Sunday and WEIRD weather!

December 2nd and it’s not just raining – it’s HAILING! The temperature is unusually warm today (56), gloomy foggy/rainy but then we get THUNDER AND HAIL! WEIRD! There IS snow predicted for Thursday but no accumulations mentioned (YAY – let’s hope it stays that way!).

Slowly but surely dragging down the Christmas decorations – I’ve never been one for really getting ‘into’ decorating but if I don’t I hear it from my sons, so . . . . sigh.

Gas prices are STILL at $2.29/9 – GREAT!

Today is also “Computer improvements are driving me NUTS’ Day! The other day when I turned my computer on I get this little “hold on for some updates to Thunderbird’ (my email server). Little did I know at the time, they DIDN’T ASK me if I WANTED them, they just automatically installed them! First things first, all my emails became DOUBLE SPACED! Took my dear husband about 20 minutes to discover just WHY that happened and then how to reverse it. Today I went to send an email to my cousin in Iowa (we email every Sunday) and, just as I’m hitting “SEND” I see on the screen NOT SEND but “SEND LATER”! UGH – more ‘stuff’! Took both of us about 10 minutes to find the ‘alternate setting’ that got rid of that, also (also explains why said cousin never replied to an email I sent a few days ago!) UGH! TECHNOLOGY SUCKS!

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Cream Cheese Mints

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter, softened
7-8 C. powdered sugar (start with 7,
reserve 1 C. for dipping later)
4-6 drops peppermint oil
(food coloring, if desired)

In large bowl place cream cheese, butter
& peppermint oil – using elec. mixer,
beat until fluffy. Add 7 C. powdered
sugar & beat again until dough is like
in consistency. It will seem stiff & dry at
first but after a minute or two it will
come together. (you can add coloring
at this point, if desired.) (If it’s too dry
to form balls after you’re done mixing,
add 1 T. milk & mix again.) Form into
small 1 inch balls & place on waxed paper.
Roll each ball in powdered sugar &
flatten slightly with your fingertip/
a fork/back of a spoon/bottom of a
glass or a tiny
seasonal pastry stamp. Allow mints
to dry a few hours before storing. If
they will be eaten in a day or two, you
can leave them out in an airtight
container – for longer storage, place
in fridge. Makes about 80 1-inch mints.

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

Crockpot Cheesy Ranch Potatoes

1 pkg. shredded hash browns (poster
used Ore Ida)
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (medium)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C. sour cream
1 pkt. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 stick butter, melted (1/2 C.)
3 C. corn flakes
1 pkg. French’s fried onions

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray (or use a crockpot liner).
Pour in hash browns & use a fork or spoon
to break up any large chunks of frozen
potatoes that may be stuck together. Mix
in shredded cheese & evenly distribute
through potatoes. In separate bowl whisk
soup, sour cream & dry Ranch mix – pour
over potatoes & mix evenly throughout.
Add half of French onions & stir. Melt
butter & drizzle half of it over the potatoes
& mix in. In separate bowl crush up corn
flakes & remaining French onions*. Mix
remaining melted butter (about 1/4 C.)
in with crushed corn flakes & fried onions –
spread over top of hash browns. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours (or Low 6-8 hours).
Serves 4-6

*Poster uses a wire whisk or you can place
them in a ziplock bag & crush them that way

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

Apple Juice Grilled Chicken
(can be overnight recipe)

1 C. apple juice
1/4 C. canola oil
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. soy sauce
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Place chicken breasts in a shallow
pan. Whisk together apple juice, oil, brown
sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice & garlic in
medium bowl – pour over chicken in pan
& refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
Remove chicken from marinade & grill until
done, 12-15 minutes.

(recipe: yummly.com)
——————————–

Ritz Cracker Oven-fried Chicken

1 C. sour cream (not low fat)
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
3-4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray.
Place crushed crackers in a shallow
bowl (or pie plate). Place sour cream
in a shallow bowl or plate. Pat chicken
dry with paper towel & roll in sour
cream then roll each chicken breast
in cracker crumbs & place on baking
sheet. Bake 30 minutes, turn over &
bake 20-30 minutes more until
lightly browned.

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

 Asparagus-stuffed Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(about 1 lb)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper
4 slices mozzarella cheese
zest of 1 lemon
pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends
removed
2 T. olive oil (for pan)
lemon wedges (for serving)
1/4 C. grated Parmesan, garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In medium bowl toss asparagus with
1 T. olive oil, lemon zest & red pepper
flakes. On clean work surface, cut a
pocket into each breast, stuff each
with mozz. cheese & asparagus.
Season chicken all over with oregano,
salt/pepper – secure with wooden
toothpicks. In large (oven proof) skillet
over medium-high heat, read remaining
1 T. olive oil; add chicken & cook about
5 minutes until seared & golden on bottom.
Flip chicken & cook second side about 5
minutes until golden. Transfer skillet
to oven & bake until chicken is cooked
through, 10-15 minutes more. Squeeze
lemon juice over cooked chicken & garnish
with Parm. cheese. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
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Mississippi Sin Dip

24 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
8 oz. chopped green chilies
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
12 oz. deli honey ham, very finely
chopped

corn chips, or crackers for dipping

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together &
pour into greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Bake 30 minutes until bubbly.
Serves 20

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
———————————

Crockpot Meaty Split Pea Soup

1 C. dried split peas
4 C. water
2/3 C. chopped onion
4 potatoes, peeled/cut into
pieces
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 (13 oz) pkg. beef smoked
sausage, cut into pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
shredded

Wash peas & drain – place in
crockpot with all other ingredients.*
Cover & cook on High 4 hours or
Low 7 hours until potatoes are done.
Makes about 2 quarts soup.

*Poster said you can either add
cheese with other ingredients or
sprinkle over soup, once cooked, into
bowls

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

5-Minute Fantasy Bars

1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (11 oz) bag butterscotch chips
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 (10.5 oz) bag mini marshmallows

Line a 9 x 13″ baking dish with nonstick
foil. In large microwave-safe container*
add choc. & butterscotch chips & peanut
butter. Microwave on High in 30-second
intervals, stirring in between until chips
are fully melted, peanut butter is incor-
porated & mixture is smooth. Stir in
marshmallows until fully coated. Pour
mixture into prepared pan & refrigerate
until set, about 2 hours. Cut into bars.
Store leftovers in airtight container.
Makes 24 bars.

*Poster uses an 8-Cup Pyrex measuring
cup.
NOTE: If you’d like the bars to be thicker
use a 9″ square pan & allow an extra
30 minutes for bars to set up

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

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

Did a 6-hour babysitting yesterday (kind of an emergency – both oldest
son AND his girlfriend had to work & neither knew about it ahead of
time! Son had scheduled an employee meeting months in advance
for his kitchen staff & expected his girlfriend would be off – oh well,
that’s why there’s grandmas!). During said time I managed to
finish one of two scarves for the needy: both are child’s size.
Almost done with #2 , should be able to finish that one in maybe
1 1/2 hours.

#1 (left) #2 (right – almost finished)

Hope you have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Now the sun is out and no rain/hail! Go figure!

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End of the month – can you believe it?

It’s a gray, lazy 32 degrees F. day – not a lot planned. We had a very light dusting of snow yesterday (not enough to even worry about). Finished a knit cowl (for homeless) and the last of three spa cloths for oldest son’s girlfriend for Christmas. Her gift will be another 1-hour ‘Float Session’ at a local spa (got her that last year for her birthday and she loved it-you’re basically floating in warm water with 100 lb. of epsom salts which causes you to float – it’s a private room with adjustable lighting (colored or not), your choice of music (or not) – very relaxing. I’m down to finishing knitting the ‘block/bricks-looking’ scarf (for the homeless) and the peach baby blanket (about 70% done with that). There is a very nice young married lady in our choir that is expecting sometime in the summer – that blanket (if she’s having a girl) will go to her. Not exactly sure what next project will be; maybe another scarf.  Got word today that I’m needed babysitting tomorrow 11 a.m. – 5/6; oldest son has an employee meeting then has to do inventory for his kitchen (he’s the Exec. Chef at his hotel) – looks like I might be finishing that scarf!

=========

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter Layer:

1 C. butter, melted
3 3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs

Topping:

2 C. milk chocolate chips, melted
1 1/2 C. creamy peanut butter

Mix together ingredients for peanut
butter layer & press into a 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Refrigerate 1 hour before adding
second layer.

In a microwaveable bowl stir together chips &
peanut butter. Microwave 1 minute – stir until
melted & smooth (repeat if necessary until all
chips are melted). – smooth over first layer &
refrigerate 2 hours before slicing.
Store in air-tight container – poster puts
waxed paper between the layers when
storing so they don’t stick. (depending on
the time of year, you might need to store
them in the fridge.)

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

Crockpot Bacon Swiss Chicken

3 slices bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled &
drippings reserved
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
6 slices Swiss cheese

Pour reserved bacon grease in a skillet &
heat over medium heat. Place chicken
breasts in warmed grease & cook 3-5
minutes until slightly golden, turning
once. Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray & place chicken
in crockpot; cover with mushrooms.
Pour soup in skillet & warm through then
pour over chicken. Cover & cook on Low 4-5
hours. (check with meat thermometer
to know when chicken is done). Place
a slice of Swiss cheese on top of each
chicken breast, sprinkle with cooked
bacon. Turn heat up to High; cover &
cook 10-15 minutes more until cheese
is melted. Serves 6

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

Ham & Potato/Corn Chowder

3 T. oil or butter
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1/4 C. flour
2 C. ham or chicken broth
2 C. milk
1 1/2 lb. potatoes, diced small
(optional peeled)
8 oz. ham, diced
1 C. corn
salt/pepper, to taste

In large saucepan over medium-high
heat heat oil; add onions, carrots &
celery – cook until tender, 8-10 minutes.
Mix in garlic, thyme & flour – cook until
flour is lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
Slowly stir in broth, deglazing pan as you
go. Add milk & potatoes, bring to boil
then reduce & simmer until potatoes are
tender, 10-12 minutes. Add ham & corn;
cook until heated – season with salt/pepper.
Serves 6

Options:
4 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled. Use
bacon grease to cook veggies instead of oil –
crumble bacon as garnish

Replace potatoes with cauliflower

Fry ham until slightly crisp on outside
before adding to soup

(recipe: closetcooking.com)
———————————–
Baked Shrimp Scampi

1 1/2 lb. uncooked medium shrimp,
peeled/deveined
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. linguine, uncooked
1/3 C. Classico Traditional Basil Pesto
sauce & spread, divided
1 C. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
6 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 C. tightly packed fresh parsley,
minced
1/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cover a rimmed baking sheet with
foil & spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Toss shrimp with dressing & garlic; spread
onto sheet & bake 15-20 minutes until
shrimp turn pink.
Cook pasta as directed on pkg, omitting salt.
Drain pasta, reserving 3/4 C. cooking water.
Heat 1 T. pesto sauce in large skillet over
medium heat. Add tomatoes & cook 2
minutes, stirring frequently. Add cream
cheese & cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes until
cream cheese is completely melted. Add
reserved cooking water & remaining pesto
sauce – mix well. Add pasta – cook & stir
3  minutes until heated through. Spoon
pasta mixture onto a platter & top with
shrimp, parsley & Parmesan cheese.
Serves 8

(recipe: Kraftrecipes)
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Greek Feta & Tomato Dip

2 C. grape tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
olive oil
Feta cheese
2-3 tsp. All Purpose Greek Seasoning

Crusty Artisan bread – thin loaf

Drizzle olive oil on bottom of a
serving platter. Sprinkle tomatoes &
green onions over top of oil. Sprinkle
Feta cheese over tomatoes & onions.
Sprinkle 2-3 tsp. All Purpose Greek
seasoning over top*. Toss mixture
together. Serve immediately with
dip. Makes 5-6 servings

*You can find this at WalMart in the
spice aisle

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
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Dirty Rice

2 C. long grain white rice
4 C. chicken broth
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded/diced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1-2 T. creole seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
parsley – optional garnish

In large pot add rice & chicken broth –
bring to boil. Reduce heat to Low &
simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes until
liquid is absorbed. In saute pan add
olive oil & smoked sausage, cook until
browned. Add pepper, onion & celery –
cook until tender. Once rice is done,
stir into sausage/veggie mixture. Sprinkle
with creole seasoning & red pepper flakes;
stir until combined. Garnish with chopped
parsley, if desired. Serves 8

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
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Coconut Cream Poke Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (14 oz) can cream of coconut
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (8 oz) pkg. flaked coconut

Prepare & bake white cake accordg.
to pkg. directions. Remove cake
from oven – while still hot, using
a utility fork (or wooden spoon
handle) poke holes all over top of
cake. In a small bowl mix cream of
coconut & sweetened cond. milk
together – pour over top of cake.
Let cake cool completely then frost
with Cool Whip & sprinkle top with
flaked coconut. Keep cake
refrigerated.

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

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

Hope you’re having a good day –
stay warm & healthy (if you can!).

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Gotta add: Not exactly sure just ‘why’ but my

blog site is working fine again! YAY! SO nice to

be able to ‘cut/paste’ the recipes from my

files directly onto site WITHOUT having to

type them – AGAIN! YAY!

Starting “The List”

As the days draw closer to Thanksgiving I’ve started thinking about Christmas gifts – not an easy task. I’ve been cruising Amazon & managed to order a few things but some of the people on my list are rather difficult to buy gifts for – they either HAVE everything they want OR they are so brand-specific it gets ‘muddy’ trying to come up with something they’ll like – WITHOUT RESORTING TO JUST GIVING A GIFT CARD! Know what I mean? Yes, I ‘could’ knit/crochet something but that, in itself, takes time. Am thinking about knitting more spa cloths for oldest son’s girlfriend (did that last year & she really liked them) but, again, TIME crunch! How are YOU doing on you list? Started yet? I noticed in my email “In” box that two gifts I ordered have arrived – YAY – it’s a start! Baby grandson is another one that’s hard to buy for: other grandma practically buys out the store when it comes to his gifts. I’m not one to compete with anyone, just want to get him something – am thinking of going clothes, simply because he has TOO MANY toys already! (He’s only 1 1/2 and she’s already bought him tons of toys for 4 & 5 year olds! His closet is FULL of toys he’s never even played with yet, not counting his room floor is covered with toys that were too old for him – like puzzles – the pieces are scattered everywhere – he’s TOO YOUNG! UGH! (Ah, the plight of a grandma . . . sigh).

Babysat yesterday for 9 long hours – managed to finish TWO baby blankets – YAY! Am looking at starting a new scarf with a pattern I haven’t done in a good 10 years+ – the pattern is either called: “Ball Band” or “Mosaic” – uses two yarns together to make what looks (to me) like bricks:

Not the best photo but you get the idea. I remember I was really struggling with how to knit this pattern when a good (expert knitter) friend said: “Here – it’s EASY – you just do this!” and she was right. Now remembering that 10+ years later resulted in me checking videos on YouTube but once I saw it done, it’s a snap! Think it would make a nice scarf pattern (although it takes awhile to knit – we’ll see).

LOTS OF HOLIDAY RECIPES!!! GOTTA SHARE!

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Upside-down Cranberry Pecan
Cinnamon Rolls

1 (13.9 oz) tube Pillsbury cinnamon
rolls (with icing) any flavor (poster
liked the orange ones best)
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/4 C. light or dark brown sugar
1/4 C. chopped pecans
4 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl stir together brown
sugar & butter – spread in bottom of
a ungreased* 9″ cake pan – sprinkle
top with cranberries & pecans. Open
rolls & arrange in pan over cranberries/
nuts. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly
browned on top. Remove from oven &
turn upside-down onto a large serving
plate – do not remove pan. Let stand
5 minutes before removing pan. Place
cinnamon roll icing in a plastic bag &
knead until warm & pliable. Cut corner
off bag – drizzle over rolls.

*you don’t need to grease pan BUT it
does need to be nonstick

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

Turkey Meatloaf

3 C. chopped yellow onions
(2 large)
2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
or (1/2 tsp. dried)
1/3 C. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 C. chicken stock

1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
5 lb. ground turkey breast
1 1/2 C. plain dry bread crumbs
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
3/4 C. ketchup

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In medium pan over medium-low
heat, cook onions, olive oil, salt/pepper &
thyme, about 15 minutes. Add Worc. sauce,
chicken stock & tomato paste – mix well &
allow to cool to room temp. In large bowl
combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs
& onion – mix well & shape into a rectangular
loaf on an ungreased sheet pan; spread ketchup
evenly over top. Bake 1 1/2 hours until internal
temp. reads 160 degrees F. & meatloaf is cooked
through (Placing a pan of hot water in oven
under the meatloaf will prevent the top from
cracking). Serve hot, at room temp. or cold in
a sandwich. Serves 8-10

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
————————-

Bacon-wrapped Green Beans

1 lb. fresh green beans
10-12 slices thick-cut bacon
(poster used regular bacon)
2 T. butter
1 T. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Wash &
thoroughly dry beans then season
with salt/pepper. Bundle together
5-8 beans (depends on size of beans &
amount of beans you got for one lb.)
Using a slice of bacon, wrap it around
the center of the beans to hold them
together – lay them seam-sides down,
in baking dish – repeat with remaining
beans & bacon. Heat a small saucepan
over Low heat; add butter, brown
sugar & garlic – whisk until butter melts.
Using a pastry brush, brush mixture over
top of each bundle. Cover with foil &
bake 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake
10-15 minutes longer (NOTE: poster
said it took more like 25 minutes for her
to get the bacon somewhat crisp – she
still ended up putting them under the
broiler to crisp up the bacon).
Poster noted it made 10-12 bundles

NOTE: Poster noted that the beans are
cooking in bacon fat – next time she
plans on cooking them in a roasting pan
& using a wire rack so that the beans still
get the juices of the bacon but the majority
of the fats will drip down into pan.

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

3-Ingredient Cranberry Salad

2 (15 oz, ea) cans whole cranberries in
sauce
2 (14 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
drained
1 C. chopped walnuts

Mix ingredients together – Makes
about 8 servings

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

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/
Honey & Cinnamon

4 sweet potatoes, peeled/cut into
1″ cubes
1/4 C. olive oil, plus more for
drizzling
1/4 C. honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
salt/black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lay sweet potatoes out in a single
layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle oil,
honey, cinnamon, salt/pepper over
potatoes. Roast 25-30 minutes until
tender. Remove from oven & transfer
to a serving platter. Drizzle with more
olive oil. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
————————–

Maple Crockpot Ham

4-6 lb. fully cooked bone-in ham
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Remove
ham from pkg & discard any flavoring
packet. Check end of bone for a
plastic cap (if present, discard). Using
a sharp knife, score skin & fat of ham
about 1/8 inch deep by making cuts
about every 2 inches all the way across
the ham (this allows flavor to more easily
penetrate into the ham while cooking) –
place ham in crockpot. Cover & cook
3-4 hours on High (or 5-6 hours on Low)
until meat is tender in internal temp.
reaches 140 degrees F. Baste once with
juices in crockpot. (do not baste repeatedly
as removing the lid from the crockpot drops
the temperature & increases cooking time.)
Remove ham to a serving platter or cutting
board. Tent with foil to keep warm & allow
it to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
If desired, drizzle a tiny bit of warm maple
syrup over ham slices for an added touch
of maple.

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

Lovin’ Onions Casserole

1 T. butter
7 onions, coarsely chopped (about
7 C.)
1/2 C. self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. (5 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
1 1/4 C. (5 oz) shredded Monterey Jack
cheese, divided
1 T. jarred jalapeno peppers, drained/
chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet over medium-high heat, melt
butter – add onions & saute about
10 minutes until softened. In medium
bowl combine flour, salt/pepper. Add
1 C. of each cheese; mix well. Add
jalapeno peppers (if using) & cooked
onions – mix well & pour into prepared
dish. Combine remaining cheese &
sprinkle evenly over top. Bake 30
minutes until cheese is melted &
bubbly. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————-

Eggs Benedict Casserole
(1 hour or overnight)

1 (12 oz) pkg. English muffins,
cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (6 oz) pkg. Canadian bacon,
cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 C. shredded Muenster
cheese
8 eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (.9 oz) pkt. hollandaise sauce
mix, prepared accordg. to pkg.
directions
1 T. chopped chives

Spray a 3-quart casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Layer
half the muffin pieces, half bacon
& half cheese in dish – repeat
layers one more time.
In medium bowl whisk eggs, milk, salt/
pepper – evenly pour over casserole &
cover with foil. Refrigerate at least
1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake casserole (foil covered) 30 minutes.
Remove foil & bake 20-25 minutes until
eggs are set. Warm hollandaise sauce in
small saucepan & drizzle over casserole.
Sprinkle top with chives & serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————

Pecan Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust (homemade or
store-bought) chilled
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. corn syrup
1/4 C. unsalted butter
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
On floured surface roll out chilled
pie crust using a floured rolling pin.
Lightly flour the inside of a 9-inch
pie pan then transfer pie dough to
pie pan. Lightly flour inside of the
dough, fold over the edges &
refrigerate while you make the
filling.

Filling:
In medium saucepan melt sugar,
corn syrup & butter until sugar is
no longer grainy. Dissolve cornstarch
in water & whisk into sugar mixture.
Remove mixture from heat & stir in
vanilla & cinnamon. In medium bowl
whisk eggs then whisk 2-3 T. of sugar/
corn syrup mixture into the eggs. Whisk
egg mixture into remaining sugar/corn
syrup mixture. Spread pecans in bottom
of pie dough then pour filling mixture
over top. Bake 50-60 minutes, place a
piece of foil (or a pie shield) over top
after about 30 minutes to prevent the
crust from burning. Allow pie to cool
& set at room temp. at least 4 hours
before serving.

NOTE:
Store pie at room temp. 1-2 days or in
fridge up to 4 days. Baked & cooled
pecan pie can be wrapped tightly &
frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in
fridge overnight before serving.

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

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

Weather-wise we’re doing pretty good –
temps in the mid-30’s/cloudy (gloomy) &
80% chance of snow (but only less than
1/2 inch possible). Rest of the week it’s mid-
30’s & tiny chance of snow Monday but the
week looks pretty clear (of snow) so that’s
a good thing for those who might be traveling.

Our Thanksgiving dinner is slowly getting whittled
down to (maybe) 7  – that means cooking smaller
amounts of side dishes (which is good). Still not
exactly sure ‘what’ side dishes but will probably
be the ‘same old/same old’ (Green Bean Casserole,
Wild Rice stuffing, Husband’s Garlic Mashed
potatoes and ??? desserts. It’s getting harder to
fathom all the carbs due to me trying my hardest
to lower my blood sugar levels AND/lose weight
(good thing: as of yesterday I’m down 10 lbs.) and
sugar #’s are good – now just have to keep it up.

Hope your Holiday plans (if you’ve started) are
going well. Stay WARM and safe – try to do something
today (even if it’s something little) for yourself:
Take a nap, read a book, have a cup of your favorite
hot beverage – SOMETHING!

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Git ‘er DONE day!

It’s in the low 30’s today and snowing – yuck (good thing: it’s small flakes – so far). Since today I didn’t have an exact agenda, I decided it was another of my GET THINGS DONE days! Started out by finishing the cream scarf (1 skein):

Next it was “MAKE THE FRINGE!” (a tedious job I really dislike – but I got it done!)

(these are the poor, pitiful scarves – I sewed some knit squares I found together to make 2 kids scarves – for the homeless, as well as the cream one above).

Next it was work on the boot toppers a bit; am half done with the first one (noticed, while knitting, that I’d dropped a stitch about 4 rows below so that was ‘fun’ trying to rip out the rows and then figure out just WHAT row I was on at that time – think it’s all good now).  Am thinking of starting another scarf today – found some really soft teal yarn that would make a nice kid’s scarf – we’ll see.

In the crockpot is a nice beef roast with potatoes & carrots (and a pkg. of dry onion soup mix – makes a great flavor) so dinner is ‘on the way’ – leaves me more time to do other things! (LOVE my crockpot!!!)

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

Layered Pumpkin Lush
(dessert)

Crust:
2 C. flour
2/3 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. pecans, chopped

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Pumpkin Layer:
2 1/2 C. milk
3 small boxes white chocolate instant
pudding mix
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 C. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In medium bowl combine flour,
butter & 3/4 C. pecans – press into
bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15
minutes – allow to cool completely.

In medium bowl mix cream cheese &
powdered sugar; add 1 C. Cool Whip
& spread on top of cooled crust. In
large bowl mix milk, pudding mixes,
pumpkin, 1 C. Cool Whip & pumpkin
pie spice until smooth – spread on top
of cream cheese layer.

Spread another cup of Cool Whip on top
& sprinkle with remaining pecans. Chill
at least 3 hours until set. Serves 12

(recipe: norinesnext.com)
————————————

Scalloped Corn

4 T. unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 1/2 C. Half & Half
1 T. sugar
2 (14 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen corn
(about 5 C.) thawed
1 1/2 C. coarsely crushed butter
crackers (like Ritz or Toll House)
1 C. shredded white Cheddar
cheese (about 2 oz)
kosher salt

Place oven rack in top third of
oven.
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 2 qt. oval baking dish with
1 T. butter. In large bowl whisk
eggs and Half & Half together.
Add sugar, corn, 1/2 C. crushed
crackers, 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese &
1 tsp. salt. Pour mixture into
prepared dish, spreading to make
an even layer. Bake, uncovered,
utnil edges are set but center is
still wet, about 35 minutes. Melt
remaining 3 T. butter in small
dish in microwave (about 30 seconds).
Mix butter into remaining 1 C. crushed
crackers until evenly moistened –
sprinkle remaining cheese & buttered
crackers over corn. Continue baking
utnil edges are brown & top is set and
golden, 20-25 minutes more. Remove
from oven & let stand 5 minutes
before serving. Serves 10-12

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
——————————

Company Chicken Casserole

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 C. chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 wedges onion
4 C. Herb stuffing mix (dry)
1/2 C. butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
8 oz. frozen broccoli florets/cuts,
thawed (optional)

In a skillet place chicken breasts,
broth, garlic & onion over medium-
high heat – bring to boil. Turn down
heat to medium & simmer, covered,
15-20 minutes. Remove chicken &
shred with 2 forks. Reserve the broth.
In a 9 X 13″ baking dish melt butter.
Mix all ingredients together (including
chicken) & place in pan. Bake until
golden brown. Serves 8

(recipe: allmyrecipes.com)
—————————-

Oven-Baked Philly Cheesesteak
Sandwiches

1/2 lb. ribeye steak
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt/black pepper
2 T. unsalted butter
1 green bell pepper, seeded/
sliced (or diced)
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
12 slices Provolone cheese,
each cut in half

6 Hoagie sandwich buns, sliced
in half

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Add butter to a cast iron skillet
& heat to medium high.
Place steak in a pan or bowl with
Wors. sauce, salt/pepper – stir to
coat & let marinate while prepping
veggies & while the pan is getting hot.
Add steak to hot pan & brown well
without moving 3-5 minutes until a
good crust forms. Flip & cook 3-5 minutes
until a similar crust forms – remove steak
from pan & add veggies. Slice steak
while veggies are cooking (2-3 minutes) –
remove pan from heat. Cut a ‘well’ into
6 hoagie rolls & add 2 pieces to bottom
of each bun. Add some steak, veggies &
top with 2 additional cheese half-slices.
Place sandwich halves in a baking pan
& bake 15 minutes until cheese browns.
Makes 6 sandwiches

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

Crockpot Sweet Potato Soup

3 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled/cut
into 1″ cubes (about 8 C.)
2 T. butter
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. dried celery flakes
(optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground chipotle pepper*
6 C. chicken broth

Optional toppings:
sour cream
roasted pumpkin seeds

In 4-5 qt. crockpot combine all
ingredients except optional
toppings. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours until potatoes are tender.
Using a blender, cool soup slightly
then puree in batches; return soup
to crockpot & heat through. If
desired top with optional toppings.
Serves 8 (2 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 broth or water if
necessary.

*Chipotle pepper adds a touch of
smoky heat but can be omitted

TIPS/OPTIONS:
You can substitute 1 medium chopped
onion & 2 ribs celery instead of dried

If you prefer FRESH herbs: use 3/4 tsp
minced fresh thyme in place of dried

The potatoes will be tender in 5-6 hours
but they can be cooked longer since they
eventually will be pureed.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————–
Chocolate Cookie Pudding

1 (6 oz) box instant chocolate pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. crushed (Oreos) chocolate sandwich
cookies, crushed/divided
3/4 C. chopped pecans

Place pudding mix & milk in a bowl &
whisk 2 minutes. Cover & refrigerate
5-10 minutes to thicken. In separate
bowl combine cream cheese & Cool
Whip – blend well. Cover the bottom of
a 8-Cup bowl with 1 C. crushed cookies.
Spread half of cream cheese mixture on
top, followed by half of pecans. Spread
all of the pudding on top of pecans.
Spread nuts with remaining cream
cheese & top with remaining cookies &
nuts. Cover & refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 6

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

Tomorrow is another ‘all-day’ babysitting so
I’ll be able to (maybe) finish the crocheted
knitted square/blanket I mentioned in the
last blog post. Hope the weather ‘holds’ &
doesn’t get nasty – not looking forward to
driving in lots of snow.

Stay WARM, SAFE and have a GREAT
DAY!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

Yep, It’s MICHIGAN!

(Just saw this on Facebook – sure wish the sign was a precursor to how long the snow will stay… just sayin’) Woke up to a heavy coating of snow on the ground/cars/trees/bushes but the roads are (wet) clear so that’s good. It’s 33 degrees F. out (perfect snow temp.) and, looking at the forecast, we’ll be seeing snow today and tomorrow with temps. in the 30’s for days . . . oh joy…sigh. (If you’ve known me or read my blog for awhile you KNOW I don’t like winter – I TOLERATE it – time to drag out the heavy winter coat, gloves, scarf, etc. My oldest son is in South Carolina right now so I texted him a photo of the snow; his reply was: “SAVE it for us when we get home!” (he loves snow/skiing, snow boarding, etc.)

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

Cranberry/Pecan Pumpkin Bread

3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 C. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin
pie filling)
2/3 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 C. applesauce (OR) canola oil
3 eggs, room temp.
1 T. vanilla
1 C. dried cranberries
1 C. chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 8 X 4″ loaf pans with nonstick
cooking spray & line with parchment
paper. In large bowl whisk flour, salt,
baking powder, baking soda & pumpkin
pie spice. In medium bowl whisk pumpkin,
brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce
(or oil), eggs & vanilla. Stir wet ingredients
into dry ingredients, mixing just until
moistened & combined. Fold in cranberries
& pecans, reserving a small amount of nuts
for topping, if desired. Pour half of batter
into each prepared loaf pan & bake 50-55
minutes or until a toothpick inserted into
center of loaf comes out clean. Cool for
10 minutes in pan before removing to a
wire rack to cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
————————————–
Melting Sweet Potatoes

4 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 lb. sweet potatoes, sliced 1″ thick
kosher salt/black pepper
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
honey, for drizzling

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Place butter, sage & thyme in a large
microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in
30-second intervals until butter is
melted, about 1 minute. Add potatoes,
1 1/2 tsp. salt & generous amount of
pepper – toss together. Place potatoes in
a 9 X 13″ metal baking dish in a single
layer (glass should not be used at this
temperature). Bake until potatoes are
a deep golden brown on bottom, about
15 minutes. Flip & continue baking until
a deep, golden brown on second side,
another 15 minutes. Pour in chicken
broth & continue to bake until potatoes
are soft & liquid is almost completely
reduce, about 15 minutes more. Transfer
to a serving platter, season with more
salt/pepper & drizzle with honey.
Serves 4

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

Simple Crockpot Potato Soup

1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes
2 (14 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/3 tsp. black pepper
8 oz. block cream cheese, cut into
chunks
=
Optional toppings:
chopped green onion
shredded Cheddar cheese
cooked/crumbled bacon
=
Combine frozen hash browns, chicken broth,
soup, chopped onion & pepper in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 5 hours. Stir in cream
cheese; cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Top with optional toppings.

(recipe: hisugarplum.com)
——————————

Easy Pork Chops w/Sweet Sour Glaze

4 (8 oz) pork chops, bone in, 3/4 to 1″ thick
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. unsalted butter

Glaze:
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
3 T. honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
salt/black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Season chops with salt/pepper. In large
skillet melt butter over medium-high
heat; add chops & sear both sides until
golden brown, 2-3  minutes. Place chops
in oven & roast until completely cooked
through, 8-10 minutes (internal temp.
140 degrees F.)*

Glaze:
Combine balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic,
oregano, basil, thyme & red pepper flakes in
small saucepan over medium heat – season
with salt/pepper, to taste. Bring to boil; reduce
heat & simmer until slightly thickened, about
5 minutes.
Serve chops immediately with glaze.
Serves 4

*Cooking times may vary depending on size
& thickness of chops

(recipe: damndelicious.net)
——————————

Favorite Company Casserole

1 (6 oz) pkg. wild rice, cooked
3 C. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 1/2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 C. cubed, cooked ham
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (4 1/2 oz) jar sliced mushrooms,
drained
1 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp. curry powder
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 qt baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray & layer the first 6
ingredients in order listed in dish.
In a bowl combine mayonnaise,
mustard, curry & soup & spread
over top. Sprinkle top with Parm.
cheese & bake, uncovered, 45-60
minutes until top is light golden
brown. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

Sauteed Carrots

2 lb. carrots, peeled
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. unsalted butter
1 1/2 T. chopped fresh dill or
flat-leaf parsley

Cut carrots diagonally into 1/4″
slices; you should have about
6 C. carrots. Place carrots, 1/3 C.
water, salt/pepper in a large
10-12 inch) saute pan – bring to
boil. Cover & cook over medium-
low heat 7-8 minutes until carrots
are just cooked through. Add butter
& saute another minute, until water
evaporates & carrots are coated with
butter. Turn off heat, toss with dill
or parsley; sprinkle with salt/pepper &
serve. Serves 6

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
——————————–

Crockpot Blueberry Cake

1 (7 oz) pkg. Blueberry muffin mix,
divided
1/4 C. milk
1 egg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. butter, softened

Set aside 1/3 C. muffin mix.
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl
stir together remaining muffin mix,
milk, egg & cinnamon – pour into
crockpot & spread evenly. In another
bowl add reserved muffin mix, brown
sugar & softened butter – cut together
until mixed thoroughly & crumbly –
spread over batter in crockpot. Cover
top of crockpot with 6-8 paper towels,
place lid & cook on High 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
When cake is done, turn off crockpot & let
stand 10 minutes. Loosen edges of cake
with a knife & serve.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

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

After several days of fiddling about with
various knitting patterns I FINALLY found one
that works for a child’s scarf (most didn’t
show the pattern using cream colored yarn) –
frustrating. Still working on the 2 baby blankets;
that will be a project for awhile, neither are
close to half-way done yet.

Hope you are all staying WARM & COSY (&
SAFE!).

Enjoy your day;

Hugs;

Pammie

Happy First of November!

It’s a chilly (45 degrees F.), rainy, gloomy day out there BUT it IS the first of November, so I’m not too surprised. Today will find me, very soon, going to the Post Office to deliver our 50 special needs group newsletters to be mailed off. My ‘kids’ really count on getting their newsletters so I have to be ‘on time’. Other than a quick stop at the grocery store, I’m home & ‘off’ for the day. Dinner will be a pork stir fry & rice – that’s all ready to prepare later.

Monday found me visiting my doctor’s office for an ’emergency’ visit – (like most women) – a bladder infection (sorry if this is Too Much Information). I knew the reason: I don’t drink enough liquids. Now on an antibiotic and feeling much better BUT, since it was a unscheduled visit, I agreed to take ANY of the other doctors in the practice. The lady doctor I got was very nice/very informative; during the visit she asked me if I knew what my recent blood sugar number was. (I’m Type 2 diabetic, no meds). I replied: 6.5 – she followed that up with “No, you’re 7.3!” I totally freaked! Last test done was May and the results I got from the hospital email said 6.5. (to explain – 6.5 is not real good, but it still keeps me off of being put on meds – 7.3, on the other hand, would mean meds – NOW!) I’ve been diagnosed diabetic for a good 8 years and have managed to keep my blood sugar numbers in the range that didn’t require medicines to regulate them for me . . . until now. My next regular doctor check up is second week in December so now I’m on a SUPER HUGE rush to get my numbers down before then. What does that mean? It means I put myself on another self-made diet . . . believe me, it’s no fun: very little to no carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, rice, breads, cereals – all the good stuff) and more veggies & proteins. My weight has crept up a bit (was 185 at doctors) so this will also help reduce that number. I KNOW I’ve been really reckless with my diet, eating just about anything I liked (including late night chips & onion dip or ice cream. . . a ‘no-no’). Time to start over – again. I have a luncheon to go to this Saturday – looks like a SALAD is in my future! So – to wrap this up, MORE WATER & VEGGIES, NO ‘junk food’.

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

Caramel Apple Cobbler

1 box yellow cake mix
2 cans apple pie filling
1 jar caramel sauce
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Pour
pie filling into dish & spread
out. Top with dry cake mix then
drizzle caramel sauce over top.
Pour melted butter on top &
bake 45 minutes.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)
———————————

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

1 large yellow onion, diced (about 2 C)
1 medium bell pepper, seeded/diced
6 cloves garlic, minced (or 3/4 tsp. garlic
powder)
1 1/3 lb. ground turkey or chicken
1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained/rinsed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with liquid
1/4 C. tomato paste, no salt added
1 (14 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2 T. chili powder
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1 T. pumpkin
pie spice)
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
4 C. baby spinach leaves

Toppings:
chopped avocado
sour cream
plain Greek yogurt
chopped cilantro
salsa
=
Liberally spray a large pot or Dutch
oven with nonstick cooking spray &
warm over medium-high heat. Add
onion & bell pepper; saute, stirring
occasionally, 7 minutes until onion
softens. Add garlic, stir & cook until
fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add
ground meat – using a spatula or
large spoon, break up meat as it
cooks – cook 6-7  minutes, until
fully cooked. Add beans, diced
tomatoes, tomato paste, pumpkin
puree, broth, chili powder, cocoa
powder, cinnamon, cumin, black
pepper (& optional cayenne pepper)
stir. Reduce heat & simmer 20-30
minutes, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving add spinach &
mix thoroughly. Serve with suggested
toppings. Serves 6

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
——————————–

Corn Fritters

1 (29 oz) can sweet yellow corn, drained
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
1 T. lime juice
3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. colby-jack cheese, shredded

Garnish: sour cream

Drain corn & dry with paper towels; place in a bowl
with green onions, cilantro & lime juice – toss to
combine. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder &
spices. Add dry mix to corn mixture & toss until all
coated. Whisk eggs & milk together & add to bowl
of corn along with cheese – mix until combined
evenly. Drizzle some oil in bottom of large pan &
heat to medium-high. Using a large cookie scoop
or 1/4 C. measuring cup, scoop mixture into pan
(you can probably fit 3 in pan if large enough). Cook
about 30 seconds then lightly press flat. Cook 2-3
minutes on one side then flip & cook another 2-3
minutes – repeat with remaining batter & any
additional oil, as needed. Remove fritters from
pan to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with
additional salt/pepper, if desired. Serve garnished
with sour cream. Serves 6

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
——————————–
Crockpot Cheesy Sausage
Spinach Dip

1 lb. ground sausage, cooked/drained
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 can diced tomatoes & chilies
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
5 oz. pkg. frozen spinach – thawed/
drained
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in 3-4 qt.
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
2 hours, stirring occasionally.

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

Swiss Cheese Chicken Casserole

3-4 boneless chicken breasts*
8-10 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 (6 oz) box prepared stuffing mix (or
you can also use seasoned stuffing cubes)
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Lay chicken breasts flat
on bottom of dish; lay cheese slices on
top of chicken. In small bowl mix soup
with Greek yogurt until combined &
spread on top of cheese slices. Sprinkle
top of cheese with dry stuffing mix &
pour melted butter on top of all. Bake
30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked
through. (baking time may vary depending
on size of chicken). Serves 6-8

*Chicken should be enough to nearly
fill bottom of 9 X 13″ baking pan

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

Broccoli/Cheese Soup
(Copycat-Panera Bread)

1 T. melted butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. flour
2 C. Half & Half
2 C. chicken stock
1/2 lb. fresh broccoli, chopped
into bite-sized pieces
1 C. carrot, julienned/grated
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
salt/pepper, to taste
2 C. whole milk

In small pan saute onion in butter.Cook
melted butter & flour, using a whisk,
over medium heat 3-5 minutes until
you see a noticeable golden brown color
in pan. Slowly add chicken stock & whisk
to combine – simmer contents, covered,
20 minutes, stirring occasionally over
medium heat. Add broccoli, carrots &
sauteed onions; stir & add milk and Half
& Half. Cover & cook over Low heat 20-25
minutes but do not bring to a boil (may
cause milk to curdle). Add salt/pepper &
nutmeg. Continue cooking soup
on Low heat & slowly add grated cheese,
a handful at a time – stir to avoid clumps.
Once all cheese has been added & melted,
remove from heat & serve immediately.
Refrigerate any leftovers, after cooling, in
airtight container up to 5 days in fridge.
Serves 4

NOTE: You can puree half the soup in a
blender if you like.

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

Easy Pumpkin Pull-Apart Loaf

3/4 C. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin
pie mix)
1/2 C. sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
1 can (8 count) Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
(homestyle or buttermilk, not flaky)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. heavy whipping cream (or milk)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 4″ or 9 X 5″ loaf pan with
nonstick cooking spray (for best
results, use the kind with flour). Stir
together pumpkin puree, 1/4 C. gran.
sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice & egg
in a bowl. Open the can of biscuits & slice
each one in half horizontally. In small
bowl stir together remaining 1/4 C. gran.
sugar & 1 tsp. cinnamon. Coat each slice
of raw biscuit dough with cinn/sugar mix.
Lay one slice of dough flat in loaf pan –
spread some pumpkin mixture on top,
then place another biscuit piece on top.
Add more pumpkin mixture & continue
stacking, spreading & layering until you’re
out of biscuits & pumpkin. Bake about
18-24 minutes until top is golden & center
is cooked through. Cool before glazing.
NOTE: the center should not be raw but
will be moist & gooey. If the top starts
to brown too fast, cover with foil &
reduce oven temp. to 325 degrees F.

To make glaze;
Whisk powdered sugar, cinnamon &
heavy whipping cream until a smooth
sauce forms – drizzle over top of loaf.
Makes 1 loaf.
Store loosely covered up to 2 days

(recipe: crazyforcrust.com)

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

I’m almost half-way done with both baby
blankets (one is pink/white/mint green &
a light tan, the other is all peach). Also
started a ‘homeless’ men’s scarf in shades
of gray; had lots of various gray yarns so
I put them together – it’s ‘ok’ – will be a
warm scarf for someone. Now is the time
of year when I start knitting scarves – not
my favorite thing (kind of boring) BUT
they use up my yarns, so it’s a good thing.

Hope you are all WARM, in good health
and able to enjoy the Fall weather &
colors. Our neighbor’s Fire Bush is
resplendent in bright reds – really pretty.
Please remember: this Saturday/Sunday
is the TIME CHANGE – move your clocks
BACK ONE HOUR!
(gives you an extra
hour to sleep in!).

Hugs;

Pammie

Happy Saturday!

Well, Fall is now here – it’s in the high 40’s & mid-50’s this coming weekend/week. Leaves are falling off the trees in droves and it was on the weather forecast last night for a frost – yep, cold times are coming soon.

Today is a ‘free’ day for me – that means I don’t have anything specific I have to do. That also means I usually FIND things to do, like run the dishwasher, mop floors, catch up a few rows (at least) on each knit project. Speaking of that, I’m about 4 inches from finishing the ‘pinks’ baby blanket (will post photo when I’m done), mid-way on a chocolate brown (homeless) scarf and started another baby blanket yesterday in pale shades of rose, white, chocolate ice cream brown (looks pretty, doesn’t sound so good when I describe it). Also decided to try a recipe I’ve wanted to try for years: Blackbean Quinoa Salad. The recipe is my friend, Laura’s – she used to make it regularly for our Knit/Crochet Movie Night. I really like it – it’s kind of addicting – makes you want more. (The one problem with quinoa – it fills you up quickly – if you drink lots of water with it you feel like you’ve just eaten an elephant!). Great STUFF! We’re having that with broiled salmon; my husband makes a grumpy face whenever I mention trying quinoa, so he’ll be having a baked potato (he doesn’t like to, as he calls it, “experiment” with his food.)

===========

Black Bean/Quinoa Salad

1 C. (dry) Quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 can whole kernel corn
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced

Dressing:
Equal parts:
olive oil
lemon juice
yellow mustard
salt & pepper

Start out with a few Tablespoons
of each & increase to 1/4 C. of each,
depending on how dry you like it

Cook quinoa in 2 C. water accordg.
to pkg. directions. Drain (or make sure
water has cooked out). Place in bowl
with remaining ingredients; pour
dressing over top & mix well.

Tastes best if refrigerated several hours.

(recipe: my friend Laura)


Pumpkin Pecan Baked Oatmeal

3 C. old-fashioned oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray. In
large bowl combine oats, baking
powder, pie spice & salt. In another
bowl combine brown sugar, milk,
pumpkin, vanilla & eggs – mix well.
Stir wet mixture into dry just enough
to get it moistened. Fold in pecans,
reserving 1 T. for top. Pour mixture
into prepared pan & sprinkle top
with reserved pecans. Bake 35-40
minutes until golden brown & set.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: southernbite.com)
————————————–
Beer Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
1/4 C. beer
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped

Beat cream cheese, dressing & beer
in medium bowl using elec. mixer
until blended. Stir in cheese & onions;
refrigerate several hours or until
chilled. Makes 15 servings (2 T. each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
——————————

Chicken/Zucchini/Tomato Bake

3 C. crusty rustic bread, cubed
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts cut into 2″ pieces
3 medium zucchini, cut into 2″ cubes,
about 2 1/2 lb.
1 (10 oz) pkg. cherry or grape tomatoes
1 C. jarred piquante peppers, drained-
mild or hot
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh basil, coarsely chopped-
do not chop ahead

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place fresh bread cubes in a food
processor & pulse until bread is reduced
to a large crumb (it’s ok if there are a
few large pieces – don’t get the crumbs
too smal). Toss crumbs in a bowl with
1/4 C. olive oil, salt & pepper – lay out
on a sheet tray & bake about 20
minutes, flipping once during baking &
remove when pieces are slightly golden &
crispy. In large skillet heat 1 T. oil over high
heat; once oil is shimmering & starting to
smoke, add chicken pieces & sear on both
sides, about 3 minutes, total. (they will
still be raw in center). Place chicken in a
large bowl with zucchini, tomatoes, peppers,
garlic, basil, oregano, salt/pepper & Parm.
cheese – toss to combine. Pour mixture into
a 9 X 9″ casserole dish & bake, uncovered,
20 minutes. Remove pan, chop basil & top
casserole along with toasted bread crumbs.
Bake just until zucchini is cooked through,
about 5 more minutes. If zucchini still
needs more time, consider covering with
foil so bread crumbs don’t get too dark.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Zucchini & tomatoes will give up
liquid while baking. To serve, use a slotted
spoon & avoid serving the liquid.

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

Cheesy Crockpot Ziti

2 (24 oz, ea) jars Ragu Six Cheese sauce
(or any sauce you like)
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 (8 oz) container Greek Yogurt cream
cheese
Italian seasoning
1 (1 lb) box uncooked ziti (pasta)
shredded Parmesan cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray; turn heat
to High. In bowl mix Greek yogurt
cream cheese, ricotta cheese &
about 2 T. Italian seasoning (it will
be a bit lumpy). Spread 2 C. Ragu
sauce on bottom of crockpot then
place 1/3 of uncooked ziti on top.
Drizzle about 1/2 jar tomato sauce
on top of ziti. Dollop 1/3 of cheese
mixture over ziti & lightly spread.
Cover that layer with shredded
Parm. cheese – repeat this 2 more
times: layering pasta/sauce/cheese.
Cover & cook on High 2 1/2 – 3 hours
until pasta is done. Serves 8-10

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

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
(with Bacon & Pumpkin Seeds)

3 acorn squash
2 T. olive oil, divided
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, peeled & left whole
3 sliced thick-cut bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 C. heavy cream
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. red wine vinegar

(Optional garnishes)
Parmesan cheese, shredded
roasted pumpkin seeds
fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Slice each squash
length-wise end-to-end; scrape
seeds from each half, discard seeds.
Drizzle 1 T. oil over insides of squash
halves & season with salt/pepper.
Place each half, cut sides down, on
sheet. Wrap garlic in foil & place on
sheet with squash. Roast squash/garlic
1 hour until softened & beginning to
collapse (squash). Remove from oven &
allow to cool. When cool enough to handle,
scrape flesh from squash & place flesh in
large bowl with garlic cloves. Place a Dutch
oven or soup pot over medium-high heat &
add diced bacon – saute until crispy, about
5 minutes; remove from pan & place on
paper towels to drain. Spoon out extra fat,
leaving about 1 T. in pot. Return to heat; add
onion & cook 3 minutes until translucent. Add
broth, a little at a time, scraping up any brown
bits on bottom of pot. Add squash, garlic, ginger,
sage, cayenne & allspice – bring to boil then
simmer 5 minutes. Place soup in a blender, in
batches (or use an immersion blender) – be
careful of hot soup – it can blow the lid off a
blender if filled too full. Stir in cream, Wors.
sauce & vinegar- bring back to a simmer. Add
salt/pepper to taste & serve with your choice
of toppings. Makes 12 servings

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

Cinnamon Apple Crisp

Filling:
6 medium apples (Honey Crisp or Gala),
peeled/sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 small (1.5 oz) box raisins
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. honey

Topping:
1 C. quick oats
3 T. brown sugar ( not packed)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 T. butter, melted

Heat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine apples, raisins,
cinnamon, honey & lemon juice – sprinkle
with cornstarch & toss until fruit is coated.
Place in ungreased baking dish – cover with
foil & bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Mix topping ingredients & sprinkle over
fruit. Bake 1 hour until topping is golden
brown & fruit is tender. Serves 8

(recipe: www.skinnytaste.com)

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

Tomorrow I have Sunday School snack duty;
after church my SS class is going to have a
class dinner. Our teacher asked me to just
bring ‘something light’ as they are going to
have dinner & desserts later.  Yeah, right –
‘something light’? Not everyone in our
class goes to the dinner (my husband doesn’t
like to hang around after, so we don’t go plus
church gets out around 12, dinner around
12:15 – around 2 p.m. & I have to be back
for choir practice at 4:45 (about 20 minute
drive from our house to church). Choir
practice then evening church means I get
home around 7:20 p.m. – makes for a VERY
long day (easier to just skip the dinner). Anyway –
I digress – ended up buying a lemon Bundt cake,
a Red Velvet cake roll and some powdered
sugar doughnut holes – LIGHT? Guess not BUT
my thinking was: if you only had a small slice
of cake or a few doughnut holes, it wouldn’t be
THAT bad, right? Oh well – whatever is left
over will definitely be eaten at my house, so
no worries!

Hope you’re having a good day!

Hugs;

Pammie

The Day After! (also called “I survived!”)

Last night was the ‘big event’ for the Detroit Veterans Hospital’s Baby shower donations and the ladies (once again) knocked my socks off! We had a grand total of 133 items! The breakdown: 17 blankets, 47 baby hats, 18 toddler headbands, 24 bibs, 1 sweater & pants, 2 sweater/hat/mittens sets, 2 baby sacks, 19 pr. booties and one (very adorable) knit zebra!  Each year things ‘shake out’ differently – for the most part, we usually have a LOT of blankets and then other items; not this year! I’ve decided I’m going to just stick to headbands & blankets. Here are a few of the photos:

One of our ladies is an expert knitter & she loves to create these hats & booties – there’s a pumpkin set, an eggplant set, a strawberry set & 2 (pink & blue sets) with pea pods attached to the hats. She was having fun this year doing the red/white/blue Star hats.

                Another lady sewed baby bibs using flannel & terry cloth! There’s 14 of them!

                                        my headbands

The VERY adorable zebra is upper left corner (I tried my best to photo him but he’s FLOPPY. She’s another expert knitter & created the sweater sets all ‘out of her head’! WOW!

                    Three of my blankets (not very good lighting)

(There’s a total of 15 photos, so I only included some) I was so proud of all my ladies – there were even a few donated items from OTHER knitters who knew of our project but aren’t in the group!

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

Spiced Zucchini Bars

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 C. oil
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 C. raisins
2 C. zucchini, grated
3/4 C. chopped nuts
1 (16 oz) container cream cheese
frosting

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 15 X 10″ jelly roll
pan. In bowl combine flour, baking
soda, salt & cinnamon. In another
bowl whisk eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla &
lemon juice. Gradually add flour
mixture to egg mixture – fold in
remaining ingredients (except
frosting). Pour into prepared pan
& bake 25-35 minutes until lightly
golden. Cool completely then
spread with frosting. Cut into bars.
Makes 3 dozen bars

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.typepad.com)
————————————
Honey Soy Chicken Breasts
(a few hours marinade or overnight)

1/4 C. honey
1/3 c. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
1 T. finely grated fresh ginger root
4 large chicken breasts, skinless
but not boneless

Stir together all ingredients (EXCEPT
chicken) & pour into a large ziplock
bag. Add chicken & marinate in fridge
a few hours or over night.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place marinated chicken on a foil-
lined cookie sheet & bake, uncovered,
about 45 minutes until chicken is
fully cooked (using a meat thermometer,
internal temp. of chicken should be 170
& 180 degrees F.). DO NOT throw away
the marinade. While chicken is cooking,
simmer it in a saucepan over low heat
& brush on chicken about every 10
minutes as it cooks. Serves 4

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

Grandma’s Sunday Roast

3 C. beef broth
2-3 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed of
excess fat
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 lb. red or yellow potatoes, cut
into large chunks
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1 lb. baby carrots
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. cornstarch + 2 T. cold water

Press all seasonings (salt/onion powder/
garlic powder/rosemary/paprika) onto all
sides of roast. Pour beef broth into crockpot;
add roast. (You can brown the roast before-
hand – brown each side in 1 T. heated oil
in a skillet for 3 minutes per side).
Cover & cook on Low 4 hours.
Remove lid & add veggies; drizzle with
Worc. sauce – cover & cook 4 hours more
on Low.
Remove lid; scoop meat & veggies onto
large platter & loosely tent with foil.
In small bowl stir cornstarch & cold water
until smooth – stir mixture into juices in
crockpot. Turn heat to High & let thicken;
stirring. (You can also thicken the gravy on
the stove in a pot if you desire).
Serve roast with veggies & gravy.
Serves 6-8

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

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

1 (12 oz) box tri-colored rotini (or any
color)
1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
1 (5.75 oz) can sliced green olives
6 oz. fresh broccoli, chopped
6 oz. fresh cauliflower, chopped
1/4 C. sunflower seeds
1/4 C. (Hormel) real bacon pieces
1 pkt. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. milk

In medium bowl mix Ranch dressing mix,
sour cream, mayonnaise, milk – whisk
together; cover & let thicken 30 minutes.
Cook pasta; drain & rinse in cold water –
pour into a large bowl. Add olives, broccoli,
cauliflower, sunflower seeds & bacon to
noodles – pour ranch dressing over & toss
to fully coat. Chill 1 hour for flavors to
blend then sprinkle more bacon pieces
on top before serving. Serves 12

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

Last Minute Green Beans

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans green beans, drained
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place drained green beans in medium
saucepot; add onion, tomatoes with
juice, salt/pepper -stir. Bring to slight
boil over medium-high heat. Reduce
heat to Low. Cover & simmer 10-15
minutes.

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

Bacon/Cucumber/Tomato Salad

6 slices bacon
3 C. large cut chopped cucumber
3 C. large cut chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook bacon until crisp; drain on
paper towels – chop when cool
enough to handle, reserve a pinch
for garnish.
Toss cucumber & tomatoes together –
season with salt. Mix together
mayonnaise & seasonings; add to
tomatoes & gently toss. Add remaining
bacon to salad – gently toss, taste &
adjust seasonings. Transfer to a serving
bowl & garnish with a sprinkle of
Creole or Cajun seasoning & reserved
bacon. Serve immediately or refrigerate
1 hour to chill. Serves about 4

NOTE:
Old Fashioned Cracker Salad:

Prepare salad as above omitting
cucumber & adding 1/2 C. chopped
Vidalia onion or 2 large green onions,
sliced. Double mayonnaise amount –
stir in 1 sleeve saltine crackers, coarsely
broken. Mix well, adding additional
mayonnaise if needed to moisten.
Serve immediately or (if refrigerating)
wait to add crackers until just before
serving. Also good with one boiled/
chopped egg added.

(recipe: deepsouthdish.com)
———————————-
Grilled Steak/Potato & Mushroom Kabobs

1 lb. steak cut into 1″ chunks
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
1 lb. small potatoes
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

In a rimmed baking pan add steak chunks &
mushrooms. In a medium bowl whisk oil,
vinegar, garlic, salt/pepper, rosemary &
oregano -pour over steak & mushrooms
in pan. Cover & refrigerate at least 2 hours
=
Meanwhile, boil potatoes in large pot of
salted water until just tender, about 8-10
minutes – drain & cool slightly. Thread
marinated steak chunks, mushrooms &
potatoes, alternating, onto skewers.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill kabobs
10-12 minutes, turning once, until meat is
cooked to desired doneness. Re-season with
salt/pepper & serve immediately.
Serves 6

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

Easy Copycat Thin Mint Cookies

1 C. chocolate (dark, semi-sweet or coating/
confectionery wafers)
3/4 tsp. mint extract
15-18 Ritz crackers

Place a layer of waxed paper on a cookie
sheet.
Melt chocolate of your choice (in micro-
wave or in a saucepan). Add mint extract
to melted chocolate (this might cause
the chocolate to thicken up a bit, depending
on what type of chocolate you use). Dip
crackers in chocolate (poster says she drops
the cracker into the chocolate & flip it around
using a fork – remove carefully using two forks –
Let excess chocolate drip off & place on
prepared waxed paper. Cool & store cookies
in fridge. These cookies are best eaten straight
from the fridge. Makes 15-18 cookies

(recipe: craftcookingmama.com)

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

Our weather has been pretty nice – not too hot;
today it’s hovering around 72 degrees F. & sunny.
Looks like we’ll be having highs from 78 to 82 for
the rest of the week – I LIKE that!

Not much else new; working on another baby blanket
(I know . . . . what ELSE do I knit, right?).

I’m not sure if the ‘other’ grandma is back from their
cabin but (so far) I haven’t been asked to babysit this
week – I’m GOOD with that; can always use the break!
I’ve already texted that the only days I’m free next week
are Wednesday (If needed, otherwise it’s my Library Knit
group 10-12 & my special needs group 6:15-9) and Friday!
We’ll see what shakes out . . .

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

and . . . it’s PICNIC day! YAY!

Today is my Sunday School Class picnic – (I’ll admit – I ‘caved’) I’m bringing Gordon Food Service Red Skin Potato Salad (it’s really good & much easier than making it myself!) and chocolate frosted brownies. It’s a nice day for a picnic – upper 70’s & sunny. My SS teacher lives on some very nice property – lots of land, trees and a pond (which they have a paddle boat on!). Lots to do (besides chatting) – they have all kinds of lawn games out, nice log 2-person swings and more food than you could hold! Always a GREAT time!

Don’t know if I mentioned in last post but I’m starting another baby blanket but this time it’s crocheted Granny squares – I have enough leftover yarns from other blankets to make a 3-color blanket: white, lime green & a variegated blue/lime green/white yarn – should be nice when it’s done. I babysat for youngest grandson yesterday from 6 a.m. – around 4:50 so got 7 squares crocheted (finished product will have 35 squares). Long day but relatively OK until he got sick – try cleaning up after a baby that’s walking around (doing what you do when you have a very upset stomach) – wipe, clean – try to grab the kid & clean him up . . . not a fun project. He had a slight fever & cried for 15 minutes straight – finally wore down & napped. I found some Gatorade in the fridge (diluted some in a bottle) and that seemed to help him- poor little guy. (His dad says he’s doing fine today – typical little kids: bounce back quickly – which is a GOOD thing!)

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

Mandarin Orange Salad

1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 large can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 medium/large cans mandarin oranges,
drained
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In large bowl mix Cool Whip & dry pudding
mix. Add undrained pineapple & both cans
mandarin oranges (use as many oranges as
you like – save a few for decoration on top
of salad). Refrigerate until it thickens again –
a few hours before you need to serve it.
Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————–

Crockpot Fiesta Pork Chops

6-8 pork chops
1 (15 oz) can chili beans with
chili sauce
1 1/2 C. salsa of your choice
1 C. corn
green chilies, to taste
=
3-4 C. cooked rice

Layer all ingredients in crockpot
(except rice). Cover & cook on Low
5 hours (or High 2 1/2 hours). Serve
over cooked rice. Serves 6

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

3-Bean Baked Beans

1/2 lb. ground beef
5 strips bacon, diced
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. ketchup
1/4 C. BBQ sauce
2 T. molasses
2 T. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 (16 oz, ea) cans pork & beans,
undrained
1 (16 oz) can butter beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained/
rinsed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 1/2 qt. baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook & crumble beef
with bacon & onion over medium heat
until beef is no longer pink; drain. Stir
in sugars, ketchup, BBQ sauce, molasses,
mustard, chili powder & salt until blended;
stir in beans. Pour beans into prepared
dish. Bake, covered, until beans reach
desired thickness, about 1 hour.
Serves 12 (3/4 C. each)

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————–

Tomatoes with Buttermilk
Vinaigrette

3/4 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. minced fresh tarragon
1/4 C. white wine vinegar
3 T. canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 C. minced fresh chives

In small bowl whisk first 8 ingredients
until blended – refrigerate, covered,
until serving.
Just before serving – arrange cut tomatoes
on a platter; drizzle with vinaigrette &
sprinkle top with chives.
Makes 12 servings (3/4 C. each)

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

Cool Ranch Zucchini Chips

2 zucchini, sliced very thin into coins
using a mandolin, if you have one
1 T. olive oil
1 T. ranch seasoning
1 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven 225 degrees F.
Spray a large baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Pat sliced
zucchini with paper towels to draw
out excess moisture. In small pie
plate mix ranch seasoning, oregano,
salt & pepper. In large bowltoss
zucchini with oil then toss in seasoning
plate to coat – place coated ‘coins’ in
a single layer on prepared baking sheets.
Bake about 1 hour 20 minutes, until
crispy – checking after 1 hour. Let cool
to room temperature before serving.
Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

2 bags Spring Mix lettuce, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lime
1 bag corn chips
4 chicken breasts
1/2 C. BBQ sauce of your choice

Dressing:
1 1/2 C. ranch dressing
3/4 C. BBQ sauce (poster uses
Sweet Baby Ray’s)
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray and place
chicken in dish. Pour BBQ sauce
over chicken & bake 25-30 minutes.
When it has cooled, chop into 1″
pieces. Place chopped lettuce, cilantro
& green onion in large bowl. Add corn,
beans, chopped red pepper, chicken,
chips, cheese & squirt lime juice over
top. Toss ingredients well.
Mix dressing ingredients & serve on
the side. Serves 15

NOTE: You can reduce the size of the
salad: When measuring ingredients for
the dressing include 2 parts Ranch &
1 part BBQ sauce.

If you are taking this to a Potluck:
Don’t add chicken, chips, cheese or
lime until just before serving (it will
get all soggy).

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

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
(fresh or frozen)
1 packet taco seasoning mix
16 oz. salsa (your choice)
1/3 C. chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 2 small limes

Taco shells or tortillas, for serving

Additional toppings:
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes
diced avocado
shredded cheese (of your choice)
sour cream
sliced black (or green) olives

Place chicken breasts in bottom of
crockpot; sprinkle dry taco seasoning
mix over top then cover with salsa,
lime juice & cilantro. Cover & cook
4 hours on High (or 6-7 hours on Low).
Remove chicken from crockpot to
separate bowl & shred using 2 forks.
Moisten chicken with small amounts of
juice left over from crockpot until you
get the amount of moisture you like.
(poster used about 1/2 – 3/4 C.)
Serve with taco shells or tortillas and
any of suggested toppings above.
Serves 8

(recipe: yummly.com)
——————————–

Cherry Cheesecake Lush

1 C. vanilla wafer crumbs
1 C. finely chopped pecans
1 C. butter, melted
1 (18 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed,
divided
1 (23 oz) pkg. cheesecake flavored
pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 can cherry pie filling
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl combine vanilla
wafer crumbs, nuts & melted
butter. Press mixture into 9 X 13″
baking dish & bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven & cool.
In separate bowl combine cream
cheese, powdered sugar & 1 1/2 C.
Cool Whip; mix until smooth &
spread evenly over cooled crust.
Combine cheesecake pudding mix,
milk & 1 1/2 C. Cool Whip – mix until
smooth & spread evenly over cream
cheese layer in pan. Top with pie filling,
remaining Cool Whip & 1/2 C.
chopped nuts.

(recipe: all-my-recipes.com)

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

On the babysitting front: I was concerned about
the next 2 weeks schedule, as the baby’s Mom
is in management training & has been needing
me at 6 a.m. (usually a 10-12 hour day). Her
parents will be going out of town for the next
2 weeks (they are the MAIN caregivers/babysitters
of the baby) so the thought of MANY 10-12 hr.
days was kind of stressing me out a bit. For
next week I only have to babysit two days: Thurs/
Friday starting at ONE p.m.! YAY! I can DO that!
Not sure of the following week’s schedule, but HEY –
I’m THRILLED for the two days next week! It might
not sound like much watching a 1 1/2 yr old while
he plays but it gets tedious (no, I’m not complaining)
and by the time it’s almost over I’m READY to go
home! He’s a great baby, loves to play and sometimes
climb up on me to wrestle (which is lots of fun) but
my ‘baby’ days are behind me and I don’t have the
amount of energy I WISH I had – but life goes on-
right?

Hope you’re enjoying these last Summer days –
hard to believe we’re almost to the MIDDLE
of AUGUST already!

Hugs;

Pammie

Finally Saturday!

It’s been a busy/crazy week – husband & I are FINALLY feeling better (still a little cough, but nothing like before!). I babysat Thurs. from 6 a.m. – almost 6 p.m. (baby’s Mom is in training for a management position and THIS week they shifted her schedule – I ‘made it’-YAY! The weather has been nice, in the 70’s  – today’s high is supposed to be 89! (glad I don’t have any plans to be outside!).

Finished two baby blankets (have posted the photos of them partially done before – blue & white one & a multi-colored one). Have begun another blanket using the remaining blue & white yarn along with a thicker white yarn – it’s a pattern I’ve done before – it’s a ‘corner to corner’ blanket, meaning you begin with 2 stitches & knit ‘corner to corner, increasing & decreasing stitches as you go.

In the one I’m doing the solid parts are white & the parts with ‘holes’ are the blue/white yarn – helps me use up yarns! Am thinking of beginning crocheting some Granny Squares using up some of the many baby yarns I have – you know: the bits that are not enough to actually make anything but a few baby hats (am REALLY tired of baby hats at the moment) so we’ll see where ‘that’ idea goes…

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

Banana Pudding Fluff

1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla
or banana flavored pudding mix,
(can use sugar-free)
1 C. milk (can use nonfat)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
(can use sugar free)
3 C. mini marshmallows
3 C. Vanilla Wafers, broken into
pieces
3 medium bananas, sliced

Whisk pudding mix & milk in large
bowl – let stand 3 minutes to set.
Stir in Cool Whip, then stir in
marshmallows, cookies & sliced
bananas. Serve the same day
it’s made – (bananas will turn
brown with age & cookies will
soften if left longer than one day).
Serves 10

(recipe: easygoodideas.com)
—————————

Creamy Zucchini & Spinach Pasta
Bake

3 C. cavatappi pasta (or elbow macaroni)
1 onion, chopped
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half,
then sliced crosswise (making half moons)
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 (24 oz) jar marinara (poster used
Classico marinara with plum tomatoes & olive
oil)
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
(poster used Kraft with a touch of Philadelphia)
—–
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray.
Cook pasta in large saucepan accordg. to pkg.
directions, omitting salt. Cook & stir onions
in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 3-4
minutes until zucchini is crisp-tender, stirring
frequently. Add half the spinach; cook 2-3
minutes just until wilted – repeat with
remaining spinach – remove from heat. Drain
pasta; add to vegetable mixture in skillet
along with pasta sauce, ricotta, Italian
seasoning & 1 C. mozzarella, mix lightly.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan – top
with remaining mozzarella. Bake 20-25
minutes until casserole is heated through
& mozzarella is melted.
Serves about 12, 1 C. each

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

Crockpot Ranch Potatoes

6 strips bacon, chopped
2 1/2 lb. small red potatoes, cubed
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of potato
soup, undiluted
1/4 C. milk (2%)
1 envelope dry Buttermilk Ranch
salad dressing mix
3 T. thinly sliced green onions

In large skillet cook bacon over medium
heat until crisp, stirring occasionally.
Remove with slotted spoon; drain on
paper towels. Drain drippings, reserving
1 T.  Place potatoes in 3 qt crockpot. In
a bowl beat cream cheese, soup, milk,
dry dressing mix & reserve bacon drippings
until blended; stir into potatoes. Sprinkle
with crumbled bacon. Cover & cook on
Low 7-8 hours until potatoes are tender.
Top with green onions. Serves 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Chicken Alfredo Dip

3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. milk
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 C. cooked, chopped chicken breasts
(about 1 large)

Dippers:
cut up veggies, crackers and/or crusty
bread

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray medium (1 – 1.5 qt) baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Alfredo sauce:
In medium skillet over medium heat,
melt butter – whisk in flour until smooth.
Add salt, parsley & garlic – cook 1 minute.
Add broth & milk – whisk until combined.
Cook over medium heat, whisking often,
until thickened & smooth. Stir in Parm.
cheese & 1/2 C. mozzarella until melted.
In medium bowl using elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese until smooth; add Alfredo
sauce & beat until combined; stir in
chicken & spread in prepared baking dish.
Top with remaining 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes until bubbly & beginning
to brown.  Makes 3 1/2 C.

(OR) Cover & refrigerate up to 2 days until
ready to bake.

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

Ambrosia Salad

3/4 C. heavy cream, chilled
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. sour cream
4 C. mini marshmallows (either
regular or fruit-flavored)
1 1/2 C. sweetened shredded coconut
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, well
drained
3/4 C. maraschino cherries, stems
removed
1 C. pineapple tidbits, well drained

In a medium bowl, combine heavy
cream, powdered sugar & vanilla. Using
an elec. mixer, beat mixture on high
speed until stiff peaks form. Add sour
cream & stir until well combined. In
another large bowl combine marsh-
mallows, coconut, oranges, cherries &
pineapple – stir to combine. Pour
whipped cream mixture over ingredients
& stir until evenly combined & all
ingredients are covered in cream
mixture. Cover & refrigerate at least
one hour before serving. Serves 12

NOTE: Be sure to thoroughly DRAIN
the fruit if you are making the salad
more than an hour ahead of time. You
can put all the fruit in a colander &
let it stand/drain about an hour –
this will keep the salad from becoming
soupy while it sets.

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
—————————

Baked Chicken with Peaches
(oven & crockpot)

1 pkg. chicken parts (poster used
thighs)
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 T. butter or margarine
1 (1 lb) can sliced or halved
peaches in juice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a bowl mix flour, salt/pepper,
cinnamon & nutmeg. Spray a
casserole dish with nonstick
cooking spray & place chicken
parts in dish – sprinkle flour
mixture over chicken. Cut butter
into pats & place on top of each
chicken piece. Bake 35-40
minutes. Remove from oven &
place peaches in dish with chicken;
pour peach juice over all & bake
another 20 minutes. Remove &
spoon juice over chicken – serve.

Crockpot:
Prepare as above, placing chicken
in crockpot & cooking on Low
7 hours or High 4 hours. Add
peaches the last half hour of cooking.

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

Grilled Firecracker Potato Salad
GRILL recipe

3 lb. small red potatoes (about 30)
quartered
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Dressing:
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salad:
6 hard boiled large eggs, chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
minced fresh chives, (optional)
=
Toss potatoes with oil, salt/pepper &
place in a grill wok* or basket. Grill,
covered, over medium heat 20-25
minutes until potatoes are tender,
stirring occasionally. Transfer
potatoes to a large bowl; cool slightly.
In small bowl mix dressing ingredients.
Add dressing, eggs & celery to potatoes;
toss to combine. Refrigerate, covered,
1-2 hours until cold. If desired, sprinkle
with chives.
Makes 16 servings (1 C. each)

*If you do not have a grill wok or
basket, use a large disposable foil
pan & poke holes in bottom of pan

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

2 C. chopped rhubarb
2 c. quartered strawberries
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. cornstarch dissolved in
1 T. water
1/4 C. flour (optional thickener
for filling)

Topping:
1 C. flour
1 C. rolled oats
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. water
1 stick (8 T.) cold, salted butter,
cubed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter a 10 – 12 inch oven-proof
skillet. Blend chopped rhubarb,
strawberries, 1/2 C. sugar, cornstarch
& 1/4 C. flour -pour into prepared skillet
& heat over medium heat 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until thickened.
In a large bowl add topping ingredients:
flour, rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon then cut
in butter using a pastry cutter or 2
forks until it makes a crumbly, slightly
moist texture. Sprinkle this mixture
on top of filling in skillet & bake 35-40
minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)

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

I have Sunday School snack duty tomorrow
so I went to Gordon Food Service & bought
a bunch of ‘small’ treats – mini muffins, mini
brownies, mini cream cheese danishes; my
husband said: “Don’t worry about having
too many – I’ll always eat all the leftovers!”

Gas prices have finally dropped a bit to
$2.89/9 – was getting really close to $3.00
so glad it’s back down (for now).

Not much else new on the horizon – we
have our annual Sunday School class picnic
next Saturday at our teacher’s house –
that’s ALWAYS a great time! He loves grilling
so he does chicken, steak and (this year) he’s
decided to add shrimp! YUM! He also does
grilled corn on the cob & homemade ice
cream – WOW! NOT the place to go if you’re
trying to stay on a diet, for sure! We all bring
salads, side dishes or desserts so it’s a big
PIG OUT party! LOVE going every year – they
have a really nice home & grounds (complete
with a pond you can either row a row boat in
or paddle a little paddle boat! I just like to sit
in the shade & chat with all the people – really
nice time.

Hope you’re enjoying this Summer – it always
seems to go by SO FAST! (I even heard of some
schools starting school already! Not in my area,
but that’s CRAZY! I guess those kids get out
in May, but still – give me the old “School
Starts AFTER Labor DAY!

Hugs;

Pammie