and the weekend begins!

I love the fact that we have a 3-day weekend but also know that I will have to go grocery shopping later today (oh, joy…). I’m sure there will be lots of folks rushing to get their ingredients for great holiday picnics & cook-outs; for us, nothing special (I might buy some mustard potato salad – isn’t THAT invigorating!? hehehe). Still battling the sore throat & cough/fatigue. I told my husband this morning I felt like I could easily go back to bed & sleep another 4+ hours (whatever this ‘bug’ is, I’m really getting the deep/lots of dreams sleep!). Attended the funeral visitation yesterday and ran into a lady who used to work for the phone company when both my husband & I did (Bonnie Brown – for those of you ‘former Bell employees who will ask me: WHO was it?). She saw me across the room & pointed, while mouthing: I KNOW YOU!” I have a terrible memory but it’s a great thing my husband has a phenomenal one – (they had a great chat while I listened.) It’s been 34 years since I retired so I really don’t remember the names/faces anymore – husband is always saying he wishes he could give ME his memory (wouldn’t that be great!).

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

No-Churn Blueberry Cheesecake
Ice Cream

2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) jar sweetened condensed
milk
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. thawed frozen blueberries
3 T. sugar
2 T. lemon juice

In large saucepan cook blueberries,
sugar, lemon juice & salt over medium-
high heat; bring to boil until mixture
starts to thicken. Remove from heat &
allow to cool completely then chill in
fridge about 1 hour.
In large bowl beat cream cheese until
creamy & smooth. Using elec. mixer,
add condensed milk & vanilla, mixing
until smooth. Add vanilla & heavy
cram – whisk on High speed until soft
peaks form. Spread half mixture into a
loaf pan. Spoon chilled blueberry sauce
over whipped mixture. Top with remaining
cream mixture, spreading evenly. Using a
knife, drag or swirl blueberry mixture into
cream mixture. Cover with foil & freeze
6 hours until firm.

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

5-Minute Avocada Salad with Bacon

1 medium avocado, coarsely chopped
1 roma tomato, coarsely chopped
1 T. onion, finely chopped
3 slices bacon, fried crisp/crumbled
1 T. cilantro, finely chopped
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder

Toss all ingredients together &
serve immediately. Serves 2

(recipe: intoxicatedonlife.com)
——————————

Crockpot Bavarian Brats & Sauerkraut

1 lb. bratwurst (or smoked sausage/
kielbasa)
1 (14 oz) can whole potatoes, drained
1 (14-16 oz) can sauerkraut (undrained)
1/4 C. apple juice
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. caraway seeds

If using uncooked bratwurst, prick casing
& steam 10 minutes to release any excess
fat. (this step can be eliminated if using
fully-cooked smoked sausage or kielbasa)
When meat is cool enough to handle,
cut in 1-inch pieces. Brown meat in large
skillet over medium-high heat; then add
to crockpot. Add sauerkraut, juice, sugar,
caraway seeds & potatoes – stir to combine.
Cover & cook on High 3 hours (or Low about
5 hours).  Serves 2

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)
———————————
Amish Hot Bacon Slaw

1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 C. thinly sliced carrots
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic paste
1/2 tsp. celery seed
salt/pepper, to taste

Whisk vinegar, sugar, olive oil,
garlic paste & celery seed together.
Fry bacon until crisp then stir in
cabbage, carrots & onion; season
with salt/pepper & cook, stirring,
until cabbage wilts. Stir in vinegar
mixture & continue cooking until
vegetables are crisp-tender &
liquid is about gone. Serve warm.
Serves 6

Suggested serving with: BBQ rubs, pork
steaks, BBQ chicken or pulled pork
along with sides of mac & cheese,
corn on the cob or baked beans

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)
—————————————
Sriracha Deviled Eggs

6 large eggs, hard cooked
1/4 C. mayonnaise
2 T. sriracha sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mustard (or Creole)
salt/pepper, to taste
sweet paprika (garnish)
1 fresh red fresno (red jalapeno)
pepper, thinly sliced into rings
(optional garnish)

Place eggs in saucepan & cover with
cold water. Bring to rolling boil then
reduce heat & simmer 10 minutes.
Drain hot water from eggs & cover
with cold water. Peel eggs & halve,
lengthwise; remove yolks to a small
bowl & mash with a fork. Stir in
mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, mustard,
salt/pepper until smooth. Pipe* mixture
into egg white halves & garnish with
a sprinkle of paprika & slice of
red jalapeno (if using). Serves 12

*If you don’t have a piping bag: spoon
mixture into a large ziplock bag; seal
top & snip one corner tip of bag – use
to pipe filling into eggs

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)
———————————–
Watermelon Lemonade

4 C. watermelon juice (see below)
1 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 C. cold (filtered) water
1/2 C. sugar
fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Cut fruit from melon & remove
both white & black seeds. Puree
fruit & strain; discard solids. Stir
strained watermelon juice with
lemon juice, water & sugar,
to taste. Serve garnished with
mint sprigs, if desired. Makes
8 servings.

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)
——————————
4 Bean Salad
(6 hour or overnight recipe)

4 (16 oz, ea) cans beans: choose
4 types: green beans, kidney beans,
chickpeas, cannellini beans, wax
beans, limas, black-eyed peas, etc.)
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

Dressing:
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Whisk dressing ingredients together.
Mix salad ingredients together &
marinate in dressing 6 hours or
overnight before serving.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)
————————–
Bacon-wrapped Shrimp Kebabs
(with passion fruit glaze)

Glaze:
1 C. passion fruit juice
2 oz. dry white wine
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sriracha sauce
1 T. ketchup

1 lb. jumbo shrimp or prawns,
shelled, leaving tail section on,
deveined (about 20 per lb)
soaked bamboo skewers
approx. 20 slices bacon, 1 slice for
every shrimp (depending on
shrimp size per lb.)
3 baby zucchini cut into about
20 pieces
about 20 small crimini mushrooms,
brushed clean

Heat grill to moderate heat
Stir ingredients for glaze together
in small saucepan & reduce over
Low heat, stirring often, until
glaze becomes thick & syrupy.
Using 1 soaked skewer, pierce
1 end of a slice of bacon, add
shrimp-poking skewer right in the
shrimp & then secure the top
of the bacon slice over shrimp
on skewer. Add a piece of
zucchini & mushroom to each
skewer – repeat with rest of
skewers & ingredients.
Grill shrimp, turning often,
basting with glaze as the
bacon becomes about
2/3 done. Continue to
baste & cook until bacon
is cooked through. Serve
any extra glaze with skewers.
Serves 3-4

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

Beer BBQ Sauce

2 T. butter
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. tomato sauce
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 T. molasses
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 T. hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
12 oz. lager beer

Whisk all ingredients together;
heat in a saucepan, stirring
frequently, until mixture reduces
& becomes as thick as you prefer.
Makes 1 pint.

(recipe: palatablepastime.com)
———————————

Strawberry Dessert Pizza
(uses cast iron griddle)

1 (16 oz) pkg. ready-to-bake
sugar cookie dough (24 individual
cookies)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow whip (cream)
1 (16 oz) jar strawberry glaze (poster
uses Marzetti’s – usually in area where
fresh strawberries are sold)
1 (13 oz) carton fresh strawberries,
sliced into halves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Arrange individual ready-to-
bake cookie dough into 12-14″
round cast iron griddle. Press
cookie dough pieces together
to form a pizza crust. Bake
15-18 minutes or until dough
is cooked & golden brown.
Let crust cool completely.
Beat cream cheese & marsh-
mallow whip in bowl of
elec. mixer using wire whisk
attachment until smooth &
creamy. Spread cream mixture
over cooled crust to within
1/2 inch from edges. Spread
strawberry glaze over cream
cheese mixture & top with
fresh strawberry halves.
Refrigerate any leftovers.

(recipe: cookingwithk.net)

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

It’s now noon and I’d better get myself
ready to go shopping; it’s funny-with
just my husband & I here now, food
goes farther – we just don’t eat as
much as when we had the boys here.
(except when middle son drops in &
consumes all the leftovers! His girlfriend
calls him a walking garbage can!). We
even have only ONE bag of garbage
each week now – used to run 2-3
(39 gallon) bags per week. Yep, guess
it’s confirmed – we’re now officially
OLD PEOPLE! When at the funeral
visitation yesterday I had a long talk
with the grandson of the man who
passed. Grandson is a great friend of
my boys (I consider him one of my
kids); while we were talking I mentioned
something about my age (will be 69 in
June) and he choked: “I thought you
were my MOM’s age!” (somewhere
in the 50’s) I told him it’s thanks to
REVLON hair coloring! hehehe-nice
to have people think you a bit
younger than you are, right?

Enjoy your day – it’s a gorgeous one
out there today – sunny & 69 degrees
F. (supposed to get up to 75 later
today!) THIS is the weather I love!
Sunny, not too hot, a slight breeze –
would love to be floating along on
a boat somewhere just observing the
scenery. (in fact, husband & I had
that very conversation yesterday
while driving past a local lake: he
said he’d want to be on a pontoon
boat, fishing with me at the wheel;
I said I’d rather just be in a row boat
floating along looking at the fish &
seeing the water lilies – interesting
differences, I guess.

Hugs;

Pammie

Very Quick Post

The next two days I will be babysitting my 2 1/2 mo. old grandson for 8 hours + so will not have time to blog; am attempting to throw together a quick one for you.

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

Tropical Jell-O Pretzel Salad

Crust:
2 C. crushed pretzels
3/4 C. melted butter
3 T. sugar

Filling:
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
(do NOT drain)
1 (3 oz) box Coconut Cream pudding
mix
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed*

Topping:
1 (3 oz) box orange Jell-O
1 C. boiling water
3 (11 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
drained

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Combine crushed
pretzels, sugar & melted butter in
pan – gently stir to combine &
spread around pan evenly. Bake
10 minutes & cool completely.
Pour entire can of crushed pineapple
(with juices) in a medium bowl;
sprinkle coconut pudding mix on top
& stir until completely incorporated.
Fold in Cool Whip & transfer to dish,
spreading on top of baked pretzels,
making sure to reach all edges.
Refrigerate while mixing Jell-O.
Combine 1 C. boiling water with
box of Jell-O; stir until completely
dissolved – let stand 10-15 minutes
until Jell-O cools slightly. Pour on top
of pineapple layer. Arrange mandarin
orange slices to cover entire surface.
Cover & refrigerate at least 3-4 hours
until completely cooled & set. Cut
into squares to serve & refrigerate
leftovers.

*You can substitute 2 C. whipped
cream in place of Cool Whip

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

Easy Pork Chop Casserole

4 pork chops (or chicken breast
or thighs)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (can
also use cream of celery or chicken)
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 C. rice
2 C. water
1/2 C. frozen peas
1 C. broccoli pieces
paprika – to taste
seasoning salt – to taste
garlic powder – to taste
black pepper – to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix soups, water & rice in a small
bowl & pour into a 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Add vegetables & mix to combine.
Place chops on top of mixture & season
with spices recommended then cover
with foil. Bake 60 minutes until chops
are cooked through. Remove foil &
return to oven to bake 15 minutes
more – just to brown top a bit.
Serves 4

(recipe: learningtheropesonerecipeatatime.)
———————

Hot Broccoli/Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1 C. sour cream
1 envelope dry Italian
salad dressing mix
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped
broccoli, thawed, well drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese, sour cream &
dry dressing mix in large bowl
using elec. mixer until well
blended. Add broccoli & 1 1/2
C. Cheddar, stir in gently. Spread
mixture into a 9 inch pie plate.
Bake 20 minutes then sprinkle
top with remaining Cheddar cheese.
Bake 5 minutes more until cheese
is melted. Serve with crackers for
dipping. (Makes 32 servings, 2 T.
each)

(recipe: Kraftrecipes.com)
————————–

Saucy Foil-Pack BBQ Ribs
(grill)

3/4 C. BBQ sauce (your choice)
2 T. orange marmalade
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
4 lb. Pork baby back ribs

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Mix BBQ sauce, marmalade &
pepper sauce until blended. Place
half the ribs in single layer in
center of large sheet of heavy-duty
foil. Bring up long sides of foil;
double fold both short ends of
foil to seal, leaving top open.
Add 1/4 C. water (or 1 ice cube)
to packet through top opening.
Double fold top to seal packet,
leaving room for heat circulation
inside. Repeat with remaining
ribs. Grill 45 min – 1 hour until
ribs are done. Remove ribs from
foil packets; return ribs to grill;
brush with BBQ sauce mixture.
Grill 15 minutes, turning &
brushing occasionally with
remaining sauce. Serves 8

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
————————

Easy Baked Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 eggs beaten with 1/2 C.
milk
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. Panko or regular bread-
crumbs
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. minced fresh basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together in
large bowl. Form into golf ball-
sized meatballs & place on a
baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
—————————–

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan

2 large chicken breasts (or 4 small)
3 T. Italian seasoning
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
6 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese
1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
2 T. olive oil
3/4 C. bread crumbs
1-2 eggs (poster used 2 medium)
salt/pepper, to taste

Optional: angel hair pasta

Add 2 T. olive oil to bottom of crockpot.
In small bowl whisk eggs until beaten.
In medium bowl add bread crumbs, Parm.
cheese, pepper/salt – stir until combined.
Dredge chicken in egg mixture, then in
bread crumb mixture, coating both sides
of chicken – place chicken in crockpot. In
medium bowl stir tomato sauce, Ital.
seasoning, salt, sugar, gran. garlic & onion
powder – pour over chicken. Layer mozz.
cheese on top; add more cheese if you
want. Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours
until chicken is done. Serve with cooked
pasta of your choice – garnish with more
cheese, if desired. Serves 4

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

Puff Pastry Bacon Twists
(appetizers)

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. (2 sheets) puff
pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg, beaten
1 medium fresh jalapeno, seeded/
minced (2 T.)
1 heaping Cup Pepper Jack cheese,
shredded
12 strips bacon (3/4 lb)
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lay 2 sheets pastry on cutting board
with long end running left to right
& brush lightly with beaten egg.
Sprinkle 1 T. minced jalapeno over
each sheet. Divided shredded cheese
between each sheet, covering the
surface right to edges. Using palm of
your hand, press cheese into pastry
so it holds in place. Take back side
of dough & fold over to meet the
edge closest to you & pinch the seam
closed. Pat top so the top & bottom
adhere to each other. Using a sharp
knife or pizza cutter, cut in half,
front to back then cut each half in half
then each quarter into thirds. You will
have 12 folded half inch strips – repeat
for second sheet. Line 2 sheet pans with
foil then place a baking rack on each.
Spray racks with nonstick spray. Twist
each piece of dough strips two full
turns & place back on board. Cut each
piece of bacon in half (long way) so
you have 24 long strips. Take each
pastry twist & wrap each with a long
strip of bacon – place back on board.
In small bowl mix brown sugar, coriander
& cumin – stir to combine then pour onto
a plate or platter. Roll each bacon wrapped
pastry in mixture & place 12 on each racked
sheet pan. Bake 25 minutes, rotate pan &
bake another 25 minutes. (Ovens vary
in heat so check for doneness at 40 & 45
minutes – poster’s took exactly 50 minutes)
Cool on rack & serve. Makes 24

(recipe: afamilfeast.com)
—————————————
Creamy Roasted Tomato/Bacon Dip
(uses oven & grill)

1 lb. bacon
1 C. diced onion
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz,ea) cans (Hunts) Fire
roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 (8 oz) tub softened whipped
cream cheese
1 C. Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 C. Romano cheese, grated
1 baguette
2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cook bacon until crisp – reserve
2 T. bacon fat (discard rest) Cut
cooked bacon into small pieces or
crumble by hand.
Reheat 2 T. bacon fat over medium-
high heat & add onions – cook 3
minutes then add garlic. Cook 1
more minute then add both cans
tomatoes (with juice) as well as
all spices. Stir once then place pan
in oven & roast 30 minutes, stirring
once halfway through cooking time.
Remove from oven & lower oven
heat to 375 degrees F.
While tomatoes are roasting, mix
cream cheese, Colby & Romano
cheeses in medium bowl – mix in
all but 1/4 C. crumbled bacon. Pour
roasted tomato mixture in a casserole
dish & spread cheese/bacon mixture
on top. (does not need to be spread
to edges) Bake 45 minutes uncovered.

While mixture is baking, slice baguette
in half then slice into half-inch slices.
Brush both sides with oil & grill on a
ribbed grill pan a few minutes on each
side. Remove dip from oven, sprinkle
top with rest of crumbled bacon &
serve with toasted baguette slices.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
—————————

Crockpot Baked Beans

2 (28 oz, each) cans Bushs
original baked beans
1 lb. ground beef, cooked/
drained
7 slices bacon, cooked/sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 C. ketchup
2 T. mustard
1 (1 oz) pkt. taco seasoning mix
1 T. hot sauce (optional)

Pour all ingredients into crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours (Try
not to open lid during cooking time)
Serves 10+

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

Spicy Caramel Frosted Brownies

1 C. butter, melted
2 1/4 C. sugar
1 1/4 C. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
5 eggs
1 T. vanlla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
1 1/2 C. flour

Frosting:
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
2 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large microwave-
safe bowl melt butter. Stir in sugar
until shiny; stir in cocoa powder,
salt & baking powder; combine
completely. Stir in eggs, one-at-a-
time, mixing well after each addition.
Add cinnamon & espresso powder
(if using). Slowly mix in flour,
stirring until smooth & completely
combined; pour into prepared pan.
Bake 28 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean and edges have set. Let cool
completely in pan.
Frosting:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-
low heat. Stir in brown sugar & milk, stirring
to combine. Remove from heat. When
cool, stir in vanilla & chili powder. Whisk
in powdered sugar until fluffy & smooth –
spread over cooled brownies.

(recipe: lemonsforlulu.com)

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

Last night was Knit/Crochet night and we had
16 lovely ladies – one of which was my good
friend Mary (Momma); she came at the behest
of another mutual friend and former co-worker
at the Telephone Company we both worked at
many years ago. It was great seeing those two
ladies be able to catch up on their lives. I guess,
if I had to give a reason why I started & run my
knit group, the fact that people can get together
& enjoy each other’s company while working on
a craft (knitting or crochet) they both like is the
basic reason. Meeting new friends, learning new
ideas/tips/techniques are also mixed up in there
somewhere, too. Our group now ranges in age
from Katie, age 10, to one of our older ladies (right
now I’m not exactly sure who tops that group) but
the top age is somewhere around 85 (might be
higher, I’m not sure).  It’s great to see all of them
happily chatting away while also working on
something they brought – makes it all worth it!

Our gas prices are ‘dancing’ again: were $2.59/9
then went to $2.53/9 (I filled up) – a little later that
same day they dropped to $2.49/9 – ugh…

Still fighting the “creeping crud” I have; broke down
& went to doctor’s Monday (constant coughing,
really raw throat,feels like it’s in my ears, fatigue,
tons of sleeping with really strange dreams) –
both doctors checked me out & said it’s not Strep
(which is why I went, since I do babysitting – didn’t
want to pass that on). Ended up saying they both
think it’s something seasonal –
take an antihistamine, use a throat spray, Ibuprofen
for pain (no it’s not in my ears) – SIGH! Basically – go
home – it will eventually go away…SIGH! Oh well,
I tried. Tried sucking on a Cepacol lozenge – YUCK!
Yes, it kind of numbed my throat but the taste was
not worth the effort. I babysit the next two days
so hoping I have the strength/energy for that –
we’ll see. It’s not as busy this week as last, so
that’s good.

Hoping you are in good health and able to
enjoy this time of year. Our weather is a bit
on & off between warm (in 70’s) then back
to 50/60’s & cloudy with some rain. I know
it will eventually even out – I’m just glad it’s
not really hot (as son’s house I babysit at
does NOT have air conditioning!).

Hugs;

Pammie

Nothin’ Special . . .

Today is my ‘in between’ day – in between baby sitting days. I’m learning that I’m looking forward to these days when I don’t have the entire day nailed down with ‘sitting’; don’t get me wrong – I love my new grandson, but there are times when it really gets tiring. The other day I sat from 9:45 – 5:10 p.m. and, unlike his ‘normal’ – this time he decided he didn’t need to SLEEP! All during that entire time I’d say he had a total of, maybe, 1 hour of sleep – drove me nuts! Get him asleep, put him down and (MAYBE, if I was lucky) he’d sleep – but that day, no more than 10-15 minutes before he was awake again! Awake is not a bad thing but it is if they’re cranky! Not sure just what he thought was going on, but he had one very TIRED Grandma by the end of that day! (That would have been Tuesday and THEN I had Knit/Crochet night!)…sigh…

The weather has gone back to (I would call it: Poopy) – 40’s/50’s & gloomy/gray, rainy. It IS supposed to get warmer for Mother’s Day, so that will be nice for all those people going out to eat. Today it’s around 48 degrees F. raining & gloomy. I’m thinking of going to the library & Meijers – just for something different. Have no idea what I’m making for dinner, either; I have the option of doing Ravioli, or homemade pizza. One thing that has changed over the past 2 weeks is: it’s just my husband & I eating meals! If I cook anything we end up having those same leftovers for DAYS! I made salmon patties & baked potatoes the other night and by the next day I didn’t even want to SMELL them! Weird, I know – food lately is not something I really want to eat OR smell (and NO, I’m not pregnant, for those funny friends of mine who might want to suggest that!).

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

Vanilla Cream Cheese Custard

2 1/2 C. whole milk, divided
6 large egg yolks
2/3 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/3 C. corn starch
1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Optional garnish: fresh strawberries

In a medium bowl whisk 1/2 C. milk,
egg yolks, 1/3 C. sugar & corn starch;
whisk until well blended. In small
saucepan heat remaining 2 C. milk with
remaining 1/3 C. sugar & scraped
vanilla bean seeds with the pod. Heat
to simmer, then remove pod & discard.
While whisking, slowly drizzle hot milk
into the bowl with egg/sugar mixture,
making sure to whisk continually. Pour
entire custard mixture back into the pan
& heat just until it thickens, which should
be very quickly. Reduce heat to Low, add
softened cream cheese & beat with a
whisk while cooking – about 1 minute,
to form a thick creamy custard. Pour
mixture into a large serving bowl (or
individual dishes). Cover with plastic
wrap, pushing wrap down onto surface
of custard (this prevents a skin forming
on the top). Refrigerate completely
before serving. Top with fresh straw-
berries when serving, if desired.
Serves 8

Note; this can be prepared a day
ahead & kept refrigerated until
ready to serve

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

Creamy Pea Salad

1/2 yellow bell pepper,
finely chopped
1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 T. dried basil
1 T. finely diced red onion
2 tsp. diced pimiento
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 lb. shelled fresh peas (OR)
2 (16 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen tiny
peas, thawed

In large bowl combine all ingredients
except peas – mix well. Stir in peas
until completely coated with dressing.
Cover & refrigerate at least 3-4 hours;
serve at room temperature.
Makes 8 Cups – about 16 servings

(recipe: theseasonedmom.com)
——————————
Honey-Garlic Pork Chops
(grill)

1/2 C. ketchup
2 2/3 T. honey
2 T. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 (4 oz, ea) 1inch thick pork chops

Preheat grill for medium heat &
lightly oil grate. Whisk ketchup,
honey, soy sauce & garlic in a
bowl to make glaze. Sear chops
on both sides on grill. Lightly brush
glaze on each side of chops as they
cook; grill until no longer pink in
center, about 7-9 minutes per side.
(an instant-read thermometer
inserted into center of chops should
read 145 degrees F.)

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
————————————
Crockpot Apple Balsamic Chicken

1 lb. boneless chicken breast
1 medium apple, chopped
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. butter
2 T. flour

Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice,
garlic powder, thyme, paprika, salt/
pepper. Place chicken in crockpot;
pour mixture on top. Add chopped
apples on top; cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Remove chicken from crockpot,
chop or shred, as desired. Remove
liquid from crockpot & strain through
a colander into a saucepan. Add butter
& flour & bring mixture to a boil. Cook
3-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Add chicken back into crockpot &
pour sauce over top. Coat chicken
with liquid & warm 10-15 minutes
before serving.

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

Baked Lemon/Garlic Tilapia

3-6 Tilapia filets
6-8 crushed/diced large cloves
garlic
2 1/2 T. butter
4 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. fresh or dried parsley
1 tsp. fresh or dried oregano
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In saucepan over Low heat, melt
butter; saute garlic 1 minute. Add
3 T. lemon juice, parsley, oregano,
salt/pepper – mix together & turn
off heat. Spray large baking dish
with nonstick spray. Pour 1 T.
lemon juice into dish, place fish
on top & season with herbs,
salt/pepper. Pour lemon mixture
over fish & sprinkle top with some
parsley. Bake until fish is cooked
through.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
—————————–

Stuffed French Bread

1 loaf French bread (unsliced)
1 lb. ground beef
2 T. finely chopped onion
1/2 C. chopped celery
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 T. milk
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar
cheese
1/2 T. chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice French bread in half length-
wise – remove bread in center of
each half – reserve removed bread
to a large bowl & tear into small
chunks. In large skillet brown beef
& onion over medium heat; drain.
Add celery & garlic, cook a few minutes.
Pour in soup, Worc. sauce & milk;
season with salt/pepper – cook 5
minutes while stirring then remove
to large bowl. Place the 2 halves
of bread on a large baking sheet.
Pour meat mixture evenly in
center of ONE half of bread. Top
with cheese then cover with
second bread half.
Bake 10-15 minutes.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
————————————

Classic Lemon Bars

Crust:
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. plus 2 T. flour
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

Filling:
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 T. lemon zest
1/2 C. lemon juice, fresh
squeezed
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. flour

Topping:
powdered sugar
lemon slices (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 9″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Mix melted
butter, flour, powdered sugar
& salt together; press in an
even layer in bottom of prepared
pan. Bake 10 minutes.
In medium bowl mix eggs, sugar,
lemon zest, lemon juice, baking
powder, & flour together. Pour
mixture over cooled crust & bake
25 minutes until filling has set.
Allow to cool.
When cooled, sprinkle top with
powdered sugar & top each
bar (if desired) with a lemon
slice. Best eaten at room
temperature or cold.
Makes 9-12 bars

(recipe: alattefood.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Spicy Chicken Soup

2 large baking potatoes, peeled/
cut into chunks (about 3 1/2 C.)
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen sweet corn
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled/ cut into chunks
(1 C.)
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast,
cut in half
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
(about 10 1/2 oz)
3 C. chicken broth

4 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into strips
chopped fresh parsley – garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake tortilla strips on cookie sheet
10-15 minutes – set aside

Place potatoes, corn, celery, onion &
garlic in crockpot. Stir in salsa, cumin,
chili powder & pepper. Distribute
chicken evenly on top of veggies &
pour chicken broth over top. Cover
& cook on High 4 hours. Remove
chicken – shred into bite-sized pieces,
stir then return to crockpot. Cover &
cook 15-20 minutes longer until
vegetables are tender.
Serve topped with baked tortilla strips
& garnish with parsley.
Serves 6

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

Chicken Pasta Primavera Salad

2 C. cooked chicken, cut into chunks
8 oz. curly pasta
1/2 C. olive oil
1 small onion, sliced into rings
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small summer squash, sliced
into rounds
8 spears asparagus, cut into 2″
pieces
1/2 c. peas
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated garlic
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
grated fresh Parmesan – garnish

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
for al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain,
rinse with cold water & transfer to large
bowl. Drizzle 1 T. olive oil on pasta &
toss to coat. In large skillet heat 1 T.
olive oil over medium-high heat. Add
onion; cook until soft, about 2- 3 minutes.
Add carrot, summer squash & asparagus:
cook 1-2 minutes. Add peas & cook
1 more minute. Vegetables should be
just cooked & still crisp; season with
salt/pepper – remove from heat & let cool.
Whisk red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic,
basil & Parm. cheese until combined –
continue whisking & drizzle in remaining
5 T. olive oil. To serve, toss pasta with
cooked chicken, sauteed vegetables,
cherry tomatoes & Parmesan dressing
until well combined. Transfer to a
serving platter & garnish with grated
Parmesan cheese. Serves 4

(recipe: perdue.com)
————————————–
Boston Cream Pie Dessert
(2 hour or overnight recipe)

Crust:

2 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
2 T. sugar
10 T. unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
softened
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate topping:

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chunks or
chips
1/4 plus 2 T. heavy cream (or Half & Half)
1 1/2 T. gran. sugar
1 1/2 T. corn syrup

Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with foil or
parchment paper.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place graham crackers in food processor;
add sugar & process until combined.
Slowly drizzle melted butter in & process
until crust comes together. Press crust
into prepared pan & press down firmly.
Bake 7-8 minutes; cool completely.

Filling:

Place cream cheese in food processor;
process until creamy, 10-15 seconds.
Add vanilla, dry pudding mix & sugar –
process until well combined. Add Cool
Whip in 2 additions; process just until
combined, do not over mix. Scoop
filling into baked/cooled crust & spread
evenly – smoothing top. Refrigerate
2 hours to overnight.

Chocolate Topping:

Place chocolate in medium bowl. Place
cream, sugar & corn syrup in medium
saucepan & heat to just boiling; remove
from heat. Pour cream mixture over
chocolate (do not mix – let stand 5
minutes). Whisk mixture until smooth
then let cool to room temperature.
Pour mixture over filling OR top each
slice just before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: crunchycreamysweet.com)

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

Let’s see – in our area gas prices are at a ‘nice’
place: $2.23/9 . . . I like that!

I’ve decided that for Mother’s Day I’m going to
make myself (and everyone else) a repeat of
the Strawberry Heaven dessert – I posted it
before (made with already prepared Angel
Food Cake, Cool Whip, cream cheese, Jello) –
they all liked it and I decided I would  ‘treat’
myself for a change – (grin).

Hope your days are coming together nicely for
you. Spring is all around – trees & flowers
blooming, birds singing – and we need the rain,
even though it makes for gloomy days – we
ALWAYS have SOMETHING to be grateful for!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Another NEW Month!

Have been kinda busy lately, sorry for lack of posting. Middle son finally moved out Friday – well, let’s just say KINDA moved out. His new place is an entire basement – one problem: no closet! His solution: leave his work suits at our house, drop by about an hour before work, shower & change into suit, grab a bite to eat then go to work (repeat after work). We got together & ordered a clothes rack for him, but won’t be here for 2-4 weeks! Oh well, at least we get to SEE him each day, check on how things are going, etc. I see, on Facebook, he’s asked his friends for any furniture they might want to donate to his cause. As he puts it: I own very little: a bed, large screen TV and one small 4 drawer dresser – he’s right; his older brother said he’s going to have to eventually section off that basement into seating areas, etc. Oh well, the ‘fun’ for him, begins!

===========

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Bars

Crust:
1 box white cake mix
1 egg
3/4 C. peanut butter
1/4 C. canola oil

Filling:
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1/2 C. peanut butter chips
3/4 C. chopped peanuts
1 C. chopped Reese’s peanut
butter cups (poster used mini’s)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake mix, egg, canola oil &
peanut butter in large bowl (mix
using hands or a large spoon until
it makes a crumbly dough. Spray
9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray &
press 3/4 ths of mixture onto
bottom of pan; reserve 1/4
dough mixture. Pour entire can
of sweetened cond. milk over
pressed dough; sprinkle top with
nuts, peanut butter chips &
chopped Reese’s. Sprinkle reserved
dough over toppings (most of layer
should be covered.
Bake 20-25 minutes until edges
are golden brown. Cool at least
45 minutes before serving.
Serves 12

(recipe: sixsistersstuff.com)
———————————

Spinach Salad

1 (10 oz) bag spinach
3/4 C. craisins (dried cranberries)
3/4 C. sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing:
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. dried minced onion
3/4 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. paprika
2 T. white wine vinegar
1/4 C. vegetable oil

Place spinach, craisins & almonds
in large bowl. Mix together dressing
ingredients & pour over salad –
toss well & serve

(had this at a party Sunday at church)
——————————–

Roasted Turkey Taco Spaghetti
Squash Boats

3 small spaghetti squash (24 oz, ea)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 T. bell pepper, minced
1/2 C. water
1 (4 oz) can tomato sauce
3/4 C. shredded Mexican blend
cheese

Pico de Gallo:
1 C. chopped tomato
1/4 C. chopped scallion
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
LIne a baking sheet with parchment
paper (or two sheets if they won’t
all fit on one). Cut squash in half
lengthwise & use a spoon to
scrape out seeds & soft yellow
strands (discard seeds & strands).
Spray inside of squash halves
with nonstick spray & lightly
sprinkle with salt/pepper. Place
squash face-down on prepared
sheets & bake 50 minutes until
flesh easily pierces with a fork.
Brown turkey in large skillet,
breaking it into smaller pieces
as it cooks. When no longer
pink, add dry seasoning & mix
well. Add onion, pepper, water &
tomato sauce. Cover & simmer on
Low 20 minutes. Combine ingredients
for Pico de Gallo in medium bowl;
refrigerate until ready to eat.
Once squash is cooked & cool enough
to handle, use a fork to scrape insides
so that squash ‘strands/spaghetti’
appear. Spoon a scant 1/2 C. meat into
each half & top with 2 T. cheese. Place
in oven & bake 5 minutes until cheese
melts. Remove, top with Pico de Gallo
& serve immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
——————————

Cola Burgers
(grill)

1 egg
1/2 C. cola, divided
1/2 C. crushed saltine crackers
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lb. hamburger
6 T. French salad dressing,
divided
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

(6 hamburger buns)

In a bowl mix egg, 1/4 C. cola,
cracker crumbs, 2 T. salad
dressing, cheese & salt – mix
until well combined then stir
in beef. Shape into 6 patties. Mix
together 1/4 C. cola & 4 T. salad
dressing. Grill burgers 3 minutes
per side then brush with cola
mixture. Grill 8-10 minutes longer
then serve. Makes 6

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
——————————-

Mama’s Chicken Rollups

2 large chicken breasts
1 can crescent rolls
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken
soup
1/2 (soup can) of chicken broth
from cooking chicken*
1/2 (soup can) milk
1 T. flour
6 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
pinch salt & pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place chicken breasts in large
pot & cover with water; bring to
boil & cook on Medium heat
until no longer pink inside. Remove
chicken from pot & let cool enough
to handle – shred chicken. Add soup,
milk, flour, salt/pepper to broth* &
stir to combine. Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray.
Unroll crescent rolls & separate into
triangles. Put a little cheese on dough
& a good heaping of chicken at large
end of triangle. Roll up & place in
prepared pan – continue with rest
of dough & filling. Pour broth
mixture around & on top of each
roll. Bake 25 minutes then top
with cheese – bake 5 minutes more.
Let stand a few minutes before
serving with soup mixture.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
——————————

Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno Poppers

6 jalapeno peppers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. shredded Cheddar cheese
6 strips bacon, halved width-
wise
1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 T. chili seasoning mix

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 15 X 10 X1″ baking
sheet with nonstick spray.
Using disposable or kitchen
rubber gloves when handling
cut peppers & seeds, the oils
can burn the skin. Avoid
touching your face.
Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise
& remove seeds. In small bowl
beat cheeses until blended & spoon
into pepper halves. Combine brown
sugar & chili seasoning; coat peppers
with mixture & place on sheet. Bake
18-20 minutes until bacon is firm.
Makes 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————-

Baked Chicken Nuggets

2 large (16 oz) skinless boneless
chicken breasts, cut into even
bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
6 T. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. Panko bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 425 degrees F
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
spray. Place oil in one bowl, bread-
crumbs/Panko/Parm. cheese in a
pie plate. Season chicken with salt/
pepper; place in bowl with oil & mix
well so oil evenly coats all chicken.
Put a few chunks of chicken at a
time in breadcrumb mixture to coat,
then onto baking sheet. Lightly spray
tops of chicken pieces with nonstick
spray. Bake 8-10 minutes; turn pieces
over & bake another 4-5 minutes until
cooked through. Serves 4

(recipe: yummly.com)
—————————————

Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins

3 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Topping:
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. butter

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 12-count muffin pan with
nonstick spray or line with paper
liners. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking
powder & salt. In another bowl beat
sugar & cream cheese until combined;
add eggs, vanilla, milk & melted butter,
mix just until combined. Gradually add
flour mixture & beat just until combined.
(do not overmix) Scoop batter evenly
into prepared muffin pan.

Topping:
Mix topping ingredients until crumbly;
sprinkle evenly over top of muffin batter
in cups. Bake 20 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of muffin comes out
clean. Makes 12 muffins

(recipe: TableforSeven)

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

Our weather is typical Michigan Spring:
cold in mornings (40’s) followed by rain
and/or shine. This morning I had to go
out early and it was in the 40’s with
intermittent rain – now it’s clear and
74 degrees! Go figure! I’m not complaining-
gotta have the rain for the flowers.
Speaking of flowers there are lots of
tulips, lilacs and Lilly of the Valley in
bloom in my yard – I LOVE SPRING!

Am anxious that FINALLY we’re back to
garage sale weather! There is a rather
large church really near me that holds
an annual 3-day rummage sale – I go
every year. This year I’ll be specifically
looking for things for middle son AND
a high chair and baby walker for new
grandson. I’m glad that my back
problems are decreasing – will be
babysitting for a few hours Friday.
When I saw my doctor I mentioned
that I really wanted to get this back
problem under control since I will
be doing a lot of babysitting in the
very near future. We’ll see how it
goes.

Gas prices in our area: had to fill
up today and it was $2.39/9 – not
bad ($40.00 to totally fill up
my van – was on almost empty)

Almost forgot to post the
recent knitted blankets:
First up: the baby girl blanket
for Youth Pastor’s wife’s shower
(May 20th)

I really like this pattern: works up quickly and really looks fancy!

Next up: baby boy blanket (for no one in particular); this one looks good; it’s 7 rows – all is easy UNTIL row 6 when I have to use a very tiny crochet hook to get the reverse Knit 4 together done (this row/stitch is done using both MY way of knitting: Continental Combined AND the traditional English way of knitting for the reverse Knit 4 together (pattern requires knit 4 together through the back loops followed by knit 4 together through the front loops – English style). Believe me, I’ve contemplated ditching/ripping this one out but then thought: it’s ONLY one row, so just deal with it! Don’t know if I’ll do this pattern ever again, thought . . . sigh)

It’s supposed to look like Tassels: from the Barbara Walker patterns, called Lucina Shell pattern


Hope all is going well for you and
you are in good health.

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Beautiful Day to get things DONE!

1220500922MH5H4U

I started out today thinking I’d make a trip to Walmart (about 20 minutes away) then things changed, so I stayed home. I don’t know about you, but around here things sort of pile up – little things that need doing – like washing the INSIDES of my car windows! They get kind of ‘filmy’ over time (no, I don’t smoke – this is just ‘road grime’) so today was the perfect day to get that done (along with sweeping out the floors, wiping down the dashboard, etc.) Next was an annual job involving stabilizing the porch door-done! Got the dishwasher loaded, washed those dishes that don’t go in the dishwasher, addressed two get well cards, updated some phone numbers for my special needs group – you know . . . THAT kind of ‘little things that pile up’! Along with all that I found a short video on YouTube which taught me how to do a more stretchy cast-on for my baby hats! You know that rim on hats that holds the hat ON? Mine are not very stretchy, even though I knit a ribbing; THIS cast on adds just that little ‘needed something’ it was lacking before – SCORE! Feeling ACCOMPLISHED today! Dinner tonight is spaghetti & meatballs with garlic bread – YUM!

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

Since summer is wrapping up AND I’m pretty sure you all have some ZUCCHINI left – here’s some recipes for that!

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 1/3 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded zucchini
2 T. lemon zest
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour three 5 X 3″ mini
loaf pans. Using elec. mixer, beat
butter until creamy; add sugar &
beat until light & fluffy. Add eggs,
1 at a time, until just blended after
each addition. In medium bowl whisk
flour, salt, baking soda & baking
powder – add to butter mixture
alternately with sour cream, beginning
& ending with flour mixture. Stir in
zucchini, lemon zest & poppy seeds.
Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake 40-45 minutes until a wooden
toothpick inserted into center of
loaves comes out clean. Cool in pans
in wire racks 10 minutes then remove
to wire racks to cool completely.

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

Olive Zucchini Spread
(4 hour or overnight recipe)

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese
3 C. shredded zucchini
1 (7 1/2 oz) jar marinated artichoke
hearts, drained/finely chopped
1/4 C. pimiento-stuffed olives,
chopped
1 (4 1/4 oz) can chopped ripe olives
8 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. chopped red onion
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
2 T. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 French bread baguette, sliced

In large bowl combine first 11
ingredients; beat until blended
then transfer to a serving bowl.
Cover & chill at least 4 hours or
overnight. Serve with baguette
slices. Makes 6 cups

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

Zucchini Lasagna
(grill & oven)

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 T. chopped fresh basil
black pepper, to taste
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″
thick
1 1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/4 C. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese,
shredded
1 large egg
16 oz (4 C) shredded mozzarella
cheese

Slice zucchini 1/8″ thick, add salt &
set aside 10 minutes.Zucchini has a
lot of water when cooked, salting it
takes out a lot of the moisture. After
10 minutes blot excess moisture with
a paper towel.
In medium sauce pan brown meat &
season with salt;  drain & remove meat
from pan. Add olive oil to pan & saute
garlic & onions 2 minutes. Return meat
to pan, add tomatoes, basil, salt/pepper –
simmer on Low 30-40 minutes, covered.
Do not add extra water – sauce should be
thick.
Heat grill to medium-high; grill zucchini 2-3
minutes per side, until slightly browned. Place
on paper towels to soak up any excess
moisture.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix ricotta, Parmesan, egg &
stir well. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & spread 1/2 C. sauce on
bottom – layer zucchini on top to cover.
Spread 1/2 C. ricotta mixture, then top with
1 C. mozz. cheese – repeat until all ingredients
are used up. Last/top layer with zucchini &
sauce. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes.
Uncover & bake 20 minutes (to dry up the
sauce). Place remaining 1 C. mozzarella
on top & bake until melted, 10 minutes.
Let stand 5-10 minute before cutting.
Serves 8

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

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
(and baked potato skins)

9 medium russet potatoes
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
4 T. butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 – 3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 C. milk (if potatoes are
too thick)
1 jar bacon bits (or half lb. bacon,
cooked/crumbled)
2 1/2 – 3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 green onions, sliced, garnish

Garnishes for Skins:
cooked/chopped bacon
sour cream
chopped green onions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Scrub & pierce potatoes several times
with a sharp knife. Bake potatoes about
an hour until potatoes ‘give’ when
squeezed gently using an oven mitted
hand. When done, cut in half & carefully
scoop out insides into a bowl, leaving
about 1/4 inch layer of skin. Using an
elec. mixer, mix potato ‘insides’ briefly
to break up; add cream cheese, sour cream
butter, garlic & about 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4
tsp. pepper – beat until thoroughly mixed.
Do not mix to gumminess. If mixture seems
really thick, add up to 1/2 C. milk to smooth
them to the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Spray large casserole dish with nonstick spray
& spread potato mixture into pan.Cover with
foil & bake 40 minutes at 325 degrees F.
Immediately after removing from oven, cover
top with 1 C. cheese then sprinkle with about
2/3 of bacon & sliced green onions. Allow to
stand 10-15 minutes before serving. . Makes
about 9-10 servings.

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
For Potato Skins:
After scooping out insides you should have
18 skin ‘halves’. Cut each in half so you have
quarter skins. Heat about 2 inches canola
oil in a pan (about 325 degrees F). Fry skins
in batches, careful not to crowd the pan. Once
skins are golden brown, remove to a paper-
towel lined cooking rack to drain. Place fried
skins, open sides up, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle
each with cheese & a little bacon. Bake 5-10
minutes until cheese melts. Top with sour
cream & chopped green onions, if desired.
Makes about 9 servings onion skins.

(recipe: food-pusher.com)
——————————————

Crockpot Italian Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into
chunks
1 red pepper cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. sea salt (optional)
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes

cooked pasta

Spray crockpot insides with nonstick
spray. Place chicken in bottom of
pot; place peppers/onion/garlic on
top. Sprinkle herbs on top & pour
stewed tomatoes with juice over
all. Cover & cook on Low 6
hours. Serve over cooked pasta

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)
——————————————–
Ritz Cracker Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
2 C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 C. milk
1 large egg

Sauce:
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. milk
2 T. sour cream
2 T. unsalted butter
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine egg & milk in a pie plate/tin;
whisk until fully incorporated. Place
cheese in another pie plate. Place
crushed crackers in a third pie plate.
Sprinkle chicken with salt/pepper then
dip in egg, making sure to coat both
sides; shake off excess, then coat in
grated cheese. Transfer chicken to
crushed crackers making sure to coat
all sides – press firmly so that cracker
crumbs adhere to meat. Spray a 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray & place
chicken in dish. Bake 30-35 minutes until
chicken is cooked through. While chicken
is baking, make sauce:
Combine soup, milk, sour cream & butter
in medium saucepan over medium heat &
cook, stirring frequently until melted &
smooth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low &
simmer 5-10 minutes until thickened. Taste
& adjust seasoning. Remove chicken from
oven & serve hot with sauce drizzled over
top. Serves 4

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————————————

Layered Shrimp Dip

1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
6 T. salsa, divided
1/2 C. cocktail sauce
3 (6 oz, ea) cans small shrimp,
rinsed/drained
1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced ripe olives,
drained
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Monterrey Jack
cheese
sliced green onions
Tortilla chips, for dipping

In small bowl combine cream cheese &
3 T. salsa; spread into an ungreased
9 inch pie plate. Combine cocktail
sauce & remaining salsa – spread over
cream cheese. Arrange shrimp evenly
over top. Sprinkle top with olives.
Combine cheeses & sprinkle over top.
Sprinkle onions on top & chill.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 12-16 servings

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

Brazilian Candy Balls (Truffles)

Chocolate “Brigadeiro”

1 T. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. cocoa powder
chocolate sprinkles

Grease a large plate.
Melt butter in a pot over low heat;
add milk & cocoa powder, stir
continuously until you can see the
bottom of the pot for 2-3 seconds
when dragging a spatula through.
Pour mixture onto greased plate &
chill 1 hour. Shape mixture into balls
then roll in chocolate sprinkles.

Coconut Truffles

1 T. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. coconut milk
coconut flakes

(same process as above)

Strawberry Truffles

1 C. fresh strawberries, chopped
1/2 C. water
1 T. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. white chocolate
sprinkles

Grease a large plate.
Place strawberries & water in a pot
over medium-high heat; cook until
there is a jam-like consistency & much
of liquid is evaporated. Reduce heat
to Low; add butter, sweet’d cond. milk &
white chocolate, stirring continuously
until you can see the bottom of the pot
for 2-3 seconds when dragging a spatula
through. Pour mixture onto greased
plate & chill 1 hour. Shape mixture into
balls & roll in sprinkles.

Cookies & Cream Truffles

10 chocolate cream cookies (Oreos)
1 T. butter
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

Grease a large plate.
Separate the cream centers from the
cookies; crush cookies. Melt butter,
conds. milk & cream centers in a pot
over Low heat, stirring constantly until
you can see the bottom of the pot for
2-3 seconds when dragging a spatula
through. Pour mixture onto greased
plate & chill 1 hour. Shape mixture
into balls & roll in crushed cookie
crumbs.

(recipe: buzzfeed.com)

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

Gas prices in our area have dropped again
(YAY!) to $2.11/9 – – – WOW!

Our weather is just perfect for the approaching
Fall – it’s sunny with a slight breeze and 72
degrees F. at 4:40 p.m. on this Thursday.

Knitting wise I did a DUMB thing Tuesday at
Knit Night: I brought the yellow baby afghan
to work on. One of MY OWN rules for Knit
Night is NEVER bring anything complicated or
that requires lots of counting stitches, rows,
etc. (this one does both – almost every row).
This afghan was on my interchangable circular
needles (meaning you can take off the ends
and put in bigger/smaller needles on the same
cable). When I reached into my bag to take out
the knitting the needle came apart from the
cable! OH NO! As I’m trying to fix it, more &
more stitches kept coming unraveled – BIG
OH NO! I attempted to put them back on the
cable (almost lost a few stitch markers which
fell off onto the floor – retrieved them later).
I got so flustered by it all that I just put the
entire thing back in the bag, saying I’ll fix it
when I get home. Next day (yesterday) I “tried”
to do just that – WHAT A MESS! I tried MANY
times to get the stitches back on the needles
and (somehow) be able to figure out just where
I was in the SIX rows of the pattern . . . let’s just
say it wasn’t a pretty sight. I got really upset and
threw it across the room (and it takes a LOT to
get me upset! . . . I did that TWO times! I was
ready to just give up so I put it down.) Mentioned
to my husband how upset I was about it – this
was the THIRD time I’ve had that happen with
my adjustable circular needles; he said: “Bring
it to me and let me see.” Good thing! By using
a flashlight he was able to see that one of the
two locking pins on the cables had worn off –
making it VERY easy for the cable to come off
of the needle! He even went on line and looked
up the company that made them and found
out they sell JUST the cables! $4.00 and I can
have a new cable! (The complete set costs
$65.00; I was so upset I had even entertained
the idea of ordering a completely NEW set!)
I bought these, used, from a friend – I’ve had
them about 4 years and use them all the time;
who knows how long she used them before me?
Anyway, I now have TWO brand new 16 inch
cables coming in the mail – YAY! After all that,
the baby afghan is FINALLY back on track –
and, NO, I’m not planning on taking it back
to Knit Night! Stick to what you know, Pammie!
ONLY bring SIMPLE stuff to work on!

So much for the excitement in my life, eh?

Hope you have a GREAT day/evening! Enjoy
this weather ’cause it will SOON ENOUGH
change!

Hugs;

Pammie

Beautiful DAY!

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Today is the kind of day for relaxing (like the clip above) – the sun is shining, it’s a lovely temperature 79 degrees F., light breeze – perfect ‘End of Summer’ Holiday-day! We don’t have any special plans for the day – just enjoying the sunshine, for it won’t be too long and the temps will drop, the leaves will start falling and BOOM! We’re into Fall! (not my favorite time of year).

The ‘crazy’ grandson-sitting possible schedule of last week has mellowed out greatly: as it stands we only have to pick him up after school at his bus stop and drive him to football practice 2 days – that’s it! WHEW! So glad that’s straightened out!

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

Peanut Butter Custard Blast

2 C. Oreo cookie crumbs
2 T. sugar
1/3 C. butter, melted

Filling:
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. cornstarch
2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 C. milk
6 large egg yolks, beaten
1 C. creamy peanut butter

Topping:
2 C. heavy whipping cream
1 T. powdered sugar
6 peanut butter cups, chopped
1/2 C. chopped salted peanuts
2 T. chocolate syrup

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl combine cookie
crumbs & sugar; stir in butter &
press into bottom of a greased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 8 minutes
until set; cool on wire rack.
Filling:
In large saucepan combine sugar,
cornstarch, flour & salt; stir in
milk until smooth. Cook & stir
over medium-high heat until
thickened & bubbly. Reduce heat
& cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove
from heat & stir a small amount of
hot mixture into egg yolks; return
all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring
to a gentle boil, cook & stir 2 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir 1 C. peanut
butter in until smooth. Gently stir
peanut butter mixture into pan then
pour over crust. Cool to room
temperature. Cover & refrigerate
at least 2 hours.

In large bowl beat cream until it begins
to thicken; add powdered sugar & beat
until stiff peaks form. Spread over peanut
butter mixture then sprinkle with peanut
butter cups & peanuts. Drizzle top with
chocolate syrup. Serves 15

To Prepare ahead:
After peanut butter custard is poured over
crust, refrigerate overnight. Before serving,
top with sweetened whipped cream, peanuts,
peanut butter candy & chocolate drizzle

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

Baked Rueben Dip

1 (32 oz) jar sauerkraut, rinsed/
well drained
10 oz. sliced deli corned beef,
chopped
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. Russian salad dressing
1 tsp. caraway seeds, optional
rye crackers

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix first 6
ingredients; stir in caraway
seeds, if using. Spray a 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick spray &
pour mixture into dish. Bake
25-30 minutes until bubbly. Serve
with crackers. Makes 8 cups

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

Pork Chop/Garden Veggie
Rice Bake

8 (1 inch thick) pork chops
salt/pepper, to taste
1 tsp. paprika
2 T. oil
2 T. butter
1 carrot, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 C. fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. green onions, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian-style diced
tomatoes, drained
1 3/4 C. chicken broth
1 C. long grain rice (must be
this kind of rice)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter & oil in dutch oven over
high heat. Once hot, add chops &
brown 3 minutes per side – continue
until all chops are cooked. Remove
chops & add carrots, bell pepper &
mushrooms to pot. Reduce heat to
medium-high & cook, stirring
occasionally, 3 minutes. Add broth,
rice & diced tomatoes – bring to boil
then reduce to simmer, stirring
occasionally 5 minutes. Pour rice/veggie
mixture into a greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. (It will seem like a lot of liquid &
too little rice but it will change when
cooked). Top mixture with chops & cover
dish with foil. Bake 1 hour. Serves 4-6

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

Citrus Grilled Chicken

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts or thighs (or comb. of both)
2 T. fresh lemon juice
juice of 1 orange
2 fresh sprigs rosemary, removed
from stem & chopped (about 3-4 T.)
2 T. olive oil + more for grilling

Place all ingredients in zip lock bag &
marinate at room temp. 30 minutes –
one hour. Heat grill to High on one side
and Low on the other. Discard marinade
& pat chicken dry. Brush chicken with oil
& place on hot side – leave on for a few
minutes to sear; flip & repeat then move
them to cool side & close cover. Cook
5-10 minutes depending on how thick
the meat is. Poke Test: push on thickest
part of meat; if it bounces back it is
probably done or close to done. If your
finger leaves an impression, it is still
uncooked. If you have to, pull one off
& cut into thickest part of one piece
to check. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve.
Serves 4

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

Crockpot Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

2 medium zucchini (sliced into quarter
inch rounds)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 C. cottage cheese
1 C. Parmesan cheese (shredded)
1 (12 oz) roll ground sausage, browned/
drained of excess grease
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce

Place sliced zucchini in a strainer; salt
rounds with a pinch of salt & let stand
15-20 minutes. Water from zucchini
will drip out of strainer – make sure you
have a bowl under strainer. Rinse off
zucchini & dry with a paper towel. In
medium bowl combine cream cheese,
cottage cheese & Parm. cheese – use
a hand mixer to mix until smooth. Spray
insides of crockpot with nonstick spray &
layer half of zucchini on bottom. Spread
half of pasta sauce on top & half of
cheese mixture – repeat layers. If desired,
sprinkle top with additional Parm. cheese.
Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours (or) Low
4-6 hours. Serves 6-8

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

Crunchy Taco Cups
(appetizers)

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. taco seasoning ( 3 T.)
6 oz. diced tomatoes
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
6 large flour tortillas

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large skillet brown ground beef & drain;
transfer to a bowl. Add taco seasoning,
tomatoes, chiles & stir to combine. Cut
tortillas into a square shape & cut each into
4 smaller equally sized square pieces.
Generously spray a standard sized muffin
tin with nonstick spray. Line each cup
with a tortilla square. Add 1 1/2 T. of
taco mixture to each cup & top with
1 T. cheese – press down & add another
layer of tortilla square, taco mixture &
a final layer of cheese. Lightly brush
tops edges of tortilla squares with
cooking oil. Bake 18-20 minutes until
cups are heated through & edges are
golden brown. Makes 12 cups

(recipe: buzzfeed.com)
—————————————

Do Nothing Cake

2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (16 oz) can crushed pineapple,
undrained

Icing:
1/2 C. butter
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. evaporated milk
1 C. flake coconut
1 C. chopped nuts (your choice)
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. Place first 6 ingredients in
a bowl; mix until blended & pour
into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Icing:
Mix butter, sugar & evap. milk in
a saucepan & cook over medium
heat until a little thickened – about
5 minutes after reaching a boil.
Remove from heat & add
remaining ingredients; stir & pour
over hot cake.

(recipe: tastypinch.com)

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

Diet-wise, I’m down 12.4 lb. (after 3 weeks). It’s slow-
going but I’m still plugging at it. I would ‘like’ to get
down to 145 (I’m at 174 now) – we’ll see where this
goes.

Still working on the yellow baby blanket for Crisis
Pregnancy – it’s a beautiful pattern (6 rows, every
other row is just Purl) but it’s the kind of pattern
where, once you’ve made it through 6 rows, you’re
ready to do something else! This will be a slow-
going afghan; I have about 16 inches done now.
Also working on a rather simple scarf for the other
knit group that collects hats, scarves, mittens &
gloves for the homeless. Every year I say I’m done
knitting for them and then . . . I feel the urge to
knit a few scarves. THIS time I happened to bump
into some really pretty purples/dark blues/dark
greens (think peacock feather colors) yarn that
someone recently gave me and, when I originally
got it (about a month ago) I really didn’t have
ANY idea what to make with it (just knew I LOVED
the colors!). This time when I found it I immediately
knew it would make a really pretty scarf (or more);
another ‘gonna take awhile’ project, but that’s OK –
I have time.

Not much else new around here – I made pierogies &
sausages for dinner last night and it looks like that
might be dinner tonight, too.

Hope you all are having a nice, relaxing holiday!

Hugs;

Pammie

Things are LOOKING UP!

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Some days are more crazy than others – remember my ‘babysitting situation’ for next week? The crazy driving schedule? Now it’s looking like I’ll only have to pick up grandson ONCE at bus stop, get him some food then take him to football practice (No overnight stays/drive to school next morning) – YAY! Still awaiting the ‘final’ schedule, but it’s MUCH better than it was a few days ago! YAY!

Tuesday night was the final drop off of all the knit/crocheted baby items and it was CRAZY-HECTIC! We had over 22 ladies crammed into a very small space but you could ‘feel’ the excitement/anticipation in the air – they were ALL excited for the event. There was a total of 75 items donated. I took pictures of some of the creations – yesterday I sat down with my camera to download the photos onto my site and . . . NO PICTURES! The computer said there was ZERO pictures to download – WHAT? I did everything I could think of – nothing. I prayed on it and just before falling asleep last night I had a quick thought of checking one more place. I just did that and YES! The computer had tucked them away but I FOUND THEM! Those dear ladies took all that time to create all those sweet items – then entrusted them to me to photo (some didn’t have time to take a picture of their item(s) themselves, so it made me SICK thinking I messed up.) It was a busy/hectic evening but I’m SO PROUD of all the ladies did for that charity!

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

No-Melt Sundae Pie

15 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
3 T. butter, melted
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed/
divided
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. Jell-o instant pudding
mix
1 C. cold milk
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/3 C. canned sweetened condensed
milk

Combine cookie crumbs & butter; press
onto bottom & up sides of 9″ pie plate.
Reserve 1/2 C. Cool Whip; refrigerate
until ready to use. Beat pudding mix &
milk in medium bowl using whisk
2 minutes. Stir in remaining Cool Whip &
spoon into crust. Mix melted chocolate
& condensed milk; spoon over pie. Swirl
gently using a knife. Freeze 6 hours or
until firm. Let pie stand at room temp.
15 minutes before serving to soften
slightly. Top with reserved Cool Whip.
Serves 10

(recipe: Kraft recipes)
——————————————–

Spinach/Ricotta/Zucchini Rolls

2 large/wide zucchini, washed
(unpeeled)
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes (or
pasta sauce of your choice)
1 (18 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed
1 (18 oz) tub ricotta cheese
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp. garlic
powder)
3/4 C. mozzarella cheese, divided
salt, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spread half pasta sauce on bottom of
a shallow baking dish. Slice zucchini
very thinly, lengthwise, to create
ribbons. Place spinach in a large bowl
& squeeze out any excess liquid (discard
liquid). Mix ricotta, eggs, garlic & 1/2 C.
mozzarella cheese into spinach until
all ingredients are well combined. Add
salt, to taste. Place 2 zucchini ‘ribbons’
on top of each other & spoon 1-2 T.
ricotta mixture on smallest end – roll
up to form a roll & place in prepared
baking dish, open end facing up – repeat
with remaining zucchini/spinach mixture.
Pour remaining sauce over rolls & top with
remaining cheese. Bake 20-30 minutes
until cheese is golden & bubbling; zucchini
is soft when tested with a fork or toothpick.
Serves 6

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

Grill Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
Foil Packets
(& oven recipe, also)

1 C. Manwich original sloppy joe
sauce
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
10 oz. frozen cut sweet potatoe
fries (about 20 pieces)
2 medium ears fresh sweet corn,
husks removed/quartered
4 thick-cut boneless pork chops
(4 chops=1 1/3 lb)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 T. chopped green onions

Preheat gas grill for medium-high
heat. Combine Manwich & mustard
in small bowl. Place four 18″ X 12″
pieces heavy duty aluminum foil on
counter. Spray each with nonstick
spray. Evenly place sweet potatoes
& corn on each piece of foil then
top with pork. Sprinkle pork with
salt/pepper & spoon sauce over top.
Double told top & ends of each
foil, leaving space for steam to gather.
Place packets on grill & cover. Grill
15 minutes until pork is cooked
through (145 degrees F.) and corn is
tender. Carefully open packets; sprinkle
with green onions & serve. Serves 4

Oven Method:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Assemble packets as above; place
packets on shallow pan & bake
25 minutes until pork is cooked
through (145 degrees F.)

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

Dilled Cucumber Salad

1/2 C. plain yogurt
1/4 C. Italian salad dressing
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 large cucumbers, halved
lengthwise & sliced (3 C.)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
drained
1/4 C. thinly sliced red onion
1/8 tsp. salt

Stir together yogurt, dressing & dill
in large bowl. Add remaining
ingredients & stir gently to combine.
Serve immediately or chill 1 hour
before serving. Serves 6

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
———————————

Chive & Onion Hash Brown
Potatoes

1 1/2 C. Half & Half cream
1 (8 oz) tub spreadable chive &
onion cream cheese
2 T. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 (20 oz, ea) pkgs. refrigerated
shredded hash brown potatoes
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
3 T. minced fresh chives, divided
2 T. butter, cubed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a
Dutch oven. Cook & stir over
medium heat until blended; stir
in potatoes. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray & layer
1/3 of hash brown mixture and
2/3 Swiss cheese – sprinkle with
1 T. chives. Repeat layers & top
with remaining hash brown mixture &
cheese – dot top with butter. Bake,
covered with foil, 35 minutes. Uncover
& bake another 10-12 minutes until
edges begin to brown & potatoes
are heated through. Let stand 10
minutes before serving. Sprinkle
with remaining chives. Makes
12 (3/4 C. each) servings

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

Chicken Crescent Bake

1 (8 count) tube (regular sized)
crescent rolls
2 c. shredded, cooked chicken
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. instant minced onin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch pepper
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan or Romano
cheese

Sauce:
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken
or mushroom soup
1 soup can milk (pour milk into empty
soup can)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl combine
chicken, cream cheese, minced onion,
garlic powder, salt/pepper, cheese. In
another bowl mix soup with milk, stir so
it’s smooth. Separate crescent dough into
8 triangles; place about 1/4 C. chicken
mixture on wide base of roll, roll up
& seal, pinching sides together so filling
is completely enclosed – place rolls in
dish, making 2 rows of 4 crescents in each
row – leave space on all sides for sauce.
Pour sauce around rolls, avoiding covering
rolls with sauce or they will not brown & will
be soggy. Sprinkle roll tops with grated cheese
& bake 30-35 minutes until tops are browned.
Makes 8

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

Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars

3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 C. quick oats
1/3 C. applesauce
1/4 C. milk
1 egg
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 C. (YOUR CHOICE):
dried cherries, chopped walnuts
chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together in a
bowl. Line a 9″ X 9″ baking dish
with parchment paper & scoop
batter into pan – smooth out top.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden &
mostly firm to the touch. Allow to
cool then cut into squares. Store
leftovers in fridge. Makes 24 squares

(Recipe: allfortheboys.com)

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

Weather-wise it’s been nice – in the 70’s, sunny and I heard
today it’s supposed to stay that way all through the weekend.
That’s great for those planning outdoor events or cook outs!
(For us, it’s the same – stay home, do nothing . . . but relax).

Gas prices are OK – got gas today for $2.29/9 at my local
Clark.

Weight-wise I FINALLY lost 12 lbs – that’s 12 lbs in TWO MONTHS!
(Oh well, I didn’t put it on overnight, so it’s not coming off quickly,
either – right?). Went to one of my doctors for a annual check up
today and he was happy. He would like my weight/height to match
the (suggested) BMI – as he told me: “Only 3 more pounds, Pam!”
I’m really hoping to just keep going on the weight loss – no fun, but
it’s helping keep my diabetes blood numbers much better, too and
that’s really what I need to keep in mind when I start getting
discouraged and sick of not eating much. (Lately Dean’s cottage
cheese has become my friend – I really like their small curd – fills
me up and it can be eaten quickly!).

Hope you’re doing well and enjoying this ‘tail-end’ of summer;
next week school starts here on Tuesday.

Hugs;

Pammie

 

SURPRISE! . . . WOW!

Yesterday was certainly NOT your average day. I finally got youngest son to agree to ‘do his cake & picture’ – he turned 22 on Saturday but was never around to do it until yesterday. In the photo you can see he was tired, but agreed:

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Happy 22, Eric!

(that’s a Dairy Queen Reese’s Ice cream cake!)

Yesterday also was the day my oldest invited us over for a family dinner – the food was fantastic! New York strip steaks, grilled to perfection including caramelized onions & mushrooms, baked potatoes, grilled asparagus (I’d never had it grilled before – phenomenal flavor!), my Greek salad, appetizers: sliced Cheddar & Pepper Jack cheeses, sliced salami, Brie cheese ‘en croute’ (wrapped in phyllo dough) & crackers. We all ate until we were stuffed. The entire dinner party included myself, my husband, middle son, oldest son/his girlfriend & our grandson, and her Mom (her dad had pulled his back earlier & couldn’t come). Finally the decided to bring out the cake – mind you, we were STUFFED! Out came a big bakery box from a local bakery that is well known for wonderful baked goods. Son opens the box & places the cake on the table with a grin. We’re all talking, not really taking in ‘the cake’. I look over & notice something on the top – two baby pacifiers! Her Mom kept talking and finally my son’s girlfriend said: “Mom, look at the cake!” Her mom walks over, starts reading the top and screams/cries! The cake is decorated in pink & blue dots – in the middle is a sign that says: “We’re having a baby!” There’s also a little teddy bear on top. Both sets of parents have talked about how great our ‘kids’ are together; they are both SUPER happy together – I’m still in shock. From what I’m told, the baby’s due date is March 1st – Wow…just WOW! It’s been TEN years since our last baby – I have since given away almost all baby ‘stuff’. There’s a few things I kept – just in case: small baby swing, big battery-operated swing, some toys. Of course, that ‘news’ got me thinking: lots of visits to Good Will, Salvation Army, etc. for baby items for OUR house. They were talking baby showers and it’s been decided that she doesn’t have that many close ‘girl’ friends to have just a ‘girl’ shower, so they’re going to have a (not sure what it’s called) combined? shower – guys & girls together. Well, my thoughts are: as soon as we find out the sex, it’s time for me to get started KNITTING – FOR SURE! All I kept saying last night was: “WOW – JUST WOW!” They, of course, are THRILLED and so is my grandson; he & his dad want a boy – I & girlfriend want a GIRL! We’ll see what transpires – what a surprise!

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

Sweet ‘n Salty Ice Cream Sandwiches

32 saltine crackers
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 (8 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. toasted, sliced almonds
2-3 C. vanilla ice cream, softened 5
minutes at room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line two 9 X 9″ baking pans with foil &
spray with nonstick spray. Line up 16
crackers, salt sites up, in bottom of each
pan. In small saucepan, melt butter & sugar
over medium heat 3-5 minutes until melted –
whisk to emulsify then stir in vanilla. Pour
half of mixture over each tray of crackers;
spread evenly to cover crackers. Bake
10-15 minutes until topping is bubbly &
edges have just started to darken. Sprinkle
chocolate chips over topping & let stand
5 minutes until melted; spread choc. chips
in even layer then top with sliced almonds.
Freeze both pans 15-30 minutes until solid.
Remove from freezer & carefully peel off
foil from bottoms. Line one of the pans with
plastic wrap then put a sheet of the crackers
in it, chocolate-side down. Scoop softened
ice cream onto crackers & spread out in an
even layer. Lightly press the other choc. covered
sheet over top of ice cream layer (choc. side up)
& freeze 6-8 hours until solid, then cut into
sandwiches.

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

Sauted Zucchini & Sweet Corn

2 T. butter
2 C. zucchini or summer squash,
halved & sliced
1/2 C. onion, diced
1/3 c. green bell pepper, diced
2 C. fresh sweet corn, cut from cob,
(can also use frozen/thawed)
1 T. fresh chopped parsley
1 T. fresh chopped basil
salt/pepper, to taste

Melt butter over medium heat in
medium saute pan; add zucchini,
onion & green pepper – saute
4-5 minutes. Add corn & saute
3-4 minutes longer. Season with
salt/pepper & stir in parsley &
basil. Remove from heat & serve.

(recipe: hoteatsandcoolreads.com)
—————————————

3-Ingredient Chicken

2 packets dry Italian salad dressing
mix
1/2 C. brown sugar
6-8 chicken thighs (or your choice),
skin on

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a metal rimmed baking sheet
with foil. Place brown sugar & dry
mixes in a large zip-lock bag – shake
to  mix. Add chicken pieces to bag &
shake to coat then place pieces on
prepared sheet, skin sides up. Bake
35 minutes for thighs, longer for
thicker pieces, like breasts – until
juices run clear.

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)
—————————————

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced*
1 1/4 C. soft bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 T. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce,
divided
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4-5 medium zucchini
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl combine first 11
ingredients & one can tomato sauce; mix
well. Stir in tomatoes. Half zucchini
lengthwise; scoop out seeds & fill with
meat mixture. Spray two 9 X 13″ baking dishes
with nonstick spray & place zucchini boats
in greased dishes. Spoon remaining tomato
sauce over top of each. Bake, uncovered, 45
minutes until zucchini is tender. Sprinkle tops
with cheese during last few minutes of
cooking time. Serves 8-10

*Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot
peppers, the oils can burn your skin. Avoid
touching your face.

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

Mozzarella/Tomato/Basil Frittata

12 large eggs
1/2 C. whole milk
2 T. olive oil
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled/
sliced
1 lb. fresh or smoked mozzarella,
diced
2 T. slivered basil leaves
salt/fresh ground black pepper

Preheat broiler
In large bowl whisk eggs with milk.
Pour 1 T. oil into very large oven-
proof skillet (or use 2 skillets with
half the ingredients in each). Place
over medium heat & pour in egg
mixture. Scatter tomatoes, cheese &
basil over top & season with salt/
pepper. When bottom just begins to
brown, place skillet under broiler
just until the top is set, 1 minute or
less. Remove from oven & use a large
spatula to transfer frittata to a
serving platter. Cool about 10 minutes
then cut into wedges & serve.
Serves 12

(recipe: cookstr.com)
—————————————

Country Apple Fritter Bread

Bread:
1/3 C. light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 C. white sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. milk
2 apples, peeled/chopped mixed
with:
2 T. granulated sugar & 1
tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1-3 T. milk or cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 5″ loaf pan with nonstick
spray or line with foil then spray
with nonstick spray. Mix brown sugar
& cinnamon in a bowl. In another
medium bowl beat white sugar & butter
using elec. mixer until smooth & creamy.
Beat in eggs, 1-at-a-time, until blended; add
vanilla. Combine & whisk flour & baking
powder in another bowl & add into creamed
butter mixture – stir until blended. Mix milk
into batter until smooth; pour half batter
into prepared pan; add half apple mixture,
then half brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Lightly pat apple mixture into batter. Pour
remaining batter over apple layer & top with
remaining apple mixture, then brown sugar/
cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apples into
batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through
apples using a knife or spoon. Bake 50-60
minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Remove from oven
& allow to cool 15 minutes before drizzling
with glaze.
Glaze:
Mix powdered sugar & milk or cream until
well mixed then drizzle over loaf.
Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: thebakingchocolatess.com)

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

I was happy with the way the Greek salad turned
out; I just went on-line and looked over various
salad recipes then concocted my own. Ingredients
were:
——————
chopped romaine lettuce (almost 2 heads)
chopped iceburg lettuce (1 head)
sliced cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 pints)
peeled/sliced cucumbers (1 1/2)
chopped green bell pepper (1)
sliced/pitted Kalamata olives (half a jar)
sliced purple onion (small amount – it was
VERY potent!)
feta cheese (about 1/2 – 3/4 C.)
small amount toasted, chopped garlic (2 T. ?)
KROGER brand Greek salad dressing

I made a large amount (am actually thinking
of recreating it for the Sunday School picnic
this Saturday – we’ll see). There was enough
left over for us to leave some at son’s house
AND bring a rather large bowl home (half of
which became my breakfast!) Weight-wise, let’s
just say: I PIGGED OUT! Had steak, asparagus,
2 helpings salad and a very tiny amount of cake,
minus the frosting. Getting on scales today was
‘as expected’ . . . it read: GET BACK ON YOUR DIET,
WOMAN!” hehehe.

Well, now I wear 2 hats: one for a 10 year old
grandson and one for a yet-to-be-born baby
grandchild! AMAZING!

Hugs;

Pammie

Yep, it’s STILL hot out there! (but it’s August)

129924661804kvb7

Had to make a quick run to the grocery store a little earlier – my car thermometer said 88 degrees F.; it’s sunny and a GORGEOUS baby-blue sky with great big wispy clouds – if I were a sail boat person, it would be THAT kind of a day.

This evening our oldest son (the Exec. Chef) invited us over for dinner – he loves entertaining and wants to do this, every once in awhile. Also coming will be his girlfriend’s parents – we all get along great, so it should be a really FUN time. He’s making New York strip steaks & twice-baked potatoes; I’m bringing a Greek salad – he let me know they are ‘good’ on dessert, mentioning something about we have the cakes already. Cakes? I’m wondering why cakes – plural, but guess I’ll find out later, right?

Gas prices in our area have jumped up a bit – I should have taken advantage of them when they were $2.16/9 but now they’re up to $2.29/9 – not terribly bad, but would have liked the lower price – sigh.

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

Chocolate Bliss S’mores

1/2 C. butter, melted
2 C. crushed graham crackers
1/2 C. chopped M & M’s (peanut
butter flavored)
1/2 C. chopped M & M’s peanut
1 C. chopped Milky Way Midnight
miniatures
1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with nonstick
spray then line with parchment paper.
In large bowl mix butter & graham
crumbs; press onto bottom of prepared
pan. Sprinkle chopped M & M’s &
Milky Way bars on top of crust. Bake
12-15 minutes until candy is melted &
slightly golden. Remove & cover
generously with  mini marshmallows.
Return to oven & bake another 10
minutes until marshmallows are golden
on top. Cool on rack & sprinkle with
some remaining graham crumbs, if
desired. Let cool completely before
cutting.

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

Sweet Cola Ribs
(Grill)

1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 C. ketchup
1 can cola
1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 T. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 T. onion powder
1/2 T. ground mustard
1/2 T. lemon juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Dry Rub:

2 T. salt
2 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. black pepper

2 racks pork spare ribs (about
3 lb. each)

Sauce:
In medium saucepan over medium
heat, add oil. Once heated, add onion &
garlic; saute until tender. Add all remaining
sauce ingredients & bring to boil. Reduce
heat to simmer & cook, uncovered, stirring
frequently, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Dry Rub:
Whisk all dry rub ingredients together in
small bowl. (this can be stored in an airtight
container up to 6 months).

Ribs:
Rinse & dry ribs; place on clean cutting
board. Pull off membrane & trim ribs of
excess fat. Liberally season both sides of
ribs with rub. Wrap ribs with plastic wrap
& refrigerate 4-12 hours so flavors can
permeate.
=
Preheat grill to 250 degrees F. using
hickory and charcoal. Set up grill for
indirect heat.
Place ribs, meatier sides down, on grill
away from coals; close cover & cook
1 hr 15 minutes, flipping several times
for an even cook. Coat ribs with sauce,
reserving some for dipping later. Cook
another 20 minutes. Serves 4

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

Grilled Seafood Boil Foil
Packets
(& oven method)

2 T. salted butter, softened
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
3/4 lb. peeled/deveined shrimp,
thawed if frozen, patted dry
1/3 lb. bay scallops, foot removed,
thawed if frozen, patted dry
1 T. canola oil
3/4 tsp. seafood seasoning (like
Old Bay)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
2 medium ears fresh sweet corn,
husks removed, halved, crosswise
2 1/2 C. red potatoes, chopped*
2 links andouille sausage, sliced
1 C. lager beer
2 T. chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf
parsley

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Combine butter & lemon peel in
small bowl. Combine shrimp,
scallops, oil, seafood seasoning,
garlic powder & cayenne in another
bowl; toss to coat. Place four 18″ X
12″ pieces of heavy duty aluminum
foil on counter – spray with nonstick
spray. Divide & evenly place corn &
potatoes on each piece of foil – top
each with some seafood mixture &
sausage slices. Fold edges of foil
upward; pour 1/4 C. beer into each
packet. Double fold top & ends of
each piece of foil, leaving space for
steam to gather. Place packets on
grate, cover. Grill 15-20 minutes until
seafood is cooked through (145 degrees
F.) and vegetables are tender. Carefully
open packets. Divide lemon butter
evenly & place on each piece of corn.
Sprinkle each with parsley & serve.
Serves 4

Oven method:
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Prepare packets as above; place
on shallow pan & bake 25-30
minutes until seafood is cooked
through (145 degrees F.) and
potatoes are tender.

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
—————————————-
BLT Macaroni Salad

1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked
accordg. to pkg. directions,
drained & cooled
1 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped baby
spinach

In large bowl combine mayonnaise,
garlic, salt/pepper – add cooked
pasta & remaining ingredients. Mix
well, cover & refrigerate until ready
to serve. Serves 12

NOTE: you may add a little more
mayonnaise before serving if it’s a
bit too dry

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)
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Sauteed Zucchini, Bacon & Tomatoes

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced thin
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, to taste

Cook bacon in pan until crisp, remove
from pan, drain grease & wipe out pan
with paper towel until there is only a
small amount of grease left in pan. Sauteed
sliced zucchini 10 minutes until cooked,
sprinkle with a little salt. Add tomatoes,
garlic & bacon to pan & cook 1-2 minutes
more. Makes 1 serving.

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

Pineapple/Pecan/Chicken Salad

3 C. cooked/chopped chicken breasts
1 C. finely chopped celery
2 green onions, sliced (about 3 T.)
2 T. finely chopped green pepper
1 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 T. lemon juice

Combine chicken, celery, green onion,
green pepper, salt/pepper & mayo
in a bowl – mix well. Stir in pecans,
pineapple & lemon juice. Chill about
30 minutes before serving to allow
flavors to meld.

(recipe: thekitchenismyplayground)
————————————-

Ambrosia Salad

1 (29 oz) can fruit cocktail, drained
1 (8 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 C. maraschino cherries, drained/
rinsed & cut in half
1 (1 oz) box cheesecake-flavor Pudding
mix
8 oz. sour cream
3 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. miniature marshmallows

Drain all fruit – if it was packed in syrup,
rinse in cold water & drain. Combine fruit
cocktail, pineapple, mandarin oranges &
cherries in large bowl – sprinkle with dry
cheesecake-flavored pudding mix & stir
to coat. Add sour cream & Cool Whip –
stir well. Fold in marshmallows & chill
at least 1 hour before serving.

(recipe: recipelion.com)

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

Not much new around here, finally got the
‘when do we watch the grandson’ schedule
ironed out. Turns out it’s not too bad: this
week we have him all day Thurs & Friday.
Next week just Thurs. and, if all stays the
same, we’re ‘off’ for the rest of the month!
Son said it looks like it will be every Thurs.
& every other Friday when school starts –
we’ll see.

Oh! Wanted to include an actual photo
of my really pretty plant: CELOSIA

101_0317

Even THIS photo doesn’t do it justice – the bottom
of the plumes are darker magenta and so are the
tips – the middles are sort of a white/pink hue –
REALLY pretty (and, so far . . . fingers crossed . . .
I’m keeping it alive!) YAY!

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie