Happy Cinco de Mayo!

This was not a planned post, it just happened to fall on Mexico’s Fifth of May celebrations; “the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s  victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.” (during the Franco-Mexican War; quote from Google) Since most of us like (or love) SOME form of Mexican cuisine, I thought I’d post some tasty Mexican recipes for you today. (Mind you, these are NOT authentic – just simple & tasty)

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

Easy Speedy Taco Bake

2 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1 C. diced onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
2/3 C. water
4 T. taco seasoning mix
1 can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 C. shredded cheese, divided
(poster used Mexican blend)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. milk
1 1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix

For Serving:
sour cream,  shredded lettuce,
chopped tomatoes, sliced black
olives, shredded cheese, salsa

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large skillet
brown meat over medium heat
until no longer pink; drain. Add
chopped onion, garlic, water &
taco seasoning; bring to boil &
reduce heat. Simmer until onions
have softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in beans & green chilies.
Transfer meat to prepared dish &
sprinkle with 1 C. cheese. In large
bowl, combine Bisquick, eggs &
milk until moistened; pour
mixture over meat mixture evenly.
Bake 20-25 minutes until top is
lightly browned & a toothpick
inserted into center comes out clean.
Top with sour cream, cheese, lettuce,
tomatoes, olives, salsa,

(recipe: kitchenmeetsgirl.com)
————————–
Mexican Stuffed Shells

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
4 oz. cream cheese
16 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 C. salsa
1 c. taco sauce
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded Monterrey Jack
cheese
3 green onions, chopped
1 (or more) C. sour cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ (or larger) baking
dish with nonstick spray (pan
needs to be large enough to hold
16 stuffed JUMBO shells)
Brown beef in skillet & season
with taco seasoning mix (accordg.
to pkg. directions). Mix in cream
cheese; simmer, covered, until
cream cheese melts – stir & let cool.
Cook shells accordg. to pkg.
directions. Pour salsa into bottom
of prepared dish & spread around.
Stuff shells with beef mixture &
arrange in baking dish over salsa.
Pour taco sauce over shells &
cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, top with shredded
cheeses & bake 10-15 minutes longer,
uncovered. Top with green onions &
sour cream & serve.

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

Taco Cornbread Casserole

1 (8 1/2 oz) pkg. cornbread/
muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 C. milk
3 C. hamburger

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
(water for mix – accordg. to
pkg. directions)

1 can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (8 oz) C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Colby Jack,
Cheddar or Mexican cheese/
divided
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 C. shredded lettuce
1 can sliced ripe olives (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix cornbread mix,
egg & milk until well blended. Spray
8 X 8″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
Spread cornbread mixture into pan,
spread evenly & bake 15 minutes.
Taco meat: Cook hamburger in skillet;
drain & add taco seasoning mix & water
(as per pkg. directions).
Mix cooked taco meat & black beans;
layer over cornbread. In a bowl mix
sour cream, 3/4 C. cheese & onion-
spread over meat mixture. Bake
20-25 minutes. Remove from oven,
top with tomatoes, lettuce &
1/4 C. cheese – serve.

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

Foil-Pack Chicken Fajita Dinner

1 1/2 C. instant white rice,
uncooked
1 1/2 C. hot water
1 T. taco seasoning mix
4 small boneless skinless
chicken breasts (1 lb)
1 green bell pepper cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 C. chunky salsa
1/2 C. Mexican-style shredded
taco cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Tear off 4 large sheets heavy-duty
foil – then fold up all sides to form
a 1 inch rim – spray with nonstick
spray. Combine rice, water & taco
seasoning; spoon onto foil & top
with remaining ingredients. Bring
up sides of foil & fold to make 4
packets. Place packets in a 15 X
10 X 1 inch pan. Bake 30-35 minutes
until chicken is done (165 degrees F.)
Cool 5 minutes then cut slits in
foil to release steam before
opening. Serves 4

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
——————————-
Creamy Burrito Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
6 large flour tortillas
1 can refried beans (regular size)
2-3 C. shredded taco or Cheddar
cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 oz. sour cream (8 T.)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown beef & onion in skillet; drain
fat. Add taco seasoning; stir in refried
beans. Mix soup & sour cream in a
separate bowl & spread half of mixture
in bottom of a casserole dish. Tear up
3 tortillas & spread over mixture in
dish. Place half of meat/onion mixture
on top, add a layer of cheese & repeat
layers. Sprinkle cheese on top & bake,
uncovered, 20-30 minutes

(recipe: Mary Free-“Marys Recipe
Exchange)
—————————————-

Homemade Dulce De Leche

(Mexican Caramel sauce)

1 can sweetened condensed milk
(NOT evaporated milk)

OVEN METHOD:

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Pour contents of can into a oven-
proof dish; sprinkle top with some
kosher salt & tightly cover with foil.
Place covered dish in a larger roasting
or casserole pan – fill pan with water
until it reaches three-quarters up sides
of covered dish to create a water bath.
Place in oven 60-90 minutes, checking
every 30 minutes on water level & adding
more if needed. Dulche de Leche is ready
when it takes on a brown, caramel-like
appearance. Remove from oven & whisk to
smoothness. Let cool before using.

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

Jalapeno Spinach Dip
(crockpot)

2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen
chopped spinach, thawed/
squeezed dry
2 (8 oz, ea) cream cheese,
softened
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. Half & Half cream
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped/seeded
jalapeno peppers*
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill weed

tortilla chips, for dipping

In 1 1/2 qt. crockpot combine
first 10 ingredients. Cover &
cook on Low 2-3 hours or until
heated through. Serve with
chips. Makes 16 (1/4 C. each)
servings.

*Wear disposable or rubber
kitchen gloves when cutting
hot peppers; the oils can
burn the skin. Avoid touching
your face.

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

12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 3/4 C. ricotta cheese
4 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 C. chunky salsa
2 T. taco seasoning (dry)

Toppings:
1 T. green onions, chopped
sour cream
chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray. Brown
ground beef in large skillet,
drain & stir in taco seasoning.
In medium bowl mix egg with
ricotta cheese until well combined.
Place 4 lasagna noodles in bottom
of prepared pan; spread 1/3 of
ricotta mixture over noodles,
evenly spoon 1/3 of ground beef
then evenly spread 1/3 of salsa.
Top with 1/3 of Cheddar cheese-
repeat steps, finishing with Cheddar
cheese. Cover with foil & bake
30-40 minutes until heated through.
Turn on broiler, remove foil &
broil top until cheese is lightly
browned. Let cool 5-10 minutes
before cutting. Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
—————————
Chicken Quesadilla Pie

1 large flour tortilla
1 rotisserie chicken, skin
removed, meat shredded
(or 2 chicken breasts, cooked/
shredded & boned)
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
2 C. Mexican-blend cheese,
shredded/divided
1 C. whole milk
1 C. flour
1/3 C. fresh cilantro, finely
chopped (plus extra for garnish)
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt/black pepper, to taste

Garnishes:
fresh, chopped cilantro
sour cream

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9-inch pie plate.
Place tortilla in bottom of plate.
In large bowl combine shredded
chicken, 1 C. cheese, cilantro,
green chilies, chili powder, salt/
pepper – stir until combined then
transfer to tortilla, smoothing into
even layer. In separate bowl whisk
milk, flour & eggs; stir in baking
powder & season with salt. Once
smooth, carefully pour mixture over
chicken filling. Top evenly with
remaining cheese. Bake 20-25
minutes until surface is golden
brown & center is just set. Remove
from oven & let cool 5 minutes
before serving. Slice into wedges
& serve hot, garnished with more
cilantro or sour cream, if desired.

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————————

Mexican Dorito Casserole

2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
1 C. shredded cheese (more if you
like more)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (canned
tomatoes with jalapenos-mild)
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
(or more, if desired)
1 bag regular Nacho Cheese Doritos

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine all ingredients
except Doritos. Spray 2 qt. baking
dish with nonstick spray. Place a layer
of lightly crushed Doritos (about 2 C.)
in bottom of pan, then a layer of
chicken mixture; repeat once, ending
with chicken mixture. Top with more
shredded cheese. Cover & bake 30-35
minutes until bubbling hot.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)

—————

Polvorones de Canele
(Cinnamon Cookies)

1 C. butter
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour

1 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl cream
1/2 C. powdered sugar & butter
until smooth; stir in vanilla.
Combine flour, salt & 1/2 tsp.
cinnamon; stir into creamed
mixture to form a stiff dough.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
Mix 1 C. powdered sugar & 1 tsp.
cinnamon in a pie plate (or
shallow dish); roll balls in
mixture & place on prepared
cookie sheets. Bake 15-20
minutes until browned. Cool
on wire racks. Makes about 20
cookies.

(note: one of people rating these
cookies stated that they taste
MUCH better after cooling – don’t
eat them warm)

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
=======================

It’s been a busy week so far – baby
sat grandson yesterday and will again
(for 2-3 hours) today. He’s really getting
much more social – loves to ‘talk’ to
his mobile or people. Yesterday was
also my very favorite rummage sale at
a very close local church (they used to
hold their sales twice a year but were
having trouble getting enough volunteers
so now they only do ONE a year – I’ve
been patiently waiting for this.) When
I got the request to babysit from 10:30-
5 yesterday I was (to say the least) not
very pleased and went about the house
grumbling to myself. Husband heard me
and volunteered: “What if I watched him
for about an hour while you went to the
sale?” That took some thinking but then
I agreed (after checking with the baby’s
parents). When 1:30 p.m. came I rushed
through the sale (having been there for
so many years I knew exactly where each
department was). Since our middle son
moved out, I perused (very quickly) the
furniture department and found a Papasan
chair covered in navy blue cloth – it even
folds up – for $5.00; grabbed that. Also
found a sweater & blouse for me – total
of my purchases $13.00. (Now I can also
say that, in previous years with MUCH
more time on my hands to look, I’ve
been known to come home with a
big BOX ‘o stuff – books, kitchen items,
clothes, etc. but being pressed for
time, I only hit those areas I knew
I could get through quickly.) I
managed to get back to my son’s
house in a total of 50 minutes!
When I left husband & grandson,
the baby was sleeping – when I came
in the house he was STILL sleeping!
YAY! Thank You, Lord! (I prayed on it,
that the baby would be easy on my
husband). Saturday there are TWO
Mom2Mom sales in our area, both
going at the same time. A “Mom2Mom”
sale is where a bunch of Moms/
Grandmas, etc. get together (usually
in a church or gym) to sell all things
pertaining to babies: clothes, toys,
furniture, etc. I am still looking for
a fold up highchair and relatively
simple baby walker. (Yes, I could
easily buy them new, but since
I won’t be using them constantly,
it makes more sense to my little
“Scottish heart” to buy them at
a reduced price! Nothing like a
jam-packed week to keep me going!
(In fact, earlier I asked my husband:
It IS Friday, isn’t it? It’s been such a
busy/crazy week I forgot what day
it was!).

Hope your week is shaping up
nicely – enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Easter’s coming – SOON!

I looked out today and saw our daffodils are blooming – YAY! Also, all around the area, lots of forsythia are blooming brightly – I love seeing the bright yellow – so cheery!

This has been a rather busy/hectic week (and it’s only Wednesday!) Yesterday (Tuesday) found me babysitting my 6 week old grandson for the day. He’s just coming into something I had not heard of before: The SIX WEEK Growth spurt! (read that – wants to drink CONSTANTLY!) Let’s just say he really kept this grandma hopping – for the first 1 1/2 hours I did nothing but heat up bottles, feed him/change diaper & repeat. Kept thinking: Come on, kid – take a NAP! Finally, after much trying, he did and I got about a 2 hour break (finished reading my book). He’s becoming more aware of things around him so I put him under his crib mobile for awhile and he was fascinated watching it go around while hearing various tunes from it’s music box. (He actually seemed to fancy certain songs over others – kicking his feet and cooing at the mobile during those songs). His Momma went back to work last Friday and will soon have a set schedule – then I’ll be better able to adjust my schedule accordingly.

(that dark spot on his shirt isn’t wet – it’s just a reflection)

6 weeks old, 12 lbs (he’s gotten so long that 3 month pants are too short on him – his Mom & Dad are both tall, so he’s taking after them!)

After babysitting it was time for Knit/Crochet Night (let’s just say I was less energetic than usual) – we had 16 ladies and a new person who used to be one of my bosses when I worked at the Telephone Company over 34 years ago! Good evening!

Along with everything else comes Easter dinner preparations; THIS year we have a new ‘fluke’ – middle son’s new girlfriend is a Vegan – that means NO meats, no animal anything (not even eggs), and no dairy . . . that makes for some difficult menu planning, to say the least. In my little neighborhood we just got a small new Middle Eastern restaurant. I went over their menu selections & even called to ask questions (No, they won’t be open Easter BUT they’re open Saturday). I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to BUY 2 vegetarian dishes for her: Vegetarian Mujaddara (rice & lentils pilaf with caramelized onions) and a Falafel Plate (a deep-fried ball/doughnut or pattie made from ground chick peas, fava beans or both). My oldest son (the chef) is making ham & some other kind of meat and said he would prepare his version of a quinoa salad (very good). My thoughts are: she will have fresh veggies & the 2 veggie dishes – hopefully that will be enough.  I’m also bringing garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, some kind of sweet potatoes and some dessert(s) – the other grandma is doing all the appetizers (and, believe me, she does TONS!). I love all her choices (EXCEPT they are all containing cheeses or milk products, etc.). For a minute I really thought I had a great idea: make deviled eggs! Then it hit me: NO EGGS! UGH! I don’t know yet whether she’s vegan because of a medical condition OR just by choice – guess it really doesn’t matter except it makes a family dinner that much more difficult. (sorry – I’ll get off my soap box now . . .)

===========

No-Bake Crispy Peanut Butter Squares

1 C. smooth peanut butter
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
2 C. corn flakes cereal
1 C. crispy rice cereal
8″ square baking pan, lightly greased

In saucepan over Low heat, stir peanut
butter, butter, brown sugar & corn
syrup until blended & smooth – remove
from heat & stir in vanilla & salt. In
large bowl mix cereals; add peanut
butter mixture & mix well. Press evenly
into prepared pan. Chill 6 hours until
firm; cut into squares. Makes 16 squares

(recipe: cookstr.com)
——————————–

Baked Ham in Cheese Crust

1 (5 lb) fully cooked ham
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple,
drained
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 C. plain bread crumbs
6 T. (3/4 stick) butter, melted
2 T. dry mustard

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a roasting pan with nonstick
spray & place ham in pan. In large
bowl combine remaining ingredients;
mix well. Using your hands, form a
crust by patting pineapple mixture
over ham, completely covering top
& sides (except for cut side).
Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours until ham is
heated through & crust is golden.
Slice & serve. Serves 10

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————-
Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes &
Ham

3 lb. potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 C. diced, cooked ham
1 C. (4 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup (undiluted)
3/4 C. water
1 T. chopped fresh chives
(optional)

Layer half of potato slices, onion,
ham & cheese. Sprinkle with salt
& pepper. Repeat layers with
remaining potatoes, onion, ham
& cheese. In small bowl stir soup
& water – spoon over potato
mixture. Cover & cook on Low
7-8 hours. Sprinkle with chives
before serving (if desired)
Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————–

Creamy Tortellini Skillet

2 C. spaghetti sauce
1 C. Half & Half
2 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. minced onion
1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen tortellini

In large skillet (which has a lid),
add garlic & cook for less than a
minute. Pour spaghetti sauce, Half
& Half & chicken broth in skillet &
stir to combine well. Add frozen
tortellini & mix well with sauce.
Increase heat to boil then reduce
to Low. Cover & cook 12-15 minutes.
Serves 6

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

Parmesan-crusted Cauliflower

1 1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 eggs
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into
bite-sized florets
1 C. vegetable oil

In medium bowl combine bread
crumbs, Parm. cheese, garlic powder,
salt & cayenne pepper – mix well.
In another medium bowl lightly beat
eggs. Dip cauliflower florets in egg,
then roll in bread crumbs until evenly
coated on all sides, pressing gently,
if needed. In large skillet over medium-
high heat, heat oil until hot. Fry cauliflower
1-2 minutes until golden brown, then turn
& fry 1-2 more minutes. Remove with
slotted spoon to paper towel-lined
plate. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Serve immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————-

Honey-Garlic Baked Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. honey
2 T. soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium bowl mix flour & paprika;
coat each chicken thigh in mixture &
place in greased or foil-lined dish.
Sprinkle each thigh with salt/pepper.
In separate bowl mix honey, soy sauce &
garlic; pour evenly over chicken – flip each
over to coat on both sides. Cover with
foil & bake 30 minutes. Uncover &
continue baking 15 minutes. Serves 6

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

Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup

1 lb. ground beef, cooked/
drained
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes,
drained
1 (32 oz) container chicken broth
4 C. potatoes, peeled/cubed
2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
shredded
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chopped carrot
1/2 c. green bell pepper, seeds
removed/chopped
1/4 C. flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder (optional)
salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Garnish
cooked/crumbled bacon

Place cooked ground beef, tomatoes,
potatoes, carrot, bell pepper, onion,
celery & garlic in crockpot; pour
chicken stock over top. Season with
chili powder, salt/pepper & stir to
combine. Cover & cook on High
3-4 hours until vegetables are
softened. In small bowl stir flour
into heavy cream until no chunks
remain then pour into crockpot.
Add Cheddar cheese & stir to
combine then cover & cook
another 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.
Serves 8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————————–

Easy Pineapple Casserole

2 (20 oz, ea) cans pineapple
chunks, drained
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. sugar
3 T. flour
2 C. coarsely crushed butter-
flavored (like Ritz) crackers
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large
bowl combine pineapple, cheese,
sugar & flour; toss until evenly
coated & place in prepared pan.
In small bowl combine crushed
crackers & butter; mix well then
sprinkle on top of casserole.
Bake 30-35 minutes until heated
through & topping is golden.
Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)


Easy No-Bake Caramel Pie

1 (6 oz) bag Milky Way Bites (candy)
1 (16 oz) AND 1 (8 oz) tubs Cool Whip,
thawed
1 (14 oz) can Dulce de Leche (if you
can’t find this – you can make your own,
using one 14 oz. can sweetened
condensed milk -recipe follows
1 store-bought chocolate cookie
pie shell

Chop Milky Way Bites into small pieces;
reserve 1/4 C. Place 16 oz. Cool Whip
in a large bowl; fold in Dulce de Leche.
Fold in chopped Bites & pour into
pie shell. Top with 8 oz. Cool Whip &
sprinkle reserved chopped Bites on
top. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.
=========================

Weather-wise it’s been clear & nice, today
it’s in the 50’s with a slight breeze. (chance
of rain Easter Sunday).

Today was my “reward” for babysitting
yesterday – I took a friend out for her
birthday to Ruby Tuesday’s – I had a
nice chicken salad (enough to bring half
home for later!). Afterwards I wandered
over to the Salvation Army store and
bought a really nice/fancy/dress top:
black, short sleeves with silver sparkles
all over it. No, it’s not something I
would normally purchase but after
looking at it for awhile, decided it
would be the perfect thing to wear
with my long black skirt for a wedding
or other formal affair – price? $6.99!
SCORE! AND – to add to that, today
was their Seniors Day so I got an
extra 25% off my purchase! After
that I went to our local Kroger
Gas Station because I had 50 cents
off per gallon on their gas (due to
my shopping Kroger lately) – that
was another SCORE! Gas here is down
just a little to $2.43/9 a gallon so getting
50 cents off that per gallon was REALLY
nice!

I still have some grocery shopping to do,
hopefully Friday (I know – LOTS of people
will be in the stores then) but want to
avoid the REALLY BIG rush on Saturday.

Hope your Easter plans are coming
together nicely!

Hugs;

Pammie

Easter is coming – soon!

Looking at the calendar – Easter will be here very soon! For some of you it means new Easter outfits or Easter baskets – for me it means church, singing Easter songs and dinner with the family. Our oldest (the chef) was over last night and we were discussing IF we were doing a family dinner at his house this year. He said this will be the very FIRST time he’s ever had Easter off – every other restaurant/place he’s worked they’ve done an Easter brunch – at his hotel they are not doing that so he’s OFF! Not sure yet on time of dinner/who’s bringing what but now I need to hone my Easter ‘sides’ recipes. I’ve been gleaning some for you and I’m sure there will be more to come.

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

Lemon Meringue Pie Bites

1 (16 oz) pkg. refrigerated sugar
cookies
2 egg whites, room temp.
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 T. sugar
1 C. lemon curd, room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 24-count mini muffin
pan with nonstick spray. Break
apart cookie dough & place one
in each muffin cup. Bake 10-12
minutes until lightly brown. Remove
from oven & let cool 5 minutes.
Gently make a small indentation on
top of each cookie (you can use end
of a wooden spoon or your index
finger). Let cool while you beat egg
whites. In mixing bowl beat whites &
cream of tartar until foamy. Add in
sugar & continue beating on High
until soft peaks form & whites are
shiny white. Scoop about 1 T. of
lemon curd into cookie cups & top
each with beaten egg whites. Return
to oven & bake an additional 10
minutes until meringues are lightly
browned. Keep leftovers in
fridge. Makes 24

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

Roasted Spring Vegetables

1 lb. thin carrots, peeled
8 oz. shallots, peeled/quartered
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
3 T. maple syrup
1 T. honey
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 T. fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Halve, lengthwise, any carrots
1″ thick or thicker. Place carrots
& shallots in single layer in 15 X
10″ baking pan with sides – drizzle
1 T. of oil on them. Roast 10
minutes, shaking pan & turning
once. Add asparagus, drizzle with
remaining oil & roast 10 minutes
longer. Meanwhile, in small sauce-
pan, combine syrup, honey, vinegar,
butter & salt. Cook over medium
heat until it boils. Boil 2 minutes
then pour over roasted vegetables.
Sprinkle top with thyme.
Serves 8
Refrigerate any leftovers

(recipe: kroger.com)
———————————–

Holiday Brunch Casserole
(overnight recipe)

4 C. frozen shredded hash
brown potatoes, thawed
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, cooked/
drained
1/2 lb. bacon strips, cooked/
crumbled
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
4 large eggs
3 C. milk
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl combine first
5 ingredients; stir in 1 C. cheese.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray & place mixed
ingredients in pan. In another
bowl whisk eggs, milk, baking mix
& salt until blended; pour over
top. Sprinkle top with remaining
cheese. Cover & refrigerate
overnight.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Remove casserole from fridge
while oven heats. Bake, uncovered,
30-35 minutes until a knife inserted
near center comes out clean. Let
stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-

Maple-Peach Glazed Ham

1 fully-cooked bone-in ham
(7-9 lb)
2 C. peach preserves or orange
marmalade
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/3 C. orange juice
2 T. ground ancho chili
pepper, (optional)

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place ham on a rack in a
shallow roasting pan. Cover
& bake 1 3/4 – 2 1/4 hours until
a thermometer reads 130 degrees
F. In small saucepan mix preserves,
syrup, orange juice & chili pepper
(if using) until blended. Remove
3/4 C. mixture for glaze.
Remove ham from oven; brush
with some of glaze. Bake, uncovered,
15-20 minutes longer until a
thermometer reads 140 degrees F.,
brushing occasionally with remaining
glaze. Bring preserves mixture to a
boil over medium heat, stirring
occasionally. Cook & stir 1-2 minutes
until slightly thickened. Serves as
a sauce with ham. Makes 16 servings,
about 2 C. sauce)

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

Spinach/Raspberry Salad

1/3 C. slivered blanched almonds
3 T. white wine vinegar
1/3 C. vegetable oil
6 oz. ready-to-use baby
spinach leaves
2 green onions, sliced
5 T. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. poppy seeds
6 oz. fresh raspberries

In small nonstick skillet combine
almonds & 2 T. sugar – cook over
medium heat 3 minutes until
sugar melts & coats the almonds
and they are golden brown, stirring
frequently. Spread on waxed paper
to cool. In small bowl beat vinegar,
remaining 3 T. sugar, salt & mustard
using wire whisk until blended. Whisk
in oil until thick & well blended then
stir in poppy seeds. In large shallow
bowl toss spinach with dressing; top
with raspberries, green onions &
almonds. Serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 6

(recipe: kroger.com)
———————————

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

1 1/2 C. flour
3 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 C. sour cream
3/4 C. plus 1 T. milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced plus
extra for serving
maple syrup, for topping

Sift together flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt. In separate bowl
whisk sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla
& lemon zest. Add wet ingredients
to dry, mixing only until combined.
Melt 1 T. butter in large skillet over
medium-low heat until it bubbles.
Ladle pancake batter into pan to make
3-4 pancakes – distribute a rounded
T. bananas on each pancake. Cook
2-3 minutes until bubbles appear on
top & underside is nicely browned.
Flip pancakes & cook 1 more minute
until browned. Place cooked pancakes
on a plate, cover to keep warm. Wipe
out pan using a paper towel, add more
butter & continue cooking pancakes
until all batter is used up. Serve with
sliced bananas & maple syrup on top.
Makes 12 pancakes

(recipe: Ina Garten – foodnetwork.com)
———————————-

Creamy Bacon/Pea Salad

1 lb. frozen peas
5 slices bacon, cooked/diced
1/4 red onion, diced
3 oz. Cheddar cheese, diced
1/3 C. sour cream
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
1 T. lemon juice
salt/pepper, to taste

Place frozen peas in a colander &
place colander in a bowl. Run hot
water over them to thaw; drain
well. In a bowl mix sour cream,
onion, mayo, ranch dressing, lemon
juice, salt/pepper – mix well. Place
peas in a bowl & mix dressing into
peas. Fold half of bacon & all of
cheese into salad. Garnish top
with remaining bacon. Cover &
refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

(recipe: family freshmeals.com)
————————————

Crockpot Ravioli Casserole

1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen cheese ravioli,
uncooked (do not need to thaw)
1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey/
chicken)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (6 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
(optional: chopped fresh basil – garnish)

In large skillet saute beef, onion, pepper &
garlic over medium-high heat until meat is
no longer pink. Season with salt/pepper &
drain any fat from skillet. Spray insides of
crockpot with nonstick spray & spread
1 C. marinara sauce in bottom. Top with half
of ravioli, half cooked meat & half mozzarella.
Add another layer remaining sauce, rest of
ravioli & rest of meat/mozzarella. Cover &
cook on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-5 hours.
Sprinkle with Parmesan & garnish with basil
before serving. Serves 8

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

English Muffin Bread

2 T. cornmeal
butter
2 C. milk
1 C. hot water
6 C. flour, divided
2 T. yeast (active/dry)
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven 170 degrees F.
Coat bottom & sides of two
(8 X 4″) loaf pans with butter.
Sprinkle 1 T. cornmeal in each
pan & shake pan to coat sides
& bottom with cornmeal. Pour
1 C. hot water & 2 C. milk into a
glass measuring cup – microwave
2 minutes on High. In large mixing
bowl add 3 C. flour, 2 T. yeast, 1 T.
sugar, 2 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. soda –
stir together using a fork. Pour
warm milk liquid into dry
ingredients. Using electric mixer
on Low 1 minute, then medium
1 more minute. Add additional
3 C. flour, one cup at a time, while
mixer is running on Low. Mix until
well combined, just 1-2 minutes.
Dough will be stiff, kind of like
thick cookie dough. Scoop dough
into prepared pans & press down
using your fingers. Place dough in
oven & allow dough to rise until it
has almost reached the tops of the
pans (should take about 10 minutes).
Turn oven heat to 400 degrees F.
Allow bread to bake for about
20 minutes until tops are golden
brown & bread sounds hollow when
top is tapped. (NOTE: the 20 minutes
cooking time includes the rising time)
Remove from oven & allow to cool
in pans 5 minutes then remove from
pans. Makes 2 loaves

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

Caramelized Brown Butter Cake

1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
room temp.
4 large eggs, room temp
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In heavy skillet on Low heat, melt
butter until it begins to foam; stir
about 5 minutes until it turns golden
brown & smells nutty. Transfer to a
large heatproof bowl; allow to cool
in fridge until solid, about 30 minutes.
Once solid, remove from fridge & set
aside to bring back to room temp.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack on lower middle section
of oven. Butter a nonstick 9 X 5″ loaf pan
& dust with powdered sugar. Beat browned
butter until it becomes creamy, then add
sugar & vanilla; continue beating 3-5 minutes
until well combined & creamed. Beat in
eggs, one at a time, making sure each is
thoroughly combine before adding the
next. In a separate bowl, combine flour,
salt & baking powder; slowly beat flour
mixture into creamed butter mixture until
well combined. Transfer batter to prepared
pan, smooth out top evenly & bake 30
minutes. Remove from oven, loosely cover
with foil then bake 20-25 minutes more.
Allow cake to cool in pan 10-15 minutes
then transfer, upside down, to a serving
platter. Serves 8-10

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)

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

This week is Spring Break for our schools
which means my 10 yr. old grandson is
off, also. He spent the day here yesterday
and will be back Friday. We spent the day
watching ‘goofy’ kid shows, visiting our
local library and reading – he’s into Percy
Jackson books now and I’m really glad
he’s become a ‘reader’. My husband &
I both love to read and I’m SO glad my
grandson does, too-such a great way to
expand your vocabulary!

Along with reading I’ve been working
on getting more baby blankets done.
Finished the Diagonal Box Stitch
blanket:

I’m almost half done with another knit
multi-colored blanket; this one is more
of a ‘girl’s’ colors one. I just love the
challenge of figuring out a new pattern
and then executing it.

Gas prices: they seem to be holding
(for now) at $2.39/9 – wonder if
they’ll go up before the holiday?

Newest grandson & his Momma are
currently sick with a virus – I stopped
by their house yesterday to pick up
oldest grandson and they both were
being ‘cared for’ by her Mom. Baby is
a bit cranky due to being sick; Momma
is trying her hardest to get better as
she goes back to work Friday. This will
be a new job at a new restaurant/bar.
Their friend & former neighbor is
revamping a local place and attempting
to upscale it to a more family-friendly
place. She will be the head bartender
& in charge of wait staff so you can
see why she needs to be feeling much
better by then! With her Mother &
myself we can pretty much hold up
the baby/grandson watching job so
we’ll see how this all goes.

Hope things are going well for
you at the moment –

Hugs;

Pammie

Time for Appetizers & Dips!

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With the next holiday/event being New Year’s Eve, thought I might just do a Appetizers & Dips post. You will see that most of these are from a really GREAT site: www.mrfood.com  you can find just about any recipe you can dream up – great site!

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

Bacon-Cheddar Bites

1 C. milk
1/2 stick butter
1 C. flour
4 eggs
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp/
crumbled
1/3 C. thinly sliced scallions
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick
spray. In medium saucepan over
medium heat combine milk & butter;
melt butter. Stirring vigorously with
a wooden spoon, add flour until
mixture forms a ball. Remove from
heat; stir in 1 egg until mixture is
smooth. Repeat with remaining
eggs, adding 1 egg at-a-time until
thoroughly combined – stir in
remaining ingredients. Drop
mixture by teaspoonfuls onto
sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes
until puffed & golden brown.
Serve warm. Makes 36

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————-

Lobster Dip

8 oz, (1/2 lb) lobster meat,
chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. honey mustard

In large bowl combine all
ingredients. Refrigerate until
ready to serve. Makes 2 1/2 C.

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————

Creamy Chicken Salad Sandwich
Spread

2 cans white meat chicken,
drained/flaked with a fork
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing,
or ‘to taste’
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
3 slices onion, diced
1 hard-boiled egg, cooked/
rough-chopped

Combine chicken, celery, onion &
egg to a bowl. Add Miracle Whip,
a little at a time until salad is of
desired consistency. Spread on
bread or toast.

Can substitute 2 cans of tuna for
the chicken & adding a T. of sweet
pickle relish

(recipe: recipelion.com)
———————————

Creamy Shrimp Scampi Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
4 T. plain bread crumbs
salt
2 T. unsalted butter plus 1
T. melted
1 lb. large peeled/deveined
shrimp, tails discarded, cut
into 1/4 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
large pinch crushed red pepper
flakes
1/2 C. dry white wine
1/2 C. fresh parsley, finely
chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest

Dippers:
slices crusty bread or crackers

Place oven rack in top position &
preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese, Mozz. , sour
cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan,
2 T. bread crumbs & 1/2 tsp. salt
in large bowl using an elec. mixer
on medium-high speed. Cover &
refrigerate until ready to add to
shrimp.
Melt 2 T. butter in large skillet
over medium-low heat. Add shrimp,
garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt & red pepper
flakes – cook, stirring frequently,
until shrimp just start to turn
pink, about 2 minutes. Add wine,
bring to simmer & cook until
shrimp are pink & cooked through,
2 minutes (there will be some
liquid left in skillet.) Remove
skillet from heat, let shrimp
cool completely.
Mix parsley, remaining 2 T.
bread crumbs & 1 T. melted butter,
lemon zest & pinch salt in small
bowl. Stir shrimp & cream cheese
mixture together to combine;
transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
(Dip & breadcrumb mixture can
be covered & refrigerated overnight,
separately, at this point).
Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on dip;
bake until hot & bubbly, 15-20
minutes. Switch oven to Broil &
cook until top is golden brown,
1-3 minutes. Let rest a few minutes
then serve hot with dippers.
Serves 8-10

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

Home Run Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
3 C. (12 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese
1 tsp. dry mustard
2/3 C. beer
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter slightly
softened
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. white pepper

Dippers:
crackers, cubes of Italian bread

Place cream cheese, Cheddar cheese,
dry mustard, beer & butter in food
processor – process until creamy. Add
remaining ingredients & process until
smooth & completely combined.
Makes 3 C.

Serve at room temperature. Can be
stored, covered, in fridge up to
2 weeks.

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————

Cheesy Bacon Pinwheels

1 egg
1 T. water
1/2 C. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. real bacon bits
1/3 C. sliced scallions
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from
17.3 oz pkg), thawed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 2  baking sheets with nonstick
spray. In small bowl whisk egg & water.
In medium bowl combine cream cheese,
Cheddar & Mozz. cheeses, bacon, scallions,
garlic powder: mix well. Unfold pastry
sheet on flat surface. Brush edges with
egg mixture. Spread cheese mixture evenly
over pastry. Starting with short side, tightly
roll up dough (jelly roll style). Cut into
1 inch slices; lay flat on baking sheets.
Brush tops & sides with egg mixture.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Serve warm. Makes 12 pinwheels

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————–

Dilly Crab Dip

1/2 lb. imitation crabmeat,
flaked
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. fresh chopped dill
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened

Dippers:
crackers, crusty bread,
bread sticks

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl combine all
ingredients; mix well. Spoon
mixture into a small baking
dish. Bake 25-30 minutes until
hot & bubbly. Serve immediately.
Serves 10

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————–
1-2-3 Salsa Dip

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
softened
1 C. medium salsa
1 T. dried parsley flakes

Dippers;
tortilla chips, fresh cut
veggies

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 qt. casserole or baking
dish with nonstick spray. In
medium bowl using elec. mixer,
combine all ingredients & beat
until smooth & well blended.
Scoop mixture into prepared
dish & bake 30 minutes until
light golden. Makes 3 cups dip

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————-

Cranberry Pecan Brie Bites

12 oz. fresh cranberries, rinsed/
picked through
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. water
pinch salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece orange peel
2 (8.8 oz, ea) pkgs. naan flatbread
1 (8 oz) pkg. brie
24 pecan halves
fresh thyme, for garnish

Sauce:
Combine sugar, orange juice &
water in large saucepan over
medium heat; stir to combine.
Add cranberries, salt, cinnamon
stick & orange peel – bring to a
simmer over medium heat,
stirring frequently. Continue
cooking about 10  minutes until
all or most of cranberries have
popped. Let cool at least 30
minutes; refrigerate until ready
to use.
To Prepare:
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
LIne a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Cut naan into pieces using a
pizza cutter – try to get 6-8 pieces
per naan. Cut small wedges off the
wheel of brie & place on top of
naan pieces. Spoon a small amount
of cooled cranberry sauce on top of
brie, top with pecan half & place on
prepared sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes until
brie starts to melt & bubble. Remove,
top with sprig of fresh thyme (if using)
& serve immediately.
Serves 12

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

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

Our weather is still OK – a little overcast
but with yesterday’s warm temperatures
MOST of our snow has melted – YAY! Roads
are clear  – they ARE saying possibility
of snow flurries tonight – sure hope they
don’t stick!

With the ‘free time’ between holidays
finished the grey/black/white scarf and
started on another pink baby blanket.
While working on that I thought: “Maybe
I should do another scarf” so found
some nice, soft Sage colored yarn & am
variegating it with white to make a
(probably young girl) scarf – both scarf
& blanket are relatively easy patterns, so
not so much stress when working on
them.

Since the Christmas dinner at our
son’s house, we have lots of SIDES
but NO MEAT to go with them so
I put a big chicken in the crockpot
for dinner tonight. Lots of mashed
potatoes, glazed carrots, green
bean casserole & 3-bean salad
(plus rolls). Don’t know about
your house, but here we are
inundated with SWEETS! That
is usually NOT the case, but this
year there’s a ton of cookies &
some candy – tasty but really
hard to walk by and not grab!
(I’ll personally be glad when
they are gone! TOO TEMPTING
for me!)

Hope you are having a good day;

Hugs;

Pammie

The Day After!

snoop-its-not-whats-under-the-tree

Ah, the “DAY AFTER” Christmas! A time to RELAX and recall the happenings of yesterday. Hopefully yours were GREAT! My dear friend Mary (Momma) wrote that she hoped my dinner preparations came out well due to her picking up on my rather worried posting – she wasn’t far from wrong. I managed to put the green bean casserole in the oven after dusting the top with extra French Onions – just to broil a bit…you guessed it: burned the top! Managed to scrape them off and save the casserole – Whew! Saturday I was making the cake early – got it baked and went into my cupboard, pulled down the tub of frosting only to discover CREAM CHEESE (white) frosting, not the chocolate fudge I’d hoped for – what to do? Well, I remembered reading somewhere that you can make frosting using chocolate chips so printed out a recipe, worked on it – recipe says stir until cool – yeah, right! IF you have a few DAYS to do that! I stirred for almost a half hour before decided this was NOT a good idea! Remembered another trick I’d read somewhere so filled a bowl with ice cubes & immersed the hot pan in it, continued stirring which finally cooled down the frosting. In the meantime, I did a ‘brilliant’ move: decided to test the temperature of frosting (on a spoon) using my tongue – you guessed it, half my tongue got a major burn, can’t taste or feel tastebuds on that side!. Finally got frosting cooled, spread on cake (a not-desired consistency, hard to spread – kept almost melting off cake). Well – it tasted OK – a bit grainy – never had frosting grainy before . . . they ate it and said it was OK…Oh well, I tried! Made the glazed carrots – they, too, were OK…nothing special to write home about, for sure – not a ‘repeat next year’. Let’s just say we had TONS of food – everyone ate and were filled (mistakes included).

We had ‘almost’ our entire family there – youngest son said he might be a bit late, then texted he couldn’t come, something came up. Turns out the mother of a close friend of his died a few days earlier and friend had NO family here (Dad died several years ago, siblings are in other states) so my youngest decided to spend the evening with his friend – they went to eat at a Chinese restaurant! No photos were taken (missed taking  them at Thanksgiving, too)  – we had a good evening, lots of food & fun; what more can you ask for? We were blessed.

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

Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake

1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (3 oz) pkg. strawberry Jello
1 (15 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries
in syrup, thawed/pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 C. canola oil
1/4 C. water
(Strawberry Cream Cheese
Frosting – recipe below)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly greased 2 (9 inch)
round cake pans.
In large bowl combine cake mix
& jello; add pureed strawberries,
eggs, oil & water – beat at
medium speed using elec. mixer
until smooth. Pour into prepared
pans & bake 20 minutes or until
a wooden toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pans 10 minutes
then remove to wire racks to
cool completely.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen strawberries
in syrup, thawed/pureed
1/2 tsp. strawberry extract
7 C. powdered sugar
freshly sliced strawberries – garnish,
optional

In large bowl beat butter & cream
cheese on medium speed using elec.
mixer, until creamy. Beat in 1/4 C.
strawberry puree & extract (rest of
puree is leftover but can be used in
smoothies or on ice cream). Gradually
add powdered sugar, beating until
smooth. Spread frosting between
layers of cake & on top & sides.
Garnish each slice with sliced fresh
strawberries, if desired.

(recipe: Paula Dean – foodnetwork.com)
————————————-

Crockpot Parmesan/Ranch Party Mix


1 C. butter, sliced
2-3 (1 oz, ea) pkgs. Ranch dressing
mix – 2 pkgs. if you want less Ranch
flavor, 3 if you want more)
4 C. Rice Chex cereal
4 C. Wheat Chex cereal
1 C. cashews
1 C. peanuts
4 C. pretzels
1/2 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in saucepan; add ranch
dressing mixes – stir until well combined
(there will be some thicker mixture in
bottom). Place cereals, nuts & pretzels
in crockpot – mix until mixed up well.
Pour half of butter mixture & half of
freshly grated Parm. evenly across top
of cereal mixture – stir gently until
well distributed. Pour remaining butter
mixture & cheese evenly over cereal;
gently stir again until all pieces are well
coated. Cook, UNCOVERED, 2-3 hours
on High, stirring occasionally. Once
mixture is glazed, lay out on parch-
ment paper lined sheet to cool. When
cooled completely, store in air-tight
container until ready to serve.
Makes approx. 14 cups

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

Honey-glazed Pork Meatballs
(crockpot)

Meatballs:
1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. milk
2 lb. lean ground pork
1 egg
1/4 C. diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. fresh chopped herbs:
(poster used sage, parsley,
rosemary & thyme)

Sauce:
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
1 T. cornstarch whisked with
1 T. water until smooth
1/4 C. honey
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. ketchup
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Line large cookie sheet with foil.
Stir breadcrumbs with milk & let
set 5 minutes; add to ground pork
in bowl along with rest of meatball
ingredients – use hands to mix until
combined well (do not overwork).
Using hands, form into 12 evenly
sized meatballs (poster used an
ice cream scoop). Place balls on
foil-lined sheet & place under
broiler in oven 5-8 minutes,
watching closely until lightly
browned – transfer to crockpot.
Whisk together sauce ingredients;
pour over meatballs. Cover & cook
on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-6 until
meatballs are fully cooked.

NOTE: For saucier meatballs,
double sauce ingredients.

If sauce is too thin after cooking,
it can be transferred to a saucepan
& brought to a boil 3-5 minutes
while whisking in additional
cornstarch & water (cornstarch &
water in equal amounts) until
desired thickness is reached.

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

Buttery Baked Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
cut into thirds
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. seasoned salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 stick butter (1/4 C)
buttermilk*
1 gallon-sized ziplock bag

Place chicken pieces in a bowl of
buttermilk; cover & let soak 20-30
minutes in fridge.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine flour, salt, seasoned salt,
pepper & paprika in zip lock bag or
bowl – mix well. Cut butter into a
few pieces & place in 9 X 13″ baking
dish – melt butter in oven. Spread
melted butter around bottom of pan;
lightly spray pan with nonstick spray to
make sure there are no dry spots. Shake
excess buttermilk off chicken & completely
coat each piece in flour  mixture. Either
shake in bag until coated or dip each
piece in bowl until coated. Place each
piece in preheated pan. Bake 20 minutes.
Turn chicken over & continue baking
20 minutes more until cooked through.

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

Garlic Ranch Crockpot Potatoes

3 lb. red potatoes, washed/quartered
2 T. salted butter
2 T. olive oil
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1 T. chopped chives
1 T. minced garlic
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides with nonstick spray & place
all ingredients in crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 3-4 hours until potatoes are fork-
tender* Serve hot. Serves 6-8

*Check after 1 hour & stir to make sure
all potatoes are fully coated. Check again
after 2 1/2 hours to make sure they are done.
Depending on the size of the potatoes, they
could cook a bit quicker.

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

Turkey, Red Pepper & Goat
Cheese Frittata

6 large eggs
1 tsp. plus 1 T. olive oil, divided
salt/pepper, to taste
1 red bell pepper, seeded/diced
1 1/2 C. cooked turkey, chopped
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese

Preheat broiler. In bowl whisk
eggs, 1 tsp. olive oil & salt/pepper,
to taste. In an oven-proof skillet
(a cast iron skillet or heavy
enameled saute pan works well)
heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.
Add bell pepper & cook until tender,
5-8 minutes. Add turkey, season with
salt/pepper. Turn heat to medium-low,
add egg mixture & cook until eggs are
set on bottom, about 5 minutes. Use
a heatproof spatula to lift cooked eggs
so that some of the liquid egg flows to
the bottom of pan. Cover & cook until
frittata is not quite set, about 5
minutes. Uncover skillet, sprinkle top
with goat cheese & transfer to oven-
broil until frittata is golden brown &
puffed on top, 3-5 minutes.
Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 4

(recipe: Kroger)
——————————-

Bacon-Ranch Casserole

1 (12 oz) pkg. penne pasta
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 1/2 C. heavy cream or Half & Half
1 C. chicken broth
1/2 pkg. dry RANCH salad dressing mix
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cooked, boneless/skinless chicken
breasts, shredded
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 tsp. black pepper (to taste)
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large saucepan
over Low heat melt butter. Add
garlic, crushed red pepper, flour &
stir into butter. Add heavy cream,
broth & continue stirring until
thickened. Stir in half of dry ranch
salad dressing mix – remove from
heat & stir in Parmesan cheese.
Pour pasta into prepared dish &
top with chicken, bacon & peas .
Pour sauce over top & sprinkle
with mozzarella cheese evenly.
Bake 30 minutes until heated
through & cheese is melted.

(recipe: reciperoost.com)
——————————–

Crockpot Sausage Stew

6 T. (or 1/2 C.) zesty Italian salad
dressing
2 T. Dijon mustard
6 small, unpeeled red potatoes, cut
into 1 inch slices
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced (or 1/2 bag
mini carrots)
2 C. green cabbage, chopped (or
2 C. pre-shredded coleslaw mix)
1 ring fully cooked smoked sausage or
kielbasa, cut into 1-inch slices
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with
green peppers, celery & onions,
undrained

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In small bowl mix salad dressing &
mustard. Layer potatoes, onions, carrots
& cabbage in crockpot; pour mustard
mixture over vegetables & arrange
sausage slices on top. Cover with can
of tomatoes. Cover & cook on Low 7-8
hours. Serve with extra Dijon mustard,
if desired.

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

Crockpot Broccoli/Cheddar Soup

4 T. butter
5 T. flour
3 c. milk
3 C. chicken broth (or veg. broth)
1/2 onion, diced
3-4 C. chopped broccoli florets
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 oz. cream cheese
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese
2 tsp. salt
1-4 tsp. black pepper, to taste
(optional: extra grated cheese,
for topping)

In large saucepan melt butter over
medium heat; stir in flour until
mixture clumps up. Very gradually
whisk in milk until all milk has been
added & a thick white sauce forms.
Add chopped onions, broccoli, garlic,
Ital. seasoning & cream cheese to
crockpot. Add sauce from pan &
chicken broth; stir to combine.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours
or Low 4-6 hours. Uncover, add
sharp Cheddar cheese, salt/pepper
& stir until cheese melts. Adjust
salt/pepper, if needed. Serve warm
topped with extra cheese, if desired.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: lecremedelacrumb.com)
——————————

Spicy Tomato Pork Chops

1 T. olive oil
4 boneless pork loin chops (5 oz, ea)
1 large onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 C. water
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In large skillet over medium heat, heat
oil. Brown chops on both sides, remove
& keep warm. In same skillet, cook & stir
onion until tender then stir in remaining
ingredients. Return chops to skillet &
bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered,
15-20 minutes until tender. Let stand
5 minutes before serving; serve with sauce.
Serves 4

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

Cinnamon Bun Casserole
(overnight recipe)

1 (1 lb) loaf sliced cinnamon-
raisin bread
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened/divided
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
6 eggs
2 1/2 C. milk, divided
2 T. powdered sugar
2 T. chopped pecans

Spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick spray.
Cut each bread slice
diagonally in half twice to
make 4 small triangles. Stand,
with points up, in 4 lenghwise
rows, in pan. Mix 6 oz. cream
cheese & brown sugar in large
bowl until blended; stir in
cinnamon & vanilla. Add eggs,
1 at a time, mixing well after
each addition. Reserve 1 T.
milk. Gradually whisk remaining
milk into cream cheese mixture &
pour over bread. Cover with
foil & refrigerate 8 hours.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake casserole, uncovered,
40-50 minutes until knife inserted
into center comes out clean & top
is golden brown.
Mix remaining cream cheese,
powdered sugar & reserved milk
until blended – drizzle over casserole,
sprinkle top with nuts & serve.
Serves 12

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)

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

Woke up to 46 degrees F. weather
and very dense FOG! WOW! Who
would have thought that here in
Michigan it would get this WARM
at this time of year!? They were
originally calling for snow soon,
but now looking at the forecast,
it’s mostly cloudy with some small
spots of rain – GREAT!

Gas prices are still staying at
$2.39/9  guess that’s OK, I still
like it a bit lower, but that’s just me.

Not much else new – no particular
plans for the day, or actually –
for the week! My knit group is off
this week as well as my special
needs group: that makes me a
Lady of Leisure! Was chatting with
oldest son’s girlfriend & her Mom –
they’re planning on hitting the stores
today for 70 % sales…NOT ME! I
remember one year when we were
first married my Mother in Law
bought my brother in law (who
lived in Florida) several pairs of
jeans for Christmas – they didn’t
fit and GUESS WHO had to take
them back to the store AFTER
Christmas! UGH! I promised
myself then that NEVER AGAIN
would I go to stores after the
holidays (grocery, drug, hardware,
stores Yes, but no clothing or
big ticket stores like Kohl’s,
JC Penney’s, Bed/Bath & Beyond,
etc. – just TOO CRAZY for me!
I told my family  AMAZON PRIME
has become my best friend this
year!

Middle son opened his presents
and there was a new tie for him –
he said: “Mom! ANOTHER tie?
Thanks, but this can be my last
tie for awhile” I told him: “Just
wait – your birthday is in a week!”
(hehe, he’s getting TWO more ties
then!). Hey, they all coordinate
with his work uniform (Hilton
Hotel front desk clerk: Navy
blue blazer, light blue shirt,
(tie), tan slacks. (Honestly,
don’t know who came up with
that color combination for
a ‘uniform’ but – it’s a job.
Doesn’t look BAD, just could
be a little more color coordinated,
in my humble opinion.

Well, friends, time for me to get
my rather tired buttocks off this
chair and go DO something! Have
about 8 rows left on black/gray &
white scarf then that’s done. Want
to start a new pattern for another
donated baby blanket – just haven’t
quite found a pattern that ‘speaks
to me’ – if you know what I mean.

Have a great (and hopefully relaxing)
day!

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s almost here!

christmas-hug

Finally finished up decorating the main tree, the lights around the fireplace & secretary AND got the presents wrapped – YAY! Only things left to do are bake a few things tomorrow & throw together (my first, ever) 3-Bean Salad (it has to marinate at least 12 hours) – those things are for Saturday. Sunday is church at 10:30 (have to be there at 10 a.m. for choir practice) then dinner at son’s house (time has not yet been decided). It feels GOOD to finally be ahead of schedule. Ran out to the store today for a few essentials: bread & eggs; came home with bananas, 2 boxes of ginger cookies, a small box of glazed donuts (the guys go through them like water), 3 bars of bath soap, 2 containers of hand soap – just a ‘few’things – hehehe

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

Today’s post will be COOKIES & DESSERTS!

Chocolate Peppermint Pie

2 C. crushed Oreo cookies
3 T. butter, melted
2 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 1/2 C. vanilla ice cream
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
15 peppermint (round) candies
2 T. chocolate (ice cream) shell
topper

Remove ice cream from freezer &
leave to soften about 15 minutes.
Spray 9″ pie pan with nonstick
spray. Stir cookie crumbs & melted
butter in medium bowl; spread
mixture into pie pan & press evenly
over bottom & up sides of pan.
Freeze 10 minutes. Add thawed
Cool Whip, peppermint extract &
10 peppermint candies to blender;
blend until smooth; pour into pie
crust & freeze at least 3 hours. Crush
remaining candies. Immediately
before serving, top pie with
chocolate topping, additional
Cool Whip & crushed candies.
Serves 8

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
———————–
Magic Turtle Bars

2 C. crushed vanilla cookies (wafers)
1/2 C. butter, melted (1 stick)
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 bags (Kraft) caramel bits
2 C. coarsely chopped pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIghtly spray 9 X 13″ baking pan.
Combine crushed cookies & butter
until crumbs are moist & spread
evenly in bottom of pan, pressing
down to form a crust. Layer rest of
ingredients: 1 bag choc. chips, caramel
bits, pecans (save about 1/4 C. for
top), second bag of choc. chips,
remaining pecans. Drizzle sweetened
cond. milk over entire pan, making
sure to cover all nooks & crannies.
Bake 25-30 minutes just until milk
begins to turn golden. Let cool
completely before cutting. Store
in airtight container.

NOTE: if you choose to refrigerate
these bars, let them come back
to room temperature before
eating.

(recipe:chocolate.chocolateandmore
.com)
————————————
Peanut Butter Snowballs

1 C. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. soft butter
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 bag white chocolate chips

Combine powdered sugar, salt,
butter & peanut butter in large
bowl, stirring until completely
mixed & smooth. Place dough
in fridge 20-30 minutes to firm
slightly.

Cover a baking sheet
with parchment paper.
Roll approx. 1 T. of dough
in your hands & place on
prepared sheet; roll rest
of dough & place sheet
in fridge 30 minutes.

In medium microwaveable
bowl melt white chocolate
chips in 30 second intervals,
stirring until completely
smooth. Dip balls in chocolate,
return to lined sheet &
refrigerate until ready to serve.

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

Coconut Snowball Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
3 T. cornstarch
2 C. flour
1 C. finely shredded coconut
2 C. powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Mix butter on Medium speed
using elec. mixer until creamy. Add
2/3 C. powdered sugar & salt; mix
well. Add vanilla, cornstarch &
coconut; continue mixing on Low
speed gradually adding flour & mix
until evenly combined. Scoop 1 T.
dough at a time & roll into a ball;
place balls on prepared sheet. Bake
16-18 minutes until bottoms get
lightly golden.
Place 2 C. powdered sugar in a
pie pan/plate (for rolling cookies)
Remove from oven & cool a few
minutes. While cookies are still
warm, roll them in powdered
sugar; place on wire rack to
cool then roll once more in
powdered sugar. Makes 25

(NOTE: I…Pam, don’t do the
second powdered sugar coating,
makes them too messy to eat,
in my opinion!)

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
———————————-
Martha Washington Balls
(candy)

3 C. pecans
2 C. coconut
4 C. powdered sugar
1 stick butter, room temp.
1 (14 oz) can sweetened
condensed milk
1 jar maraschino cherries,
drained/patted dry
2 C. chocolate candy melts

Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper.
Place pecans & coconut in food
processor; pulse until finely
chopped. Using elec. mixer,
cream sugar & butter together
until light. Add milk & chopped
nuts/coconut – stir until well
mixed. Using your hands, take
a small amount of dough &
form around a cherry; place
on prepared sheet. Chill in
fridge 1 hour.
Place chocolate melts in a glass
bowl & melt in microwave on
High 30 seconds; stir & repeat
until all chocolate is melted &
smooth. Dip each ball into
chocolate, allowing excess to
drip back into bowl. Place balls
on parchment-lined baking sheet
& allow to harden. Makes 36

(recipe: recipelion.com)
———————————–
Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge EVER!

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. peanut butter

In a pan bring sugar & milk to a
boil; boil 2 1/2 minutes. Remove
from heat & stir in peanut butter
& vanilla.

(recipe: Facebook)
—————————–
Crockpot Candy Cane Bark

24 oz. white chocolate chips
1 box peppermint candy canes,
unwrapped

Place one gallon-sized ziplock bag inside
another 1 gallon ziplock bag (so you have
a double bag). Place candy canes in bag(s);
zip up, removing most of air. Using a rubber
mallet, hammer or end of a rolling pin,
crush candy canes until you have a nice
mixture of small chunks & candy cane dust.
(Line crockpot with liner if you want to
use one)
Pour both bags of white chocolate chips
into crockpot (NOTE: DO NOT spray
insides of crockpot with nonstick spray.)
Cover & cook on Low 1 hour until chips
are melted enough that when stirred
they turn smooth. Be careful not to
overcook, as white chocolate chips
will burn. Line a large rimmed cookie
sheet with waxed or parchment paper.
Pour half of crushed candy canes into
melted white chocolate & stir until
well mixed & candy canes are covered
with melted white chocolate. Pour
melted white chocolate & candy cane
mixture into center or prepared cookie
sheet. Working quickly, spread candy
cane mixture evenly on cookie sheet
using a spatula, making sure there is no
overly thick or thin areas. Sprinkle
remaining candy cane pieces evenly
over top. Let candy harden at room
temp. a few hours (you can speed it
up by placing sheet in fridge). Flip
candy bark out of cookie sheet & peel
off paper; break bark into pieces. Store
in air tight container or package for
gift giving. Serves 15

NOTE: You can also use a food processor
to crush candy canes, being careful to
not over process – otherwise you end up
with just candy cane dust – with very few
little chunks

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

Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

24 oz. dry roasted cashews(can use
peanuts)
4 oz. unsweetened dark baking
chocolate, broken into pieces
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 lb. vanilla almond bark broken
into as small of pieces as you can
1 tsp. vanilla

(recipe best made in a 5 qt or
larger crockpot for easier stirring)
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place cashews in
bottom of crockpot. Next a layer
of broken up dark chocolate &
chocolate chips. On top white
almond bark pieces. Cover &
cook on Low first hour, stirring
every 15 minutes using a spatula
or wooden spoon* After first hour,
stir every 30 minutes. When it starts
mixing really well but not quite all
melted, add vanilla & stir in well.
This can take 2-3 hours, depending
on how warm your crockpot gets.
(unless you are using a much older
first generation crockpot, skipping
the stirring process will result in
burnt cashews & chocolate.
After all is mixed well & smooth,
spoon out into empty cupcake
liners. Refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 4

*If you have a Warm feature on
your crockpot, cook on Warm for
the first 3 hours then just let it
melt as it won’t scorch before
stirring

NOTE: You can change up recipe
by adding pretzel bits, dry cereal,
different nuts or marshmallows at
very end as you are spooning
mixture into cups.

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

Cranberry Orange Bliss Bars

Bars:
3/4 C. butter, softened
1 1/4 C. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 C. white chocolate chips

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 T. orange juice

Toppings:
2 T. dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 C. white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using stand mixer or large mixing
bowl, place butter & brown sugar;
mix until well combined. Add eggs,
one at a time, ginger, vanilla, 1/2
tsp. salt. Mix until mixture is smooth.
In small bowl mix together 1 tsp.
baking powder & 1 1/2 C. flour. Add
dry mixture to butter mixture & mix
until well combined (should take
a few minutes). Mix in chopped
cranberries & white choc. chips.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with non-
stick spray – place dough inside &
spread evenly using a knife. Bake
25-30 minutes until golden brown;
cool completely.

Frosting:
In medium bowl mix cream cheese,
butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, orange
zest & orange juice until well combined,
smooth & glossy. Spread over cooled
cake & top with chopped dried
cranberries.
Pour white choc. chips in microwave-
safe bowl; heat in 30 second intervals,
stirring between each. You want to
make sure the chocolate doesn’t get
too hot – it will clump up if heated
too fast. Drizzle melted chocolate over
bars & chill in fridge until chocolate
has set up & frosting has firmed up
a bit. Makes 16 bars

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

Since you know I can’t just sit with nothing
to work on, have started (don’t remember
if I posted this one or not yet) a men’s
(homeless) scarf using some of the yarn
that was in that HUGE donation I posted
a few days ago. It’s about 3/4 ths done now;
it’s an easy stitch so it goes fast:

101_0400

The scarf starts out with a kind of

shiny dark charcoal, then goes to
white & gray – will end with the
dark charcoal. It doesn’t photograph
well – looks better in person.

Looking at all that yarn got me ‘desiring’
to crochet something. I’m only a beginner
when it comes to crochet, but wanted to
start a baby blanket using some of the
donated yarns. There were about 5 skeins
of this teal blue, decided to combine it
with white – reminds me of the colors
that were featured in the movie “Frozen”
(I didn’t see the movie, but saw all the
promotions/items featuring those two
colors together). I looked up a really
simple pattern, did 3 rows (in teal) and
decided it was rather boring looking so
then looked up another pattern – ended
up combining the two. The original
pattern called for casting on 61 stitches
for a baby blanket – well, that wasn’t
a good idea (too small) – I had already
done a good 10 rows before deciding
I’m just going to finish it then make a
wide teal & white border around it
to make it bigger – that should work.
(this one will be for Crisis Pregnancy
Center):

101_0401

The white stitches don’t show
up very well – they sort of look like
stars.

Our weather is still nice – the bottom of
our driveway is actually totally CLEAR –
certainly makes getting in our drive a LOT
nicer!

Hope you are happy with all of your
holiday preparations – don’t let them
BOG YOU DOWN! Take things a little
at a time – EVEN if that means that
some things just won’t get/be done!
I made the executive decision years
ago to no longer send Christmas
cards – I used to stress over it TOO
MUCH! The same decision came this
year about baking tons of cookies –
too much stress/too many calories!
I’m much happier for both decisions –
less stress makes a happier Pammie!

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Anybody got yarn? (and other happenings)

101_0399

Yesterday at church a friend gave me 3 boxes and 3 big bags full of yarn – she was helping her friend get rid of her mom’s stuff. Not a great photo (I accidentally deleted the good one) but you get the idea. There is one huge bag full of SETS of yarn – like 9-12 big skeins of BRIGHT ORANGE (have no idea what you’d make with that) – I took enough to make 2-3 baby blankets and some scarves; the rest will go to the Knit group January 17th for our Yarn Swap. In amidst the yarns I found a kind of neat scarf – it wasn’t finished (not exactly sure what the creator’s “method” was for doing it – TONS of ends sticking out and LOOPS! Crazy! Took me awhile to get it together & finish it (had a good photo of ‘before’ too, but deleted it…ooops). Here’s the finished product – it will make a nice man’s scarf for the homeless: (it’s folded up in photo)

101_0398

Sunday was our choir’s Christmas program and I was very happy to be able to participate – you see, Saturday night after practice (around 8:30 p.m.) I walked out of church, being VERY careful of where/how I was walking when my feet went totally out from under me and I fell flat on my back. Never before have I experienced having the wind knocked out of me – that’s scary! I couldn’t breathe! My friend saw the whole thing and was yelling across the parking lot: “Pam! ARE YOU OK?”  I couldn’t speak OR breathe – my brain kept saying: “Roll OVER, you IDIOT! Suck in some air!” so I did – took a few minutes but was able to sit up. Two guys from choir came over to help me stand, one walked me to the car. My first thought was: “OH NO! My scoliosis! WHAT did just do to my back!?” but it was OK – two days later I’m still a little stiff & sore; apparently I also hit my elbow as it’s a little sore BUT NOTHING’S BROKEN! PRAISE THE LORD! It was one of those freak things: I had boots on, I was VERY careful how I was walking – I remember thinking: “OK – TINY, BABY…steps – OOOOOOOooooo, falling – this is gonna hurt when I hit!” My friend was freaking out – she thought I had a concussion – I hit my head, but not hard at all. AH, the FUN of getting older, eh? Another friend in my Sunday School class (same age as me) fell last week & broke her leg; she thought it was her knee, but her husband said: “No, you broke your tibia!” (bone that runs from kneecap to foot, in front). Been taking it easy since after church yesterday – nothing on my agenda, per se, until tomorrow night’s Knit/Crochet night. The second tree is still not up, nor the lights but if that’s all we have – it’s STILL OK!

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

Peppermint Delight

1 (15.5 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies,
crushed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 gallon Peppermint ice cream,
slightly softened
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip,
thawed
1 (11 3/4 oz) jar hot fudge ice
cream topping, warmed
crushed peppermint candies

In large bowl combine cookie
crumbs & butter; press into an
ungreased 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Spread softened ice cream
over crust; top with Cool
Whip. Cover & freeze until
solid. (May be frozen up to
2 months).
Just before serving, drizzle top
with hot fudge topping &
sprinkle with crushed candies.
Serves 12-15

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————–
Chocolate-Peppermint Striped
Delight

45 vanilla wafers, finely crushed
(about 1 1/2 C.)
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. sugar, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
3 C. plus 2 T. cold milk, divided
1/4 C. finely crushed candy canes
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed,
divided
2 (3.9 oz, ea) pkgs. chocolate
instant pudding mix
1/4 C. coarsely crushed candy
canes

Combine wafer crumbs, butter &
2 T. sugar; press onto bottom of
9 X 13″ baking dish; refrigerate
until ready to use.
Beat cream cheese, remaining
sugar and 2 T. milk in medium
bowl until blended. Stir in
finely crushed candy canes. Add
1 1/4 C. Cool Whip; mix well then
spread over crust. Beat pudding
mixes & remaining milk with
whisk 2 minutes; pour over
cream cheese layer. Let stand
5 minutes until thickened. Cover
with remaining Cool Whip.
Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with
coarsely crushed candy canes
just before serving.
Serves 24

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

Prosciutto Pizza Rolls

(appetizers)

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 (16 oz) pkg. ready-to-bake
pizza dough
3 oz. prosciutto
1 C. shredded mozzarella
cheese
1 C. chopped, fresh basil

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick
spray. In small bowl mix tomato
sauce, paste, vinegar, basil, garlic,
pepper, 1 tsp. oregano & 2 tsp.
olive oil to make pizza sauce.
Roll out pizza dough to 14″ X 8 1/2″
inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 C. of
sauce evenly over dough, reserving
remaining sauce for dipping. Lay out
prosciutto on top & sprinkle evenly
with cheese & basil. Using a pizza
cutter, cut dough in half down
length. Next, cut each half into
8 even strips. Roll each strip
carefully & place on baking sheet
seam-sides down. Brush tops
with remaining olive oil & sprinkle
tops with remaining oregano.
Bake 12 minutes until golden
brown. Serves 12

(recipe: readyseteat.com)
————————————
Sausage-Cheddar Balls
(appetizers)

1 lb. mild country sausage
2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese
1 1/2 C. Bisquick mix

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Combine sausage & cheese in large
bowl; blend in Bisquick with hands
until well mixed. Roll mixture into
1 inch balls & place on ungreased
baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm
or at room temperature. Serves 20

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

Crockpot Cube Steak & Gravy

1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6-8 pieces cube steak
2 T. oil
2 C. beef broth

Mix flour, dry mustard, salt/
pepper & garlic powder in ziplock
bag. Add cube steak, zip bag &
toss bag to coat all meat. (Reserve
excess flour mixture for later step)
Heat oil in a skillet (or browning
crockpot). Brown cube steak on all
sides but do not cook through. Mix
any excess flour with broth & pour
into crockpot. Add steak & cook on
High 90 minutes – 2 1/2 hours until
steaks are fork-tender & sauce has
thickened. Serves 4-6

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

Baked Orange Chicken

Chicken:
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 C. canola oil

Sauce:
2/3 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. orange juice
1/4 C. soy sauce
2 tsp. sriracha sauce
3 T. white vinegar
3 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. cornstarch

Cooked rice for 4-6

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces &
season with salt/pepper. In separate
bowls, place cornstarch & slightly
beaten eggs. Dip chicken in cornstarch
then into egg mixture. Heat oil in large
skillet over medium-high heat & cook
chicken until lightly browned. Spray a
9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick spray
& place chicken in dish. In medium bowl
whisk brown sugar, orange juice, srirach,
apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy
sauce, garlic salt & cornstarch – pour
over chicken. Bake 1 hour. Serves 4-6

(Note: serve over rice, if desired)

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

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

8 medium russet potatoes, peeled/
chopped into 1″ pieces
2 large onions, chopped
6 T. butter
1/2 C. sour cream

Place 2 T. butter & chopped onions
in large skillet over medium-low heat;
cook slowly, stirring occasionally until
golden in color & fragrant. Add quartered
potatoes to large pot of boiling salted
water; cover & turn heat to Low. Cook
about 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain
& add to large bowl with sour cream, onions
& rest of butter. Mash using potato masher
or elec. mixer until desired consistency.

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

Cream of Turkey soup

1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
1 C. diced onions
1 C. diced leeks (white part only)
1 C. diced celery
1 C. diced carrots
1 C. new red potatoes, peeled/diced
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dry thyme
1/4 C. dry white wine or water
5 C. turkey stock
4 C. cooked, diced turkey meat
1/4 C. Half & Half or light cream

In large pot melt butter & add onions,
leeks, celery, carrots & potatoes. Saute
over medium high heat 5-10 minutes
until almost tender. Reduce to medium &
add flour, salt/pepper, sage & thyme – cook
5 minutes, stirring with wooden spoon &
being careful the mixture does not stick.
Add wine (or water) & scrape up any
browned bits from bottom of pan. Add
stock, bring to boil & reduce to simmer.
Cook 10-15 minutes until vegetables are
tender & soft. Remove several batches
of soup to a blender & puree – add back
to pot. Add turkey & heat to hot; add
cream & serve. Serves 6-8

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

White Chocolate Fudge

3 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. white chocolate,
broken into pieces
3/4 C. canned sweetened condensed
milk
1 C. almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1 T. orange zest

Line 8 X 8″ baking pan with foil,
extending ends over sides. Microwave
chocolate & milk in microwaveable
bowl on High 2-3 minutes until
chocolate is almost melted; stir until
chocolate is completely melted &
mixture is well blended. Add
remaining ingredients; mix well.
Spread mixture on bottom of
prepared pan & refrigerate 2
hours until firm. Using foil handles,
remove fudge from pan & cut into
squares. Makes 24 servings

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
————————————-
Chocolate-Marshmallow
Clusters

1 1/2 pkgs (4 oz, ea) semi-sweet
chocolate, broken into small
pieces
3 C. miniature marshmallows

Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick spray. Melt chocolate
as directed on pkg. Place
marshmallows in large bowl &
pour melted chocolate over; toss
until evenly coated. Drop rounded
tablespoons of mixture into 24
mounds on prepared sheet.
Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com
==================

I’m still trying to figure out the
‘sides’/
foods for Christmas dinner –
so far not so much luck. (I do better
if I don’t think someone is double-
guessing my choices . . . sigh). I know
it will all be great and there will be
more than enough to feed all nine
of us so I shouldn’t worry…just me,
I guess.

Our weather has been getting
much colder BUT no snow (so far); it’s
a ‘balmy’ 15 with a wind chill that
makes it feel like 3 degrees F above
zero – fun! The sun is out, the roads
are clear so for those who want to
go out, it’s great driving weather!
I’m going to wait another day or so
before venturing far – still a little
achy and don’t want to ‘push it’.

Hope you all stay SAFE and WARM;

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Noticed gas prices went up a tiny bit,
from $2.19/9 to $2.21/9 – not too
bad considering we’re into the last
week of HOLIDAY shopping, etc.

Slowly getting it all done!

12472578_10206246582705879_6755988360833134642_n

Well, they weren’t wrong in predicting more snow for my area – another 2+ (was supposed to be 5, so I’m not too upset). Ended up calling our plow guy to ask him to do our drive, even though it’s not much snow – since we live ON a major highway the bottom of our drive is piled up with frozen ice/snow to where (if you have a small car) you might not make it UP the drive (just enough of a slope to where you need a ‘running start’ to get up it, with snow/ice involved.  It’s about 25 degrees F out now with later predictions of freezing drizzle & light snow during the night – GREAT! I have choir practice from 6-8 p.m. tonight (NO chance of missing this one – tomorrow morning is the program!).

FINALLY finished the blue/green baby blanket – yes, people like it but the yarn makes the knitter a bit ‘blind’ if worked on too long – it’s a bit BRIGHT!

101_0394

Brought out some more donated yarn (white & a federal slate blue) and started another (homeless) scarf – worked about 6 inches & decided it was too wide to be able to make a decent length before running out of yarn so started it again, narrower. Still wasn’t happy with the yarn – too scratchy so decided to dump that project and wait until tomorrow when I’m supposed to get 2 boxes & several BAGS of yarn (& some crochet things) from a lady at church. Sometimes just seeing new yarn gives me inspiration – we’ll see. (Next project will be another scarf – think I mentioned that last post).

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

Eggnog Bread


Bread:
1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 C. eggnog
1/2 C. vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. rum extract

Eggnog glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. eggnog
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. rum extract
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray loaf pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl whisk flour,
sugar, salt, baking powder,
cinnamon & nutmeg. In another
medium bowl combine eggnog, oil,
eggs, vanilla & rum extract. Slowly
add wet ingredients to dry – stir
until combined. Pour batter into
prepared pan then tap pan on
counter so the cake is evenly set
in pan. Bake 65-70 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Place on cooling
rack & cool 15 minutes. Loosen
sides of bread with a knife &
carefully remove from pan. Let
cake cool completely on wire
rack.
While bread is cooling, prepare
glaze:
In small bowl whisk powdered
sugar, eggnog, vanilla, rum extract
& nutmeg – drizzle glaze over
cooled loaf.

NOTE: If cake isn’t done & top is
browning too fast, drape a piece
of foil over top & finish baking
until a toothpick comes out clean.

(recipe: twopeasandtheir pod.com)
———————————

Crockpot Cranberry Apple Butter

2 lb. apples, peeled/cored/sliced,
about 6 C. (poster used Granny Smith)
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 C. orange juice

(add at end, to taste)
1/2 C. brown sugar

Add apples, cranberries, clove, cinnamon
sticks & orange juice to crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 5 hours or Low 8, without
opening lid during cooking time. When
time is done, remove cinnamon sticks &
discard. Ladle everything into a blender
working in batches – add sugar. (poster
used 1/2 C. – you can always add more)
Blend until smooth. Makes 20 servings

Comments from poster:
I think it tastes better after being
refrigerated overnight. Good on
biscuits or croissants.

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

Four-Cheese Angel Hair Pasta

1 lb. angel hair pasta
1 T. unsalted butter
1 C. Half & Half
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 C. grated Fontina cheese
1 C. grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 C. Pecorino Romano cheese,
grated
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. chopped parsley

Bring 8 qt. stock pot of salted
water to boil – cook pasta to
al dente, reserve 1 C. pasta
water.
In large skillet over medium-high
heat, melt butter & combine with
Half & Half. Bring to low simmer;
add all of cheese & 1/2 tsp. black
pepper. Reduce heat to Low &
mix until well incorporated. Drain
pasta & gently fold in half of pasta
using tongs to coat all strands.
Add parsley & rest of pasta. If sauce
is too thick, add a spoonful of
pasta water at a time until you
reach desired consistency. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
————————————
Country-style Pork Roast
(crockpot)

1 (2-3 lb. ) pork roast
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 T. olive oil
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 lb. baby carrots (or sliced
carrots)
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 C. cold water

Spray crockpot insides with nonstick
spray. Dump carrots in bottom of
crockpot. Cut roast in half; place
flour, salt, onion & garlic powders,
ground mustard & oregano in a
gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add one
half roast to bag, seal & shake until
roast is entirely coated – repeat with
other half of roast. Heat a large
skillet over medium-high heat; add
oil & brown roast on all sides (about
2-3 minutes per side) – place both
halves in crockpot. Pour chicken broth
on top. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours
until pork is tender. Remove roast from
crockpot; using a slotted spoon, remove
carrots. Measure out 3 C. liquid from
crockpot & pour into medium saucepan.
Bring to boil. In small bowl, mix cornstarch
& water & pour into saucepan. Bring to
boil & cook 2-3 minutes until gravy
thickens. Serves 8

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

Dump & Go Cracker Barrel Casserole

1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes,
thawed
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken or
mushroom soup
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic or onion powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
diced ham or bacon (cooked/chopped)

Optional topping:
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix hash browns, onion,
soup, sour cream, cheese, seasoning &
optional pepper/bacon or ham. Spread
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & spread mixture into dish. Mix
topping ingredients & spread over
potato mixture. Bake 45 minutes to
1 hour, until golden brown. Serves 12

NOTE: Poster said that sometimes she
omits the optional topping & bakes it
30 minutes, removes from oven & stirs
it up ‘to get everything nice & crispy’,
then returns to oven to complete cooking

(recipe: beautandbedlam.com)
————————————————

Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

1 can cream of mushroom
soup
1 can beef broth
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 T. A1 steak sauce
1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen meatballs
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles

In crockpot mix undiluted soup with
beef broth, onion soup mix & steak
sauce – stir well. Add frozen meatballs;
cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-5 hours. When done, stir in sour cream.
Prepare egg noodles accordg. to pkg
directions; drain well & stir into crockpot
or serve on top of meatballs. Serves 6

NOTE: Poster said: If preparing for a crowd,
double recipe – keep crockpot on ‘warm’ or
‘buffet’ setting.

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

Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs

1 can whole-berry or jellied
cranberry sauce
3/4 C. chili sauce
1/4 C. water
2 bags frozen fully-cooked meatballs

Place cranberry sauce, chili sauce &
water in crockpot; stir to combine. Add
meatballs & stir to coat. Cover & cook
on Low 3-4 hours until bubbly &
meatballs are heated through. Stir &
serve warm. Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
————————————-

Cheesy Stuffing Casserole

1 (6 oz) box chicken or turkey
stuffing mix
1 (12 oz) bag frozen broccoli
1 (10 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
salt/pepper, to taste
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
(OR) 1 C. fresh grated Cheddar
cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Prepare
stuffing mix accordg. to pkg.
directions. Pour frozen broccoli &
frozen corn into prepared dish.
Pour soup over vegetables & stir
to combine; season with salt/
pepper. Dot top of vegetables
with cubed/grated cheese. Cover
with stuffing evenly over top.
Cover tightly with foil & bake
35-40 minutes. Remove from
oven & carefully remove hot foil.
Let stand a few minutes before
serving. Serves 6-8 as a side
dish.

(recipe: life-in-the-lofthouse.com)
—————————————–

Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters


24 oz. dry roasted cashews(can use
peanuts)
4 oz. unsweetened dark baking
chocolate, broken into pieces
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 lb. vanilla almond bark broken
into as small of pieces as you can
1 tsp. vanilla

(recipe best made in a 5 qt or
larger crockpot for easier stirring)
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place cashews in
bottom of crockpot. Next a layer
of broken up dark chocolate &
chocolate chips. On top white
almond bark pieces. Cover &
cook on Low first hour, stirring
every 15 minutes using a spatula
or wooden spoon* After first hour,
stir every 30 minutes. When it starts
mixing really well but not quite all
melted, add vanilla & stir in well.
This can take 2-3 hours, depending
on how warm your crockpot gets.
(unless you are using a much older
first generation crockpot, skipping
the stirring process will result in
burnt cashews & chocolate.
After all is mixed well & smooth,
spoon out into empty cupcake
liners. Refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 4

*If you have a Warm feature on
your crockpot, cook on Warm for
the first 3 hours then just let it
melt as it won’t scorch before
stirring

NOTE: You can change up recipe
by adding pretzel bits, dry cereal,
different nuts or marshmallows at
very end as you are spooning
mixture into cups.

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

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

On the ‘getting it done’ front, finally have
one small fiber-optic up & lit, brought
down the rest of the Christmas ‘stuff’ –
good thing I went back up – forgot to
bring down the TOP of the tree! (it’s in
sections). Maybe between tomorrow &
Monday I’ll get the rest up (bigger tree
& lights on fireplace & secretary). We’ll
see …       Paperwork-wise, I’m good – got
the new calendar finished & printed for
the knit group (Tues), remembered to
call Panera Monday to order 3 dozen
of their mini-chocolate chip cookies
(every year I get those along with some
small candy bars & put them on trays
for the knit group (my Christmas present
to them), got thank you cards done for
those in the special needs group who
gave me presents (they always want me
to open them BEFORE Christmas!) – it’s
coming together.  Had an epiphany while
knitting: Mother of baby-to-be and her
Mom will be experimenting with baking
cookies & candy Monday (baby Mama
doesn’t cook) so I was thinking about
that; found a really nice wooden recipe
box with dividers & recipe cards on
Amazon – it’s ‘on it’s way before
Christmas’. I was texting with the other
grandma and we were mentioning
favorite cookie recipes – apparently
I have some she’s never heard of SOoooo
I thought: I’ll write some of them out
on some of the recipe cards & add
them to the recipe box! SCORE! I
love when a present idea hits –
especially when it’s an easy-to-
achieve one!

Not much else going on, trying to
conserve energies for later when
‘battling’ the snow & roads going
to & from church tonight. Sure hope
tomorrow mornings roads are clear!

Stay warm, drink a little something
you like (cocoa/tea/smoothie?) and
take a little time for yourself. It’s a
crazy time of year and we tend to
OVER-DO to the point where we’re
too exhausted to have any fun,
ourselves. (I know I’m guilty of that-
big time!).

Hugs;

Pammie

and then there’s snow . . . coming today-UGH!

15073569_1378504045517828_2144887175910047111_n

Watching the weather report last night made us just want to go to bed and not get up! Between today and Sunday night we’re supposed to get between 6-7 inches of the white stuff. Tomorrow is CHURCH! We always go to church! Well, it will be ‘get up & see what we’ve got to deal with’. Middle son left last night for a weekend gaming tournament – a good 1 1/2 hours  away – REALLY hope he thinks about coming back home before Sunday night! Living in Michigan makes you think long & hard about where you have to go, traveling conditions, traffic, etc.

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

 Melt-in-your-Mouth Pecan Sandies

2 C. flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
1 large egg, room temp.
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 C. pecans: 1 C. chopped/1 C.
reserved whole, for decoration

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment
paper. In large bowl beat sugar, egg,
butter & vanilla until creamy (3-5 minutes).
In separate bowl combine flour, salt &
baking soda. Using elec. mixer on Low slowly
add dry ingredients until just combined, then
fold in chopped pecans. Scoop out dough; roll
into 1-inch balls & place on prepared sheets.
Place 1 whole pecan in center of each cookie.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges of cookie
are just golden. Remove from oven; cool
on wire rack. Serve immediately or store in
airtight container. Makes 2-3 dozen

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————————–

Crockpot Green Bean Casserole

2 lb. fresh green beans (or frozen
French-cut green beans)*
4 T. unsalted butter
6 T. flour
1 C. chicken broth
1 C. milk
1/2 C. Half & Half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned/
stems removed & sliced
1 C. Parmesan cheese, finely
grated (optional)
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
(optional)
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 T. butter
1 1/2 C. French’s French fried onions,
divided

In large saucepan melt 4 T. butter over
low heat. Whisk in 6  T. flour & let
cook1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 C.
chicken broth then 1 C. milk; whisk
until it begins to thicken. Let simmer
a few minutes. Season to taste with
salt/pepper. Stir in Half & Half.
In a nonstick skillet saute mushrooms
slowly so they release all of their
moisture. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt,
1/2 tsp. black pepper, & 1/2 tsp. ground
thyme. When mushrooms start to turn
golden brown (about 10 minutes) add
to sauce in other saucepan. Stir in 1 C.
finely grated Parmesan cheese (if using).
In large bowl toss green beans with
mushroom sauce. Spray insides of
crockpot with nonstick spray; pour
green bean mixture into crockpot &
sprinkle 1/2 C. French fried onions
on top.
*Fresh beans – cook on Low 4-6 hours
Frozen beans- cook on Low 5-6 hours
Shortly before serving heat 1 T. butter
over medium heat. Add 1/2 C. Panko
bread crumbs & cook until lightly
toasted. Add 1 C. French fried onions
& cook 1 minute. When casserole is
done cooking transfer to a serving dish
& sprinkle Fried onion mixture over
top & serve.

(recipe: centercutcom.com)
—————————————

Creamy Garlic Pasta

1 lb. angel hair pasta
3 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
2 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
(chopped parsley, garnish)

In large pot over medium heat,
melt butter; add garlic & cook
1 minute. Add chicken broth &
bring to boil. Once boiling, add
pasta & cook until done – then
lower heat & simmer until most
of broth has evaporated. Turn off
heat; add whipping cream & Parm.
cheese – stir then serve with parsley
garnish.

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

Mexican Beef & Vegetable Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 1/2/ lb. top sirloin steak, cubed
into 1″ chunks
1 large onion, diced
1 C. diced celery
1 C. diced carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
8 C. beef stock
3 T. lime juice
salt, to taste
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes,
peeled/diced into cubes
1 C. canned yellow corn
fresh parsley, minced (optional
garnish)

In large Dutch oven or soup pot over
medium heat add 1 T. oil. Place half
of beef in pot & brown on each side –
remove with slotted spoon into a
separate bowl, repeat with rest of
meat. Add 1 more T. olive oil & onions
to pot & cook over medium heat until
onions are translucent. Place celery,
carrots, garlic, cumin,oregano, pepper,
cayenne, diced tomatoes & beef stock,
lime juice & potatoes in same pot &
mix until combined. Bring to boil, cover &
simmer 20 minutes. Taste & adjust
seasoning. Add corn to pot & stir.
Garnish with parsley, if desired &
serve warm. Serves 8

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

Super Easy Italian Crescent Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 C. spaghetti sauce
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. dried basil

Preheat oven 375 degrees F. In skillet,
cook ground beef until brown; drain &
add spaghetti sauce – heat through.
Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles
Place dough in ungreased 9 inch pie plate
with narrow tips (of rolls) overlapping rim
of dish. Mix sour cream & 1 1/4 C. cheese
together. Spread ground beef onto rolls;
top with sour cream mixture. Fold rolls
over so tips are in center of dish (try not
to overlap). Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 C.
cheese & dried basil. Bake 20-25 minutes
until golden brown. Serves 6

(recipe: recipelion.com)
—————————————

Chocolate Pretzel Rings

48-50 pretzel ‘rings’ or squares
48-50 milk chocolate or striped
chocolate kisses
1/4 C. milk chocolate M & M’s

Place pretzels on greased baking
sheets; place 1 chocolate kiss in
center of each pretzel. Bake at
275 degrees F. 2-3 minutes until
chocolate is softened – remove
from oven. Place 1 M & M candy
on each, pressing down slightly so
chocolate fits pretzel holes. Refrigerate
5-10 minutes until chocolate is firm.
Store in airtight container at room
temperature. Makes about 4 dozen

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

Creamy Potato & Red Pepper Dip

2 russet potatoes (about 1 lb),
scrubbed
kosher salt
6 medium cloves garlic
3/4 C. whole blanched almonds
1/2 C. plus 2 T. olive oil, plus
more for drizzling
2 whole jarred roasted red
peppers, rinsed/patted dry
1/2 C. fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 C. lemon juice
3 T. white wine vinegar

baked pita chips and/or
warm fresh pita bread wedges

Place potatoes & 1 T. salt in medium
saucepan; cover with cold water by
2 inches. Bring to boil over high heat.
Lower heat & simmer until potatoes
are very tender, 25-30 minutes. Once
water is at a simmer, add garlic cloves
& cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove garlic &
cool slightly, then coarsely chop.
Add garlic to food processor along with
almonds & 1/2 C. oil; process until
mixture becomes a thick paste – transfer
paste to a large bowl. Rinse out food
processor & add roasted red peppers,
parsley, pepper flakes, 2 T. oil & 1/4 tsp.
salt. Process until mixture is mostly
smooth with some small chunks. When
potatoes are tender, drain well then
cool slightly. Use a clean dish towel to
rub off skins (discard skins), coarsely
chop potatoes. Mash (or use food
mill or rices) potatoes add to bowl
with almond mixture. Add 2 tsp. salt
& gently stir until just combined. Stir
in lemon juice, vinegar & 1/2 C. water;
taste for seasoning & adjust as needed.
Spoon potato mixture into shallow
baking dish – make a large well in
center. Fill well with red pepper sauce
& lightly drizzle top with olive oil.
Serve warm or at room temperature
with pita chips/bread chunks.
Makes about 4 cups

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

Candy Bar Fudge

1/2 C. butter
1/3 C. baking cocoa
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. milk
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
30 caramels, unwrapped
1 T. water
2 C. salted peanuts
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. milk chocolate chips

In microwave-safe bowl, combine
butter, cocoa, brown sugar & milk.
Microwave on High until mixture
boils, about 2 minutes. Stir in
powdered sugar & vanilla; pour into
a greased 8 X 8″ square pan. In
another microwave-safe bowl heat
caramels & water on High 1 1/4
minutes until melted. Stir in peanuts;
spread over chocolate layer. Micro-
wave chocolate chips on High 30
seconds until melted; spread over
caramel layer. Chill until firm.
Makes 2 3/4 lb. or 64 servings

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

No-Bake Chocolate/Peanut Butter
Cookies

1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. whole milk
4 T. unsweetened cocoa
1 C. creamy peanut butter
3 C. instant oats
2 tsp. vanilla

Line baking sheets with waxed
paper.
In medium saucepan add butter, sugar,
milk & cocoa – heat on medium heat.
Measure out peanut butter & oats &
have vanilla ready – process goes quickly.
Bring mixture to a rolling boil; boil 1
minute 15 seconds. Remove from heat
immediately, stir in peanut butter. Add
oats – stir, add vanilla – stir. Drop by
Tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
Let cool 30 minutes until set. Store in
air-tight container.

NOTE:
Tip to perfect cookies: TIME THE BOIL
when it’s at a full, rapid boil, not when you
first start seeing bubbles. Never go over 1
minute 15 seconds while boiling or it will
end up too dry.

Second tip: never make them when it’s raining-
they will not turn out correctly (they’ll be gooey
and not set up) Weird, but true

(recipe: oldworldgardenfarms.com)

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

Today is one of those “What do I do FIRST?” days;
there are three rather ‘pressing’ things I SHOULD
be doing: (1) get those 2 spa cloths knit, (2) work
on completing the next newsletter for my group
in time to email it to the church so they can get
it printed up, so I can drive there/pick them up/
staple together/fold/put some in envelopes &
mail BEFORE January 4th which will be our first
meeting of the new year (3) finish buying presents
hopefully BEFORE we get too much snow to
travel in safely…those are the ‘weighing on my
brain things’ today. And where do you find me
when all that needs doing? Perusing my emails,
reading Facebook posts and then deciding to
make a post to you! Yep, I’ve officially joined
the PROCRASTINATORS OF AMERICA Guild!
Also still tossing around which ‘sides’ will go
well with the Christmas dinner! Oldest son
is preparing either Prime Rib or Roast Pork
Loin (or both, he hasn’t decided yet) – other
grandmother & I are doing the sides &
desserts. I asked son if he would prepare
his (fantastically tasty) grilled asparagus;
along with that I’m thinking glazed carrots,
twice-baked/stuffed potatoes, maybe some
kind of cold salad/jello thing?, rolls. The
other grandma makes great appetizers, so
that’s what she’s doing; I’m doing the desserts.
For starters: our family tradition: a big dark
chocolate cake:

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along with French vanilla ice cream.
Might come up with one more dessert,
maybe something not quite as sweet?
Haven’t decided yet. The Birthday cake
is usually round, but that year I found
my old heart-shaped pans and went
with that. I make it as a devil’s food
cake & add extra strong coffee as the
liquid (brings out the chocolate flavor).

Well, my dears, the day is swiftly passing
and I’m no closer to getting any of my
objectives accomplished. Think I’ll sign
off here and start on the the newsletter.

Enjoy your day – and stay warm & safe!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

Sorry – been away a few days…

rain-umbrella-dog-26562364

It’s a bit chilly & wet today – 38 degrees, gray & rainy (30 % chance of snow on Thursday . . . yuck). After church Sunday night I was in the foyer getting my coat on when one of our gentlemen said: “Look at the snow!” I said: “Yeah, right . . .” (sarcastically) UNTIL I TURNED AROUND! It was coming down fast & furious AND STICKING! Had to drive home with it blowing straight at the windshield (an ‘interesting’ feat if you’ve never driven like that)…got home fine. Next day it warmed up and all the snow was gone – YAY!

Been working on getting a few scarves knit for the homeless – the church that my special needs group meets at has a big box and every year our group sponsors a collection of hats, scarves, mittens, gloves & socks for the needy in the area. This year they decided to change it up a bit and leave the box up AFTER the holidays. There is a house on the property that the church uses for giving out food for those in need so they will be using the donations during the winter, also. That gives me more time to be able to knit more things to give away – YAY! Here are two of the scarves I just finished (am working on a Teal knit one now)

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

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices,
reserve juice
1 jar maraschino cherries
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla pudding mix
3 eggs
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. milk plus more, as needed,
see note below

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray bundt pan with nonstick
spray. Evenly pour melted butter
in bottom of bundt pan & top with
brown sugar. Cut pineapple rings
in half; alternating with cherries, place
in butter/brown sugar mixture in
bottom of pan (standing pineapple
so they look like smiles in dents in
pan). In large bowl combine cake &
pudding mixes together. Add reserved
pineapple juice & milk.(see note
below)
Add eggs & oil; mix until fully blended.
Pour batter evenly over pineapple &
cherries, smoothing out the top
to make even. Bake 30 minutes
following cake mix instructions
for using a bundt pan until a
toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean. Cool cake 10
minutes in pan before running
a knife around edges & inner
ring of pan – invert cake onto
a serving plate & slice between
pineapple rings to serve.

NOTE: When you add reserved
pineapple juice & milk they should
equal 1 Cup of liquid. If you want
you can first pour the juice into
a measuring cup & add enough
milk to make 1 C. liquid. Add
liquid to combined cake & pudding
mixes & continue with recipe.

(recipe: tiphero.com)
———————————–

Turkey Divan

1/2 lb. fresh broccoli florets
1/2 lb. leftover turkey meat, cubed
2 C. leftover turkey gravy
1/4 C. Half & Half or heavy cream
1 T. sherry
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. mayonnaise
few grinds fresh nutmeg
2 T. butter
1 C. panko bread crumbs
1/4 C. sliced almonds
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. shredded Gruyere or Swiss
cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place medium saucepan of water
to boil & plunge broccoli in; cook
2 minutes then remove to paper
towels to drain & cool. (once cool)
place in small casserole dish. Top with
cut up turkey. In medium saucepan
heat gravy & whisk in cream, sherry,
mustard, mayonnaise & nutmeg.
Heat just to hot & pour over turkey.
In medium saute pan melt butter
over medium heat & add bread
crumbs; cook until browned,about
5 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle
almonds, Parm & Swiss cheese over
gravy then top with toasted bread
crumbs. Bake 30 minutes uncovered
until hot, bubbly & browned. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
———————————–
Bacon/Cheddar & Swiss Cheeseball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese
1 C. cooked, crumbled bacon (about
12 strips), divided
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted/
divided
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 (2 oz) jar diced pimientos, drained
2 T. sweet pickle relish
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1 T. poppy seeds

assorted crackers, for dipping

In large bowl beat cream cheese &
sour cream until smooth. Stir in
shredded cheeses, 1/2 C. bacon,
1/4 C. nuts, onion, pimientos,
pickle relish, salt/pepper.
Refrigerate, covered, at least
1 hour.
In small bowl mix parsley, poppy
seeds & remaining bacon & nuts.
Spread half of mixture on a large
piece of plastic wrap. Shape half
of cheese mixture into a ball;
roll in parsley mixture to coat
evenly – wrap in plastic. Repeat
with rest of mixture & same
directions. Refrigerate balls
at least 1 hour. Serve with
crackers. Makes 4 cups.

NOTE: To toast nuts:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a shallow sheet pan with
sides, place nuts & bake
5-10 minutes (OR) cook in
a skillet over low heat until
lightly browned, stirring
occasionally.

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

Sausage, Garlic, Quinoa-Stuffed
Mushrooms

about 25 large whole button
mushrooms (24 oz)*
1/2 C. dry quinoa, rinsed**
3/4 C. broth or water
3 hot Italian chicken sausage links
(the large sized ones)
1/2 C. minced onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
5 button mushrooms, diced
2 T. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Clean mushrooms, remove stems &
arrange on an oiled baking sheet. Bring
small pot with broth or water to boil.
Add quinoa & cook, partially covered,
12-13 minutes until fluffy. While quinoa
cooks, bring skillet to medium-high heat.
Remove casings from sausage & add to
skillet. Cook, stirring often to make small
crumbles until no longer pink; remove to
a plate. Using same skillet, add onion &
a little bit of water or broth to deglaze
pan & saute onions. When onions start
to soften add garlic & chopped
mushroom; reduce heat to medium.
Stir occasionally, cook until onions are
tender & translucent. Add quinoa to
sausage mixture & mix thoroughly. Season
with sea salt, garlic powder & paprika &
remove from heat – allow to cool a little
before handling. Spoon mixture into
mushroom caps & arrange on oiled
pan. Bake 15-20 minutes until
mushrooms are tender & steamy after
giving up a bit of their liquid. Serve hot.
Makes 25 stuffed caps.

*You can use regular mushrooms or
baby bella portobellos.

** You can substitute Italian style
or Panko bread crumbs

(recipe: peasandcrayons.com)
—————————————

Crockpot Turkey/Rice Soup

8 C. water
8 C. turkey/chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 C. cooked turkey, shredded
1 C. grated carrots
2 T. minced dried onions
2 C. cooked white rice
salt/pepper, to taste
1 T. minced garlic
3/4 of a 12 oz. bag egg noodles

Combine turkey, broth, water,
bouillon cubes, carrots, salt/
pepper, garlic & onions in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 4 hours,
stirring occasionally. After 4 hours
add egg noodles, cover &
continue to cook. Add cooked rice
to crockpot, stir & serve. Serves 10

(recipe: kleinworthco.com)
————————————

French Onion Pork Chop Skillet

6 boneless pork chops, 1/2″ thick
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
1 1/2 C. hot water
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook chops & onions in large skillet
on medium-high heat 8 minutes,
turning chops & stirring onions after
4 minutes (chops will not be done)
remove chops from skillet. Cook onions
5 minutes more until golden brown,
stirring frequently. Stir in Worc. sauce;
return chops to skillet & spoon onion
mixture over chops. Combine stuffing
mix & water; spoon around edge of
skillet. Top chops & stuffing with
cheese. Cover & cook 5 minutes until
cheese melts & chops are done. Remove
from heat & let stand 3 minutes before
serving. Serves 6

(recipe: kraft recipes)


Bacon-wrapped Water Chestnuts
(appetizer)

2 (8 oz, ea) cans water chestnuts,
drained
1 lb. lean bacon, cut in half
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. ketchup
1/4 C. soy sauce
toothpicks

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Soak water chestnuts in soy sauce
15 minutes, stirring a few times
to make sure they are fully coated;
remove from soy sauce (reserve
soy sauce). Wrap 1/2 strip bacon
around each, secure with toothpicks.
Place (toothpick sides up) in a 7″ X
11″ glass baking dish. Bake 25-35
minutes until desired crispness.
Remove from dish & drain grease.
Place chestnuts back in dish. Add
ketchup & brown sugar to reserved
soy sauce; stir to combine then
pour evenly over chestnuts to coat.
Bake 20-30 minutes.

(recipe: dearcrissy.com)
—————————

Cheesy/Garlic Monkey Bread

1 (12 oz.) can refrigerated biscuits
2 T. margarine, melted
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 C. KRAFT shredded Italian
5 cheese with a touch of Philadelphia
1/2 C. tomato – basil pasta sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Separate biscuits; cut into quarters.
Mix margarine, Parm. cheese &
seasonings in medium bowl until
blended. Add dough pieces; toss to
evenly coat each piece. Spray a
9″ round pan with nonstick spray &
place coated biscuit pieces in pan.
Top with shredded cheese. Bake
20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Cool 10 minutes in pan; remove to
wire rack to cool slightly. Heat pasta
sauce & serve with bread, on the side.
Makes 10 servings

(recipe: Kraftrecipes)
——————————-

Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies

2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. brown sugar, light or dark
1 egg, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. molasses

Coating
1/2 C. granulated sugar

Combine flour, baking soda, corn
starch, salt & spices in large bowl;
whisk together. In separate bowl
cream butter & sugars. Beat in egg
until thoroughly combined; mix in
vanilla & molasses. Gradually add
flour mixture to butter mixture,
stirring just until combined. Place
in fridge at least 2 hours (poster
leaves hers 24 hours)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Using a cookie scoop, scoop
dough to form a ball & roll ball
in gran. sugar; place on cookie sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes being careful to
not overbake. Let cool several minutes
on sheet before moving to wire rack.
Store in airtight container up to a
week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes 2 dozen

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
=======================

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile,
it seems lately almost every day/
evening are filled with places to
go & things to get done. Last
night was our church Ladies
Christmas banquet, tonight is
Knit/Crochet night & Wednesday
is my special needs group (am
looking forward to Thursday &
hopefully a break/rest!).

Chatted with oldest son on plans
for Christmas/dinner and they have
invited us to their house, again, for
Christmas dinner. The other grand-
parents agreed, so we’ll sort of be
doing a copy of Thanksgiving, with
oldest son preparing the meat(s)
and the ‘grands’ taking over with
the appetizers, sides & desserts.
He said he’s thinking either a
prime rib or pork roast or loin –
you can bet I’ll be looking up good
‘sides’ to go with either of those!

Have a great day/evening!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Forgot to add a photo taken Saturday at

my close friend Mary’s (Mama) daughter-in-
law’s memorial service/luncheon.
Husband & I (after 40 years marriage!)

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