The “Day Before”!

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

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Hot-Water Gingerbread

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

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

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

Mix ingredients using wire whisk
& spread over hot gingerbread.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dippers:
shortbread cookies
graham crackers
biscuits
scones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs;

Pammie

 

 

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Getting closer …

Just got home from grocery shopping at Kroger – even made sure I got there early (9: 15 a.m.) and still ended up with many aisles crowded with not so happy-to-be-there customers. Oh well, hopefully I’m done with all that – bought more than I expected but I know it will all be used – eventually. They had those little Clementine oranges (“Cuties”) on sale for $2.99 a bag so I grabbed some (not on my list) and a few other things – Yep, I’m an impulse buyer!

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

Apple Walnut Crumb Pie

1 (9 inch) frozen pie crust
1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling
1 C. flour
1/2 C. firmly packed light
brown sugar
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Arrange pie crust on a baking
sheet. Evenly spread apple
pie filing into crust. Combine
flour & brown sugar in a medium
bowl. Stir in mayonnaise using a
fork until mixture is the size of
coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts &
evenly sprinkle mixture over apples.
Bake 45 minutes until golden brown
& bubbling. Cool slightly on wire
rack. Serve warm or room temp.
Serves 6

(recipe: hellmanns.com)
————————————-

Crockpot Wild Rice Stuffing

2 T. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 ribs celery, finely sliced
1 (16 oz) pkg. fresh mushrooms,
sliced (cremini, baby bella, etc.)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 1/2 C. RICE MIX (uncooked
brown & wild, rinsed & drained)
5 1/2 C. chicken broth
2/3 C. dried cranberries
1 T. chopped fresh sage
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 C. slivered almonds, toasted

In large skillet heat oil over medium;
add onions & celery – cook, stirring
occasionally, until onion is softened &
lightly brown, about 8 minutes. Increase
heat to medium-high; add mushrooms &
cook, stirring often, about 6 minutes, until
mushrooms are soft & most of liquid has
evaporated. Stir in salt/pepper – remove
from heat. In 3-4 qt crockpot stir together
wild rice blend & sauteed vegetables.
Carefully pour in broth; gently stir. Cover
& cook on Low 5-6 hours or High 2-3
hours, until rice is tender. Turn off
crockpot; stir in cranberries, sage &
thyme. Taste & adjust seasonings.
Cover & let stand 10  minutes. Just
before serving, sprinkle toasted
almonds on top. Serve warm.
Serves 8

NOTE: Can be made ahead:
Saute celery/onions/mushrooms up
to 2 days in advance & store in fridge.
Add all ingredients to crockpot just
before cooking.

(recipe: wellplated.com)
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Crockpot Spicy Queso Dip

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded/ribs
removed, chopped fine
1/2 poblano pepper, seeded/ribs
removed, chopped fine
1 shallot, peeled/chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. Gouda cheese, shredded
4 oz. cubed cream cheese
1 T. cornstarch & 1 T. water
1 1/2 C. Half & Half

chips, for dipping

Place cheeses & cream cheese in
crockpot. Mix cornstarch with 1 T.
water & add to crockpot; pour in
Half & Half. Cover & cook on High
2 hours, stirring every 20-30
minutes until fully melted & warm.
Serve with chips for dipping.
Serves 8

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

Crockpot Sausage Breakfast
Casserole

1 (26-32 oz) pkg. frozen shredded
hash brown potatoes
1 pkg. (Jimmy Dean) Hearty
Original sausage crumbles
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
cheese
1/2 C. (2 oz) shredded Parmesan
cheese
1/2 C. sun dried tomatoes (packed in
oil) drained/ sliced*
6 green onions, sliced
12 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray. Layer half
of potatoes on bottom. Top with
half of sausage, both cheeses,
sun dried tomatoes & green onions;
repeat layers. In large bowl beat
eggs, milk, salt/pepper using a
wire whisk until well blended;
pour evenly over mixture in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 8 hours or
High 4 hours until eggs are set.

*you can substitute 1 C. fresh chopped
tomatoes for sun dried, if desired

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

Crockpot Fruit Compote

1 (1 lb) bag frozen mixed fruit*
1 (14.5 oz) can mandarin oranges,
drained
1/2 C. raisins
1/2 C. maraschino cherries, drained
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 stick butter (4 T), melted
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

Place all fruit in bottom of crockpot.
Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, brown
sugar, melted butter & pie filling in
a bowl – pour over fruit. Cover & cook
on High 2-3 hours, stirring a couple
times during cooking. Makes about
5 C. fruit.

*Poster said the bag she bought had
pineapple, strawberries, peaches &
mango)

NOTE: Poster said this is really good
when served with or on pound cake.
You can also add nuts. Keeps well
for a few days if refrigerated

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

Crockpot Citrus & Herb
Turkey Breast

1 (6-7 lb.) bone-in turkey breast,
skin intact
2 oranges, quartered
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 T. olive oil
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
salt/pepper, to taste
1 C. chicken broth

Rinse turkey breast & pat dry.
Place quartered oranges & fresh
herb sprigs in bottom of crockpot.
Drizzle olive oil over turkey breast
& sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs,
salt/pepper – rub into skin & place
in crockpot. Pour broth around
turkey. Cover & cook on Low 5-7
hours until turkey reaches 165 degrees F.
food thermometer. Remove turkey from
crockpot & tent with foil 20 minutes.

To brown skin:
Place turkey on a cookie sheet &
place under broiler 3-5 minutes until
golden brown, then tent with foil.
Slice & serve.

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

Jalapeno-Buttermilk-Cornbread
Stuffing

3 C. cornbread, dried out & cubed
(store bought or homemade)
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded,
finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. chicken stock
2 T. olive oil or butter
salt/ground black pepper, to taste
cilantro, optional garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Heat olive
oil in large skillet over medium heat &
saute onions, celery, bell peppers &
jalapenos until softened, about 12
minutes. During last few minutes of
cooking, add minced garlic, stirring
frequently to prevent burning. Stir
in cubed cornbread & chicken stock;
mix until liquid is completely absorbed
by bread & vegetables; season with
salt/pepper. Pour mixture into baking
dish & bake 20-25 minutes until
browned, crispy & cooked through.
(bread should be crisp but still moist).
Garnish with cilantro (if using) &
serve immediately. Makes approx. 4 C.

(recipe: 12tomatoes.com)
——————————-

Mozzarella-stuffed Garlic Knots

1 (13 oz) tube refrigerated pizza crust
3/4 lb. mozzarella, shredded
2 T. Parmesan & Romano cheese, grated
3 T. salted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C. fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Unroll pizza dough &
cut into 10 equal portions. Press down
the center of each pizza dough strip to
create a well for the cheese. Sprinkle
some mozzarella cheese down center
length of each strip; pinch edges together
to form a mozzarella-filled roll – repeat
with rest of dough then mold each strip
into a knot. Bake 15-20 minutes until
golden brown. Combine butter, garlic,
parsley, Parm/Rom. cheese in a saucepan
& saute on medium-high heat until butter
is melted. Toss each baked ‘knot’ into
butter mixture & serve while hot.
Makes 10 knots

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

Cool Whip Frosting

1 (4 oz) box instant pudding
mix, dry (any flavor)
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

In large bowl combine pudding mix,
powdered sugar & milk; mix at Low
speed until blended. Let mixture
stand 3 minutes then fold in thawed
Cool Whip. Frost & keep refrigerated

(recipe: Facebook)
——————————-

Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

2 C. flour plus 2 T. flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. butter
1 C. water
1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. peeled/chopped green apples

Frosting:
1/2 C. butter
6 T. milk
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 C. caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 15 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In large bowl mix
flour, sugar & cinnamon – stir to
combine. In medium saucepan
combine butter, water & shortening;
bring to boil. After mixture reaches
boil, add it to the flour mixture & stir
to combine. Add buttermilk, then
baking soda, eggs, vanilla – in that
order, mixing in between each
addition. Stir in apples & pour into
prepared dish. Bake 20 minutes. Let
cool 10-15 minutes.
While cake is cooling prepare frosting:
Combine butter & milk in medium
bowl; microwave until butter is melted.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla & caramel
sauce & stir until smooth. Pour frosting
evenly over cooled cake.

(recipe: chef-in-training.com)

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

Today is my BUSY day – grocery shopping, home a
bit to rest (& write this blog) then babysitting 8 1/2
month old grandson 1:30 – (hopefully around 3:30/4pm).
Home again to eat/rest then at 5:45 off to Knit/Crochet
night until around 9 p.m. (Glad I’m still healthy enough
to keep up this pace – but I know that I’m pretty
‘free’ tomorrow, no big things to do. Ran into
three people at the grocery store so that ‘chatting’
added almost an hour to my shop time. First person
is the Great Grandma to my oldest grandson & I
haven’t seen her for a good 6+ months (She’s close
to 90 & still in great health – still bowls!), then as
I turned around to re-group my brain on what else
I needed there stood a homeschooling friend/Mom
whom I hadn’t seen for a good 10+ years! More
chatting, then on with shopping. Just about ready
to go up to check out when I look up & see one of
my knitting ladies, so . . .  again, more chatting!
It was a fun & busy morning, for sure!

Weather-wise, it’s sunny & 47 degrees (didn’t need
my hat, scarf & gloves – yay!).

Have a great day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Recipes and MORE Recipes!

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

Crockpot Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

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

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

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

Oven-roasted Brussels Sprouts/
Butternut Squash & Apples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cranberry sauce (optional, for serving)

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

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

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————

Cranberry-Orange Honey Butter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*can substitute an apple for the pear

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

Pammie

 

 

and so it begins – THE HOLIDAYS!

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

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

Pecan Pie Bars

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

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

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

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

——————————-

Ham & Egg Cups

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

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

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

Chicken/Quinoa/Brown Rice Soup

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

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

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

Baked Cranberry/Orange Stuffing-
crusted Chicken

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

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

(recipe: hellsmanns.com)
———————————

Jalapeno Popper Wonton Cups

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

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

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

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

Dippers;
crackers, bread or fresh veggies

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

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

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
(with Apple Cider Glaze)

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

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

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

Glaze:

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

 (recipe: americantimesfood.com)

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

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

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

Hugs;

Pammie


 

 

Another “Hurry up & wait” day

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

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

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

Caramel-Apple Cheesecake Dip

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

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

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

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————

Crockpot Spaghetti Squash & Cheese

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

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

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

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

Butternut Squash & Sausage Soup

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

Optional toppings:
Corn bread croutons
plain yogurt

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

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

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————

Bacon/Cheddar Potato Cakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————-

Crockpot Fresh Breakfast Bake

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

Serving Options:
Parmesan cheese
Paprika

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

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

Pumpkin Pie Dippers

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

caramel sauce, warmed in
microwave, for dipping

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

(recipe: delish.com)

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

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

Hope you have a warm, safe day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Last GORGEOUS Sunday – probably

Our weather is gorgeous – 71 degrees F., sunny with a slight breeze; it’s supposed to start getting colder as of tomorrow, so I’m hoping to soak up some of the last of the Fall SUN while I can. The leaves are turning colors, lots of great apples available to eat/bake with, cider (yum!) it’s a great season (except for the fact that we KNOW that dreaded “S” word is in the offing . . . snow). Being that I live in the Great Lakes, we never quite know when Fall ends & Winter begins . . . could be months away or as quickly as next week!

The other grandma posted a photo on Facebook so I just had to share:

This is our oldest son, his girlfriend & their (really cute) son – he just turned 8 months. He’s working on tooth #3, still crawling & pulling himself up on everything (couches/chairs, etc.). The “Dadada” & “Mamama” stopped for now – he’s just a very HAPPY baby! Still babysitting one day a week for about 6 (sometimes more) hours & I’m happy with that schedule – just enough to enjoy him but also just enough to kinda wear me out, too.

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

LOTS of great recipes to share:

Pumpkin Ice Cream

4 bananas, mashed
1 C. pumpkin puree
1/3 C. honey
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Blend all ingredients together,
place in 8 X 8″ or 9 X 9″ pan &
freeze.

(recipe: facebook)
—————————
Turkey Sausage Soup w/fresh
Vegetables

1 (19.5 oz) pkg. Italian turkey
sausage links, casings removed
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans
or chickpeas, drained/rinsed
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C. fresh green beans,
cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, quartered
lengthwise & sliced
1 large sweet red or green
pepper, seeded/chopped
8 green onions, chopped
4 C. chicken stock
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/3 C. minced fresh basil

In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat 8-10  minutes until
no longer pink; break into crumbles
& drain. Transfer to crockpot. Add
tomatoes, beans, carrots, green
beans, zucchini, pepper & green
onions. In large bowl whisk stock,
tomato paste & salt; pour over
veggies in crockpot. Cover & cook
on Low 6-8 hours until vegetables
are tender. Just before serving stir
in basil. Serves 10 (3 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 stock if necessary.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

Amish Butternut Squash
Casserole

2 1/2 lb. butternut squash
2 carrots
1 C. rolled oats (uncooked)
12 oz. green peas
1 T. butter
2 eggs, beaten frothy
pinch salt
5 T. cinnamon-sugar
1/2 T. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Boil squash & carrots together
until carrots are tender – cool.
Slide skin off carrots, being
careful with squash, remove
seeds & peel. Blend carrots &
squash together – do not over
blend, preserving some texture.
Add cinnamon sugar & salt,
frothy eggs to carrot mixture.
Spray an 8″ loaf pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix about 1/2 C.
oatmeal into carrot mixture; sprinkle
some of oatmeal into pan to coat the
cooking spray. Gently fold in peas;
pour mixture into prepared pan.
Sprinkle remaining oatmeal on top
& dot with butter. Bake 30-40
minutes until brown on top.
Once baked it can be served
immediately or frozen for later
use.

(recipe: recipelion.com)
—————————–
Homemade Beer Cheese Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
temp.
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 red onion, finely diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 pkt. dry Ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 C. beer (any beer works, poster
used dark stout)
1/2 C. cooked, chopped bacon
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients in large bowl;
refrigerate overnight for best results

(recipe: recipelion.com)
———————————
Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Bread:
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. light brown sugar, packed
2/3 C. canola oil
4 large eggs
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
2 C. grated zucchini

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2-4 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 9-inch loaf pans
with nonstick cooking spray.
Line bottom of pans with
parchment paper. In large
bowl combine sugar, oil &
eggs until blended. Add flour,
baking soda, baking powder,
cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg
& canned pumpkin – mix until
just blended. Fold in shredded
zucchini. Divide batter evenly
between loaf pans. Bake 60-70
minutes until a toothpick inserted
in center of loaf comes out clean.
Remove from oven & cool 5 minutes
in pan. Remove from pan & cool
completely on wire rack.

Frosting:
Beat cream cheese with powdered
sugar, cinnamon & milk. Add more or
less milk for desired consistency.
Spread over cooled bread.
Makes 2 loaves

(recipe: shugarysweets.com)
—————————————

Spinach/Bacon Mac & Cheese

3 C. medium pasta shells, uncooked
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 T. flour
2 C. milk
2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese,
divided
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 1 1/2 qt. casserole with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook pasta in large saucepan accordg. to
pkg. directions omitting salt; add spinach
to boiling water for last minute. Cook &
stir bacon in large saucepan until crisp.
Remove bacon with slotted spoon from
pan, reserving drippings. Add flour to
drippings; cook & stir 1 minute or until
bubbly. Gradually stir in milk – bring to
boil, stirring constantly, cook & stir
3-5 minutes until thickened. Add 1C.
Cheddar & Parmesan to saucepan; cook &
stir 2-3 minutes until melted. Add pasta
mixture & bacon; mix well then spoon
to prepared casserole dish. Top with
remaining Cheddar & bake 20 minutes
until heated through. Serves 6
(about 1 C. each)

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————–

Cheddar/Tomato Dumplings
(fluffy dumplings in a rich
tomato-based sauce, fresh herbs
& gooey cheese.)

2 T. finely chopped onion
1 T. finely chopped green bell
pepper
2 T. vegetable oil
1 C. flour
1 (28 oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes
(or two 14.5 oz ea. cans)
1 T. minced celery leaves
1 tsp. sugar
salt/black pepper, to taste

Dumplings:
1 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. shortening
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. milk

IN large skillet saute onions & bell
pepper in oil until tender. Add 2 T.
flour; stir well. Gradually blend in
whole tomatoes, breaking up with
a spoon. Add celery leaves, sugar,
salt/pepper & bring to boil over
medium heat. Cook & stir 2 minutes.
Reduce heat; cover & simmer 5
minutes.
Dumplings
Combine flour, baking powder & salt
in a bowl; cut in shortening until
crumbly. Add cheese; stir in milk
just until moistened. Drop by
tablespoon onto simmering
tomato sauce. Cover & simmer 20
minutes until a toothpick inserted
into center of a dumpling comes
out clean (Do not lift cover while
simmering).
Serves 6

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

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

4 eggs, beaten
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1 C. butter, melted

Optional:
whipped cream
Cool Whip
chopped nuts
cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl combine eggs,
pumpkin, evap. milk, sugar,
spice & salt – mix well & pour
into ungreased 9 X 13 baking
dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix & nuts
on top. Drizzle top with melted
butter (do not stir). Bake 45
minutes – 1 hour, testing for
doneness with a toothpick.
Serve with optional toppings.
Serves 8-10

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)

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

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Thoughts on a Thursday –

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

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

Turtle Cookie Bars

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

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

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

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

Parmesan-roasted Sheet
Pan Dinner

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

extra Parmesan cheese for topping

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

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

Crockpot Chicken & Rice Soup

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested dippers:
tortilla chips, pita chips or bagel
chips

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

(recipe: recipelion.com)
——————————

4-minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp

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

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

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

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

Chili Mac Casserole

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

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

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Crockpot Pumpkin Pecan Bread
Pudding

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

Optional:
vanilla ice cream
caramel ice cream topping

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

(recipe: thegunnysack.com)

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

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

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

Enjoy your day;

Hugs;

Pammie

Happy Monday!

Photo from last year’s special needs group Harvest Party

Well, friends – I survived the Harvest Party/Dance! This past Friday found me helping out from 4:30 – somewhere after 9 p.m. (when I got just too tired to keep on keeping on, so I went home! – party ended at 8:30). We had a lot more people come than we thought would BUT we were prepared! Our leader bought 270 hot dogs! (We cooked 150 and there were leftovers . . . but I was just too tired to even care about bringing some home…sigh). The kids had a great time chatting/eating/dancing so it was all worth it. I’d say we had about 45 kids? attend and about 10 teens from the church volunteered to help out, also.

I have been getting in SO MANY yummy sounding recipes I just couldn’t resist sharing some:

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

 Holy Cow Cake

1 (18 oz) box devils food cake mix
1 1/3 C. water
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 (8 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 C. Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. In bowl
mix dry cake mix, oil & eggs using an
elec. mixer – blend on Low speed
1 minute; scrape sides of bowl & mix
on medium speed 2 more minutes.
(batterh will be thick) Pour batter into
prepared pan, smoothing top evenly.
Bake 35-38 minutes until cake springs
back when lightly pressed with your
finger & just starts pulling away from
pan sides. Remove from oven & poke
holes in top of cake using a drinking
straw or chopstick. Cool on wire rack.

Topping:
Place caramel topping & sweetn’d
cond. milk in small bowl & stir to
combine. Spoon mixture over warm
cake so it can seep down into holes.
Measure out half of crushed candy
bars & sprinkle pieces over cake.
In large bowl mix Cool Whip & cream
cheese – blend using elec. mixer on
Low speed until smooth & combined.
Spread mixture over candy-covered
cake. Sprinkle remaining crushed
candy on top & refrigerate 20
minutes before cutting into squares &
serving.
Store cake, covered in waxed paper,
in fridge up to 1 week.

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

Roasted Autumn Veggie Soup

2 lb. sweet potatoes (about 4 medium)
2 lb. carrots (about 8 large)
1 1/2 lb. parsnips (about 6 medium)
2 large onions, quartered
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 C. canola oil
3 (32 oz, ea) cartons chicken broth
1 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
minced fresh parsley & sage,
optional garnishes

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Peel & cut sweet potatoes, carrots &
parsnips into 1 1/2″ pieces; place in
large bowl. Add onions & garlic; drizzle
with oil & toss to coat. Spray two
15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pans with
nonstick cooking spray & divide
veggies between pans. Roast 40-50
minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
Transfer veggies to Dutch oven. Add broth,
milk, salt & pepper & bring to boil. Simmer,
uncovered, 10-15 minutes.Cool soup
slightly & puree in blender in batches.
Return to pan & heat through. Serve
with optional garnishes. Serves 12 (4 quarts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————–

Southern Smothered Pork Chops
(crockpot)

4 center-cut pork chops
1/4 C. flour
3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. chicken or beef broth
1 medium onion, chopped

Suggested ‘sides’:
cooked mashed potatoes (for 4)
cooked rice or noodles (for 4)

Pour flour, poultry seasoning &
salt in zip-lock bag – shake to mix.
Add chops & shake until lightly
coated. Heat heavy skillet large
enough to hold all chops over
medium-high heat. Add oil &
heat until it shimmers. Place
chops in pan & saute 2-3 minutes
per side until golden brown. Remove
chops from pan & add 2 T. flour
mixture from bag to skillet; stir a
few seconds to cook flour. Add
about 1 C. broth & cook, stirring,
to lift any browned bits from pan.
Add remaining broth & turn off
heat. (Reserve remaining flour
mixture for later).
Place onion in bottom of crockpot &
lay chops on top. Pour liquids from
pan over chops. Cover & cook on
High 2 hours. Remove about 1 C.
of liquids from crockpot into a
small bowl; stir in remaining flour
mixture from bag & mix until
completely smooth. Return this
mixture to crockpot, stirring to mix.
Cover & cook 30-45 minutes more.
Serves 4

(suggested sides: mashed potatoes or
cooked noodles or rice)

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

Roasted Corn Chopped Salad
with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 can whole kernel corn
2 Romaine hearts, finely chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 C. slivered basil leaves
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 C. lemon juice (fresh from 1
large lemon)
2 T. prepared Dijon-style or
stone ground mustard
2 T. honey
3 T. olive oil

Drain & pat corn dry. Add 1 T. oil to a
skillet & heat to searing hot. Add corn
carefully & let roast 6-8 minutes,
stirring only occasionally, until it
develops a nice brown caramelization;
remove from heat & let cool.
Add chopped romaine & shallots to a
large bowl; crumble feta into bowl &
add cooled corn. In small bowl whisk
together lemon juice, mustard, honey &
remaining 2 T. olive oil to make dressing.
Drizzle dressing over salad & toss. Serve
immediately Serves 4

(recipe: slowcookergourmet.net)
———————————–
Crockpot Crustless Pumpkin Pie

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook on
Low 2-4 hours. Serves 6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
———————————–
7-Layer Chicken Enchilada Dip

2 T. butter or margarine
1 box Hamburger Helper “Cheesy
Enchilada” flavor
1 3/4 C. water
1 C. milk
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
2 C. chopped deli cooked rotisserie
chicken
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
(OR) 1 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 C. chopped pickled jalapeno chilies
1 tomato, diced

tortilla chips

In 10-inch skillet melt butter over
medium heat. Stir in uncooked rice
(from Hamb. Helper box); continue
cooking 2-3 minutes until rice starts
to brown. Stir in water, milk, seasoning
packet (from Hamb. Helper) & black
beans – heat to boiling. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 20 minutes, stirring
frequently. Stir in chicken; cover &
remove from heat – let rest 5 minutes.

Spread refried beans on 14-inch serving
platter. In small bowl,  mix sour cream &
topping (from Hamb. Helper box) – spread
over beans. Top with hamburger mixture,
cheese, jalapeno chilies & tomato. Serve
with tortilla chips for dipping.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-FB, from Old El
Paso)
————————————–

Cheesy Bundt Bread

3 C. flour, sifted
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 large eggs
3/4 C. sour cream
3/4 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. baking soda
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix flour, baking
soda, baking powder, salt, garlic
& onion powders in large bowl
until combined. Whisk eggs, sour
cream & yogurt together & pour
into dry mixture. Add melted
butter & stir to combine. Mix
cheeses into mixture & pour into
prepared Bundt pan, spreading
evenly to edges. Bake 50-55
minutes until a toothpick inserted
close to center comes out clean.
Remove from oven & cool 10
minutes before slicing. Serves 8

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

Our weather is now typical Fall in Michigan –
temperatures in the 50’s & 60’s (although
it’s supposed to get up into the 70’s later
in the week – YAY!).

Knit project wise: still working on ONE baby
blanket in my old Plume pattern (lime green) –
have about 1/4th done. Finally made an
executive decision last night & ripped out
another baby blanket I’d been working on;
not really fond of pattern and kept making
big mistakes 10-12 rows BELOW where I’d
been working – time for that one TO GO!
I know I’ve got tons of patterns so it won’t
be difficult to start another one (this one
was a baby teal yarn). Working on one scarf
for homeless – really pretty yarn I obtained
from a yarn swap (variegated colors of tans,
greys & white).

Went to the library today to pick up some
books I had on hold and saw a new flyer:
they will be starting a KNIT GROUP at my
local library Weds. 10-12p.m. starting in
January. (I nicely asked if they would mind
my putting my business card by their
display and they said NO – kinda expected
that. My group meets in the evening, theirs
during the day – oh well….) I ‘did’ think of
attending their group just to see what it’s
like – we’ll see. Their flyer said bring your
own supplies, so it sort of sounds like my
group except they don’t offer any help –
will consider…later.

Hope you are enjoying your day – it’s
really sunny & breezy out today – in
low 60’s (had to get gas & go to library
so I got to enjoy it a little).

Hugs;

Pammie

I’m not ready . . .

Tonight is my special needs group’s “Harvest Dance Party” and I’m just not ready . . . let me explain: it’s going to be BIG (because not only will our kids be there, but several other groups have been invited), it’s going to be VERY loud (that’s a given when my kids get excited, and it’s going to be LOOoong (I need to be there at 4 p.m./it doesn’t start until 6:30, ends 8:30 so you can guess I’ll be PRETTY TIRED when I finally get to go home after helping clean up. Yes, I love getting together with my ‘kids’ but I’m just not ready for this level of  WILD/LOUD! This past Wednesday found our room packed with kids – it was our Music/Birthday night. What was different this time? We’re finally getting back some of our kids- the church we meet at is undergoing a huge re-building and the parking lot has been a nightmare for anyone with physical disabilities or wheelchairs (dirt, rocks, no lighting at night, etc.). Recently they’ve added parking lot lighting (YAY!) but it’s still pretty treacherous for wheelchairs so quite a few of our group homes just haven’t been coming. With more kids in our room this Weds. it was loud, hectic and almost overwhelming but we survived. Because of the construction, our group has been moved back to our ‘old’ room (the one we asked to be taken out of due to lack of room for wheelchairs) so now that we’re back in that room – it’s CROWDED! Oh well, eventually it will be better – we’ve been assured that the building project will be suspended as of the end of October – still not sure where that leaves our group but we’ll see. All that said – I’m going to put on my BIG GIRL PANTS and go to this dance/party with a big smile, hoping to help out wherever needed. (It’s a Western/Cowboy theme – I bought a red bandanna & am wearing a denim shirt – (western is NOT my style, so I’m going to be quite the CITY cowgirl…hehehe).

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

Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 (29 oz) can pumpkin
2 boxes spice cake mix
1 bag milk chocolate chips
(optional)

1 tub cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 11 X 18″ baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine pumpkin, cake mixes &
(chocolate chips, if using) together
in large bowl, mix well & pour into
prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.

NOTE: You will not use eggs, oil or
water in the cake – the pumpkin
adds the moisture.

When cake is cooled, frost with
cream cheese frosting
===
This recipe can be halved:
1 box spice cake mix
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
1/2 bag chocolate chips (optional)

half tub cream cheese frosting

Use a 9 X 13″ baking dish sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 350 degrees
F. for 20-25 minutes

(recipe: thecreativemom.com)
————————

Balsamic Chicken w/Roasted
Vegetables

8 (4 oz ea) boneless skinless
chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 tsp. kosher salt
fresh black pepper, to taste
10 medium spears asparagus,
ends trimmed, cut in half
2 red bell peppers seeded,
cut into strips
1 red onion, chopped in large
chunks
1/2 C. carrots, sliced in half
long, cut into 3 inch pieces
5 oz. pkg. sliced mushrooms
1/4 C. plus 1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed/roughly
chopped
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 T. fresh rosemary
1/2 T. dried oregano or thyme
2 leaves fresh sage, chopped

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Season chicken with salt/pepper.
Spray 2 large baking sheets with
nonstick cooking spray. Combine
all ingredients together in large
bowl-use your hands to mix well
then arrange everything onto
prepared sheets – spread out in
an even layer. (VEGGIES should
NOT touch chicken or chicken will
steam instead of roast). Bake
20-25 minutes until chicken is
cooked through & veggies are
roasted & tender. Serves 4

(recipe: skinnytste.com)
———————————–
Hearty Sausage & Bean One Pot

1 medium onion, peeled/cut in
half & sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 lb. fresh Italian sausage, casings
removed
1/2 lb. fully-cooked smoked sausage,
sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch slices
1 (16 oz) can cannellini beans, drained/
rinsed
1 (16 oz) can chick peas, drained/rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 C. chicken broth

Spray large saucepan with nonstick
cooking spray. Add onion & garlic – cook
over medium heat 2-3 minutes until
onion is softened. Add Ital. sausage to
pan & cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add
sliced smoked sausage & cook 3-5
minutes until Ital. sausage is cooked
through & not pink. Pour off drippings;
stir in remaining ingredients. Mix gently,
cover & reduce heat to Low – simmer
5 minutes. Uncover & cook over medium-
Low heat 5-10 minutes to blend flavors.
Serves 5

NOTE: You can also add rice or noodles to
soup – they soak up the sauce.

(recipe: mrfood.com)
———————————-

Braised Red Cabbage

2 T. butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red cabbage, shredded
(about 8 C.)
1 tart apple, peeled/cored & sliced
1 T. sugar
1 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 C. good red wine
1 bay leaf
salt/ground black pepper

Melt butter in Dutch oven or soup
pot. Add onions & saute over medium
heat until soft, about 7 minutes. Add
cabbage, apple, sugar, vinegar, red wine
& bay leaf. Stir & simmer on Low 30-40
minutes until cabbage is tender. Remove
bay leaf & season with salt/pepper.
Serves 6

(recipe: cookstr.com)
—————————–

Grilled Ranch Potatoes

2 lb. baby potatoes, halved
1/4 tsp. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 packet ranch salad dressing mix
kosher salt
ground black pepper
Ranch dressing – for drizzling
chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Preheat grill to Medium heat. In
large bowl toss potatoes with
olive oil, lemon juice & ranch
seasoning mix. Season with salt/
pepper & toss to coat. Thread
potatoes onto skewers & grill
until tender & lightly charred,
15 minutes. Drizzle with Ranch
dressing & garnish with chives.
Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Popcorn Balls

12 C. popped popcorn
1 (16 oz) bag regular sized marsh-
mallows
1/4 C. butter
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
8 oz. white chocolate chips
1-2 T. shortening
1/2 C. fall colors sprinkles

Lay out several sheets of waxed
paper on counter.
Heat butter in LARGE sauce pan over
medium heat until melted. Add
marshmallows & stir until
completely melted. Add pumpkin
pie spice – remove from heat & stir
in popped popcorn. Make sure
your hands are clean & spray
them with nonstick cooking spray.
Gently scoop up popcorn mixture &
press into a ball shape; place balls
on waxed paper.
Add white chocolate chips &
shortening to a deep bowl. Melt
accordg to pkg. directions in
microwave in 30 second increments,
stirring in between, until completely
melted & smooth. Dip balls in white
chocolate & then in sprinkles – place
back on waxed paper until chocolate
is hard.

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

Cheesy Meatball Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 C. finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. milk
2 C. marinara sauce
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. chopped parsley (garnish)

In large bowl combine ground beef,
garlic, Parm. cheese, breadcrumbs,
egg, salt/pepper & milk – mix until
thoroughly combined.
Preheat broiler.
Spray bottom of a 9 or 10″ skillet with
nonstick cooking spray. Form meatballs
approx. 1 1/2 inches in diameter & place
in a single layer in pan. Broil 8-10 minutes
until meatballs are cooked through &
browned on top.* Drain any fat/liquids in
pan. Pour marinara sauce over meatballs
& sprinkle cheese over sauce. Broil 3-5
until cheese is melted & browned.  Sprinkle
with parsley & serve immediately. Serves 4

*It does not say in the recipe, but I would
probably turn the meatballs at about 4 minutes
to make sure all sides are cooked.

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

Peanut Butter Pudding Dessert

1 C. flour
1/2 C. cold butter, cubed
1 1/2 C. chopped cashews, divided
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. powdered sugar
1 (12 oz) tub Cool Whip,
thawed/divided
2 2/3 C. cold milk
1 (3.9 oz) pkg. instant chocolate
pudding mix
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 (1.55 oz) milk chocolate candy
bar, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place flour & butter in food processor;
cover & process until mixture resembles
coarse crumbs. Add 1 C. nuts; pulse a
few times until combined. Spray 9 X 13″
baking dish with nonstick cooking spray &
press mixture into pan to form a crust.
Bake 25-28 minutes until golden brown.
Remove & cool completely on wire rack.
In small bowl beat cream cheese, peanut
butter & powdered sugar until smooth;
fold in 1 C. Cool Whip – spoon over crust.
In another bowl whisk milk & both pudding
mixes 2 minutes; let stand 2 minutes until
soft-set. Spread mixture over cream cheese
layer. Top with remaining Cool Whip mixture
& sprinkle with chopped chocolate &
remaining nuts. Cover & refrigerate at least
1 hour before serving. Serves 12-16

NOTE: You can substitute your favorite pudding
flavors; use almond butter in place of peanut
butter or use dark or white chocolate bars for
topping. You can also use fresh whipped
cream instead of Cool Whip.

If you are transporting this dessert during the
summer/warm weather, you can freeze this
dessert 20-30 minutes to keep it cold en route.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

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Our weather has finally changed: it’s really COLD/
WET/RAINY/GLOOMY today! Woke up at 7 a.m. &
you would have thought it was the middle of the
night – it was DARK!!! Glad I don’t have to go out
until later today – it’s supposed to get down to
56…it’s 56 RIGHT NOW! Looking at our weather
forecast – we don’t get sun until Monday, but
still a HIGH of 56! UGH! (Here’s where I insert
my desire for INDIAN SUMMER! One can hope,
right?)

Hope you are staying warm & cosy – enjoy a
little something warm (tea, coffee, etc.) and
maybe a little added ‘extra’ (cookie, doughnut,
etc.) just to keep you ‘fortified’…hehehe.

Hugs;

Pammie

SO HAPPY and PROUD!

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

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

Caramel Apple Slab Pie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cheesy Baked Zucchini

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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

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

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

 Crockpot Pepper Steak

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

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

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

(recipe: facebook)
——————————

Crockpot Blueberry/Lemon Cobbler


Filling:

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

Topping:

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

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

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

Topping:

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

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)

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

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

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

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

Hoping you are all in good healthy and safety;

Hugs;

Pammie