SO HAPPY and PROUD!

Last night was the Pick Up date for all of the lovely knitted & crocheted baby items for the upcoming Detroit Veterans Hospital’s Annual Baby Shower. The lady who is the Women’s Coordinator for the event told us there will be 17 Moms attending the shower. This year our group donated 87 knit & crocheted items! 24 blankets, 42 hats, 11 sets of booties, 2 snuggle sacks and 8 baby headbands – I’d say we MORE THAN covered the moms this time! (I was going to post all of the photos, but there are 17 photos, so I decided not to). The ladies in my group continue to amaze me with their generosity – so happy they participated in showing love to these Vets Moms!

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

Caramel Apple Slab Pie

2 1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 C. butter-flavored shortening
8 T. cold water
1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 1/2 lb. Granny Smith apples,
peeled/cored & cut into 1/4″
thick slices (10 cups)

Crumb Topping:
1 C. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. butter

Homemade Caramel:
1 C. brown sugar
4 T. butter
1/2 C. Half & Half
1 T. vanilla
pinch salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 15 X 10 X 1″ rimmed
sheet pan with nonstick spray.
Dough:
In large bowl combine flour &
salt; using pastry blender or
2 forks, cut in shortening until it
resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle
1 T. cold water over mixture & toss
with a fork. Repeat, using 1 T. water
at a time until it is  moistened, then
knead dough into a ball. On lightly
floured surface, roll dough into a
19X13″ rectangle. Wrap dough around
rolling pin & unroll dough into prepared
pan. Ease dough into pan & up sides,
being careful not to stretch it. Trim
dough to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pan.
Fold dough edge over & flute as desired.

In extra large bowl combine sugar,
1/3 C. flour, cinnamon & apples – toss
to coat. Spoon mixture onto dough &
spread evenly.

Crumb Topping:
In large stir oats, brown sugar & flour.
Using a pastry blender, cut in butter
until topping resembles coarse crumbs –
sprinkle on top of apples in pan. Bake
40-45 minutes until apples are tender. If
it is starting to brown too fast, cover top
with foil the last 5-10 minutes of baking.
Cool slightly.

Homemade caramel:
Place all ingredients in medium saucepan
over medium-low  to medium heat. Cook,
while whisking gently, 5-7 minutes until
thicker. Turn off heat. Serve warm or
refrigerate until cold. Drizzle caramel on
top of apple slab pie then serve.
Serves 25

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

 

Cheesy Baked Zucchini

4 C. shredded zucchini
1 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. chopped scallion
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C. vegetable oil
4 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine all ingredients &
mix well – pour into prepared
dish. Bake 25 minutes until
golden brown. Cut into squares
& serve. Serves 15

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————–
Garlic/Parmesan/Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

In large skillet bring 1/2 inch
of water to a boil. Add asparagus &
garlic; cook, covered, until asparagus
is crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes; drain.
Toss asparagus with butter & cheese.
Serves 4

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

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

12 oz. elbow macaroni
1/2 C. grated carrot
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 C. mayonnaise
3 T. pineapple juice
2 T. apple cider vinegar
salt/pepper, as desired

Cook macaroni per pkg.
directions; drain/cool.
Add grated carrot & celery &
mix. Whisk mayo, pineapple
juice & vinegar then pour over
noodles – toss to combine. Add
salt/pepper, to taste. Chill until
ready to serve. Serves 6

(recipe: slowcookergourmet.com)
———————————

 Crockpot Pepper Steak

2 lb. beef sirloin cut into
2″ strips
garlic powder
3 T. vegetable oil
1 beef bouillon cube
1/3 C. hot water
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. chopped onion
2 large roughly chopped green
bell peppers
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
with juice
3 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt

Heat oil in large skillet over medium
heat; season beef strips with garlic
powder then brown in oil. Once
browned, place strips in crockpot.
In large bowl mix bouillon cube with
hot water – dissolve then add cornstarch
& stir to dissolve; pour mixture over meat
in crockpot. Add onion, green peppers,
stewed tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar &
salt – stir to combine. Cover & cook
3-4 hours on High or 6-8 on Low.

(recipe: 77easyrecipes.com)
———————————-       
Homade Pimento Cheese Spread

2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
4 oz. diced pimentos, drained
1/2 tsp. dried mustard

Using elec. mixer, in bowl mix
cheese & cream cheese together –
mix 2-3 minutes. Add mayo &
mix again. Add in seasonings –
stir everything together then
mix in pimentos. Refrigerate
at least 10-15 minutes before
using.

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

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

8 oz. uncooked rigatoni pasta
1 T. olive oil
1 C. chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach,
thawed
3 C. cooked/cubed chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced
tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz) container (Philadelphia)
chive & onion cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. Spread oil on bottom of 9 X 13″
baking pan & add onion in single layer.
Bake 15 minutes just until tender.
Transfer onion to large bowl. Drain
chopped spinach well, pressing between
layers of paper toweling. Stir in cooked
rigatoni, spinach, chicken & next 4
ingredients – into onion in bowl. Spoon
mixture into prepared dish & sprinkle
evenly with shredded cheese. Bake,
covered, 30 minutes. Uncover & bake 15
minutes more until bubbly.

(recipe: facebook)
——————————

Crockpot Blueberry/Lemon Cobbler


Filling:

32 oz. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 C. sugar
3 T. lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
1 T. lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
1/4 C. flour

Topping:

2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1 T. lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 C. butter (2 sticks, chilled/
cut into bits)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla

vanilla ice cream or whipped cream,
for topping cobbler, if desired

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place blueberries in bottom of
crockpot; sprinkle lemon juice on top.
In medium bowl mix sugar & lemon
zest, working zest into sugar with your
fingers to release the lemon oils in the
zest. Add flour & stir with a fork to
evenly combine flour with sugar. Sprinkle
mixture evenly over berries & toss to
combine.

Topping:

In medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, lemon
zest, baking powder, salt & nutmeg using
a fork until well combined. Using 2 butter
knives or a pastry cutter, cut in cold bits
of butter into flour mixture until it
resembles a coarse meal with small pea-
sized pieces of butter. In small bowl whisk
eggs & vanilla with a fork & gently toss
egg mixture into flour/butter mixture
until moistened & dough starts to hold
together & create clumps of dough.
Sprinkle cobbler topping evenly over
blueberries in crockpot. Cover opening
of crockpot with paper towels or a clean
kitchen towel; cover with lid. (toweling
will absorb any condensation that will
collect on lid while cooking, preventing
it from dripping onto cobbler.) Cook
on High 3-4 hours until you can see the
juices from the blueberries bubbling
around edges of crockpot. Check
cobbler at 3 hour mark & only cook
for additional time if needed. Turn
off crockpot & carefully remove lid
& toweling. Let cobbler cool slightly
before serving. Serve with vanilla
ice cream or whipped cream, if
desired. Serves 8

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

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

I know that this week has been very trying
for SO many people in our country – prayers
sent out for all those that battled the storms &
fires – I can’t even imagine.

I noticed in our local paper that they are saying
the gas prices will rise due to the recent weather
situations; yesterday I observed our local station’s
prices are up to $2.59/9 (from $2.39/9) – it’s
understandable. I would imagine produce will
greatly increase in price as well as other items
that would normally be shipped by land; we’ll
see.

Our weather is in the low 70’s during the day,
sunny (supposed to rain tomorrow).

Hoping you are all in good healthy and safety;

Hugs;

Pammie

 

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Great Night!

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Last night was our Knit/Crochet & Yarn Swap night – we had 23 in attendance, some who haven’t come in a LONG time! I admit I’d been a little trepidacious about people bringing yarn, but I was VERY wrong! We had tons of yarn, needles/hooks, some books and a few other craft items; the ladies were happy and I ended up picking up enough white, lavender & dark purple yarn to make another baby blanket for the Detroit Vet’s Baby shower! There was enough ‘leftovers’ for me to have a large bag to take to our local Seniors center – they have a knit or crochet group there that might be able to use the yarn. My friend who’s expecting in June came & I was able to give her all the baby items I’d made for her. Finished the hedgehog, too, and when she saw it she said: “Everyone KNOWS I love hedgehogs!” (well – I didn’t but was SO glad I made it & she liked it.)

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(sort of has a fox face here)

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Husband said his nose is a little too long, but . . . oh, well – SHE liked it! Maybe if I make another one I could tweak it a little bit; as it was I ended up making the body longer – he was about 12 inches long.

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

Strawberry Icebox Cake

3 lb. strawberries, sliced
1 (14.4 oz) box Honey graham crackers
3 (8 oz, ea) tubs Cool Whip, thawed

NOTE:
* Each Cool Whip layer uses one entire
(8 oz) tub (besides the first thin layer).
* Each strawberry layer uses about 1 lb.
of sliced strawberries

In a 9 X 13″ pan spread a thin layer of Cool
Whip just to coat the bottom. Lay 5 graham
crackers across the center of pan, then 2
more, breaking them as needed to fit around
the top & bottom edges. Spread a thick
layer of Cool Whip (just use remaining Cool
Whip from first step) over grahams & top with
a hearty layer of sliced strawberries. Place
graham crackers on top of strawberries, then
Cool Whip, then strawberries. Repeat layers
one more time (3 times total) – you should
reach the top of the pan. Finish with a layer
of sliced strawberries. Refrigerate at least
4 hours or overnight until graham crackers
have softened completely. Serve chilled.
serves 16-20

(recipe: sprinklesomesugar.com)
—————————————

Honey BBQ Brisket
(crockpot)

1 brisket (4-5 lbs)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 C. honey BBQ sauce
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
salt & pepper, to taste

Sprinkle brisket with salt & pepper. Mix
onion & garlic powders, smoked paprika,
cumin & cayenne pepper in small bowl.
Dry rub both sides of brisket with mixture.
Stir together honey BBQ sauce & brown
sugar; pour half of mixture into bottom of
crockpot. Place seasoned brisket, fatty side
up, in crockpot. Cover brisket with remaining
sauce. Cover & cook on Low 8-10 hours or
until fork tender. Remove from crockpot &
let cool, then slice.
In small bowl combine cornstarch & water
until it’s completely smooth. Pour mixture
into bowl of sauce & stir to combine, then
pour on top of sliced meat. Place meat &
sauce back in crockpot for 30-60 minutes
to melt flavors.

(recipe: crockpotmoms)
——————————————-

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers
(crockpot)

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
cut into bite-sized pieces (or 3 C. cooked)
salt/black pepper
1 C. corn
1 C. cooked brown or white rice
1 C. (packed) fresh chopped spinach
2 heaping Cups sharp Cheddar cheese,
shredded
4-5 bell peppers

Sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 (14 oz) can Ro*Tel diced green chiles &
tomatoes
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 C. sour cream, plus more for serving

Add 1 T. olive oil to large skillet over medium
heat; season chicken with salt/pepper & cook,
turning to brown on all sides. Remove to large
bowl & mix with rice, corn, spinach & 1 1/2 C.
cheese. In medium saucepan melt butter over
medium-low heat. Stir in flour & cook 2-3
minutes, stirring often. Whisk in chicken broth
& bring to simmer 3 more minutes, stirring
often. Turn heat to Low & mix in Ro*Tel; add
cream cheese & sour cream to a medium bowl;
add a ladle of hot broth to bowl & stir with a
spoon, then add another ladle of broth, stir then
add to sauce (this prevents curdling). Whisk
until it is completely combined; remove from
heat & allow to cool to lukewarm.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a large roasting pan with nonstick spray.
Wash peppers & cut off tops; remove seeds &
white centers; place in roasting pan. Season
sauce to taste with salt/pepper. Mix about 1
C. sauce into chicken mixture to start, adding
more if needed. You want it well coated but
not swimming in it. Spoon stuffing into peppers,
top with remaining cheese. Spoon or slowly
pour remaining sauce into bottom of pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes until peppers are tender. If
tops start to brown too much, cover with foil.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving. To serve,
spoon sauce onto a plate or dish then top with
a pepper & a dollop of sour cream. Serves 4

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

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 C. quinoa
1 C. vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed/
drained
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced
tomatoes
1 C. corn kernels
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste
1 avocado, halved/seeded/peeled &
diced
juice of 1 lime
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in large skillet over
medium-high heat. Add garlic & jalapeno;
cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant,
about 1 minute. Stir in quinoa, vegetable
broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili
powder & cumin; season with salt/pepper.
Bring to boil, cover & reduce heat to
simmer. Simmer until quinoa is cooked
through, about 20 minutes. Stir in
avocado, lime juice & cilantro. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

(recipe: damndelicious.net)
—————————————
Yellow Squash Casserole

2 lb. yellow squash (about 4 C.)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
(about 35)
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs
3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. butter, melted
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
LIghtly steam squash & onion in
steamer basket about 5 minutes;
drain & set aside. In medium bowl
combine cracker crumbs & cheese.
In large bowl add drained squash &
onion; gently fold in 1/2 cracker/
cheese mixture. In small bowl whisk
together egg & milk then add to
squash mixture. Add half of melted
butter to squash mixture; mix &
season with salt/pepper. Spread
mixture into a greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Top with remaining crackers &
pour remaining butter over dish.
Bake 25 minutes until lightly brown.

(recipe: Nancy Miller/Facebook)
————————————–
Crab Cakes with Chipotle Aioli

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 (14.5 oz) can (Red Gold) petite diced
tomatoes with chipotle, drained
1 (6 oz) box cornbread stuffing mix
1 C. boiling water
3 eggs, beaten
2 (6 oz, ea) cans crab meat, drained/flaked
salt/pepper, to taste
3 T. olive oil

Combine mayonnaise & tomatoes to make
Chipotle Aioli – set aside.
Place stuffing mix in large bowl; add water &
stir to just moisten – let stand 5 minutes. Add
eggs, crab meat, salt/pepper to stuffing mix;
stir to combine – shape into 6 patties. Add oil
to skillet & heat over medium heat – add patties
& cook 5 minutes per side until lightly browned.
Serve with Chipotle Aioli on top of each cake.
Makes 6 cakes.

(recipe: redgoldtomatoes.com)
——————————-
Amish Broccoli Bake

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup
1 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen chopped
broccoli, thawed
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (6 oz) box herbed stuffing mix
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter, melted/
divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 3 qt casserole dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl
combine soup, mayo, onion, salt/
pepper; mix well and gently stir
in broccoli. Place half broccoli in
dish; sprinkle with half the cheese
& half the stuffing mix.
Pour half the butter & half the
soup over stuffing; repeat layers
one more time. Bake 35-40 minutes
or until hot in center.
Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————–

New York Crumb Cake

Cake:
4 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 C. milk
2 T. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

Crumb Topping:
1 C. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, melted/cooled

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13″ baking dish. In
medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking
powder & salt. In separate medium bowl
combine egg, milk, vegetable oil & vanilla;
fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients
using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Spread batter into prepared pan, smooth
out batter. In medium bowl combine
topping ingredients; crumble topping
over cake using your hands, leaving some
of the crumbs large. Bake 35-40 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Serves 15-18

Store covered & use within 2-3 days

(recipe: lovebakesgoodcakes.com)

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

Our weather is still holding at chilly temps, a
little rain & cloudy – not to worry Friday it’s
supposed to get up to 73 (BUT) also 60%
chance of showers likely – hey, it’s Spring!

Gas prices are still holding at $2.46/9 –
OK, but not great but what can ya do?

Tonight is my special needs group’s
Music/Birthday night so I’d better
conserve some energy for that. We
have a great time singing the various
Christian songs they know, having a
small devotion, prayer request time
and then it’s CELEBRATE! Each month
we have this for the kids whose
birthdays fall in that particular month
but EVERYBODY gets cupcakes, so they
love the evening. I’ve been with the
group now since Oct., 1993 and I never
tire of being with them and enjoying
their enthusiasm at life and their love
for the Lord – it doesn’t get any better
than this!

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Great Time Yesterday!

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(we were at a sports bar – hence the ‘decorations’)

This is just part of the people at the “All Operator Reunion” – some of the people I & my husband worked with at Michigan Bell/AT&T (I’m second row far left/rust colored shirt & glasses, my husband is top row -right end, only guy!). I would guess we had something like 30 people there – nice lunch, great company. You’ve heard me mention my dear friend Mary/Momma before – she was my boss for many years when we both worked all nights (and then, later, when we both transferred to a different office) – she came (a good 1 1/2 hour drive from her house) – here she’s chatting with another friend – she’s on the left:

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We’ve been friends for 45 years now – (my husband is in the background in this photo – just noticed!). We all had a nice time catching up – can’t wait for next year’s reunion!

Saturday also found me with the other knit group, helping out. They had collected 300+ knit/crocheted hats/scarves/mittens for the four homeless/warming shelters in our area and some of her group gathered together to put little tags on each item and also to wind yarn into balls. It was a fun time for me getting to meet more of her group (they only meet for 2 hours once a month). The time flew by, we got everything done in 1 1/2 hours! So many nice/lovely hand made items – very nice to see all the work done. I’ve started another scarf for them, this time it’s a thinner white fuzzy yarn done in a very simple pattern. Also working on some bigger baby hats – there was only one tiny baby hat in her collection, so I thought I could ‘beef that up’ a little and make some more. It’s a great group with a great mission: keeping the homeless warm this winter!

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

Crockpot Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake

1 C. granulated sugar
2 (15 oz, ea) cans pumpkin puree
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (18.25 oz) box white or yellow cake mix
1/2 C. butter
cinnamon

vanilla ice cream

Combine sugar, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice
& salt in bottom of crockpot; stir. In separate
bowl combine cake mix (dry) & butter. Using a
fork or pastry blender, cut butter into cake mix
until butter is pea-sized & cake mix is crumbly.
Sprinkle mixture on top of pumpkin puree in
crockpot. Sprinkle cinnamon on top & place a
double layer of paper towels on top of crockpot
(Under lid). Put lid on & make sure it is secure.
(Paper towels will prevent condensation from
dripping onto cake). Cook on Low 3-4 hours or
High 90 minutes – 2 hours. Remove lid & turn
on Warm. Let set on Warm 20-30 minutes then
serve with vanilla ice cream. Makes 8-10
servings.

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

Green Bean/Corn Casserole

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans French style
green beans
2 C. thawed frozen corn
1/4 C. crushed cheese crackers
butter flavored spray

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine soup, sour
cream, cheese & onion; mix in
corn & beans. Transfer to 2 qt.
baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Cover & bake 25 minutes.
Uncover & sprinkle crushed crackers
around outside edges of pan; spritz
crackers with butter flavored spray;
bake 15 minutes more. Serves 8

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

Sweet & Sour Sesame Chicken

10 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken
breast, cut into nuggets
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 egg
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. chicken broth
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. pancake syrup
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. ketchup
1/2 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. sesame seeds
2 T. thinly sliced scallions
(red pepper flakes – optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Place chicken in large bowl; season with
salt & pepper; add egg, mix well to coat.
Pour flour in a wide bowl. One at a time,
add nuggets to egg mixture; shake to
remove excess then dip into flour –
coating thoroughly. Evenly lay nuggets
on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes until
chicken is cooked through.

Sauce:
Combine broth with cornstarch in a nonstick
skillet; whisk to dissolve. Heat pan to Medium-
Low; add syrup, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce,
sesame oil & garlic; mix well. Cook & stir until
thick enough to coat a spoon, 2-3 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat; add chicken & toss
to coat. Plate chicken & sprinkle with sesame
seeds & scallions. (and red pepper flakes, if using).
Makes 2 servings.

(recipe: allfood.recipes)
————————————-

Garlic Shrimp Tortellini Toss

1 (19 oz) frozen cheese tortellini,
thawed
1 1/2 C. peas
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp,
peeled/deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2/ tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper

Prepare tortellini accordg to pkg.
directions. During last 5 minutes
of cooking, add peas; drain. While
tortellini is cooking, heat olive
oil in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add shrimp; cook 2
minutes. Add garlic & cook
another 2 minutes until shrimp
turn pink. Add tortellini mixture
to skillet; stir in seasonings &
toss to coat. Serves 4

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

Bacon-Double Cheese Dip
(crockpot)

8 slices bacon, chopped/cooked
crispy
2 (8 oz, ea) cream cheese, softened
1 C. mayonnaise or Plain Greek yogurt
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. shredded cheese
(your choice, poster used Swiss &
sharp Cheddar)
2 green onions, finely chopped

Beat together cream cheese &
mayonnaise (or yogurt). Stir in
shredded cheeses; add remaining
ingredients, reserving a little bit
of bacon for topping. Cover &
cook on Low 3 hours until hot &
smooth. Garnish with reserved
bacon. Serve with chips and/or
crackers. Serves 10-12

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

Crockpot Pepper Steak

1 to 1 1/2 lb. beef round steak, cut into
bite sized pieces
1/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 onion, sliced
1 green and/or red bell pepper, clied
1 (14.5 oz) can Red Gold diced tomatoes
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
3 T. soy sauce

Hot, cooked rice (recipe serves 4-6)

Place meat in crockpot & sprinkle with
flour & pepper. Stir well to coat then add
rest of ingredients (except rice). Cover &
cook on High 1 hour. Reduce heat to Low
& continue cooking another 8 hours.
Serve over hot rice. Serves 4-6

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

Poor Man’s Philly Beef & Cheese
Sandwiches

2 lb. ground beef
2 pkgs. onion soup mix
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. butter
1 onion, sliced
8 small sweet peppers or
2 large bell peppers, sliced
salt
6 slices provolone cheese
8 crusty dinner rolls

Cook ground beef in large skillet;
drain grease. Add onion soup mix,
Worsc. sauce & stir. In another deep
skillet over medium-high heat. Add
2 T. butter, dash salt & peppers; cook
until golden & wilted, stirring
occasionally. Once meat has browned,
take 6 slices provolone cheese & lay
over top of meat. Turn off heat & cover
with lid; once cheese has melted, remove
pan from stove. Slice buns in half & spoon
some of the cheese/meat mixture onto the
buns; cover with some sauteed peppers/
onions mixture & serve. Makes 8 sandwiches.

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup.net)
———————————————

Sauerkraut/Potato Casserole

8-10 medium potatoes
1 large bag or can sauerkraut, drained
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 C. sour cream
1 can sausage links

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook potatoes, then peel & slice medium
thick. Place a layer of potatoes in bottom
of 9 X 13 pan. Slice sausage into 1/4 – 1/2
inch thickness. Place half in single layer
over potatoes. Mix together sauerkraut,
soup & sour cream; spread half over
potatoes/sausages. Repeat with another
layer of potatoes/sausages & kraut
mixture. Bake 30-40 minutes, until hot.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: recipelion.com)
———————————


CREAMY NEW ORLEANS PRALINES

3 cups sugar…
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 pinch salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 quart pecans

Combine sugar, buttermilk, corn syrup and salt
in a very large pan (it will foam considerably when
soda is added), and bring to a nice rolling boil.
Add soda, stir and cook until soft-ball is formed when
dropped in cold water. Then remove from heat and
add vanilla. Beat until color changes and candy thickens.
Stir in pecans. Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie
sheet. (DO IT FAST before the candy hardens).

(recipe: Facebook)
———————————————

Rustic Tuscan Soup

1 loaf Italian bread (18 inch) cut into
1″ pieces
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese,
divided
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 (15 oz, ea) cans cannellini beans,
rinsed
2 (14.5 oz., ea) cans diced tomatoes,
undrained
2 (14.5 oz ea) cans chicken broth
6 C. loosely packed fresh chopped kale

Preheat oven 400
degrees F.
Spread bread onto baking sheet; drizzle
cut sides with oil; sprinkle with 1 T. Parm.
cheese & crushed pepper; bake 10 minutes.
Cook & stir bacon in large saucepan on
medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon
from pan with slotted spoon; drain on
paper towels. Discard all but 1 T. bacon
drippings from pan; add onions & cook,
stirring, 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Return bacon to pan along with beans,
tomatoes, broth & 1/4 C. remaining cheese;
stir. Simmer on medium-low heat 20 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add kale & cook 10
minutes longer. Serve soup topped with
Italian bread croutons & remaining cheese.
Makes 10 (1 C.) servings.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————————–

3 Ingredient Peach Cobbler
(crockpot)

6 large peaches, peeled & sliced
1 box white cake mix (unprepared)
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, softened

Place sliced peaches in bottom of
crockpot. Cut butter into cake mix
with a pastry blender until crumbly;
sprinkle over peaches. Place a paper
towel (or dish towel) over top of
crockpot & place lid on top. Cook on
High 2-3 hours or Low 4 hours. Remove
towel & serve.

Great with vanilla ice cream!
Makes 8 servings

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)
===========================

Our gas prices (happily) are staying the same:
$2.99/9 – YAY!

Our weather has turned a typical Michigan
Fall – clear and about 45 degrees F. right now
at 2:30 p.m. When we left for church this
morning at around 8:40 a.m. it was a ‘balmy’
29 degrees! I’ve heard, from friends, that it
actually snowed a bit on Halloween – I wouldn’t
know, we don’t ‘go out’ and because we live on
a major highway, there are no trick or treaters, so
we both just read or watched tv (totally oblivious
to any ‘white stuff’ that might have fallen from
the sky – must have been very little because it
was gone by morning – YAY!

Stay warm, enjoy your day –

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: This is now my 1,001 st post! (WordPress keeps track for me)

 

Up and At ‘Em Monday!

1220500922MH5H4U

 

Here we are at the start of another week – what to do? That was the first thought in my head as I awoke this morning. I knew there were several things I was supposed to get done – but now, remembering them? That’s another story! I keep little bits of paper all over the house for exactly those moments; you know – when you’re printing something on the computer and something goes wrong (ie: you end up printing the ENTIRE batch of pages when you only wanted to print ONE recipe? Those times!) I cut the paper up into note-sized bits then use them for recipes, notes, etc. Well, first thing today is the finishing, printing and (hopefully in the next day or so) mailing of my special needs group’s next July/August newsletter. It was pretty much done, composing-wise – just had to finish writing another article and proof-reading it. That’s done and now I’m working on the printing of 50+ copies (just finishes stapling #24 – this particular issue has an extra Memorial page for the student I believe I mentioned in another post. She passed away about a week ago from uterine cancer – lovely girl, but restricted to a wheelchair – now she’s FREE!

Am aiming at getting my list together of things to take for Log Cabin Days: sign for the group with photos of our various charity projects, table covers, business cards, MY KNITTING, camera, extra folding chairs, bottled water (for me) – I’m sure there will be a few more items to add as the day gets closer (it’s THIS Sat/Sunday). On the ‘table cover’ note: went to a small county rummage sale yesterday (got there late) but was able to snag a single-bed sized quilt – to me it looks like Christmas colors (cranberry reds & dark forest greens) but it will make a nice picnic table cover for the days ahead. (something tells me I’ve already blogged about this – sigh – call it a ‘Senior Moment’ . . .)

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

Healthy Banana Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.In large bowl,
combine flour, baking soda and salt. In separate
bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in
eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir
banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to
moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted
into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread
cool in pan for 10 minutes,
then turn out onto a wire rack.

(recipe: Facebook)



—————————————
Stewed Tomatoes w/Butter Toasted Croutons

3 C. cored/peeled/roughly chopped fresh
ripe tomatoes (about 2 lb)
2 T. unsalted butter
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
6 basil leaves, chopped

Croutons:
2-3 slices crusty French or Italian bread, cut
into 3/4″ cubes
1 T. butter
garlic salt

Place tomatoes, butter, sugar, salt & pepper
into a small saucepan; heat to simmer then
reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer 20-30
minutes until tomatoes are cooked, soft & flavors
have blended. Add chopped basil & more butter,
sugar, salt & pepper if needed for balance.

Melt 1 T. butter in small frying pan on medium
heat; add bread cubes & arrange in single layer
in pan. Let gently cook on medium heat so that
bread dries out & gets slightly toasted; turn over
to toast other side. Cook about 10 minutes or until
croutons are crunchy/dry and slightly toasted.
Sprinkle with garlic salt & remove from heat.
Serve tomatoes with a few croutons on top of
each individual serving. Serves 3

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

——————————-
Crockpot Lemonade!

2 C. sugar
4 C. water
2 C. lemon juice
12 C. cold water

Combine first 2 ingredients in a
crockpot. Heat on High 1-2 hours;
stir to dissolve sugar completely. Add
lemon juice to crockpot & turn off
heat. Add remaining water & chill.
Serve cold.

(recipe: passionforsavings.com)

———————————-
Honey Dijon Chicken

4 chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. chicken broth, divided
1 C. Half & Half
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. thyme
pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Cut each chicken breast in half and place
in gallon-sized zip lock bag. Pound with
meat mallet until it’s about 1/2″ thick.
Cut each piece of flattened chicken in
half (should have about 16 (2-3″) pieces.
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-high
heat. Add 2 T. butter & 1 T. oil; allow to
heat through. Sprinkle salt & pepper over
chicken pieces & carefully place them into
hot pan. Cook about 9 pieces at a time.
Don’t overcrowd. Cook 3-4 minutes on each
side or until golden brown and inside is
no longer pink. When chicken is cooked,
pour 1/4 C. chicken broth into pan, cover with
lid & let chicken simmer about 2 minutes.
Remove chicken to separate plate; cover with
foil. Cook remaining chicken following above
instructions. When all chicken is cooked &
covered with foil, prepare sauce. Add garlic
to pan & allow to cook 1 minute (leave any
chicken broth in the pan). Add 1 C. broth,
1 C. Half & Half, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 1/2
tsp. honey, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. parsley,
pinch red pepper flakes, & dash of salt &
pepper; mix well. Simmer, over medium-high
heat 3-4 minutes; this will start to thicken;
taste & add more salt/pepper as needed.
Remove pan from heat; cover & let set
2 minutes. Place cooked chicken on a platter
& drizzle sauce over top. Serves 6-7

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

———————————————-
Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler
(crockpot)

1  lb. lean ground turkey ( or ground beef )
1 pkt. taco seasoning
3/4  C. water
1  (16 oz) can  tomatoes ( diced )
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans ( drained & rinsed )
2 C tortilla chips, light ( or broken taco shells )
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
4  green onion
1  bell peppers ( red, diced )
1 C.  green leaf lettuce ( chopped )

Cook meat in skillet until browned; drain.
Add taco seasoning & water; cook & stir
until sauce thickens. Add diced tomatoes &
bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer
about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add
pinto beans; cook, uncovered, 5-10 minutes
longer or until liquid from tomatoes is
reduced. In ungreased 2 qt. casserole dish,
place broken tortilla chips or taco shells; top
with meat mixture, sprinkle with cheese &
microwave about 3 minutes to melt cheese.
Top with lettuce, green onions & red bell pepper.
Serve warm.

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

Broccoli, Ham & Dijon Au Gratin

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 large bunch broccoli, including stalks, cut
into florets*
2 T. Dijon mustard, whole grain
1 1/2 C. Cheddar/Colby cheese blend,
shredded (with 1/2 C. set aside)
1/4 lb. ham or Canadian bacon, cut into
small cubes
salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Pour cream into saucepan & heat over
medium-low heat. Bring to low simmer &
allow to reduce by about half. Be careful
to watch; do not let it boil over.
Bring some salt water to boil in a soup pot.
Add broccoli to soup pot; simmer 3 minutes.
Strain & immediately plunge into ice water.
Leave broccoli in ice water until chilled
thoroughly. (this will help brocc. stay green).
Once chilled, remove & let drain & dry.
*(You can also use frozen broccoli & add to
the recipe at this point)
Whisk Dijon mustard into cream. In a bowl,
add 1 C. grated cheese; add diced ham & mix.
Whisk cheese & ham mixture into cream until
completely melted & sauce had been made.
Add cooled dry broccoli to sauce; stir until
broccoli is coated; pour mixture into a pie
pan or baking pan. Bake about 15-20
minutes, until top is browned.

(recipe: djfoodie.com)
————————————-

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprises

1 box brownie mix (plus eggs & oil required on box)
1 pkg. mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line mini-muffin tins with paper liners. Mix brownies
accordg. to pkg. directions. Fill each mini-muffin cup
about 3/4ths full. Press one peanut butter cup into
each brownie. Bake 8-10 minutes.

NOTE: Can be made with regular sized muffin tins,
also. Just adjust cooking time to around 15-18
minutes.

(recipe: the-girl-who-ate-everything.com)
======================

Our weather has been rather pleasant lately – in the mid 70’s
which is just to my liking. According to our weather report,
it’s supposed to have a high of 79 degrees with scattered
thundershowers, some severe – 50% possibility of rain. Oh well,
that will save me ‘attempting’ to remember to water my two
outdoor flower pots – right?

Hope you are enjoying a GREAT summer and remember
to have a good day – relax, recline, read a book/drink a
nice refreshing beverage of your choice (or just eat some
chocolate – works for me!)

Hugs;

Pammie


 


Pictures!

000_0015

Diagonal Box Stitch baby afghan (from the pattern my dear friend, Mary (Momma) taught me MANY years ago (another baby afghan for Detroit Veteran’s Hospital baby shower in September)

000_0017

100 baby hats for St. Joseph’s Hospital; Premie hats on the left/Newborns on the right

I must say this is also with help from two friends; Laura and Terri. Delivery next week then back to knitting more!

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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg, beaten
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

Preheat oven 350 F.
Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder
and baking soda in large bowl. Cut in butter with
pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles
fine crumbs. Stir in peanuts. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb
mixture. Stir egg into remaining crumb mixture. Press
onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.Stir together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in small bowl until well combined. Pour evenly over partially baked crust.Stir together reserved crumb mixture and chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly over peanut butter layer.Bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool & cut into bars.

(recipe: Facebook)

—————————————————

Chicken Noodle Casserole

2/3 C. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 3/4 in. cubes
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 1/2 C. chopped carrots
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3 T. butter or stick margarine
3 T. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 1/2 C. milk
1 1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 oz. wide egg noodles, cooked & drained

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large nonstick skillet, saute onion & garlic
in oil until tender. Add chicken; cook & stir until
no longer pink. Add broth, carrots, celery, &
thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer
10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender. In a
saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt & pepper
until smooth. Gradually add milk; bring to a boil.
Cook & stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove
from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Pour over
chicken mixture. Add noodles; mix well. Transfer
to a 3 Qt. baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.
Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
——————————–

Crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage

2 lb. lean corned beef brisket, all fat trimmed
1 C. frozen pearl onions
2 medium carrots, peeled & chunked
2 medium parsnips, peeled & chunked
1 small head cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp. whote peppercorns

In 5-6 qt crockpot, place brisket, carrots &
parsnips, pearl onions, parsley, bay leaves,
peppercorns & 3 C. water. Cover & cook on
High 4 hours. Add cabbage; cook on High
1 hour 20 minutes more. Remove meat; slice
& serve. Serves 6

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

Crockpot Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

5 lb. red potatoes (peeled or not)
3 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 C. water
8 T. butter, divided
1/3 C. sour cream
1/2 C. milk

Place potatoes in 4-7 qt. crockpot; sprinkle with salt &
pepper. Place garlic cloves in center of a square of tin
foil; wrap up foil like a Hershey kiss candy and place in
crockpot, to the side. Place chicken bullion granules in
1 C. warm water; stir then pour broth mixture over
top of potatoes. Cut 4 T. butter into small pieces; place
them in random spots over top of potatoes. Cover &
cook on High 4 hours or Low 7-8 hours. When potatoes
are fork-tender, remove tin foil, open it & smash the
roasted garlic with a fork. Add half of it back into crockpot.
If you want more garlic taste, add more after everything is
mixed together & tasted. Pour 1/2 C. milk, 4 T. butter & 1/3 C.
sour cream into crock. Using a hand mixer, blend potatoes
until smooth & creamy. Add more milk if they are too thick.
Taste, then add more garlic, salt or pepper if you like.
Serves 10-12

NOTE: Recipe can be halved, or make the entire batch &
reserve leftovers for a Shepherd’s Pie. OR – if you don’t
like garlic, just leave it out.

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup.com)

————————————————–

Eggplant Parmesan

3 eggplants, peeled & thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
4 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 C. spaghetti sauce, divided
1 (16 oz) pkg. mozzarella cheese, shredded &
divided
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp. dried basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread
crumbs. Place in single layer on baking
sheet. Bake 5 minutes on each side.
In a 9 X 13 pan, spread spaghetti sauce
to cover bottom. Place a layer of eggplant
slices in sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella &
Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining
ingredients, ending with cheeses. Sprinkle
basil over top. Bake 35 minutes or until
golden brown. Serves 8-10

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

—————————————-

Mozzarella – Basil Chicken w/Roasted
Tomatoes

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 lb)
12 large fresh basil leaves, divided
2 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 slices
4 large oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/4 C. Balsamic vinaigrette dressing, divided
2 1/4 C. grape tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Make a cut in one long side of each chicken
breast, being careful to not cut through to
opposite side. Fill each pocket with 2 basil
leaves & 1 cheese slice and 1 sun-dried tomato.
Place chicken on one side of a rimmed baking
sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Add tomatoes
to other side of baking sheet. Brush chicken
evenly with 1 T. balsamic dressing. Bake 30
minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F).
Cut remaining basil leaves into thin slices. Top
tomatoes with basil & remaining dressing; toss
lightly. Serve chicken topped with tomato
mixture. Serves 4

(Recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————————–

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1″ cubes
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, halved
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. beef broth
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sour cream
2 T. flour
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles, uncooked
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Place meat, mushrooms, onions & garlic in
crockpot. Add broth, paprika & salt; cover.
Cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 5 hours. Mix
sour cream, flour & mustard in small bowl;
stir into crockpot until well blended. Cook,
covered, on Low 15 minutes. Cook noodles
as directed on pkg. Drain noodles; place in
large serving bowl. Add meat mixture; mix
lightly. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 8

NOTE: For more robust flavor, brown meat in
2-3 T. oil in large skillet on medium-high before
adding to crockpot

(recipe: Kraft foods)
——————————

Easy Mexican Casserole

1 pound lean ground beef
1 can Ranch Style beans
1 (10-12) oz bag tortilla chips, crushed
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water

sour cream and salsa for serving

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In large skillet, brown meat; drain off fat.
Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning,
soup and water; simmer over medium-low heat
until everything is well combined and heated
through. Grease 9 X 13 casserole dish. Put down
a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer
of the meat/bean mixture, then half of the cheddar
cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for
20-30 minutes, or until bubbly. Let sit for 5-10
minutes before serving.
Top with sour cream and salsa.

(recipe: Facebook)
—————————————

Double-Banana Pudding Cake

1 (2 layer) box yellow cake mix
1 1/2 C. mashed fully-ripe bananas
about 3, divided
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (or pecans)
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1/4 C. water
2 T. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake batter accordg to pkg.
directions. Stir in 1/2 C. bananas &
nuts; pour into greased 9 X 13 pan.
Beat pudding mixes, milk & water in
medium bowl using whisk 2 minutes;
stir in remaining bananas & pour over
batter in pan. Place pan on baking sheet.
Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until
toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Cool 20 minutes – sauce will
thicken slightly as it cools. Sprinkle top
with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes 16 servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)
===============================
Yesterday I tried something new (to us); I was at Gordon Foods earlier in the week and bought a package of Parmesan Risotto (that’s cheesy ‘fancy’ rice). I cooked it last night along with some baked white fish. Have you ever had something turn out ‘not how you wanted it’? This was it – the fish was blah (white fish can be) and rubbery (sigh) and the Risotto was gummy and not at all what I expected – these are two items I will NOT be buying again! The ‘saving’ item was tossed salad – at least THAT tasted like I expected!

Our weather today is sunny, but cold (29 degrees F). No snow today (we did get a light dusting Weds night – Thurs morning, but it’s melted).

Today is a kind of ‘fun’ day for me: big church rummage sale in the area (and another one at another church, tomorrow!), then quick shopping at Gordon Foods for snack items for tonight’s special needs group Gym Night. Later it’s pick up grandson at 4 p.m., then leave for Gym Night around 5:20 – busy until around 9 p.m. then come home and ‘crash’.

I’ve ‘heard’ robins lately (our Michigan ‘sign of Spring’) but haven’t seen any yet.I’m glad one of the first signs of Spring is here: Rummage/Garage Sales!   I don’t really NEED anything when I go to these sales, I just like the fun of the ‘hunt’. Sometimes you find things you didn’t know you needed!

That’s about ‘it’ for now – working on more baby hats (next batch) and the white & brightly colorful baby afghan. It’s funny – when I get into an afghan, I find myself almost yearning to learn ANOTHER pattern! (Have to kind of rein-in my brain – ONE-AT-A-TIME!).

Have a GREAT day! Hope the sun is shining where you are

Hugs;
Pammie

Overlapping Days!

beautiful-christmas-tree-28194019

Wednesday

How to you get everything done AND write a blog? You overlap the blog entries! It’s now 1 week to Christmas and I’m slowly getting things done. Last night was the Knit group Movie night – we had a great time, good food and conversation. Mid-day yesterday I suddenly thought of ANOTHER person I forgot a present for: oldest son’s girlfriend! (You’d think, after 6 years, I wouldn’t forget her!). That got me to thinking: what can I do? Why, knit ANOTHER pair of wrist warmers, of course! I’m making hers out of white yarn and adding another set of the pattern, to make them a little longer (she’s a tall girl). At the movie night I got one done, so am working on #2 today. Tonight is my special needs group’s party and, after doing this going on 20 years now, I well know NOT to over-do my energies because after the party I’m going to be exhausted! Got the strings of lights up on the secretary and fireplace mantel, partially assembled the tree (forgot the TOP section, husband is going to go upstairs and get it later.) I’m thinking tree decorating some time tomorrow. Also realized I didn’t bring down the lighted wreath for the side window facing the driveway (and visible from the road) so that’s another thing to ask him to bring down. (I’m learning! Conserve my energy!!!).

We tried the ‘easy banana bread’ I made the other day and I must say: I’m impressed! It’s very flavorful and moist! (this is the 3-ingredient Banana Bread recipe I posted a few days ago). All these years I’ve been using my close friend’s recipe for banana bread (and it’s a good one), but this THREE INGREDIENT thing is great! Am thinking of making sure we always have a box of yellow cake mix in the house – that way, when we get all those ‘almost black’ bananas around here, I can use them up! (hate throwing them away – such a waste of  money! Bananas were 59 cents a lb. at Kroger yesterday!).

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

Easiest Pineapple Cake

Cake:

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Frosting:

1 stick butter
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. confectioners sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all cake ingredients together in
large bowl, using a fork. Pour batter
into greased 9 X 13 pan; bake 35-40
minutes, until top is golden brown.

Frosting:
Beat butter, cream cheese & vanilla
together until creamy; gradually mix in
powdered sugar. Frost cake while cakeis still warm.

Sprinkle top with chopped
nuts, if desired. Serves 15

(recipe: Cassie-justapinch.com)
————————————-


Easy Peppery Brie en Croute

1 (8 oz) tube crescent roll dough
1 (8 oz) pkg. brie,rind removed
2 T. Tabasco GREEN pepper sauce
1 egg, beaten
crackers

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Work crescent dough into thin circle
large enough to completely wrap brie.
Place cheese in center of dough circle;
prick top of the cheese several times
with a fork & slowly pour 1 T. Tabasco
over top of cheese. Let it stand briefly
so that cheese absorbs the sauce. Add
remaining Tablespoon Tabasco, pricking
cheese several more times with fork.
Some sauce will run over side of cheese,
don’t worry about it. Bring edges of dough
over top of cheese, working it together
to completely cover the cheese. Brush
edges with beaten egg & seal. Bake
about 10 minutes. Be careful not to over-
bake, as the cheese will run. Serve
immediately with crackers.

(recipe: Beth-justapinch.com)
——————————————-


Incredible Pimento Cheese Spread

1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 lb. medium Cheddar cheese
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pint Miracle Whip salad dressing
8 oz. jar pimento, drained & chopped
3 T. sugar
salt & pepper, to taste

Grate cheeses or cut into small pieces.
Allow to soften to room temperature. Combine
all ingredients; blend using elec. mixer/blender
or food processor. (It may be necessary to
divide ingredients into two batches unless you
have a very large mixing container). Store
leftovers in fridge. Can be frozen.
Makes 2 quarts.

(recipe: Shelley-justapinch.com)
————————————


Skinny Taco Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (1/3 less fat)
8 oz. sour cream (reduced fat)
1 (16 oz) jar mild salsa
1/2 packet taco seasoning mix
2 C. iceburg lettuce, shredded fine
2 large tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
small jar sliced black olives (drained)

baked tortilla chips

In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour
cream, salsa & taco seasoning; mix well
using elec. mixer. Spread on bottom of a
large shallow glass dish. Top with shredded
lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese & black
olives. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
Makes 24 servings

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


Veggie Pizza Appetizers

2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1 C. fresh broccoli florets
1 C. chopped green pepper
1 C. chopped, seeded tomatoes
1/2 C. sliced, pitted black olives
1/4 C. finely chopped onion

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Separate dough into 4 rectangles. Press dough onto
bottom and up sides of a 15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pan
to form crust. Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden brown;
cool. Mix cream cheese, Mir. Whip, dill & onion salt until
well blended; spread over crust. Top with remaining
ingredients & refrigerate then cut into squares.
Makes 32 servings.

Variations: you can substitute chopped cucumbers or
shredded carrots, or chopped red bell peppers for any
of the chopped vegetables.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————————–


Crockpot Stuffed Peppers4 green or red peppers
1/2 lb. ground pork
3/4 c. water, divided
1/2 C. barbecue sauce, divided
1 C. instant white rice, uncooked
1 C. frozen peas
1/4 lb. (4 oz) Velveeta cheese,
cut into 1/2 in/ cubes

Cut tops off peppers; chop tops,
then refrigerate for another use. Remove
seeds from peppers; discard. Set pepper
shells aside. Combine meat, 1/4 C. water &
1/4 c. barbecue sauce, rice & peas; spoon
into pepper shells & top with Velveeta
chunks. Mix remaining water & barbecue
sauce in crockpot. Stand peppers in
crockpot; cover with lid. Cook 5-7 hours
on Low, or 2 1/2 0 3 1/2 hours on High.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————

Mediterranean Lemon Chicken

-
6 chicken thighs, leg quarters or drumsticks
1 lemon
2 tsp. dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
-
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In 9 X 13 baking dish, grate peel of 1/2 lemon, 
squeeze out the juice (about 1/4 C.) and add to
peel with oregano, garlic, oil, salt & pepper; stir
until mixed. Remove skin from chicken & discard.
Coat chicken pieces with lemon mixture & arrange,
bone side up, in baking dish. Cover & bake 20
minutes. Turn & baste chicken. Reduce heat to
400 degrees F. & bake, uncovered, basting every
10 minutes for about 30 more minutes. Serve 
chicken with pan juices. Serves 6

(recipe: Pilgrim's Co.)
-----------------------------------------------------

Creamy Pesto Fish


4 frozen haddock fillets* (1 lb) – DO
NOT thaw
1/4 C. Miracle Whip salad dressing
2 T. pesto
1 tomato, chopped

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place fish in 9 X 13 baking dish. Mix
dressing & pesto; spread on fish then
top with tomatoes. Bake 15 minutes or
until fish flakes easily with fork.
Serves 4

*can substitute frozen halibut or cod fillets

(recipe: Kraft foods)
———————————-


York Peppermint Patty Brownies

1 C. butter + 1 T., to coat pan
8 (1 oz ea) squares unsweetened chocolate
5 eggs
3 3/4C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 2/3 C. flour
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
2 bags York Peppermint Patties*

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.

Line bottom of 9 X 13 pan with foil;
grease foil with butter. Microwave
unsweetened chocolate & butter 30
seconds at a time, stirring after each
cooking interval. Cook & stir until they
are melted; set aside. In mixing bowl, beat
eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt & almond extract
3-4 minutes. Add melted chocolate mixture
& flour; mix until incorporated. Stir in
chocolate chips. Spread half of batter into
buttered pan. Unwrap patties & line them up
on top of bottom layer of batter. Cover patties
with second half of batter. Bake 23 minutes.
Stick a knife in center of top layer of brownies
to make sure it comes out clean before removing
from oven. Cool on wire rack then refrigerate at
least 6 hours. Cut into bars. Makes 40 small
brownies. NOTE: they are very rich, cut them small.

*poster said: DO NOT use generic peppermint
patties – make sure you use YORK brand.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup!)
===========================

Thursday/Friday

It's Friday already! The past two days just FLEW by! The special needs
group party turned out very nice; I'd guess we had about 80 people (we
bought food & set up tables for 120, there were 2 1/2 empty tables and
LOTS of leftover sandwiches & cookies!) I made the goofy mistake of 
forgetting to bring my 'regular, every-day' shoes to wear in the kitchen
BEFORE the party, then change into my Sunday dress shoes - ended up
working in heels 5 1/2 hours - by going home time I was a very pained
zombie! I caught myself just going in circles - my feet & legs were a 
big fat pain. GOT TO remember not to do that next year, for sure! 
Thursday found me in the basement of a local church helping one of my
friends who has a very large missionary outreach; her computer had been
hacked and she's so busy she hasn't had time to re-enter all her contacts
back onto her computer, so I spent a few hours doing that. It was fun - I 
like working in quiet, so I happily was tucked in a corner typing away.
Due to being a bit sore and tired (still), 'THE' tree still didn't get
put up - but today's my goal for that. I was 'going' to go to a concert
at 10 a.m. by the kids from Durban, S. Africa (that I've told you about) 
but it appears the roads are all icy - schools are closed and it's 
raining right now (temp. 41!!!). Our roads here are clear, but the 
school where they will be performing is on dirt roads (it's the school
my boys attended when they were young), so I KNOW the roads and also
KNOW they can be a real PAIN if it's icy, so I'm staying home. One of
the presents I received from my spec'l needs group is the CD of these
kids singing, so I won't totally miss them, just the experience of 
seeing them 'in action.'
    This is the week the roofing company said they would be out here
to put on the gutters & a little bit of siding; guess that's not 
happening. I know I wouldn't want to be working outside in this 
weather! After we've had a few days of snow, I don't mind it so much.
There's probably about 8-9 inches on the ground, but the roads & walk
ways are clear (that could change quickly - weather report for this
weekend is mostly 'winter flurries' - oh, goody).
   Gas Prices! The prices around here have been steady (amazing!) at
lowest: $3.09/9 - that's not bad! I still have over a half-tank so
won't be taking advantage of that soon.
    Well, dear people, it's (more than) time for me to get off here.
Enjoy your day - and take a little time for yourself (maybe enjoy a
Christmas cookie and some cocoa? A few marshmallows won't totally 
ruin your diet - trust me!)

Big Hugs;

Pammie

Great Day!

1345751345Pv3PlA

SUMMER IS FINALLY HERE!

It’s a beautiful, balmy 78 degrees outside with lots of sunshine & fluffy clouds – MY kind of day! Saw our little baby bunny out in the yard and our resident chipmunk – love looking for them first thing while getting my coffee ready, they cheer me up! Just got back from visiting the yearly Senior Center Rummage & Bake sale; came away with some great buys: a green & white checked cloth shower curtain, a small galvanized roasting pan and one small Christmas decoration – total cost: $3.25! The shower curtain will work just fine to cover a wooden picnic table at Log Cabin Days, allowing me to put our small display on the table AND make it look a bit more ‘homey’. The roasting pan will replace my old one (have had it since I got married, almost 37 years ago). The old one had a small chip in the bottom (his Mom gave it to me, used) and it’s worked all those years BUT the chip is the spot where everything sticks! This one is brand new and only $1.00! A balm to my FRUGAL heart! And, to top off my experience, they had a large table of day old breads with a sign: FREE! Took home a nice (orig. price $3.99) loaf of Artisan bread for my husband; it will be really tasty warmed in the toaster oven with some butter – YUM! At said sale I also ran into a lady I used to work with at Michigan Bell MANY years ago, several of my special needs ‘kids’ & one of their caregivers, and three members of my knit group! It’s a GREAT DAY!

Last night was our special needs group meeting and we got a HUGE blessing! For many years we’ve been sort of crammed into a large classroom (I think I wrote about the night I had 48 kids, 8 wheelchairs and tons of caregivers – that was the biggest group we’ve ever ‘wedged’ into that room!). My friend (and the group’s leader) Lois went before the church deacon committee and presented our ‘plight’. They responded by giving us the entire old sanctuary – it’s HUGE! We now have about 15 round tables with 8 really cushy chairs at each, a baby grand piano (YAY! I’m thrilled! Our old upright only played some of the keys and the loud pedal didn’t work at all!), a white board, nice podium AND our own bathrooms! The room is wheelchair accessible and there’s room for growth! THANK YOU, LORD! (the only ‘downside’ – because it’s such a large room, sound really bounces off the walls, even with carpeting and drapes – it got pretty loud towards the end of the evening. Imagine being in a gym and how sound bounces there. Hey, I’m not complaining – it will just take a bit of adjusting, that’s all).  Friday is our Gym Night with the group; we’re having ham & cheese ‘subs’ on hot dog buns, chips & cookies; a devotional and then the ‘kids’ can do jigsaw puzzles, color  papers, play basket ball or other various games; they love it and it’s a good night ‘out’ for them.

Still working on the new “Grandma’s Favorite-style” baby blanket; have 9 more rows of plain knitting then I get to start the decrease rows! That will make me feel like I’m finally (sort of) getting towards the ‘home stretch’! I ordered the very fine variegated purples yarn for my friend’s shawl – YES – I decided on knitting a shawl. I picked a fairly simple/easy pattern so we’ll see how it goes.

Nothin’ much new on the food scene – I have a large pork roast that I need to shred and make into BBQ’d pork for dinner – on hamburger buns (YUM!). There are still some really tasty sounding recipes coming in on Facebook, so I hope you don’t mind if I share them with you!

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

Rhubarb Dump Cake

1 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (3-4 C.)
1 C. white sugar
1 (3 oz.) box strawberry Jell-o
1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. water
1/4 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F..
Grease 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread rhubarb evenly
in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle sugar over rhubarb,
followed by  Jell-o, then dry cake mix. Pour water & melted
 butter over top. Do not stir. Bake 45 minutes or until
 rhubarb is tender.

(recipe: Facebook)
———————————————-

Banana Split Ice Cream Dessert

 

3 C. vanilla ice cream

3 C. chocolate ice cream

3 C. strawberry ice cream (each flavor: about

1/2 of a 44 oz. container)

3/4 C. pecans

1 (5 oz) box sugar cones

5 T. butter, melted

2 T. sugar

dash salt

2 medium-sized bananas

1 C. Cool Whip (thawed)

1 (11 oz) jar hot fudge sauce

maraschino cherries

Take ice creams out of freezer & let set

on counter – you want it to be a bit soft

before using. Toast pecans: pour pecans

in medium skillet & sprinkle with a bit of

salt. Heat over medium-high heat. When

nuts turn darker & smell fragrant (about

5 minutes), remove pan from heat &

allow nuts to cool. Break up sugar cones

some & toss into food processor or blender.

Grind cones to coarse pieces. (If you don’t

have a blender/food proc. – you can still put

the cones in a zip-lock bag & crush them with

a rolling pin or canned food. Pour 5 T. butter,

2 T. sugar & dash of salt into ground up cones.

Stir together with wooden spoon to combine.

Spray a 9 inch spring-form pan with nonstick

spray. Pour crumb mixture into pan & use a

small measuring cup to firmly press mixture

into bottom & 1 inch up sides of pan. Scoop

vanilla ice cream over crust & press down to

cover crumbs. Slice bananas over ice cream,

covering evenly. Scoop chocolate ice cream

onto bananas & smooth out. Cover ice cream

with pecans. Scoop strawberry ice cream over

nuts & smooth evenly. Cover ice cream with

Cool Whip. Wrap pan tightly with plastic wrap &

freeze at least 12 hours (or up to 1 week). When

ready to serve, allow pan to set on counter about

5 minutes. Remove outside of pan; cut dessert

with a sharp knife Heat hot fudge in microwave

then drizzle over each piece. Add a cherry to each

serving. Serves 12

 

(recipe: Jamiecooksitup!)

——————————————-

Turkey & Pasta Primavera

(crockpot)

2 lb. turkey breast tenderloins or boneless,

skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 in. pieces

1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen stir-fry vegetables (sugar snap

peas, carrots, onions & mushrooms)

2 tsp. dried basil, oregano or Italian seasoning

1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo pasta sauce

3/4 lb. linguine or spaghetti, broken

shredded Parmesan cheese

In 4 1/2 – 6 qt. crockpot, combine turkey (or chicken)

& frozen vegetables. Sprinkle with dried herb. Cover &

cook, on Low heat, 4-5 hours or High 2- 2 1/2 hours.

At midway point in cooking, stir in Alfredo sauce.

When cooking is done, cook pasta accordg to pkg.

directions & drain. Stir cooked pasta into turkey

mixture & mix well. Serve with shredded Parmesan

sprinkled on top.  Serves 8

 

(recipe: Family Circle Slow Cooker Meals)

————————————–

Cranberry, Feta & Toasted Walnut Salad

1  (10 oz) bag mixed salad greens

1 C. dried cranberries

1 (6 oz) pkg. oven-roasted chicken breast

1 (4 oz.) pkg. crumbled feta cheese

1/2 C. walnut pieces, toasted

1/2 C. Italian, or Raspberry salad dressing

Toss greens with cranberries, chicken, cheese &

walnuts in large salad bowl. Add dressing; mix

lightly – serve immediately. Serves 4

 

How to Toast Walnuts:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Spread walnuts in single layer on baking sheet.

Bake 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.

——————————————————

German Potato Salad

 

1 (20 oz) pkg. refrigerated diced potatoes with onion

4 slices fully cooked bacon

3 T. mayonnaise

3 T. cider vinegar

3 T. sliced green onion (white & green)

1 t. firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp. spicy brown mustard

Spray large skillet with nonstick spray; heat over

medium-high heat. Add potatoes to skillet, cover &

cook 15 minutes or until tender, turning occaionally.

Place bacon on paper-towel covered microwaveable

plate. Microwave on High 30 seconds or until bacon

is crisp. Crumble bacon, set aside. Combine

mayonnaise, vinegar, onion, sugar & mustard in

medium bowl. Add potatoes to mayonnaise mixture

and bacon; mix lightly. Serves 6

 

(recipe: readyseteat!)

——————————————–

Chewy Oatmeal Yogurt Bars

 

3/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1 (8 oz) carton yogurt (vanilla or fruit-flavored)

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 T. vegetable oil

2 T. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3 C. oats

1 C. “add-ins” – diced dried fruits, raisins, cranberries,

chocolate chips)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine sugars, yogurt, egg, oil, milk &

vanilla; mix well. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking

soda, cinnamon & salt; mix well then add to yogurt

mixture; mix well. Stir in oats & add-ins of your choice.

Spread dough on bottom of ungreased 9 X 13 pan.

Bake 28-30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool

completely on wire rack then cut into bars. Makes 24

bars.

 

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)

————————————————

(Leftovers) 3 Ingredient French Fry Casserole

 

large bag French fries

2 cans Nacho cheese soup

leftover taco meat (cooked)

Brown fries according to pkg. directions. Prepare

nacho soup for a topping; reheat taco meat. Layer

fries, meat & cheese on each plate.

 

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe Exchange)

————————————————-

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

 

2 C. finely chopped & seeded cucumber

1/2 C. finely chopped & seeded tomato

1/4 C. chopped red onion

2 T. minced fresh parsley

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped

4 1/2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/4 C. sour cream

1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp. lime juice

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

tortilla chips

In small bowl, combine first seven

ingredients. In another bowl, combine

sour cream, lemon & lime juices, cumin &

seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture

& toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

 

(recipe: Facebook)

—————————————–

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

 

6 green bell peppers, tops cut off & seeds

removed

2 T. vegetable oil

1 C. finely chopped yellow onion

1/2 C. finely diced green bell peppers or peas

1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. ground pork or Italian sausage

2 T. minced garlic

1/4 C. finely chopped fresh parsley

3/4 T. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

pinch red pepper flakes

2 C. cooked long or medium grain white rice

8 oz. tomato sauce plus more

water

1 C. Gruyere cheese, grated

1 C. mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

In large pot of boiling water, parboil peppers

until tender, 2-3 minutes. Cook longer if you

like your peppers soft. Remove with a slotted

spoon & dry on paper towels. In large skillet

or saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Add onions & chopped bell peppers; cook

until soft, about 3minutes. Add beef, pork or

Ital. sausage, pepper flakes & black pepper.

Cook until meat is browned, stirring with

heavy wooden spoon to break up lumps,

about 6-10 minutes. Add rice & tomato sauce;

stir well. NOTE: at this point, if you want to

substitute peas instead of diced peppers,

throw peas in pan & heat through 2 minutes.

Remove from heat & adjust seasoning to

your taste. Pour enough water into a baking

dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8″ –

1/4″ deep. Stuff bell peppers with rice

mixture half way up then sprinkle with cheeses.

Add another layer of rice mixture. Spread

1-2 T. tomato sauce on top of each pepper.

Place peppers in a baking dish then place this

dish into the pan with water. If there is any leftover

rice mixture, fill in around the peppers. Cover

dish with foil & cook in oven about 30 minutes

until tender. Remove foil & sprinkle more cheese

on top; return to oven another 15-20 minutes until

cheeses are melted & bubbly. Remove from oven

& let rest approx. 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

 

(recipe: Natalie-justapinch.com)

———————————————

Lemon Chicken Piccata

 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 C. Panko bread crumbs OR 1/2 C. flour

pinch salt & pepper

2 T. vegetable oil

7 T. butter, unsalted & divided

2 medium lemons

1 large shallot, rinsed & minced

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 C. chicken stock

2 T. capers, drained

3 T. parsley, finely chopped & divided

Preheat oven 180 degrees F.

Juice one whole lemon, reserving juice. Cut

second lemon, top to bottom, cut off end

pieces. fruit side down, slice one lemon half

into very slender slices & reserve. Using the

other cut half for additional juice to make

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice. Butterfly each chicken

breast into two pieces, then cut each piece in

half. Pound chicken to about 1/2 inch thick.

dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Salt

& pepper both sides lightly. In large skillet,

add 2 T. oil & 2 T. butter; heat to medium high.

Dredge each chicken piece in Panko crumbs or

flour. Fry half chicken pieces until browned, about

2 minutes. Flip chicken pieces & brown on other

side an additional few minutes until cooked

through. Add remaining 2 T. oil & 2 T. butter for

second batch of chicken & repeat. Plate pieces,

as they cook, wrap with foil & keep in warm oven.

NOTE: If chicken is browning too quickly, reduce

heat to avoid burning.

While chicken stays warm in oven, add shallots

to skillet. If more butter is needed to sautee, add

a bit more. Stir quickly for about 1 minute until

they begin to soften. Add garlic & stir another 30

seconds until fragrant. Add chicken broth, lemon

juice & lemon slices; bring liquid to a simmer &

continue simmering until broth reduces to about

1 1/2 Cups – about 10 minutes. Add capers & parsley,

then add 3 T. remaining butter. Swirl pan off of heat

until butter is melted. Plate chicken & ladle sauce

on top. Sprinkle top with a bit of leftover parsley,

if desired. Serves 4

 

(recipe: Belle-justapinch.com)

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

Well, friends, that’s about all that’s ‘going on’ around here lately. Hope you have a GREAT day! Enjoy it!

Hugs;

Pammie

Sometimes it’s the little things . . .

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About a month ago one of my special needs students brought me a solar-powered ‘Dancing Flower’ – I LOVE IT! (I drew a little smiley face on the center of mine – it looks just like the above picture-the one in the picture is inside it’s packaging). These are really cute little toys – you set them near sunlight and they sway back & forth! Yes – small things, but seeing it dancing in my kitchen window ALWAYS makes me smile! Today is no exception, it’s a bright, sunny day – clear skies & fluffy clouds – only problem: no one told the temperatures to GO UP! It’s 29 brisk & chilly degrees out there! Oh well, Spring is on the way-I see new green shoots coming up through the ground every day; soon we’ll be seeing more crocus, hyacinth, daffodils, narcissus, tulips and flowering bushes. I just LOVE Spring!

Monday was my family’s Easter dinner and it went well. This was one of the first (that I can remember) rather ‘easy’ dinners – usually by the time we sit down to eat I’m exhausted; not so much this time! Clean up was pretty easy, too – amazing! Dinner consisted of Ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, very large tossed salad, rolls, veggie tray and the Peach Coffee Cake recipe I posted a few posts ago. I was surprised, at the end of the dinner there was one very small helping of green bean casserole left – and, to think, I wasn’t even going to make it! (Even so, I was tempted to make about half of what eventually got put on the table – I thought it wouldn’t be that popular – who knew?!). The Peach dessert – not so much . . . the one I had originally tasted in Sunday School was light, not sweet – just the PERFECT after dinner dessert. Mine came out heavy, a bit too sweet (to me) and everyone said it was a very dense dessert – most only ate about half of their portion. I served it with French Vanilla ice cream. Think I’m going to ‘lose’ that recipe. (Maybe it could have been the kind/brand of pie filling – who knows? I went to Kroger’s and they only had Kroger brand – was actually a bit surprised at their lack of variety in the pie fillings; maybe next time I’ll go to Meijer, as I’m pretty sure they would have a better selection and perhaps more name brands.) Anyway, all went well, all left the table stuffed (which is what any cook hopes will happen for a holiday meal).

Recipes? Yep – lots for you!

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

Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken


1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut
into 1 inch wide strips
2 T. dry taco seasoning mix
2 T. flour
1 each: green & red peppers, cut into
1 inch wide strips
1 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
2 C. hot, cooked long-grain white rice
1 C. (Kraft) Mexican-style finely shredded
Four Cheese
2 green onions, sliced

Toss chicken with taco seasoning mix & flour in
slow cooker. Stir in vegetables & salsa; cover &
cook on LOW 6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours. Stir
just before serving. Serve over rice topped with
cheese & onions. Makes 4 servings

(recipe: Kraft foods)
——————————————-

PB & J Blondies


3/4 C. salted butter, melted/cooled
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp. vanilla
1 C. peanut butter chips
3/4 C. crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 C. raspberry, strawberry or grape
preserves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place rack in middle position of oven.
Place two overlapping sheets of greased
parchment or foil in a 9 X 13 baking dish,
so that they form a cross and hang over
the ends by at least 1 inch (for lifting bars
out when baked). Whisk together flour,
baking powder & salt in a small bowl. In
another bowl, mix melted butter & brown
sugar until combined. Mix in eggs & vanilla,
mix until combined. Add dry ingredients to
butter mixture; gently fold with spatula until
blended. Fold in peanut butter chips & peanuts.
Pour batter into baking dish; spoon on preserves.
Using a skewer or knife, make swirly patters in
the batter with the preserves. Bake until top is
shiny and toothpick inserted in center comes
out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire
rack. Using ends of foil or parchment, lift blondies
out of the dish. Cut into 24 squares & serve.

(recipe: Jeff Mauro-FoodNetwork)
—————————————-

Crockpot Ham & White Beans


1 lb. dried Northern beans
ham bone, shanks or diced ham
(about 1 lb.)
2 tsp. onion powder
6 C. water
salt & pepper, to taste

Rinse & sort beans according to
pkg. directions. Add rinsed beans,
onion powder, salt, pepper &
ham to crockpot, add water.
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours,
or High 4 hours, until beans are
tender. Remove ham bone, shanks
or hocks; pull off meat. Add meat
to crockpot & mix.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
—————————————
Stuffing-Crusted Creamy Chicken Casserole


6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen stir-fry vegetables,*
thawed, well drained
1 (7 oz) can corn, drained**
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
1 1/2 C. hot water
1 (6 oz.) pkg. stuffing mix-chicken
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in 9 X 13 baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle
with garlic powder; cover with stir-fry
vegetables. Combine corn & dressing;
spoon over vegetable layer in dish. Add
hot water to stuffing mix; stir until just
moistened. Spoon over corn mixture;
cover. Bake 45 minutes or until chicken
is done (165 degrees F), uncovering
for the last 15 minutes. Serves 6

*Can substitute your favorite frozen
vegetables for the stir-fry ones.
**can substitute 1 can cream-style corn
for whole kernel corn

(recipe: Kraft foods)
—————————————-

Tortellini Soup


1 lb. ground sausage
8 C. water
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 2/3 C. shredded cabbage
1/2 C. diced onion
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
4 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pkg. frozen cheese-filled
tortellini
1 1/3 C. diced zucchini
(grated Parmesan cheese – topping)

In medium skillet cook sausage until
brown; drain fat. In large saucepan,
combine water, undrained tomatoes,
cabbage, onion, green pepper, bouillon
cubes, basil & pepper. Bring to a boil,
reduce heat to simmer, uncovered,
15 minutes. Stir in tortellini, sausage &
zucchini. Cook, uncovered, until pasta

is tender. Stir occasionally. Serve with
Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

(recipe: Moms2moms.com)
—————————————

Football Stuffed Mushrooms
(overnight recipe)


24 medium fresh mushrooms (about 1 lb)
2 T. butter, unsalted
4 T. olive oil
1/4 C. chopped sweet onion (1 small)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. herb seasoned stuffing
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 T. real bacon bits
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes (or 2 T. fresh)

Wish soft brush, gently wipe any dirt
from mushrooms. Remove stems & cut
a thin slice from top of each mushroom
so that mushrooms sit flat. Chop stems &
thin slices to make 1 C.; set aside. In
saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
Brush mushroom caps with butter &
place caps in a shallow baking pan, cavity
side up. Heat olive oil over medium heat
in same pan used for butter. Add chopped
mushroom stems/slices, onion & garlic; cook
until tender. Remove from heat. In bowl, add herb
stuffing, cream cheese, bacon bits, Parmesan
cheese & parsley; mix lightly but thoroughly.
Spoon about 1 T. mixture into each mushroom
cap. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
24 hours.
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bake mushroom caps 10-15 minutes.
Serves 24

(recipe: Pat-justapinch.com)

————————————

Impossible Southwestern Pie


1 1/2 C. whole kernel corn
8 medium green onions, chopped
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. thick & chunky salsa
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs

(extra salsa for serving)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease 9 inch pie pan. Layer corn, onions &
beans in plate. Sprinkle with cheese. In bowl,
stir Bisquick, milk, 1/2 C. salsa & eggs until
well blended; pour into plate. Bake 35-40
minutes or until knife inserted into center
comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Serve
with additional salsa. Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
—————————————

Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 T. butter
2 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. raspberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Grease muffin tins or line with papers.
In small bowl, beat together until
smooth cream cheese with one
egg, 1/4 C. sugar & 1/2 tsp. vanilla;
set aside. In saucepan, combine milk,
butter & 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir over medium
heat until butter melts. Cool until warm
to the touch, then beat in remaining
2 eggs. In large bowl, combine flour,
baking powder, salt & remaining sugar.
Add milk mixture & stir just to blend. Fold
in raspberries. Divide batter equally among
muffin tins. Spoon about 2 tsp. cream
cheese mixture on top of each muffin. Pull
a knife through each top to swirl slightly.
Bake 20 minutes or until top springs back
when lightly touched.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
======================================

Now that we’re into April – remember to look up, smile and enjoy (at least a part of) your day! Maybe you’re not in the best of health, or things are not looking great at the moment, but  . . .

REMEMBER TO SMILE! It will exercise your jaw muscles, and hopefully, lift your spirits a little!

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Slowing down some . . .

129614597414o371

THINK SPRING!!!

Almost the end of this week and it’s FINALLY slowing down. Not that I still don’t have a few ‘commitments’ to do, but it’s nice to know that there aren’t many (Weds & Thurs. were crazy, just trying to keep up with what time and where I had to be, when). My dear husband volunteered to drive youngest to work today (10:45 a.m.) so that I could take a leisurely shower and not have to rush anywhere until I get to go out to lunch with two girlfriends at 1 p.m. – wasn’t that nice of him? These two friends & I have known each other since high school – one is a year older and used to ride the same bus as I did; the other one was in Girl’s Choir in high school with me – both are in my Sunday School class at church. We’re going to Leo’s Coney Island – good food, good selections and good prices – can’t beat that!  Later on this evening (5:30) I have to help ‘do’ my special needs group Gym Night. My ‘partner/leader’ of the group has been sick with bronchitis so I ended up running our Wednesday night meeting. She says she’s feeling a little better, so she’s heading up Gym Night – we’re having sloppy joes. Gym Nights are fun for our ‘students’ – first we eat, then a short devotion then they are able to either just chat with their friends, work on jig saw puzzles, color coloring sheets, play basketball or several other floor games. Tonight one of the moms is coming to direct a few group games – they love that. Last time she had them sit in folding chairs divided by a batmitton net – they had to hit a blown-up balloon back & forth over the net until the balloon hit the floor (point for opposite team) – they LOVED it! These kinds of games are great because some of our students are in wheelchairs – this way, they can participate, too.

Craft-wise, finished a few more baby hats. Went to the library to get more John Lescroart novels and discovered the Friends of the Library were having a used book sale (SCORE!). Found 2 Lescroart books and several other murder/mystery writers I like PLUS a paperback knitting book with a really cute baby sweater pattern (75 cents) – I couldn’t resist. The only ‘problem’ is – I’m not exactly sure I understand their way of constructing said sweater; Oh well . . . won’t be the first time I’ve tried to ‘create’ using someone else’s pattern!

So – have you got any St. Patrick’s Day plans? I’m seeing more interesting recipes, but we our family doesn’t really do anything special (none of us are Irish, for starters . . . . YES, I know that MOST people who celebrate that day AREN’T, but I digress…) On to recipes!

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

Oreo-Peanut Butter No Bake Dessert
20 Oreo cookies, divided
2 T. butter, softened
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. peanut butter
1-1/2 C. confectioners’ sugar, divided
1  (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed, divided
15 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
1 C. cold milk
1 pkg (3.9 oz) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix

Crush 16 cookies; toss with butter. Press into an ungreased 9-in. square dish; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter & 1 C. confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in half of Cool Whip; spread over crust. Sprinkle with peanut butter cups.
In another large bowl, beat  milk, pudding mix & remaining confectioners’ sugar on low speed for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in remaining Colol Whip & spread over peanut butter cups. Crush remaining cookies; sprinkle over  top. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.

(recipe: from Facebook)

————————————–

Irish Peas


2 T. margarine
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen green peas
1/2 C. chopped fully cooked bacon
2 T. packed brown sugar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Melt margarine in large saucepan over
medium-high heat. Add peas; cook 5
minutes or until slightly thawed,
stirring frequently. Add bacon, brown
sugar, mustard & pepper; cook 3
minutes more or until hot. Serves 6
(1/2 C. each)

(recipe:readyseteat)
———————————————–

Unstuffed Cabbage


1 C. long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
6 C. chopped green cabbage
1 lb. ground chuck beef
1 C. frozen chopped onion
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Place rice & broth in 3 qt. saucepan. Bring to
a boil over medium-high heat, stir. Place
cabbage on top; do NOT stir. Cover, reduce
heat to medium-low. Cook 15 minutes or
until rice & cabbage is tender. Cook beef &
onion in large skillet over medium-high heat
5 minutes or until beef is crumbled & no
longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain. Add
undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar &
pepper to meat. Break up tomatoes with spoon.
Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer about
10 minutes. When rice mixture is done, add to
skillet; toss together. Serves 6

(recipe: readseteat!)
————————————————

Cheesy Ham Bubble Bakes


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

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine ham & cheese in large bowl. Cut each biscuit
into 4 pieces. Add to ham mixture; mix lightly. Spoon
into 8 muffin cups sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake
20 minutes or until puffed & golden brown. Cool
10 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm
Makes 8

*can substitute smoked turkey breast & shredded
Mozzarella cheese for cheddar

NOTE: Instead of baking in muffin pans, you can
spoon ham mixture into 8 mounds on baking
sheet sprayed with nonstick spray, bake as directed.

(recipe: Kraft foods)
————————————————–

Crispy Chicken Thighs & Pesto Pasta
(one-pan meal)

3 1/2 -4 lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken
thighs (about 7)
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. cellentani pasta (spirals)
1 C. chicken broth
Arugula Pesto (see recipe below)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper & paprika. Heat
oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until
oil just begins to smoke. Place chicken in skillet,
skin sides down; reduce heat to medium-high &
cook 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate;
discard drippings.
Prepare pasta accordg. to pkg. directions. Toss
cooked pasta with chicken broth & 3 T. Arugula
Pesto. Add pasta mixture to skillet. Place chicken,
skin sides up, on pasta. Bake 25-30 minutes. Dollop
with additional Arugula Pesto.

Arugula Pesto
2 C. firmly packed arugula
1/2 C. firmly packed fresh flat-
leaf parsley
1/2 C. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. water
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Process all ingredients in food
processor until smooth. Refrigerate
up to 1 week. Makes 1 Cup.

(recipe: Shine/Yahoo.com)
————————————-

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


1 (18 1/4 oz) box lemon cake mix
1 (3 1/2 oz.) pkg. instant lemon pudding
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. oil
1-2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 C. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Blend ingredients together, mixing well.
Pour into two greased & floured 8 X 4″
loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes.
Makes 2 loaves.

(recipe: Peg-via Gooseberry Patch cookbook)
—————————————

Pork & Pasta Skillet


1 lb. ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 small yellow summer squash OR
zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1 1/2 C. penne pasta, cooked or other
small pasta shape

Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat. Add pork & onion; cook & stir until
evenly browned. Stir in tomatoes & tomato
sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low,
cook 5 minutes. Stir in squash & pasta. Cook
2-5 minutes or until heated through. Serves 4

(recipe: National Pork Board)
————————————-

Creamy Parmesan Pearl Onion Casserole


2 (15 oz, ea) jars pearl onions (DON’T
use pickled onions!)
1/3 C. butter
1/3 C. flour
2 C. cream or Half & Half
1/3 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
pinch nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 C. grated Cheddar cheese
paprika

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Drain onions. Melt butter in 2 qt. sauce
or saute pan over medium heat. Turn
heat to low & stir in flour. Cook 2-3
minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cream
(or Half & Half); stir to blend. Stir in
Parmesan, mustard, nutmeg, salt & pepper;
stir well to thoroughly combine ingredients &
melt cheese. Grease a small oven baking dish
or spray with nonstick spray. Place drained
onions in dish, then cover thoroughly with
sauce mixture. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese,
then sprinkle paprika on top. Bake 35-40
minutes or until mixture is bubbly & hot.
If desired, broil the top briefly until golden
brown. Serves 8

NOTE: Can be made ahead of time & partially
baked. Finish baking 10-15 minutes before
serving.

(recipe: Sher-justapinch.com)

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

Weather-wise, it’s 33 degrees F., clear and a bit dreary – BUT no snow (or only in a few big huge mounds in parking lots where it had been plowed weeks earlier). Husband says we might be getting 1-2 inches tonight – hope not. Yes, 1-2 inches isn’t much, but add my special needs group and their parents/caregivers and it’s not a good mix – especially if you have to transport wheelchairs – they’re the ‘pits’ in any kind of snow – hard to push. Oh well – if it comes – it comes, right?

Gas prices around here dropped 3 cents – to $3.76/9 a gallon (for cheapest gas). I’m going to need to fill up soon – this has been a week of traveling from our house to Clarkston (25 minutes), Auburn Hills (25 min. opposite direction), and points in between; have used up almost a full tank of gas this week (not my normal). Lunch today is in Clarkston, Gym Night is in Auburn Hills, so you get the idea.

Oh! On the ‘Spring’ weather changing thing – I stepped out to our back yard yesterday and observed some green ‘flower bulb’ shoots attempting to come up (they will probably be daffodils, but could be crocus) and also spotted our BUNNY! Every year we have 1-2 rabbits who live in our raised garden/flower bed; we all try to spot them. This one was full-grown, brown with the white cotton tail. The one we had last year had a decided limp on one of his back legs – yesterday’s bunny was just fine – hopped vigorously away from me. I LOVE seeing the bunnies, the Spring flowers, hearing the birds returning – YAY, SPRING!!!

Anyway, friends – hope you have a good day/evening. Stay warm, relax when you can and remember to try to do something YOU like, at least once a day. Oh! And SMILE a little – it’s good for the soul!

Hugs;

Pammie

Waiting . . .

snow-28654654

Watching and reading the weather reports, we are expected to get 6-8 inches of snow tonight and another 1-3 tomorrow – oh, yay . . . It’s clear out right now (YAY!) and 30 degrees. Today was sunny & clear; most of the snow on the roads & walkways has melted which will be a GOOD thing, should we get more of the white stuff. I’d rather have new snow on top of pavement, than new snow on top of more snow on the driveway, road, etc. (just my opinion).

Last night was my special needs group and we gained another new student – that makes our numbers around 64 students, 2 leaders and 3-4 helpers, not bad. I felt bad for one group home who was bringing four students: 3 in wheelchairs and very handicapped (both mentally and physically) and one ‘average’ special needs student. The average student came in and then I got the report that the lift gate on their van wouldn’t operate; that left two caregivers in a van with three students – for 1 hour 15 minutes! Yes, they could have chosen to just go back to the group home, but they decided to let the one student stay – very impressive! Our students did a Valentine’s craft with the younger kids in the church. We had 28 of our students and about 15 young kids in the room – very noisy, but very nice, too – all involved were having a good time (made me smile just watching them interact together!).

Today was watching my 6 1/2 yr old grandson. First he decided he wanted to play a video game with my middle son (they played about 1/2 hour); then he wanted to play WebKins on my husband’s computer – that lasted about 20 minutes. He had observed my husband playing Backgammon on his computer, so he stated he wanted to learn that, too. Husband informed him that the computer CHEATS, so he got out a regular board version and they played about three games before dinner. By the time this kid is 8 he’ll be very well schooled in all versions of games! Dinner was a fast sit down to sloppy joes and then back to the board – think he had a good time.

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

Southwest Frito Pie


2 lb. lean ground beef
3 T. chili powder
2 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. water
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed &
drained (optional)
4 1/2 C. corn chips
2 C. shredded lettuce
1 1/2 C. (6 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese
3/4 C. chopped tomatoes
6 T. finely chopped onion
sour cream & minced fresh
cilantro (optional)

In Dutch oven, cook beef over medium
hat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in
chili powder, flour, salt & garlic powder
until blended; gradually stir in water.
Add beans; bring to boil. Reduce heat;
simmer, uncovered, 12-15 minutes or
until thickened, stirring occasionally.
To serve:
Divide chips among six serving bowls.
Top with beef mixture, lettuce, cheese,
tomatoes & onion; garnish with sour
cream & cilantro (if desired).
Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Sandy-Marys Recipe Exchange)
———————————-

Chicken, Cheese & Spinach Manicotti

1 1/2 C. finely chopped cooked

chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,

thawed & well drained

1 (16 oz) container cottage cheese

2 egg whites

1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese,

divided

10 manicotti shells, cooked

1 1/2 C. spaghetti sauce

1/4 C. chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Combine chicken & garlic in large

bowl. Add spinach, cottage cheese,

egg whites & 1/4 C. mozzarella;

spoon into manicotti shells. Spray

a 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick

spray & place shells in dish. Cover

with spaghetti sauce. Bake 25-30

minutes or until heated through.

Top with remaining mozzarella; bake

5 minutes longer or until cheese

is melted. Sprinkle top with basil.

Serves 5

NOTE: Can be assembled & refrigerated

up to 4 hours ahead. When ready to serve,

bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until

heated thorough. follow remaining

directions.

(recipe: Kraft foods)

————————

Triple Thick Chocolate Cake

Cake:

6 eggs

2 sticks butter, softened

3 C. sugar

1 C. plain yogurt

2 T. evaporated milk

3 C. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 C. cocoa powder

1 1/2 C. chocolate chips

Icing:

1 C. butter, softened

3 C. powdered sugar

3/4 C. cocoa powder

4 T. evaporated milk

1 T. McCormick’s Butter &

Nut flavoring

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

Cream together eggs, softened

butter, sugar, evap. milk & yogurt.

Sift together flour, baking soda &

salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet

mixture. When all blended, stir in

chocolate chips. Pour into buttered

Bundt pan. Bake 80-85 minutes.

NOTE: Check towards the end to see

when a toothpick inserted into center

comes out clean. Remove cake from

oven; set aside to cool at least 30 minutes.

Mix together all icing ingredients.

Ice cake & top and sprinkle a handful

of chocolate chips on top, if you wish.

POSTERS COMMENT: She felt that this

might work better if baked in a springform pan.

(recipe: Cynthia-justapinch.com)

——————————

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan


1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. butter, softened
3 T. mayonnaise
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. celery salt
2 lb. Tilapia fillets

Preheat broiler.
Grease a broiling pan or line pan with
aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix
together Parmesan cheese, butter,
mayonnaise & lemon juice. Add basil,
black pepper, onion powder & celery
salt; mix well. Arrange fillets in a single
layer on prepared pan. Broil a few inches
from heat 2-3 minutes. Flip fillets over
& broil a few more minutes. Remove from
oven, cover with the Parmesan mixture.
Broil fillets 2 more minutes or until the
topping is browned & fish flakes easily
with a fork. Be careful to not overcook
the fish. Serves 6.

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

Tiddlywinks (raisin bar cookies)


1 1/2 C. ground raisins*
3/4 C. sugar
1 C. water
1 T. cornstarch
1 C. chopped nuts
2 T. grated or chopped orange peel
2 C. flour
2/3 C. shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. or more, water as needed for crust
2 T. orange peel, grated or chopped gine
1/4 C. sugar (for topping)

*you can use a food processor to grind the
raisins – process with the sugar before putting
them in saucepan to boil.

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Bring ground raisins, 3/4 C. sugar, water &
cornstarch to boil; stirring to keep from
sticking. Add nuts & grated orange peel.
Set aside to cool slightly. Mix together
flour & shortening & salt, stirring until crumbly.
Add water to make dough, using a little more
water if needed. Roll half dough, place into a 9
inch square pan. Spread dough with filling;
cover with other half with dough rolled
very thin. Prick top dough with a fork;
sprinkle top with sugar. Bake until slightly
browned, about 20 minutes. If your oven is
too hot, try 400 degrees F.
Cool completely, cut into bars. Keeps up
to 2 days without refrigeration.

(recipe: JoEllen-justapinch.com)
——————————————–

Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Crustless Quiche


8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach
4 large eggs
1 C. milk
2 oz. Feta cheese
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
If spinach is frozen, thaw it in microwave. Empty
the box into a colander, let it drain. Place sliced
mushrooms in a skillet coated with nonstick spray.
Add garlic, a little salt & pepper. Turn heat to medium-
high; saute mushrooms until they release all of
their moisture & no more water remains in bottom
of skillet (5-7 minutes.)
Spray a pie pan with nonstick spray. Squeeze rest of
water out of spinach; spread it on bottom of pie dish.
Add cooked mushrooms & crumbled feta. In a medium
bowl, whisk together eggs until fairly smooth. Add milk,
Parmesan & small dash pepper; whisk to combine. Pour
mixture into pie dish over spinach mixture. Sprinkle top
with mozzarella cheese. Place pie dish on a baking sheet.
Bake 45 minutes – 1 hour; until golden brown on top and
center is solid.

(recipe: Peg-Marys Recipe Exchange)
—————————————————–

Apple Peanut Crumble
(crockpot)


4-5 cooking apples, peeled & sliced
2/3 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 C. butter, softened
2 T. peanut butter

Place apple slices in crockpot. In medium bowl
combine sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon & nutmeg.
Mix in butter & peanut butter with pastry blender
or fork. Sprinkle over apples. Cover & cook on
Low 5-6 hours. Serve warm; plain or with
ice cream. Makes 4-5 servings.

(recipe: Moms2Moms.com)
——————————————

Amish Dinner
(crockpot)


2 C. ground beef, uncooked (about 1 lb.)
2 C. sliced raw potatoes (2-3 potatoes)
2 C. celery, chopped (about 3 stalks)
1/2 C. onion, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. green pepper, diced
2 C. canned tomatoes

Place all ingredients in crockpot in order
listed. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.

(recipe: Moms2moms.com)
————————————————-

Savory Bean & Spinach Soup
(crockpot)

3 (14 oz, each) cans vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can tomato puree
1 (15 oz) can white or Great Northern
beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 C. converted rice
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
8 C. coarsely chopped fresh spinach or
kale leaves
finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine broth, tomato puree, beans,
rice, onion, garlic, basil, salt & pepper in
3 1/2-4 Quart crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 5-7 hours or High 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours.
Stir spinach into soup before serving & top
each serving with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 6 servings.

(recipe: Moms2moms.com)

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

Just got back from picking up youngest son at work – 10:45 p.m. and it’s 30 degrees F. and ALL CLEAR! YAY! (Now, that’s not saying that we won’t get dumped with tons of snow during the night, but I’m very glad to report that all my ‘chickens’ are home safe & sound!)

I, like many others in the area, chose to do a quick stop at the grocery store this afternoon and also to top off my gas tank (it was below quarter tank – not good in cold weather). I decided to put a whole chicken in the crockpot tomorrow and then, with whatever leftover chicken we have, make a small pot of chicken noodle soup with thin egg noodles. That ought to hit the spot in the next few days. Youngest said that his work was pretty busy for a Tuesday – I’m guessing buying extra groceries.

Not much else going on tonight; I’ll probably play some What Word on my computer (great game of spelling various words at timed paces), then go to bed. Hope you’re in a ‘good place’ weather-wise; try to stay inside (if it’s cold outside), wrap up in something cozy, maybe read a good book, drink something nice & warm (like cocoa with little marshmallows!) and enjoy your evening.

Hugs;

Pammie