a bit & becomes sticky. Serve in
individual bowls with cooked white rice &
additional sauce poured over top.
Serves 6-8

*You should have about 1 C. juice – if you
aren’t quite there, add a bit of water to bring
measurement to a full cup

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

Crockpot Root Beer Pulled Pork
Sliders

2 lb. pork shoulder or pork butt
1 bottle root beer of your choice
1 C. BBQ sauce of your choice
12 slider buns

Place pork in crockpot (you can add
a little salt/pepper, to taste) & pour
the bottle of root beer on top of meat.
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours minimal.

Remove pork from crockpot into a large
mixing bowl & using 2 forks, shred meat.
Add 1 C. BBQ sauce to meat & mix well.
Toast slider buns (if you like) & assemble
the sandwiches. Makes 12 sliders

NOTE: You can top these with a slaw if you
like.

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

Skillet-toasted Corn Salad

1/3 C. + 1 T. olive oil, divided
1/3 C. lemon juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
3-4 dashes hot sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 ears fresh sweet corn, husked/
kernels cut off
4 red, yellow and/or green bell
peppers, seeded/coarsely chopped
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 head romaine lettuce, cut cross-
wise into 1-inch pieces.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, conbine
1/3 C. oil, lemon juice, sauces, garlic,
salt/pepper – cover & shake well.
Heat remaining oil in a large skillet
over medium-high heat. Add corn &
saute 5 minutes until corn is tender &
golden, stirring often. Remove from
heat; keep warm. Combine corn,
peppers & cheese in a large bowl; pour
olive oil  mixture over top & toss lightly
to coat. Serve over lettuce.
Serves 6-8

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

Pimento/Cream Cheese
Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz) jar pimentos, well drained
3 green onions, chopped
2 T. finely chopped/seeded jalapeno
peppers

Mix all ingredients until blended.
Makes 16 (2 T. each) servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————–

Winning Apricot Bars

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 C. sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 (10 to 12 oz) jar apricot preserves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugar until
light & fluffy. Beat in egg & vanilla. In a
small bowl, whisk flour & baking powder;
gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing
well. Fold in coconut & walnuts.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray & press two-thirds of dough
into bottom of pan. Spread dough with
preserves; crumble remaining dough over
preserves. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden
brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

Spent most of yesterday (besides babysitting)
working on the blue baby blanket – it’s a little
over half done now (Yay!).

Dinner tonight is Enchiladas – we’re down to
one serving of Zucchini Casserole, so it’s time
to cook again. I try to make recipes that will
feed us for more than one meal. Since our
middle son moved back home (and he’s an
‘eating machine’) foods rotate through the
fridge at a faster rate than before – that’s
OK, just keeps me on my toes making sure
there’s leftovers when he gets home from
work (Yes, he can cook but leftovers are
always appreciated).

Hoping you’re having a nice, RELAXING day!

Hugs;

Pammie

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Woke up yesterday to these –

This might not seem unusual to most of you BUT I live directly on a MAJOR road with 45 mph speeds (and more) – I will say we live across the street from a small, well shaded park with lake (which is probably where they live). Our backyard IS fenced (but they jumped it like it wasn’t even there!) These are both you males with their antlers still covered in ‘velvet’ (a fuzzy covering they will shed as they mature). They stayed at least 1 1/2 hours – I was in love. Years ago we had a full-grown male buck (with a magnificent rack of antlers) spend awhile in our yard just resting under our swing set – he came two years in a row but hasn’t been back so I was SOoooo happy to see these two!

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

Summer Lemonade Cookies

1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 C. plus 2 T. sugar
2 eggs
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade
concentrate, thawed/divided
1 T. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter &
1 C. sugar; add eggs, beating
well. In another large bowl combine
flour & baking soda – add alternately
with 1/2 C. lemonade concentrate
into egg mixture – stir in lemon peel.
Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls
2 inches apart on ungreased cookie
sheets. Bake 8-9 minutes until
edges are light brown. Remove from
oven & brush hot cookies lightly
with remaining lemonade concentrate.
Sprinkle cookies with remaining 2 T.
sugar. Makes 4 dozen (48 cookies)

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————-

Avocado Tuna Salad

1 (15 oz) can tuna in oil, drained/
flaked (3 small cans)
1 English cucumber, sliced
2 large (or 3 medium) avocados,
peeled/pitted/sliced
1 small/medium red onion, thinly
sliced
1/4 C. fresh cilantro (1/2 of small
bunch)
2 T. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. black pepper

In large bowl combine sliced cucumber,
sliced avocado, red onion, drained tuna &
1/4 C. cilantro. Drizzle with lemon juice,
salt/pepper – toss to combine.
Serves 6 as a side salad

(recipe: natashaskitchen.com)
———————————

Honey Dijon Grilled Chicken
(grill or grill pan)

4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken
breast halves
1/3 C. horseradish Dijon mustard
(regular mustard will work, also)
3 T. honey
1 T. parsley flakes
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat grill or grill pan to
medium-high heat – spray with
nonstick cooking spray or olive
oil. Once pan is hot, reduce
heat to just below medium. In small
bowl combine Dijon mustard, honey
& parsley flakes. Flatten chicken
breasts to an even thickness by
placing them between 2 sheets of
parchment paper & pounding them
with a rolling pin or heavy-bottomed
pan – season with salt/pepper to taste.
Place chicken on grill 3 minutes then
flip over & brush with honey/Dijon
sauce; grill an additional 2-3 minutes
until internal temperature reaches
155 degrees F. (using a meat thermometer).
Remove from grill & loosely cover with foil.
Let rest 5 minutes before serving; serve
with any additional sauce on the side for
dipping. Serves 4

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)
—————————–
Loaded Baked Potato Salad

8 potatoes, cubed (half peeled or
half with skins left on)
2 tsp. salt
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
6 green onions, sliced (including tops)
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
16 oz. sour cream
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 C. Miracle Whip (or 1 C. mayonnaise)

In large pot boil cubed potatoes with
salt – when fully cooked, drain.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a bowl combine sour cream, black
pepper & Miracle Whip (or mayo) – add
to potatoes. Add bacon, onions &
cheese (reserve some of each for top
of salad – garnish); mix with potatoes &
pour into a greased baking dish. Top
with reserved cheese, onions & bacon.
Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese melts.
Serves 6

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

Crockpot Chili-Dog Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 green bell pepper/seeded/chopped
2 T. dry minced onion
1 T. minced garlic
2 C. marinara sauce
1 C. beef broth
2 tsp. chili powder (or cayenne
powder, for a spicier dish)
1 T. cumin
8 hot dogs, cut lenth-wise then
cut in half
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
additional cheese for garnish

In saucepan brown ground beef
with garlic, onion, bell pepper, salt/
pepper. Stir in marinara sauce, cumin,
chili (cayenne) powder & broth – pour
into 6 qt. crockpot. Evenly add all hot
dogs to top of mixture & cover with
cheese. Cover & cook on High 2 hours
(or Low 4 hours). Stir before serving.
Top with additional cheese, if desired.
Serves 4

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

Chive Pinwheel Rolls

3 1/2 C. flour
3 T. sugar
1 (1/4 oz) pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1/3 C. canola oil
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. mashed potatoes
without added milk & butter
1 large egg

Chive Filling:
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1 C. minced onions
1 large egg yolk
butter, melted

In large bowl combine 2 1/2 C.
flour, sugar, yeast & salt. In small
saucepan, heat milk, oil, water &
mashed potatoes to 120-130 degrees
F. – add to dry ingredients; beat just
until moistened. Add egg, beat until
smooth. Stir in enough remaining
flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto
a floured surface; knead until smooth &
elastic – about 6-8 minutes. Grease a large
bowl & place dough in bowl, turning once
to grease top. Cover & let rise in a warm
place until doubled, about 1 hour
=
Turn dough onto a floured surface; roll
into a 15 X 10 X 1 inch rectangle. In a
bowl combine sour cream, chives & egg
yolk; spread over dough to within
1/2 inch of edges. Roll up, jelly-roll
style, starting with a long side. Pinch
seam o seal & cut into 1 inch slices.
Place slices cut-sides down in a 9 X 13″
baking dish. Cover & Let rise until
doubled, about 1 hour.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake slices 30-35 minutes until
golden brown; brush tops with
melted butter & cool on a wire rack.
Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 15 rolls

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Baked Pork Chops & Veggies Sheet
Pan dinner

olive oil
3-4 C. small potatoes, or chopped potatoes
3-4 C. fresh green beans, trimmed
kosher salt/black pepper
2 lb. boneless thin-cut pork chops
(Smokehouse Maple seasoning or other
seasoning blend)

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Brush one large or two small rimmed
baking sheets with olive oil. Toss potatoes
with a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper –
place on one section of sheet pan. Toss
green beans with a drizzle of olive oil,
salt/pepper & place them in a section
of sheet pan. Brush pork chops with olive
oil & place in remaining space on pan –
sprinkle chops with seasoning. Bake
sheet pan 25-30 minutes until meat is
cooked through & potatoes are tender.
Serves 6

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

No-Bake Root Beer Float Pie

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/
divided
3/4 C. cold root beer (diet)
1/2 C. milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. sugar-free instant
vanilla pudding mix
1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust
maraschino cherries (optional garnish)

Separate 1/2 C. Cool Whip & refrigerate for
garnish. In large bowl whisk root beer, milk
& pudding mix 2 minutes. Fold in half of
remaining Cool Whip & spread into crust.
Spread remaining Cool Whip over pit.
Freeze at least 8 hours or overnight.
Dollop reserved Cool Whip over each
serving & top with a marschino cherry
if desired. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

Today was my babysitting day and my (almost)
1 1/2 yr old grandson was sleeping when I arrived.
That might be good, but (as I suspected) he woke
up about 10 minutes after his Mom left and was
awake the rest of the morning/afternoon – full
of energy! (His mom texted me later: “He didn’t
wear you out, did he?” – Naw – I’m tougher than
that!).

Our weather is HOT – but then, it’s July so that’s
no surprise. Got in my car to come home and
the car thermometer read: 90 degrees F. – UGH!
(so glad I have air in my car & home!). My oldest
has been taking advantage of using their kayaks
so I’m glad they’re enjoying the weather.

Hope you’re enjoying whatever kind of weather
you have at the moment – the COLD is coming
soon enough!

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s Thursday already!

Sometimes my weeks just FLY BY! Ever have that happen? This has been another crazy/busy week – my back is finally acting normal again – YAY! I honestly don’t even remember Monday! Tuesday was a really crazy/hectic day babysitting. My oldest son (Dad of grandsons) is trying to install a new tub & surround (with a little help from a plumber acquaintance). Said plumber was supposed to show up at 4 p.m. to get the pipes soldered/surround in, etc. He showed up an hour late, quickly told son what HE should get done then said he had to get home for dinner (apparently his wife is a stickler for prompt dinner time – sigh). My son was SO furious he stomped upstairs & started doing it himself. He said: “Mom, what time is your knit thing?” (I’m supposed to be there around 6 p.m.) – he said; “Well, you can go, we’ll be fine.” (we being the baby & him, older grandson was at track & baseball practice). I said: “No WAY I’m leaving him alone while you plumb the bathroom!” . . . long story short, I stayed until 7:30 (SUPER…SUPER tired/worn out), went to Burger King & grabbed food (didn’t even taste it, I was THAT tired!). I guess yesterday the plumber came back & did what he was supposed to do TUESDAY! Bathroom is now up & running/functional again. I love my baby grandson but this day he was extra clingy – play a little then look at me/put his arms up with this “Pick me UP!” look – VERY unusual for him. He took an hour nap, woke up, did the raised arm thing then slept on my chest for another HOUR! (He hasn’t done that since he was very tiny). I know it’s a stage – he now cries when his parents have to leave; he’ll outgrow it, but it really made for a very long day! (OH – forgot to mention Son/older grandson & baby came over at around 8:30 to take showers – guess who kept the baby comfy – while he continued to cry because his daddy was in the shower!). VERY. . . V E R Y long day!

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

Trying to feature some Mother’s Day recipes – just in case you might need a few ideas . . .

Pecan Pie Pound Cake

4 sticks butter, room temp
4 C. sugar
4 C. flour (cake or all purpose)
8 large eggs, room temp
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
2-3 tsp. vanilla
1 (or more) C. chopped pecans
1 (or more) C. brown sugar
=
1 jar caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
In large bowl using elec. mixer, cream
butter, cream cheese & sugar until
smooth. Add eggs, one-at-a time, then
add flour, one cup at a time. Add 2-3
tsp. vanilla & mix well. Grease & flour
(or spray & flour) a tube pan (or Bundt
pan) & pour in batter, spreading to
even. Sprinkle nuts & brown sugar
on top & lightly press into the batter.
Bake 1 hour 15 minutes*. Remove
from oven & allow to cool a few
minutes before inverting onto a
plate. Drizzle caramel over top &
down sides of cake.

*You might want to tent the top of
the cake with foil if it is browning
too fast or the nuts are scorching.

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
———————————

Watermelon/Cucumber/Feta Salad
(cubed)

1 English cucumber
1 small watermelon
one 5 oz. block feta cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
black pepper
2 T. fresh basil leaves
2 T. fresh mint leaves

To cube cucumber:
Cut ends off cucumber; thinly
slice off all four long sides so
that it resembles a long rectangle.
Cut into 13 one-inch cubes (reserve
rest of cucumber for another use)

To cube watermelon:
Cut off ends; cut into 1-inch slices.
Cut into thirteen 1-inch cubes
discard rind & reserve rest of
watermelon for another use.

To cube feta:
Cut into four 1-inch cubes (same
size as cucumber cubes)

To build the salad:
Bottom layer: Arrange 3 cubes
cucumber across serving platter,
then 5 cubes down, alternating
cucumber & watermelon cubes.
Alternate cucumber & watermelon
cubes to create a checkerboard
pattern. (Fit in Feta cubes in design)
Drizzle cubed salad with oil then
sprinkle with pepper, basil & mint
leaves. Serves 2

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

Crockpot Mushroom/Onion Chops
with Gravy

4 (or more) thick cut pork chops
2/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. oil
1 large onion, cut into rings
2 (4 oz, ea) cans chopped mushrooms,
drained
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1/3 C. sour cream
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 C. water
=
Cooked mashed potatoes or rice or
noodles to serve 4-6
=
Heat 1/4 C. oil in a large skillet until hot.
In small flat pie pan, whisk together flour,
black pepper/salt & garlic powder. Dredge
chops in flour mixture & brown in oil along
with onion rings. Remove chops & rings –
place in crockpot along with drained
mushrooms. In skillet you used to brown
chops, place leftover flour, chicken broth,
onion soup mix, sour cream, Worc. sauce &
water. Stir often & bring to boil to thicken.
Once thickened, pour over chops in crockpot.
Cover & cook 6-7 hours on Low (or 4-5 hours
on High. Serve with cooked mashed potatoes/
cooked rice/cooked noodles – pouring gravy
over top. Serves 4-6

NOTE: You can prepare this on stovetop:
add chops back to skillet once you’ve made
the gravy. Cover & simmer until fully cooked.

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

Orange-Chicken Pasta Salad

1 (16 oz) box rotini pasta
2 C. cooked chicken breast, diced
into chunks*
3 C. diced romaine lettuce (or baby
spinach), roughly chopped
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
well
1 c. roughly chopped pecans
1 (12 oz) bottle Orange Poppy Seed
salad dressing** (you can find it at
Kroger: “Private Selection”

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain well then cool. In large bowl combine
cooled pasta, diced chicken, chopped
lettuce, mandarin oranges & chopped nuts.
Pour poppyseed dressing on top & stir
gently to combine. You can serve immediately
or cover bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate
1-2 hours. Stir again before serving.
Serves 10

*You can also use rotisserie chicken, canned
chicken or grilled chicken.

**If you can’t find orange poppyseed
dressing, just use regular poppyseed
dressing.

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

Strawberry/Spinach Pasta Salad
with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

8 oz. penne noodles, cooked
accordg. to pkg. directions
2 C. packed fresh baby spinach
leaves
1 C. sliced strawberries
1 C. pineapple chunks
1/4 C. dried cranberries or blueberries
1/2 C. salted cashews (or other nuts)

Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 C. olive oil
1/3 C. apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 T. Dijon mustard
3 T. honey
1/3 C. orange juice
2 tsp. poppy seeds
(optional) pinch salt/pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients in
a jar & shake well. Combine cooked
pasta, spinach, strawberries, pineapple,
cranberries & nuts in large bowl – toss
with prepared dressing. Serve immediately
or cover & chill 1 hour before serving.
Serves 10

(recipe: lecremedelacrumb.com)
————————————–
Crockpot Caramel Pie

2 (14 oz, ea) cans sweetened
condensed milk
1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust
whipped cream

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Pour sweet’d
cond. milk into cropot. Cover &
cook on Low 2-4 hours (time
depends on what size crockpot
you’re using). Start stirring every
15 minutes AFTER 1 1/2 hours –
if using a larger crockpot, (OR)
2 1/2 hours if using a smaller one.
When mixture is golden brown &
not too thick, spoon into pie crust
& chill completely. Serve topped
with whipped cream. Makes 1 pie

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
===================

Finished getting the grocery shopping
done today and now it’s time for me
to REST! I actually decided yesterday
that I was so overly tired from Tuesday
that I skipped going to the Library Knit
group (and grocery shopping) and did
very little! I DIDN’T EVEN KNIT!!!
Amazing! Glad I’m (hopefully) on the
Down Side of a crazy week.

Gas Prices:
Had to get gas today: $2.89/9 (not
happy with that price so only got
$30. – hopefully they will go down
soon.

Hope you’re enjoying your day;

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s Friday!

It’s another nice day out, sunny & breezy – right now it’s 57 degrees F. with a high expected of 64! YAY! We now have daffodils & hyacinth blooming and we finally saw our two (adult) rabbits in the back yard yesterday. Every year we look for them and haven’t seen them in almost a YEAR! I really am glad they (or their offspring) are still around. This morning found husband & I getting up early to take my van into the dealership – the heater fan makes a loud humming noise when you put it on medium to high. We were driving the other day & husband turned on the heat – we heard a funny sound then the loud hum noise s0 we’ll see what that’s all about when the dealership calls back. Went out to breakfast at our favorite spot: Village Place – casual dining, friendly staff, big portions – what’s not to like!?

Here’s the teal & white baby blanket I finally finished; it’s going to the Detroit Veteran’s Hospital for their September baby shower for vets wives.

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

Rice Krispie Peanut Butter Balls

1 C. corn syrup
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 C. Rice Krispies cereal

Lay sheets of waxed paper
on baking sheets.
In very large saucepan stir
together corn syrup & sugar –
bring to boil, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat & add peanut
butter & vanilla; stir until smooth
then stir in cereal. Drop by spoonfuls
onto waxed paper. Cool slightly &
roll into balls. Makes 3 dozen

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

Chicken Cornbread Casserole

1/3 C. milk
1 egg
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 (8.5 oz) box corn bread mix (Jiffy)
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 C. salsa
1 (4 oz) can green chilies, drained/
chopped
1 (14 oz) can whole kernel corn
2 C. cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 1/2 C. Mexican 4-cheese blend, cheese,
shredded
1 T. fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl stir milk, egg, butter & cornbread
mix until well incorporated – pour into
prepared dish. Bake 15-20 minutes
until just set. Combine enchilada
sauce, salsa, green chilies, corn, cumin
& red pepper flakes in a bowl. Remove
cornbread from oven; poke top of
cornbread all over with a fork & pour
enchilada sauce mixture over top.
Spread shredded chicken on top &
sprinkle cheese all over top. Return
to oven & bake 15-20 minutes longer
until cornbread is cooked through &
cheese is melted. Remove from oven
& let cool 5-10 minutes before
cutting. Garnish with cilantro &
serve hot. Serves 6

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————————–
Porkchop/Potato Casserole

6 large pork chops
6 medium potatoes-peeled/
salt/pepper, to taste
cut into round slices
flour
1 large can cream of mushroom
soup
1/2 (soup can) water
oil for frying

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In 9 X 13″ baking dish layer
sliced potatoes & sprinkle
with salt/pepper. Coat pork
chops with flour. Heat oil in
large skillet & brown chops
on medium-high heat, flipping
to brown both sides. Arrange
cooked chops on top of sliced
potatoes. Heat soup with water
in saucepan & pour over chops/
potatoes. Cover with foil & bake
1 1/2 hours. Serves 4

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

Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 C. onion, diced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
juice included
with roasted garlic & onions
(Red Gold)
2 C. green or red peppers, chopped
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 C. beef broth
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 C. cooked rice

In skillet brown ground beef &
onions over medium heat; drain &
place in crockpot. Add rest of
ingredients; cover & cook on Low
6-8 hours. Serves 8

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

Ham ‘n Grits

3 C. water
3/4 C. quick cooking grits
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T. butter or margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. cooked ham, chopped
1/4 C. green onions, chopped (can
use regular onions)
several drops hot sauce (optional)
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or
cheese of your choice), divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a large casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray (Poster
used a 9 X 5″ loaf pan)
In a large pot bring water & salt to
a boil; add grits & cook 5 minutes
until thick. Remove from stove &
add butter, eggs, garlic powder,
ham, green onions, hot sauce & half
the cheese. Mix well & pour into
prepared dish. Bake 30-35 minutes
uncovered.

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

Roasted Asparagus & Spinach Pasta
Salad

8 oz. penne (or any tubular pasta),
uncooked
1 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1″
pieces
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
3 C. fresh baby spinach
2 T. toasted sesame seeds
1 C. coarsely chopped cashews
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Dressing:
1/2 C. olive oil
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 clove garlic, finely minced
5 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. toasted (dark) sesame oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
rinse & drain.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lay asparagus on a baking sheet &
drizzle 2 T. olive oil – toss to coat &
sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Roast
asparagus 8-10 minutes until it’s
crisp/tender – stir after 5 minutes.
Remove & let cool.
Place all dressing ingredients (except
for oil) in a blender – pulse a few times
to mix. With blender running, add oil in
a steady stream (SEE NOTE). Mix the
pasta, spinach, asparagus & sesame
seeds in a large bowl. Toss in dressing
& top with cashews & cheese.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Poster said: You have to remove
the little glass thing in the lid (so as to
prevent making a mess) cover most of
the hole with a paper towel while
you’re adding the oil

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
——————————–
Beef & Pepper Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
with green chilies, undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 T. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. instant brown rice
1 medium red pepper, sliced
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 C. shredded Colby-Monterey
Jack cheese

In large skillet cook beef over
medium heat 6-8 minutes until
meat is no longer pink; drain. Add
tomatoes, broth, chili powder, salt &
garlic powder – bring to boil. Stir in
rice & peppers; reduce heat & simmer,
covered, 8-10 minutes until liquid is
absorbed. Remove from heat; sprinkle
top with cheese & let stand, covered,
until cheese is melted. Serves 6

Freezer option:
Before adding cheese to recipe, cool
beef mixture. Freeze beef mixture &
cheese separately in freezer containers.
To use: partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Heat mixture in saucepan, stirring
occasionally & adding a little broth if
necessary. Sprinkle top with cheese &
let cheese melt.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-
Cherry Pie Cookies

1 C. sugar
1/2 c. softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. flour
1 can cherry pie filling
melted white chocolate, for
drizzling on top

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray mini muffin pan with
nonstick spray. Cream sugar &
butter together; add egg &
vanilla; mix. In separate bowl,
combine sour cream, salt & soda.
Add flour & sour cream to butter
mixture, beat until smooth. Scoop
dough out* into muffin cups. (no
need to roll out dough, it will bake
the same). Bake 15-18 minutes making
sure they don’t get too brown. Right
after removing from oven use a small
measuring spoon to gently push in
middle of each cookie, forming a cup.
(Don’t push through cookie completely,
just make a well for the pie filling).
Let cookies cool in pan 10-15 minutes
then gently run a thin knife around edges
to remove. Place pie filling in a bowl.
Use a fork to fill each cookie cup with
cherries (poster said her cups held
2-4 cherries, each). When filled, drizzle
tops with melted white chocolate,
if desired. Makes about 30

(recipe: butterwithasideofbread.com)

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

It’s been another busy week; with all that’s
been going on, my back was really hurting
yesterday and I ended up ‘begging off’ of
going to grandson’s baseball game. (Monday:
2 1/2+ hours sitting in a folding chair at
baseball; Tuesday babysitting 1 yr old then
2 1/2 hrs. sitting on a banquet bench at
knit group; Weds. 2 hrs. sitting in folding
chair at library knitting group then 1 1/2
hrs. in folding chair at special needs group)
by Thursday night my back was screaming!
Back is doing better now, I told oldest son
I’d really try to make the Monday baseball
game – we’ll see. The really GOOD thing is:
(other than picking up my van) I don’t have
anything SPECIFIC I HAVE to do or go to
until church Sunday! AND they’re having
what they call “Small Groups” Sunday
evening, so no choir practice, either! YAY!
(don’t get me wrong – I LOVE choir practice!).

Hope you are doing OK (or better) today-
looking at the weather report for tomorrow
there’s a 30% chance of snow! (but, as my
husband reminded me: “It’s ONLY 30%!” so
that’s Ok…I guess).  I’m thinking of making
Pierogies & Polish Sausage for dinner tonight –
it’s been such a ‘busy/crazy/nothing normal”
week, I haven’t cooked like I usually do (and
having middle son home – the one who loves
to eat – it seems funny not having any left
overs in the fridge!)

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Oh boy … WHEE! (I think)

Yes, you could say my life, lately, is like a roller coaster ride. Spent most of yesterday trying to think of anything ELSE I could do to make son’s room ‘less cluttered’ AND attempted to think of new ways to protect my knitting projects & yarns. Texted oldest son today, asking if he knew ‘when’ the move was happening (since he has a pickup truck & middle son would ask for his help.) Turns out middle son spent the night at oldest son’s – they had a long talk and outcome is: Middle son is going to stay at his apartment. (for how long, we don’t know). I feel like a person who’s just been given a reprieve – my entire day was kind of in ‘limbo’ – no plans until ‘the move’ – not even what’s for dinner plans! Of course, I thanked the Lord, first, for this ‘new event’. Wow…all I can say is: WOW!

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

Chocolate Rice Krispie Balls

Balls:
1/2 C. peanut butter
3 T. butter, soft
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. Rice Krispie cereal
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 C. shredded coconut

Chocolate:
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1 square sweet chocolate

In large bowl mix ingredients
for balls & refrigerate 30
minutes. Form mixture into
balls & refrigerate another
hour.

Chocolate:

Place a large sheet of
waxed or parchment paper
on the counter. In a double boiler,
melt chocolate chips with the
sweet chocolate then drop the
balls into chocolate one-at-a-time
to coat. Lift balls from chocolate
& place on waxed/parchment
paper. Freeze to set.

(recipe: Facebook)
——————————

Ham Broccoli Pasta Casserole

1 1/2 C. cooked/chopped ham
1 1/2 C. dry, uncooked pasta (poster
uses small pasta shells)
1 C. frozen broccoli pieces (no need
to thaw or cook)
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
soup (undiluted)
1 C. evaporated milk
4 T. butter (1/2 stick) melted
1/2 C. chopped green onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Topping:

4 T. (1/2 C.) butter, melted
1 C. crushed (Ritz/butter) crackers
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine ham, pasta,
broccoli pieces & cheese. In another
bowl combine chicken broth, soup,
milk, melted butter, green onion, salt/
pepper, mustard & garlic powder – mix
with a spoon & pour over ham/etc.
in other bowl. Mix all ingredients &
pour into at least a 2 qt. baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, 35 minutes. Remove
& stir. In a bowl combine topping
ingredients & sprinkle over partially
cooked casserole. Place back in oven
& bake, uncovered, another 40
minutes. Remove & let cool about
15 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

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

Crockpot Chicken Ratatouille

1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow summer squash,
sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 small eggplant, cut into chunks
4-5 large tomatoes, diced (OR)
1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes,
drained
1/2 tsp. basil or 1/4 C. chopped
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme (OR) 3-4 sprigs fresh
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks

Place all ingredients into crokpot.
Cover & cook on High 3-5 hours, Low
4-6 hours. Serves 4-6

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

———————————

Down-home Salisbury Steak

Patties:
2 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, finely minced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded/
finely minced
1 stalk celery, finely minced
2 T. fresh parsley, minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Sauce:
6 T. butter
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
(about 2 C.)
2 tsp. flour
2/3 C. chili sauce (like Heinz)
1/2 C. beef broth
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
dash bottled hot pepper sauce

Preheat broiler
In large bowl add meat, onion, bell
pepper, celery, parsley, garlic, dry
mustard, marjoram, thyme, paprika,
salt/pepper – lightly mix all together,
being careful not to overwork the meat.
Shape mixture into 8 patties about 3/4″
thick. Place on broiler pan & cook 12-14
minutes until done, turning halfway
through cooking time.

Sauce:
While steaks broil, prepare sauce. In
large saucepan melt butter; add mush-
rooms & cook 4-5 minutes over medium-
high heat until tender. Sprinkle with flour &
stir. Add chili sauce, beef broth, lemon
juice, Worc. sauce & hot pepper sauce –
Cook & stir until bubbly. Cook 1 minute
more. Serve sauce over patties.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: www.tasteandtellblog.com)
————————————-
Jalapeno Popper/Sausage Dip
(Crockpot – 3 qt)

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
cubed
4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
(about 12 oz)
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies,
undrained
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapeno peppers,
undrained

assorted cut fresh veggies, for dipping
=
In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat 6-8 minutes until no
longer pink, breaking into crumbles.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage
to a 3 qt. crockpot. Stir in cream cheese,
Parm. cheese, sour cream, chilies &
peppers. Cover & cook on Low 3 to 3 1/2
hours until heated through. Stir before
serving. Makes 24 (1/4 C. each) servings.

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

Nutty Broccoli Slaw

1 (3 oz) pkg. chicken ramen noodles
1 (16 oz) pkg. broccoli coleslaw mix
2 c. sliced green onions ( about 2
bunches)
1 1/2 C. broccoli florets
1 (6 oz) can ripe black olives, drained/
halved
1 c. sunflower seeds, toasted
1/2 C. slivered almonds
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. cider vinegar
1/2 C. olive oil

(open Ramen noodle packet –
set aside seasoning packet) Crush
noodles & place in large bowl. Add
slaw mix, onions, broccoli, olives,
sunflower seeds & almonds. In a
jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine
sugar, vinegar, oil & contents of
seasoning packet – shake well.
Drizzle over salad & toss to coat.
Serve immediately. Serves 16

NOTES:
*To save calories, reduce vinegar
& oil from 1/2 C. to 1/3 C.

*Add 1 tsp. each: minced garlic &
ginger plus 1 T. toasted sesame oil
for an Asian twist to the dressing

*If you prefer a more neutral flavor,
use canola oil in place of olive oil

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

Crockpot Cinnamon Rolls

24 oz. refrigerated cinnamon
rolls (in tubes – cut into quarters,
divided)
4 eggs
1/2 C. whipping cream
3 T. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Place
a layer of cinnamon roll pieces
on bottom. In a bowl beat eggs,
cream, maple syrup, vanilla &
spices until blended – pour over
rolls. Place remaining roll
pieces on top & spoon a packed
of icing (from refrigerated rolls
tube) over rolls. Cover & cook
on Low 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Once
done cooking, drizzle rest of icing
packets over rolls. Serves 4

(recipe: weekendcollective.com)

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

Well, our weather is now VERY APRIL- it’s
pouring VERY hard (almost thought it was
hail earlier because it was hitting the
windows so hard!). Right now it’s 37
degrees F. with expected Winter Storm
Warning
for tonight through Sunday:
80% chance of freezing rain & possible
snow (high of 44 degrees F. tomorrow-
depending -we might stay home from
church). Then Monday night rain/snow
& chance of snow showers, low of
28 degrees F. BRrrrrrrr! (weirdness-
Weds. is a possible high of 52!) Ah,
Michigan – if I didn’t grow up here,
not sure I’d stay here!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Hugs;

Pammie

I KNOW Spring’s coming . . . but-

Looking at our local weather site, it looks like we’re going to have clear, sunny weather up to TUESDAY! NO SNOW (that we know of) – it’s been jumping from the low 20’s in the morning up to the 40’s by 4 p.m. – goofy, but typical MICHIGAN – sigh. (I remember when I was a young girl we got a huge dump of snow on Easter!).

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

Nut & Cinnamon Danish
(last minute quick recipe)

1/4 C. chopped walnuts
2 T. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (17.3 oz) pkg. buttermilk
biscuits – 8 to pkg)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 16 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray. In small bowl
combine walnuts, brown sugar &
cinnamon – mix well. Separate each
biscuit in half by gently pulling apart.
Place each biscuit half in a muffin cup
& press against bottom & sides to form
a crust. In medium bowl beat cream
cheese, egg & gran. sugar until smooth.
Evenly spoon mixture into cups &
sprinkle evenly with nut mixture.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are
golden. Allow to cool slightly then
serve warm. Makes 16

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————–

Creamy Carrot Soup w/Ranch
Whipped Cream

2 T. unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
kosher salt/black pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb. carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 C. water/vegetable broth/or
chicken broth
1 C. heavy cream
1 1/2 T. (Hidden Valley Original
Ranch) salad dressing & seasoning mix

Melt butter in large pot over medium-
high heat. Add onion & cook, stirring
often, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt/
pepper. Add garlic & cook 2 minutes. Add
carrots & bay leaf – season with salt/pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots begin
to soften, about 5 minutes. Add water or
broth – bring to a simmer. Cook, partially
covered, until carrots are easily mashed
against side of pot – 15-20 minutes. Let
cool slightly. Working in 2 batches, transfer
soup to a blender  & puree until very smooth.

In large bowl combine heavy cream & Ranch
dressing mix – beat until soft peaks form. Serve
soup topped with ranch mixture & ground black
pepper. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————

Crockpot Brown Sugar/Pineapple
Ham

1 pre-cooked/spiral-cut/bone-in
(or boneless) ham
3 1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. honey
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits or
chunks, do not drain

In large crockpot (6 qt or larger) cover
bottom with 2 C. brown sugar. Place
ham on top; open the slices of ham
slightly using your fingers. Pour honey
evenly over ham. Add pineapple around
sides (along with juice) & put some on top.
Top with remaining 1 1/2 C. brown sugar,
making sure it is evenly distributed over
entire top of ham. Cover & cook on Low
3 1/2 – 4 hours.

(recipe: myincrediblerecipes.com)
———————————

Lemon Butter Scallops

1 lb. scallops
salt/pepper, for seasoning
1 T. canola oil
2 T. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C. freshly squeezed lemon
juice
2 T. minced parsley

Pat scallops dry using paper towels;
season with salt/pepper.  Add canola
oil to large skillet over medium-high
heat – warm oil until almost smoking.
Place scallops in skillet & cook until
browned on first side: 2-4 minutes.
Flip & cook until second side is brown &
center is barely cooked through –
transfer to a serving dish. Melt butter
in skillet; add garlic & cook about 30
seconds. Whisk in lemon juice & parsley.
Pour sauce over scallops & serve
immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kroger.com)
—————————-

Chicken/Wild Rice/Broccoli
Casserole

1 C. long grain & wild rice, cooked
1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into
1″ pieces
2 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 C. milk
1 large head broccoli, broken
into florets with stems – chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
3 oz. can French fried onions – garnish

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Heat large
skillet over medium-high heat – place
in oil & heat until oil shimmers. Add
chicken & cook, stirring occasionally,
until chicken is no longer pink. Remove
chicken to a plate. Add butter to skillet
& cook onion about 3 minutes until
translucent. Scatter flour over butter in
pan & cook 1 minute. Pour milk into
skillet & bring to a simmer – cook sauce
3 minutes. Leave chicken diced (or shred
into bite-sized pieces) – place chicken
back in pan; add broccoli & cooked rice-
stir in salt/pepper, to taste. Stir mixture
& place into prepared dish. Top with
Fr. onions & bake 20-25 minutes until
hot & bubbly. Serves 8-10

(recipe: cerydaydishes.com)
——————————

Crockpot Brussels Sprouts

1 lb. Brussels Sprouts
3 T. butter
1 T. Dijon mustard
salt/pepper, to taste
(optional: sprinkle shaved
or shredded Parmesan cheese
on top just before serving)

Wash & trim ends of sprouts;
place in 4 quart or larger crockpot.
Add mustard, salt/pepper & toss
to coat sprouts. Add 3 T. butter on
top. Cover & cook on High 2 hours.
Serves 6

(crockpotladies.com)
————————-

Sour Cream Chocolate Cookies

1/2 C. butter or margarine, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 C. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. (6 oz) semi-sweet
chocolate chips
1/2 C. vanilla or white chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick
cooking spray.
In large bowl cream butter & sugars;
beat in egg, sour cream & vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients & gradually
add to creamed mixture – stir in chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches
apart onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake 12-15 minutes until set. Cool
2 minutes before removing to wire racks
to cool completely. Makes about
3 dozen.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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

This has been another of those ‘roller coaster’ weeks –
when almost every day has at least ONE thing or place
to go & do…makes me really yearn for a day with
NOTHING planned – like today! It’s a lovely (but chilly)
clear/sunny day.

I started out by making a trip to JoAnn’s to buy another
skein of a particular yellow yarn (found it – and I didn’t
have a ball band-that piece of paper which tells you
which company/brand/type/weight, etc. yarn you have).
I also spotted another skein of baby yarn
(white/pink/yellow/blue) so I decided
to pick that up, too (had a 40% off coupon). Earlier this
day I discovered a JoAnn’s gift card from last JUNE – my
friend had purchased it for my birthday and I totally
forgot about it. When I approached the cashier & gave
her my 40% off coupon she said that everything I bought
(a few other things besides yarn) were ALL on sale (hence,
you can’t use their coupons on sale items). I showed her
my gift card & said I wasn’t really sure how much was on
it so we scanned it. My total bill was $20.10 … the card
had $20.00 – YAY! I happily handed her the dime and almost
skipped out of the store! Proceeded to the Kroger Gas
Station and was able to get gas with my .20 cents off per
gallon. Our local Clark station (my usual place) had gas
at $2.49/9 which is ‘usually’ a good price. Filled up my
tank at Kroger for $2.27/9  – another savings – double
YAY! Just in case you’re not familiar – Kroger offers 

lower gas prices according to how much
you spend on groceries. If I’m correct, you
get 10 cents off per gallon for every $100.00
you spend and it accumulates/rolls over (not
exactly sure the cut off on them but I think
it’s something like 2 months). It’s another
nice little ‘bonus’.

 
Lastly I happily came home and began knitting on
the ‘donated squares’ project using the new yellow
yarn. I had put a book on Hold at the library-when I
went to pick it up Wednesday I was kind of confused –
it was a DVD packet – book on DISC! I have never done
that before but found it was FUN listening to the book
while knitting (mind you, this is STRAIGHT KNITTING,
no fancy patterns). Ended up hearing the ENTIRE
book today – it’s by two of my favorite authors:
Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston (GREAT mystery
writers). I still must say: I appreciate reading/holding
a real book but this was an interesting adventure.

Hope you have a GREAT rest of the day –

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: To prove I was having WAY too much fun
with the audio book while knitting – I was
supposed to knit 12 rows/155 stitches per
row. I now have to unravel 2 rows – I just
kept knitting & listening, knitting & listening!

Oh well – live & learn, right?

A day of MUCH NEEDED rest!

Yesterday was a MARATHON day – from leaving for church at 8:40 a.m. to finally arriving home again at 8 p.m. I was running. Church, Grandson’s First Birthday party, back to church at 4:30 for choir practice/evening church/congregational meeting – UGH! Had a nice time at the birthday party – this grandson doesn’t like getting his hands dirty so when his parents stripped him down to a diaper to ‘smash’ his cake, he really didn’t get into it. Lots of help by parents & other grandparents until he finally ate a bit of frosting off his fingers, but smash? NO WAY!

They had a nice lunch of ‘make your own’ sandwiches, potato salad, tossed salad & all the fixin’s, dill pickles and cake. (Not exactly sure what I ate that didn’t agree with my stomach but I had stomach cramps ALL DAY/NIGHT – not good. Might have been the pickles – I love dills but something really didn’t agree with my stomach.) I’m better today but will be really careful about what goes in my mouth for the next few days – stomach feels like someone punched it!

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

Pecan Pie Bars with Shortbread
Crust

Shortbread crust:

1 stick (1/2 C.) salted butter, melted
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour

Filling:

1 1/2 C. chopped pecans
2 eggs
1/2 C. (packed) brown sugar
1 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. flour

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Line bottom of 8 X 8″ baking pan
with parchment paper. In small bowl
mix butter, sugar, vanilla & flour until
it makes a sticky dough. Press dough
into bottom of prepared pan in single
thin layer. Bake 10-15 minutes. In
large bowl mix eggs, brown sugar, corn
syrup & flour until combined – fold in
chopped pecans. When crust is done,
remove from oven & pour nut mixture
over crust. Raise oven temperature to
350 degrees F. & bake 25-30 minutes
until top is golden & crispy.

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

Maple Ham & Egg Cups

1 T. butter, melted
6 slices deli ham
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. butter, cut into 6 pieces
6 eggs
salt/pepper, to taste

English muffins, toast or biscuits to
serve 6

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brush insides of 6 muffin cups with
melted butter & line each cup with
1 slice ham. Pour 1/2 tsp. maple
syrup over each ham slice & top with
1 pat butter. Crack one egg into each
cup & season with salt/pepper. Bake
20 minutes until eggs are set. Remove
from oven; use a spoon or gently twist
each serving to loosen. Serve on English
muffins, toast or split biscuits. Serves 6

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

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 T. oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded/
diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/
diced
1 1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon (about
3 small cubes)
7 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes, petite,
diced
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts
1 T. cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3-4 corn tortillas, torn into 1″
pieces

Optional Garnishes:
tortilla chips or strips
grated cheese (your choice)
sliced avocado
chopped cilantro
sour cream
chopped tomatoes
chopped green onion
=
In 4-6 qt. soup pot heat oil over
medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add onion, garlic, Anaheim & jalapeno
chilies & bouillon – cook until veggies
are softened, about 3 minutes. Pour in
all chicken broth & diced tomatoes (with
juices). Rinse chicken breasts under cool
water & add to pot. Bring to boil &
immediately reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer until chicken is cooked through,
15-20 minutes. Remove chicken & cool
slightly. Add all remaining ingredients
(including tortilla pieces) to broth &
either puree using immersion blender
or, in batches, in a blender. Do not fill
blender more than 1/3rds full – hot
liquids expand when pureed & may
explode out of top of blender, causing
possible burns. Transfer pureed soup
to pot & return to Low heat. Shred or
cube chicken (when cool enough to
handle) – add back to soup & stir to
combine. Simmer soup 30  minutes.
Test soup – add salt/pepper, if needed.
Serve with options. Serves 6

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

Crockpot Pesto Chicken

1 (21.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
(two 10.5 oz)
1/2 C. pesto (your choice/favorite)
1/2 C. sour cream
2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breasts
or tenderloin, cut into strips

Cooked noodles, rice or pasta to
feed 8
=
Spray 5-6 qt. crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Place chicken strips
in bottom. In a bowl mix together soup,
pesto & sour cream – spread evenly over
chicken strips. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours until chicken is cooked through
& tender. Serve chicken over cooked
noodles, rice or pasta. Serves 8

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

Twice-baked Potato Casserole

1 lb. thin bacon
16 russet potatoes
6 T. canola oil
4 sticks (1 lb.) salted butter,
plus more for buttering dish
2 C. sour cream
2 C. grated Cheddar or Jack
(or mix of both) cheese, plus
more for topping
2 C. whole milk
4 tsp. seasoned salt
6 green onions, sliced
kosher salt/black pepper,
to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cook bacon in saute pan until
crispy; cool then crumble. Scrub
potatoes & place on baking sheets.
Rub potatoes with canola oil & bake
until tender, 45 min – 1 hour. Remove
from oven, lower oven temp. to 350
degrees F. Slice butter into pats &
transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add
bacon & sour cream. Using a sharp
knife, cut each potatoes in half
lengthwise & scrape out insides into
bowl. Tear up 3 of the skins & throw
them in bowl. Smash potatoes using
a potato masher. Add cheese, milk,
seasoned salt, green onions & some
salt/pepper – mix together well. Butter
a baking dish & spoon mixture into dish.
Top with more grated cheese & bake
25-30 minutes until warmed through.
Serves 16

(recipe: Ree Drummond-Foodnetwork)
—————————-

No-Bake Preacher Cookies

3 C. quick cooking oats, uncooked
2 C. sugar
1 C. peanut butter
1 stick + 1 T. unsalted butter,
divided
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Pour oats in large bowl. Line a
baking sheet with parchment
paper (can use a flat surface
instead of sheet). In saucepan
melt 1 stick butter over medium-
high heat, stirring frequently.
Bring to boil 1 minute then remove
from heat. Add peanut butter &
vanilla – stir to combine. Pour
mixture over reserved oats in bowl;
add milk & sugar – stir until fully
incorporated. Scoop 1 T. batter
onto baking sheet, press down
to flatten. Melt chocolate chips
with 1 T. unsalted butter in a
microwave-safe dish at 20 second
intervals on medium heat until melted,
stirring after each interval until
chocolate is completely melted.
Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over
tops of cookies. Cookies are ready
to eat when chocolate has cooled &
set. (OR) Chill in fridge 1 hour.
Makes 30-40 cookies

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

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

I fully plan on taking it EASY today – nothing
special planned so that should work (leftover
homemade lasagna in fridge, so no cooking!).

Our weather is typical Spring in Michigan: in
the 50’s, sunny and sometimes VERY windy!
Looks like we’re going to get rain on Thursday
but that’s OK (at least it’s not snow!).

Hope you are in good spirits, feeling well
and enjoying the day!

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s Thursday . . .

I’m VERY grateful that our weather has ‘taken a break’ – we had temps. in the 40’s yesterday and now all the extra snow/ice is melting! YAY! Our driveway is clear – we went to pick up my new glasses today and I didn’t have to do the ‘usual’ bundle-up with heavy scarf, heavy gloves, etc – felt nice to just go out hatless/scarf-less/glove-less!

The Yarn Swap went over well Tuesday night – I was happy to ONLY bring home about 10 very small skeins of yarn (mostly baby weight, so they were small); still had a LOT of yarn so I took the rest to the Wednesday Library knit group and STILL had a good amount, so the remainder went to Children’s Village where they teach teens to knit/crochet for charities.

I’m finally in the ‘nothing special’ mode of life (for awhile, hopefully) – that means I don’t have anything BIG/PRESSING to have to do. Got my special needs group newsletter together, just have to fold, stamp & deliver to post office and that will be done. We took delivery of our new washing machine yesterday – that was an ‘adventure’… The delivery guys called us at 6:45 a.m. to let us know they’d be here in around 15 minutes! YIKES! Jump up, change into clothes & quickly proceed to move everything that might impede delivery (that’s stuff sitting on downstairs steps/coats hanging on wall hooks/boxes-stuff around old washer, etc.). Crazy! While they were installing the washer I had to leave for knit group. Husband texted me that they got the old washer OUT but new washer needed new hoses and they couldn’t get the OLD hoses off of the water connections! Ended up having to call a local plumber to come and CUT them off! (Ah, yes – save $$$ on great deal on washer only to then SPEND part of the deal back to plumbers!) Such is life, right? Well, now we have a working washer. This new one is very different: it’s a agitator-less one – it only has a big, huge empty steel drum for the clothes, nothing in the middle that goes up & down! Apparently they made the drum with bumps and that’s what moves the clothes around. Oh – and if you’re waiting for the water to fill you’ll wait a LONG time! You put the clothes in the tub, dump in the soap and close the lid. The washer SENSES how much water you need & then fills it accordingly! WEIRD! (there IS a ‘pause’ button, should you need it) It has all kinds of settings for water temp, times, etc. – gonna take me awhile to get used to this one, for sure!

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

Peanut Butter Fluff

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (3.9 oz) vanilla or chocolate
instant pudding mix
1 1/2 C. milk
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
25 Reese’s mini peanut butter cups
3/4 C. mini chocolate chips

Suggested dippers:
slices of apple, graham crackers,
chocolate graham crackers,
peanut butter cookies

In large bowl mix cream cheese &
dry pudding mix together until smooth
(will take a few minutes). Slowly add
milk  – 1/4 C. at a time, making sure it
is completely incorporated before adding
more. Add peanut butter – mix until
combined. Fold in Cool Whip until
mixture is smooth & creamy & fluffy.
Fold in Reese’s candies & chocolate
chips. Cover & chill at least 2 hours.
Serves 20

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
————————-
Crockpot Crispy Chicken Pot Pie

5 chicken thighs
2 Russett potatoes, peeled/diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled/diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 C. frozen corn
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. chicken stock (or water)
1/4 C. flour
4 T. butter
1/2 C. heavy cream
1 C. frozen peas

chopped parsley (garnish)
=
cooked biscuits (or) cooked
puff pastry
=
In a skillet brown chicken on both
sides 3-5 minutes on high. Place
potatoes, onion, carrot, celery &
corn to crockpot – season with salt/
pepper. Place chicken stock on top of
veggies; add chicken thighs. Cover
& cook on Low 6 hours (or High 4 hours).

About 15 minutes before cooking time
is done, remove chicken & make a
paste of the flour & butter, using a
fork to mash it together. Add butter
mixture, heavy cream & peas to
vegetable mixture & stir. If your
chicken isn’t crispy enough (out of
crockpot) you can brown it in the
oven on broil a few minutes.
Serve topped with cooked biscuits
or cooked puff pastry. Serves 5

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

Good Luck Pork & Cabbage
(crockpot)

4 C. shredded cabbage
2 apples, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1/2 C. apple juice
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 (3 lb) boneless pork butt
bottom roast
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 T. vegetable oil

Combine cabbage, apples, onion,
brown sugar, apple cider vinegar,
apple juice & 1/2 tsp. salt in crockpot;
mix well. Evenly sprinkle roast with
remaining salt & pepper. In large
skillet over high heat, heat oil &
brown roast on all sides – place
roast in crockpot over cabbage
mixture. Cover & cook on Low 5-6
hours until pork reaches 160
degrees F. on meat thermometer
& is fork-tender. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————-

Ham a la King

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen puff
pastry shells
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/2 C. hot water
1 1/2 C. milk
3 slices processed American
cheese
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. prepared mustard
2 C. cubed fully cooked ham
1/2 C. frozen peas, thawed (optional)
1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced black olives,
drained
2 T. diced pimientos
2 T. minced fresh parsley

Bake pastry shells according to
pkg. directions. In large saucepan
melt butter; stir in flour until
smooth. Dissolve bouillon in
water. Gradually add milk &
bouillon to saucepan & bring to
a boil. Cook & stir 2 minutes until
thickened. Reduce heat; add
cheese, Worc. sauce & mustard –
stir until cheese is melted. Add
ham, peas (if using) olives,
pimientos & parsley – heat
through. Serve spooned into
baked pastry shells. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Italian Potato Cakes
(uses leftover mashed potatoes)

2 C. leftover mashed potatoes
2 T. diced onion
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 to 1/3 C. flour
vegetable oil, for frying

In bowl combine potatoes,
onion, cheese & seasonings.
Stir in egg & combine well.
Stir in 1/4 C. flour (add a little
more, if needed, to tighten
up the potatoes – not overly
stiff though). Heat 1/4″ oil
in a skillet over medium-high
heat. Drop potato mixture by
big spoonfuls in oil & gently
flatten out just a little. Fry
2-3 minutes per side until
golden brown. Remove to
a paper towel-lined plate.

(recipe: ninrecipes.com)
—————————

Brown Sugar Pork Chops

4 bone-in pork chops
2 tsp. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
3 T. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic
3 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning*
1 T. chopped parsley

lemon wedges & parsley sprigs;
optional garnishes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F. In large
pan over medium-high heat heat
oil. Season chops on both sides
with salt/pepper. Place chops in pan
in single layer & cook 5-6 minutes
per side or until browned. Remove
chops from pan & place on a plate –
cover with foil to keep warm. Add
butter to pan & melt; add garlic,
brown sugar & Ital. seasoning-
cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Place chops back in pan & spoon
sauce over top. Place pan in oven &
bake 10-15 minutes until chops are
cooked to desired level of done-ness.
Spoon sauce from bottom of pan over
chops & sprinkle with parsley (if using).
Serve, garnished with lemon wedges.
Serves 4

*If you don’t have Italian Seasoning,
you can substitute with equal parts
dried oregano, dried basil & dried
thyme.

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

Crockpot Hearty Italian Beef Soup

2 lb. beef stew meat, cubed
cooking oil
1/2 C. white onion, diced
1 C. diced carrots
1 C. diced celery
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian seasoned
diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz, ea) great Northern beans,
drained/rinsed
2 (15 oz, ea) beef broth
1 (8 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

For serving:
sliced French bread
Parmesan cheese (garnish)

In large skillet over medium-high
heat add enough oil to coat bottom
of pan. Brown stew meat on all sides
& place in crockpot. Add carrots,
onion, celery, diced tomatoes, beans,
beef broth, tomato paste, salt/pepper,
onion powder & oregano & stir. Cover
& cook on Low 9 hours without opening
lid during cooking time.
Serve topped with Parmesan cheese &
French bread for dipping.
Serves 10

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

Chunky Monkey Brownies

2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 C.) unsalted butter,
softened
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. mashed banana, (about
1 medium-large banana)
1 (10 oz) pkg. semi-sweet baking
melts
(Hershey) OR 12 oz. semi-
sweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. chocolate chips for top

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Using
elec. mixer in large bowl, mix
butter, eggs, sugars, salt & vanilla
until well mixed. Add flour, mashed
banana & baking melts (or chips);
stir using a wooden spoon to
combine – spread mixture into
prepared pan & smooth top.
Sprinkle 1/4 C. choc. chips on
top & bake 30-40 minutes until
lightly golden brown & a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean. Cool completely before
cutting into bars.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)

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

Hope you are in good health and that
YOUR weather is cooperating, also. It’s
SO nice not to have to worry about what
snow storm is on the horizon for the day –
you can actually make plans to go
shopping without fear of getting your car
stuck or slipping on the roads/parking lots!

Stay healthy!

Hugs;

Pammie

and here we go – AGAIN!

(Couldn’t resist the cute Groundhog)

It’s Winter in good old Michigan – for awhile we had just a little snow on the ground but last night & today will probably change all that. The weather predictions for last night and today were: 2 inches of snow during the night and another 2 inches before 10 a.m. today. Tonight is my special needs group’s Christmas party and our leader has firmly decided that we are GOING AHEAD – no more cancellations! (We’ve had to cancel this from the second week of December until now). It’s supposed to get down to around 5 degrees F. with wind chills of -2 degrees F. Something tells me that we are DEFINITELY NOT going to have the (originally expected) 150 people coming – we’ll be lucky if we get 30! The food has already been purchased – there are reports that some of the ladies who had volunteered to help serve/clean up have the flu…this is NOT a good sign! Let’s just say-if I was not a leader and one of two people running the group I WOULD STAY HOME! Not looking forward to driving in snow much less driving home later in more (hopefully there won’t be more). I have to be there at 4:30 p.m. and it’s done at 8 p.m. (not counting clean up). I’ve already decided to skip the Wednesday Library Knit Group – that group is fun but I really don’t feel like battling snow in the morning then doing it again 4 1/2 hours later! Such is life, right?

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

Blueberry Yum Yum

1 (10 oz) pkg. shortbread cookies;
crushed (reserve 1/2 C. for topping)
(poster used Lorne Doone’s)
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
2 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed
1 (21 oz) can blueberry pie filling
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix cookie crumbs
(minus the reserved ones) & melted
butter – press into bottom of 9 X 13″
baking dish. Bake 5 minutes; cool
completely.
In large bowl combine cream cheese,
powdered sugar & 1 tub Cool Whip –
STIR by hand. Spread mixture over
cooled crust. Drop dollops of blueberry
pie filling over cream cheese layer & spread
carefully. Sprinkle pecans over pie filling.
Top with remaining Cool Whip & sprinkle
top with reserved crumbs. Refrigerate at
least 2 hours before serving. Serves 10-12

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

6-Ingredient Bake!

1 lb. ground beef
2 (7.5 oz, ea) tubes refrigerated
biscuits
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet cook beef over medium-
high heat 5-7 minutes; drain.
Separate each tube of biscuits
into 10 biscuits per tube. Using
a pizza cutter, cut each biscuit
into quarters. In large bowl stir
together beef, beans, enchilada
& tomato sauces. Stir biscuit
halves into mixture & spread
evenly in prepared dish. Sprinkle
cheese on top & bake 25-30
minutes. Let stand 5 minutes
before serving.

(recipe: tasteerecipe.com)
——————————

Crockpot Turkey/Wild Rice Soup
(this is a 1 1/2 day project)

2 C. cooked, chopped turkey (or
a turkey carcass)
8 C. water (NOTE: if you don’t have
a turkey carcass, use 8 C. chicken
broth)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped carrots
2/3 C. raw wild rice
1 tsp. dried sage
1 chicken bouillon cube (don’t use
if using broth & carcass)
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 C. baby spinach leaves

NOTE: IF you are using a turkey
Carcass: place carcass in crockpot
(break bones down if needed to fit)
& cover with 8 C. water.
Cover & cook on Low overnight or
8-10 hours. Drain broth into a large
pot (do not discard), pick off meat &
add to broth.
=
Rinse out crockpot & place in chopped
veggies – return broth & meat to
crockpot & add wild rice, sage, bouillon
cube & balsamic vinegar. Stir; add 2 heaping
handfuls of baby spinach to mix (it will cook
down). Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours
or High 4-6 hours. Soup is done when
veggies have reached desired tenderness.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: cookstr.com)
——————————-

Skillet Nachos

1 lb. ground beef
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
1 C. fresh or frozen corn, thawed
3/4 C. uncooked instant rice
1/2 C. water
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. shredded Colby-Monterrey
Jack cheese
1 (16 oz) pkg. tortilla chips

Optional toppings:
sour cream, sliced fresh jalapenos,
shredded lettuce, lime wedges

In large skillet cook beef over medium
heat 6-8 minutes until not longer pink,
breaking into crumbles; drain oil. Stir
in tomatoes, corn, rice, water, taco
seasoning mix & salt – bring to boil.
Reduce heat & simmer, covered, 8-10
minutes until rice is tender & mixture
is slightly thickened. Remove from heat;
sprinkle with cheese. Let stand, covered,
5 minutes until cheese is melted. Divide
tortilla chips among 6 plates – spoon
beef mixture over chips & serve with
desired toppings. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

8 oz. penne pasta (2 C.), uncooked
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. ranch salad dressing (wet)
1/3 C. hot sauce
2 C. cooked/shredded chicken
1 1/2 C. mozarella cheese, shredded
green onions, chopped – garnish

Optional sides:
ranch salad dressing
hot sauce
chopped green onions

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Cook pasta
noodles accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. In large bowl stir cream cheese,
ranch dressing & hot sauce until creamy.
Add in chicken, 1/2 C. mozzarella
cheese & cooked pasta – stir to combine &
spoon into prepared dish. Combine remaining
two cheese & sprinkle on top. Bake 20
minutes until cheese is melted. Remove &
serve immediately, topped with chopped
green onions, if desired. Serves 6

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

Smothered Pork Chops

4 bone-in pork chops, about
1 inch thick
salt/pepper
1 C. flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/4 C. plus 2 T. olive oil,
divided
2 medium onions, sliced thin
2 T. butter
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. heavy cream

Season chops with salt/pepper. In
shallow dish/pie plate, combine flour,
garlic powder, thyme & chili powder –
reserve 2 T. mixture. Dredge chops
in mixture, shaking off excess. In large
skillet heat 1/4 C. oil until shimmering.
Cook chops until golden brown, about
5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate &
wipe out skillet. Reduce heat to medium-
low & add 2 T. remaining oil. Add onions &
season with more salt/pepper – cook until
very soft & slightly caramelized, about
15-20 minutes. Add butter, let melt then
sprinkle reserved flour – mix & cook 1
minute. Stir in chicken broth & heavy
cream – bring to a simmer. Allow sauce to
thicken, about 5 minutes. Return chops
to skillet & cook until fully cooked through,
about 10 more minutes. Serves 4

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

Crockpot Mexican Beef Soup

1 lb. beef stew meat cut into
1 1/4″ pieces
3/4 lb. potatoes, (about 2 medium),
cut into 3/4″ cubes
2 C. frozen corn (about 10 oz), thawed
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″ slices
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 C. beef stock
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes &
green chilies, undrained

Optional garnishes:
sour cream
tortilla chips

In 5-6 qt. crockpot combine
first 12 ingredients. Cover &
cook on Low until meat is
tender, 6-8 hours. If desired,
serve with optional garnishes.
Serves 8 (2 quarts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

No-Bake Pecan/Coconut Praline
Cookies

2 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/2 C. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 C. chopped pecans
2 1/2 C. grated/shredded coconut

Lay out on counter a large sheet
of waxed paper.
Mix sugar, evap. milk, corn syrup &
butter in large saucepan; bring to
rolling boil & boil 3 minutes. Remove
from heat; stir in pecans, coconut &
vanilla. Stir about 4 minutes. Spoon
batter in small dollops onto waxed
paper – let stand until batter has
hardened. Remove from paper &
enjoy.

(recipe: Facebook)

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

Stay warm (& safe);

Hugs;

Pammie

Good News!

Went back to the eye doctor’s today – they ended up doing another eye exam and it turns out the prescription was wrong – mostly in left eye, but also a bit in right eye as well. The ‘halos’ around everything is because I didn’t get THIS lens treated with non-glare like my old ones; end result – I’m getting NEW lenses (at their expense!) and these will be non-glare coated (at my expense – but that’s ok). I was SO glad to hear that it wasn’t ME! I told the lady doing the eye test that I almost felt like I might be making the wrong choices when they ask you to read the letters in each line. YAY – it’s not me!!!

After that experience husband & I tried a ‘new to us’ restaurant/diner near the eye doctors – can’t say as I’d recommend it (it was recommended to us by someone who lives near there). Husband got a HUGE breakfast, I got a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich – we both agreed: it was so-so, nothing to write home about and probably not returning in the future. Service was great – gotta commend them for that but the food was just ‘average’. Oh well – at least now we know (we’ll be going back to our ‘new’ favorite: Village Place by our house). Our old favorite was Bob Evans but that place closed about 2 months ago – no idea why – went on the website and it just said they were closing a lot of their places – darn.

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

Black Midnight Cake

Cake:
2/3 C. dark cocoa powder (poster
used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa)
1 C. hot, strong brewed coffee
1 pinch cayenne
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 C. buttermilk*
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Frosting:
1 C. dark cocoa (see above/cake)
4 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 C. buttermilk*
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut 2 parchment circles the size of
the bottom of your cake pan.
In a small bowl dissolve cocoa powder
& cayenne in hot brewed coffee. In
another bowl, using elec. mixer with
paddle attachment, cream oil & sugar
until well combined. Add eggs & beat
until light & creamy, 1-2 minutes. Scrape
paddle & beat once. Slowly add in coffee/
cocoa mixture, buttermilk & vanilla – beat
until batter is smooth. Scrape paddle & beat
once. In another bowl sift flour, salt, baking
soda & powder; add dry ingredients to wet
& beat on Low speed to incorporate. Scrape
down bowl & mix just until all ingredients
are combined – do not over mix once flour is
in. Butter the bottom & sides of two 9 inch
cake pans & place one parchment circle in
each. Butter the top of the parchment & dust
with cocoa powder, shaking out excess. Pour
batter evenly between pans & place in
center rack of oven. Bake 30-35 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes
out clean. (NOTE: depending on your oven, you
may need to rotate cake pans halfway through
baking time). Do not over bake. Cool pans on
wire racks 10 minutes then carefully invert
onto a rack to cool further.

Frosting:
Sift cocoa powder with powdered sugar in large
bowl. In bowl of a stand elec. mixer or hand
mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar/cocoa
powder mixture along with buttermilk & vanilla &
beat until smooth & creamy. Add additional butter-
milk or whole milk if frosting is too thick. Place a
small dollop of frosting on a cake dish to hold the
bottom layer from sliding – place cake on frosting.
Frost top of that layer; place second cake layer &
frost entire cake, top & sides.

*If you do not have buttermilk:
(this is for both cake & frosting:)
Place 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar in
a 2 or 3 cup measuring cup. Fill cup to
1 1/2 C. mark with milk – stir & let
stand 5 minutes; now you have
buttermilk (cake requires 1 C./
frosting requires 1/2 C. – be sure
to measure out buttermilk for
each use.)

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
—————————————

Ham, Cheese & Pasta Casserole

2 1/2 C. bow tie pasta, cooked al dente,
accordg. to pkg. directions/drained
1/2 C. chopped green onion
1 C. frozen peas
2 C. chopped, cooked ham
2 C. shredded cheese*
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. milk
dash hot sauce
20 butter-type (like Ritz) crackers,
crushed
3 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray casserole dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In large bowl whisk
together sour cream, mayonnaise,
mustard, bl. pepper/salt, garlic powder,
milk & hot sauce. In another large bowl
combine pasta, onion, peas, ham & 1 C.
cheese. Pour mayonnaise mixture over
ham mixture & toss – pour mixture into
prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/2 C.
cheese on top. In small bowl toss
crushed crackers & melted butter –
spread over cheese layer on top.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Serves 8

*poster used a mix of cheeses-
you choose your variety

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
——————————

Split Pea Soup with Ham

1 (16 oz) pkg. dried green split peas
8 C. water
2 large onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 C. cubed, cooked ham (about 10 oz)
1 celery rib, chopped
5 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. dried majoram
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 to 1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil

Place all ingredients in Dutch oven;
bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer,
covered, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until
peas & vegetables are tender,
stirring occasionally. Makes 12 qts/
12 servings.

NOTE: adding only 2 C. cooked ham
adds a ton of savory flavor but keeps
sodium levels under 400 mg. per serving.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Crockpot Apple Cider Pulled Pork

7-8 lb. pork butt roast
3 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 T. salt
1 tsp. thyme (ground)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried mustard
2 C. apple cider
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1 (20 oz) bottle BBQ sauce

12 crusty rolls

Place roast in bottom of crockpot. In
small bowl mix seasonings – rub all
over roast, turning to get all sides.
Pour apple cider & apple cider vinegar
over roast. Cover & cook on High 4-5
hours (or Low 8-10 hours). Remove
roast from crockpot & shred meat
using 2 forks. Pour juices out of
crockpot, reserving 1-2 cups in a
small bowl. Return shredded meat to
crockpot along with 1/2 of bottle
BBQ sauce & enough reserved
liquid to keep pork moist. Keep on
Low setting while serving meat on
rolls with additional BBQ sauce
drizzled on top.

NOTE: Make sure leftovers are cooled
completely before covering tightly
& refrigerating or freezing for another
meal.

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

Broccoli/Cheese-stuffed Chicken

3 large chicken breasts
salt/pepper
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 C. finely chopped broccoli florets
1/2 C. finely diced red bell pepper
1 C. Cheddar cheese
1 T. mayonnaise
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Season both sides of chicken with
salt/pepper, paprika & 1/2 tsp.
garlic powder. Using a sharp knife,
cut a slice through middle of chicken
breasts sideways, creating a pocket
for filling.
Filling:
Place broccoli in a large microwave-safe
bowl & add 2 T. water. Cover with
plastic wrap & microwave 1 minute;
drain any excess water. Add bell
pepper, cheese, mayo, remaining
garlic powder & salt/pepper to dish.
Mix until combined then divide
mixture between chicken breasts,
using a wooden toothpick to secure
if necessary. Heat a large oven-safe
skillet over medium heat & add olive
oil. Sear chicken 3-4 minutes per
side. Cover skillet with foil & bake
in oven 15-17 minutes until a
cooking thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
Let rest, covered, 5 minutes before
serving Serves 4-6

(recipe: iwashyoudry.com)
—————————————

Spicy Black Bean Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely
chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. minced jalapenos
1 T. tomato paste
kosher salt/black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans,
rinsed/drained
3 ‘bean cans’ water
1 quart chicken or vegetable
stock
1 bay leaf

Optional garnishes:
sour cream
sliced avocado
chopped fresh cilantro

In large pot over medium heat,
heat oil. Add onion & cook until
soft, about 5 minutes. Add jalapenos
& garlic – cook about 2 minutes.  Add
tomato paste, stir to coat vegetables-
cook about 1 minute more. Season
with salt/pepper, chili powder &
cumin- stir to coat. Add beans &
3 ‘bean cans’ water* & chicken broth.
Stir soup, add bay leaf & bring to a
boil. Immediately reduce heat to
a simmer & simmer about 15 minutes
until liquid is slightly reduced. Remove
bay leaf & discard. At this point you
can either serve soup ‘as is’ or pour,
in batches, into a blender & blend
to your desired consistency. Serve
with optional garnishes. Serves 4

*I recommend rinsing black beans
before using & then replacing the
original ‘liquid’ that was in the can
with 3 cans of water.

(recipe: delish.com)
————————————-
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp. peppermint extract (or
more, to taste)
about 10 drops green food coloring
3 1/4 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
12 oz. dark chocolate chips,
divided

Line one or more baking sheets
with parchment paper. In large
bowl or stand mixer, beat butter
& sugar (scraping sides of bowl)
then beat on Medium 2 minutes,
until light & fluffy. Add eggs &
yolk, pepp. extract & food coloring;
mix well. In separate bowl, combine
flour, baking powder, baking soda,
cream of tartar & salt – mix & add
to wet ingredients – combine until
flour is not quite incorporated. Add
half choc. chips to dough*. Chop
other half coarsely using a knife or
food processor. Add chopped
chocolate to dough & mix until
just combined. Cover dough &
refrigerate 1 hour.**

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using a 1/4 C. measuring cup,
form balls & shape into ovals
(think more egg shaped than
ball), place on cookie sheets.

NOTE: poster said these are
very LARGE cookies, she only
put 8 cookies per sheet

Bake 8-10 minutes until barely
starting to brown on edges.
Centers should be not-shiny
when you take them out. Let
cool 5 minutes on pan then
remove to cooling rack.
Makes about 20 large cookies.

*Poster reserved about 1/3 C.
whole chips & pushed them into
baked cookies immediately after
removing from oven.

**Chilling is not mandatory. You can
bake them right after mixing. Poster
prefers the texture & flavor after
chilling

(recipe: thefoodcharlatan.com)
=====================

A little later on we have to attend a funeral
visitation for a lovely lady from our church –
she & her husband were married just short
of 60 years – she will be greatly missed.

Hope you are staying warm (it was a ‘balmy’
15 degrees F. when we left for eye appointment).
These are the days when I’m VERY grateful for
a warm house, warm clothes, food in the pantry
and the blessings I’m given every day. The Lord
has greatly taken care of me and my family for
a long time and I am grateful.

Hugs;

Pammie