Happy Saturday!

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

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

Apple Cinnamon Dump Cake

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————–

Southwest Cornbread Casserole

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

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

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

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

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

Crockpot Sweet & Sour Beef

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

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

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

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

Chicken Roll Ups

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————–

Cabbage Roll Soup

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

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Easy Weekend Pasta Bake

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

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

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————

Cherry Fudge Cake

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)

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

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

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

Hugs;

Pammie

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Busy Monday

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

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

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

Banana Cake

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

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

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

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

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

Creamy Wild Rice/Chicken Soup

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

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

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

Crockpot Cranberry/Orange Pork
Roast

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

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

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

Spicy Hot Sausage Balls
(appetizer)

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

Serve with your favorite type
of mustard, for dipping

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)
—————————–

Baked Bean Chili Casserole

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

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

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Ham & Beans

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

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

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

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

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

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

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

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)

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

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

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

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s FRIDAY!

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

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

Cran-Apple Muffins

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

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Crockpot Chicken ‘n Stuffing

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

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

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

Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

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

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

(recipe: fromthepod.com)
—————————-

Beef Minestrone Soup

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

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

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

Crockpot Cola Ham

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

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

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

Better-than-takeout Fried Rice

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

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

You can substitute cooked shrimp
for the chicken, if desired

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

Apple-Filled Pound Cake

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)

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

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

Enjoy your day!

Pammie

Beautiful but chilly day!

Today is bright & sunny, but only 12 degrees F. with a slight breeze which makes you feel colder than you actually are. Been ‘out & about’ all morning (grocery shopping, getting gas and attending another knit group) – don’t remember if I mentioned that I joined another knit group which meets in our local library Weds. mornings 10-12 p.m. Lovely group (and growing) with lots to offer: patterns/ideas/tips, etc. Today another member of my knit group joined us and then ended up teaching all of us there the “Russian Join” which is a method of joining two yarn ends so that you don’t have a big knot in your project – very handy! Two of the library ladies joined my group last night, so I can easily see that this ‘attending two knit groups’ will be beneficial to lots of ladies! Also learned yesterday that our pastor’s wife is expecting a BOY in mid May, so the mint green afghan will go to her (almost done with it – a few more rows then a border & I’m done!)

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

Caramel Pecan French Toast
(4 hour or overnight recipe)

1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
2 T. light corn syrup
1 C. chopped pecans, divided
12 slices Italian-style (or any
thick) bread
6 eggs
2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. (1/4 stick) butter
1 T. light corn syrup

In small saucepan over medium
heat, cook brown sugar, butter &
corn syrup until thickened, stirring
constantly. Pour sauce into a 9 X 13″
baking dish & sprinkle with 1/2 C.
chopped pecans. Place 6 slices
bread in dish & sprinkle with
remaining pecans – cover with
remaining bread slices. In a blender,
combine eggs, milk, vanilla & cinnamon-
pour evenly over bread. Cover &
refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake French toast 40-45 minutes
until egg mixture is firm & golden
brown. In a small saucepan combine
Caramel Sauce ingredients; cook over
Low heat until thickened, stirring
constantly. Serve with French toast.
Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————-

Baked Chicken ChimiChangas

2 1/2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
breast
1 C. salsa
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chicken broth
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. flour
1 C. Half & Half
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In a skillet
simmer chicken, salsa, onion, cumin &
oregano until heated through & most
of liquid has evaporated. Place 1/2
cup mixture down middle of each
tortilla; top with 2 T. cheese. Fold
sides & ends over filling & roll up.
Place, seam sides down, in prepared
dish. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes
until lightly browned. In a saucepan,
heat broth, bouillon & pepper until
bouillon is dissolved. Combine flour
& cream until smooth; stir into broth.
Bring to boil; cook & stir 2 minutes
until thickened. Stir in chilies & heat
through.
To serve:
Cut chimichangas in half; spoon sauce
over top. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Crockpot Shepherd’s Pie

1 1/2 – 2 lb. beef chuck roast or
stew meat, cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. frozen peas
1 C. frozen corn
1/3 C. Guinness beer
3 T. tomato paste
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. corn starch
2 tsp. whole grain mustard
1 tsp. beef granules
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
===========
5 C. mashed potatoes (prepared)
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In nonstick skillet cook onions 5-6
minutes until soft; place in crockpot.
Add beef & all remaining ingredients
(except mashed potatoes & cheese) in
crockpot – season with salt/pepper &
stir well. Wipe down insides of crockpot
with a paper towel then spread mashed
potatoes over top of beef mixture to the
sides of crockpot to seal ingredients. Place
a long piece of paper towel over opening
of crockpot & cover with lid (to absort
steam). Cook on High 4-5 hours or Low
8-10 hours.
When ready to serve, sprinkle cheese over
top of potatoes & cover with lid 5 minutes
to melt cheese. Serve hot. Serves 8

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

Winter Rice

2 T. butter or margarine
2 C. chopped onion
1 C. long-grain or whole-grain
rice, uncooked
2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. white pepper

In large skillet over medium heat,
melt butter; saute onion 5 minutes.
Add rice & continue to saute 7-10
minutes until rice begins to brown.
Stir in remaining ingredients & reduce
heat to Low; cover & simmer 20-25
minutes until rice is tender & mixture
is creamy. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————–
20-Minute Sesame Chicken &
Broccoli
(underlined items you might
not have on hand)

2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
thighs, cut into strips
1 bunch fresh broccoli, cut into
florets
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 T. oyster sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 C. water

Cooked white or brown rice
to serve 4

In medium bowl whisk soy sauce,
rice vinegar, sesame oil, oyster
sauce & cornstarch. Add oil to
large wok or skillet over high heat.
Add chicken & cook until golden
brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add
broccoli, green onions, ginger &
garlic – cook 3 minutes, stirring
frequently. Pour Soy Sauce mixture
on top of ingredients in wok/skillet
& stir. Add water & stir until mixture
has thickened, about 1 minute.
Serve over cooked rice. Serves 4

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

Crockpot Clam Chowder

1/2 lb. bacon, diced
3 (6.5 oz, ea) cans clams, not drained
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled/diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. water
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 C. Half & Half
2 tsp. cornstarch

In large skillet on medium-high, cook
bacon until crisp-remove from pan.*
Add to crockpot:half bacon, clams, onion,
potatoes, celery, garlic, water, salt/pepper
& thyme – stir. Cover & cook on Low 7
hours (refrigerate remaining bacon until
ready to serve with soup). In a measuring
cup add Half & Half with cornstarch &
whisk to combine. Add mixture to crockpot
& stir. Cook on High 30 minutes. Serve
with remaining bacon sprinkled over top.**
Serves 8

*Poster sometimes cooks potatoes & onion
in bacon grease before adding to crockpot.

**You might want to heat the bacon slightly
before sprinkling it on top since it will be
cold from fridge.

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

Lemon Blossoms
(mini cupcakes)

1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
3 1/2 oz. instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil

Glaze;
4 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
3 T. vegetable oil
3 T. water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray miniature muffin cups with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl combine cake mix, dry pudding
mix, eggs & oil – blend well using
elec. mixer until smooth, about 2
minutes (batter will be thick). Pour a
small amount of batter into tins,
filling half full*. Bake 12 minutes.**
Turn out baked muffins onto a tea
towel.
Glaze:
Prepare while cupcakes bake. In large
bowl combine powdered sugar, lemon
juice, zest, oil & 3 T. water – mix with
a spoon until smooth. Using your
fingers, dip each into glaze while
still warm, covering as much of each
cake as possible (OR spoon glaze over
warm cakes, turning to completely
coat). Place on wire rack with
waxed paper underneath to catch
any drips. Let glaze set thoroughly,
about 1 hour, before storing in
containers with tight-fitting lids.

*Poster said a small cookie scoop
works well for making them uniform
size

**IF you make a large batch, be sure
to reverse muffin tins mid-way through
baking times to insure uniform baking.
Poster notes they come out of tins
better if you cook them a little past the
golden brown stage, making the cakes
more firm.

(recipe: cookandbliss.com)

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

The past few days have been a bit of a scramble –
babysat yesterday 10:15 – 5:15 (over my usual
time; son got stuck on the expressway in bumper-
to-bumper traffic), then Knit Night. Also – amidst
the many things going on, youngest son moved
back in. He went for a job interview earlier today,
really hoping this works – he needs a good, steady
job.

Tonight is my Special Needs group – first time we’ve
been able to meet since the FIRST week in December!
Our weather has just not been cooperating! I have a
HUGE pile of things to drag with me tonight (the
Christmas presents for the various leaders & lots of
other ‘stuff’) – one good thing: WE don’t have to teach
tonight! Once a month we have a visiting missionary
come & teach our group so we, the leaders, can have
a Business Meeting. (because of all the delayed events,
we’re also cramming our Birthday Night into tonight –
crazy/busy but the kids will love it!).

Hope you are able to stay healthy and warm –
Spring is (eventually) coming! Hang in there!

Hugs;

Pammie

and then there’s today –

Yes, folks, we have exactly the above today. (I’m just grateful that most of the snow we had on the ground melted yesterday!). How do you know when you’re loved? When your dear, sweet husband drives you in his Jeep to you 9:30 a.m. eye doctor appointment IN A SNOWSTORM! It was snowy, slippery (truck in front of us almost did a 360 spinout turning a corner) and very dangerous – thank heavens I have a husband who is a GOOD DRIVER! Not only was he very safely driving – we actually got there exactly on time! Oh, and he also ordered my favorite pizza: Veggie Deep Dish from Jet’s, so I don’t have to cook, since my eyes are dialated! The snow has slowed down some, roads are still nasty – SO glad I don’t have anywhere to go tonight or tomorrow. (Just guessing, I’d say we got about 1 1/2 inches); temperature is now 17 degrees F. (with a wind chill of -2 degrees F. – BRrrrrrrr!). (So glad I have my knitting to keep me busy!)

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

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. cocoa powder
1 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
4 T. butter, melted
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 C. boiling water

vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ square baking pan
with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk
1/2 C. sugar with 1/4 C. cocoa powder.
In another large bowl whisk flour,
remaining 1/2 C. sugar, remaining 1/4 C.
cocoa, baking powder & salt. Whisk milk,
butter, egg yolk & vanilla in another medium
bowl until smooth. Stir milk mixture into
flour mixture until just combined; fold in
chocolate chips (batter will be stiff). Using
a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared
pan & spread into corners. Sprinkle reserved
cocoa & sugar mixture evenly over top then
gently pour boiling water over cocoa – DO
NOT STIR. Bake until top of cake is cracked,
sauce is bubbling & a toothpick inserted
into cakey area comes out mostly clean,
about 22-24 minutes. Cool on rack for at
least 10 minutes. Serve warm (with vanilla
ice cream, if desired.)

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

Crockpot White Bean Chicken Chili  

3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 1/4″ pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/
chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 (15 oz, ea) cans cannellini
beans (white beans) drained/
rinsed – divided
2 1/2 C. chicken broth, divided
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese

Optional toppings:
sliced avocado
quartered cherry tomatoes
chopped cilantro

In large skillet heat 1 T. oil over
medium-high heat. Sprinkle
chicken with salt/pepper & saute
until browned – place in crockpot.
In same skillet heat remaining oil
& saute onion until tender. Add
jalapeno, garlic, oregano & cumin-
cook & stir 2 minutes & add to
crockpot. In a bowl mash 1 C. of
beans & stir in 1/2 C. broth; add
mashed bean mixture & rest of
beans to crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low until chicken is tender,
3 to 3 1/2 hours. Stir before
serving. Serve as is or with
desired toppings. Serves 6

NOTE: This chili can also be
frozen. Cool chili first & place
in freezer containers. To use:
partially thaw in refrigerator
overnight. Heat through in a
saucepan, stirring occasionally
& adding a little broth or water
if necessary.

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

Crescent Breakfast Tart

1 tube crescent roll dough
6 eggs
2/3 C. shredded Monterey
Jack cheese
4 sliced cooked bacon
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 T. chopped chives (garnish)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a medium baking dish with
parchment paper. Place dough on
sheet & pinch seams together. Fold
edges of dough in to create a crust.
Crack eggs onto dough & sprinkle
with cheese. Place bacon on top &
season with salt/pepper. Carefully
transfer sheet to oven & bake until
crust is golden and egg whites are
set – 10-15 minutes. Garnish top
with chives & slice into squares.
Serve warm. Serves 4-6

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————

French Onion Soup Casserole

2-3 T. butter or margarine
3 large sweet onions (or 4 medium
white or yellow), sliced
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz)
black pepper, to taste
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted*
2/3 C. milk
1 tsp. soy sauce
8 + slices French bread

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter in a saute pan over
medium heat; add onions & brown
until clear. In shallow 2 qt. casserole
dish, layer onions, 2/3 of cheese & pepper,
to taste. In a sauce pan, heat soup, milk
& soy sauce, stirring to blend. Pour mixture
into casserole & stir gently to mix. Top with
bread slices & bake 15 minutes (uncovered).
After that baking time bread should be toasted.
Push bread slices under the sauce & top with
remaining cheese. Place back in oven & bake
15 minutes more.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)
——————————–
Crockpot Banana Bread
(for crockpots with removable
insert ONLY)

1 1/2 C. mashed, very ripe bananas
(about 4)
3/4 C. sugar
1/3 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 2/3 C. Bisquick (baking mix)

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Line
bottom of crockpot with cooking
parchment paper & spray again.
In large bowl mix bananas, sugar,
melted butter, vanilla & eggs until well
blended; stir in Bisquick until
well blended – pour into crockpot.
Place a folded, clean dish towel
over the top of the crockpot then
place lid on crockpot. (this prevents
condensation from dripping onto
bread.) Cook on High 1 hour.
Carefully remove crockpot insert,
leaving the cover on – rotate the
insert 180 degrees & replace in
crockpot & continue cooking on
High 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours until a
toothpick inserted into center of
bread comes out with moist
crumbs. Remove crockpot insert
to a cooling rack; uncover & let
stand 15 minutes. Remove bread
from insert to cooling rack.
Peel off parchment paper & cool
completely – about 1 hour.

(recipe: lifemadedelicious.ca)
————————–

Ham & Tater Tot Casserole

4 C. cooked, chopped ham
4 eggs
3 T. milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or
your choice)
1/2 C. chopped green onions (or
regular)
Tater tots (about one half of a
32 oz. bag – or enough to cover
top of dish)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Spread
ham on bottom of dish. In a
bowl whisk eggs, milk, garlic
powder, black pepper & salt –
pour over ham. Sprinkle top
with cheese & gr. onions. Layer
tater tots on top & bake 35
minutes or until tots are brown.
Serves 6

Note: you can also sprinkle extra
cheese on top the last 5 minutes
of baking time.

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

1-Pot Sausage Penne Pasta

1 lb. Italian sausage, cut into
bite-sized pieces
1 lb. penne pasta
2 C. chicken broth
1 (24 oz) jar tomato basil
spaghetti sauce
1 C. milk
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella
cheese
fresh basil, optional garnish

In large pan over medium-high
heat cook sausage until browned,
stirring often. Add broth, spag.
sauce & milk; stir to combine.
Add pasta & stir – bring to boil &
cook, stirring often, 6-8 minutes
until pasta is al dente. Remove from
heat & stir in cheese until melted.
Garnish with basil, if desired.
Serve immediately.

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

Caramel Apple Muffins

2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. apple, cored/peeled/
finely diced
12 caramels, unwrapped/diced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 12 muffin tins with paper
liners. Combine flour, sugar,
cinnamon, baking powder &
salt in large bowl. In another
large bowl mix milk, butter, egg &
vanilla. Add flour mixture to
wet mixture & stir just until
blended. Stir in apples & caramels;
divide batter evenly between
muffin cups. Bake 25 minutes
until tops spring back when
lightly pressed. Serve warm;
makes 12

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

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

Ended up ordering new frames & lens today (the
ones I’m wearing are 3 years old); had the discussion
(because of my age) of having cataract surgery (I’ve
been stalling this one for a good 3 years now) – my
doctor said: “Don’t worry – you’ll let me know when
you’re ready.” For now, I’d rather still wear my glasses,
thank you. (grin) Bottom line: even WITH the surgery,
I would still have to wear glasses to see up close – sigh.

Stay warm & healthy, my friends – SPRING is coming
(maybe not soon, but it’s coming!)

Hugs;

Pammie

and now for a quick WARMING trend!

Even if it’s only a ‘brief’ warm up, I’ll take it! We ended up canceling my special needs group last night because it was getting slippery driving and VERY foggy! This morning it’s lovely: bright sun shine and 54 degrees F. So strange – we went from almost zero temps last week to this! (Hey, I’m not complaining!). Today I’m taking as my ‘catch up’ day- organized my knitting bags/projects and did a little more ‘work/knitting’ on each one. Currently I have 4 projects going: the ‘forever- it seems’ mint green baby blanket (about 3/4 ths done – will probably be the baby blanket for our pastor’s wife who’s due in mid May); a gray simple knit scarf for the needy, more baby hats and a new baby blanket: teal blue & white. Each pattern is pretty simple, but it’s just getting the ‘desire’ (so to speak) to finish the mint green one (been working on it for months!). Yesterday’s Library knit group sort of jump-started me: several ladies were interested in my knit baby hat pattern (turns out one of the librarians volunteers at the same hospital I knit the hats for & she said she would deliver any hats for us – saves me a trip!). The librarian who sort of ‘assisted’ our group mentioned various charity knit projects, which I thought was interesting; we’ll see where that goes.

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

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. chopped strawberries
3 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray (or use paper liners).
In bowl cream butter & sugar; add
egg – mix well. Sift flour, baking
powder & salt in small bowl. Add
flour mixture & milk, alternately,
to butter mixture. Add vanilla &
gently stir in strawberries – spoon
into prepared muffin tin. In a small
bowl combine sugar & cinnamon –
sprinkle on top of muffins.
Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 12

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

Chicken Zucchini Stir Fry

3 chicken breasts, cut into
bite-sized pieces
4 T. olive oil
salt/pepper
2 small zucchini cut into 1/4″
slices
2 small yellow (Crookneck) summer
squash cut into 1/4″ slices
1 medium onion sliced into
1/4″ rings

Sauce:
3/4 C. sweet chili sauce*
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. honey
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. cold water

Cooked white or brown
rice to serve 6
=
Heat large, deep skillet over
medium-high heat; add chicken
& sprinkle with salt/pepper. Cook,
stirring occasionally, until outsides
are golden brown. Remove chicken
to a plate; cover. Add 2 T. more oil
to chicken pan; heat & add veggies.
Cook over medium-high heat until
crisp-tender. In small saucepan add
sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, rice wine
vinegar, honey, cornstarch & water-
whisk to combine. Heat until thick
& bubbly. When veggies are done,
add chicken back into pan & pour
sauce over top – stir to combine.
Serve immediately over rice.
Serves 6

*You can find this in the grocery
store Asian aisle.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)


Crockpot Polish Sausage/Sauerkraut &
Potatoes

1 1/2 lb. new red potatoes (about 18),
halved, if large
2 C. sauerkraut – RINSED & drained
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. dry white wine (or water)
1 tsp. caraway seeds
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lb. Polish sausage, cut into
2 inch pieces

Place potatoes, sausage, onion, broth,
wine, caraway seeds, 1/2 tsp. salt,
1/4 tsp. pepper in crockpot. Cover &
cook on Low 7-8 hours or High 4-5
hours until potatoes are tender.

(recipe: tasty recipes – Facebook)
———————–

Oven-baked Cabbage Rolls

12 cabbage leaves
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 C. cooked rice
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. milk

Sauce:

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained
3 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1/2 C. water
2 T. cornstarch mixed with
1/4 C. cold water

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray large baking dish with
nonstick spray.
In large pot salted/boiling water
drop cabbage leaves. Cover &
cook 3 minutes. Remove &
drain well. Combine ground
beef, rice, onion, egg, salt/pepper
& milk – mix well & divided into
12 portions. Place one portion
into center of each cooked cabbage
leaf. Roll leaf around filling & fasten
with a toothpick. Place rolls in
prepared dish.

Sauce:

Combine tomato sauce, tomatoes,
sugar, vinegar & 1/2 C. water – pour
over rolls in dish. Bake 40-45
minutes. Remove rolls from pan &
discard toothpicks. Place pan
over medium heat & stir cornstarch/
water mixture into juices in pan.
Bring to a boil & cook/whisking
until sauce thickens. Place rolls back
in pan & spoon sauce over rolls (OR
serve sauce on the side).

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

Sour Cream Pork Chops
(crockpot)

6 pork chops
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
1/2 C. flour
1 large onion, sliced 1/4″
thick
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 C. boiling water
2 T. flour
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream

Season chops with salt/pepper
& garlic powder; dredge in flour.
In a skillet over medium heat, lightly
brown chops in small amount of oil.
Place chops in crockpot & top with
onion slices. Dissolve bouillon cubes
in boiling water & pour over chops.
Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours.

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
After chops have cooked, transfer
chops to oven to keep warm. Be
careful, chops are very tender –
they will fall apart. In small bowl
blend 2 T. flour with sour cream;
mix into meat juices  in crockpot.
Turn crockpot to High 15-30
minutes until sauce is slightly
thickened. Serve sauce over chops

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
—————————————-
Greek Mashed Potatoes

6 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 (6 oz) pkg. fresh baby spinach
1/4 C. milk
1 T. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 C. crumbled feta cheese

Place potatoes in large saucepan;
cover with water & bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover & cook 15-20
minutes until tender. In another large
saucepan, bring 1/2 inch of water to a
boil. Add spinach; cover & boil 3-5
minutes until wilted. Drain & coarsely
chop (keep warm). Drain potatoes &
return to saucepan. Add milk, butter,
salt/pepper & mash until smooth.
Fold in cheese & spinach. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie

1 pre-baked pie shell
1/2 C. cocoa
1/4 C. cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan heat milk on
medium-high heat.
In large bowl mix cocoa, cornstarch,
beaten egg yolks, sugar, salt &
vanilla. Gradually add to heated
milk, stirring. Cook until thick,
beating until smooth. Pour into
pre-baked pie shell & refrigerate
to chill.

(recipe: cookandbliss.com)

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

Hope you’re having a GREAT Day!

Hugs;

Pammie

“““““““““““

Time to add an addendum to this post:
thanks to my good friend Mary/Momma’s
post, I looked at our weather forecast for the
rest of the week – OH, NO! is how I would
title it: Tonight RAIN mixed with snow &
FREEZING rain, Friday: (have an eye Dr.
appmt at 9:30) Snow, freezing rain & SLEET,
becoming ALL SNOW after 9 a.m., temps
falling to 19 degrees by 5 p.m. New snow
accumulation of 2 inches. Friday evening:
wind chill -4, wind guests 23 MPH! OH,
GOODY…what an enlightening forecast –
NOT!

Into the deep freeze we go!

We’ve started off this new year with a (FROZEN) bang! This week’s temperatures have been hovering around ZERO – I’ve stayed home for the past 2 days but need to venture out later on. A startling surprise greeted me upon waking – our water pipes were frozen! I’m VERY blessed to have a handy/creative husband who knew just what to do: grab the hair dryer & apply gentle heat to said pipes. After working at it a good 12-15 minutes we finally have water – YAY! Reading our weather update, it’s about 5 BELOW ZERO right now at  9 a.m. Factoring in the Wind Chill, it feels like about -24!!! Remembering my childhood, guess it’s a good thing we didn’t know about Wind Chill – we just thought “It’s cold – BOY, is it COLD!” So glad I really don’t have to go out until later (and, believe me, I’d stay home another day BUT – I have a baby shower to go to at 11 a.m. tomorrow and need a fancy bag to put gift in) – the dollar store is really close so it will be a very quick trip. SO glad for dollar stores that sell nice gift bags for a reasonable price (being the Scots person I am, I hate spending $5-7 dollars for a paper bag when you can get a nice one for $1-2 at the dollar store!).

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

Apple Walnut Spice Cake

4 Granny Smith apples, chopped
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vnailla
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1 C. walnuts, roughly chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
frosting, room temp.
1/4 C. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. (golden) brown sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour a 9 X 13″ baking
dish. Combine apples & sugar
in large bowl; add in oil, eggs
& vanilla -stir to combine. In
separate bowl combine flour,
baking powder, baking soda,
cinnamon, nutmeg & salt; add
this mixture to apple mixture.
Add milk & stir to combine – mix
in walnuts. Spread batter into
prepared dish. Bake 30 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean.
-While waiting for cake to cool-
Prepare Frosting:
Beat cream cheese until smooth,
adding in a little butter while
continuing to beat. Mix in vanilla
& brown sugar – continue to beat
until sugar has dissolved & frosting
is light & fluffy. When cake has
completely cooled, frost with
frosting.

Optional: Sprinkle additional
chopped walnuts on top for garnish
Refrigerate once frosted.
Serves 12

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
——————————–

Crockpot Creamy Chicken

6 chicken breast halves (about 2-3 lb)
1/4 C. butter
1 (.7 oz) pkg. dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 (13.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese

Cooked rice or noodles to serve 8

Place chicken, butter, dry Ital. dressing mix
& soup in crockpot. Cover Y cook on Low
2-6 hours*. Remove lid & stir; break up
chicken using a fork or knife (or leave in
large pieces if you like). Cut cream cheese
into cubes & stir into crockpot. Let cream
cheese melt about 10 minutes then stir
again until it’s creamy. Serve over cooked
rice or cooked noodles. Serves 8

*NOTE: If you have a large crockpot with
hardly any chicken in it, it will cook in
2 hours – if you have a crockpot filled to
the brim, it will take 6 hours.

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

Crockpot Mexican Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt/pepper
1 tsp. taco seasoning mix
1 C. uncooked quinoa
2 (10 oz, ea) cans red enchilada
sauce (mild or medium)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
2 (15 oz, ea) cans fire-roasted diced
tomatoes (undrained)
1 C. whole kernel corn, frozen or canned
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. Cheddar-Jack cheese, shredded

Optional Toppings:
chopped cilantro
chopped tomatoes
chopped green onions
chopped avocado

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat;
add ground beef, onion & garlic – season
generously with salt/pepper & taco
seasoning. Cook until beef is browned &
onions are translucent. Spray 3-4 qt
crockpot insides with nonstick cooking
spray. Add cooked mixture & all other
ingredients (except cheese & toppings).
Stir, cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours (OR)
on High 3-4 hours. When quinoa is soft
& liquid has been absorbed, stir & top
with cheese. Cover & cook 10-15 minutes
more until cheese melts. Top with optional
toppings & serve.
Makes 8 generous servings

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

Country Cabbage Soup

2 lb. ground beef
2 (28 oz, ea) cans stewed tomatoes
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
2 large onions, chopped
6 ribs celery, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste

In large saucepan, cook beef over
medium heat until no longer pink;
drain. Add tomatoes, cabbage,
onions & celery – bring to boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered,
25 minutes until veggies are tender.
Stir in salt/pepper. Serves 12-14
(makes 3 1/4 qts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————–

Olive Garden Minestrone
(copycat)

1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. sliced carrots
1 medium zucchini, sliced, then
cut slices in half
1 meidum yellow squash, sliced,
then cut slices in half
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1/4 C. celery, sliced
3 T. olive oil
2 (15 oz, ca) cans cannellini beans,
drained/rinsed
2 (15 oz, ea) cans red kidney beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced
tomatoes, drained
4 C. vegetable stock
2 C. water
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 C. small pasta shells (or ditilini)
4 C. fresh baby spinach
1/4 C. Parmesan or Romano cheese,
grated

In large (8-10 qt) stock pot heat oil
over medium heat; add onion, garlic,
carrots, zucchini, yellow squash,
parsley & celery. Cook over medium
heat 5 minutes until onion becomes
translucent. Add veg. stock, water,
cannellini beans, kidney beans, diced
tomatoes, herbs & salt/pepper. Bring
to boil, reduce heat to Low; cover &
simmer 30 minutes. Add pasta & baby
spinach -stir. Cover & simmer 20-30
minutes more. Stir in grated cheese &
serve immediately. Serves 8

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

Crockpot Cream Soda
Poke Cake

1 box white cake – batter
prepared but not baked
1 (12 oz) can cream soda (or
Big Red)
1 small box strawberry Jell-O
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 small box instant vanilla pudding

LIghtly spray insides of crockpot.
Pour prepared cake batter into
crockpot. Place 3-4 paper towels under
lid of crockpot; cover & cook on High
1-2 hours. Test to see if cake is done
using ‘toothpick method’ (insert a
toothpick into center of cake – if it
comes out dry/with no liquid batter,
it’s done). Remove crock from crockpot
& let cool. When cake is cooled, poke
holes all over top of cake using a
toothpick. Mix cream soda with dry
Jell-O & evenly pour mixture over cake.
In a different bowl, mix Cool Whip &
dry pudding mix – spread evenly over
cake. Serves 8

NOTE: You can serve this right after
making it, but it is also tasty chilled.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
=================

Hope you are able to stay HEALTHY, WARM
and able to enjoy some of the blessings of
these winter months. I’m not a fan of cold,
but have to admit the beautiful BLUE skies,
frost on the trees/bushes, etc. and the
crispness of the air refreshes me.

Hugs;

Pammie

and here comes the C-O-L-D!

Here in Michigan it’s hit the REALLY cold temperatures (getting close to or under ZERO) with wind chills of -11 degrees F. ; we’ve canceled my special needs group for the night because of it (we have students in wheelchairs and using walkers and with it that cold, it’s really miserable just getting from the parking lot to the building). Spent the greater part of the day babysitting my (now) 10 month old grandson – we had fun (he’s working on growling at the moment, so we did a LOT of that). We had a small amount of snowfall in the past few days making the side roads a bit slippery – SO glad I’m staying IN tonight! Last night was my Knit group and I got to Panera Bread at around 6 p.m. only to see a notice on the door: “This evening we will be closing at 7 p.m. for an employee food tasting of our new menu items.” Great . . . being it’s really cold, I didn’t expect many ladies (there were around 8 who came in & out); I stayed, chatting, until 7:05 (there were still LOTS of people in the place – not my job to worry about how they were going to gently get them all to leave!).

Now that we’re past the holidays (AND the holiday foods) I thought I’d start posting some winter foods – enjoy!

==========

2-ingredient Chocolate Coke Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 (12 oz) can Coca-Cola

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine cake mix
& Coke using elec. mixer until
smooth. LIne a 9 X 13″ baking
dish with parchment paper &
pour batter into pan. Bake 35
minutes until a knife inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool
before cutting – use a sharp knife
to cut.

(recipe: kirbiecravings.com)
——————————

Mexican Chicken & Corn Chowder

3 T. butter or olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless
chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 lb. potatoes, cut into bite-sized
pieces
1 (14.75 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chilies
1 (12 oz) bag frozen corn
hot sauce, to taste (optional)
1 (32 oz or 4 C.) chicken broth
2 C. heavy cream
2 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional garnish)

In Dutch oven or soup pot melt butter over
medium-high heat. Add hcicken, onion,
carrots & garlic – cook, stirring occasionally,
until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in chili
powder, cumin, salt, paprika, potatoes,
cream-style corn, tomatoes, frozen corn,
hot sauce (if using), & chicken broth – bring
to boil then reduce heat to medium-low.
Cover & cook 10 minutes. Stir in cream &
cook over Low heat 7-10 minutes until
chowder is slightly thickened & potatoes
are fork-tender. Stir in cheese, stirring
frequently, until cheese melts. Serve,
garnished with cilantro, if desired.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: lovebakesgoodcakes.com)
———————————–
Crockpot Beefy Nacho Soup

1 lb. ground beef
2 T. taco seasoning
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced
tomatoes
2 1/2 C. milk
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
(or mild), plus more for topping

crushed tortilla chips (garnish)

Brown ground beef in skillet over
medium-high heat; drain. Add taco
seasoning, tomatoes, cheese & milk.
Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours or Low
4-6 hours. Remove lid & stir well until
cheese is melted & combined. Top with
additional cheese & crushed chips, if
desired, when serving. Serves 6

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

Stuffed Chicken with Gravy

1 boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
1 (6 oz) box chicken stuffing mix
1 (12 oz) jar chicken gravy, heated
salt/pepper/garlic powder – to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Prepare stuffing
mix accordg. to pkg. directions; cover &
set aside. Season chicken with salt/pepper
& garlic powder. Place about 1/4 C. stuffing
on each piece of chicken & wrap sides around
to create a little bundle – place in prepared dish.
Spoon remaining stuffing around chicken
bundles. Cover with foil & bake 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, remove foil & continue
cooking, uncovered, 15-20 minutes longer
until chicken is fully cooked. Pour gravy
over chicken & stuffing when ready to serve.

*can substitute chicken breast cutlets for thighs

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

Creamy Veggie Gnocchi

1 bunch asparagus, ends
trimmed & chopped into 1″
pieces
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
1 (16 oz) pkg. gnocchi
1 T. olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 C. Half & Half
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt/pepper, to taste
(optional) red pepper flakes,
garnish

Bring large pot of water to boil; add
gnocchi & cook accordg. to pkg.
directions. Drain. In a skillet on
medium-high, heat olive oil & onion.
Season with salt/pepper & saute
until translucent. Add garlic, stirring
until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add
chopped asparagus & saute 5-7
minutes until tender. Add peas &
gnocchi – cook 2 minutes. Pour
Half & Half and Parmesan cheese into
skillet & stir carefully to coat with
cream sauce. Sauce is done when
cheese has melted & cream sauce
has thickened. Add lemon juice &
toss before serving.
Serves 4-6

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

Cheesy Salsa Mini Meatloaves

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 egg
12 saltine crackers, finely
crushed (about 1/2 C.)
1 1/2 C. Mexican-style (Kraft)
finely shredded Four Cheese,
divided
1 C. thick salsa, divided

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In bowl mix first 4 ingredients
with 1 C. cheese & 1/2 C. salsa.
Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick
cooking spray & press mixture
into cups – use the back of a spoon
to make an indentation in center
of each. Cover a baking sheet
with foil & place muffin tin on sheet.
Bake 20-25 minutes until meatloaves
are done (160 degrees F.) Top with
remaining salsa & cheese – bake
3  minutes more until cheese is
melted.
Makes 12

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

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

1 (6 oz) mini loaf French bread,
cubed
6 large eggs
1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened
Condensed milk
3/4 C. dark corn syrup
1/2 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 T. vanilla
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped pecans,
divided

Optional:
vanilla ice cream
maple syrup
caramel ice cream topping

Spread bread cubes in a single
layer in 15 X 10″ baking pan.
Bake, stirring occasionally, 10
minutes until cubes are toasted.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Beat eggs
in large bowl using elec. mixer on
medium speed until fluffy. Blend
in Eagle Brand milk, dark corn
syrup, brown sugar, butter & vanilla.
Stir in toasted bread cubes & 1 C. pecans
until evenly moistened – pour into
prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining
pecans & allow to stand 30 minutes.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 40-45 minutes until golden
brown around edges. Cool 5
minutes. Serve warm or cooled
with any options listed above,
as desired. Serves 9

(recipe: allrecipes.com)

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

Since I now have a ‘free week’ until next
special needs group (next Weds.) I started
another ‘needy’ men’s scarf (had more
various gray yarn, so thought it seemed
like a good idea.) I was all happy I didn’t
have to go out until Sunday then
remembered I have a (church) baby
shower Saturday (yes, I knit a baby
blanket, hat & booties for it plus a few
more items to add to the bag). Oh well,
maybe by then it will be warmer & clear
on Saturday…(naw, who am I kidding!?)

Stay healthy (if you can), stay warm &
try to find something to amuse yourself
during the beginning of this New Year!

Hugs;

Pammie

Out ‘Shoppin’! (or – subtitle: I LOVE A GOOD BARGAIN!)

Today found me out & about – first trip was to the Salvation Army looking for a chest of drawers for middle son. Didn’t find one BUT found two very nice long ‘church’ skirts ( 99 cents each!), some yarn (of course) and three very lovely hand knit baby blankets (each around $3.99). I have learned to search for these (if they’re a good price and in almost new condition) – they get added to the many blankets & items we donate to the Detroit Veteran’s Baby Shower in September. For $3.99 I couldn’t MAKE one so these were a really good find. Next was WalMart (no, I don’t shop there often but when I do…look out!). Best deal? a VERY large black forest ham/Swiss cheese/lettuce sub sandwich for $3.29! Why so low a price? It was made yesterday – normal price: $4.99! It was large enough for me to have a quarter of it and husband had the rest – VERY big lunch and very reasonable, too!

Tomorrow night is my special needs group’s last Gym Night until Fall – we’re doing Bingo. Our kids love this as we have small prizes for winning (and, of course, enough for everyone to win at least one thing). Some of the other leaders have already found some nice small items so it was my turn. Let me tell ya – trying to find something small & reasonably price for a GUY is not easy! I ended up buying four key chains that have foam ‘floats’ on them (in case you drop them in the water when boating or swimming) – weird, I know – but I was desperate! Bought 2 big boxes of the ‘theater candy’ (99 cents each) – I kind of gave up. I’m pretty sure there will also be individual bags of chips as prizes, so we’ll be ‘good’.

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

Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 1/3 C. milk
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
2 C. chocolate chips
1 C. caramel sauce
1/2 C. (from a can of vanilla
prepared frosting)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In bowl beat dry
cake mix, milk, eggs & melted
butter until fully combined & smooth;
pour batter into prepared dish.
Sprinkle top of batter with chocolate
chips & press them down slightly.
Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into cake comes out clean.
Let cake cool 30 minutes.
Spray  long fork tines with nonstick
spray: using fork, poke holes all over
top of cake. Pour caramel sauce on
top. Let cake stand 1 hour to allow
caramel to soak into cake. Microwave
prepared frosting about 15-30 seconds
until it is thinned out & easy to drizzle.
Drizzle frosting on top of cake before
serving. Serves 12-15
Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator

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

Bacon/Cheeseburger Casserole

1 uncooked pie crust
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
5 slices bacon, chopped
1/3 C. panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. yellow mustard
3 T. BBQ sauce
1 T. ketchup
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg
1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Brown ground beef, onion & bacon
until no pink remains; drain well.
Remove from heat & stir in bread
crumbs, mustard, BBQ sauce, ketchup,
Worc. sauce & pepper – place mixture
into pie crust. In small bowl combine
cheese, milk & egg – spread over
meat mixture. Cover edges of pie
crust with foil (or a pie shield) to
prevent over browning of crust edges.
Bake 15 minutes, remove foil & bake
an additional 15 minutes.

NOTE: you can also add diced pickles
to the dish, omit them or serve them
on the side.

(recipe: tasteerecipe.com)
———————————

Greek Pasta Salad

1 (12 – 16 oz) box curly pasta
(radiatore or ruffles)
1 (10 oz) bag fresh spinach,
rinsed/drained/coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. (8 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 C. pitted Kalamata olives, drained
1 C. bottled Greek salad dressing
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain, rinse & drain again. In large bowl
combine remaining ingredients; add
pasta & toss gently until evenly coated.
Serve or refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 8

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————
Hawaiian Party Salad

8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked/
rinsed in cold water
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
drained (reserve 1/4 C. juice)
2 C. cooked/cubed ham
1/2 C. shredded carrot
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl combine cooked
macaroni, pineapple chunks, ham,
carrots & onions. In small bowl
whisk reserved juice, mayonnaise,
sour cream, vinegar, sugar & salt –
pour over pasta mixture & mix
until evenly coated. Serve or chill
until ready to serve. Serves 6

(recipe: mrfood.com)
————————————

Crockpot Green Beans

4 (14.5 oz, ea) cans green beans,
rinsed/drained
8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked/
crumbled (reserve 2 T. drippings)
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. ketchup
1/3 C. brown sugar, packed
1/3 C. BBQ sauce
1/4 C. honey
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

In large bowl combine ketchup, brown
sugar, BBQ sauce, honey. Wors. sauce &
cayenne until combined – season with
salt/pepper. Heat 2 T. reserved
bacon drippings in large pan or skillet
over medium-high heat. Saute onions
until softened & translucent – season
with salt/pepper & red pepper flakes –
remove from heat. Spray crockpot
insides with nonstick spray; place green beans
& onions (including remaining bacon
grease) in crockpot. Pour BBQ/ketchup
mixture over beans. Mix together then
top with crumbled bacon. Cover & cook
on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-5 hours.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
———————

Sweet Honey-Mustard Chicken
(crockpot & freezer meal)

4 chicken breasts (or 10-12 thighs)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. (4 T.) butter
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
salt/pepper, to taste

Crockpot:
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place all ingredients in crockpot.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours or
5-6 on Low. Remove rosemary sprigs
(discard) & shred chicken. Place chicken
back in crockpot – stir.
Serve over buttered rice, mashed
potatoes or noodles.

Freezer Meal:
Combine all ingredients & place in
freezer ziplock bag; label & freeze flat.
The day before you plan to cook, place
in fridge to thaw overnight. Next day
follow above directions for crockpot
cooking.

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

Simple Caesar Salad for a Crowd

2 bags romaine lettuce
2 bunches green onions, sliced
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 bottle (good quality) Caesar
salad dressing
(toasted croutons, if desired)

Place both bags lettuce in large
salad bowl. Scatter sliced green
onions on top & sprinkle Parm.
cheese on top – toss well.
Drizzle salad dressing, a little
at a time, over mixture & toss
well as you add dressing.
Sprinkle a little more Parm.
cheese on top (& add croutons,
if using).

(recipe: lifeinmyemptynest.blogspot)
—————————-

Triple Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake


Cake:
1 1/2 C. hot brewed coffee
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
(finely chopped – or use chips)
3 large eggs
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 C. buttermilk*
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. cocoa powder (regular,
not Dutch)
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt

Pudding:
2 (3.4 oz, ea) boxes instant
chocolate pudding mix
3 C. milk
1 C. cream

Whipped Cream topping:
2 C. heavy whipping cream
6-8 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
(fresh berries – optional)

CAKE:
Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Place chocolate in heat-proof bowl;
pour hot coffee over chocolate & let
stand, stirring occasionally, until
chocolate is melted. Beat eggs (using
elec. mixer) until thick & lemon-colored.
Slowly add oil to eggs, then slowly add
buttermilk – then vanilla. Add chocolate
mixture slowly & beat until well combined.
In another bowl, sift sugar, flour, cocoa, soda,
powder & salt – add gradually to liquids &
beat on medium speed just until combined.
Spray 8 or 9″ baking pans with nonstick spray.
Pour batter into pans & bake 40-60 minutes
(until center is set – do not overbake).

PUDDING:
Place pudding mix, milk & cream in large bowl
& whisk until mix is totally dissolved, 2-3
minutes. Chill until ready to assemble cake.

WHIPPED CREAM:
Place all ingredients in stand mixer with
attachment & beat until firm peaks form.
(NOTE: the amount of powdered sugar just
depends on personal preference)
——————-
TO ASSEMBLE:
Break up baked cake into bite-sized pieces.
Place about 1/3 of cake in bottom of large
punch bowl or trifle bowl. Add 1/3 of pudding
(in even layer) then 1/3 of whipped cream (evenly).
Repeat these steps 2 times, ending with whipped
cream. Top with fresh berries, if desired.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 16

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar into
a 2-Cup measuring cup. Pour in enough
milk to read 1 1/2 Cups. Stir then let
set 5 minutes – now you have 1 1/2 C.
buttermilk!

(recipe: neighborfoodblog.com)

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

My ‘car saga’ yesterday worked out, finally –
they were able to finish all the work by 4:45 p.m.;
by then my husband was home & could drive me
back to the dealership. I was able to leave there &
make it to my special needs group a little early.

Thanks for your suggestions/ideas on
how to fix my car! You know me & my
ability to ‘pick up people’? While sitting
in the dealership waiting room a lady
came over & asked what I was knitting
so I explained about the charity baby
blankets. She mentioned she belongs
to a group in a nearby city that provides
clothing for needy families; the one thing
they don’t seem to be able to get is:
BABY HATS … you guessed it, she asked
for my business card and was interested
in whether I would be able to knit some
for their group. (You know me & a good
cause – guess I’ll be switching ‘gears’ for
awhile & knitting baby hats for them.
I think I’m not the only one knitting baby
hats for our local hospital so they can
be put on hold for awhile. Hey – IF I can
fill a need for a good cause – I’m there.

I’m truly grateful for air conditioning as the weather
has turned really hot (in the high 80’s/90’s).

Gas prices are now down to $2.26/9 – dropped
another 3 cents – YAY!

I’m sitting here enjoying my ‘off day’ from
babysitting & other appointments; feels
nice to know that I don’t have to GO anywhere
later on. Dinner is Enchiladas – easy & lasts
more than one meal – YAY!

Have a GREAT Day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Gramma Recovery Time

(don’t I wish!)

The past two days of 8+ hours babysitting can take a toll on ya – especially if you’re STILL not over the sore throat/coughing thing. SOoooooo glad I have today OFF! (Have to attend a funeral visitation in a few hours, but that will go by quickly). I dearly love my grandson, who just turned 3 months today, but when he’s cranky it’s a WHOLE ‘NOTHER STORY! (and he was, yesterday – all day!). I came home, got in my jammies & took a nap – we’re talking around 6 p.m.! I’m sure things will be better once I get over this throat thing, but for now I just feel cranky & achy – sorry for dumping on you. Got to thinking-Hey – the holiday weekend is coming up SOON – better get some holiday recipes out there for the people! Here ya go:

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

Luscious Lemon Layered Dessert

Crust:
1 C. flour
1/2 C. ground nuts (or finely
chopped)
1/4 C. butter, melted

Layers:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 small boxes instant Lemon
Pudding mix
1 T. lemon juice (optional)
3 C. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. finely chopped nuts (to
sprinkle on top)

Crust:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, chopped nuts &
melted butter – stir until well-
blended & crumbly. Press into
bottom of 9 X 13″ baking dish
& bake 15 minutes. Cool
completely.

Layers:
Using elec. mixer, blend cream
cheese & powdered sugar until
smooth & creamy. Fold in 1 C.
Cool Whip & spread over crust.

Whisk together pudding boxes &
milk – add lemon juice & stir until
thick. Spread over cream cheese
layer.

Spoon remaining Cool Whip over
pudding & sprinkle top with a
dusting of chopped nuts.
Refrigerate 4 hours before
serving.

NOTE: Poster says it’s better
the next day so she usually
makes it the day BEFORE
she’s going to serve it.

(recipe: happyhooligans.ca)
——————————-

Jalapeno-Popper Burgers
(grill)

3 jalapeno peppers, halved
lengthwise & seeded
1 tsp. olive oil
6 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 lb. ground beef
4 slices Pepper Jack cheese
4 hamburger buns, split
4 lettuce leaves
1 large tomato, sliced
3/4 C. guacamole

Brush jalapenos with oil & grill,
covered, over medium heat 3-5
minutes until tender, turning
occasionally. When cool enough
to handle, finely chop. In small
bowl, combine bacon, cream cheese,
& jalapeno until blended. In large
bowl combine garlic, salt, lemon-
pepper, pepper & paprika. Crumble
beef over mixture & mix well. Shape
into 8 thin patties. Spoon bacon
mixture onto center of four patties;
top with remaining patties & press
edges to firmly seal.

Grill burgers, covered, over medium
heat (OR) broil 4 inches from heat
6-7 minutes on each side until a
meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
& juices run clear. Top with Pepper Jack
cheese; cover & cook 1-2 minutes longer
until cheese has melted.

Grill buns; cut -sides down, over medium
heat 30-60 seconds until toasted. Serve
burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato &
guacamole. Serves 4

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

Southern Summer Succotash

2 C. frozen lima beans
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 small Vidalia onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
corn kernels from 6 ears corn
2 C. sliced okra
1 C. heavy whipping cream
3 fresh sprigs thyme
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. diced, roasted red peppers
1 C. halved grape tomatoes
1/2 lb. thick-sliced bacon,
cooked/crumbled

In small saucepan combine lima
beans & enough water to cover;
bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer
10-12 minutes/drain. Add olive oil
& butter to large skillet – heat over
medium heat. Add onion & cook
3-4 minutes; add garlic, corn & okra,
saute 3-4 minutes. Add cream, thyme
(whole sprigs), sugar, salt/pepper –
cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove thyme sprigs & discard. Stir
in lima beans, Parm. cheese, roasted
red peppers & tomatoes – cook 1
minute, remove from heat & top
with crumbled bacon. Serves 6

(recipe: spicysouthernkitchen.com)
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Caprese Spinach Salad

1 C. baby spinach leaves
1 large tomato, sliced 3/4″ thick
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese,
sliced
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1 T. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar

Spread spinach onto a serving
plate. Place tomato slices on
spinach then top each slice of
tomato with a slice of mozz.
cheese. Sprinkle basil over top
& drizzle with olive oil & balsamic
vinegar. Serves 2

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
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Momma’s Old Fashioned Potato Salad

3 to 3 1/2 lb. potatoes* (about 10
medium)
6 hard-cooked eggs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. evaporated milk
3 T. white vinegar
2 T. prepared mustard
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
(additional hard-cooked eggs,
sliced – for garnish on top)
paprika

In large kettle cook potatoes** in
boiling salted water until tender;
drain & cool. Peel potatoes & cut
into chunks. Separate egg yolks
from whites (set yolks aside). Chop
whites & add to potatoes with onion.
In small bowl mash egg yolks; stir in
mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, mustard,
sugar, salt/pepper –  pour over potatoes
& toss well. Adjust seasonings, if
necessary then spoon into a serving
bowl. Garnish top with sliced eggs &
paprika. Chill until ready to serve.
Serves 12

**to prevent potatoes from mushing &
losing their shape, add 1/2 tsp.
vinegar to cooking water

Potato Suggestions: Yukon Gold, new
potatoes or redskin potatoes (Russet
potatoes will work but they tend to
fall apart)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————

Tender Baked Chicken Thighs

8 bone-in chicken thighs with skin
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line baking sheet with foil & spray
with cooking spray. Arrange thighs
on sheet. Combine garlic salt, onion
salt, oregano, thyme, paprika & pepper
in small container with lid. Close lid &
shake until spices are thoroughly mixed –
sprinkle spice mixture liberally over
chicken. Bake until crisp, thighs are no
longer pink at bone & juices run clear –
about 1 hour. (instant-read thermometer
inserted near bone should read 165 degrees F.)
Serves 4

NOTE: You can broil the chicken for last part
of cooking – do so for only 1-2 minutes &
be careful as spices burn very quickly

(recipe: allrecipes.com)
————-(having trouble trying to get rid of underline!)

Crockpot 3-ingredient Dump Cake

2 (21 oz, ea) cans cherry pie filling
1 (15.25 oz) box white or yellow
cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 C.)

Place pie filling in bottom of crockpot.
In a bowl using a pastry blender or
2 forks, cut butter into dry cake mix.
(consistency will be very crumbly).
Evenly sprinkle mixture over pie filling.
Place a double layer of paper towels
gently on top of crockpot opening &
place lid on top to secure them in
place. Cook on High 2-3 hours or
Low 4-6 hours. Remove lid & discard
paper towels. Serves 15

NOTE: Great in a bowl with some
vanilla ice cream!

(recipe: 365daysofcrockpot.com)
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Crockpot Smoky Baked Beans

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
1 meidum onion, chopped
2 (15 oz, ea) cans pork & beans
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (16 oz) can butter beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (15.5 oz) can navy beans, drained
& rinsed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes &
green chilies, drained
1/2 C. hickory-smoke-flavored BBQ
sauce
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. steak seasoning
1 tsp. liquid smoke, (optional)

In large skillet cook sausage & onion
over medium heat until meat is no
longer pink; drain. Combine beans,
tomatoes & sausage in crockpot. In
small bowl combine BBQ sauce, ketchup,
brown sugar, mustard, steak seasoning &
liquid smoke, if using – stir mixture into
beans. Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours
or until heated through. Makes 16 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————–

4-Layer Cookie Bars

1 (16 oz) pkg. rectangular
buttery crackers (kinda like Ritz)
1/2 C. margarine
2/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C. milk
2/3 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. peanut butter chips

Butter (or spray with nonstick spray)
a 9 X 13″ baking pan. Line bottom
with a single layer of crackers. Melt
margarine in heavy saucepan; add
sugars, graham cracker crumbs & milk.
Heat over medium-high heat until sugars
dissolve, stirring often then spread over
crackers in pan. Arrange another layer of
crackers on top. Combine remaining
ingredients in a saucepan; heat over
Low heat until melted, stirring until
smooth & creamy then spread over
crackers; set aside until firm. Cut into
bars to serve. Makes 2 dozen bars

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)
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Will try to post more recipes for the
weekend. I’m just grateful I can now
relax a little, knit some/nap some &
try to get over this creeping-crud I
have (it’s been almost 2 weeks!)

Stay healthy (if you can), relax if &
when you can – and try to enjoy the
weekend.

Hugs;

Pammie