Nice Quiet Day – so far…

Our weather has been ‘holding off’ – almost all of the snow & ice have melted – YAY! Checking the weather forecast for the coming week there is a 50% chance of snow around 1 a.m. tonight, but for the most part, it looks in the 30’s & clear – hope so!

Nothing much going on today – even my grandson’s flag football team has the day off; tomorrow night’s choir practice is canceled so I have MORE than my normal share of OFF TIME – YAY! Spent part of the morning just knitting on both of the baby blankets; they are both a little ‘fussy’ so I tend to avoid working on them (me & my big ideas about “I just LOVE knitting LACE patterns – the more complicated, the better!” Yeah…right….sigh).  Dinner tonight is Beef Stew – I’ve been sort of craving a nice, homey meal that will last for more than one serving and stews/soups fit that bill.

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

Banana Pudding Cake

Cake:
1 box vanilla cake mix PLUS
ingredients to make cake (as on box)

Pudding:
1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed

2 bananas, sliced

Buttercream Frosting:
1 1/2 C. butter, softened
5 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. plus 2 T. heavy cream
1 C. crushed Nilla wafer cookies
whole Nilla wafers – garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
LIne two 9″ cake pans with parchment
paper & spray with nonstick cooking
spray. Prepared cake accordg. to pkg.
directions – divide batter between
cake pans & bake 25-30  minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center of
cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool
10 minutes in pans then invert onto
wire racks to cool completely.

Pudding:

In large bowl combine milk &
pudding mix – stir until thickened,
about 5 minutes – fold in Cool Whip.

Frosting:

In large bowl using elec. mixer, combine
butter, 3 C. powdered sugar & vanilla.
Beat until light & fluffy – add remaining
sugar & heavy cream – beat until smooth.

Assembling Cake:

Using a serrated knife, cut off the rounded
top of each cake to make cake level. Top
one cake with a thick layer of pudding then
top with most of the banana slices (reserve
some to garnish top). Place second layer on
top & frost entire cake with buttercream,
reserving about 1 C. to pipe on top. Press
crushed Nilla wafers around sides of cake.
Transfer remaining buttercream to a piping
bag* fitted with a large star tip – pipe large
swirls around top of cake. Decorate top
with Nilla wafers & more banana slices.
Serves 8-10

*If you don’t have a piping bag – you can
use a large zip-lock bag. Spoon frosting
into bag, zip up then snip a bottom corner
off of bag & use that to pipe frosting onto
cake.

(recipe: delish.com)
—————————————–

Chicken Parmesan stuffed Shells

1 lb. box jumbo pasta shells
3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
divided
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese,
plus more for serving
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 C. marinara sauce, divided
1 T. fresh chopped basil (plus more
for garnish)
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt – to taste
ground black pepper – to taste
12 oz fresh or frozen breaded
chicken, cooked accordg. to pkg.
directions & diced

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large pot of salted boiling water
cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions
until al dente – drain. In large bowl
combine 2 C. mozz. cheese, garlic,
2 C. marinara, basil & red pepper flakes;
season with salt/pepper. Stir until
combined then gently fold in cooked/
diced chicken. In bottom of a 9 X 13″
baking dish spread remaining marinara
sauce to a thin layer. Stuff chicken
mixture into cooked shells & arrange
on top of sauce side-by-side. Sprinkle
tops of shells with remaining mozz
& bake 30 minutes until cheese melts
& tops are turning slightly golden brown.
Cool slightly, garnish with Parm cheese &
basil & serve. Serves 6-8

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–

Hamburger Soup

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 C. chopped onion
6 C. beef broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen peas &
carrots
3 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In large soup pot over medium-
high heat, cook ground beef &
onion 6-8 minutes until browned;
drain. Add remaining ingredients;
bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-
low & cook 20 minutes until vegetables
are tender. Makes 12 Cups.

NOTE: When serving, top with shredded
Cheddar cheese to make it a Cheeseburger
Soup!

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————
Spinach & Cheese Manicotti

8 oz. uncooked manicotti shells
1 (32 oz) container ricotta cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach;
thawed/squeezed dry
1 (16 oz) jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook shells accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain/rinse then drain again. Spray pasta
lightly with nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine ricotta, mozzarella, 1/4 C.
Parm. cheese, egg, salt & pepper mix well
then add spinach & mix again. Fill each
shell with about 1/3 C. mixture & place in
prepared dish. Pour spaghetti sauce over
filled shells & sprinkle top with remaining
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese. Bake 35-40 minutes
until hot & bubbling. Serves 4

NOTE: For an easy way to fill shells:
Place cheese mixture in a resealable plastic
storage bag. Snip off a corner of bag &
squeeze cheese mixture into shells.

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————–
Fall-Off-The-Bone Spareribs

2 C. water
2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T. prepared yellow mustard
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

5 1/2 lb. pork spareribs

In large saucepan combine all
ingredients except ribs; bring to
boil over High heat, stirring
frequently. Reduce heat to medium-
low & cook, stirring frequently,
35-40 minutes until sauce is thick
& glossy. Place ribs in large pot &
add just enough water to cover ribs.
Boil ribs over medium-high heat
about 30 minutes until fork-tender.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Drain ribs & place in large roasting
pan – baste heavily with sauce. Bake
30 minutes, basting ribs occasionally &
turning once after 15 minutes. Remove
ribs from pan & cut apart every 2-3 ribs
for easier eating. Serve with remaining
sauce. Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————-
Crockpot Scrambled Eggs

1-2 T. butter, melted
10 large eggs, beaten
salt/pepper, to taste
1 1/4 C. heavy cream
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Coat 6-7 qt. crockpot well with
melted butter. Mix eggs & cream well &
stir in cheese – pour into crockpot. Cover
& cook on High 1-2 hours until eggs are
set. Gently fold in sides of set eggs to
chop up eggs into scrambled egg
consistency. DO NOT over stir.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Make SURE you coat your crockpot
insides WELL with butter so eggs will lift
away from sides when it’s time to ‘scramble’
them.

POSTER NOTES: she tried using Cheddar instead
of mozzarella & she said: “The Cheddar was too
oily & the flavor was not as good. Mozzarella
seems like an odd choice, but works well.”

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
————————————-
Apple/Spice Pullapart Bread

1 round loaf hearty white or
sourdough bread, unsliced
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 C.) melted butter
1/2 C. dry spice cake mix
1/2 C. light brown sugar
1 apple, peeled,/cored, finely diced

1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Using
a serrated knife, make a criss-
cross pattern in the bread, slicing
1 inch apart, cutting almost all
the way to bottom of bread but
being careful not to cut through
completely. (you will be stuffing
the cuts). Place bread on baking
sheet & evenly pour melted
butter between each bread
section. In medium bowl combine
dry cake mix & brown sugar; mix
well. Add apples & toss to evenly
coat. Evenly sprinkle apple mixture
between each of the cut bread
sections, being careful not to break
the bread apart. Sprinkle any
remaining mixture over the bread.
Bake 25-30 minutes until bread
is crispy on top & bottom.

In a small bowl whisk powdered
sugar & milk until smooth -drizzle
over top of warm bread. Serve
immediately. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)

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

Hope your Saturday is moving along
nicely and you’re able to take a little
time out for yourself: rest/relax, maybe
drink something warm & soothing? (I
personally love Chai Latte tea).

Hugs;

Pammie

 

 

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It’s Thursday . . .

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

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

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

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

Peanut Butter Fluff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Luck Pork & Cabbage
(crockpot)

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————-

Ham a la King

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

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Italian Potato Cakes
(uses leftover mashed potatoes)

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

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

(recipe: ninrecipes.com)
—————————

Brown Sugar Pork Chops

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

lemon wedges & parsley sprigs;
optional garnishes

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

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

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

Crockpot Hearty Italian Beef Soup

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

For serving:
sliced French bread
Parmesan cheese (garnish)

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

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

Chunky Monkey Brownies

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

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

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)

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

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

Stay healthy!

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s Sunday!

Once again it’s MORE SNOW! We drove to church today in my husband’s Jeep because it has 4-wheel drive – was still a bit slippery but we made it there & back safely. After church it was announced that they were canceling evening church (and also choir practice) because we’re due for 2-4 MORE inches of snow AND freezing rain . . . oh joy…sigh. We’ll see how that goes; husband & I were planning on going out shopping for a new washing machine & hand mixer tomorrow (both died last week) – glad that we got the laundry caught up BEFORE it actually died. Both washer & mixer were a good 10+ years old, so it’s ‘time’.

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

Snickers Poke Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix (for 9 X 13″
pan plus ingredients needed to prepare
cake
1 (12.25 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
1/2 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 C. roasted peanuts, chopped
3 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 C. chocolate syrup
2 snickers bars, chopped

Bake cake accordg. to pkg. directions. While
cake is baking place a saucepan on medium
heat & melt butter; add brown sugar &
heavy whipping cream – allow to come to
a boil then remove from heat. In medium
bowl combine caramel sauce with sweetened
condensed milk.
When cake is baked remove from oven; while
cake is still warm poke holes in cake using the
handle of a wooden spoon (or a skewer). Pour
caramel mixture over top of cake; spread evenly
to get sauce into holes. Sprinkle nuts over top &
refrigerate 1 hour. Once cooled completely, remove
from fridge & spread Cool Whip on top in an even
layer. Drizzle top with chocolate syrup & chopped
snickers bars.

(recipe: realhousemoms.com
—————————————–
Wrapped Salmon w/Spinach & Feta

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
thawed/squeezed dry
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 C. Greek Vinaigrette dressing
12 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
4 skinless salmon fillets (1 lb)
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. chopped English cucumbers
1 T. chopped fresh dill

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
In medium bowl combine first 3
ingredients. Spray 1 sheet phyllo with
nonstick cooking spray & top with 2
remaining phyllo sheets, spraying
each sheet with spray before using.
Place remaining sheets between 2
sheets plastic wrap (to keep from
drying out). Place 1 fish fillet along
one short side of phyllo stack; top
with 1/4 of spinach mixture – fold over
long sides of dough then roll up,
starting at fish-topped side. Repeat
with remaining phyllo sheets/fish &
spinach mixture. Place seam-sides
down on parchment covered baking
sheet & spray with cooking spray. Cut
3 diagonal slits in top of each wrap.
Bake 10-12 minutes until crusts are
golden brown & fish flakes easily
with fork. Mix sour cream, cucumbers
& dill in a bowl & serve along side
fish. Serves 4

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
————————————-
50’s style Salisbury Steak
(skillet)

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of
mushroom soup, divided
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
(plus extra for garnish – optional)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms

In large bowl combine soup, ground
beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, 2
tsp. chopped parsley, garlic powder &
pepper. Shape into firm patties. Coat
a large skillet with cooking spray & heat
over medium-high heat – cook half the
patties until browned on both sides.
Remove from skillet & set aside; repeat
procedure with rest of patties. Spoon off
fat. In same skillet mix remaining soup,
milk & mushrooms; return patties to
skillet. Reduce heat to Low; cover &
cook 20 minutes until patties are cooked
through & no pink remains, turning
occasionally. Garnish with parsley, if
desired. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————————–

Crockpot Sausage Gravy
(skillet & crockpot)

1 lb. medium sausage
3 T. flour
2 1/2 C. milk
salt/pepper, to taste

Preheat crockpot on High (or fry)
depending on if you have a browning
crockpot or are using a skillet.
Brown sausage; add flour & stir until
sausage is coated in it. Stir, occasionally,
until flour has cooked (3-5 minutes). Add
milk & stir until desired thickness of gravy
is reached – salt/pepper, to taste. (If using
skillet) transfer to crockpot & keep warm
on Warm setting up to 4 hours. If gravy
becomes too thick over time, add a little
milk. Serves 5-6.

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

Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes &
Broccoli

5 medium potatoes
2 C. broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 C. unsalted butter
1/4 C. flour
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. milk
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Wash, peel & slice potatoes into 1/2″
rounds – rinse after slicing to remove
excess potato starch. Line bottom of
crockpot with half potato slices & half
of broccoli florets. Sprinkle half salt/
pepper over potatoes/broccoli. Add
remaining potatoes/broccoli & season
with remaining salt/pepper. In medium
saucepan over medium heat melt butter
& whisk flour into melted butter to
create a roux; add onions & garlic –
mix well. Add shredded cheese & milk –
continue stirring until cheese is melted
& sauce is creamy. Pour sauce over
potatoes/broccoli & spread evenly over
top. Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours
until potatoes are easily pierced with
a fork. Serves 6

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

Italian Chicken Soup

1/2 box short macaroni-
like pasta (poster used Ditalini)
2 C. shredded turkey or chicken
4 C. chicken broth
1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 whole jalapeno, seeded/diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 (15 oz, ea) cans petite cut
tomatoes
1 (tomato can) water
1 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 tsp. dry basil
salt/pepper, to taste

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg.
directions – to al dente; drain &
rinse in cold water. In skillet add
olive oil, onion, celery, green
pepper, jalapeno – saute until
tender. In large soup pot combine
broth, water, shredded turkey/
chicken, tomatoes & juices and
sauteed vegetables. Add herbs,
salt/pepper to taste. Bring to
boil & simmer 20 minutes. Add
in pasta & cream – stir & serve.

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

4-Ingredient Caramel Apple
Dump Cake

2 cans apple pie filing (can use
cherry, blueberry, etc.)
1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter (1 C.), melted
1/2 C. caramel ice cream topping
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)
whipped cream or
ice cream  (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ pan with nonstick
spray. In a bowl mix pie filling with
caramel sauce (add cinnamon, if
desired) – spread evenly into pan.
Top with dry cake mix – spread
evenly. Top with melted butter &
nuts (if using). Bake 45-50 minutes
until top is golden brown & filling
is bubbly around edges. Serve with
whipped cream or ice cream.
Serves 8

(recipe: centslessdeals.com)

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

For those of you in cold climates
PLEASE stay warm (& safe). Remember
to take a little time for yourself in your
day – relax, take a nap (if you can), read
a book/do a puzzle – something to help
your body relax.

Hugs;

Pammie

PS:

My special needs group had their annual
fund-raiser basketball game; they won (of
course). The ‘kids’ are those with red
t-shirts (plus a few coaches in red). These
are some of my group kids AND some of
the kids at Dutton Farm (I’ve mentioned
Dutton Farm before-some of our ‘kids’

work there).

Happy Saturday!

I spent yesterday happily snuggled in my warm little house while watching at least 6 inches of the white, fluffy stuff accumulate on my driveway. Finally, around 4 p.m. our plow guy came and cleared it so that any family members who might want to traverse our drive could do so without sliding back out onto our MAJOR HIGHWAY/speed 45 MPH! When I awoke today I found IT’S SNOWING – AGAIN! Reading the NOAA weather report (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-basically our national weather service) it says we’re due for another inch today, temp 20 degrees F. with wind chill of 11 degrees F. . . . oh, joy.  At 10:45a.m. we will be attending oldest grandson’s flag football game – this time we’re taking my husband’s Jeep (just in case there’s any road problems). Ah, the fun of winter, eh?

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

Apple Cinnamon Dump Cake

2 (21 oz, ea) cans apple pie filling
1 (16.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1/2 C. cinnamon chips
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Spoon
pie filling into baking dish –
smooth out. In medium bowl
combine cake mix, cinnamon
chips, walnuts & cinnamon –
sprinkle evenly over pie filling
then drizzle with melted butter.
Bake 45-50 minutes until golden
brown & bubbly. Serve warm
or cold. Serves 12

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————–

Southwest Cornbread Casserole

Cornbread layer:
1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. buttermilk*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. flour
1 C. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
=
Meat Mixture:
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
5-6 mini bell peppers, chopped
salt/pepper
3 T. taco seasoning mix
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes, not
drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 C. salsa
2 C. Mexican-blend shredded cheese
(optional: chopped cilantro)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place oven rack in center of oven.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl
beat 1/2 C. melted butter & 1/2 C. sugar;
beat in 2 eggs to combine. (*buttermilk:
Into measuring cup containing buttermilk
add 1/2 tsp. baking soda – stir to combine.
Add this to butter/sugar mixture & stir to
combine. In separate bowl toss 1 C. flour,
1 C. cornmeal & 1/2 tsp. salt – fold into wet
ingredients (do not over mix).
Spread batter into prepared pan & spread
out evenly. Bake 12-15 minutes until top is
set & slightly firm. (It should be almost
baked completely).

While cornbread is baking: place a large,
deep skillet over medium-high heat & add
gr. beef, garlic, onion & bell peppers. Sprinkle
with salt/pepper & taco seasoning. Stir &
cook until beef is cooked through & no longer
pink. Add enchil. sauce to gr. beef mixture &
diced tomatoes, black beans & salsa – stir &
simmer on Low 5 minutes. Carefully pour
meat mixture on top of corn bread. Sprinkle
top with Mexican cheese blend & bake
5-8 minutes longer until cheese melts.
(sprinkle top with cilantro, if using).
Serves 7-8

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Using a 2-Cup measuring cup add
1 T. lemon juice or vinegar to cup –
fill cup to 1 C. line with milk – stir
& let stand 5 minutes then use.

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

Crockpot Sweet & Sour Beef

2 lb. cut up beef stir fry meat
10-12 oz. bottled sweet & sour sauce*
1 C. shredded carrots
2 T. shredded onions (squeezed in a
paper towel after shredding)

4 C. cooked rice
16 oz. pkg. frozen stir fry vegetables

Place beef, shredded carrots & onions
in crockpot – add sweet/sour sauce & mix
in. Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
=
About half hour before cooking time is
done, cook your rice & stir fry veggies.
(cook veggies either in the microwave or
on stovetop). Serve beef mixture over
cooked rice. Serves 6

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

Chicken Roll Ups

2 (8 oz, ea) boneless, skinless
chicken breasts
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
16 slices pepperoni
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese,
divided
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 C. pizza sauce

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Cut
each chicken breast in half
horizontally & lightly pound
to 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle
chicken evenly with Parm. cheese &
oregano. Top chicken evenly with
pepperoni & half of Mozz. cheese;
roll up jelly-roll fashion. Place
bread crumbs in a shallow dish &
coat chicken evenly on all sides –
place, seam-sides down, on baking
sheet. Lightly spray roll ups with
cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven & top evenly
with pizza sauce & remaining
mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-8
more minutes until chicken is
no longer pink in center. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————–

Cabbage Roll Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage, chopped
2 1/2 C. water
2/3 C. uncooked long grain rice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)

In nonstick Dutch oven, cook ground
beef & garlic over medium heat until
meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in
cabbage, water, rice, Worc. sauce,
onion powder, basil, cayenne & pepper –
bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover &
simmer 25-30 minutes until rice is
tender. Stir in tomatoes & salt; heat
through. Sprinkle top with cheese if
desired, when serving. Serves 4

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Easy Weekend Pasta Bake

1 lb. rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1 lb. ground beef
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
2 T. chopped fresh basil, divided
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
omitting salt. Brown meat in large
skillet; drain. Drain pasta; spoon into
3 qt casserole dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Add meat, pasta sauce, tomatoes,
1 1/2 C. mozzarella & 1 T. basil; mix well.
Top with remaining cheeses. Bake 20
minutes until heated through. Sprinkle
top with remaining basil. Serves 8 (2 C. ea)

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————

Cherry Fudge Cake

1 (16.5 oz) pkg. devil’s food cake mix
with pudding
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
1 C. sugar
1/3 C. butter
1/3 C. milk
1 C. (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl combine cake mix,
pie filling, eggs & extract; mix until
well blended & pour into prepared pan.
Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean; cool in pan
on wire rack. In small saucepan combine
sugar, butter & milk; bring to boil,stirring
constantly. Reduce heat to low & simmer
1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from
heat; stir in choc. chips until blended &
pour over cooled cake. Let stand until set.
Serves 12

(recipe: mrfood.com)

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

We’re all in good health; spent yesterday getting
a few things done like laundry, dishwasher, sending
out Thank You’s to my special needs group people
who gave me Christmas gifts Weds. I’m still working
on the two baby blankets (one teal & white, one
cream) and more baby hats. Kind of looking
forward to this Tuesday Knit group because we’re
having another YARN swap! (No, of course I don’t
NEED more yarn, it’s just fun to see all the varieties
and maybe find a few little balls I can use for baby
hats.)

Hope you are all staying warm AND HEALTHY
in this Winter ‘Wonderland’ –

Hugs;

Pammie

and here we go – AGAIN!

(Couldn’t resist the cute Groundhog)

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

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

Blueberry Yum Yum

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

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

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

6-Ingredient Bake!

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

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

(recipe: tasteerecipe.com)
——————————

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

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

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

(recipe: cookstr.com)
——————————-

Skillet Nachos

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

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

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

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

Optional sides:
ranch salad dressing
hot sauce
chopped green onions

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

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

Smothered Pork Chops

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

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

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

Crockpot Mexican Beef Soup

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

Optional garnishes:
sour cream
tortilla chips

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

No-Bake Pecan/Coconut Praline
Cookies

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

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

(recipe: Facebook)

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

Stay warm (& safe);

Hugs;

Pammie

Good News!

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

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

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

Black Midnight Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ham, Cheese & Pasta Casserole

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

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

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

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

Split Pea Soup with Ham

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

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

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Crockpot Apple Cider Pulled Pork

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

12 crusty rolls

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

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

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

Broccoli/Cheese-stuffed Chicken

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

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

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

Spicy Black Bean Soup

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

Optional garnishes:
sour cream
sliced avocado
chopped fresh cilantro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Wow – an entire WEEK’s gone by!

I guess, sometimes, I’m not quite aware of how much time goes by between posts – sorry! Now that we’ve added our oldest grandson’s Flag Football schedule to our week (on Saturdays) it’s making for very few days when something is NOT going on! When I first looked at this week’s schedule, there was only Friday open with nothing written in and then we got the very sad news that a good church friend died suddenly – viewing Friday. Life goes on and you learn to adjust but it’s hard saying goodbye, even though you know that person didn’t suffer and will be forever with the Lord. She lived a good, long life and her family will miss her greatly. This week I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my upper arm/shoulder – not exactly sure how that occurred but I’m guessing it was (here’s where I hate to admit it) either too much knitting or too much being on the computer (both which require using the upper arm muscles – computer/mouse pushing also). I ended up skipping my library knit group just because it was too painful! Spent the day reading (“Queen Victoria”) – I really like biographies/autobiographies so I managed to rest the muscles. Hope you’ve had a good week thus far – sometimes I’m really looking forward to days filled with appointments and sometimes I’m not. I picked up my new glasses and, after almost a week of wearing them, have decided to go back and ask them to see if they are TOO strong – everything seems a little out of focus – not like it’s not clear enough, almost just the opposite! Oh well- life goes on, right?

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

Fluffy S’Mores Dip

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. Marshmallow Fluff*
4 C. heavy cream, divided
1 pkg. chocolate pudding mix
1 C. mini marshmallows (plus
more for garnish)
1 T. crushed graham crackers

graham crackers, for dipping

IN medium bowl beat cream cheese,
powdered sugar & Marshmallow
Fluff until smooth. Gradually add
2/3 C. heavy cream & beat until
fluffy – fold in mini marshmallows.
In another medium bowl beat
remaining heavy cream & pudding
mix until light & fluffy. Add both
dips to a single bowl, alternating
spoonfuls of both dips. Use a
butter knife to swirl through dips.
Top with more marshmallows &
crushed graham crackers.

*Marshmallow Fluff is a Kraft
product, sold in a jar, usually
with the pudding mixes in grocery
stores. (It’s like marshmallows
that have been melted)

(recipe: delish.com)
—————————–
Chicken Fried Steak

2 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb. round steak, cut into
4 chunks/pounded out to about
3/4 inch thick
3 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 T. wtaer
2 large eggs, beaten with 3 T. milk
3 1/4 C. milk
2 C. flour (plus 1/4 C. more for gravy)

Heat oil in large medium cast iron
skillet. (If you haven’t pounded the meat:
place a chunk of steak between 2 large
pieces of plastic wrap – using a meat
mallet, tenderize/pound meat out from
center, until you have 3/4″ thickness. If
you want it thinner, keep pounding –
repeat with remaining meat.)
Dredge:
Add 2 C. flour to a medium casserole
dish – stir in 2 tsp. salt/1 tsp. pepper –
mix well. Dip meat into flour, lightly
coat, then dip into egg mix, then back
into flour. Set on a rack for a few minutes
until you have another one coated – repeat
with rest of meat. The oil in pan should be
around 350-375 degrees F. Carefully add
steak to skillet – fry 3-5 minutes on each
side. You will notice that the juices will
begin to sprout up while you are frying.
When you flip to fry other side, make sure
the juices run clear.
Preheat oven 225 degrees F.
Once steaks are fried place them in oven
to keep warm while you make gravy.
Gravy:
Carefully drain about 90% of oil –
reserve a bit (about 4 T.) because you
are going to brown the flour. With
remaining oil in skillet, add 1/4 C.
flour & whisk 2 minutes. Add in milk,
about 1 C. at a time, roughly every
4 minutes stir in milk/flour – continue
whisking. Season generously with
black pepper & a little salt. Taste &
adjust seasoning. Once gravy comes
to a boil, reduce heat to Low & continue
to whisk. Gravy should be thick (but not
too thick – if it’s too thick, you haven’t
whisked it enough – add a bit of water
to thin & whisk more).
Remove one of the steaks from the oven;
plate it & ladle gravy on top. Serves 4

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

Crockpot Corn Chowder w/Bacon

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 lb. small red potatoes, cut into cubes
24 oz. frozen whole kernel corn
3 C. chicken broth
2 C. Half & Half
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. black pepper
salt, to taste
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 C. cooked, crumbled bacon
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Add onion, cubed potatoes, frzn
corn & broth to crockpot – stir.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours
(or Low 7-8 hours) until potatoes
are tender. In measuring cup
combine Half & Half with cornstarch;
whisk until no lumps remain – pour
into crockpot & stir. Cook on High 15
minutes. Mash part of the potatoes
for creaminess (or use an immersion
blender to puree the soup) until you
have the desired texture. Add pepper,
chopped thyme & half of crisp bacon;
stir until combined – season with salt,
to taste. Serve with remaining bacon &
shredded Cheddar cheese sprinkled
over top. Serves 8

(recipe: platedcravings.com)
———————————–
Crockpot Honey-Mustard Chicken

2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken
breasts, cut into strips
1/4 C. honey
1/2 C. spicy brown (OR) stone ground
mustard
1/4 C. orange, pineapple or apple
juice
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. cold water

cooked rice for 4

In a bowl mix honey, mustard,
juice & soy sauce. Place chicken
in crockpot & pour sauce over.
Cover & cook on Low 4 hours.
When chicken is done cooking,
mix cornstarch & cold water
until smooth & lump free. Quickly
stir this mixture into honey-
mustard sauce in crockpot,
stirring well to combine. Continue
cooking 2-3 minutes until sauce
has thickened.
Serve with sauce over cooked
rice.

(recipe: perdue.com)
——————————–

Cheese & Broccoli Soup

2 C. sliced fresh carrots
2 C. broccoli florets
1 C. sliced celery
1 1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. butter
3/4 C. flour
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed
chicken broth, undiluted
4 C. whole milk
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese,
cubed

In large saucepan bring 2 quarts
water to a boil. Add carrots,
broccoli & celery – cover & boil
5 minutes; drain. In same saucepan
saute onion in butter. Add flour
& stir to make a paste. Gradually
add chicken broth & milk – cook
until  mixture thickens, about
8-10 minutes. Add vegetables;
heat until tender. Add cheese;
heat until cheese is melted.
Serves 6-8 (2 quarts).

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

Cherry Bubble Breakfast Bake

1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
2 tsp. almond extract
2 (16.3 oz, ea) cans refrigerated
biscuits – cut in half, then cut
into thirds
1/4 C. sliced almonds
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine pie filling & almond
extract; mix well. Add biscuits &
toss until evenly coated. Spread
mixture into prepared dish evenly
& sprinkle with almonds. Bake
40-45 minutes until dough is cooked
in center. Let cool slightly. In small
bowl whisk powdered sugar & milk
until smooth – drizzle over top; serve
warm. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)

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

Our weather has been up & down – we
did get about 1 1/2 inches of snow the
other day, but now it’s mostly all melted.
Today it’s 32 degrees F. and has been varying
from sunny to really gloomy/cloudy and windy.

Gas prices have dropped a bit to $2. 49/9

Hope you are in good health and staying
warm (for those of you in cold climates!).

Hugs;

Pammie

Happy Thursday!

It’s been a busy week here – yesterday was my library knit group and each time I attend the world gets smaller & smaller. By that I mean, each time I go I run into more people I know. I had just come in the door and a lady approached me asking me if I was (my name) – I said Yes and she proceeded to give me her name – small world, we used to work together 35 years ago at the telephone company! (and that very same thing is happening to others in the group as well – who knew!?). I’m enjoying this new group, it’s a very nice mix of skills/experiences/etc.  Last night was my special needs group and we’re now (again) practicing the Christmas songs they will sing for our (long awaited) Christmas party which is now scheduled for February 7th. (I guess I’m the ‘odd man out’ because I’m more than OVER Christmas/songs, etc. but because our ‘kids’ really don’t mind, we’re doing it for them. I really need to practice my piano playing because I was REALLY rusty on the songs last night (of course it didn’t help that sitting directly behind me is one of our non-verbal guys who loves to yell sounds all the time – really threw me off  since I play by ear, so hearing myself playing was a true trial by fire!) Oh well – it will all go off just fine on the appointed night.

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

Peanut Butter Cake w/Peanut
Butter Frosting

Cake:

2 1/4 C. flour
2 C. light brown sugar (packed)
1 C. peanut butter
1/2 butter, room temp.
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour 10 X 15″ cake pan.
In large bowl mix first 4 ingredients
using elec. mixer on Low speed
until crumbly. Add next 5
ingredients; blend at Low speed
until everything is wet then change
to Medium speed for 3 minutes –
pour batter into prepared pan.
NOTE: While cake is baking prepare
frosting.

Bake, on middle rack of oven,
35-40 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center of cake comes
out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes
then spread frosting on hot cake
– sprinkle 1 C. mini chocolate
chips over frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/2 C. peanut butter
2 T. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. powdered sugar
4-5 T. milk
=
(1 C. mini chocolate chips-
garnish)

Warm peanut butter & honey in
microwave just until it gets soft &
easy to stir. Add all other frosting
ingredients & beat until smooth.
Spread over hot cake & sprinkle
top with 1 C. mini chocolate chips.

NOTE from poster: you might want
to double the frosting; still use
only 1 C. chips

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

No Fuss Salisbury Steak

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 C. finely chopped onion
3 T. plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced fresh
mushrooms
1 small onion, thinly sliced &
separated into rings
1 3/4 C. beef broth
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. water
1 T. cornstarch

In large bowl combine beef,
onion, bread crumbs, salt/pepper –
stir well & shape into 4 patties.
In large skillet over medium heat,
cook patties 5 minutes on each
side. Remove from skillet,(reserve
1 T. drippings). Cook mushrooms &
onions on medium-high heat in
skillet 5 minutes until tender, stirring
constantly. Add broth & Wors. sauce.
Return patties to skillet; bring to boil.
Cover & reduce heat. Simmer 15
minutes. Remove patties using a
slotted spoon – place on a platter to
keep warm. In small bowl combine
water & cornstarch – stir well. Add
to broth  mixture in skillet & bring
to a boil – cook 1 minutes until
thickened, stirring constantly. Spoon
over patties & serve. Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————–
Beef Barley Soup

1 T. vegetable oil
1 boneless beef chuck arm/
blade or shoulder pot roast
(about 3 lb)*
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, halved
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 C. beef broth
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 bay leaf
1 C. quick-cooking pearl barley
1 (9 oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
1/3 C. sour cream

In large soup pot over medium heat,
heat oil until hot. Add roast & cook
4-6 minutes, browning on all sides.
Remove roast & season with salt/pepper.
Add mushrooms, onion & garlic to pot;
saute 5-7 minutes until onion is lightly
browned. Add broth, tarragon & bay
leaf then return roast to pot – bring to
a boil. Reduce heat to Low; cover
tightly & simmer 1 1/2 hours. Stir in
barley; cover & cook 10-12 minutes.
Remove roast from pot & keep warm.
Remove & discard bay leaf. Add peas &
sour cream, stirring constantly over
Low heat until just heated through.
Carve roast & serve with barley mixture.
Serves 6

*Pam’s comment: I would suppose you
could also use chunks of beef stew meat
if you don’t have access to these roasts

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

8-10 medium russet potatoes, peeled/
chopped into large chunks
1 lb. bacon
1/2 C. bacon
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. sour cream
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 C. milk
salt/pepper
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chopped potatoes in large pot;
cover with water & bring to boil over
High heat. Once at a rolling boil, reduce
heat to medium-high & cook about 15
minutes. Line a large rimmed baking
sheet with foil; lay out bacon on sheet
& bake until crisp – about 15 minutes.
Remove bacon from pan; reduce oven
heat to 350 degrees. Place cooked bacon
on a plate lined with paper towels & dab
any grease off with another paper towel.

When potatoes are fork-tender drain into
a colander. Place drained potatoes in large
bowl (or stand mixer). Add cream cheese,
butter, sour cream, salt/pepper, milk &
seasoned salt – mix until well combined.
Taste & adjust salt/pepper or more milk
if too thick. Crumble bacon & place half
in with potatoes. Add 1 C. cheese & mix
to incorporate. Spray 9 X 9″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray – spread
potato mixture into pan. Top with 1/2 C.
cheese & bake 30 minutes until cheese
has melted. Top with remaining bacon &
chopped green onions & serve.
Serves 8

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
———————————–
Butternut Squash Apple Bake

1 (2 lb) butternut squash; peeled/
cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 medium tart apples, peeled/
thinly sliced
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Layer
squash & apples in dish evenly.
In a small bowl mix brown sugar,
flour & cinnamon; sprinkle over
top & drizzle with melted butter.
Bake, covered, until squash & apples
are tender, 45-55 minutes. Serves 8

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

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (about 4), cut into smaller
pieces
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 T. canola oil
1/4 C. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 C. unsalted cashews

Fresh veggies of your choice:
peppers, broccoli, snap peas, peas,
carrots, water chestnuts, etc.

Cooked rice for 6
=
Combine flour & pepper in ziplock
bag; add chicken pieces & shake to
coat. Heat oil in a large skillet over
medium-high heat. Brown chicken
pieces about 2 minutes on each side;
place chicken in crockpot. Combine soy
sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic,
ginger & pepper flakes in small bowl;
pour over chicken. Cover & cook on
Low 3-4 hours.
Before serving:
Steam your choice of fresh veggies
then place in crockpot & stir. Add
cashews & stir. Serve with cooked rice.
Serves 6

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

Orange Fluff Dessert

1 large box Cook & Serve vanilla
pudding mix
1 large box Orange Jell-0
2 C. water
1 (16 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 bag mini marshmallows
1 can pineapple tidbits (any size,
depending on your preference)
1 can mandarin oranges (again,
any size)
2 bananas, sliced*

In saucepan mix pudding mix,
Jell-0 & water over medium heat
until it boils. Remove from heat &
pour into large mixing bowl.
Refrigerate until mixture has
thickened (about an hour). Beat
using elec. mixer until creamy;
fold in Cool Whip, marshmallows &
fruit. Chill 1 hour before serving.

*NOTE: When serving place sliced
bananas in just before serving so
they don’t turn brown in fridge.

(recipe: tomatohero.com)

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

Our weather, though cold (20’s again)
is still good for walking/driving, etc. –
tiny bits of light (fluffy/goes away) snow,
a little gloomy/cloudy BUT it’s not
accumulating on the ground – YAY! I
can deal with that!

Gas prices have stayed in the same
range since before Christmas – $2.56-
$2.59 . . . not too bad.

In an hour or so I’m off to babysit my
11 month old grandson again for the
day – hope you’re having a good day
as well.

Hugs;

Pammie

Busy Monday

Tomorrow is my husband’s 66th birthday so (thanks to the reminder by a friend) I ‘remembered’ to bake him his favorite Banana Cake! (Whew – I had totally forgot about baking – just focused on his present!). The cake I baked is not the original recipe I found on the ‘net’ many years ago (will still have to see if I can research that one – it was super moist AND had banana cream cheese frosting, to boot!). This one is a good cake, all scratch – THANK HEAVENS I had 4 frozen bananas in the freezer and enough butter & cream cheese to make it! (Yes, I ‘could’ make a trip to the store, but was trying to avoid that if I could.) Got the word that I’m babysitting Tues AND Thurs. this week so I know I’m going to be tired – wanted to spend today relaxing (if I could). Am going to make Shepherd’s Pie for dinner (another of his favorites).

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

Here’s the recipe for the banana cake I made:

Banana Cake

1 1/2 C. mashed ripe bananas
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. butter, softened
2 1/8 C. gran. sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. buttermilk
=
Frosting:
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 275 degrees F.
Grease & flour 9 X 13″ baking pan
Mix mashed with lemon juice in small
bowl. In medium bowl mix flour, baking
soda & salt. In large bowl cream 3/4 C.
butter & 2 1/8 C. gran. sugar. Beat in
eggs 1 at a time; stir in vanilla. Beat in
flour mixture gradually with buttermilk.
Stir in banana mixture & pour into pan.
Bake 1 hour. Place directly in freezer
45 minutes

Frosting:
In large bowl cream butter & cream
cheese until smooth; beat in vanilla. Add
powdered sugar gradually & beat at Low
speed until combined, then High until
smooth. Frost cake

NOTE: (cake)The original recipe called for
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar but I thought that
made it too sweet and texture more like
wall-paper paste, so I just used 3 C. – as it
was, I ended up using a little milk to thin
it to a spreading consistency. Husband
suggested next time I try using a little
sour cream – that would work, too, and
not change the consistency too much.

(recipe: allrecipes.com/recipe/8333/
banana-cake-vi/)
—————————————-

Creamy Wild Rice/Chicken Soup

1/4 C. butter
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, diced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
3 stalks celery ,diced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 C. chicken: cooked/shredded
(can use a rotisserie chicken)
4 C. chicken stock
1 C. heavy cream
1 T. flour
1 C. long grain & wild rice mix

In large heavy bottomed pot melt
butter over medium heat. Add onion,
carrots & celery – cook 2-3 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms-
season with salt/pepper – cook until
mushrooms are soft. Add shredded
chicken & stock. In small bowl whisk
flour & heavy cream until smooth-
pour into soup & stir. Add rice & cook,
covered, 25-30 minutes until rice is
tender. Taste & adjust salt/pepper.
Serves 4-6

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

Crockpot Cranberry/Orange Pork
Roast

3 lb. boneless rolled pork roast
1 (14 oz) can whole cranberry
sauce
1 orange
2 tsp. dried, minced onion
1 tsp. ground sage

Rinse pork roast under cold water
in sink & pat dry with paper towels;
place in crockpot. In small bowl
combine cranberry sauce, zest &
juice from orange, dried onion &
sage; mix well & pour over roast.
Cover & cook 6-8 hours on Low
or 3-4 hours on High until cooked
through & tender. Remove roast
from crockpot & let stand 5-10
minutes before slicing (to allow
juices to redistribute throughout
the meat.) Slice & serve.
Serves 6-8

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

Spicy Hot Sausage Balls
(appetizer)

1 (16 oz) pkg. hot pork sausage*
2 1/2 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
cheese

Serve with your favorite type
of mustard, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine all
ingredients. Using your hands,
knead mixture well until soft
dough forms. Roll dough into
1-inch balls & place on a rimmed
baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes,
until bottoms begin to brown &
no pink remains in sausage.
Makes about 5 dozen

*Make sure to use a packaged
hot sausage like Jimmy Dean brand
NOT spicy Italian sausage from the
meat counter because the consistency
is different.

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————–

Baked Bean Chili Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded/finely chopped
2 (16 oz, ea) cans pork & beans
1/2 C. BBQ sauce
1 can RoTel tomatoes with chilies
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 C. catsup
2 T. spicy brown mustard
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
4 T. brown sugar
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Brown
ground bee, onion & bell
pepper in large saucepan. Add
pork & beans, BBQ sauce & brown
sugar to beef mixture – simmer,
covered, at least 5 minutes. Pour
mixture into prepared pan &
crumble bacon on top. Bake,
foil-covered, 45 minutes. Remove
foil & bake 10 minutes more.

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Ham & Beans

1 (16 oz) pkg. dried Northern beans
3-4 meaty ham hock shanks or a
meaty ham bone (1 1/2 lbs), meat
chopped into big chunks
1 small onion, diced
salt/pepper, to taste
1/3 C. light brown sugar

Sort beans for any pebbles then
rinse beans under cold water. Add
rinsed beans, onion, salt/pepper &
ham into crockpot. Add enough
water to cover the beans (between
6-8 cups water). Cover & cook on
High 2 hours. Reduce heat to Low
& cook 4-5 hours until beans are
tender. Remove ham shanks or
hocks – shred meat then return to
crockpot. Add brown sugar & stir.

NOTE: Poster removes about 1 cup
liquid from beans before adding
brown sugar – depends on how
thick you want the beans.

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

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

1 1/3 C. flour
2/3 C. old fashioned oats
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips (plus
more, for topping, if desired)
1 egg
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9″ loaf pan.
In bowl, whisk flour, oats, sugars,
baking powder, baking soda &
cinnamon. In another bowl mix
egg, butter & milk. Stir wet
ingredients into dry – fold in
chocolate chips. Pour batter into
prepared pan & sprinkle top
with additional chocolate chips,
if desired. Bake 40-45 minutes.
(or when inserting a knife into
center of bread comes out clean).

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

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

Our weather has taken a WARM turn – it’s
been in the 40’s yesterday and today, with
rain for most of the day. (It’s a bit gloomy,
but at least we’re not slipping & sliding on
ice or huge amounts of snow!) Driving
home from church last night was a bit
of a challenge: lots of patches of fog but
I took my time & got home fine.

Hope you are all in good spirits and good
health – remember SPRING IS COMING!

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s FRIDAY!

Hello! It’s a bright, clear sunny day outside (20 degrees F.) and we just got home from a morning ‘adventure’: had to take my van in to the dealership – the front window washer hoses broke (from the cold) and IF you hit spray, it sprayed only on the passenger side and even then off the side of the car, no where near the window! (Silly me – I thought we’d be there, maybe, a half hour…) went in at 9 a.m. and finally was done somewhere around 11. Husband & I went to brunch at Village Place and saw a couple we know from church; upon leaving I saw another lady that’s in my knit group (haven’t seen her in months – she doesn’t drive in the dark), so it was a very nice trip! My tummy is full of veggie omelet & some hash browns/coffee AND I finished the mint green baby blanket – YAY! (was a little ‘bummed’ because I only took that project so when the wait became longer than I anticipated, I had nothing to do!). Also found out Wednesday that the ‘Needy’ collection for hats/scarves/mittens/gloves/socks is getting really full so they don’t need any more scarves – have the thin gray one to finish up then that project is over…back to baby hats & blankets.

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Cran-Apple Muffins

1/2 C. whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 C. milk
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 C. shredded, peeled tart apple
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. orange juice

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin tins with nonstick
cooking spray (OR) use muffin papers.
In small bowl combine cran. sauce &
orange peel. In large bowl combine
flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda,
baking powder & salt. Beat egg, milk &
oil in small bowl; stir into dry ingredients
just until moistened. Fold in apple & fill
muffin cups half full. Make a ‘well’ in
center of each muffin; fill with about
2 tsp. cran. mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
of muffin comes out clean. Cool 5
minutes before removing from pan
to wire rack.
Glaze:
Combine powdered sugar & orange
juice; drizzle over cooled muffins.
Makes about 12 muffins

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
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Crockpot Chicken ‘n Stuffing

1 lb. boneless chicken breast (can
also substitute boneless turkey)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (6 oz) box stuffing mix (chicken or
turkey flavor)
1/2 C. sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray & place chicken in crockpot.
Pour dry stuffing mix over chicken. In a
bowl mix soup with sour cream & pour
over stuffing. Cover & cook on Low 4
hours.

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
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Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

2 C. green bell peppers, cut into 1/2
inch dice
2 T. unsalted butter
5 C. cubed sweet bread (such as
King’s Hawaiian, or challah) cut into
1/2 inch dice
3 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb. cooked ham, cut 1/2 inch dice
10 eggs, beaten
4 C. whole milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet saute bell pepper in 2 T.
butter over medium-high heat
5 minutes. Place cubed bread in
prepared dish. Toss cooked peppers,
cheese & ham in large bowl then
spread evenly over bread cubes.
In large bowl whisk eggs. In small
bowl place salt, mustard, nutmeg &
pepper – mix a few tablespoons of
whisked egg into spices & mix with
a fork until dissolved & not lumpy.
Add mixture back into eggs & whip
to combine. Pour mixture over
bread in dish & press down slightly
so bread absorbs liquid. Bake,
uncovered, 1 hour. Increase heat
to 350 degrees F. & bake another
15 minutes until browned on top
and a knife inserted into center of
pan comes out clean. Remove from
oven & allow to rest 10 minutes
before cutting. Cut into squares &
serve. Serves 8-10

(recipe: fromthepod.com)
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Beef Minestrone Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into
small cubes
1/4 C. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled/
diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 (16 oz) can white beans
(cannellini or Great Northern)
drained/rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can cut green beans,
undrained
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
4 C. beef stock

In large pot or Dutch oven place
2 T. olive oil; brown meat – remove
meat & drippings (keep drippings).
Saute onion, carrots, & celery in
the olive oil & butter; add potatoes &
zucchini, one at a time, cooking each
2-3 minutes before adding next veg.
Salt/pepper between each addition,
to taste. Add beans, beef stock &
tomatoes; cover & cook on Low heat
at least 3 hours.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: geniuskitchen.com)
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Crockpot Cola Ham

7 lb. semi-boneless fully cooked ham
1 (12 oz) can cola
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices
(toothpicks)

In saucepan over medium-high, heat
cola & brown sugar, stirring continuously,
until mostly combined. Place ham in
crockpot & pour cola mixture over ham.
Use toothpicks to secure pineapple slices
on ham. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours.
Remove toothpicks & pineapple slices.
Slice ham & serve with pineapple slices.
Serves 10-12

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
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Better-than-takeout Fried Rice

4 C. cooked brown rice (or white)
1/2 lb. boneless chicken breast,
cooked/cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C. frozen peas & carrots
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 T. sesame oil
1/4 C. soy sauce

In large skillet heat sesame oil
on medium heat; add onion,
garlic, peas & carrots – stir fry
until tender. Add eggs & scramble
to mix with veggies then add in
rice, chicken & soy sauce. Mix all
together & remove from heat.

You can substitute cooked shrimp
for the chicken, if desired

(recipe: all-my-recipes.com)
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Apple-Filled Pound Cake

4 C. finely chopped, unpeeled
cooking apples
1/2 C. orange juice, divided
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. applesauce
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 2/3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. milk
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. brown sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray.
In medium bowl combine apples,
1/4 C. orange juice & cinnamon-
mix well. In large bowl using elec.
mixer on Medium speed, combine
gran. sugar & applesauce for 1-2
minutes until smooth. Add whole
egg & egg whites – beat well. Slowly
add half of flour, baking powder, salt,
milk & remaining 1/4 C. orange juice.
Beat in remaining flour until batter
is well mixed; add vanilla & mix well.
Pour half of batter into prepared
Bundt pan; top with half of apple
mixture, then cover with remaining
batter. Cover batter with remaining
apple mixture & sprinkle top with
brown sugar. Bake 60-70 minutes
until a toothpick inserted near
center of pan comes out clean.
Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire
rack then invert cake onto a serving
plate. Serves 14

(recipe: mrfood.com)

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Looking at our weather forecasts for up to next
Tuesday, it looks pretty good (then they have
SNOW predictions…sigh). Oh well, it’s ‘that’
time of year to say: “Buckle up, Buttercup –
it’s Michigan – deal with it!”

Enjoy your day!

Pammie