Starting “The List”

As the days draw closer to Thanksgiving I’ve started thinking about Christmas gifts – not an easy task. I’ve been cruising Amazon & managed to order a few things but some of the people on my list are rather difficult to buy gifts for – they either HAVE everything they want OR they are so brand-specific it gets ‘muddy’ trying to come up with something they’ll like – WITHOUT RESORTING TO JUST GIVING A GIFT CARD! Know what I mean? Yes, I ‘could’ knit/crochet something but that, in itself, takes time. Am thinking about knitting more spa cloths for oldest son’s girlfriend (did that last year & she really liked them) but, again, TIME crunch! How are YOU doing on you list? Started yet? I noticed in my email “In” box that two gifts I ordered have arrived – YAY – it’s a start! Baby grandson is another one that’s hard to buy for: other grandma practically buys out the store when it comes to his gifts. I’m not one to compete with anyone, just want to get him something – am thinking of going clothes, simply because he has TOO MANY toys already! (He’s only 1 1/2 and she’s already bought him tons of toys for 4 & 5 year olds! His closet is FULL of toys he’s never even played with yet, not counting his room floor is covered with toys that were too old for him – like puzzles – the pieces are scattered everywhere – he’s TOO YOUNG! UGH! (Ah, the plight of a grandma . . . sigh).

Babysat yesterday for 9 long hours – managed to finish TWO baby blankets – YAY! Am looking at starting a new scarf with a pattern I haven’t done in a good 10 years+ – the pattern is either called: “Ball Band” or “Mosaic” – uses two yarns together to make what looks (to me) like bricks:

Not the best photo but you get the idea. I remember I was really struggling with how to knit this pattern when a good (expert knitter) friend said: “Here – it’s EASY – you just do this!” and she was right. Now remembering that 10+ years later resulted in me checking videos on YouTube but once I saw it done, it’s a snap! Think it would make a nice scarf pattern (although it takes awhile to knit – we’ll see).

LOTS OF HOLIDAY RECIPES!!! GOTTA SHARE!

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

Upside-down Cranberry Pecan
Cinnamon Rolls

1 (13.9 oz) tube Pillsbury cinnamon
rolls (with icing) any flavor (poster
liked the orange ones best)
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/4 C. light or dark brown sugar
1/4 C. chopped pecans
4 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl stir together brown
sugar & butter – spread in bottom of
a ungreased* 9″ cake pan – sprinkle
top with cranberries & pecans. Open
rolls & arrange in pan over cranberries/
nuts. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly
browned on top. Remove from oven &
turn upside-down onto a large serving
plate – do not remove pan. Let stand
5 minutes before removing pan. Place
cinnamon roll icing in a plastic bag &
knead until warm & pliable. Cut corner
off bag – drizzle over rolls.

*you don’t need to grease pan BUT it
does need to be nonstick

(recipe: southernplate.com)
———————————

Turkey Meatloaf

3 C. chopped yellow onions
(2 large)
2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
or (1/2 tsp. dried)
1/3 C. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 C. chicken stock

1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
5 lb. ground turkey breast
1 1/2 C. plain dry bread crumbs
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
3/4 C. ketchup

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
In medium pan over medium-low
heat, cook onions, olive oil, salt/pepper &
thyme, about 15 minutes. Add Worc. sauce,
chicken stock & tomato paste – mix well &
allow to cool to room temp. In large bowl
combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs
& onion – mix well & shape into a rectangular
loaf on an ungreased sheet pan; spread ketchup
evenly over top. Bake 1 1/2 hours until internal
temp. reads 160 degrees F. & meatloaf is cooked
through (Placing a pan of hot water in oven
under the meatloaf will prevent the top from
cracking). Serve hot, at room temp. or cold in
a sandwich. Serves 8-10

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
————————-

Bacon-wrapped Green Beans

1 lb. fresh green beans
10-12 slices thick-cut bacon
(poster used regular bacon)
2 T. butter
1 T. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Wash &
thoroughly dry beans then season
with salt/pepper. Bundle together
5-8 beans (depends on size of beans &
amount of beans you got for one lb.)
Using a slice of bacon, wrap it around
the center of the beans to hold them
together – lay them seam-sides down,
in baking dish – repeat with remaining
beans & bacon. Heat a small saucepan
over Low heat; add butter, brown
sugar & garlic – whisk until butter melts.
Using a pastry brush, brush mixture over
top of each bundle. Cover with foil &
bake 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake
10-15 minutes longer (NOTE: poster
said it took more like 25 minutes for her
to get the bacon somewhat crisp – she
still ended up putting them under the
broiler to crisp up the bacon).
Poster noted it made 10-12 bundles

NOTE: Poster noted that the beans are
cooking in bacon fat – next time she
plans on cooking them in a roasting pan
& using a wire rack so that the beans still
get the juices of the bacon but the majority
of the fats will drip down into pan.

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

3-Ingredient Cranberry Salad

2 (15 oz, ea) cans whole cranberries in
sauce
2 (14 oz, ea) cans mandarin oranges,
drained
1 C. chopped walnuts

Mix ingredients together – Makes
about 8 servings

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

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/
Honey & Cinnamon

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

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Lay sweet potatoes out in a single
layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle oil,
honey, cinnamon, salt/pepper over
potatoes. Roast 25-30 minutes until
tender. Remove from oven & transfer
to a serving platter. Drizzle with more
olive oil. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
————————–

Maple Crockpot Ham

4-6 lb. fully cooked bone-in ham
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Remove
ham from pkg & discard any flavoring
packet. Check end of bone for a
plastic cap (if present, discard). Using
a sharp knife, score skin & fat of ham
about 1/8 inch deep by making cuts
about every 2 inches all the way across
the ham (this allows flavor to more easily
penetrate into the ham while cooking) –
place ham in crockpot. Cover & cook
3-4 hours on High (or 5-6 hours on Low)
until meat is tender in internal temp.
reaches 140 degrees F. Baste once with
juices in crockpot. (do not baste repeatedly
as removing the lid from the crockpot drops
the temperature & increases cooking time.)
Remove ham to a serving platter or cutting
board. Tent with foil to keep warm & allow
it to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
If desired, drizzle a tiny bit of warm maple
syrup over ham slices for an added touch
of maple.

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

Lovin’ Onions Casserole

1 T. butter
7 onions, coarsely chopped (about
7 C.)
1/2 C. self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. (5 oz) shredded Cheddar
cheese, divided
1 1/4 C. (5 oz) shredded Monterey Jack
cheese, divided
1 T. jarred jalapeno peppers, drained/
chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet over medium-high heat, melt
butter – add onions & saute about
10 minutes until softened. In medium
bowl combine flour, salt/pepper. Add
1 C. of each cheese; mix well. Add
jalapeno peppers (if using) & cooked
onions – mix well & pour into prepared
dish. Combine remaining cheese &
sprinkle evenly over top. Bake 30
minutes until cheese is melted &
bubbly. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
——————————-

Eggs Benedict Casserole
(1 hour or overnight)

1 (12 oz) pkg. English muffins,
cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (6 oz) pkg. Canadian bacon,
cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 C. shredded Muenster
cheese
8 eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (.9 oz) pkt. hollandaise sauce
mix, prepared accordg. to pkg.
directions
1 T. chopped chives

Spray a 3-quart casserole dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Layer
half the muffin pieces, half bacon
& half cheese in dish – repeat
layers one more time.
In medium bowl whisk eggs, milk, salt/
pepper – evenly pour over casserole &
cover with foil. Refrigerate at least
1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake casserole (foil covered) 30 minutes.
Remove foil & bake 20-25 minutes until
eggs are set. Warm hollandaise sauce in
small saucepan & drizzle over casserole.
Sprinkle top with chives & serve
immediately. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————

Pecan Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust (homemade or
store-bought) chilled
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. corn syrup
1/4 C. unsalted butter
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
On floured surface roll out chilled
pie crust using a floured rolling pin.
Lightly flour the inside of a 9-inch
pie pan then transfer pie dough to
pie pan. Lightly flour inside of the
dough, fold over the edges &
refrigerate while you make the
filling.

Filling:
In medium saucepan melt sugar,
corn syrup & butter until sugar is
no longer grainy. Dissolve cornstarch
in water & whisk into sugar mixture.
Remove mixture from heat & stir in
vanilla & cinnamon. In medium bowl
whisk eggs then whisk 2-3 T. of sugar/
corn syrup mixture into the eggs. Whisk
egg mixture into remaining sugar/corn
syrup mixture. Spread pecans in bottom
of pie dough then pour filling mixture
over top. Bake 50-60 minutes, place a
piece of foil (or a pie shield) over top
after about 30 minutes to prevent the
crust from burning. Allow pie to cool
& set at room temp. at least 4 hours
before serving.

NOTE:
Store pie at room temp. 1-2 days or in
fridge up to 4 days. Baked & cooled
pecan pie can be wrapped tightly &
frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in
fridge overnight before serving.

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)

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

Weather-wise we’re doing pretty good –
temps in the mid-30’s/cloudy (gloomy) &
80% chance of snow (but only less than
1/2 inch possible). Rest of the week it’s mid-
30’s & tiny chance of snow Monday but the
week looks pretty clear (of snow) so that’s
a good thing for those who might be traveling.

Our Thanksgiving dinner is slowly getting whittled
down to (maybe) 7  – that means cooking smaller
amounts of side dishes (which is good). Still not
exactly sure ‘what’ side dishes but will probably
be the ‘same old/same old’ (Green Bean Casserole,
Wild Rice stuffing, Husband’s Garlic Mashed
potatoes and ??? desserts. It’s getting harder to
fathom all the carbs due to me trying my hardest
to lower my blood sugar levels AND/lose weight
(good thing: as of yesterday I’m down 10 lbs.) and
sugar #’s are good – now just have to keep it up.

Hope your Holiday plans (if you’ve started) are
going well. Stay WARM and safe – try to do something
today (even if it’s something little) for yourself:
Take a nap, read a book, have a cup of your favorite
hot beverage – SOMETHING!

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

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Git ‘er DONE day!

It’s in the low 30’s today and snowing – yuck (good thing: it’s small flakes – so far). Since today I didn’t have an exact agenda, I decided it was another of my GET THINGS DONE days! Started out by finishing the cream scarf (1 skein):

Next it was “MAKE THE FRINGE!” (a tedious job I really dislike – but I got it done!)

(these are the poor, pitiful scarves – I sewed some knit squares I found together to make 2 kids scarves – for the homeless, as well as the cream one above).

Next it was work on the boot toppers a bit; am half done with the first one (noticed, while knitting, that I’d dropped a stitch about 4 rows below so that was ‘fun’ trying to rip out the rows and then figure out just WHAT row I was on at that time – think it’s all good now).  Am thinking of starting another scarf today – found some really soft teal yarn that would make a nice kid’s scarf – we’ll see.

In the crockpot is a nice beef roast with potatoes & carrots (and a pkg. of dry onion soup mix – makes a great flavor) so dinner is ‘on the way’ – leaves me more time to do other things! (LOVE my crockpot!!!)

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

Layered Pumpkin Lush
(dessert)

Crust:
2 C. flour
2/3 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. pecans, chopped

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed

Pumpkin Layer:
2 1/2 C. milk
3 small boxes white chocolate instant
pudding mix
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 C. Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 C. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

In medium bowl combine flour,
butter & 3/4 C. pecans – press into
bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15
minutes – allow to cool completely.

In medium bowl mix cream cheese &
powdered sugar; add 1 C. Cool Whip
& spread on top of cooled crust. In
large bowl mix milk, pudding mixes,
pumpkin, 1 C. Cool Whip & pumpkin
pie spice until smooth – spread on top
of cream cheese layer.

Spread another cup of Cool Whip on top
& sprinkle with remaining pecans. Chill
at least 3 hours until set. Serves 12

(recipe: norinesnext.com)
————————————

Scalloped Corn

4 T. unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 1/2 C. Half & Half
1 T. sugar
2 (14 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen corn
(about 5 C.) thawed
1 1/2 C. coarsely crushed butter
crackers (like Ritz or Toll House)
1 C. shredded white Cheddar
cheese (about 2 oz)
kosher salt

Place oven rack in top third of
oven.
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a 2 qt. oval baking dish with
1 T. butter. In large bowl whisk
eggs and Half & Half together.
Add sugar, corn, 1/2 C. crushed
crackers, 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese &
1 tsp. salt. Pour mixture into
prepared dish, spreading to make
an even layer. Bake, uncovered,
utnil edges are set but center is
still wet, about 35 minutes. Melt
remaining 3 T. butter in small
dish in microwave (about 30 seconds).
Mix butter into remaining 1 C. crushed
crackers until evenly moistened –
sprinkle remaining cheese & buttered
crackers over corn. Continue baking
utnil edges are brown & top is set and
golden, 20-25 minutes more. Remove
from oven & let stand 5 minutes
before serving. Serves 10-12

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
——————————

Company Chicken Casserole

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 C. chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 wedges onion
4 C. Herb stuffing mix (dry)
1/2 C. butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
8 oz. frozen broccoli florets/cuts,
thawed (optional)

In a skillet place chicken breasts,
broth, garlic & onion over medium-
high heat – bring to boil. Turn down
heat to medium & simmer, covered,
15-20 minutes. Remove chicken &
shred with 2 forks. Reserve the broth.
In a 9 X 13″ baking dish melt butter.
Mix all ingredients together (including
chicken) & place in pan. Bake until
golden brown. Serves 8

(recipe: allmyrecipes.com)
—————————-

Oven-Baked Philly Cheesesteak
Sandwiches

1/2 lb. ribeye steak
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt/black pepper
2 T. unsalted butter
1 green bell pepper, seeded/
sliced (or diced)
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
12 slices Provolone cheese,
each cut in half

6 Hoagie sandwich buns, sliced
in half

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Add butter to a cast iron skillet
& heat to medium high.
Place steak in a pan or bowl with
Wors. sauce, salt/pepper – stir to
coat & let marinate while prepping
veggies & while the pan is getting hot.
Add steak to hot pan & brown well
without moving 3-5 minutes until a
good crust forms. Flip & cook 3-5 minutes
until a similar crust forms – remove steak
from pan & add veggies. Slice steak
while veggies are cooking (2-3 minutes) –
remove pan from heat. Cut a ‘well’ into
6 hoagie rolls & add 2 pieces to bottom
of each bun. Add some steak, veggies &
top with 2 additional cheese half-slices.
Place sandwich halves in a baking pan
& bake 15 minutes until cheese browns.
Makes 6 sandwiches

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

Crockpot Sweet Potato Soup

3 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled/cut
into 1″ cubes (about 8 C.)
2 T. butter
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. dried celery flakes
(optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground chipotle pepper*
6 C. chicken broth

Optional toppings:
sour cream
roasted pumpkin seeds

In 4-5 qt. crockpot combine all
ingredients except optional
toppings. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours until potatoes are tender.
Using a blender, cool soup slightly
then puree in batches; return soup
to crockpot & heat through. If
desired top with optional toppings.
Serves 8 (2 1/2 quarts)

Freezer option:
Freeze cooled soup in freezer
containers. To use: partially thaw in
fridge overnight. Heat through in a
saucepan, stirring occasionally &
adding a little broth or water if
necessary.

*Chipotle pepper adds a touch of
smoky heat but can be omitted

TIPS/OPTIONS:
You can substitute 1 medium chopped
onion & 2 ribs celery instead of dried

If you prefer FRESH herbs: use 3/4 tsp
minced fresh thyme in place of dried

The potatoes will be tender in 5-6 hours
but they can be cooked longer since they
eventually will be pureed.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————–
Chocolate Cookie Pudding

1 (6 oz) box instant chocolate pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. crushed (Oreos) chocolate sandwich
cookies, crushed/divided
3/4 C. chopped pecans

Place pudding mix & milk in a bowl &
whisk 2 minutes. Cover & refrigerate
5-10 minutes to thicken. In separate
bowl combine cream cheese & Cool
Whip – blend well. Cover the bottom of
a 8-Cup bowl with 1 C. crushed cookies.
Spread half of cream cheese mixture on
top, followed by half of pecans. Spread
all of the pudding on top of pecans.
Spread nuts with remaining cream
cheese & top with remaining cookies &
nuts. Cover & refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 6

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
====================

Tomorrow is another ‘all-day’ babysitting so
I’ll be able to (maybe) finish the crocheted
knitted square/blanket I mentioned in the
last blog post. Hope the weather ‘holds’ &
doesn’t get nasty – not looking forward to
driving in lots of snow.

Stay WARM, SAFE and have a GREAT
DAY!!!

Hugs;

Pammie

Yep, It’s MICHIGAN!

(Just saw this on Facebook – sure wish the sign was a precursor to how long the snow will stay… just sayin’) Woke up to a heavy coating of snow on the ground/cars/trees/bushes but the roads are (wet) clear so that’s good. It’s 33 degrees F. out (perfect snow temp.) and, looking at the forecast, we’ll be seeing snow today and tomorrow with temps. in the 30’s for days . . . oh joy…sigh. (If you’ve known me or read my blog for awhile you KNOW I don’t like winter – I TOLERATE it – time to drag out the heavy winter coat, gloves, scarf, etc. My oldest son is in South Carolina right now so I texted him a photo of the snow; his reply was: “SAVE it for us when we get home!” (he loves snow/skiing, snow boarding, etc.)

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

Cranberry/Pecan Pumpkin Bread

3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 C. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin
pie filling)
2/3 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 C. applesauce (OR) canola oil
3 eggs, room temp.
1 T. vanilla
1 C. dried cranberries
1 C. chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 8 X 4″ loaf pans with nonstick
cooking spray & line with parchment
paper. In large bowl whisk flour, salt,
baking powder, baking soda & pumpkin
pie spice. In medium bowl whisk pumpkin,
brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce
(or oil), eggs & vanilla. Stir wet ingredients
into dry ingredients, mixing just until
moistened & combined. Fold in cranberries
& pecans, reserving a small amount of nuts
for topping, if desired. Pour half of batter
into each prepared loaf pan & bake 50-55
minutes or until a toothpick inserted into
center of loaf comes out clean. Cool for
10 minutes in pan before removing to a
wire rack to cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
————————————–
Melting Sweet Potatoes

4 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 lb. sweet potatoes, sliced 1″ thick
kosher salt/black pepper
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
honey, for drizzling

Preheat oven 475 degrees F.
Place butter, sage & thyme in a large
microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in
30-second intervals until butter is
melted, about 1 minute. Add potatoes,
1 1/2 tsp. salt & generous amount of
pepper – toss together. Place potatoes in
a 9 X 13″ metal baking dish in a single
layer (glass should not be used at this
temperature). Bake until potatoes are
a deep golden brown on bottom, about
15 minutes. Flip & continue baking until
a deep, golden brown on second side,
another 15 minutes. Pour in chicken
broth & continue to bake until potatoes
are soft & liquid is almost completely
reduce, about 15 minutes more. Transfer
to a serving platter, season with more
salt/pepper & drizzle with honey.
Serves 4

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

Simple Crockpot Potato Soup

1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes
2 (14 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/3 tsp. black pepper
8 oz. block cream cheese, cut into
chunks
=
Optional toppings:
chopped green onion
shredded Cheddar cheese
cooked/crumbled bacon
=
Combine frozen hash browns, chicken broth,
soup, chopped onion & pepper in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 5 hours. Stir in cream
cheese; cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Top with optional toppings.

(recipe: hisugarplum.com)
——————————

Easy Pork Chops w/Sweet Sour Glaze

4 (8 oz) pork chops, bone in, 3/4 to 1″ thick
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. unsalted butter

Glaze:
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
3 T. honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
salt/black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Season chops with salt/pepper. In large
skillet melt butter over medium-high
heat; add chops & sear both sides until
golden brown, 2-3  minutes. Place chops
in oven & roast until completely cooked
through, 8-10 minutes (internal temp.
140 degrees F.)*

Glaze:
Combine balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic,
oregano, basil, thyme & red pepper flakes in
small saucepan over medium heat – season
with salt/pepper, to taste. Bring to boil; reduce
heat & simmer until slightly thickened, about
5 minutes.
Serve chops immediately with glaze.
Serves 4

*Cooking times may vary depending on size
& thickness of chops

(recipe: damndelicious.net)
——————————

Favorite Company Casserole

1 (6 oz) pkg. wild rice, cooked
3 C. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 1/2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 C. cubed, cooked ham
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (4 1/2 oz) jar sliced mushrooms,
drained
1 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp. curry powder
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 qt baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray & layer the first 6
ingredients in order listed in dish.
In a bowl combine mayonnaise,
mustard, curry & soup & spread
over top. Sprinkle top with Parm.
cheese & bake, uncovered, 45-60
minutes until top is light golden
brown. Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

Sauteed Carrots

2 lb. carrots, peeled
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. unsalted butter
1 1/2 T. chopped fresh dill or
flat-leaf parsley

Cut carrots diagonally into 1/4″
slices; you should have about
6 C. carrots. Place carrots, 1/3 C.
water, salt/pepper in a large
10-12 inch) saute pan – bring to
boil. Cover & cook over medium-
low heat 7-8 minutes until carrots
are just cooked through. Add butter
& saute another minute, until water
evaporates & carrots are coated with
butter. Turn off heat, toss with dill
or parsley; sprinkle with salt/pepper &
serve. Serves 6

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
——————————–

Crockpot Blueberry Cake

1 (7 oz) pkg. Blueberry muffin mix,
divided
1/4 C. milk
1 egg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. butter, softened

Set aside 1/3 C. muffin mix.
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl
stir together remaining muffin mix,
milk, egg & cinnamon – pour into
crockpot & spread evenly. In another
bowl add reserved muffin mix, brown
sugar & softened butter – cut together
until mixed thoroughly & crumbly –
spread over batter in crockpot. Cover
top of crockpot with 6-8 paper towels,
place lid & cook on High 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
When cake is done, turn off crockpot & let
stand 10 minutes. Loosen edges of cake
with a knife & serve.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)

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

After several days of fiddling about with
various knitting patterns I FINALLY found one
that works for a child’s scarf (most didn’t
show the pattern using cream colored yarn) –
frustrating. Still working on the 2 baby blankets;
that will be a project for awhile, neither are
close to half-way done yet.

Hope you are all staying WARM & COSY (&
SAFE!).

Enjoy your day;

Hugs;

Pammie

Happy First of November!

It’s a chilly (45 degrees F.), rainy, gloomy day out there BUT it IS the first of November, so I’m not too surprised. Today will find me, very soon, going to the Post Office to deliver our 50 special needs group newsletters to be mailed off. My ‘kids’ really count on getting their newsletters so I have to be ‘on time’. Other than a quick stop at the grocery store, I’m home & ‘off’ for the day. Dinner will be a pork stir fry & rice – that’s all ready to prepare later.

Monday found me visiting my doctor’s office for an ’emergency’ visit – (like most women) – a bladder infection (sorry if this is Too Much Information). I knew the reason: I don’t drink enough liquids. Now on an antibiotic and feeling much better BUT, since it was a unscheduled visit, I agreed to take ANY of the other doctors in the practice. The lady doctor I got was very nice/very informative; during the visit she asked me if I knew what my recent blood sugar number was. (I’m Type 2 diabetic, no meds). I replied: 6.5 – she followed that up with “No, you’re 7.3!” I totally freaked! Last test done was May and the results I got from the hospital email said 6.5. (to explain – 6.5 is not real good, but it still keeps me off of being put on meds – 7.3, on the other hand, would mean meds – NOW!) I’ve been diagnosed diabetic for a good 8 years and have managed to keep my blood sugar numbers in the range that didn’t require medicines to regulate them for me . . . until now. My next regular doctor check up is second week in December so now I’m on a SUPER HUGE rush to get my numbers down before then. What does that mean? It means I put myself on another self-made diet . . . believe me, it’s no fun: very little to no carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, rice, breads, cereals – all the good stuff) and more veggies & proteins. My weight has crept up a bit (was 185 at doctors) so this will also help reduce that number. I KNOW I’ve been really reckless with my diet, eating just about anything I liked (including late night chips & onion dip or ice cream. . . a ‘no-no’). Time to start over – again. I have a luncheon to go to this Saturday – looks like a SALAD is in my future! So – to wrap this up, MORE WATER & VEGGIES, NO ‘junk food’.

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Caramel Apple Cobbler

1 box yellow cake mix
2 cans apple pie filling
1 jar caramel sauce
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Pour
pie filling into dish & spread
out. Top with dry cake mix then
drizzle caramel sauce over top.
Pour melted butter on top &
bake 45 minutes.

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

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

1 large yellow onion, diced (about 2 C)
1 medium bell pepper, seeded/diced
6 cloves garlic, minced (or 3/4 tsp. garlic
powder)
1 1/3 lb. ground turkey or chicken
1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained/rinsed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with liquid
1/4 C. tomato paste, no salt added
1 (14 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2 T. chili powder
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1 T. pumpkin
pie spice)
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
4 C. baby spinach leaves

Toppings:
chopped avocado
sour cream
plain Greek yogurt
chopped cilantro
salsa
=
Liberally spray a large pot or Dutch
oven with nonstick cooking spray &
warm over medium-high heat. Add
onion & bell pepper; saute, stirring
occasionally, 7 minutes until onion
softens. Add garlic, stir & cook until
fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add
ground meat – using a spatula or
large spoon, break up meat as it
cooks – cook 6-7  minutes, until
fully cooked. Add beans, diced
tomatoes, tomato paste, pumpkin
puree, broth, chili powder, cocoa
powder, cinnamon, cumin, black
pepper (& optional cayenne pepper)
stir. Reduce heat & simmer 20-30
minutes, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving add spinach &
mix thoroughly. Serve with suggested
toppings. Serves 6

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
——————————–

Corn Fritters

1 (29 oz) can sweet yellow corn, drained
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
1 T. lime juice
3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 C. milk
1 1/2 C. colby-jack cheese, shredded

Garnish: sour cream

Drain corn & dry with paper towels; place in a bowl
with green onions, cilantro & lime juice – toss to
combine. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder &
spices. Add dry mix to corn mixture & toss until all
coated. Whisk eggs & milk together & add to bowl
of corn along with cheese – mix until combined
evenly. Drizzle some oil in bottom of large pan &
heat to medium-high. Using a large cookie scoop
or 1/4 C. measuring cup, scoop mixture into pan
(you can probably fit 3 in pan if large enough). Cook
about 30 seconds then lightly press flat. Cook 2-3
minutes on one side then flip & cook another 2-3
minutes – repeat with remaining batter & any
additional oil, as needed. Remove fritters from
pan to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with
additional salt/pepper, if desired. Serve garnished
with sour cream. Serves 6

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
——————————–
Crockpot Cheesy Sausage
Spinach Dip

1 lb. ground sausage, cooked/drained
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 can diced tomatoes & chilies
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
5 oz. pkg. frozen spinach – thawed/
drained
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in 3-4 qt.
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
2 hours, stirring occasionally.

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

Swiss Cheese Chicken Casserole

3-4 boneless chicken breasts*
8-10 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 (6 oz) box prepared stuffing mix (or
you can also use seasoned stuffing cubes)
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Lay chicken breasts flat
on bottom of dish; lay cheese slices on
top of chicken. In small bowl mix soup
with Greek yogurt until combined &
spread on top of cheese slices. Sprinkle
top of cheese with dry stuffing mix &
pour melted butter on top of all. Bake
30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked
through. (baking time may vary depending
on size of chicken). Serves 6-8

*Chicken should be enough to nearly
fill bottom of 9 X 13″ baking pan

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

Broccoli/Cheese Soup
(Copycat-Panera Bread)

1 T. melted butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. flour
2 C. Half & Half
2 C. chicken stock
1/2 lb. fresh broccoli, chopped
into bite-sized pieces
1 C. carrot, julienned/grated
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
salt/pepper, to taste
2 C. whole milk

In small pan saute onion in butter.Cook
melted butter & flour, using a whisk,
over medium heat 3-5 minutes until
you see a noticeable golden brown color
in pan. Slowly add chicken stock & whisk
to combine – simmer contents, covered,
20 minutes, stirring occasionally over
medium heat. Add broccoli, carrots &
sauteed onions; stir & add milk and Half
& Half. Cover & cook over Low heat 20-25
minutes but do not bring to a boil (may
cause milk to curdle). Add salt/pepper &
nutmeg. Continue cooking soup
on Low heat & slowly add grated cheese,
a handful at a time – stir to avoid clumps.
Once all cheese has been added & melted,
remove from heat & serve immediately.
Refrigerate any leftovers, after cooling, in
airtight container up to 5 days in fridge.
Serves 4

NOTE: You can puree half the soup in a
blender if you like.

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

Easy Pumpkin Pull-Apart Loaf

3/4 C. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin
pie mix)
1/2 C. sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
1 can (8 count) Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
(homestyle or buttermilk, not flaky)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. heavy whipping cream (or milk)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 4″ or 9 X 5″ loaf pan with
nonstick cooking spray (for best
results, use the kind with flour). Stir
together pumpkin puree, 1/4 C. gran.
sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice & egg
in a bowl. Open the can of biscuits & slice
each one in half horizontally. In small
bowl stir together remaining 1/4 C. gran.
sugar & 1 tsp. cinnamon. Coat each slice
of raw biscuit dough with cinn/sugar mix.
Lay one slice of dough flat in loaf pan –
spread some pumpkin mixture on top,
then place another biscuit piece on top.
Add more pumpkin mixture & continue
stacking, spreading & layering until you’re
out of biscuits & pumpkin. Bake about
18-24 minutes until top is golden & center
is cooked through. Cool before glazing.
NOTE: the center should not be raw but
will be moist & gooey. If the top starts
to brown too fast, cover with foil &
reduce oven temp. to 325 degrees F.

To make glaze;
Whisk powdered sugar, cinnamon &
heavy whipping cream until a smooth
sauce forms – drizzle over top of loaf.
Makes 1 loaf.
Store loosely covered up to 2 days

(recipe: crazyforcrust.com)

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

I’m almost half-way done with both baby
blankets (one is pink/white/mint green &
a light tan, the other is all peach). Also
started a ‘homeless’ men’s scarf in shades
of gray; had lots of various gray yarns so
I put them together – it’s ‘ok’ – will be a
warm scarf for someone. Now is the time
of year when I start knitting scarves – not
my favorite thing (kind of boring) BUT
they use up my yarns, so it’s a good thing.

Hope you are all WARM, in good health
and able to enjoy the Fall weather &
colors. Our neighbor’s Fire Bush is
resplendent in bright reds – really pretty.
Please remember: this Saturday/Sunday
is the TIME CHANGE – move your clocks
BACK ONE HOUR!
(gives you an extra
hour to sleep in!).

Hugs;

Pammie

Saturday

It’s a chilly, dreary day out there BUT it’s Saturday and it’s also a DAY OFF for me – YAY! Ended up sleeping in a bit & woke up really groggy – ever do that? Today is a “No particular plans” day (except cooking dinner: pork chops, baked potatoes & asparagus). Yesterday was also a ‘OFF DAY” for me – got lots done. Decided to wake up early: got a lot of paperwork done for my special needs group (updating figures/addresses/etc.) then switched Summer/Winter clothes (glad that’s all done), managed to knit some on both baby blankets and a new mens scarf I’m ‘creating as I go’ (that means I’m not exactly sure how all the various yarn colors are going to work into the scarf – we’ll just have to see as we go! That’s called ‘creative license’ but I just call it ‘being creative – & crazy!)

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

Nutty Apple Bread Pudding

6-7 C. crumbled bread, broken
into about 1″ pieces
1 C. hot water
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. butter or margarine (4 T.),
melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. evaporated milk (can use
regular)
1 C. raisins
1 C. grated apple (1 large or 2
small apples, peeled & grated)
2/3 C. walnut pieces (or nuts of
your choice)

Optional toppings:
ice cream
caramel ice cream sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ square baking
pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Crumble bread in a large bowl &
pour hot water over bread. In
another bowl, combine remaining
ingredients (except nuts) & whisk
together. Add crumbs & mix with
a spoon – pour mixture into baking
dish. Sprinkle nuts over top & bake
35-40 minutes. Makes about 8
servings. Great with ice cream &
caramel sauce.

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

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

14 eggs
2 T. milk
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
salt/pepper
12 small croissant rolls
1 (6 oz) pkg. sharp Cheddar cheese slices
1 (9 oz) pkg. sliced deli ham

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In large bowl crack eggs; add milk,
seasoned salt, some salt/pepper
& whisk vigorously with a fork (you
want it kind of frothy). Spray a
9 X 13″ pan with nonstick cooking
spray & pour eggs into pan. Bake
15 minutes until eggs puff up & are
cooked through. Allow to cool about
5 minutes then cut into eggs the
same size as the croissants. Slice
croissants & add 1 slice egg to each
one, topped with ham & cheese.*
Spray another 9 X 13″ baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray & place
sandwiches in pan. Cover tightly
with foil & refrigerate until ready
to serve.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place refrigerated pan in oven &
bake about 15 minutes until
sandwiches have heated through &
cheese is melted. Makes 12.

*Poster said she split the cheese in
half & put one half on bottom of
croissant & one on top of ham so
melted cheese would secure ham
in place.

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

Roasted Smoked Sausage & Potatoes

1 (16 oz) pkg. Kielbasa or smoked sausage.
cut into rounds
5 large potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
(or 2 lb. red potatoes)
1 small onion, cut into pieces or chopped
olive oil
kosher or sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
few sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/8 tsp. dried)
Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning, to taste
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil;
drizzle with a bit of olive oil. In large bowl
add sausage rounds, potatoes & onions.
Drizzle with a few T. olive oil & season
to taste with salt/pepper, thyme & creole
seasoning; toss until well blended & pour
into prepared baking sheet – spread to
even. Bake 45 minutes turning every 15
minutes until potatoes are golden brown &
tender. Turn off oven.
Remove from oven & scatter shredded cheese
over mixture – place sheet back in oven about
5 minutes until cheese melts.

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

Crockpot Sausage/White Bean &
Pasta Soup

1 lb. breakfast pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 T. dried basil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
1 1/2 C. water
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery soup
1/2 pkg. baby carrots or 3-4 carrots,
cut into pieces
1 C. dried Great Northern beans
1/2 C. elbow macaroni or pasta shells
1 T. black pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 C. cabbage, shredded (optional)

Brown sausage & onion with basil &
garlic in a skillet; drain & pour into crock-
pot. Add all other ingredients (except
pasta) to crockpot. Cover & cook on Low
7-8 hours (or High 4-5 hours). About an
hour before soup finishes cooking, add
pasta. Makes about 3 quarts soup

NOTE: This recipe can also be made on
the stove: Cook in large pot until beans
are tender. Add pasta (or shells) about
last 20 minutes of cooking time.

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

Fall Tortellini Toss

1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
tortellini
2 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. sliced baby portobello
mushrooms
1 3/4 C. cubed/peeled butternut
squash (about 1/4 inch cubes)
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 medium tart apple, chopped/
seeded
3 T. (thawed) apple juice concentrate
3 T. cider vinegar
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/3 C. chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 C. cubed, smoked Gouda
cheese (about 1/4 inch cubes)
2 T. minced fresh parsley

Cook tortellini accordg. to pkg.
directions. In large skillet heat
oil over medium-high heat. Add
mushrooms, squash & poultry
seasoning – cook & stir 6-8
minutes until mushrooms are tender.
Add apple, apple juice concentrate,
vinegar & onion – cook 2-3 minutes
until squash is tender. Drain cooked
tortellini; rinse with cold water &
place in a large bowl. Add squash
mixture, walnuts, cheese & parsley,
toss gently to coat.
Serves 12 (2/3 C. each)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
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Easy Stuffed Baked Apples

1 stick butter (salted or unsalted)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4-5 baking apples*
3/4 C. hot water
1 tsp. cinnamon
=
Suggested toppings:
Vanilla ice cream
Caramel ice cream sauce

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In medium bowl melt butter;
add brown sugar, flour, oats,
allspice, cinnamon & vanilla –
stir until well combined. Slice
each apple in half vertically
& remove stems. Using a
spoon (or melon baller) scoop
out the core of each apple.
Pour hot water into bottom of
a 9 X 13″ baking pan & place
apples in pan, cut sides up.
Sprinkle each with cinnamon.
Stuff each apple half with
mixture until all apples are
stuffed. Cover with foil &
bake 20 minutes. Remove
foil & bake another 25
minutes. Serve warm alone,
or with vanilla ice cream & caramel
sauce, if desired.
Makes 8-10 apple halves.

*Great apples for this recipe:
Granny Smith, Honey Crisp,
Golden Delicious, JonaGold

(recipe: southernplate.com)

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

Hope you’re having a nice day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Obligations

Our weather is definitely gone to COLD! Last night was the first of several ‘obligations’ I have this week: oldest (12) grandson’s last football game. We haven’t attended any this year (husband is not into football and sitting on bleachers); last night I rode with oldest son, his girlfriend, the baby & my middle son. Let’s just say: I forgot to bring a cushion for the bleachers – my butt FROZE! It was REALLY windy and around 43 degrees – NOT FUN! They lost 6-0 but we went to Culver’s for dinner and finally warmed up. I’m not into football, either, so spent most of the time keeping the baby amused (and his hands warm).

Today and tomorrow are babysitting; Weds. Knit Library in a.m., babysitting during day & Friends group that evening. Friday is my special needs group’s Harvest Party – lots of fun but also LOTS of activities helping the kids with games, serving food, etc. Saturday evening is a yearly obligation to attend a fund raiser for a former telephone company employee – her son was in college and due to join the Olympic team in archery when he died of a brain tumor. Each year his family holds a fund raiser dinner (great food) and has lots of various items for auction/silent auction to raise money for the college Archery team. We like going because we get to see some of the people we used to work with (my husband & I both worked for Michigan Bell Telephone Co. back in the day). Something tells me I’ll be MORE than ready to rest come Saturday!

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

 

Iced Pumpkin Bars

4 large eggs
1 2/3 C. sugar
1 C. canola oil
1 (15 oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
2 C. flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking  powder
1 tsp. salt

Icing:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. cream or Half & Half

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil & pumpkin
until well blended. Combine flour,
cinnamon, baking powder, baking
soda & salt; gradually add to pumpkin
mixture – mix well. Pour into ungreased
15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pan. Bake 25-30
minutes until set. Cool completely.

Icing:
In small bowl beat cream cheese, powdered
sugar, butter & vanilla. Add enough cream to
achieve spreading consistency – spread over
bars. Cut into bars & store leftovers in fridge.
Makes 16 bars

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

Pumpkin Sausage Soup

1 lb. mild ground Italian sausage
2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 oz) carton unsalted chicken
stock
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/3 C. cold water
1/3 C. cornstarch
2 C. shredded, smoked Cheddar cheese

In Dutch oven cook sausage, mushrooms &
onion over medium-high heat until sausage
is no longer pink & vegetables are tender,
8-10 minutes, breaking up sausage into
crumbles; drain grease. Add garlic; cook
1 minute. Add stock, pumpkin, sugar &
seasonings – bring to boil. Reduce heat –
cover & simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cream.
In small bowl mix cornstarch & water until
smooth – stir into pot & bring to boil. Cook
& stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add
cheese – cook & stir until melted.
Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————
Spinach & Artichoke Chicken
Skillet

1/4 C. flour
salt/ground black pepper
4 (6 oz, ea) boneless skinless
chicken breasts
4 T. vegtable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into
chunks
1 C. Half & Half
1 (5 oz) pkg. baby spinach
(about 4 C.)
1 (14 oz) can artichoke
hearts drained/quartered

Cooked rice to serve 4
=
Whisk flour, 1 T. salt & few
grinds pepper in a pie plate or
shallow dish. Coat both sides of
chicken in seasoned flour & shake
off any excess. Heat 3 T. oil in large,
heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-
high heat. Add chicken & cook,
(undisturbed) about 4 minutes until
deeply golden, without turning. Remove
chicken to a plate; add remaining 1 T.
oil to skillet & cook onion about 5
minutes, stirring occasionally, until it
begins to soften. Add garlic & cook,
about 30 seconds, stirring. Add cream
cheese & stir until melted. Pour in
Half & Half – use a wooden spoon to
scrape up any brown bits from bottom
of skillet – season with salt/pepper. Add
chicken back to skillet, seared side up.
Reduce heat to medium; cover & cook,
turning chicken about half-way through
cooking time until fully cooked (12-14
minutes) and a thermometer inserted
into thickest part of chicken read 165
degrees F.
Transfer chicken to a serving platter;
add spinach to sauce in skillet; cover
& cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
Stir in artichoke hearts & cook until
heated through, about 1 minute. Season
with salt/pepper – pour creamy sauce
over chicken & serve with cooked rice.
Serves 4

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

Crockpot Lentil Stew

1 yellow onion, diced
1 C. green or brown lentils
3 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 T. tomato paste
1 large carrot, diced
(optional: 10 oz. beef smoked
sausage, sliced into quarter inch pieces)

Add all ingredients to crockpot – stir a bit.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours until lentils
are tender. Remove lid; add salt & pepper to
taste & serve. Serves 6

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

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Beef/Cheese

6 large green peppers
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) can tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz)

1/2 C. long grain rice (you can use
any rice, but it might affect cooking time)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut tops off green peppers – discard
seeds & membranes. Chop enough of
the tops to make 1/4 C. Cook whole
green peppers, uncovered in boiling
water about 5 minutes – invert to drain
well. Sprinkle insides of peppers lightly
with salt. In a skillet cook gr. beef, onion &
1/4 C. chopped pepper until meat is
browned & veggies are tender; drain.
Add drained tomatoes, salt, Worc. sauce
& dash of black pepper to mixture.
Cook rice according to pkg. directions –
cook until soft. Add rice to beef mixture.
Stir in cheese. Stuff pepper insides with
meat mixture & place in 10 X 6 X 2″ baking
dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. During last
5 minutes add any remaining cheese to top
of peppers. Serves 3

NOTE: You can also cut a small slice off
bottom of peppers to help them stand up.

(recipe: geniuskitchen.com)
—————————————

Mama’s Banana/Pecan French Toast

1/2 C. Half & Half or milk
4 eggs
pinch salt
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 thick slices egg or potato bread
2 bananas, sliced
1 C. chopped pecans

Maple syrup – for serving
=
Lay out a few large sheets of
waxed paper on the counter

In large, shallow bowl mix Half & Half,
eggs, salt, powdered sugar & vanilla –
mix well. Dip only one side of one
piece of bread into batter – place
dipped slice, batter side down, onto
waxed paper – layer the top of that
slice with bananas.
Dip a second slice of bread into batter
on both sides; place on top of banana
layer (making a sandwich). Place nuts
on a small plate. Remove ‘sandwich’
from waxed paper & place on top of
pecans, pressing down lightly to help
stick them into bread – flip sandwich
over & repeat.
Heat 1 T. of oil in small skillet over
medium-high heat. Place sandwich in
skillet & cook until lightly browned on
both sides – repeat with remaining
slices to make 2 more sandwiches.
Serve with maple syrup. Serves 3
(makes 3 sandwiches)

(recipe: www.southernplate.com)
===================

Hope that you are in good health; my days
are so mixed up I’m still thinking we’re in the
‘weekend’!

Enjoy your day!

Pammie

Happy Saturday!

Well, Fall is now here – it’s in the high 40’s & mid-50’s this coming weekend/week. Leaves are falling off the trees in droves and it was on the weather forecast last night for a frost – yep, cold times are coming soon.

Today is a ‘free’ day for me – that means I don’t have anything specific I have to do. That also means I usually FIND things to do, like run the dishwasher, mop floors, catch up a few rows (at least) on each knit project. Speaking of that, I’m about 4 inches from finishing the ‘pinks’ baby blanket (will post photo when I’m done), mid-way on a chocolate brown (homeless) scarf and started another baby blanket yesterday in pale shades of rose, white, chocolate ice cream brown (looks pretty, doesn’t sound so good when I describe it). Also decided to try a recipe I’ve wanted to try for years: Blackbean Quinoa Salad. The recipe is my friend, Laura’s – she used to make it regularly for our Knit/Crochet Movie Night. I really like it – it’s kind of addicting – makes you want more. (The one problem with quinoa – it fills you up quickly – if you drink lots of water with it you feel like you’ve just eaten an elephant!). Great STUFF! We’re having that with broiled salmon; my husband makes a grumpy face whenever I mention trying quinoa, so he’ll be having a baked potato (he doesn’t like to, as he calls it, “experiment” with his food.)

===========

Black Bean/Quinoa Salad

1 C. (dry) Quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 can whole kernel corn
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced

Dressing:
Equal parts:
olive oil
lemon juice
yellow mustard
salt & pepper

Start out with a few Tablespoons
of each & increase to 1/4 C. of each,
depending on how dry you like it

Cook quinoa in 2 C. water accordg.
to pkg. directions. Drain (or make sure
water has cooked out). Place in bowl
with remaining ingredients; pour
dressing over top & mix well.

Tastes best if refrigerated several hours.

(recipe: my friend Laura)


Pumpkin Pecan Baked Oatmeal

3 C. old-fashioned oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray. In
large bowl combine oats, baking
powder, pie spice & salt. In another
bowl combine brown sugar, milk,
pumpkin, vanilla & eggs – mix well.
Stir wet mixture into dry just enough
to get it moistened. Fold in pecans,
reserving 1 T. for top. Pour mixture
into prepared pan & sprinkle top
with reserved pecans. Bake 35-40
minutes until golden brown & set.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: southernbite.com)
————————————–
Beer Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. Ranch salad dressing
1/4 C. beer
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped

Beat cream cheese, dressing & beer
in medium bowl using elec. mixer
until blended. Stir in cheese & onions;
refrigerate several hours or until
chilled. Makes 15 servings (2 T. each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes)
——————————

Chicken/Zucchini/Tomato Bake

3 C. crusty rustic bread, cubed
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts cut into 2″ pieces
3 medium zucchini, cut into 2″ cubes,
about 2 1/2 lb.
1 (10 oz) pkg. cherry or grape tomatoes
1 C. jarred piquante peppers, drained-
mild or hot
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. fresh basil, coarsely chopped-
do not chop ahead

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place fresh bread cubes in a food
processor & pulse until bread is reduced
to a large crumb (it’s ok if there are a
few large pieces – don’t get the crumbs
too smal). Toss crumbs in a bowl with
1/4 C. olive oil, salt & pepper – lay out
on a sheet tray & bake about 20
minutes, flipping once during baking &
remove when pieces are slightly golden &
crispy. In large skillet heat 1 T. oil over high
heat; once oil is shimmering & starting to
smoke, add chicken pieces & sear on both
sides, about 3 minutes, total. (they will
still be raw in center). Place chicken in a
large bowl with zucchini, tomatoes, peppers,
garlic, basil, oregano, salt/pepper & Parm.
cheese – toss to combine. Pour mixture into
a 9 X 9″ casserole dish & bake, uncovered,
20 minutes. Remove pan, chop basil & top
casserole along with toasted bread crumbs.
Bake just until zucchini is cooked through,
about 5 more minutes. If zucchini still
needs more time, consider covering with
foil so bread crumbs don’t get too dark.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Zucchini & tomatoes will give up
liquid while baking. To serve, use a slotted
spoon & avoid serving the liquid.

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

Cheesy Crockpot Ziti

2 (24 oz, ea) jars Ragu Six Cheese sauce
(or any sauce you like)
2 (8 oz, ea) cans tomato sauce
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 (8 oz) container Greek Yogurt cream
cheese
Italian seasoning
1 (1 lb) box uncooked ziti (pasta)
shredded Parmesan cheese

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray; turn heat
to High. In bowl mix Greek yogurt
cream cheese, ricotta cheese &
about 2 T. Italian seasoning (it will
be a bit lumpy). Spread 2 C. Ragu
sauce on bottom of crockpot then
place 1/3 of uncooked ziti on top.
Drizzle about 1/2 jar tomato sauce
on top of ziti. Dollop 1/3 of cheese
mixture over ziti & lightly spread.
Cover that layer with shredded
Parm. cheese – repeat this 2 more
times: layering pasta/sauce/cheese.
Cover & cook on High 2 1/2 – 3 hours
until pasta is done. Serves 8-10

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

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
(with Bacon & Pumpkin Seeds)

3 acorn squash
2 T. olive oil, divided
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, peeled & left whole
3 sliced thick-cut bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 C. heavy cream
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. red wine vinegar

(Optional garnishes)
Parmesan cheese, shredded
roasted pumpkin seeds
fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Slice each squash
length-wise end-to-end; scrape
seeds from each half, discard seeds.
Drizzle 1 T. oil over insides of squash
halves & season with salt/pepper.
Place each half, cut sides down, on
sheet. Wrap garlic in foil & place on
sheet with squash. Roast squash/garlic
1 hour until softened & beginning to
collapse (squash). Remove from oven &
allow to cool. When cool enough to handle,
scrape flesh from squash & place flesh in
large bowl with garlic cloves. Place a Dutch
oven or soup pot over medium-high heat &
add diced bacon – saute until crispy, about
5 minutes; remove from pan & place on
paper towels to drain. Spoon out extra fat,
leaving about 1 T. in pot. Return to heat; add
onion & cook 3 minutes until translucent. Add
broth, a little at a time, scraping up any brown
bits on bottom of pot. Add squash, garlic, ginger,
sage, cayenne & allspice – bring to boil then
simmer 5 minutes. Place soup in a blender, in
batches (or use an immersion blender) – be
careful of hot soup – it can blow the lid off a
blender if filled too full. Stir in cream, Wors.
sauce & vinegar- bring back to a simmer. Add
salt/pepper to taste & serve with your choice
of toppings. Makes 12 servings

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

Cinnamon Apple Crisp

Filling:
6 medium apples (Honey Crisp or Gala),
peeled/sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 small (1.5 oz) box raisins
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. honey

Topping:
1 C. quick oats
3 T. brown sugar ( not packed)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 T. butter, melted

Heat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine apples, raisins,
cinnamon, honey & lemon juice – sprinkle
with cornstarch & toss until fruit is coated.
Place in ungreased baking dish – cover with
foil & bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Mix topping ingredients & sprinkle over
fruit. Bake 1 hour until topping is golden
brown & fruit is tender. Serves 8

(recipe: www.skinnytaste.com)

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

Tomorrow I have Sunday School snack duty;
after church my SS class is going to have a
class dinner. Our teacher asked me to just
bring ‘something light’ as they are going to
have dinner & desserts later.  Yeah, right –
‘something light’? Not everyone in our
class goes to the dinner (my husband doesn’t
like to hang around after, so we don’t go plus
church gets out around 12, dinner around
12:15 – around 2 p.m. & I have to be back
for choir practice at 4:45 (about 20 minute
drive from our house to church). Choir
practice then evening church means I get
home around 7:20 p.m. – makes for a VERY
long day (easier to just skip the dinner). Anyway –
I digress – ended up buying a lemon Bundt cake,
a Red Velvet cake roll and some powdered
sugar doughnut holes – LIGHT? Guess not BUT
my thinking was: if you only had a small slice
of cake or a few doughnut holes, it wouldn’t be
THAT bad, right? Oh well – whatever is left
over will definitely be eaten at my house, so
no worries!

Hope you’re having a good day!

Hugs;

Pammie

GORGEOUS WEATHER!

Not exactly sure if this is “Indian Summer” or not, but yesterday, today and tomorrow are supposed to be very SUMMER-LIKE weather. Yesterday we got up to almost 80 degrees F. and today (at 12 noon) it’s already 78 with a high expected of 82! YAY! LOVE this weather! Babysat all day yesterday (10:30 – 5:30) and go again at 2 to probably around 6:20 (have Knit/Crochet Night tonight so really hoping to get off at around that time). Older grandson has football practice which gets off at 6 p.m. & his dad has to pick him up, hence the guessed time for me being done. The baby is getting into learning more words; he can say Cracker, Please, Thank You and more. Yesterday, totally out of the blue he said; “Hello, Momma!” exactly like an adult would including inflections! I was floored! Cracked me up! He’s now 19 months.

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

Pumpkin Cider Poke Cake

Cider Filling:

1/2 gallon fresh apple cider
1/2 C. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Cake:

(butter to grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish)
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (15 oz) can 100% pure pumpkin
1 C. canola oil
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 C. butter, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
3 C. powdered sugar

NOTE:
Before you start the cake:
Pour 1/2 gallon cider into a 4 qt.
non-stick pot & bring to a boil –
boil until reduced to one cup –
about 45-50 minutes. It will be
thick & syrupy. Once reduced to
1 C., stir in butter, brown sugar,
vanilla, cinnamon & pumpkin pie
spice. Remove from heat.

While cider is cooking down:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In bowl
of stand mixer with whip attachment,
beat eggs until pale in color, 1-2
minutes. Add sugar & beat until light
in color, 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla, pumpkin
& oil – beat until combined, scraping sides
& mixing again. In medium bowl, add flour,
baking powder, baking soda, salt,
cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice – hand
whisk to combine. With mixer running,
slowly add flour mixture – scrape bowl &
whisk one last time; pour mixture into
prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes*.
Just before cake comes out of oven, reheat
filling. Remove cake from oven & using
hand of a wooden spoon with skinny
handle, poke a few dozen holes in cake top
then pour over hot filling. (Most of filling
will seep into cake, some will sit on top).
Cool then refrigerate cake to cool
completely.

Once completely cooled, prepare frosting:

Place cream cheese & butter in bowl of
mixer with paddle attachment – beat to
incorporate. Mix in vanilla & salt. With
mixer running on Low, slowly add in
powdered sugar – scrape bowl & mix
again until completely creamy & smooth.
Spoon all of frosting onto cooled cake &
smooth with spatula. Cut into 12, 18 or
24 pieces. Cake can be served or
refrigerated until ready.

*The batter cooks up so moist that the
toothpick test doesn’t work. Cake needs
the entire 35 minutes cooking time,
rotating the pan half way through.

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

Crockpot Tuscan Tortellini Soup

1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can Great Northern white
beans, drained/rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 T. Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts (can be frozen)
1 C. Half & Half, warmed
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (18 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
tortellini
3 C. baby spinach

Place onion, garlic, broth, tomatoes,
beans, bay leaf, Italian seasoning,
salt/pepper & chicken to crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
Remove lid & stir in warmed Half &
Half (so it doesn’t curdle). Remove
chicken from crockpot & shred or
cut into bite-sized pieces then add
back to pot. Stir in Parm. cheese,
tortellini & spinach. Cover & cook
on High about 20 minutes or until
tortellini are cooked through. Discard
bay leaf; taste & adjust seasonings
(salt/pepper) as needed.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)
——————————-
Easy Sweet & Spicy Chicken

1 (20 oz) can unsweetened pineapple
chunks, undrained
1 1/3 C. orange marmalade
1 C. picante sauce
1 tsp. chili powder, divided
1 1/4 lb. boneless skinless
chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 large green pepper, cut into
1″ pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. canola oil

Hot, cooked rice to serve 6
Minced, fresh cilantro – garnish

In a bowl combine pineapple, marmalade,
picante sauce & 1/2 tsp. chili powder.
Sprinkle remaining chili powder over
chicken. In large skillet saute chicken,
green pepper & onion in oil until chicken
juices run clear. Reduce heat; add pine-
apple mixture & cook until heated through,
2-3 minutes. Serve with cooked rice &
cilantro garnish, if desired. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————–
Pork with Squash & Apples

1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic (about
2 large cloves)
2 T. chopped fresh sage
2 (1 lb, ea) pork tenderloins,
trimmed
kosher salt/ground black pepper
1 small butternut squash, peeled/
cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cooking apples, peeled/cut into
1/2 inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2″
pieces
1 T. honey mustard
1 sprig fresh rosemary
5 T. unsalted butter, cut into
pieces

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place a long sheet of foil on counter.
Mix nutmeg, 1 tsp. garlic & the
sage in a bowl – rub mixture over
pork & season with salt/pepper.
Toss squash, apples, onion,
remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic, honey
mustard, salt/pepper to taste, in a bowl;
spread mixture onto foil sheet. Add
rosemary & 3 T. butter. Bring ends of foil
together & crimp to seal into a packet.
Place packet on a baking sheet.  Poke holes
in packet to release steam;  roast
on upper rack until tender, 30-35 minutes.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-
high heat. Add remaining 2 T. butter & brown
pork on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add 2 T.
water & scrape up any browned bits from pan.
Transfer skillet to lower oven rack & roast about
15 minutes, until thermometer reads 150 degrees F.
Transfer meat to a cutting board & let stand 5
minutes. Return skillet to medium heat; add 1/2
C. water, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer
2 minutes. Slice pork & drizzle with pan juices.
Serve with squash & apples. Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
—————————————
Sweet Potato/Beet Hash

1 large sweet potato, peeled/
cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 large fresh beet, peeled/cut
into 1/4″ dice
1 T. olive oil
kosher salt/black pepper
1 slice bacon, cut into thin strips
1 small onion, diced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper. Toss cut sweet potatoes &
beets with olive oil & season
with salt/pepper – place on baking
sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes until
vegetables are golden, stirring
every 10 minutes. In a medium
skillet over medium-low heat,
add bacon & cook until bacon is
crispy. Add onions & season with
salt – continue to cook until onions
start to caramelize & turn golden,
about 10 minutes. Add roasted
sweet potatoes & beets to pan;
stir to combine, cooking another
5 minutes. Taste & adjust seasoning,
if necessary & serve immediately.
Serves 4

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
——————————-

Garlicky Feta Dip

6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. Greek plain yogurt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. chopped fresh dill (or to taste)
1 T. lemon juice plus lemon zest to top
kosher salt/black pepper – to taste
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes,
(optional topping)
fresh herbs, to top
olive oil – for drizzling on top

pita chips, pretzels, bruschetta or crackers,
for dipping

In bowl of food processor or blender
combine feta, cream cheese, yogurt, garlic,
dill & lemon juice – season with kosher salt/
black pepper – blend until well combined.
Taste & adjust salt/pepper, to your taste.
When well combined, scoop into a bowl &
top with lemon zest, tomato, pinch crushed
red pepper flakes, fresh herbs & a very light
drizzle of olive oil. Chill 1 hour.
Serve cold. Serves 4-6

(recipe: hostthetoast.com)
——————————

Crockpot Cinnamon-Raisin
Bread Pudding

4 C. cinnamon-raisin bread, toasted &
cubed
2 eggs
3/4 C. sugar
2 1/2 C. milk, heated to boiling & cooled
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt

garnish – whipped cream

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray & add
bread cubes. In a bowl, beat
eggs & sugar; whisk in remaining
ingredients (except garnish). Pour
over bread cubes, mixing well &
pressing down so bread will soak
up milk mixture. Cover & cook on
Low 6 hours. Spoon into individual
bowls & serve warm topped with
whipped cream. Serves 8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)
===================

Hope you are able to enjoy the last vestiges
of our Summer weather – when the sun is
shining it lifts my spirit and makes me smile.

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Deliveries all DONE!

Today I delivered the Crisis Pregnancy baby blankets (& some hats, too); that now officially completes my charity knits for awhile. Next up is scarves for the homeless – will start going through my yarn later to begin. I love a challenge and each blanket & scarf is just that: an opportunity to knit something new (to me) – a different pattern or yarn, knowing it will go somewhere to do some good.

==========

Coffee Cream Brownies

3 (1 oz) squares unsweetened
baking chocolate, chopped
1/2 C. plus 2 T. butter, softened/
divided
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
1/3 C. plus 1 T. whipping cream/
divided
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a
saucepan over low heat, melt
baking chocolate & 1/2 C. butter.
Let cool. In a bowl beat eggs, sugar
& vanilla; stir in chocolate mixture.
Combine flour & baking soda & add
to chocolate mixture – spread into
prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Let cool.
In a bowl, stir coffee granules into
1 T. cream until dissolved – beat in
remaining butter & powdered sugar
until creamy; spread over cooled
brownies.
In a saucepan over low heat, stir &
melt chocolate chips & remaining
cream until thickened – spread over
cream layer. Let set & cut into squares.
Makes 1 dozen brownies.

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

Crab Dip Cheeseball

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. hot sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 bunch scallions, diced small/
divided
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. imitation crab, shredded

crackers, for dipping

Using elec. mixer, mix cream cheese,
mayonnaise, Worch. sauce, hot sauce,
garlic salt in a bowl. Mix in 1 T. diced
scallions (reserve the rest), mozz. cheese
& crab. Refrigerate at least 1 hour until
it is firm enough to handle. Once firm,
roll into a ball & coat outsides with
remaining scallions. Serve with crackers
for dipping.

(recipe: www.wineandglue.com)
————————–

Roasted Acorn Squash & Garlic
Mash

2 acorn squash, halved crosswise
& seeded
1 head garlic, wrapped in foil
7 T. unsalted butter, divided
1 leek, diced (white & pale green
parts, only)
1 Gala apple, cored/diced into
1/2″ pieces
salt
1 tsp. freshly chopped thyme

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place squash, cut sides down, in
a glass baking dish. Pour enough
water in dish to fill halfway up
the sides (this helps steam the
squash). Place foil-wrapped garlic
directly on an oven rack. Cook
squash & garlic about 1 hour
until very tender. Cool slightly.
Melt 1 T. butter in a heavy, small
skillet over medium-high heat.
Add leeks & apple – saute until
crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.
Season with salt, to taste. Scoop
the cooled squash flesh into a
large bowl. Using a potato masher,
mash flesh until smooth. Unwrap
garlic & squeeze flesh into squash
puree. Add remaining 6 T. butter &
mash. Stir in thyme & season with
salt, to taste. Place mash in a serving
bowl & top with apple & leek saute.
Serves 4-6

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

Garlic Lemon Baked Tilapia

4 tilapia
kosher salt/black pepper
5 T. butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
juice & zest from 1/2 lemon
1 lemon, sliced into rounds

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Season tilapia with salt/pepper &
place on a small baking sheet. In
small bowl mix butter, garlic, red
pepper flakes, lemon juice &
zest – pour over fish. Place lemon
rounds on top & around tilapia. Bake
10-12 minutes until fork-tender.
Serves 4

(recipe: delish.com)
—————————–
Curried Sweet Potato/Apple Soup

3 medium sweet potatoes
3 T. unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger,
peeled/grated
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg,
plus more for garnish
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder (poster
uses Madras curry powder)
kosher salt/ground black pepper
2 C. chicken broth
1 1/4 C. chunky applesauce
1 T. olive oil
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1-2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Peel & dice 2 1/2 sweet potatoes.
Melt 2 T. butter in large pot over
medium heat. Add onion & garlic,
cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in ginger, nutmeg, 1 1/4 tsp.
curry powder, salt/pepper, to
taste – cook until toasted, 1 more
minute. Add diced sweet potatoes,
chicken broth & 2 C. water to pot.
Cover & bring to boil over medium-
high heat. Reduce heat to medium-
low; stir in applesauce. Simmer,
uncovered, until sweet potatoes
are soft, about 20 minutes.* Puree
the soup, in batches, in a blender
until smooth. Season with salt/
pepper & keep warm.

Peel & thinly slice remaining 1/2
sweet potatoes – toss with olive
oil, salt & pepper, to taste. Spread
in a single layer on a baking sheet
& bake until crisp, 7-10 minutes.
Heat remaining 1 T. butter in a
skillet over medium heat. Add remaining
1/4 tsp. curry powder & cook, stirring,
until browned. Remove from heat & add
vinegar. Top with curry butter, cilantro
& sweet-potato chips. Serves 4

*When blending hot liquid, first let
it cool 5 minutes then transfer to a
blender, filling only half way. Cover
with lid, leaving one corner open.
Cover lid with kitchen towel to catch
any spatters & pulse until smooth.

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

Crockpot Bacon-wrapped
Apple BBQ Chicken

2 small boneless skinless
chicken breasts
4 slices bacon
1/2 C. BBQ sauce
2 large apples, peeled/cut
into small pieces
2 T. lemon juice

Wrap each chicken breast in
2 slices bacon & place in crockpot.
Mix BBQ sauce, apples & lemon
juice in small bowl & pour over
chicken. Cover & cook on Low
8 hours. Serves 2

(recipe: www.closetcooking.com)
—————————————

Stuffed Chicken Thighs

1 (16 oz) pkg. mild bulk breakfast sausage
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. minced onion
8 strips bacon
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 T. honey

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment
paper or foil. In large bowl mix sausage,
parsley & minced onion – divide into 8
equal portions & shape each into a log
no longer than the length of the chicken
where the bone was. Open chicken out –
place a log in center of each thigh where
bone was & fold chicken around it. Wrap
each thigh in one strip bacon, seam side
under the chicken; place on prepared
pan & brush each thigh with honey.
Bake 35 minutes until cooked through
& bacon is golden brown & crispy. Let
chicken rest 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

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

Caramel Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

Cake:
1 3/4 C. brown sugar
2 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Topping:
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 – 1/2 C. caramel sauce, jarred

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 12″ Bundt or tube pan with nonstick
cooking spray. In small bowl mix (topping)
brown sugar & cinnamon – sprinkle mixture
on bottom of pan. Turn pan around to coat
bottom & shake pan lightly to remove any
excess. In another bowl whisk flour, baking
soda, salt & cinnamon. In another bowl beat
(cake) brown sugar & melted butter – add
eggs & vanilla – beat until combined. Add
evaporated milk & yogurt; beat until mixed.
Gradually add in flour mixture & beat until
fully combined – pour batter evenly into pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Let cake stand
20-30 minutes before removing from pan.
Once cake is completely cooled, turn out
onto a serving plate & drizzle top with
desired amount of caramel sauce.
Makes 10-12 slices.

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

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

Today’s weather is definitely FALL –
while driving to deliver the blankets
my trusty car thermometer was reading
FIFTY degrees F. – Brrrrrrrrrrr! Also add to
that: rainy/overcast – CHILLY! I just switched
out my summer sandals for heavier/closed-in
shoes (with socks) – Baby, it’s getting COLD!
Looking at next week, for Monday the high is
expected to be 79 (with showers) and 81 Tuesday –
that’s promising! I’m the person that always hopes/
looks for “Indian Summer” – here in the North we
usually have one or more days of that – a very brief
insert of unusually warm weather (usually after our
first frost) which immediately follows with really
cold weather & winter.

I’ve been babysitting more that my usual ‘one day
a week’ lately – as I’ve explained, the other Grandma
usually gets him (1 1/2 yrs. now) most of the time
(and loves it). Since I’m already a seasoned Grandma
(and former Day Care provider and Foster parent of
infants & toddlers for years) – it’s fun to see my
grandson, but spending hours & hours listening to
NICK, JR. TV gets ‘mind numbing’! On the good side,
I managed to knit a newborn & a premie baby hat
yesterday for today’s delivery. Went to their house
yesterday at 10:30 a.m. (hoping to get off around
2/2:30) – well, let’s just say I ordered a pizza to pick
up at 6:15p.m. on my way home. Was hoping for
a lighter week next week, but was asked to sit
Mon & Tues (apparently other Grandma now is
having the REST of her wood floors sanded/re-
finished . . . SIGH!!!) Oh well, am hoping for a
reprieve soon and back to my old ‘one-day-a-
week’ sitting – we’ll see.

Hope you are in good health and beginning
to enjoy the upcoming Fall ‘fun’ things, like:
Pumpkin everything, crunchy leaves as you
walk, a brisk air as you go outside, seeing the
leaves changing colors, CIDER & DONUTS!

Hugs;

Pammie

The Day After! (also called “I survived!”)

Last night was the ‘big event’ for the Detroit Veterans Hospital’s Baby shower donations and the ladies (once again) knocked my socks off! We had a grand total of 133 items! The breakdown: 17 blankets, 47 baby hats, 18 toddler headbands, 24 bibs, 1 sweater & pants, 2 sweater/hat/mittens sets, 2 baby sacks, 19 pr. booties and one (very adorable) knit zebra!  Each year things ‘shake out’ differently – for the most part, we usually have a LOT of blankets and then other items; not this year! I’ve decided I’m going to just stick to headbands & blankets. Here are a few of the photos:

One of our ladies is an expert knitter & she loves to create these hats & booties – there’s a pumpkin set, an eggplant set, a strawberry set & 2 (pink & blue sets) with pea pods attached to the hats. She was having fun this year doing the red/white/blue Star hats.

                Another lady sewed baby bibs using flannel & terry cloth! There’s 14 of them!

                                        my headbands

The VERY adorable zebra is upper left corner (I tried my best to photo him but he’s FLOPPY. She’s another expert knitter & created the sweater sets all ‘out of her head’! WOW!

                    Three of my blankets (not very good lighting)

(There’s a total of 15 photos, so I only included some) I was so proud of all my ladies – there were even a few donated items from OTHER knitters who knew of our project but aren’t in the group!

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

Spiced Zucchini Bars

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 C. oil
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 C. raisins
2 C. zucchini, grated
3/4 C. chopped nuts
1 (16 oz) container cream cheese
frosting

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 15 X 10″ jelly roll
pan. In bowl combine flour, baking
soda, salt & cinnamon. In another
bowl whisk eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla &
lemon juice. Gradually add flour
mixture to egg mixture – fold in
remaining ingredients (except
frosting). Pour into prepared pan
& bake 25-35 minutes until lightly
golden. Cool completely then
spread with frosting. Cut into bars.
Makes 3 dozen bars

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.typepad.com)
————————————
Honey Soy Chicken Breasts
(a few hours marinade or overnight)

1/4 C. honey
1/3 c. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
1 T. finely grated fresh ginger root
4 large chicken breasts, skinless
but not boneless

Stir together all ingredients (EXCEPT
chicken) & pour into a large ziplock
bag. Add chicken & marinate in fridge
a few hours or over night.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Place marinated chicken on a foil-
lined cookie sheet & bake, uncovered,
about 45 minutes until chicken is
fully cooked (using a meat thermometer,
internal temp. of chicken should be 170
& 180 degrees F.). DO NOT throw away
the marinade. While chicken is cooking,
simmer it in a saucepan over low heat
& brush on chicken about every 10
minutes as it cooks. Serves 4

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

Grandma’s Sunday Roast

3 C. beef broth
2-3 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed of
excess fat
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 lb. red or yellow potatoes, cut
into large chunks
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1 lb. baby carrots
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. cornstarch + 2 T. cold water

Press all seasonings (salt/onion powder/
garlic powder/rosemary/paprika) onto all
sides of roast. Pour beef broth into crockpot;
add roast. (You can brown the roast before-
hand – brown each side in 1 T. heated oil
in a skillet for 3 minutes per side).
Cover & cook on Low 4 hours.
Remove lid & add veggies; drizzle with
Worc. sauce – cover & cook 4 hours more
on Low.
Remove lid; scoop meat & veggies onto
large platter & loosely tent with foil.
In small bowl stir cornstarch & cold water
until smooth – stir mixture into juices in
crockpot. Turn heat to High & let thicken;
stirring. (You can also thicken the gravy on
the stove in a pot if you desire).
Serve roast with veggies & gravy.
Serves 6-8

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

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

1 (12 oz) box tri-colored rotini (or any
color)
1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
1 (5.75 oz) can sliced green olives
6 oz. fresh broccoli, chopped
6 oz. fresh cauliflower, chopped
1/4 C. sunflower seeds
1/4 C. (Hormel) real bacon pieces
1 pkt. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream
1 C. milk

In medium bowl mix Ranch dressing mix,
sour cream, mayonnaise, milk – whisk
together; cover & let thicken 30 minutes.
Cook pasta; drain & rinse in cold water –
pour into a large bowl. Add olives, broccoli,
cauliflower, sunflower seeds & bacon to
noodles – pour ranch dressing over & toss
to fully coat. Chill 1 hour for flavors to
blend then sprinkle more bacon pieces
on top before serving. Serves 12

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

Last Minute Green Beans

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans green beans, drained
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place drained green beans in medium
saucepot; add onion, tomatoes with
juice, salt/pepper -stir. Bring to slight
boil over medium-high heat. Reduce
heat to Low. Cover & simmer 10-15
minutes.

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

Bacon/Cucumber/Tomato Salad

6 slices bacon
3 C. large cut chopped cucumber
3 C. large cut chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook bacon until crisp; drain on
paper towels – chop when cool
enough to handle, reserve a pinch
for garnish.
Toss cucumber & tomatoes together –
season with salt. Mix together
mayonnaise & seasonings; add to
tomatoes & gently toss. Add remaining
bacon to salad – gently toss, taste &
adjust seasonings. Transfer to a serving
bowl & garnish with a sprinkle of
Creole or Cajun seasoning & reserved
bacon. Serve immediately or refrigerate
1 hour to chill. Serves about 4

NOTE:
Old Fashioned Cracker Salad:

Prepare salad as above omitting
cucumber & adding 1/2 C. chopped
Vidalia onion or 2 large green onions,
sliced. Double mayonnaise amount –
stir in 1 sleeve saltine crackers, coarsely
broken. Mix well, adding additional
mayonnaise if needed to moisten.
Serve immediately or (if refrigerating)
wait to add crackers until just before
serving. Also good with one boiled/
chopped egg added.

(recipe: deepsouthdish.com)
———————————-
Grilled Steak/Potato & Mushroom Kabobs

1 lb. steak cut into 1″ chunks
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
1 lb. small potatoes
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

In a rimmed baking pan add steak chunks &
mushrooms. In a medium bowl whisk oil,
vinegar, garlic, salt/pepper, rosemary &
oregano -pour over steak & mushrooms
in pan. Cover & refrigerate at least 2 hours
=
Meanwhile, boil potatoes in large pot of
salted water until just tender, about 8-10
minutes – drain & cool slightly. Thread
marinated steak chunks, mushrooms &
potatoes, alternating, onto skewers.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill kabobs
10-12 minutes, turning once, until meat is
cooked to desired doneness. Re-season with
salt/pepper & serve immediately.
Serves 6

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

Easy Copycat Thin Mint Cookies

1 C. chocolate (dark, semi-sweet or coating/
confectionery wafers)
3/4 tsp. mint extract
15-18 Ritz crackers

Place a layer of waxed paper on a cookie
sheet.
Melt chocolate of your choice (in micro-
wave or in a saucepan). Add mint extract
to melted chocolate (this might cause
the chocolate to thicken up a bit, depending
on what type of chocolate you use). Dip
crackers in chocolate (poster says she drops
the cracker into the chocolate & flip it around
using a fork – remove carefully using two forks –
Let excess chocolate drip off & place on
prepared waxed paper. Cool & store cookies
in fridge. These cookies are best eaten straight
from the fridge. Makes 15-18 cookies

(recipe: craftcookingmama.com)

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

Our weather has been pretty nice – not too hot;
today it’s hovering around 72 degrees F. & sunny.
Looks like we’ll be having highs from 78 to 82 for
the rest of the week – I LIKE that!

Not much else new; working on another baby blanket
(I know . . . . what ELSE do I knit, right?).

I’m not sure if the ‘other’ grandma is back from their
cabin but (so far) I haven’t been asked to babysit this
week – I’m GOOD with that; can always use the break!
I’ve already texted that the only days I’m free next week
are Wednesday (If needed, otherwise it’s my Library Knit
group 10-12 & my special needs group 6:15-9) and Friday!
We’ll see what shakes out . . .

Have a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie