The “Day Before”!

Here we are at the ‘last’ day BEFORE Thanksgiving cooking, etc. Lots of recipes – this time I tried to pick ones that are a little ‘different’ – perhaps to ‘inspire you’?

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

Hot-Water Gingerbread

1/2 C. boiling water
1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. white sugar
3/4 C. molasses
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl pour hot water
over shortening. Add sugar &
molasses – mix well using elec.
mixer. Add eggs & continue
mixing. Mix flour, baking powder,
baking soda, cinnamon, ginger,
cloves & salt using a wire mixer –
add to molasses mixture. Mix
just until all ingredients are wet.
Spray a 9 X 9″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Pour
mixture into pan & bake 35-40
minutes until center is done.
Makes about 9 servings.
(can add a lemon glaze or
whipped cream when serving.)

Lemon Glaze:
1/4 C. lemon juice
1 T. lemon zest
1 (or more) C. powdered sugar

Mix ingredients using wire whisk
& spread over hot gingerbread.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
———————————–
Creamy Pumpkin Soup

1 (29 oz) can pure pumpkin
1 3/4 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. firmly packed light
brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 C. Half & Half

In large saucepan combine all
ingredients except Half & Half;
mix well & bring to boil over
medium heat, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat to Low & stir in Half
& Half until well blended. Cover &
simmer until heated through.
Serve immediately. Serves 5

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————
Apple Slaw

3 T. olive oil
2 T. mayonnaise
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (16 oz) pkg. shredded coleslaw
mix
1 large apple, cored/diced
4 sliced cooked bacon, crumbled

In large bowl whisk olive oil,
mayonnaise, mustard, lemon
juice, hot sauce, sugar & salt.
Add coleslaw mix & apple &
toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle
top with bacon & serve (OR)
cover & refrigerate until ready
to serve. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————
Crockpot Brown Sugar Carrots
(also OVEN & stovetop methods)

5 lb. bag carrots, peeled/cut into
3/4″ coins
1/4 C. unsalted butter
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Place all ingredients in crockpot &
mix together. Cover & cook on Low
4 hours. Garnish with additional
brown sugar when serving, if
desired.
=
OVEN:
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a large foil-lined pan with
nonstick spray. Mix all ingredients
& pour into pan. Bake 25-30
minutes.
=
STOVETOP:
Boil carrots 5-7 minutes. Place
all ingredients in large pan &
cook carrots until glazed &
thickened.

(recipe: dinnerthendessert.com)
——————————-
Turkey Gravy (from drippings)

1/4 C. fat skimmed from drippings
1/4 C. flour
2 C. drippings
1 T. butter or heavy cream
salt/pepper, to taste

Place fat in large saucepan over
medium heat; let fat melt & then
sprinkle flour on top. Using a
wooden spoon, stir continuously
until fat & flour have formed a
mixture. Continue stirring until flour
browns slightly, 4-5 minutes. If
drippings have cooled, heat them up
in microwave 30 seconds or more
until they are hot. (NOTE: if you
have less drippings than recipe
calls for – supplement with turkey
or chicken broth). Whisk in hot
drippings to flour mixture – keep
whisking until liquids are fully
incorporated. Bring gravy to a
simmer & continue simmering
until it reaches desired consistency.
Season with salt/pepper then stir in
1 T. butter or heavy cream. Serve
hot. Serves 8
Recipe can easily be doubled or
tripled.

NOTE:
Too thick: add broth
Too thin:  mix 1 T. butter with
1 T. flour- whisk in
Lumps:  use a strainer
Fat from drippings: can
be supplemented with butter
if you need more.
Drippings:  can be supplemented
with turkey or chicken broth if
you need more.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
—————————
Sweet Potato Crisp

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1 (40 oz) can sweet potatoes,
drained
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 C. packed brown sugar,
divided
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
2/3 C. chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. old fashioned or quick-
cooking oats, uncooked
1/3 C. cold butter or margarine,
cut into small chunks
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using elec. mixer, beat cream
cheese, potatoes, cinnamon &
1/4 C. sugar until blended. Spray
1 1/2 qt. casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray; spoon
potato mixture into dish & top
with chopped apples & cranberries.
In a medium  bowl combine flour, oats
& remaining sugar; cut in butter using
a pastry blender or 2 knives until
mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in nuts & sprinkle over fruit.
Bake 35-40 minutes until heated
through. Serves 8

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————–
Southern Pea Salad

1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen sweet peas,
thawed
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
4-6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
(OR) 1 C. cooked, chopped ham
1/2 C. chopped green onion
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery seeds (or
1/2 C. chopped celery)
dash cayenne
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream

Combine peas, eggs, bacon,
onion, cheese, pepper/salt,
garlic powder, celery &
cayenne in large bowl. Mix
in mayonnaise & sour cream.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
—————————-
Really Good Rice Pudding

1 1/2 C. water
3/4 C. uncooked medium white
rice
2 C. milk, divided
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In medium saucepan over
high heat, bring water to boil.
Stir in rice; reduce heat to Low
& simmer, covered, 15-20
minutes until water is absorbed
by rice. In large saucepan over
medium heat, combine 1 1/2 C.
milk, sugar, salt & rice; mix well.
Cook 10-15 minutes until
thickened, stirring constantly.
Stir in remaining 1/2 C. milk &
egg; cook 2 minutes more,
stirring constantly. Remove from
heat & stir in butter & vanilla;
place in serving bowl & refrigerate
until chilled. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————
Crockpot (3 qt)
Warm Honey Fruit Spread
(appetizer)

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
cubed & softened
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. chopped dried fruit
1/4 C. chopped pecans
2 tsp. orange marmalade
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Dippers:
shortbread cookies
graham crackers
biscuits
scones

Beat cream cheese & honey at
medium speed using elec. mixer
until creamy. Stir in dried fruit &
remaining ingredients. Spoon
into 3 qt. crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 2 1/2 hours. Stir before
serving. Serve with dippers.
Makes 2 1/2 Cups

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————-
Crispy Apple Rings

1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 T. sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. milk
1 egg
3/4 C. vegetable oil
4 large apples, peeled/
cored & sliced into 1/4-inch
rings
2 tsp. cinnamon

In large bowl combine flour,
baking powder, 2 T. sugar & salt –
mix well. Add milk & egg, beating
until well mixed. In large, deep
skillet, heat oil over medium-high
heat. Dip apple rings into batter
then place in skillet & cook in
batches 2-3 minutes per side,
until golden. Drain on paper
towel-lined plate. In small bowl
combine cinnamon & remaining
2 T. sugar; mix well & sprinkle
over apple rings. Serve
immediately. Makes about 36
rings.

(recipe: mrfood.com)
====================
Last night was Knit Night & we had a
‘small but cosy’ seven people attend.

After chatting with oldest son about
final food list for the holiday, I think I’ll
do a quick grocery run to local small
grocery store & pick up fresh cranberries
& an orange to make cran-orange relish.
(I kinda tried to get him to make it but
he said he hadn’t ordered cranberries-
I’m guessing at work? so I dropped it.)
I’m sure we’ll have more than enough
food for the day – only ‘new’ glitch –
dinner has been moved up from the
traditional 6 p.m. to 2 p.m. (let’s just
say my husband is not very happy
he has to start making mashed potatoes
EARLY in the day . . . sigh).

Hope all of your preparations are going
well.  Remember to take a little time out
to ‘rest’ and ENJOY the day!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

 

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Recipes and MORE Recipes!

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

Crockpot Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled/
cut into 1″ cubes
3 C. water
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 T. butter
1/4 C. milk

Place sweet potato cubes in crockpot;
add water, bay leaf, garlic & salt. Cover
& cook on Low 4 hours or High 2 hours
until sweet potatoes are very soft. Drain
all liquid (poster uses a colander). Add
butter & milk; mash until desired
consistency. Add salt/pepper to taste.
Serves 6

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

Oven-roasted Brussels Sprouts/
Butternut Squash & Apples

3 C. Brussels Sprouts (ends trimmed/
outer-loose leaves removed)
2 c. cubed Butternut squash
2 Granny Smith apples, VERY COLD &
cut into cubes
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place veggies on a large baking
sheet & drizzle with oil. Sprinkle
chili powder & cinnamon on top;
using your hands, toss all together
making sure to evenly coat all.
Bake 20-25 minutes until veggies
are tender, turning once half way
through cooking time. Serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
——————————
Crockpot Cranberry/Pear Sauce

1 (12 oz) pkg. fresh cranberries
1/2 C. orange juice
1 pear, small/ripe – peeled/cored/
chopped
1 T. port wine
lime zest
1 tsp. fresh ginger root, finely
minced
3 T. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. ground caramom

In crockpot, combine all ingredients.
Stir, cover & cook on High 3 hours.
Cranberries will be partially popped
& sauce will have begun to thicken.
Allow to cool at room temp before
serving (it will continue to thicken).
Can be made smooth, if desired,
by processing in a blender. Also,
additional sweetener, such as honey,
can be added, if desired. Makes 2 C.

(recipe: boulderlocavore.com)
———————————-
Crockpot Cran-Apple Cider

64 oz. Ocean Spray Cran-apple juice
2 sticks cinnamon
5 whole cloves
2 star anise pods
apple slices (poster uses Gala)

Place all ingredients in a 4 qt (or
larger) crockpot. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours until heated. Serves 8

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————-
Crockpot Turkey/Apple/Wild
Rice Dinner

1 C. wild rice mix (brown/uncooked)
1 apple, cored/chopped
1/4 C. sweetened dried cranberries
2 C. water
1 lb. boneless skinless turkey breast

cranberry sauce (optional, for serving)

Add rice, apple & cranberries to 4 qt
crockpot; stir & pour water over. Lay
turkey breast on rice mixture & cover.
Cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4.
Serve with cranberry sauce, if desired.
Serves 4

NOTE: Poster substitutes chicken stock
for the water (if you like a little salt)

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————

Cranberry-Orange Honey Butter

1 lb. butter, softened
1 C. whole cranberry sauce
2 T. honey
1 T. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. fresh orange zest

Cream butter using elec. mixer until
light & fluffy. Mix in cranberry sauce,
honey, powd. sugar & orange zest
until completely incorporated. Store
in fridge up to 2 weeks. Set out to
soften before serving.

(recipe: caramelpotatoes.com)
——————————-
Mandarin Orange Fruit Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
temp.
1 (7 oz) jar Marshmallow Fluff
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges,
drained (reserve liquid)

Whip cream cheese using elec.
mixer until light & fluffy. Add
Marshmallow Fluff until well
combined. Whip in oranges until
they are broken up. Refrigerate
at least 2 hours or overnight
before serving.

NOTE: You can make this into a
sauce to pour over a fruit salad:
Mix in a little reserved orange
liquid until you reach desired
consistency.

(recipe: caramelpotatoes.com)
——————————
Warm Honey Walnut Salad

1/2 C. Italian salad dressing
3 T. honey
2 T. maple syrup
1 T. peanut oil
2 T. chopped walnuts
1 (8 oz) pkg. mixed baby greens
1 pear, cored/thinly sliced*

Place all ingredients except mixed
greens & pear in a microwave-safe
bowl. Microwave at 100% powder
1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir then toss
with mixed greens & add fresh pear
slices. Serve immediately. Serves 4

*can substitute an apple for the pear

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 C. brown sugar
2 T. butter, softened
1 egg
2 T. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a flat rimmed cookie sheet
with parchment paper (OR) spray
lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl whisk flour, baking soda,
cinnamon & salt. In another bowl
beat butter & sugar until fluffy. Add
in egg, vanilla & pumpkin puree –
beat until combined. Gradually add
in flour mixture & mix until fully
combined; fold in chocolate chips.
Roll dough into approx. 1 inch balls &
place on prepared cookie sheet,
about 1 inch apart – flatten lightly.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes
before removing to a wire rack.
Makes approx. 18-24 cookies

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
======================
Yesterday we had light snow (but it didn’t
stay – YAY!) Today it’s around 34 degrees F.
and SUNNY!

Enjoy your day!

Pammie

 

 

and so we begin with HOLIDAY RECIPES!

My inbox in chock-ful of holiday recipes – where to start? Which ones to keep? Oh my – it’s a job! If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you know that I love to find ‘interesting’ recipes from all sorts of various sites. I try to remember, every once in awhile, to make note here that these are NOT my recipes, and I note the site at the bottom of the recipe where I found said recipe. Since we have Thanksgiving in our sights very soon, I thought I’d try to start posting recipes that might help you in your choices for what to cook/serve for YOUR holiday meal.

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

Crockpot Turkey Breast & Gravy

2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, cut into
1/2″ slices
3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 bone-in turkey breast (6-7 lb),
skin removed
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. water

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl.
Place vegetables in bottom of
crockpot; top with turkey. Rub
turkey with seasoning mixture
from bowl. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours until temp. of turkey
(using a thermometer) reads
at least 170 degrees F. Remove
from crockpot; let stand, covered,
15 minutes before slicing.
Serves 12

Gravy:
Strain cooking juices into a small
saucepan. Mix flour & water until
smooth; stir into cooking juices &
bring to a boil. Cook & stir until
thickened, 1-2 minutes.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

Crockpot Turkey Breast
(brined then cooked)

9 lb. turkey breast, thawed
1/2 C. kosher salt
1/2 C. sugar
10 oz. soy sauce
1/2 C. Worchestershire sauce
2 tsp. dried celery seed
2 T. poultry seasoning

In a large stock pot dissolve
salt & sugar in warm water.
Add soy & Worc. sauce, celery
seed & poultry seasoning. Place
thawed turkey breast in pot &
cover with water – refrigerate
24 hours.
Remove turkey from brine &
rinse off with water. Place turkey
breast in crockpot; cover & cook
on Low until internal temperature
reaches 165 degrees F (about
8 hours). Makes 8
servings

NOTE: poster said that after
brining & rinsing breast, she rubbed
the breast with poultry seasoning
before placing in crockpot.

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

Carrots Au Gratin

2 C. carrots, peeled/thinly
sliced
1/4 C. minced onions
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. plus 3 T. butter,
divided
1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 C. milk
1/3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 T. dried parsley
2 C. butter crackers (like Ritz),
crushed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Cook
carrots & onions in water until
tender; drain. Add 1/4 C. butter
& flour – stir in milk. Cook & stir
until thickened. Remove from
heat; add cheese & parsley –
stir well then pour into prepared
dish. Mix remaining butter &
crushed crackers together –
sprinkle on top of dish & bake 20
minutes. Serves 4

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)
———————————
Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
On a sheet tray sprayed with
nonstick cooking spray lay out
potatoes in a single layer. Drizzle
oil, honey, cinnamon, salt/pepper
over potatoes. Roast 25-30 minutes
until tender. * When you remove
them & transfer to a serving
platter, drizzle more olive oil over
them.

*Poster said she likes to roast them
a little longer so check them & poke
with a fork to see if they’re done.

(recipe: all-my-recipes.com)
———————————–

Layered Sweet Potato Casserole

5-6 sweet potatoes
1/2 C. (1 stick) margarine
3/4 C. brown sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place sweet potatoes in stock pot
filled with enough water to cover;
heat to boiling & cook about 15
minutes (test with a fork). They need
to be done but not mushy). Drain &
allow to cool. Peel sweet potatoes,
being careful to leave as much flesh
as possible. Slice into 1/2 inch slices
& place slices in bottom of a 2 qt.
baking dish, enough to cover bottom.
(you will be making 3 layers, total)
Cut margarine into 1/2 T. slices &
place 5-6 pats over sweet potatoes.
Sprinkle 1/4 C. brown sugar over
margarine & repeat layers twice more,
ending with brown sugar on top.
Bake 40 minutes; remove from oven &
allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

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

(my son does Brie every year for an appetizer)

Maple/Bacon baked Brie

8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 C. maple syrup
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
1 wheel Brie cheese (unwrapped)
1 egg mixed with 1 T. water (egg wash)
2 T. pecans, chopped

crackers, small slices ‘party breads’
for dipping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In small skillet over medium heat
cook bacon until crisp – 8 minutes.
Drain; add maple syrup to skillet
& stir until combined. On a parch-
ment lined baking sheet, roll out
puff pastry. Place Brie on top & top
with all but 1-2 T. maple/bacon
mixture. Fold up each corner of
puff pastry, brushing each fold
corner with egg wash. Top with
pecans & remaining maple/bacon
mixture. Bake until puff pastry
is golden (cover with foil if getting
too dark). Serve immediately
with dippers.

(recipe: delish.com)
—————————–
Baked Brie w/Cherry Preserves

1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
1 (7 oz) wheel Brie cheese, unwrapped
1/4 C. cherry preserves
egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 T.
water)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut puff pastry into 8-inch square.
Place Brie in center of pastry &
top with cherry preserves. Fold
up corners of pastry, sealing at
top & brush with egg wash.
Bake 20-25 minutes until pastry
is golden brown & cheese is melted.
(if top of pastry starts browning
too much, cover with foil)

(recipe: delish.com)
————————————-

Crockpot Mint Hot Chocolate

2 (11.8 oz, ea) bags milk chocolate
chips
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. vanilla
2 tsp. mint extract
1 gallon whole milk
marshmallows – for serving

Place all ingredients (except marsh-
mallows) in crockpot – stir. Cover &
cook on High 2 – 2 1/2 hours, stirring
occasionally. Serve with marshmallows.
Serves 10

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

Pumpkin Pie “Bites”

1 tube crescent roll dough

Filling:
3/4 C. pumpkin puree, squeezed
in paper towels to drain moisture
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Coating:
1 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Icing:
1/3 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. milk (or more to reach
desired consistency)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with cooking
parchment paper.
In medium bowl mix cream cheese,
gran. sugar & brown sugar until
well combined. Add pumpkin puree,
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & allspice.
Add egg yolk & vanilla – mix until
smooth. Unroll crescent dough &
separate into 4 rectangles, sealing
perforations between 2 triangles
with your fingers. Cut each rectangle
in half to make 8 total squares.
Scoop 2 T. filling into center of each
dough square – pinch corners of
dough around filling & roll gently to
make a well-sealed ball.

In a pie pan or plate mix Coating:
1/2 C. sugar & 1/2 tsp.
cinnamon – brush each ball with
melted butter then roll evenly in
cinn/sugar mixture.

Set each ‘bite’, seal-side down,
on prepared sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake 11-15 minutes until golden brown.

While bites are baking prepare Icing:
In small bowl mix powdered sugar &
1 tsp. milk – until you reach desired
thickness (add more milk, if needed).
Drizzle over bites & serve immediately.

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

I will have lots more holiday recipes coming –
this is just the beginning. Yesterday I chatted
with our oldest son (the chef) to kind of get
an idea of what we’re doing for our holiday
dinner. He decided that he wants to ‘pare
down’ this year (last year was a bit ‘over the
top’). He’s cooking the turkey & doing a baked
brie appetizer. Other grandma switched gears
on me: I guess she’s not doing the cold sides,
but is doing sweet potatoes & some sort of
pretzel appetizer? I’m sticking with ‘the
usual/tried & true’: garlic mashed potatoes,
green bean casserole, (thinking of going with
croissants this year), and some sort of desserts.
I know we won’t go away hungry!

Had an easy babysitting yesterday: 1:30 –
around 3:45! He’s 8 months old now, has
3 teeth, is standing & attempting to stand
without holding onto something – lots of
standing & rocking back & forth plus lots
of “Dadada!” I haven’t seen him in 2 weeks
so we had fun playing. Older grandson (11)
almost brought me to tears; I was getting
my shoes on to go home and he said:
“You’re not leaving now, Grandma, are
you?” I said “Well, it’s time to go” and
he ran & gave me a huge hug and said:
“But I haven’t seen you in a LONG time
and I miss you!” WOW! It’s the little
things like that in life that make you
just want to pause time and savor it –
it doesn’t get any sweeter than that.

Make SURE you take time for those
things in your life that are IMPORTANT-
life is short . . . savor the moments!

Hugs;

Pammie

and so it begins – THE HOLIDAYS!

First thing this morning I was looking over all the 5 grocery store flyers for my area, attempting to come up with some sort of idea of what I’m preparing for next week’s dinner. Mind you, my oldest son will be having the dinner at his house & I’m bringing half of the ‘sides’ and the desserts (other grandma is doing the rest). Now that we’ve had one Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner experience with ‘other grandma’ I now have a better idea of what’s expected of me. Her version of both dinners involves COLD sides: macaroni salad, potato salad, cole slaw, etc. whereby I was raised on HOT sides: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etc. And she also does something I’ve never heard of before: she cooks an entire holiday dinner the day before FOR HERSELF & HER HUSBAND, then they have their ‘feast’ the day AFTER the holiday. OK…different. Why is that important? When it comes to offering leftovers to take home, she doesn’t want any, as she already has a full dinner at home. Different (or strange, whichever you want to think); I’ve learned not to ‘go against the flow’ and just keep on plugging, so to speak. She also does not do desserts, so that leaves me. What am I bringing? I HAVE NO IDEA! (am thinking about the first dessert below – for starters)

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

Pecan Pie Bars

2 C. unsalted butter, room
temp/divided
2 C. light brown sugar, divided
2 T. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 lb. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13″ baking dish with
parchment paper. In large bowl
using elec. mixer, cream 1 C.
butter & 1/2 C. brown sugar until
light & fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add 1 T. vanilla & mix to combine.
On Low speed, add flour & mix
until flour & butter have come
together. Place dough in prepared
pan & using your fingers, press
dough evenly in pan. Bake 15
minutes until crust is light brown
around edges. Cool in fridge or
freezer. (Leave oven on).

In 4 qt. saucepan over medium-
high heat, combine 1 C. butter,
1 1/2 C. brown sugar & corn syrup;
stir until well blended. Bring to boil &
stir frequently 3 minutes. (mixture will
get light & airy). Remove pan from heat;
add heavy cream & vanilla; stir to combine.
Add pecans & stir until they are completely
coated. Remove crust from fridge/freezer –
pour topping over crust; using a spatula
to spread in an even layer. Return pan to
oven & bake 25 minutes until topping
is set (it will move slowly when you
jiggle the pan). Allow bars to cool
completely before cutting into squares.
Makes 20 bars

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

——————————-

Ham & Egg Cups

6 slices deli-style ham
6 eggs
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray muffin tin cups with
nonstick cooking spray. Line
bottom of muffin tin cups with
individual slices of ham. In a
skillet, scramble 6 eggs as
desired; scoop eggs evenly
into cups; sprinkle tops with
Cheddar cheese & black pepper.
Bake 10-12 minutes until cheese
is melted & ham is baked.
Makes 6 cups

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

Chicken/Quinoa/Brown Rice Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 C. carrots, chopped
2 C. celery, chopped
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lb. chicken thighs (can use
frozen)
16 C. water
12 tsp. chicken base (or chicken
bullion)
1 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. parsley
2 bay leaves
salt/pepper
2/3 C. quinoa
3/4 C. brown rice
5 C. fresh spinach, chopped small

Heat large, deep skillet over
medium-high heat. Add 1 T.
olive oil – when oil is hot, add
veggies & sprinkle with salt/
pepper. Cook until crisp-tender,
about 5 minutes. Carefully
scoop veggies out & set aside.
Place chicken in a soup pot; add
hot water, chicken base/bullion,
seasonings & sprinkle with salt/
pepper, to taste. Bring to boil
over High heat (making sure it
doesn’t boil over). Once you have
a rolling boil, turn heat to medium
& allow chicken to cook through,
about 20 minutes. Using same
skillet you cooked veggies in,
heat to medium-high – add 1 T.
olive oil. When oil is hot, add quinoa
& brown rice. Stir & allow both to
get toasted (it will start to smell
kind of nutty, about 5 minutes.)
When chicken is cooked through,
remove from pot & shred using 2
forks then place back in pot.
Carefully pour quinoa/rice into pot
& bring to boil. Cover with lid (with
slight gap for steam). Cook 20
minutes until grains are soft & cooked
through. Add veggies & simmer just
until heated through. Remove pot
from heat; add spinach to pot & stir.
Taste soup for seasoning, adding more
salt/pepper, if needed. Serves 6-8

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

Baked Cranberry/Orange Stuffing-
crusted Chicken

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/2 C. seasoned cubed stuffing mix,
finely crushed

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine mayonnaise, cranberries &
orange peel in medium bowl. Arrange
chicken on baking sheet & evenly
top with mayo. mixture then sprinkle
with stuffing crumbs. Bake 20 minutes
until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Serves 4

(recipe: hellsmanns.com)
———————————

Jalapeno Popper Wonton Cups

12 wonton wrappers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
12 oz. bacon, cooked/crumbled-
(reserve 2 T.)
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
(reserve 2 T.)
3-4 jalapenos, seeded/chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin sups with cooking
spray. Place 1 wonton wrapper in
each muffin cup; Bake 8 minutes
until lightly browned. Remove from
oven & cool slightly. In medium bowl
mix cream cheese, sour cream, bacon,
Ched. cheese & chopped jalapenos.
Spoon filling into cups then sprinkle
tops with reserved bacon & cheese.
Return to oven & bake 8-10 minutes
until wontons are golden brown &
cheese is melted. Makes 12

(recipe: lemontreedwelling.com)
————————————
Bacon-Blue Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1 (5 oz) container crumbled
blue cheese
2 T. ranch dressing
1/2 C. cooked/crumbled bacon
4 green onions, sliced

Dippers;
crackers, bread or fresh veggies

In small bowl combine cream
cheese, sour cream, blue cheese
& ranch dressing – blend until smooth.
Stir in bacon & onions. Serve with
suggested dippers. Serves 8

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

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
(with Apple Cider Glaze)

Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

Glaze:
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. apple cider
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a small (7 X 11 X 2″ pan)
with nonstick cooking spray.
In mixer bowl beat dry cake mix
& pumpkin puree until well mixed.
Mixture will be very thick; pour
batter into prepared pan. Bake
28 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean. Do not overbake. Let cool
5-10 minutes in pan; flip pan
onto a platter.

Glaze:

In large bowl combine powdered
sugar, apple cider & pumpkin
pie spice. Glaze should be thick
but pourable. Add more sugar or
cider if needed to achieve desired
consistency. Pour glaze over cake
while cake is still warm. Reserve
some glaze to pour over each slice
when served. Serve warm or at
room temperature.

 (recipe: americantimesfood.com)

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

Our weather is a bit confusing: kind of like “Make
sure you look at the weather report before planning
your day”. Yesterday was overcast with light rain &
in the 30’s. Last night when I went to choir practice
at 4:30 p.m. it was very lightly sprinkling. When I
came out after evening church (a little after 7 p.m.)
I couldn’t really tell if it was raining heavily OR it
was huge snow flakes! It kept up until I got close
to home (about 15 minutes later) then it was just
a light rain again…go figure; sigh. Right now
(1:30 p.m.) it’s 41 degrees F. , overcast but I can
live with that. Am trying to decide if I want to
venture out to go pick up “on hold” library books
& a quick trip to Krogers, or put it off. IF I do that,
will have to wait until Weds or Friday. Tomorrow
starts back babysitting BUT – I don’t have to go
until 1:30 p.m. . . . YAY! That means I probably
will be there until around 5/5:30 – not bad!

Hope, for your ‘first day of the week’ you’re
having a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie


 

 

There’s FROST on the Pumpkin!

Yes, I live in Michigan and YES, we do get cold weather. Woke up this morning to a ‘balmy’ 31 degrees F. and frost all over – NO! Say it isn’t so! I’m not ready to haul out all my heavy winter clothing!!! (Yes, I’ve been driving with gloves for the past few days as the steering wheel gets really cold on my hands – but I hate to admit it!). BRrrrrrrr!

Last night was Knit/Crochet night and we had 18 lovely ladies – it was lots of fun. The more, the merrier, so to speak. A few ladies came back after a long absence; one of our members joined a little over a year ago but was too busy to actually be able to sit & knit/crochet with us so she would just ‘stop by’ for a few and bring us things like yarns, books, patterns, etc. She works as a chaplain for several assisted living facilities and when loved ones die, the families usually ask her if she knows of anyone that can use their persons yarns, etc. so she brings them to us! What a blessing! About 6 months (or more) ago she fell and broke BOTH of her hands, totally eliminating any hope of her being able to do any crafts – she came back last night! No, she still can’t completely close one of her hands (and can’t pick anything up using that hand) but she stopped by to bring us a few things and just chat – how lovely! When our group numbers swell, I feel like I’m hosting a big PARTY! There’s lots of laughter, sharing, smiles – an ‘over-all’ feeling of joy…THAT’S why I do this! (I was having so much fun chatting last night that I totally messed up a good 6 rows of a knit baby afghan; I’ll have to sit down sometime soon and straighten it out. I ‘know better’, but still I seem to think I can do a little more complicated patterns AND TALK! Nope…sigh).

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

Pecan Pie Cookies

1 single pie crust (prepared or
homemade)
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. corn syrup
2 eggs
1/8 tsp. salt

Optional: 1/4 C. semi-sweet
or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parch-
ment paper.
In a saucepan combine butter,
pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup,
salt & eggs; constantly stir, cook
ing over medium-low heat until
thickened. (you don’t want it dry-
just slightly thickened, about the
consistency of a pudding). Remove
from heat. Unroll dough – using
a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out
circles. Gently fold about 1/8 –
1/4 inch up on edges. Spoon
1 T. pecan mixture into each
circle & place on prepared
sheet. Bake 8 minutes until
filling is just set. Remove from
oven & cool on wire rack.

Place choc. chips in a Ziplock
bag (use NAME BRAND as
store brands tend to leak).
Microwave bag about 15 seconds
or until mostly melted. Snip off
a tiny corner of bag & drizzle
chocolate all over the cookies.
Cool until set.
Makes 10-12 cookies

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
——————————-

3-Ingredient Pork Chops
(crockpot)

6 boneless pork chops
1 can cream of mushroom or
chicken soup, undiluted
water or milk

Place a row of pork chops (about
3) in bottom of crockpot. In small
bowl pour undiluted soup. Fill soup
can with water or milk, stir & pour
into bowl – whisk together. Pour
mixture over chops to cover. Place
another layer of chops & remaining
gravy mixture over them. Cover &
cook on Low 4-6 hours. Serve with
gravy. Serves 4-6

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

Crockpot Ham & Potato Soup

8 C. russet potatoes, cubed (6-7
potatoes)
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cubed ham
1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
1 1/2 C. heavy cream or Half & Half
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. flour
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

Place potatoes, ham, celery, carrots &
onion in crockpot – season generously
with salt/pepper then pour in chicken
broth. Cover & cook on High 4-5 hours
until potatoes are cooked through &
fork-tender. Lightly mash potatoes
(they don’t need to be smooth). In
small bowl whisk heavy cream & flour
until completely dissolved, then stir
into soup along with sour cream.
Cover & cook on High 15-20 minutes
until soup is hot & creamy. Ladle into
serving bowls & serve hot. Serves 6

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————————

Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

1 medium head cauliflower
(about 24 oz), rinsed
1 T. sesame oil
2 egg whites
1 large egg
pinch salt
1/2 small onion, diced fine
1/2 C. frozen peas & carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 scallions, diced-whites &
greens separated
3 T. soy sauce (or more, to
taste)
=
Remove core from cauliflower
& let dry completely. Coarsely
chop into florets then place
half of cauliflower in a food
processor & pulse until it
is small & has the texture of
rice or couscous -don’t over
process or it will get mushy;
repeat with rest of cauliflower.
Combine egg & egg whites in
a small bowl; beat with a fork &
season with salt. Heat a large
saute pan or wok over medium
heat & spray with oil. Add eggs &
cook, turning a few times until
set. Add sesame oil & saute onions,
scallion whites, peas & carrots &
garlic 3-4 minutes until soft. Raise
heat to medium-high. Add
cauliflower ‘rice’ to pan with soy
sauce. Mix, cover & cook 5-6
minutes, stirring frequently, until
cauliflower is slightly crispy on the
outside but tender on the inside.
Add egg then remove from heat &
mix in scallion greens. Serves 4

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

Mozzarella Puffs
(appetizers)

1 (7.5 oz) pkg. refrigerated
buttermilk biscuits
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt
4 oz. block mozzarella cheese
2 T. pizza sauce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Remove biscuits
from wrapper & make an indentation
in center of each biscuit. Sprinkle
with oregano & garlic salt. Cut
mozzarella into 10 cubes; place one
cube in center of each biscuit. Pinch
dough tightly around cheese to seal.
(seal tightly so cheese doesn’t leak out).
Place, seam sides down, on cookie sheet.
Brush tops of dough with pizza sauce &
bake 10-15 minutes.

(recipe: ninerecipes.com)
——————————

Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

4 medium acorn squash
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 (6 oz) pkg. long grain &
wild rice mix
2 1/3 C. vegetable or chicken
broth
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 celery ribs, chopped
3/4 C. dried cranberries
1/2 C. coarsely chopped pecan
halves, toasted
2 T. minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut squash crosswise in half;
remove/discard seeds. Cut a
thin slice from bottom of each
half to allow them to lie flat.
Place halves on a baking sheet
(cut sides up) & brush tops
with 2 T. olive oil. Bake 30-35
minutes. In large saucepan
combine rice with seasoning
packet, broth, sage & thyme –
bring to boil. Reduce heat &
simmer, covered, until rice is
tender & liquid is almost absorbed,
23-25 minutes. In large skillet
saute celery & onion in remaining
oil until tender. Stir in cranberries,
pecans & parsley. Remove from
heat & stir in rice mixture. Fill
each squash half with about 1/2
C. rice mixture. Return to oven,
uncovered, & cook 12-15 minutes
until rice is heated through &
squash is tender. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)


Biscuits & Gravy Casserole


1 lb. sausage
1 1/2 oz. pork gravy mix
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 eggs
1/2 C. milk
salt/black pepper – to taste
1 (8 oz) can biscuits (poster
uses Pillsbury Grands biscuits)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Cut biscuits
into 1″ pieces & line bottom of pan
with them. Brown sausage in a pan,
drain & scatter over biscuits; sprinkle
top with Cheddar cheese. Whisk eggs
& milk with pinch salt/pepper & pour
over pan. Prepare gravy mix accordg.
to pkg. directions & pour over top.
Bake 30-45 minutes.

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

Moist Pumpkin Bread

1 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. water
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Topping:

1 T. butter
1/4 C. brown sugar
3 T. milk
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray & flour a loaf pan.
In medium bowl beat eggs; mix
with sugar, oil, water & pumpkin.
In another bowl mix flour, baking soda,
baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon
& pumpkin pie spice. Combine wet
ingredients with dry only until just
blended – do not over mix.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan &
Bake 50-60 minutes.

Topping:
In small saucepan mix butter, brown
sugar & milk – boil 2 1/2 minutes while
stirring constantly. Immediately drizzle
on top of loaf. Sprinkle with chopped
nuts & press nuts lightly into topping.

Wrap & store bread until next day for
serving. This will keep the moisture
inside. (It is OK if bread ‘sweats’ while
wrapped.

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

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

Hope you are having a great day;
stay warm!

Hugs;

Pammie

A New Month to contemplate!

Now we’re into November – can you believe how quickly this year has flown by? Looking at the calendar for the next two months it’s almost scary how quickly the holidays are coming up! Husband & I went for regular doctor check ups last week and it seemed so strange to hear the staff there telling everyone to have a great holiday! (WHAT holiday? Thanksgiving is WEEKS away!) Oh well . . . doesn’t thrill my little heart to think that, very soon, I’ll have to be deciding on which recipes to prepare for said holiday…how about you?

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

Caramel Apple Ginger Crumble

Filling:
4 lb. medium apples (Fiji or Cortland)
peeled/halved/cored
4 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. cinnamon
1/3 C. chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 C. caramel sauce, divided

Topping:
2 1/2 C. old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 C. light brown sugar
1 1/4 C. flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into
small pieces

Optional: serve with vanilla ice cream
=
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl
mix apple slices, lemon juice, cinnamon,
ginger, caramel sauce & 1/4 C. light
brown sugar. Spread on bottom of
prepared dish – make even. In another
large bowl mix oats, remaining sugar &
flour. Pinch butter with your fingers
until large pebbles form – crumble
this topping evenly over apple filling &
bake 55 minutes – until filling is bubbly
& topping is lightly toasted. Allow
to cool completely before drizzling
with remaining caramel sauce &
serving.

(recipe: thenaptimechef.com)
—————————–
Monterey Mushroom Squares

1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent
rolls
2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack
cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. onion salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
Separate dough into 2 long
rectangles & press into prepared
pan on bottom & 1/2 way up the
sides of the pan. Toss mushrooms
with melted butter & spoon over
dough. Sprinkle top with remaining
ingredients & bake 20-25 minutes.
Cut into squares & serve warm.
Makes 24 squares.

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

Turkey Sausage-stuffed Acorn
Squash

4 medium acorn squash (about
1 1/2 lb. ea)
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lb. Italian turkey sausage links,
casings removed
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium apple, peeled/finely
chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. fennel seed
2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. dried sage
3 C. fresh baby spinach
1 T. minced fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese,
chopped
1 T. red wine vinegar

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut squash lengthwise in half;
remove/discard seeds. Using
a sharp knife, cut a thin slice
from bottom of each half to
allow them to lit flat in pan.
Place squash in pan, hollow
sides down. Add 1/4 inch of
hot water & halved tomatoes.
Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes.
In large skillet cook sausage,
mushrooms, apple, onion &
dried seasonings over medium
heat 8-10 minutes until sausage
is no longer pink, breaking up
sausage into crumbles; drain.
Add spinach, thyme, salt/pepper &
cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove
from heat. Carefully remove squash
from pan; drain cooking liquid from
pan, reserving tomatoes. Return
squash to pan, hollow sides UP.
Stir cheese, vinegar & reserved
tomatoes into sausage mixture;
spoon into squash cavities. Bake
5-10 minutes longer until heated
through & squash is easily pierced
with a fork. Serves 8

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

Red Pepper/Sausage Soup

1 lb. ground Italian sausage
3 assorted bell peppers,seeded/
thinly sliced
1 (32 oz) box chicken stock
2 C. marinara sauce
1/4 to 1/2 C. heavy cream, (optional)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 bunch fresh oregano (OR)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, (optional)
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste

Optional:
garlic croutons – garnish
grated Parmesan cheese – garnish

Heat olive oil in large stock pot or
Dutch oven over medium-high heat;
saute onion & bell pepper 6-8 minutes
until softened. Add garlic – cook 1
minute then season with salt/pepper,
red pepper flakes, if using. Pushing
veggies to edge of pot, add ground
sausage & cook, breaking up into
small pieces, until browned – season
again with salt/pepper. SEE NOTE
BELOW
Stir in marinara sauce – cook 2 minutes
then add chicken broth. ADD HERB
bundle/infuser into soup. Bring to a
boil, then reduce heat & let simmer
15-20 minutes. Taste & adjust
seasonings. Stir in heavy cream. Remove
infuser/herb bundle when ready to serve.
Ladle soup into bowls & garnish with
desired garnishes. Serves 6

NOTE: IF you have an herb infuser,
place bay leaves, rosemary, thyme &
oregano in; seal infuser.
IF YOU DO NOT: you can wrap the
above herbs in a small piece of cloth
& tie up in to a bundle with twine.

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

Confetti Rice

6 T. butter
1 1/2 C. jasmine rice (uncooked)
1 T. chicken bouillon
3 C. water
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 C. shredded carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C. frozen baby peas
1/4 C. frozen corn kernels
1/2 small green bell pepper,
cut into thin strips
1/2 small red bell pepper, cut
into thin strips
2 T. Parmesan or Romano cheese,
grated

Melt butter over medium heat in large,
deep skillet. Add rice to pan & let rice
toast (brown a bit), stirring frequently.
Add chopped onion, shredded carrot &
garlic to pan – fry about 2 minutes,
stirring constantly. Stir in water &
bouillon; bring to boil. Cover & reduce
heat to Low – cook until liquid is almost
absorbed. Add cheese, peas, corn &
peppers – stir to combine. Cover & cook
on Low heat 5 minutes. Serves 6

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

Skillet Chicken w/Roasted
Red Pepper Cream Sauce

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless
chicken breasts
1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. jarred roasted red
peppers, drained/finely
chopped
1 1/2 C. chicken stock
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
fine
1/2 C. sour cream or plain
Greek yogurt

In a shallow dish whisk flour,
salt/pepper. Dredge chicken in
flour mixture to coat. In large
skillet heat olive oil over medium
heat. Add chicken & saute 3-4
minutes per side until chicken is
cooked thoroughly. (Chicken is
done when meat thermometer
inserted into center reaches
170 degrees F.) Remove chicken
from skillet. In same skillet add
garlic & roasted red pepper; saute
1 minute then whisk in chicken
stock & basil. Simmer 2-3 minutes
until slightly thickened. Turn heat to
very low & whisk in sour cream (or
yogurt). Add chicken back to skillet
& simmer 1-2 minutes to heat
through – do not boil. Transfer
chicken to serving platter & pour
sauce over chicken. Serves 5

(recipe: perdue.com)
————————————-

Black Bean/Pumpkin/Turkey Chili

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow bell
pepper, seeded/chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15 oz, ea) cans black beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (15 oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
3 C. chicken broth
2 1/2 C. cubed, cooked turkey
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
cubed a

Optional toppings:
cubed avocado
thinly sliced green onions

In large skillet heat oil over
medium-high heat. Add onion &
pepper, cook & stir until tender.
Add garlic – cook 1 minute more;
place in crockpot. Stir in next 10
ingredients (beans through salt).
Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours.
Top with optional toppings if
desired. Serves 10 (2 1/2 quarts)

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

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. shortening (butter-flavored)
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. pure pumpkin (not filling)
1 T. vanilla
2 3/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt

Sugar mixture:

4 T. granulated sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Place mixture in small dish/
pie plate & stir to combine.
=
In large bowl cream butter, shortening
& sugars together. Add pumpkin &
vanilla – mix well. In another bowl combine
flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking
powder, pumpkin pie spice & salt.
Gradually add flour mixture to creamed
mixture, stirring until well combined.
Refrigerate dough at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Line baking sheets with parchment
paper. Remove dough from fridge
& form into small 1-inch balls. Roll
balls in sugar mixture & place on
prepared sheets. Bake 8 minutes.
Remove & let cool on sheet 2 minutes
before transferring to cooling rack.
Makes 3 dozen cookies

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

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

So far this week my calendar is looking
“normal” – no extra/special events requiring
my attendance. I also get a small reprieve
from babysitting, as my son’s ‘other
grandmother’ will be watching the baby
for the week. Sometimes it’s just nice to
have an ‘easy’ schedule (for a short while
anyway) – only Knit night & special needs
group (that I know of…).

Gas prices are steady at $2.69/9

Weather is cooler, in the 40’s with
occasional rain & gloomy days but we
expect that. I’m not fond of the ‘gloom’
BUT it’s better than when the temperatures
plummet and it’s SNOWING! (Hey, I live
in MICHIGAN so I have no complaints –
we have cold/snow, etc. we’re a NORTHERN
state!) Life goes on – right?

Stay warm, remember to take a break every
once in awhile, treat yourself to something:
hot cocoa/coffee/tea, maybe a tiny snack?

Hugs;

Pammie

Halloween, 2017

WE HAD TRICK OR TREATERS!

Surprise! In my last blog entry I explained that we NEVER get beggars at our house because we live on a main road (speed 45 MPH) so when the time comes, we just turn off our lights & chill until trick or treating hour is over. Last night, while happily playing a solitaire game on my computer, I hear my cell phone. I answer, only to hear my oldest son say: “Mom, come open the door!” I go to the door and this is what I found! They said that since my grandson is too young for Halloween, they decided to just go visit the grandparents, for fun! Baby was super grumpy – he’s getting a top tooth in, but after a bit of goofing on my part, he was back to his usual happy self – even let out a few very loud “Dadada’s! It was a very nice surprise!

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

Apple Pie Bread Bowl
(appetizer)

1 bakery round loaf of bread
5 assorted apples (Gr. Smith, Honey
Crisp, Gala) peeled/sliced
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
1 T. unsalted butter, melted
sugar, for sprinkling top
caramel syrup, warmed,
for serving

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Slice top off bread, hollow out
insides, creating a bowl (reserve
carved out bread for dipping)
In large bowl mix apples, lemon
juice, sugar, cinnamon & salt until
well combined. Transfer to inside
of bread bowl, making sure to fully
stuff it. Place top of bread back on;
brush bread all over with butter &
sprinkle with sugar. Wrap loosely
in foil & bake 1 hour until mixture is
tender & bread is golden. Drizzle
with caramel & serve. Serves 6-8

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–
Tuscan White Bean Chicken Soup
(crockpot)

2 (15 oz., ea) cans cannellini beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, reserve
juices
1 (32 oz) box chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 C. carrots, diced
1 1/2 C. celery, diced
1 C. yellow onion, diced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese, grated – optional
garnish

Place chicken, carrots, celery, onion &
garlic in crockpot. Add cannelini beans &
diced tomatoes (with juices); pour in
chicken broth. Season generously with
salt/pepper then add bay leaves,
rosemary sprig, oregano, thyme, basil &
red pepper flakes. Stir well then cover &
cook on High 3-4 hours or Low 6-8 hours
until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Using
2 forks, remove chicken to a plate &
shred – return chicken to pot & stir.
Serve hot, garnished with Parmesan
cheese, if desired. Serves 8

Optional: Place all ingredients (uncooked)
into a large resealable plastic gallon-sized
bag; squeeze out all remaining air & freeze
for up to 6 months before cooking.

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

Smoked Sausage/Potato Casserole

3 C. potatoes peeled/cut into cubes when
cool (approx 1 lb)
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese, diced
1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb. skinless smoked sausage
1/8 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut sausage in half, lengthwise then
chop into 1/2 inch ‘half-moon’ cuts.
Cook in skillet about 15 minutes,
turning frequently to slightly brown.
Place cooked/diced potatoes in a
2-qt. casserole dish. Add cooked meat
& gently mix. In a sauce pan, over
medium heat add all remaining
ingredients (except Chedd. cheese &
paprika) – heat until warm, melted &
smooth. (Use a whisk & stir constantly).
Pour sauce over potatoes & meat;
sprinkle shredded sharp cheese on
top then sprinkle paprika evenly
over top. Bake 35-45 minutes.

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

Buffalo Chicken Rollups

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
softened
1 (1 oz) pkt. ranch seasoning mix
1/2 C. wing sauce
1 1/2 C. shredded, roasted chicken
(OR) 2 (5 oz, ea) cans canned
chicken, drained
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped green onion
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas

Ranch salad dressing, for dipping

Using stand mixer or in large bowl
using elec. mixer, mix cream cheese &
ranch seasoning until well combined.
Mix in wing sauce then use a rubber
spatula to stir in chicken, cheese &
green onions. Spread mixture evenly
onto tortillas. Roll up tortillas &
refrigerate 3 hours. Slice into rounds
& serve with bowl of ranch dressing
for dipping. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes approx. 60 rollups

(recipe: mymagazine)
————————————

Asian Apple Slaw

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 T. grated fresh ginger (or
1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw mix
2 green onions, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into
thin strips

In large bowl combine mayo,
soy sauce, sugar, vinegar &
ginger. Stir in remaining
ingredients & chill 1 hour.
Serves 8

(recipe: hellmanns.com)
———————————-

Caramel Apple Cheese Ball

2 (8 oz, ea) blocks cream cheese,
softened
1/4 C. caramel sauce, + more for topping
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. Granny Smith apple, finely
chopped
2 C. pecans, toasted/chopped
=
crackers, for serving

In large bowl with elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese with caramel, lemon
juice, cinnamon & pinch salt until
combined. Fold in cheese & apples;
transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap &
shape into a ball. Freeze until firm,
30 minutes.
To plate:
Add chopped pecans to a plate.
Roll cheese ball in nuts, then transfer
to a serving platter. Drizzle with more
caramel & sprinkle with more salt,
if desired. Serve with crackers.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————–

Crockpot Spicy Kielbasa Jalapeno Dip

1 lb. kielbasa sausage, diced small
16 oz. cream cheese
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. apricot preserves
1/4 C. fresh seeded/chopped
jalapeno pepper
2 T. hot sauce

Optional dippers:
chips/corn chips
crackers
sliced crusty bread

In medium skillet brown diced
sausage over medium-high heat,
stirring occasionally until browned;
add to crockpot with remaining
ingredients – stir to combine. Cover
& cook on Low 2-3 hours. Serve
with chips, crackers or slices of
crusty bread. Serves 8

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

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
4 T. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. mini chocolate chips

Muffins:
1 1/4 C. pumpkin puree
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. flour
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 24 muffin tins with paper
liners.

Cream Cheese Filling:
Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar &
salt together in large bowl using
elec. mixer. Stir in chocolate
chips.

Muffins:
Beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree &
oil until smooth using elec. mixer.
In separate bowl, mix flour, baking
soda, baking powder, salt & pumpkin
pie spice – mix into pumpkin batter.
Divide batter between muffin cups.
Use a small spatula or back of a spoon
to make an indent in middle of each
muffin batter. Add a scoop of the cream
cheese mixture to center of each one.
Bake 17-21 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into pumpkin part of muffin
comes out clean. Makes 24

(recipe: thegunnysack.com)

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

Had to go out today for a few errands and BOY –
it’s CHILLY out there! 37 degrees F. is NOT the
temperature I was expecting – time to get out
my heavier jacket (before finally dragging out
my VERY heavy winter coat). Brrrrrrrr!

Gas prices jumped a bit lately from $2.49/9
to $2.69/9 – guess it’s to be expected, eh?

Hope you stay warm & cosy – enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Another “Hurry up & wait” day

Another issue of my special needs group’s newsletter is due to be mailed IMMEDIATELY but . . . I’ve been awaiting final approval of the date for our group Christmas dinner. Apparently, the lady in the church office who would be giving us final approval is NOT IN today so I’m sorta freaking out a bit. The lady that does the printing is OUT & they need to be mailed ASAP. To make a long story short(er) finally got the call the printing lady is IN: After a quick revise on the event listing in the newsletter, I’m off to pick up the printed copies; church office closes at 4 p.m. and it’s 3:26 (picked them up, they’re folded & in envelopes – just waiting for traffic to clear a little in front of my house & they will be trecked to the Post Office to mail. SIGH!)

LOTS of yummy sounding recipes coming in – hard to chose which ones to share!

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

Caramel-Apple Cheesecake Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
to room temp.
1/2 C. caramel sauce, warmed
1/2 C. chopped pecans
3-4 sliced apples, for serving

On a serving plate pour caramel
over softened cream cheese block.
Top with chopped nuts & serve
with apples. Serves 6

NOTE: to keep apple slices from
browning, dip in lemon juice before
serving. (they will not taste like lemon)

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————

Crockpot Spaghetti Squash & Cheese

2 spaghetti squash – washed
1 C. chicken broth
salt/pepper, to taste
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 C. heavy cream

Pour broth in crockpot. Cut squash
in halves; scoop out seeds with a
spoon (discard seeds); pierce halves
with a knife 5-6 times. Salt & pepper
insides & place, cut sides down, in
broth. Cook on High 4 hours. Carefully
remove halves & cool a few minutes.
Holding halves with a thick kitchen
towel, scoop out squash. (throw away
outer skin) Return scooped out portion
to crockpot. Add cheeses & stir well.
Cover & cook on High 5-10 minutes until
cheese melts. Stir in heavy cream & taste/
adjust seasonings, if needed. Serves 12

NOTE: this is a very cheesy dish – if you
don’t want it as cheesy, you may want to
reduce the amount at the end.

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

Butternut Squash & Sausage Soup

1 large butternut squash (4 – 4 1/2 lb.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tart apple, peeled/coarsely
chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
6 C. chicken broth
4 fully cooked Italian sausage
links, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
2/3 C. plain Greek yogurt
4 tsp. minced fresh sage
1 tsp. cider vinegar

Optional toppings:
Corn bread croutons
plain yogurt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise;
discard seeds. Place squash,
cut side down, in 15 X 10 X 1″
baking pan sprayed with nonstick
cooking spray. Bake, uncovered,
45-60 minutes until tender. Cool
slightly; scoop out pulp.

In a Dutch oven, cook onion &
apple in oil until tender. Add
garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir
in seasonings; cook until fragrant,
about 10 seconds. Add broth &
squash; bring to boil. Reduce heat;
simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes
to allow flavors to blend. Cool
slightly. Place mixture in a blender,
in batches; cover & blend until
smooth. Return pureed mixture to
pan; stir in sausage & carrots –
bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover &
simmer 15-20 minutes until carrots
are tender.

Just before serving, stir in 2/3 C. yogurt,
sage & vinegar. Serve topped with
croutons and/or yogurt if desired.
Serves 8 (3 1/4 quarts).

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Bacon/Cheddar Potato Cakes

6 slices bacon
4 C. cold, leftover mashed potatoes
2 eggs
2-3 cloves garlic, grated or finely
chopped
6-8 green onions, finely sliced
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Place bacon in large, deep skillet
over medium-high heat; cook
bacon, turning occasionally, until
evenly browned & crisp, about
10 minutes. Remove to paper
towel-lined plate; crumble. Leave
drippings in skillet & add garlic &
green onions – saute 1-2 minutes
until slightly soft; drain. Mix mashed
potatoes, eggs, onion powder, salt/
pepper in a bowl. Stir in crumbled
bacon, cheese & sauted garlic/onion.
Form mixture into 8 patties. Heat
bacon drippings over medium-high
heat & pan-fry patties until crisp
on each side, about 4 minutes per
side. Drain on paper towels & serve.
Makes 8 patties.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)
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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with
Roasted Veggies
(possibly overnight recipe,
depends on whether you use
a fresh pumpkin, or canned)

1 pumpkin (about 28 oz) OR
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 (16 oz) pkg. cauliflower florets,
cut into 1″ pieces
1 (16 oz) pkg. Brussels sprouts,
quartered
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 (12 oz) pkg. rotini pasta
1 1/2 T. butter
1/4 C. onion, minced
2 T. flour
1 1/2 C. milk
2/3 C. chicken or vegetable broth
5 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
4 oz. fresh grated Gouda cheese
2 T. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with foil;
spray with nonstick cooking spray. Toss
cauliflower & Brussels sprouts with
olive oil/season with salt & spread in
even layer on prepared sheets.

NOTE:
if you are roasting the pumpkin yourself:
cut top off pumpkin (like you were carving
a jack-o-lantern); cut pumpkin into quarters.
Scoop out seeds (can save to roast, if desired).
Rinse & lay out quarters on a baking sheet to
dry overnight. Place dried pumpkin on sheet
pan & roast with other veggies 35-37 minutes,
stirring veggies & rotating pans halfway
through cooking time until veggies are soft &
have begun to brown around edges & pumpkin
is soft if pierced with a knife. Remove from oven;
when cool enough to handle, remove pumpkin
from skin (discard skin) & place pumpkin in a
food processor. Puree until smooth, adding
water by the tablespoon if needed, until smooth.
While veggies are roasting, bring large pot of salted
water to boil & cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions,
omitting salt – drain. Over medium heat melt butter;
add onion & cook on Low 2 minutes. Add flour &
cook 1 more minute until flour is golden & well
combined. Add milk & broth; whisk, raising heat to
medium-high until boiling; cook about 4-5 minutes
until thickened slightly. Season with 3/4 tsp. salt,
nutmeg & pepper. Once it begins to thicken, stir in
pumpkin puree & cook until heated through, about
2 minutes. Remove from heat; add cheeses – mix
well until melted. Add cooked pasta & stir well.
Fold in roasted veggies. Serves 8

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
———————————-
One-Skillet Steak

1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 lb. beef cubed steak
3 T. vegetable oil
1/3 C. mayonnaise
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. Dijon-style mustard

In a shallow dish combine flour,
salt/pepper – mix well. Completely
coat cubed steak with mixture. In
large skillet heat oil over medium-
high heat – saute steaks 6-8 minutes
turning once, until juices run clear.
Place steaks on a covered serving
platter. Drain excess liquid from
skillet & reduce heat to Low. In small
bowl whisk mayonnaise, vinegar &
mustard; add to skillet. Return steaks
to skillet – completely coat steaks
with mayonnaise mixture. Cook
3-4 minutes until heated through.
Serves 4

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————-

Crockpot Fresh Breakfast Bake

12 large eggs
3/4 C. canned evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 lb. potatoes, thinly sliced (poster uses
Russets & doesn’t peel them)
1 1/2 lb. breakfast sausage (pork or
turkey, cooked/drained/crumbled)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 C. green onions, sliced

Serving Options:
Parmesan cheese
Paprika

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl mix
eggs, evap. milk, red pepper flakes,
salt/pepper, 1 C. of each cheese.
Place half of sliced potatoes in
bottom of crockpot. Spread half
of cooked sausage on top; sprinkle
half of onion then half of remaining
cheeses on top – repeat layers:
potatoes, sausage, onion, cheeses.
Carefully pour egg mixture over
all making sure the top all gets
covered. Sprinkle green onions on
top. Cover & cook on Low 5-6
hours or High 3 hours until eggs
are set. Sprinkle top of cooked
casserole with (optional) Parmesan
cheese and/or paprika before
serving. Serves 8

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

Pumpkin Pie Dippers

1/2 C. pumpkin puree
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 (store bought) pie crusts
egg wash, for dough (1 egg
mixed with 1 T. water)
2 T. cinnamon sugar

caramel sauce, warmed in
microwave, for dipping

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Pumpkin Pie mixture:
In medium bowl mix puree,
sugar & pie spice. On a floured
work surface, roll out one pie
crust. Spread pumpkin mixture
all over, leaving 1/4 inch border.
Top with second pie crust &
brush all over with egg wash;
sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Using a pizza or pastry cutter,
slice into ‘fries’ then transfer
to a parchment-paper lined
baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes
until golden. Serve with warm
caramel sauce for dipping.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: delish.com)

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

Our weather is chilly, rainy/windy & 41 degrees F.
(with the sun occasionally popping out – go figure!)
Tomorrow night is halloween – because we live on
a major road, we don’t get any ‘beggars’ – that’s
OK. When our sons were younger I’d buy each of
them a bag of their favorite candy bars and we’d
be done with it (this was after they were too grown
to trick-or-treat). Since they’re all now ‘out of the
house’, I just get a small bag for husband & I (hey,
we like chocolate, too!).

Hope you have a warm, safe day!

Hugs;

Pammie

and there is JOY

Yesterday found my husband and I at another funeral – two in less than a week. This one was for my choir director at the church we both attended for 16 years. She was 87, her husband had preceded her in death a good 10+ years ago; she has had dementia for at least 5+ years and I haven’t seen her since her husband’s funeral. Two funerals – two celebrations of a life WELL-LIVED! Both of the funerals were filled with JOY! Singing, many memories shared – I’m SO glad we went! Both of the ladies who died were Christians, so we know that they are at peace with the Lord. During the funeral yesterday the pastor asked for a show of hands of how many people in the service were touched in some way, musically, by my deceased friend – at least 30 people raised their hands. She was a very talented lady (played organ/piano, directed choirs, ensembles, hand bells, taught choir for 30+ years in the Pontiac school system) – she was well loved & remembered. Along with all the memories was the re-connecting with people we haven’t seen in a good 20 years! On one of the photo memory boards was (I believe) the only photo ever taken of that church choir – to get to see some of those very people all these years later was such a JOY! Pictures were taken, lifes adventures caught up – one of the ladies I’ve known since high school but haven’t seen in so many years – JOY! Yes, some funerals are very sad affairs, and rightly so – but these two were CELEBRATIONS! I hope that when it’s my time to go, people have a JOYOUS time remembering the friendships, the stories, etc.  A LIFE WELL-LIVED, AS UNTO THE LORD.

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

 Pumpkin Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 (10 oz) jar pumpkin butter*

Suggested dippers:
sliced apples
graham cracker sticks
‘Nilla wafers
ginger snap cookies

Using elec. mixer, beat cream
cheese & sugar on medium speed
until smooth. Add pumpkin butter
& mix well. Place in a serving bowl
& chill at least 8 hours.

*can substitute 1 small can
pumpkin, 1 tsp. cinnamon &
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)
——————————
Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 small can pumpkin (not pumpkin
pie filling)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk (or
coconut milk)
2 eggs
1 C. sugar
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 C. whole pecans
3/4 C. melted butter

Garnish: whipped cream or
Cool Whip

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine pumpkin, evap.
milk, eggs, sugar & pumpkin
pie spice – mix until well blended.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Evenly sprinkle (dry) cake mix
over top of batter & sprinkle
pecans on top. Pour melted
butter over top of mixture.
Bake 50 minutes. Check for
doneness by inserting a knife
or toothpick into center – when
removed, toothpick should come
out fairly clean. Allow cake to cool
before cutting. Serve warm, room
temp. or cold.

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

Tomato-basil Tortellini Soup

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (16 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
tortellini
4 C. chicken or vegetable stock
1 C. heavy cream
1 C. yellow onion, finely chopped
1/3 C. fresh basil, chopped plus
extra for garnish (if desired)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled/diced
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated – garnish

Heat 2 T. olive oil in large pot or
Dutch oven over medium-high
heat; add onion & carrot. Saute
10-12 minutes, stirring frequently,
until onions are translucent – season
generously with salt/pepper. Add
minced garlic – cook 1-2 minutes then
add 1/3 C. basil, chicken stock,
canned tomatoes & red pepper flakes.
Stir well & bring to boil; reduce heat to
Low & simmer 20 minutes until
thickened – taste & adjust seasoning.
Add tortellini & let simmer 15-20
minutes more until pasta is al dente.
Pour in heavy cream & Parm. cheese
(if using) – stir together. Transfer
to serving bowls & serve hot, garnished
with more Parm. cheese & fresh basil.
Serves 6

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
————————————

Crockpot Chili

2 lb. lean ground beef
2 (16 oz, ea) cans kidney beans,
drained/rinsed
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans diced
tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded/chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Optional garnishes:
shredded Cheddar cheese
thinly sliced green onions

In large skillet cook beef over
medium heat until no longer
pink; drain & transfer to crockpot.
Add next 9 ingredients. Cover &
cook on Low 8-10 hours. Top
with desired garnishes. Serves 10
(2 1/2 quarts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Crescent Roll Taco Pizza

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. dry taco seasoning mix
2 (8 oz, ea) tubes crescent rolls
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2-3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
(or Mexican blend)
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
1/4 C. sliced bacon olives
4 chopped green onions

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In skillet brown ground beef; drain.
Following pkg. directions, add taco
seasoning to beef. Place unrolled
crescent rolls into rectangles in a
11 1/2″ X 16 1/2″ jelly roll pan (or
cookie sheet). Press dough on bottom
& 1/2 inch up sides to form a crust;
bake 11-13 minutes. Place refried
beans in microwaveable bowl &
microwave 1 minute – spread over
baked crust. Add beef mixture &
spread evenly; sprinkle with cheese,
tomatoes, black olives & green onion.
Bake 3-6 minutes more & serve hot.

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
————————————

Sausage-stuffed Small
Pumpkins

2 C. water
1 C. uncooked brown rice
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
4 C. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic minced
5 T. dried currants
1/4 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/4 tsp. dried majoram
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

In large saucepan bring water,
rice, bouillon & curry powder
to boil; reduce heat, cover &
simmer 45-50 minutes until
tender. In large skillet cook
sausage over medium heat
until no longer pink; drain.
In same skillet saute mush-
rooms, onion, shallots 3-5
minutes until tender. Add
garlic, cook 1 minute longer.
Reduce heat, add currants,
broth, poultry seasoning,
sage & marjoram. Return
sausage to pan; cook &
stir 5-7 minutes until liquid
is absorbed. Remove from
heat; stir in rice.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Wash pumpkins; cut a 3 inch
circle around each stem –
remove tops & set aside. Remove
& discard loose fibers; save seeds
for another use (if desired). Prick
inside of each pumpkin with a
fork; sprinkle insides with salt &
garlic powder. Stuff with sausage
mixture & replace tops. Place
pumpkins in a 9 X 13″ baking
pan. Add 1/2 inch of water
to pan. Bake, uncovered, 30
minutes. Cover loosely with foil;
bake 45-50 minutes longer until
tender. Cut each baked pumpkin
into four wedges to serve.
Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-

Glazed Kielbasa Bites
(appetizers)

2 (13 oz, ea) pkgs. kielbasa
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
drained (reserve 1 T. juice)
3 T. teriyaki sauce
1 T. cocktail sauce (or chili sauce)
1 T. honey

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Slice kielbasa into 1-inch pieces.
Place kielbasa & pineapple chunks
in a 9 X 9″ baking dish. In a bowl
whisk reserved pineapple juice, teriyaki
sauce, cocktail sauce & honey; pour
over kielbasa & pineapple; stir well.
Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes stirring
once during baking. Once finished
cooking, carefully take toothpicks &
skewer 1 slice kielbasa & 1 pineapple
chunk – place on a serving plate.
Makes 30 servings

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

Maple-glazed Pumpkin
Coffee Cake

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 C. butter
1/2 C. milk
1 C. pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Streusel topping:
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. butter

Glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl mix flour, sugar, baking
powder, salt, egg, butter, milk,
pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice;
pour into prepared pan.

Streusel topping:

Combine all streusel ingredients
in a bowl then sprinkle evenly
over batter. Bake 40-45 minutes.

Maple glaze:
Mix glaze ingredients & drizzle
over top of coffee cake.

(recipe: thegunnysack.com)

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

There are times when it seems like my days
all blend into one big calendar of ‘gotta do’s’ –
you know, those days when you’re almost not
sure of what DAY it is because EVERY day is
filled with places to go/things to do! Finally,
today I get a ‘do nothing special’ day  – YAY!
I’ve been rushing around getting things done,
going where I was needed but today I’m still
in my jammies with my coffee, just perusing
the ‘net and relaxing. Our weather has finally
turned to FALL/MICHIGAN/Halloween weather-
as I well remember my childhood trick-or-treating
experiences – it was ALWAYS cold, gloomy &
rainy – don’t remember many that weren’t! We
went from 60’s/70’s weather to ‘you’re lucky if
we hit the 60’s!’ I woke up yesterday & looked
at the outside thermometer and it was reading
39 degrees F.!!! Noooooooooo – say it isn’t so!
(I even heard tell of us getting the “S” word
in the next 10 days! UGH!) Oh well – ya live in
a Northern State – what do you expect, right?

Hope you are staying nice & warm and are
able, sometime during your day, to take
a few minutes to relax & let your body
and mind REST – if only for a few minutes.
It helps Soooooo much!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Thoughts on a Thursday –

It’s a lovely Fall day – sun shining, slight breeze, mid 60’s – a great day to get out and DO things! I used my day wisely and got several ‘outside’ things done, items brought in the porch, etc. Am also, slowly, getting the next special needs group newsletter assembled; this takes time, mostly for getting dates confirmed with others in charge. (keeps me out of trouble, right?)

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

Turtle Cookie Bars

Crust:
2 C. flour
1 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened

Second Layer:
1 C. pecan halves or chopped
pecans
2/3 C. butter
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1 C. milk chocolate morsels

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine first 3 ingredients in large
bowl; beat at medium speed using
elec. mixer until blended. Pat mixture
firmly into an ungreased 9 X 13 pan.
Arrange pecans over crust. Combine
2/3 C. butter & 1/2 C. brown sugar in
a saucepan – bring to boil over medium-
high heat, stirring constantly. Cook 3
minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture
over pecans & bake 15-17 minutes until
golden & bubbly. Remove from oven;
sprinkle with chocolate morsels. Let
stand 2-3 minutes until slightly melted.
Gently swirl chocolate with a knife,
leaving some morsels whole (do not
spread). Let cool on wire rack at room
temperature until chocolate is set then
cut into squares.

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

Parmesan-roasted Sheet
Pan Dinner

1 1/2 lb. baby gold potatoes, cut
into bite-sized pieces
4 T. butter, melted/divided
2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 C. Italian breadcrumbs
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed/
halved
12 oz. kielbasa sausage, cut into
rounds
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

extra Parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 13″ X 18″ baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine potatoes, 2 T. butter
(melted), 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp.
salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, Parm. cheese
& bread crumbs – mix until potatoes are
coated. Spread potatoes in even layer
in baking sheet. Combine Brussels
sprouts, 1 T. melted butter, 1/2 tsp. garlic
powder, 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. pepper
in bowl & toss to coat. Spread in even
layer on baking sheet. Combine sausage,
1 T. melted butter, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
& 1/2 tsp. dried parsley in bowl & toss
to coat. Sprinkle mixture over potatoes &
Brussels sprouts in pan. Bake 25 minutes;
stir mixture & continue cooking an additional
20-25 minutes until potatoes are golden
brown. Top with additional Parm. cheese.
Serves 4-6

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

Crockpot Chicken & Rice Soup

6 C. chicken stock
1 C. uncooked rice (white/brown or wild)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled/diced into 1/4″thick
rounds
2 parsnips, peeled/diced into 1/4″ thick
rounds
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 C. corn starch
1 lb. whole bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Place in crockpot: chicken stock, garlic,
onion, carrots, parsnips, celery, thyme,
rosemary & bay leaves – stir. Place on
top chicken breasts. Cover & cook on
Low 6 hours. Remove chicken from
crockpot & shred using 2 forks. Reove
1/2 C. of soup broth into a small bowl
& whisk in corn starch until smooth. Stir
cornstarch mixture back into crockpot
along with shredded chicken & mush-
rooms. Cover & cook on Low 30 more
minutes. Remove bay leaves (& discard);
serve soup immediately, garnished with
chopped parsley, if desired.  Makes
6 large servings.

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

Swamp Dip
(I know – weird name, but it
sounds yummy!) Named by
the Univ. of Fla. “Gators”
football team

1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped
spinach, thawed
1/2 C. (jarred) drained/chopped
roasted red bell peppers
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 C. mayonnaise
2 T. finely chopped yellow onion
2 T. lemon juice
1 pkt. dry vegetable soup mix
pepper, to taste
dash ground red pepper, optional

Suggested dippers:
tortilla chips, pita chips or bagel
chips

Thaw spinach completely; squeeze
dry in paper towels – transfer to
large bowl. Add red peppers, sour
cream, mayonnaise, onion, lemon
juice, veg. soup mix, pepper &
grnd. red pepper – mix well.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes
before serving. Serve with tortilla
chunks, pita chips or bagel chips.

(recipe: recipelion.com)
——————————

4-minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp

2 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
24 jumbo shrimp, peeled/deveined,
tails left on
2 tsp. grill or steak seasoning blend (like
Montreal Steak seasoning by McCormick)
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1/4 C. chopped parsley leaves

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add oil, garlic, pepper flakes & shrimp –
season with grill seasoning or salt/pepper &
cook shrimp 3 minutes until just pink. Toss
with lemon zest & juice. Sprinkle chopped
parsley on top & pour onto serving platter
or in large bowl (leave garlic in pan).

Seafood tip: Unless you live somewhere that you can
get freshly-caught fish that’s never been frozen, buy
your shrimp in the frozen section of your store. Most
seafood at the seafood counter has already been frozen
and there’s no way to tell how long it’s been sitting in
the case after being thawed. If you thaw your own you
can control how long until it’s cooked. Thaw shrimp in
a colander while running cold water over it continuously
until it’s completely thawed.

(recipe: thewickednoodle.com)
——————————————

Chili Mac Casserole

1 C. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 C. shredded Mexican cheese
blend
thinly sliced green onions,
optional garnish

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
Cook macaroni accordg. to pkg.
directions. In large nonstick skillet
cook beef, onion & garlic over
medium heat until meat is no longer
pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes, beans,
tomato paste, chilies & seasonings.
Drain cooked macaroni & add to
mixture in skillet. Transfer mixture
to prepared pan. Cover with foil
& bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly.
Remove foil; sprinkle top with cheese
& bake 5-8 minutes more until cheese
is melted. Top with sliced green
onions, if desired. Serves 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Crockpot Pumpkin Pecan Bread
Pudding

8 C. day-old bread cubes
1/2 C. toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 C. cinnamon chips (like choc. chips)
4 eggs
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 C. Half & Half
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Optional:
vanilla ice cream
caramel ice cream topping

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray & place
bread crumbs in bottom with
cinnamon chips & chopped
pecans. In large bowl whisk
eggs, pumpkin, Half & Half,
brown sugar, melted butter,
vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg,
ginger & cloves – pour over
bread & stir to coat. Cover &
cook on Low 3-4 hours until
a knife inserted into center
comes out clean. Serve warm
topped with vanilla ice cream &
caramel ice cream topping, if
desired. Serves 8

(recipe: thegunnysack.com)

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

Today is one of my ‘easy’ days – no babysitting,
nothing in particular to get done (that I haven’t
already done). Babysitting is getting a ‘little’
easier – he’s very mobile with the crawling but
pretty much stays by me & plays (You’ll usually
find me sitting on the couch). He’s working on
another tooth (#3) so drooling is the ‘norm’ but
he’s such a happy baby (see below 7 1/2 months)

He loves to pull himself up on the
side of the couch and then breathe
heavily at me (photo is the face I
see regularly)! For awhile a few weeks
ago he was saying “Dada” & one day
“Mamama” but now he’s given that
up – it’s OK, it will come.

Enjoy your day;

Hugs;

Pammie